A town ravenged by disease ridden creatures becomes the tomb of the locals
| The moon, now full, rose above the land. It’s vast shape was the only thing lighting that cold and empty night. It rose slowly over a rather large town, once a beacon of hope for the long dead inhabitants that had resided there, now nothing more than the faint white glow of forgotten dreams. It was barren now, lifeless with only the exception of the feral cats that prowled, endlessly, waiting for food that would never come. They stalked about, their eyes glowing with an intelligent intensity, unknown to such creatures before. Scavenging was nearly impossible in the age beaten streets, but they managed with few casualties when war broke out between them for scraps of food. It was a hard life they lived but at least they were alive.
It had not been all that long ago that people had lived in this town. Prospered even. Smells had wafted out from the many restaurants that lined each street, capturing the may people who drifted easily threw the town. Life was generally happy for these spirited people. But they had grown ignorant in this peaceful environment and so had sought their own doom. When a truly disastrous situation gripped them, they panicked. The end was not quick either, and was rather painful.
In the far east of this town lay a laboratory. It’s chimney smoked all day and all night belching out a putrid stench. The thick gas was the only thing that ever really left the laboratory until then. The scientists lived in the apartment adjoined to it. No need for unnecessary interaction, especially when they had those things in there. If they had only known what lurked within those walls, maybe the fiasco wouldn’t of happened. But that was not to be, and the people in the town wondered idly what happened in the small confines of the building, though no one really knew nor cared to find out. That is, except the scientists.
At this time, a woman by the name of Lilia Livingston was working here. She was a dedicated scientist, but this recent experiment scared her. She did not even know why she felt the uneasiness that gripped her every time she looked at them, their eyes glowing with inhuman alertness. They had the face of a killer, and they watched the scientists with increasingly hungry eyes. The feeling grew daily inside her. It was this feeling that led her to do something that very well might kill off all humanity.
The scientists had created a new type of bird. It was still a Raven, glossed black wings, sharp toed feet, and a piercing black beak. They where still Raven, yes, but they where changed. In body size they where about the size of a golden retriever. They grew steadily larger every day, for at this point they where only chicks. They had a wingspan of over seven feet, muscles pumped thick, so that their strength outmatched even our own. Their talons where replaced with knives, serrated and sharpened daily. All in all, a killing machine.
They where kept in a thick pixy glass case where they could spread their wings but nothing more. Every once in a while they where allowed into a titanium steel cage so they could fly. This cage was filled with green grass and small shrubbery. It even held a rather large and gnarled tree with a huge bending branch. The ceiling held an opening large enough to drop down a harness, though it was usually closed off so that the birds could not escape. Not that that would have stopped them if they really wanted to get out. The scientists prided themselves on creating a strong enough cage, when in reality the birds only stayed because they where content, for now.
The scientists kept them together, for although these birds in the wild would sometimes fight, they seemed to stick together here. A family almost. The very air around the unnatural beasts reeked. They where an unlawful family made not from nature, but scientists. Altogether there was a flock of 14 twisted birds.
Lilia was now taking notes on the flight patterns of the birds. They eyed her intently even as they huddled together on a branch. They looked as though they where refusing to fly. Their beaks seemed to curl up in a mocking smile. Black eyes never leaving her face, now flushed red with anger. Their beady eyes twinkled evilly.
“Fly you stupid birds!” She yelled thoroughly put up with these monsters. To her immense surprise they did, and came straight at her, coming inches from the glass before nose diving away from it a second before impact. She stepped back in surprise, her heart pounding. They flew back to their branch and remained standing there for the rest of the day. The birds didn’t so much as look her way again.
She recorded what had happened, breathing hard, and left for her apartment soon after. She sat before a warm fire, flames throwing a comforting heat, pondering what had happened. The sun began to fall steadily downward. Comfortable here in her own little study she could almost pretend it didn’t happen. Almost. Those birds were too smart. They where only playing with the very scientists that created them. And that penetrating mean look in their eyes grew each day, as did their strength. Soon they would be uncontrollable. She comforted herself with the knowledge that they where locked behind that thick case. Preferably forever.
The next day she reviewed what she had learned about the birds intellect. She knew in the deepest part of her mind that they where even smarter than herself, but she would not admit this for fear of insanity. Who where these birds to have unsettled her so much. She shook her head slightly feeling foolish. She should not have to worry about stupid Ravens. Instead she decided that the incident yesterday was a mere coincidence, and simply ignored the fact that they had intentionally scared her.
