Blüd is Thicker than Inque

By Trackula. Edited by Eduard Kassel and Eoraptor

Prologue: Dissolution

Deanna stumbled, her chest heaving with terror. The sound of her panicked breaths, and of her bare feet slapping against the synth-hardwood floor of her bedroom shattered the silence that had pervaded not five minutes earlier.

Glancing back quickly as she ran, the source of her terror stood beside her bed, watching her while she fled.

Inque, the freak of nature.

Inque, the saboteur, the assassin, the thief.

Inque, her mother.

And more importantly of all, Inque, the woman she'd betrayed, tried to kill, watched die with a smile on her face. She stood beside her bed in the same place she'd been when Deanna had first woken up, watching her flee in stark terror with her hands resting on her hips, one perfect eyebrow quirked up slightly with amusement.

Her wicked indigo eyes watched Deanna's terror with a faint smile tugging at the corners of her midnight-colored lips. But she made no movement to pursue. Rather, she seemed perfectly satisfied watching the show of her daughter's fear and clumsy attempt at an egress. Were Deanna of a sounder mind, she'd have realized that had she the desire, Inque could close the distance between them and bisect her down the middle in the space between her heartbeats. Or that her elevated stress levels should have alerted her rather expensive security detail via the chip in her wrist, and that their apparent absence spoke volumes about her dire situation.

However she was unfortunately beyond those thoughts, too focused instead on escape, or less likely, defense. Through the haze of her adrenaline, Deanna felt a cramping deep in her muscles that made her cry out involuntarily and trip over her own feet. She crashed hard to the floor, gasping for breath as the wind was knocked from her upon impact. The moment she'd collected herself, she hastily turned again to see if her momentary falter had sealed her fate. Only instead she saw her mother had not yet moved, even now with Deanna so close to the doors.

"What are you running from?" Inque finally spoke. Her tone was the sort of innocuous amusement more appropriate of an owner watching her dog chase its tail. "It's already inside of you, Deanna dearest. Best you lay down; it will be far less unpleasant."

She turned to shout the filthiest curses her mind could conjure at the woman-monster who'd invaded her home, but the moment her mouth opened to spill the epithets, a wave of nausea rose up from deep within her and suddenly she was purging herself all over the 8,000€ rug that laid at the doorway of her master bedroom. Again and again she heaved, spitting up every ounce of digested slurry from her stomach until she was spitting up pure mucus. And still she heaved; her guts and the muscles between her shoulder blades and around her throat aching with the exertion.

Inque's words and her sudden bout of illness were enough for Deanna to recall the empty medical dispenser her mother had been holding the moment she'd been woken up. The prick she'd felt in her shoulder which had roused her from sleep. Putting the pieces together made her stomach roil and heave harder than ever, but there was nothing left in her belly to evacuate.

Had Inque poisoned her? Deanna could feel her body fighting for its life to purge itself of whatever had been injected inside her, but it was futile effort. Even as she lay there amongst her own effluvia, she began to feel worse, a warm wet burning bubbling up from inside her. She became painfully sensitive to every change within. The way her joints ached, how her skin crawled while a thick flop sweat dripped from her every pore and soaking her negligee flat against her breasts, the fabric lewdly transparent.

Pleadingly, between heavy gasping breaths, Deanna looked back over at Inque with wide desperate eyes. Her panicked mind tried desperately to find the words needed to best plead and beg her way out of this torture. But her mouth felt numb, her lips limp, drool grossly seeping down to her chin as she hacked, the world beginning to bend and spin. She didn't even notice the warmth spreading beneath her as her mind, overburdened with pain and disgust, relinquished control of her bladder.

The world in front of her tearing eyes seemed to swirl and bend, as though looking through some retro fisheye lens.. Then the world entirely blacked out. Reaching up to her cheeks as though to wipe away what obscured her vision, her delicately manicured nails felt something thick and runny like egg yolks dripping down from her eye sockets. Reaching up, the tips of her fingers grazed drooping eyelids hanging limp over empty sockets.

Her eyes, her eyes were melting! She could feel them running down, dripping through her grasping fingers to the floor.

