For the hundredth time the man felt his waist pocket for the key. As relief filled him to find the small object in its place he could see a figure, undoubtedly advancing. The figure was far away and in the swirl of the desert heat and wind, it was hard to tell a specific gender. The man felt a jolt go through his body at the immense realisation of what he was about to do. Although he was standing in the searing heat of the Australian desert the man didn’t perspire, a tell-tale sign that he had had ‘work’ done. These days surgery fixed just about everything and sweating was one of those things. The man felt the jolt again, not as strong as the first but another surge all the same and knew that his next surgery would in some way fix his nerves. He still had a few more free surgeries his way, given his line of work, so he would use that to combat his fear. That’s if he made it out of this meeting.
The figure was closer now, and was clearly male, with a tall and well-built frame, that was by far superior to the man with the key. His hair was curly and peppery in colour. Despite the heat, he wore a charcoal coloured suit which was in pristine condition. The man with the key suspected surgery although deep down he knew that this man probably held the grace of movement and superiority before any medical enhancements. He shifted his weight from foot to foot nervously, as the man he was waiting for was finally in his midst.
“Xander, you better have an excellent reason as to why you have brought me out into the middle of the desert.” The man in the charcoal suit stated. He brushed the shoulders of his suit free of some small specks of sand and looked at Xander. He was a completely normal looking man, until you reached his eyes. The grey hair, the slightly tanned skin, the strong jawline was all normal and in stark contrast to the black eyes that greeted Xander. It was as if someone had coloured in the outside of the man’s pupil (Xander guessed they used to be blue) and so now his eyes were merely black and white. Unnerving as they were Xander brushed his hand on his pocket again.
“I do sir, Mr Matthews, sir,” he said as he fumbled in his pocket for the key. “But first I must ask you how keen of a historian you are.”
Mr Matthews frowned at Xander and gestured at the man, impatiently. He was not used to being told no or being questioned.
“What sort of question is this? Xander you are trying my patience.”
“Yes, of course sir, but I assure you that none of this will make sense unless you understand the full story.”
Mr Matthews sighed.
“What would you like to know?”
“Sir, how much do you know of Judan?” The silence seemed to emanate throughout the entire desert. Mr Matthews eyed the smaller man suspiciously.
“One would not dare to bring up Judan the Great unless he was sure of his position, of his worth. Why do you bring him up now?”
“Because like you state, I am sure of my position,” Xander replied, the fear gone and in its place, a sense of power that even Xander wasn’t aware he had. He showed Mr Matthews the key. “Now. This is a key, a key that holds an undeniable amount of power. If you want to harness that power, first you must understand the creator. Tell me what you know about Judan.”
Mr Matthews sighed, brushed a hand over his face and then looked at the smaller man.
“Judan the Great, was one of our last scientists to truly make a discovery. He discovered many secrets concerning cell growth in the human body and ways to introduce foreign material to the body, namely metals which could be grafted to the skin without the body rejecting the substance. Guns, warfare, it would revolutionise how we fought. The United, however, didn’t believe in the project. They believed that we were peaceful and as they squashed out science, we began to believe them. Judan fought for what he had designed but no one listened. Eventually he went mad with frustration about the loss of science and set one of his creations onto a prominent member of the United. He was sentenced to death and his creations all destroyed. There are rumours that some of his original writings still exist but they have been lost for many years,” Mr Matthews eyes widened with a thought. “Have you found Judan’s writings?”
Xander shook his head.
“I have found better,” He said and he turned to a rock that he was standing next to. At first glance the rock formation was merely that, a rock formation but as Mr Matthews looked closer he noticed some slight differences. There was a small but distinct line that carved what looked like a doorway in a particularly large rock. When Mr Matthews touched the rock it was cool to the touch. No rock reacted that way without some serious work being put into it first. Xander turned his back to Mr Matthews, the key in hand and with a little bit of twisting, pushed open the rock. It revealed a metallic passageway, lit by small lights. “Mr Matthews, your story was adequate but you missed out on the greatest part of all; The Hexalogy.”
“That is just a myth.” Mr Matthews said dismissively.
“Is it really?” Xander said and beckoned Mr Matthews to follow him through the small doorway. Mr Matthews had to duck to get through the door.
“Yes, it is truly insane to believe that Judan the Great was able to salvage his six strongest, most amazing creations from the United. It is preposterous to think that the United wouldn’t have scoured the Earth to find them. If they ever existed, they do not anymore.”
Xander slammed the door shut behind him. It made a resounding noise throughout the small hallway.
