A/N: So this is a prequel to my story "Meeting 10" and a sort of shadowing prequel to my next story "Following 11" In this Story, The Scientist has a Daughter who lives with his Ex-wife but visits him once every year or so, it follows him making the stitchpunks and telling his daughter all bout them and stuff. It also shows how 10 was created.
ON WITH THE STORY!
The Scientist was drawing his number when the door opened.
"Daddy?" In the frame of the door stood a young girl, barely five years old. She had short, light brown hair and dark brown eyes. She was carrying a small purse. Her brow was furrowed "What are you doing?"
"Delilah" He said, slightly surprised "I thought you left"
"I left my purse here. What's going on?"
"I wanted to wait until Your next visit, but I suppose now is good as ever" The Scientist motioned her to come closer "Here, there's someone I want you to meet"
His daughter hesitantly walked to his desk. "Now Delilah" The scientist started "You need to promise me. You can't tell anybody about this. Alright?"
"No. I'm serious. Do not tell anybody about this, not even your mother. You have to keep this a complete secret. Promise?"
"Alright" He showed her his creation. She raised an eyebrow. He gently flipped the rag-doll over, dipped a thin brush in ink and drew a number on it's back.
"Delilah..." He started as he held up the rag-doll for her to see it better "This is 1"
Delilah furrowed her brow for a moment. She seemed confused.
"What is he?" She asked "What're you gonna do with him?"
"I'm going to bring him to life" The scientist answered. His daughter's eyes widened. How could her father possibly bring this...whatever it was, to life? It was impossible!
"How you gonna do that?"
"With this" The scientist showed her a small half-sphere. It was divided into three parts. Each part had a strange symbol on it. "This is called The Talisman" He told her "It put a start to this mess, and It will put an end to it" Delilah didn't ask what he meant by "Mess" She knew he meant the Growing tension between man and machine. Her father opened up her hand and placed the Talisman in it.
"This is just a prototype. Guard it with your life." He told her. She nodded and put the prototype in her little purse. She was about to say something, but a loud car horn interrupted her.
"You better go" The scientist said "Sounds like your mother's waiting"
Delilah nodded and quickly walked out of the room. She caught a quick glimpse of her father putting some type of wire in the creation he showed her and putting some sort of headpiece on himself. She cracked the door open a little bit and peaked into the room to see what her father was going to do. She was met with a bright green light. So bright in fact, that she had to look away for a moment. When the light dimmed down she could see that her father had tied his creation in a sort of frame. He took off the headpiece and seemed to wait for something to happen. At first Delilah didn't know what was going on.
Then she saw the ragdoll lift its head.
It looked around for a moment, seeming to try to get it's bearings together. It locked eyes with Delilah for a split second; Its eyes going from octagonal to triangular.
Then she closed the door.
So that's how he can bring them to life! She thought as she walked downstairs. No wonder he wanted to keep it a secret. If anybody found out about that who knows what would happen. Especially if that someone was The Chancellor. No, She promised that she'd keep it a secret, and that was a promise she didn't have plans to break!
"What took you so long?" Her Mother asked as she climbed in the backseat.
"I couldn't remember where I left my purse. Daddy had to help me."
"Well good thing you found it"
Delilah wasn't there when 2 was created, but The Scientist did tell her about him during her next visit.
"He's a curious one" He told her "And quite the inventor too. He even made himself a small hat the other day"
"Aren't you worried?" Delilah asked "Curiosity can lead to ugly things, can't they? What if he gets into trouble?"
"Well, He's not alone. He's got 1 with him. They can keep each other safe"
Delilah shrugged "I guess so. But Still..." She studied the two blueprints of 1 and 2. She took an old camera from her purse and took a picture of them.
"What do they represent?" She asked "Do they represent something, or did you just make them?"
"Both of them represent a different part of a human" The Scientist answered.
"What's that mean?"
"You know we all have different emotions and thoughts? And how some of us differ in behavior and beliefs? Well each of them represent a few of those: 1 represents a stubborn, and a bit cowardly leader, and 2 represents a...curious inventor, I suppose, Like I told you."
