The third time he counted he held fingers for the rest of the crew to see. Each previous count had gotten progressively more serious until the number of fingers in the air numbered 7. It should have been 9 and the missing two scared the snot out of him. He elbowed the Plexiglas box on the wall shattering the faceplate into tiny shards, then pressed the big red button. That brought the air tight doors down and the claxon blazing in everyone’s ears. 30 seconds later the Klaxon stopped leaving a vacuum in everyone’s hearing and a tinny voice announcing that all personal were accounting for.

2 Glyphadons were lose, only they weren’t because the tinny voice said everyone was accounted for. Commander Nekk tapped his ear initiating a link with security. “Negative Control, we’re missing 2 Glyphadons here. “ Nekk could hear the sign through the bulkhead. Glyphs, as everyone called them were dangerous creatures who could take the shape, memories and even DNA from their victims. The 9 Glyph’s they started the journey with were held in electrostatic stasis containers. Somehow 2 containers either failed or were tampered with.

Two Glyphs were on the loose. Worse, they were still in the room, standing in the exact same spot as two of the 15 crewmen before him. 13 good men. 2 imposters and no test devised by man could tell them apart.

Nekk, tapped his ear again, “Security, Nekk here. You should space the lot of us. Those two Glyphs get loose there’s no telling how quickly they’d take over the home world. Don’t take the risk.” It was then that Nekk was rushed and overpowered. He felt someone dig into his ear and remove his communicator with security. Within seconds his hands were bound behind his back and someone had stuffed a shirt in his mouth. He was helpless.

He heard Brody, his second in command, yell into the communicator that no one, under no circumstances was going to space anyone. Worst that was going to happen to anyone was spending time in quarantine until the Science division could sort out who was who. So chill out everyone! That calmed everyone down because it was reasonable and exactly what protocol said was supposed to happen. Nekk, felt someone kick him in the ribs just for good measure.

Brody took out his side arm, rotated the bezel to maximum and vaporized the 7 remaining stasis containers. The smell of vaporized metals mixed with organic materials was sickening. Nekk had no choice but to breathe in the fumes. The others were doing better since they were able to cover their noses.

Inside Nekk’s lungs the organic material from the Glyphs were being absorbed and passed into his blood stream. Glyph organic code began to slowly multiply and grow. It would take months before Glyph DNA would supplant human, but it would happen. Quarantine typically lasted 6 months, but no matter it could have lasted 6 years. When the time was right his Glyph self would emerge, like a butterfly from its cocoon. That’s when the real work would begin.

A decade later, standing in the middle of the carnage of what was once the homeworld of a proud and arrogant species. The creature once known as Nekk thought they should have taken his advice and spaced them all. As it was the blood was harder to clean up than he thought. Who knew humans had so much of it.

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