Deanna tried to scream with an almost inhuman level of terror, but what came out was a gurgling moan as her lungs seemed to collapse, filling with fluid. She felt like she was drowning in her own body, a constant suffocation that by all natural laws should have already killed her but instead trapped her in an endless moment of total asphyxiation. Even still her instincts demanded she continually try and fail to heave breaths through melting lungs and a muddy sagging throat.

In agony she felt her whole midsection thickening and sagging like a water balloon, and although she tried to force her thoughts away from it, the gross feeling of pressure straining against the thin skin of her abdomen told her what was happening. Her organs, like her eyes, were beginning to drip and sag, pulled down by gravity and pooling into her shapeless abdomen. Slowly she sagged over to her side, her muscles burning, limp, and useless to catch her. A feeling of gross incontinence continued as she began literally leaking out of herself through her own orifices. The borders of her matter were giving up the ghost, breaking down little by little, faster and faster.

Were she thinking clearly she'd have realized a pattern was occurring.

Whatever vile poison Inque had struck her with; its first attack on her was her body's softest tissue. Eyes, her organs, the most tender and fragile of her biology was breaking down first. But like the first in a set of dominos, her hardier makeup was breaking down next. While she laid there paralyzed and helpless and alive against all reason, she could feel the poison continue on relentlessly. Her new blindness seemed to only increase the sensation of decay as she felt in terrible detail how her flesh was surrendering to gravity and continuing to distend, stretching deforming like hot wax.

Inque watched in sympathetic silence as the mutagen did its awful task. Her daughter's skin was loose and sagging, as though aging a hundred years in an instant. The dead cells that made up her hair sprinkled away from her flaccid and pale scalp now framing her groaning head pressed into the rug. Soon the image was not of rapid aging, but far more gruesome. The skin ruptured and peeled away, falling to the floor with a wet smack in dissolving sheets. Beneath the flayed skin, her muscles drooped and slung, the bones which had once supported them turning rubbery and impotent.

All the matter that had already melted away was darkening, reddening, as though transmogrifying into a tarn of blood thick as crude oil.

Blind to her current state, Deanna's breath had long since halted, and aside from a random muscle spasm she was hardly distinguishable from a ripe corpse. The glaring and gloating face of her mother and cause of this torture was forgotten entirely. Her breasts, the best nano-sculpting could buy, she felt dripping down to the floor to join the rest of her liquefied entrails like fleshly teardrops, pooling around where she laid.

As she laid there helpless, beyond pain, Deanna doubted she was even identifiably female now. If she could see, it'd probably have resembled a decaying flayed corpse bereft of gender amidst fluidic viscera.

This was what her mother had lived through, she came to realize as she was able to sense little more than her tendons and muscles surrendered to the poison, traitors like the rest of her. Through all this, she could still somehow feel the dimensions of herself coming apart at the seams. Stranger still, she could feel the rug below the parts of herself already broken down to fluid.

Deanna had never believed in justice, karma, any of that new age rot. And yet she admitted she was living that now. Or rather dying that. She'd tried to kill the bitch, unfortunately failed, and now Inque had dragged herself out of Hell just long enough to pull her own daughter down with her for company.

It wasn't equivalent, her liquidating mind declared in a rage as it dripped from the eye sockets of her bare red cranium. Yes! She tried to kill the evil old whore! But she ABANDONED her! The money was a pretext, an excuse! She had felt perfectly justified in pumping that solvent into the trusting bitch's arm! So what if it was a betrayal? So what if her mother 'cared'?! She owed her NOTHING! That blood money was well-earned!

But her rage became lost in that shapeless state, becoming weak and falling with all the rest. Her cheap denials and reasoning doing nothing to stave off the pain, the horror, as her form collapsed. She'd apologize, she'd mean it, she'd beg and cry and call Inque 'mommy' as she desperately grasped at forgiveness. Anything, anything at all, was worth the price of ending this dissolution. Her mind screamed and moved in reverse, reliving every moment backwards, her shallow friends and lovers, the cold disinterested series of foster parents, all only interested in the inexplicable sum of credits solely in her name and constantly growing. Further back she was in social services, alone, asking about her family that didn't exist. And before that an infant in a basket, left before a church, a pathetic cliché, an ominous beginning.