"But isn't that bad? What if neither of them knows what they're doing at some point? What if they do something that they might regret to another one?"
"That's just it though. Neither of them are perfect. Both of them represent a part of a humans' soul. And are we perfect? No. But they can help each other."
"So...Since they were a part of a humans soul, they can survive best when they have each other?"
"Huh... I think I understand now..."
She brought him two garden gloves the next time she visited.
"They used to be mine" She said as The scientist inspected them "But they don't fit me anymore, so I decided to donate them to you"
"They're awfully small" The Scientist said as he washed whatever dirt was left on them.
"I know, but I figured. Maybe a smaller size would be easier to make" She shrugged.
"Actually the opposites right" The Scientist said as they walked into his work room "With a bigger piece to work with, you can see what you're doing better. The stitches will be cleaner, your hands will be steadier and you have more room to work with" He placed the two gloves on his desk. Delilah lowered her head, embarrassed that she thought such a foolish thing.
"However" Her father started again "These in particular will be slightly easier" He held up one of the gloves "The fingers can act as the arms and legs. I'll figure out what to do with the thumb slot later. But all we really have to do here is the skeleton structure."
"All we really need is cloth to make the heads" Delilah said "We can use the wrist cloth as hoods too. Just to make them a little unique"
The Scientist smiled a bit "Alright. Well there are two of them, and I can't do it alone. We better get started"
It took the entire week to make them. But They had managed to make both gloves into small, child-like rag-dolls. They couldn't do anything for the thumb slot. So they had just left them on their backs.
The Scientist wrote a small '3' on one for the dolls and a '4' on the other. He told Delilah to step back for a moment as he put a wire into 3's inner workings and tied her to the frame.
"I suggest you look away" He advised Delilah as he put the headpiece on. She obliged. The room was green for what felt like a full minute. The Scientist untied 3 and set her down. The rag-doll walked around clumsily trying to maneuver her way around the desk. As one point, she almost fell off the ledge, but Delilah caught her before she could.
"Hello" She greeted when 3 looked up at her "I'm Delilah"
3 stared back at her, she turned her head slightly to the side and furrowed her brow. Delilah pointed to herself "Delilah" She repeated. 3 finally nodded, understanding. At first Delilah thought she was going to say "3", but instead, her eyes flashed.
It was about as bright as a camera! Delilah had to blink a few times to clear the spots decorating her vision. Her father chuckled.
"Don't remember that in the blueprints' She mumbled.
Once 4 was awoken, it was like a light switch had been turned on inside both of them. They went haywire: Running around the desk, too fast for either human to catch them. They read a few books on the shelves. Both their eyes flickering like flashlights. Delilah reached out to grab one of them but her father held her hand back.
"Let's let them be" The Scientist said "they seem happy enough"
Delilah missed 5's awakening. But she was there when 6's blueprints were being made. However, on her second day staying with him, She arrived with her head hung in shame, she looked like she was about to cry, like she'd just murdered someone.
"Dad" She murmured "I'm sorry..."
"What happened? What's wrong?" The Scientist asked gently.
"I...I-I told someone about your creations..." She said, barely audible.
"What?! Delilah, you promised!"
"I know! I know! But before you say anything. I only told one person, and he would never even think of telling anyone"
The Scientist didn't say anything, he just gave her a disappointed look "Alright, who did you tell?" He finally asked. His daughter backed up in the doorframe and motioned for someone else to come. A young boy came into the room. He had dark brown hair, shy blue eyes and pale skin. He was holding something behind his back.
"Hello, Dr. Oppenhiemer" He mumbled. The Scientist relaxed. It was Russell, a Friend of Delilah's that lived a few houses away. He knew that Russell was a responsible boy; he didn't do drugs, he rarely got in any kind of trouble. He was very trustable, still, he didn't know how trust-worthy he could be with this type of secret.
