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Running From Death
The girls ran down the corridor, panting. A quick left, a sharp right, they knew there was no escaping, but they still tried. The girl with the darker skin sped ahead, leaving the other two behind.
"Winter! Wait!" The freckled one called out.
"You really think she'd stay long, Rie?" The one slightly behind yelled.
"No, but I thought she might be a little bit kind to die with us!" Rie called out. Another sharp left. A jump down a set of stairs.
"How far behi- NOPE!" The one called. Rie turned around to see the things chasing them only fifteen feet behind them.
"RUN KYLE!" Rie grabbed her hand and turned right. She immediately turned right again and pulled Kylie down into a vent. They cowered in the dark as the thing ran on.
"Omg, omg, omg, om-" Rie put a hand over Kyle's mouth, making her chant cease.
"You want to get us killed?" She whispered, removing her hand off her partner's mouth. Rie motioned for them to crawl along the vents. They turned around and committed to a hunter's tread, since the ceiling was a mere four feet. As they walked, both girls whispered about plans to escape.
"So we need to find a pod that is still active. Then, we can-" Rie stopped abruptly as she looked through a vent. A trail of dead 'aliens', if that's what you want to call them, were sitting on the floor. They all had glowing purple rings on their chest, indicating they were killed only minutes ago.
"Maybe a rescue?" Kyle hopefully whispered.
"Nah, security probably turned on for a minute. But they seemed to be trying to attack something," Rie pointed and the positions they were in," and it went that way."
"Maybe its Winter!" Kyle started gaining confidence.
"I hope so." Rie looked down at the creatures. Its hollow eyes and eerie smiles peered up at her.
"Hurry up and go ahead. I'll only be a minute." Kyle inched ahead, leaving Rie to look down at the creatures. She reached to her bracelet and started undoing the paracord. When a reasonable amount was undone, she lowered the string to the floor. She undid the lock on the vent door and pushed it down. Tying the rope to the door, she slid down her unnaturally strong cord. Inches from the floor she slowed. Something in the corner of her eye moved, but she passed it as her brown hair waving in front of her.
She stepped onto the ground and started examining the creature. It had almost human characteristics, with eyes and mouths and fingers. She walked over to a wall where a gun had been tossed aside. Picking it up, she found it slightly used and all but one bullet at the ready.
"Kyle! I'm coming up!" She whisper yelled. You know, when you are trying to talk to someone across the room quietly?
"Okay, but hurry!" Kyle whimpered. Rie kicked a creature's arm, its goopy fingers sliding on the ground.
"Wait, Kyle?" She reassessed what she heard.
"Yes?" Two voices sung back at her. One Kyle's, and the other all too familiar. Rie whipped around, aiming the gun at all the creatures.
"I'm over here, sis." A voice cackled. Rie turned toward the sound. What she saw made her want to drop dead.
"Hi fart face." The hybrid smiled. The female, maybe 12, was hunched against a wall. A site of injection pouring out a gray goop was visible even through her pink shirt. Rie ran over to the injured.
"B-but, So-" The girl motioned for her to shush.
"Shut up. You knew I was either gone or dead. I'm a bit of both right now." She chuckled. A wet cough issued from her throat.
"Rie! What's going on?" Kyle peeked from the vent. Seeing what happened, she cowered back against wall. Now she knew what those things were, and what her sibling could possibly be.
"Sophie, wh-what happened?" Rie cried out. Her sister, the venom spreading at a terminal speed, laughed.
"Oh, you know. Tried to help out and got hit instead." Her fingers started to change shape, turning into the goopy mess of the rest of the creatures.
"Ar-are all these things," She gulped, "Humans?"
Sophie nodded, looking around the room. Her neck started to turn a deathly gray.
"Come here. I have a little secret for you." She lifted her hand, already a foot longer. Rie inched closer. Kyle tried to hear what they were saying, but nothing helped. Rie sniffed and got up. She started to climb up her cord. A loud, pained scream from came behind her. She turned her gun and shot, tears streaming down her face.
"Um... How did it go?" Kyle glanced out to see that the girl, Sophie, died smiling at her sibling.
Rie wiped her nose on her arm. "Just go ahead." Kyle didn't push on the subject and treaded forward. The two traveled in silence, excluding the occasional sniff and monster sounds.
After a quarter hour of walking, the two approached an exit.
"It looks like it's to the pods." Kyle noted.
"But there are too many of those creatures for me to shoot." Rie whispered, startling Kyle.
"Rie, do you think we'll make it out of here free from infection?" Rie looked over to her scared friend. She put up a fake smile the both knew, "Of course."
Kyle sighed. A few minutes later, after trying to find a way to outsmart the creatures when a war cry was overhead a few corridors down.
