Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Resistance franchise. I do not intend to steal it, either. For those who attempt to, beware the curse that Hybrids will gun you down, and a Titan will melee you, resulting in instant death. Be afraid. Very afraid.
Rating: "T", for certain themes and the "better-to-be-safe-than-sorry" motto.
Notes: The final chapter of Conversion. I want to say that I apologize if some of the back-stories do not follow what Insom had, but I do not own the novel or the comics. I plan on purchasing them soon, but as of right now I do not have the money. So, enjoy what I've written and just giggle at how predictable my writing is. (Haha). Anyway! Meet the final character to tell this tale. One of my favorite characters of all time.
"Dead as dead can be," my doctor tells me
But I just can't believe him, ever the optimistic one
I'm sure of your ability to become my perfect enemy
Wake up and face me, don't play dead cause maybe
Someday I will walk away and say, "You disappoint me,"
Maybe you're better off this way
Leaning over you here, cold and catatonic
I catch a brief reflection of what you could and might have been
It's your right and your ability
To become…my perfect enemy…"
-- "Passive" by Aperfect Circle
You won't 'mount up to nothin' in this world, boy. Not 'till you learn to be a man.
His father had always told him that. When he was six, his father, worthless bastard he was, took to the bottle and told him all sorts of degrading things. Some nights had been more violent than others, and even more had been simple blows to his self-esteem. Back then, he'd swallowed back all of his hateful words and taken it, silently believing everything his father had told him. Back then, he had always wondered: what did it mean to be a man? Be head of the house? Take care of a woman?
All of these thoughts blended into his teenage years, where the frustration slowly turned to rage and hate. His father didn't understand him, didn't help him deal with his life. The man was too busy drinking, too broke to drink and too drunk to work. To this very day, Capelli honestly had no idea how in the world Jacob Capelli managed to drink as much as he did back then. It was as if the man could simply conjure alcohol bottles out of thin air.
When Capelli had turned thirteen, he had made the mistake of asking where his mother was. Jacob never spoke of her (except in his dreams), and the youth was curious. He had not seen her, had not recieved a call or a letter. . . There was only a single picture of the two, kissing and smiling and looking radiant.
Asking Jacob Capelli had been a huge mistake.
The man had gone on a rage, actually going so far as to hit his son. . . Several times. All the while, he cursed and raged and said vile things about the "bitch" that was his mother, how the "tramp got up n' left for no damn good reason."
That night had been one of the worst nights with his father. Over the next few days, Jacob Capelli constantly asked his son what he had done. . . As he couldn't seem to remember. Joseph, hating his father all the more, always responded with the same statement:
Then came the time where his life turned upside down. He hit adolescence, not understanding what he wanted or what was going on, and nobody was there to help. So Capelli dealt with it on his own, shoving aside the raging emotions and just going about the years of his teens. Jacob Capelli had been no help, and Joseph did not expect him to be. The so-called father simply dove back into his bottles of inebriety, ignoring the world around him. During the entire time of his youth, Capelli finally found the answers to all of his questions.
Like a beacon in the light, it promised him salvation and retribution.
As soon as he came of age, he signed up. He was aggressive; every face that he saw was his fathers'. He was reprimanded, locked up for getting into fights, forced to see shrinks to try and diagnose why he was such a loose canon. They all jotted down notes and pretended to understand his problems. So Capelli gave up on trying to fit in with the military. He was a man; survival of the fittest. If you couldn't keep pace with him, then you were shoved to the back of the pack, where you'd die. If you couldn't fight, then you had no place in this world.
When the entire shit with Project Abraham came up, Capelli met. . . Met Hale.
Hale had been one of those people. The kind that everybody was attracted to and wanted to confide in. Not that Hale did anything about it; he would listen, and comment, but he didn't really seem attatched. At first, Capelli had hated him, but time began to erode away that malice, and adding onto the fact that he had monster running through his body. . . Well, hell. It just made the two of them brothers.
On top of all of that, Hale knew how to handle himself out on the field.
It was all Capelli needed.
Groggy, Capelli stifled a groan as he felt himself coming to. His head had probably bashed up against the panel after making their rough landing. Jesus Christ. Hale was horrible at flying. Who would have thought that the leader of Echo Team sucked at flying? Some great leader he was.
"Just once I'd like you to. . ." He found himself growling, but to empty air.
A small gust of wind feathered over his shoulders, and he twisted around to see that the back of the aircraft was open. Had Hale already gone outside? Why? To make a perimeter? To attack some stray forces? His body was weak and wobbly as he got up (and he cursed his muscles over and over for it; weakness was not acceptable -- ever) and made his way to the hangar door. Dust swirled against the Chimera-crafted ship, and disgusting red light filtering into the back.
