The smell was worse than when Dill had failed a skateboard stunt and landed in a dog poo bin. "Oh my god!" he covered what remained of his nose with his hand. "What is that?"
"My experiment." Sam twitched off the cloth covering what Dill had assumed was a fish tank, revealing the true horror inside. "I reanimated them all."
Dill had to dare himself to go closer. Inside the tank an undead squirrel limped across a surface of dried mud. What parts of its body weren't being attacked by a grey funguus were home to a number of insects. Cockroaches clustered around a pair of small birds and formed a scaled spinal exoskeleton while butterflies and other insects festooned its tail. Its movement was hampered by the beginning of a wasp nest on one leg. He looked aghast at Sam. "Why? For god's sake, Sam, why?"
Sam covered the tank again. The paisley patterned cloth reminded Dill of his grandmother's budgie cage, and he suddenly realised why the two birds on the squirrel's back looked familiar.
Sam handed him a report sheet. "The process works. Reanimated creatures no longer function as individuals but as hive creatures. Think of the military applications."
"What military applications?"
"Think of a whole army of soldiers functioning as a hive."
Dill shook his head. "What would be the point? Why would you even consider creating such an abominaton?"
Sam picked up another sheet of paper, this time with the heading 'Ministry of Defence.' "Look at the funding advance."