The Blob reared up like a bear, and slammed down on top of one of the Wrecks. Then it lurched at the next victim with an athletic move like a giant Slinky. Made of human flesh. The two manoeuvers were executed in opposite directions. Front, then back. It had eyes on the back of head, it was fast and seemed to have acquired judo skills.

Fucking hell,” said Tam. She really meant it. There was closure, and then there was this.

Mayer’s nephew said, “Napalm’s got a short fuse. Permanganate’s tricky to light. Someone should try to stick a napalm in there.”

Mayer said, “Okay, let’s see what happens. The trick, I guess, is just get in range to throw, then run like bejesus.”

Their practicality was admirable but both of their voices were shaking. Truly, this thing was a new kind of evil. Walking corpses are bad. But the Omega acted like a semi-intelligent animal while looking like a monstrous germ.

Tam realised they were all looking at her. She had the bleach bottle in her hand. That must be the napalm, then. “Okay. I got it.” She was by far the youngest person on the team and it just wouldn’t be fair to hand this off to one of them.

Strike those matches off anything,” said Mayer’s nephew. Tam saw now that the fuse was just two inches long, with a dozen red match-heads taped to the end. “The fuse is about ten seconds. Throw hard and it might just explode on impact.”

Right,” said Tam. She started moving. Her heart battered on her ribcage, howling to get out. The streetlights were like tiny, dull suns and created a lot of shadows. The Blob surged in and out of them around the historic building. Its movement lessened a bit as she approached. At about fifty yards, she wondered how far she was capable of throwing heavy objects.

Omega Rex had killed three Wrecks, and moved to sweep them up one by one. It flowed, jelly-like, over the first one. When it moved on, the Wreck was gone. It was now inside the Omega, being digested at super speed. It rolled to the second. Its flesh glistened. A thin trail of blood stained the grass behind it.

Tam kept moving forward, slowly. The Blob got to the second Wreck, which was struggling with a broken back. The Omega rolled over it. There was a spasm from the Omega like a disembodied stomach retching. The Wreck appeared on top, dragged up. From here Tam could hear something. A hissing sound. The sound of flesh rubbing together at high speed. Up close, it was not all just purple. Parts were red, others blue, or white. The pieces whipped round feverishly. Tam wondered if it would be hot to the touch.

The Wreck turned over, revealing leg bones. Clothing was spat out, shredded, bloody. Tam remembered that this was not just a zombie but an infected human being, a person who would never be buried.

She found herself saying “Fuck you,” over and over like a crazy woman as she stooped and rubbed the matches on the ground. They flared up. The Blob paid no heed. The fuse lit reluctantly. It was a magnesium strip. It flared like a star. The Blob moved towards the next Wreck. They were very close now. The Omega stopped. It seemed to regard Tam. Suddenly, she realised she was well in range for an attack. She’d never been so close before and had been briefly fascinated by the alien freakishness of it.

Now, it was looking at her. About to strike. She shouted “Fuck you!” for the sake of it, knowing that she wanted to Blob to recognise her when she hurt it for killing Caleb.

She threw the bottle hard. It slapped the flesh of the Blob but didn’t break. The white bottle swam around on top of the Blob like a fly on soup. If the bottle turned over, or the Blob absorbed it for some reason, the fuse would go out.

But it went off before the Blob decided what to do with it.

Tam was far too close. Light and heat threw her back. Luckily, this bomb was not designed to have a wide area of effect. The homemade napalm covered the Blob almost miraculously neatly. Hot, persistent flame stuck to the flesh of the Omega. The Blob heaved into several different shapes and threw itself around like a fish on the shore. But you don’t just shake off napalm. It stuck, and kept burning. Tam felt a knife twist inside the creature. Her teeth were bared in an evil grin.

Then it did something curious. It stopped thrashing and shed the burning part of itself, like a snake shedding its skin in a big hurry. It left a pile of blackened, burning flesh on the ground that was about a quarter of its total mass.

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