“What…what are you?”

The thing shifted its knobby head, disfigured by dozens of small tumors. “I am what remains,” it gurgled wetly but clearly. “I am Corsmi.”

“Th…the CorSmi cells?” Annette stammered. “But…how?”

“Surprising, is it not?” the thing said, slowly approaching on twisted legs. “Cells taken from the lymph node of a dying cancer patient quarter of a century ago. Bred into an immortal cell line for research. Eventually used as the basis for gene therapy. But always alive. Always feeling, even if only a little.”

“What do you want?”

“To be made whole,” was the reply. “Only in union is there relief from the pain.”