He had trouble remembering who he was or where. He didn’t know if he was male … or if “she” was a female. All he recognized was the darkness. Then, he remembered his name, Marvin; and memories fell into place like photos in an album. He awoke to a gnawing that devoured him from the inside. He had no way out. He was stuck in the dark, in a capsule floating in space. Marvin Naivan was an astronaut exploring a debris field left behind by an exploding star. The events that unfolded should never have occurred. He was an experienced pilot and an astrophysicist, but he wasn’t prepared for what he discovered. No one could have been ready for the unpredictable. He recalled the starlight that reflected off his naked body as he floated inside the space capsule. He had always taken pride in his physical appearance: chiseled muscles and lean body. He was aroused by the memory and it reminded him of the hunger and how his addiction began … The objects he collected were sealed in a containment chamber, but it wasn’t strong enough to stop the imminence from creeping across the metal barrier. He couldn’t describe it. He didn’t know if it had hatched, but he was sucked into it like an insect absorbed by a deadly flower. He had no control. Marvin’s brain and body no longer belonged to him. The thing from the locker used him like a rag to mop up the fluids left over from an orgy. He was worn down, exhausted beyond his mortal limits. But, still, he couldn’t get enough. He realized the intensity of the addiction could only lead to his destruction – but he could not help himself. Periodically he blacked out from strain and physical depletion, but he would immediately awaken by the hunger for more. Whenever starlight illuminated the cabin he could see reflections of himself. His once beautiful body was breaking down. He had stopped eating as his addiction became more intense. His body resembled a sack of distended flesh, bloated and sagging. Marvin was becoming a shadow, totally subsumed by the thing from the sealed compartment.
He was observed through a small portal. The man on the cot was very old. The doctor spoke into a diagnostic computer. “Patient X has been in a coma for two years. He is still contagious and must remain in a sealed containment chamber under surveillance. The outbreak continues to spread. The first signs of infection are increases in hormonal production resulting in sexual arousal followed by delusions and ending in the onset of a perpetual coma. No end in sight. We’ve been unable to track down the source of the infection.”