You awake in a dark lab shaken and confused, the last memory you have is the horrific moment of your death. As your eyes adjust to the darkness you realize people surround you, some you recognize as other commoners. A baker, a bartender, and many others, and then there is one who is out of place, a man with hallow eyes, covered from head to toe in leather armor. The man speaks, his voice sounding almost kind at first “Greetings and welcome to my lab. Let me begin by saying I am so very sorry. I honestly tried my very best to save every last one of you, but some were too far gone, even for my scientific expertise.” there is a brief moment of sincerity in his voice before he returns to his more light hearted tone “Some of you know one another, most of you don't, but there is one thing each of you has in common, you have all met with an unfortunate end recently and I have attempted to save all of you.” He pauses once again switching to a more sincere tone. “I must admit that I did enjoy trying to save each of you, it reminded me of a time when I was younger, when I lacked the understanding of the importance of my mission, but I am not a hero. In fact many of you would refer to me as a villain, a monster. The town refers to me as The Father of The Homunculus, but I’m not a… no it doesn't matter.” He takes a moment and regains his composure “Those of you who I could not save, I dissected and removed brain matter, and without getting too deep into detail of my process, I duplicated you. I will not tell you who is who, but when a certain trigger phrase is spoken, your body will shift into that of a very powerful homunculus with an urge to destroy. That being said, you each have one more thing in common, I managed to save each and every one of your families, I have sent them to the other side of the rift, and have given them each a small bit of wealth, enough to keep them in comfort for a generation or so.” He pauses seemingly lost in thought before returning to his usual tone “So here is what I am going to have you do. I’m going to hand you over to a guardsman, you will attend the baronial feast. I will hide clues on how to wake up those that are homunculus and after the feast, those that are not copies will go on to see their families, those that are… well I promise I will NEVER allow your loved ones to be hurt.” The man flashes a slightly awkward smile and then departs the room. As you are left there you feel shaken and confused by the whole encounter…

*     *     *     *     *

Vallius stands amongst his colony of run away Homunculus, aghast at what Bartholomew has just told him. He regains his composure and addresses his people “Our Father has gone too far, Travance has helped us time and again, they are the reason we are free, they are the reason we are safe, and time and time again members of their town have came to our aide, smuggling many of you away from fathers forces. It’s time we do something for them. It’s time for a counter attack”

Ludwig looks up from his journal calmly addressing his leader “You do realize that if we tip our hand, that we know what we know, we will no longer be able to safely smuggle our brothers and sisters from our fathers lab. Never mind the fact that if we get stuck in a confrontation with any of the nine perfects, this fight is all for naught.”

Valius stopped and listened as more and more people added their opinions until finally from the back of the crowd there is a clamor and one of the more muscular homunculus speaks up chomping on a cigar, ale in his hand, and a holy symbol of Gaia around his neck. “It matters not, we cannot put the freedom and lives of our people over the torment and safety of the lives of another. That town saved us, fed us, freed us. If there is something we can do to help, than we should do it.”

Valius nodded and spoke up “Father Brutus is correct, my brothers, make preparations for our counter attack.”

*     *     *     *     *

Eight perfect Homunculus sat in a room looking at one another silently. Until finally Lillith spoke up “We might as well utilize the time we have left before we get banned from their town again.”

And with that sentence they were gone.


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