I ran into the nearest building and stopped. Outside, the swarm of birds whirled and dived in a frenzied cloud. A trap had been laid and I had stepped into it. The warehouse was empty save for a few pieces of discarded plastic and cables. At once I realised I was not alone; the air was heavy with wet decay and fevered infection.
I stumbled into the light and saw that the walls and pillars harboured distorted growths. They writhed and pulsated, extending an inquisitive tendril towards me as I moved between. I couldn't tell if it was a conscious act or merely instinctive. Pools of a dark and sticky liquid collected at their bases, fed by open sores and wounds bleeding from the fat distended bags. In one, a rat had been trapped. Its body was partly transformed. While its back legs and tail were still recognisable, it's forequarters mutated into the dark red biomass of the growths.
I checked the power levels of my shields, only a few minutes and less if I was forced to fight.
The flapping of feathers above me showed a steady stream of birds making their way into the high roof to watch me. In the corners, dark humanoid and near humanoid shapes stirred restfully and began forming a cordon around me. I knew how this would play out; the birds would throw themselves against my shields and exhaust my reserves. The others would finish me off.
The first of the humanoid forms stepped into the light. It was human once, but it had become a monster. The eyes were gone, yet it trod an unerring path towards me. A thought transformed the shield geometry of my right arm into a pattern of slashing blades. I lunged forward and the knife-edges sparkled and hummed as they cut effortlessly through the dybbuk.
It subsided into a bloody mass only to be replaced another, and another; there was no ending of them. Now the birds were slamming themselves against my screens.
Time was running out.
-- Sylenia ny Kleneptra ny Hybritta hept Zilaerion
Stonemason's Faded Industry. Plants created in Vue 8.
Scene assembly and final rendering in Cinema 4D R13 Visualise. Post processed in Photoshop CS2