Xpand

by Jukebox

Tags: #cw:noncon #dom:nb #drones #scifi #solo #sub:female #transformation #body_horror #cosmic_horror #cw:drug_play #dronification #drug_play #drugged #erotic_horror #forced_drug_use #horror

A survivor of the Seattle Incident is questioned about the spread of the X.

(This is the seventh in the X series, and is intended to be read after "Xhalation", "Xcogitate", "Xemplify", "Xpectation", "Xotica" and "Xogenous".)

"Doctor Harrington? Doctor Harrington, do you know... where you are?" Blake caught himself moments before saying 'who' instead of 'where'; if enough remained of Joanna Harrington's consciousness for her to recognize English, then the last thing she needed was to be reminded of her current state. She was undoubtedly fragile enough without him poking at her biggest psychological trauma right now.

She gave him a small, bitter smile behind the oxygen mask. "I'm in a hospital," she said, her voice slightly muffled by the breathing apparatus that pumped pure, unfiltered O2 directly into her lungs. It was probably the only thing stopping her from turning into a monster at the moment, and he could tell by the look on her green-veined face that she knew it. "And you're someone important." She chuckled cynically, anger and resignation shading her weary tones. "Important enough to have clearance for all this, but not too important to risk sitting in the same room with me, right?"

Even with the oxygen mask, she didn't look good. Her eyes were the color of sea foam, and Blake could see a faint green mist forming on the inside of the mask every once in a while as Joanna's body struggled to produce enough mutagen to tip the balance inside her between humanity and whatever those creatures became. "My name's Blake Coughlin," he said, trying hard not to reflexively check the seals in his hazmat suit. "I'm the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security. I came as soon as they told me you regained consciousness."

Joanna glanced down at the restraints that held her in the hospital bed. "You're not here to tell me to get well soon, I'm guessing," she said. "You're here to debrief me about what happened in Seattle, right? To find out what America's expert knows about the alien monsters?" She sounded like she was barely holding it together, and Blake suspected that wasn't far from the truth; she had to know that her odds of recovery weren't good. Most people who inhaled a dose of pure X like her passed the point of no return even with full medical attention--if the creature in the detention facility hadn't gone after Agent Rodriguez first, she wouldn't have stood even the slim chance she did.

Blake wanted to lie to her, to tell her that he was here to oversee her recovery and he just wanted to help occupy her mind by getting down her impressions. But he couldn't waste his precious time offering false reassurances. "Yes," he murmured, keeping his icy blue eyes away from her viridian gaze. "You're our most valuable intelligence asset right now. You're the only expert who's seen enough to form a hypothesis, and--"

She snorted. "I did a lot more than see," she snapped, sitting up as far as the restraints would allow her. "It got inside my fucking head, Mister Assistant Deputy Undersecretary, do you understand me? The signal they sent from outside the goddamn universe crawled up through my optic nerve and got into my literal motherfucking brain and wired me into everything that they contaminated with the, the fucking cosmic taint that came over into our reality like something out of a goddamn Lovecraft story. Okay? Do you understand? Are you getting the shit that I'm telling you? I can still fucking feel it. I can hear it whispering to me. Not a hypothesis, not a theory, a million voices of eyewitness testimony inside my skull that won't. Fucking. Stop."

Blake reached out to pat her arm reassuringly, but his hand froze in mid-air over her green-tinged skin before he awkwardly let it fall back into his lap. "I'm sorry," he said, aware of just how woefully inadequate the words sounded. "I know this can't be easy for you. Of course it has to be terrifying to be in your... your condition. But please understand that any information you can provide us might save untold numbers of lives, possibly even--" Blake's voice froze in his throat as his brain caught up with Joanna's words. "Did... did you say 'millions'?"

The angry fire went out of Joanna's eyes, and she sagged back against her pillow. "There are... nineteen major nodes of contamination," she muttered, staring distantly at something beyond sight. "Another six or seven minor ones. It--it's hard to process the thoughts and memories I'm receiving, I'm not fully attuned to the signals yet." Her expression tightened as she realized the implications of the accidental 'yet' in her sentence. "But I think it didn't start in Seattle. I think it was moved there. They remember darkness, confinement. It didn't bother them, though. They like the dark. They like anywhere that the X can build up quickly."

Blake frowned, trying to follow the scattered stream-of-consciousness ramblings. "They were transported to Seattle? Deliberately? But these things, they--surely they couldn't plan something like that, could they? They couldn't move around undetected, not looking like that." He thought back to the creature at the Seattle detention center, lunging toward anything that moved, driven by some instinct to transform everyone it saw into a monster like itself. It didn't seem to have any cunning, any reasoning at all beyond its blind imperative to contaminate. The idea that they were spreading in secret... it seemed almost absurd.

"They didn't have to." Joanna let out another cynical snort of laughter. "We did it. They don't understand, not really, but I can piece it together from the most human bits of their memory. The ones that first began to mutate, the ones that produced X without fully reaching a critical mass of it in their systems, they were... well, they were valuable, weren't they? Collect the stuff, dilute it down until the dosage just tuned you in a tiny bit to a universe of pure addictive pleasure, and suddenly you've got a way to make millions of dollars. It's not even a controlled substance, not yet." Her lips pursed into a weary, bitter smile. "Every drug cartel's dream. Addicts that only become more useful after they OD."