Russell must have read his mind, because he said "Don't worry Doctor, I won't tell anyone about your...Creations... And to prove it-" He held out a shirt that was decorated with stripes "This is my favorite shirt in the world, I'm willing to give it to you as a sort of...Peace offering...? Just to prove that I can and will keep this secret"
The scientist frowned. He still didn't know whether to trust him or not, he might just be trying to trick him. Then again He and Delilah have been friends for a while.
He knew his daughter, she doesn't trust a lot of people. If she trusted Russell, then there's no reason for him not to.
"Alright Russell" The Scientist reached out and took the striped shirt "I have your word"
Russell sighed in relief "Oh thank you Doctor, I swear on my life, I will guard this secret with my life. And to prove it-" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small skeleton key, which he handed to the Scientist "I want you to keep that key, just so you know that I kept my word. You can't open something up without a key now, can you?"
The scientist smirked and set the key aside along with the cloth "Thank you Russell, you may go now. And as for you, Young lady" He eyed Delilah "You're grounded for the rest of the week. No leaving the house until your mother picks you up on Sunday"
"Hello?" Delilah called as soon as she entered the house. She didn't hear any footsteps above her, was her father not home? The lights were on.
"Dad?" Delilah went up the stairs to her fathers workroom. She was almost certain she'd find him there.
She found him face down on the floor.
Delilah dashed to her fathers' side. He was alive -thank god- just very weak, he groaned groggily at the sound of her voice; His eyes were half open.
"Sweetheart?" He said, barely a whisper.
She sighed in relief, helped him stand up and sat him down in a chair.
"I'm getting weaker" He stated "It's my soul, It's finally catching up to me..."
"Y-you need to stop this" Delilah said "It's getting too risky now. You could die, it's not healthy for you"
"No" Her father said softly "I can't just give up now. I-I'm not finished"
"You need to stop!" Her head turned to the desk only to see the blueprint of another one: 7. She shook her head and stood up.
"I'm sorry dad, I-I can't help you anymore" She started for the door "I love you, but I don't want to see you hurt yourself anymore! I-I...I'm sorry" She left, shutting the door behind her.
She was there when 7 was awoken, But she didn't go up to meet her. She didn't want to see her father in his condition. He didn't even look like he did before; He looked older, weaker, more fragile. He was much skinnier than he had been before and it looked like he hadn't been getting enough sleep lately. She wished he would give up with the Creations (Or stitchpunks as she had dubbed them shortly after 6 was awoken), but he refused to. He kept telling her that it was mandatory that he completed them.
At the end of the day on the final day of her visit, she finally mustered the courage to go back to the workroom.
"Dad" She started "How many of these are you gonna make?"
"As many as I need. Nine or ten perhaps." He answered, not even looking at her, he was too busy putting the optics in the eighth one -which was much bigger than the other ones she had seen, a bodyguard perhaps.
"But...what if your soul runs out before you can make that many" She asked.
"Then I'm sure you will fill in" It was true, Delilah had picked up a few skills watching her father over the years, She knew how to make the simple skeleton, and to scale it to whatever fabric or wires she needed.
"I suppose..." She trailed off. The seven (eight, including the not-yet-awoken- one) didn't look very...suitable for the war that was going on outside, but she would never in a million years say this to her father. She couldn't shake the feeling that they needed someone to complete them: Someone what could scout from above, climb tough walls with ease, scare predators off...
"I want to donate my soul" It came out like she had read it off a paper. The Scientist lowered the headpiece and looked at her.
"Not now, not right now, but... When you make the Ninth and Tenth, leave the Tenth for me. I want to donate my soul to it. It's the least I can do."
"Delilah...this...this is very generous for you to do..."
"It's the least I can do, Like I said. I've watched you do it so many times. Now it's my turn."
"I-...alright. Do you have anything in mind?"
"Actually yes" She grabbed a sheet of blank, yellowed paper and drew a blueprint of the stitchpunk she had in mind. She drew a rather tall stitchpunk with four wings; Instead of the normal copper fingers she had seen her father use before, the stitchpunk she drew had the tips of fish hooks for fingers. It's mouth was probably the most grotesque: It was divided into five slits, like a monsters mouth.
