Part 8: Jacks K. Ellington / Baron Sam Edi

Jacks K. Ellington / Baron Sam Edi 

Tortured spirit born of humanity’s darkest days

First Contact: 28 October, 2021

Before the fall of Earth, Jacks K. Ellington was renowned the world over by farmers as someone who could consistently grow the most magnificent squash in the bayou of Louisiana. Beyond that, he was also a Nobel Prize candidate for his research into neurology. Jacks took tremendous pride in his hobby craft. Through his skills, Jacks was endearingly dubbed “The Pumpkin King.” 

During the early days combatting the Spectral Fog, Jacks would provide squash and other crops to survivors of the fog. To meet the needs of the survivors, he found himself quickly expanding the breadth of his crops. He grew a wide array of fruits and vegetables, and kept livestock to meet dietary needs of humans. He even kept a large crop of carrots for bunnies and created pens for worms to feed the carnivorous chicks. 

Most of the bunnies and chicks evacuated Earth to escape the fog as hope of containment was lost. All that remained were those that missed the rush of leaving ships, and those brave and courageous enough to stay behind to help clean this mess made by their invasion. And Jacks did everything he could to help those around him. 

While assisting survivors of spectral attacks, Jacks also used his knowledge of neurology and electromagnetism to assist the chicks and bunnies to invent the sensor suits and lead-lined magnetized steel chambers known as fog farmers that would be used by spectral ops. Despite the vast advances made by the other races, Jacks learned quickly and was a highly valued member of the science team when they finally finished the fog farmers. He was highly respected for his high regard for all life. 

Although there were only two survivors of the first operation into the spectral fog, the information they gathered allowed Jacks and the rest of the science team to improve the sensor suits and fog farmers for future operations. After a few months, with the formation of Spectral Ops, the science team introduced the improved equipment. The suits were designed to give off electromagnetic signatures to match the fog. The first operation of spectral ops went off without a hitch. Not a single individual was lost and they gathered much larger samples with the improved fog farmers. 

In time the survivors were able to find a way to effectively contain and repel the fog. With that knowledge sanctuaries for survivors were built. But not all survivors could make it into these sanctuaries. With the chaos wrought by the spectral fog, it was logistically impossible to get everyone to safety. Those that were left behind grew to resent the bastions. While they hid behind electromagnetic beacons they were forced to run and hide from the fog day in and day out. 

Jacks was able to find refuge in a sanctuary in the bayou of Louisiana. In it he maintained a farm to help feed the others and continued his research trying to learn how to better understand the fog. He dreamed of being able to communicate with it peacefully, and even of finding some way to reincorporate the specters into physical bodies. He also strongly advocated for allowing any survivors outside of the sanctuary into the perimeter. 

After a few years, the sanctuary leaders grew more and more wary and paranoid concerning the outsiders. At the same time the outside survivors grew in numbers as they learned to predict the movements and presence of the spectral fog. 

Avoiding the fog meant staying constantly on the move. Maintaining a nomadic lifestyle became increasingly difficult as their numbers grew and those who could not keep up were frequently left behind. One group of outsiders in the bayou of Louisiana grew especially discontent. Survival was becoming more and more difficult. Eventually, they were fed up begging. It was at this time that Samantha Edi took control of that nomadic tribe. 

Samantha Edi, who goes by Sam, declared herself a baron of the land. She commanded a certain terrifying charisma. Before the fog she was an avid consumer of apocalyptic films and books. A not so small part of her saw this as an opportunity to make her fantasies. As the new leader of the tribe she decided that if the sanctuary would not allow her people in, she would seize control of the sanctuary. 

With each passing day planning the attack, Baron Sam Edi became more rapt in her own power. As she got more bold, she started to embody . She started to dress up in a tuxedo with long coattails and wore a tophat. Then she shaved her head and painted her face in the pattern of a skull. 

When the day came, Baron Sam Edi and the outsiders stormed the Louisiana sanctuary. It took those in the sanctuary completely by surprise, allowing Sam Edi to take control with minimal loss of life, much to her disappointment. She was hoping for a harder fought battle against those that denied her people sanctuary for so long. 

Now that she controlled the sanctuary the Baron triumphantly paraded through it and met with those that caught her attention. She met Jacks first to discuss food rationing, but grew even more intrigued by his research. The more she learned of his research to understand the fog, the more she saw the opportunity to control the fog. 

However, Jacks’ research was at a standstill. Even small samples of fog contained conflicting patterns of several different beings. His team could tell that the electric patterns within the fog matched those of brainwave patterns, but could not tell from whom. It was like trying to communicate with a packed cafeteria filled with angry, anguished, and starving individuals all talking at once. They needed to find a way to control their sample size. 

