Cody sat in the sparsely furnished hotel room with his MacBook open and the recent weather patterns in Austin pulled up on the LED screen. He had been reading the same graph over and over again trying to piece together an acceptable story for his superiors. If they thought he wasn't doing anything useful to them, they would have him shipped straight back to D.C. He sighed and rubbed his burning eyes, standing up to pour himself his fourth cup of black coffee. His phone vibrated and an Unknown Caller ID popped up on the screen. It was Undergorge. As soon as he picked up a stern voice boomed into his ear.
"Agent Jones, what have you got for us? Funny weather patterns?"
Cody let out a fake chuckle, "Yes, Sir. The weather seems to be getting more and more erratic here. I do believe there may be an extraterrestrial reason behind it."
"And your theory is?" The voice prompted.
Cody opened his mouth to make up some bullshit answer when his phone buzzed from another incoming call. He glanced at the screen. It was Lana making a video conference call.
"Sir, I'll have to call you back later. Something important came up."
"Agent-" Cody pressed end call and answered Lana. He could see her wild, curly hair through the camera and her excited expression. Henry and William's faces were on the side bar, looking just as confused as Cody felt.
"What's going on, Lana? I had to hang up an important call for you." He said, a hint of annoyance in his tone.
"And you'll be glad you did." Lana exclaimed, "Look!" She flipped her phone over and through the blurry video Cody could see the alien egg.
"What about it?" Henry asked, yawning.
"Look closer." Lana moved the camera right up to the surface of the egg. Cody squinted and then saw it.
"Holy shit," Henry swore, "Is that a crack?"
Lana turned the camera back to her, "Yes! Y'all better come over here; I want us to watch it hatch!"
Cody didn't have the best feeling about the idea, "I think we should be very careful. Anything could come out of that egg."
William scoffed and rolled his eyes, "You spoil all of our fun. We've been working our whole lives to see an actual alien."
"And if you're not careful, it'll be the last thing you see." Cody warned, "Lana, wait for us to get there before you touch or do anything. I'll bring my gun."
He hung up before the technician could reply and dug his Glock out of his bag, placing it inside its holster and strapping it around his leg. He threw on his coat and left the hotel, hailing a taxi as soon as he stepped onto the sidewalk.
"I'll pay you double if you get me there fast." He told the driver and they sped off. Something at the back of his mind urged him to go faster. He arrived at the shed in record time, throwing money at the driver and rushing inside. He was met with Lana's agonized scream and something huge and spider-like rushing past him. He dashed over to where Lana lay against one of the support poles, one of her hands covering a terrible gash in her neck. It looked bad; blood gushed past her fingers and collected in a puddle on the ground. As he knelt down next to her, Henry and William arrived, panting from exertion.
"What happened?" William demanded as Henry ran to Lana's side.
"Call 911!" The third year medical student yelled at William, who immediately dug out his phone, "Lanna, come on, Lana. Stay awake."
Lana's eyes flickered and she opened her mouth to let out a thin croak. Henry turned her on her side and held the lips of her wound closed. Distant sirens could be heard and soon the ambulance arrived.
"What happened?" The paramedic asked and the trio shook their heads.
"We don't know." William said, "She was fine when she called us, but when we got here..."
The paramedic nodded, "Alright, we'll take her to Seton. She'll get top of the line care there and you can follow along in your on car if you wish."
The three men nodded and watched as the ambulance sped away, sirens blaring.
Cody rode to the hospital in William's SUV. The drive was deathly quiet, each of them trying to determine what had happened.
"Do you think it hatched?" Henry broke the silence with a question.
"I don't know." Cody replied, "I saw...something running away."
They didn't speak for the rest of the ride. When they arrived at the huge hospital, they rushed to the emergency room. There, they were forced to wait for hours before they heard anything. When the doctor came out, all three of them stood from the hard, plastic chairs with worried expressions.
"Is she okay?" Cody asked, his voice tight with worry.
The doctor looked serious, "She's stable, but she's not in the clear yet. I'll be a few days before we're certain."
"Can we see her?" Henry questioned, but the doctor shook his head.