"Winter! We need to help her!" Kyle yelled. Rie covered her mouth.
"No. We wait." And they waited. They heard a gun click, hinting it was out of ammo. Then a knife sliding through the creatures flesh. Minutes later, Winter emerged, covered in goop.
"Yo! What up, ya two?" She said to the two, cleaning her knife. The two were shocked. She just killed thirty of them in under two minutes.
"I see ya've survived, always a good thing. Shouldn't have doubted ya. I heard a shot a while back, ya ok?" She looked worried. The girls tried to snap out of the shock, but failed.
"Girls? Something on mah face?" Again, no answer. "Say something. Ya're scaring me."
Rie was the first to speak up.
"Uh, yeah. Sorry. Just sho-"
"You killed thirty plus in under two minutes!" Kyle blurted out. Winter smirked.
"And?" She whipped around and started pressing buttons on the outside of the pod.
"Kyle." Rie grabbed her before she bounded into the pod.
"Yup?" She giggled, happy that she is alive.
"I- I want you to go in first." Rie said, not sure why she called Kyle over.
"Okay!" She hopped inside the pod and situated herself. Winter, still overriding the system, paused.
"What is it?" Rie moaned.
"Listen." Winter cupped her ear, and Rie copied.
The listened for a solid minute, and then heard it. A girls voice, maybe 17, was singing an age old song.
Are you, are you?
Coming to the tree,
"Oh my god..." Rie breathed. The singing got closer.
They strung up a man,
They say who murdered three,
The singing, now joined in with a male, 18 at the most, was just around the corner.
Winter rapidly started hacking, getting the pod ready in seconds. Kyle, upon hearing the song, unsnapped and hid in the corner of the pod. Rie aimed her gun towards the doorway.
Strange things did happen here,
No stranger would it be,
A slimy foot walked into the scene.
If we met at mid,
Night in the hanging tree.
One of the creatures, a lone survivor, stood in front of the girls. All but it's mouth had been changed, and assuming the song was from past memory, a part of the brain was still intact.
"Wh-who were you?" Rie aimed the gun more confidentially at the creature.
"Me? Oh, you don't know?" It's wet voice called out, goop spilling out of its mouth.
"Well, duh. We're dumb humans, remember?" Winter said, still hurriedly typing.
"Depends on who you're wanting. Human, or infection?" The creature laughed. Rie knew that they would feel different if they knew who they were.
"Infection." Rie didn't pause
"Well, if you want to know so badly, I am Queen Shoujo, Empress of the Elopica people." The creature cackled, "And you are?"
"I am Riley Gates, protector of these two, and one of the last pure humans on this ship." Rie spread her legs, showing her power stance. Winter looked up in a shocked way, as if she was protecting Riley and Kyliee and not being protected.
"Oi!" Winter shouted. Wanting to make it clear she wasn't in need of protection.
"Aww, so cute. A human trying to save her friends." The creature stepped closer, so Riley loaded the gun, aiming at the things face.
"Whoa whoa whoa, calm down feisty." The Queen spewed. Kyle, upon hearing this, looked out.
"I think I have a clue who you were." She turned to Riley.
"And who were they, sweety?" The creature bent down, as if she were a child.
"You... you were..." Kyliee stopped.
"They were?" She urged, a grin spreading up her cloud grey face.
"You... you were the waitress, Miss Paint." Winter puffed out, relieved it wasn't someone they knew. She tapped one last button and faint click was heard. The lights in the pod turned on, showing it was ready for dispatch.
"Correct! Looks like someone deserves an upgrade!" The Queen stood up and clapped. The girls, confused, backed away.
"Oh, you don't want it? Well too bad." The Queen thrust her hand towards Kyliee, a small syringe shaped object flying towards her. Riley jumped in front of the goop, letting it hit her in the thigh. As she hit the ground, she fired a bullet at the creature, hitting the Queen in the head. A laugh echoed from the body, and her last squirm issued from her leg.
"She will avenge me." She struggled, and her eyes closed.
"GAHH!" Riley clutched her leg, the venom seeping through her veins. The syringe had melted into the mixture, creating even more of the goo.
"Rie!" Winter ran over to her.
"Thats me!" She spoke through gritted teeth.
"Is she going to be okay?" Kyliee asked, elevating her leg.
"I wont be. That's simple enough." Rie took her paracord out and tied a cloth around the injection site.
"Who was the male voice is what I want to know." Winter jumped up and started patrolling the corridor.
"It looks like she killed her friend." Winter said, peering around the corner. Rie pulled herself over there, disobeying Kyle's every request. The creature, still with the bottom half human, had its head blasted through with who knows what.
"Hey, Winter. If you still are working on a guys anatomy..." Winter chuckled.
"No. Just stop. Ya're dying, it's no time to joke."
