Alan’s truck was beaten and ran badly but it got the job done. The strange gelatin sat in a the box he found it in. The gelatin seemed to move but he couldn’t confirm that and headquarters wasn’t helpful, like usual. Alan placed the box on the back seat and left the farm. The pot holes from the dirt road jarred Alan’s old truck but he eventually made it to Interstate 75. The sun hide behind a set of clouds as it settled in for the night. Alan turned the truck lights on and drove South.
Nearly two hours into his trip Alan began to get drowsy and he pulled into a truck stop. He relieved himself, bought a cheap cup of coffee and got back into his truck. He checked the box in the back seat and noticed the lid sat a little off center and corrected it. He felt something push up on the lid slightly but ignored it.
Alan got back on the highway, noticed a thumping. Looked back and saw nothing.
The highway droned on for another hour when the thumping began again. Alan looked back and noticed the top of the box was jarred again. He reached back. He knocked the corner of the lid to the left but the lid leap ajar again. Alan adjusted the steering wheel before he drove the truck off the road. He looked back and noticed the box lid was half off. The gelatin substance rippled. Alan reached back, grabbed the box lid and covered the gelatin. As he slid his fingers from the box pain racked the tips of his fingers. His left hand struggled to hold the wheel straight. Alan pulled his fingers from the box, noticing the tips were dark pink and pulsing with pain.
Alan held his right hand in a tight fist waiting for the pain to go away. He listened as the lid of the box leap and slid to the seat next to it. Alan looked back and watched as the gelatin draped itself over the right side.
A small exit approached and Alan quickly took it. Street signs posted the name of the city as Grayling as be began to slow down. Alan listened as the box flipped up and spilled the gelatin. A small car sat quickly at the end of the exit. Alan looked back to verify what he heard and slammed into the back of the small car.
Everything in the cab was thrown forward. Trash in the passenger seat. A pair of jumper cables in the back seat and then the gelatin. The mass of green gelatin flew toward the front of the truck and struck Alan in the back of the head. The remainder of the gelatin wrapped around Alan’s head and held tight. Alan attempted to breath through his mouth only to inhale the mass. The small amount of air available under his nose was replaced within moments. The pain started at the bridge of his nose and extended along his cheekbones then the left side of his head. His lungs screamed silently as they were starved of air. His face burned as the acidic nature of the gelatin burned away at the layers of skin. Alan placed his hand over the gelatin only to have the pain transfer to the palms of his hands. He tried to clear his mouth only to have it replaced by the mass. After calmly trying to clear a breathing path Alan began to panic and shook his head. He screamed but the noise was muffled.
Outside of the trunk a young woman stood. She examined her wounds then looked over the remainder of her car. She looked at the driver of the truck and stared as the man shook his head like a maniac. His hands, covered in a green goo, were planted on the driver’s window.
“Yes, yes I know I’m busting our budget but we have a monster epidemic going on. I need to hire more investigators.” Brian Tipene explains as he sits with his feet upon a small desk.
“No, we are the only investigators right now.” A small brunette woman walks into the room. Her face hangs as tears fall from the corners of her eyes. Brian’s gut sinks before he excuses himself from the phone call.
“Susan, what’s going on?”
Susan brushes the tears from her face and struggles to talk.
“Please, don’t tell me something happened to Alan.”
Susan stumbles. Brian struggles to move from behind his desk but catches her before she falls.
“My god, this is not good. What happened to him?”
After some time Susan explains that Alan was involved in a chemical accident within his truck. She relayed that he was stripped to the bone.
Brian swallowed hard. He was responsible for the death of his brother-in-law now what was he going to do?
Brian helped Susan, called her family, then sat within his small sportscar. “I have to check out the scene,” he thought to himself. “He told me he picked up an odd box.” Guilt washed over him as he started the car but he couldn’t drive forward.
“I have six agents now. They are all family and friends. What have I got myself into…”
“…Brian?” A CB radio installed under the dash broke the thought. “I just heard about Alan. What are we going to do?”
Brian picked up the CB receiver and replied. “Tom, we are going to figure out what happened. What do you know?”
Tom explained the details of the accident. He explained the chaos when the firefighters opened the door of the truck.
