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Mutagen (The Rewrite!)

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The world is dark and cold, and so very cruel.

 

I’ve become very, very aware of that over the past few years.

 

But even then, I still had hope that things would get better, that eventually the sun would break through the clouds and light up my life again.

 

As time went on hope began to fade, and in the last… how long has it been? It has guttered out completely, that feeble flickering light shrinking to nothing in the shadows of this cold, cold world.

 

My name is Tay…. Taylor H… H-something, and I have nothing left.

 

No friends, no family, no future…

 

I don’t even have a human body anymore!

 

I’m forced to slither along the back streets and the storm drains of Brockton Bay as nothing but a… mass of… stuff.

 

Noy the old stuff, that was solid newer stuff, gooier stuff.

 

I can’t quite remember why, but I can’t help but resent… something.

 

For turning my body into this… thing, making my world nothing but darkness and cold, filling me with this awful, gnawing hunger… so hungry... that just kept growing, and growing and growing .

 

I needed to eat, all I could do was eat, fill the void, sate the hunger, with my new body ,made of new stuff, I could just engulf things in my gooey stuff and break it down… Sometimes there were flashes of something when I did that, but all that did was make my head hurt.

 

I didn’t even have a head to hurt!

 

But the hunger demanded that I eat, so I just tried to shove the painful flashes away and eat.

 

Starting with the locker…. The locker…

 

I don’t want to think about that.

 

Then I had eaten my way through the doors of Winslow, broken down the half dead grass on the grounds, eaten the bugs that lived in it, eaten the rats that lived on the streets beyond that, eaten frogs and lizards and roaches and other vermin…

 

I had just kept eating, I had been too hungry and scared to think or plan out a route.

 

So I just followed the tiny flashes of light and warmth and vibration that punched through my dark, dark world.

 

Followed them into the city, down into the storm drains, and out into the bay.

 

Devouring everything along the way.

 

Then there was my time in the bay… I don’t know how long I had spent there, but it was long enough that I was able to remember some things.

 

The Bay had been a newer and stranger sort of hell, This awful body wasn’t light enough to float, but neither was it heavy enough to sink to the bottom, so I was left adrift, surrounding by swirling mess of water currents and the chaotic flashes of light and heat of life drifting towards me and then away.

 

My body convulses and ripples violently just remembering those terrifying first days in the ocean.

 

But… even then, I didn’t stop, at that point I had been able to pull myself together… I had wanted to go home, to see dad, to sleep in my own bed…

 

I had just wanted to go home.

 

So I had forced myself to move on, I made myself learn how to swim with this new body, mimicking the movements of the Jellything that I had eaten down there.

 

Slowly but surely, I was able to start moving throughout the ocean under my own power.

 

I had had a goal in mind then, but the hunger still gnawed at me, So I kept eating, fish of all sorts, a squid, crabs, I had at one point been eaten by a really big fish.

 

I had eaten that one from the inside out.

 

Eventually, I had washed back up onto something solid, one of the rusting… things in the… the place that dad didn’t like.

 

From there, I made my way back home.

 

Or what had been my home.

 

It had been empty.

 

Dad wasn’t there.

 

But I hadn’t given up then either, dad may have been looking for me, or busy with his job, or maybe staying over with one of his friends to… grieve for me, if he thought I was gone.

 

So I waited

 

First one day, then another, and another, and another.

 

But dad never came home.

 

His old truck was gone, and the house was empty, Dust slowly piling up over familiar furniture, and in spaces that had once been full of warmth and light and a happy family, now only shadows lived silent and still in the cold and stagnant air.

 

Dad had left me behind.

 

Mom had left me, then Emma had left me, and now… Dad had left me too.

 

I… I had left the house behind after that. Staying there was hurting.

 

Sadness, anger, betrayal, a storm of feelings more chaotic than the currents of the bay, that was what I felt as I moved blindly away from my old home, once more I slithered aimlessly into the city.

 

Now… Now I just wandered the back places and the storm drains and sewers, a shapeless mass of.. Something, slithering in the places where people never checked.

 

Alone, unwanted, and unloved.

