Picking up the child has a curative effect. For the first time I hear a touch of exasperation in a Parasite’s previously emotionless voice.
I’ve been told I’d try the patience of a saint by a few people. But these things aren’t saints.
‘The meat syphons our power from the new-birthed. If it will not be tempted, let it be consumed. The Melding must suppress the new-birthed until absorption.’
The forceful deliveries of voice-pictures carry displeasure and alarm. All I know is it makes my inner ear vibrate painfully.
Needing a break from their whinging, I wrap the baby girl in my shield, cutting the Parasite link and her fog drip. She immediately wakes and wails, feeling the many agitations and abrasions inflicted upon her as she’d slept. The sound reverberates in our enclosure and grows ever stronger, heightening to a jet-engine roar that threatens to crack my skull in two. The strength she’d lent me withers under this crushing sound in short order.
Cringing in exquisite pain I put a stop to the torture by shutting her out again. The sedating fog rolls in and a tendril reengages its evicted place, nestling against mine with nauseating familiarity. The instant it drives home, a shocking cacophony of panicked noise and pictures assaults already frazzled nerves.
‘SHUT ITS MIND. The Melding unravels. We are DYING.’
It sounds freaked out. So, the Parasites don’t appreciate that awful sound either. It hurts them. If I can work out how to manipulate her cries without incapacitating myself I might have a useable weapon.
Second thoughts of trading her life for mine are swiftly, and guiltily, shoved aside.
Parasite panic subsides as the child falls deeper into a comatose state. I leave her quieting to them and rethink my strategy. I refuse to be embarrassed about using the baby. Nudity requires me to utilise whatever defensive tools are at my disposal and she’s all I’ve got. I’m standing upon a whale-sized Parasite while set upon by genetically engineered creatures eager to tear me apart; surely circumstances that would strain the morals of a Pope.
First I need to stop the fog bleeding through our mind-link without cutting my link to the baby. I need her as a buffer to listen in on the Parasites without getting probed myself. I study the two tendrils sprouting from the baby’s head. One joins us together; a frayed and kinked thing. The other is gloss-black and drawn as tight as a tuned piano wire.
What comes in can also go out.
I gather what’s left of the energy boost taken from the child, preparing for some pay-back.
A destructive surprise package to send into the Parasite’s head.
Perhaps in the ensuing chaos we can escape.
Back-tracking the almost invisible tether is a lot to ask of my severely weakened Other-vision. Many hundreds of Parasite tendrils weave around us aimlessly, confusing both sets of vision.
I’m almost there when a temptress breaks my concentration by stepping on the sore foot and pressing her body to mine. It’s a clumsy and less than amorous attack, thrown off by another rippling undulation beneath our feet. I can’t tell which girl she represents. I’d had my eye on April; but it hardly matters now since the offer of sex no longer appeals. I seize her throat to prevent bared teeth and clawing hands reaching me, getting a good look at grey gums and hauntingly blank eyes before flinging the host away.
The soft surface caves beneath me as I release her, then swells to crash onto my falling butt. The trampoline effect flips me helplessly onto my back. Yet again I drop my most precious possession and cling to the wrinkled flesh.
Riding almighty waves of whatever liquid fills this elephantine sack I’m buoyed to great highs then dropped into deep troughs. Each convulsion further separates me from the baby.
Black beams drill down through the murk to play over the child. They’d waited until we had lost physical contact. I have the presence of mind to note the importance of this.
Another Delilah staggers at me in attack mode. Several steps from me she disappears from view into a rippling skin fold. It snaps tight again, forcefully expelling her from the fleshy crevasse. The Creep bounces from the Mother and hits the hard floor in an untidy sprawl.
It would be best if we did not follow suit.
I strain to reacquire the ragdoll baby as it tumbles towards me then away on another rolling wave, just out of arm’s reach. With a Walrus’ humping motion I flounder forwards to snag the kid by one leg.
Re-establishing contact coincides with the dark beams cutting off. Another exhilarating electrical charges fills my depleted biological battery. A much stronger charge than the last one.
Time slows as my fingers wrap around her too-soft skin. Second-sight lightens the room. The deepest corners of this enclosure are revealed in shades of grey. Within this drab grey, several inky blobs stand out. These mini black holes draw at my mind with their awful, sucking emptiness.
Shifting filters meticulously sharpen the view until I see seven, ten, no; about a dozen orbs hanging above us, ominously unsupported below the undulating cloth roof. The material dips alarmingly as more and more Parasite Crawlies fall upon it.
They are getting rather excitable up there.
My attention returns to those menacing blobs. Intuition names them as mechanisms of the Melding. Something so far unexplained and more frightening in their anonymity.
Eager to please my accursed curiosity, Other-sight bores into one, stripping away layers. I can almost discern the occupant lying within that deepest black. That familiar emptiness; associated with the womb. It echoes with amplified thoughts and hums with power.
The energy from the child is quickly expended and the Other-sight dims at the penultimate moment. It shows a sentient petulance for this inadequate power provisions. The accessories I benefit from, and so quickly took for granted as mine to control, prove themselves unequivocally independent.
My shield cracks open and I am exposed.
There is an excess of power permeating this room. Other-sight wants it and opens the vacuum inside of me to be filled.
I feel like a water balloon stretched over a fire hydrant turned on full. The power rush bloats me and I reach with greedy hands for my share. As if to prove the irrelevance of my wants I am torn free of my body for the second time in as many days, with the terrifying ease of another’s will.
This development does not bode well for me.
The astral body I become crackles; tingling with power. Lightening erupts from the extremities of my mind to ground on the Mothers flesh. She twitches and bucks at the abuse.
I sincerely hope my slack body below can stay safe on this giant bladder until I overcome the force that separates me from it.
Before any corrective action can be considered I’m accelerating away with Neodymium magnetic attraction, on a collision course with the closest dark orb.
A scream has no time to form before warp speed smashes me into its glossy surface.
I explode into a billion pieces.
The dissolution into the floating egg combines sheer terror and exhilaration from a wild ride survived against all odds.
Reformation is not as a singular identity. I am dissolved, yet not lost. The soup I am part of travel along dark vessels at phenomenal speeds.
No mind is equipped for such happenings. Especially one already damaged and split into dissimilar personalities.
Like shattered glass in a strong wind, sharp shards of me are dispersed in a roar of sound and light.