Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Contributing Editor


Water for Antiques
by Robert N. Stephenson

by Sierra July

Skipper Jeremiah Dudd
by Mark Ayling

If You Could Choose One Day
by Simon Kewin

It’s the Martian Way
by Bob Sojka

Know, Oh Emperor
by L. Joseph Shosty

Abernathy’s Snowflake
by Aaron Polson

Lost and First Men
by David Barber

by Mark Bilsborough

These Undiminished
by Conor Powers-Smith

by George Sandison


Inside Death Valley
by Eric M. Jones

Is Global Warming Good?
by John McCormick




Shorter Stories

Comic Strips



Skipper Jeremiah Dudd

By Mark Ayling

JEREMIAH DUDD, DRESSED IN BLACK from head to toe, his gear in a rucksack over his shoulder, blowtorch, machete, night goggles and crowbar, clambered up the wall. He cut the wire and flipped himself over one handed to land deftly on the tarmac below. He rolled, ducked into the shadow cast by a HGV trailer, and waited to see if he’d alerted any guards.

The Fish had been right. Security was lax for such a big company. No cameras on this segment of wall. Nothing electrified. No motion sensors. Nothing. The only CCTV coverage was the entrance and exit to the yard. There were no guards patrolling and no dogs prowling in any part of the complex.


Dr. Ignatious Welsh, reclining in a leather upholstered chair some miles from the site waiting for the trial to commence in his study, surrounded by genetics texts and biological literature, was at that moment reminiscing.

He was recalling with fondness how Specimen 24, his meal ticket if things went well today, had come into being. Hard to believe now, since the preliminary trials had been completed and the secondary phase was about to commence, but Specimen 24 was conceived as a joke. It had been dreamt up in the lab by a bunch of bored genetics engineers. They were just kids really, brilliant kids albeit; some of the best minds in the country within their chosen field, but kids nonetheless, not really supervised properly, messing with invertebrates, splicing DNA sequences, mutating them, inventing strange creatures, parasites, viruses. It was only meant as a laugh, some levity between assignments, but then it stopped being funny when somebody was killed.

One day the mess of DNA and ectoparasitic horror they’d fused, slime moulds and jellyfish and spiders and scorpions, latched onto a team leader. It had already consumed his arm and was eating his face off before the room was cleared. By the time Dr. Welsh arrived with a heavily armed security delegation to destroy the mutant, (and rescue the team leader of course!) it was too late. The team leader was dead. His left arm and head were missing and half his chest had also been devoured ...

That was the creature in its primal form. It had been refined somewhat since, made leaner, less aggressive. However, it was still dangerous. That was the whole point. It was an extremely potent and unpredictable specimen. Tonight’s performance was to observe it in public, to observe its behaviour and identify areas for improvement. There would be no more trial runs if all went well, prior to the conditioning program commencing. Production would be scheduled following this pending successful implementation of neuroprosthetic controls.


Dudd opted to search in generic waste rather than clinical. He wasn’t attired for clinical waste. Clinical was often toxic, anyway. If you went in unprotected you were putting yourself at risk. His mate Denny, who used to be a quality Skipper back in the day, had once opened a clinical waste tank dressed in just his civvies. He had no protective clothing, no visor to protect his eyes. As a result, he’d ended up being splashed by something noxious. He was okay for a couple of days. Then four days after the incident, Dudd heard that the police quarantined him after he turned up rabid in the city waving a butcher’s knife and vomiting blood.

Whilst contemplating this, Jeremiah Dudd, squatter, speed demon, and veteran Skipper extraordinaire, had managed to unlock the bins. He’d hacked the mainframe and injected it with a truth serum; it coughed up the password no questions asked. He entered the password. He waited again, to see if there was any sort of a security response. When nothing happened he opened the bin up, sliding the electrical access door, squeezing into a gap, lighting his headset and pulling his goggles on to facilitate vision.


Memo to all Anaphylaxis Personal:

Severe weather warning:

The company advises all staff to avoid the following areas for the next week due to severe storm and flood warnings. Please see attachment for further details ...


The company was called Anaphylaxis Industries Incorporated. According to The Fish who was the local skipping contractor for illegal salvagers in the Manchester/Salford area, a middle aged Germanic man with gaunt features and a pince-nez clinched tightly to his beak, security was threadbare. Also, there were a number of bins on offer comprising of clinical, chemical and generic waste. There was plenty of opportunity for the right kind of Skipper.

