Adrian - Alive and feeling good!
I know that I was afraid and that it was dark. I felt the air around me so keenly, smelled the rain as it mixed with the grass and dirt and fell upon the trees. The storm that raged left lightning scars on the retinas and raged in the mind as that of a great beast with its thunderous voice. I lay on the ground with slashes across my face and chest. I shivered both from the cold and the pain that I was in. I could barely take in a breath. My lungs and body were on fire. What had I done to deserve this? Where had the beast come from? I had never seen anything like it before and prayed that I would never see anything like it again.
I was walking in the storm trying to make my way back to my hab when the beast attacked me. It hit me with so much power that I blacked out. It thundered into my body without fear and without remorse. I do not know why it did not kill me, but I wish that it had. Pain! It is all that I know now as I lay on my back coughing blood and begging for death.
I hear footsteps coming from what seems a long way distant. I try to call out for help but words escape me. I am sure I am dying. Voices are all around me in confusing tones. They are calling out for help and praying to the Emperor of mankind. Hands grasp me and set my nerves to screaming even more than they were. I pass out and wake again in flashes.
There are lights and then there is darkness. There are voices and than the beeping of monitors. There is the dripping of water and then the rush of wind. I flash in and out of consciousness unable to put reason together with reason. My thoughts are muddled. It seems that only minutes pass but I am told when I wake that five days have passed and that I am blessed by the Emperor of mankind to still be alive. I do not think I am blessed. I do not feel blessed. I am in pain and fire seems to be pushing through my veins. Two days later I am walking out of the madica under my own power with barely a scar to show for my pain. The doktors are amazed and terrified. They say they have never before seen a miracle and are sure the Emperor has healed me.
I am not so sure. Inside of me I feel … changed. Three more days pass and I am feeling stronger than I ever have. I no longer need optics or hearing aid. I see better than young men and hear better than the dog I love. I smell things. Scents flood my olfactory processes. I catch fragrances from the breeze that blows by. I cannot see the owner of the perfume but with an effort of will I can follow the scent for a klom or two and, well, there she is; a young blond woman looking into the window of a clothing store. Food has a better texture. I am starting to believe that I am indeed blessed.
Two weeks pass. I am running in the morning. In the last few days I have taken up the exercise. I feel good and am able to run for twenty kloms without growing tired. Something is strange today. I can feel the earth around me like never before. I hear people talking from half a klom away. I can hear the heartbeats of people as they pass by. I can hear each surge of blood that is pushed through their veins. This is strange to me and a little frightening. When I get home my dog begins to growl and backs away from me with his neck hair raised and back rigid. “Come on, boy.” I call, but he barks once and runs into the other room, but not before he pees on the carpet. I am astonished and confused at the actions of my beloved pet.
I have showered. The water, every drop of it was a paradise to me. I felt the slap of each drop upon my skin hot and bold against my muscles. I went about the rest of my day doing work around the hab and helping out a neighbor with painting and yard work. She is old and tired. I can smell death upon her. She is sick. I do not think she knows, but she will die within a month or two. I know it, but I still help her, unwilling to torment her with the thoughts of mortality.
The sun is setting and with its descent the darkness begins to invade. Shadows grow longer and deeper. Stars begin to appear. I can feel it now, stronger than before. Since the attack I have always felt it but timidly like a light touch upon the mind. I can hear it calling out to me strong and violent. I look up and see the moon, full and in all its luminous glory. My blood quickens and my mind is cast into utter confusion as I fall to my knees and begin to scream. My skin tears. My face twists. My hands and feet elongate and shred the humanity from them. My chest expands and flesh falls from it along with my blood-soaked shirt. My pants split and blood pours from them staining the floor and filling the cracks in the wood slat floor.
As the pain recedes so does my confusion. Clarity of purpose and desire floods my mind. I stand and howl. My voice is all animal. I see through the dark as if it were the clearest day and begin to run. I can smell her, the young woman I scented three weeks ago. Her scent is strong and so are her heartbeats. I find her walking in the shadows of the habs to the east. She sees me and tries to scream but the blood is spraying across the walls and the world is alight with fear. I run and kill all night long. I feast upon blood and flesh. I am alive, all confusion gone. The wolf is loose and I am free to feast upon the weak.
In a medica, in a clean bed; washed from all the blood and filth a doktor smiles down at the blond woman whose scars are already beginning to heal.