WARNING: The following story contains graphic depictions of a simbiont living in a willing host, throwing them into a variety of strange and sometimes hilarious adventures. If you cannot handle this kind of content, I recommend something lighter, i.e. Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein”.
Also, there is gay.
Blake watched as his house collapsed into flames. He hadn’t really believed it when Rob said his house was on fire. He was just walking back from kendo practice when the brown-haired man drove up shouting for him to get in the car.
He had been right though, his house was indeed on fire. Two fire trucks were parked nearby, trying to put the flames out. It didn’t look like they were having much success. The flames didn’t dampen, even after the gallons of water the firemen sloshed on them.
::This is not a normal fire.::
What do you mean? Blake asked, a little irritated at never knowing what was going on.
::Do you not feel the force behind the flames?::
Blake frowned in concentration. He sensed the heat, the sound of roaring fire in his ears, under his skin. There was nothing he could find that made this fire special except it just ate his entire collection of classic novels.
I’ll never read Treasure Island again. He lamented. Then it popped out at him. A small thread of invisible force that fueled the fire.
::Yes, that is it.::
What exactly is it?::
::Doesn’t it feel familiar?:: Khamon asked. Blake nodded, it was just like when he produced his barrier, but somehow altered.
Another simbiont did this. Blake realized. His fists tightened. Peor.
The golden simbiont had warned him of the Grau’s intentions. Blake still did not understand it all, and Khamon seemed to be nearly in the dark as he was.
How do I stop it?
::I do not know.::
Blake clenched his teeth. He had had enough of this. Suddenly a part of him reached out and smothered the fire like a blanket. He felt, rather than saw, the energy surge along the line, back to whom ever set his house on fire. He knew it would cause one helluva headache, but before it got far the entire thing faded away, as if the connection had been severed at the other end.
Fuck! Blake watched as the flames died down easily. But it was too late. All that was left of his house was a charred wooden frame.
He was vaguely aware of talking with several firemen, as well as Rob. He let the pre-med student usher him into the car. It wasn’t long before Blake was standing in the living room of Rob’s house.
‘C’mon, Blake. Take that stuff off. You smell like smoke.’ Blake realized he reeked of soot and ash. He kicked off his shoes and jacket.
‘Here.’ Rob tossed him a towel, ‘I got the shower running.’
Blake’s mind was blank as he scrubbed his body clean. If this is what they could do to his house, what would happen to his friends? It was too late for Jared, Blake had told him everything and as far as the jock was concerned, they were in for the long haul. But Rob, he didn’t want Rob to get hurt. The man had been nothing but kind to him, and Blake had placed him into great danger, just by knowing him.
Not your fault. You didn’t know. Blake rubbed his temples.
::Do not worry.:: Khamon said. Blake gave a bitter laugh.
Don’t worry? How can I NOT worry?! My friends are basically mincemeat whenever Peor gets the urge to smash something!
::I will protect them. I will protect you.:: Khamon said with such sincerity that Blake quelled the bitter retort on the tip of tongue. He felt his anger deflate like a three week old balloon.
But what if you can’t? What if I can’t?
Khamon didn’t answer. Blake sighed. The simbiont usually did that when he was thinking, or couldn’t formulate a response.
Blake slowly turned the water off and stepped out of the shower. He methodically toweled himself off before wrapping it around his waist and stepping into the hall.
‘Rob?’ He looked down the hall. No Rob there. He walked into the living room.
‘Rob you around?’ Blake called. No response. He felt his senses heighten. What if rob was in danger.
‘In here.’ Blake heard his voice clearly and as loudly as a sonic boom.
Gotta be careful with that. H chided himself.
Rob was in the bedroom, rooting through his dresser. Finally he turned, holding some clean clothes.
‘I…’ Blake could feel Rob’s gaze crawling over his damp body. Suddenly he felt his cheeks redden.
‘Here.’ Rob handed him the clothes, ‘They’re gonna be a little big.’
‘Hope you like boxers.’ Rob smiled, slowly exiting the room. Blake heaved a sigh of relief.
::I have been reviewing things between you and the one called Rob, as well as Jared.::
And? Blake asked as he slipped the boxers on. He usually wore a jock, or boxer-briefs. The loose garments felt odd on his bare skin.
::I have concluded that I do not understand at all.::
Blake laughed to himself.
You and me both, buddy.
::Buddy. A term of friendship and familiarity. Do you consider me to be your friend, Blake?:: He could hear genuine curiosity in Khamon’s tone.
Yeah I guess I do. Blake said. I mean, sometimes you’re a pain in the butt, but you’re okay, Khamon.
The simbiont was quiet for a few seconds.
No need to mention it, buddy. Blake smiled.
Rob whistled as he walked into the living room. The clothes were indeed too big. Blake remembered a few weeks ago when they had first met, and Rob borrowed some of his clothes. The handsome pre-med looked good in a snug shirt, but Blake found Rob’s shirt did little to flatter his form.