Using a hand to steady himself as his mind finally got back into order, Capelli stepped outside of the aircraft. The ground had a deep rut where they'd crashed, and the dust swirling around them almost looked as if they were in a desert. Add onto that, with the red sky and the. . . Oh, sweet Jesus. Hale was standing in front of the aircraft, head tilted back and looking at the same sight that Capelli saw before him now.
"Hale. . . What the hell is that?" he snapped, trying to hide the pang of fear he felt in his gut.
Had they failed? Had the fission bomb not been enough to take out the damn fleet? Rage coiled inside of him like a rattlesnake, threatening to poison anything it touched. He was glad for the handgun that lay on his hip, but it wouldn't do much if there were ground forces flooding around everywhere. . . He hoped that was not the case. Honestly, true-to-God did not. Sentinels were strong but. . . Not strong enough to take on waves of endless Chimera.
"Can you hear them calling to us?. . . It is beautiful."
No. No. . . NO! FUCK NO!
But it was true. The man that Capelli had come to grugdingly admire turned slowly, eyes completely gold, veins bulging against his neck and a sick black in color. For a moment, Capelli honestly thought that all of his skin would burst, and out would come the monsters that they had been working to eradicate. Spurred by the horrible thought, Capelli drew the handgun at his side and levelled it with his commanding officer's head.
Capelli vehemently lied to himself, saying that his hand had not trembled. He was not swallowing past some lump in his throat, and his stomach was not cramping up tightly. He was staring at the man he'd taken orders from, and had told him when the time came, he would put the bullet through his head.
He thought it would be easy. Hale would stop being Hale. The man he came to know and respect would no longer exist. . . But no.
It wasn't that easy at all.
"Stay back." Capelli growled, stepping back to counter the few steps that. . . the thing stepped forward. Hale's face twisted into something of a mocking smile.
"This is just the beginning."
His throat went dry as he felt something in the back of his mind tickle. The doctors had once told him that some of the Sentinels were more prone to obeying Angels or their Chimeran halfs, but that had never been a problem with Capelli. He'd squashed the bug inside of him, reaped the benefits, and never looked back. But now he could feel the stirring in the back of his mind, as though something were crawling up the nape of his neck and breathing in his ear. . .
"Forgive me sir. . . It was an honor."
Without any pretense, Capelli pulled the trigger and watched as Hale's head turned into a matter of gore.
The body of his commanding officer dropped to the ground, dead. Capelli breathed in, breathed out, and slowly lowered his arms as he stared at what was left of Hale. How could this man have given in like that? It was. . . It was sad. Capelli had actually liked Hale, for no other man had actually stood up to him, grabbed him by the neck and thrown him down to the ground. As hard as it was to admit, Capelli had wanted to call Hale his. . . What? Comrade? No, no. His friend. Kin. Brother. He'd been considering that in his mind for months, when he had been alone.
He had always shrugged it off and gone to whatever sleep he could get.
Thinking soft was a weakness. In the Sentinel program, there was no room for weakness. So he had ignored the urge and simply locked it up and thrown it away. But now, staring a the body before him, he could honestly see why he regretted it. Hale had been a great guy, as stoic as he was, and an even greater man to have guarding your back. It was also thanks to this man, that the entire human race was still alive. . . Or was it?
Tearing his eyes away from the blood, Capelli looked at the planets that now circled in the outer atmosphere of the planet. The red sky, the dust. . . It was too much to take in. Most of the men he had known and fought alongside with were now dead. Blake and his crew had been killed on the ship, he was the only survivor of Echo Team, and less than three million people in the United States had survived the Chimera encounter.
Locking away the deep sigh inside of him, Capelli turned to survey the landscape. There were no Chimera in sight, and although he still felt the annoying tickle on the nape of his neck, he could ignore it. Right now, he needed to load up the body of his commander and see if that hunk of junk behind him could still fly. . . If it hadn't been damaged in the crash. Turning back to the body, Capelli gave it one long, hard stare.
A burst of static interuppted the decision on what to do with it.
"Capelli!" Malikov's voice came over his headpiece, "We need you." He could hear gunshots in the background.
Ah, so the rogue forces had already made contact with the remaining survivors. Capelli turned back to the Chimeran craft and climbed inside, finding that it could still fly. . . For a short period of time. He didn't give Hale's body another thought as he started it up. It was honorable as well as horrible in the same breath. Better he be left there than at the mercy of the doctors, to be dissected and examined. As the Chimeran craft launched into the air, Capelli grit his teeth.
This was only the beginning of the genocide.