The Eden Virus [Part 3]

By M. Greene published January 28, 2018
mgreene70@yahoo.com
Summary
The male survivors are slowly changing...

Chapter 5: Year 1, Day 90.

Tyrese Wilkes threw back his head and moaned aloud as he bust his nut for the second time that day. Without malice, he smacked the face of the white boy kneeling between his legs as a signal to him to stop sucking. A man’s dick got sensitive once he’d shot a big load… The boy was an excellent cock sucker, though, he had to hand it to him. Even now he was swallowing down his master’s seed like a good little bitch should. He’d make sure the cracker got extra food rations tonight…

The unexpected sound of a distant explosion somewhere outside was accompanied by the sight of Derrick, his first lieutenant, bursting unannounced through the bedroom door.

“Boss! It’s a raid!”

Swearing, Tyrese leapt to his feet and grabbed his tranquiliser gun. Even when asleep or getting sexual pleasure this was never more than a couple of feet from his hand. He also wore a holster in which he kept his favourite weapon, a small automatic pistol, in case he needed to shoot to kill. After all, these were very dangerous times…

Tyrese flew out of his private suite and pelted towards the main doors of the warehouse. The sound of rapid gunshots was coming from the yard outside and several of his soldiers were already firing darts at the intruders as they attempted to storm the building. Naked, apart from leather kneepads, the holster belt and a pair of heavy combat boots, Tyrese threw himself down behind one of their makeshift defensive barriers and took careful aim at one of the attackers. The dart hit the enemy in the centre of his chest and he staggered only for a moment before falling to the ground. Observing the man’s shock of dyed red hair, Tyrese realised that it was those south-sider fuckers again. This was the second time in ten days that those punks had dared to invade his domain. They must be starving and desperate, he guessed, bringing down a second one with his tranquiliser gun.

Next to him, Derrick pulled the pin out of a nerve gas canister and lobbed it out towards the compound gates. A pleasing chorus of coughing and spluttering quickly followed. Tyrese patted his second in command’s shoulder. Derrick had superb aim and possessed the gift of almost perfect timing.

A cry came from the lookout tower high above their heads. “They’re breaking! We got them on the run!”

Tyrese, Derrick and most of their crew rushed out of the warehouse, stepping on the unconscious bodies of the fallen to fire at the retreating enemy. They managed to land darts in three of them before they got too far out of range.

Tyrese smiled with satisfaction. Looking around, he saw that the gas had knocked out four of the punks. With the five that were felled by tranquiliser darts, they now had nine new units to sell to the military…

“Wheezy and Vince – strip them, grab their weapons and ammo, then cuff the bastards and take them to the truck!” Tyrese yelled. “The rest of you - close the gates and secure the perimeter…”

Returning to his suite, Tyrese poured himself a small tumbler of Courvoisier from his extensive drinks collection and swallowed it down in one gulp. His body slave remained kneeling naked on the floor next to his bed, one side of his face still plastered with dried spunk. “Go roll me a spliff,” Tyrese ordered. The sight of the white slave scurrying off to fulfil his command made Tyrese’s dick stiffen despite the fact that he had only recently cum. It felt good to be in control…

It had not always been thus. Tyrese Wilkes had been nothing more than a pathetic loser for most of his forty-seven years of life. A failure at school and a criminal after he dropped out of the education system, by the time the pandemic struck, he was serving a life sentence for multiple counts of drug possession, pimping, larceny, deadly weapons violations and gang-related murder. He was a washed up, ageing old convict facing a meaningless existence and, eventually, a miserable death behind bars.

The first Tyrese had known about the seriousness of the viral infection was the day that the electronic locks in the prison all failed. Although the doors and gates could also be locked manually as a fail-safe, there had been only a skeleton staff on duty that morning, so ubiquitous was the influenza outbreak. All of the convicts had already come down with the sickness, but after a day or so of sweating on their bunks, they had made an excellent recovery. Not so the guards. About a third of them had been female and when they and many of the men failed to return from sick leave, it had been impossible for the prison company to deploy enough replacements in time. When the power cut out and the locks failed, every door in the penitentiary automatically opened. With so few guards on duty, the prisoners made very quick work of taking the whole place over…

It wasn’t the first time Tyrese had witnessed a prison riot. In the past, the guards had always called for reinforcements and had, inevitably, eventually gained the upper hand. This time, there were no reinforcements to call and no means by which to summon them. Within twenty-four hours, most of the officers were dead or seriously hurt and the prisoners were able to simply walk away from the penitentiary.

