I led them both into the living room. The place was a bit of a mess but it's not like they were guests, they'd shown up unannounced, they could live with it. I took the leather chair in the corner while the doctor and the big guy sat next to each other on the couch.
"So..." I said. "What is this about? I wasn't expecting any visitors."
My stomach grumbled in agreement and I grimaced as a lance of pain broke through the barrier of pain killers and shot through my guts. The leather sofa creaked as the big guy tensed up. Sympathy pains I guess.
"Andrew, I may call you Andrew, right?" I nodded my consent. "Good. Well Andrew me and my colleague here are from the Thistledown Research Institute and we were made aware of your predicament, we think we might be able to help you."
"The hospital, they gave us you details."
"Wait, what? Is that even legal?"
The doctor shot a worried look at the big guy, who cracked his knuckles.
"The Thistledown Institute has an... arrangement with your government. We take on special cases that the NHS can't handle, at no charge to the patient I might add. As such, yes, it was legal in much the same way that another hospital may request your details from your GP."
Okay, that made sense. "So, you can help? Do you know what this is?"
The doctors's worried frown turned back into an eager grin. "Well, every case is unique Andrew, in that respect you are no different. We can't pin down exactly what it is that is causing it, but if you are willing to come back with us to our facility, we can run some tests to determine that. Needless to say, problems of your kind are the very thing we specialise in and in all cases patients we've treated have gone on to live, healthy, productive lives. We have everything ready to receive you right now, if you'd like to come along with us."
"Whoa, hang on a second, Doc. You want me to go with you now? Isn't this all a bit sudden?"
The doctor laughed. "Unlike the NHS, we like to be as prompt as possible and due to the rarity of your particular condition, we aren't swamped with patients, so there really is no need to wait when a case such as yours arises."
"Please, call me Allison."
"Okay, Allison, you keep calling it 'my particular condition'. What exactly is it that I have?"
I was starting to get weirded out by all this. A lot of what she said made sense but there was something off about the whole thing. She looked down at her shoes and then back up into my eyes, all the cheeriness gone out of her face.
"I'm sorry to say Andrew, but you have an extremely rare form of cancer."
The pain suddenly gripped me and I buckled over, gritting my teeth together in agony on my chair. The big guy stood up suddenly, leaped up in fact, his hand hovering by his waist.
"Cancer!?" I cried through gritted teeth. "But... but they said they were sure it wasn't."
"It's a particularly rare form, so rare it's undetectable by most modern equipment. However my team at the Institute and I specialise in this specific form and have developed a cure. We believe we can help you, Andrew."
Unfolding myself back into a normal sitting position, I nodded at the big guy. "What's his problem? A bit flinchy for a body guard isn't he - that's what he is, right? Just how important are you?"
Just then a car alarm went off. I wasn't bothered, the stupid kids around my neighbourhood set them off all the time, playing football in the street but the bodyguard went ballistic, lunging to the window and looking outside.
"They found him already." He grunted.
"Crap, this soon?" She got up and crouched down on her knees by my feet. "Okay Andrew, I didn't want to have to do this, but it looks like we don't have a choice."
"What the hell are you talking about, it's just kids? What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"I'm sorry Andrew but it's either us or it's them, and you really don't want it to be them. Peter, ETA?"
The big guy pulled back the curtain a sliver and peeped out. "Crap."
The window suddenly burst inwards and a huge, brown tendril, glistening in the sun, coiled itself around the big guy's leg lifting him up into the air and slamming him back down against the floor.
I nearly crapped myself, I thought I was dreaming. "What the hell is that!?" I screamed, turning towards the doctor in blind panic.
She pulled back the hem of her skirt to reveal a row of hypodermics attached to her leg in some kind of strap. She yanked one out and tested it.
"Okay Andrew. this is going to hurt just a bit."
She slammed the syringe into my stomach and injected me with the contents. Pain suddenly erupted from within me like nothing before. I felt it rising out of me, like an explosion until it engulfed me. I felt like I was turning inside out, like the pain was feeling me rather than me feeling the pain. I found myself having an out of body experience. As I floated above my contorting body, twisted and racked with pain I felt beyond it, like it had passed through me and over me. Beyond me. I floated out of the shattered wall of my apartment and saw the thing that had grabbed Peter. It was a hideous monstrosity, a grey-brown mass of organic tissue, bulging and stretching, flesh bubbling out of it and forming new and crazy shapes seemingly at random. It should have driven me mad, but I felt nothing. I was totally disassociated, watching all these things happening with a sense of complete detachment. As the fleshy mass boiled, a wheelchair emerged from the main bulk, pushed out of he surface like a cold sore forming on the surface of a lip. Sat in it was the semblance of a person, their flesh as much a part of the creature as of itself. Two huge eyes formed and looked straight at me, not at my body in the apartment, but at me, floating up here above it all. They saw me and suddenly I felt afraid, I wanted it to go away, to leave me alone and I lashed out at it with all that I could muster of my ethereal form.
Suddenly the meat sack was hurled back, smashing into the opposite building by a soft, fleshy whip. Out my flat I saw my body rise, it's guts hanging out impossibly huge and long, carrying my limp body like a set of spiders legs. It stepped out of the third floor flat, the intestines stretching down, thickening and bulking out to support my body at that height as the other creature picked itself up with tendrils of it's own. I lashed out at the creature again before it could get up and a bundle of my intestines bunched themselves up into a fist and pounded the creature into the ground. Blood gushed everywhere, there was so much of it, it washed over cars, tipping them over like a huge, red tsunami. I felt the pain flaring again but somehow it didn't hurt, it just was. I just wanted to end it and my crazy, warped body responded. My intestines swelled and bloated outwards like a huge balloon the size of a car and then burst, spraying the half-crushed creature with gooey ichor. The creature let out a gurgling scream as the ichor burned it, dissolving it's flesh and the freakish, intestinal creature I had become let out a roar of triumph. I felt dizzy all of a sudden and then suddenly my body came rushing up to meet me.