The study of the tentacle demon continues, and only one thing can keep it alive.
CHAPTER 2: FEEDING
The next day, Claire walked into the containment room pushing a cart full of some sort of equipment. "Good morning to you," she said cheerfully.
"You'll pardon me if I don't get up," Gruthsorik grumbled from the bunk.
"No, that's fine, in fact it would be helpful if you laid still for this," Claire said. She pushed the cart up to the cell wall opposite the bunk, unfolded some of the devices, and aimed them at him.
Gruthsorik turned his head to the side to watch. "Dare I ask what all of that is?" he asked.
"It's a medical scanner. It was developed by the group that reverse engineers salvaged extraterrestrial technology. Those guys love us here in the Institute because we're among the few that has enough security clearance to even know they exist, but also provide the opportunity to field test their gizmos in practical applications. It'll be decades before they can leak the stuff inside this thing even to DARPA. They tell me the original that it's based on is less than half the size, but it sure beats the huge machines in hospitals that you have to put a patient inside to get any information." It's also a decent stand-in for dissection, which is helpful when your only specimen is still alive.
She activated the scanner, and it hummed as it probed the insides of the demon. "You might feel a light tingling," Claire said. "Let me know if it gets uncomfortable." She perused the data as it streamed to her tablet computer. "No bullet fragments, that's good. Assuming they weren't all clean in and out shots, your body must have expelled them while it was healing itself. You have highly developed sensory organs, on the level of predatory species. Which I suppose you are, after a fashion. Let me guess, you have exemplary hearing, can see clearly even in near total darkness, and can distinguish individual people by scent?"
"Very good, doctor, I'm impressed," said Gruthsorik. "It's especially useful for sniffing out and tracking down girls who are by themselves." Claire hoped he was speaking generally and not making reference to her. Though if lone women is what got his hunting instincts going, she definitely qualified. She was always glad to have the cell wall between her and the captured cryptids, but this time doubly so. She forced herself to focus back on the scanner readings.
"The circulatory system looks about normal for something your size. A four-chambered heart, as befits an advanced species. Blood composition is fairly standard, with iron-based hemoglobin. Respiratory system looks good, lungs resemble the mammalian design. Digestive system... you seem to have no stomach at all. There's some kind of small structure below the esophageal sphincter, it's filled with what looks a lot like intestinal villi, but it dead ends." She looked up and addressed her subject, "I didn't entirely believe you before about subsisting on the emotions and such of the girls you attack, but you really don't eat solid food, do you?"
"That's correct," he said. "I tried once, just to see what would happen, but I couldn't keep it down. I do get thirsty and need to drink water every now and then, though."
"Those nasty looking teeth of yours must be an evolutionary holdover of some sort," Claire said, back to thinking aloud. "Hmm. Below there I can see what looks like intestines right where they should be. In fact they fill the entire space that would be your digestive system. Another unneeded vestigial organ perhaps? They're very highly muscled, too. Oh!" She exclaimed in surprise as the objects she was examining on her screen began to move rapidly. She looked up and watched as five penises emerged from Gruthsorik's crotch. Uncircumcised, of course, though the foreskin pulled back almost right away, revealing the glans. They all looked like normal human penises in general shape and size, other than the length of course, as they didn't stop until they were several feet long. "Of course. How silly of me." The beast smiled, greatly amused.
Claire skipped the humor, however, as she went deep into analysis. "Fascinating, so they don't just form from the surface of your body, the main structure is stored internally. How far can you reach with them?" One of the tentacles turned and extended horizontally until it was about twelve feet long. She watched the densely packed muscle tissue expand and multiply on the scanner screen and shuddered as she remembered what the demon did with these things. "That looks like it's amazingly strong, yet agile."
"Of course. They have to be," Gruthsorik responded as he drew them back in. Claire watched as they pulled all the way into his crotch, and the skin melded shut where they had been, leaving no hole or seam. A simple trick for shape-shifter flesh.
"Well, thank you for that... demonstration," Claire said hesitantly, then returned her attention to the scanner data, trying to put the sight of the tentacles from her mind. "Now what's next, how about the nervous system. Brain and spinal cord design resembles that of the typical large, intelligent primate. Skeletal structure, very much what you'd expect it to be. Urinary system is nonexistent, though I suppose that's a given since you have no digestive system either. Reproductive system, aside from the obvious, there are what appear to be internal gonads and... an extremely large prostate and seminal vesicles." The glands that produce semen. Claire felt suddenly uncomfortable again. Good thing she was finished.
"And that's it for the gross anatomy. The fine details of this scan should keep me busy for months, though." As she packed up the scanner, a chime sounded on the computer. "Hmm? What's that?" Claire asked as she picked it up to see. "Oh good, what excellent timing. The DNA sequencer has finished the analysis of your sample. Let's see what it's found out." Gruthsorik watched silently as she opened the file and began reading. "I was starting to suspect as much. You're half human."
