The sleepy town of Hollyville, Alabama finds that strange things are happening to some of its people. It’s one man’s job to find out, but is he prepared for the mystery, suspense, and life-altering changes to come? Are you?
“I filled out the papers on Tuesday, he should be in Hollyville today,” said Jerry Williams, Sam’s superintendent back in Montgomery. “For the life of me I hope this plan of yours works. Otherwise you’ll make a laughingstock of us both. I’m still sitting on your report until you get more evidence.”
“I’ve got plenty of evidence,” Sam said in exasperation. “I took everyone’s statement about what happened on the Cole farm. There were three eyewitnesses, two of them law enforcement, including myself, who saw whatever that creature was grow and tear down the shack. I’ve also found 12 other people who will confirm they’ve seen similar creatures in and around the woods. There’s also the cast I took of the footprints. What more do you need to send backup?”
“Look, you know I think you’re the best man for this sort of job and I definitely think you’ve got enough together that I’m convinced there’s something strange going on down there,” Superintendent Williams replied. “But farmers turning into monsters… that’s the sort of thing that could get us both tossed out of the SBI if it turns out this is some kind of a hoax.”
“I’m not saying what we saw was Tom Cole,” said Sam. “He was too muddy to visually ID. I only have a farm hand’s word that those grunts and snarls sounded like him. But whatever it was DID grow into a monster. It wasn’t a trick of the lights. You know I’m not a crackpot.”
“That’s why I’m sending you the animal guy but you’ve got to give me more. A picture… or something… before I can give you any more resources. And can you do it quick? I’ve had five people ask me what you’ve been doing down there for the past three weeks and I’m running out of things to say!”
“Look, I’ll get you something soon.” Sam said. “These… things… are hanging around the Sheriff’s department lately.”
“You’ve seen them?”
“No, but I’ve seen signs that they were here,” said Sam. “There are more footprints and I’ve seen a bunch of broken branches on the property. That’s where I am now. The past few nights they tell me the dogs wouldn’t stop barking. When they show up again tonight, I’ll be ready for them. I’ll call you in the morning with something new,” he finished, hanging up the phone.
He sat at the desk in the guest office provided for him and thought for a minute. He’d been busy for the past two weeks rounding up every shred of evidence he could and interviewing anyone who had seen any sign of these creatures. He had the sightings plotted out on the map. They tended to concentrate around certain areas at certain times.
They had been seen in the woods around the high school before that kid on the football team and his coach had disappeared. Then there were several sightings on the highway near Tom Cole’s farm before he disappeared. And if he wasn’t mistaken Tom had run into one before he changed. He’d looked over Tom’s truck and had several problems with his story that he’d run into a tree. First of all, the grill appeared to be ripped off the front, not smashed in from an impact and the driver side door looked like it was forced open.
He also couldn’t find a spot where Tom would have skidded off the road or any sign of a tree with damage from a truck. “No… you met one of our friends all right… but was it you who drove back…”
Suddenly the door opened. “Sir, the Sheriff wants to see you.”
He was surprised to see a boy, couldn’t have been older than 16. He looked like he could be in movies. “What’s your name?” Sam asked.
“Adam sir,” he replied shyly.
“The Adam from the Cole farm?” This had to be him. Everyone had described him as handsome and that was the first thing that jumped into your mind when you looked at him.
“I mean, they hired me for a about six months until…” Adam stammered.
“I’ve been wanting to talk to you about the morning of Tom’s… disappearance,” Sam said, careful not to divulge too much. “But what are you doing here?”
“‘Cause I hired him. Why do you think he’s here?” the Sheriff walked in. Sheriff Thomas Lydell was a broad-shouldered man with a rather substantial gut. “Go on back to the files now,” he said patting the boy on the shoulder.
“I thought I said I wanted to talk to him and you said he wasn’t available!” Sam said.
“Well, ain’t available to you. The boy’s had a hard enough life without you prying into it.”
“He’s a potential witness to what happened to the farmer!” Sam shouted.
“He gave a statement to us, he didn’t see anything. End of story,” said the Sheriff. “Now, I wanted to see you because I don’t have anybody to spare tonight to just hang around here and wait for Big Foot to show up.”
“We talked about this in advance!” Sam said turning red.
“Well, I changed my mind,” the Sheriff said. “I’m gonna send the two deputies I was gonna stick here to patrol Route 24 for drunks. I’m gettin’ sick of all this nonsense. You’re scaring everybody in this county for no good reason.”
“Do you not care that these creatures are going to be lurking outside of these very walls after dark?” Sam asked.
“They ain’t no creatures! I don’t know what you saw but all these stories you’ve gotten people to spill out are just a bunch of hogwash,” Sheriff Lydell laughed. “Why, I remember a few years back half the county was convinced there was a witch living out in the swamp. We got 13 calls over that nonsense!”
“We’re not talking about fairy tales, Sheriff,” Sam replied hotly. “These creatures have gathered at least twice before and both times people went missing.”
“Good! Hopefully next time it’s you!” the sheriff shouted as he thundered out of the room.
It was 11:15 p.m. Sam was sitting in his car across the street from the sheriff’s department. Dike Bailey was sitting in a patrol car 100 feet away. He was defying direct orders to stake out the station with Sam but he knew what he had seen on the farm wasn’t a hallucination. The two of them had left the station around five and returned at 9 after the sun had set. They were far enough away that no one would see them watching the place.
The surrounding woods were so quiet you could hear yourself breathe. Everything was so dark they could barely make out the outline of the building but they didn’t dare to shine a light. Dike was sipping on a cup of coffee when he jumped two feet to see Sam suddenly standing by his window. “You’re gonna give me a heart attack!”
“I thought I saw somebody moving over there,” Sam said. “Is anybody left at the station?”
“Sheriff packed up and left when we did,” Dike said. “Everyone else is either home or out on patrol.”
“I know there’s someone moving around over there.” Sam repeated.
“I guess we better go check it out, but I don’t mind tellin’ you the thought of bumping around in the dark with those… those things wandering about don’t make me happy.”
“I saw a shadow pass in front of a window,” Sam said. “I don’t think it’s one of them. Grab a flashlight but don’t turn it on until I say so.” The two of them crept as quietly as they could across the road and into the station yard. Sam made his way toward where the shadows had been heading as best as he could figure.
They walked a little further, they could hear movement now. Then slowly they began to make out some movement up ahead. Suddenly, someone ran past them in the dark. Sam’s flashlight clicked on and Dike’s was soon to follow. “What’s that?” But whoever it was, they were quick and there was no sign of them. Their beams began to search in all directions.
Up ahead, in the direction the mystery man had been running from, there appeared to be a large mass of movement and when they shined their lights directly on it they realized it was two enormous behemoths standing over something. Their massive arms were toying with something on the ground. They turned and stared back at the light with their glowing eyes and started moving in their direction. Without warning Dike whipped out his pistol and opened fire.
“No, Dike!” Sam shouted, but it was too late. There was a deep wailing sound and the two creatures took off. Sam had pulled out a funny looking gun in the dark and took aim but the creatures were gone before he could fire.
“They were comin’ at us!” Dike shouted.
“I needed to drop one of them for evidence.” Sam groaned in frustration. Then he noticed something on the ground beneath where the creatures had stooped. They walked over to the spot and gasped. There was the sheriff’s naked body.
It was nearly one o’clock at night before Lydell woke up and found himself locked in one of the station’s three jail cells. “What the hell?” he said to himself.
“Evening Sheriff!” Sam said, walking over to the bars. “Nice to see you awake. You’ll find your clothes neatly folded in the corner in there.”
“Sam Spencer, you betta’ let me outta’ this cage or I’ll…”
“I don’t think so, Sheriff,” Sam said. “You’ve been in contact with those creatures. I wouldn’t be sure what I was letting out. But if you’d like to regain some of your dignity you can start by putting your pants on.” He was a little shocked to see the sheriff was in much better shape than he remembered. He also tried to ignore his dangling endowment. But the man made no movement toward his clothes.
“You’ve got no right to keep me in here!” the sheriff bellowed.
“I’ve got plenty of cause,” Sam said with a smirk. “Besides reasons I just described, you were out here naked on county property with another individual. I think I can hold you for at least one night on that.”
“It was those things, they tore the clothes off me!” the sheriff shouted.
“They did a pretty neat job of it then. We found your uniform neatly draped over a holly branch, right next to someone else’s clothes. Another man I believe unless you’re into the butch type of broad. No sign of a struggle.” Sam paused. “No sir, I’d say you were out there willingly. No wonder you didn’t want us to stake out the station tonight. Now why don’t you put your pants on and we can talk.”
The sheriff made no movement towards his clothes. He just grabbed at the bars. His cock was poking through. “You’re gonna regret this!”
“Now Thomas Lydell… I should think a man of your profession would know better than to make threats in a situation like this.” Sam said. “Pretty sure the law is on my side. Now are you gonna tell me what you were doing out there or change your address to the county jail?”
“I ain’t talking about the law…” The sheriff started to smile. His veins began to bulge. “Some of us out here are gettin’ tired of folks like you pokin’ into our business. We ain’t had a way to stop you, until now.”
Sam noticed that as the sheriff talked his muscles seemed to bulge and what was left of his gut was receding into his abdomen. Sam’s eyes grew wide, suddenly realizing what was happening. “You met those things on purpose?”
“You city detectives think you’re sooo clever…” The last traces of flabby skin vanished around the sheriff’s toned physique. His pecs bounced and started to inflate, pushing his nipples down. “You ain’t… got… a clue!” he said, struggling to talk and stand as his entire body entered into a state of flux. His ripped thighs were swelling so much that the gap between his legs disappeared. “I beat ya to it…”
“How did they do this to you? How does the corruption spread?” Sam demanded.
The sheriff laughed. “Corruption! Ha! This is… the future!” His traps were engulfing his neck as he grew taller. His cock was dangling between his knees. His balls were swelling up beyond the size of his ever-growing fists. His pecs were so swollen than he couldn’t see beneath them. He was passing 7 feet and 400 pounds of raw muscle. He grabbed the bars and began to bend them.
Sam pulled out a gun—not his regular gun but the strange pistol he had pulled out earlier. “Hahaha boy… you think that’s gonna stop me!” The sheriff’s voice was deepening. “These muscles fix any damage you do! Bullets are nothing to us!” He started to growl as he grabbed his cock. “I’m gonna…” His voice trailed off into grunts and snarls. His balls had grown to the size of melons. His body was making sounds from the strain of his growth.
Sam fired. A dart shot out of his gun and stuck into the sheriff’s ballooning left deltoid. But the only response was more growls and noises. He reached 8 feet tall and began to bang on the bars causing the entire room to shudder. Sam reloaded the gun and fired a second shot into his right pec. The sheriff roared and banged on the metal again like a battering ram causing it to bend and crack. His biceps were as big around as a tree trunk. In a few seconds he would be out. Sam reloaded the pistol and took aim again but suddenly the captive behemoth slowed down and started to wobble and make dumb noises that sounded like confusion.
“Whatever clever plan was in that twisted head of yours…” Sam muttered, without lowering his gun, “Seems like that’s all gone now.” He watched the sheriff try to raise his arm for another blow but he threw himself off balance and collapsed on the floor asleep. His body continued to swell even with him unconscious.
“Holy shit…” Dike said, stepping out of the shadows. “How’d you think to use elephant tranquilizers?”
“I hope you got all of that on film or I’ll shoot one into you,” Sam said.
“Yeah, it’s all recorded. I can’t believe it…”
“I figured bullets weren’t much use against them,” Sam said. “I know I fired five rounds into that brute at the farm, not counting what you shot. When I searched everywhere for a body and barely found any blood I realized we needed something new. Bullets seem to hurt, but only like a wasp sting to you and me. Guess we know why now.”
“That’s why you wanted someone from the Montgomery zoo down here so bad,” the deputy said, finally understanding.
They both looked at the creature that had once been the sheriff, strange markings like stripes began to appear on his skin as his body continue to swell with new muscle on the floor of the cell. He was so tall that he barely fit in there anymore. His 24-inch cock fell idly on his right leg.
“So the sheriff’s behind all of this? Any idea on who was with him out there? That wasn’t a giant that ran past us. Thomas didn’t do this alone,” Dike said.
“I was hoping you’d have some insight into that,” said Sam but Dike just shook his head. “Call the deputies in—we may have another one of these guys popping up in town. And wake the Hollyville policeman,” Sam said.
“Stan? I mean, at his age he’s mostly just directing traffic at this point,” Dike said. “The sheriff’s department takes care of most of the crime in the county. Stan just walks around the town and soaks up gossip all day.”
“I know… that’s why I want to talk to him.” Sam said. “After that I want you to take the tape you just made to the SBI. Make sure it gets in the hands of Jerry Williams. He’ll be expecting you.”
“Me? Why don’t you go?”
“I’ve got work to do here. See you when you get back tomorrow,” Sam said, shooting one more tranquilizer dart into the sheriff just to be sure.
Sam Spencer’s Personal Diary:
This has been the strangest case I’ve ever worked on. I’ve been in this town for over two weeks without much success. However, with Deputy Bailey taking over as temporary head of the department after Sheriff Lydell’s ‘incapacitation’, I’ve been able to dig through some of his records. I believe I may have found a link that ties all of these crazy incidents together. Hopefully I’ll know if I’m barking up the wrong tree by the end of the day.
The morning was crisp and clear. A perfect day for Stan Small to be directing traffic at the elementary school. The sixty-year-old police officer, the only police in Hollyville, enjoyed his job most of the time. The last bell had rung and he was putting his stuff back in his car when Sam Spencer walked up to him. “Oh, it’s you. Deputy Bailey said you wanted to talk to me.”
“An hour ago, I believe…” Sam said, annoyed.
“Well… safety first…” he said, pointing to his crossing sign.
“You’re here every morning, right?” Sam asked.
“When school’s in session, yessir,” Stan replied.
“And you know everyone in this town, right?”
“I should hope, I been doin’ this a long time,” Stan said with a smile.
“And you’d recognize something out of the ordinary if you saw it, wouldn’t you?” Sam said.
“What are you getting at?”
“The high school is just down the road,” Sam said, pointing down the street. “The bridge to get into town from the east is that way,” he went on, pointing in the opposite direction, “meaning Tom Cole would have had drive past your morning cross walk every morning before he… disappeared.” Rumors of what had happened up at the farm had gotten out, but the official story was that the farmer was missing.
“Well… he only just started doin’ that a few months before he went missing.” Stan said.
“And why was that?”
“Why, to help that Adam boy out,” Stan said. “He was kind enough to help the boy out with money and then he decided to give him rides to school. Never was a kinder soul.”
“What I want to know is, on the day he went missing, was his truck already damaged before he dropped Adam off, or after?” Sam said. The old policeman paused. “You would have noticed,” Sam pressed. “The front end of his truck was pretty beat up.”
“Well, now… come to think of it… he didn’t drop him off that day,” said the officer.
“Are you absolutely certain?” Sam said.
“Yeah, I remember because I’d gotten used to seeing them together. Did an old man’s heart good to see Mr. Cole acting like a father to that poor boy. I saw the lad that morning riding his bike, though. I asked why he was alone and he told me Tom had only had time to take him part of the way that morning. Poor old Tom and poor Adam.”
“Why ‘poor Adam’?” Sam asked.
“He loses his family and then he loses everyone he cares about here,” Stan said, shaking his head.
“What do you mean?”
“Well… Father Toby had put him up in the parsonage when he arrived, and then that break-in happened while the poor kid was at school. Poor man was never seen again,” Stan said. “The Smiths put him up after that, but they wanted $100 a month for him to stay there.”
“So people have been giving him jobs in town?” Sam asked.
“Well, I’m sure the Smiths are doing what they think is best. The high school football coach paid him to help him out and then he went missing. Then Tom Cole’s gone. And now you’re telling me the sheriff is gone… he was the latest one to give the kid a job. I don’t know what he’s gonna do. People gonna think he’s bad luck.”
“You don’t say,” Sam mused. He said goodbye to the officer and walked over to his car and radioed in. “Is Deputy Bailey back from Montgomery?”
“No sir, I doubt he’ll be back before noon,” the dispatcher replied.
“Let me know as soon as he gets in,” Sam said.
It took longer than expected for Dike to return. The sun was beginning to set as they rode to the Smith house where Adam was staying. “So you’re telling me that everywhere Adam worked these creatures have been prowling around?”
“Exactly, and everywhere they prowl people either change or go missing. Maybe all the missing people have turned into these things.”
“So Adam’s causing this?” Dike said.
“I don’t know. The creatures seem to be drawn to him. Maybe they followed him here. He may not even know why they’re after him.” He considered. “Look at all the places he’s gone,” he went on. “They’re just the sort of places a person might go if they were seeking safety. He comes to town and seeks shelter with a priest, then he goes to work some place where there’d be dozens of guys around him, then a farm with lots of strong men, and finally the sheriff’s department.”
“Wait… last night the sheriff acted like he wanted to change. He must have known,” Dike said as they turned down a dark street.
“I think the sheriff made the connection before anybody else. I’ve been looking through his files. He may have been using the boy as bait to get what he wanted.” Sam paused. “Is he still asleep?”
“Yeah, we’ve been tranquilizing him up.” Dike said.
“And the superintendent, he’s sending backup?” Sam asked.
“That I don’t know. He just thanked me for the footage and sent me back,” Dike replied.
“Well, if that’s not enough proof he can come down and see our suspect in the jailhouse,” Sam muttered. They pulled up to the house and were surprised to find everyone standing outside. “Were they expecting us?”
“I didn’t call ahead,” Dike said.
“Dike!” a woman shouted when the two of them showed up. “How’d you get here so quickly? We just called a minute ago.”
“We were already on our way to see you, Judy,” Dike replied. “What happened?”
“It’s Adam, he’d just gone to take out the trash and there was a wild racket.” She shouted. “He called out for help and now he’s gone!”
“Look at this.” Sam was shining his flashlight on something. It was a trash can that had been pounded flat. “Well… it doesn’t take much imagination to see which way they went,” he said, shining his flashlight on a gap in the trees. The limbs were broken and bare. “I guess we better go in.”
“After those things!? In the dark!?” Dike’s face turned white.
“We’ve got guns. Even if we can’t kill them, they don’t seem to like being shot at. They’ve run both times we’ve shot at them. Just like we’d run from a wasp nest,” Sam said wryly. “And besides, we don’t have much choice. That boy has the key to understanding what’s going on in this town and he’s in danger.”
He turned to the Smith family, “Did any of you come into contact with something large? It could have been as tall a single-story house.” “
“You may not be sharing what’s really going on but rumors get out in a place like this. And before you ask, no we ain’t seen no sign of your freakish monsters until tonight. We were all inside when they grabbed Adam and gone by the time I got out here. But I tell you one thing, if I do see ‘em I’m going to give ‘em a face full of lead,” Troy Smith pronounced, patting his shotgun.
“I want ya’ll to go back inside and wait for us. And make sure it’s one of them if you fire. I don’t fancy a face full of lead myself,” Sam said.
The two turned and walked through the trail made by the creatures into the woods. They turned their lights off because the path was so obvious that they could follow it in the moonlight and the flashlights made them feel more visible than anything. They didn’t have long to follow it before the woods opened up into a field. There had been corn planted there but it had been recently harvested.
They stood at the end of the trail looking over the field while the moon was covered by a small cloud. “It’s going to be hard to follow their footprints without the flashlights,” Dike whispered.
“Just give it a moment. The cloud’ll pass. The moon’s pretty big tonight. It’ll be bright as day soon.” Sam muttered back then suddenly they heard moans coming out from the field. “That sounds like a teenager to me.”
“Adam,” Dike whispered. “Sounds like he’s hurt.”
The wind shifted and the cloud moved on, bathing the field in moonlight. Soon it was obvious where the sounds were coming from. They could see several large figures stooping over something, they could guess what it was.
“Nngggnnn no…fuck…. stop.” The moaning grew louder as the officers approached from behind. The creatures were far too preoccupied to notice them. When they got close enough they could see what was going on. They were… feeding off Adam. One was sucking his cock, the other two were sucking on his nipples. His muscular toned body, often the talk of the town, was shining in the moonlight. They stood there in shock about what they were seeing.
The deputy got his gun ready but Sam put his hand over it and gently forced it down. “If we startle them now they could snap him in half by accident,” Sam whispered.
As the two watched, they realized the creatures were slowly growing. Their muscles glistened in the moonlight as they swelled and their definition grew into even more pronounced ridges and valleys. One of them had balls so large, his sack could have been a bean bag chair. A sparkling pool of cum was forming underneath them as they went to town on Adam. “Is this how they change people?” the deputy asked. “Some kind of sexual ritual?”
As they sucked on Adam’s pecs, they began to get bloated and swollen, his balls were swelling as well. “We’re too late… he’s changing,” Sam said. But Adam didn’t change like the others. Apart from his swollen pecs and balls nothing else was different. There were no growling sounds or animal-like behaviors. He just continued to moan.
The creatures changed, though. The more they drank, the larger they got. One of them seemed to have his lats expanding like crazy but then two muscular arms began to grow from his armpits. His pecs were pushed outward as two new pecs formed to work them. Their spines elongated into stubby muscular tails which grew longer and longer the more they drank. One of their cocks grew so long that its owner was jacking it off with his pecs.
Eventually they put Adam down and started having sex with each other. Suddenly one of them looked up and saw the two deputies staring at each them. His glowing cat-like eyes seemed to pierce them like daggers. “We better do something!” the deputy whispered.
They pulled out their guns and started firing. The creatures darted away like cheetahs across the field on all fours (or sixes).
The two ran up to Adam who, to their surprise, was reverting back to his normally proportioned physique. “Adam, can you speak?” Sam asked.
“You mean am I like them? No.” He groaned. Then he looked up. “Wait… Who are you? Stay away from me!”
“Adam, it’s Sam and Dike. Remember us? You’re safe now. We’re here to help. We scared the creatures away,” Sam said, trying to calm him down.
“Yeah, ‘help’—like everyone else in this town. Get away!” Adam got up and backed away. The moon bounced off his naked ass. “I’m sick of this shit! You’re all the same!”
“Sick of what? What’s been happening to you!?” Sam shouted. Suddenly there was a loud roar coming from the direction of the house. The sound of crashes and screams ripped into the night.