‘Thanks.’ Blake said, sinking into the couch.
Rob had a nice place. Much nicer than his own had been. Suddenly Blake’s mind went back to the fire. Everything he had was in that house. Now it was gone, he had nothing except for the clothes on his back, and technically those were borrowed.
‘You gonna be alright?’ Rob asked, eyebrows raised in concern.
‘Yeah. Yeah I think so.’ Blake said, thoughts of Peor and his Koda floating through his head.
‘You can crash here.’ Rob said, moving to the telephone.
‘No, I mean, you can crash here for…well, however long it takes to get another place.’ Rob said.
‘Really?’ Blake asked, his stomach trying to fly again.
‘Yeah. No fooling.’ Rob smiled, dialing a number.
‘Who you calling?’ Blake asked, feeling rather ecstatic considering his house just burnt down.
‘Jared. He might get confused when he shows up and there are nothing but ashes.’ Rob said.
‘Oh.’ Blake said. Before Rob finished dialing the last number, his front door flew open, revealing a panicked Jared.
‘Rob!’ He shouted, eyes falling on Blake.
‘Blake!’ Suddenly Blake was lifted into the tall jock’s arms and squeezed. ‘Dude, thank god you’re alright! I went by your place and it was all burnt and shit and then I was like, where is Blake? Oh, fuck, I thought you were hurt or something!’
‘Jared.’ Blake wheezed. ‘You’re choking me.’
‘Oh! Sorry dude!’ He let go, Blake dropping to his feet.
‘Thanks.’ Blake said, sitting down. Rob excused himself, moving to the kitchen to make some food. Jared plopped down beside Blake.
‘So, you okay?’
‘Yeah.’ Blake said.
‘Is…uh,’ Jared leaned close, whispering, ‘is your parasite okay?’
::Not a parasite.::
Blake laughed. Khamon almost sounded…indignant.
‘Here we go.’ Rob said, setting some sandwiches out on the table along with some coffee.
The discussion ran from classes to how Blake’s house burnt down. Rob was shocked when he learned that Blake had no insurance, but Blake simply shrugged. He had never been one to take out insurance. It seemed redundant to him, besides, where was he going to get the cash to pay for it? He didn’t even have a car.
Rob cleared his throat.
‘Speaking of cars, mine finally smells like it should.’ Suddenly Blake sat up.
‘Oh yeah. The…project.’ He gave Jared a sidelong glance. Rob raised an eyebrow.
Why am I so terrible at lying?
::Some would consider it an admirable trait.::
Only in every situation in which I don’t find myself. Blake said, feeling the equivalent of a simbiont smile.
In minutes Rob led them to the garage.
‘I’ve been keeping the car out of here. It stopped smelling so terrible a little while ago, but I try not to open the door.’
‘Great.’ Blake said. The three men stood awkwardly for a moment.
‘Alright.’ Rob said, ‘I’m obviously not involved in this little…event.’ He turned and went back to the living room.
‘Rob! I--‘ Blake started to say.
‘Forget about it, Blake. I have class anyway. I’ll see you tonight.’ Rob said, pulling his jacket on. In seconds he was out the door.
‘Later tonight?’ Jared wagged his eyebrows suggestively.
‘He’s letting me stay for awhile.’ Blake frowned. Jared smiled even wider. ‘Just get in there.’
He shoved the jock into the garage.
The creature was easy to find. It was lying in the middle of the floor wrapped in an orange tarp. As soon as they opened it the stench hit them.
‘Man,’ Jared said, holding his nose, ‘If this doesn’t smell as bad as before I’d hate to have smelled it before.’
::You may breathe freely.:: Khamon said and Blake suddenly found that the smell was gone.
‘What?’ Jared asked as Blake let go of his nose. The dark-haired man shrugged. Jared sneered. ‘So not fair.’
The creature very closely resembled a human in structure and stature, wit ha few noticeable differences, which Jared helped to point out. There were several glands and organs that they couldn’t identify and some of the normal ones had been altered.
Blake pried the armor off the body using a crow bar.
::It seems to be a living part of the creature.::
Look at the bone.
The bone, exposed under the armor where the muscle had deteriorated, was a bronze color, almost like the skeleton was metal.
‘What the fuck is this?’ Jared asked, poking it with his foot.
::It would appear to be some kind of genetically manipulated simbiont-host paring. The skeletal and vital systems have been vitally reconstructed.:: Khamon fell silent before explaining all of the enhancements the creature possessed. Blake funneled the info to Jared, who occasionally nodded.
::It would not be difficult to make these modifications with you, Blake.::
Blake stared at the thing on the floor. A clear, orange ooze was seeping from its joints.
Ugh, I think I’ll pass for the time being.
::It would allow for a maximization of our faculties.::
Would I look like this…thing?