Most of the convicts headed towards the nearest city, which lay a couple of miles to the north, but Tyrese, always hating to follow the common herd, went east and, after stealing a car, made his way to one of the Atlantic ports where one of his many baby mothers lived. Finally reaching her apartment after hours of driving along empty and deserted roads, he discovered the decomposing bodies of his girlfriend and her three small children in their bedrooms.

Sickened and scared, Tyrese blundered out of this apartment of death totally bewildered and unsure of exactly what to do next. After wandering around for a couple of blocks, he came across a group of brothers who were energetically looting a liquor store. Joining them, he helped carry several crates of booze and cartons of cigarettes to the trunks of cars they had parked nearby and gratefully accepted their offer to ‘jump in’ once the raid was over.

The gang which had taken over a large warehouse near the docks, was led by a heavily tattooed, mean-looking, young brother who was only known by his street name of ‘Bazz’. Although Tyrese was obviously an old con with nappy greying hair, a straggly beard, a hang-dog expression and ‘loser’ written all over his lined face, Bazz seemed to like him for some weird reason and offered him a place in his crew.

It was during the second week that he spent with the warehouse gang that Tyrese noticed that he was gradually getting noticeably younger and fitter. Not only that, he slowly became aware of the fact that, now, whenever he asked someone to do something for him, they always did it. All he had to do was fix a brother in the eye and he almost instantly became putty in Tyrese’s hands. This came to light in very minor and petty ways at first. Like many of the other ‘soldiers’, Tyrese would sometimes chance his arm and ask for extra rations or an extra bottle of liquor, but, unlike his fellow gang-members, he noticed that he always got exactly what he wanted…

As that first month wore on, Tyrese became more confident both physically and in terms of his powers of persuasion. He began to experiment by making demands of the other guys with which he was certain they would not normally comply. He repeatedly and successfully cadged last cigarettes and various other prized possessions from fellow members of the crew until the fateful evening when he and Derrick, Buzz’s second in command, were alone outside the warehouse on guard duty together.

By now, Tyrese’s body had rejuvenated to the point where he was again pretty much the handsome dude he had been decades back when he was in his early to mid-twenties. With renewed youth came increased sexual desire, and, not having enjoyed anything but lonely hand-jobs since jumping prison, Tyrese felt he really needed to bust a nut with someone else that night. He moved to stand so close to Derrick that they were actually touching each other. After pressing himself against his homie’s body for a few seconds, he slid one arm around the other man’s waist and, when Derrick turned to give him a glare of reproach, fixed him firmly with his penetrating eyes.

“Hey, I dunno about you, but I feel real horny, bro…”

Derrick’s own eyes widened in surprise. Was this crazy motherfucker actually coming onto him? Then, to his further amazement, he found that he simply could not break eye contact…

Tyrese kept his voice low, but made his tone mega urgent: “Get down and suck me, man… C’mon! You know you want to… You need to! Do it! Do it now!”

Without any real sign of protest, Derrick immediately sank to his knees and looked up at Tyrese with his mouth hanging wide open and a stupid, docile expression on his dark face. Tyrese hurriedly loosened his pants, got out his already stiff dick and stuck all eight inches of it between Derrick’s lips.

“Suck it bro… Yeah… That’s good… Oh yeah… That’s real good…”

Although Derrick had always claimed to be ‘straight’ and had hitherto looked askance at those brothers who, given the absence of women, now sometimes indulged in ‘homo’ sex, he proved to be an expert cocksucker. He had obviously done it before, Tyrese decided, presumably during his many short spells in prison…

Tyrese clasped Derrick’s untidy dreadlocks tightly between his fingers and thrust his dick right to the back of the nigga’s spit-slick, gobbling throat. Oh fuck, that felt so good! He was gonna to bust his nut any second… Ahh… Yeah… Oh fuck! His mess erupted inside Derrick’s mouth in five powerful orgasmic spasms. Shit! That felt so fucking good…

