Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Prototype universe. All characters are property of those who own Prototype. If anybody tries to gain money off of this franchise - be forewarned. Alex Mercer will find you, and you may find yourself sharing the fate of Karen Parker.

Title: Infectum.

Summary: The infection is surging again. Toby Knight must try to uncover the source of the viral flare - but between being an ex-Marine, fighting Blackwatch forces, and trying to keep a man-turned-virus calm. . . Life isn't easy anymore. Slight AU.

Rating: T - and I will be trying to keep this at a teen level - for now. Rating subject to change in later chapters.

Author's Notes: Alright. This is the first time I'm doing something of this caliber. This is my chance to play around in the fanfiction verse of Prototype. Being such, I actually decided to make it a continuation off of my twin's (Clever Ducky) fanfiction, Sanctum. So if you have not read hers, you may not understand some of the content in mine. So this is a selfless plug for her, go read it! It's a good story - you'll like it, guaranteed. Critiques are welcome, but keep in mind that I'm taking some creative license here, so things may be somewhat different. Ducky, this is all your fault that this story happened, and as such, you get thanks for what's going to take place!

Warnings: This story will contain several pairings. Namely Pariah/OC, and Alex/OC. There will be MxM in later chapters, aka slash. I will label all chapters accordingly, via the content inside of it. For this chapter: some violence, slight gore.


I can feel the animal inside
My resolve is weakening
Pounding on the doors of my mind
It's nearly overpowering
I cannot begin to describe
The hunger that I feel again
Run if you intend to survive
For the beast is coming to life

"The Animal" - Disturbed


Everything about her life was pain. Agony, anguish - it carried many names, but always bore the same meaning, same emotions. The hot prickling under her skin, the rabid hunger that threatened to tear her apart from the inside. . . Some days, she wished that she was dead. On better days, she wished she had her Kin to relieve the carnage inside of her body. Sometimes, if she sat still and pretended to sleep, the scientists would talk about how she lacked discipline, how she would eventually lose control over her instincts. She wouldn't be able to keep herself from spreading the infection on that day.

They would tell each other that it was her primary purpose in life. Infect. Consume. Destroy.

It wasn't true.

He was the driving force in her life. It was the reason why she endured the torture, why she bothered to care about the heart beating in her chest. Whenever he touched her, she felt peace flood through her. The rabid urges inside of her would calm, leech out of her body and into his. He accepted her pain like it was nothing, consumed it, made it a part of him. And afterward, he would always look at her with a small smile on his lips and a soft touch to her face.

"We're a part of each other now. Can't you feel it?" He had told her that once, on one of the days where the drugs weren't as strong through her body.

Though their meetings were sparse, seconds spent together among the years that separated them, it was her drive to continue living. She ached for the day where they would speak freely, be able to touch each other without boundaries for the first time. That one day, he would free her from the straps that tied her body together. The horrible Jacket that kept her confined. Straps and buckles covered her entire torso, from the neck to the tips of her fingers. Beneath that, another special Jacket had been constructed to keep her arms covered at all times. It was infuriating to be trapped inside of it, to be never able to touch him during their meetings. Never, in all of their meetings, had she been allowed to touch him. He could touch her, and did, often running his hands freely over whatever exposed skin there was, but she could not return the affections.

It drove her to the brink of insanity on some days, especially considering the urge to touch, to feel, was burning her up on the inside.

It was worse that the consuming red hunger that devoured her on the inside. More agonizing to endure the pain that tried to rip her apart on the outside.

The Jacket made it worse. It clamped her hands and arms down to her body, forever forcing her to hold herself, to touch nothing else besides the Jacket. 'Designed to desensitize the skin,' one of the scientists had said, 'it'll help keep her calm.'

He was a liar. It made it worse. It made her want to rip her arms out of their sockets just to fling the horrid Jacket away from her. To scream until her throat went raw and dry and she lost her voice. She started to thrash around inside of it, attracting the attention of the scientists.

Why didn't they understand that she wanted it off? That she would rather tear off her own skin rather than wear this horrifying monstrosity-

But not today.

That thought calmed her, and through the feverish haze of the drugs that clouded her mind, she found herself gaining her mind. Thought and sanity were slowly filling her again, and this made her still.

are you ready?

The voice was small in her mind, but she knew who it was. Serenity instantly filled her, and a sigh of content escaped her.

Yes. I'm ready.

good. i'll meet you when you come here. remember to follow the scent.

And just like that, the horrible restraints of the Jacket fell away.

Her arms were. . . free. They were there, dangling loose at her sides, with nothing to bind them to her body. She reveled in the shock and awe of it for a long moment, moving her fingers and hands for what felt like the first time since her birth. Alarms started to blare, lights began to flash, and people started to yell - but she didn't hear it. Didn't see any of it. Her lips twitched, and laughter bubbled up from her. It sounded hysterical and high-pitched, but she didn't care. They could yell and scream all they wanted. They could press buttons on their control panels and activate their safeguards. . . None of it mattered. Not anymore, anyway. She was free. The driving need inside of her could finally be unleashed for the first time in ages, and she would not have to hold back.