“He’s coming for me.” Adam said. “They all are…”
“Quick! Do you have some place you can go?” Sam shouted. “If so, run and take cover! We’ll stop them from getting to you.” Sam shouted as he and the deputy sprinted back toward the house. They ran back over the trampled trail through the woods and to their shock they saw the Smith family standing outside.
“What’s happening?!” Dike shouted. “Ya’ll shouldn’t be out here!”
“It’s Dad! He’s gone berserk!” one of the kids shouted.
“Quick! Get to the neighbors’!” Sam said. “We’ll take care of this!”
“What’s going on, Sam?” Dike shouted. “I thought they said they never saw those things before! How’d they get to Troy?”
“I don’t think they did,” he said, walking up the stairs to the porch and peering into a window.
Mr. Smith was inside hurling things around the house. His flannel shirt that had been so loose fitting on him before was stretched to the limit. As he tore through the home the buttons began to burst and his massive chest broke free. His biceps shredded through his sleeves and his calves burst his pant legs. It didn’t take long for his muscular ass to explode out leaving him completely naked.
“Aren’t you going to dart him?” Dike said. Looking at Sam who had his tranquilizer gun at his side.
“If you want to go in there be my guest. I’m waiting until he comes outside,” Sam said.
His giant pecs inflated. His arms doubled in size in just a minute. Suddenly he got a glimpse of the detectives through the window. In a flash he had picked up the dining room table and they had just enough time to jump out of the way before it went sailing through the wall. In an instant he was through the breach. His pendulous package swayed from side to side as he walked toward them on the porch.
POP! A dart flew into his expanding chest. He roared and they jumped from the porch as he charged like a bull into the spot where they had just been, knocking another hole in the wall. Sam loaded another dart into the gun as Mr. Smith struggled to regain his orientation through all of the rubble. “Come on, Sam, give him another one!” Dike said between his teeth.
The behemoth grew so much his muscular back was pressed against the ceiling of the porch. Soon he was crashing through it, which confused him even more. POP! Another dart went into his thigh. This monster was growing even faster than the farmer and the sheriff. His pecs were 100 pounds a piece of raw power. His biceps looked like boulders.
The sting of the dart caused the creature to go berserk, bringing down their porch awning on top of himself. Sam reloaded the tranquilizer gun and took aim and waited. Then, like a bomb, the rubble exploded as the hulking beast leaped out of it. A flying beam flew into them, knocking Sam off his feet. He cried out in pain, one of his ribs was broken. The monster landed on the ground with a powerful thud. His legs were the size of tree trunks. The ground shook as he walked. He was over 12 feet tall and growling.
He looked down at Sam and lifted the patrol car, preparing to crush him with it when suddenly another tranquilizer dart hit him in the chest. He looked around stupidly for the source but the other two darts had made his head cloudy. Soon another dart hit him in the neck. He dropped the car and fell on top of it, crumpling it beneath him.
Sam looked up and saw Dike bracing himself against a tree, holding the tranquilizer gun. “Glad that got him because I was all out,” he said.
“Thank God you caught the dart gun,” Sam said relieved. “I think I know what’s going on.”
“Well, if you wouldn’t mind telling me, I’d be much obliged. I’m sick of being in the dark!”
“I know he’s involved, but how?” Dike said.
“We were wrong about the creatures. They don’t convert people into what they are. Adam creates them.”
“But how?” Dike asked again as the EMT cleaned out a nasty cut on his jaw.
“His bodily fluids,” Sam said. “Something in them makes people turn into those things. That’s why they follow him. They want more of whatever it is he’s got.”
“But he was running from them,” Dike said, confused.
“I’m not saying he was controlling them. I don’t even know if he knew he was the cause,” Sam said. “Didn’t you hear him? He sounded hunted. And not just by those creatures. Everyone who’s ever taken him in has wanted one thing from him.”
Dike’s eyes grew wide. “You don’t mean…?” Dike paused. “But he’s a high school senior.”
“Still…” Sam said. “Everyone’s taken with how good looking he is and people just lined up to help him when he showed up out of nowhere. Father Toby was the first. The creatures didn’t bother them because there weren’t any yet. At least not until the kindly host wanted something in return for his room and board. Whatever’s in his semen doesn’t take effect immediately that’s why Adam was at school when the changes finally took effect. Adam went back to the house that evening and found the door broken off the hinges and called for help. I’ll bet he didn’t even suspect he had anything to do with it.”
“Why do you think he didn’t know?” Dike asked. “If he’s behind this surely he has some clue?”
“The football player that went missing. I think he was the only one Adam had a legitimate interest in,” Sam said. “I asked around at the school yesterday while you were driving back from Montgomery. Everyone who saw them together said they were on ‘very’ friendly terms.”
“You wouldn’t turn your lover into a monster intentionally, would you?”
“But the coach… and the farmer?” Dike said.
“Both people Adam worked for who wanted more ‘bang’ for their buck,” Sam smirked. “I learned that coach always made Adam stay late after all the players had gone home. I suspect the farmer was using those morning rides to school as a chance to get alone with him as well. I drove back and forth from the farmhouse to the high school. They always left at least 10 minutes earlier than they needed and Adam’s teachers told me he almost never arrived on time when he worked for Cole. One thing is certain, those two got a lot more than they were bargaining for.”
“And the sheriff?” Dike asked.
“Sheriff Lydell put it together before anyone else. I don’t think he particularly cared for Adam but once he suspected what he could do, he wanted all of that power for himself. Though he made the mistake of thinking he could get a body like that and maintain his own mind. And knowing Adam was used to paying his way in sexual favors I doubt he found it that hard to get what he wanted.” Sam coughed and grabbed his side. His broken rib was killing him. “Finally when Adam’s last source of employment was gone, I imagine Mr. Smith had a little talk with Adam, perhaps not even 5 hours ago. A talk that he’d been planning for a long time. There was no need to pay him in cash anymore, provided he had some other means to pay up.
“I don’t know when Adam figured out he was causing these things to happen but I believe that he has. I don’t know where he is but we have to find him before those creatures take him again. The more of him they drink, the more of a problem we’ll have on our hands. You saw them changing in the field. They were getting bigger and far less human.”
“But it doesn’t make sense!” Dike said. “The timing of it all.” Dike said. “He was with Father Toby for a year. He worked with the football coach for months as well as Tom Cole. He only worked with the sheriff for a week or so and if you’re right Mr. Smith only had sex with him once.”
“That’s because Adam is getting stronger.” A voice said from the back of the room. Everyone turned to see three people in black suits standing in a dark corner.
“Who’re you?” Dike shouted.
“I’m Dr. Saunders, these two are two of my colleagues from military intelligence. This Agent Stevens and Agent Blake,” one of them said. “We’re impressed that you were able to put all of this together on your own, but we need to move fast if we’re going to save this town.”
“What do you have to do with this?” Sam said.
“Well… in a way,” Dr. Saunders said haltingly, “I guess you could say Adam is my child.”
“Your child?” Dike shouted.
“Adam is an experimental prototype. His base genetic makeup is a combination of my own DNA and someone else. We removed him from the womb as an embryo and modified it to allow him to be the host of a parasitic entity that can change those who it infects into super humans. Imagine an army of soldiers with super strength, to whom a bullet feels like nothing but being shot by a BB gun. It would make the United States unstoppable on the battlefield.”
“Why doesn’t it affect him?” Dike asked.
“Because obviously we don’t want the source of such power to grow out of control,” Agent Stevens said, speaking for the first time.
“It seems… agh!” Sam said, holding his side in pain. “It seems that your little experiment is out of control to me. How did he get away?”
“Adam is… more seductive… than we’d planned,” Dr. Saunders said. “It appears he convinced one of the guards to run off with him.”
“Does Adam know he’s some sort of weapon?” Sam asked.
“He’s not a weapon, don’t be so crass. But no he was not told what his function was. But after listening in on your report, I believe he’s learning what he’s capable of. And more disturbing is your account of what happened when the drones were feeding on him.”
“Drones?” Dike asked.
“Their polite term for these mindless super soldiers,” Sam said, cringing in pain. “What about my report alarmed you?”
“You mentioned that Adam was changing. We thought we had suppressed his ability to do that but if he learns to affect the parasite inside of him he would be impossible to control,” said Dr. Saunders.
“The prototype would become useless,” Agent Stevens added.
“Poor boy…what a life,” Sam said.
“He’s not a child! He’s a biological prototype. One that is about to destroy this town if I’m not mistaken. He’s growing more powerful. There’s no telling what he’ll do now if we don’t get him back.”
“I’m not sure how you plan to capture him. Those giants will tear into anything to get him. I doubt you’d make it back to your base with him,” said Sam.
“They don’t follow him, they follow the smell of his semen. As long as he doesn’t exude any, they’ll be just as blind to his whereabouts as you are.”
“So if I don’t help you recapture your pet human, he could destroy half the state of Alabama. What a Sophie’s choice you give,” he said before gasping. The broken rib was making speaking difficult.
Dr Saunders walked up to Sam. “Come now, it’s not as bad as you think. Building Adam has led to some remarkable advances that are just waiting to trickle into the private sector.” He touched Sam’s side gently. “You seem in a bad way, Mr. Spencer. Allow me to help.” Without warning he jabbed a syringe into Sam’s side causing him to howl in pain.
The two agents seized Dike and the EMT to prevent them from interfering. “No need for concern, your friend is just getting a taste of what makes Adam so special.”
Sam could feel his muscles tingling as well as his broken rib. The pain from it made it hard to breathe. He gasped out as his clothes started to feel tighter around the shoulders and chest. He watched his pecs swell within his clothes, stretching them tightly as his slight gut receded. His biceps bulged out to fill out his sleeves. The ridges of his back muscles were becoming clearly visible through his shirt. He felt his ass swell out in his pants. Then gradually the rib pain began to numb and he was able to breathe again.
“I would say you’ve gained a net 20 pounds, Mr. Spencer.” said Dr. Saunders. “Not bad considering you’ve lost at least that much in fat. I’d put you at to 8% body fat at this point. But more important for you is the fact that your rib has repaired itself. Now don’t you see the true potential of Adam?”
“But I’m… going to be one of them!” Sam stammered.
“A drone? Of course not, Mr. Spencer. This is just a partial extract from Adam’s semen. It can cure any trauma with some rather delightful side effects.”
Sam stood up and hit his side where the rib had been broken. There was no pain. He was in better shape than he’d been in his life. “I’ll help you find him, but not because of this.” He pointed to his side. “Because I want you and everything you stand for to get the hell out of Alabama.”
“I guess it’s nice to be popular,” came a voice from the next room. They looked and to everyone’s shock Adam entered through a side door. He was standing there completely naked, and at twice his previous build. “Nobody get up. I won’t be staying.”
“The hell you won’t!” Dike pulled out his gun.
“No!” Agent Blake shouted and tackled the deputy to the floor, causing the gun to slide toward the jail cells.
“We spent over a billion dollars creating him! You won’t just shoot him in front of me!” Dr. Saunders shouted.
“What are you doing here?” Sam asked. “How did you get in?”
“You forget I worked for that pig for two weeks,” Adam said, pointing to the cell containing the unconscious transformed body of the sheriff. “I know how to get in and out after hours.”
“Adam… we’re here to take you home, son,” said Dr. Saunders calmly.
“I’m not going anywhere with you!” Adam shouted. “You’re not my dad. I don’t have a dad! I heard the whole thing! I’m just the product of some gene recipe you cooked up.”
“We don’t have time for this. It’s growing stronger by the minute!” Agent Stevens pulled out a taser and lunged for Adam, but he was too quick. He grabbed the agent and swiftly disarmed him.
“You see what they call me?” Adam said, turning to Sam. “It! They call me it! I can’t go back there.” He was gripping Stevens in a choke hold.
Sam saw that things were spiraling out of control. They clearly had not anticipated for him to get this strong. “Adam, calm down. Let’s talk this out,” he said taking a step toward him.
“Stay back from me!” the teen said, choking the agent a little tighter.
“I’m not going to hurt you. There’s got to be a way out of this without anyone else getting hurt. Clearly that’s what you wanted. That’s why you came here, right? You wanted to talk and figure a way out of this without anybody else getting hurt. I know you’re not a bad person,” he said as Agent Stevens’s face was turning a reddish purple from lack of air. His head was pinned between Adams sizable pecs.
“I did want to talk. You were different from the others,” said Adam. “You risked your life to try to save me. I thought you’d help me. I thought you could take me away from here so I could have a normal life. But now I see you’re working with these guys!”
“I can’t make promises like that,” Sam said. “What I can tell you is that there’s always a way out without someone getting hurt. Now put the man down. Please.”
Agent Stevens had passed out for lack of air. “Whatever, he won’t try that again,” Adam said, tossing him to the ground. “Well, if you’re going to hang out with your new friends I guess I’ll be on my way.”
“I know you know we can’t just let you leave,” Sam said calmly. “People are getting hurt by you, even if you didn’t intend it to happen.”
“They deserved it!” Adam shouted.
“All of them? Even Mike? Your friend from school? He was special to you, wasn’t he?” Sam said, trying to reach Adam’s emotions. “Do you want to go through life hurting the people you care about?”
“Well… I…” Adam was suddenly interrupted.
“Adam… my boy… think this through. What’s your plan?” Dr. Saunders said. “You may have incredible strength, but you can’t overcome all of us. Why hurt yourself trying? You’re the closest thing in this world I have to a son and I’m the closest thing you have to a father. We could just go back to the facility and… and start over and be a real family.”
“You’re right… I can’t overcome all of you alone.” Then he smirked. “But I’m not alone, am I?” Suddenly he grabbed his cock and almost instantly a thick jet of cum splattered on the floor. “I heard everything you said about me. Thanks for telling me what I really am… ‘pops’,” He added mockingly.
The room flooded with the pungent odor of his cum and suddenly the tranquilized sheriff began to stir. “Shit! Lydell!” Sam shouted. “He can smell it!”
The room was suddenly blasted with a deafening roar as the mutated sheriff sprang to life. His pecs flared as he flexed his powerful body. With a quick succession of blows to the cell doors the bars were ripped out of place and he sprang into the room. He was so tall his head went through the ceiling and he had to hunch to see anything. A swift back hand sent Agent Blake flying across the room and into a wall where he crumpled on the floor.
“Saunders! The drones! How do you control them? Surely you thought of a way!” Sam shouted but to his surprise both Dr. Saunders and Adam were gone.
After the sheriff’s revival Adam had wasted no time taking advantage of the commotion. He grabbed Dr. Saunders and fled the building with surprising speed, taking him out to the empty lot behind the building. “That’ll keep them busy for a while, eh, pops?”
“Please, Adam, don’t hurt me. I only wanted what was best for you!” Saunders groveled.
“Oh? What was ‘best’? You had me taken out of my mom as an embryo to experiment on. How many of my brothers did you try this on who didn’t make it!”
“But I gave you life! I’m like your father! You even have my DNA!”
“Awww, Dad, I love that.” Adam said with a dark smile. “How about we play a pretend game. That’s what dads do, right? They play games with their kids. We’ll play pretend a scene from the awesome life you gave me. It happened right here! Wont that be fun?” Saunders could only quiver in fear as Adam forced his head up and down as if he were nodding. “Okay, you play the mean sheriff and I’ll play me!
“Now your job is to tell me how all you want from me is a liiiiiittle bit of sex, and then you’ll protect me from all the bad monsters that are out to get me.” Saunders said nothing. Adam lifted him up until they were eye to eye. “What’s the matter daddy? I thought you said you wanted to go back to the facility and be a loving family. Loving families play games!” Adam said shaking the doctor as he spoke.
“P…please let me go…” was all he could he could reply.
“Gee, daddy, you’re pretty bad at this game. No matter, do you want to know what my line is back to the sheriff?” He paused but there was no reply. He made his voice sound timid and quivering. “Maybe we can do something else. I promise I’ll work really hard for you at the station.”
Adam smiled. “Now you know what your character is supposed to say?” Dr. Saunders shook his head. “I’ll make it easy and play your role too.” Adam put on a faux southern drawl. “Now I know for a fact that you’ve done the dirty for a dollar before, boy. Why don’t you just quit pretending to be all innocent and deal me in. I got money if that’s what you need, son. But I bet what you need more is for someone to keep your friends out there away from you.”
“And now all you have to do is this…” Adam lowered Dr. Saunders to his cock and shoved his face against it. “Come on daddy, finish the game!”
“No! God no! Not a drone! I don’t want to be a dro…gnnnnnn!” His voice was muffled as Adam’s firm cock was shoved in his mouth. The teen began to squirt load after load into his squirming victim. As he came, Adam’s balls began to swell to produce even more. Jet after jet of cum went into the Dr. Saunders. He was getting full, he could feel his belly beginning to distend.
Back inside things had not been going well. As soon as the sheriff had broken out of his cell, Sam realized he didn’t have his gun and Dike’s gun had gotten thrown nearer to the monster than it was to them. Dike ran to the door nearest to them to get out but Adam had jammed it shut to keep people from following him. The only other way out was a door behind the creature.
The EMT had taken shelter under a table and the 9-foot sheriff was staring Sam down. His massive cock was twitching and starting to leak. “Quick! Dike, get something that can make a loud noise!”
“Like what?!” Dike shouted.
“I don’t know, just be quick, damn it!” Sam shouted back.
Dike grabbed a broom and shouted, “Okay.”
Sam reached for a nearby stapler and held it like a gun. The sheriff stopped as if confused about what he was doing. Dike was a little confused too. “Sam, what the hell?”
“Quick! They’re afraid of guns! Hit something! Make a bang!” Sam shouted and Dike slammed the broom against the table the EMT was hiding under. It was certainly loud enough to have been a gunshot and the beast dove to the floor with a tremendous thud. His 1000-pound frame cracked the tile as he landed.
“Well… I’ll be…” Dike said scratching his head. “They’re dumb as a bric…” He was cut off by having to dive behind a desk to avoid a filing cabinet that got hurled at them. The sheriff’s biceps bulged as he reached for another one, his basketball sized nuts dangled between his legs.
Sam pointed the stapler again as Dike slammed the broom handle onto a metal surface and the creature cowered. They kept the monster at bay, pretending to fire at it while it threw anything it could get its hands on at them. Eventually the monster started growing less afraid and began to inch closer. “Sam, I think he’s figured us out.”
Sam had to think of something quick, he saw a shot gun laying on a table but it was right behind where the sheriff was. If only there was a way to distract him. Suddenly he felt something sticky under his right hand. His eyes lit up. It was Adam’s cum that he’d sprayed on the floor to wake the sheriff up. Pulling his shirt off, Sam soaked up the small puddle until he got every drop and balled the shirt up and chunked it back into the open cell.
The creature could smell it and threw himself after it. His cock really started to gush as soon as he grabbed the precious cum soaked shirt. Sam wasted no time. In two seconds he was across the room and grabbed the shotgun. The creature looked up and Sam fired.
Back outside, Adam was still feeding his prey. His balls had swollen to the size of bowling balls and Dr. Saunders was so full with it his belly was bloated and sticking out from under his shirt as if he were expecting a child. Suddenly a loud shot rang out, followed by a terrible roar. The rear wall of the station where the jail cells were exploded with a hail of rubble and dust. The massive 9-foot sheriff climbed through the breach screaming in pain as he ran into the woods where he could heal.
“That’s my cue. You shared your DNA with me, now I’ve returned the favor. Welcome to the family… Dad,” he said, his balls starting to shrink as he ran into the night leaving Dr. Saunders clutching his swollen belly and groaning on the ground.
That’s how Sam and Dike found him. Delaying only long enough to properly arm themselves, they went through the breached wall. Sam stood shirtless on the pile of rubble holding the shot gun. That’s when they heard the moaning. When they got to him it was obvious what had happened. Sam ran up to Saunders. “Stay back!” Dike shouted. “He’s just going to become one of them!”
“Doctor…” Sam shook him as he spoke until his eyes focused on his face. “Doctor, pay attention! How do I reverse this!?” He shook him again. “Is there an antidote!?”
He coughed up some cum. “Limited…” He said groaning. “Agents know…” Then he gripped Sam’s bare shoulders. “Help!!”
Sam felt his grip getting stronger. He quickly pulled him off and backed away. The sound of ripping fabric could be heard coming from Saunders’ pants. A long, hardened cock started rising from his waist as the man’s balls erupted from his slacks. “Noooo…” was all he could say as he grabbed his junk in horror. His pecs began to swell but not nearly as fast as his genitals. His balls went from the size of grapefruits, to melons, to basketballs, to beach balls and they showed no signs of stopping.
Meanwhile the doctor felt his cock pressing up against his expanding chest. His cock head poked him in the chin and it continued to grow and thicken. Cum was starting to ooze out of the end as it grew past his head. Saunders felt the urge to rip off all of his clothes as his cock and balls started to dwarf the rest of his body. The cum in his belly was redistributing to his growing parts.
He felt the need to feel his massive cock with all of his naked body. Soon he realized his enormous sack was engulfing his legs. As he rubbed and licked his giant shaft uncontrollably a large foreskin began to form at his ass and it began to move up the length of the cock, engulfing him inside. The thick foreskin muffled the sounds of his shock and surprise as it grew over him.
In a few minutes the impression of his body pushing up against the foreskin was the only sign of him that was left on an otherwise giant uncut cock and balls that began to slither and writhe around on the ground. A pool of cum was forming under the cock as tendrils started to slither in and out of the giant cock slit, probing the ground like giant antennae.
They began to grow on either side of the shaft and all over the balls. They grew longer and stronger, probing their environment. The ones on the cock shaft hardened into legs like a giant centipede and the creature moved away into the woods, leaving a trail of cum. Sam wasn’t sure whether or not they should get a hazmat team to clean it up.
“I’d say the boy has figured his shit out…” Dike said scratching his head.
“Yes… and I guess we know what he thinks of Dr. Saunders as a father figure,” said Sam.
Adam has escaped. I have thus far been unable to locate him. When I heard the anger and pain in his voice last night it troubled me. I’m afraid should he decide to use his powers to take revenge on the town.