Smiling at the memory of that night six weeks before, Tyrese swallowed a second shot of cognac and, hearing a discreet cough, looked down at the floor. His obedient white slave was kneeling in front of him, his head bowed in total respect, offering up a very finely rolled blunt in his right palm. Tyrese took the spliff, lit it and breathed in the smoke deeply. Since that night when he had first bent Derrick to his will, his eventual takeover of the gang had been inevitable…

Bazz, his predecessor, had somehow forged an arrangement with the officers at the army base a few miles away to provide them with live captives and had been given several tranquiliser guns and gas canisters for this purpose. No one was quite sure why the military wanted live looters and gangsters rather than dead ones, but in return, Bazz and his crew were given food rations from the military’s seemingly endless supply. In these post-virus days, food had become the most prized commodity on earth; more valuable than anything else. Phones, tablets, laptops and televisions were all useless. Even money was worthless now as no one could access their bank accounts and with no president or federal government in charge anymore, dollar bills were worth about as much as pieces of scrap paper. A poor second to food were weapons, ammunition, gasoline and narcotics of various kinds. Men still needed to shoot, drive and get high, but before they could do any of those things, they needed to be alive and that meant they had to eat…

In return for refraining from their previous occupations of looting, burning and general mayhem, Bazz and his crew were ordered to capture as many men as they could and deliver them, alive and unharmed, to the army base. Bazz, always ingenious, arranged ambushes for unwary punks by setting up tempting food traps in various places near their headquarters. As soon as a group of desperate, starving punks approached the booty, Bazz and his crew would leap out of their hiding places and knock them all out with tranquilising darts. Their captives were then disarmed, stripped naked and driven unconscious to the base. To date, the army had kept to its side of the agreement and the gang’s truck always came back loaded with a full tank of gas and packed with preserved food, booze and smokes.

“You’re my boy now,” Tyrese informed Derrick the night he busted a nut in his mouth.

The deputy leader was still down on his knees, staring up at him with wide, adoring eyes. “Yeah, Boss…”

“That’s right,” Tyrese said softly, tracing a forefinger along the long knife scar that ran down the left side of Derrick’s face. The gesture was almost loving… “From now on, you obey me and only me; I’m your Boss now…”

Initially, Tyrese had intended to subdue Bazz by subjecting him to his persuasive powers in the same way he had done with Derrick, but there was something about the gang leader’s cold, dead looking eyes that made him think that it might not be effective. No, a brother as strong-minded and charismatic as Bazz needed to be taken out permanently…

The timing and execution of the coup had to be exact. Despite being popular with the rest of the men, Bazz was utterly ruthless if his authority was challenged. Failure to dispose of him quickly and cleanly would result in a most unpleasant and lingering death for both Tyrese and Derrick.

They waited for nearly two weeks until, having delivered a bumper crop of twelve new prisoners to the army base, Bazz and the crew were treated to a larger than normal consignment of alcohol in return. Once the resulting party was over and everyone had fallen into a drunken stupor, Tyrese and Derrick crept silently into the leader’s private suite and shot Bazz and his latest boyfriend with tranquiliser darts as they lay entwined on their bed in post-coital slumber. A little later that same night, the army received an unexpected bonus of two extra captives…

Tyrese clicked his fingers at the kneeling slave. “Get into the fucking position, boy,” he said. He felt stimulated by that afternoon’s excitement and his dick was already hard again. Obediently, the slave hurried to place himself on all fours over the side of the bed. Tyrese stood behind him and poked an experimental finger into the white man’s tight asshole. Hmm… Clean and nicely lubed; just as he had instructed. “Good boy,” he said in a softer tone. “Spread your legs a little wider… Yeah, that’s it…” Standing close behind, he positioned his cock against the puckered, moist hole, grabbed the slave’s hips and, in one smooth motion, slid all the way in…

Chapter 6: Year 1, Day 90.

Miraculously, the Olsson’s holiday cabin had not been broken into and its doors, windows and contents were all still intact. Sven carried out a cursory inspection of his property, but the sight of so many things that had once belonged to Alison was too much for him to bear. Quickly exiting the cabin, he found Mike and told him to go in and strip the place bare of all his late wife’s clothes and possessions.

“What should I do with them, Chief?”

“I don’t fucking care; just get rid of it all!”

