it only takes a few seconds to die

Schuyler knew, with absolute certainty, what had become of the colonists. All it took was one look at the creature standing before him and it was crystal clear. These aliens – the unknown natives of the world – had killed them. It was only a question of why, now.

Well, others would search for the reason behind the attack. Schuyler would just be glad if he survived. He gave ground as the creature advanced on him. It looked like something out of a nightmare – like a demon from the lowest hell. It was horrifying and Schuyler could see no escape.

His back met with a wall and he gasped. He didn’t dare take his eyes off the advancing beast. All it would take was a single swipe from it’s clawed hand and his life would be over. Some part of him thought that it wouldn’t kill him while he was looking at it. It would wait until he hid his face or looked away.

He startled when his communicator crackled to life. “All members of the away mission: finish what you are doing and prepare to leave,” the captain said. “There may be hostile aliens here.”

“You think?” Schuyler breathed. The captain’s sudden call had served a purpose, however. The creature was looking around, seeking the speaker. That delay was all Schuyler would need.

“Carlisle,” he cried. “Protect me!”

In a flurry of feathers, Carlisle appeared. His blade caught the beast in its throat. It slumped to the ground, greenish blood spilling from its wound. Carlisle didn’t hesitate. He caught Schuyler around the middle and took to the air. The creature, however, was already dead when Schuyler looked back down at it.

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