That Thing Chapter 3: The Dreams

I woke up when there was a knock on the door. “Lucky!” said one of the Vladmirs. “Get up! Otto woke up! The commissar wants everyone to hear what he’s got to say!”

I heard the door rattling open. The girl- at some point during the night, my mind had switched from ‘the monster’ to ‘the girl’, and wasn’t that a sign that I was falling for her- was no longer pressed up against my stomach. I peered blearily around, and saw her at the computer, staring at the door, as it began to open.

Opening someone’s door with so little warning was considered terribly bad manners on the base. Privacy was at an absolute premium, and let’s be frank, masturbation was one of the primary ways of passing time. Nobody wanted to walk in on that. That meant this was serious. And all of that passed through my head while I panicked, wondering how I was going to hide the shoggoth.

As it turned out, she was more than capable of that herself. She flowed upwards, her body momentarily destabilizing. Drops, and then gouts of the black slime moved upwards, defying gravity as she struck the ceiling soundlessly, and puddled there. In moments she was just another patch of shadow on the ceiling of the room. This, coincidentally, let me see what she was playing.

Vladmir pushed into the room with a name-tag that read ‘Dmitry’, and saw the sex scene on the screen. He gave me a brief look, an eyebrow raised. “You should really close down the laptop after you jerk off, man.”

“Don’t give me shit. Otto’s up?” I pushed myself to my feet. “Give me a minute to get changed.” I could only imagine the havoc I had already wrought by letting the girl play that game. Those would give her a very warped view of humanity. I would be lucky if it just led to her hating me.

“No time, man, no time! Commissar says it’s vital!” Dmitry grabbed my arm, and yanked me through the door. I cursed inwardly, and swore that I would be back as soon as possible to set her straight.

Otto lay on his bed, Maxwell perched on his chest, curled up into a ball with his head tucked under his tail. Otto’s eyes were open, and he seemed lucid enough, but he was resting against the pillow. All fourteen of us were crammed into the room. Otto smiled up at me. “Glad you’re here, man. All of this would’ve sound a little bit psychotic if I didn’t have you to corroborate it. Ah, captain. Should I start from the beginning?”

The Commissar nodded. “I must stress that if this is a prank, or a collusion, I will be vexed.”

“No prank. I will confess that I was responsible for some of the anomalous reactions of the weather station- but, as it turns out, not most of them. A crevasse opened on the south slope, consuming the weather station, explaining the anomalous temperature and pressure readings. I was investigating the area, trying to discern the depth and nature of the crevasse. It almost certainly was opened sometime after the aurora australis a few weeks ago. While studying it, I was attacked by an assailant, who was most assuredly inhuman. Not least because he was dressed in nothing more than a thong, and had just scaled close to a hundred feet of vertical ice wall.”

The Commissar nodded. The others were exchanging nervous words, casting looks at one another. I didn’t blame them one bit.

“There was a scuffle. Lucky Charms quite heroically threw himself into the monster, knocking it down the crevasse; Unfortunately, the two of us followed. I took a rather nasty blow to the skull, and spent most of the rest of the time drifting in and out of consciousness. I confess, I thought I might have been making it up until the Commissar told me that my experiences matched Lucky’s. An ancient cavern of ice. Tremendous buildings, clearly not of human make. And a statue of… bizarre proportions.” He shuddered. “I feel certain that we must investigate it. Take samples for carbon dating. Do everything that we can to understand that place. Because the secrets it may hold may prove vital.”

“And did you see anything else?” asked the Commissar, his voice suddenly grave. Otto frowned.

“I… am afraid not.”

“No idea of how you arrived back on the surface?”

“I had assumed…” His eyes flicked to me.

“I told you,” I said.

“I think it might be a bit hasty to attribute all of this to some unseen dark creature,” said the captain, an eyebrow raised. “We will keep an eye out. But I still suspect your story was something of a confabulation, Lucky.”

Which was really exactly what I had been hoping for. If I’d done an about-face, started saying ‘I guess I must really have been imagining it’, it’d be suspicious. If I kept on with the paranoid act- without playing it up too much- it would be safe to keep dismissing me. People get into a rut about certain things. When you’ve refused to believe someone once, you invest yourself in that. The only way that you could change out of that rut was if something shocked you out of it. The reaction the Commissar had to my words was much like the reaction I’d had to the shoggoth girl.

The only thing more ennui-inducing than realizing that everyone you know is an easily programmed and manipulated machine is that you’re an easily programmed and manipulated machine too.

“Regardless,” continued the Commissar, “I agree that we should investigate this strange phenomena. I’m authorizing an immediate expedition. We’ll need to set up a safe descent, and a mobile lab. Lucky, you’re going to be quite busy over the next couple of weeks; We’ll need you maintaining the Sno-Cats and doing supply runs.”

“Of course,” I said, trying to give the best smile I could. “Any chance that I could change first?”

“Time is of the essence. Give the Cats a maintenance check-over, then you can change.”

