Transformation

Disclaimer: I do not own this series, but I am proud to fictionally destroy its image for my own amusement.

Prologue

He was having that dream again… that nightmare.

He was absolutely lost… in the vastness of space. There was nothing to hold onto. Sight held no comfort as the world was awash in myriads of shades of grey and black. The harsh environment was second to the incredible fear of losing himself. It encompassed every overpowering worry, every painful memory and every problem he had in his life. It was if he was tumbling deep in an alien ocean without any sense of direction or hope of escape.

But his worry grew. He knew instinctively with every fiber of his being that this dream, this nightmare, had lasted far too long. He wanted the sweet relief of waking up in his bed unharmed. This was not peaceful sleep. His drugged mind dug through his memory and remembered a rare side effect of cryogenic sleep: terrible nightmares.

For a seeming eternity, he waited in this unfocused horrifying reality lost in his own mind. He tried to desperately find leverage in this limbo only furthering the disorientation. It was as if winds buffeted him. The very environment taunted him, tortured him, and loved every moment of it.

With all his strength, he mentally cried out in anguish and kicked suddenly feeling as if he was only underwater. The nightmarish realm had given way to familiar blue seas. He felt himself rapidly sinking in the cold salty water. But he had hope now; he could see the sky as if through a clear window. A brilliant sky painted with forgiving blues and calm puffs of pure white clouds. He pushed himself feeling a strange sense of vertigo as he swam upward. With a triumphant gasp of air, he broke the ocean surface.

Eyes opened to harsh bright light and he struggled to wake himself quickly. Unease had pervaded his conscious self and his mind recovered from its nightmares. Where was he? His memory was shot and his mental strength too exhausted to remember. His name…

"Arthur Kinsley," the sinister deep voice reverberated and the world seemed to vibrate with its every word. Arthur… that was his name. The memory jolted his senses. Adrenaline rushed into his limbs as he tried to move only now realizing his body was almost completely paralyzed. Even blinking took effort.

"That is your name… or for our purposes… that was your name. You see Arthur Kinsley, with no close family and a notable loner, died from an unforeseen accident at his construction job. The terra-forming of a planet is hazardous work, I'm afraid."

Arthur could not turn his head to see who was talking. He could barely make up the endless, smooth metallic ceiling through the bright artificial light. He could only listen to every word from the voice. Every word was a lie. He had been purposely abducted. The sting of the tranquilizer in his memory jolted more memories loose. His anti-social personality had finally caught up to him. Whenever he took a break, he always went to a very quiet part of the upcoming plant that no one else went. They found him. The sound of the hard end of the rifle meeting his skull was the last thing he remembered. They tranquilized him and then beat him unconscious. Fear burned greater through his being.

"You are unfortunately our very last chance. We… I need you to finish the pinnacle of my work."

Arthur felt some strength return to his muscles. And he tilted his neck sideways before becoming too weak to move again and came face to face with a set of wicked looking surgical instruments.

"I am sure you know of nano-technology, bunch of bulky microscopic machines milling around in the guise of modern medical science."

The rather insidious looking hypodermic needle to Arthur's right was the standard nanite delivery. In certain surgeries, these machines were guided by technicians to repair nearly fatal wounds.

"Unfortunately, nanotechnology has pretty much stagnated for a couple centuries now given the odd innovation here and there. They're too precise for those controlling it. Great for repairing manufactured parts, but human beings aren't simply stamped out from a factory. And then I'm sure you know of how many technicians it takes to utilize such machines as to not kill a patient. Far too many."

Arthur was able to turn his head and look directly into the face of voice. The man talking was unremarkable in everyway. He was the epitome of the average white man. His simple dark brown almost black hair with eyes of the same color failed to stand out in any manner. With the exception of the slight burn marks on his face, he could have blended into a crowd without a whisper.

"Now I'm afraid Arthur, that in a moment the sedatives we have given you will wear off. So I am forced to speed up the procedure." The man smiled lightly at Arthur before pulling out the hypodermic needle and inserting a small cylinder into a slot in the side.

"What I have done is created a remarkably intelligent artificial intelligence that is capable of doing serious surgery work. Most importantly, this is the most advanced piece of technology mankind has invented short of modern space ships. Not only can this repair or alter the body, but it can completely change even the most basic cell structure. It operates at a level thousand of times more precise, maneuverable, and efficient than current nanite technology."

Arthur could not scream when he felt the needle enter his arm and a strange cold wave sweep throughout his entire body. His muscles clench of their own accord. His heart beat a thousand times a second.

"What I have been working on is a way of completely altering the body while preserving most of the bodies mass."

Arthur struggled to hold onto consciousness again and to stave off the nightmares.

"What the nanites are going to do, Arthur, is give you the gift of perfect life. Not all creatures in this universe are created equal. Some the Company has found are superior to human kind in almost everyway with the exception of intelligence. Imagine, Arthur, a killing machine with the wit of a human being."

The man's voice was calm contrasting Arthur's panicked mind. The nanites were doing something to him. He could almost feel them coursing through every vein. Waves of pain suddenly set every nerve on fire. Every organ felt like it was melting. Every cell was being ripped apart and reformed to their design.

"Stabilize him, we only got 24 hours before the blood become too acidic for further work." another voice called out. He felt his body being moved.

"He's going into shock as expected. Twenty four hours is more than enough. We'll be mostly finished in half the time. Most of the problem lies in letting the body heal." Another called in the distance. Her voice was filled with patience.

"Good day, Arthur," his tormenter sighed calmly before leaving the room. Arthur could feel muscles and tendons tear. His eyes cried blood. He could taste blood in his mouth… like copper. A thick metal door automatically loudly closed behind him and locked itself.

Agonizing pain destroyed whatever emotional restraint Arthur had left.

The cry that tore its way out of Arthur's throat was far from human, and he slipped deep into unconsciousness once again. Back into the nightmares.

Author's Notes: My continuation of this little story depends on if it gets any attention. I write to see what others think. I usually judge how good something is by how many people react.