That knowledge in hand, Baron Sam Edi ordered the scientists to the lab. She also detained one of the former leaders of the sanctuary, one she found to be especially disdainful and threw him into one of the empty large chambers used to contain fog samples. She then took an old beat blaster and shot the former leader. As he exploded into a red mist she sealed the chamber. She let the scientists know that they should now have a controlled sample for study. 

Jacks was utterly appalled by this action, but it also provided an undeniable opportunity to continue his research. He also knew that the best chance to save the victim was to advance his research. He also dreaded the future. He knew that things were going to get a lot worse before they got any better. 

Jacks now had to balance his work between communication, control, and reincorporation. He theorized that the Baron would not agree with reincorporation since that would diminish her potential power, so he continued down that avenue in secret. 

It took a few days for the specter of the former leader to manifest. Once it did, the developments took off. With a known sample size, and a familiar human one at that, Jacks was easily able to discern familiar patterns. He quickly confirmed prior suspicions. The spectral fog did, in a way, contain the souls of countless intelligent beings bound together. Those souls were also overwhelmed with pain and hunger that left them in a constant state of fear and anger. That likely caused the fog to lash out in deadly ways. 

Control also came fairly easily with the single specter. They used electric rods to manipulate the electric patterns in the specter of a single human in order to manipulate it into a more docile, less angry state. Control also made advancements in communication easier. Obviously, without ears, the specters did not respond to verbal commands, but by creating an electrostatic mist they were able to get the specter to respond. And by manipulating it into a more docile state, they were able to get less violent reactions. With a small team of trusted scientists consisting of bunnies and chicks, Jacks secretly started creating artificial clones of the various beings in preparation for reincorporation. The human clones would essentially be empty shells, so he just needed to find a way to get the specter to take possession of the body. 

But now that Jacks and his team made this progress, the dreaded next step came. Baron Sam Edi ordered more individuals into the chambers and had them shot with unmodified beat blasters. As much as Jacks hated this, he also accepted this could be the only way to increase the sample size in a controlled fashion. And with that they could better develop ways to separate distinct brain patterns in the fog. Such a step would be necessary if he hoped to reincorporate everyone and bring an end to the nightmare. 

Sure enough, with a larger controlled collection of spectral fog Jacks and the other scientists were eventually able to find a way to separate the specters into individual brain patterns, and even able to apply their findings to a fog sample collected outside the sanctuary by spectral ops. 

Baron Sam Edi knew this was everything she needed to effectively control and break apart the fog. With this knowledge she could weaponize the fog in defense of her sanctuary and conquest of others. The only thing she would ever need to do is create an opening; a simple task when combining corporeal and non-corporeal forces. 

Jacks, on the other hand, knew this and the clones were just what he needed to reincorporate the specters into corporeal forms. Creating clones was a resource intensive process, but with the help of high-tech space-faring civilizations of the bunnies and chicks he knew there would be a way. He just needed some way to contact him. This he was confident he could do with the help of other chicks and bunnies that remained or were stranded on Earth. 

Shortly after Jacks learned how to separate and weaponize the fog, Baron Sam Edi caught on to his secret research. She feared that Jacks could be successful, which would imperil her own position. She furiously confronted Jacks in his clone lab, a beat blaster in hand. During the heated exchange Baron Sam Edi raised the blaster and Jacks lunged at her in his own defense. He successfully disarmed the Baron and turned the beat blaster on her. In an act of terrified self-preservation he shot Baron Sam Edi. At the same time one of the Baron’s guards shot a beat blaster at Jacks. While the room filled with a red mist of the former bodies of Jacks K Ellington and Baron Sam Edi everyone in the room ran away and sealed the door behind them. They immediately contacted spectral ops who placed electromagnetic beacons to contain what would eventually turn into specters. 

In the next few days Jacks and the Baron encountered a literal out-of-body experience. They could feel as they swirled around in near masslessness. They began to sense their surroundings in electrical impulses. At the same time they felt this unending excruciating pain as if they could feel their bodies as an exploded mist. They also had an overwhelming hunger. All these feelings blended together to give them an unstoppable urge to lash out at any intelligent corporeal body. But Jacks, somewhere in his mind knew that the cloned husks had the potential for possession. Baron Sam Edi at this time only felt her hatred towards Jacks and wanted nothing but to stop him from taking possession. The Baron lashed out at the spectral form of Jacks and they began to blend together. 

As they blended together their thoughts became shared and one. Their thoughts were nearly indistinguishable from one another. This only exacerbated their anguish and rage. At this time the collective thoughts of Jacks and the Baron turned to a form of hatred, ambition, intellect, and compassion. They also understood the need to find the cloned husk. Together they found and took possession of the body. Once the possession was complete the specters found themselves “locked-in” to the body. They could not simply will themselves to leave that body. From that day on Jacks K Ellington and Baron Sam Edi effectively became a new entity in a new body. This new human knew there was some way to fix their mental state and separate the minds of the two that became one, but self hatred prevented them doing so and dashed any hope that spectral fog would be cured anytime soon.