Inhumane

“‘Cos this is thriller, thriller night…bah-dum, bah-dum…”

Okay, sorry. Just trying to lighten the mood. Which is a bit sick, given the number of occupied beds I’ve passed. But at this point, the fact that they’re not attacking me is a silver lining worth exploiting with some songs.

However, things are starting to get even more serious. My whole universal residue ability is currently overloaded with screams; no doubts sufferers of the transmutation process. Underneath all that horror, I’m picking up something else, a little bit of time disturbance. Could be a waiting paradox, could just be someone’s watch malfunctioning.

I’m also waiting for the “Something New”. You know, the one thing that differs one zombie story from another. Zombie dogs, space monkeys, axe murderers or 7-foot-tall undead sea urchin hybrids that don’t fall down no matter what you throw at them, thank you, The Last of Us.

…bring me one-one-five…

O-kay. Hairs on end, shoulders locked, foot frozen in mid-air. I don’t think I peed at all. That’s something.

Everything dies, look to the skies…

I’ve heard this song before. But this particular version is much, much more tense.

…to see the end of all creation again…

Ah, standing closer now, the tension is probably because it’s a forty year old, mother-like figure singing it, crouching over a pile of bones.

…with no-one to lie…

Right, HH. What next? Daleks, I can handle. Splicers, yup. Zombies, no problem. Singing, crazy, middle-aged woman in the middle of a bone ritual…hmm, tricky one. It’s the crazy bit that worries me. How do you approach one of dubious sanity – shotgun in your arms – in the hope of negotiation? Probably doesn’t start with

“Hello?”

That was her, not me. But she’s seen me now, no doubt about it. I can tell from the wide, unblinking eyes staring at me.

“Erm, hello.”

She darts forwards before I can think. Without upsetting the bones, she bounds at me, one hand on my neck and the other taking my gun. We crash together onto the floor, her shrieking all the while “CLEAN! CLEAN!” By the time my mind catches up, she sinks a needle into my neck. Everything fades out…

“What do you think, Martin? A new line of tests, don’t you think?”

It’s her, back again, looming over me like a scene from Misery. Except Life’s gone one better, and she’s holding a skull. Once this knock-out-drug wears off, I’ll make a Hamlet reference.

In a new room, where I’m strapped down to something, there’s a wall of CCTV footage screens. Everything’s still a tad blurry, but I can just about see two little figures passing by on various black and white screens. My Kathy Bates impersonator follows my gaze.

“Who are they?”

Powerful stuff, whatever she gave me. “Er, well, he’s my mate, and she’s…open to discussion. Who are you?”

“I’m Samantha, and this is Martin.” The skull gets closer.

I almost smile at the face that can’t. “Alas, poor Martin.” Told you. Brain functions are returning at last. Still feel pretty crap, though. “So. What’s your story?” Keep ’em talking, that’s the way.

“There’s no story, mister. Just me.”

“And the zombies?”

She slaps me, pretty damn hard. “They are not ‘z-word’, mister. They were people. And they will help me bring my husband back.”

“How will z-…oh.” It’s not a religious motive then, there’s too much messing in ‘His’ domain going on. “You’ve been experimenting in resurrection?”

“Not just experimenting, mister. Succeeding. You’ve seen them out there, haven’t you?”

“Yeah I may have seen them…even shot a few…”

Another slap, even harder.

“How dare you meddle in my research?! I will not let people like you stand in the way of me and my husband.”

“And what do you plan to do? He’s already been picked clean.”

“What? This isn’t my husband.” She waves the skull at me again. “Silly. This is his father, Martin. My husband is the one next to you.”

My head turns before I can stop it. Crowding my vision before me is a face, long dead, decaying well, eyes gazing up at nothing and mouth agape. It fully justifies my yells. She clamps a hand on my jaw and turns me to face her.

“I want her.”

“Who?”

On some of the screens, Womble and Alice have come to a halt. Samantha stomps over to one of them and jabs a pudgy finger at the girl. “Her. Bring me her.”

“Why should I?”

“Because neither you nor your friend register as human. Because I need human flesh for experiments. And because I have the antidote.”

“The antidote to what?”

She smirks. It’s not a good look. “To my little jab.”

Panic flashes through me like fire through my veins, and I notice what’s felt so wrong. Much more than just a knock-out-drug. My blood feels like it’s itching. And there’s some immense hunger coming in.

The first Timelord ‘z-word’…

She unstraps me, lifts me over her shoulder and dumps me back out into A&E. “You’ve got about thirty minutes before it fully takes control. Better get moving, mister.”

The door slams shut behind me. Within just a few seconds, Samantha starts singing again.

There’s only one thing for it in a situation like this:

“Oh, fuck.”

HH

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