“They said a green goo fell from the truck. They talked about bringing in the FBI but apparently they got impatient and opened the door. The blob of green goo then chased off the rescuers.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yes, that’s what I heard. What are we going to do?”
Brian snapped out of self-reflection and back into work.
“We are going to figure out what this is and defeat it. That’s what we do.” Brian pulled from the driveway of his small home and headed toward the accident scene.
Brian pulls up to a chaotic scene. Artificial red and yellow light flashes, illuminated the darkness just inside a highway on-ramp. Several uniformed first responders stand near the wreckage. Brian pulls up next to a police car and steps out. An officer approaches.
“The victim was my brother-in-law Alan Rickart. What do you know?” Brian says.
The officer recognizes Brian and his face brightens. “Chief, how have you been?”
“I was fine till tonight.”
“Sorry about your brother,” the officer replied then added, “This is an odd scene and honestly we have no idea what is going on.”
The officer walked with Brian to the scene. Alan’s truck was white and covered in dust from the long trip. A large blue tarp covered the back of the truck.
“There is actually two bodies. The remains of Alan Rickert are within the cab of the truck and a taller, monster of a man, is in the bed of the truck. The man in the bed of the truck was murdered, no doubt, but Mister Rickert’s body looks like the results of an industrial accident.
Brian took a breath and stepped up to the cab of the truck. The windows were opaque. Brian cupped his hands beside his face and strained to see within the cab of the truck.
“You can’t even see inside the truck. He may still be alive.”
“I’m sorry, Chief but Mister Rickart is dead. Some goo covered his face and hands. It ate away all the soft tissue.”
“Goo? Did you try to save him?”
The officer stammered, “Chief, we are waiting for Special Operations.”
“I am not your chief anymore. Stop calling me that.”
Brian opened the truck door before the officer could stop him.
The skeletal remains of Alan Rickart lay against the steering wheel. As disgusting as that could possibly be the bones were picked clean any identification of Alan would be left to the remains of his teeth and his clothing. Something fell to the ground and Brian jumped back. At his feet sat a pile of slime still oozing from the truck. Alan’s large jacket floated within a mass of organs and other digesting material.
“What the hell is that?” Shouted the officer as he backed up several steps.
“I don’t know but it doesn’t seem friendly.”
Brian stepped back and watched as the remaining slime fell from the truck and created a blob of transparent green. The blob settled upon the dark asphalt. Alan’s parts floating inside. It bubbled slightly then moved toward the two men with a jerk.
“Why did you open that truck?” The officer shouted as he backed up.
“I don’t know. I wanted to see what was inside.”
“I told you it was a chemical accident.”
“I know… I know…” Brian stepped back as the blob moved forward again.
“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?”
Brian jumped. He looked back to see a large truck and a couple of men standing beside it. “I told you not open the door. What the hell did you do?”
Both men, dressed in Hazmat suits, approached. The larger man dragged a large silver box behind them.
“Get out of the way,” stated the taller man. He slide the box over to the greenish blob and opened it.
“Hey, I know you,” the other man said as he passed. “Aren’t you the monster man on the commercials. I think Tipese or Tip-something investigation?”
“I am Brian Tipene, how are you going to clean up this mess?”
“We have procedures. The others will be here in a moment,” the man replied.
The taller man screamed and all the others turned. He quickly pulled the box back and shook of his left leg. “The thing attacked me. It tried to trip me.”
Brian stepped toward the truck. “Gentlemen, this is not just a chemical spill. This is a predator.”
He watched as the green blob reached out again and attempted to wrap a gelatinous arm around the taller Hazmat man.
“It didn’t do that before,” shouted the officer as he pointed his handgun at the mass of green. The taller man stepped back and watched as the blob began to grow taller. Brian watched as two gelatinous columns began to form under a large mass of translucent blob.
“It’s growing legs! It’s growing legs!” The officer began to panic.
“Officer Reyes, keep you head on,” Brian stepped over to the officer. The Hazmat men stepped back toward the truck. “Officer Oscar Reyes I don’t think shooting it will stop it.”
“It’s growing a body…” The officer shot several times. Each round slid through the mass easily. Each one settled within the side of Alan’s white truck.
A second large box truck pulled up to the scene followed by several more police cars. Brian noticed a backup of traffic began to move slowly past the scene. The blob stood six-foot tall and began to grow columns on each side of it’s new body.