The six hunting cabins were all situated fairly close to each other next to a shared block which contained the generators and some chemical toilets. Of the cabins, only one appeared to have been recently inhabited. The door was unlocked, but it had not been ransacked; everything inside was in good order. It was obvious that whoever was living here was probably not very far away…

Their four hundred mile exodus from the shopping mall to here had taken far longer than Sven had anticipated due to various mishaps and adventures on the way. To start with, the loading of the trucks had gone more slowly than he thought it would and the process was twice interrupted by yet more convict raids. Once they had actually got going, two of the trucks had suffered punctured tyres and one of them had broken down altogether. Luckily, they have been able to fix these problems, but what they hadn’t bargained for was the hostile reception they received from people on their journey.

Their convoy passed by several small townships and farming communities. The surviving men who belonged to these were usually armed to the teeth and had in most cases erected barriers across their section of the highway. Each time the rangers reached one of these roadblocks they had to enter into protracted negotiations with the locals to be allowed to pass unhindered. Some of these ‘meetings’ went on for hours, delaying them even more and they all ended in the rangers having to ‘contribute’ some of their precious cargo of dried and canned food. Although they had five huge trucks packed full of supplies, Sven hated parting with any of their rations, but these small-time farmers seemed half starved, and fearing a bloodbath, he had always reluctantly complied with their requests.

Still, Sven thought, they were safely here now, the place was uninhabited as he had hoped and they still had enough food to last them for well over half a year. The view from here was simply breath-taking. It was the same idyllic spot he remembered from his vacation here last year. It was such a pity that Alison had only gotten to see it for two weeks. They had planned to come here much more often in the future. He sighed. Ah well… There was no point dwelling on what might have been…

For a few minutes he stood gazing out over the silver waters of the lake. They would be able to get fresh fish from that and the thick forest that lined its shores would be teeming with rabbits and birds that they could kill for the pot. Once they were properly settled he would offer a place in their community to a small number of nearby farmers. With their expertise they would be able to plant crops and maybe even get some fruit trees planted…

“Chief! Looks like we got company!”

Sven looked over to where King was pointing and saw that some people were swimming across the lake towards them. It looked like there were four of them. It was probably the folks who lived in the unlocked cabin. Well, he decided, so long as they weren’t hostile or crazy he would most probably allow them to stay; the cabin might in fact belong to them, which meant that they had as much right to be here as he and his rangers, if not more…

The four swimmers emerged from the water a few minutes later. Three white men and one black one, they were all stark naked. Sven couldn’t help smiling at this. It was their bad luck to have gone skinny dipping in total privacy and then return to find such a large welcoming committee…

As the strangers approached, a circle of other rangers slowly and gradually formed around them, their rifles trained on the strangers’ heads. The four looked to be about twenty-five, but so did everyone else these days. To the obvious amusement of the rangers, each of the four had a raging hard-on, their fully engorged dicks sticking out in front of their naked bodies. This was another phenomenon they had all noticed since contracting the virus; constant unwanted erections…

“Hi,” Sven said, when the strangers finally stood in front of him. “I’m presuming you guys live here…” He looked pointedly down at their engorged cocks. “You seem pleased to see us, at any rate…”

“I’m Harry Burns, the owner of cabin 5,” said one of what appeared to be a pair of twins. With almost identical facial features, the two men both had reddish-brown hair, freckled complexions and light green eyes. Harry patted his brother’s shoulder. “This here is my son, Tom.”

“And these two?”

“Friends of ours.”

The third white guy stepped forwards and held out his right hand. “Dr Axel Bowman, general medical practitioner,” he said. He nodded towards the black man. “This is staff nurse Neville Taylor.”

Sven shook hands with the doctor and then with the others. “At ease, guys,” he said to the other rangers, who immediately lowered their weapons. He smiled. “I’m Sven Olsson, ex-sheriff and now leader of the Defence Rangers. We sorely need personnel with medical training, so you’re more than welcome to join us if you like…”

“Do we have a choice?” Axel asked.

Sven smiled wryly and shrugged his shoulders. “Not if you want to stay in your cabin you don’t…”

Chapter 7: Year 1, Day 90.

