A Bitter Meal, A Mutant’s Folly

You stand before the large doors to the banquet hall, your hands shaking.  You, of all people, have been invited to dine with members of the hive city’s elite.  You were surprised when the invitation had arrived at his house, for you do not know many of the people in this group, but you nonetheless accepted the invitation.  To turn it down would have been extremely disrespectful, not to mention you haven’t been to a banquet like this in ages.  The doors open as Castor Bellar – one of the few here that you do know – strides out.

“Ah, Octavion,” he greets you.  “I haven’t seen you in quite a while.  How are you on this fine day?”

“A bit confused as to why I have been invited, but I am looking forward to this nonetheless.”

“Of course!  But you didn’t hear why everyone is here?”  He leans closer to whisper in your ear.  “It was supposed to be a secret, but I have my ways of finding out.  Well, the governor supposedly bought a large amount of some extravagant – maybe even Xenos – foods off of a black market or something, and he figured he’d throw a party for all the people that have helped him get to be in his position.”

“And nobody is worried that this food may be… well,on the black market for a reason?”

“What d’you mean?”

“I mean-” you sigh.  “I mean, what if there’s something wrong with the food?”

“Nonsense.  The governor is going to be having it, too.  He’d have figured out if they were messed up in some way.”

“Alright, fine,” you say.  The two of you walk through the massive doorway, entering the banquet hall.  Castor turns to you.

“See?  There’s nothing wrong.”

“Fine, fine.  I was wrong.  For once.”

“For once, you say.  What about when you said that-”  Castor is interrupted as a servant rings a small bell, signalling that it is time to eat.  He quickly snatches a small appetizer off a tray that a servant is carrying, and sits down next to you.  “Hey, look, there’s one of the dishes.”  A servant comes out of the kitchen, carrying a large plate with what looks like a meat dish on it.  “It looks like normal food,”  Castor comments.  “You had nothing to worry about.”  More dishes come out from the kitchen, and are set upon the long table.  When everyone is seated, the governor gives a few quick words, and amicably tells everyone to eat their fill.  You take a plateful of the foods, remembering when you were invited to every event like this.  It was so long ago, and now but a distant memory.  You take a bite of it, and it tastes amazing.  The feast goes on, and by the end, you seem to be extremely full.  The governor stands up once again, calling everyone’s attention.

“I want to thank you all for coming here tonight,” he says.  “It really means a lot to me that you were able to support my bid for governor.”  There is applause for a few moments.

You whisper to Castor, “Maybe Xenos food isn’t so bad after all.  I’m not really sure why I was worried.”  Suddenly, the governor coughs loudly.  He continues coughing, and collapses to the floor.  Someone yells,

“Get him some help!”  The governor stands up, but he looks… different.  He shudders, and nearly collapses again.  His voice comes out strangely as he speaks.

“I am perfectly fine, everyone.  It is simply my system reacting to-”  He is cut off as his body changes, changing color extremely quickly, his limbs elongating, and claws extending from the ends of his hands.  The people at the table scream as they start to experience the same thing.  You look down, and see that your body is being subjected to the same fate.  In a matter of moments, everyone has transformed into hulking, mutated monstrosities.  You raise your head to the air, and inhale.  You are born again, it would seem.  As a monster, but now you have power you never would have dreamed of.  You casually lash out at one of the others at the table, your talons slicing him to ribbons.  You sniff the air, smelling something metallic in the air.  Blood.  Shambling over to the doors, you break them down with one blow.  A servant cowers in fear, silently praying that you will not find them. But you do.  And then they are dead, nothing left of them but the broken pieces of a corpse.  You stalk out of the governor’s residence, others following in your wake.  A group of Arbites spot you and raise their guns to fire.  Fools, all of them.  You cover the distance between you and them in seconds, their shots going wide and missing.  Some of the others behind you are less fortunate.  You tear the leader of the group limb from limb, each spurt of blood adding to your hunger for violence.  One of the Arbites jabs a baton into your gut, but it does nothing.  They are eviscerated by the others, but your hunger is not sated.  You must have blood.  You lean your head back, and let out an inhuman screech, which echoes off the buildings of the hive city.  It is time to hunt.

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