Caleb rose from the floor with a sense of dreams fading. It was his old life. For the first few minutes it was powerful and disorienting. He also had to adjust to this new body. As a result he was slow, clumsy and not himself for a while. The two realities crossed over each other like a fever. His memories struggled to hold on, failed, and were washed away. His senses balanced themselves like various picture adjustments on a TV remote. His human mind, the one that was fading, still tried to find things the way it had before. But Epsilon Rex knew what it wanted and how to find it. These superior senses started to take charge. The Essence of a new life had taken over his mechanical frame.
First, he organised the frame of the host body in the position preferred for movement. This was vertical with the stronger limbs supporting the weight. The giant was heavy. But as a host, it was already a key turning in a lock.
The natural sense organs of the host fed him meagre information about his surroundings. The eyes told him that he was confined in an area full of natural and constructed shapes. One of these shapes was human. His new senses told him that this human was like him, but unborn. Acting as a human, but with the essence of Epsilon Rex growing inside, this host would soon settle to become part of the Network.
There was another shape that had some characteristics of a human. It was the right size and of similar shape. But there were few details. No limbs and almost no face. His hands might tell him more. He reached forward. But a sound distracted him. And there was an impact against his body. He staggered to keep his balance. The gestating host pushed him. He stumbled towards an opening. As soon as his attention was away from the humanoid shape, his memory of it vanished.
Through the doorway Caleb could sense his kind, and his mission. He walked. The movement was satisfying, in the sense that any progress towards a goal is mildly satisfying. But Caleb had no emotions now, except those directly fed to him by Epsilon Rex. These feelings gave him his purpose. It was the language of the Angels.
The flow of energy was clearer when he held out the arms of the host. The palms were sticky with Epsilon Rex purity. It collected the light and song of the Angels. He could focus, and knew where he should go. Through another door in the human structure. His own movement made the world around him clearer. Objects were distinguished from one another. When he stood still, things got hazy.
He was outside now. His sense of the Network heightened. It was a rich sensation. But it was distant. He felt that he should go there. Still, the urgency was not just for him. It was for all of them.
A faint message pulled him in the opposite direction to something very close. He looked and saw that one of his own was crippled and offered itself to him. A human shape lay on the ground, crumpled. One hand was raised. The palm glowed a lustrous gold, the only colour he could see. The host was inadequate to the mission. So the shining, brilliant part that was Epsilon Rex had transferred itself to one hand. Caleb went to the creature. It gave him a great sense of accomplishment to break off the hand and eat it. The new energy started to swim through him once it came in contact with his core.
The feeble message came again. He followed his Wreck senses to another crippled host. Its flesh was torn. Its power was diminished. The Life inside him had decided that it would be more constructive to bolster the power of another. Again, Caleb tore off the hand. These hosts were not evolved for chewing on their own hard inner shell. He had damaged something inside with the first one. So the second time, he avoided the same fate by gnawing the muscle from the bones. The Essence flowed to present itself in every soft bit of flesh.
He had consumed two other Essences and his skin became sharp, carrying messages from near and far.
There were many of them. Many hosts. In the distance was the Cause. But the Essence and their hosts were gathering fuel, first. It would take time. Caleb had to find a human. Active, warm, ripe for the Purity of Epsilon Rex. He walked in the general direction of the Cause, scanning the surroundings for a victim.