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Monday, April 5

Grace Under Pressure: Part 8 – The End of the Beginning

Jim-Bean was dying. No more pain. No more worry.

The light faded. Jim-Bean was already blind, his eyeballs long since destroyed from the radiation, but there was a light within his own mind that shone brightly. Even that was fading. He was falling, falling, falling…

He deserved peace, didn't he? Jim-Bean had been abandoned, experimented on, treated like a dog. He had been betrayed, violated, and used. He was crazy anyway, increasingly losing his grip on reality.

Stupid humans. They could fend for themselves from now on. It was better this way.

And yet. And yet.

Jenny was in his mind's eye, straining. The babies were being born. His babies. His children. Boys and girls all jumbled together. Nurses whisked them away, except for one. One of them, only one, was stillborn.

The doctor said something to Jenny, holding the limp little creature up for her to see. She wailed a scream of anguish that woke Jim-Bean up out of his stupor. Dead? Dead!

No, not dead. The other six were alive. But the doctors were hiding it from Jenny, hiding it from him. Those were his children. This was his future. They were the inheritors of the earth, and Majestic was trying to cover it up.

Jim-Bean forced himself back into consciousness. He took a deep breath, and found that gills had formed in what was left of his chest.

The virus! The PI virus had infected him, turned him. Now he was one of them. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:19 AM


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