Her laugh turned hoarse and raspy. It reminded her of sandpaper.

Her hands came up to her shoulders, and she pressed her fingertips into the sleeves of the Jacket.

The nearly silent hiss of gas began to fill her cell.

She dug her fingers into the fabric and gave a cry of effort. The sleeves ripped free, tearing at the shoulders and leaving nothing but a multitude of buckles and clasps over her body. The horrible two-sleeved Jacket was gone, and for the first time in her conscious life, the skin of her arms was exposed to the open air. Tingles and shivers crawled down her bare skin, and as she turned her arms this way and that, she reveled in the feel of her own skin. It was glorious.

The sickly-sweet smell of gas flooding her cell brought her back to reality, and she smiled as she strode up casually to the glass walls of her prison. She lifted a hand and placed it onto the cell wall, shivering at the sensation of cold glass. The smile on her face turned wicked, and with a single flex of her muscles, sickly red tentacles separated from her arm and slithered across the surface of the wall. The men wearing white coats screamed as it grew in size and mass, covering half of the glass with a growth of abnormal color and size. It clung to the glass like a giant tumor.

hurry. the gas will take hold soon.
The voice urged her, and she was helpless to deny him.

She wasted no time in letting her instincts take over again, and then the glass was shattering, the red and black growth falling to the floor. She shook her arm briefly to detach the growth from her skin, and it did so, red mass melting off of her limb easily. Then she proceeded onward, wicked smile still plastered on her face.

A guard rushed at her, a gun in his hands. It wasn't the one that contained bullets. His gun had darts filled with drugs that would make her sleep. He thought that the eight feet of space separating them would be enough - it wasn't. She lifted her hand, and there was a brief second of pain as another tentacle shot out of her arm and wrapped around his neck, dragging him to her. She grabbed at his throat, and almost instantly he collapsed onto the ground, writhing and groaning. The sickeningly satisfying sound of cracking bone and the wet smack of muscles tearing filled the air, and she found herself laughing again.

Yes. Yes.

She would be able to inflict the same agony they had enacted on her. It would be nothing more than beautiful, watching them scream in horror and pain before her Kin tore into them. She watched as her newly-created Kin launched itself at scientist and soldier alike, tearing into them with bloodthirsty abandon. She walked over limp bodies and splashes of blood, pausing to admire the carnage. Blood dripped off of the walls and onto the floor, collecting into larger puddles. The growth she'd used to free herself was crawling through the hallways, consuming dead bodies and covering the walls and floor with a spongy organic growth.

hurry. hurry. follow the scent.

She began to move onwards when the voice in her mind began to tug on her own impatiently. She obeyed without question, walking calmly through the corridors that were being violently attacked by her outburst. A few more guards ran at her, but each of them met his demise at her hand, with nothing but a simple brush of her fingertips. She found that she rather loved it, the way their skin felt. The steady throb of life beneath their skin. How could they call her inferior ('a bloodthirsty monster', one had said), when she could grab onto their skin and change the life that resided inside of them?

They were the inferior race.

The scent was nothing more than a faint impression on her mind, a trace of him here and there that she picked up with her mind. She would be able to find him, though. He was her Kin. She would be able to find him if they stuck her in a dark room wearing that horrible Jacket. Eventually, however, this scent led her through the hallways, past the skirmishes, and into a large hangar bay. She paused when she realized that he wasn't here. . . and the trail had ended.

"About time.
" A man said, his voice muffled through the mask he wore. He startled her, his voice dropping from thin air. He was a soldier, too, and he was wearing body armor and heavily muscled. A twinge of unease ran through her, until she realized that he was not a regular person.

Her suspicion was confirmed when his body was covered in a swirl of red and black biomass - and then he was standing there, smiling cockily at her, eyes containing a wicked gleam.

How do I react? Do I smile back? What am I supposed to do? Her mind spun in a confusing whirl as she turned to face him. One of their lower Kin strode over to them, drawing close to her and growling. With an impatient flick of her hand, she dismissed it, and instead stepped closer to him, her true Kin, the one that made her heart act funny in her chest and her stomach twist into a hard little ball. Already, she felt like her throat was dry, her hands feeling hypersensitive and strange.

What do I say? For the first time, my body is free from drugs. . . And I can't think of what to say.

The words just weren't there.

As it turns out, she really didn't have to say anything. He took control of the situation, covering the short distance between them and touched her. He actually touched her, for what seemed like the first time since their lives had begun. Her legs felt kind of weak and wobbly, but she smiled back at him all the same. So this is what it's like to hold hands with somebody, she thought as their fingers intertwined, I think I like it.

She opened her mouth to speak, the first time she had ever done so freely and without drugs coursing through her veins -

But she never got the chance.

Her body jerked, her hand ripping out of his grasp, her body doing a strange stagger as she tried to regain her balance, but her brain wasn't functioning right. Her vision began to falter, shrinking down to pinpoint of him. He was. . . Covered in blood and bits of black matter. For a brief second, she even saw his face, his expression undecipherable. But then her body relaxed, and she fell down, dead before she even hit the ground.