As she picked up her daily work schedule she was almost glad to see she was working with the birds again today. She wished to see the dumb beasts and put this whole fear behind her. It would be a relief to stop this stupidity. She was supposed to record how they dealt with other animals. Simple. She tried to banish the creeping fear that held her. This would be simple, she told herself sternly.
The rancid smell of blood met her as she turned into the room where the birds where. Two other scientists watched them with grins on their faces, whispering happily. She caught only a few of their words before rounding the corner into the room.
“…The army will be happy..”
She stared at the gore filled cage in disbelief. The birds sat around the bodies of many a dead animal. Throw up filled her throat but she fought the urge to retch. Not one bit of the cage lay untouched by bloodshed. The slaughter continued as a deer was let down into the huge cage. The birds eyed it hungrily. All but one took off towards it. The one left behind it was chewing on something, sickly snapping noises reverberated threw the room. The birds ripped the fear filled animal to shreds before it even touched the floor. When they returned, nothing was left but a butchered harness. The birds themselves where coated in a thick layer of dried blood.
She ran from the room tears falling from her eyes. The birds watched her passage with a huge evil grin. This was it, she would end it now. She left the lab quietly so as to direct no attention to herself. It would have to end now before it was too late. Before they where too strong. Tonight. She smiled at the thought of what she was about to do.
She walked into the deserted lab warily. The faint smell of disinfect filled her with dread. It was she who would be in trouble for this, but it would be worth it to see them lying cold and unmoving, their evil grins gone forever. She had come up with the perfect plan. They wouldn’t even know what happened. All she would have to do was fill their case with an shapeless, odorless gas and they would be dead.
She approached the cage feeling smug. These inferior creatures would be wiped from existence soon. They lay huddled together, head in wings sleeping. They had been returned to their smaller, thicker cage. Blood still coated their feathers.
“Your dead, birds.” She murmured happily.
Just then one of the birds looked at her, its eyes glowing dark red. It had a look of madness about it, as if it had not had its fill of bloodshed. She shuddered but continued on groping for the gas canister. When she looked back at them all where awake. They eyed her every move with a deep concentration.
She lifted the gas canister and unlocked the food hatch. Throwing it in she quickly locked it back up. The birds looked at it once and as if realizing what it was, started clawing angrily to get out. They screeched hatefully as they pecked and viscously bit into the 5 inch Plexiglas case. It was build to withstand them, but it was being bent outward as they threw their bodies at it in their rage.
The glass shattered spraying fragments everywhere. Several bit deeply into Lilia. The birds soared above her and dove down. Her rigid scream was cut off suddenly as she was covered in a swirling black mass. When they had flown away all that was left of Lilia was a blood smeared corpse pecked and serrated. She died a victim, not a hero as she had wished.
Lilia was the first they killed but not the last.
They escaped the lab and continued their bloody path onward, killing numerous people before the police finally caught up to them. They shot wildly at the giant birds, and though some fell, they had an evil hate on their side, with claws to match. The police lay dieing in the spattered red street. They continued their path of carnage on the very things that had created them, with no remorse. A madness had enveloped their brain. Once the bloodbath had started it would never stop.
Those left alive had been infected by this madness. The birds were diseased by something they where created with. It was not done on purpose by the scientists but it was made all the same. It was a disease that enraged the people or animal infected, and caused them to kill in blind animosity. The creatures loyal to people, such as dogs, where killed off. The disease consumed the town, and it was soon engulfed in pain. The cats had long ago sensed the danger, the second the birds where free, and had run from the town to hide. They did not stick around to see what became of their masters.
Even the crows eventually died from the disease. It tore at their minds until they started to fight one another. The once family like flock became bitter enemies. They killed each other off in utter contempt.
The town quieted down, inhabitants lying dead in the streets. Eventually the cats returned, careful to stay away from the disease riddled bodies. They lived on in this ghost town. The bodies decomposed and nothing was left as a reminder of what had happened. The humans, had they been alive would have seen the error of their ways. Now it was just a lesson of the dead. Nature is best kept alone, and playing god creates beasts, not creatures. For humans are hate filled things, and the things we make are often too successful, are often evil.
In the town beside the empty one, the sudden yowls of cats broke out. In a tree in the center of the town a lone raven sat, oversized, its blood shot eyes watching the people on the streets. It sat on a nest. A nest of 14 eggs.