Mutatis Mutandis 1

An enormous hand with rough, dry fingers gripped Jason's chin, turning his head this way and that, giving it a thorough examination.

"Fascinating." A deep voice rumbled. "What was done to you would have resulted in most Normals quite literally coming apart at the seams. Your regenerative capabilities are extremely impressive. Congratulations."

It let go, and Jason's head flopped back down. He heard shuffling as a large shape moved around the room. More sounds began to filter through. He could hear the distant heavy thudding footsteps of Supermutants. Their guttural jeers and laughter rang in his ears, making him burn with impotent rage. He started to struggle against his bonds, but it was useless. His captors had strung him up between two enormous pieces of angle iron, his arms spread wide, toes barely brushing the surface of the ground. His legs had been tied together, and anchored to the floor. Even if he had possessed the leverage, he lacked the strength. Even after he had recovered from the explosion, Brutus' brutal beating was taking a long time to heal, and Jason's body was not nearly finished.

Jason opened his eyes and stared blearily at his surroundings. The majority of the room was in shadow, with Jason's tiny circle illuminated with a faint light. Only enough to give shape and a little color to the darkness. But he knew where he was. He had killed his first Enclave soldier here. He had watched his own father die only a few floors above his head. He had fought and bled and suffered for this place, now a mausoleum for all of humanity's futile efforts to overcome the apocalypse.

"I don't know what destroying one stronghold was trying to accomplish, Wanderer." The mutant's voice echoed through the shadows, accompanied by the sound of dripping water. "Was it a suicide run? Did you want to give Jackrum's pathetic army a fighting chance? Had you intended to kill me? That would make sense. But even if you had managed against all odds, the wasteland would still be lost. The Citadel is still rubble, your precious Brotherhood has been broken, routed, hunted and slaughtered to the last man. Megaton is a ghost town. Rivet City is under siege, and it will fall any day now. Oasis has been burned to the ground. Even those few gathered in Springvale will soon be destroyed. As soon as I'm done here I will claim all of Jackrum's refugees, and slaughter his Talon Company. Even your friends in Vault 101 won't be safe. My dream, my Master's dream, is reality, Wanderer, despite your best-laid plans."

The dark-skinned mutant stepped into the light, its enormous, bulky form throwing Jason into shadow. The mutant readied a syringe, flicking the end gently to force out the bubbles. "I suspect you have no clue as to the significance this moment holds for our species."

"Fuck you!" Jason spat weakly.

The mutant seemed to take no notice. "Do you know the name Albert Cole, Wanderer?" It asked gently, pulling a medical tray forward. "I don't know where he is now, or even if he is still alive. It is long past his time, yet he may be still; he was as twisted a creature as you. Another child of the atom. I was there, Wanderer. At Mariposa when he destroyed everything we had worked so hard to build. My Master's plans were laid to ruin, making way for the NCR and all that came after. Only Casey Jones, Myself and a few others made it out." It grinned at the syringe. "And now, after a century, the tables have finally turned. I was given the secret of the FEV II virus. In this syringe is the next step in Mutant evolution. It will be injected into every living human we have captured. And we will be free of you, able to reproduce on our own, and build a world for ourselves. We will reach our goal of unity. One goal. One master race. One able to survive, or even thrive in the wasteland. As long as there are differences, we will tear ourselves apart fighting each other. No longer, Wanderer, for this will be the age of mutants. It starts with you."

He slid the thin needle into Jason's limp arm. "Mutatis Mutandis, Wanderer. All the necessary changes have been made."

In Medias Res. Consider this a teaser trailer for what's to come.