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67 Strange Infected

 Day 2 - 6:42 AM - City Mall Bacoor, 3rd Floor, TechZone

Mark brought everyone into another store that no one dared to use. It was because just one the other side of the door inside this store, the Biter Mark caught was kept. He actually wanted to tidy up his things like the laptops and the stuff he prepared there but was quite apprehensive to do at this moment. After all, the soldiers he talked to were still there. Before he went out, he tried to look for the armor he wore before but felt down when he saw the state of the armor. It was stained with his blood, filled with cracks on the torso and the chest part of the armor was in pieces. Aside from the arm guards, everything else on the armor was practically useless now.

While he was looking at his armor, Paula and Ange went out of the room. The two girls seemed to have something to say but with what just happened, they really looked awkward to do so.

Under the gaze of the two girls and the military soldiers, Mark found his weapons and left.

When he went out of the store, some of the people who saw him looked at him with shock. Mark was sure that they saw his state this evening and anyone would sure be shocked seeing a near death person recovered to perfect state in just one night. No, it was just a little less than nine hours.

Mark also saw the guys who participated in launching the fireworks on the rooftop along the way. James and Bernard looked fine but Fernan had his arm bandaged while Calvin had his leg lied up while he walked around with the help of a makeshift crutch. The two injured men looked at Mark who had far more severe injuries last night with envy. Mark was all healed up by now while they were still tied up with bandages.

Looking at the men, Mark noticed that they were not surprised by it at all. He then decided to ask them why. Apparently, the military already briefed the people there about the situation, about how the Pathogen, how it was transmitted, about how the people started to evolve and about the Mutants and Mutators. As he also needed to know about those things, he thought of asking them when an idea hit him and he looked towards his self-proclaimed servant. Since everyone was briefed about it, then he could just ask this woman later. They parted with the employees and went to this store.

Mark remembered about the Biter. He wanted to study the characteristics of the Biter but he was not able to because a lot of things happened.

He made Mei who was still a little dizzy sit on a chair. Her mental stability was already low in the first place and as such, Mark's accidental outburst affected her a bit too much.

"Do you feel fine now?"

"No... Gege, I feel nauseous."

She then raised her pale face towards Mark and requested something absurd.

"Gege... Hug."

Mei opened her arms towards her Gege. Mark sighed as he complied. After all, it was his fault this time. He put down Abbygale and went embraced Mei in his arms.

Like a melting ice cream, she slumped into his body and started to feel better.

'Just what the heck is this?'

Mark thought. Before, he thought nothing about what Mei said about what she felt when hugging him but now, he could believe her.

He was not doing anything else aside from hugging Mei but he could feel a thin stream of energy coming from him and entering her body in a gentle manner. He tried to strengthen the flow of energy a bit and under everyone's gaze, his eyes started to glow a faint milky light but vanished suddenly as he lost control of it.

As Mei felt fine now, she unwillingly let go of Mark who was in deep thought. Then, he heard Odelina's voice.

"Master, judging from the light that came from your eyes, it was the same energy as the ability Freed used to help me."

Mark looked at her. He finally got it. The consciousness trying to devour Odelina's before was full of rage and using this energy, Freed calmed that savage consciousness and helped her gain control of her body.

Still, Mark was more interested in learning to control releasing his mental energy to affect the consciousness of other people. He felt that it was more useful for him to learn than this ability.

As Mei was fine now, he decided to check the Biter inside the room. He learned from Odelina that the soldiers wanted to clear this store out and kill the infected he caught but the men earlier prevented them from doing so.

When he entered, he saw the rolled up Biter on the floor. She was not rolling at the floor anymore but it was visible that she was alive as her head was still moving.

Mark removed the cloths and rags that was now stained with blood and somehow also reeked of urine tied on her body leaving the wires that tied up the Biter's wrists and legs. Still, she looked weak. She was not moving erratically unlike before.

"What's wrong with her?"