“Don’t be so sure,” He began walking down the hallway and Mr Matthews, followed him. “The United were looking for a technological hideout, nothing that would use ‘old technology’. Nothing that would open with a slight piece of metal like a key.”
The hallway spread out into a massive room. The lights in there were much brighter than those in the hallway and they temporarily blinded Xander. Mr Matthews was unfazed due to his strange eyes. He looked around the abandoned laboratory, noting the six cylinders big enough to fit people in them. He looked quickly back to Xander.
“Xander, what is the meaning of this? How did you find this place?”
“Why, all the good scientists have a prodigy. Judan had my grandfather. The key was passed down to me, with the promise only to reveal it when the time was right. The time is right Mr Matthews. The United are weak and with the Hexalogy in our power-
“The Hexalogy are creations! We cannot meddle with the creations of a madman! We awaken them and we release untold destruction!”
“Calm yourself Mr Matthews, the Hexalogy are not designed to destroy. Or rather they are designed to destroy only those that their master commands. That master could be you Mr Matthews. Everyone already knows that you disapprove of the United’s ways. You could hold the key to overthrow them once and for all!”
Mr Matthews thought for a moment. He glanced at the tubes, imposing in the lab. Whilst it was true that he wanted to overthrow the United, he wasn’t sure that Judan’s creations were the way to do it. But of course they were! The poetry of taking down the United with the creations of a man they so hated seemed too perfect for words.
“Alright then Xander. You may awaken them. But first tell me, what do you get out of all of this?” Mr Matthews examined his long slender fingers, reassuming control of the situation. Xander shrugged.
“Sir I get freedom. To experiment, to create without the United’s hindrance. I want what every other scientist wants; freedom.”
Xander walked up to the first cylinder and Mr Matthews followed, although stopped a few metres back. How could anyone be sure how these creatures would react?
“I will awaken them one by one to give you a proper inspection of them each,” Xander explained and Mr Matthews nodded impatiently. Xander reached over to retrieve a white shirt and pants. Mr Matthews frowned. The creations weren’t clothed already? “The first creation I will show you is Jericho. He was the first of the Hexalogy to be created and is generally considered the leader. Being the oldest in a sense he is probably the best behaved around humans.”
“They aren’t human?”
“Oh, they are. But only just.” Xander flipped some switches and dials and at one stage, pressed his hand into a screen to scan for recognition. Soon the machine was humming. It seemed to get louder and louder and then, unexpectedly, it stopped. The door of the first cylinder cracked open and out climbed a man. Xander threw clothes at him and swiftly the man put them on, his eyes never leaving his surroundings. Mr Matthews looked at the creation. He couldn’t believe he looked… well he looked real. The man was a light coppery shade, with hair a deeper shade of chocolate. His eyes were grey and calm as he surveyed the room with the authority of a leader. Mr Matthews knew that this man could easily be mistaken for his son, had he ever had children. In his mind, a plan was already beginning to form.
“Jericho, I am Xander. I would like you to meet Mr Matthews, the man you will be doing business with.” Jericho’s eyes flew straight to Mr Matthews who stepped forward to extend a hand to the creation.
“It is a pleasure to meet you.” Mr Matthews said as they shook. Jericho had a strong grip and although he hadn’t hurt Mr Matthews, it was clear he had the strength to do so.
“Where is she? And where are my brothers and sisters?” Jericho spoke like flowing caramel and had anyone else spoke the sentence they would have sounded like a whining infant.
“In due time Jericho. We wouldn’t want to startle Mr Matthews now would we?” Jericho eyed Mr Matthews again. Xander moved to the next machine. “I believe Tammin, is next.”
Jericho groaned as though he was in pain. This made Mr Matthews curious. What could cause the creation to sound so wounded?
Xander grabbed what looked like a white sheet that Mr Matthews soon realised was a dress and began pressing buttons. Jericho glared at Xander and snatched the dress from him. The cylinder made the same noise as it had for Jericho, except this time a woman stepped out of the cylinder. Jericho wordlessly handed her the dress and she put it on, searching her surroundings as Jericho had done before her. She hugged Jericho tightly and then looked at him with wide blue eyes.
“Where is Slayde? Is he...” She struggled to finish the sentence. Tammin was quite a contrast to Jericho, with alabaster skin and auburn hair that fell in one straight curtain to her waist. She was tall in stature, only Jericho beating her in height. Her face was masked with worry.
“He is fine. He hasn’t been awakened yet.” Jericho said and relief filled the girls face.
“Tammin was the first woman Judan created. Don’t let her appearance startle you; she is just as strong, intelligent and dangerous as any of the males.” Xander was by Mr Matthews side now, watching the two creations discuss the present.