Agent Blake has broken his back in three places after one hit from Lydell. While his colleague, Agent Stevens, tells me they should be able to recover most of his mobility using the same serum that restored my broken rib, it’s a cautionary tale in getting too close to these creatures. We have no idea what the military plans to do with the town. Dike and I have decided to keep the transformation of Dr. Saunders to ourselves for now and only confirm that he’s missing. It’s time we had some secrets to trade of our own in this fight.
The night was dark and chill but the fire was bright and Riley and four of his friends were enjoying the warmth of a bonfire. They had recently graduated high school and hadn’t left Hollyville, working odd jobs in town to pay the rent. Despite the recent talk of creatures lurking in the woods and people changing into unspeakable creatures, they didn’t care. There were five of them, they were young, and they had guns. In their minds, invincible.
Billy crushed an empty beer can on the side of the log he was sitting on. Even though they were only 18, they knew what gas station they could go to buy booze. “Yeah man, you should have seen Tracy’s face when I told her I wasn’t wearing a rubber.”
“Yeah man, I did that to Gloria a few months ago. Bitch wouldn’t talk to me for weeks,” said Ted, another of the rowdy bunch. They had been drinking for several hours and were talking so loudly that it was difficult to hear the sounds of crunching sticks and snapping limbs in the woods until they became quite loud.
“Hey man, what was that?” Spike said. His real name was Sandy but he’d been convinced since middle school that his given name was ‘too gay’. Something big was moving around in the trees. “You think it’s a bear?”
The room was dark as General McMillan met with representatives from AIM. He never felt right about that secretive organization. He didn’t like the fact that nobody ever knew what they were working on or their unlimited budget. “How can I be responsible for an organization that the President’s not even allowed to review?” He often said of the group. Trouble was bound to come of it. He sat on one end of the table while three members of AIM sat on the other. There was just enough light in the room to tell him he was even talking to a person.
“I want some answers,” he said grimly. “How did this situation get so fucked up?”
One of the people opposite of him slid a piece of paper across the table. It was a map with writing on it that was impossible to read in the dim light. “During the 1970’s scientists were exploring an ancient meteor impact that had been buried under a glacier in Greenland. What they found was a nest of parasites or symbiotes that survive by altering their host to fit their needs. The initial team was infected by these parasites and changed in ways that were barely recognizable as human. They were quickly quarantined by the US government and the Army Institute of Mutagenesis was formed to explore the use of these creatures in combat.
“After diligent study it was found that taken individually these parasites could alter their host’s intelligence and strength in order to insure their own survival. Although much work was needed to keep the host from being altered into an alien form. Once we were able to exert some control over the host mutations anything was possible. Injuries could be repaired, men could grow stronger, and bodies could be shaped like a sculptor works with clay. After years of efforts the super soldier program was founded by four brilliant scientists Jacob Saunders, Alex Bartinov, Kristine Ludnan, and Greggory Salk.”
The speaker tossed two photographs onto the table. One was a picture of the scientists another contained a composite of children’s photographs of various ages. “After many subjects had to be… aborted… four stable hosts were created. They were bred and modified in our facilities and are referred to as ‘The Children of AIM.’”
“It’s making too much noise for a bear,” Riley said grabbing his hunting rifle and a flashlight. The hair stood up on the back of his neck as his dog, tied to a tree outside of the right of firelight, began barking like mad. “Whatever it is, it’s got Mizzy all worked up.” The dog continued to bark, even louder than before. Riley turned on his flashlight and walked over to her. “What’s the matter, girl?”
“Sounds like she wants to tear whatever it is to shreds. Let her loose and see what she does.” Shouted one of them, Ted was his name. Riley unhooked the clip of her leash and the dog bounded off into the woods but only a few seconds after disappearing into the trees her snarls and barks turned into screeching yelps.
Riley turned his light this way and that to try and see what was happening as he shouted for his dog. “Mizzy!” Then in a flash she let out a loud yelp and bounded out of the trees and ran away. “Mizzy, get back here!”
“I guess it’s every bitch for themselves.” Riley spun around and pointed his light back to the woods. Someone was standing under the trees wearing only a pair of torn blue jeans.
“You’re gonna pay for whatever you did to my dog!” Riley shouted.
“Not if my dad has anything to say about it.” Something large started to move into the light of the fire, enormous and long, with tentacles flying in and out of its mouth. The boys froze in horror at the sight all of its legs soon it became apparent that its mouth was a giant drooling cock slit. Then without warning a massive stream of sticky cum splattered onto everyone in the fire circle and held them like a web. Thick ropes of it hissed as they fell into the flames.
“Guys!” Riley shouted, pulling up his shot gun to take aim when something yanked it away.
“Not a smart move, Riley. Didn’t your dad ever tell you not to point a loaded shot gun in the same direction as your friends?” He was staring face to face with Adam. He didn’t recognize him at first, he was much bigger than he had been when Riley and his friends used to taunt him. A swift blow to the chest sent Riley sailing backward, he got up but Adam was on top of him again and hurled him again in the direction of the other guys. As Adam shoved him back into the glow of the burning brush he recognized his face at last.
“Y-you!” he stammered, trying to get up but finding one of his arms stuck in the clingy cum web.
“What’s the matte,r Riley? Don’t want to call me a faggot anymore? Have we matured beyond that? Or are you too busy pissing yourself to think of something shitty to say to me? Well, don’t worry, I still remember all the shit you guys would hurl my way. Just because I found someone I could love and you’re such a walking pile of garbage no one would put up with your ass for more than a few months.”
“Come on man, we were just kidding around!” he said trying to jerk himself free.
“Yes, Riley, that makes it better. The only person who ever loved me was so humiliated by the shit you used to do that he was considering dropping out. But the fact that you thought it was a game makes it all cool. Making our days a living hell was a game for you was it?” The ground began to shake. Glowing eyes, reflecting the fire’s light, appeared over Adam’s shoulder.
“Oh god! Don’t hurt me!” Riley struggled to get free but like a spider’s web, he just ended up ensnaring himself further.
“Relax Riley, I’m not going to kill you.” Adam smiled. “I’m going to let you make it up to me.”
“Adam is host to the Omicron parasite, which was considered to be the most powerful of the samples taken from Greenland but also the most difficult to control. It was so difficult to work with that two of the founders created two interdependent weakened strains of the parasite for their super soldiers. But Saunders believed he could save time and he convinced us that he had discovered a technique to control the parasite in a single host.”
“If I read your report correctly,” the general interjected, “it’s Adam who has escaped into Alabama. Apart from the obvious question of how you managed to lose a child out of a secure facility, your controls that you’ve bred into him seem to have failed.”
“The parasites had been damaged during their trip to earth. So damaged in fact that all collected samples have since died but for those inside a host. The controls that Dr. Saunders placed in Adam were sufficient to constrain the damaged parasite but the organism seems to have healed itself inside of his body. It has become stronger than he anticipated.”
“How much stronger?” the general asked.
“In truth? We don’t know. Dr. Saunders led a small team of special agents to retrieve Adam but he attacked the team and escaped. One of our agents suffered a fractured spine, although we were able to use a compound to repair the injury. The other was rendered unconscious. We are unaware of the whereabouts of Dr. Saunders although our agent on the ground suspects the local law enforcement know more than they’re telling. We’ve sent in two experts familiar with the parasite and we expect results shortly.”
General McMillian frowned. “Oh no… you’ve had years to find this Adam and you’ve failed. I’m taking over this operation.”
Riley watched in horror as his four friends clutched their naked skin and groaned as Adam’s cum worked its way through their bodies. Their muscles were swelling and their minds were fading into a more animal-like state. Adam had fucked them all while his drones held them down, leaving their ringleader to watch. Now Adam was standing over him. “It’s time for you to join them.”
A massive creature reached over and grabbed the entangled teen, pulling his jeans off and shoving him face down ass up into the slime. “Jesus, Riley, you really should spend more on underwear, you never know when you’re going to lose your pants.” Adam said as he walked up to him from behind and slid them down. Riley’s shouts were muffled by the cum his face was plunged into. His friend’s groans were turning into howls as they continue to bulk up and their bodies stretched to unbelievable heights.
Without much ceremony Adam plunged his cock into the whimpering red neck and began to pound away. With every thrust Adam’s balls grew larger until each gush of cum started to make loud spurting noises inside of him. Soon Riley’s muscles began to swell, just like his friends. Adam’s cock hit him like a ram rod causing his pecs to bounce around more and more as they pumped out. The muscular folds of his backside became deeper and more defined from his mounding traps to his inflating ass. Soon he stopped fighting.
Inch by inch Riley grew larger and dumber, only wanting more of the cum that was making his body feel so good. The base of his spine lengthened into a tail, his fingers and toes grew more into claws as his muscles continued to expand. His biceps were twice as big as a football as he gained the strength to pull free from the cum webbing but instead of moving away, he bucked his swelling ass against Adam’s cock. “Fuuuuck,” he grunted.
Soon he was passing eight feet tall and still growing as his abs bulged out into fist sized boulders. They divided into a 12 pack and then a 16 pack. “Moooore mmmooore…” He boomed in a voice that was no longer his own as his teeth grew out like and fangs. The skin of his friends began to change into dark colors with spots and stripes accentuating their muscular forms. Soon Riley would be incapable of intelligible words.
Riley’s pecs were shoved out as two new pecs emerged and two muscular arms emerged from his pits. Billy and several of the other followed suit, some of them growing up to six arms. Bat-like wings sprouted from their backs in pairs of two and four and their tongues lolled out from their mouths as they grow, some of them forked. Horns sprouted from their joints, elbows, shoulders, knees. Their vertebrae enlarged and grew into spikes that pushed through their backs.
Riley’s cock split into four large tentacles that split again and grew in size and thickness, cum oozing out of pores along their twisting shafts, feeling up his muscular body. They split again and again until he had quite a nest of them. Ted’s veins were bulging and branching until they sprouted tendrils of their own. Spike’s nipples grew larger and started to push out from his six pecs as they grew into longer prehensile cocks, blasting himself and everyone else with cum. One of the creature’s legs fused together into a long tail with a cock slit at the end spewing spunk all over the place.
“Yeah, that’s right boys… welcome to the family.” Adam grinned.
“Jesus, they did a number on this place,” deputy Frank Staddle said, looking over the smoldering ruins of a house out in the woods. A bonfire had gotten out of control spread all over the yard and consumed half of the house. A driver called in the fire that morning when he saw smoke. Fortunately it had not spread into the surrounding woodland.
“Who was living here?” Sam asked.
“The place was rented out to buncha kids.” He read off their names to Sam.
“This Riley fellow sounds familiar. I’ve heard his name before. When I was asking around at the high school about Adam.”
“Wouldn’t be surprised. He just graduated. They would have overlapped. Maybe they were friends?” the deputy suggested.
“No… I interviewed all of his friends… but his name did come up. I’ll have to check my notes when I get back to the station. So is that why you sent for me?” Sam asked.
“No… I found something out back that seemed pertinent to your investigation.” The two walked into the back yard and Sam quickly saw what the deputy was referring to. Something was crusted all over the ground and everything that wasn’t burned.
“Semen…” The back of the station had huge patches of the stuff from where the creature had slithered away. It was also all over the pathways the creatures made in the woods. He checked out the area with an eye for every detail. “Adam was here.”
“Well I know it looks like those… things were here… you can see their footprints everywhere. But how can you tell Adam was here?”
“I count five torn sets of clothes like they were exploded out of. Looks like Adam is adding to his army. If they were out here enjoying the fire when they were converted it would explain how it got out of control. They might have even spread it themselves.”
“There’s a huge indentation on the ground. I think one of them fell into it and kicked the burning wood everywhere. Would you take pictures of the crime scene? I’ve got to getting back to the station. I want to check my notes before school lets out.”
“What about school?” the deputy asked.
“I want to know how Adam knew these people. He went out of his way to come here. I want to know why. I don’t think his friends have told me everything.”
The day was getting late when Sam walked out of the Hollyville High School and crossed the parking lot toward his car. “I would be careful if I were you, Mr. Spencer.”
He looked up and saw a woman leaning up against a black sedan as if she had been waiting for him. “Who are you?”
“Someone who wants to fix this town as much as you do.”
“And how can you help?”
“I’m from AIM.” She said pulling out an ID badge. “Kristine Ludnan. I’m here to find Dr. Saunders and stop Adam. Do you know where either of them are?”
“We might be able to find Adam, that’s why I’m here. As for the doc, god only knows.”‘
The sun was beginning to set by the time the two of them got on the road. Sam didn’t entirely trust the doctor and decided it would be best to go in her car, since it was impossible to watch her and drive. She was young and attractive but her thoughts were veiled in quiet pensiveness. “So why did they send out to this special hell?” Sam asked.
“I’m an expert on this particular strain of parasite. There are only two other people in the world who know it as well as I do and one of them is now missing.”
“So what do you get out of all of this? Why risk your neck to find Adam?” Sam said.
“Things should have never gotten this far out of control. I knew the parasite could never be controlled in its native form. It seems to thrive on hormones released by fear and anger. “ She replied. “I wish to fix all of this and get back to my work. I joined AIM to push the boundaries of science, not to track down errant experiments.
Sam thought about all of the negative emotions Adam had been subjected to in Hollyville and shuddered to think that some creature inside of him was feeding on those feelings. “You mean you’re going to continue the super soldier program after everything that’s happened?” Sam asked in astonishment.
“Saunders was arrogant. He thought the power to change every aspect of a person made him a god. My partner and I see things differently. This cannot happen with our prototypes.”
“You mean there are more?”
“Like Adam? No. But more super soldiers? Obviously. It would not be much of a super soldier program with only one.”
“So how are you going to get Adam to go back with you? I’ll tell you, he outright refused Saunders and your agents.”
“Yes, I read Stevens’ report. Clearly the subject nurtured some resentments against them from their years of working together in the facility. Unlike them, he has never seen me so I may be able to negotiate. Things cannot go back to the way they were before Mr. Spencer. I do not need to return him to the base. I merely need a sample of the parasite that he carries. From that I can reverse much of what Saunders did to him.”
“You’re not going to try to take him back?”
“For what purpose? As a prototype he has failed,” Kristine said. “I doubt very much that Saunders will be allowed to continue in the program.”
“That seems likely.” Sam muttered under his breath. “So why are you telling me all of this?” He asked.
“Because, Mr Spencer, in order to function as a team we must trust each other. There is no trust if information only flows one way.”
The sky was getting dark as their car crossed over an old bridge over a stream and saw an old abandoned mill. “This must be the place.”
“You have never been here before?” she asked him. “How do you know the prototype would come here? There must dozens of abandoned places in this county where he could go?”
“If you thought of your subjects like people than animals you might find that they want companionship just like everyone else. This old mill is where he used to hang out with his friends. It’s also where he would take his boyfriend to be alone,” Sam said, getting out of the car. The paint on the crumbling mill was so worn that you could scarcely tell it used to be bright red. The windows were all dark and dirty and pocked with holes.
“And you believe he will come out here now?”
“He felt safe here, it would be odd if he did not,” Sam replied.
Sam pulled out his flashlight. “What are you doing?” Kristine said. “He will spot us for sure.”
“I’m hoping so. I’d hate to be killed by mistaken identity.” He shined his light across the weedy tangled mill yard. Twisted metal and broken equipment were scattered everywhere. “I’d also hate to trip and get a rusty rebar shoved through my chest.” He said making his way carefully, stopping thirty feet from the structure. Dr. Ludnan grabbed a light from her glove box and followed.
“Adam!” he shouted. “It’s me! Sam! I’ve come to talk to you. I may have found a way out of all of this! Come out and talk to us!” There was no reply as his voice died against the surrounding trees. He shouted a few more times before turning to Dr Ludnan. “I’m going in.”
“Are you crazy? Who knows what may be waiting for us in there!”
“We’re safer in there than we are out here. I don’t imagine the drones want to cross that field of rusty metal with their gigantic bare feet.” He said walking to the large double doors. They swung open with a loud mournful creak that boomed into the night. The inside was inky black outside of the narrow circle of their flashlight beams.
The old boards groaned under their feet with each careful step into the dilapidated old ruin, which was barely adequate to keep out the wind and rain at this point. Finally he found what he was looking for, a dry corner with pile of blankets and clothes on the floor. “Someone’s staying here.” He said going through the things. “Hmmm… what’s this doing here?” He bent down and picked up a large folder and flipped through it.
“What’s that?” Dr. Ludnan came up behind him.
“It’s a report the sheriff put together before he changed,” Sam said. “It could explain a lot.”
“Can we look at it someplace else? I don’t like this place,” Kristine said finding it hard to believe that anyone would feel safe in this place.
“You are free to do what you want. I won’t be leaving until Adam shows up.”
“We can’t seriously overpower him with just the two of us.”
“I don’t intend to overpower him. That clearly didn’t work the last time. If you can do what you say you can, I think he would be interested in talking to you.”
“He wouldn’t submit to the procedure willingly.”
“Why not? If it would mean the army’s no longer interested in him he might be happy to do it. He’s a person, not an animal. We’re going to ask him.” Sam said.
“And if he tries to convert us?”
“If you let me do the talking, I don’t think we have to worry about that.”
“And what would you like to talk about?” Adam said from the dark. They turned their lights to the direction of his voice and gasped. He was standing in a doorway to the outside. Despite the chill in the air he was only wearing a pair of old sneakers and a pair of torn blue jeans. Contrasting his otherwise human appearance, his eyes reflected the flashlight like those of a cat giving him an uncanny appearance. “Who is that?” he said, pointing at the doctor.
“Adam, this Dr. Kristine Ludnan. she’s from AIM. She told me she can help you, so I brought her with me to speak with you.” He set his flashlight down on the ground so that it illuminated both himself and the doctor and held his hands in the air. “We’re just here to talk right now. We’re all in danger here—especially you.”
“And what does she want?” he asked. Sam nudged Dr. Ludnan to speak.
“If I can take a sample of the parasite within you, it would be possible to devise a treatment for it.” She explained the procedure to him slowly. “We could take the sample right here, so you would not need to go back to the lab.”
“I don’t trust you!” Adam shouted. “I don’t trust anyone from that place!”
“Adam… what options do we have? Do you think the U.S. government is just going to let you convert everyone in this town who ever wronged you?” he said. “I found what happened to Riley and his friends. It’s not fair to take something that they did to you in school and use it to justify destroying their lives!”
“Ha! And what do you think they would have done with those lives? As for the army, you think I don’t know they’re coming after me?” Adam said with a grin. “Why do you think I needed new recruits?”
Suddenly the sound of trucks rumbling down the gravel road interrupted them. The glow of headlights appeared through the milky panes of the mill windows. “What’s going on?” Sam said.
“You tell me. I didn’t invite anyone,” Adam said without raising his voice.
Sam turned to Kristine, whose expression suggested she didn’t trust he wasn’t involved. Sam moved to one of the filthy glass windows and peered through a broken pane. “Those are army trucks. How do they know where we are?”
Kristine thought for a moment and then she blanched. “Oh no… they tracked the car.”
“Shit…” Sam said. “Adam I…” He turned to the door where the boy had been standing but he was gone.
Major Johnson stepped out of his jeep. He could see the flashlights moving around inside the mill. “Gotcha,” he said to himself. Several trucks of men unloaded and dispersed into the surrounding woods to form a perimeter.
“Do you think she’s found him?” Captain Gering said, coming from behind.
“Why else would she be out here?” the major replied. As his men surrounded the building, two people exited with their hands up.
Sam and Dr. Ludnan looked around at the trucks and flashlights moving silently through the woods. With their engines cut, the operation was surprisingly quiet, all but for a strange sound in the air. “Do you hear that?”
Suddenly a massive shadow flew from the sky and thundered onto the ground beside one of the trucks with explosive force that knocked men off their feet. The creature was massive with wings the span of the entire vehicle. A mass of tentacles was writhing like snakes from his groin. Before anyone had a chance to regain their footing the mass of tendrils had scooped up several people and the creature leapt back into the air. The sound of screams in the darkness filled the dark sky. “Shit… they can fly now…”
Boom. Another creature darted down alighted on the Major’s jeep with massive talons sprouting from his toes. The major had just enough time to scramble under one of the trucks. Captain Gering wasn’t so lucky. A massive tail wrapped around him like a boa constrictor and slung him around like a cat toy. Fortunately no one was in the jeep because with a mighty scream the creature hurled into the woods and then flew off with the captain who went screaming into dark abyss.
The sound of automatic weapon fire broke out into the night as men scrambled like ants. Sam pulled Dr. Ludnan down to the ground behind a broken down saw mill. “Can we get back inside?” she asked suddenly changing her mind about the building she had loathed a moment before.
“I don’t think we’d find anything better to hide behind than this. Those bullets would rip through those planks pretty easily.”
“I’m not sure it will matter whether we get shot or not if those drones crush us to death.” The shouts intensified as men began running out of the trees. Peering over the edge of his rusty foxhole, Sam caught strobe-like glimpses of massive creatures darting around under the trees, caught in briefly in chaotic flashlight beams. He watched as a soldier broke cover to run back to the caravan only be to scooped up by a diving drone who appeared out of nowhere in the blackness above the trees.
Shots continued to ring out but no one really had a good mark to shoot at. Though they were enormous, the drones moved with surprising swiftness in the dark undergrowth and once they had flown out of the level the headlights, the winged creatures vanished completely into the dark. The sound of trees being torn apart in all directions added to the chaos. The troops had been scattered in all directions so that there was no longer any safe direction where one could fire blindly. Here and there a blood chilling howl would indicate that a bullet had found a mark.
One by one the trucks switched on flood lights to offer the men more of an aid to shoot with. The bright lights filled the creatures with rage and almost as soon as they were turned on, they would be bombarded with giant boulders, logs, and limbs until the lights were busted out. Sam looked up into the inky sky and strained to see something when suddenly an enormous drone swooped down on him, missing him by inches and just as quickly it was gone.
Chaos reigned for what seemed like an eternity until the diesel engines roared into life and blew their horns. “They’re pulling back,” Sam muttered as men scrambled out of the trees and clambered up the sides of the giant transports.
“Move! Move! Move!” the sergeants shouted, practically slinging men onto the trucks as they approached. However, some of the men who emerged were acting strangely. They staggered out of the trees groaning, some of them with their pants down around their ankles. Men gathered around to provide assistance but as soon they were touched they started screaming and slinging people aside with incredible strength. As their screams turned into roars, muscles began to burst through their uniforms.