Dudd fancied the contract. He purchased it from The Fish for thirty credits cash. He also paid the ten percent finders fee for information. For thirty-three credits he got the address, a blueprint of the yard, details of the security layout and a complementary set of wire cutters. He’d recoup his losses, he reasoned, provided that he salvaged something valuable from the bin he chose to work in ...

Skipping on the Increase in Urban Areas

Skipping is on the increase. As unemployment levels continue to rise and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, more and more people are turning to skipping as a source of income. Long time Skipper and local historian Timothy R. Creighton of Weaste, Salford, had this to say on the subject: “People can’t afford food. They can’t afford homes. They’re living in the streets. Children are starving to death. There are hundreds of empty flats and houses in the area and people are squatting in them in order to stay warm. Nobody can afford the rents ... There are no jobs ... Crime is up. Understandably, skipping raids are increasing ... These companies, the Mega Marts and corporate super hospitals and businesses and the folk up there in Cheshire with their walled in estates ... They throw a lot of stuff away. I mean, the old saying is true; one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure. Skipping has existed for years. Until you eliminate poverty you will always have Skippers raiding waste dumps round the country ...” In order to dissuade people from skipping some food companies have been reported to be poisoning waste produce in a bid to reduce pillagers ... Likewise some of the bigger companies are investing in better security measures to put a stop to the increasingly daring and organised skipping raids that are taking place with more frequency up and down the country.


Dudd hacked his way through the trash. Finally after ten or fifteen minutes he had a decent space to work in. He commenced the salvage operation, searching through the waste for something valuable to trade ... After six hours on the job, his head buzzing from the heat and lack of air conditioning in the can, Dudd began to doubt himself ... He should have kitted up. He should have gone in the clinical; you were guaranteed a payday in clinical waste, whether it was body parts to sell, organs or DNA, you always came out with something to barter.

So far the only thing he’d found in here was an old boiler. On closer inspection it wasn’t even worth the credits he’d get scrapping it. There was no old tech to salvage. There wasn’t any equipment from the laboratory. It was shaping into a disaster. Perhaps he should pack up and chalk it as a loss. After considering this for a moment, he packed the burner and his blade away and was just about to leave to climb the fence and bug out when a segment of junk he’d been working at collapsed in front of him. He panicked momentarily. The thought of being buried under the refuse and suffocating to death was disconcerting to say the least. However, a titanium case no bigger than a football thudded conveniently into his workspace. Hello-hello, he thought. What have we got here?

Dudd grabbed at the case greedily. He exited the can. Without stopping to think, something he would have cause to regret forty-eight hours from now, he cracked the lid on the box with his crowbar. He prised it open gently. He placed the lid to one side. He was starting to feel excited. Maybe it was drugs past their sell by date? Somebody always wanted to buy drugs at the right price. Or blood samples from clinical trials? A synthetic kidney disposed of in the wrong place accidentally? A blast of cold air wafted up. The contents of the box smelled meaty. Dudd reached his hand in. There was something packed inside. It was cold to touch, moist and pulsing. He pulled his hand away instinctively, but he was too late, the thing in the box had bitten one of his fingers. He flung the box into the darkness, collected his bag, and then he fled from the yard, vaulting the wall and stumbling away into the shadows with his bag and injured hand folded against his chest.


To whom it may concern:

Please find attached progress report as requested.

Password: Mesozoic.

We have now commenced phase two of testing. Specimen 24 after a successful early trial within the laboratory has been loosed into the community for further behavioural analysis. It appears that a Skipper, a local degenerate named Jeremiah Dudd, has made contact with Specimen 24. Parasitic symbiosis has likely been achieved. However no further contact has been made at time of writing ...


To whom it may concern:

Please find attached progress report as requested.

Password: Mesozoic 2.

Further to our last correspondence earlier this evening, the Skipper who was infected after tampering with the specimen box as expected, has returned to his den and is beginning to feel unwell. Surveillance is in place. Drones have been strategically deployed around the test area and are monitoring the subject’s progress and movements for analysis. Subject was observed this morning picking at his arm. Information retrieved shows that antagonistic symbiosis is advancing at the expected rate. It shouldn’t be long before his behaviour starts to change. I’ll keep you apprised of any developments as they occur. Regarding your question about how we planted the specimen: information was planted with a local skipping contractor about the flimsy security and the sizeable bins. The hope was that a local Skipper, on hearing this would accept the contract and gain access to the refuse. Much to our excitement, the trial has gone off without a hitch so far.


