She could still hear him yelling.
She could still feel his blood drying on her hands.
There hadn't been time to save him.
There hadn't been time to do anything other than run.
It was behind her somewhere, feasting on its kill. He had sacrificed himself to buy her some time and she hoped to God that it would be enough.
A crash. A scream. It was coming for her.
Her legs were on fire as she tried to run just that little bit faster. Body pushed beyond the point of exhaustion, she realised she couldn't go much further.
She had to be close now. Please. God.
The attack came without warning.
Vicious. It would kill without regret, without mercy … It tried to rip her throat out, the claws grazing the tender skin as she threw herself backwards. It screamed again as it caught the scent of blood in the air... as it could almost taste its kill.
She couldn't die here. She wouldn't die here.
She found her gun but a combination of sweat and blood made it difficult to pull the trigger and the weapon almost slipped from her fingers. Knowing she couldn't kill the creature, she blew one of its legs off. Not enough... not nearly enough to stop it coming after her.
Slower now. Giving her the chance to draw ahead. She wasn't quite in position but she might not get another chance. It was now or never.
The device fit into the palm of her hand. So small … for something that could theoretically save the human race. She set it down carefully and stood back. The air in front of her distorted slightly. It was the only indication she had that anything had changed.
Another scream and she realised that she had waited too long. Injured it might have been but it was still strong, still relentless. She darted to one side, only to find herself caught in its remaining front leg. It held her in the air for a few seconds, before throwing her into the nearest tree. She knew she had to kill it. While it was alive, she couldn't risk leaving. She couldn't let it follow her.
Pulling her face out of the mud, she fumbled for the knife that was her remaining weapon. She'd seen this creature kill her best friend. There was enough anger in her heart to rip its guts out with her bare hands.
It came for her again. Rearing up, its high pitched scream threatened to burst her eardrums. She darted forward, slashing downwards with the knife as she attempted to slice it from sternum to tail. The protective shell was thinner here but it was still like cutting through leather. Something grazed along her back and Sam sincerely hoped it was its claws and not its venomous fangs. It thrashed as it felt the knife dig into its soft tissues and she felt her shoulder wrenched out of its socket, but she'd done enough. Ichor flowed freely from the wound, drenching her. It rolled onto its back. Dead… or so she hoped.
They'd found out that a fight at close quarters was the only way to kill these things. Even a nuclear attack… But she forced the memories from her mind. Holding her injured arm close to her body, she stumbled away from the creature trying to find the active device. She had been thrown some distance and it wasn't easy to see. Behind her, the creature twitched in its final death dance.
Bleeding, hurting, she stumbled into empty space.