1Nedd winced against the cold air as the doors slammed shut behind him. His head's pounding receded to a muffled thump that Nedd recognized as his own heartbeat. He stood shock-still, waiting patiently for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. It happened startlingly fast. Like a light at the end of a tunnel, the basement illuminated itself in a dim, greenish glow. Nedd was suprised- his night vision had never been this good. He looked around, wondering if an unseen lamp was responsible, but he found nothing.
He stepped forward carefully, his foot creaking
against a damp step. The basement had been made out of wood covered
in metal plates: it was much cheaper that way. However, the water
from the leaky pipes had soaked through and rotted the wood, making
the entire structure unstable.
The wood's groaning made Nedd jump, so he ran down the steps as fast as he could. He stamped the ground with his other foot, and was satisfied to find that the floor there was made out of actual steel.
'What now?' He wondered. At his sides were long hallways leading deeper into the basement. He continued down the path in front of him as though it were no big deal.
Nedd soon found himself passing bizzare rooms and hellish corridors that made his heart convulse. The rooms were packed to the brim with jars and tools like that out of a horror film. He saw huge glass cases containing bizzare, mangled creatures preserved in formaldahyde; a giant eyeball the size of his entire torso floating in a jar; imposing, stuffed scrabs with much too many legs; broken test tubes resting on moudly desks containing a black, bitter foam.
'No wonder this place was abandoned,' Nedd thought with a shudder.
A faint glow shimmered ahead, like sunlight passed through stained glass. He flinched instinctively as the light touched his body, but was relieved to find that it didn't hurt him. He passed through it to see what was causing it.
Nedd came to a huge room built somewhat like a subway a hundred feet tall and a hundred feet wide. At the way top of the tunnel were small, blue light bulbs that lit the entire room brightly despite their size. Around the outside of the tunnel, where Nedd was standing, was concrete grading surrounded by thick wire. He approached the wire and peeked over it. Over the edge was a wide trench full of rapidly-running water that was constantly churning and gurgling. It looked to be at least twenty feet deep. Nedd suddenly realised where he was standing; he was in the ship's cooling system, the tunnels that wrapped around the generator and prevented it from overheating. He sighed in relief, feeling strangely comforted.
Something scuttled behind him. Nedd swung around.
Something scuttled to his left and vanished into the hallway's darkness. Nedd turned.
Then, unexpectantly, something slammed him flat against
the ground and tried to maul his leg!
Nedd sprang forward, panting with terror. A slog was circling him viciously, foam sputtering down its jaws. It had pale, sickly skin like something that had spent its entire life in the dark. Without warning three more slogs appeared, looking just as vicious and hungry as the first. The pack trembled with glee at the thought of fresh intern meat.
Niiice sloggies, Nedd hummed, his voice trembling. He tried to back up but was blocked by the wire. Goooood sloggies...
The slogs were unjaded by his attempt to calm them. They stumbled forward, their gums pulled back in a vicious grin, revealing sharp canines. What appeared to be the leader of the pack jumped forward, its mouth open impossibly wide, its throat a gaping hole. It slammed into Nedd with the force of a cannon, knocking the breath from his lungs. The other three pounced, yelping, and Nedd vanished under the thrashing pile of slogs.
Time slowed. The atmosphere grew tense. Something struck Nedd like a brick to his skull, revealing itself as an ancient, primordial instinct.
His claws tore through the slog's flesh like butter. Blood filled the air. The frenzied cries of slogs grew as Nedd hauled one into the air and slammed it against the wall with as much force as he could muster, breaking its neck. The slogs jumped at his back, creating long, jagged gashes. Nedd howled and slammed one to the floor, disreguarding his wounds, and dug his claws into his throat. He felt a burning sensation in the back of his head. He was killing, he was surviving, and he liked it!
Only two were left. He jolted to the left and broke through one effortlessly, his long, spidery hand erupting from its back. Its spine snapped inbetween his fingers, and it died with a sickening yelp. The remaining slog screamed in terror and began running as fast as it could to avoid Nedd's wrath. It slammed itself against a vent in the wall and scurried inside. The vent wasn't far back, however, and it found itself trapped.
Nedd reached inside in an attempt to pull it out, but it was too far back. The slog nipped his hand and scuttled backwards, wimpering loudly.
Nedd slid to the floor and leaned against the wall for support, breathing as heavily as if he had run a mile. The slog could be heard moving inside the vent, eager to escape. Nedd forced himself to stand. Carefully, Nedd tore a hunk of flesh from the dead slog and placed it inside the vent.
The slogs in the basement were starved, cannibalistic creatures who were drawn to all matters of meat like candy. The slog snapped up the chunk of grisle from his departed companion eagerly before vanishing back into the vent. Nedd cooed to it gently and placed more meat into the opening, this time closer to the exit. The slog stepped forward tenatively and lapped up the meat. Nedd repeated this process until the slog was comfortable enough to leave the vent. The slog was a startlingly dumb specimen and seemed to have completely forgotten the terror it had faced just minutes ago.
After the slog had eaten all the meat it began nudging Nedd's hand, begging for more. Nedd patted it gently on the head and it left the vent, its entire backside swaying. It didn't have a tail, so it shook its hips instead. Nedd picked it up and set it on its lap. Its tounge rolled as it panted, absorbing the attention like a sponge.
Nedd suddenly had it in a strangle hold. It screamed and kicked, clawing at Nedd' wrists with all its might. Nedd held it firmly with one arm, then, without thinking, tore through his own face with his claws. Blood filled his mouth and spilled out onto the floor, but Nedd didn't even notice. He opened his mouth for the first time, revealing vertical rows of needle-like teeth. It was a horrible sight. In his haste he had cut through more of his mouth than the actual stitches. He bit down on the slog's neck as hard as he could, drawing blood. The slog broke free, howling shrilly as it vanished into the darkness of the basement, leaving Nedd alone in the cooling system.
Pain exploded in Nedd's head. He was dimly aware of the cuts and bruises all over his body, more specifically, the one over his mouth.
'What's happening to me!' He tried to hum. A sickening gurgle of blood came instead. 'Why the hell is this happening! What the hell did I just do!'
He dug his claws into his head, his eyes red with pain and confusion. He collapsed from blood loss. His vision swam before his eyes. Nedd managed to examine one of the gashes in his hand. The wound, which had been a bloody mess seconds ago, was now swollen on the outsides. The bloated skin pressed together, stopping the blood flow. Somehow, the cylonite in his blood had begun healing him.
The pain subsided. Nedd slumped to the ground, his limbs trembling and convulsing. He could barely see. He could feel his skin stretching over his injuries on its own accord, like a living, breathing animal.
And then... nothing.