A Man Reborn"Go."
Somewhere, Lysanna clawed at the shards of mirror, using the last of her strength to send the message. The words came to Tal'shen as needling pain, piercing her mind. "Forget them," her mother said. "Go now and do as I've created you to do!"
Tal'shen felt her mother die. It did not matter. There was no feeling of attachment; only the drive to carry out her purpose. Growing still, her monstrous form filled the room. She shot two massive tentacles upwards, rending a large hole in the ceiling. Outside, she blinked in the fog. London, that was the name of this city, wasn't it? A good a place as any to begin.
Inside, Maya coughed back the bits of dust and plaster. "Paul," she breathed, wincing at the mass of flesh Tal'shen had left in her wake. She went to him, gasping at his flayed carcass, nothing more than quivering bits of meat and bone. She closed her eyes. One chance.
Odyssey II Ch.8 Entry: BrethrenMaya wore confusion on her face.
Paul had always been short with words; this time would be no different.
"I know everything now."
Maya watched as he floated upwards through the hole in the ceiling.
There was no time to tell her what he had seen. What it was like to die while psychically connected to another being and how, in that moment, the mind-soul rides that tether like a roller coaster searching for the end of the track. That he rode that tether through the mind of Tal'shen and then into its mother, witnessing their lives, truths and stories.
No time to explain that he knew her race, perhaps better than her. That for millennia these stained glass people worshiped science as humans worshiped gods, and evolved a culture of unraveling the complex mysteries of the mathematical universe. They were a race that evolved exponentially because each was dedicated to self-improvement. He saw that, over time, there was a great shift - physical and mental - and an age came to pass when their mi
Techno-Colored PsychosisPaul's eyes came into focus just as Maya walked into the room, but something was different about her. Her face looked sunken and her eyes seemed glazed and black. The whole of the roomed looked as though it was changing color, flipping from one monochromatic scheme to a neon rainbow and back again. Paul began to pant and panic as she drew near him, he'd never been so terrified. He crawled away into the corner of the room, shivering, barely catching his breath, twisting his head back and forth as he flinched at every shadow.
“Paul? What's wro-” Maya 's jaw dropped at the sight of Paul's transformation.
Large glossy scales crept up from his thigh across his torso, they flicker in the dim light and changed color. They were iridescent, bright, shimmering with all the hues of the rainbow. The eight new arm-length tentacles creeping out from behind his back matched his new scales in color. They almost seemed to glow as they thrashed from side to side.
Maya held her mouth in shock
Odyssey II Chp VI: Something Worse than NobodyPart of his foremost tentacle spun across the room, followed by a trail of shimmering black ichor. Maya’s blade brought a paradox to his senses. His injured limb accepted the cold steel. It felt right when she cut him, as if his flesh knew it was being purified. At the same time, pain screamed through him, reeling from the touch of the metal, causing what remained of the tentacle to spasm.
A seizure. The memory of the subway surfaced, and for a moment he wasn’t in the room anymore. He clung to those little flashes of memory, grasped at every word he remembered in order to keep his mind working, to keep himself. The creature sharing his body struggled to escape the pain, to fight back, but not while he still held some control. He felt a tingling pressure reverberating through him. The bones of his mouth cracked and split, his teeth melting away and forming a hard cephalopod beak.
Maya. Could she carve him free? The creature within him pulsed and her face vanished from his me
The Host With the MostPaul staggered out into the early morning fog like a drunkard.
He hunched into the raised lapels of this too-thin jacket and wandered away from the hotel, disoriented, shivering--panic gnawing at his gut like a cannibal. "I need help," he thought, "but where?" The nearest hospital was the obvious answer, but the thought of what the doctors would do filled his mind with images of hospital beds with straps, extended isolation with no answers and needles piercing his flesh.
The mass on his thigh was growing--that was certain. Paul could feel it writhing and pushing against his flesh as he walked. Lost in his fears, he never noticed the black, windowless van pull up next to him until he heard the van door slide back violently, and rough hands reached out and pulled him out of the grey London mist into darkness.
He awoke with a headache, disoriented. His eyes would not focus and he began to panic, his heart pounding in his ch
Dreams of the DeepPaul's whole world was spinning. The Proxitol made it incredibly difficult for him to think clearly. Maya? Yes, her name was Maya. She had told him it would only be a few days, that the thing inside would dissolve. She'd been wrong, and she'd been surprised that she'd been wrong, not that it mattered. Resting his head against the cool porcelain of the toilet in the cell he called a room, Paul
could almost laugh about how this all seemed like some ridiculous dream. But the pain, the disorientation, and the feeling of...something inside...assured him it was anything but.
The growth had started spreading again, but it was different this time. The iridescent scales had formed
patches around his hips, wrapped around his waist, and then branched out into two separate lines that
ran up and gathered around his shoulder blades, sprouting opaque sacs.
That night he dreamed of an ocean, somewhere far, far away. Something large and shapeless, sparkling like a star-covered
A Shower and a Change"Ah, damn. God damn."
The stain was small, no larger than a coin. It fell near his right hip, nestled in the dip between crotch and thigh. Still, it was nauseating. Paul stripped off the trousers and walked to the sink, hoping the sliver of hotel soap would take out the spot.
He began running the hot water and paused, staring at the vomit. Resisting the urge to gag, he grazed his fingers over the stain. It was purely liquid and slick like dish soap, but the sickly brown could only be vomit. He slowly raised his hand to his face and sniffed his fingers. Nothing. It seemed, for a moment, odorless. But no, he suddenly caught a faint scent of metal. Like a cup full of coins. Or a bloodied nose.
"Shit!" A stream of blood ran down his nostrils, over his lip and down his chin. Paul dropped the trousers to the bathroom floor and watched the b
Skin Glowing From WithinLysanna felt a sudden change in her breathing, and knew than that something had happened to her Progeny. Though the organism was still very small, she shared a psychic link with it that would remain as it transferred from host to host. When the growth cycle was complete, the bond she had with the tiny bit of life would be severed as it emerged from the host with its own consciousness.
She looked in the mirror at her gaunt face, the colors of her life force faded and barely moving under the surface of her tightly stretched, translucent skin. Her time in this world was diminishing and with every dying moment she hoped that her progeny would take hold in it's new host. She had tried transferring her progeny to the humans many times before, and felt the twinge of pain as it was violently rejected, leaving the host in throes of agony as it expelled the last bits of the strange organism. But this time, she was hopeful, for the progeny had thrived longer in t