The screams echoed through the building as medics raced through, trying to seek its source. What had once been pristine white hallways were now caked with something that smelled like blood but had the consistency of slime and jelly. None of them had any idea whether it was toxic or not, so hazardous material suits were a must. What was worse though was that none of them knew how so much mess had been created so quickly.
The first to arrive at the scene of the incident was Saliri, an older Ksithan medic. She had seen a lot over the last few decades, but she hadn’t seen anything like this. One of the quarantine rooms had been completely flooded with the horrible jelly stuff. The other rooms were thankfully intact but the corridors were knee-deep with the stuff.
Saliri trudged her way through the slime to the flooded room, which was the source of the screams. Something was inside it, screaming louder than a Banikan in labour. She breathed thank yous to the gods as her fellow medic Zanyr arrived to help her with the door, which was weirdly more icky than everything else.
With some grunts and groans, the door finally opened and a different liquid spilled onto the floor. It was far runnier than the blood-scented goo coating everything else and much darker too.
In the middle of the room was the source of the screaming. A bed and some medical equipment could just about be seen. The darker liquid clearly had some sort of corrosive effect on everything in the room apart from the screeching, snarling, screaming creature in the middle of it.
“PLEASE! MAKE IT STOP!” the being begged, clawing off layers of what looked like its own skin. The ripped off layers simply dissolved in the bloody liquid, while more layers of skin quickly regrew on the creature’s body. “PLEASE! IT HURTS! IT WON’T STOP!”
Zanyr and Saliri didn’t know what to do at first. They could barely recognise the being. There were hints of Panvok-esque armour there somewhere, but between the slime, the tearing of skin and the random appendages growing off the creature’s body, there was no way of knowing who or what the creature was.
“What is your name? Saliri finally asked while Zanyr called for as much backup as possible, describing the situation. “What happened?”
“I DO NOT KNOW! ALL I KNOW IS THAT IT HURTS!”
Zanyr glanced at Saliri. “It is a Rethan.”
“How can you tell?”
“From how it talks. What Rethans did we have in quarantine?”
Saliri turned back to the creature. It was now clawing at its back, trying to rip off the tentacles and wings that had sprung from it.
“Elkay, what happened to you?”
“I DO NOT KNOW! PLEASE, DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING! KILL ME IF YOU HAVE TO! JUST MAKE IT STOP!”
Elkay stopped trying to claw at his back and resumed clawing at his arms. As he did so, the two medics realised he wasn’t trying to claw off skin, he was clawing off goo that was climbing up his body.
Before the two medics could investigate further, backup arrived. Within seconds, a legion of Temthan and Ksithan security guards were standing in the doorway, all armed. They aimed at the creature then peppered it with tranquilliser darts.
At first, Elkay flailed madly, the darts stinging and hurting him. But as the sedatives kicked in and began to dull his pain, Elkay stopped panicking and fell to his knees, embracing his looming unconsciousness.
“Well fuck, what do we do now?” Zanyr asked.
“I don’t know…” Salinir replied. “But we should start clearing up, because I think this stuff is starting to eat through our suits…”