Chapter 58: The Birth of Frankenstein

The ground shook beneath him. Each step sent him hurtling along the country, flying faster and faster.

The steel bones and iron sinew warped his skin as he churned along with more efficiency and precision than any natural creation could ever hope to achieve. He had been considered handsome once, an Adonis unmatched by any but the most dedicated and naturally gifted man, but now even the act of smiling would distort features in a way that would have cause his own mother to flee in terror. That is, of course, if he hadn’t already corrected the inefficiencies of such needless expressions.

He had had a different name once, but he had no use for names anymore. Even the one the lesser being had given him was little more than a bluff. It was an excuse to disguise his majesty beneath a moniker that they no longer feared. But even those fools could not help but flee when his shadow approached.

It had started with his arms. His right arm had been crushed under the force of Eclipse’s reality warp. He had had to remove it himself, or else his entire self may have been pulled into a world doomed to be removed from the flow of time itself. Replacing it had been difficult with only one hand, but it gave him good practice. The second arm had been by choice, the weight and strength difference had proven too difficult to compensate for. It was far easier to have a matching set.

He survived for a decade with only his arms, and eventually his legs, replaced with machines. He hadn’t settled for merely replacing them; his creations were so perfect and efficient he could power them off of the chemicals already carried by his blood and the energy carried by his nerves.

He couldn’t settle for just mimicking the unimaginative shapes that nature had deemed proper for him. He had to be better than anything thrown at him, so he worked to improve and modify his limbs. And now there was no mecher on the planet who could hope for a suit that could accomplish tasks he could do with his bare hands.

Of course, the stress of connecting metal directly to his skeleton had eventually necessitated replacing his bones one by one, until only his skull and spine remained. Eventually he settled for coating them instead. Even now, those remained some of the few natural pieces of his body.

There was no heart beating beneath his chest. He had long since discarded it in favor of a smoother flowing pump. Its purpose was the same, though he didn’t have actual blood anymore. The fluid that now ran through his veins didn’t require lungs, what little oxygen he needed could be retrieved through his skin and taken to his brain.

He had been a hero, even after he had started to lift himself above the confines of mortality. The strength of his new body let him match any villain in the world blow for blow, with or without a suit. Eventually they saw him as a being above normal heroes. They had invited him to serve as a leader, an example to all those beneath him. They offered him a chance to stand by those who would bring about an age of peace. But nothing they offered could have changed his path. He did not want to stand by humanity’s leaders, he wanted to be above them, to show them the true path. As Prometheus lifted humans above the beasts with fire, he would give them the light born of his genius and make them gods.

When he had professed his accomplishments, proven to the world that he was something far greater than any human, they screamed. They called him a monster and a villain. They accused him of wanting to replace them with machines, or worse, trap their minds within metal boxes so that they could never escape. It was obvious that he had failed to show them the light. But his genius wasn’t wrong, it could never be. He merely hadn’t done enough; they hadn’t seen just how powerful and perfect the life he could offer them was.

So he let them label him a villain; he let them hunt him. The stronger the beings they sent, the sooner they would understand his perfection. But they never did they never learned to comprehend his majesty.

Eventually he realized the truth. It wasn’t that they couldn’t understand perfection. Perfection cannot be misunderstood, its achievement must be self-evident. It was obvious that one being alone, even one as brilliant and uplifted as him, could never achieve perfection. So he looked for others like him, seeking the pieces that would make him perfect.

Panzer and Sherman. They were the first to defeat him, even if they had to work together, and they proved that his perfection was not complete. Even though they were enemies, they two had separately discovered a way to remove the recoil generated by even the most powerful of weapons. Once he discovered their secret, he tested it against their prototypes. Of course, his genius proved superior.

Month after month, year after year, he sought out those whose creations could rival his own genius. If they were worthy, he gave them a chance to join him in his ascension to godhood. Most refused, and those few who accepted his generosity proved too unstable, to set in their own greed, to serve with him in his position of ultimate power.

As he returned again and again, the people began to fear him, as they should. Their awe served only to prove that he was getting closer to his ultimate goal. Soon they would grow to respect his perfection, and everyone would wish to become as he is. But that time was not yet, his perfection was not complete.

Until then, he would accept this pathetic moniker. Its use would fade with time, as they grew to understand that their fear was only natural upon seeing a being so far above them. Until they understood he was a god, he would let them believe he was a monster.

He would be Frankenstein.

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