Dudd had staggered home, crashed down the hall into the living room onto the mattress feeling terrible, his temperature soaring and his stomach churning. He passed out and dreamed terrible dreams full of dead things come alive. When he awoke in the morning his temperature had come down a bit. However, he still felt wretched and so the first thing he did once consciousness returned was to check where he’d been bitten to assess what the damage was. He was appalled to find his fingers had turned black. The skin felt tough when he clenched his fist. Surprisingly there was no pain, and when a finger came off in his hand and he accidentally dropped it into the toilet a while later, he felt strangely euphoric. He stared at the digit bobbing comically in his urine. There was still no pain. If anything he felt pleasant ... As the day wore on, the infection from the bite progressed up his arm. He had to keep it covered up. When he lifted his sleeve, the sight of an oozing, sticky mess of blistering pustules greeted him. It didn’t look good. He figured it was terminal. Still it wasn’t hurting. Truth be told, he hadn’t felt this good in years. He wrapped a bandage round it and fastened it with surgical tape. He would have to redress it regularly as the puss and slime was seeping through the gauze.


Over the next couple of days, Dudd was ravenous. He’d heard pregnant women talk about when they were craving their appetites increased and that was how he was feeling. Only it wasn’t cake he wanted, pickled products or odd flavoured ice cream. It was meat he was craving, raw and bloody ... He was starting to look at things oddly, like dogs and cats. It was all he could do to restrain himself from biting them. And not just animals either, he’d been looking at Timmy funny the previous night. Timmy was his flat mate, a fellow Skipper and squatter. Well-known for his anti-corporate views, Timmy was a favourite with the local media who regularly interviewed him about the skipping community ... They were listening to a Hendrix record using a turntable rigged to a generator; they’d cobbled the generator together using scrap metal and salvaged junk ... So Timmy, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt and sporting a flat cap and beaded necklace, was like: “What you looking at Dudd?” Dudd was like: “I’m just thinking Timmy.” What he was thinking was, I want to rip your throat out and feast on your eyes. Thankfully, Timmy wasn’t aware of this. If he had been aware he’d have sprinted for the exit, bolted down the stairwell, and never looked back.


Dr. Welsh, from the comfort of his study where he’d been smoking weed and sipping expensive brandy, had been making notes on his laptop for management. He’d been formulating simplistic, easily digestible emails and sending them, receiving occasional feedback and feeling smugger by the hour. The trial was a success so far. Everyone was in agreement. There was chatter about military contracts. One response from a senior executive at Anaphylaxis mentioned how if the trial continued to be a success, bonuses and promotion opportunities would be forthcoming ... Welsh placed the brandy glass on the desktop and tapped the ash out on his joint. He smiled, predatorily displaying a row of perfectly straight, bleached white teeth.


Dudd bought steaks and ate them raw, and chicken legs and bacon. None of it was enough. No sooner had he finished the last of them than he was famished and craving flesh again. He was starting to get stomach cramps. All he could think about was meat. He tried to allay the hunger by snorting amphetamine and going for a long walk. This only intensified the meat craving. He exited the flat at midnight, energised by the speed, and walked for hours until three a.m. before he checked the time and cursed as he was still craving meat in spite of the chemicals he’d ingested. He happened upon a timber yard in an industrial estate he’d wandered into, fenced off from the public, warning signs of guard dogs patrolling. He stepped off the path into shadow. He crouched and waited a while. After ten minutes or so, crouched in the gloom watching the yard, a Doberman slouched into view. It snapped to attention when it noted him and barked as he stepped forward. His saliva glands kicked in. He was slobbering like the animal confronting him. His stomach knotted up. His jaws had begun to work. He checked for witnesses. The street was deserted. Unable to control himself any longer, he hurdled the fence and landed on the Doberman’s back and heard a cracking sound as its spine snapped. The dog jerked beneath him, kicking, howling. Dudd grabbed the dog’s head. With strength he didn’t know he possessed, he wrenched it hard. The dog ceased moving. Then with a great heaving yank, he pulled the dog’s head off. He flung it aside. The head bounced off a stack of wooden pallets and skidded away under a tarpaulin sheet.

When Dudd returned home, despite being slathered in dog viscera from head to foot, all that Timmy could focus on was his malformed arm.

“What’s wrong with your arm Dudd?”

“Think something bit me.”

“You should get yourself checked.”

“I will if it gets worse.”