Captain Gering was among them. The men watched in horror as their senior officer’s body emerged from the tiny clothes that had constrained it. His pecs pushed out as a massive set of muscular arms emerged. His toes arched and lengthened into claws as his ass pushed back from his body. A second pair of legs emerged from it and his four legs grew apart as a new lower body began to form. A massive tail was growing out behind him as he began to stagger forward in his new body. The headlights bounced off of his sweaty muscles, which continued to bulge out.
The men began to fire on their former colleagues who fled into the night and the trucks drove away in fear. The darkness was filled with the birthing pains of mutating creatures, men calling after their brothers not to be left behind, and the occasional pattering of gunfire.
At some point in the night everything was silent. Sam stood up and turned to the doctor. “We should try to leave.”
“Yeah, you should.” He jerked around and saw Adam standing just outside of the ring of metal they’d been using to shield themselves. “Don’t be shocked. I knew where you were the entire night. Why do you think my pets left you alone?”
“You’ve got to stop this madness!” Sam shouted.
“Nobody asked me if I wanted to start this. They won’t care if I want to finish it. What I want never mattered.”
“It matters to me. I want to help you.” Sam said.
“If only you’d gotten here sooner,” Adam sighed. “Get out of Hollyville, Mr. Spencer. There’s no place for heroes here.” He raised his arms and called out. He was answered by a roar and a flurry of gigantic wings and in a flash he was gone, swept away by some giant creature.
Sam Spencer’s Personal Diary:
The final piece of all of this has fit into place. I now fully understand the world that Adam got caught up in. If Dr. Ludnan is correct and negative emotions fuel the creature inside of him, may God have mercy on us.
“Did you bring the antidote Sam asked for?” Acting Sheriff Dike Bailey asked as Agent Stevens walked into the station. He was finishing an early morning coffee and was eager to get on with his work for the day.
“I brought three doses, but that is not going to be enough to treat Adam if that’s what you were planning,” Agent Stevens replied.
“Why not just treat him and end all of this?” Dike asked.
“We’ve put too much work into the super soldier program to throw it away now,” Stevens said incredulously. “Besides, it would take dozens of doses to kill the parasite inside of him. After you injected him with one, do you think he would wait around for a second dose?”
“He might. Sam doesn’t think he wants to be like this.”
“Mr. Spencer isn’t a scientist, he’s just some country cop. What does he know? It’s beyond Adam’s control. The parasite inside of him wants to survive. His own sense of self preservation is tied up in it now. Adam could not and would not allow it to be sterilized by choice.” Stevens looked around in frustration. “Well? I brought you the antidote because you told me you knew where Dr. Saunders was.”
“I reckon you’d like to read Sam’s report for yourself to check the evidence? After all, we ain’t scientist… what do we know?” Dike said mockingly as he sipped his coffee.
“Where is it?” Stevens asked.
“In there,” Dike said pointing to one of the surviving jail cells in the corner containing a lone filing cabinet. The immense hole made by the former sheriff had been hastily repaired with cinder blocks giving the room a dilapidated look. “I’m sick of information leaking out about this case so I put it in there.” He got up and unlocked the metal door and carefully thumbed through the files, finally pulling out one from the middle drawer and handing it to Stevens. “Here you go.”
Stevens thumbed through the documents, pictures, and texts. “This is about a property dispute on a poultry farm.” He was interrupted by a loud clang as Dike slammed and locked the door to the cell. “The fuck you think you’re doing, Bailey!?”
“Keeping you safe like Sam told me to do,” Dike said. “If he’s right, the last place you need to be is roaming around around Hollyville. That kid recognized you the other night. I saw the look in his eyes. If he’s out for revenge you need to get back to where you come from sir.”
“I swear to god when they hear about this at AIM the army’s gonna make you wish…”
“Save it, I’m going to tell ‘em exactly where you are,” Dike said putting the syringes of antidote in his coat pocket. “But right now we’re having a little trouble with the phone lines and I have to go out and clean up your mess.” With that parting remark, he left Agent Stevens alone in his cell with 50 years of property disputes.
Furious as he was, years of training had taught him to remain calm in situations like this. As soon as he was alone, he began looking around the cell for signs of weakness. In the adjacent compartment where the Lydell had broken free two nights ago, the mortar was still drying from the recent repairs. Stevens walked over to that side of his cell and tested the bars until he found one that was loose. “Stone walls do not a prison make…” He grinned to himself.
“Well Jesus Christ, they wrecked this place.” Sam and Hollyville’s only police officer, Stan Small, were standing in front of the ruined shell of a house. The windows were all broken and large gashes had been ripped out of the walls and tossed carelessly in the yard as if they were made of papier-mâché. Sam said nothing as he examined the damage. Unlike the other incidents this one was in the middle of town, just a few blocks from the main street. The neighbors had heard the commotion in the hours just before dawn but they had been unable to call for help as every phone in the neighborhood had mysteriously stopped working during the night. No other house had sustained any damage.
“I wish I’d been able to get the call. I live not five minutes down the road but my phone was out too,” Stan said.
“And what would you have done?” Sam said, speaking for the first time since arriving on the scene. At sixty years old Stan was more a source of gossip than law enforcement but right now that was exactly what Sam needed.
“Well… I don’t guess I could’a done too much but maybe fire some rounds and scare ‘em off. Poor ol’ Principle McLauren… real darn shame. Such a nice man. Always took a real interest in strugglin’ students. Kids from troubled homes you know.” The old policeman leaned on the mailbox as he spoke, one of the few undamaged items in the property. They had been over every inch of it and found no traces of the owner.
“And Adam was one of those struggling kids?” Sam asked. Like most people in town, Stan knew that Adam was somehow involved with the creatures of Hollyville, through rumor and insinuation. Most stories painted him as another victim and the sheriff’s department had done nothing to correct that.
“Oh, he took a special interest in that young man, seeing how he just showed up in town without a family or a dime to his name. Set him up with Father Toby when he needed a place to stay and then the Smith’s after that. He personally saw to it that Adam enrolled in school as soon as he arrived and got him placed in each of his classes without any education records. Kind soul… Such a shame this had to happen to ‘im. He’d been right fortunate lately and now this…” Stan’s mind was wandering but Sam let him speak. “Don just come into some money. Some rich aunt or other passed away. Able to redo the whole house and all. That place was his pride and joy. Shame it had to get wrecked like this.”
“So his inheritance was well known?”
“Yep, talked about it all the time, to an excess some said, though it’s not proper to speak of his idiosyncrasies at a time like this.”
Sam opened his notebook. “Do tell…”
Agent Stevens made his way through the boggy wood. Breaking free from the county jail without anyone seeing him had been surprisingly easy but he knew they would soon discover he was gone, if they hadn’t already, so he kept a discrete distance from the road in case someone came looking for him. His car had been missing from the station, he assumed it was towed. Fortunately for him, he’d memorized every detail of the county for this mission. The impound lot was just a mile down the road. If he kept the highway to his right he could creep through the trees unseen until he hit it.
As he walked through the damp trees, picking his way carefully to avoid the bogs, he began to get the feeling that he was not alone. He paused for a moment to listen and at first he could hear only chirping birds and the rustlings of the odd squirrel but then as sudden as lightning bolt, the silent wood burst into a violent commotion. Something big was moving nearby but the thick undergrowth made it impossible to see more than a few feet away. He pulled out the pistol he’d stolen from the station and waited.
The ground was trembling from unseen footsteps and branches snapped as the unseen beast bulldozed its way through the nearby trees. Stevens remained still as the grave, he could guess what it was and hoped to let it pass without incident. At first the strategy seemed like a good one but then the noise died away leaving his ears to echo with the beating of his own heart. The agent waited for the creature to move along for what felt like an eternity. Eventually he had been still for so long that his feet were sinking into the soggy soil. He went to take a step forward causing the wet ground to gurgle under him. In an instant, two large trees were thrown aside and an enormous creature reached out and grabbed him causing him to drop the gun.
The arm holding him was so muscular that it dwarfed many of the surrounding trunks. Stevens found himself staring into the chest of an enormous beast, his massive torso and head was all that resembled a man anymore. Where his legs should have been there was now a four legged muscular body, like a dragon without scales. Its long toes were arrayed with fearsome claws. An enormous tail curved around a nearby oak. The boggy ground boiled as it rose to its full height.
The creature held the agent up to its flared nostrils and sniffed him loudly. “Imagine meeting you here,” Adam said, hopping from the creature’s back. He was completely naked. Stevens noticed the faint beginnings of black stripes running down his back.
Agent Stevens was speechless. “I’m so glad you decided to take a stroll this morning. I was afraid I would have to grab one of the deputies to figure out what your plans were but I much prefer it this way. After all, they didn’t treat me like a lab rat for most of my life, you did.”
“Adam, let me go. You need to get back to the base. You’re in danger out here,” Stevens said.
“In danger from people like you,” Adam smiled. “And why let you go? You were never going to let me go…” Adam signaled for the creature to lower Stevens down to the ground without releasing him. They were eye to eye. “All of those experiments you made them run on me. What else did you have planned for me, I wonder?”
“Adam, we have to get back to base. It’s the only place you and the creature inside of you are truly safe.”
“We agree,” Adam said, his eyes turning red. “We do need a base and you’re going to help us with that.”
The giant monster turned Stevens around and Adam pulled down his pants. “No wait… I’m the only one that can keep you safe! Come back to AIM, things can be different this time! You can…. gngnnnn…” He groaned as Adam’s cock stretched his ass cheeks like a wedge.
“Oh, things are going to be different…” he laughed as his balls began to swell, pounding away at the squirming special agent.
Agent Stevens felt jet after jet of hot spunk shooting inside of his ass as Adam’s balls swelled to the size of bowling balls. His belly started to bloat out with all of the cum as if he had just eaten an enormous meal. Reaching down, Stevens felt his gut bulge out from under the front of his shirt. “Please… stop…” he groaned.
His muscles began to expand, thick biceps veined up from years of training started to swell within the sleeves of his shirt and jacket. His exposed ass and thighs inflated and Adam gave them a slap. “Ha, you always had such a nice ass. Now it’s even better.”
Stevens pecs inflated and his shoulders broadened causing his shirt to rip as his muscles and gut were just too much for it. He tried to use his new strength to break free but the creature that held him was immeasurably stronger. “Ughhh… nooo…” he groaned, feeling his belly expanding out with the insane amount of cum.
“That’s right, take your medicine.” Adam chuckled as his balls grew to the size of watermelons. “There’s a special part for you to play in the family.” His victim’s clothes fell away in tatters as his body could no longer be contained. His struggles were only making the clothes shred faster.
Soon he was completely naked. His arms wobbled feebly. His bulging muscles had destroyed his mobility. His ballooning gut made him look like an exaggerated gorilla. He could barely bend his arms enough to feel it.
He groaned, suspended helplessly by a creature he could not control, wondering what he would become. “Ugh… not….not… a drone…”
“No…” Adam smiled. “I need you for something bigger. You get to keep your little mind for a bit.”
Sam closed his notebook. His next move was clear. Without knowing, the old cop had filled in the final pieces of the puzzle. He was ready to make an arrest. He felt like kicking himself for not doing it during the night but he had needed more information. Hopefully Adam had not beaten him to the punch. He checked his watch, it was well before noon, there was plenty of time.
Bursting into these thoughts, someone ran over to them shouting. “Stan! The state just shut down every school in the county! We need you to direct traffic! It’s a mess out there.”
“Lee! What’s wrong?” he asked.
“The governor just issued a state of emergency. They’re saying there’s an unknown disease spreading through the area and all government offices are closed. They’ve quarantined damn near half the county! The phones don’t work and no one can get in or out of Hollyville!” The man was working himself into a greater panic with every word he spoke.
“Who quarantined the county?” Sam asked.
“Why didn’t you say there was a virus, for Christ sake!” the stranger said, gripping Stan by the shirt. “I would’a packed my shit and been out of here! Now we’re trapped here with these things! What if we catch this virus! Do we get like them?!”
“Whoa, whoa, Lee!” Stan said dumbfounded. “It’s the first I’m hearing of any of this!”
Sam grabbed Lee off the old policeman and shook him. “Will you slow down for one minute and tell us what the hell is going on!?”
“It’s the army! They’ve shut us in!” Lee shouted. “We can’t get out! Nobody can get out!”
“Damn it!” Sam shouted. “We don’t have time for this!”
Dike was walking the perimeter of Shawn Hutch’s Dairy farm. Sam had given him a special task, one that he didn’t understand but he had learned to trust him. The acting sheriff had sent his deputies out looking for sightings of one creature in particular and after asking questions all morning they were finally on the right track.
“He’ll have an eagle tattooed between his shoulder blades. It’s my guess this drone won’t be as far gone as some of the others but he’s going to be extremely dangerous so don’t go after him alone.” Those had been Sam’s words before heading out at dawn for the principle’s house.
Apparently Shawn had been out checking on his cows when he saw what looked like a giant man drinking milk from one of them. There was clearly something tattooed on its upper back but he couldn’t say what it was. Dike and the deputy who originally radioed in the sighting had waited for backup inside the farmer’s house for nearly an hour but there had been no time to figure out what was keeping the others, they had to find this creature before it got away.
“Don’t you think that thing’s miles away by now?” the deputy asked hopefully as he walked beside the acting sheriff. “Shawn said he saw him at the crack of dawn.”
“I dunno… gotta check one way or the other,” Dike replied.
“Well, I hope it’s the other.”
That hope was soon dashed when they heard a noise coming from the milk silo. Something was banging against the metal with explosive force. The two ran toward it, keeping the silo between them and whatever it was for a distance before sweeping around from the east. As they came to the other side, there could be no mistake. There he was, larger than life, their creature, tattoo and all, though it had been stretched beyond all recognition. Beyond his massive size and muscles, he had few other transformations that they could see. He was trying to break open the valve to get milk out of the tank.
“Big guy… must take a lot to satisfy that appetite…” Dike said, pulling out the dart gun and loading it. “Here goes nothing. Be ready to run,” he said before firing it into the back of the creature. The giant let out a howl before swinging its massive girth around and spotting the two. Its enormous dick bounced between two giant bowed legs like a firehose. “Let’s get out of here!”
The two of them turned to run and the creature came bounding after them, galloping on hands as well as feet, his pendulous dick sweeping the grass between his legs. Despite their lead and their adrenaline, he was quickly gaining on them. “Split up! Now!” Dike shouted hoping to confuse the creature. The two headed in opposite directions, Dike toward the woods and the deputy toward the barn. The creature paused for a moment and then bounded after the deputy, much to Dike’s dismay.
Quickly he reloaded the dart gun and aimed again. Just as the monster was about to seize his deputy he fired and hit the him on the shoulder causing it to let out another howl. Dike jumped up in the air and started screaming and waving his arms to get its attention. This seemed to work because before he knew it, the thing was bounding in his direction. Its muscles were pumped and flushed with anger.
Dike made for the woods as fast as he could, with the sound of heavy foot falls thudding behind him. He was almost there. He could feel the ground shaking from the creature’s mad pursuit. He was a few more steps from the woods. There was rush of air against his neck, a swinging hand that just missed him, and he dove into the trees. The creature came crashing after him but he was much larger and more encumbered by the branches.
Tree limbs snapped like toothpicks as they were hurled in every direction. The creature roared out in fury and grabbed Dike’s shoe, fortunately it had fallen off of his foot just seconds before. Dike was crawling on his hands and knees through the underbrush. He could feel the chaos of the treetops thrashing around above him. He expected to feel the throttling hands of the creature gripping him at any moment.
Suddenly the bushes in front of him were ripped from the ground and he was looking up at the ten-foot behemoth. Like Dike, his body was scratched and bleeding from his struggles in the woods. If he had known what that meant, Dike might have been encouraged but he simply froze and awaited a death blow.
However, instead of crushing him the creature roared and convulsed before falling over unconscious into a muscular heap revealing a strange man was dressed in camo who had run up behind him. He was holding a taser connected to the creature by two wires sticking out of its back. “You should be more careful, Deputy Bailey. You could get hurt.”
“Really? I never would’a guessed…” he answered sarcastically. “And that’s Sheriff to you. You mind telling me who you work for?”
“When you find out, you tell me…”
“My name is Sam Spencer. I’m in charge of the investigation into what’s going on here. The phone lines are all cut. I need to get messages back to my colleagues back at the capital. This is hampering our efforts to keep the people safe.”
“I don’t know anything about that sir. No communications in or out until the quarantine is lifted. We don’t want the virus spreading out of this location.”
“We both know there’s no virus. Even if there were… you can’t catch a cold over the phone…”
Suddenly he felt someone tugging forcefully on his arm. “Sam! They’re not going to let you through.” He turned and saw Dr. Ludnan. “We need to talk and you’re not going to accomplish anything here.”
The sun was dipping below the pine trees that hemmed in the grounds of Hollyville High and principal Don McLaurin walked the abandoned halls alone. He had not been home when the creatures had attacked his house, having been warned by that S.B.I. agent from Montgomery to find some place else to sleep last night. So Don had spent the night with a friend and gone into work from there. In fact, he had only discovered the destruction of his property after returning home after school had been canceled, making him glad he had heeded the advice.
The halls were dark and echoed with the mysterious sounds that tended to haunt old, empty buildings. They didn’t normally bother him but tonight they made him jump as the sun set and the shadows closed in from the windows like ghostly fingers. Here and there he turned on a light, clearly looking for someone.
Finally, as he walked out into the courtyard, he saw someone standing in the shadows behind a tree. “Well? I’m here! What do you want? As you can see from my house, there’s not much left you can take from me.” He felt his pistol tucked away in his pocket. The stranger said nothing. “Well!? You said you wanted to talk, so let’s talk!”
He held a crumpled piece of paper in his hand. The words messily scrawled on it were, “I know what you did to that boy. Meet me in the high school just after dark and we can talk about what I want to keep quiet about it.” McLauren had found the note stuck on the back of an intact picture frame amidst the ruins of his house that afternoon.
Whoever it was slowly moved from behind the tree. He could tell it was a man but the rest was obscured by shadows in the failing light. Don gripped the gun, pulling it out. “Who’s there!?”
“It’s just me.”
He sighed in relief. “Adam? What are you doing here?” He was unaware of any of the events surrounding his student since he had disappeared a few days before.
“I came to get some things I left behind. Why are you here? I thought everyone was supposed to shelter in their homes,” he replied calmly.
“Well… uh… don’t you worry about that. Did you get all your things, son?” he said nervously. “Dike Bailey and that Mr. Spencer are looking for you. They’ve been asking me all week if you’ve been back to school. I think they’re worried about you.”
Adam didn’t move. “Are they? What did they say they want to talk to me about?”
“I… don’t know son…” he said getting nervous. Something didn’t feel right. “Look, I’m going go and turn on some lights, okay?”
“Please don’t leave… I don’t want to be alone right now…” he said in the same monotone. “Why do you have your gun?”
“Oh… well, it’s just kind spooky… that’s all… look, son, why don’t you just get your things and move along? You can’t be here right now.”
“But they told us to shelter at home and I don’t have anywhere to go. But then… I guess you don’t either… not anymore.” His voice changed with a sinister, almost gleeful quality. “I think we should stay together.” As he spoke his irises began to glow red.
The principal was so startled he dropped the gun and a snake like tendril that he had mistaken for a hose on the ground grabbed it and disappeared with it back into the building. He looked back at the windows into the dark hall where it had gone. There was something large and pulsating inside that blocked most of the light, making it difficult to see. Large glowing cat-like eyes began to peer out into the courtyard through the dark windows. Growling sounds echoed through the walls. McLauren ran but there was nowhere to go. Massive creatures were lurking behind every door.
“I wrote the note,” Adam said. “I wanted you to come… I wanted it to be here. I’m sorry I lied to you. It doesn’t feel nice when people lie to you, does it?”
Don slowly backed away from the glowing red eyes. “You’re some… some kinda demon!”
“Possibly, now… but when I came to you for help I was just a nice boy looking for help who happened to be prettier than most. That’s what you told Father Toby, wasn’t it?” he said walking toward him. “You were going to watch out for me. Not let anything bad happen to me. Weren’t you?”
“No, no, please, I didn’t know!”
“You didn’t know I was a monster? Is that what you were going to say? I know you weren’t about to say you didn’t know what everyone was doing to me. You knew all about that…”
It was nearly eight thirty in the evening as Sam knocked on the door of Alice Spellman. “This is the third house we’ve been to. How many more do we have to check?” Dr. Ludnan was getting impatient.
There was no answer at the door so Sam knocked harder. “State police, open up!” he shouted. There was movement inside and the eventually the door cracked open an inch or so.
“What do you want?”
“Alice Spellman?” Sam asked.
“Where’s Don McLauren?” he asked.
“How should I know?” Alice went to close the door but Sam forced it open.
“Now you listen here!” Sam said turning red in the face. “I don’t have time for these games! Those things have already destroyed his house looking for him. If he’s staying with you, they are going to tear this house apart with you in it, now tell me where he is if you know!”
Ms. Spellman’s face turned white and she let go of the door, allowing it to swing open, which revealed an unpacked suitcase in her living room. “He went back to the school…”
“When?” he asked.
“About three hours ago,” she replied.
“Pack his things. We’ll send someone for them,” Sam said before going back to the car.
Kristine got in the passenger seat beside him. “You really think he’ll still be at the school?”
Sam pulled out the handset for the police radio. “I don’t know, but if he comes back here there’ll be a deputy waiting for him. I’ll have the rest of them meet us at the school.”
“Adam, what are you talking about? I didn’t know those men were causing you that much pain…” Don said, trying to hide a tremor.
“I came to you because I trusted you!” Adam said. “You kept saying you were talking to them to get them to leave me alone. I asked why I couldn’t just stop working for them and you said they were really prominent in the community and they would help me get ahead. Isn’t that what you said!?” There was a rustling sound nearby. Don turned and saw the swollen body of Agent Stevens trying to drag itself across the ground.
