Chapter 6


It engulfed the streets with its screaming presence, hell-bent on driving me to insanity. The roads were virtually empty, save the occasional figure slicing through the silence, clutching packages of food and water in their paling grasp. As I searched in vain for a hint of what had caused the silence, I realised that I felt more at home, the soundlessness both within me and around me was a strange balm. Continuing through the streets, I saw three men lying on the roadside, their necks and heads against the wall of a nondescript building. All they did was stare, each pair of eyes an unnervingly deep blue. I shuddered, quickening my pace, shaking their glare from my memory.

I was about to consult my GPS when I reached a large open square, just as dead as the streets had been, my only company the statue of a woman I presumed had some historical significance in Mercyship. Then, the silence was shattered by the deafening roar. I leapt behind the statue as three motorbikes came blazing into the square. I drew my handgun from its holster and changed the munition clip, peering out from behind the statue towards the bike riders. In robotic unison, they clambered off their bikes and edged towards the statue. As they drew closer, they each removed their helmets. I gasped in recognition of the figures - they were the men I had seen only minutes earlier, their eyes as strikingly alien as before. Fearing the worst, I began to shoot at them, but they continued to walk. Sacrificing my cover to make some headway with the men, I darted out from behind the statue and continued to fire at them. One of the men crumpled to the floor, showing no pain. Sending a salvo of bullets into the broken line of beings, another man fell, showing the same lack of emotion or pain in his face. Finally, the man in the centre joined his two comrades, and Mercyship returned to its unnatural silence. I walked towards the three bodies and rolled them over in the dust to examine them more closely.

Each man, for I presumed that was what they were, bled a deep blue liquid. Blue droplets had solidified on their bare, pale skin. I forced back their eyelids to study their strange irises. Reaching into my inside jacket pocket, I found a magnifying glass and camera. As every vein grew evident before me, I saw the full extent of the pigmentation - it had dyed deeply, no mere veneer of colour. I increased the magnification slightly to see if it would have any effect on my findings. 

A thin layer of brown appeared beneath the blue.

Realising that this unsettling blue was unnatural, I made an immediate connection between the blue and the disease. I became quite afraid - this disease was unlike anything I had ever encountered. I stood up, fully aware of my duty.

I'm going to get to the bottom of this, whatever the cost.

The End

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