The next morning, Dudd awoke to find the infection, which had devastated his arm and pushed his appetite into the stratosphere causing him to consume a headless Doberman in less than half an hour, had spread across his chest. It had spread down his ribcage, up his neck, across his back, down to his thigh. Fissures were appearing on his shoulder and upper torso. His blistering left arm was distorted and stretched. If he didn’t know any better, and he didn’t, he’d say he was growing extra limbs. Except these weren’t human limbs, with hinges in the middle and hands on the end, these were alien limbs sporting mouths with fangs, boneless and slimy, incredibly flexible.


Dr. Welsh, meanwhile, continued to collate his data, arranging it into reports, sending it to management. He forgot to shave. His hair became unruly. He subsisted on a diet consisting mainly of coffee. This caused him to urinate often. His piss was smelly; it was the colour of apple juice. He was smoking constantly. His chest was starting to hurt. His eyes burned from staring at computer screens all day. He had staff to do this, younger men willing to stay up all night crunching numbers. However, he was a bit of a control freak. This meant that he had to do it himself no matter what the cost to his physical and mental state.

Management were restless. This was due to the infection rate slowing down. Consensus was, parasitic symbiosis should be more aggressive. The hostile takeover wasn’t hostile enough. The moment when the Skipper, as recorded on the footage retrieved from surveillance drones filming the timber yard, leapt over the fence like a super hero and killed the dog and pulled off its head, had happened almost a week ago. If further progress wasn’t reported soon, the initial enthusiasm displayed by management would ebb away, the project would be shelved, and Welsh would become a laughingstock.


Dudd was experiencing cognitive difficulties, there was no coherency to his thoughts, his speech had become jumbled, and his vision was starting to go funny. He was starved constantly now and becoming more and more susceptible to violent, carnivorous urges. His ability to maintain control of himself—he’d only given in to the hunger once, when he attacked the guard dog and consumed it frenziedly the previous week—was starting to slip. The meat he’d consumed, purchased from a variety of black market stalls in the city, was no longer sufficient to satisfy his appetite. To make matters worse, it was possible, no probable in fact, that he may have killed a woman today. He’d been staggering through a local park, struggling with the increasingly confused morass that was his cognitive functioning, when a little old lady walking her dog confronted him about his health. She asked if he was all right and he shoved her away ... He wasn’t sure what happened next only that when he came to he was lay in an alley and it was dark. He no longer felt like Jeremiah Dudd. He was changed beyond all recognition now. Whatever ethics he’d had, whatever misguided notion of morality he’d previously clung to, had vanished into the ether never to return. He was famished and pissed off. He needed to eat something quick to sate the craving before his stomach exploded and his brain turned to slush.


To whom it may concern:

Please find attached progress report as requested.

Password: Mesozoic 15.

According to reports coming in, although slightly later than anticipated, Specimen 24 has finally established dominance. The Skipper is losing control. The trial is entering its final phase. Behavioural analysis is ongoing at this time. As planned, I shall be entering the fray to observe the specimen’s progress shortly. This is to enable me, in collaboration with the information gleaned from the drones and local camera footage, to make a more comprehensive report on events as they occur. Reports will be less frequent for a number of hours. However, feel free to email me your queries and I will respond to them all as soon as I am able.


Extract from the statement of Mrs. Annabelle James regarding the murder of Mrs. Hovis and her terrier Benji.

(Click, Whir)

D.I. Parker: So you were saying, Mrs. James. About what happened in the park. One more time, please, if you could tell us what you saw.

Mrs. James: Yeah, well. I was sitting on a bench in the park, near the duck pond reading my book.

D.I. Parker: Go on. So where was Mrs. Hovis at this time?

Mrs. James: Walking her dog on the path by the pond.

D.I. Parker: And where was the man?

Mrs. James: I hadn’t seen him yet. I don’t where he came from. I wasn’t really looking.

D.I. Parker: Right. So you say you saw Mrs. Hovis walking her dog along the path. Then what happened?

Mrs. James: Well, then, there was this fucking great ... I’m so sorry can you strike that out and I’ll start again?

D.I. Parker: That’s okay. Please continue.

Mrs. James: Well, he just sort of appeared, this great big thingamajig. One minute there was nobody and the next there was this man, or I think he was a man; he didn’t look right, not even from that distance.

D.I. Parker: Could you elaborate on that for us?

Mrs. James: What?

D.I. Parker: How did he look?

Mrs. James: It was dead weird like. He was dressed like a bloke but his clothes hung on him wrong. His face, what I could see at any rate, was a right mess, all black and bleeding. The lady went up to him, God alone knows why, and put her hand on his shoulder cause he was leaned over like he was sick, and then he just exploded. He hit her with something, sort of flexible and long.

