The Xian wrapped their tentacles around my limbs, immobilizing me. They lifted me off the ground and carried me into another room. I was strapped down on a hard table and monitors were attached to me. “You don’t have to do this!” I told them, desperately. “We’re still with you! We’re still Freed.”
The Xian without a word slapped a gummy substance over my mouth. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t even open my mouth. “The Origin is coming,” one Xian said to the other. “Let us leave so he can commence the examination.” The two Xians walked out of the room.
The Origin was going to examine me? How? The room must be some kind of giant MRI because there was no way the Origin could fit in the room. There was no way it could even fit through the door. I heard an unsettling slimy sound. I turned my head, as it was basically all I could move, toward the doorway and there I saw the greenish gloop of the Origin just outside. Slowly the gloop began to fill the doorway like it was being pressed against it. It was pointless, I thought. I almost laughed. It was much too big. There was no way it could fit through the doorway. And then it began to seep in.
And it kept coming. Now, it wasn’t just seeping. It wasn’t just an accidental spilling of goo. No, it was pushing in. It was an active attempt to get inside. The Origin was trying to force its way through the door! It was thrusting its mass through the tiny door and it was actually coming in! It was like one of those children toys where they stick a glob of play-doh in one end and out the other came a long tube and The Origin just kept coming. The gelatinous snake then started to rise and twist around the room, like it wasn’t just goo but now a living thing thrashing about.
The room slowly began to fill up around me. The goopy appendage continued to grow as it wound itself around the room, filling every corner. I tried to struggle against my straps, but it was no use. They were too strong and unbending. The snake-like appendage seemed to melt into the goo0filled room. I was now trapped in a small bubble of air, a rapidly shrinking island. As the bubble began to close around me, I grew horrified, terrified. I thrashed about desperate to be free.
And then it was upon me. I was engulfed by the Origin, drowning in it. I tried to fight, tried to struggle. I began to panic. I could feel it in my head, swimming in my thoughts, in my minds. I was no longer worried about the outside world. That seemed utterly unimportant compared to the horror that was going on in my head.
There was nothing else in the world. Just me and the Origin, battling in my mind. And it was winning! My thoughts began to be dominated by the Origin. It was almost like being Freed again, but more so. The voice that had been whispering to me for all those days was now yelling, screaming in my head. It was now me who was just a whisper. It was invading my mind, controlling it. It was consuming my entire being. I was nothing, but a speck. Soon it would know all my secrets. Soon I would be gone…
And then there was a scream! That was all that existed, the scream. I thought it was me who was screaming, but I realized it was not. It was the Origin! It was screaming in my head!
It was deafening. There was nothing but the screaming. And then slowly, I was myself again, seperate from the sound. It continued, but I realized that it was not in my head anymore.
I opened my eyes. A bubble had formed around me and it was growing. The Origin was receding away from me. No, not just receding. Fleeing! It was running away in terror and pain. Something had happened to it. Something had attacked it. But what? Then I realized it must have been the nanites that Tilly had given me. When the Origin had tried to take over my mind he had infected himself!
He had run from the room and I was left alone, but I was still secured to the table and the gag was over my mouth. I couldn’t get up. The scream was filling the room, filling the building. It was so loud and pervasive it took a while for me to notice the room was shaking. The table, the room, the entire building was shaking. But was it from the sound or was the Origin shaking everything?
I siezed my only chance and began shaking the table. After a few minutes, I started to grow tired, but I continued nonetheless. I could feel the table coming loose. Then suddenly it collapsed! I had provided just enough extra forced to break it. I cringed as I fell, hurting my left forearm in the impact. But could I be free? I moved my left arm. It stung as it pulled against the restraints, but behind the pain I noticed that the lock had been broken. With effort, I slipped my hand free from the restraint, ignoring the pain, and went to work on the other arm. It took a few hits, but the restraint relented and my right arm slipped free. My legs were freed soon enough. The gag turned to ooze and I spat it out.
I rushed out of the room and there was the Origin, spasming. The Xian lay on the floor unconcious. I heard a scream, no… a roar! I rushed down the wall, keeping my distance from the Origin, to the next door. Inside, I saw Jamal fighting agianst his restraints. He looked at me, anger in his reptilian eyes. “There you are! Get me out of here!” I ran over to help and together we got him free. “What the hell is going on?” Jamal asked.
“I’m not entirely sure,” I admitted. “I think the Origin tried to read my mind by bonding with me. And my guess is that when he did that your daughter’s nanos got into him and began attacking the infection which may actually just be him.”
“So he’s pissed?” Jamal asked to which I nodded. “Oh good. Because it looks like he’s coming through the door.”
to be continued…