Chapter One (Part Two)

Eventually, I came to the centre of the building. I walked up to the receptionist’s desk. She didn’t look up so I cleared my throat.

“What?” she asked sharply, still not looking.

“Landy apparently wanted to see me?” I said, posing it as a question.

“Agent Landy, please. Do you have an appointment?” she asked. She just kept looking at the screen of her computer.

 “No, I don’t have an appointment,” I said through clenched teeth.

“If you want to see Agent Landy, you’ll have to make an appointment,” she said disinterestedly. “Name?”

“Fallon,” I hissed.

She finally looked up and her eyes widened in surprise and fear.

“Oh, I-I’m so sorry, miss,” she stuttered. “Just go right through to his office.”

I rolled my eyes. I could hear her stumbling through some words to a colleague. I smiled to myself. I pushed open the frosted glass door and was about to make some snide remark to Landy – but he wasn’t there.

I walked closer slowly. His chair had been pushed away from the desk at an odd angle. Paperwork was scattered all over the desk, and the computer screen was knocked over. My heart sped up, pounding in my ears. This was exactly like one of my training scenarios. My mind was flooded with questions and what had happened and what I was supposed to do. I vaguely wondered if it was one of my training exercises. If it was, it was sick.

I reached the desk and gasped at what was there. I closed my eyes, though that did nothing; the image was burnt into my eyes. It was... horrific. It was Landy. His body was almost completely corroded. The flesh on his bones had been eaten away, almost melted. The lower part of his face was grinning at me with a whiteness that could only be bone. A small part of me wondered what kind of acid could do that. The rest of my mind was screaming a million different things at me. I was overwhelmed by all the different emotions: grief, shock, horror, anger, vengeance, loss.

I staggered back, sobs clawing their way up my throat. I saw something drop from the ceiling. It grabbed me and launched me against the wall. I struggled to pull in a breath. I tried to stand up, and realised I had a number of broken ribs.

My attacker – and presumably Landy’s murderer – lurched forward. His hands were coated with what appeared to be a thin, shiny film. He reached out for me. I put my arm up in a futile attempt to block him. He grabbed my arm and dragged me up savagely. The pain in my ribs was bad but as soon as the coating on his skin touched mine, I screamed in pain. It was... indescribable. There were no words in my head, just the solid shriek of agony.

The End

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