Daylight is fading quickly. He struggles to find his knife, his last defense. The evening light has waned, and his hand grasps nothing but dirt and rock. His knuckles are bleeding; he can hear them approaching now.

"Be careful down there." she said, smiling nervously. "You have to come home to me."

With every passing second it seems to get darker and darker. He screams at himself in his mind, just as the footsteps approach. Someone's hand grabs his back and shoves him down. As he falls, he sees a glimmer in the shadows, the sharp shine of metal.

He grins back at her, a grin of confidence and of reassurance. "I always come home, don't I?"

The dirt enters his mouth, and he gags at the dryness that fills his throat. He cries out when a boot slams into his side, and he feels his ribs shatter with an explosion of pain. The sun is almost gone now, and with it, his only hope of salvation.

"You know what I mean." she answers with a touch of reprobation in her voice. "Just be careful."

His arm is grabbed, and he is turned over roughly. Two sneering alien visages come into his sight, just as a fist comes down and connects with his eyes. His vision in his left eyes starts to waiver, then blacks out. They are all beating him now, and pain seems to be coming from everywhere. A sticky substance starts to run down the right side of his face, blocking his remaining sight, and the world goes dark around him.

"I love you." he offers, and a smile comes to her face. He moves forwards and kisses her gently.

A hand reaches out in a final attempt to change his fate. Two fingers catch the end of a blade, and he picks the knife up. He brings it down blindly, and hears one of them cry out in pain. Victory. His cracked and bleeding lips form the ghost of a smile, just as another one takes out a weapon.

He pulls away, and steps into the shuttle with a final look of goodbye. She gazes after him, just as a foreboding feeling enters her.

The alien face looks down at him with contempt. The weapon is pointed down at his face, and it knows that it is his time. He meets that look of contempt with a smile, and spits up into the other's face. The alien aims his weapon, and with one final expression of hatred, pulls the trigger device.

"I love you too." she whispers after him, as the shuttle leaves.

A deafening blast comes to his ears, then nothing. Darkness overtakes Malcolm Reed, one final time.