 

And Still this awful hunger keeps burning away inside me. Never letting me forget it, urging me to gather more meat, more meat, more meat.

 

But it isn’t the only urge I have… I stay away from people now, for more than one reason. Every time I’ve caught a glance of another person, I’ve felt the urge to engulf them, to eat them… but also not to eat them?

 

I don’t know what my body is trying to make me do.

 

But I know that whatever it is would not end well for the victim… And so I stay away from people…

 

Why did my life end up this way?

 

Where did things go wrong?

 

What did I do wrong?

 

Is… Is there even any reason to keep going?

...

 

I’m shaken from my thoughts as I feel my membrane vibrate and quiver…

 

This new body of mine can’t see, not the way a human body could, I can feel things, heat, electricity, vibrations, and navigate through that, but I can’t see.

 

I can, however, still hear .

 

I hear shouting, screaming, begging, pleading in a high voice.

 

I hear things in a language I don’t know, the voices are deeper, meaner, mocking.

 

A smacking sound of flesh and bone impacting flesh and bone, then flesh and bone hitting stone.

 

The sounds are near me, above me.

 

Something bad is happening above me, someone is being hurt.

 

There is no one else around, no one will save them.

 

There are… supposed to be people to save others… but they are not here, just like mom, Emma, and dad.

 

The women above me will not be saved… Unless.

 

Unless I can save them?

 

Memories flash warped and fragmentary… what I used to look like, tinier though, even tinier than I was a few weeks ago, with a.. Cape… yes a cape, around her shoulders.

 

Capes were the people who saved others… I wanted to be a cape.

 

I needed to save the begging one.

 

There were three others near the begging one, they had moved towards her.. They were hurting her.

 

So I had to stop them, right?

 

Yes.

 

I move .

 

XXXXX

???????

Random Alleyway, Brockton Bay.

 

Tonight’s looking real good from where I’m standing.

 

I met up with the guys, and We got some of the good shit at Chen’s bar, then after we got a nice buzz going we left… and stumbled on this prime piece of ass!

 

A big titted White bitch like the girl we were after right now? Bringing her up to “the farm” would set us up for months! I have been eyeing up a certain car lately…

 

I shake my head, I could plan out what I would do with the money later, first I had to earn it!

 

Sure she’d managed to Yao with that pepper spray and try to run for it, but that wasn’t shit! We had her outnumbered three to one, and with the alley she’d just turned into there wasn’t anywhere for the bitch to run now.

 

Now that I got another chance to look at her up close, damn, she is one good looker… gonna bring in the big money once the farmer breaks her in, I just know it!

 

Would the farm mind if we took a turn with her first though? Eh… probably not, breaking a girl down a bit beforehand would just make his job easier right? And Yao is gonna be pissed after getting a face full of pepper-spray like he did.

 

Yeah, it would be a shame not to give the girl a test ride, wouldn’t it?

 

At least it would make dealing with the white bitchs moaning and whining worthwhile, stupid bitch had started begging the moment she had found a brick wall!

 

She can beg all she wants, it isn’t gonna do anything!

 

I take a step forward into the alleyway, then another, I can feel myself smiling… This is gonna be good.

 

The guys are following right behind me, they must be pretty excited too.

 

I take one more step towards the cunt in front of me, and she starts screaming her stupid little head off, at that, begging and screaming.

 

It’s pretty fucking pathetic.

 

I reach out to shut her up.

 

But before I can…

 

The grating on the storm drain next to pops off, like the cork on champagne bottle, and I feel something big and heavy smash into my side.

 

I hear the popping of my bones as they snap and shatter, Then I can hear myself start to scream.

 

Something forces itself down my throat, flows down it, thick and sludgy, it smothers my scream in the cradle.

 

It’s cold… so, so cold as it crawls my throat, over my skin.

 

The last thing I see is a muzzle flash, the other had pulled out their guns and started shooting at whatever… this fucking thing was.

 

Something flows upwards over my eyes, and I try to scream as it rams through my eyeballs…

 

Everything goes dark.

 

XXXXX

 

My mind buzzed as I broke down the… thing… person, my body flowing down his throat, through his eye sockets, up his nostrils, meticulously enveloping each and every cell, and thoroughly disassembling them.

