10/14/22 Revisions, GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND: 67800/80000.



The worst part? The bastard spoke not a word. Even after I pulled myself away from his gnawing mouth, he just stared at me with protruding eyes, visibly willing me to be mesmerized. He never blinked, either. He just let the blood now coming out from his tear ducts to flow freely, as the two of us scrambled for some kind of balance or position.
He wasn’t strong enough to pull me forward, but damned if he wasn’t trying, right up to the moment I kneed him in the groin. I’ll admit it, now: it was blind luck, but it did the trick. It made him even more spastic, but now his flailing muscles included his hands, and as he let go of me I scrambled back, looking for the pen…
“Three inches by your left hand,” The Process said helpfully, and with no more emotion than it would have shown if I had asked where my coffee cup is. “The cap will need to be manually removed.” It’s unsettling, how calm The Process can be, but I decided I didn’t have time to care. So I shoved the pen into the closest visible flesh the guy had, because I decided I didn’t have time to care about the side-effects of doing that, either.
He didn’t die, either, so lucky him? I mean, he sort of died, in the sense that his metabolism iced over as the drug took hold. It was the kind of dead you can get better from, though. Assuming that the crash team did its job.
I wish the sonuvabitch had closed his eyes before they froze cloudy, though. He was still staring at me when they zipped him into the crash bag. Like he still wanted nothing better out of life than to watch me follow him down to nightmarish death.