Beads of sweat formed on Ristin’s forehead, his cerulean skin turning deep purple as he strained. Finally, with a satisfying clang, the floor panel came loose and popped out, skidding across the rest of the deck plating. Risten fell back with a grunt, wiping his brow a pocket handkerchief. With throbbing fingers and sore shoulders, he picked up this latest panel and dragged it over to the incinerator and dug out the confounding fungal roots out of the metal and into the waiting super heated coils. The fungi made a nice pop as they burned to ash in seconds. He then tossed the scrapped plate onto a pile of similar floor plates. He then sank against the wall and slowly slid to the floor with a sigh, grabbing a bottle from his belt and taking a sip of cool water to cool his throat.
It was several hours into their self imposed quarantine. All around him and Taryn were the broken and gutted remains of the biohazard lab he had built so carefully. Spider ichor stained one wall, Ristin’s own splashed onto another, and the floor and even some of the ceiling were still covered in fast growing mushrooms. His torn and ripped coat hung on the wall, Ristin now just in his suit trousers, boots and an undershirt, which hung heavy with sweat to his skin.
The voice of the giant fungus…thing played over and over in his mind as he cleared away the mushrooms patches. He did not not know if it was real, or simply myciodal madness, but either way he felt deeply unsettled, The Chissian gentleman lived a life of discipline and personal control, and here he was, a lab rat in a cage of his own design, with voices in his head. It was not becoming, not becoming at all.
Every hissing pop of fungal spores in the incinerator gave him a malign joy, taking back his sanity bit by bit, so he kept working even though his arms were heavy and he had not eaten for half a day now. They had plenty of water, stored for the plants, but he did not think to bring sandwiches to a biological experiment. He had to keep working, the sooner they were done, the sooner they could leave.
As Ristin continued to clean, clear and dispose, he spared a look at Taryn. His friend was frustrated, he did not need psychic mushrooms to know that. This lab, this experiment was a way to help the people of Viscara. The pair of them were becoming prominent citizens, and these fungal creatures could wreak great devastation. But instead of finding that crucial information to understand this strange fungus, instead they stood in blasted and bloody ruins. It was not totally in vain, they did learn some things, but he knew this was less then what the good doctor wanted.