A Dream of Power
by John Andreula
Edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk
This story contains graphic content!
Reader discretion is advised.
Some time ago…
Agnes wiped the sides of Baby’s mouth when he had finished his feeding. The enormous, faceless woman showed no indication that the Controller was even in the room with them.
The Baby let out a powerful belch in her direction. He produced a sinister smile directed at his brawny caretaker. He maintained his grin as his eyes traveled over to his colleague’s.
“You are such a wretched thing,” the Controller grimaced at the sight of the thing he almost considered an equal and a comrade.
The pint-sized man-baby’s arms weren’t long enough to accomplish many feats most adults take for granted. Clothing and cleaning himself were just out of his reach.
It wasn’t as if he couldn’t feed himself. He just chose not to. He already had his attendant seeing to his other physical needs, so he used her for other menial tasks as well. Baby seemed to relish in being served as such.
Stanton knew that Baby’s mind was powerful, possibly as much as his own. He also felt that like himself, Baby’s intelligence was not what made him strong. Control over others was the only real currency either of them dealt in..
Baby stared at the Controller as if he was reading his thoughts.
“Embrace what you are, Stanton. If you will not be honest with yourself, well…then you cannot expect anything to ever go your way.”
“I don’t come down here for useless lamentations.”
Baby cocked one eyebrow upwards and observed his colleague. He face scrunched into a scowl and he released a perverse chuckle. “Lamentations…That’s good.”
Then Baby went on, “Like you I am an abomination. I am also something beautiful and pure. My intelligence and scientific prowess make me somewhat special. My physical appearance only tells a small piece of my story. If that is what others, particularly my enemies, choose to focus on then they will undoubtedly underestimate me.”
The Controller swallowed his impatience for the moment and listened.
Baby continued, “You, Seth, like me, are a monster. You’d be best to embrace it. You cannot struggle with what you are. You must amputate that piece of yourself and cauterize the wound.”
The Controller eyeballed the freakish baby. Here was the only person,—his mind unable to produce a better word to describe it—that Stanton regarded as a near-equal since Wilkins. He was also the only person aside from the doctor that the narcissistic Controller considered more than another tool to be used…almost.
The Controller ran his hand up his forehead and back through his thin hair. He looked to the ceiling for a moment before his eyes settled back on Baby. “Please update me on our program’s recent progress.”
Baby smirked at the Controller. It was his turn to be dramatic. His face contorted.
Stanton recognized the pause was not a reaction to him. Baby was either passing gas through his bowels or, worse yet, defecating. The Controller scrunched his nose and cheeks in disgust. He was all to familiar with the olfactory assault that would be threatening him soon enough.
The corner of Baby’s uprisen lips rose into a full smile. A nasty, satisfied look settled in his eyes before he spoke again, “You are no doubt aware of our attempts at cross-pollination within our current catalog of captive Effected. Many of which have resulted in successful fertilization and births.”
“We have utilized our previous…” Baby paused and searched for the word, “research to expedite the gestation period. We have reduced the incubation period to as low as four and a half weeks.”
“Additionally, we are now not only able to speed up the gestation cycle, but that of the entire duration of childhood as well. Essentially, we can fast forward all the way through pubescence in the matter of five or six years.” Baby’s face twisted again. Some demented thought caused the look, but the Controller could not read it any further.
Baby rolled on his spine and adjusted the way his body leaned in his electric wheelchair. Without speaking a word Agnes moved behind his pseudo-stroller. Her two massive hands grasped Baby by his sides and settled him upright into the seat.
Baby ignored his faceless attaché and his facial features relaxed into ugly comfort. He went on, “However, many instances of expedited growth have resulted in the deaths of these experimental children. The results of this recent experiment are quite similar to your previous attempts at upgrading the Pre’s…”
The infant-man let the word hang there, pausing at the mention of Stanton’s previous failed experiment. The Controller had never discussed or shared anything from back then with Baby. Yet somehow Baby knew about those experiments. He had even been able to incorporate aspects of them into his current work in the breeding program. Stanton did not know how to respond.