Odelina asked in confusion. It was obvious that this was an infected but she was not behaving like one at all. The first thing that an infected would do upon seeing a human was try to attack but this one did not and just lied quietly on the floor.

"Maybe it's hungry?"

Mark looked at the corner of the room where several severed limbs was piled. When the employees were cleaning the TechZone yesterday, Mark requested Bernard to take at least three limbs from different kinds of bodies. One was from a dead body that did not turn while the other two was from dead Biters and Eaters.

He was thinking that how could a Biter, who had still working body functions could maintain their bodies if they were not eating and just biting their victims.

He took a slice from each kind of limbs. He could differentiate the limbs due to the appearance distinct to the infected and not which made him sure about it. Mark then tried to feed the weakened Biter.

The result made him surprised. She actually ate what he gave her and not only that. She ate all the same. She devoured it like no tomorrow. Odelina and Mei who was watching were also surprised. About Abbygale, she was calmly watching without any reaction at all.

Mark then thought that there was something wrong here. It was unlikely for the infected to eat one another or else, they would be starting to fight one another and brought the end of the apocalypse by themselves. Furthermore, this Biter in front of them was just looking at them without any reaction at all. She was just blankly staring at looking like a docile animal.

"It's strange."

Mark said while looking at the tied up Biter on the floor. He then picked up a limb and put the limb in front of her. She then started to munch on the limbs eating ravenously. She finished all the limbs leaving just bones in a few minute. However, she returned to her blank state after eating.

What happened was very far from what they thought. Even after eating all those flesh, instead of becoming lively again, the Biter continued behaving docile.

An idea entered his mind. Mark tried baiting the Biter using his own hand. He was surprised once more. The Biter looked at the hand he was waving in front of her then looked at Mark before slumping on the floor again.

"What the hell?"

Mark gave up. He stood up and faced the girls.

"There is something wrong with this one. What do you think?"

"I also think so Master. Did it mutate in a docile variant of infected?"

Odelina asked with her index finger on her chin. Mei also nodded with what Odelina said.

"Though that is not impossible, what gives? It was really the opposite of what a zombie should behave. It's not like we are on a comedy horror movie."

Mark turned to the Biter on the floor and touched her head. The Biter just looked at him and did nothing else. He then tried to channel his mental energy like how Freed did with Odelina in order to save her. He was not really sure if this would work as he could not really control the ability yet but it's worth a try for an experiment.

Like other zombies, Mark could not feel any mental or emotional fluctuation from this Biter making him sure that she was still a zombie but just what was going on with her?

The stream of energy entered the Biters head. What happened next was unexpected. The Biter closed her eyes and stopped moving. He was startled. Did it die?

Mark then hurriedly turned the Biter making her lay down on her back and checked her heartbeat. It was still beating and even stronger. He then found out what was happening.

She was sleeping!

Mark then turned at the two women who were glaring at him.

"What's wrong with you two?"

"Gege, did you just touch her..."

"Master, do you have that kind of fetish?"

The two then received a glare Mark making the two frozen.

"Could you two clean your minds for a bit? I just checked her heartbeat and nothing else."

"But Master, you could just use to check the pulse or her breathing."

"What are you talking about? I may know many things but I'm not an expert. It is harder to check for the pulse than the heartbeat. About checking her breathing, why don't you try to risk it. What if she suddenly bit me while I check?"

With that, Odelina shut up.

"Also, why would I go for an infected woman when there is a beautiful girl always following me?"

Mark looked at Mei making her heart beat faster and her face turned beet red.

"If you two have unhealthy thoughts, leave me out of it alright? Unless you want to make me angry."

Mark then stood up. He decided to leave this sleeping zombie for later. It was strange but it just sparked up his gamer instinct. It felt like getting a rare character in a draw for a free character card.

There were also other pressing things he needed to address. One of those was to find a vehicle. As he could not rely anymore on sending the girls to the Evacuation Zone, he might as well bring them with him. Odelina could also act as their guard since she was a Mutant. And for this, he needed a good vehicle to use.