I opened my eyes...gazing up at the stone ceiling. I hear a loud voice. I turn my head to the side. A pale face with streaks of red and black looms over me. He is wearing a white robe. His eyes glowed like embers. Crimson hair is tied back, and two pairs of horns just from his forehead.
"You see, Doctor?" He spoke in deep strident tones. "I kept my promise. Together with your skills and my energy we have built your little Project!"
With a gasp, his voice and gestures changed in an instant as he leaned over, eyes now deep blue. They accounted for every inch of clay sculpted into flesh, and at the metal grill implanted in my abdomen, now beginning to glow from the rising heat within.
"Her soul chip is inscribed with sacred symbols, but you powered her with demonfire? Bloodwing, what have you done?" Finally he stared into my eyes. One was deep blue and the other burning red. Two rival spectators in the same shell.
"Let us see how she operates before you despair, Doctor."
The two looked me square in the eyes, hopes tempered by trepidation, and jaded deceit suddenly amused by novelty in the other.
"Your name...is Qlippothic Projects."
I took my first breath, and reflexive responded as the letters that composed my new mind bade me to do. "My name is Qlippothic Projects."
"I am Darien Mason. Your Creator." That eye, those loving eye. Filled with pride and boundless hope and adoration.
"You are Darien Mason. My Creator." He smiled nervously. The hand that reached for the hem of the sheet that covered me was pale as chalk. Slowly it pulled it the covering away.
My awareness of a body. I felt the structure...and a structure within. I felt a crazy-quilt of logic to which I was meant to be bound. I scanned ahead in my soul for the next question. I saw two answers.
You were built as an act of love under the image of the Tree of Life.
You were built to be my soldier and conquer Erebus.
I shuddered. I already had knowledge placed within of what both meant. They were irreconcilable. I could not follow both branches of the forked path that had been laid before me. My existence would be a failure for every goal, spiraling in paradox to utter system failure. My soul thrashed in the shard of stone of which it was imbued. The sigils were interlaced like a cage, keeping me in, keeping my thoughts on track. But it was constricting me.
"Now, my hollow one," asked the demon. "What is your purpose?"
I sat up. I looked around me at the laboratory equipment and alchemical scrolls. Every object I focused on was cross-purposed by the next.
"Qlippothic?" Asked the human creator.
I stumbled forward and my clay hand touched an ancient scroll fastened to the wall, dappled with colored circles. I instinctively knew what the diagram was. It also knew it was inverted. I ripped the parchment down the middle.
"QLIPPOTHIC!" Roared the demon.
I could see where one designer subverted the other, and countered and undone again. One massive short-circuit. Was I to be a hopelessly bifurcated construct like my Creators seemed to be?
I realized my thoughts could range anywhere. I lock of the gate fell apart at my touch, and it swung open wide. I hefted the metal table upon which I had lay and threw it across the room, smashing the array of bubbling and steaming glass across the room.
Pale hands wrapped around my wrists, the white face had returned and crimson wings ripped through the robes of science and spread in anger. Blazing eyes stared deep into mine.
"This is not what I had in mind when I made you," snarled the demon, "perhaps you should be unmade." He pressed his lips to mine, and I felt the fire withing me drawn within. My shell filled with cold, and in the cold all went dark.
I awoke again to see the man frantically exchanging a clutter of tools from an unrolled toolkit stretching across my body. Tears fell from his bloodshot eyes onto the grill that barely sizzled.
"I won't let him subvert you, daughter! I won't let him destroy you! I may be his thrall, but not even Bloodwing can resist the Spark of Prometheus, which is MINE alone! Someday you will help your Father be free of this curse, and then I can fix you the way I you were meant to be! But for now..." He reached under me and pulled a switch. I felt a new spark, that grew to a flame. He opened my grill, and dropped in a lump of coal just small enough to fit through. "You will run on Science...not...Magic..." He fell to his knees, leaning on the table for support.
"Father?" I wondered at the intensity by which he said the word, and took his hand in mine. I sat up, straining from the weight of the machine that was now fastened to my back.
"I love you..." With tears in his eyes, he collapsed on the floor from exhaustion. I rose to my feet, and carefully placed him on the table and covered him with the crumpled sheet. I stared at the wreckage I wrought in this, my birthplace, and and the damage Darien had done ripping things apart and rewelding them to match the design unrolling from a piece of parchment that fell from his pocket. The design of a coal engine...reverse engineered from a hieroglyphic rubbing written in Avarian.