“I read about your little ‘inheritance’ that I earned for you without so much as a thank you. You didn’t want me to leave those guys because you had that lovely house to fix up. Well I took care of that place last night. It’s just a shame you weren’t there when I did. But now that we’re all here, I think this is a better place to do this.” McLauren tried to shout but a tentacle had grabbed him from behind and wrapped itself around his mouth. “Don’t mind my dad…”
Adam walked so close to him that he could feel the boy’s breath on his neck as he whispered. “After all that money I earned for you, you’re going to have to pay me back now…”
All the older man could do was whimper.
Sam put the gas pedal to the floorboard as his car roared down the back roads. “I wanted to arrest McLauren today,” Sam said to Kristine. “Thanks to your military friends we might be too late.”
“It wasn’t my idea to quarantine the entire town. It’s only going to create chaos. But the generals don’t care what I think. So how is the principal involved,” she replied.
“Don’s been running a sex ring through the school for years. He’s been ‘connecting’ high school kids who are down on their luck with ‘kindly’ members of the community who are willing to ‘help them out’ for a price. I wondered how Adam had such a string of rotten luck with people like that since he got here. Social prestige is everything in a town like this. No one would have believed low class kids if they’d said anything against such outstanding members of the community.”
“I was told Don took a special interest in Adam as soon as he arrived. Found him a place to stay, enrolled him in school, got him after school jobs. Just like he had for so many poor unconnected kids at Hollyville High. He must have thought he’d won the jackpot with Adam. A beautiful boy shows up with no connections, completely reliant on the ‘kindness’ of strangers.”
“But how do you know he was doing all of this?” Kristine asked.
“The payments… The files we found in Adam’s hideout were made by Sheriff Lydell. Father Toby started writing Don large checks at the same time as he started running around town talking about his ‘inheritance’. He got used to the extra income, he began to redo the house and then suddenly six months later, the ‘break in’ happens and Toby is gone. The sheriff must have looked into his bank account during the investigation and found out about the money he was sending McLauren.”
“Why didn’t he say anything?” Kristine asked.
“Either he wasn’t sure what they meant at first and didn’t want to imply anything about a prominent member of the community or he wanted power. That’s a hell of a secret to leverage over an influential community leader. Either way, he kept his eye on McLauren and soon new payments started to get made only this time from Frank, the football coach. Then Tom Cole. He was in effect ‘renting’ Adam out without his knowledge. All the while emotionally and financially coercing Adam to put up with it. That’s how Lydell put the pieces together before the rest of us and that’s why McLauren needs to be placed under arrest.
“According to the files, the sheriff did some digging and realized he’d been doing this for years. Once he realized the members of the ring were starting to transform, I’m sure Lydell used what he knew about the opperation force McLauren to cut him in. Adam must have found his files the night he broke into the station. I don’t think he had any idea what McLauren was doing but now that he knows, that man’s in danger. If we find him, Adam won’t be far away.”
As they pulled into the high school parking lot they could see the other squad cars clustered in a dark corner in the back. Sam drove over to them with his headlights off, using the moonlight to navigate. He got out of the car and saw Dike standing there with bandages on his face.
“What happened to you?” Sam said.
“You try baggin’ one of them freaks without a scratch,” Dike laughed.
“But you got the one we want?”
“He’s havin’ a snooze back at the station.”
“Good.” Sam looked at the school. Some of the lights were on. “Who’s in there?”
“McLauren’s car is the only one here. The lights were on when we got here,” Dike replied. “Haven’t seen anyone else go in or out but our friends had plenty of time before we arrived to set up a welcoming committee.”
“Okay, let’s go in. The rest of you stay out here with the doctor.”
“Just the two of us?” Dike said.
“These things beat back an entire army division. I don’t think we’re going to overcome them by force,” Sam said. “And the last thing we want is for them to feel threatened.”
“What can two people do, then?” Dike said.
“As I was explaining to Mr. Spencer earlier, Adam has learned to control the creatures with pheromones. As long as he is unwilling to attack Mr. Spencer, they may obey his wishes and leave you unharmed,” Dr. Ludnan said. “Do you have the sampler?”
Sam pulled out something from his coat pocket that looked like a strange gun with a needle sticking out of it. “I can’t promise I’ll get close enough to use it but I’ll try.” He turned to Dike. “Let’s go.”
The school had an eerie feeling to it. Only part of it was lit up, with illuminated windows scattered at random throughout the building. The two walked up to one of the doors and found it slightly ajar. “You think this is the way he went in?” Dike asked.
“It’s the way something went in…” Sam said, pointing to a trail of slime slowly oozing out of the door frame. “I don’t think Don’s here alone. Is there another way?”
“Half the windows in this old building don’t shut right.” Dike said. “Stan gets a call at least once a month to chase kids out of here. I’ve been up here ten times myself booting them out in the middle of the night. If they can get in, so can we.” He looked up with a smirk. “Though I thought we weren’t worried about the drones though…”
“Dr. Ludnan only said they ‘might’ not kill us,” Sam answered without smiling. “Regardless, until we know whether we’re facing a hostage situation, I’d prefer to find out as much as I can without being seen.”
Dew heavy grass brushed against their shoes as they walked around the perimeter of the building to an unlit wing. “One of these windows is open. We’ll go in here.”
The two of them pried the frame as open as it would go before pushing in the screen which fell to the floor with a clang. Sam held his breath and listened. Had they been overheard? After waiting twenty seconds the two climbed inside the classroom and groped their way in the dark toward the hallway. A couple of red EXIT signs splashed a dim light on the corridor.
The air was thick and damp as if they were walking through the thin mist of a swamp. A musky wreak seemed to emanate from everything. “Watch your footing…” Sam said pointing to puddles of unknown liquid all over the floor. As their eyes adjusted to the darkness they could see that everything in the hall was in a disheveled state as if a riot had broken out inside. Lockers were thrown on the floor, pipes were broken in the ceiling, and some of the lights were dangling by their cords.
“Adam definitely beat us to the punch…” Sam said.
“Do you think he’s still here?” Dike asked.
“Of course I am. Did you think I was going to leave?” They turned around and saw a well-built man standing at the other end of the hall. “I could smell you coming since you were out in the parking lot.” As he spoke the hall echoed with the sound of something large dragging across the floor. A large shadow emerged from the corner. Adam was being followed by something massive and distinctly non-human though its true shape was veiled by the darkness.
Dike drew his gun but Sam grabbed his hand. “Better tell your friend to chill out,” said Adam. “If you hurt me, my friends are going to rip the two of you into lunch meat.”
“Adam… nobody wants to hurt you. But look at this from our perspective,” said Sam. “We have a town of people that we’re sworn to protect and despite everything that’s happened I believe we’re sworn to protect you as well. I want to protect you and everyone else from that creature that they’ve put inside of you.”
“You did a shit job of protecting me before…”
“If the S.B.I. had any indication that there was human trafficking down here, we would have broken it up. We do the best we can and we hate the fact that for some people that isn’t enough. As for Dike, he had no idea this was going on. Not everyone in this town is evil. I think you know that.” Sam was slowly walking toward Adam with the tissue sampler in hand.
“They hurt me… told me I wasn’t good for anything else but what they wanted me for. Some of them threatened to kill me if I told anyone,” Adam said, his voice shaking. Sam had bridged half the distance between them. “I’ve been used my entire life! Do you have any idea what that’s like, Mr. Spencer? Those people… they deserve what they get.”
“Adam, I’ve seen this before. I’ve seen people come through dark times like this. I’ve saved people like you out of some bad situations in my career. Won’t you let me help you? Let’s spare the rest of the town.”
Then suddenly as if he were overcome by some inner struggle his eyes flashed red. “No! No! Get back from me!” He slammed his fist against the wall. “This town is like a plague, it has to be destroyed! They’re all after me!”
“Was Mike part of that plague? You loved him. What about your friends from school who showed you what it was like to be a kid for the first time in your life. They were the closest thing to a family you ever had. There are hundreds of people like them in Hollyville, and if you don’t stop they’re all going to die.” The lights in Adam’s eyes went out and he seemed to shrink once more.
“They’re all scared, Adam. Just like I think you’re scared. See, I think that thing inside of you offered to protect you and a chance to get back at everyone who did you wrong, but I think you can see that it wants more than that. Let me have Don McLauren, let the law repay your wrongs. Don’t let this thing turn you into whatever it is. Keep your humanity.”
Adam convulsed in anger and flashed glared at them with a rekindled glow. “Why did you warn him!? I know that was you! The rest of these people are too stupid to get in my way! I would have had him last night! You saw the file! You know what he did to me! What he did to all those other people! He pretended to be my friend!”
“The law saves us from becoming a pack of animals who take justice into our own hands,” said Sam. “Let me have him so you don’t become a monster.”
“Look around you Mr. Spencer, I’m already a monster. Look at what I’ve done.” Adam flicked the light switch at the end of the hall and the officers jumped at what they saw. Behind him was a creature that was no longer recognizably human, sliding along the floor on an enormous tail like a snake. Every inch of it was draped in brown stripes. Its head was covered in bulbous eyes and drooling mouths with abnormally long tongues that writhed about like snakes. Where its hands used to be were two more gaping, fang toothed maws. Slime oozed out of slits lining its front side. “Don’t you recognize the Sheriff? Well… you didn’t really know him that well, Mr. Spencer, but that deputy might.”
Adam himself was wearing nothing and his skin had a silvery sheen to it that caused his muscular frame to glisten in the light. Sam noticed his gigantic balls had swollen to the size of melons as if they were recently in use. He turned around and spat on the creature behind him revealing the stripes on his own back. “He wouldn’t protect me when it was his job, so now he gets to live out his miserable life as my body guard. Pretty ironic…”
“You’re going to need more than that to keep the military at bay. They’re coming for you. You caught them by surprise the first time but you can’t hold them off forever. Even with your army of monsters, you can’t hold everyone back. I don’t know if you realize how bad the situation is outside. They’ve sealed off the town. There are special agents roaming around looking for you.”
“I know… I caught one of them. Feel free to send more.”
“You don’t fool me. You’re scared. Scared of the army. Scared of what you’ve become. Scared of that thing inside of you pushing you to do things you never imagined you’d be capable of. Let me take the sample of the parasite inside of you. Let me have McLauren and Stevens. We can end this tonight. Let them answer for what they’ve done in a court of law.”
Adam grinned. “No need for such a long speech. If you want to find them, I won’t stop you. They’re in the cafeteria. I won’t let my pets get in your way, but I wouldn’t spend too long in this school, Mr. Spencer. It’s about to get distinctly inhospitable for humans.” He raised his arms and shouted something unintelligible to the creature which grabbed him and slithered away with surprising speed.
Sam smelled a change in the air. “His pheromones… we can smell when he’s communicating with them…” He thought for a minute. “What is the most direct route to the cafeteria?”
Dike nodded his head in the direction opposite to where Adam had gone. “This way.” Step by step they made their way down several more busted up halls and then stopped to listen. They could hear a distorted voice.
“…No, I told you the mirror goes by the landing…” They picked their way through desks that had been strewn all over the hall. “Don’t scratch the couch! It’s patent leather…” The two men approached a pair of double doors that were barely hanging on their hinges. “I think maybe a breakfast nook over there…”
“The cafeteria’s in there,” Dike whispered.
A powerful odor was emanating from the room. They pushed through the doors and saw something massive jiggling in the corner. “Careful with that painting! It’s a certified Kinkade…”
They clicked on their flashlights and shined them in the corner where the voice was coming from and froze in horror. Don McLauren had been inflated into a jiggling blimp, adorned with stubby tentacles that were wiggling frantically like rancid worms trying to borough into spoiled fruit. His sides were so swollen that they were pushing out against the surrounding walls. His pecs had been swollen into giant breasts that splayed out over the floor and he was babbling about his precious house as cum drooled from his fat mouth that was stretched out to inhuman proportions. His body was so massive that the floor had partially collapsed under him. His massive belly throbbed and pulsed with the writhing imprint of large muscular bodies that he had been impregnated with.
Mortified, Dike dropped his flashlight in shock. The beam streaked across the floor illuminating a second man, so muscular he could hardly move, propped up on his inflated gut. He looked up at them and Sam recognized Agent Stevens. Stevens reached out to them and moaned, “Help… me….” Don’s voice was becoming garbled. He was trying to talk as tentacles began to emerge from his growing mouth. They descended upon the struggling agent who started to shout as they wrapped around his body.
“Please god! Don’t let them taggnnnnnn” Tentacles forced their way into his mouth muffling his screams. Then they made their way into his ass and clamped themselves onto his cock and nipples.
“Jesus Christ…” Dike said, backing against the wall.
All over the principal’s engorged body, his tentacles began to grow longer and spread all over the cafeteria as he began to swallow the struggling Stevens up to his waist. The look of horror on his face as he was being swallowed was permanently etched into Sam’s mind. The muscular creatures inside of McLauren began to push out against his belly as their bodies merged with his and their facial features and limbs emerged from his sides with hellish shrieks. Their torsos grew out from his sides, crawling their way toward the opposing walls, stretching the massive body into every corner of the room.
Sam grabbed Dike and the two men found an emergency exit and ran out of the building as more monstrous tendrils emerged and filled the space, breaking their way out of windows and doors. The building popped, snapped and groaned behind them from the forces striving together inside it. As they backed away from the school the lights in parking lot revealed the roof was being ripped apart by a pulsating morass of growing flesh and striving limbs and tentacles spreading upward and outward.
Howls could be heard from the sky. The drones were flying in from the woods, circling the building as it was overcome by the horrors inside of it. Tentacles began to coalesce together to form giant mouths full of rings of teeth and other shapes more horrifying, screaming with ungodly tones as the two men ran, shouting to the others to get away. Massive black tentacles slithered after them, ripping street lights out of the concrete. Warty nodules bubbled up from the skin of the nascent being and began to shoot web-like ejaculations all over itself and everything around.
The squad cars roared into life with sirens and flashing lights, racing to get out of the parking lot. Massive drones burst out of the surrounding woods, their swollen muscles reflected the flashing lights. The deputies swerved to avoid them but the creatures showed no interest in the people. They were running toward the living structure that was forming over the school. A giant branching body of horrible design was bursting from every facade with torsos, claws, arms, and jaws filled with all manner of teeth and mandibles.
Meanwhile Sam and Dike were running from the expanding roots of the creature as fast as they could. Behind them was a rising tide of tendrils that destroyed everything it overcame. Emerging from the seething sea of flesh was a creature with a twenty-foot torso, smooth black skin and long hungry tongue. There were no eyes that they could see and as it pulled itself forward with its clawed hands with surprising speed. They were certain that they did not wish it to catch them.
Suddenly Sam saw his car break away from the others and come speeding toward them as if it was going to run them over. The driver skidded to a halt right in front of them. The two clambered in as fast as they could and the car took off before they could even close the doors, but before they could drive away the car lurched backward. The nightmarish creature had seized the car and was dragging it back to the bed of approaching tendrils that were attached to its body.
With irresistible strength a massive arm ripped the back passenger door off and sent it flying into the air. Shots rang out, followed by a horrendous shriek from the monster. A momentary loss of grip was all they needed and the car broke free surprising force. As the car jolted away, Dike was thrown out into the parking lot. By the time Sam realized that he was missing he saw his comrade being consumed by a horde of tentacles.
“Diiike!” he shouted but there was nothing he could do as the closest thing he had to a friend in that lonely place disappeared into the heart of the expanding creature.
“We can’t go back for him!” Sam heard a familiar voice and realized that Kristine was driving. She had risked her life to save them. The car peeled out of the parking lot and up a nearby hill.
“Stop the car!” Sam shouted. As they looked down on what had been Hollyville High they watched the giant creature reaching up into the night as if it wanted to consume the very moon. It looked like a giant branching tree composed of many bodies that wailed into the night like the voices of the damned. A large glowing eye forced its way to the surface it and looked out over the world it had been born into. “What the hell are we looking at?”
“A symbiotic brood chamber… we saw something similar on a much smaller scale back at the base. I have no idea how it can have gotten so big so fast. The parasite is looking to move beyond Adam.”
Sam watched in disbelief as if this were all some part of a nightmare that he would wake up from. The only person he could truly trust in this town was gone. “Adam seems to have no control over it, whatever it is… or maybe he’s no longer in control of himself. It tried to kill us… it got Dike… I don’t know if he’s alive or dead. How do we stop it? If it moves over the town it’ll…”
“It’s not going to move anywhere. It is what comes out of it that you have to worry about.” A voice came from behind them. Sam turned and saw a man in camo walking up to them.
“Who are you?” Sam asked.
“Dr. Alex Bartinov, at your service.” He bowed slightly. “Fortunately for you, the Russian army trained me to be a good shot with a sniper rifle or neither of you would be standing here. Did you get the sample?”
“He works with me…” Kristine said, annoyed by her colleagues brashness.
“No I couldn’t get near him,” said Sam.
“If he’s made his residence inside that thing then you have failed. Both of you! We’ll never be able to get him out of there now.” Alex shouted in a sudden burst of anger. “I am done following you around on these wild hunts keeping you alive! I demand to know what you’ve done with Saunders and I demand…”
“Saunders is dead!” Sam shouted. “At least whatever he was is dead. All that’s left is some mindless creature… I saw it happen with my own eyes. And if you don’t listen to me, you’re going to end up just like him. Now I believe I can get Adam to come out of that thing. But we need to regroup.”
Hundreds of miles away, General McMillan had just arrived on base to be briefed by a new development so sensitive that his own staff refused to speak about it over the phone. When he arrived in the situation room a group of people were already waiting for him.
“Sir, we have a rapidly deteriorating situation in Hollyville.”
“Has our quarantine been breached?”
“I think you should see the pictures for yourself.” The officer handed McMillan a folder containing aerial photographs of a massive branching structure that towered above the surrounding trees.
“What is that?” he asked. Everyone in the room was silent and looked to a man sitting at the end of the table. “Grant, it’s about time you showed up. This is your mess I’ve been trying to clean up.” He was looking at General Grant Thompkin, head of operations at the Army Institute of Mutagenesis.
“Nice to see you again, too.” General Thompkin was something of a pariah among generals. “We’ve been studying the structure and our people on the ground believe that it is some kind of alien brood chamber constructed from stolen human tissue.”
“How do we destroy it?” McMillan asked.
“Well… we could easily obliterate the structure with an F-15 task force. But that’s not to say that we should.”
“What are you talking about? We can’t just leave it there!” McMillan pounded his hand on the desk. “What could possibly justify not destroying it immediately!”
“Consider this McMillan. One boy… barely more than a child has driven an entire town into chaos and fear without knowing even knowing his full potential until a few days ago. Imagine delivering such children to the halls of the Ayatollah or the streets of Baghdad, or anywhere our enemies flourish at a time of open conflict,” replied General Thompkin. “A handful of them would be enough to win a war and the psychological impact on superstitious cultures is hard to imagine. Why destroy this thing when we can study it and figure out how to harness its potential as a weapon?”
“We don’t have to imagine. We can see it happening right now,” said General McMillan. “People are going to start shooting each other in the streets out of fear of your pet horrors. You can’t honestly be suggesting that you want this experiment to continue.”
“I’m not only suggesting it, that’s what is going to happen. I’m implementing a plan to evacuate the area and move in specialist teams to study every inch of that creature.” He slid a file folder over to McMillan. “As the commander of the ground forces you’ve been ordered to carry out this plan to the best of your ability.”
“And what if you can’t control the situation? I refuse to sign off on a plan that treats an entire town of civilians as some kind of glorified test tube!”
“Relax McMillan, just follow the plan and nothing can go wrong,” Thompkin said smugly. “Now lets go over the details…”
Sunday, October 22nd 1995
The army has moved in to relocate the population into shelters under the guise of preventing the spread of the viral threat they’ve concocted to cover up the truth. Many of the soldiers seem to be from regular units and actually believe the official story. Others are clearly from AIM. Given what I know of the organization, I have difficulty believing that their primary concern is the wellbeing of the people.
Most of the AIM units have gathered around the giant creature that sprawls over the ruins of the high school. They’re calling it the “Colossus”. Using some kind of synthetic hormone, they’ve managed to put it into a kind of dormant state. So far it seems to be working, the entire structure has gone silent and there haven’t been any sightings of the drones in over a week. Even asleep, the thing twitches and writhes. I suppose they won’t destroy it as long as Adam remains inside.
The deputies and I have assisted the army by encouraging people to head to the shelters. We believe it is the safest place for the citizens of the town. After our initial efforts, we were forced to remain in the station, a reward for our help. Apart from our captivity and, at times, intense questioning, no harm has come to us. I feel completely useless in here but I must keep a cool head.
I have taken the free time to attend to an unusual visitor who is trapped in the station with us.
“How you feeling, Mike?” Sam said, giving a rather large man a plate of food. He was sitting on a crate of military supplies. AIM was using the station as a depot for non-lethal materials, forcing the inmates inside to grow accustomed to using the wooden boxes as furniture. The military was under the assumption that rural deputies would be too intimidated by the chemical vials inside the containers to mess with them.
“Pretty good. Can’t seem to shake this headache,” Mike replied.
“Hopefully this doesn’t make it any worse.” Sam pulled out a flashlight and pointed it into the other’s eyes, urging the other not to squint. Very good… he thought. Barely any reflectivity left. He clicked off the light and sat down. “Well, you only woke up this morning, you’re lucky you can talk.”
“Because of what happened to me?” Mike asked chewing on a carrot from his tray.
“Yes, you were practically foaming at the mouth when the Sheriff found you on that dairy farm,” Sam said. Though he was cured, the 18-year-old could put a lot of body builders to shame. Even after receiving the antidote he was 6’8’’ and nearly four hundred pounds. His rate of shrinkage had slowed to a crawl and Sam wondered if he would continue to contract to a more normal size or if this was it.
“I… don’t remember any of that… how did I get so big?” he said looking at his arms in astonishment. The crate he was sitting on creaked under his weight as he shifted. It contained vials of antidote for Adam’s cum. Not that anyone told Sam that but he had been inside of all of the boxes when no one was looking and the syringes matched those given to Dike by agent Stevens.
Sam wondered what his reaction would have been had he been able to see himself a week earlier. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
“I dunno… football practice I guess,” he said, biting into a piece of chicken. “Coach had done something to really piss me off. Can’t remember what it was.”
“Do you remember Adam?”
The color drained from Mike’s face. “Yeah… he was a friend of mine. What about him?”
