Somewhere along the way, I suppose I started thinking of chimeras as being akin to my own children. And now, having watched him grow, I’ve come to a realization. That like all children, they must someday step beyond their parents, and rise to take their own place in this world. Now whether that takes a hundred years or a thousand, someday it will begin to happen. For even we humans, who consider ourselves to be the uncontested masters of our own reality, cannot hope to halt the path that evolution has set in motion.

B.O.D. Report # OSO

Chapter Forty Five : The world that never was.

Standing before the open door to his room, Kato felt a quiet dread take hold of his soul. Everything inside lay in shambles. The carefully collected equipment he had created over the last two years had been meticulously destroyed. Not even a single solitary piece of it remained salvageable.

Originally, he had intended to leave it behind, seeing as he would have no use for it in his new life. But now that he had decided to stay, it was more important to him than ever.

Looking upon the ruin of his former existence as a slave to the King family, he knew that only one person could have recognized his carefully disguised equipment for what it really was. And that only one person would have taken the time to destroy everything and leave the pieces for him to find out of sheer spite.

Johnathan.

I have to get out of here. The thought rang in his mind. This place isn’t safe anymore. But where will I go? And where will I hide?

Stumbling from his room in a daze Kato wandered aimlessly through the manor. Almost immediately, he began to feel an overwhelming need to run away and hide. Even the sheer animal instinct for self-preservation he had always used as a means of protecting himself from danger was telling him to run.

Pushing aside the feeling, Kato stumbled into the parlor and said. “Lights. Lights.”

When nothing happened, he thought. What’s going on, why aren’t the lights working, and why hasn’t the security grid responded to my presence yet? A sudden chill running up his spine made his fur stand on end. The entire room smelled of blood.

Fresh blood.

And then the lights came on.

The elder King was lying in the middle of the room. His throat had been slit from ear to ear and his body was covered in multiple stab wounds. There was blood everywhere. And worse, the katana that Morishita had been forced to abandon, the Shigure no Ken that had been passed down in his family for generations, was just, jutting out from his chest.

Johnathan stood next to the body, his hand still holding the hilt.

As if coming back to himself from a great distance, He finally seemed to notice Kato.

Oh, there you are.” Panting from exertion, he wiped the blood from his hands and said. “You know, you’ve been a very bad kitty. Sneaking off without anyone’s permission. And just look at what happened while you were gone. Looks like somebody wasn’t doing their job, now were they?”

Kato felt numb. He had experienced Johnathan’ capacity for cruelty first hand, but never had he imagined him capable of murdering his own father. “You killed him.” Even as he said it, He knew that his words had failed to grasp the true reality of the situation he now found himself in. “And you enjoyed it.”

Johnathan let out a burst of mocking laughter. “No. Not me. You.”

Kato’s eyebrows drew together.

Seeing the look on his face, Johnathan affected a tone of mock tragedy. “It was horrible officer. The control collar malfunctioned. I swear I tried to stop him, but it was too late.” His smile was smug and self satisfied. “They won’t bother asking any questions. After all, who are they going to assume actually killed him? You, or me?”

Ignoring the question, Kato leaned down to better examine the placid expression on the face of the elder King, and wondered briefly if his final thoughts had been pleasant ones. Any lingering resentment he may have held against the man simply faded away. The body was just so much meat.

Why?” Kato asked, even to himself his own voice sounded strangely calm.

The old man was going to have me cloned. Me! Of all people. I mean, can you believe it? Having one of me around is bad enough, and I should know, but going so far as to try and replace me with, some thing grown in a lab!” Grinning sadistically, he gave the corpse a swift kick for good measure. “Not that it matters now of course, because on his death, all of his money was transferred to his closest living genetic relative. Me.”

So that was it.” Kato looked at the door, mentally calculating the steps it would take to close the distance between them. “You killed him just to inherit his money.”

Rolling his eyes, Johnathan’s arrogance blinded him to the truth. “Oh no, this was about so much more then just money. No, wait. This was about a lot of money!” Chuckling at his own joke, he said. “You know, for some strange reason, I really feel that I should tell you, it’s already too late to run away. I’ve taken the liberty of phoning the police, and, it really is bad luck you decided to come home when you did.” Shrugging as if the matter were of no real consequence to him, Johnathan said. “In fact, they should be arriving here any minute now.”

Cocking his head to the side, Kato simply looked at his half-brother and said. “Now, who ever said anything about running away?” He could hear them in the distance, the sound of sirens steadily growing closer acted as the trigger. Moving like a striped blur, His clawed fingers closed around Johnathan’s throat. Lifting him into the air with one hand he let him understand who truly held power over life and death.

How?” Johnathan managed to choke out the words. “How . . . did you do that?”

Kato simply shrugged. “You were right, about my control collar malfunctioning.”

His feet dangling in the air, Johnathan struggled ineffectually against Kato’s iron grip.

There’s something I want you to know, something I feel I should have told you a long time ago.” Kato pulled him in close enough for their faces to touch and whispered into his ear. “We are brothers, you and I.”

Johnathan’s eyes widened in surprise.

Standing alone on the rooftop Kato stood staring out over the vast metropolis of SynCity. He had watched from the shadows as the police had removed the bodies of Johnathan and his father. And through it all, he had felt. Empty.

Johnathan had been right, no one would bother to ask any questions. Their deaths would be conveniently blamed on chimeras. Blamed on him.

Whether or not there was any evidence to the contrary wouldn’t make a difference in the least. In SynCity, money was all that mattered. And in life, the elder King had been a very rich man.

Kato continued his solemn vigil, even as storm clouds began to gather overhead.

Heavy with the promise of rain, he stood beneath them and watched as hovercars passed silently between the various skyscrapers and floating gardens of SynCity. In a strange way, each of them was a story, each of them was a life, and each one lived blissfully unaware of the tragedies that occurred everyday in their midst.

From his vantage point on the rooftop, Kato reached out, and felt as if he could hold their entire world in the palm of his hand.

Closing his hand around them, the seed of an unwavering desire took root in his heart. “I must commit myself to becoming stronger. But until I’ve become someone strong enough to change this world, I must first reach out and grasp a power that exists beyond human comprehension.”

Holding his hand to his face as raindrops began to fall, Kato knew they hid his tears from the world, while washing away the blood that stained his hands. Taking hold of the control collar around his throat, he pulled, and felt nothing as it came away with a subtle click.

Seeing it, feeling the familiar weight of it, a single thought rose unbidden in his mind.

But once I have donned the mask, the chimera known as Kato will be no more.

Hesitating for only a single second, he let go of it, the collar, and his past.

Watching in silence as it it fell from his fingertips, the collar disappeared forever into the darkness below. “From this moment on, chimeras will be free to choose their own names, their own destinies.” As thunder cut across the sky, He shouted in defiance to the heavens above him. “I am King! And I will be the one to remake this world!