[The following story contains some potentially more adult content than some of my other stuff. Much blood and death ahead so if you’re of a younger age or just don’t like such things, maybe give this one a skip.]
For years now, the shadowy organisation known as Evolution Inc has been abducting people and performing experiments on them against their will, turning them into human-animal hybrids. The Web, Throwback and Deathstalker are just some of the known results of Evolution Inc’s genetic tinkering on their unwilling victims.
Hardly anything at all was known about Evolution Inc for the longest time. They guarded their secrets from all prying eyes and hid behind shell corporations and all manner of shady tactics. It was almost entirely by accident that the secrets behind Evolution slowly began unravelling.
During a seemingly unrelated investigation, the hero Airborne broke into a hidden lab full of Evolution Inc personnel. He was taken aback when he encountered fellow hero and former teammate Milo Ryder (a.k.a Hybrid) in the facility, seemingly working with the scientists.
A fight broke out and Hybrid escaped, setting the lab to self destruct in the process and killing those who didn’t evacuate in time. Airborne barely managed to escape with his life but was in critical condition for days.
While many of the scientist Airborne encountered at the lab were later found dead or mysteriously vanished, apparently ruining any chance for them to be tied to either Evolution Inc or Hybrid, an investigation into Milo Ryder himself slowly began to reveal more of the so called heroes connection to Evolution Inc. At first it was suspected that Ryder was just working with Evolution Inc. Perhaps he was employed by the mad scientists as a base subject for their experiments. Ryder did, after all, possess the ability to shift into all manner of human-animal hybrids, which seemed to be what Evolution Inc wanted to do to others. Their sick “gift” to humanity. Further investigation into Ryder later revealed that he wasn’t just involved. He may actually be running Evolution Inc. Everything pointed to him trying to spread his ability to others with the eventual goal of turning everyone into hybrid creatures, with himself as some modern day Dr Moreau.
While the authorities and superheroes conducted their investigation, Ryder went deep into hiding. Unbeknownst to everyone though, while some of his former friends and allies were questioning his involvement with Evolution Inc, he was doing the same.
The more he thought about it, the less it made sense. Even he didn’t fully understand why he was doing the things he was doing. He didn’t really want to turn people into hybrids…did he? He used to love helping people but the things he had done for Evolution Inc were far from helping anyone. Experimenting on people against their will? Tossing their dead bodies aside when the genetic reshape didn’t hold? That wasn’t help–“You’re helping them.”
The words rang in his ears again “You’re helping everyone.” His assistant, Piper, had entered the room with some papers for him to sign. The young french woman had apparently seen him lost in thought and picked up on his self-doubt. The simple words of encouragement that Piper had given him seemed to lift the fog of confusion in his mind and he understood his mission again. He was helping everyone. He was going to make them better. He was going to make them more than human.
Milo Ryder was again firmly in control of Evolution Inc…Or so everyone thought. Questions still remained in his mind. Questions about Piper. Why did he only feel better when she was around? Why did he question things when she wasn’t? Why did it only take a word or two of encouragement from this young woman to set him back on course? There was something not right here.
It took months of leaving himself notes (Liar!) to find in places where Piper wouldn’t see them (She’s manipulating you!) to even begin to break free (You’re hurting people!) of whatever whammy that had been put on his mind but eventually (You need to remember!) Milo Ryder remembered everything. He remembered all of those people. He remembered their screams. He remembered the whispers in his ear and the atrocities they had made him commit. He remembered that he had just been a puppet and a fall guy. Piper was the real brains behind this abomination of an organisation.
Unfortunately for him, Piper was faster on the uptake than he was and she realised that her powers of persuasion were losing their effect on Ryder and she had been preparing.
Before Ryder had time to truly break free, he was sedated and bound in thick chains strong enough to hold even his hybrid forms. Piper planned to restrain him for as long as it took to indoctrinate him all over again.
She hadn’t counted on the level of his rage though.
As Piper, overconfident in her own abilities, began once again whispering in the ear of Milo Ryder, he was also being bombarded with memories of everything she had made him do and he was furious. Rage triggered a change in him no one had ever seen. He became a hulking, raging wolf-man driven entirely by his own anger. He broke free of his chains, killing two of his guards almost instantly and sending Piper fleeing from the cell in terror.
The rampaging beast that had once been Milo Ryder was now a wild animal. All muscle and teeth as it tore through the Evolution Inc complex, killing everyone in it’s path as it pursued Piper, intent on revenge. Piper locked herself and several scientist in the complex’s control room but even that wouldn’t stop the big bad wolf. He didn’t huff or puff. He simply battered the heavy metal doors with an incredible strength until they broke open.
Ryder barely remembers the next few moments beyond a hazy red blur of blood and screams as he slaughtered everyone in the room. He remembers slashing at Piper’s throat and he distinctly remembers the blood that spurted from her body as she screamed without sound.
Everything went black.
Ryder awoke, still in the facility but now back in human form. He was surrounded by what remained of the scientists, which wasn’t much, but he noted that Piper was nowhere to be seen. Had she somehow escaped? Ryder wasn’t sure but he knew that he was horrified by what he had done here. He once again set the base to self destruct and left, hoping that the ensuing fire and explosions would be the end of Evolution Inc.
Milo Ryder was finally free of Piper’s corruption but he couldn’t just go back to his old life. He had still committed all manner of crimes, whether he had been manipulated or not. He wouldn’t hand himself over to the authorities yet though. Not until he had dismantled everything that remained of Evolution Inc.
What Ryder failed to realise was that Evolution Inc was far from finished. Piper had survived…barely. She had scurried away in the confusion of Hybrid’s attack and managed to make it to a nearby safe house where she was soon whisked away to another location for medical treatment. Half an inch to the right and Ryder’s claws would surely have killed her. After she was stitched up and could string a few sentences together with a raspy voice and damaged throat, Piper was brought before her superiors to report in this unmitigated failure.
Hybrid believes Piper is the brains behind Evolution Inc but even she is being manipulated from behind the scenes. There is seemingly no end to the mysteries behind Evolution Inc.