All she knew was that she had to run. Although she had slowed to a determined walk, she kept pushing forth. The Artic chill was cold and pierced her very core, but that didn't bother her. The endless white terrain was desolate with no promise of safety or relief. It was the smallest miracle that there was still daylight for them to go by. She looked at her friend beside her who was struggling as much as she was. He was built better than her, but she knew he was weakened by the creature. The creature that had killed all of her co-workers, her dog Max, her research; all she had now was the very person who almost died trying to save her. He was injured by the creature, she knew that. He tried to hide it from her, but she was too quick for him. He wouldn't make it through the night unless they found some form of help. But in this case, hope was nowhere in sight. A single shred of hope would be the equivalent to a needle in a hay stack. She crossed her arms and tried to ignore the chill. Instead she tried to concentrate on Denny's breathing; his shallow, painful breaths that sounded like his last every time he inhaled.
"How are you holding up?" she dared to ask him.
"Not good," he said through gritted teeth. He pressed his gloved hand to his side. "Where the hell are we going, anyway?"
"I…I don't know," she admitted shamefully. "Maybe we'll find another base. We can't be the only two people in Antarctica..."
He chuckled sarcastically. "Oh, yeah. This entire continent is just crawling with people."
"You know, a little optimism here wouldn't kill you," she retorted.
"Optimism?" he exclaimed. "You want to talk optimism? God, how hard did you hit your head back there?"
She could only roll her eyes to cover up her fear. She knew Denny was right; it was foolish to have optimism in a place like this. Suddenly, Denny gasped and stumbled onto the snow, doubled over in pain. She fell to his side, wrapping her arms around him. "Denny, please," she pleaded. "Just hold on. Please…"
"Who're we kidding, Kay?" he exclaimed, pressing his hand to his side. "We're in Antarctica, for Christ's sake; we might as well be dead."
"If you keep talking like that, then we will be," Kathryn looked around, thinking that help would suddenly appear. "We just…we have to…"
"Kay, look, it's fine," Denny looked up at her and tried to give her a reassuring smile through his pain. "That thing isn't going to get us, not this far out. We burned it good."
"I know, but…" she felt her chin quiver. "I'm scared."
"I know. Believe me, I'm scared shitless. But it'll be fine," his eyes were struggling to stay open. Kay didn't realize it, but so were hers. The cold was starting to disappear, and everything began to feel warm. Denny settled onto the snow, his voice revealing just how exhausted he really was. "Just breathe," he whispered. "Breathe…"
Kay watched as he slumped onto the snow. There was a small red spot already forming next to him. She could feel herself began to fade as well. The throbbing in her head was beginning to subside, her whole body going numb. They had been walking for hours with no hope in sight, except for that of a higher power. Realizing the end was probably near, Kay leaned on Denny's body, trying to relax and prepare for whatever lay ahead. She tugged her coat close to her body as the wind blew around them. Just as she slipped into unconsciousness, she thought she heard the distant sound of an approaching aircraft.