Birds of a Feather I: Splice
I dare say you can’t imagine the things you learn over twenty-six years of living in the company of the most wanted man alive. The facts, the discoveries… they are all cherries on a cake—a bloodied cake, or maybe a genuine meat pie.
What I’m about to tell you is mainly the red line of what happened, so don’t expect any detailed reports. This is about things I’ve done, things that have happened to me.
The reason I’m writing this down is because, in all of this chaos and hateful thoughts towards the ‘what’ I am, I’m looking for—a sense of who I am. Because once you understand what I understand now, you might just be able to get a grip on where I’m coming from, and why I do the things I do… have done the things I’ve done, even though some of those things weren’t exactly milestones I take pride in.
As a human-animal hybrid, I no longer look like the creation the gods once granted the gift of life. I am, however, in the very rare position to look at things from a bird’s eye perspective. And let me tell you, that alone is worth the trouble being a splice has brought me.
Sounds ridiculous, I know, but hear me out. Being a hybrid, or a Splice as most humans call it, isn’t all that bad. It ain’t sunshine either.
You see, humans have simple lives. They are born, they grow up, live, laugh, and cry… and then they die. Simple enough. Their souls transcend into what we believe to be the universal force; the energy that makes up everything, recycles them into new forms… new humans. The body decays, yet the soul remains.
We are born, grow up, live, laugh, and cry, yet never die… Griswold’s technology made sure of that. What initially started as research into the deterioration of cells through age, ended as a program to bio-engineer creatures that could meet the gods on their immortal thrones.
But let me tell you, I’ve seen enough of my kind grow darker and crueler the longer they lived, growing ever farther from reaching that desired state of divinity.
Hybrids do not transcend. We do not meet our maker—not because of old age, anyway. We are not recycled and do not decay. So where does that put our soul? Where does that put our remaining humanity? Wherever they are, being at the center of life in a world devoured by death leaves me comparing our existence to nothing but old myths and legends.
Yes, ‘myths and legends’. Because who am I kidding? You’ve heard of me. Everybody has heard of me: The Dark Angel, The Crow, The Harbinger… not exactly the legacy I was aiming for, but there it is. Lucky me, people only see my wings… never mind the guy that carries them.
If only I could hide them at times.
I guess, twisted enough, I am lucky to have people see anything about me. I mean, if it wasn’t for Gael Griswold, I’d probably be left for dead at birth. Because, be honest with me, would you save a baby that carried the bone structure of tiny little wings—bloodied and smeared with the insides of the mother it just killed—on his back?
Yeah, neither would I. But I’m grateful that somehow, for some reason, Griswold took care of my mother while she was in labor. Although, now that I am older, that reason is no longer as vague as I once thought it was. He was there because he knew what I would be. It was simple math for him to calculate in what generation the recessive genes would finally become dominant. And there I was.
Sure, I hate the man’s guts for turning me into what I am. His experiments with animal DNA gene splicing are what gave me wings in the first place… the same wings that shredded my mother into oblivion while she was giving birth.
But I’m grateful to be standing here today: all grown up with, despite the violence I’ve encountered in life, not a bad reputation of my own. All because Griswold extended his hand. A hand I took, high-fived, and followed to become one of the finest tech-hoarders in the history of The Second Dark Age.
Never mind, though, I’m wandering off. What I’m trying to say is—when Griswold created me through years of experimenting on my ancestors, his intentions were for me to be better than any of them. Not to always make the right choices, but to be better. There is a difference. So it proves by the fact that I kill for a living in order to survive. But consider this: death is cheap, and life isn’t for the faint of heart. I choose to save myself because, at the end of the day, no one else will.
So yeah… I may not be human. I may be meant to be better. But I think it’s because of my imperfections I am, at this point, more human than you.
My name is Gideon Crowby… and this is my story.