“I’m going to level with you Mike. I know all about the two of you.” Mike tried to speak but Sam stopped him. “I’m not here to judge you for falling in love. As you can tell a lot of things have happened here since your memory lapse. I think you could be key to saving a lot of people so listen up…”
“All right, everyone! Settle down! We don’t have enough classrooms for every family to get their own room!” Sergeant Rice shouted. Army units were guiding several hundred people into Hollyville Middle School. People were milling about with all the possessions that they needed for an undefined stay at the designated shelter. Overseeing this was a man trying to keep a low profile.
General McMillan was standing out of the way, talking to a colonel in charge of the first phase of the evacuation. “General, we’ve divided the people into risk groups,” the colonel said. “Those least likely to have seen something go here. Next we have people who think they’ve seen something but can probably be convinced it was all in their head, they’re going to the elementary school. The people who have had more severe encounters will be divided up in the primary school and various churches where we can keep them from corroborating each other’s stories.”
“And the sham doctors?” the general asked.
“Those who insist that they’ve seen a creature are being told they have the virus and will get placebo treatments until they ‘stop hallucinating’,” the colonel replied.
“Is everyone in a shelter?”
“About 90% of the people came willingly when the store ran out of food. Now we’re sending people out in groups of three to convince the holdouts to come. For the third phase we’ll cut electricity to their homes. After that, forcible arrest but I’d like to avoid that as much as possible.”
“I don’t like any of this this,” McMillan said. “Hate it in fact… I wish none of this were necessary.” He had seen that thing Thompkin had named “Colossus” for himself and was horrified. He had his doubts that anything so apocalyptic could be controlled with a chemical. I just hope they can keep that thing asleep long enough to get these people out of here, he thought to himself.
Sergeant Jermaine Hendricks, Second Lieutenant Tony Serano, and Corporal John Santiago drove up the dirt road to the farm of Peter Willis, an elderly man who had long since given over the tending of his fields to several younger men in town. “God, I hate this place… just a bunch of corn, hicks, and swamp,” Tony said to his comrades. The corporal remained silent. He was driving and had not yet been promoted enough to have an opinion unless asked for one.
“Well, this guy’s the last on our list to check on today,” Hendricks replied. “I’ll be glad to get done, this place is fuckin’ creepy.” The jeep stopped in front of the the Willis house and the two senior officers got out. A chorus of barking dogs greeted them from a kennel in the side yard. “Hate dogs..,” the sergeant said under his breath.
Serano knocked on the door. “Mr…. Uhh…” He checked his clipboard to see who he was supposed to be talking to. “Mr. Willis!” There was no answer. “Mr. Willis, we came to talk to you about your safety.” Unknown to any of the three men, something was watching them from the trees on the edge of the driveway.
“Mr. Willis!” the second lieutenant shouted again. “Please come to the door. It’s urgent that we speak with you.”
Back in the jeep, the corporal was beginning to tune out his colleagues, listening instead to the howling dogs. There was a rustling in the bushes and it struck him that some of them might have been let out. “Sir!” he called up from the jeep. “Careful, I think one of the dogs is loose I can hear it rustling around in the woods.”
“Shit, I’m not gon’ stand here while this man calls out his hounds on us,” sergeant Hendricks said. “Let’s go.”
“I’m not a-hundred on it sir, I just heard something moving in the bushes.” Santiago listened again but the movement had stopped. “Can’t hear it anymore.”
The two gave up knocking. “You probably heard a deer,” the lieutenant said. “I doubt he loosed his dogs. He doesn’t want to get them shot.” Serano made a point to say it loud enough to be heard from the inside. “But he’s clearly not coming to the door.” The two walked back to the jeep.
“I’m sorry sir, I didn’t mean to distract you from your task,” the corporal said.
“Forget about it. It’s good to be alert,” he replied filling out his clipboard from the back seat.
“Well, we’re done here. Either he isn’t in or he’s not coming to the door. We’ll see if he wants to talk when they cut the power,” Serano sighed. “Don’t understand these people. You tell them their life’s in danger and they treat you like the devil incarnate.” The other two nodded and the jeep drove off.
Peter Willis watched the boxy vehicle amble back down the gravel drive through the curtains. “That’s right… and stay gone this time,” he muttered, walking over to his old stereo system. The silver knob clicked as he turned it on and the room filled with gospel hymns from a local radio station. Then he returned to the welcoming arms of his recliner where he had a steaming bowl of beans he had been preparing to eat before being interrupted. “Yeah they think they can force ol’ Willis to go someplace he don’t want. I got all I need right here. Been through worse than this in the war.” He turned to a picture of his late wife. “Ain’t that right Margaret?”
Suddenly his dogs started barking again. “God damn assholes can’t leave a man in peace.” Thinking the men had returned, he walked back to the front door, but no one was there. Confused, he grabbed his shotgun, strapped on some boots, and opened the door. Looking around from the front porch, he could see absolutely no one. The old porch steps creaked under the soles of his boots as he took a few steps out into his yard, listening intently, but he could hear nothing over the barking of his hounds. He walked around to the side of the house where the kennels were, “What’s got y’all in such a state?”
He could see nothing that would have gotten them this worked up, wondering if there could be a bear nearby… or worse. Like everyone else in town, he had heard the rumors of the creatures roaming through the woods but dismissed them. Peter Willis was a practical man who had no time for outlandish stories. “Now settle down.” He gave them each a treat before heading back to the front. Rounding the corner of his house, he noticed the door was wide open. “Must not of closed it the all the way.”
Back inside, he bolted the door as a choir over the radio began to sing It is Well with my Soul. The dogs began barking again so he went over to the radio to raise the volume to drown them out. Turning to go back to his chair he saw a sight that froze his blood. Standing in the middle of his living room was a creature out of his nightmares. It walked on four legs like some kind of large insect. The body was hairless and black. The feet were taloned and left dark footprints wherever it stepped. Its head was covered in eyes like a spider with a mouth like nothing he’d ever seen before.
The creature took a few steps forward making strange clicking sounds as it moved. The farmer tried to dart to the side but with one nimble jump the thing was right in front of him. Its back was covered by a clear membrane that revealed strange organs pulsating within a clear gelatinous substance inside it. With a powerful thrust the creature had him pinned to the couch. His shouts rang out into the empty house but there was no one to help him as two large mandible-like structures opened from its mouth and clamped around the farmer’s head. A tube was forcefully inserted into his mouth, choking his screams, allowing the booming radio to dominate the room.
“It is well. It is well. With my soul. With my soul.”
The clear membranous sack on its back began contract and an amorphous white glob was squeezed out of the creature, through the tube, and down the farmer’s throat. The entire creature’s body began to shrivel, forcing the contents of its fluids into the farmer. His gnarled old skin began to smooth, his muscles expanded, and his wispy snow-white hair fell out, replaced by thick brown strands.
The military jeep was driving back to the middle school from the Willis farm. The three men were talking about girls and the various things they liked to do with them when the corporal slammed on the breaks. “Sir!”
“Jesus Santiago, what are you…”
“The guy from the photo. The one they told us to look for. What’s his name… Adam? I think that’s him!” They all looked and saw a young man wearing blue jeans and a red t-shirt walking along the edge of the woods.
“Damn if he don’t look like the guy,” Hendricks said.
“I mean… in a town like this, how many people you think look like they just walked off the set of a photo shoot in L.A.?” Serano was looking through a pair of binoculars.
“I think he’s coming this way. What do we do?”
“Viral protocol. Adam is infected, and not to be approached. We radio it in and stay here until the de-con teams arrive.”
The de-con teams were really AIM operatives. They had set up a command center overlooking the Colossus and were maintaining a perimeter around it. Their main task was to prevent anything from getting in or out of the structure and to study it as best they could, firing retractable darts at it to collect cellular samples for study. By spraying chemically synthesized pheromones into the air, they maintained all of the creatures inside of it in a dormant state. So far the system appeared to be working flawlessly. Patrols were sent out to ensure that no one without proper clearance could get within a mile of it. Even air traffic had been diverted from flying close enough to see the other-worldly entity.
Lieutenant Colonel Sims was the commander on the ground. He was staring up at the writhing mass before him from the perimeter they had made at the edge of the parking lot. No matter how many barrels of pheromone they sprayed in the air they could not seem to stop the thing from moving. They had managed to silence it from moaning and screeching, which was no small relief, and the drones appeared to be inactive inside of it. His second in command was speaking to someone on a secure phone-line that had been set up for military use. He looked up from the phone. “Sir, are we certain that nothing has gotten out?”
“Not since we’ve been here,” said Colonel Sims. “There might be something roaming around from before but Bartinov thinks the drones are all accounted for.”
“One of the evacuation teams reportedly saw something black, moving on all fours, crossing the road.”
“It’s possible they saw an animal. We can’t help what they hear talking to the townspeople and it plays tricks on their head. They may be jumpy.” He looked back up at monstrosity looming over him. “Then again…” He paused for a moment. Had something gotten out? He looked up at the wriggling mass of tendrils and limbs, was everything really asleep in there?
“I want teams to search the woods again in a thousand-yard radius of this school. Look for any signs that something could be burrowing out from under us.”
Sam could hear the gentle splashing of his footsteps as he stepped into the foggy alleyway off of Fairview Avenue in Montgomery. The rain had just stopped and the steam was reaching out with wispy bands from every hot surface. This was not his first time here. He knew every detail of the place, down to the trash scattered on the ground. To his left was the half-eaten Twix bar, still in its wrapper, and beside it was the Pepsi bottle full of cigarette butts. He knew it all so well. Everything was in its place.
He also knew what was coming. He could see the shadow of the body, laying on the ground in the mist. He knew what he had to say, it never helped but he had to say it, “I’m sorry.”
“Why weren’t you there?” a voice pleaded.
“I didn’t know what was going on!” Sam shouted.
“Mom told you I was in trouble!”
“Things were so busy I… I should have been there!”
“I needed you!” the shadow called back.
He fell to his knees and cried. “I know… I know… I’m sorry!” Suddenly hands grabbed him from behind. He struggled to jerk them away but they were persistent.
“We need you! Sam we need you! Something’s happening. Wake up Sam! Wake up!” Sam opened his eyes with a jolt. Kristine Ludnan was standing over him. Sweat was soaking into his shirt.
“You…” He glared up at her, his heart still pounding. “Come to visit me in jail?”
“We need you outside,” she said.
“Why?” He asked. “Your partner said I was redundant now that your investigators were here.”
“I believe you just became critical again,” Kristine said walking out of the room.
A convoy of black SUVs and military humvees ferried them along dark country roads. With most of the houses abandoned and the street lights cut, a moonless night condemned Hollyville to a nocturnal world of utter blackness. A light drizzle glazed the road with a reflective sheen as their vehicles passed. Still, he knew when they were close to their destination by the number of headlights up ahead on the side of the road.
The vehicle bounced around the shoulder of the road before coming to a stop behind the parked column. He and Dr. Ludnan got out. She led Sam to the back of a large van. “In here,” she said. The doors were opened and Sam was staring face to face with Adam.
The 18-year-old was shivering naked in a blanket and looked up at him. “Help me… Where is Mr. Spencer? I need help.”
“Adam…” Sam got eye level with the boy. Despite the torrent of light flooding into the van from the high beams behind them, Adam’s skin appeared to have lost its silvery sheen and stripes. His eyes showed no signs of reflectivity. His body remained impressively muscular and toned which belied his childlike vulnerability . “Please… I want to talk to Mr. Spencer.” He was looking at no one in particular with a vacant expression.
“Adam. It’s me,” Sam said. “I’m here.” But Adam’s gaze failed to acknowledge that any of them were there. He turned to Dr. Ludnan. “What did you do to him?”
“We did nothing other than undress him to take the sample. He was this way when we found him, wandering the streets in these clothes.” She pointed to the red shirt and blue jeans.
He looked the boy over. Adam’s face was covered in bruises. Sure you didn’t… he thought.
“Over here!” a man shouted to his squad commander. He had stumbled on what they were looking for.
“What is it?” The commander said approaching the object in question. There ground appeared to be broken up with a hard red lip that surrounded a soft pulsating fleshy area. “Well, this wasn’t here the last time we searched the area.”
“What do you think it is?”
“I don’t know, but it’s outside of our perimeter. Call back to command and describe the situation. Do they advise sequestration or destruction?” He looked carefully at the ground and saw there was a slightly raised mound heading from the fleshy ring back toward the high school. “Tell them we believe it is connected below ground to the Colossus.”
The squad commander turned to walk away but a long tongue shot out from the the center of the ring and latched on to his leg, pulling him in. The rest of his squad heard his shouts and turned around in just enough time to see a mass of slimy tendrils envelop him, ripping his body armor and uniform off, exposing his naked, muscular body. He shouted as a tentacle started to force its way into his ass, fucking him in front of his men.
They shielded their eyes as he was swallowed, his head and outstretched arms disappearing between two squishy folds of flesh. Then to their horror, black legs began to push their way out of it. Clicking sounds echoed through the trees. A four-legged creature leapt from the fleshy orifice and onto the nearest commando.
The drizzly mist was beading up on the windshield of their jeep as Second Lieutenant Serano stretched his arms. “I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve got to piss like a racehorse.”
“I gotta go too… only… well that chili we had for lunch…” Coporal Santiago said.
“Yeah yeah… I get it…” Sergeant Hendricks said.
“I was hoping we’d get back to the shelter hours ago,” Santiago said. “We’re looking at a real FUBAR if we don’t get somewhere soon.”
“Well go in the woods then,” Serano said.
“Viral protocol…” The sergeant said. “No one goes out of sight alone.”
“Eh, I’ll go with…” Serano. “Didn’t want to wiz in front the royalty anyway,” he said gesturing to the lines of officers moving around the convoy behind them.
“Sure that’s a good idea?” The sergeant asked. He didn’t like the idea of going anywhere out in the woods in this place.
“What you afraid of? The de-con team’s here. Sick person contained. I’ll be on the lookout for any more.”
“Our tests indicate that there is no trace of the parasite in him,” said Dr. Ludnan to Sam. “He fails to acknowledge anyone and simply asks for you. There are questions we need to answer. How did he escape the symbiotic brood chamber without our knowing?” (She refused to use General Thompkin’s absurdly non-scientific name for it.) “Also, who sterilized him?” She shook her head. “I had hoped he would be more responsive with you.”
Sam held Adam’s face in his hand, forcing eye contact. “Adam, I’m right here. Talk to me.” The boy’s eyes seemed to register him for the first time.
“Mr… Spencer?” He stared at him for a long time. “It’s you!” He shouted in a sudden fit. “Help me! They’re after me! They’re all after me!”
“Perhaps we were overly optimistic about the benefits of letting them interact,” Dr. Ludnan whispered to a colleague.
Suddenly a voice rang out in the night. “Mr. Spencer!” Sam turned to Kristine and asked, “Who’s out there?”
“No one should be roaming beyond the vehicles at this time of night. I don’t even know why we’re out here after dark,” she griped. “We should pack everything up and try to communicate with the boy in the morning. I want to know who sterilized…”
“Mr. Spencer!” the voice rang out again. “Help me!”
This time they all looked. “No…” Kristine’s hand clasped her cheek in shock. The stranger emerging from the blackness was… Adam… but this time he was wearing a dress. “What is going…”
“Help me!” the same voice rang out from another direction. Again, as they walked into the light the person was clearly Adam, but he was only wearing a pair of long underwear. The lights cast shadows against his large pecs.
Sam rummaged through the clothes in the van and found a wallet and pulled out an ID. “We assumed he had stolen it,” an agent said.
Sam turned to the Adam in the back of the truck. “What’s your name?”
“John,” he said.
He handed the driver’s license over to Kristine. It said John Carpenter. “They’ve all been changed. Changed to look and sound like Adam…”
“They must be rounded up, all of them!” she shouted with a sudden fear to the agents around her. “We have a real problem on our hands.”
“I think we should be focusing on re-establishing the perimeter around the Colossus.” One of the men said. “Something is obviously getting through. This issue with the Adam clones seems more like a curiosity than a threat.”
“Don’t you see what is happening here?” She looked him in the eye. “There is only one reason to replicate the boy.”
“And that is?”
While they were arguing they did not notice that Sam was walking around to the other vehicles. The other Adams seemed as dazed and confused as the first. They all seemed to have the same bruises on their face. With the mix of command structures and lack of free-flowing information, the men had no idea who he was but cooperated, assuming him to be a superior officer.
“What are you looking at?” one of them asked.
“Look at the clothes on this one. What does that tell you?” Sam said. As he spoke, unseen eyes were watching them from the trees.
“He’s just wearing long underwear bottoms,” the officer said.
“Exactly, he was likely in bed when whatever it was came for him.” But then pointed to marks along the body. “These bruises along the chest and face indicate a struggle and these…” he pointed to a line along the neck, “are zipper marks. The victim was wearing a coat as well…”
“You don’t normally wear a coat in bed.” A series of distant clicking noises began to echo from the surrounding woods. “Perhaps he hears someone or something out in his yard. He gets up to see what it is, in such a rush that he doesn’t bother to get dressed but he grabs a coat, and… knowing this town…” He examined the hand closely. “See the scratches and bruises here? These are from beating at his attacker… but these… these are more commonly associated with having a shotgun or rifle knocked from your hand.” The clicking sounds were gradually becoming more numerous.
To Sam, this was starting to sound less like Adam’s work. If he had shown up with a horde of drones and descended upon the house, the man would have tried to flee without bothering to put on a coat. They were dealing with something different.
Behind him Kristine was continuing to argue with her colleagues. “Just shut up you idiots and listen for once. I have studied the controls that Saunders put inside Adam and the parasite. They were made to be companions of each other. Adam’s immune system does not attack the parasite and his body provides it with compounds it needs to thrive.”
“Don’t you see! The way it is getting around the replication control is to create other Adams! It is going to spread itself through these replicants! This is how it will reproduce! Eventually they will return to the real Adam or something will come out to collect them and if that happens we may be unable to control the result. We have no clue what it has changed at the genetic level with these replicants. Imagine what would happen if the new hosts have lost the controls Saunders introduced? What if they can change at will! We must not let any of them get back to the high school!”
Sam walked up to the first jeep in the convoy. Its lights were off and it was parked far enough away from the others to be out of earshot of sensitive conversations. A lone man sat in the back seat. He knocked on a window and it was lowered. “I was told you originally found Adam by the woods over there.”
“Was anyone with him? Possibly, someone abnormally large?” Sam asked.
“No sir, he was alone.”
Sam looked at the sergeant sitting alone, it was kind of unusual for a man to sit in the back seat of his own vehicle. “Where are the others that were with you?”
The sergeant gestured toward the woods. “They should be back soon. They just had to… use the facilities.”
“Are you kidding me!?” Sam smacked his head. “Nobody should be wandering around the woods at night in this town!”
Jesus… I fuckin’ told ‘em that! thought the sergeant.
Suddenly the agents stopped their argument with Dr. Ludnan. “Where’s the detective?” They looked around. “Shit, he’s talking to the evac squad. They don’t have clearance to know what he knows! Somebody get him back here!”
Another agent stopped them. “What’s making that ticking noise?”
Santiago had just finished up with his business and was looking for some large leaves that he could wipe with when he heard a strange clicking sound coming from the woods. “What was that?” He said.
Serano responded, “Nice try, corporal, but I don’t spook that eas—” Santiago could hardly see anything in the dark. There was a lot of movement and a sound like someone trying to shout with their mouth closed.
“Lieutenant, sir? Everything okay?” He pulled out his flashlight, which had remained off up to that point to keep from being seen by the convoy. To his horror the second lieutenant was struggling against a black creature. Its face seemed to have swallowed his. Santiago pulled out a knife and leapt on top of them, hacking away at the creature. Transparent slime gushed out, but whatever it was did not relinquish its iron grip on his comrade.
After stabbing the creature proved fruitless, he reached for his pistol but that is when he realized that they were not alone. The woods were filled with the sound of clicking, their struggled had gotten the attention of other things in the woods. A quick scan of his flashlight beam revealed hundreds of eyes staring back at him from the trees.
In a panic he emptied his cartridge into their midst. This sent the eyes moving in all directions. Santiago grabbed his pants, which were still unfastened and ran back toward the lights of the convoy. There was nothing he could do for the lieutenant.
Sam suddenly heard two things from two different directions. An agent calling his name from behind as gunshots echoed through the air. Flashlight beams moved over the trees and were met by hundreds of glowing eyes. A young man running from the woods. The sergeant leaned out of the window. “That’s Santiago… what’s that behind him?”
Someone shouted, “They’re crawling after him!” Sam saw that whatever they were, there were too many to fight. A stormy sea of eyes was coming at them in the dark and the air was filled with ceaseless clicking. To his dismay, the corporal was heading right toward them, drawing a number of the creatures in their direction. Sam opened the door to the jeep and got in the empty passenger seat.
“Be ready to drive,” he said.
“Not without orders,” Sergeant Hendricks said from the backseat.
Sam eyed the keys in the ignition and slid behind the wheel. “Then be ready to ride.” Cranking the vehicle, he shouted at the approaching corporal to get in the passenger seat. The creatures poured out of the trees like ants. His panicked sprint barely kept ahead of the stampede of legs behind him.
The corporal reached the jeep just as the wave of creatures hit the convoy like a tsunami of insects. Fortunately Sam had left the door open for him, allowing him to jump in and slam it before anything else got in. Outside, the crawling nightmares lunged for any exposed faces they could find. The sound of machine gun fire broke out into the night. More disturbing for Sam was the sound of their feet crawling all over the jeep like enormous spiders.
He put the vehicle in drive. “We are not abandoning the convoy, sir!” Sergeant Hendricks shouted.
“Either get out and fight with them or shut the fuck up.” Sam turned on the headlights and the explosion of light unveiled a sea of monsters crawling in every direction on the road in front of them. He gunned the gas causing a most of them to hop out of the way like crickets. Those he hit burst from their transparent backs showering the jeep with pulsating organs. “Well these guys are new…”
With a squeal of tires and spray of mud and slime they were off. Soon the creatures thinned out giving each other room to hop out of the way as they sped down the road. For the most part it seemed they had no interest in the vehicle and soon they were out of the throngs.
