Infection of the Mind

Thrax survives the fight on the eyeball and successfully kills Frank. But instead of putting an end to Jones’ life, Thrax takes him with him to the City of Shane. The red virus enjoys his fights and struggles with the immunity cell, and soon it isn’t about beating time records anymore. It’s all about power and domination.
Rated for later chapters.

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2. Emancipation

Osmosis’ groaned in pain as he moved his body. It was only a little movement, but from that small gesture he could tell two things. 1: his body was sore and hurt all over, and 2: his hands were tied behind his back. His eyes opened wide, but all he could see was darkness and faint silhouettes of what he believed were furniture. He could hear music coming from another room along with the voices. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make out the words from the noise, which remained an unclear mumble. With help from his body’s flexibility he was able to bring his bounded hands down towards his feet. He looped through his arms with his feet and with a satisfied smirk brought his hands up to his chest. A small gasp escaped him when he saw the restrains. It was a black chain with tiny blue beads inside, which gave off a dim blue light. At the sight of the chain all of Osmosis’ memories from earlier came back. Frank, Thrax, their fight and Thrax’ threat to kill Shane. “I see you’re finally awake” Osmosis jacked his head around to locate the voice. A door had opened and in came Thrax. From behind the taller male Osmosis caught a glimpse of the outside world, before the door closed behind Thrax. It had looked like the backside of a bar. Osmosis had seen shelves with countless glasses and bottles filled with strong and nasty substances, that only germs would enjoy drinking. Maybe they were at a club somewhere. That would explain the music and the germ drinks. “Did you enjoy your little nap baby while I did all the hard work of getting us into the city?” the red virus asked and walked further into the room, with his hips swinging from side to side in a lazy rhythm, like he didn’t have a care in the world. The nickname resulted in unpleasant shiver running down Jones’ spine. He had heard the virus use it towards others and as a general expression, but never before had the name been aimed directly at him. He didn’t like the ring of it, and Thrax smug smiled didn’t do much to ease his discomfort. “Where are we?!” Jones barked at him, his teeth showing in an angry snarl. Thrax raised one eyebrow at the question and looked at Jones with an unimpressed expression. “Come on Jones. I thought you were smarter than that.” Thrax said and took a seat, crossing one long leg over the other, his yellow eyes fixed on the white blood cell. Osmosis returned the gaze with a piercing glare, however it was soon replaced with a chocked look when he caught on to Thrax’ line of thinking. “Shane!” Osmosis burst out and got to his feet, immediately regretting his decision. His whole body screamed in pain and his vision blurred. His head was thumping causing him to sway dangerously from side to side. To avoid falling or tripping Jones once again sat down and brought his bounded hand to his forehead in an attempt to ease the pain in his skull. He could feel that his membrane was much warmer than it used to be. Thrax observed the whole scene with a smile upon his face. It widened when he noticed Jones’ pained expression. He loved seeing the other male so out of place. It had been the right decision to spare the immunity cell’s life and bring him into the City of Shane. “Can you feel the heat Jones?” he asked and leaned back in his chair, “You might wanna take it a bit easy baby. Give your body a little bit of time to get used to the infection.” At that Osmosis looked up in horror. His headache intensified at the sudden movement, but at this point he couldn’t care less. “What? Infection? What the hell do you mean?” the blood cell demanded to know and tried to sound as firm as possible, but instead it he ended up sounding confused. Slowly Thrax got to his feet and walked towards Jones his hips swing from side to side with each step. “I meant exactly what I said” He stopped in front of the worn out couch and squatted down, bringing him face to face with Jones. “You’re not so different from me now. You are just as insalubrious and foreign to this body as I am,” he continued in a low voice and took Jones’ chin in one hand, so that his long claws framed the blood cell’s face. Osmosis could see the tip of the claw from the corner of his eye and the thought of what that thing could do, was enough to keep him still. “Do you understand what that means Jones?” Thrax asked in a low voice as he watched the gears turning inside Jones’ head. Osmosis couldn’t believe it. No. He wouldn’t believe it. Thrax lied just to get a rise out of him, just to mess with his mind. It was the only explanation. There was no way that he, Osmosis Jones the germinator, could be nothing but a white blood cell. He lowered his gaze and looked down at his hands. The normally white gooey sticky stuff around his personhood now had a light red glow. Like a dimmer version of the color of Thrax skin. The thought of the similarity made him nauseous. Maybe Thrax was actually telling the truth. But why? Why not just kill him like he had with all the others? Why turn him into… into this thing!? The red virus could tell the exact moment when Jones connected the dots because his face lit up in bafflement, denial and anger. “Yeah, that’s right Jones. There is nothing you can do, but accept