As the images continued to flash in her mind's eye in reverse, she caught sight of the figure staring down at her, covered in bandages, mummified and dark, eyes hidden as she left her behind. Parting words in some middle-eastern tongue left on the wind. Played out, her life was underwhelming, opulent, bitter, alone. No name, no family, no history. And rather than rise above the dark, it was easier to sink fully into it. To not care just like the world didn't care. Perhaps that was the joke, she always took the path of least resistance, and now she was to be a freakish liquid.

Faced with something she couldn't fix with unearned credits, something that couldn't be bribed, or seduced or cheated, she realized she was helpless.

Inque sat on the bed silently, staring down at the spreading puddle of her daughter, although most would be shocked to know it. She was in her final stage, the worst of her pain passing as she knew from memory. Perhaps now the girl was feeling a sense of euphoria as she had, a side effect of the human mind unraveling and restructuring to its new post-brain dimensions.

She could only imagine what it was like for Deanna. Her own experience had been very different. An accident, experimental, drawn out slowly over hours, days. The end result was a chance, a miracle. The scientists were at a loss, unable to replicate their "happy accident" but her own research into herself made her the foremost expert of this strange mutation. She looked over at the empty injector, confident that the mutagen she'd engineered was perfect, streamlined and expedient in its mission. It'd be finished any moment now and then the real work would be left to Inque herself, her role as a mother finally come to pass.

Regret twitched within her but she stamped it out harshly, dark eyes narrowing down at the rubbery red skeleton in a soaked negligee lying in a puddle of thick crimson. A picture of horror, but also of birth, the bones sagging and deflating steadily, like melting rubber.

"Hate me all you like, Deanna," Inque muttered softly, taking a seat at the edge of the bed, one blue leg crossed over the other. "But the best medicine is bitter. Think of this pain as all the spankings for your ungrateful spoiled behavior you'd missed until now."

After a pause, thinking over her words, Inque frowned and sighed, shaking her head. "No time for grudges now, Dearest. Let us start with a clean slate. In time, you'll thank me. I know from experience."

Eventually, even the bones vanished and a pair of panties and an expensive negligee drifted in silence amidst a mass of metallic red. With a sigh, she reached down and plucked the useless articles of clothing away, tossing them over her shoulder so as better to look over the end result before her. Her little girl, a fluidic being just like her mother.

Inque did not smile as she looked at the reflection of herself in her daughter. Hmm, that would be poetic, if it wasn't literal.

No she wasn't smiling, she remembered the agony. She could never forget, and had relived it often enough in nightmares. She may be called a monster but she was not so low as to revel in this pain, she was a villain of standards. Sadism was for Jokerz and other lowlifes. She, however, was a professional. It just so happened that her profession involved killing people.

After a moment focusing on her still reflection, she nodded with approval. This was not just revenge; it was taking responsibility for her daughter who had gone so very far astray. Deanna had been right in that sense, she hadn't provided enough. Well, no longer.

She kneeled down beside her daughter's still form and silently regarded it, wondering what Deanna might be thinking right then. The color of blood. She was honestly vexed about that, but now was not the time to go over her notes on the subject.

Delicately she reached down she ran a finger lightly over the red puddle's surface. It was strange to touch another liquid-being, the texture was dry and smooth, like quicksilver. Shocked ripples formed around her extended finger. Seeing it from this side, as the observer, she understood to a degree the feeling she inspired in others.

The red fluid pulled back, far more than any mere liquid could, and then seemed to shrink, condensing slightly away from her touch.

Yes, a fetal position equivalent more or less. She had not been truly worried, but knowing it had worked was a relief.

"Deanna, I wish you hadn't made me do this. But I promise the next part will be far easier than what I went through. No one really helped me, but I will be here to help you," she explained, her voice soft, calling on her long forgotten maternal feelings to best communicate her sincerity. "I wasn't able to raise you as a human. But this time, I will be here to teach you to walk, to talk, and so many other milestones. It's a very real rebirth, and this time we can be real family."

"Now, come to mother," Inque said. Her hand stretched to a corner and pulled the hazmat vacuum over. Crude but effective, she certainly didn't want to leave any of her daughter behind.

Soon enough Inque was on her way, a bag full of re-appropriated loot, and a canister holding her daughter. The first time she'd held the girl since before she'd been left at that church all those years ago. What a wonderful evening it had turned out to be.

Prologue: End