Friday Friends – from ‘Welcome to the Madhouse’ by S.E. Sasaki

Blazing, maddened, scarlet eyes turned to focus on Grace out of the depths of black wrinkles. The sclerae of the gorilla soldier’s eyes were a brilliant red, his irises a deep, dark brown. His pupils were enormous. Grace knew immediately that this soldier had been exposed to trifluoroquinthiomataze, a gaseous weapon used in biological warfare which, when inhaled, caused psychosis, paranoia, eventual blindness, and ultimately, death.

Grace was suddenly shoved flat to the ground, her right cheek bouncing hard off of the rough floor. The enraged gorilla soldier dove over top of her, like a rocket whizzing by. She realized that this delusional gorilla soldier had probably just been brought in from a battlefield where Tri-FQ had been released. In his gas-induced psychosis, there was no telling what he was seeing or thinking. He desperately needed the antidote.

The torn chains flapping from his limbs clearly indicated that he had broken the restraints that had been for his own safety, as well as others. Grace suspected the medics had run out of the antidote for Tri-FQ in the field. They were always prepared for its possible release. Unfortunately, this powerful gorilla soldier had managed to tear himself loose in his madness. Space only knew what was going on in the soldier’s mind. The bright red sclerae indicated that the gorilla soldier was heading rapidly down the road towards insanity and irreversible disease.

It was paramount that Grace get the antidote into him as quickly as possible.

“Get me a syringe full of 100 milligrams of Antiquint along with 1 gram of Stilzine, stat!” Grace screamed at a silver android, standing off to one side of the engagement, just as the two tiger soldiers leaped on top of the infuriated gorilla soldier and attempted to hold him down. They were both flung away, as if they were mere insects, and the Tri-FQ poisoned gorilla again made a charge straight for Grace.

‘Why me?’ a little voice in Grace’s head wailed, as she watched the enraged gorilla soldier stampede straight towards her. All she could focus on were the reds of the combat soldier’s eyes, as she tensed for the inevitable impact. A split second before he slammed into her, the grizzly bear sergeant leaped into the gorilla soldier’s path and threw a right hook that Grace thought would have crumpled a space shuttle.

The gas-crazed gorilla soldier just shook off the punch and threw one of his own. The sergeant grunted with the impact but stood his ground. Grace gawked as the two titans began swinging their massive fists, striking each other with punishing blows. Grace was then struck in her abdomen by a diving wolfman, who tackled her out of the way, just as the grizzly bear sergeant was forced backwards by the advancing gorilla. The sergeant stomped onto the spot Grace had just vacated.

The two genetically modified soldiers, grizzly bear versus gorilla, roared deafeningly at each other. They continued rapidly launching lethal punches, kicks, and blocks, inhumanly and powerfully fast. Staccato-like, the impacts of those furious assaults rang out loudly in the Receiving Bay. Grace could barely see the movement of their swinging limbs, they flew so fast. She knew that any one of those punches, connecting with her body, would have left her in a puddle of broken bones.

Skidding across the floor, wrapped within the wolfman’s arms, Grace finally came to rest at the feet of the silver android. Silently and gracefully, it bent down and offered her a filled syringe with a long, large bore needle. On the side of it was neatly printed Antiquint and Stilzine, with the accompanying milligram dosages. It was enough drug to fell a creature twenty times Grace’s size and weight. With no time to thank the android, Grace found herself air-born again, her right hand clutching the syringe tightly. Tossed from the wolfman to the orangutan soldier, who then whipped her up over his shoulderalmost making her drop the syringe!she was carried up the side of the space shuttle.

Quick on the orangutan’s heels was the gorilla, who had managed to throw his grizzly bear opponent out of the way. Grace stared directly into maddened, blood red eyes, as the gorilla soldier shrieked his frustration, lunging after her. She saw the two tigers then leap onto the crazed gorilla’s back, grabbing an arm each, while the wolf dove to wrap his arms around the gorilla’s legs. The grizzly bear sergeant then rushed up between the two tigers and locked his great arms around the drug-crazed soldier’s chest, pinning the gorilla’s arms in a tight bear hug from behind. The sergeant began slowly squeezing the chest of the huge gorilla soldier while the other three men held on, anchoring him in place. The psychotic gorilla struggled, but the grizzly bear’s arms held firm, the sergeant’s face etched with strain.

“Hold him tight,” ordered Grace, in a loud, commanding voice. “And put me down!” she hollered at the orangutan. The apeman released Grace so suddenly, she slid off the side of the space shuttle and almost fell to her knees. Cursing, she raised the precious syringe high in the air to protect it.

You can pick up Welcome to the Madhouse first book in The Grace Lord Series by Sharon Sasaki for free!

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