Professor Miles Hillier looked sadly down at the dead test subject and let out a sigh of exasperation. He entered the time of death onto his notes and threw his clipboard down onto a nearby instrument trolley. “Another one lost…”

“I did my best to keep his temperature down, Miles,” Doctor Andrew Hillier said, “but, like all the others, as soon as a certain level of oestrogen was reached in his system, his body heat just kept on rising uncontrollably…”

Miles patted his husband’s arm. “I know you did your best, Andy.” He sighed. It had been the same with so many now… He turned to the two military men who stood watching from a few feet away. “As you can see, gentlemen, all our attempts so far to create a subject compatible for womb transplantation have been in vain. Due to the fact that the virus is still present in the system of every man still living on this planet, any attempt to replace male hormones with female ones is inevitably fatal. We need to terminate this project immediately and try a different approach. In my opinion, we would be better off studying the virus itself to determine exactly…”

“The President and the Emergency Congressional Committee have ordered that Project Venus continue,” General Sykes stated, interrupting him. “You know that as well as I do, Professor Hillier…”

“Yes, but…”

The general was implacable. “Your orders are to continue your experiments until you have successfully found a way to create a suitable environment for human gestation to take place.”

“But…”

“Those are orders, Hillier…”

Miles lowered his eyes and sighed. “Yes Sir…”

General Sykes nodded. “Very well. File your latest report as soon as possible. We will return next week to review your progress.”

In sullen silence, Miles watched the general and his lieutenant walk out of the laboratory, but as soon as the heavy metal doors clanged shut behind them he exploded in fury. “How many of these poor young men am I to kill before those pig-headed idiots realise that they’re asking the impossible? Tell me that, Andy!”

“I don’t know, baby…” Andy approached and tried to give his husband a comforting hug.

Miles angrily shrugged away from his embrace. “Not now, Andy! I’m too pissed and frustrated! Those fucking boneheads just won’t listen to me!”

“Maybe if we tried introducing the oestrogen more slowly?”

“It’s not the oestrogen that’s the issue!” Miles was shouting at the top of his voice now. “I’ve told you before; it’s the absence of testosterone that’s the problem!” He grabbed his clipboard and flicked hurriedly through the twenty or so sheets of closely written notes attached to it. “Here, in case after fucking case, I’ve documented the fact that creating a host for the wombs we’ve successfully grown from stem cells requires a human body which is totally compatible. For that to be the case, it has to be more female than male, which means lowering testosterone levels to the point where the virus attacks the subject’s entire nervous system.” He banged the clipboard down on a workbench. “That’s why all the women and children on Earth died - they did not have enough fucking testosterone! It’s the only thing that stops the virus killing men too!”

“Miles, please calm down. Remember your heart condition…”

Miles smashed his right fist against a filing cabinet. “You know as well as I do that I don’t have a fucking heart condition anymore!”

Andy winced. This was one of the worst tantrums he had seen him throw for years… He kept his voice as casual in tone as possible. “You know,” he remarked, “I don’t think they even believe that we all still have the virus, despite you proving that it remains present in everyone’s spinal column…” He deliberately threw in this piece of flattery to try and calm his husband down. He knew that Miles was particularly proud of this, his most recent, discovery…

“Exactly my point! We’re dealing with a bunch of idiots!”

“Tell me once more about the various strains of the virus you’ve isolated; it’s fascinating…”

Miles paused, took a deep breath and, when he spoke again, his voice was calmer. “I’ve discovered at least three major ones and there may be more. I need to take more samples to be sure. It’s absolutely remarkable…”

Andy inwardly sighed with relief. His stratagem had worked. Now they had the chance of a relatively peaceful night’s sleep…

“Of course,” Miles continued, “it’s too early to tell whether these varying strains will produce any noticeable effects in different men, but all the evidence so far indicates that the changes to our bodies are still continuing, albeit at a slower rate than has been the case so far…”

Andy nodded. And what amazing changes they had been! He and Miles had been about to retire when the virus hit. Both in their mid-sixties, Miles had recently undergone a heart bypass and the prognosis had not been very good. The doctors had agreed that he had around five years left only if he exercised regularly, ate healthily and avoided losing his famous temper. It was the fact that they had limited time left that had prompted them to marry after nearly forty years of cohabitation. Andy had even adopted Miles’ surname to show his devotion and commitment to their relationship.