"This is a very... difficult blueprint" The scientist noted "Are you sure you want this?"
"Oh, if it's too hard to do, I can erase a few of the little details. like the-"
"No, no, it's fine. I'll be able to make this, but...are you sure you want to do this? Transfer your soul into another creature? You'll never be able to get it back."
Delilah sighed, annoyed "Yes, I'm absolutely sure I want to do this. You've done it too many times. And you said it yourself: I'll take over this one day"
The Scientist looked at her, then back at the blueprint. He could make this. It would take a little more time since it was so detailed but if it's what she wanted, then he couldn't tell her what to do.
"Alright then. If it's what you want...when I make the ninth, I'll make the tenth and leave it for you. Alright?"
She gave her father a small embrace before she went back downstairs.
"I'm going downstairs, Mom'll be here any minute to pick me up"
The Scientist looked at the two finished Stitchpunks. 9 was simple: he was made of burlap like 2 and 5, except he had a zipper running down his front. He made 10 look almost exactly like Delilah's blueprints, except he had to make her fingers much smaller than they had looked. Delilah apparently wanted her to be made of burlap as well, but instead he had used the same material he used to make 1, except in a tanner color. Since her wings obscured any room on her back, he had to draw her number on her thigh instead.
Delilah had put a lot of thought into 10. He had to give her credit for that. Her clawed hands were good for climbing and attacking. Her appearance could easily scare off a predator, and her wings were strong enough to allow her to fly, albeit they were very thin. She was the obvious choice for savior. He already had the box ready, all he needed to do now was to record the message.
He opened the little box with the "10" tag on it. A hologram appeared in front of him, showing his reflection as it started recording.
She was 15 by the last visit.
It was also the day the bombs reached her neighborhood.
It was complete chaos. Houses were collapsing, bodies were being thrown everywhere, people were running for their lives. Delilah was still trapped in her house, her ears ringing from the explosion and sweating from the fire spreading around her, it was small, but spreading fast.
It was no better outside than it was inside. She tried to find someone she knew, but she couldn't see anything past all the chaos. She saw the army bots firing across town.
She turned at the sound of her name, she saw an older man, about 60 or older, he was holding two toddlers, most likely his Grandchildren. Delilah immediately recognized them.
"Arthur!" She called back.
"Delilah, it's not safe here! Come, I gathered a few of the neighbors"
They weaved themselves through the mass of people running around. Arthur covered the little ones' eyes, preventing them from seeing anything morbid.
He took her to an area of the town where the bombs haven't hit yet. There here about 200 other people there too. They were all surrounding a man-hole. Delilah recognized most of them. She saw Russell nearby, he was crouched down and looking around, mumbling about 'The fires' and 'The chaos' Poor kid, he snapped under the pressure.
Something moved out of the corner of her eye, turning her head around she saw under all the chaos going on, there was a...moving soldier helmet? Was she loosing her mind too?
Wait a second, the helmet wasn't moving, there was something underneath it. She saw legs walking under it. Could it be...? Yes! It was!
"Wait!" Delilah called "I need something!" She took off in the direction of the helmet. If there's one thing she needed, it was the stitchpunks. She would never admit it, but she still didn't believe that they could save the world, and by the looks of it right now, she was right.
She heard two voices; one of them was Arthur and the other one was a boy named Jordin.
"Go back! I know what I'm doing" She called back to them. She was barely 10 yards away from them when a sole bomb exploded, it sent her hurdling on her side, she landed on her arm, heard a loud snap then skidded on her broken arm; twisting it further and giving her road rash, she also had a searing pain in her left eye, she couldn't see out of it either. She wailed in pain when she saw the result; her arm looked like road kill left on the street for a few days too long. Ignoring the desperately needed medical attention, she looked around for the Stitchpunks, but she didn't see them.
She was too late.