Gruthsorik pondered this before saying, "I can't decide whether or not you're trying to insult me."
"No, I'm serious," Claire said. "We've pretty well established that the cryptid shape-shifting gene, despite the things it can do that should be completely impossible, like rapid reshaping of skin, hair, muscle, and solid bone, and even ignoring a primary tenant of physics by violating conservation of mass, it's limited to genetic material available to it within the organism. Several creatures we've studied have it in their genome but only get the rapid healing factor from it because only their own DNA is present. Any creature with wide shape-shifting abilities in our experience is actually faking it with telepathically transmitted illusions. Speaking of which, you have something resembling known telepathy genes right here, no doubt something to do with how your 'feeding' works, while your shape-shifting gene is right... here." She jabbed her finger at the screen for emphasis, even though Gruthsorik couldn't see it nor make sense of it if he could. Deep into her element, Claire was on a roll.
"All 23 human chromosomes are accounted for, including the X chromosome. Mitochondrial DNA also appears human, indicating the human parent was the mother. Though, I suppose that much should be obvious. The nonhuman DNA contains something very close to the human Y chromosome, resulting in the male gender expression. There are several known genetic markers here that indicate common linage with previously cataloged ancient-myth type cryptids, especially those with unexplainable abilities." Claire looked up from the screen and continued, "And that's just a cursory review. I can't wait to go over this in detail. This is all quite marvelous, you know. Human-demon hybrids are popular in myth and fiction but we never expected to have proof they actually exist!"
"So glad I could be of use to you," Gruthsorik said sarcastically. "One thing puzzles me, though."
"Oh? What's that?" Claire asked.
"You keep saying 'us' and 'we', but other than some men who left just after I arrived, you're the only one I've seen or smelled here so far."
"Ah. Yes. That's true. I am the only one here, actually. I like to refer to the Institute as plural though out of respect for those who came before me," Claire explained as she returned to packing up the scanner cart. "This place started with a whole team of scientists, six men assembled by the government from among the top military surgeons and civilian medical researchers to study the extraterrestrial bodies from the Roswell crash. At first everyone thought it would be a one-time thing. Then a few years later an FBI team raided what they thought was a devil-worshiping cult practicing human sacrifice. It turned out it was actually a group of vampires. Only one agent survived, but he managed to capture one of them. The government, now aware of the reality of supernatural creatures and the threat they could pose to the public, decided to become proactive about hunting them down. The Roswell autopsy team was recalled, given funding to create the Institute, and charged with learning as much as they could from captured creatures, whether they were brought in alive or not.
"They spent the next few decades doing just that, and cataloged dozens of cryptids, not just from North America, from around the globe as well. They were victims of their own success though. Things they hadn't seen before came fewer and farther between. Budget cuts were handed down, the funds moved to other programs, and over the years their numbers dwindled as they retired and were usually not replaced. By the time I was recruited, damn near fresh out of medical school, there were just two, one on his way out. I suspect they specifically wanted somebody young, so they wouldn't have to worry about me reaching retirement age anytime soon. Dr. Zimmer had a few more years to go, so he showed me the ropes. Then he retired too, and here I am, all by myself." That had been the strangest job offer ever. 'Hello, you fit the profile we are looking for. Would you like to interview for this position? We can't tell you what it is until after you accept the job.' Later she found out three candidates before her had turned it down. She had no regrets so far, though.
"Sounds like a big job for one person," Gruthsorik said.
"In the four years I've been here you're the first new thing to come through my doors," Claire said. "So you'll have to pardon my enthusiasm. It's nice to finally have something to do beyond transcribing old case files into the computer." Gruthsorik got a genuine chuckle out of that. "Alright, I'll be back to check on you later," Claire said as she wheeled the scanner cart out of the room.
"Of that I have no doubt," Gruthsorik said.
- - -
As the next few days went by, Gruthsorik stayed in his bunk, hardly moving at all. Claire started to worry. "You're not looking well," she said to him.
"I told you, getting shot full of bullets really drained me," Gruthsorik grumbled. "On top of that, the girl was my first prey in weeks, and I didn't even get to finish."
"You're hungry," Claire realized.
"Starving," the demon said.