The virus had changed everything. They now both looked around the same as they had done when they first met at university back in the late seventies. Their sex life, pretty well reduced to a goodnight peck in recent years, was now as active as it had been when they were undergraduates. Miles had recently undergone an extensive medical check and, miraculously, his heart was now as good as new. Andy himself was also no longer a type two diabetic. It was a phenomenon they had witnessed in every man they encountered; everyone was now both young and in perfect health.

Miles was again staring sadly down at the body of the man who had died that afternoon. “You’d better get Parker and Wong to wheel him down to the incinerator,” he said. He leant over and gently closed the man’s eyes. “Poor thing; what a terrible waste…”

Andy put his arm around his husband’s shoulders and gave him a comforting squeeze. “It’s not our fault, love; we’re acting under strict orders.”

Miles shook his head. “Given that the experiment we’ve been ordered to perform is doomed to fail, it’s tantamount to homicide. Involuntary human medical experimentation is a human rights violation whichever way you look at it.” He shook his head in disgust. “I wouldn’t subject a rat to such treatment…”

“A state of emergency has been declared, Miles; you know that. The survival of humanity is at stake. Sacrifices have to be made for the greater good…”

Miles smiled wanly. “I remember you were always into that utilitarian tripe…” He gave his husband a playful tap on the buttocks. “Come on, let’s go and look at the other test subjects. I’ve been too busy with this ridiculous Venus Project to visit them for a few days and I want to see whether increasing the viral load has produced any discernible results…”

The complex in which Miles and Andy worked was deep underground and had been designed to withstand a nuclear holocaust. More secret than even the Pentagon, it had been built as a military and scientific bunker and a DNA storehouse in case life on the surface became untenable. Vast storage freezers contained samples of every known form of animal, plant and bacterial life it was possible to collect and catalogue, making it a priceless safeguard against species extinction. Before the virus, Miles and Andy had travelled in to work from their own home every day, but now, along with several hundred military, technical and scientific personnel, they lived here too.

The gleaming chamber they both entered resembled a state-of-the-art hospital intensive care unit. Presently, twelve unconscious test subjects were being held almost upright in separate medical stations, each cared for by a team of two medical technicians, their naked bodies punctured by tubes and wires attached to various flashing, beeping monitors and machines. Doctor Lee Chong headed the nursing team.

“Good afternoon, Professor Hillier; Doctor Hillier,” Chong said in greeting when he saw them walk in. If the Asian physician realised the futility of discriminating between times of the day when they were this far underground, he did not show it.

“How have the subjects responded to our latest initiative?” Miles enquired.

Lee smiled. “As you predicted, professor, physiological changes appear to increase in direct proportion to the subjects’ viral load.” He led the way over to the first two subjects. “This is our control pair. They have received no treatment and their physical changes are consequently minimal.”

“Yet they exist?” Miles asked.

“Oh yes, although the process is relatively slow, their muscle tissue continues to grow and a slight increase in genital size has also been observed.”

“Presumably, this means that all of us are subject to the same changes,” Andy commented. He rubbed a hand over his left pectoral muscle. He had certainly never had a chest as well developed as this when he was young…

“Indeed so, doctor,” Lee replied. “The viral load is slowly, but steadily increasing in all of us.”

Miles nodded excitedly. “Which is why this experiment is of far more use than attempting to produce quasi-females. While the virus persists, that can never happen…”

Lee led them slowly past the remaining subjects. “Each pair was injected with increasing amounts of the virus,” he said. “You can see from their steadily increasing bulk that the effects are in proportion to the dosage…”

Miles and Andy looked very carefully at the sleeping men. Each subsequent duo was bigger and bulkier with more well-defined muscles than the last. The final two looked like professional body builders and their penises had to be nearly a foot long.

Andy cleared his throat politely. “Were their genitals that large on arrival?”

Lee shook his head. “By no means,” he said. “If anything, they were both rather less endowed than average.”

“God almighty!” Andy exclaimed. “Do you mean to say that we’re all going to end up looking like this?”

Lee spread his hands. “It is impossible to speculate with total accuracy, of course, but the answer to your question is most probably ‘yes’, and,” he added, “they have not stopped growing yet; the virus is still active.”

“How long will it take under normal circumstances to reach this stage here?”

Lee considered the question and made a mental calculation. “Each pair of test subjects represents approximately another six months of viral load growth, so most men will reach this stage in around twenty-four months.”

