The origin of Apeshift




Two years ago, a small group of scientists were hard at work on an ambitious project, a project with the potential to change the world. They believed that with a few surgical modifications, the human brain could be capable of things never before thought possible. If their procedure were successful, people would be able to perceive the world with an intellect far beyond what we now call genius. Freed from prejudice and bursting with new ideas, the world would surely become an enlightened utopia.

Unfortunately, these weren’t very good scientists.

Even calling them scientists was a bit of a stretch, but that’s what they had printed on their business cards. Night after night they toiled in their laboratory (garage), worked with dangerous chemicals (beer), and had spirited debates on scientific theory (belching contests). Despite these professional efforts, they were missing a very important thing: a test subject. They felt it was unfair that they kept getting turned down, just because they didn’t have a lot of the fancy things that other scientists did, like high-tech tools, clean lab coats, or diplomas. What they did have was determination, and a lot of beer.

After a particularly difficult day of rejections, they hatched a beer-assisted plan. If they couldn’t find a human brain to work on, there was a place where they could get the next best thing. It was time to take a little trip to the zoo. To the ScienceMobile! (Geo Metro)

The smell of the monkey house was music to their noses. Surely they could find a worthy brain to carve up here. Using a carefully thought-out selection process entitled “Which of these will put up the least fight when we try to shove it into this sack,” they left the zoo 15 minutes later with a rather disgruntled Mr. Monkeyshines. They triumphantly hopped in their car and sped off, mission accomplished. Mr. Monkeyshines, a young chimpanzee that had lived his whole life at the zoo, peeked out of the air hole that the scientists had generously given him, oblivious to his fate. All he knew was that his new sack habitat smelled worse than his old home. Tired of struggling, he was soon lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the ScienceMobile and the drunken laughter of his abductors.

Morning came and sunlight glinted off the beer cans strewn across the floor. Mr. Monkeyshines rubbed his eyes in a daze and looked around, his head pounding and his ears buzzing.

“Odd,” he thought. “I don’t usually drink that much beer.” He paused.

“Wait a minute! I’m an ape, I don’t usually drink beer at all.” He held his head and squinted again at the beer cans.

“Wait a minute! I’m an ape, I don’t usually even know what beer is.” Now Mr. Monkeyshines was at a loss.

“Wait a minute! I’m an ape, I don’t usually have internal monologues like this.” Clearly, something was wrong.

After a closer inspection of his surroundings, Mr. Monkeyshines was able to piece together the events of the night before. The soiled sack, the bucket of blood, the passed-out scientists, the beer cans, the mysterious stitches on his head, the unexplained intellect, the plastic flamingo – it all made sense. He was a victim of bad science.

“That’s not all,” he said, “I bet I can talk too.” He was right. “But that doesn’t explain all the other voices.”

Since he had woken up, he had heard them, a faint buzzing of voices that he could hear if he concentrated. He looked around. All was silent, except for a television in the corner, quietly broadcasting the morning news. Where were these other voices coming from? Were they in his head? Suddenly, one of the voices got much louder.

“Hey! He’s loose! Wake up!” One of the scientists shouted, stumbling to his feet. “Don’t let him get away!”

Fear gripped Mr. Monkeyshines as the drunken scientist lunged toward him. Thoughts rushed at the small chimp that didn’t belong to him.

“I can’t let him get away. We’ve got to get that brain back if it worked!”

“NO!” Mr. Monkeyshines forcefully pushed these thoughts from his head. Suddenly, the man flew backwards and slammed into the rear wall of the garage. He slumped to the floor with a groan. The other scientists, who had begun to wake up amidst the noise, watched this with their mouths agape. Mr. Monkeyshines began to back away. He could feel their thoughts entering his mind.

“What’s going on?”

“What happened? We need to grab that monkey!”

“Ugghhh. How much beer did I drink last night?”

“GO BACK TO SLEEP!” Mr. Monkeyshines flooded his mind with that one powerful thought. “SLEEP!”

One by one, the scientists dropped down to the ground, drooling peacefully. Mr. Monkeyshines wasn’t sure what was going on, but he did know it was time for him to get out while he still could. He turned and started to leave the dirty garage, but then stopped in his tracks. Where could he go? Back to his old life at the zoo, like nothing had happened? He had hated it all then, the cramped cages, the grumpy zookeepers, the stupid name they had given him, and that was when he was just an ordinary chimp.

The panic that he had felt just moments before left him as a sense of futility set in. What could he do? Reveal himself and risk having his brain forcibly taken from his skull, or pretend to be normal and live a miserable life?

Some loud gunfire interrupted his thoughts, and he realized that it was coming from the TV. As the scientists all lay unconscious, Mr. Monkeyshines became mesmerized by the news broadcast. He watched footage from Paragon City, superheroes battling Rikti. Men and women of all shapes and sizes, some more unusual than a talking ape, were risking their lives and being praised for their heroism. He knew then where he had to go, the one place where he could belong.

He grabbed the only clothes that he saw that didn’t smell like beer, a suit and hat hanging in the corner. It wasn’t much of a disguise, but it would be enough to get him to Paragon City. It was time to say goodbye to a simple chimp named Mr. Monkeyshines, and hello to a new superhero – Apeshift.




Here's to you, Mr. Monkeyshines! The heroes of the past ignored you, but your memory lives on!