“Slayde! I need to see him now!” She ran to the cylinder next to her and began pressing buttons much faster than Xander had, without looking. Mr Matthews half expected her to get it wrong but surprisingly the cylinder whirred into life and was opening. Jericho threw clothes to Tammin, without watching and she caught them easily. She let out a scream of excitement and was throwing her arms around a third creation before he was out of the chamber.
“That is Slayde. He is stronger than the others marginally. Slayde was created for Tammin.”
“What about Jericho?”
“In good time Mr Matthews, in good time.”
Slayde was frightening in appearance. Mr Matthews mind jumped to an old story known as “Frankenstein” where the creation was also of frightening appearance. Slayde looked human, like the others but he was taller and bulky, muscles in plain view, moving his arms and legs. Even with clothes on, he seemed huge and his muscles seemed to threaten to destroy the fabric. He shook hands with Jericho and Jericho explained the situation and then they all simultaneously turned to look at the two obvious humans.
“Jericho, I believe Kolton is next.” Xander said and even Mr Matthews could hear the clear tone of his voice that told everyone he was savouring this control. It was at that moment that Mr Matthews knew that Xander saw these beings as property rather than humans or creations. As Jericho grimaced and began to open the next cylinder, Mr Matthews knew for his own sake that he should distance himself from Xander if he planned on escaping this laboratory alive.
“What about…?” Slayde began and Jericho threw him an angry look. Tammin clutched at Slayde’s arm and whispered something to him. Slayde’s face morphed into some sort of sympathising look and Mr Matthews wondered what had been done to this creation to make even his fellow creations look on him with sympathy.
“Kolton, is the final male creation. He is highly intelligent, one of the smartest beings on this Earth I’d wager.”
As Kolton appeared from the cylinder he was the first to smile. He hugged all the other creations tightly. Kolton was dark skinned with his ebony coloured hair trimmed short. His perfect smile contrasted beautifully with his dark skin and out of all of the creations, Mr Matthews thought that this one was the most human. After Kolton had greeted everyone in the room, including Mr Matthews and Xander, he moved silently to the second last cylinder. Jericho shifted uncomfortably and whirled around to face Xander.
“Why?” He said simply.
“Because I can.” Xander said and Jericho glared at him. Mr Matthews moved slightly away from Xander. He had to be seen to side with the creations and not this man who’s power had gone to his head. But what was Xander holding against Jericho?
“Xander, what are you refusing Jericho?”
“Nothing. His mate will awaken in due time. He is merely acting like a child.”
“You are keeping his mate from him? Isn’t that a little…”
A scream alerted them of the presence of the fifth creation.
“Please, Jericho is being ridiculous. His mate, if you can call her that, is the newest of them all. He has never met her, for she has never been awoken before. What are a few more minutes in the life span of this creature? I am not doing this to upset the creation but for the safety of everyone involved. She is the most dangerous of them all and it is safer for all of us if she is awakened last. Jerichho, in his tragic hero demeanour just can’t see that.”
“It still seems that you are antagonizing him.” Mr Matthews stated as he glanced at the fifth creation, another girl. She was dark skinned, like Kolton with big green eyes making her an obvious creation and long hair that was tied back in a ponytail. She too was all smiles.
“It’s not antagonizing, it’s a safety precaution. Enough of this rubbish. That fifth creation is Killalee. She and Kolton were created for each other. They are the more emotional parts of the group and she too is very intelligent. Now since the last creation is about to be awoken I advise you stand up Mr Matthews to watch. I will tell you about her now, since we may not have the time afterward. Avengeline, is, as I stated before, the final creation that forms the Haxalogy. She has never awoken before so we don’t know what to expect. The legend says that Judan’s final creation will be the most powerful of all. None of us know how though.”
“Can I wake her now?” Jericho asked, basically jumping up and down in excitement.
“Yes, you may,” Xander said examining the lock on the door of the lab. Mr Matthews understood this logic. If it worked, then no one could escape, not even her. “Oh, and Jericho? If she is savage you and your fellow creations will restrain her and ‘take care of her’, yes? We can’t have a lunatic running about.”
Jericho sneered at the man and Mr Matthews knew that Xander had pushed his luck with the creation. If the female creation attacked Xander, no one would make a move to stop her. Was the policy the same on his life?
“Lord have mercy on us.” Mr Matthews whispered as the machine whirred to life. What was he meant to expect? Was she an animal, savage and brutal? Would she be refined and elegant? As the humming stopped, Mr Matthews waited for whom, or rather, what would appear before him next.