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Another Life – Final Part

Sophie screamed, kicking hard at the sculpture as she did so. Her foot stuck fast. Like a hysterical Br’er Rabbit she kicked again with her other foot, pulling back against her tormentor with all her might. Her scream was primal as the machine drew the life-force out of her. She could feel the strength, no, the muscle leaving her. Worse, she could see it.
The room was filling up with a fine, repulsive mist that clumped away from Sophie, swirling around her, just out of reach. She continued to desperately jerk and howl as the machine fed off her. With a final surge of effort she forced her legs straight and was rewarded with a feeble snap and her left arm sagged loose in its socket. Shrieking and crying, she tried to fight and pull against it, but was getting weaker quickly. The mist around her was growing thicker.

***

From an ever decreasing distance, Tia watched, delighted as the agonised woman began to fail. Cackling, she strained to reach the source of her future humanity. She would live this life so much better than that pathetic woman would ever have managed. She deserved this more, had waited longer, she wouldn’t waste a second. Desire consumed her and she burned with the need to get there, to take possession of what was rightfully hers.

***

Suddenly the door burst open as two men hurled themselves into the room. Weakly, Sophie called out a warning, but it was too late for the bigger, stronger of the two. Rushing to her rescue, he forced himself against the machine, using his body as a lever to try and push Sophie free. His screams were instant and intense causing the other man to falter in the act of grabbing at the sculpture himself.
“No!” Sophie whimpered as he turned in retreat. “Please, don’t go! Just don’t touch it…” Her eyes rolled back in their sockets. “Just kill it.”
He paused, uncertain what to do when the other man jerked suddenly, straining against their impassive, terrifying foe and scaring him into action. He turned to the nearest chair, grabbed it, and hauled it at the machine. Sophie’s other would-be rescuer threw himself forwards as the chair crashed into them. Landing on top of her, he lay breathlessly for a moment before looking over his shoulder at the twitching pieces of the awful sculpture.
Crying softly, Sophie finally allowed herself to slip into oblivion as around her the men set about destroying the living nightmare that had almost killed her. As the machine disintegrated in a storm of violence and fear, the mist that had filled the room began to coalesce and return to her.

***

Behind them it was Tia’s turn to scream. Unable to halt her advance, she continued to hurtle towards the now non-existent pool of waiting matter. Like a duck on an ice-rink, she scrabbled in retreat but failed entirely to stop her momentum. There wasn’t enough! She could see that, even from here. What there was, though, would latch onto her mind as she passed. It would force her into a semblance of veracity; force her to become real but in a vitally incomplete body. There was no way she could survive incarnation in such an inadequate form. The feeble cloud of matter was her waiting doom.
She howled as she sped towards it.

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