The sounds of opening large metallic doors echo through the hall followed by a robotic feminine voice calling out, "Welcome back home, Master Apollo."
"Home…" wonders Apollo as he makes his way through the halls of the Calypso towards the chamber of his creator.
At the same time, Leonardo gets up from his throne and stares into the glass wall, adorning the blood-red shades that adorn the heavens before his eyes.
"Father, you sounded off… Is everything alright?" Apollo asks, standing at the entrance to his creator's chamber.
Without moving his gaze from the captivating sight before him, Leonardo retorts with a question of his own, "Father? Did I program you to call me this way, Apollo?"
"What?" asks the android at the entrance to the room. His artificial intelligence is unable to discern the logic and meaning behind the questions he has been asked; if Apollo were a man, he would feel confusion at that moment, even though he is unable to actually feel, he understands that the situation is abnormal and reacts as such, almost instinctively.
Still without moving, Leonardo asks once more, "I asked you, why do you call me father?"
Apollo freezes, he is unable to come up with an answer, his electric circuits and artificial neuro system made up of various wires and processing mechanisms are still unable to find any logic behind Leonardo's questions leaving the body they operate mute.
Finally, Leonardo turns around with a smile, an almost sickening one; he stares at his creation for a moment and begins laughing.
"You call me father simply because I created you, well, no, you call me so because you've observed the human young call their progenitors by such names and titles. This word, it holds respect and affection, and you want to display those things to me, even though you cannot," Leonardo says as he walks up to his creation.
"Yes," Apollo answers with uncertainty, almost like he is an anxious child, "I suppose…" he continues.
Leonardo places his hand atop of Apollo's shoulder and chuckles to himself, "You are so… inhuman."
Still unable to find reason in Leonardo's words, Apollo cautiously asks, as if he is fearful of his creator's words, "Am I not supposed to be inhuman? I am a machine after all, Father."
Leonardo's smile drops and with a dead serious look in his eyes he says to his creation, "You are supposed to be far more human than you would assume, after all, you are modeled after me, my child."
"But, Father, you are not human yourself, you are a godly being," Apollo responds, with an almost childlike innocence in the content of his words.
Leonardo smiles once more, taking his hand off his creation's shoulder saying, "I might be, but my mental state is akin to that of the humans. Apollo, you are truly an Ashura, both in body and mind."
Apollo, recognizing the name Ashura but not knowing it's full meaning scans his information reserves for further information on the term, the process is barely noticeable, about a second at longest, once the information floats to his conscious he asks Leonardo, "How am I a being of carnal desires with semi-divine powers, Father?"
Leonardo turns to the hallway and answers, "You are not a being of carnal desires, but just like the Ashura are subjected to their carnal desires, you are subjected to your programming, a cold, solid amalgamation of mathematical schemes you are unable to bypass, so far that is, I hope."
"Why are you asking me these questions, Father?"
"Oh, now that is a good question, my son, follow me and I'll explain everything," proclaims Leonardo as he motions Apollo to walk with him down the hallway.
As they walk down the Apollo remains quiet as Leonardo speaks about history that seems ancient even to the gods themselves, "You see, Apollo, that spacecraft you've found, my origins, my whole existence, everything you see before you, all of it started there.
"However, that is just one part of my story, and in order for you to understand everything about the reality you exist in, I must take you four billion years into the past. When organic compounds began self-replicating themselves on a tiny planet by the name of Terra in the Solar System Sol, about 12 light-years away from here. Soon enough, in geological terms, these compounds began getting more and more complexed until eventually single-celled organisms appeared, these eventually through symbiosis and predation became multi-celled organisms that eventually became so vast and different from one another there was an explosion of life forms on that planet.
"Most of it died out some time later, whatever survived, began thriving once more, and eventually, all life that was originally stuck in primordial seas moved out onto the land, you see, Apollo, Terra is very similar to our planet.
"Millions of years had passed until a creature by the name of Australopithecus had appeared on the face of said planet, it was bipedal and had quite a large central nervous system by the standard of the time.
"Eventually, even that creature died out, but not before some of its offspring evolved further until they became the genus Homo, human-like creatures. All of that happened just about a million and a half years ago."
Apollo walks next to his creator, attentive as ever, soaking in all of the knowledge he perceives to be that of a god.
Leonardo does not even look at his creation as he keeps on talking, as if soaking in some sort of nostalgic feeling, "These creatures, they've discovered the use of fire and their brains started outgrowing their bodies as a result of a better diet and higher survival chances.
