A third Wreck had joined them. The host was a woman. Caleb felt comfortable with these two shuffling abominations because they were like him. They produced an aura. The radiance of the Essence inside. Together, they were part of something important. They were all on the same journey.
Varsity’s geography was 90% suburban homes and trees. But the people had to do something for kicks. So there was a bar on one corner of a square, proudly ruling the roost over a handful of unlit shopfronts. Caleb and his brethren stopped to assess the potential of the new environment. The bar had several windows and the doors and downstairs windows were boarded up. There would be a large area inside where people could hide. He and his allies needed to check this potential warren. Everything Caleb did now was singular. He suspended one action to begin another. Then had to start from scratch and decide what to do next because he’d forgotten what he was doing before.
The three Wrecks split up and each looked in a different window. Inside was dark. Caleb turned his head to listen for sounds close by. It was difficult to tell what was relevant and what was just ongoing sound. Ep Rex had corroded that part of his brain. But he was not impatient. He stood for several minutes. The group were like Zombie Secret Service standing there, looking around, listening.
A noise came from the back of the bar. To Caleb it was unidentifiable. But the aura of his kindred changed. It pulsed with a new sensation. It felt like hunger. The hunger of an addict. His brother had identified the source of that sound as a victim, a resource that they had to capture. Caleb hurried. His host body pounded like a robot, lurching around the corner. He followed his brother and sister towards the sound at the back of the building.
Somebody had opened a high window and was looking out. There were several of them. Good, clean, pure humans. The shape of their heads was a beacon. Their eyes and mouths were symbols of new life. They were talking loud and fast. Caleb couldn’t understand them any more but he knew that there was fear and insistence in their voices.
One of the two climbed out and hung from the window. The other stifled a shout. There was a chainlink fence between the Wrecks and their victim and all three started to claw their way through it. Caleb was not an expert at climbing but he knew that gripping with his hands was a means of locomotion. He and the others made headway by half-climbing and half-crushing the fence. The rasping, scraping sound added to the human cries. The sound of the screams was reaching other Wrecks. They came from the trees, from the next streets. They sensed the auras of Caleb and his brethren. They could read the message. They ceased their endless wandering and came toward the sound and the resources promised.
The man glanced at the Wrecks. Their strength was overwhelming the links of the fence. He panicked and let go of the window. He hit the ground and started running. But he had broken something. And there was fence or wall on all sides. Caleb could not sense impending victory. But the man could sense his defeat very sharply. He scrambled like a spider in a sink.
The female host was lighter and more agile than Caleb or his brother. As they pulled down the fence, she got over it. She fell into the alley and scrambled forward on all fours. A strange movement like a dog running backwards that momentarily confused Caleb since she no longer looked human.
She made it to the victim. The other humans screamed again. Two more Wrecks had come to the group. They watched what happened next. The victim fought furiously, kicking and punching, but he was made stupid by panic. He injured himself with his own flailing. She managed to grab both of his arms in a bear-like grip, and he was pinned like a prisoner in irons. The Wreck did nothing more. She could sense the flow of Essence from the palms of her hands, through the cuts in his skin, to his bloodstream. She just held him and waited.
For Caleb, this part of it was over. He was as satisfied as if he had captured the victim himself. Because the new life, the resource it represented, was for all of them. It added more Essence to Epsilon Rex. That was their purpose, and it didn’t matter which host achieved it.