Brian backed away from the blob. The officers stepped from their cars, guns drawn.
“Don’t shoot the mass. It will not work.” Brian shouted.
Gunshots exploded from behind Brian as he leapt out of the way. The man-like gelatinous creature stepped forward. It exercised its legs as it worked out it’s balancing skills. The bullets slid through its transparent skin only stopped by the remaining organs of Brian’s brother-in-law. The organs broke apart while the bullets exited the monster and hid within the side of Alan’s truck.
The off ramp was a buzz of activity. A long string of cars sat watching the activities along the service drive. Several stood outside their cars. There was a collective gasp after the weapon fire failed to stop the blob man.
“Do something, monster man!” Brian heard the single man shouting but it felt like the world looked upon him to do something. He searched for anything he could use to disable or kill the beast but this was a new situation. The blob stepped forward it had grew upward several inches making it now over six foot tall. It towered over Officer Oscar Reyes who was a little over five foot tall. Officer Reyes stood. He looked up as he screamed at the vague, green, human face. The figure imprinted within the gelatinous tower didn’t move. It didn’t smile and didn’t growl. It just stared forward as the head bounced back and forth.
“No way,” Brian said as he realized the blob could not keep this current form for very long. “Get away from the blob!” Brian scream. “Get as far away as you can. Oscar, move!”
Everyone moved back and this left the blob and Brian standing within eight feet of each other. The blob turned suddenly toward Brian. He stepped forward causing his shoulders and head to fall back then forward. The blob had to take an extra step to readjust and not fall forward. The blob reached forward with a third step and Brian retreated. Again, he searched for anything.
“Detergent? I have nothing here. What about heat or cold? Hell I have nothing. I have weapons but not on me. Idiot.” Brian said as he walked backward. The blob stepped forward again and the mass fell forward at the waist. It gave the creature an extended reach and the explosion of acidic gelatin once it fell would certain cause him pain, if not kill him.
“Acid? Doesn’t that need some sort of a base to neutralize it? Fire extinguisher? I need a fire extinguisher?”
A firemen, dressed completely in fire gear, and hard hat stood next to Brian and fired a stream of foam at the blob.
“It’s like covering the thing in whip topping,” Brian replied as the fireman exhausted the can. The blob shuddered then shook but the liquid mixture stuck within its gelatinous flesh. The blob threw up both cylindrical arms then rushed forward. Within seconds it fell forward again and staggered toward the fireman. The top half of the six foot column of gelatin fell forward as it’s legs tried to correct the fall. The fireman fell backward and the blob fell on top of him. The acidic, carnivorous blob fell over the fireman leaving only his chest and head exposed.
The man screamed but his protective equipment delayed any immediate danger. The extinguisher mixture ate away at the first layer of green flesh. The blob folded in upon itself. It’s human-like legs disappearing within the mass. The fireman screamed as the acid began to seep through his equipment. The blob began to move forward toward the man’s exposed face.
Brian tried to help but the other firemen warned him to avoid getting closer. They grabbed the man’s arms and began to pull.
The resistance was phenomenal as five men tried to pull the fireman from the grasp of the blob. The weight of the mass hung over him as it crept forward. The other firefighters managed to pull the man back far enough to expose his waist. Smoke tunneled upward from exposed skin and small sections where the protection failed. The group of firemen pulled and managed to pull his legs partially free. The rest of the escape came from the man pulling his feet from his boots but it came at a severe cost.
With the fireman free the others pulled him to the paramedics. The blob sat motionless, happy to search the fireman’s boots for anything.
“I think the extinguisher damaged the blob creature but it certainly didn’t stop it,” Brian thought outloud.
“Come on, you’re telling me that your business is monsters and you can’t figure this out.”
Brian turned quickly. “If you have any ideas come over here and try something!”
The man, grumbled inaudibly, turned and sat in his car.
“Come on Brian…”
“Kitty litter. We need kitty litter.” The hazmat men stood at their truck talking about dinner, kids and food. “Are you three going to do anything!”
“That thing is alive, said the first man. “We deal with dangers that are not alive. This is on you. Once it’s dead we’ll clean it up.”
“Do you, at least, have kitty litter?”
“Sure, we can help you out there.”
