Continuing our flashback from last time, Duty Before Glory‘s search for DROP 47 continues. In this chapter, the nature of the Pax Archive is shown: the last two months of the world of Gemini Pax and the deaths of all twenty million inhabitants are chronicled.
Below is a snippet from the chapter, an excerpt from the fall of the town of Carryon, but for the full story of All the little lost boys and girls, check out the links here. Hope you enjoy!
“Behind you!” a woman screamed. “There’s one behind you!”
The police officer spun. Something that had once been a man lurched towards O’Shea with its arms outstretched as if to embrace him. Its fingers were fused into fleshy, crushing claws, knuckle bones mutated into sharp points that lined the inside of each hand. Its lower jaws had split apart, and ragged bits of meat hung from its jagged teeth. Miguel fired, emptying the clip into the creature. It staggered, shuddered and danced as the bullets slammed into its flesh, though more of them whined off into the burning night than struck it. Enough did, enough that a human, even one on powerful drugs and adrenal boosters, should have been stopped in their tracks.
The creature fell to one knee, its breathing stuttering and hesitant and its malformed flesh bulged and writhed under its skin. Thin, oily tendrils, the fattest no thicker than a child’s fingers, emerged from the holes in its torso and limbs like licking tongues and the wounds started to close. The police officer hurriedly slapped another clip into his rifle as one of the nearby civilians shouted. “It’s getting back up, it’s getting back up!”
O’Shea was no marksman. The next shot went wide, but the second drilled the grotesque in its right temple and it collapsed to the pavement, limbs twitching spasmodically. “Keep going!” Miguel shouted to his companions as he backed away. “Don’t stop, keep going!”
“That doesn’t stop them,” one of the other survivors, a woman in a stained florist’s apron, whimpered. “It doesn’t stop them.”
“What do you mean? I put a bullet in its head,” O’Shea told her. “It’s dead.” Then, looking back to the corpse. “It has to be dead.”
The creature wasn’t. It rolled onto its side, the hole in its skull closing as bone regrew and brain tissues regenerated with a speed that humankind had never before encountered. Whatever damage it had suffered had only briefly slowed it. Mismatched, discoloured eyes stared back at its prey, utterly devoid of even a scrap of humanity. Whatever this thing was, there was no trace of the man it had been before this infestation. It growled, wordless and awful as it pulled itself to its feet.