Back at the perimeter, Colonel Sims was on the phone with General Thompkin. “I don’t know how he got out, there’s been no activity from the Colossus in days. No there’s no way Adam could have walked through our perimeter unnoticed.” His face was bewildered. “I have ten squads verifying our perimeter as we speak but there’s been no…”
“Sir! Sir! The squads are under attack!”
“I’ll get back with you,” he said hanging up the phone.
“It’s been growing under us! It’s got openings all over the woods! Creatures are pouring out of them!”
“Release the pheromones!”
“We have been! They’re not having an effect!”
“Tell the men to fall back to the hill. If their pheromones aren’t working, containment has failed.” As he spoke alarms started going off all over the perimeter. Black creatures were crawling in from the woods around them.
Men formed a defensive ring as the division scrambled to load all essential equipment into their vehicles but the sound of gun fire was growing in all directions. As the first humvees were making their way to the fall back position, soldiers were emerging from the trees followed by the four-legged monstrosities. The air was filled with the clicking staccato of their movements as the AIM officers were forced to drop their equipment and fire.
“Guard your face! Don’t let the crawlers latch on to your face!” Sims shouted. The creatures were emerging from the trees a dozen at a time, chasing fleeing squads before them. Here and there one broke free from their creeping ranks to lunge at a straggler, occasionally hitting their target. As their comrades began to fall, the men sprayed the large insectoids with bullets to get them to release their captives but, like thirsty ticks latched into warm flesh, no amount of injury made them relinquish their victims, even as their soft backs burst in a spray of slime.
The commander marched back and forth in the field of chaos, barking orders to keep his men in a defensive ring around their equipment. Occasionally, when the way would clear he would send small groups of vehicles to race up the hill to safety where the troops were setting up rocket launchers and flame throwers to hold the advancing hordes back. Pheromone dispersing canisters were being hurled at the creatures but they had no effect on the crawling brood.
As the crawlers poured their insides into the fallen men, their muscles swelled in their uniforms, blondes became brunettes, and everyone grew or shrank to the exact same height. In the midst of everything, massive bodies broke through their ranks creating chaos. The drones had been unleashed. “Sir, the pheromone no longer has any effect on the drones!”
“I can see that, Captain,” Sims shouted for the men to abandon everything but the vehicles and weapons and make their retreat up the hill as the behemoths began to grab people and anything they could get their hands on. Their time in the brood chamber had made them larger, able to absorb countless rounds before needing to fly away and recover. A chorus of screeches and moans roared into the night. The Colossus was awake.
Suddenly one of the crawlers landed right in front of the commander like a jumping spider. He quickly unloaded his Smith and Wesson into it. The creature stumbled, severely wounded, its amorphous organs began to throb and pulsate until its transparent carapace burst with surprising force and the organs inside sprayed all over him.
Thinking the immediate danger was over, he continued to push his men up the hill. However, among the array of gelatinous globs of crawler organs, something was moving, beating, feeling its way around his uniform. “All right, eyes peeled, keep moving, 500 yards and we’ll be in a more defensible positi—gnnngcckk—”
The white glob had found his face latched itself there, preventing him from breathing. It was trying to force itself into his mouth. Frantically the commander tried to grab it, beat at it, and pull it off but it seemed to be able to glue itself to his face while simultaneously making the rest of its body too slippery to grab. He dropped to the ground from lack of air. The last thing he felt as consciousness faded away was the slime forcing itself down his throat.
“What were those things!” Santiago shouted at Sam who was speeding down an empty street. “They got the Lieutenant!” Rain splattered against the windshield, washing away some of slime and entrails they had collected during their escape.
“I don’t…” Sam grew silent as the sound of talons scratching the metal roof echoed through the jeep. ‘I think we’re about to find out.’ He thought to himself as he hit the brakes. Perhaps it was dead and just stuck up there. Either way he had no wish to carry whatever it was to their destination and hoped it would either fall or jump off once they stopped.
They waited but only heard the frantic tapping of raindrops against the metal frame. There was nothing more for what seemed like an eternity until the foreboding was broken by more metallic scratching. Two long black legs stretched out from the roof down the front of the jeep. Complex claws gripped the sides of the hood as it lowered itself down head first.
“The hell is that?!” Sergeant Hendricks shouted.
“Shhhh!” Sam tried to quiet him but it was too late. The creature bent down and stared into the window with its numerous eyes. Slowly it opened its mouth like a coiling snake and then with a lightning thrust, sprang downward for the corporal’s head with incredible force, colliding with the bullet proof glass, lodging its mandibles in the window with a deafening boom. Unable free itself, its struggles were causing shards of the windshield to break and loosen. Suddenly it stopped moving for so long they wondered if it were dead. Then a thick proboscis pushed its way of its mouth and through a small hole in the shattered glass. A white glob of slime started to work its way out.
“What’s it doing?”
“Pretty sure we don’t want to find out.” Sam hit the gas and the jeep shot down the road. Then without warning, he slammed on the breaks causing the creature to lose grip with its hind legs off the top of the vehicle, flip around and slam its back on the hood. The force of the blow caused the white glob to shoot out onto corporal’s chest in a torrent of translucent mucous.
The corporal started to scream as the white glob sent out amorphous appendages that clung him, moving the sticky mass around his body, working its way upward. “Get it off you!” Sam shouted, lowering a window. “Throw it out the car!”
He frantically began beating at it but it was seemingly unhurt and unfazed. No matter how he grabbed at it, the slimy object slid through his fingers. It continued to climb up his chest bunching itself up in front of his mouth. He could feel the oozing tendrils trying to force their way in through his lips or nose. A commanding voice told him to put his hands down. “Now be very… very… still…” With all of his will power Santiago complied and there was an incredible bang followed by a ringing in his ears.
The corporal opened his eyes and found himself completely covered in slime but to his relief, none of it was moving. Sam was holding a gun the sergeant had handed him from the back seat. It was a while before any of them could say anything, which was just as well because it was a while before any of them could hear anything.
Colonel Sims wandered blindly through the woods. He had woken up alone with his face in the mud, left behind by his men in the chaos of battle and left to wander in a trance-like state. The rain landed in thick drops on his face that seemed far more present to him than the sounds of battle. In truth, rockets were landing in the trees all around him. But a smell was guiding him now. It was a friendly sort of smell or at least one that seemed to be tied with pleasant memories that he could not recall.
Without paying attention to where he was going, he fell into a group of crawlers. One of them pinned him to the ground and shoved its hideous face up to his but then paused and let him go. The group of them scurried away and the colonel picked himself up and continued as if what had just happened did not fully register. He was following the smell looking for something, or was it someone?
The more he walked, the less recognizable his face was becoming. Apart from the mud and grit of battle his skin felt strangely smooth. The signs of middle age had fallen away from him. He scratched his head and clumps of gray hair came out in his hands. Breathing deeply, the odor he was tracking was thick in the air. “Mike…”
Wait… who was Mike? He tried to go over his personnel roster in his mind but the names were jumbled up in his head. He felt like Mike was someone different. Someone he knew intimately. For a brief moment he had known, but now he was confused again. He tripped on a branch and fell face first onto a pair of gigantic feet. Looking up he saw a nest of writing tentacles sprouting from the groin of a giant drone. He shouted, his voice sounded much younger than it had.
The giant creature growled and seized him its cock tentacles. Several of them snaked their way inside of his uniform shredding it with incredible strength. Others penetrated his ass and mouth and began to ooze with cum. As the cum flowed, the colonel’s muscles began to swell. Brown hair sprouted where his gray had been. His body was molded into the perfect physique.
Suddenly the tentacles retracted and the drone raised him up to his face. A look of recognition passed over its dull face. Suddenly Colonel Sims spoke with Adam’s voice. “Let’s go home, Mike.” Placing him on his shoulder the drone walked back down to the school yard. As they passed out of the trees and into the open, more drones appeared carrying their own replicant. Each of them had found their Mike and they were going home.
“Gentlemen, perhaps I haven’t made clear the potential of this…”
“We didn’t call this meeting to question their judgement. The reports from your people on the ground suggest that the Omicron strain has overcome the controls you placed on it and found a way to reproduce.”
“That’s a possibility we’re exploring.”
“And not only have your attempts to place the creatures into a dormant state failed, it is only a matter of time until they break out of the quarantine?”
“Nothing has gotten through the quarantine yet.”
“Gentlemen… this situation has gotten out of hand. I think it’s time to pull out our backup plan.”
“The president would never allow us to drop bombs in a civilian area!”
“The president is choosing to remain out of the loop for now. I’ve… persuaded… him that this is best left in our hands and he’s agreed… for now.”
“What about the public outcry?”
“We’re saving the people from the scourge of a ‘virus’ that makes people go insane. They’ll thank God that it we stopped it before it could happen to them. So, are we agreed?”
One by one, the five men nodded their head. “Good, lets begin preparations.”
The rain came down in buckets, drowning Hollyville in a dismal gray. It was mid morning but the thick clouds were hiding any sign of the time of day. Two men in uniform walked up the front steps of a one-story house. Like lonely mourners in a stone cemetery, they were the only signs of movement in a neighborhood that had been abandoned for a week. Knocking on the front door, one of them shouted, “Open up Mr. Spencer.” He pounded on it again. “We know you’re in there!”
Standing behind him was Corporal Santiago. The officer waited for a reply and looked back. “You’re saying he just drove you to this house, got out, and went inside?”
“Yes sir…” Santiago replied, “just drove us here, said good night, and got out without saying anything else.”
“Mr. Spencer! Open the door!” The officer knocked again. Finally the handle turned and a bleary-eyed man walked out. It was Sam.
“Am I under arrest?” His hair was unkempt, his skin was pale, and there were bags under his eyes.
“No we need you to… wait where are you…” The door slammed in their face.
“Hardly seems like the same man,” Santiago said to himself.
Sam shuffled back to the couch, passing a side table littered with some empty cans of Vienna sausages, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a key to the house that he had poached from under a rock on the porch. People were rarely creative with where they hid spare keys. All the curtains were drawn and the house was so dark that he had failed to register that it was even morning until answering the door. Guilt might have normally been the consequence of stealing from evacuees but he had seen enough to suspect that the people in the shelters would never see their homes again, just as he was unlikely to see his.
Laying back down on the couch with the bottle of whiskey, he closed his eyes. If the army wanted him, they could tear down the door, he was done worrying about them. How could he have failed so badly? Was he wrong not to have shot Adam the multiple times the chance had presented itself? Was the sin of trying to redeem one lost soul that never had a chance worth the loss of an entire town?
Sam had looked into his eyes and seen the familiar terror of a boy backed into a corner by a society that had failed him. The same fear that had been etched in the lifeless face of his son five years ago. Perhaps that was what all of this was about, a pointless attempt at absolution. Eventually, he let sleep take him.
When his eyes opened, an hour later, two familiar people were standing in front of him. “You left the door unlocked, Mr. Spencer. That is unwise considering the crawlers seem to know how they work.”
“It would seem that they’re not the only monsters who do,” he replied.
“What has happened to you?” Alex said.
“You… this town… people being used as if they’re disposable assets,” Sam replied.
“We need your help to avert a disaster,” said Kristine.
“This is a disaster,” Sam said. “There is no averting anything… How many people did those things get last night? Do you have any idea how to fix that? I’m guessing no. They’ll just get taken back to a lab some place and poked and prodded like rats.”
“Sam, I…” Dr. Ludnan began.
“No, Kristine, just stop the lies,” he said, not wanting to look at her. “I’m tired of you and everyone else at AIM.”
“I just received a call from my commanding officer,” said Dr. Bartinov. “We have spotted replicants gathering at the Colossus, it must be destroyed before the Omicron strain can use them to reproduce. The army has been instructed to obliterate the town to remove any trace of the organism.”
“That’s your solution, is it?” Sam took another swig from the bottle. “The US army is just going to blow everything up and pretend that nothing happened? You think the hundreds of people who live here are just going to forget what happened?”
“The dead are renowned for their memory deficits,” said Alex.
“They’re going to carpet bomb the town with us in it?” Sam said in disbelief.
“You believe your government is incapable of the atrocities I describe Mr. Spencer?” asked Dr. Bartinov.
“I believe that people like you are capable of anything. Lives don’t matter to someone like you. You manipulate people like Adam, me, and the sheriff’s department to play your twisted games for the sake of power. It doesn’t bother you one bit that Dike died helping me try to get your fucking sample.”
“That fucking sample might save hundreds of lives,” said Alex. “If we can kill the parasite, I may be able to convince my superiors that the situation no longer calls for such drastic measures.”
“Why should I believe you want to kill it?”
Alex looked Sam square in the eye. “Mr. Spencer, I was brought to this country against my will after I was captured in the war. When the army learned of my experiments in Soviet Russia, they told my government I was dead and failed to list me for prisoner exchange. I was among the many who were eventually tasked with weaponizing genetic material. When the parasites were discovered in Greenland, I was given the opportunity to harness a power known only the devil himself, to warp human tissues to my will.
“The power I sought was not domination over your people. Indeed my work yielded results that would have revolutionized your society. You originally thought we were of the same age, you and I, but I was born in final years of Czar Nicholas 80 years ago and captured by the Americans during a mission to steal secrets from a Nazi lab during World War II. I have the body of a fit man half my age, did your government ever allow this technology to benefit your people?”
“That’s impossible…” Sam said.
“Don’t be foolish, Mr. Spencer. Everything you have seen in the past month is impossible or it was before we snatched the power of fairy tales and brought it into reality. But my superiors, your military leaders, were not interested in making dreams come true. Power is all they care about.”
“Sounds like two people I know,” snapped Sam.
“I remember a technician, Joseph.” Alex continued, ignoring the comment. “Born on a farm in Kansas. During lunch we would play chess and tell each other stories of our lives before AIM. One day he became infected with the Omicron parasite. I told my superiors that I could divert from my work to cure him. They wanted to study him and denied me.
“I spoke up, Mr. Spencer, telling my commanders that it was wrong to sacrifice citizens of a country under the justification of protecting them from their enemies. Do you know what they told me?” Sam said nothing. “‘What is the difference in this and sending a man to storm the beaches of Normandy or an eighteen year old to his death in the jungles of Vietnam? Joseph is a civilian drafted into the defense of his great nation.’
“I had to watch as my friend slowly devolved into a mindless beast. Eventually I was able to petition them to allow me to put him out of his misery under the guise of dissecting him for information. I had to electrocute my friend, Mr. Spencer, and place his organs into jars. The army provided many more of your citizens to be experimented on. Undesirables who would not be missed: criminals, the homeless, prostitutes… Kristine could tell you similar stories but they cause her too much trauma to speak of them.
“These acts were carried out by members of your righteous government! This is how they view your town! To them it is a battle front in a war that only exists in their minds and we are all expendable fodder for it. So do not question our desire to put an end to this ridiculous experiment of Dr. Saunders and return to our work. After we saw the Colossus, we realized there was no reason for the intact parasite to remain on this planet. Now that it has figured out a way to multiply, we are twice as certain”
“If I were to agree to this, what do you have in mind?” Sam asked.
“We have designed a projectile sampler that can be launched if you can get within twenty feet of Adam. You will have to aim for his testicles, because that is where the parasite resides. Once you’ve gotten a sample of the parasite, we will combine it with a viral vector that will cause it to attack itself and fire it back into the symbiotic brood chamber. The parasite will die and there will no longer be any pressing need to destroy the town.”
“Why do you need me for that?” Sam asked.
“Because we believe you’re the only one who can get Adam to show himself,” said Kristine. “The fact that the replicants call for you when frightened proves that you are significant to him.”
“Why do they come for me?” Sam asked.
“The crawlers contain a biological entity that re-organizes their hosts body into a replica of Adam,” said Dr. Ludnan. “In the process, many of these hosts’ memories are replaced with those of Adam. However, the entity dies before it can completely re-write the mind of the infected, so the replicants are a mix of Adam’s fears, emotions, and desires and their host’s knowledge and experiences.
“It’s not hard to see why he trusts you,” she continued. “As a young man trapped in a sex ring, a state police officer must have seemed like a potential savior. Then on top of that you’re the only one he’s ever known to risk your life to help him. A large part of him must still want to reach out to you. So when the replicants are scared, it’s you they call for, even if they do not fully know who you are.”
“Why would the parasite want something like that?”
“We believe the desire to speak to you was an unintended side effect,” said Kristine. “The parasite is using Adam’s desire to reunite with his lover, to attract the replicants to the drones. Adam, no doubt still believes his lover is one of those creatures. Once united, the drones return to the Colossus to be inseminated with the parasite.”
“Why are the drones even out?” Sam asked. “You said you could control all of them with pheromones.”
“We have largely relied on the same chemical for the better part of a decade. The parasite has obviously changed its dormancy signaling pathways to elude us. However, it does not appear to have changed all of its signals,” Kristine said, holding up a canister.
“We believe this is the chemical compound they use to indicate danger,” said Dr. Bartinov. “They should flee from us if we use this. It will not make them passive and dormant like the old chemical, but it should allow you to approach the colossus. This is the only container of it that we have and it will take months to make more.
“If you want to avoid everyone’s death Mr. Spencer, we must sterilize the parasite. And we cannot do that without a sample, we cannot get a sample unless Adam shows himself, and we cannot get him to show himself without you.”
“You know what? You want my help? You’re coming with me,” Sam said. “If your plan fails, we all die together and I want y’all to leave me the fuck alone until the operation. If you stop me, follow me, or harass me in any way, it’s off. Bombs or no bombs.”
“At least one of us should remain behind to…” Dr. Bartinov started to speak.
“I’m going to shower now.” Sam got up and stretched his legs. “You heard what I want. I’ll return to the station tonight. If my conditions are met, then we can start the operation as early as tomorrow. If not… well then I guess there’s plenty of real estate for me to hang around in until the monsters get me… or the bombs for that matter.”
Sam Spencer’s Personal Diary:
October 23rd, 1995
I have spent one month at the gates of hell. Soon it will all be over. This will be my last attempt to make things right. I’ve given up all hope that I will ever leave this town alive. At least I don’t have long to wait for the end now.
Alex and Kristine have agreed to my terms. In order to give the plan the best chance of success, we’re aiming for a break in the weather as heavy rain would lessen the effectiveness of the synthetic pheromone. As we wait in silence, the cries of the Colossus pierce the rainy veil, a taxing reminder of the grim task ahead.
I have done what needs to be done, I only hope I have not paid too high a price with my health to complete my task.
The clouds broke on the morning of the 24th of October. The sun was the signal for a convoy 10 humvees and 1 black sedan to move down the road toward Hollyville High. As the road wound through the trees, they could smell the Colossus before they saw it. Eventually it appeared in the distance, looming ahead like a demonic growth erupting from the face of the earth.
Kristine was sitting next to Sam. “You don’t look well,” she said to him.
“Probably because I don’t feel well,” he replied curtly. The equipment required to prep the sample was sitting between them in the back seat.
They had spent the morning out of sight of the towering nightmare, listening to its shrieks in the morning rain. No one relished the idea of going nearer to it. The convoy was willing to take them as far as a thousand yards of the structure. After that they would have to go on foot. Dr. Bartinov drove the black sedan, next to him was a very large man in army fatigues, beret, and aviators with an M16 resting between his legs.
The vehicles came to a halt. Sam was staring at his knees, contemplating what was likely to be his last hour on earth. He was thinking about the note left for his wife and daughter when the sound of a ranger beating the hood of the car brought him back to the present. “We can go no further without risking an attack on the convoy,” Alex said. “They will wait here for our return.”
Sam opened his door, Dr. Ludnan followed suit. The once writhing colossus had become still and quiet at the sight of the convoy. If possible, they liked it even less in this brooding state. “Well… it knows we’re here,” Kristine said. Sam grunted. Dr. Bartinov and their escort got out without saying anything.
There were five turreted humvees on either side of them and it took all of their will power for the scientists leave their protection. Sam on the other hand began to trudge forward, splashing through slimy puddles with fatalist resolve. They went 50 yards, 100 yards, and nothing happened. 200 yards forward, and still the colossus did not move. Finally when half the distance between the convoy and the giant creature was traversed, every mouth on the creature sounded a chorus of horrendous shrieks as if an entire town had been dropped into boiling water.
The group froze where they stood, holding their hands over their ears to drown out the piercing noise. When it died, it was replaced with a new sound, a cacophony of clicks. Black objects appeared at the writhing base of the living structure as crawlers began to emerge from the tentacle beds. “Here they come…” said Sam. “Are you ready?”
Kristine pulled out the canister from a satchel she was carrying and gave it a slight twist causing it to sound a faint hiss that was soon drowned out by the barrage of clicks growing louder by the second. They remained still as the crawlers raced over disheveled lawn and broken pavement toward them. Sam looked down at his feet, noticing the escort’s legs were shaking. Without a word, he placed a hand on his shoulder to comfort the larger man. Racing with surprising speed it did not take the creatures long to reach them, in another few seconds they would be on top of them. Like water from a bursting dam, nothing seemed to deter them. Sam closed his eyes and waited to be pounced.
A roar of clicks and collisions filled his ears but he felt nothing. When he finally had the will to look, Sam saw the creatures piling on top of each other in a ten-foot radius around them. The crawlers further behind kept pushing forward but as soon as they got close, they seemed to panic. They clawed at each other, trying to climb over the multitude of bodies to escape, causing some of them to burst, but even their wretched organs seemed to inch away from the group. Eventually the danger signal spread to the entire horde and they scattered wildly. Kristine started breathing again, “Well… so far so good…”
Without saying anything Sam forced his feet to move forward once again, coughing away the urge to vomit, with the others close behind. He looked ahead, not hearing the gunners from the convoy spraying down stray crawlers. All of his focus was on the mass of life before him. The air wreaked with its pungent odor. The tentacles were again fixed in place as if it were silently considering what they had done. They walked another hundred yards and a sharp acrid odor hit their noses. “It’s signaling…”
The air was filled with familiar roars, Sam could guess what the signal was. A dozen drones sailed out from the tangled crown of the Colossus, wings unfurled. They dove down hard on top of them hitting the ground like missiles, sending out shock waves, knocking everyone off their feet. Sam sprang out of the way of one. Kristine dropped the canister. It hit the ground lid first, sending pheromone spraying violently in all directions. “Shit!” She scrambled to grab it before it emptied the entire contents into the air.