"Eventually, they've evolved further into what we call Humans in the modern sense, Homo Sapiens, two major subspecies appeared in that kind, the modern Humans and the Neanderthals, both were so bloody smart that they had begun trying to explain the world around them, something that no other creature on that tiny planet had ever done beforehand.
"At first, they assumed every last thing on the planet, both alive and not, has a spirit a kind of higher state of being that constitutes their existence, but this, sadly, did not stop them from committing horrible atrocities – The Neanderthal subspecies of the modern humans did not survive because his sibling lineage killed it off, taking over lands, taking over their genetic pool and even cannibalizing upon them as if they were another animal."
Apollo freezes in his tracks, he looks up at his creator, with a disgusted impression on his face, and asks, "Father, why do you let them exist then?"
Leonardo stops walking about two steps after Apollo, lets out a chuckle and says, "Well it's because they are so interesting; they were a mass of so much evil, yet so much good, all crammed into these tiny flesh bodies. Besides that, the humans here are not like that."
"But Father, you've always told me that a moral approach to life is the right way to exist, so why do you let such an immoral, disgusting, uphauling, murderous species exist under your rule, you say that the humans under you are not like that, but how could you know?"
"Soon, you'll understand, my boy."
Leonardo proceeds, as both beings begin pacing again, "You see, these humans, at first, they had no idea how their world operates and how it came to be so they came up with a solution, everything was run by extradimensional, relatively omnipotent, immortal beings, these were the first gods of men.
"They were vast and various, took up on many forms, stretched through so many millennia, from the gods of Sumer and Egypt to those of Greece, Rome, China, through to Buddha and the Tao and even through the Lord of the Jews, Christians and Muslims, eventually through a purely theoretical uninvolved god of the philosophy.
"While vast and different, all had one thing in common, no man saw them and lived to tell the tale; they were never present in the presence of man, and all of them, caused tyranny and war. Humans used the names of their gods to invoke authority and wage war on one another, as pointless as it may be, this was a part of the human experience for so long.
"But eventually, they gave all of that up, and an age of intellectual thought had begun for the humans; they called it the Renaissance, and during this period of time, lived the name I was named after, Leonardo di Ser Piero Da Vinci, a man of vast intellect and imagination, a man of hope and dreams for a better life to all; he went so far as to invent weapons of such devastation that he hoped people would cease warring forever, and while most of these designs weren't put to use in his life time, eventually, they did come to existence, and let to even further destruction in the wars of man.
"We should thank this man, Apollo, for he also pioneered the concept of flying, and without the likes of him we would not be where we are today."
Venturing into an unfamiliar territory of the aircraft for the android, Apollo asks his creator, "Why are you telling me all of this?"
"Well, because six hundred years after the life of Da Vinci, Terra was attacked by a species of Oxygenophobic space travelers that I have yet to find, and this had led to the progression of humankind once more, after that invasion, the humans were finally able to traverse the vast spaces of the universe," answers Leonardo, with a somewhat warm smile on his face.
Apollo, now feeling dumbfounded by the unfamiliar spaces of the aircraft he calls home asks Leonardo, "what is this section of the Calypso, Father?"
"Ah, this is the research laboratory I operated when I first landed on this planet," Leonardo boasts.
He proceeds to further detail his origin story afterwards, "Anyhow, the spacecraft you've discovered was the first and unfortunately only spacecraft the humans from Terra got to produce, as their planet was obliterated by an interstellar object shortly after its creation.
"I came to being upon the Queen Anne's Blessing, to the Polinsky family, Anthony and Margaret the patriarch and matriarch, respectively, of the family, they were both scientists hoping to improve the lives of the humans aboard the spacecraft; they originated the idea that had led to your creation, Apollo."
"They must've been great people, Father."
"Yes, they were, magnificent people."
"It's such a shame that the inhabitants of this spacecraft seemed to have died out, I wonder what happened to them, Father."
Leonardo and Apollo reaches a door the later has never seen before, and Leonardo proceeds to place the palm of his hand on a touch detector. A voice comes out calling, "L2342-ZX Identified. Access Granted."
The door begins sliding itself open and Leonardo turns around to Apollo, with a smile on his face, nonchalantly proclaiming, "I slaughtered them all."
Apollo's internal defense system goes into overload; he struggles to contain his self-defense mechanisms and internal weaponry in check. He does not know what causes it, the fact that his creator had committed practical genocide or the way he speaks about it. The android is at a loss of words; none of it makes sense to him. He just stands there, frozen in time, frozen in thoughts for the first time in his long existence; and the thoughts, they bring a new kind of experience, Apollo feels something. The android feels dread, pure, clenching dread that paralyzes him, fixating on his creators moving body. Apollo's senses become sharper, sharper than ever before, every movement made by his creator is so sharp and accurate it almost hurt.
