The ordinary looking man moved through the mall, looking nervously at the security guards who walked toward him, then past him, as they
accosted a young man who had entered the mall behind him. He breathed a sigh of relief and fired off a quick prayer to the God he wasn’t sure he
believed in. It needed to be done in the center of the mall, where it would affect the most people. And it needed to be done soon.
He knew that this shell was only a temporary home to his consciousness, that he still existed half a world away. Still he feared the death he would
soon be bringing to himself. To these others, infidels who moved along in their futile search for happiness in the worship of their false God. He cringed
for an instant as a camera swept toward him, fighting to keep his composure as the lens tracked him for a moment before moving on.
Not that it should have noticed him. He looked like a normal Caucasian citizen of this region of the Great Satan, not standing out in any respect.
Brown hair, green eyes, with a tan that obviously came from a salon. Average height, slightly overweight like most of the people around him, he gave
nothing away. But he still felt nervous. This was the test that would let him know if all the other actions he had planned would be feasible.
He bustled his way through the crowd, brushing shoulders with people absorbed in their own tasks. Ahead was his target, the food court in the
center of the mega-mall. Crowded with people enjoying their meals, talking with friends or just moving through on their way to stores.
The man bit down on hard on the upper left molar, which cracked under the pressure, releasing an acrid taste into his mouth. Death, he knew.
Death that would soon take him into its arms. He could already feel it working on the tissues of his mouth like an acid, entering the cells, turning them
into miniature factories that reproduced it, until it burst the cells and spread the virus on to other still living cells. Like any other hemorrhagic virus, but
a hundred thousand times faster in its action.
Next he could feel the tissues of his throat begin to convulse as they were attacked. He realized that the virus was working its way down, and
would soon attack his internal systems. All of the test subjects had died within five minutes of exposure, some within as little as three minutes. All had
died in agony, and nothing could be done for any of them using the medical science known to his people.
The man took a deep breath into his lungs, already feeling the pain of expanding his chest. He blew out a breath, and then pulled in another one,
letting it out as well. On the third breath he felt the agonizing pain in his guts that foretold the damage being done to his internal systems. He coughed,
feeling the blood rising up from his lungs. People looked up at him, alarm and confusion on their faces.