Universal expansion

When it comes to writing, one of the best, and most rewarding, parts for me is the world building. I admit, sometimes I get lost in the details, so when it comes time to explain something in the narrative, I pause and think, Yeah…how DOES that work?

As I’ve said before, Renegade‘s overall plot did not leave me a lot of room to explore the vast universe it occupied. Its sequel will not have those constraints. As I continue to lay down the groundwork for it, I am focusing on some background information the characters will come across during the course of the story. A lot of it has to do with things that were briefly touched upon in Renegade. I am also going to introduce other species that occupy my universe. They may not play major roles in the story, but their inclusion is every bit as important. I don’t have anything solid just yet, the wheels are turning.

Years ago, when I first tried shopping Renegade around, I had a potential editor tell me she could sympathize with Simon because he was a tragic character. Considering the shit I put him through, and all the secrecy surrounding his origins, it’s easy to see that. It really clicked when I wrote up a medical log the characters will find in the sequel. So I’m sharing this tidbit with everyone. Whoever coined the phrase, ‘You always hurt the one you love,’ was not kidding.

***

From decrypted medical logs concerning Project Rebirth

Subject: Xabeldi
Re: transfiguration readiness

Log 1.1 Preliminary examination shows subject endured trauma to the left arm and right hip. Blood loss minimal due to surface antiseptics. Muscle damage to arm manageable. Pins applied to hip fracture. Injuries to head superficial.

Log 2.1 Injuries are healing. Subject shows no decrease in functionality with arms, shoulders, and neck. Limp not as pronounced; however, strength in leg joint questionable. Pins reinforced.

Log 2.35 Subject growing weaker. Amount of sunlight and nutrients required to maintain biology difficult to come by. Viability for project at risk. Stasis pod recommended.

Log 4.5 Subject health at acceptable level. Phase one of biological rewrite approved. Nanomachines inserted into bloodstream. Subject returned to stasis.

Log 5.7 Subject’s body is showing signs of resistance. Nanomachines increased.

Log 9.8 Phase one nano therapy complete. Tests on subject show decreased need for sunlight. Need for carbon dioxide still a factor. Subject asphyxiated when removed from CO2 atmosphere maintained in pod. Nutrients fed intravenously.

Log 11.4 Phase two of nano therapy initiated. Continue to decrease need for sunlight absorption. Human DNA received. Cultures collected for testing.

Log 12.13 Genetic structure incompatible between human and Xabeldi. Modified stem connector must be created to achieve successful fusion. Will continue running tests.

Log 17.3 Final nano therapy phase complete. Dependence on sunlight weaned. Respiratory and circulatory system therapies initiated.

Log 25.2 Subject required resuscitation again. Rejection of human organs impedes progress. Subject’s resilience weakening. May have to reconsider project.

Subject: Xabeldi
Re: transfiguration- updated

Entry 2.3 My predecessor’s vision was limited. Subject’s resilience will be a nonfactor once modified stem connector is in place. Initiating bone restructuring. Xabeldi chest cavity inadequate to contain human organs.

Entry 7.5 Subject had to be heavily sedated to allow procedure to commence. Rate of growth satisfactory. Implants grafted to key zones to maximize effect.

Entry 12.4 Stress from the bone growth placed a strain on the hip fracture. Section has been replaced with tech. Modifications operate on the synthetic compound found in Nureni bloodstreams. Subject’s body shows no sign of rejection.

Entry 35.2 Bone growth continues. Natural human organs are rejected repeatedly. I have authorized synthetic versions of the cardiovascular and pulmonary organs. Digestive therapies incomplete at this time. Will instruct my assistants to speed the process.

Entry 54.7 Bone restructure has been completed. Additional finger lengths on left hand shorter than expected, but still functional. Nano therapy for respiratory system a success. The synthetic lungs have been transplanted. Subject relocated to an oxygenated chamber.

Entry 60.1 Test results are positive: oxygen inhalation has no adverse side effects. Musculature regrowth shows promise. Phase two of cardiovascular nano therapy has been initiated.

Entry 87.9 Synthetic heart transplant has been a success. Cellular rewrite on the subject’s circulatory system is functioning. All traces of chlorophyll eradicated. Activating stem connector to complete neurological rewrite. Inhibitor collar activated to control fluctuations in telepathic/TK powers.

Entry 102.5 Stem connector online and functioning. Subject’s biological readings are steady. Phase one of epidermis replacement initiated. Sedation not required. I must be able to test subject’s reaction to stimuli.

Entry 112.4 Skin graft test interrupted by subject’s violent reaction. Results inconclusive. Restraints will be implemented for remainder of tests. Will need two new assistants.

Entry 125.5 Removal of first layer fifty percent complete. Alterations to subject’s body has negatively affected parts where skin is thinnest, notably the feet, hands, behind the knees, inside the elbows, pelvic region, and neck. Those areas must be reinforced first before cells die.

Entry 148.1 Phase two of epidermis treatment concluded. Distribution of human skin layer imperfect, but it is responding to stimuli. Increase in musculature on chest, arms and legs complete. Initiated cartilage and fat cells growth at key areas. Subject’s readings remain steady.

Entry 200.6 Epidermis replacement complete. Subject is showing signs of hair growth on head, arms, legs, chest, and pelvic region.

Entry 215.9 Further tests indicate alteration to digestive system requires diet of specialized nutrient paste, sugar, and water. Subject’s system has adapted to changes wonderfully.

Entry 238.1 Transformation complete. Stem connector switched to dormant mode. Subject reported as having emotional episode once in the confines of his cell. He is the result of years of extensive, and exhaustive, research. A marvel of the best our science has to offer, despite our limited supplies. I should think he would be proud.

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