"What the hell!?!! Is it an earthquake?" Parker exclaimed as the building shook. He looked over at Addy in confusion.
"No, it's a Mega-bug! The audience selected Millipede!"
"Oh, c'mon, like the old video game?"
"Yes, this is a game, dummy. We've gone over this!" Addy quipped.
"Forget it...Hey, ouch!"
Addy grabbed Parker and pulled him up by an arm. "You're gonna have to stand up, Parker. We can't stay here. That thing knows we're in this building and it won't stop until we come out!"
"What if we don't come out?" Parker asked.
"Then it will just climb the building and come in and get us," Addy replied.
The woman lifted Parker's arm around her neck.
"You're strong, apparently just like your mother."
"Thanks, I suppose," Addy replied. "We need to find a way out of the dome. Once we're out, I know someplace safe we can go."
"Dome? Is that why there's no sky?"
Addy nodded. "One foot in front of the other...let's go."
Parker's face contorted from the pain with each step. "I don't think anywhere is safe for me. For that matter, I'm just going to slow you down. You should leave me."
"Shut up, martyr," Addy said with a slanted grin. "We're going to make it, just watch."
Cracks appeared in the walls of the stairwell and dust rained down from above. A fine mist hung in the air coating Parker and Addy's hair and clothing.
"You should be feeling better by now, it only takes us brids a short time to heal."
"I'm not a hybrid, I already told you that! In fact, it still hurts like a bitch!"
"Pain or not, its healing fast, I guarantee it." Addy stopped Parker on the third floor landing and lifted his shirt. "You sure you're just a plain ol' human?"
Parker glanced down at the dissolving wound and then back up at Addy. "How?"
"Because you're a brid, like I've been trying to tell you all along. Welcome to the club, Parker Raymond. Looks like someone in your family was diddling with someone, erm, 'outside the species'." Addy ran her fingers over the sore spot and Parker flinched. "How many times have you shifted by now?"
Parker tried to count between the intermittent quakes generated by the machine outside. He coughed. "Fourteen maybe fifteen times? Why?"
"A Negexis at around fifty shifts will become so powerful that they turn into pure dark energy. Some are capable of shifting without any assistance...unfortunately most lose their minds at that point in the process. But about halfway is the sweet spot. This is when they are at their greatest energy and become extremely dangerous."
Addy and Parker slowly crept down the stairs until they reached the bottom floor.
"I don't understand. I'm not Negexis...that would make sense if I was, but I'm not."
Addy nodded and pushed open the stairwell exit door. "And that I believe. Honestly, I have no idea what you are, but whatever it is, whatever this thing is that is in your DNA structure, must be very similar to the Negexis strain. You are more like me than you are them," Addy said and pointed toward the front door. "And all you need to do to prove this to be the case would be to walk out in that street and present yourself to that Mega-Bug."
The pair quietly crossed the floor of the decaying restaurant and paused near the entrance. They hunkered down behind an overturned table. Through the front windows, Parker spotted something glowing in the crimson light outside. It ran across the sidewalk on the other side of the street, skittered about as if confused, and then disappeared beneath an overturned bus stop shelter. "Broadway!"
"Shut up!" Addy whispered and pulled Parker back down. "I already told you I'm not going to get myself killed for a damn cat! Don't you feel that!?!! It's getting closer!"
Parker heard a reverberating digital growl and summoned his courage. He shook off Addy's grip on his arm and crawled toward the window, ignoring her quiet pleadings to remain hidden. He painfully slid up next to the door and glanced out of its dirty window. Parker nearly jumped from his skin as the elongated head of a monstrous, frightening machine appeared around the corner. Two dark eyes bulged from each side of the armored face and glimmered in the undulating red light radiating from the building's fascia. Metallic vents on its neck rippled in sequence, hot exhaust generating whirlwinds of dust and old paper from the sidewalk's surface.
Something moved in the street and the mechanized head jerked to the right. Leg over leg, ten in total, the machine's appendages began to move. It shot forward, racing down the street toward the sudden, unexpected movement.
"Damn you, idiot! Get down or you'll kill us both!" Addy shouted.
"I can't, it's Broadway!" Parker yelled and jumped up to run out into the road. "Broadway, come here, kitty kitty!"
The small, frightened kitten ran from the shadows and stopped in the street as it saw Parker's familiar face in the open doorway. It meowed and then raced toward him as fast as its little legs could go.
Parker looked to the right at the oncoming threat, at Broadway, and then back toward Millipede. "NO!" he shouted, realizing neither he nor the cat was going to make it in time. Flying out of the door to save his tiny friend, Parker, forgetful of his injury, stumbled as the sharp pain brought him to his knees.
"Run Broadway!" Parker yelled, swatting at the air, and crawled toward the fluffy kitten. Tears rolled down his cheeks. "Please, run and hide!"
Millipede loomed over the animal. The cat cowered in the middle of the dark street, frozen in fear as the killing machine's shadow blotted out the red light from above. The two circular, hydraulic stompers mounted on the sides of Millipede's upper torso lifted in preparation to pound the pavement once more.
Broadway suddenly darted forward toward Parker.
"NO!!!" Parker's shouting was drowned out by Millipede's digital roar as the mechanized beast slammed its heavy stompers down.
YOU ARE READING
Voynich Shift - Season One (COMPLETED)Science Fiction
Parker Raymond recently inherited his estranged grandfather's large plantation home in Savannah, Georgia. The Spanish Moss hanging from the estate's large oaks, its massive gardens, and a near endless bank account were, in the end, not what captured...