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  • Justin Cancilliere

Sneak Peak into The Legendary Creature Project: The Wyrm

Since it's been a while since the release of the first edition of The Legendary Creature Project: The Gryphon, I thought I'd give everyone a taste of book two. I hope you all enjoy it.


The Legendary Creature Project: The Wyrm

Prologue

Dreams wafted into existence like slithering snakes weaving through the grass. Images of the gryphon, Achilles, which was Yorik’s first creation flew through his dreams like a slideshow. Yorik opened the cell door and saw the creature for the first time; next, they were sitting under the tree where Yorik gave the gryphon its name. Like an old VHS tape, it fast-forwarded to Achilles first flight, it’s wing span greater than the expanse of the heavens. Then like lightening he was at the place where it ended, where he watched as Achilles escaped, jumping into an airplane.

Yorik shot awake, beads of sweat running down his face. He looked around the room, and he was in his apartment, in bed. After a year, the events that led to him losing his first experiment was still plaguing him.

Yorik wiped his face, put on his spectacles, and looked at the clock. It was still early but he was ready to start his day. He showered, and then dressed in one of his more expensive suits. As he finished putting on his accessories, his phone rang.

“Yes?” Yorik answered.

“Sir, your limo is waiting.”

“I’ll be right down.”

CHAPTER 1

Yorik Hempshine reminisced on this bleak, dreary day as he rode through the bustling streets of Boston, in a black stretch limo. He pondered the recent loss of his beloved Achilles. What a fascinating creature he was and how great he could have been, had he not betrayed him. A tear rolled down Yorik's cheek.

The limo came to a rolling stop at the front of a looming skyscraper. The beautiful masonry was weathered by years of sea salt and North Atlantic winds. Yorik wiped the haze from his window, taking a moment to gaze at the stone tower. The architecture with its dusty, battered windows vanished into the thick clouds hovering in the ominous sky. The young driver opened the door and placed a hand under Yorik's arm, helping him out of the limo. Yorik moved slowly toward the entrance of the building, his mind racing with old memories. A large plaque imbedded in the masonry read: "Established 1975".


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May 5th, 1975.

Yorik sat in a dim, icy room with a single bulb attached to a wire hung overhead, creating an eerie halo of light around him. He could see the silhouette of three individuals standing just outside of the light's domain.

"Yorik Hempshine," a man's voice echoed from the inky blackness. "You are here because you have petitioned to be initiated into the Brotherhood of Eternal Light. Do you understand the burden you wish to endure as being one of our order?"

"I do," Yorik answered. "I am ready and willing to prove myself in the face of the Eternal Light."

"That you shall, Yorik. Strip your clothing," the booming voice commanded.

Yorik did as prompted. He was rather short and overweight, so the task was more difficult than one would believe. He dropped the last of his garments on the floor, and stood in the center of the light, as naked as the day he was born… and he felt free.