She was dragged back to the clutter of people. One by one, each of them went in the manhole, where they started walking away from the chaos on the surface world. The two who had gone after her had injuries of their own: Arthur had tripped and exposed himself to the toxic gas the machines were letting out. He was smart enough to hold his breath, but his eyes weren't as lucky, they were burnt severely. he would never be able to use them again.
Jordin was luckier though, he suffered a crushed leg in which his knee and pelvis were popped out, and severe head trauma. His leg was repaired (Not completely) But his head would take longer to heal.
As for Delilah; her broken, road-rashed arm was unfixable, they'll have to amputate as soon as possible, her eye was also scratched, blinding it.
"What on earth were you thinking?!" A man asked her, putting her dead arm into a sling "You could've gotten yourself killed, you almost did get yourself killed, and two others"
"I'm sorry" Delilah said, her voice sounding like it was on autopilot "But...I had to save them..."
Delilah was hesitant to answer, she promised her father she wouldn't tell anyone about the Stitchpunks, but she decided she could make an exception.
"The stitchpunks" She answered plainly.
"The Stitchpunks, they were little people made from fabric, brought to life by something called 'The Talisman'"
"That...that's the most absurd thing I've ever heard!" He waved someone over "Riley, take this one too. She's got a case of The Crazies"
"I'm not crazy!" Delilah protested "I saw them, they were under a helmet, they were getting away. I had to get them!"
"Kid, that's not only crazy, that's impossible; A little devise can't bring another person t'life, it defies all logic"
"I'm telling you they were real. It's not impossible"
"Oh yeah? Prove it"
10 years later
She clicked her eyes open. Her vision was filled up with brown. She looked around, not moving. Everywhere she looked, there was brown. Even the floor she was laying on was brown.
She twitched her fingers, they made a scratching noise against the brown. She kicked her leg; only for it to hit something hard. She sat up to see what she had hit, It was a small oval. She saw another being in side of it. her eyes widened; who was that? That being had orange yarn on it's head, although most of it was barely hanging on. It had five slits in it's face. she leaned forward to inspect the being but was distracted by a wet slapping noise. Looking down she saw that her middle was open, the several Velcro strips weren't fastened on, allowing a thick, black, chunky substance to escape onto the floor.
The gunk slithered back to its host, going back inside of her just before she fastened the strips. She noticed the number on her right thigh. 10. Huh, she wondered what that meant.
Shakily getting to her feet, she took a few tentative steps toward the being in the oval. Like a baby learning how to walk. Her legs gave out on her and she face planted right on it. Pushing herself up, she realized how the being in the oval mimicked her every move. She turned her head to one side, so did it, she leaned back, so did it.
What was that thing doing? Mocking her? Was it trying to make a fool out of her? Angrily, she swiped the being, only for her to realize that that the surface of the oval was hard. That wasn't another person.
That was her.
Her train of thought was interrupted when a loud rumble was heard outside and the tapping became louder. Where was that sound coming from? There had to be a way out of here! And there was. For 10 could see a hole high above her. Jumping wouldn't do, experimenting what she could do, she dug her fingers into the brown surface of the wall. they pierced them with no problem, now to get her feet on the wall. They slipped a few times,but she managed to keep her footing. When she tried to pull herself up though, her hand slipped and she went sliding down. She pounded the wall. There had to be an easier way to get out! In all of her frustration, she felt something pop up on her back. What was that? she turned around, but didn't see anything. Touching her backside, she felt a hard shell on her back, they moved back and fourth slowly. Could they get her out? She concentrated, and slowly. every so slowly, she felt her self rising off the ground. Looking up, she saw that she was now eye-level with the hole. Leaning forward a little bit, she moved closer to the hole. She gripped the edge of the hole and slid out. Landing hard on the ground.
There was another rumbling noise, this time 10 could hear where it was coming from. She looked up to her right, there she could see small objects falling from the sky, they exploded whenever they hit something. What are those? Are they dangerous? 10 stepped away and clenched her fists.
