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Zombie Me: Patchwork and Pieces

Chapter 1: Part 1, Litany of Rot

Chapter 1: Part 2, Shattered

Chapter 1: Part 3, Growling with Hunger

Chapter 1: Part 4, Vion Rising

Chapter 1: Part 5, Stand Off

Chapter 1: Part 6, The Call

Chapter 1: Part 7, Free Association

Chapter 1: Part 8, First Taste

Chapter 1: Part 9, Bert and Ernie

Chapter 1: Part 10, Starting to Rain

Chapter 2: Part 1, "Me!"

Chapter 2: Part 2, C.A.B.L.E.T.V.

Chapter 2: Part 3, Raining

Chapter 2: Part 4, Sheltered Hunger

Chapter 2: Part 5, Clouded Eye Open

New short story "The Awakening"

Chapter 2: Part 6, Everything Yet Nothing

Chapter 2: Part 7, The Cheshire Smile

Chapter 2: Part 8, Cacophony of Fists

Chapter 2: Part 9, Still Born

Chapter 2: Part 10, Empty Nest

Chapter 3: Part 1, False Rescue, Hidden Hope

Chapter 3: Part 2, The Process

Review of Brainchild... A collection of Artifacts

Chapter 3: Part 3, Psuedo Life

Chapter 3: Part 4, Wayward Derelicts

Chapter 3: Part 5, The Cleaners

Chapter 3: Part 6 The Corridor

Chapter 3: Part 7, Echoes of Death

Chapter 3: Part 8, The Road Kill Machine

Chapter 3: Part 9, Fixed Lividity

New short story "Alone in the Woods"

Chapter 3: Part 10, Fire Within

Chapter 4: Part 1, Eye of the Beholder

Chapter 4: Part 2, Home

New - Character Sketches

Chapter 4: Part 3, Dead Inside

Chapter 4: Part 4, Dead Soldiers

Chapter 4: Part 5, Kill Switch

Chapter 4: Part 6, The Call Part 2

Chapter 4: Part 7, The Key

Chapter 4: Part 8, Reunion

Chapter 4: Part 9, Unleashed


2010/01/12

Chapter 4: Part 9, Unleashed

Chi-Yoon sat at her work station in the animal facility trying to get some reading done, but had found it difficult between the perpetual twilight in the facility and the whining of the damn mongrel. An hour ago the thing had been a lifeless lump of matted fur and blood clots laying sedate on the cages floor, then, out of nowhere, its head raised and canted to one side as if listening to something beyond of the range of human hearing. It sat up and had begun to agitatedly prowl the perimeter of its cage. And now she was hypnotized, her heavily mascarad eyes ping ponging back and fourth as they tried to follow the pacing canine.

Abruptly the dog shot forward and threw its full weight against the cages door with a suddenness that caused the nervous lab technician to knock over her cup of Chai tea. She cursed as the hot liquid quickly breached the sparse napkins she used to try and halt its spread, it was no use as the aromatic liquid spilled onto her jeans scalding her leg. Another crash as the wild animal bashed its shoulder against the thickly gauged wire of the door. The liquid was now heading towards the Stephen King novel she had been reading. Torn between the animal, her burning leg, and the book, she chose the former and grabbed a black remote control that sat just to the left of the surprisingly absorbant book. She quickly scanned the face of it an found a button with a cartoon lightning bolt on it and pressed down hard. She was immediately rewarded with the dog leaping into the air as if trying to escape the electrified cage, after ten seconds of the dog skittering around in the cage she stopped and waited. The animal gave her a feral stare and was readying itself for another assault on the cage door when she triggered the security device a second time, again the dog leapt as arcing electricity jolted its feet. The aroma of singed fur began to pervade the recirculated air as the buzzing finally ended. The dog, in a fury, readied itself for another battery, but halted when it spied Chi-Yoon standing there with the remote poised for another punishment. Lowering its head it let out a high pitched whine as it seemed eerily cognizant of the implications of another try for the door.

