FILE ENTRY 22.0

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Bella wanted to speak, to say something, to call out to Caprica to see if her friend was playing a trick on her, but her voice hung in her throat, dry and desperate to believe anything but the truth...that Caprica had not become infected and turned into one of those flesh eating zombies.

"Cap?" was all she could say.

The growl purred like an air cycle engine, growing more intense as it rose from the ground and accelerated through the sky. That's where the resemblance ceased. Caprica smacked her fists against the bathroom door in the midst of a feverish fit of rage.

Bella knew what she was furious about. Her friend wanted to bust through the door, sink her teeth into her bare arm, and devour her flesh. Bella hugged herself, rubbing her hands over her biceps. With her tank top on, she could imagine getting eaten alive, her skin savagely torn from her arms and shoulders. She swallowed the dryness in her throat, took a step toward the door, her hand reaching out toward the knob.

She stopped inches away.

Finally, her voice loosened up and she said, "Caprica? It's me, your friend, it's Bella."

Caprica snarled and exploded into another fit of anger, hunger pains—the only thing Bella could describe it as—building into a hot rage, slamming her fists up high and kicking her feet against the bottom of the door. The thin metal separating her and Bella rattled within the frame but held up under the onslaught. But for how long?

Bella yelled, "Caprica? Snap out of it!"

But her friend beat against the door even more.

Bella tried to wrap her mind around what was happening. She recalled what transpired on the Sea Breeze Deck moments earlier, how the passengers appeared to die before her eyes and then come alive again but in a zombified state. She didn't have another word to describe the transformation. With all her heart, she hoped that Caprica wasn't dead but only sick, infected like the rest, which meant there could be a cure.

She wanted to say something else, but she realized the more sounds she made the more disgruntled Caprica became. So Bella closed her lips, clenched them tight against each other, afraid to utter another word. As she did so, Caprica quieted on the other side of the door, emitting only a low pitched growl.

Bella inched toward the stateroom entrance, half open from when she burst through the door. She sucked in a quiet breath as her shoes grazed over the low carpet, trying to make as little noise as possible.

At the door, she nudged it open, the hinges making a whisper of a sound. Her body quivered, heart thrumming against her chest. She blinked. Exhaled and left the room and entered the long hallway. She glanced back at the open door to Caprica's room, moving away from her friend's stateroom, heading toward her own room. As she gained speed, heart still thumping wildly, looking back, she collided with someone.

Bella's chest heaved in a shocked breath as she turned around, off balance, and stared dumbfounded at Halo and his pinched eyebrows.

"What's going on, Bella?" he asked. "Was there a fight out here or in someone's room?"

"Yeah," Astra appeared behind him, frowning with furrowed brows, "I heard a lot of banging and oddly enough, growling. Did someone bring a dog on the cruise?"

Bella didn't know how to start. Where did she begin? The only solution she could come up with was to show them, so she grabbed Halo's wrist and pulled him toward Caprica's stateroom. Astra followed like she was caught in an invisible wake that left the air drawing her forward.

"What happened to the door?" Halo said.

Bella shushed him. "Be quiet, she's in the bathroom and she can't seem to get out."

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