Chapter 7

I opened my eyes in fear for the third time that night, curled up beneath the covered entrance of a deserted department store, fully aware of my solidarity. The terrible blue still haunted me, stared into my sleeping face, sleeping, yet my mind’s eye widened in fright. The makeshift fire crackled, begging to be rekindled. Taking my gun from its holster, and removing a piece of wood from the fire to use as a torch, I walked through the gloom, certain that sleep would not visit me again that night. Mercyship was as silent as ever and this, coupled with the intense darkness, set me on edge. I was certain that could not have been Mercyship’s only inhabitant, however temporary. It was all just a question of finding the others I was sure were still living here, outside of the illness’ sphere of influence.

Once I have found survivors, I will find the truth, or at least, be closer to it.

The eerie tension in the air around me caused me to quicken my pace, as more thoughts raced through my mind.

This disease is unlike anything I have ever seen before. I need to find the cause, and quickly, before it subdues me too.

I gasped, fearing my own thoughts, feeling completely inadequate for the task I had been assigned. I fought with this inadequacy, determined that I would end this madness and restore Mercyship to its former normality. Driven by an unseen force, I pressed on through the murky darkness all the faster; a brisk walk became a jog, which in turn became a run. I sprinted through the darkness, only the smallest beam of light cast on the ground before me prevented me from any imminent danger. As I ran, something oil-black and dusty appeared before me. I stopped too late, hearing what sounded like glass break beneath my feet. I stepped back and examined the broken black thing, and gasped in disbelief.

It was an UIE wristband. I attempted to decipher the agent code, yet the fragmented glass prevented me from decoding it. I scrabbled through the dust to find the other glass fragments, occasionally slicing my fingers on its undulated edges. As my bloodied fingertips placed the glass fragments, a macabre jigsaw puzzle, back together, my jaw went slack in the shock induced by what had appeared before me. One fragment had eluded me, and I was left with two options. Firstly, was that Agent 308 had been in Mercyship. Secondly, was the frightening and wonderful prospect that Agent 300 had been in Mercyship. Agent 300, Surname Asthore. Gregory Asthore.

The End

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