Max’s balance was uneasy as he climbed to his feet. He felt the dull sensation of pain in his head but thought nothing of it as he left through the open door of Corrigan’s bedroom. He heard arguing in the living room and stopped walking as he thought deeply about what to do.
“Leave them for now.” The voice spoke inside of his head as he peered around the corner to see Eden and Corrigan yelling at each other. They both looked glorious to him, he wanted them but the voice was compelling him to stay back. He heard a pounding at the door. And the voice said, “don’t let her see you!” Max stepped back into the shadows of the hallway as the door was kicked in and Lila came to separate the bickering siblings. Max realized that as much as he wanted Corrigan and Eden, he couldn’t imagine wanting anyone more than Lila. In his undead state when he looked at her she was glowing, a brilliant golden aura surrounded her and he wanted to bask in it.
“You would do well to stay away from that one.” The voice said as Max’s gaze lingered on Lila. “Go now! Through the door!” Max shuffled unnoticed out of the apartment. As he wandered down the hallway, he stopped to peer at the doors that led to other apartments. They were all closed and he couldn’t figure out how to open them.
“There’s no food behind those doors, ignore them,” the voice commanded and Max continued down the hall towards the stairs. He was confident that as long as he did what he was told he’d be able to satiate the ravenous hunger in his soul.
Max had barely reached the door to the stairwell when he heard a powerful scream echo up towards him and pierce his ears like a hot blade. He felt his skin crawling and his hunger intensify. His moan transformed into a heated, nasty growl as his stomach demanded to be filled with human flesh.
“The beast is calling you, now is the time to act!” Max felt a sudden surge of strength fill his arms and a certain comprehension came over him. He pushed open the door and took the stairs two at a time. He could feel saliva frothing at the corners of his mouth as he stumbled and fell down half a flight of stairs. He was aware that he was falling, that his body was hitting every step on the way down but all he felt was the faded echo of pain.
“Don’t you hear her calls? Now is the time! Get up! Kill! Eat while you can!” The sense of urgency intensified and Max climbed to his feet. Somehow, he knew his right femur was broken. The shattered fragment of bone was jabbing into the muscles of his leg, but it didn’t slow him down. His frantic run turned into an angry limp as he moved so quickly the bone began to lodge itself deeper and deeper into his flesh. He slipped out the door to the eleventh floor and knew instantly where to go to get into the dining room. He could smell living flesh, the warmth of blood pouring down his throat poised within reach.
“With these doors closed, this room is completely soundproof. The old man’s idea no doubt, to hide the sounds of the doctor’s research, but it means they haven’t heard her. They don’t expect you. Go in there, and feast. Let the beast have them and she will use them to secure the girl.”
Max stepped forward and swung open the door to the dining hall, licking the froth of saliva from his lips as he did.
“What the hell?” said one of the people sitting down for lunch.
“Kill them all. Do not disappoint her.”
Max snarled and threw himself into the room. He grabbed hold of a man’s arm and pulled him close, biting down into his shoulder before quickly tossing the man aside. Max then grabbed hold of a woman’s hair before she could get away, biting her right ear off.
“Move! Bite! Kill!” Max’s victims heard the voice too now, compelled to turn at an accelerated rate. They were filled with the fiery pain of Felicia’s rage and moved to feed on their former friends. Every human whose flesh he had tasted was almost instantly filled with the fiery urge to eat. To consume. The taste of blood and the feeling flesh sliding down their throats were blissfully sublime. Better than anything they’d ever eaten before.
“Don’t let them get away!” the voice commanded as another woman ran screaming for the door. Max turned and the sound that came from his mouth was inhuman. He leapt through the air and managed to grab the woman’s ankle, sending her crashing face first to the floor. He summoned his strength and with one strong tug managed to pull the woman closer to him. He had his body on top of her as he bit into her back and then shot up to his feet again.
There was a man coming at Max now, a fork in his hand and Max could hear the voice laughing in his head. He grabbed the man’s arm and pulled it towards himself, stabbing the fork deep into his abdomen in an attempt to get the man close enough to bite into his neck.
Somewhere on a floor below Felicia screamed again and with the doors to the soundproof dining hall open it rang out through the room, amplified by the tight confines of the stairwell, the robotic wail cast its spell over the growing horde.
“What’s going on here?” Lila burst into the room, still glowing from head to toe, and fired one of the handguns she kept strapped securely to her thighs. “How many times do I have to tell you people not to make me break up fights?”
There was another scream from the beast, a more painful sounding one, and the horde’s attack intensified. They were hissing and spitting at the humans in the room, blood was spraying from their mouths as they tore into arms, legs and necks. Lila continued to fire into the crowd, just barely managing to defend herself--but she was losing ground quickly. She tossed her gun aside, grabbed hold of the one strapped to her other thigh and fired two shots. One took down the zombie closest to her while the other missed its target and implanted itself in a dead woman’s shoulder. The woman stumbled to the ground and Lila moved forward to step on her chest, holding the screaming, struggling zombie down as she shot it in the forehead. The rest of the zombies stopped what they were doing and turned to Lila, the last living person in the room. Each of them saw her golden radiance, their jaws falling open as hunger spread through every inch of their bodies.
“Leave her!” the voice commanded of them all and they held back, every undead muscle in the room twitching at the sight of the woman’s glorious aura. “The beast is escaping! She has the girl but she is being pursued!” Lila got off another couple of shots before the zombies had all rushed past her, piling over their fallen comrades to reach the stairs. They buffeted past Lila and raced towards the sounds of Felicia’s escape.