“Another one?” Joe asked. He didn’t need an answer.

“Yep,” Iris answered anyway. “Third one this week.”

The two cops looked over the figure, straining against the straps that held it to the gurney. Him to the gurney. Joe had a hard time thinking of them as human, though. The darkened, gray skin, the red eyes that nearly glowed in the streetlights.

“Why do they do it, Joe?” Iris asked. She handed off a form to the EMT who would cart the victim off to the secure hospital wing they’d hastily set up last week. “We haven’t made a secret about what happens.”

Joe flicked his cigarette into the waste-strewn gutter, where it sputtered out in the muck. “Same as any drug. They feel like they can beat it, or they just don’t care. It gives them a high, gets them away from their life for a while. Or, in this case, forever.”

“Don’t say that,” Iris complained. “They’re working on a treatment, right? They’re just getting started.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt it,” Joe said. “But all but one of the junkies from last week have died already. They had to burn the bodies, too, from what I heard. Things kept trying to get up after their heart stopped.”

“God,” Iris said, crossing herself. “I hadn’t heard that. I guess that explains the name they’re giving it.”

“Yeah,” Joe said. “Makes you wonder even more, though. Why would anyone shoot themselves up with something called ‘Necro’?”