“Haojíle!” She said, pleased to see that the dog was quick to learn from the aversive training. Then in a broken english only heard in old Godzilla movies “It is seeming I can show old dogs new things!” and gave the remote one last jab, which caused Pieces to jump and bark at the floor.

With the clamoring in the cage subsided Chi-Yoon began to assess the damage caused by the spilled tea. She picked up the saturated book, immediately she saw that it was a loss and threw it into the trash. She shot a viscous glare at the dog who again lowered its head in anticipation of another shock. She stopped seconds before grabbing the remote and turned her attention back to the mess. The removal of the book had inadvertently unleashed a torrent of tea onto the instrument panel below.

"Damn it!" she quickly grabbed a box of Kimwipes and tried to stop the flow of liquid again but the flimsy lab tissue did little to absorb the propagating liquid. It was slowly dripping into the controls which provided access to the security system for the lab. She looked to the various animal cages and held her breath as a slow sizzling began to emanate from beneath the glowing panel.

A mechanical click resounded in the lab shattering the building silence, and Chi-Yoon’s heart sank as the door to an empty cage opened. Another click came a second later as the cage next to it opened. This time the torso of small hairless monkey appeared at the opening as it pulled itself out by a single misshapen arm. IV lines and a single glittering hook hung limply from its remaining shoulder socket. It rolled out of the cage and hung for a moment as the IV lines went taut with its weight, then with a meaty slap it fell to the floor as the lines pulled free.

Chi-Yoon reached for the instrument panel and activated the controls to engage the locks on the cages. When a third door opened silently on its hinges her hope wilted and she began frantically pushing the emergency alarm, it too remained inactive. She began to cry blackened tears as her dark eye make-up started to run. Her body bolted backwards as a deformed shadow leapt out onto the floor below and pulled the hairless monkey behind a surgical bench. Simian screams broke the silence as the two creatures grappled with each other in the darkness. This in turn, elicited a flurry of activity in the remaining locked cages as the mewling creatures howled for release. Throughout this maelstrom of activity the only thing that remained motionless was the dog. Its dark eyes dispassionately locked on the cage door and the glowing prize that lay beyond.

A fourth cage popped open and a long vine like tail unfurled from its depths, followed by a second, and then a third. Chi-Yoon watched as a writhing procession of tails filled the steel portal. A dozen of them now gripped every surface of the opening and from their undulating depths a chattering of teeth could be heard. Like some horrific flower blossoming a trembling form emerged from the hidden depths. The head of a what appeared to be a monkey appeared followed by its distended trunk and moved with a freakish bob as if it was unsure how to use its many fibril extremities. Two long arms ending in sharp talons aided in steadying itself as the tails which sprouted haphazardly from its torso propelled it out from within the cage. It surveyed the room with a menacing glare and as its yellowed eyes fell upon her a neuromuscular spasm caused its teeth to chatter revealing tiny serrated fangs manufactured by Vion for cutting through virtually anything, including flesh. The lead scientists had called it a cleaner, and now she knew why.

Doors throughout the lab began opening as the tea, hidden from view traveled along the instrument panels circuitry and randomly shorted out the connections. When the dim lighting began to flicker she ran for the entryway and scanned her proximity card by the glowing sensor, nothing happened. She pounded on the cold steel door until her knuckles bled. Finally a loud click sounded from behind her, and she knew which cage it belonged to, she turned and saw the red LED on the canines door turn green. She felt her knees begin to give way, and as she was about to crumble to the floor in resignation the door behind her opened.

She turned and ran blindly into the corridor and immediately collided into a man standing at the entrance. Security must have heard the alarm... She thought thankfully as she clutched onto the arm of the man before her. With her head attention focused on the lab she watch with a ghoulish fascination as the dog leapt from the cage and rose to its full height. At nearly double the size of an average dog its chest swelled and contracted as it let out a bladder emptying growl. As she braced herself for the assault a curious thing happened. The dog lowered its head and sat down, its mouth opened, and a broad pink tongue rolled out from between a double row of large canine teeth. As it began to pant it raised a gigantic paw and its jowls turned upwards in a gesture that resembled a smile.