"Blindfold him!" the man commanded. Two of the shadowed figures moved toward him, the light distinguishing them as men. One placed the blindfold over Yorik's eyes, while the other tied his hands. Then they stood next to him, waiting. "You will be escorted to a place of infinite silence. Do not struggle or hesitate. If you do, we will take that as a sign that you do not wish to join, and you will never hear from us again," the man said. "I understand. I will not do either," Yorik responded. The two people escorted Yorik through a long hall, and as he moved steadily forward, he could hear the sound of electric powered devices humming. There must have been a couple dozen, and after several long moments, they stopped. Yorik reached out his hands, finding something cold and metallic, and then heard what sounded like a giant, steel door opening. They led him up some aluminum steps, and then lowered him into what felt like water. "What is this?" Yorik questioned. "We have placed you in a deprivation tank. Here, you will encounter the Eternal Light if you are worthy of joining our Brotherhood," the man answered. "Lie back in the water, and you will float. You must then relax and let your mind wander." The others removed his blindfold and bindings around his hands, and then immediately closed the lid of the tank. Yorik listened as the mysterious men left the room. Now alone, he laid back and floated. He was never good at meditating. He had tried several times in his teen years but could never achieve deep meditation, his analytical mind wouldn't allow for it. He floated for quite some time, with his eyes remaining closed. He was getting anxious, thinking that it wouldn't happen. Soon he no longer felt like he was in the tank but instead, in the emptied void of black space. To his astonishment, a giant sun blazed into existence in front of him, and he could only stare in awe at its magnificent glory. "Hello, young one," it said to him. "I am the Eternal Light. I have looked into your heart and found you worthy to receive my gift. Are you ready?" "I am," Yorik squeaked. With Yorik's answer, the bright ball of brilliant light moved toward Yorik, engulfing his body. He could feel abundant warmth all around him. It saturated the pores of his skin, and then went deeper until it felt as if it filled his entire body. Yorik couldn't speak, only revel in the splendor of this light. Soon it backed away and hovered in front of him once again. "What did you just do to me?" Yorik asked. "I have blessed you with my greatest gift, fledgling. You are now a part of this fellowship. Rejoice and bring this news to your brothers!" With that, the blazing light was gone, as if it had never appeared. Yorik floated in the tank for several minutes as tears rolled down his cheeks. He had never felt something so powerful in his life, and he waited for his excitement to subside before calling out to his new brethren. "Brothers, the Eternal Light has spoken to me!" he announced. The lid opened. Yorik once again heard the man's voice that was cloaked in darkness. "What did he look like?" the man questioned, still concealing himself in the shadows. "His visage was that of a large, fiery sun with a proceeding warmth of which I've never felt before," Yorik replied. The man walked into the light. He stood six feet tall, had slicked blond hair, and pale blue eyes. His features made him appear as if he was chiseled out of stone, and his skin was as white as marble. He wore a black suit with a bright yellow shirt and black tie. "My name is Michael Arch. It is my privilege to welcome you to our order, Brother. "Come with me." Michael snapped his fingers. The men with him brought a black robe with a yellow celestial sun emblazoned on the front of it to Yorik. Yorik climbed out of the tank and slipped the mantle on. The silk felt soft against his waterlogged skin. "There you are, my short, portly friend. I hope that makes you feel more at ease," Michael said. Yorik nodded his head, and Michael motioned for him to follow. They walked down a very long hallway, which was lined with oak walls. It emptied into a large common room with a fireplace. In front of the fireplace sat two leather chairs along with a coffee table between them. "Please, Yorik, have a seat," Michael said. "I know that you probably have a hundred questions. Let me summarize the most common ones, and we shall go from there. How does that sound?" "That would be delightful," Yorik responded as he took a seat in the chair. It had to be the most comfortable chair he had ever sat in. Michael walked to a wet bar on the other side of the room, and grabbed two glasses and poured each of them two fingers of Scotch. He came back to sit opposite Yorik and handed him the drink. "Cheers!" Michael exclaimed, and then drank his entire glass. "The first question I've been asked here is about our plaque out front. It says that the building was established in 1975, which isn't entirely true. The building itself was erected in the mid-1800s, and the company was established in '75. However, the Brotherhood of the Eternal Light is older than either. As far as we can tell, it goes back to Ancient Egypt, and the ranks of the original order only began with a handful of men. But eventually, almost every recorded pharaoh joined, and today, we are in the thousands. True that it may not seem like much; however, we are very picky." "I'm so honored to be among the ranks now," Yorik responded. "I've waited several years for a response to my inquiry. Why accept it now?" "Quite honestly, my friend, your work into genetics has piqued our interest for some time. This work has so many applications that we wish to use it to our advantage," Michael said.


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Present-day

Yorik got into the elevator and pressed the button for sub-floor B-Twelve. On the ride down, Yorik's mind started to wander, and he remembered the failure with his original creation, Achilles the gryphon. He had let his emotions get in the way of his work, and with his next experiment, he would not get attached. It made things too complicated.

Reaching his floor, the doors opened, and he exited. He stepped into a vast laboratory that was furnished with stainless steel tables lined with beakers and microscopes. White walls and fluorescent light made the room appear brighter than it really was. Within the room were several scientists hard at work, performing tests, and various experiments. Yorik turned and walked to his office, removed his suit jacket, and hung it on a wall hook. Hanging next to it was his lab coat, which he removed and placed around him before walking back into the lab.

"How goes the testing?" Yorik asked a young male lab tech.

"Everything is ready, sir," the tech responded.

"Excellent!" Yorik exclaimed. He picked up a beaker with a cloudy liquid in it, and he stared intently for a few moments.


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June 13th, 2015.

Yorik stared closely at a beaker filled with a cloudy liquid, and after a few moments, the liquid cleared and Yorik, satisfied with the result, put the beaker on the table. Michael walked in behind him.

"What's the verdict?!" Michael asked.

Yorik jumped. "Michael, you startled me," Yorik answered.

"I apologize, my friend," Michael responded. "The board of the High Chosen, as well as I, would like to know how your research is progressing. Have you found a way to blend the DNA's?"

Yorik looked at the beaker once more, and the fluid inside was still clear. "By the looks of it, I have. The binding agent is holding, so I feel that I can bind any two DNA's, whether it be two humans or two animals," Yorik retorted.

"What about animal to human?"

"I can do that too," Yorik answered. "I can now bring my dream to fruition. Do I still have the backing of the Brotherhood?"

"So long as you can pull this off, yes, you do," Michael said. "Now get to work on bringing legendary creatures to modern-day."

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Present-day

Yorik entered a room where a man was strapped to a gurney. He looked at the man for a moment with regret on his face. The man was none other than Dr. Steven Gerome. Yorik had him transported to Boston to become his newly prized achievement. He snapped a vial of smelling salts under Steven's nose, and Steven sprung to consciousness.

"What?! Where am I?!" Steven exclaimed.

"Ah. Steven, no need to yell. You are in Boston, my friend. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in this predicament because I was optimistic about our work together. But you sullied that for both of us by helping Hilary," Yorik said.

"Yorik, please, I didn't know what she was up to," Steven replied.

"Whether you wittingly did it or not, your actions allowed her to steal my beloved Achilles away from me," Yorik said. "However, Steven, it is now time to get back to my work."

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