** Heterochromia is a genetic mutation that is often visually stunning. Generally speaking, this cosmetic variation is harmless for most species… unless you were a Transcendent. For a tran, permanent discoloration of the eyes signified the genesis of chronic instability.
A tran thrives in two forms:
Factory default, which is a modified version of the tran’s original form. In this state, a tran is able to “recharge” — whatever that process may entail.
It should be noted that no one, except for the scientist who developed the tran prototype, has seen a Transcendent’s original form. No, that’s not quite accurate. There have been a few curious lab assistants and insistent military officials.
The lucky ones perished quickly, but some still remain locked away in mental institutions — their minds degenerating slowly. Until the day they manage to peel off all of their skin with a sharpened toothbrush, or some other irrational act of self-inflicted-horror.
Transcendents are a mystery. Even to the government that funds the project. Are they animal, machine, or alien? Are they the product of science, science fiction, or Black Magic? For all we know, the anser is “Yes.”
The second form is know as the EIF [Empathetic Idealized Form]. Once in sync with a target’s subconscious desires, the tran may settle into this form. While it does drain part of the Transcendent’s energy source, to maintain this state of being, it causes no physical damage to the tran… in most instances.
In the case of Number 2, it has proven to be a death sentence. Two eyes of different color — in her case, one black and one blue — indicates that the tran is no longer capable of returning to factory default. Even a “junkie tran”, one who has become addicted to their EIF must revert occasionally, or it will die.
This means that Number 2, will eventually overburden her “battery”. This will cause a meltdown of sorts. The initial stages of a full system’s shutdown are apparent due to the sudden, violently erratic behavior that a tran will adopt.
Number 2 frowned as she tried to pull her hand loose. Her fist was trapped inside the chest cavity of a security detail soldier. He was still standing. The impact of her blow had been so fast and hard, that he was still alive — at least for the moment. Annoyed, she wedged her boot between them. Using his stomach as a focal point, she simultaneously extended her leg and retracted her arm. Unburdened by the deadweight, Number 2 shifted her attention to the remaining battalion. This one-sided slaughter had been stretched out over the last six hours.
The bodies were as numerous and scattered as Number 2’s own overclocked impulses and thoughts. She had another three hours to reach her target, before her body carried out its built-in self destruct sequence… it wasn’t enough time. She had failed her mission.
She had been marked for destruction from the first moment she had set eyes on her intended target. It had become unclear if she was doing all of this to kill him… or just kill for him. Perhaps she simply wanted to look him in the face, the one who had effortlessly condemned her. Maybe she wanted to thank him… but who could really say what was going on inside of the mind of a malfunctioning tran?
Trancendents are a mystery.
To be continued…