Not really sure what he was doing, Simon rolled to his left, narrowly avoiding the creatures pounce. Simon heard a crash as the daggerlimbs hit the floor where they had been expecting to find their next kill. As the creature rolled around to work out what had happened, Simon checked his surroundings. The room was an average size, the left and right walls lined with tables, each with cupboards and draws above and below them. Hanging from some of the upper shelves where test tubes and caskets, containing several different chemicals, some Simon could identify some he could not. In the centre of the room lay an operating table, before which the remains of Thomas Filligan’s body.
Simon found himself crouched at the very end of the left wing of tables, between the end of the row, and the corner of the wall. As the creature turned to face him again, he realised with horror that he had trapped himself, the creature was going to pounce again, and this time there was nowhere to run.
Panic taking over him, Simon prepared to make a dart for it, knowing deep down that he’d never reach the door from where he was without passing the creature, but just as the beast made to dive straight towards him, it suddenly vanished.
Surprised, and not yet able to register what had happened, Simon stood up and stared around the room. Suddenly, a thump and a crash behind him caused him to turn, and he saw the test tubes and caskets that lay above and on the tables he had just used to trap himself being thrown and smashed by an unseen force. Just as the truth dawned on Simon and he made to run for the door, the creature darted back into reality, hitting Simon in the side with immense force.
A force, Simon reckoned, stronger than the creature had planned, because rather than pinning Simon to the ground, it caused him to fly halfway across the room, slamming into a set of draws on the other row of tables, and causing the contents of these draws to collapse all over him.
The creature, seemingly unsure whether its prey was down and out yet, advanced slowly. Simon slammed his hands around in the pile of spilled utensils frantically, trying to find something he could use. Eventually, he came across a syringe, it was empty, but the needle was still liable to surprise the hunter, it may buy time at the very least.
Still, working on instinct, Simon pressed his front flat against the floor of the lab, hoping the creature, now almost on top of him, would fall for this. Slowly, the tentacle beast wove its way across the lad’s body, until it was practically breathing down his neck. Simon then made his move, throwing himself onto his back and sending his right hand, holding the syringe, straight into the creature’s torso, or the part of the monster’s body that was closest to the torso anyway.
The creature let out a blood curdling scream and reared up on his hind daggerlimbs, its front ones waving desperately in the air. Simon moved, rolling up into a run and bolting for the door. A crash behind him told him that the syringe had brought him only a few seconds, and that the hunt was back on. Simon dashed into the post-mortem office, vaulting over the operating table in the centre, not caring that he’d just put his hand straight into the dead body of Brendon Adams, just so long as he didn’t join him.
Over the table, Simon grabbed the first thing he saw, a small writing desk, which he picked up and flung in the direction of his pursuer, hoping it would act as some kind of shield.
Just as he turned, he heard an almighty crash; the creature had knocked the operating table over, and the body now rolled across the floor shortly ahead of where its table had once stood. Not thinking much of this, Simon raised his not-much-of-a shield and prepared for the attack, but was surprised suddenly when the creature’s attention was drawn away from him, and to the body bag it had just sent to the floor.
It was clawing at the bag with its top left daggerlimb, as if it was desperate to get to what was inside, and Simon realised with a pang that this creature probably recognised what lay within; in fact, it was probably the creatures fault that the body was here right now in the first place.
Cautious not to attract attention, Simon began to back off towards the door to the stairways, and suddenly, to his horror, a loud ping caused the creature to look up from the meal it had just been reunited with.
However, rather than recommencing the attack, the creature turned on its hind-daggerlimbs and turned invisible once more. A few seconds later, a small window in the top right hand corner of the room smashed, suggesting that the beast had made its exit.
Confused, Simon looked around to see what had made the noise, and was relieved to see that it was the lift returning.
Matt, Kirsten, Justin, Sasha and Dr Neil stood in its doorway, an equal look of alarm and bewilderment on their faces.