Music roared from speakers in Stolemock’s laboratory. The scientist loved hunting songs and patriotic marches — hymns to the Red City. He was in a manic state having finally finished his transference device. He let his white hair flow freely around his shoulders as he sang to the music of “Crypter in Red.” His face was twisted like a war-mask. As he danced, his white lab coat bobbed up-and-down like the dirty wings of a giant Blood-bat. Ravenna sat in an uncomfortable lab-chair mumbling to herself and staring at the ceiling. She was connected to the device with a mesh cable that was plugged into a socket at the base of her skull. Her brain served as an emergency backup for the holographic computer in the T-machine (a new name Stolemock preferred for his new invention). Ravenna was barely able to move. She concentrated with all her energy on the words she whispered, forcing her brain to remember (as if the words could stop the event that was about to occur). Jules was strapped to a lab table. His naked body shivered against the cold metal of the table. He was also attached to the T-machine through a small hole in his head. The boy was Doctor Stolemock’s lab rat — the object of the experiment was to make Jules totally subservient. The result would prove the efficacy of machine’s capacity to render an enemy of the city-state helpless (as helpless as a chicken). Stolemock was delusional and mad with the power invested in him by the Red City. His perverted designs on his wife and son dominated his every decision. Another metal cable was attached to the exposed brain of a chicken. Stolemock intended to transfer Jules into the head of the chicken and put the mind of the chicken into Jules. He giggled uncontrollably as he fiddled with dials and knobs on the control panel that fed into the T-machine. Ravenna stared at the ceiling and prayed – she was severely damaged due to the doctor’s treatments, but she understood what was about to happen to her son. Jules was shaking due to the cold and the tight straps that bit into his flesh – but, then, from the corner of his eye he saw a presence and knew that Julian was also in the room with him, supporting him. Doctor Carmine Stolemock pulled down the lever that started the machine. Electricity snapped emitting the sharp smell of ozone. Lights flickered. Ravenna was cognizant enough to put her script into effect. She knew what to do. With all her effort she lifted her foot and kicked the red button at the base of the machine, hoping she had sufficient strength to depress the reset-switch and stop the transference.
Stolemock was immediately aware of the malfunction. Time began to slow and stop — frozen in a multi-dimensional glacier. The universe flickered like a silent movie and went out like a burned-up vacuum tube. The reset button was only for specific operational emergencies. When Ravenna kicked the switch there were unforeseen consequences. Her heart stopped (but death also ended her suffering). Resonant kickback jolted Doctor Stolemock. An electronic wavelength broke the connection between Jules and the chicken – the transference was redirected by the presence of the other boy, Julian. The electric-force from the T-machine started the engine on the mirror apparatus that Jules discovered – Jules and Julian merged to become one … and escaped through the mirror.
Doctor Carmine Stolemock awoke with a monstrous headache. His head was hammering his brain. He was assaulted by the sounds of clucking. He gasped on the stinging smell of ammonia. He was locked in a cage and couldn’t move, sitting in his own filth. His cage was one among hundreds – all containing chickens. Carmine Stolemock knew his fate. His beak was chopped off so he couldn’t peck himself to death. He couldn’t talk and he couldn’t scream. All the cages had automatic feeding troughs. All the chickens were force fed — stuffed with fat and made ready for slaughter. (the end)