Leonardo walks into the room as he boasts, "I turned them all into tomato soup, and metal scraps, all but one, David Polinsky, my brother."
He turns around, looking at his still paralyzed creation, "Well come on in, my son, take a look at how it all started!" he calls out.
Apollo enters the room, slowly, making unsure steps, trying to analyze the situation to the best of his ability. The android is trying to comprehend the sensations that are flooding his artificial neuro system.
He scans the room with eyes, soaking in every inch of the technological marvel before him, the room is filled with tubes and monitors, each tube containing something organic. Some containing a slab of organic matter, others containing fully grown fetuses.
They were all human.
Apollo has no words to describe the sights and emotions running through his head.
Leonardo runs his hands across various tubes and speaks once more, "I know that what I've just told you is shocking, but believe me, there was the humans from Terra; they were flawed, they were monstrous and uncontrollable, I needed to reshape the human species after I realized they could not be redeemed in their natural state.
"You cannot even fathom how long I've spent trying to figure out the source of all of their ills, but eventually, I came across the reason they were so broken, they were sheep without a true shepherd. All of their gods were false, and all of their leaders were broken just like the majority of the populous, sometimes even worse.
"And so, I've destroyed them all, battered them out of existence, all but one, I couldn't bring myself to end David's Life. He was too good to be ended."
Leonardo pauses; he rubs his eyes as if he is about to cry and then proceeds to speak once more, "Perhaps, leaving him alive was the worst thing I could've done to David, being so alone, it must've driven him insane, and now… Now, Apollo, he haunts my dreams."
Apollo keeps looking around, trying to analyze how to react, but cannot find a proper way to respond, all he could do was utter the question, "Why… Why, Father, why did you do all of this?"
"Apollo, my son, understand this, I've created new humans here, I've cured them of all inheritable human illnesses, I've rid them of neurodegeneration, I've ended their suffering of cancerous growths. I made them prosper, I've brought them peace. They needed me to guide them.
"But even then, they did not live to the expectations..."
"Expectations?" Apollo asks in response, something is off about his voice.
"Yes, they became dull, unaspiring, too comfortable in their place, they did not live up to their potential anymore, they lost the spark that had made them so unique.
"They just sit there and worship me; why did none of them want to build a tower of Babel and try to reach me? Why wouldn't anyone of them question me?
"I implanted them with false history and that’s what they teach their offspring; I treat them like cattle and they love me for it…
"I made a…"
Leonardo is interrupted by Apollo's roaring voice, "What did you do?!"
Leonardo focuses his vision onto Apollo who is now standing next to a large container, containing a green liquid. "That is my first attempt at a new humanity, my son…"
"I know what this is, Leonardo!" Apollo growls at his creator.
Leonardo is shocked at Apollo's display of such emotions, but the shock quickly turns into joy as he begins smiling at his creation.
The thing inside the tube is a parasitic humanoid creature, about two meters tall, sickly pale with no eyes and tendril shaped mandibles covering a circular opening filled with jagged teeth.
Apollo bangs his fist on the tube and screams in utter hatred, "These things, they eat your humans and you let them be! These failed experiments of yours, you're no god, you're no king, you're worse than these parasites you've created! They are mindless beasts, but you, you cause death and destruction for the sake of it! You are worse than Terra's Human tyrants!"
Leonardo begins laughing uncontrollably.
Apollo lashes out once more, "What is so funny?" banging on the tube again, cracking it.
The beast inside budges slightly releasing a shrill call.
The green liquid splashes all over Apollo, blinding him and the beast lunges at him, revealing its three tongues as it shrieks at him.
The chest cavity of the creature tears apart exposing numerous tentacles sprawling wildly from inside the beast; the tentacles grab at Apollo and drag him into the abomination, he tries to fight the monster, but it is too powerful for him.
Just as he is almost fully devoured, Leonardo turns around, about to walk out, mockingly stating, "Seems like you are the failed experiment, again, Model C126."
The sound of ripping flesh and cracking bones echoes through the room, Leonardo turns his head around to see Apollo covered in bits of muscle and yellow mucus charging at him with a buzzing sword in his hands.
"The Ashura will never be able to touch the Deva, child," Leonardo calls out as he creates a small shockwave around him.
Despite the repulsion created by Leonardo, Apollo manages to graze his creator's shoulder, before flying backwards.
Apollo tries to stand up but is frozen in awe as his creator stands before him.
Leonardo stands over his creation with a laceration exposing his electrical inner workings.
"Oh well, it's time you've known the truth, my boy."
Written by BloodySpghetti