// angels, torture, graphic, medical trauma, death

In the beginning was the pain. In the beginning was the thrashing, the blood and flesh and whirring machinery, the tension, the straining against restraints, the screaming your throat raw as they jammed another needle into you. In the beginning there was darkness and there was light. In the beginning there was time, there was so, so much time. In the beginning that was all there was to the world, and to you. In the beginning was the pain, and then, you reached out and made it stop.

The transorbital singularity that defines your eternity instantly decompresses into a supernova blast of migraine light. Psychedelic rot sublimates off you in billowing fractals, a mouldering shockwave eating maggot infestation trails of collapsed superposition into your scalpel bright medical records life. Out of the fire and water and chaos and abuse, a world begins to condense around you.

Your skin is slick and wet, heat radiates off your body as the ringing in your ears resolves itself into the sounds of falling water and distant alarms. Breathe in. Feel the air in your lungs for the first time, taste the heady mix of ash, iron, and ozone. Feel the rain on your face. Breathe out, and open your eyes.

The womb from which you were born is partly organic and partly mechanical: a rudely impossible confabulated blossom of melted flesh and warped machinery, a divine mother, self-assembled using the scientists who were experimenting on you as raw materials. Her arms reach up and over you in a trio of fleshy loops that were probably humans in the recent past, and her body oozes out around and beneath you to coat the floor in a thick furry layer of tiny glowing mushroom caps.

A daytime storm thunders overhead through what used to be the ceiling, sending water pouring into the darkened ruins of your birth canal. Rain cooks and steams off your skin, the heat from your breath leaves a cloud of vapor in the chill morning air, it’s cold. You’re cold. That’s something new. Move your fingers for the first time and wipe off the sticky red ooze still clinging to every part of you. Stretch out your wings and shake out your feathers, still crumpled and new. Stand in the rain. Close your eyes and let yourself cry. It’s okay, the nightmare is over now.

The sky is bright, but little light manages to penetrate through the concrete and rebar fingers that had once been several additional floors of building above your head. Most of the light in the room, the light by which you can see the creeping fleshy rot that is your mother slowly digesting the remains of your old life’s prison, comes from the sunlight bright loop of divinity now whirling above your head. That means the experiment worked, they got what they wanted. They wanted to give birth to an angel so badly that they became your mother about it.

You sigh and shake the last bits of melted flesh out of your hair, it’s all so stupid. So much pain and death, was this really what they wanted? The first soldiers burst into the room and their bodies melt into flowering moss and glowing mushrooms before they can even aim, the entire squad is dead before you’re entirely sure what’s happened. Stupid.

Panicked gunfire erupts in the nearby corridor. Stupid stupid stupid. More soldiers die and your mother continues to slowly spread. They’ll kill her eventually, but her purpose is completed already, she already gave birth to you. This is the beginning of your life, the moment after the creation of the world. It’s time to fly.

Your song rises into the morning air and you rise with it, a vortex of droplets whirling out ahead of you into the clouds. The ground rolls away and your fingertips track eastward, toes pointed into the storm, the burning ruins of your gestation chamber sprawl outwards in a patchwork quilt above your head. The thunderheads blur past in grey mist, and then all at once, you break free into the sunlight, falling upwards into an endless blue sky.

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