Before the human race took over this beautiful and peaceful planet, it was home to thousands of supernatural creatures. Creatures from which the human race descends and now lives amongst. From the chaotic, fiery heavens below they came to dominate the empty, free land. They saw molten crust moving across the Earth’s surface and, seeking the warmth of their source, they tunneled deep within the Earth’s crust, where they celebrated in dance and song for many millennia to come.
When the earth began to cool and rivers began to form, the godhead of the sparkling heavens above saw it fit for his children, and sent them down to dwell on the high frosty mountains. These children of heaven above worked the land, building homes, growing what food they could, and living in harmony with each other.
This angered the creatures of god below, who believed the sphere could be home to no others. The fiery creatures came up from their tunnels to invite the children of heaven above to abandon their toiling and join the infernal dancing below the surface. The children of heaven above, oblivious to this trick, dropped their tools and left for a life of leisure. This mass exodus left very few landwalkers behind.
The landwalkers, children of god above, that began to reside in the deep molten caves with the tunnelers did not thrive long. In their studies, the landwalkers who remained in the mountains concluded that their brothers and sisters who went astray in the eyes of their godhead suffered grave consequences. Their fellow landwalkers would be struck with terrible plagues which drained them of their divine powers, ultimately leading to a loss of immortality, and death by the intense heat of the tunnels.
As the landwalkers disappeared to the tunnels below, the tunnelers began to show great curiosity for the mountains above. Many tunnelers ventured out and joined the groups of landwalkers, who graciously accepted the foreigners into their congregation. This angered the god of heaven below, who struck them with the same terrible disease that had riddled the children of god above. Just as the intense heat destroyed the landwalkers, the thin air ended the tunnelers.
Soon enough, the two peoples figured ways around their gods’ wrath. A tunneler would steal away from its home, but would not climb the mountains. The tunneler would be stripped of his power, but would not perish. Likewise, the landwalkers tried this by descending the mountains, but avoiding the tunnels. Now mortal, these new creatures could live the remainder of their lives in between earthly realms of fire and ice.
These creatures were the first humans. Unlike the tunnelers and landwalkers, they were not of divine nature, and had to reproduce if they wanted their stories told through the eons. There came to be many humans, all of which have forgotten their very origins as a species, which is why, centuries later, the sight of a landwalker baffled a certain Dr. Dallas Branch.
There live no landwalkers who know of their past for sure, and no humans who know for sure of the existence of the tunnelers. There is, however, a place one can go to see a landwalker. In the year 2043, a traveler and botanist, Dr. Dallas Branch, traveled to a small, uninhabited island off the eastern coast of Florida, where he planned to stay and study the flora.
On the island were many black spiraling mountains, several thousand feet above sea level, which struck Dr. Branch as odd, as this range had never been documented. The mountains were nearly covered from base to peak with lush green trees and shrubs, as well as wildflowers of every variety and color. There were several small caves near the top, which Dr. Branch could only assume had been carved out by tropical birds over many decades, because he did not have with him a team or the required instruments to make the trek to the higher points of the range.
Dr. Branch spent fourteen days near the foot of the mountains, and as he was packing to leave, a creature he had never seen before in any book, lecture or program approached him. It was a child, by size and anthropomorphic features, but had many features of common blackbirds or pigeons. Its face featured black markings from the jawline to the lower eyelid, and instead of human skin, these black markings were of a felt-like substance to the touch. Instead of ears, either side of the child’s face featured black wings, as a valkyrie would have on her helmet. These winged ears seemed to serve no purpose, as the child did not move them and they could not possibly hold its weight. The child’s head hair was an outrageous shade of purple, as were its irises. It had no noticeable or distinguishing features to disclose a sex. It spoke no English, or any other language, according to Dr. Branch, but understood and obeyed English commands very easily, as if happy to serve. It did not take long for others, similar to the purple-haired child, to approach Dr. Branch, all willing to take orders and please him.
Dr. Branch documented that after every order the children carried for him, their feathers grew. Some even grew down feathers on their shoulder blades at alarming speeds; some mere minutes after first appearing to him. The doctor attempted at first to bring one of these human-like creatures back to Florida with him, but during the hike down the mountainside, the child, showing only extreme curiosity and willingness to serve, came down with a dangerously high fever and collapsed. Several other children darted out from the bushes to carry their fellow back uphill. Dr. Branch chose not to attempt this again, and immediately called in to be airlifted out with a different child, knowing that the altitude change could have caused the sickness in the first. Thinking that a more gradual introduction into lower altitudes might not harm the second child, they sped off in one of the doctor’s private helicopters toward the mainland.
When the pilot went to land the helicopter, the child began to sweat profusely. While clinging to the doctor’s arm, it began pointing frantically upward. Unable to stay in the air or make a complete trip back, the pilot was forced to land, which in turn caused the child specimen to collapse.
On the way to the hospital, the child’s birdlike features disappeared. Its hair turned brown and human ears grew onto the sides of its face. It even gained a discernible sex. One would have never mistaken it for anything other than a human child. The medical doctor would hear nothing of Dr. Branch’s discovery, and assumed that in his old age, he was simply rambling. The child was sent to an orphanage and adopted out to a new home.
Devastated, Dr. Branch returned to the island, but not to bring a child specimen back. He intended to stay and study the creatures where they lived. When he had traveled a good distance up the spiraling mountain, the children returned to greet him and went out of their way to make him comfortable.