Blake nodded slowly, the implications settling in on him like a collapsing building. "They took the people who were past the point of no return and transported them," he said, all too able to picture the scenario in vivid detail. "They took them to new cities, new markets, and they set themselves up to sell what the addicts breathed out. And if someone took too much, they just added them to the supply chain, right? No need to worry about consequences, no need to wonder what the new miracle drug they found actually was. It made people money, and that's more than enough to lead us right off the damn cliff."

Joanna nodded loosely. Her legs moved underneath the blanket, and Blake could tell that she was squeezing her thighs tightly together so that her labia rubbed against her clit. That had to be a bad sign. Physical arousal, masturbation and an increased interest in sex all seemed to correlate pretty strongly with X addiction--before she left, Doctor Harrington had hypothesized that an X high stimulated a lot of the same structures in the brain that humans associated with sexual pleasure, causing a conflation of the two and driving reproductive behavior in habitual users. He wondered if she had more insight into the process now, but he didn't bother asking. It was pretty low on the priority list at the moment. "So this has spread to twenty-six cities?" he asked, urgency shading his tones.

"Further, much further," Joanna moaned, struggling against the restraints to get a better rub. Her exertions drew more oxygen into her lungs, slowing the transformation, but he could see mint-green drool pooling at the base of the mask. "They like the sewers so much, Blake. So many junctures and connections, so easy to traverse. It's dark down there so they can hide, and it's all so poorly ventilated. They can fill their environment with X, get right up to the threshold for critical mass. There are places underground where they've bridged the gap to their home dimension, rewritten the laws of physics to suit themselves. And when they cross over like that...."

Joanna coughed, green spittle spattering the inside of her mask. Blake got to his feet, eyeing the door nervously. Everything she said was being recorded and transmitted; no matter what happened to him, the information would get to his superiors. But that didn't mean he was eager to fuck around and find out. "They can expand that bubble, Blake. Not above ground, too much risk of losing that critical density of matter from their own reality. But underground, they can spread through the soil, find the roots of plants and contaminate them as well. Grass, trees, crops, whole forests. The concentrations are still small now, a few parts per million, but... it's so big, Blake. It's so, so fucking big."

Blake could feel the blood draining from his face as he pictured it. Suburban lawns slowly metamorphosizing, the scent of freshly-cut grass taking on a new and ominous meaning as the plants reconfigured themselves to pump out X instead of oxygen. Tangled root networks that stretched for... how far? Miles? All the way to vineyards and orchards? What would it do to a person to eat contaminated fruit? How much would they have to consume before that intense, sexual compulsion took hold and they sought out more and more? When would it pass that critical threshold that turned them into just another one of those things? Thank god it was barely February. Much of the country still had snow on the ground.

He tried to speak. For a long moment, the lump in his throat wouldn't let him. "How do we stop it, Doctor Harrington?" he finally forced himself to ask. "How do we force it back? Does oxygen hurt it? Can we find these nodes and ventilate them to banish these things to their home dimension?" Blake paused, hoping against hope that the woman in the bed had an answer. She knew more than any other sentient human being in the world what they were facing right now. If there was anyone who could offer a solution, it was her.

"Tungsten," she muttered, her eyes rolling back in her head. "It's dense, t-takes them longer to change. They, they can't rewrite it as easily as they can... flesh...." She strained against the cuffs that held her to the bed, reaching desperately for her own cunt in a bid to satisfy the yearning the drug created in her brain. "S-so easy to xenoform bodies, we're made to replicate ourselves. They're just teaching us a new shape to take, that's all. They--oh, fuck!" Her fingers were mere inches away from her pussy now, contorting her form as best she could to indulge the need to play with herself. "Please, Blake. Please f-fuck me, I... it's so good inside my head, I can feel it opening me up and telling me what to think and it feels so f-f-fucking good!"

She was panting now, her breath fogging up the oxygen mask with a thin green mist that built up on the clear plastic and slowly filled up the tube leading back to the metal tank by her bed. "I, oh, oh shit, they're inside my head, Blake. I went into their mind to see what they were thinking and they got into mine instead. I can see the flashes again, Blake, they... they're hypnotizing me like they did before." Her eyes moved rapidly behind closed eyelids, as though reading some incredibly complex text at high speed. "I... please fuck me? Please? It's all I want now. It's all I need. Please don't leave me like this. It's too cruel."

Blake swallowed hard. "Of course I will," he husked out, nearly choking on the enormity of the lie. "I promise. Just... tell me how we stop it, first. Tell me how we can undo the changes these things make." He was already backing away, making for the door as quickly as possible. Joanna couldn't have more than mere moments of sentience left, and the thing she became would want his body in an entirely different sense. Blake had no intention of being inside the room when that happened.

But her answer froze him in place. "You can't," she said matter-of-factly, her eyes snapping open to reveal a tiny pupil within a sea of pine green. "Nothing can. They're coming, Blake. They're coming to show us such beautiful worlds...." She flung her head back then, stretching her jaw as wide as it would go, and Blake finally discovered the urgency to flee as her mouth began to pour out its thick green mist at last.

THE END

(If you enjoyed this story and want to see more like it, please think about heading to http://patreon.com/Jukebox and becoming one of my patrons. For less than $5 a month, you can make sure that every single update contains a Jukebox story! Thank you in advance for your support.)

x6

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