Dwell Within

Project Echoshadow: Dwell Within


“What does he want?” Soundspirit asked.  “To test his mechanisms of war against the legendary warrior.  Whom he traced back to here.” Echoshadow explained. “You could hear him?” Asked the scientist in charge of watching the pair that day. “Now you’re curious as to my capabilities.” Echoshadow muttered with a sigh.   “Yes lead scientist Ochre Sky, I heard him perfectly.” Echoshadow said while bowing. The scientist looked concerned for but a moment before returning to his usual lack of care. “ if you guys want we can have you fight his metal monstrosities later but for now I’m heading to hall D for something to eat just clean up when you’re done.” He explained before leaving the two dangerous life forms unattended.  “They’re bloody fools if they think I should fight one of his monstrosities. Not only are they unworthy of my attention this also just a ploy to learn the secrets of Crowstorm labs.” Soundspirit explained. “I’ve seen some of his manned weapons do you think he has any autonomous ones?” Echoshadow asked. “No clue, still trying to figure out if you’re autonomous.” Soundspirit teased before rushing back to the start of his new obstacle course.   “Maybe I’m not, but I’m sure I’ll find out by comparing myself to his machines.” Echoshadow whispered to himself with a mischievous grin.

Echoshadow sat on the roof of Castle Grey staring at the stars as his brother merely sharpened his mysterious sword.   More than two weeks passed since Professor Dove first arrived, the pair of experiments expected the intruder to be forcibly removed or even leave of his own accord well before that point.  The scientists were in awe of his apparent brilliance and welcomed him, Echoshadow spent most of his tome reminding them not to reveal confidential information often having to actually cut them off before they spoke.  Soundspirit in an attempt to comply with keeping things secret ceased most of his training regiments save for the obstacle course which Echoshadow and to tear apart then reassemble up on the roof for him. “Whatever was killing all those guys when they first made you needs to come back and get that man.”  Soundspirit remarked dryly. “That would be quite convenient however he’s useful to the crown so we cannot do so ourselves.” Echoshadow reminded. “Wait, what was attacking them all anyway?” Soundspirit questioned. “Not too sure.” Echoshadow replied. “When you first arose you told me you already knew it wasn’t me, how did you?”  Soundspirit asked. “The attacks followed a pattern. Scientist was exceptionally stressed and near a grate or drain. No attacks in the castle or the library hidden beneath it only the secret laboratories under that, meaning it came from below the secret labs and was likely attracted to stress. Whether by magic or some kind of hormone pheromone combo I couldn’t very well say.”  Echoshadow explained.

“Let’s go down there, find out what’s beneath the hidden basement.”   Soundspirit suggested. “Getting to the bottom of things for once would be a welcome change of pace.”  Echoshadow replied. “This is why they keep you in a box.” Soundspirit remarked. “Logically speaking, we shouldn’t be doing this and normally I’d try to stop you.”  Echoshadow stayed with a large inhuman smile. “So what’s tipping the scales in my favour?” Soundspirit asked. “I fear if we don’t do something you’ll kill Professor Dove Cloud within a week.”  Echoshadow explained. “That’s probably true.” Soundspirit admitted with a grin of his own.

The pair moved with silence to the lowest levels of the secret lab finding a drainage grate large enough for Soundspirit rather quickly.   The two of them proceeded deeper into the darkness eager to explore the abyss below their home. “His obsession with proving he’s better than father Crow, that’s the issue.”  Soundspirit said as if they’d been discussing the matter previously. “I don’t think I follow,” Echoshadow replied. “Professor Cloud.” Soundspirit clarified. “Oh I guess, I don’t even know if he’s obsessed where did this data arise?” Echoshadow questioned.   “It’s pretty obvious to me, but of course I’m far superior to you in terms of determining motivations.” Soundspirit explained while mocking his brother’s typical emotionless monotone. The pits below were dark dank and dreary, a combination easily ignored by the noisemakers unlike the pungent aroma, not unlike death and decay mixed with fresh fruit.   “Odorous, I see why no one bothered checking this place for anything.” Echoshadow stated. “Just put up with it a little longer so we can find the threat.” Soundspirit spoke sternly as if attempting to mask his own disgust. The pair were created with enhanced senses and could detect this stench far more than a human would it would have been unbearable if not for sheer willpower.

At the bottom of the pit were pools of ooze, toxic wastes coalesced into district puddles instead of a sea of chemicals as expected.  “This is what we’re made of.” Echoshadow said feeling truly uncomfortable for the first time. He thought feeling neglected or unwanted was bad but seeing the very building blocks of his own existence laid bare was much more than he was prepared for.   “Both of us mixed in together, bound to be useless and toxic. Took too much effort to get our ratios just right.” Soundspirit said dismissively seemingly unaffected. A bubble popped in a nearby puddle followed by another which grew an eye before leaping from the puddle.  New life arose before their very eyes like a spark in the dark, a sliver of flame bursting forth from the darkness before sputtering out. The creature landed in another puddle before dissolving. “Okay, I’m not coming down here again.” Soundspirit said simply before beginning his climb back to the laboratory.

Echoshadow stayed still shocked into silence as his brother left.  Scanning the area served only to illustrate more life popping in and out of existence forming a static feedback for his senses and masking what dwelled within the chaos the lord of this land of the discarded who watched him intently.  Echoshadow couldn’t will himself out of this stupor, luckily his brother did double back to retrieve him. “Don’t let this place win, this is where the failures go and we were successful.” Soundspirit whispered as he dragged Echoshadow out of that pseudo hell.

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