 

Flash’s of something pulse through my body, my mind, they are both the same right?

 

Images twist and contort, and break apart, flashes of places I’ve never been, faces I’ve never seen.

 

I feel small things impact my body, pierce through it, and then fly out the other side… they were irritating.

 

The hunger that had compelled me to show myself, wait was that why I had shown myself… I thought….

 

The hunger flared, blasting away thought.

 

There was a body on the ground behind me, but two bodies in front of me, from where the little projectile had come from…

 

They were called bullets… 

 

That didn’t matter, I was hungry, they had attacked me, so I would eat them.

 

I poured forward, my bulk, having grown quite sizable after my time in the ocean and even more so after the meal I had just finished, washed over both of the prey in front of me.

 

I felt their bodies pressing against me, struggling in my grasp, muscles working, flexing and tightening to try and break free from me.

 

Their struggles ended when I punched through their eyeballs and began breaking down their brains. 

 

Flashes of more things, strange faces, strange places, Ideas that were not mine?

 

Hunger abates.

 

Something else flares up to replace it.

 

There is still another… not prey… something else? The begging women is still behind me.

 

She is on the ground. Fluid is leaking quickly from her body, her heat is starting to fade.

 

She’s dying. The begging one was dying.

 

That’s what I had shown myself for, to save her, not to eat.

 

But now she was dying, why was she dying?!

 

I had stopped the people attacking her, so why?!

 

Desire flares and my questions vanish.

 

She was… not prey.

 

Host.

 

I could save her.

 

I moved quickly, engulfing the dying woman, flowing into the wounds on her body, there were pieces of metal in the wounds, but they broke down quickly.

 

I forced myself into her veins, in between her muscle fibers, I wrapped Around every bone, and coated every nerve.

 

I moved, and her body was made to move as I willed.

 

As the stuff of my body wraps around her brain, the world suddenly becomes bright, sight returns with a vengeance as I connect to her ocular nerves.

 

I’m not finished, what I’m doing now will take a long time to finish, I need…

 

I need some place to hide.

 

My returned sight is already proving its worth.

 

The gutter, the one I came from, hiding in the drains had worked before.

 

The body of the Host moves slowly unsteadily, jerking and spasming as it goes, parts of my body, to big to fit inside this one entirely, rip through her outer covering, waving tendrils of blue-black ooze punching out from the host’s skin and wiggling in the cold night air.

 

For a moment, a hazy fills my head, that this is somehow not right, that I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing

 

But as that powerful need rears it’s head yet again, those thoughts sink to the bottom of the thing that is me, and are promptly forgotten.

 

The Host can't fit through the entrance of the gutter… not as she is.

 

That can be fixed though.

 

A flex of me and the host’s bone pop and break, allowing her body to bend and squeeze itself through the grating.

 

The nerves try to send a pointless signal in response to the damage, I cut that off entirely.

 

Finally, the host body falls into the gutter, hitting the ground with the cracking of more bones.

 

Following nothing but instinct, I force the body to stand up on all fours, bones creaking and cracking and popping as it does.

 

I move deeper into the drains, away from any prying eyes. Anything that could take advantage of my coming vulnerability.

 

Already, I am feeling sluggish, heavy, and thick. The parts of my body that are still exposed to open air are starting to solidify, wrapping around the host body, and slowing my movement down more and more.

 

It doesn’t matter, this is far enough, no one will find me here.

 

The sight I had so recently goes dark once more as my body washes over the eyes of the host and hardens.

 

A shell of hardened Taylor-stuff wrapping around my host… like… like a cocoon?

 

Yes, a cocoon! Metamorphosis! That is what is coming! Metamorphosis!

 

The shell continues to grow and harden, sinking anchoring roots into the concrete behind and below me.

 

I feel the parts of me inside the host body loosen, thin out, become almost like water, breaking down the host body, but also not?

 

The stuff of me is flowing… flowing into and absorbing the host stuff? But also being absorbed by the host stuff?

 

I… I feel… like I’m falling.

 

Falling.

 

Falling. 

 

I fall, and the world goes silent.

 

I fall, I slumber, and I dream.