The scent hit the drones like bullets. They belched hellish cries of terror and leapt back into the air, flying in random directions for the surrounding woods. Kristine fumbled with the canister in a distraught frenzy for some time before getting it closed again. The moment had passed and everyone sat there staring at each other. Had Sam not jumped to the side he would have been pulverized under one of the behemoths. “How bad is it?” he said.
“We’ve lost most of it. Hopefully there’s enough to complete the mission and retreat,” she replied. Sam could tell by the look in her eyes that she was doubtful about that. Still, there was no use going back now. If the canister was going to fail, it was likely going fail during their retreat regardless of what they did.
As they entered what was once the school grounds, step by agonizing step, the Colossus began to engulf more of their field of view. They fell into its shadow. It seemed to be eating the sun as part of larger feast, consuming as much of the sky as it could reach. They halted fifty feet from the structure. Its hideous branching form of entangled bodies and limbs loomed over them, easily capable of crushing them like insects.
They looked up at the massive creature in silence as it silently observed them with thousands of eyes, perhaps unsure of itself for the first time since its birth. Like mice before a coiled snake, the four of them froze, wondering what they were doing here. Next to this creature, their plan now seemed absurd. If Adam was in the center of this mass of nightmares, how would they reach him?
The tentacle bed at its base began to writhe and extend toward them, moving in a coordinated fashion that baffled the eye. The moving appendages quickly engulfed the space between them and the mega-structure causing fallen trees and broken picnic tables disappear like rocks in a rising tide. Kristine gave the canister a slight twist and breathed a sigh of relief as the quiet hiss of gas reached her ear. There was still something left in there. The snake-like limbs halted ten feet from where they were and a few small feelers were sent to within a few feet of each of their faces. Pronged tongues flicked the air from their tips, tasting inexplicable danger from these tiny creatures.
Suddenly they all jumped as Sam shouted at the top of his voice without warning. “Adam! I know you’re in there! I hope you can hear me! The army is planning on killing us all to get rid of this creature. That means something to you doesn’t it? They’ll firebomb the entire town in oblivion to get rid of all this. I know you never wanted to hurt innocents before.” The tendrils stopped moving but otherwise the Colossus remained unchanged.
“I don’t want to hurt you but if this is the only way to get your attention.” Sam signaled Kristine who unleashed a massive plume of spray. The structure began to tremble and screech in wild pain with roars that made their ears throb. The slithering appendages pulled back and pounded the earth like a thundering drum. Kristine dialed the chemical release back down and after a moment they were stilled again. “We intend to get your attention! Now let’s talk!”
There was a period of silence, Sam raised his hand for Kristine to open the canister again when there was a stirring within the tentacle bed. Something was emerging. A mammoth form began to emerge from the writhing mass. Soon Sam recognized it. He had seen that creature before, the towering torso, the mighty arms, the head with no eyes and gaping tooth filled mouth. Its veins were visibly pulsating making it even more hideous in the light of day than it had been before.
Sam swallowed hard. Was this what Adam had become? The entity came so close to them that it would have been easy to knock them all to the side with one hideous blow. Their escort dropped his M16 and sank to his knees. Well… it’s called our bluff… Sam thought. However, instead of attacking, the great morphon braced itself by its clawed hands and a seam appeared down the center of its chest. With a disconcerting cracking sound the chest opened as interlocking ribs came apart revealing people inside, nestled against throbbing organs.
These were no replicants. They were people captured by the Colossus, left so unchanged that one could tell who they used to be. Twisted mats of veins and fleshy tubes swirled around their bodies, burrowing into their veins, connecting them to the super structure. Their faces stared out into space with vacant expressions. Sam’s eyes grew wide. He recognized one of them. “Dike…”
Kristine held the canister, her hands ivory in their iron grip, prepared for some new form of attack but to everyone’s shock they all began to try to speak at once. At first the voices were unintelligible, coughing up fluids, their lungs filling with air for the first time in days. “Others… what have you come to say?” Their voices all spoke with monotonous unity.
“A… Adam?” Sam said. “What have you done to these people?”
“It was necessary for communication with the others,” they droned back.
“Who are the others?”
“All those who are not in the family of the perfect one.”
Kristine grabbed his arm and whispered into his ear. “Sam. You’re not speaking to Adam. Somehow… it’s the parasite!”
“Where is Adam!?” Sam shouted. “If you don’t let me speak to him, I’ll release the compound again.”
“Causing us distress is no reason to risk harm to the perfect one.”
“The perfect one?” Sam said to himself.
The creature took it as a question. “The only one of your race that we wish to preserve. The one you have hunted and abused. All who pursue him will be made perfect or be consumed by the family.”
“Adam was created to be the perfect host for the parasite,” Kristine muttered. “The omicron strain cannot live permanently in anyone else without being attacked by their immune system. It seems to view him as a sort of… companion.”
“We are not a threat to Adam! We have had the means to hurt him many times and have not done it. I am… I am his friend!”
“The others are plagues to the perfect one. The others hunt and pursue him. We are his family, we will protect! All those who seek the perfect one will become perfect like him or join the family! He will no longer be hurt by the others!”
Kristine grabbed Sam again. “It’s somehow developed an intelligence using Adam’s mind as a template. It must view the world in much the same way he does.”
Sam thought back to the replicants. “I am… Mr. Spencer. You know who that is. I am here to save Adam from the others.” Then he shouted. “I have risked my life to save his multiple times. It has cost me the life of a friend. He owes me one last chance to speak.”
Vibrations went up and down the entire mega-structure. The feelers approached Sam and began to lick his skin. It took all of his will not to panic. “Spencer… you are known to us. Your scent was masked by the smell of fear. You must leave this place.”
“I will not leave until I have spoken with Adam!” Sam shouted.
“Do you threaten the perfect one?”
“We threaten no one. We have come to save Adam from the threat of the others!”
There was a great commotion within all of the entangled bodies. The tentacle bed behind the revolting chorus began to expand and the great monster in front of them was lifted up. A kind of snout emerged under it, the size of a school bus. A large mouth opened. Adam was sitting inside.
His eyes were glowing red, the hair on his head was completely gone, leaving nothing but silvery striped skin throughout his body. His balls were absolutely massive and a fleshy, pulsating tube was latched onto his cock. Two smaller ducts were attached to his nipples. The super organism was feeding from him. He and the parasite were directly connected to the Colossus.
He looked out on them and with an unrecognizable voice he shouted. “Go away! I don’t want to see you! You can’t help me!”
“I have someone you would like to see…” Sam tapped their escort on the shoulder. The man was frozen in fear so he removed his sunglasses and beret revealing an absolutely terrified Mike. The massive teenager was trembling in fear. “Do you recognize him? We saved him, Adam. Dike saved him… and your parasite repaid him by using him as construction material.”
Adam’s eyes went dark, his voice shifted back to a recognizable pitch. “Mike? It told me you were lost… wait… can he understand?”
“Yes Adam, he’s fully cured. We can cure you too. I finally have a way out of this war with the army.” Sam placed his hand on Mike’s shoulder. “Talk to him.”
“H..hello Adam. I…I don’t really know what’s going on but… these people want to end this. Can’t you… maybe… listen to them?”
Adam put his head in his hands, the vulnerable boy inside of him was bubbling to the surface. “Oh god… I’m so sorry… I never meant for any of this to happen. I wish… I wish… Why couldn’t they just leave us alone!?”
Sam said. “If we don’t do something, the army’s going to kill him along with the rest of us. Is that what you want? Trust me Adam, I’m giving you a chance for a new start.”
The Colossus shifted, affected by the emotional war raging within its masters. A beam of sun broke through. Light splashed into the dark orifice where Adam was sitting. Fully illuminated, Mike saw the person he had once loved as he truly was, those cat-like eyes staring back from a bed of fleshy tubes that were feeding on from his silvery body. He was so alien now. “Adam…?” His voice quivered.
“No! No! No!” Adam shouted, eyes flashing like fire, his voice once again distorted and terrible. “It’s too late! We can never be happy like this!!” The air was suddenly filled with the smell of pheromones. Tentacles reached out from the mouth and pulled Sam in, closing behind him.
Dr. Ludnan turned the canister lid to try and force Adam to return Sam but the gas sputtered out. It was empty. Alex looked over at her. “I think we should leave.”
Sam choked in the hot steamy darkness of the insides of the Colossus. He heard a voice. “No, he’ll suffocate in here.” Then in a torrent of movement, he was thrust upward and emerged into the open air. He was slimed in mucous in a sea of tendrils. They quickly ripped off his clothes and held him by his limbs.
“I could forgive you for a lot of things, Mr. Spencer, but that was the cruelest thing you ever did!” The tendrils moved Adam around the undulating forest as if he were levitating. As he moved three of them always maintained a latch on his nipples and cock while other held his massive balls. “You didn’t have some grand way out of this! You know things can’t go back to the way they were and yet you torment me with that just to make me weak so you can help those wretched people get to me! I’ve had it with you!”
“Are you going to kill me?” Sam asked, he could feel the strange limbs probing his body.
“Oh no… I’m going to turn you into a big dumb beast and then send you back for the others. Then we can all be part of the family together.”
“That’s not you!” Sam shouted. “That’s the parasite feeding you with hatred!”
“It made me strong! Stronger than you can imagine and with each passing day I get closer to having a body that is beyond anything you can dream of.” The integration between Adam and the parasite had grown so much it was impossible to tell where his thoughts ended and its began. “But you don’t have to dream, Mr. Spencer, I’m going to let you have one for yourself!”
The tentacles spread Sam like a starfish and moved him in front of Adam as he ran his slimy hands up and down his chiseled body. “I think I always had a bit of a crush on you. Now we can do this as much as we want and trust me… you’re going to want it… so much.”
“Adam! The army! You’ll die!” Sam’s head spun with vertigo as he tried to stay in control.
“Don’t be absurd. We planned for that. You don’t think I wasn’t ready for fucking bombs? We’ve been burrowing deep underground. When the bombs drop I’ll be out of reach, seeding the next generation. Let them try to dig me out. You were never going to kill us!”
Adam forced his hard cock into Sam’s exposed virgin ass, forcing him to grit his teeth. Sam could feel those balls swelling even more behind him, rubbing against his legs as Adam’s nuts doubled in girth. “Adam! Nngghh… Don’t do it! This isn’t you! It’s the parasite!” He shouted but tentacles forced their way into his mouth to silence him.
“Here comes the good stuff…” Adam said, licking Sam’s back. “Actually… I want to see your face…” Sam felt the cock pulling out as the tentacles turned him around. Adam reached up and felt those meaty pecs as Sam struggled in vain to break free. “So much better. I want to see the moment when that clever brain of yours thinks of nothing but serving me.” Sam’s legs were moved out of the way and Adam was raised up into his ass once more. “I like being inside of you,” he said and then started sucking on one of Sam’s nipples.
As Adam began to thrust, large jets of cum rocketed into Sam’s ass. Adam groaned while he filled up the man he had once looked up to. “Maybe I’ll give you five cocks of your own to play with…” But as much as he fucked, Sam didn’t seem to change that much, he just kept fighting his restraints.
“Oh, you’re resistant to the regular drone formula. That’s a pity, I was hoping to keep that nice chest intact. But you could make a nice companion for my ‘dad’.” Massive jets of cum started to pour into Sam and soon his muscles as well as his gut started to swell. His pec cleavage grew deeper, every shape in his biceps and triceps became prominent as they bulged out, his ass expanded as well as his thighs and calves. His nipples were forced further down by the cum fueled his growth. Sam could feel his spine stretch as he grew taller.
Sam closed his eyes. He began to groan as his cock and balls grew larger. The tentacles relaxed their grip on him as Adam felt he was no longer a danger. But something was wrong, Adam’s brow furrowed. He was just growing, he wasn’t changing at all. “What the fuck? It’s not… what… I wanted!”
Suddenly Sam broke loose from the tentacles that held him and seized Adam. Before anything could stop him, he had his arms around the boy, forcing him out of his ass, causing the mutant spunk to spray everywhere. The tentacles went wild trying gulp it up but Sam wouldn’t allow them to latch onto Adam’s cock.
The tentacles dropped both of them as they struggled to suck up all of Adam’s stray cum. Sam shoved his cock into Adam and started to pound away. Adam released pheromones to call for help but the smell of his cum fountain was confounding everything. Drones appeared out of nowhere and began to fight over the jizz as Sam kept fucking Adam and pushing them both backwards with his legs.
With his huge balls, Sam felt hyper virile and he began to cum not once, not twice, but four times into Adam who could not stop himself from spraying continuously. Adam was fighting to get free but Sam had grown too large for that. Sam continued pounding away on him for fifteen minutes. “When… I… get… free… I’ll…” but he never finished his sentence.
Adam’s words choked in his mouth as he began to convulse in a kind of seizure. His eyes rolled back into his head and his body began to emit a powerful odor that smelled exactly like the gas inside the canister Dr. Ludnan had used. Nearby creatures that were not attached to the Colossus began to lose their minds and flee. Adam’s cum seemed to have lost its appeal and was now being avoided as if it were poison. The entire structure burst into frenzied activity. Adam collapsed, instead of cum a thick black substance was oozing out of his cock and his balls shrank to the size of melons. Sam tossed him over his shoulder and used his powerful body to make a path in the sea of tentacles until he was too weak to fight them anymore.
He collapsed onto the writhing bed of chaos. The air was filled with deafening shrieks and cries. The enormous composite limbs of the structure were flailing around so wildly that the Colossus was tearing itself apart. He laid there with Adam, waiting for a stray blow to crush them to death when a massive convulsion threw them both clear of the Colossus. Sam landed on the hillside with Adam on top of him, knocking him unconscious.
In the darkness of his mind he heard two voices. “It looks like he was being converted… I wonder what happened?”
“Who cares, sample Adam and then I’ll shoot them both.”
“He may already be dead.”
“He may… but I’m not.” Sam opened his eyes to see Alex and Kristine standing over them. They pointed their guns at his face. Alex was standing by Mike who was sitting on the ground, blindfolded and gagged, with his hands tied behind his back.
“You can talk?” Kristine asked.
“He couldn’t convert me…”
“But your size… he must have. You just have not finished the changes,” Alex said. “We will put you out of your misery and save you the indignity of…”
“It’s over!” Sam shouted. “Adam’s been sterilized. The parasite in him is dead.”
“But how?!” They both shouted.
“You never needed the sample to cure him. Agent Stevens told Dike that it could be done with a dozen doses of the same antidote that cured Mike. I read notes he left for me from their conversation. The plan all along was to get the sample to continue the research and to hell with the rest of us.”
Alex looked at Adam. His balls were shrinking in size and stripes were becoming less distinct. “How did you get him to take it? You who know nothing! How would you figure out a way…”
“You think you’re so clever. You told me everything I needed to know. Even without the note I couldn’t have missed Kristine’s lack of bewilderment when she thought Adam had been sterilized regardless of the fact that she hadn’t gotten her precious sample. And the ‘equipment’ you brought to make this counter-agent was just a centrifuge. We have dozens like it at the SBI forensic labs.
“You said the parasite lives in the testicles, therefore the antidote had to go there to reverse the effects. So if a healthy person took, say… seventy doses not only would he be immune Adam’s cum, having sex with Adam would transfer a good chunk of it over to him.”
“That’s why you’ve been sick all morning…” said Kristine.
“That’s right. You said the parasite would never allow Adam to let himself be cured, so I figured it would force him to convert me if I came close to convincing him to sterilize himself. I knew from Mike that the antidote didn’t completely negate the muscular enhancements so even if I didn’t immediately get a chance to cum in him, I’d just have to wait until I was strong enough.
“Now, if you’ll excuse us, I think you have an air strike to cancel.”
“Who said we have any intention of canceling it?” Bartinov shouted. “The plan was never to kill the people of this town. Just the people who know too much, like you. Obviously, your cooperation required us to come up with a slightly different story. Most civilians have already been evacuated out of the area by now. After that’s done the bombs will drop, obliterating any trace of your bodies and we can go on with creating our super soldiers that will be superior in every way to Saunders’ failure.”
“Kristine? You’d kill us for this super soldier program?” Sam asked.
“Would you honestly rather be left alive than taken back to AIM? That’s where you will both go if we do not kill you. That is not my decision, the generals will not allow word of this incident to leave Hollyville. Word will be that you went mad from the virus and died and the very ground had to be burned to eradicate the infection. The plans were made without my consent. What am I supposed to do?”
“Tell them that if I’m not alive, enough evidence to have you all tried for war crimes will hit every newspaper in America,” Sam said.
“What are you talking about?” Alex said doubtfully.
“Do you think your little quarantine was foolproof? Over the course of the last month I’ve gotten to know some of the people out here. Some of them know these woods pretty well. You think my reports are sitting back at the station? Things have been passing out of Hollyville that would make your lives difficult. Only my word keeps them from getting sent straight to CNN.”
“We could torture you to tell us where the documents are,” Bartinov said.
“Could you?” Sam got up. He was a full foot taller than Bartinov and several hundred pounds heavier. “Pretty sure your only option is to shoot me or let me go with these two,” he said, pointing to Adam and Mike.
“You can’t seriously think you can take Adam with you?”
“Without the parasite I don’t see any reason why not,” said Sam. “Besides, y’all have plenty of Adams now. You don’t need him.”
“And what would we possibly say?”
“You’re smart, you figure it out.” Sam went to pick up Adam. “You’ve got a few days to decide but I wouldn’t stretch it. You really don’t want the information I have to get into the hands of the media. If the army is willing to make a whole town disappear to cover its ass, what are the chances it wouldn’t feed you two to the lions to save its own skin?” he said as he broke Mike’s restraints before bending over to pick up Adam.
“Wait one moment…” Alex bent over and stuck Adam’s nuts with something that looked like a large epi-pen.
“I told you, the parasite’s dead,” Sam said.
“All the better for me. I was going to arrange for it die anyway,” Alex said. “It’s true that originally the goal was to continue the work of Saunders but… like we’ve told you, the Colossus convinced us that the experiment must end. We fully expected Adam to die in the bombardment and without a dead sample of the parasite, we would never be able to convince AIM that this work is futile and they would have gone back to Greenland for more. It is an internal matter. I don’t expect you to understand, Mr. Spencer.”
Sam spat at his feet before carrying Adam away. Mike followed close behind, leaving the scientists to find their way to a convoy before any stray creatures found them.
Later that evening a group of generals were gathered around a stretcher that had been covered in a towel. Alex and Kristine were standing among them. The scientists pulled back the veil, revealing a badly damaged replicant.
“Generals…” said Alex. “As you can see, Adam is dead.”
“What about the parasite?!” General Thompkin demanded.
“We able were to sample Adam before his death but the parasite has become too unstable to transfer into another host. It was already dying by the time we could flash freeze it. An entire team is testing it now to confirm our assessment. There is no justification for spending more time and resources on this project.”
“I don’t believe you’ve tried every possible means,” said Thompkin.
“The parasite is inherently unstable,” said Alex. “Powerful yes, but unable to be reliably transferred from host to host. The sample we collected proves that.”
General McMillan turned to the others. “I’ve been assured that if we bomb the hell out of the Colossus, any remnants will shrivel up and die without contact with the parasite.”
“I would agree with that,” Alex said.
“And the other creatures in the town?”
“The crawlers have no digestive system,” Alex said. “Without the Colossus they will starve in days. The drones can be sedated for cure or study.”
“What about the detective and the drone he cured?”
“They were seized by the Colossus. I assume they are dead or will be when the bombs drop,” Dr. Bartinov said. “I propose we turn the page on Dr. Saunders work and move ahead with the two component model that Dr. Ludnan and I…”
Everyone turned to Kristine who had been standing there in silence. “I saw the boy… I saw his pain and anger. I will not have this life for our hosts… No, I’ll call them by their names, Jack and Tony. They deserve loving homes to grow up in as boys, not military labs.
“You may continue the work on the super soldier program without me if you want, generals. You may even succeed without my expertise. But without love, they will all end up like Adam. They are almost six, it may already be too late for them to develop normally, but I believe we must give them that chance! These are children, not laboratory rats. They cannot be endowed with superhuman powers and be expected to act like machines!”
As the room descended into bitter arguments, McMillan smiled. He now had a powerful ally in his quest to end the super soldier program.
Sam watched from a safe distance on the roof of an abandoned house as F15’s bombed the horrifying Colossus into oblivion until its last shriek was silenced. He had found some sweatpants that fit him well enough. An M16 that he had scavenged from the battlefield was sitting at his side. As he watched the massive mound of flesh burn against the night sky, he contemplated the events of the past month. Not all monsters had claws.
His thoughts were occasionally interrupted by the clicking gate of a passing crawler on the ground below. They were still out there trying to fulfill their purpose unaware that their actions were now futile. Terrifying as they were, they had been mere puppets in this nightmare. Eventually the jets and the choppers left the scene and Sam felt they would be safe from hellfire that night. He quickly dropped down to the porch below and knocked on the door. Mike opened it and let him in, he had been watching the glow of the fires from inside. Adam had remained unconscious throughout the entire bombardment stirring occasionally. They had left him wrapped in a blanket on the couch. “Did he wake up?”
“No, but the stripes are almost gone,” Mike said. “Do you really think it’ll be him when he wakes up?”
Sam shook his head. He had no idea if Adam would wake up at all. “The parasite’s gone, let’s hope that what’s left was the person you knew.” The two of them shared what food they could find and Mike eventually went to sleep. As tired as he was, Sam stayed awake listening for signs of trouble. Hollyville was still not a safe place, as evidenced by the occasional mournful roar of a drone in the distance. Yet, as the fires burned into the night they gave him a glimmer of hope. Perhaps in the coming days they could go free.
He silently thanked those hill people who he had so easily dismissed a month ago. They had bought him his means of escape. He watched Adam asleep on the couch, after all of his efforts, he had actually done it. He had saved him from that thing. But had it been the right decision? Had his actions led to more death and destruction? Would he even be able to live a normal life?
Sam sat there, quietly wondering if all of the atrocities committed by “the family” were driven by the parasite inside of him or had he granted a stay of execution to the real sociopath. Which would wake up? Would it be an innocent boy with a chance to start again, or another monster in the skin of a man?
If you enjoyed this story, check out the sequel “Sometimes Drugs Offer More than a High”