it” Thrax whispered and leaned forward towards Jones grabbing hold of the DNA chain. The former immunity cell clenched his fist and glared at Thrax. His body shivered when the skin on their hands made contact. “You’re wrong Thrax. I am nothing like you,” Jones spat at him, his words dripping with venom, but the words didn’t seem to bother Thrax at all. The tall male continued to play with the chain between his claws. His eyes were fixed on the dark material. Occasionally one of the blue DNA beads would come near the surface and for a brief movement it would illuminate their hands. “You keep telling yourself that baby,” he uttered. He didn’t really pay any attention to Jones’ word. He was focused on removing the chain from the blood cells wrists. He wanted to see what Jones would do now that Thrax had shattered his life as he knew it. The anticipation and the thrill of not know sent shivers down his spine. After he killed that old guy in Philly in 72 hours, he began to see a pattern in the immune response and things had started to get a bit predictable. Jones, however, he was a totally different story. Right from the moment he saw him on the nose dam, he had been unable to foresee what the blood cell would do next. It had made the whole experience so much more delighting. Before Frank, it had all been about time records and getting acknowledged as the deadly virus that he was. And then Jones had come along and brought a whole new element into the equation. Thrax wouldn’t risk losing that by killing Jones. It would force him to go back to his old ways that now seemed so dull compared to the fight in Frank. “But I tell you, as soon as a cop from Shane PD sees you, they’re gonna hunt you down,” he assured the smaller male while still working on his beloved chain. He undid the last knot and removed it from Jones’ wrists. The chain had only just come off when Jones pushed Thrax hard in the chest to create some space between them. The attack made Thrax stumble back and he groaned in pain, but it was accompanied by smarmy smirk. Osmosis however, was too preoccupied to notice as he jumped behind the couch to get out of Thrax’ reach. Thrax might have infected him, but that didn’t mean that Osmosis would just sit down quietly and accept it. No. He was still an immunity cell and he would do anything in his power to save Shane. And the first step in saving her was to get away from Thrax and out of this place. Thrax regained his foothold and lifted his arms and claws, ready for Jones’ next move. His yellowed his eyes closely followed the blood cell’s every move like a predator watching it’s prey, calculating the most likely cause of action. Except with Jones, there was no most likely cause of action so he had to be prepared for anything. When Thrax stepped closer to the couch, Osmosis took a step back, and when he took a step to one side Jones contradicted the action, by stepping towards the other. It was like a slow, deadly dance, and none of them could predict when the other would break the rhythm and set it all in motion. In the end it was Jones who made the first move. With his gaze fixed on Thrax he fumbled blindly behind him with his hand to find something he could use as a weapon against the red virus. On the eyeball Osmosis had had the upper hand in the beginning, but that had ended as soon as Thrax killer claw had been freed from the ice. Now said claw was light lit up and ready to attack. Osmosis hand came in contact with a smooth, cold surface and his fingers traced along it to determine what it was. A bottle. He closed his fingers around the bottleneck and in one motion he flung it at Thrax, aiming at the virus’ head. When Thrax moved his hands and claws in front of his face to block the attack, Jones dashed passed him and ran towards the door leading to freedom. The bottle smashed into the glowing claw and shattered in a chaos of liquid and splinters of broken glass. It all rained down on the virus, leaving him with no choice but to cover his face, protecting himself from the sharp pieces of glass. Angered by the hit yet thrilled by the hunt Thrax chased after Jones out of the storage room and into the crowded nightclub. The music was loud and the visibility was poor because of the colorful flashing lights and the many dancing germs. He made his way through the crowd while scanning his surroundings for the blood cell. The club only had one entrance so Thrax assumed that Jones would go for that one if he wanted to get out. As he moved across the dance floor, he caught a glimpse of the faint orange glow from Jones’ infected membrane. The whited blood cell appeared to be hiding in a big huddle of enthusiastic germs, waiting for Thrax to leave the club first so he could sneak out unnoticed. “Clever boy,” Thrax commented in a low voice and turned his back to the blood cell, eager to see what he would do once he got outside. Shane’s immunity cells probably wouldn’t give him a warm welcome, which Thrax had warned Jones about. However one thing was to hear things, another was to actually experience it. Jones would probably first realize the gravity of his situation when he was rejected and chased by the white blood cells. It would break Jones to know that he was now perceived as one of the same things, that he had spent his whole life protecting Frank from. It would leave him much more damaged than any claw ever could. Thrax couldn’t help but smiled when he imaged the scenario. Eager to see how it would turn out Thrax headed towards the opposite site of the room, making the path between Jones and the door unguarded.

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