"From Fluidic to Frantic"
[previous "From Feared to Fluidic"]

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Setting: MASQUERADE DREAMS, Room 22-143 (Jayson)
Stardate: 30152.1440

He could not have returned to his room fast enough.  He had been the one carrying the body of the bomber when it started to disintegrate, and later on he was pretty sure that some of the ooze had touched the bottom of his shoes.  For all he knew, there could have been some of the liquefied remains land on his clothes and make its way through them to his skin.

Doctor Mizore had been way too casual about the entire thing.  All that the OPS officer could think of was him turning out the way the bomber had: as a pool of biomatter on the floor.  If Shar'El had thought that he had run fast while holding the bomb, she should have seen him making his way through the corridors of the cruise liner.

Commander Shar'El had been very calm about the whole thing as well; then again she had not been the one who had carried the body.  At least she had seemed understanding enough to let Jayson rush back to his room as soon as possible.  He thought that he had heard her chuckle when he left, but he had been in too much of a hurry to look back and investigate.

The door to his room had not fully closed behind him when his clothes had been ripped from his body.  There would be ample time to burn them afterwards, but right now he needed a shower. Urgently!  The sight would have been hilarious to anyone else, but to Jayson it had been nothing short of a matter of life and death. His!

Jayson grinned as he thought of the classification of the MASQUERADE DREAMS. It being a *luxury* cruise ship meant that there had not been any sonic showers in the passengers' room, but genuine water showers.  As the water fell on his naked form, the scrubber in his hand had been frantically traveling over every inch of his body.

As he continued to cleanse his skin of whatever residue might had been there, Jayson began to worry.  If his body had begun to liquefy as had that of the bomber, there would be no way for him to know while being in the shower.  How would he be able to tell apart the water from his own fluids?

In a moment of panic Jayson jumped out of the shower and dried himself as quickly as possible, trying to see if the feeling of wetness on his skin could actually be removed.  It took only a minute for him to get completely dry, a sensation that rejoiced the man more than he could have every imagined.

Dry, naked, and standing outside of the shower, Jayson began to feel cold and itchy.  Had he missed a spot? Was his skin beginning to peal from his body?  Frantically he jumped back into the shower and once again began to scrub his skin as if his life depended on it, which as far as he had been concerned had been what was happening.

It took him several more minutes before he realized that the itchy sensation had been caused by his having scrubbed his skin far too roughly.  Small lines of blood had begun for form on his arms and legs making him see just how paranoid he had been.

Having finally calmed himself enough to think straight, Jayson wrapped himself in the last dry towel and headed for the living area. There he would sit and rest for a little while as he let the painful itchiness of his skin remain untouched.

Maybe being bored on this mission would have been a better option than being frantic about the prospect of melting into an unrecognizable pool of biomatter ooze.

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Jayson Sousa

Ensign Jayson Stark
Chief of Operations
USS ANUBIS, NCC-18501