"Oh, crap," Claire said under her breath. She'd known this was coming, but she had been avoiding thinking about it. Getting food for the captured cryptids had never been that much trouble. Some just ate normal food, whatever dishes were popular with humans in their native region. The wild carnivores, most fully capable of being man-eaters, tended to be happy with any raw meat put in front of them. Even the vampire was simple enough to provide for in the end. But this? A creature that feeds on the emotions generated during sex? How could she replace that? Getting fucked by the monsters she was studying was sure as hell not in her job deion. But she couldn't just let him starve to death either. It wouldn't look good to lose her first new discovery within a week of it arriving. She bumped into the wall and realized she'd been backing away from the cell, away from Gruthsorik. She turned and fled into the hallway, desperate to come up with a way out of this mess.
Gruthsorik heard her leave, and said to the empty room, "No, I didn't think so."
- - -
Claire returned to the containment room the next morning, still not knowing how she was going to keep Gruthsorik alive. "Good morning!" she said, feigning cheerfulness. She was greeted by silence. She ventured closer. "Gruthsorik? You awake in there?" She watched him closely. Wait. He wasn't even breathing. "Shit!" she shouted, and ran through the cell doors to the bunk. She put her hand to his neck to check his pulse. Instantly he woke up with a sharp intake of breath. Claire yelped in surprise and jumped back.
"Fear..." Gruthsorik whispered longingly, his voice weak. "You were afraid."
"For a minute there I thought you were dead," Claire said.
"And you were worried for me, how touching," Gruthsorik said sarcastically but with an undercurrent of worry of his own.
"Shit," Claire repeated. He really had been dead, or very nearly, she was sure of it. When she touched him, the panic she was feeling brought him back from the brink. But that couldn't possibly be enough to keep him going much longer. "Shit."
- - -
"Leaving so soon Doc?" the morning shift guard of the month asked her.
"Forgot something at home. I'll be right back," Claire answered.
"Sure thing," the guard said as he opened the gate.
- - -
Claire pushed a cart holding a TV, Blu-ray player, and an old VCR into the containment room and over near the corner of the cell where the bunk was. Officially the Institute needed this to review the occasional video record from the field, though the building also had satellite television. On her constant companion the tablet computer, she accessed the room's video cameras and set up a macro that looped the last ten seconds of feed to the video archives, while diverting the actual feed to a hidden partition on the building's servers. The red lights on the cameras winked out, signifying that her hack was active. What she was about to do was bad enough without the thought that somebody might one day watch it.
Don't think. Just do it. She started chanting that in her head during the drive home and had been ever since. She couldn't afford to come to her senses. She set the computer down, dropped the DVD she had retrieved from home into the player, and took the remote controls into the cell with her. She walked over to Gruthsorik, laying near death in the bunk. Two of his tentacles were out, hanging limply over the side of the bunk. They twitched at her approach. Don't think. Just do it. She reached under her skirt, pulled her panties down to the floor, and stepped out of them. Don't think. Just do it. She sat down on the floor with her legs spread out in front of her and used the remotes to turn the TV on and start the porn movie playing. She set them down on the floor beside her and pulled the other two things she brought from home out of the pocket of her lab coat. She coated the six inch vibrator with the lubricant and then set the lube aside. Don't think. Just do it. She turned the vibrator to high and eased it into her shaven pussy, groaning as it entered her. Leaving her right hand to control her battery operated cock, she reached up with her left and took hold of Gruthsorik's wrist.
She forced herself to concentrate on the movie while she drilled herself with the vibrator. She only owned a couple pornos, and this one was her favorite. She panted and moaned as she fucked herself, thrusting the vibrator into the depths of her sex. She usually would have cum at least once by this point in the film. She didn't usually do this one-handed, and where her other hand was didn't help things. Her arm was getting tired. She pushed the dildo in hard, feeling it rumbling inside her, while rubbing her clit with her thumb. That finally did the trick. She moaned long and loud as she came.
Her orgasm subsided and she slipped the vibrator out of her with one final small moan and turned it off. As she caught her breath, she felt Gruthsorik pull his wrist from her grasp. She grabbed her panties and the bottle of lube from the floor and scooted back away from him. He groaned as he pushed himself up to a sitting position. He paused to rest for a moment, then slowly got to his feet. With Claire down on the floor he loomed over her. She scrambled to her feet. It didn't help all that much. A height advantage of two and a half feet will do that.
"Thank you," Gruthsorik said. "I know that was hard for you to do. Your heart wasn't really in it." True enough. It had been a very minor orgasm, actually. But at least it had worked, and she hadn't felt anything strange as Gruthsorik absorbed the energy of it from her.
"You're, um, welcome," Claire stammered as she backed away from him. He stayed put, watching her. Her heart pounded as she passed through the security doors. She retrieved her DVD, and used the computer to reactivate the cameras. Despite the necessity of it, the full implications of what she had done was starting to hit her. She wanted to go curl up into a ball and die. "You can keep the TV. Watch anything you like," she said as she hurried from the room.
Continued in Chapter 3: Surrender
- - -
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