Andy gazed again at the two hulking giants and shook his head. “In two years we’re all going to look like them? Jesus Christ!”

Miles had stopped paying attention to their conversation. He had suddenly remembered something. “Say, what about that black guy? The one with all the prison tattoos? He was the first one we used in this viral load experiment. I gave him a massive dose of the virus myself a week ago. I don’t see him here… Where is he?”

Lee bowed his head respectfully. “We moved him to a secure cell for safety reasons, professor. The more advanced the viral changes are, the less affected by drugs the subjects become. Preventing him from regaining consciousness was beginning to require dangerous dosages of sedation medication. To avoid heart failure or liver damage, I was forced to allow him to awaken, which meant that he had to be transferred out of this area.” He lowered his voice to a whisper. “The subject became extremely violent and aggressively vocal. He had to be forcibly restrained…”

Miles frowned. “Take us to him, please Doctor Chong. Immediately, if you will…”

The Asian doctor led them down several corridors until they reached a heavy steel door. Lee looked through the viewing screen and gasped. Quickly he punched in the security code and pulled the thick door open. The three of them entered the tiny medical room together. It was totally devastated. All the equipment had been completely trashed and one of the medical technicians lay unconscious on the floor under the upturned restraint bed. When they crouched down to attend to him, he lifted his head and moaned. His left cheek looked as if it had been slashed with razor blades. Of the other nurse and the test subject, there was no sign.

“The bastard has escaped!” Miles exclaimed. “Andy, go send a code red 101 to communications. Quickly!”

Andy ran back towards the main medical room where there would be a console which still functioned.

“How can this have happened?” Lee wailed, only too well aware of his own responsibility in the disaster. “To enter or leave this room requires a security code. Escape is totally impossible!”

Chapter 8: Year 1, Day 90.

Bazz and the nurse had already run up thousands of steps and they had a few thousand still to go before they would reach the surface. They had decided to exit the complex via one of the emergency staircases as the elevators were all heavily guarded. Although Bazz was still full of energy, the nurse he had taken with him to lead the way was now seriously flagging. Eventually, he collapsed on the narrow spiral staircase and announced that he could go no further.

“I’m sorry, Master, I have failed you,” he gasped, panting with sheer exhaustion.

“Yes, bitch, you have,” Bazz snarled, seizing the guy’s head between his massive hands and twisting it sharply to break his neck. Now he would have to get out of this fucking complex alone…

Bazz had no idea how he had gotten into this place, but he knew that they had fucked with his body and mind during the time he had been incarcerated. He felt different from before; both stronger and faster. His naked body had bulked out to almost impossible dimensions and his massive, muscular legs moved in a blur of speed as he raced up the steps. Even in the dim emergency lighting on this staircase he could clearly see that his arms, chest and thighs were now covered with thick, matted hair. It looked curly and woolly like his head hair and was also jet black. His finger and toe nails were tougher too, over an inch in length and as sharp as razors. During his escape he had swiped at the face of one of the nurses and slashed it to ribbons. As for the other motherfucker, he had been able to subdue him just by looking at him…

Eventually, after what felt like forever, he reached the top of the stairs. The exit door was secured with a heavy steel chain and padlock. Grasping the chain with both hands, Bazz jerked it downwards with all his strength and the weakest link snapped. Deciding that it might make a useful weapon, he picked up the broken length of chain and wrapped it around his waist.

The passage outside was totally empty. Padding softly along on his bare feet, taking care not to let his long claw-like toenails make any sound on the metal floor, Bazz made his way quickly towards freedom. The place was like a fucking labyrinth, with other corridors crossing this one, but usefully, green fire exit signs every few yards indicated the way he had to go.

Around ten minutes later, he came to a ninety degree bend in the corridor. Peeping around the corner, Bazz saw that he had reached what appeared to be an emergency exit gate. Unfortunately, an armed guard was standing right next to it.

Bazz considered the situation for a moment. He could see in here as perfectly as if he were outside at noon on a sunny day. Every detail of the almost motionless guard stood out in microscopic detail. This should not be the case as there were no windows in the corridor and what ceiling lights there were looked dim and flickered sporadically. It was highly likely that his vision had been enhanced along with the rest of his body. Maybe, although he could see the guard, the guard would not be able to see him. If he was quick, he would gain the advantage of surprise. Bazz steeled himself to charge. He knew he might get shot, but he decided that dying was better than staying here to be experimented on.

