He watched the men in white coats scramble. He saw the terror in their eyes when they looked at him. He knew the madness in their hearts.

He knew, because once, he was like them. Once, he, too, slaved to better himself. He had, long ago, been one of the nameless many, a worker trod upon by the powerful, who, in turn, lorded over the lowest of the low.

But no more was he a nameless worker. No more did he bother himself with the faceless multitudes, the basest of human existence.

He had murdered his way up from the depths of despair. Well-timed assassinations of his masters had propelled him ever upward. Masterfully placed rumors and falsified documents had turned his enemies upon one another.

With power had come riches. First, simple money had flowed through his hands. But hard currency was soon replaced with true wealth. Secrets, whispered in the night, held passionately against theft, came swiftly, followed by the treasures of the gods.

He began his life, eons ago, as a murderous child, born in a mud hut, one amongst many, tearing his vitality from his mother’s dying womb.

The dreams, the memories of his past, had begun to haunt him with the second immortality procedure. The men who cowered before him, the white-coated technicians who silently manned the god-machine, had promised him the dreams meant nothing. Only a passing side-effect, they’d muttered before he had their tongues removed.

With each additional procedure, each shuffling through of the god-gate, the dreams grew, images becoming clearer, scents wafting through the air, triggering more memories, urging his mind to shatter, his will to tremble. But he held fast, angrily pushing aside the fears, the well of remembered life, gripping onto his life of power.

His desire for immortality grew into a need. He progressed from one treatment every other decade to one every year. He refused to listen to the doctors who advised against the increase. His fist tightened upon the reins of his empire. Millions died, laboring to satisfy his need.

For the second time in less than a year, his anger spurred the white-coated men into frenzied activity. The master was not to be denied. His desire propelled him forward, into the arms of the god-machine. Immortality waited, for him and him alone.

Or so he thought.

While he wallowed in his vivid memories, the white-coated men fed from him. They greedily sucked at the scarlet rivulets trailing down his arms. The god-machine desired. It required an army, maddened and bold. And so it bled the master, holding him with falsehoods and dreams.


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