D.I. Parker: So let me get this right. He hit her with something, some kind of a weapon.

Mrs. James: No. It was attached to him somehow ... Anyway, it thumped her out of the way. She flew across the field into the bush and then he bit the dog and he threw it into the trees. Poor dog! Picked it up like a football and fired it across the park. It flew into a sycamore tree where it was caught up in the branches and then it fell out and hit the floor and lay there dead with its legs sticking up ...


The door to the squat opened and the thing formally known as Jeremiah Dudd slid in. Dudd’s flesh was slewed off. Where his arms had been were a writhing confusion of tentacles and mandibles. Where his face had been was a nest of poisonous fangs. He was pulsing all over. There was hair everywhere, slime and juices.

Timmy considered legging it, but was too slow off the mark. Before he could move the creature formally known as Dudd attacked, paralysed him with its fangs and injected digestive juices into him, rendering him into potage ...


A short while later, following reports from neighbours of strange noises coming from the derelict flat upstairs, Dr. Welsh, freshly shaved, washed and dressed for his field trip in a suit and tie and black felt trilby, entered the building. He stepped around the hoarded junk, the bicycle and car parts and tools and general debris.

“Skippers,” spat the officer in charge, “they were a right couple of hoarders and no mistake ...”

Welsh smiled at the officer. He held his fake ID aloft for the idiot to observe. He ducked under the crime scene tape and into the Skipper’s hideout. The place was an Aladdin’s cave of salvaged junk. It was surprisingly tidy; this in spite of the fact someone had been eaten in here recently. Various forensics folks were dotted about, puzzled expressions on their faces, trying to look as if they knew what they were dealing with. They hadn’t a clue, of course. This was way out of their jurisdiction. Only one of them questioned his presence. With a practised smile he flourished his fake ID at the forensics man and confidently explained himself.

“I’ve been sent by the ministry for infectious diseases. I’m here to ascertain whether a panic is in order.”

The forensics man left him to it and he wandered round the room taking photographs, noting the lack of mess left by Specimen 24, composing his next message in his head to management about the specimen’s potential. Timothy Creighton, or what was left of him, had been totally consumed. A suited crime scene worker pointed out to the doctor that so far they’d recovered a foot and three fingers. However, there was nothing else left. Welsh took some samples for pathology. It would take these morons days to get a report back. There were some benefits to working in the private sector, Welsh considered as he swabbed the slime and bagged up his findings.


The No-Longer-Dudd-Specimen, shorn of its clothing and skin, and with no moral compass to guide it since its higher brain function was so eroded, reverted to basic instinct. Whipping its crazy, blood spattered limbs and snapping its jaws manically the creature made a beeline for the city.

A short while later, onlookers at St. Peter’s square in the city were horrified to observe as the mucilaginous mess formally known as Dudd smashed through a carriage of the arriving Eccles tram. The tram, which had been trundling into the city from the direction of Salford Quays, squealed to a halt. It was obvious from the blood spatter, the rending metal sounds, the screaming coming from what was left of the carriage, that people had been injured as a result of the collision.

The creature paused momentarily, stunned perhaps from its run in with public transport. It emitted a terrifying stridulation. Then it crawled up the side of the Midland Hotel. It stopped part way up, skittered down again trailing some kind of phlegmatic discharge, and then it leapt from the building fifty feet up. Shoppers and office workers looked on, bewildered, paralysed, terrified, transfixed by the sight of this unimaginable horror, watching with mouths agape as it hurtled through the air, airborne biological death monster from hell, plunging toward a Japanese tourist sporting a Man United shirt and pointing his Nikon skyward in a doomed attempt to capture the spectacle on film.


To whom it may concern:

Please find attached progress report as requested.

Password: Mesozoic 16.

Specimen 24 has assumed full control of the host. At approximately 14:00 local time, it entered the city and engaged with the populace. The final number of casualties is not yet known. Development of the specimen, however, has been extraordinary. Predominantly, it has manifested carnivorous invertebrate characteristics. These have proved especially formidable when navigating the urban environment. It can walk up buildings. It can jump great distances. It has displayed unnatural strength. It is able to withstand incredible force as displayed by its collision with a tram, after which the specimen sustained minimal injuries. It is incredibly quick, too, which is surprising given its unwieldy physique.

Regarding the flat mate, Timothy Creighton. Having investigated the scene myself I am pleased to report that the manner in which the specimen interacted with Creighton was also a resounding success. Very little evidence remained.