"No, only family is allowed."
Cody took out his ID, "Undergorge, I have access to all hospital patients."
The doctor looked surprised, "Undergorge? Isn't that that shifty government thing?"
"What it is is none of your business," Cody responded firmly, "I'm taking these two to see her now." He shouldered past the frowning doctor into the ICU with Henry and William trailing behind him.
They found Lana's room and entered quietly. Her eyes were closed, but her breathing was steady. A white bandage encircled her brown neck, stained with blood. The three men sat down on the couch beside her bed and waited for her to wake.
Lana's skin was cold and tinged a dull grey, when her eyes opened the whites had turned yellow. The doctors checked her liver function, but it was working just fine. There was no reason for her skin to be so pale or her eyes to be that garish color. According to the doctors, all was well with her except for her pulse being a little bit slow. She managed to sit up while they gave her a blood transfusion and tell the group what had happened.
"I was just sitting there watching the egg," She began, "When the...thing inside started to move. The cracks got bigger and bigger until the shell broke open and the alien crawled out. It was horrible, all spindly and quick. It jumped on me and bit my neck, and I don't remember much beyond that. Sorry."
"That's alright." Cody said, "We're just glad you're safe. Now all I've got to worry about is an alien on the loose. Did it seem...violent."
Lana nodded and Cody sighed heavily, "Well, I better call my superiors and tell them. They can send a containment team down here and track the thing down."
He stepped out of the room and redialed the second number on his list of recent calls. A woman picked up this time, and he could recognize her voice.
"Betty, I fucked up." He blurted out, "I should have brought it to y'all, but I didn't and now-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down there, cowboy. You should have brought what to us?"
Cody explained how he had received the egg and what it was, "And now it's on the loose and it's dangerous too. I need a containment team sent down here stat."
He could hear the scribble of a pen on paper and Betty muttering underneath her breath, "Sir's not going to be happy with you, Agent Jones. You've let something out that could potentially terrorize a whole city."
Cody ran a hand through his hair, a nervous habit, and sighed again, "Well, there's not much I can do about it now. I'll just have to take the consequence, even if they wipe my memory and leave me a vegetable for the rest of my life."
Betty tutted, "Now, now, they won't do that. You just get back to your little friend and I'll deal with Sir."
Cody grinned, "Thanks, Betty. You're a lifesaver."
"Don't I know it. Goodbye."
Just as Cody hung up, he heard a scream echo from inside Lana's room and the sound of growling, like a rabid animal. He threw open the door and his jaw dropped at the scene before him.
Henry and William were backed up against the wall furthest from Lana, their eyes wide and frightened. Their technician, whose eyes had turned completely yellow and whose heart monitor now read 0 BPM, crouched over a fallen nurse. She was foaming at the mouth and snarling possessively over the body. As Cody watched, she leaned over the girl's head and bit down, the skin giving way underneath her sharp teeth. Blood spurted everywhere and, when she tore away a chunk of skin, Cody could see the now-dead nurse's brain. Without thinking, he grabbed Henry and William by the arms and tugged them out of the room, shutting the door firmly behind them.
"What the hell was that?" Henry exclaimed, his face twisted into a grimace, "She wasn't acting...human."
"Do you think the alien bite did something to her?" William asked Cody, who shrugged, "How would I know?"
"Well, you brought us the damn thing. And aren't you the official alien expert?" Henry snarked.
Cody glared at him, "This is no time to be jealous, Henry. Lana's sick and we need to find that alien so Undergorge can figure out how to help her."
Henry looked angry, but slightly chastised, "Right, let's let Undergorge save the day."
Cody simply rolled his eyes and stepped back from the door, "We'll tell everyone not to go in there until we get back, okay? Lana shouldn't be able to make it to the door or open it. She doesn't seem too...lucid."
William and Henry nodded and Cody flagged down a nurse, "Ma'am, please put up a sign that tells everyone not to enter this room. It's under quarantine." He flashed his ID and the nurse scurried away to do his bidding. "Alright, let's go back to Lana's house to see if it's still there."
"And if it's not?" Henry asked.
"Then we'll just have to track it somehow."