Those trembling and weak words came from bloodstained lips of the dying man who was lying brokenly in a puddle of his own blood, liquid life freely and obscenely leaving the gaping wounds on his body. Those pitiful words were only heard by the mutilated corpses that littered the cold, tiled floor of his lab.
He knows that his end was approaching, but rather than cry about the inevitable, he smiled. It was bittersweet.
If someone above could grant this puny human one final wish, he would have asked for more time. It didn’t matter if it was just another minute - that would have been enough to send word of his latest scientific breakthrough to the masses.
His chapped lips parted to let out a wet, wheezing laugh that was full of self-mockery. He must have felt really out of it to be thinking of such absurd things. After all, he had never once believed in a higher power even after doomsday had greeted mankind.
The breeze that entered his once-sterilized lab through the broken windows carried a fetid stench with it, a stench that the man in the bloodstained white coat paid no mind to, as used to it as he was. It was the smell of decay, death, and blood, all mixed into something foul that became humanity’s norm.
His vision was the first to fade, this ugly world turning dimmer by the second. His eyelashes trembled as his eyelids fluttered to a close, causing him to appear fragile despite his strong stature.
Inwardly, Juan lamented, ′It seems that I’ll be seeing my family soon... How unfortunate that I could not fulfill my end of the promise.′
As he slowly lost consciousness, the dying scientist entered a state that forced him to recall a tragic story that was his life. The hand that was grasping onto humanity’s last hope did not falter, however.
Juan was his name. He was born into a middle-income family of four. He was the youngest, thus most doted upon.
His mother, bless her kind soul, loved him dearly. She was of Mediterranean roots but moved to Japan with her family when she was just a little girl. She used to be the owner of the bakery just down the street from their childhood home and would bring back leftovers that their entire family enjoyed. She tended to hand him the sweetest and fattest anpan and he would run around as his siblings give chase to steal a bite, their parents’ laughter in the background.
His father was the average white-collar, always busy with work. However, he managed his time well and would spend his day-offs with his family. They would often go to a diner on Saturdays and the amusement park on Sundays. Juan would be showered with stuffed toys and prizes from game booths won by his overindulging dad. When his father received a job offer, the household moved to Europe, allowing for the children to study at the best schools available in their area.
His eldest sister was a tough lady who took no shit from anybody and would only be soft to her loved ones. Juan tended to be on the receiving end of bear hugs whenever she was home. She was a voluptuous beauty born with gorgeous features and a radiant olive skin tone and was admired greatly by her peers. Despite her beauty, however, she was the daredevil of their family. One day, she left on a mountain climbing excursion with her best mates and came back in a wheelchair with two missing limbs.
His middle sister was the opposite of his eldest sister. She was gentle and kind to everyone; family, friends, and strangers alike. Whereas their eldest sibling was loud, outgoing, and has a darker skin tone, she was soft, preferred to keep books as her company, and was pale as a specter. Her features weren’t as beautiful as their eldest, but she was endearingly cute and it gave her an air of innocence -- which Juan finds misleading as she was a closet alcoholic. Nevertheless, everyone could not help but adore her, bad habits and all.
Last but not least, Juan was the youngest and only son. He was blunt and lacked tact. He inherited his mother’s resplendent olive skin, his father’s good looks, and his maternal grandfather’s remarkable height. Due to the combination of his exotic appearance, high IQ, and low EQ, he had been alienated during his childhood years in Japan. Because he was not as outgoing as his eldest sister nor as empathetic as his middle sister, whenever he opens his mouth to comment about one thing or the other, the other party would be tempted to give him a good dropkick down the stairs. And yes, despite their love for him, this included his family.
When Juan was 10 years old, he became online friends with a group of technology geeks that were into coding. He mastered the art within 3 years and secretly enrolled in University after creating a false identity. After trying the many courses University had to offer, he stumbled into the 7 branches of Science. From then onwards, he became a science geek - biochemistry was his favorite subject to read on.
However, those peaceful days didn’t last for long. Tragedy soon struck his family a year after he entered 8th grade.
Juan lost his beautiful and kind mother. Cancer was the cause. School hadn’t been a challenge for a long time, so he turned his focus to medicine and health, wanting to take better care of his remaining family members.
At the age of 18, he lost his father. Cancer was the cause. He grew depressed and -- strangely enough -- motivated. He soon began to compile research papers, aspiring to develop a cure for those who were affected by the dreadful illness.
When he was 20 years old, his eldest sister suffered from frostbite and had to have both her legs amputated. He split his attention and dug his claws into the engineering field. He needed to find a way to create flexible and independently-controlled prosthetics for his dear sister. The current version of prosthetic limbs was too stiff, no better than a pegleg. One anime gave him the inspiration needed to manufacture something idealistic.
At the age of 23, his middle sister was diagnosed with lung cancer. Project H was still in its infancy. His sister smiled gently and told him to live well in her place, to take care of their eldest sister since she would be unable to do so in the future. He cried tears of frustration whilst enduring long hours of research. He lost her soon after. Cancer was the cause. He felt helpless.
When Juan was 26 years old, on his eldest sister’s 30th birthday, he gifted her two mechanical legs that were versatile and more durable than any other prosthetic limb in the market. He personally performed surgery to link her nervous system to the mechanical legs and they now can be moved like natural appendages. The two siblings celebrated loudly with hugs and great food.
At 27 years of age, his eldest sister was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He had already produced a liquid drug (the name too embarrassing to say out loud) that could potentially eliminate cancer cells whilst rejuvenating other selected molecules such as the tumor-suppression gene. Testing was still ongoing, but he had a good feeling that Project H would bring great changes to the world. His sister would live, and Juan would not be left alone.
On the 4th of April 2044, at the age of 28 years old, it was around 4 pm that a state of emergency was announced by the local news anchor and all civilians were told to remain indoors until stated otherwise. Juan was still hard at work in his lab. When he heard a loud BANG come from outside his personal lab, he paused his movements as his eyes searched for the disturbance.
With her back pressed forcefully onto the ballistic glass of his window was his secretary, spurting blood onto the white tiled floors as his fellow researcher continuously gnawed on her neck. Juan was scared dumb and fell on his ass, attracting the unwanted attention of his colleague-turned-monster.
All hell broke loose.
The building was soon filled with hysterical screaming, overturned tables, and a fuck load of blood.
The apocalypse has arrived, and Juan, who had initially made the drug with good intentions, was the primary cause of it.