At that moment Chi-Yoon almost wished that she had a doggy treat for the animal. As her hands began to relax she noticed that they were clutching the rippling arm of a man, an arm that was shirtless, and as cold as the room that surrounded her. Her head turned to face the naked fame of a man that, if it hadn’t been covered in stitches and a had gaping wound in its chest, she would have mistaken for Michaelangelo’s David. The man seemed carved from stone, and as she stepped back to take in the dreadful sight he stayed in stride and grabbed her shoulder with the strength of a hunting trap.

As if keeping time in some morbid dance Patchwork reached down and grabbed her hand and with a painful jerk he pirouetted her around so that she was now walking back into the den of monsters from which she thought she had escaped. With a forceful shove he threw her to the ground where she came eye to eye with Pieces.

The dog remained motionless as it stared at her with large brown eyes. In a desperate gesture she began pleading in a high pitched tone that sounded more like a mousy squeak than any language “So sorry... so sorry!” Not daring to touch the animal she gave a complacent bow and hoped that it would placate the animal. Patchwork grabbed her shoulder and dragged her to the cage and with a violent twirl twisted her arm off at the elbow. She landed hard at the back of the cage and began screaming as spurting blood issued forth from the rending. With muscles flexing in his forearm Patchwork bent the lock on the cage door trapping Chi-Yoon within. Raising the torn limb to his mouth he took an immense bite and began to masticate loudly. Through the raging pain in her arm Chi-Yoon thought how odd it was to watch yourself being eaten.

Then the monster stood and walked away as he surveyed the lab and the dog sidled up to Patchwork and placed its muzzle into his hand affectionately. Slowly he bent down and stroked the dogs matted fur, and when the dog continued to push at his hand Patchwork curiously looked down and saw that it was holding something in its mouth. Through a haze of painful tears Chi-Yoon recognized it immediately, it was the aversive conditioning remote.

Patchwork seemed to know exactly what it was as he turned back to the cage holding the injured girl and pressed the yellow lightning bolt. A jolt of electricity cleared her mind as she was pulled back to a painful awareness of her situation. She jerked and jumped as the electricity jolted through her small frame as Patchwork alternately pushed and then paused his assault. During each respite she could see a fine lattice work of burns criss crossing the palm of her remaining hand from where she tried to grab purchase on the cage.

Patchwork then stopped and looked down at the dog who seemed to be smiling at him, it sat and longingly looked at it’s master hand. It then raised a large paw as if begging for something. Seeming to understand what it wanted, Patchwork tossed the remote to the dogs waiting mouth, and with a crunch it broke the small device in his mouth. The cage then began sending seering jolts through Chi-Yoon as it was intermittantly triggered by the damaged remote. As the smell of her own singing flesh began to pervade the air her vision began to fade. The last thing she saw was the tall monster tossing her dismembered arm to the dog as they both walked back out into the hallway.

...In the comfort of his office, secluded away from the action in the animal lab sat Raimi carefully scrutinizing the events that transpired on the monitoring screens before him. He watched as Patchwork and Pieces left the lab and quickly pushed the button to reinitiate the lock on the labs main entrance, effectively entombing Chi-Yoon to die alone. Well, she won’t be there for long... he thought with a smile, rembering that the Cleaner was in there with her.

He turned his attention back to the screen which contained a map of the facility and noted Patchwork’s location as a blinking red dot. There were numerous other dots on the map throughout the facility which marked points of interest for Raimi. Touching on one such point that lay on the outskirts of the map he brought up the camera feed of Jen and her fellow intruders coming in from the tunnels. With a finger he traced a glowing red line all the way back up two levels to where Patchwork was. When he was done he double tapped the screen bringing up a dialogue box titled “Access Control” with one lonley word beneath it, OPEN?... and with a second tap the red line that he had traced turned green.

Raimi dryly ingested another small pill and watched the screens before him. After a moment reflection, a smile crossed his face and he began tracing more red lines throughout the facility...