Eventually, Dr. Branch invited several of his colleagues to the island to join him in his studies. Dr. Branch’s son, Allek, and daughter-in-law Trudy joined the team in an attempt to give the children a basic education. Trudy had already taught English to elementary students for several years, and Allek, a college calculus professor, joined her, hoping to teach the children basic math.
While on the island, Trudy became pregnant. The pregnancy was rough, and during the last few weeks, Dr. Branch informed his daughter-in-law that she would have to make the decision between her life or her unborn child. Trudy’s affection for children had defined her, and she knew in her heart her child’s future was more important than hers. During labor, Trudy Branch passed.
To the doctors’ astonishment, the infant resembled the children of the island. It had bright pink hair, black facial markings, and feathered ears. This was impossible, as all DNA results pointed to Allek, a human being.
The infant only lived two days, then stopped breathing. During the funeral on the mountain, all of the island’s hidden children came out to hang their heads in sadness at the departure of one of their own. Several of them held onto Allek and Dallas’s hands as they mourned. From then on, Allek swore to learn more about the island children and uncover the mystery of his child.
After the incident with the Branch child, much of the island became research laboratories. These laboratories were simply named Institution On The Hill, or IOTH. The island’s children were used in tests, which proved they could undergo much more physical stress than human beings, as long as they were at a select altitude. They did not bleed while on the mountain, nor did they seem to suffer any sort of physical pain. They could carry several thousands of pounds very easily, survive intense heat and cold, and could not contract any known human disease. They could not reproduce by any known means, however, so the researchers could not pinpoint their exact origin, therefor they were unable to explain the appearance of his child to Allek. When Dallas Branch’s team could no further justify by any scientific means the very existence of the species, the children thanked their doctors and were sent to an educational facility, headed by Dr. Liu Sing.
When the story of Trudy Branch’s baby was released to the public, pregnant couples paid thousands of dollars to simply give birth in one of the island’s facilities. The Branch and Sing families, both of which owned the IOTH business and the island, gladly accepted these offers, as to further fund their research in philosophic and religious fields on the species. Every woman who gave birth in an IOTH laboratory produced what the doctors dubbed an ‘angel child’. These children were given the title because they did not cry, always did as they were asked, and thus could do no wrong. The children could also not get sick, like the original inhabitants of the island, so they were very inexpensive to raise. Many of the children born in the laboratories lived, and grew to be approximately ten years old, at which point they ceased to physically age. The children born on the island learned English as they grew, and the natives learned alongside them how to speak it while in the educational facilities. When the angel children spoke, they never asked for the pleasures of mankind, but instead offered their services to be the pleasure of mankind.
Many families that gave birth on the island could not afford to remain there, since daily necessities were unavailable or heftily expensive. The price of fresh water was outrageous alone. When the couples left with their children to return to a cheaper and safer environment, their child would lose all its abilities, and grow human features and a very human attitude. This enraged the mothers of what once were angel children, and several lawsuits were sent out against IOTH. Dallas Branch was too smart, however, and beforehand had every mother sign a waiver stating they understood the loss they would suffer by removing their child from the high altitude, alongside other ethical reasons. Dr. Branch was rewarded all the money he lost paying for the original orphan test subject’s medical bills, which proved his theory on the altitude causing the children to devolve to be true.
Ultimately, a new form of human trafficking started on the island. After learning that the IOTH Laboratories had received millions of dollars, women from all over the world would get pregnant solely to sell their unborn children to the labs for enormous sums of money. IOTH accepted these children to an extent that they had to build several stories onto their buildings to house them all. Eventually, the incoming offers were stopped, and every human being who set foot on the island had to be legally sterilized as to stop the overpopulation of the island.
It is immediately after this that our story begins.
My mother sells her body. She works at a strip club two buildings down from our apartment. She doesn’t do it for fun, of course. She is getting very close to losing her immortality, so she has to make a lot of money to make sure she and I are set when the dreaded day comes. She was once an angel, but she was too curious, and though curiosity may kill her, I cannot blame her for seeking knowledge. I love my mother dearly.
My mother’s name is Trudy Branch. A human math teacher gave her that name, since she came into this world nameless. When she became an adult, she did a terrible thing and had to change her name. She’s known as Tox now, a name given to her because she fraternized too often with the mortal enemy of her kind. My father is of the species my mother fraternized with. His name is David. Where he comes from they don’t have last names. I don’t know anything more about my father; I have never met the man.
My name is Chauncey Chardonnay Branch. My mother’s stripper name is Chardonnay, and she decided it would be a wonderful middle name to give to her child. It could be much worse, I suppose. She could expose me, her biggest secret, to the public.
Like my mother, I will be born with no sex. My gender was assigned to me when my mother chose a name for me. I will be born a mortal, but I'll have a high immunity to most things that plague this planet, and an abnormally high tolerance to pain and weather. Unlike my mother, however, I will be born pure white, with cloven hooves, a sheep’s tail and ears, and rectangular pupils in my blue eyes. The same blue eyes as my mother had.
I will be born one of a kind. If there were any others like me, they were hunted down and destroyed to prevent rapture until the time is right, since things like me are evil and blasphemous in the eyes of angels and devils alike.
I will be born with my future mapped out, step-by-step, implanted in my brain-intelligence from God Above. All divine creatures of this rock fear my coming, yet don’t know the extent of my powers. Even my dear mother is unaware of what fantastic and terrifying things I could unleash on this poor planet. You might ask why I mentioned the rapture. This is because I will be bringing it.