I need a plan, I thought as I sprinted down the street. I could hear the Biomatrix thundering after me, calling my name. How the G-damn did it know my name?
I knew I couldn’t run forever. Already my lungs burned and my legs were getting heavy.
I veered into an abandoned building, slammed the door behind me and kept running. Maybe this would buy me some time.
The building shuddered as the Biomatrix crashed up against it. I turned down one hallway, then another, trying to find a door out the other side. The building groaned and the ceiling rained plaster dust as the Biomatrix forced its way in. I fought down the urge to turn and look behind me. Would I see it oozing through cracks and holes? Was it trying to eat through the walls like mold?
I glimpsed a smudge of grey light and turned down another passage, this one with a door leading out at the end. Barbed tentacles snagged on my pants and my coat. I kicked through the door and stumbled back out into daylight, finding myself in a debris-choked alleyway. I glanced around frantically, looking for shelter, and saw someone in the distance—was that Captain?
“Hey!” I screamed, running towards zeer. “Run!”
Captain didn’t seem to hear me. My left foot landed on uneven ground and my ankle rolled. I reeled forwards, stumbling, and felt the sharp sting of a tentacle slicing through my jacket to the skin.
“DO SOMETHING!” I called out to Captain again, voice cracking a little, but zee didn’t respond. Zee just stood there, staring off as if admiring a nice sunset.
Zee finally seemed to notice me when I was directly in front of zeer face.
“AH, I SEE YOU’VE MET YOUR SPECIAL FRIEND,” Captain said, purple lenses twinkled merrily. “WHY SUCH DISTRESSED POSTURING? EVERYTHING IS GOING RIGHT ALONG ZEE PLANNED TRAJECTORY NOW.” My stomach sank. Zee wasn’t going to save us. Why had I somehow thought zee would? The Biomatrix’s first avatars came slinking into the corner of my vision with animal forms. They bared sharp and bloody teeth at me. I felt a twitching impulse to abandon Captain while I could. Zee had gotten me into this situation, after all, with zeer stupid list and zeer stupid commands.
“There is an unspeakable monstrosity about to KILL US,” I pleaded to Captain instead. “We need to run!”
“YOUR NEWFOUND MOTIVATION TO EXERCISE IS MOST WONDROUS,” Captain said, “BUT I THINK YOU OUGHT TO GET TO KNOW YOUR FRIENDS FIRST. LOOK HOW CUDDLY THEY ARE!”
The Biomatrix’s main body had caught up to us. I glanced between Captain and the massive toothy mouth the Biomatrix had formed. I sighed. So this was how I’d die. I shoved Captain away from the beast and aimed my gun into its jaws, intending to cause as much damage as I could before being eaten.
“WHY SUCH UNFRIENDLINESS? OUR NEW FOREST FRIENDS WILL BE OF MUCH HELP IN DISCOVERING WHOLESOME NEW ADVENTURES!” Captain protested from somewhere behind me, and then the Biomatrix lunged and I started shooting.
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1st August 2011