“Sparky” LaCroix sat in the center of the Necro-tron. The device took two years to build in the abandoned subway under the Chicago Stadium, and had grown nearly twice as big in the last few months. More than just a device, it was a fortress from which he and his father ruled. It channeled some unknown energies to create the Death Storm. His father had explained it once, but Sparky wasn’t a brain like the old man. He was just a hockey player and now there was no ice. The Storm heated the city up so much that it was like a desert.
Food was getting low, and he was tired of canned beans. For nearly two years his father had been promising him that they would leave, just as soon as the dumb Necro-tron was ready. Sparky adjusted his command hat. It looked like a soldier’s helmet but covered with wires and vacuum tubes. It allowed him to command the undead. The hunt for servants had become boring as the number of living slaves dwindled. He liked when they cried, but not when they died.
Sparky walked through the metal halls and noted the stench of undying rot. Their current troupe of servants had all converted over, and he would need new stock— someone had to clean this place up. The living dead drooled and oozed and were almost useless for anything other than eating people. He approached a naked boy who was scrubbing the floors. The boy bowed his head and stopped his work.
“There’s some rot at the end there, make sure you get that too,” said Sparky.
The boy looked up with fear at his master and captor. Sparky saw the fear and was annoyed. He raised his hand and watched the boy reel back. He didn’t strike him this time he had seen this particular one cry already, and there were too few left. Soon the whole thing would be over and he could have fresh new toys to play with.
He walked with a smirk into the Necro-sanctum where two undead sentries stood guard. His fathers paranoia was laughable. Even if there were any living left, none could get in here.
The sanctum sat at the top of the cone-like structure of the Necro-tron and was protected by a wall of death similar to the one that surged around the city. It was filled with pipes and wires and often had strange electrical discharges blasting out in a random fashion that could kill or convert. The walls were lined with tubes and hoses, the floor made of copper and brass, and at cardinal points there were sarcophagi, stolen from the museums of Chicago. The large sandstone coffins were oddly out of place in the copper iron belly of the beast.
“Charles,” came a voice from above.
“Sparky, call me Sparky.”
“Your mother and I named you Charles,” said Truman LaCroix as he descended the brass staircase and onto the main floor of the Necro-tron. He wore his usual rubber suit and undead control helmet. Both were needed when working in the Necro-sanctum. Only his face was visible, and his thin wiry frame didn’t fit the rubber suit well.
“Charles… Sparky, have you finished with the preparations? We launch tonight.”
“Yes, Father. I’ve summoned the horde, even the lazy dead, and set up the helium tanks. My hunters didn’t find any more servants though. “
“We have enough for now if you can keep your hands off them.”
Sparky gave only a smirk in reply.
“The apple falls far from the tree. Where some are corrupted, 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? ”
“Are you quoting Shakespeare, again? I never understand what you mean, just speak normally!”
Dr. Death stepped closer to his son. He stood below his boy’s gaze, small in comparison, but Sparky stepped back. The doctor recognized fear and an angry darkness spread across his face and 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 at the least bear my likeness, I’d have sent you out into the horde already! You lack the insight, the mental faculties required to understand my plan! We are doing the work of gods here!”
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 hockey player to his knees.
“I am communing with the universe itself, drawing in the tiny pricks of consciousness, that this intellectually emaciated city had, and using their combined regret, like the hammer of Thor to tear open the sky and make this world mine!”
“Don’t kill me dad, please, I’ll try harder, I promise!” he sobbed.
“Idiot boy, I can not kill you, for your fault is not your own. It is mine, and mine,” Dr. Death said as he knelt to look his son square in the eyes. He moved closer until they were nearly cheek to cheek, and whispered, “The power to change one thing in the past. A single wish to alter the world we are in. That is what I am doing here. All that you see, this nightmare abomination, all gone in the blink of a dead, dead eye. Tonight, I will change that one mistake. I will use the souls of all the dead to alter the past.”
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. Painful screams of the son, were matched with laughs of the father.
“Do you not understand what we are doing here? Stupid son of a whore, your mother doubted as you do. Do you wish to end like her?” he asked and threw the boy across the room in a flash of heated lightning.
Sparky slid and impacted on an iron girder, then landed clutched at his throat as green energy worked its way from his bones. His skin was slightly burned. He pulled himself unsteadily to his feet and bowed to his father. He looked up and noted his father had already returned to his work. He was glad. He did not want him to see the welling tears he was holding back.
Sparky would never be what his father wanted no matter how hard he tired. If he obeyed, then he wasn’t thinking, if planned it out it was a stupid plan. There was no winning. He struggled back up and leaned against the pipe works and wires that lined the walls. He peered into the darkness of the machine, not particularly looking for anything, more lost in thought. But as his eyes drifted from memory and into darkeness, there was a face staring back.
“Father, we have company!” Sparky shouted as he reached out with his mind and summoned the horde.