The guard became aware of Bazz hurtling towards him when he was a mere ten yards away. He managed one burst of his automatic rifle before impact. Bazz felt a terrific pain tear through his left bicep, but he was already in the air leaping towards his target. The force of the impact knocked the soldier against the gate behind him, his weapon clattering to the floor. Before the half stunned man could do anything, Bazz had grabbed his head and smashed it against the metal floor with all his might, crushing his skull like an eggshell.

Bazz glanced at his arm. Yep, he had been caught by at least one bullet, but the wound was not bleeding much and he could deal with the pain. Looking down at the dead guard’s body, he considered stripping the man’s uniform off and wearing it, but quickly realised that there was no chance that it would fit. He was at least fifty percent taller and bulkier than any normal man. He would have to remain naked for now. Taking only the ammunition belt and weapon, he pushed down the horizontal release bar and cautiously opened the gate.

He was lucky. This emergency exit came out on the side of a grassy bank about a half mile outside the military compound. Crouching down behind some scrubby bushes, Bazz could see the high wire perimeter fence, the conning towers and floodlights in the distance. As he looked, he heard a faint electronic wail began to emanate from the complex’s many loudspeakers. He guessed they had finally noticed that he had escaped. He grinned. Too fucking late! Keeping his gun at the ready, he began moving down the slope towards the road. He knew that there was an old gas station nearby where he had noticed that a few abandoned vehicles were parked. If he could jump start one of those, he would be back with his crew within a couple of hours…

Sure enough, there were three cars to choose from. Bazz chose the oldest one, smashed the side window next to the driver’s seat with the butt of his rifle and opened the door from the inside. Climbing in, he ripped open part of the plastic dashboard and exposed a tangle of wires. He had been doing this since he was 14, so he knew exactly what to do. He touched the correct wires together and heard the engine cough into life. It was a cheap little Fiat into which he could hardly fit, but it would get him to the city so long as there was enough gas in the tank.

Bazz thought for a moment. To be on the safe side, he should siphon gas from the other two cars to add to this one. Did he have time? Reason told him that the army would not suspect that he had already exited the complex. They would search the inside before venturing out here. It was better to be safe than sorry. Leaving the engine running, he got out of the car and walked towards the gas station store. Being so close to the military base meant that its main pump tanks would have already been requisitioned and drained by the army and any cans of gas, oil or other consumables would have been raided weeks ago. There might still be some tubing and an empty gas container lying around someplace inside, however…

Again, he was in luck. Although many of the windows were smashed, the cash register was rifled and all the shelves were stripped bare, he found what he needed after a few minutes of searching amid the rubble and debris on the floor. He was just heading back outside to begin siphoning gas from the other two cars when he caught sight of himself in the large mirror which ran from floor to ceiling right next to the exit. The mirror was undamaged and in the bright afternoon sunlight Bazz saw his face for the first time in several weeks. What he saw was so incredible that he dropped what he was carrying. Shaking his head in disbelief, he moved closer to the mirror and peered closely at his reflection.

As he might expect after so many days in captivity, his head hair had grown untidy and nappy and his beard and moustache were now bushy and thick. But the other changes could not be so simply explained…

His nostrils, always quite flared, had widened considerably, making his broad, flat nose appear like some kind of animal’s snout. The look reminded him of a pig, or a bull or perhaps a gorilla…

His mouth, always generous, with full lips, was now even wider and his teeth all looked bigger and more pointed than they had before. If he didn’t know better, he would say that they were completely new teeth… The incisors in particular, both top and bottom, were now so long that they appeared like fangs and partially overhung his lips.

His eyes too had changed. They were the same dark brown colour, but the irises were now vertical slits like those of a cat or a goat.

The final change was the most shocking however. Pushing out from the sides and front of his forehead were four small horns. His hand shaking, Bazz tentatively touched one with his fingers. It felt hard and appeared to be made of bone. The two side horns were around an inch and a half long and quite pointed. The two above these, which were more centrally placed on his forehead, were slightly shorter and blunter looking.

What the fuck had they done to him? He looked like some kind of fucking monster!

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