Holding my breath and leaving Ash behind, I ventured forward. With the pile of naked, stinking bodies laid before me, I had to force each step closer. The first reasonably fresh and intact corpse at the foot of the flesh-hill was staring up at me, wide-eyed. My bare hands reached out to grab ahold of her shoulders. I yanked.

The torso came free with a crackle and pop. I almost fell back into the swarming crowd of angry cats encircling me. Hundreds of them watched as I pulled her away from the pile, leaving a trail of gore.

My mind had already run far away. There was only the job. Any progress towards my goal pleased me. Nevermind that I was choking on the fumes of decay.

Once backed up enough that I could breathe again, I crouched over the body. She was old and wrinkled, both stiff and sagging. I turned up her chin to see there the empty neck-port.

From my backpack, the wire was uncoiled and plugged in. Her milky eyes twitched as the BCI in her skull prodded cold grey-matter for a signal. But I was only interested in the contents of the machine.

I had noticed before a subroutine in my own which recorded memories at heightened times of stress. Reliably, the data was there for the taking.

“How ghoulishly clever,” Ashmedai commented. “What a Bastard.”

“Shhh…” I needed to focus.

Deep impressions began to piece themselves together in the dark of my mind. Continue reading