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CONTENT WARNING: claustrophobia, worm imagery, intrusive thoughts about one's own death, body horror, dismemberment, CD_ROM throwing herself down an elevator shaft (she's fine though).

CD_ROM opened her eyes. Groggily, she gazed around at her surroundings, taking in the this unfurnished floor of the highrise. It took another moment for mew to register that mew mewself was present in the room, prompting mew to shake mews head to try and clear the haze. As CD_ROM struggled to get up from her post on the carpeted floor, she moved her gaze down and realized that her mechanical skeleton and synthetic flesh had lost their shape during her rest, leading to an effect similar to a half-deflated balloon. Mew spent a few moments pulling mews form back together, carefully moving all of mews joints to make sure mew had done it correctly. Once she was satisfied, she heaved herself to her feet.

"Well... another day..." (HDMI:CD_ROM knew very well that there were not days anymore.). Mews remark and soft footsteps were the only thing to break the silence that encompassed the floors of the skyscraper as mew got up and began wandering once more. The pads of CD_ROM's fingers pressed up against the nearest window. She enjoyed the feeling of something cool and smooth in contrast to the rest of the muggy, carpeted building. She pressed her face against the glass to get a look outside. A haze, dimly lit by distant lights that created sillhouettes of a city below and beyond. Accompanying the view was the faint whistle... wind passing in-between (through?) buildings?

Mew turned away, prepared to find a way out, and then came to a halt... something was wriggling under mews feet. CD_ROM's eyes widened in realization as mews head pivoted downwards and mew saw all the fibers of the carpet moving. Each of them was a single, small worm that was rooted into the floor, some swaying as if underwater and others moving more energetically. The effect of an entire empty floor's worth of the wriggling carpet-worms sent tingling, crawling signals through CD_ROM's synthetic nervous system; she was sure she'd be sick at the sight if she had the ability. For a moment mew stood frozen in place, attention taken wholly by the worms' disturbing mesmerism... CD_ROM snapped back to lucidity as soon as mew registered the wriggling bodies of the worms that had begun to wrap themselves around her legs. She jolted, kicking the worms off and beginning to flee for a way out.

Higher and higher the worms grew as CD_ROM ran through the squirming chambers of the tower. From her ankles, to her shins, to her knees, up to her hips, like standing in a writhing field of grass. With increasing frequency a stray barb, or fin, or beak would catch her skin and open her flesh. The wounds did not bleed or last longer than a few seconds, but as worms sprouted even from the popcorn ceiling, mew could imagine mews body being shredded and passed around the squirming mass. Finally, emerging into a hall, she found an elevator. CD_ROM put all of her might into fighting the now chest-level sea of worms that coiled around her and cut her and threatened to drag her down. "Nearly there.. nearly..." a wave of the worms jostled mew forward. CD_ROM saw a vision of herself torn to tiny pieces, consumed by the organisms and living forever fractured within whatever their idea of a circle of life was.... BONK!

Mew had fallen right into the wall beside the elevator. With rejuvinated alertness CD_ROM hammered the "down" button and waited... holding on for just a few. more.. seconds... With a wet sound the elevator door, now composed of a mineralized shell, slid open to... the empty elevator shaft. There was no elevator in sight, but the worms that had begun to tear at her blossomed from the fleshy walls of the elevator shaft and she had to hold onto the doorframe just to keep herself from falling and she didn't know how much longer and- With a final roar of effort CD_ROM threw herself into the elevator shaft. The brief couple moments of weightlessness was a respite from the constant pressure of the squirm, but as mew closed mews eyes, mew could only envision the air whipping past her as rending claws.




CD_ROM woke up on damp, hard ground. Mew could see, but mews hearing was shot and mew not move or feel mews body. In the blurred edges of her vision she could see the motion like things crawling and writhing. No matter how much she strained she could not strain for a better look or scream or-- CLICK! The tinnitus-shock of the nerve clusters reconnecting hit mew like a truck. After an eternity, mew opened mews eyes once more and slowly raised mews static-filled head.

CD_ROM's body was in pieces from the shoulders down. With her synthflesh having lost cohesion and reduced to writhing on the ground, her internal machinery was almost completely exposed. Chrome armature, wires, ports, prongs; all open to the air and scattered. However, as she looked closer, she noticesmore and more that seemed out of place. Transparent blue-white organ sacks[Those... aren't the components that.. uuh...], white and gold wafers [I don't have any boards like that..], multi-chambered plasticine lumps that slowly beat [That... isn't how I circulate fluid...]. Mews confused horror was interrupted by a blob of synthflesh and mechanical parts snaking a nerve cord into mews spinal column. This jolt was short and easier to handle, though more soon followed. Soon all she could do was lay back and focus on the cacophony of clicking and squelching as her body wormed, squished, knitted, and weaved back together.