“Sparky” LaCroix pissed on the side of the Necro-tron memorial sign. The device itself took 400 slaves two years to finish. It started in the basement under the Chicago Stadium as a battery-powered transmitter inside a Faraday Cage. Slaves built it into a multistory tower reaching into the dark and dying sky. Mostly made of conductive metals, it kept the heart of the Necro-tron safe. The sign, placed immediately after the storm wall rose, was his father’s testament to his own glory. Piss dripped across the text his father painted so carefully; Here begins the Necro-tron: TO BREAK THE CHAINS OF FATE!
Protected by the walls of the stadium, it channeled ‘life energies’ to create the Death storm. His father had explained it once, but Sparky considered himself more of a leader than an egghead. He stuffed himself back into the full-body rubber long-johns that protected him from infection and electrical discharges. Soon, it would be over, no smelly suit, no stupid hat, and no more Death Storm BS.
Food was getting low, and he was tired of canned beans. His father had been promising him that they would leave, just as soon as the dumb Necro-tron was ready. Sparky adjusted his command helmet. It looked like a colander, but it was covered with wires and vacuum tubes. It allowed him to command the undead with some weird science thought enhancer— he had no idea what that meant. It was useless on the living, but people obeyed him anyway. The threat of dead teeth was better than mind control. Now, there was more dead than living and fewer still after the battle. This had to end tonight.
Sparky walked through the empty lower decks searching for the last of his slaves. He approached a half-naked boy who was scrubbing the floors. The boy bowed his head and stopped his work.
“I pissed on the sign, make sure you get that,” said Sparky.
The boy looked up with almost dead eyes. He wasn’t turning. He just had nothing to live for.
“It’s almost over and you survived. Let’s see a smile on that face!” Sparky said.
The boy gave no response.
“I said smile!” Sparky shouted.
The boy reeled back, gasping in fear. Fear enraged Sparky, he didn’t want fear, he wanted respect, awe, and love. He raised his hand and watched the boy tremble. There it was; the terror akin to awe. He held his breath for a moment. He licked his lips and felt a movement in his loins. This terror was what he liked to see. How long could he keep it up?
Sparky couldn’t have too much fun as the slaves tended to kill themselves when he did. Weak things people were, but there were yet toilets to clean, and this boy was the last left to do them.
Sparky exhaled and moved on. He smiled to hear the sobs of the child.
He walked with a smirk into the Necro-sanctum where two undead sentries stood guard. His father’s paranoia was laughable. Even if anyone was left they couldn’t get in here.
The sanctum was the top of the Necro-tron tower and created the wall of death that surged around the city. It was filled with pipes and wires and often had strange electrical discharges blasting out from thin air. The walls were lined with a conductive metal mesh, rubbery pads, and the floors made of copper and brass. At the cardinal points, there were four sarcophagi, stolen from the museums of Chicago. The large ornate, Egyptian, granite coffins stood in contrast to the modern scientific madness. Both artifacts were monuments to death, both arcane and mysterious.
“Charles,” came a voice from above.
“Sparky, call me Sparky.”
“Your mother and I named you Charles,” said Dr. Death, as he descended the brass staircase and onto the main floor of the Necro-tron.
Truman LaCroix, or Dr. Death as he had self-titled, wore the same rubber suit but with a more elaborate command helmet than Sparky’s. His pale chiseled face was visible, tightly shaved, and groomed, unlike his boy. Both had black tight curls for hair making their relationship more obvious.
“Charles… Sparky, have you finished with the preparations? We launch tonight.”
“You said that for three nights in a row. We’re almost out of food and we’ve only one worker, and he’s very small.”
“Yes, of course, your inconvenience stands before the greatest work in the world. God forbid my son should have to make his own bed or wipe his own nether regions. I’m going to alter all of space and time, and you’re nonplussed by the status of our workers. Unbelievable,” said Dr. Death.
“Father, you are never happy. Well, I’ve summoned the horde, even the lazy dead, and set up the hydrogen tanks; again. We lost a lot of the army in the fight, it might be a few hours before they get up. I was hoping to go hunting and get new workers,“ whined Sparky.
“We’d have had more than enough if you’d have kept your hands to yourself.”
Sparky gave a self-satisfying smirk in reply.
“The apple really does fall far from the tree. Where some are corrupted by power, you have just been made true. Rather than keen ambitions of grandeur you have descended to the base thrusts and grunts of rutting and feeding. Like the undead, you live only to satisfy your own emptiness. What pleasure might I swallow, that I might ease my hollow soul, what might I spurt my seed into that will pause my hormonal agony? ” the father mocked.
“Are you quoting Shakespeare again? I never understand what you mean, please just speak normally!”
Dr. Death stepped closer to his son. He stood below his boy’s gaze, only his command helmet giving him close to equal height. Sparky stepped back. The doctor recognized fear and angry darkness spread across his face. Sparky made a dry, dry swallow.
“Shakespeare?”, he paused then began to shout, “Shakespeare! You think that’s Shakespearian? You common dolt! If you didn’t bear my likeness, if I hadn’t been there at the birth I’d swear you weren’t even mine! You lack the insight, the mental faculties required to understand my plan! My child should be a grandmaster of intellectual abilities. The foulness of your birth has made you weak and pitiable. We are doing the work of gods here, must I endure the constant reminder of my one mistake?”
As he shouted the energies of the sanctum began to grow and flicker. A bolt of green lightning forked out and sliced against Sparky’s back, driving the young man to his knees despite his rubber protection.
“I am communing with the universe itself! I’ve drawn in all the tiny pricks of consciousness that this intellectually emaciated city had to offer, and I’m using them, like the hammer of Thor, to tear open the sky and change fate itself!”
“Why do you hate me!” spat Sparky to his father.
“That’s what you heard? I call glory to my grand intellect and all you can think about is; if I hate you! Idiot boy, I don’t hate you. The fault is not your own. It is mine and mine alone,” Dr. Death said as his voice quieted.
The mad scientist knelt to look his son square in the eyes. He moved closer until they were nearly cheek to cheek, and whispered, “I only need to change one thing and it will free us both from this fate.”
Dr. Death then shot upward holding his son by the throat, lifting the boy off the ground. Sparky struggled and twisted as green arcs of electricity showered down upon the two. The rubber suit protected his father but not Sparky. Laughter, screams, and thunder echoed through the tower of death.
“Never doubt me! I am your creator and failed as you are, you are mine. I will yet make you right!” he hissed and threw the boy across the room in a flash of green lightning.
Sparky rolled across the harsh metal floor and impacted against a rubberized support. He clutched at his throat as green energy worked its way out, from inside his bones. He then pulled himself to his feet struggling to gain back his composure. His father had already returned to his work with no empathy for his own son.
Sparky would never be what his father wanted no matter how hard he tried. If he obeyed, then he wasn’t thinking, if he planned it out it was a stupid plan. There was no winning. He peered into the darkness of the machine, not particularly looking for anything, more lost in thought than thoughtfully lost. As his eyes drifted from internal torment, they focused on movement in the darkness.
“Father, we have company!” Sparky shouted as he reached out with his mind and summoned the horde.
Sigil was here.