She'd already shot it and it didn't seem to do more than piss it off. What was she thinking?
That she wanted it to get away from you. Just like you want it to get away from her.
He mentally cursed himself. He cursed his wife. He cursed whatever the fuck that thing was.
George heard something. It reminded him immediately of a hoe being dragged through dirt and leaves. He listened for a few moments, trying to understand what it was before he decided to risk it.
As carefully as possible, he tried to move some of the stalks so he could look in the direction of the sound and his wife. Every creak and crack of the fallen corn made his heart jump into his throat but the monster never seemed to notice.
He managed to clear a tiny seam to look through.
The beast, with its large, scythe-tipped limbs, was clawing through the corn. The 'hoe' thought seemed appropriate as it was punching the blades into the ground and dragging them backwards through the debris as it searched.
Luckily, it didn't seem to have found Lelena yet.
Instead it was aimlessly clawing at several large piles of corn. It hissed under its breath, sounding almost annoyed as it did. Any number of the piles could contain his wife and any second he could hear her scream out in pain and...
He shook his head.
He had to do something.
Lelena had said that the marshals were coming, but god knows when they would actually show up.
Would they think this was a priority?
It didn't matter. He had to help her before it found her.
A thousand scenarios ran through his mind and none of them really ended well. This thing was huge, fast, and could probably tear him in two without a second thought.
But Lelena was in trouble.
Through the crack in the corn, he glanced back towards the house and up towards where the ship had crashed.
The inferno had cleared and there were still the massive clouds of smoke. Maybe he could try to lose it in the smoke? It hadn't really shown any indication of being bothered by it, but he wasn't paying attention either.
Still, the only thing over there other then the crashed ship was open fields. This thing moved like a freight train and hit like one too. Caught out in the open, he'd be dead in an instant.
The beast chortled angrily and stabbed its claws into another downed pile of corn. George winced at the sight but nothing came of it.
He could make out the great wooden building just over the edge of the corn. It was sturdy and well built to survive the planet's severe winter storms. Everything on Shone III was. If he could make it to the house, maybe it would be enough to barricade inside. Maybe it wasn't strong enough to get in.
His kids were likely in there. Did he risk their lives on this hunch? And that would leave Lelena locked outside with that thing. Trapped in the field and...
He watched the monster as it clawed angrily through yet another lump of corn. There wasn't much left to search, which meant it would find his wife soon.
But it hadn't found her.
Whatever senses this beast had, at the very least, it seemed to hunt primarily by sight. It was big and strong and mean, but it hadn't tried to sniff her out or anything of the sort. Maybe it was just taking its time. Or maybe the insane plan he had just thought of would work.
God, if you're listening, don't let Lelena follow me. Let her and the kids get out of here and let the marshals smoke this thing. And, if you got the time, keep this thing off my ass while you do. Nothing personal, just don't care to join you yet.
George glanced up at the thing.
There was only a single pile of fallen debris left.
Lelena would be in it.
Fuck it. Amen.
Exploding from his hiding place, he crossed the couple of yards in an instant and did the first thing that came to mind to get its attention.
He socked the thing in the back of the head.
It screeched in anger and surprise while, simultaneously, he felt the bones in his hand splinter into a hundred pieces. Its screams were joined by his own as he howled in pain from the sound breaking of every bone in fist.
But, rather than be paralyzed by the agony of having just punched what felt like a plastisteel door, his howls turned from ones of pain to ones of fury and George took off running. Not towards the house or towards the smoldering ship, but deeper into the field. Where everything was thick and mazelike and he might lose the beast in the endless rows.
He ran as fast as he ever had in his life.
And the thing followed.