An Excerpt from an Upcoming Novel
Chapter XV – Metamorphosis
The white in my eye was injected with blood. Burst vessels were spreading around my ocular globes, weaving the curse of non-death like a tight spider-web drawing life out of me.
The mark on my right pupil had started to form already. Mine took a weird shape – that of a vertical, dwarfed, metacarpal bone. My green and hazel pupils looked like they were undergoing extreme drought. Their otherwise uniform color was being fragmented into scales. This fractured structure showed shrinking patches of color torn apart and divided by microscopic fractures filled with a yellow substance.
Their natural moist was being dried out. It was painful to keep them open. I applied physiological saline, every now and then, to ease the pain I was in, but the relief never did last long. I could feel that my biological self was being deserted from all living substance.
The C-Virus was letting itself in, making itself at home in my carcass. It was showing off its presence, making it apparent through those physical changes, as if daring me to do something about it. Boldness is permitted to forces assured of their victory. I was aware of this attack. I knew it was turning me into something else entirely, progressively. Until, finally, ultimately, my shell would be devoid of its whole by-then-emigrated human quality.
There was nothing I could do to prevent this. The C-virus had set its claws around me. I was its next prey, and it was it was holding tight. Its grip was like none other. It defied even the previously undefeated weapon of Death. The Sickle had been vanquished. I was not to live. I was not to die. I was to transform. Turn into a monster – a venomous Creature, with limited purpose and reason, infecting human life around me, irresistibly.
I wondered what it would feel like. ‘Will part of me, part of my conscious self remain, be preserved through the transformation? Will my mind go blank? Will my instincts shift into ferocious gear suddenly, progressively? Will my consciousness join that of a group, enslaving me to a common will that surpasses my own? ‘
That part positively scared me even more than the rest. I had lived my life by a code of freedom. Liberty defined me. It was like air in my lungs. I could not imagine living without it. I could not imagine putting myself through that.
It was my choice, whether I died as an infected human, or went on mechanically drawing a creature’s breath.
The institute was monitoring my change. I had volunteered for them to get a better understanding of all of this. I was doomed anyway. Might as well make a stand for the side I am supporting whole-heartedly, even in non-death.
The professor in charge of the observation told me a moment ago that I could still change my mind. To die or not to die, that was the question. No matter what, living was no longer an option.
I had a couple of hours of consciousness left. I was holding the syringe that contained the solution that would put an end to me as a human.
The choice was mine, entirely.