"It's okay" someone said "I'm here" startled, 10 looked around "I am The Nexfamine" The voice said "I am your Master"
"wh...wh..." 10 started to speak, trying to get the words right "where are you?" She finally managed to say.
"I'm with you" The being said. 10 didn't know what that meant, but she wasn't going to ask further questions. She got back up, brushing her yarn hair out of the way. What a nuisance that was! The yarn kept getting into her face. If only she could just rip it off and forget about it.
Taking a piece, she put the barb part of her finger to the root where the yarn connected to her head. With a sharp swipe, the root and the yarn snapped off of her head. She repeated the same motion for every lock of hair she had, until she was left with nothing but a few strands that went just above her eye. Those wouldn't be much of a problem. She soon realized that she was standing on a self. Walking to the edge, she found the scare of her life on the floor below: A body.
"That's the one that made you 10" The voice came back "He's a traitor. There was once a beast that roamed here, killing your kind. You were supposed to save them, but instead a kin of yours called 9 saved them"
"Why?" 10 said.
"Because he thought you were a monster. He thought you would turn dark and kill us instead. So he locked you away" 10 gazed back at the box she had climbed out of "I'm the one who saved you" It continued "Now let's get this done: I need you to do a...favor for me"
"What kind of favor?"
"One that involves returning your fallen kin"
The sewers were turned into a small city, gas masks were collected and stored, used only to get things from the surface, lamps were posted everywhere, giving the city a light glow. There were a few stores littered about. A population of 500 or so people.
They call it Stream.
In the biggest house in Stream live the founders: Arthur, his grandchildren Anthony and Beatrice (Or Ant and Beetle as they like to be called), Jordin (Who suffered a case of minor brain damage now), Russell and Delilah.
Something in Delilah's mind snapped after the war, She was never the same, she went mad. Russell too. They still lived with the founders, but in a separated room.
Russell was with Jordin, Delilah was alone in her room. In front of her was a large dome like object, next to her hand was a small rag-doll. It was designed like a little girl: It had auburn hair that fell a little past her shoulders, blue painted optics, and she was wearing a white and red dress, in the middle of her front was a large light blur button.
She saw the other Stitchpunks flee, she hasn't seen them since, She wasn't sure if 10 was with them, but she probably was. So she made 11. Jordin and Russell had helped her with it; she made the blueprints and collected the fabric. The boys helped her piece her together. If only they could see her being awoken.
She had just finished putting the voice box in and was putting on the headset when she heard a rapping at the door.
"May I come in?" Delilah smiled, it was Arthur, clutching his walking stick in one hand and holding the doorknob with the other.
"H-hello Arthur" She greeted.
"Ah, Delilah" The blind man smiled "What are you up to?"
"You're just in time. Hold out your hand"
Arthur obliged. Delilah scooped 11 up and placed her in Arthur's' palm.
"What's this?" Arthur asked.
"Remember when I said I would prove to Stream that those things I called Stitchpuks can and do exist?"
"Well, you're holding proof right now. This is 11"
"What are you going to do with her?" Arthur asked.
Felling a strange feeling of Deja-vu, Delilah answered.
"I'm gonna bring her to life. I have the tool to too."
Well, don't mind me then, carry on. Pretend I'm not here"
Delilah smiled. She tied 11 in the center of the dome. She put the headpiece on -another thing she had Jordin and Russell help her with- reaching in the pocket of her work apron, she pulled out the Talisman prototype.
She put it in.
"Arthur, I recommend you step out of the room"
"Oh! Of course"
She lowered her head to her eyes and The prototype were leveled.
A brilliant beam of green shot from her mouth and eyes.
Delilah had to clutch the corner of the table to stabilize herself. She didn't expect the sudden jolt or the quick but sharp pain. The soul directed itself to the rag body. Like it had done it a million times.
The green light disappeared.
The prototype shattered.
Everything was still.
For a minute, Delilah thought she failed, that she did something wrong. But then she heard the clicking. She looked hopefully at the doll. It rose its head upwards. She was met with Octagonal pupils and a sweet smile.