"How much longer you think the fire will last?"

I took a swig from the whiskey bottle resting by my feet. Almost empty.


The figure slumped against the wall infront of me didnt reply. I might have shaken him if my hands werent nearly frozen to the bottle. I just called out again.


Nothing. He was dead, and I wasnt too far from joining him. Ah well, we did what we needed to do. That thing, whatever the hell it was, was dead. Unless... unless it had got to Childs. Maybe he was just playing dead... waiting for the rescue team. It didnt matter anymore. It couldnt freeze again, we'd blown up the areas deep under the outpost. It sure as hell couldnt freeze out here in the open, not well enough anyhow. I took another swig of whiskey, finishing the bottle. There wasnt anything left to do now. Everyone dead, no chance of that thing being in anyone now. Blair, Palmer, Childs, Copper, Norris, Bennings, Clark, Garry, Fuchs, Windows and Nauls. Come to think of it I never actualy saw Nauls die. Even if the thing didnt get him he would have been killed by the explosion. Unless he found another way out of the basement. Shit. I tried to move but I was too numb. Damit, I could have done all this for nothing if Nauls was infected. Ah who gives a fuck anyway? By the time the rescue team gets here, ill be long dead. Itl be their problem, not mine. Oh no, ill be right here, a human ice cube. Still, there is always a chance that it could find me and rip me to shreds, not as nice a way to go compared to being frozen. I tried to get up again, this time my legs responded to my brain and I stood up. Great MacReady, great, now what. I stumbled over to Childs. He had a ski mask hanging from his neck. I pulled the mask over his head, and put it over mine. Somehow it didnt feel right, taking things off dead men. I carried on looting Childs corpse anyway. He didnt have much worth taking. A revolver loaded with one bullet, I think it was Garry's, or maybe Blair's, I couldnt remember. Apart from the revolver, there wasnt much else. I took the revolver and stuffed it inside my coat. It might be handy if I needed a quick exit, other than that I couldnt realy think of another use for one bullet. Maybe God was trying to tell me something. I started walking off into the blizzard , but before I did, I hurled the empty whisky bottle into the dying fire. The fire roared in protest, and stayed strong.

"Stay warm Childs."

I couldnt see a damn thing, although I was wearing Child's ski mask. The visor just kept clouding up every five seconds, and prety soon I stopped wiping it. Instead I pulled the mask down to my neck, and let it rest on my chest. The wisdom of my plan was starting to fade. By plan I mean stumbling around in the snow looking for Nauls. Then I spotted the familier outline of my shack in the white distance. Well technicaly my shack was no longer there, all that remained was two walls and a door frame. At the time I didnt think to spare the shack, even though it could have offered no advantage whatsoever to... to... well whatever the hell that thing was. I faught against the wind and stumbled towards the charred remains of the shack. I didnt know what I expected to find there, but it sure beat the hell out of staying in the complete open, freezing my ass off. Upon walking under the door frame I saw... nothing. And I do mean nothing. No draws, no books, no papers. Not even my old chess computer. Come to think of it I think I destroyed that piece of crap anyway. Before all this shit happened. I got down on my hands and knees and started patting away the snow, half expecting to find a gun, or a map or somthing. No such luck. I carried on my hopeless search anyway, half out of bordem, and half because I didnt know what else to do. After a few minuits of searching I found a small hatch in the blackend wooden floor. I padded the snow of it and cranked it open with a piece of broken wood next to me. Upon opening my new discovery, I soon rememberd what it was. My secret stash. I used to stuff a few casual things in there. Whiskey, tapes, a knife, and I think... yeh a torch. I used to hide all that stuff down there because of Palmer mainly. He used to come up to my shack and have a drink sometimes. I didnt want him thinking I had any more whiskey than I was drinking with him, because I knew he'd steal it. Still he was a prety descent guy, little nuts maybe, but still descent. It's a shame that thing got to him... got to everyone. My track of thought was disterved by a loud crash down the steps behind me. It was hardly audioble over the blizzard, but there was definatley a crash. I looked at the few tapes I had in my stash, a lot of Stranglers stuff mainly. I didnt have anything to play them on now, but I scooped them up anyway, in the small chance that id find an undamaged tape player in the charred remains of the rest of the outpost. I also pulled out my torch, my knife, and a bottle of whiskey id drink later. That is if I survived checking out whatever that crash was...