::Not if you do not wish it. I can easily maintain your current appearance in addition to manipulating your internal structure.::
Would it make it easier to fend off these type of…things?
::More than likely.::
And what would it take?
::A series of specific matter. Trace amounts of minerals and metal, but mostly organic matter. A constant influx of it. The reconstruction would take six days and nine hours.::
Would it hurt?
::No--I have factored time and resources for the nullification of the nervous system.::
So no, but it will take longer.
And with the pain?
::Three days, two hours and nine minutes is the rough approximation.::
What if Peor attacks in that time?
::Then we would be completely vulnerable.::
So I need a guard.
Blake’s gaze wandered to Jared’s face. He was giving a quizzical look.
‘Oh, nothing. You two have just been talking for about ten minutes. It’s a little creepy, dude.’ Jared said.
‘No, no problem here dude. Actually, I’m gonna get something to eat. I’ll be in the kitchen when you two are done your little dissection.’ Jared said, closing the door to the garage.
::Let me examine the creature further.::
Blake took a step back, passing Khamon. It felt different this time, more definite. He could almost picture what the simbiont looked like in his mind’s eye. Then he was in the back ground, watching, as Khamon poked and prodded the corpse, sorting and analyzing all of its parts and how they fit together.
Two hours later they emerged from the garage. Jared was sitting on the couch, watching soccer.
‘Find out anything useful?’ He asked.
‘Yeah, lots of stuff.’
‘So you gonna kick this dude’s ass the next time he sends a goonie your way?’ Jared asked.
‘Listen, Red. I might be outta commission for a few days. I need someone to watch over me in case anything happens. I mean, I don’t want you to feel like--'
‘I’m totally there!’ He said, leaping out his seat. ‘No worries, man! I’ll watch your back.’
Blake smiled weakly. He hated to put Jared in such great danger. Odds were it would take Peor a little time to find him, so the sooner he began his metamorphosis, the better.
Jared wanted to know exactly what was happening. Khamon explained that in order to match the power of their enemies, Blake needed to be enhanced in a way that was beyond them. Using the creature as a basis, and with Blake’s input, they were able to decide on a reconstruction of Blake’s skeletal, nervous and muscular system.
‘You’re not gonna lose any muscles are ya?’ His friend almost pouted. Blake socked him on the arm.
‘No. Nothing will look any different. At least not on the outside.’ Blake said.
‘And inside?’ Jared raised an eyebrow.
‘Let’s just say I’ll never be able to go to the hospital again.’ Blake told him.
Their shopping list was long and unusual.
‘Dude, where are you gonna get some of this?’
‘Most of it can be obtained through the intake of vitamins and supplements.’ Khamon said, using Blake’s voice. Jared suppressed the urge to shudder.
‘And the glass?’
‘We will swallow parts of a dismantled bottle or window. Research indicates it is a common substance in your world. Is this not the case?’
‘It is.’ Jared said, ‘But I don’t want you…Blake’s body…swallowing glass!’
‘Your concern is admirable but I have said several times that I will not allow harm to come to Blake or his body. He is my host. Together we make up one living being.’ The not-Blake scowled. Jared wondered where he would have learned that facial expression.
‘Fine, but if anything happens…’ Jared started.
‘Nothing will happen that is in my responsibility.’
‘What does that mean?’ Jared asked, fists clenched.
‘If the Koda attack, it is your duty to safeguard us.’ Khamon said for the hundredth time.
‘I KNOW!’ Jared shouted, ‘You don’t have to remind me. I got it covered.’
‘What about Rob?’ Jared asked after thinking a minute, ‘Won’t he think something is up?’
‘He must not be allowed to interrupt the process. Inform him that Blake is ill.’
‘And why I’m constantly visiting him?’
‘He suspects that the two of you are involved in mating. Use this impression to gain unlimited access to our presence.’ Khamon said.
From anyone else, Jared would have thought it hot. Instead he grumbled.
‘Remember, Blake is entrusting you with his safety as well as mine.’ Khamon said, a hint of something in his tone. Unease? Humor? Jared couldn’t tell.
‘Fine. I’m off then. I’ll be back in a few hours with the stuff.’ Jared said. Blake, he liked. Khamon, sometimes he wished he could punch the thing, but because it would be Blake’s body he was hurting, he was helpless.
::Now is the easy part.:: Khamon said, stepping back.
‘I hate this part.’ Blake said, sitting down.
::Don’t worry. I’ll take care of things.:: Khamon said in his most reassuring tone.
I’m sure you will.
::Good night, Blake.::
And then the world went black as Blake counted the number of times he was put under by Khamon in the last few weeks.
Took a bit longer to get this chapter out, but hey, classes have started and I’m wicked busy with writing scripts, plus my big project: A fantasy-type novel. Maybe when it’s shored up a bit, I’ll start to post it here.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did writing. If you have any comments or questions, (feedback is very encouraging!) or just want to send me cash, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.