The crowd shifted and ebbed and flowed and Lowman felt sick to his stomach. Grabbing his head he also steadied himself on a bulkhead nearby, letting his gun dangle by its strap. If he wasn’t careful, he would blow what little food he had inside him all over the fucking place.
Breathe in. Hold it. 4 seconds.
Breathe Out. Keep it out. 4 seconds. Focus.
SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!
The crowd chanted as it pushed forward, the poor folks in the front screamed as the electric wall crackled and bulged against their flesh. Kinsey was pissed.
“Get your shit together!” He hissed as he raised his weapon at the crowd. Lowman did the same. A loud whirr came from behind them, like a gigantic RC car.
“Hello. I am here to distribute the bio-suppressant.” The pleasant and bright voice chimed out of the gigantic box robot. Robert walked up to its side and pounded his fist on the opening mechanism.
“Thank you for your asssistance!” it chirped with glee. “Here are the syringes.” The crowd clamored forward again, the folks in the front were already pressed to death. The electricity singed their lips away, crackling at their teeth. Some were already showing skull. Robert was feeling good for a minute but the smell… He burped.
He couldn’t tell what was making him more sick, his hunger or the smell of burning flesh. Or the screams? The robot extended its tray out into the crowd, and Robert loaded the syringes onto the conveyor belt as it rolled into the crowd. Some got caught under it. People were rushing to inject themselves with the bio-suppressant. Once injected, they helped distribute. The roar of the crowd became a moan. Wailing and hushed breathing. Waiting and crying. Then murmuring.
“Is there no more?!” Someone shouted. “We are out?” cried another.
Robert and Kinsey both looked at each other as a red light flashed to the horrifying blue.
“Biogenic weapon signature detected.” the ships computer coolly chimed. “Please take proper precautions and – – — ——————”
A silence filled the air as a bright green light swept through the ship. Every deck was scanned from top to bottom then from port to starboard, the shields did not block anything. Roberts stomach churned and his throat burned with acid as the crowd screamed, children wailing shrill and panicked. One was staring with no expression, his mother smoking before him and writhing in pain.
His face bubbled and twisted, his eyes falling out and pooling into the puddle of flesh that used to be a little boy. The pile moved and twisted and the people around were rushing and scrambling to get away as a large fleshy proboscis shot out of the mush, grabbing a man by the leg.
Robert and Kinsey opened fire, drowning out the terror before them. Some folks were partially transforming, the larger people need large doses of the suppressant it seems. One woman was half melted and moaning as the child-blob finally was dispersed, chunks of fleshy matter scattered and smoking. No blood. All chunks.
What used to be the woman’s hand had twisted itself into a rudimentary mouth and was attacking her torso. She used her other arm to try and push it away as Kinsey walked up to her. The electric wall parted smoothly as he walked toward it, closing behind him and Robert as they moved into the cargo bay. Kinsey kicked her down and stood with one boot on her chest as he aimed his rifle and did a battlefield amputation on the affected limb.
Her eyes were wide with shock and the screams were honestly unheard at this point. The whole cargo bay was now flooded with soldiers now, amputating and finishing off halflings. Luckily there were no other full transformations.
“Robbie, get a look at this shit.” Robbie didn’t really want to see, but he felt himself moving there. He felt like he was floating now, empty almost.
Kinsey was crouching in the far corner of the cargo bay, behind some wooden boxes.
It was a horrible pile of fur and claws and eyes, pulsing. Purring.
“Looks like that shit blends cats too.”
Robert stared. He remembered the cat he used to have. A hand tapped his shoulder, and he turned to see the old man from before.
Shockingly white hair he had, was all Robert really noticed as he raised his gun at the man.
“Get the fuck back.”
“R.J. We meet again. How is your wife?” Robert stiffened up and pushed his gun into the man’s chest. The man stared into Robert’s eyes with a remarkable warmth despite their iciness.
“What are you talking about old man? How do you know my middle name? I don’t have a wife anymore.”
“Think of the fence. The house. The place that was filled with love and despite that you still lost hope. Do you remember yet?”
A klaxon fired off, lightning shooting through his arms. Robert pushed the old man down and he still did not break eye contact.
“Think about her R.J. she misses you. They are all looking for you right now and they can’t find you because you aren’t there anymore. You are nowhere right now.”
Please brace for impact.
The computer calmly chimed over the roar of the crowd again.
“We gotta get the fuck out of here Robbie!!” Kinsey grabbed his arm and started hustling him away, shooting a large man trying to wrestle his gun away from him. Kinsey was dragging Robert behind him, he was still staring at the old man he could swear he had known before. Before all of this?
Think of her
Robert wasn’t the best at reading lips and he didn’t have time to ask the man what he said. An alien Marauder slammed into their ship, tearing open the cargo bay. The room sounded like a giant vacuum cleaner for a few moments, then silent as everyone floated into space. A final cold embrace. Robert saw the old man floating, and read his lips again. He seemed calm and pristine despite the swirling hundreds of near-dead people fighting to breathe in an empty place.
“Think of her?” As he slipped away, he saw someone with long dark hair. A woman he had dreamed about?
He wanted to shout. He tried and heard nothing.