Brian gathered up several bags of kitty litter. Officer Reyes grabbed a bag along with two of the firemen. The blob began to stand again, forming the columns for legs then sculpting a mass that would serve as its waist. The men poured the kitty litter along the base of the blob and immediately it stopped and recalled the long columns. The mass of gelatin expanded and all three men jumped backward. Officer Reyes dropped the remainder of his bag and swore.
The blob managed to roll over the kitty litter, keeping it at the bottom of the mass but it stopped all activity. Any attempt to grow had stopped. Any attempt to move ceased. It sat so the two remaining firemen poured the rest of the kitty litter on top.
The dark sky was bright with reds, blues and yellows. Conversations erupted randomly throughout the exit ramp as highway traffic buzzed by with barely a noticed. Residents from Grayling and neighboring homes stood outside the long yellow tape wrapped around the scene.
Brian Tipene, Officer Oscar Reyes and the firemen waited.
The gelatinous blob sat quietly stewing upon the asphalt of the exit ramp. Brian stepped aside as three men dressed in chemical suits stepped forward. He stepped around, almost tripping, over a large box. He watched as the hazmat men dumped more kitty litter over the mass until it burped, raising a small cylindrical section and throwing off the kitty litter. The contents of another bag of litter fell from the hands of another hazmat and seconds later another burp followed by a couple more. The hazmat team left to get more bags. Brian watched as officer Reyes inspected the blob. It had expanded and grew small nodules ready to pop.
“I would not stand to close, Oscar.” Brian warned just before the first shot blasted toward the officer. The acidic gelatin struck the officer in the right leg. It immediately began to eat through the black uniformed pants and stuck to the man’s bare leg. Officer Reyes screamed. The smaller mass wrapped itself around the officer’s leg and began to dissolve the skin tissue. Brian leap over to the officer and helped drag him from the scene. The blob fired off several other shots. This left smaller versions of the blob crawling along the off-ramp.
Officer Reyes squirmed. Paramedics loaded him onto a stretcher and barely avoided another round of shots. The distance of the shots increased three-fold and struck another man waiting too close to the scene.
The screaming was unnerving. Brian hid beside the Hazmat truck waiting to find a way to disappear.
“It’s not worth it,” he thought to himself. “This wasn’t supposed to be this dangerous.” That was until a large red pickup truck squealed to a stop.
Brian disappeared behind the truck and ran across the off-ramp and toward the service drive. Two large men, dressed in crude armor, stepped from the back of the truck. A small woman stepped from the driver’s seat.
“Rebecca! I am so in love right now,” Brain shouted.
The small woman smiled.
“Acidic nature, we covered it with clay based kitty litter but it just pissed it off. Now it’s shooting out acidic nodules.”
“I bet it did,” replied one of the armored men. His caramel-toned skin hidden behind a beaten steel mask. “An acidic monster and you dumped clay on it. It’s not an oil spill.”
The other armored man stepped up beside the first. “Sean, I’ll go get the soda ash. That should neutralize the acidic stuff.
A explosion of green gelatin burst against the steel breastplate of Sean’s armor.
“Holy crap, man.”
Both men turned. Brian hid behind the big red truck and stood next to the small woman.
“I’m sorry I got Alan, you and the Baker brothers into this. This is insane.”
“Alan,” replied Rebecca, emotion sitting at the edges of her pale face, “Alan volunteered, the Baker brothers are absolutely nuts and I am still here. What would you do without me?”
Brian smiled and peeked over the truck bed. The Baker brothers, dressed in armor, walked forward. They held large white bags of soda ash. The blob spit out resistance but the two men moved forward. Within moments the men dumped the bags and the gelatin sank to the ground. It left a moist ring.
“Look at that Andrew,” Sean shouted, excitement evident.
Andrew turned to his younger brother and punched him hard in the chest.
“We are the best, brother,” Andrew replied.
The blob left scars upon the men and women scattered over the off-ramp. The small nodules feed upon the arms, legs and chest of the victims. Brian and the Tipene agents helped the other first responders and dissolved what they could find. The EMT’s tied off Officer Oscar Reyes leg and prepared it for removal. The remains too badly eaten away to save. Officer Reyes lay silent within the ambulance holding a cloth covered stone in his breast pocket.