Infinite2 (Infinite #2) by Jeremy Robinson



And she’s moving fast.

The wave rises a hundred feet, blocking out the morning sun’s rays on the city below me, throwing the judged into a cold shadow. Through the wall of water, orange light flickers to life. It writhes back and forth, frantic.

Hungry.

Nemesis is built like an H.R. Giger wet dream. She’s black from top to bottom, except for her orange eyes and the membranes that cover her body. Her insides boil and rage, and if one of those membranes is pierced, the explosion that follows is—

“Will.”

I spin around, hand on my holstered pistol.

The voice was feminine. Friendly. But it caught me completely off guard.

Problem is, there’s no one on the rooftop with me.

“Hello?” I shout. “Who’s there?”

There are a few air conditioning units, but I can see most of the rooftop.

I’m alone.

I wait until I’m sure that I misheard something distant, or I imagined it. Maybe a seagull or something. Then I turn back to the scene below. I know how the story’s climax ends, but I don’t want to miss it.

Nemesis comes to a stop upon reaching the shallows. She always does. The wave races ahead, losing some of its height when her big body is no longer beneath it. The now fifty-foot wave crashes into the breakwall. The building beneath me shudders, but it’s subtle.

Water rushes through the wall’s curved channels, streaking around and churning back out to sea. Atop the wall, the judged is pitched forward, but not dead. He’s coughing the water from his lungs, clinging to life.

He’ll start screaming again in three…two…

Nemesis rises from the water. On land, she prefers to move on all fours, scrambling in a mad flailing gait—like a lizard on hot sand. It’s unnerving to watch. She can move through a city, leveling buildings and crushing people, with the single-minded focus of a spider chasing down an insect. It looks mindless and mad, but it’s really just raw determination. But for the moment she stands on just her rear legs.

The man’s screams are drowned out by the shhhh sound of water falling away from her body. The orange membranes covering her torso and neck flare. She senses her prey.

Then she bares her teeth, opens her mouth, and hisses at the man. She loathes him. Can’t stand the sight of him. Her body quakes with revulsion. To stop it, she must end him.

Nemesis drops down to all fours. Water splashes up over the man. He misses the moment Nemesis scrambles toward him, closing the several-hundred-foot gap in a second.

When he opens his eyes again, she’s right there, staring back, teeth grinding, eyes flaring bright.

Do it, I will her. Kill him.

I smile when her head pulls back. It’s subtle, but I know what it means.

Nemesis snaps forward. Her jaws open and clamp shut with the speed of a mouse trap. Then she cocks her head back and swallows the man—whole and alive. We’re not sure how long it takes to die inside Nemesis’s stomach. It could be anywhere from minutes to days. But there is no debate—it is the worst way to die. Alone, in complete darkness, breathing acidic air, while juices slowly digest your skin.

I shiver, forcing the image from my head, and I smile down at Nemesis as she turns around, about to return to the ocean and the hunt. The man she just consumed was a murderer. Of children. He had it coming and then some. His death pleases me.

“Good girl,” I say.

Nemesis freezes in place.

That’s odd…

The skin on her back shakes like on a horse when it’s trying to scatter flies. A sign of irritation.

Her black head cranes around, orange light blazing.

She’s never done this before.

Did some Bostonian already commit some kind of horrible crime?

If so, there will be nothing we can do but try to get out of the way.

I toggle my mic, ready to start giving orders. Boston is empty, but we’ll need to start moving people out of the suburbs into which they fled. And to do that, we need a direction.

“Which way are you going?” I whisper.

Then her orange eyes shift up, and they land on me.

What the fuck?

Her body follows her head’s lead, moving through the water.

It’s me.

She wants me!

“What the hell did I d—”

I know what I did.

I sent a man to die…and I enjoyed it. Doesn’t matter that he was guilty of heinous crimes. I arranged for and took pleasure in the man’s death. In hunting the worst of humanity to save the rest, I’ve become just as sadistic as the people I stake to walls.