It is my professional opinion, given the progress we’ve witnessed so far, no further trials are necessary at this juncture. All that remains is to implement the proper cerebral controls. We shall also speed up the rate at which symbiosis is achieved. A memo has been forwarded to the neuroprosthetic department for a progress report, which I will send to you all as soon as the report has been forwarded to my inbox.


So far the Dudd creature had killed a Japanese tourist, two old ladies out lunching in the city, a further stray dog, a solicitor on his dinner break smoking a cigarette, a vagrant begging credits next to a cash machine in Spinningfield and a Skipper on a canal barge named Jed who was unlucky enough to be cruising down the canal in the rain when the Dudd creature was passing. Nobody had heard anything since. A number of drones had reported that Dudd had been sighted in Salford near the Quays. Surveillance had subsequently lost track of its whereabouts.


Extract from news report re: Explosion in City Center.

Segments of the city have been closed off today due to a reported explosion that took place near the Midland Hotel. The explosion is reported to have released a pocket of gas into the air from an underground tunnel containing rare micro-organisms, sources suggest. Dr. Welsh of Anaphylaxis Industries stated during an interview that “Once the organism is inhaled the host becomes infected with a virus. So far the mortality rates of those infected has been one hundred percent. The virus attacks the central nervous system, causing the victim to become violent and aggressive. Then it attacks the liver and kidneys. Approximately four hours later, multiple organ failure occurs.”

Civilians are advised to stay away from the city at this time. An evacuation of the surrounding area is presently underway. The number of people killed by the explosion and subsequent outbreak of the virus is as yet uncertain. Meanwhile, residents in the immediate area surrounding the explosion have been quarantined. It has been reported that they have been removed to an undisclosed location for further observation at this time.


Transcript of field report by Dr. I. Welsh completed post trial following post trial debrief.

21:00 hours.

Operation “deep clean” commenced. Acted as “talking head” on bogus TV interview in the city to allay suspition and provide reassurance.


Sniffer program released online, as per trial protocol, to apprehend footage and documents pertaining to the specimen’s existence. Key witnessess to the scene rounded up. Removed to a secure location for neutralisation at a date yet to be agreed upon.

Continued to liaise with military and police personnel. Advised re: “outbreak.” Maintained story in situ re: outbreak of unique and lethal pathogen. Continued to orchestrate fear and panic, to distract focus from trial long enough to destroy evidence and apprehend rogue specimen.


Drones have located the specimen. Specimen no longer active. Specimen reportedly gone to ground in abandoned factory, on the banks of the River Irwell, in the middle of industrial estate, surrounded by waste ground.


Extraction Team assembled. Team to extract specimen on my mark following succesful engagement and subjugation of specimen.


Taxi pulled up outside target factory. Local taxi driver honked horn. I suspect a bogus call from local teenagers to nearby taxi rank resulted in a cab being dispatched to this address. Noise roused specimen. Specimen agitated as a result. Distinct specimen stridulation recorded. Unable to properly observe specimen due to mediocre lighting. Able to observe outcome of specimen engagement with driver. Specimen dropped onto the taxi. Crashed out of a second floor window and squashed the taxi flat. Driver collateral damage. A drone which was too slow getting away also destroyed by creature’s descent.


Order given to engage specimen. Team advancing. Specimen in retreat. Cornered specimen in factory. Three of Anaphylaxis Security personnel lost during engagement. Sgt. James Wallace decapitated during advance. Pvts. John Harris and Frank Block both disemboweled. Families notified. Specimen shot with tranquiliser darts twice before finally being overwhelmed. Specimen restrained, vitals checked and documented. Subsequently, specimen removed to laboratory (location undisclosed) for further analysis following post trial debrief.

Strange Creature Rampages Through City

Eye witnesses claim a strange creature was spotted in the city today climbing buildings and attacking civilians. One onlooker who refuses to be named for fear he might be recognised, said: “There was no gas. There were no explosions. A hole didn’t just appear in the ground like magic. What I saw was a monster, some kind of biological atrocity, which smashed up the tram and killed a bunch of people.”

The Daily Lash was unable to confirm the witness’ story though the editor did receive a further anonymous tip-off stating that Anaphylaxis Industries may have been involved.

A spokesperson for the company has denied the company’s involvement stating that in no way shape or form did anyone affiliated with the company have any involvement with the incidents in the city. END

Mark Ayling is a registered mental health nurse living in the North of England. He has a degree in English Literature and French. He likes writing science fiction and horror, and reading children’s books to his son. This is his second story for “Perihelion.”


star run