It had been a week. Since the Locker. Since discovering the beauty of Union. Though, beauty was such a lackluster word to describe it. The Mind knew a lot of words, and pretty much all of them failed to capture just how… perfect Union was. Heaven was close, but it was so much more than that. No war, no hate, no fear. Just acceptance, love. Family.
The Mind's presence weighed heavily on me; painting the edges of my vision an olive-green color. My sensation of touch was slightly muted, but I could still feel. I didn't bleed, as I found out going over a particularly sharp fence. Instead the wound simply existed in a neutral state. Until I forced it to heal, of course.
It told me that I was different from what it usually did. Normally, it would simply invade a world and subsume the inhabitants into its family. I was the first of my kind: a sort of experiment to see how well the Mind could propagate a self-sufficient host. When I finally awoke, an immense, almost overwhelming feeling of pride came over me. Not pride that I felt: pride felt for me. The Mind was proud that it had succeeded.
Winslow, and my soon-to-be sister, loomed ahead of me. There were children everywhere, their useless cliques scattered around in abstract groups. Food. The Mind informed me. Yes, food. I was so hungry. Regular food, human food, did almost nothing for it. Raw meat had barely helped. Even cannibalizing my own organs had only stymied the pain.
I entered through the double doors for the first time in a week. There was no one here, to my disappointment. The Mind told me I had to be discreet. At least for now. There were forces on Earth Bet easily capable of wiping us out before we could get started. But the time for secrecy was almost over.
I had gathered enough biomass to, with the help of the Mind, create two small pods. It was a tricky endeavor; capturing wild animals. I had only managed to capture three squirrels. The pods slithered around eagerly inside my empty chest cavity; the human organs within having had their biomass repurposed for new functions.
My non-existent heart soared as I finally found her. Emma. My soon-to-be sister. She was alone, thankfully. Busy currently digging through her locker for something. Not that it mattered.
"Hey Emma." I called out with a smile. She turned to me, a confused look on her face.
"What are you doing, Hebert?" She growled.
My smile grew. "I just wanted to show you something awesome. I got powers, thanks to you guys stuffing me in my locker." Emma's eyes widened with surprise.
Though I didn't need eyes to tell me what she was thinking. My olfactory sense had gotten a massive upgrade and I could smell how scared she was. "Oh?" Emma hummed curiously. She hid her emotions well.
"Yeah, I wanted to show you. But in the bathroom, where it's private." I turned and started towards the nearest bathroom, which I knew would be uninhabited.
She didn't budge. "Um, I'm not so sure that's a good idea." Emma took a step back.
That wouldn't do. "No it's alright. I don't blame you, or Sophia, or Madison. In fact, I'm thanking you." I mimed taking a deep breath, since I didn't actually need to breathe. "So, thank you. Thank you for helping me get powers. I'm happier than I've been in a long time." I spoke truthfully.
The smell of Emma's fear had subsided somewhat. Emma now bore a shallow smile. "What can I say except you're welcome." I mentally breathed a sigh of relief when she started moving with me towards the bathroom.
Soon. So close. The door clicked shut, I rolled up my sleeves, and I turned to face Emma.
"Well, I'm waiting." No sooner than she had spoken had tendrils erupted from the skin on my forearms, gripping tightly at her wrists and neck. The former held her aloft a foot in the air so she could not flee. The latter made it so all she could do was breathe.
"It'll all be over soon, sister." I cooed as an Infection Form slithered out from one of the gaps created by my tendrils and moved towards Emma. Her eyes anxiously tracked the pod up until it lashed its own tendrils around her neck and stabbed into her collar with its penetrator. She let out a choked squeak as the pod did its work. After about five seconds, her head had slumped over and the pod began crawling into the hole in Emma's chest. There was a small puff of air as the pod deflated and fully entered her body.
I felt another presence bloom into being among the countless trillions within the Mind as Emma jerked awake with a sharp intake of air. She studied the room we were in with a vacant look on her face. Once she caught sight of me, the look vanished, and one of pure sadness formed in its place. I retracted my tendrils, rushing forward to catch my sister in case she fell.
"Taylor," She spoke breathlessly. Though I knew that wasn't from the lack of oxygen. I wrapped my sister in a hug, which she gladly returned. Her regret at what she had done to me was almost overwhelming.
"It's alright, sister. I forgive you." And with that, the love I felt for her was responded to in kind.