I looked in the mirror and saw my reflection. To my utter bewilderment, I still looked like myself. The same mop of brown hair, the same skinny body, the same crooked teeth. Nothing looked different.
But I felt different. I have felt something, something with pinchers and claws and teeth, something swift and silent crawl into my bed and attach itself to me. I screamed my bloody head off, but no sound came out. My mouth did not work, my body did not work. It was like it could control my entire nervous system. And then, after what felt like an eternity, it was gone.
And I felt different. The shallow breaths of an asthmatic were gone, replaced by regular breathing. The nearsightness, too, replaced by clear 20/20 vision. It was like being bitten by a radioactive spider.
So there I was, looking in the mirror, feeling better than I ever had before.
And then I heard it. A whirring in my head.
ESTABLISHING CONTACT. ACTIVATING PROGRAM 'TOWERBORN A0009.'
"What's happening?" I tried to say, but no sound came out.
I tried to move but my limbs were stiff as boards.
ACTIVATING UPGRADES 0001 THROUGH 9999.
Pain ran through my body, so much pain, and yet I couldn't scream. I could feel things inside me, tearing my insides up, replacing everything with itself. And yet...and yet it left some things alone. It reinforced my bone, but didn't replace them. It needed parts of me. By itself, it was just a machine.
With me, it was Towerborn.
ACTIVATING LINK WITH TOWER.
And then I could move again. I clutched my fists and blinked my eyes and
And then I couldn't do anything. My body was moving of its own free will.
I couldn't think. I couldn't remember. I could barely recall my own name.
And so I stopped resisting. I let my mind go and my body continued moving, continued walking, until it opened a door into that awful place and went through. And I knew. I knew what the Tower was.
And then my mind shattered.
TOWERBORN PROGRAM UPLOAD COMPLETE.