The ugly smile reappeared on the creature’s baby-face. “Don’t look so surprised, Seth. Your encryption coding is really only strong enough to keep out Agnes here.” He produced another ugly laugh.
Agnes did not bat an eyelash, because she had no eyelashes. She had no eyes either. She just stood there, still.
“There have been a few that survived the process however…,” He ceased talking and settled into another overly dramatic pause. He had Stanton’s attention.
The Controller’s face remained blank, but his eyes spoke volumes. He was in a deep bog of impatience. Worse yet, he felt helpless. That was never the place the man known as the Controller wanted to remain for long.
The Controller resisted the urge to circle around Baby’s desk and strangle him. Although he knew he wouldn’t get within two feet of him with Agnes at his side. “Go on.”
Baby squirmed again in his chair. Agnes reached for him, but this time was silently rebuffed by the wave of a stubby arm. Baby settled himself still.
“Of the few survivors, none exhibited the power-set of either progenitor…Quite curious,” he added to himself.
He returned his attention to the Controller, “A few displayed what we would both consider low value abilities. Techno-control, phasing; just nonsense and refuse.”
The Controller felt that familiar rage well up inside even further. He didn’t have patience for this thing. Bile rose in the back of his throat…
But he swallowed it. “And?”
Baby began to speak, but let out a hacking cough instead of words. He made no attempt to cover his mouth. Stanton just stared on.
The infant-man composed himself again. “I believe the stresses of captivity and the extremes of our experimentation affect the development of the abilities in the children. Cortisol levels are off the charts in all subjects. We need to control that variable.”
“We need to create conditions that are somehow more…,” again he paused to find the correct word, “natural…for us to have any chance of synthesizing the elevated power-sets that we seek.”
Baby’s breaths had become more shallow and rapid. His extended dialogue had expended too much energy from his small body. The Controller could feel weakness emanating from his ugly rival.
But Baby collected his breath and completed his thought, “That is where I expect you would be of the greatest assistance in the process.”
Baby’s face deformed into his ugliest and darkest smile of their meeting.
Stanton hesitated, but he was curious. He would have to take the bait.
He had the feeling Baby was trying to control the situation. That was Stanton’s game. The Controller never fully trusted his freakish partner, but Baby had proven himself essential and invaluable to Stanton’s cause.
The Controller relaxed into another vision of having his hands wrapped snugly around Baby’s neck. He could almost hear the freak’s eyes wetly bulging from their sockets.
And yet he realized Baby was right. Despite the uncomfortable taste of not having any idea what Baby was up to at the moment, he relented.
“Alright.” the Controller replied softly.
Baby flatulated. It was loud considering his meager body proportions.
Stanton enjoyed witnessing the creature’s weakness, “Digestion issues, old friend?”
Baby snarled, “You know as well as any that this body won’t last…I’m after the same thing as you. I need this as much as you want it. Now get to work, Seth.”
Nobody else would ever consider speaking to Seth Stanton like that, but the Controller saw it as a final victory in their meeting.
And Baby was right. It was time to get to work. Controlling a situation was indeed his specialty.
Stanton would come up with a plan to spur love and kinship between two powerful Effected test subjects. Their shared bond would result in a fetus produced without the cortisol levels of their predecessors, and would create an extremely powerful being; one that he specifically could control.
Stanton stood up from his chair without another word. He exited the Baby’s work space.
The stale air in the hallway was a relief compared to the smell of Baby’s bodily gases inside the room.
The Controller sauntered down the long hallways. His resolve was once again renewed.
Once through the large vault door he reentered the hidden rear hatch of his building’s executive elevator. He spoke a command into the air that would bring him up to his own office many stories above.
It was indeed time to get back to work.
The Dreamer is an ongoing fiction epic about some very special people.
And if you haven’t read the rest check it out here.
John Andreula is a writer and dreamer in the foothills of Colorado.
Reach him for commission work or media requests at: