Genesis II, The Rise
By Chuck Oliver
I heard the nurses' aide call out while gasping for fresh air; "Someone forgot to cap the ass-valve on this one, and now we've got one hell of a mess..." Looking into the hall, I could see an earthen red ooze running down the slope of the vinyl squared floors, pungent gasses ghostly hovering along its flow.
Of course, un-capped ass-valve events always set my senses on edge. But, it was the scent of the gasses that moved me to extract from within the wound of my current charge. Having been up to my forearms, it took several minutes to carefully retract from the cavernous opening in her fetid flesh. More importantly, since she was infected with 26th generation necrotic fasciitis, I couldn't be abrupt during the maneuver. For having endured the replication of so many generations, such organisms had not only developed an immunity to all known antibiotics, fungicides, pesticides and anti-viral agents, they had also deduced their own sense for things they found sick and threatening. Consequently, sorties in and out of their world required the fineness of an assassin.
While recently obtaining advanced certification in the management of sentient and deadly microbes, I witnessed a seasoned trainer loss an entire arm and a significant part of her face in a similar situation. Again, the scene was an aide frantically screeching about some perceived crisis. Unfortunately, having been several days without sleep during a campaign against a colony of particularly virulent combatants, she broke protocol and responded too quickly. I would never forget the look on her face as we both realized her folly, just a second prior to it dissolving her once solid skin.
I considered myself extremely fortunate to have escaped with my own hide intact. And, after considering it for several months, I began to wonder if there wasn't an ethos to its kind. Perhaps it understood and accepted the notion of a slow demise for a portion of its colonies. Maybe, it was even able to grasp the need for an equilibrium, a balance between its kind and ours. After all, we were its only host, its only source of sustenance. Wasn't that the bases for a kind of symbiosis? If it completely destroyed us, what then? Wouldn't our extinction entail the same for its own?
There were those that cautioned against such thinking, arguing it was just the sort of Trojan Horse they sought, giving them time to continue along the most accelerated rate of evolution in all of biological history. But, this seemed to presuppose a level of self-consciousness that was completely unfounded. Though clearly sentient, recognizing one's own evolutionary movement and plotting a course into the future just appeared well beyond its basic abilities of simple preservation. Nonetheless, the argument posed a frightening notion: what if they were just curing in their amniotic juices awaiting a more advanced level of development when new and more refined resources might be launched upon us?
Regardless, at this point any seasoned practitioner in the management of bodily fluids would have been concerned at the unique smell permeating through the halls. It was the type of situation that caused hairs to stand erect across the back of one's neck, as if attempting to flee the anchor of their follicles.
So, having safely completed my retreat, I grabbed my mask and strapped on the self-contained breathing apparatus. I also grabbed one of the super UV light sabers stationed along the walls of the hall and headed toward the origin of the mass. I moved with an added level of urgency noting that the once shrieking aide was now silent.
Even after all I'd seen in these last months, I was stunned by the sight when I looked into the room. It was horrifyingly obvious why her screaming had grown silent. It wasn't from a lack of effort. Her mouth was agape and contorted in the motion of articulation, yet no sounds could emerge. Grasping the front of her neck, hands covered with the bloody froth of vocal cord sinew dissolved by the acid gasses taken in during cries for help, she was choking to death on the liquefied remains of her throat.
Though completely unprepared for the horror show of what was a valued college, my attention was quickly drawn to the puddle on the floor. Again, no amount of training or experience could have prepared me for what I saw. What was previously just an undifferentiated mass of ass drainage had now begun to form tentacles. My mind flashed to what our pre-humanoid cousin might have looked like upon first crawling from the primordial soup of the sea, coughing out fluid from its previous gills, and taking in its first breath of air.
Clearly, the game had now changed.
- - -
Registered Nurse, try to be writer and a minor poet, just keep scratching at the paper to see what kind of freaky shit flows.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Genesis II, The Rise
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