"Now what?" Kyle asked, tending to Riley's wound.
"Well, when she said, 'She will avenge me,' I assume it means she injected me with herself."
"That's not somethin' ya'd say everyday." Winter stood on guard.
"What does that mean?" Kyliee questioned.
"It means," Riley glanced at her leg, now entirely gray, "I'm her new host and you guys have to leave me." Winter whipped around.
"Nah. We aren't leavin' anyone. And we can tend to this easily." Winter pointed her gun at Rie, but she didn't blink.
"Sure, how are you going to do that? Find an antidote in, oh, twelve minutes?" Riley laughed.
"I-I'm sure we can find something!" Kyliee tried to clean the wound, but nothing helped.
"Nah, there ain't anything for her." Winter whispered.
"What do you mean?" Kyle glanced over.
"I mean there ain't anything in the galaxy that can save her! This is a terminal illness! Even the host can't stop it!" As if to agree, Riley's leg shook side to side.
"See? She already is taking control of my leg muscles!" She pushed Kyliee away, not wanting the goop to leak into her cuts.
"Get into the pod, Kyliee. There's nothing we can do." Winter reached out to Kyliee and started pulling her in the pod.
"No! Let me down!" Kyliee struggled against her grip. She had to tend to her friend! Winter strapped her in, not allowing her to leave the pod.
Rie's gonna die, Rie's gonna die! was all that Kyle could think about. Winter grabbed something from the wall and walked out of the pod.
Rie sat there, admiring her leg.
Very talented, you are, finding a way to inject yourself into someone. Rie stroked her leg, humming to a song. Her leg twitched, the goop spreading. Now, the pain was so intolerable that she felt it tickling, not bones being changed from white to black.
Winter walked towards her, Kyliee screaming in the pod.
"H-" Rie felt immense pain in her neck, her vision darkened, and she fell into the abyss.
Ten Minutes Later
"Ughh..." The darkness from Riley's eyes ran. The pod lit up around her, and Kyle was crying in her seat.
"Uh, Kyle?" Rie went to stand up, but her right leg wasn't working. She remembered it had been infected, so dragged it along. But, what?
What? I should have a grey- Oh my god. What?! Rie thought, now looking at her non-existent leg.
"KYLE WHERE'S MY LEG?!?!" Rie searched the pod as best as she could.
"Winter cut it off." Kyle mumbled. She remembered watching her close the door and hopping in another pod before the whole line sped off. But one of them wasn't working and self destruct in seconds, sending a chain reaction. All Kyliee knew was that only one pod survived- theirs.
"Ooook, but WHERE THE HECK IS WINTER!?!?!" Rie stopped and grabbed a ray gun and making it a leg.
"I don't think she made it! A pod blew up causing the rest to, so for all I know she could be dead!" Kyle blurted out and resumed crying. The information didn't settle in Riley's brain.
"What do you mean, 'She's dead'?" She grabbed Kyle's hand.
"I mean she might have been blown up!" Kyliee hid herself.
The information settled at last, like a turkey dinner that just wouldn't go down.
Winter's dead? No, that can't be! Rie joined Kyle and sat, staring out the window into the dark sky.
Many Years Later
"Hun, are you ready?" Kyle called out to a set of stairs.
"Yeah, let's go!? Rie skipped down the stairs, wearing her favorite leg, a ray gun from years ago.
"They won't let you bring that in the book store!" Kyle kissed Rie on the cheek.
"And?" The two raced to a hover car waiting outside their platform.
They hopped in the vehicle and it sped off. Minutes later, they arrived at a book store.
"Thanks Joe!" Kyle waved as they walked in. A table was set up for the two, their best selling book, And That How It Ended, stacked next to the chairs.
"Let's a go!" Rie sat down into a seat. A few girls walked in, asking for a signed book.
"Aww, sure! Here you go!" Kyle signed the book.
"Did you really use a ray gun as a leg?" A girl, maybe 14, questioned. To prove it, Rie stretched out her leg, the gun clicking on the floor. The girls giggled and walked out. After them walked up a woman with torn clothes.
"Yo." She set down the book. Rie heard the voice and recognized it immediately.
"Winter?" The woman backed up.
"H-How do you know mah name?" She stood still.
"Winter! We thought you died!" Kyliee jumped up and hugged her.n
"I-I don't know what you're talking about!" She pushed her away. Kyle backed away.
"Does this help?" Riley thrust out her leg, the gun clinking.
"Hey, that's just like mine!" Winter bent down and examined the gun.
"They stopped making these guns after an incident on a ship years ago. Only one season ever made, and only two guns were known to survive the crash." Rie said matter-of-factly.
Something clicked in Winter's mind.
"Yo-You're," She screamed.
The three pulled in for a hug, and lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER THE END