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There probably won't be a Satyr Crack installment today, because I'm playing around with this snake crossover idea instead. Hopefully I'll be in a satyr mood tonight at work, and will get some writing done during my break.

Also, I, uh, got the apartment. I move in on October 1st, when it's been vacated by the current tenants and cleaned. Already signed the lease and put the first $200 of my deposit down as a holding fee.

Again, for more information on what this bit of writing is about, see the journals of [livejournal.com profile] nagasvoice and [livejournal.com profile] greenjudy, and also the things I've tagged with snake crossover.




They can’t carry a tarp-wrapped body through the WUNPO lobby, so they park in the underground garage below headquarters and Jian dials up to Laith. “Bring a gurney,” he tells the doctor. “And sheets.”

Wren sits on the trunk of the car, her shirt pulled up again so she can look at the cut. The swelling is going down, the redness fading. It barely tingles anymore. That worries her. She lets the cloth drop, covering the injury.

Laith shows up pushing the empty gurney and a little out of breath, with Rupali in tow. He seems surprised – and a little put out – to find both of them upright and obviously not about to keel over. When he sees the tarp-covered shape on the cement next to the car, he stops cold, looks from Wren to Jian and back again.

“What in the hells did you do?” Laith’s English always suffers when he’s upset. It’s still better than what half the people out on the street are speaking.

Wren gets down off the trunk, walks over to the body. “Not what you’re thinking, Laith. We brought you a…specimen. Either someone out there is doing some very, very illegal genetic engineering-” she kicks the tarp back, revealing the thing beneath it, mandibles gleaming and still sticky with whatever passed for the bug’s saliva, its clothes ripped where its extra limbs came tearing up out of its abdomen when it tried to slice her in half earlier “-or we’re about to be invaded by aliens.” She pauses. “I’m not sure which would be worse, at this point. Probably aliens.”

Rupali swears, eyes wide. Laith just stares at the thing, seemingly transfixed.

“And Wren’s hurt. It…stung her.” Jian’s arms are crossed. He’s not happy.

Laith shakes his head, turns to Wren and she obligingly lifts the hem of her shirt again. Laith pulls a package of sterile gloves out of his coat pocket, tears it open and pulls them on. He drops the wrapper on the ground, probes the cut gently, feeling along its length. When he takes his fingers away from her side, he’s frowning. “It will need stitches. It was badly swollen, yes? It seemed hot to the touch at first, but is already cooler now.”

“Which means what?” Jian is impatient. He gets testy when he’s worried about her.

Laith spreads his hands. “Until I get Wren and…the body…to the lab, I cannot be sure. But most likely whatever poison was in the cut is not long-lasting, or…” He trails off.

Wren arches an eyebrow. “Or what, Laith?”

“Forgive me, Wren. But you are not usual. Perhaps the poison was not meant to work against someone like you,” the doctor answers with a shrug. “Perhaps your body did…adapt to the intrusion in some way.”

“Peachy,” mutters Rupali. Wren is inclined to agree with her.

#


“It was human,” Laith says. “Or rather, it has the potential to have been human. I do not know if it ever actually was. But the DNA is there.” The bug – because that’s what they’ve all taken to calling it – is spread out over an examination table, in parts. Laith has been working on it for nearly a day now. The room smells like rot.

“It’s already decaying?” Wren asks, not that she really needs to.

“Yes! Most fascinating.” Laith rises from his stool, returns to the body and sticks one rubber-protected finger inside the open brain casing. “It is breaking down at an amazing rate. As if this is not the usual environment for it. More hostile, bacterially, than what it is used to.”

Watching him poke at it, Wren feels almost nauseous. Usually this kind of thing doesn’t bother her at all, but she’s been a bit off ever since the she killed the bug. “How nice for us.”

Laith twists to face her, utterly serious now. “You realize you must find out more about this.”

There was never any question. “Of course. We searched its clothing, what was left of it. There was a phone card in its pocket. We ran the number – it placed three calls to a payphone in a little township in the middle of the United States, nothing else. We already have a plane to take us to America in a couple hours.” Jian is getting their go-bags from the locker room, checking them over to make sure they have everything they’ll need.

“Good,” Laith says, turning away again. “If you discover anything, let me know.”

“Rupali will be doing comms for us. She’ll report to you and Tekla, only.”

“The director already knows?” Laith looks up from his microscope.

“Tekla is the one who ordered us to go.”
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