The maintenance checklist was not a particularly difficult job. It was simply time-consuming and tedious. It gave me plenty of time to consider the situation inside, and go quietly mad with terror. I tried to scan my memory for all of the games that I had installed on the laptop. Type/Moon games? No, thank god, I was fairly certain that I’d deleted them after one too many bad ends. School Days? No, no, I’d never liked the protagonist in that. Saya no Uta?

Dear god, I didn’t still have Saya no Uta installed, did I? I’d only installed it out of morbid curiosity. I’d deleted it, right?

My heart pounded like a jackhammer during the rest of the maintenance check. God help me. If I got the world ruined because I’d failed to delete the wrong game, I would never forgive myself, and nobody else would either.

After about an hour, fingers frigid and heart still racing, I returned to my room, to find it empty. The computer was still open, a game visible. I didn’t have any quick way to check what games she’d been playing, but the ‘recently opened’ tab of the history showed she’d been exploring quite a few. It occurred to me that I wasn’t certain quite how quickly she could digest the stories. Considering her facility with language, she had to be an extraordinarily quick study. That was not necessarily a good thing. But I had deleted Saya no Uta, so that was something.

Ice Princess Zebra was still open.

“Hello.”

I spun, heart pounding. The shoggoth girl sat on the bed, one leg crossed over the other. In stark contrast with before, her demeanor was reserved. No bright smiles, no eager clinginess. My stomach sank as she watched me levelly, her eyes and lips betraying no hint of emotion. “I’m sorry I was away for so long. The crew is setting up an expedition to go back to the frozen city, and it’s going to eat up a lot of my time for the next few days. I hate to leave you alone.”

“I am used to it,” she said, her voice so frosty it could’ve been at home out on the glacier. “I will find a way to entertain myself.”

“Ah. I’ll try to get you some books, soon, something you’ll enjoy. Again, I’m sorry that I’m leaving you alone so much, but-“

“It has been comfortable. I am used to loneliness.” She stood up, and gestured towards the computer. “I have been examining the romances on your computer. Simple graphical and text representations of fictional events. Meant to provoke a specific response in humans. The desire to breed, and the fulfillment of that desire. It is simple, but surprisingly effective. I gather that these things are not usually shared except in the most intimate of circumstances.”

I blinked. Her voice patterns had definitely shifted. She was cooler, more monotone, her voice a bit softer, but there was something else there. “Are you okay?”

“I am not registering any major corruptions of body or mind. I have noticed that you played this game recently, and went to great lengths to achieve all of the endings. Thoroughly explored your options. You’re particularly attracted to this character, I can tell; you have taken advantage of save points during many of the pivotal scenes in the story.”

I looked at the computer, and then at her. “Oh. You’re-“

“You have a fondness for women with this archetype. Emotionally distant, muted personalities, cold.” She took my hand, and placed it against her cheek. “Yet prone to melting.”

I’d never actually experienced a real blush. Not in the sense of someone saying something that left me so embarrassed that my face actually reddened. I usually didn’t react that strongly to anything people did to me. I was fairly sure that if I wasn’t careful, the heat rushing to my face right now would set my clothes on fire, and frankly it would still be less embarrassing than what was happening at the moment.

“The human desire for exclusivity. It is artfully demonstrated here. A smile means the most when you are the only one who can ever enjoy it, and even then, only for a moment at a time.” She was very close now, and her breath was sweet and incensed, her expression warm, her eyes so large and glimmering, the yellow shining in the darkness like a brilliant binary star system in the middle of an endless interstellar night. “I begin to understand why you find this so stimulating. Please. Let me show you my warm side.”

And then her face broke into a smile. It was so warm, so intense, so heartbreakingly genuine that I suddenly found myself short of breath, and not just because of the way she was pressing up against my chest, both of her hands on one of mine, squeezing me rhythmically, as though desperate to be embraced. I considered again how I had sworn I was going to be wary, to prepare to be betrayed.

I wasn’t one tenth as tough as I thought I was. I embraced her wholeheartedly, genuinely, squeezing her head to my chest, and the little soft gasp she made was enough to set another hook into my heart. It hurt, embracing her- not physically. Physically it was strange, slightly squishy, but extremely pleasant. It hurt to embrace her because I knew it would end in tears.

Everything ends in tears if you look far enough in the future.

It took a while for the embrace to end. I was used to my ex, who had always been quick to signal when a hug was over. The shoggoth girl was not, and as far as I could tell, she would’ve been just as content if we’d spent the rest of our lives embracing one another like that. It fell to me to let my arms drop away somewhat awkwardly, as her expression returned to neutral. ”Not that I don’t appreciate it, but… Why do you want to be my. I don’t know. ‘Ideal woman’?”

“I understand that among humans, behavior likes this is suspicious. Often, it is seen as an attempt to manipulate, to force penalties or encourage the formation of a debt. In my case…” She tilted her head in an almost birdlike fashion. “I do not know what I am. I do not know who I can be. I only know you. And you were kind enough to save me. So I trust that anyone you would be attracted to is a worthy role model for me. And when I smile…” She looked up, and smiled. That brilliant smile that shone despite the iridescent darkness that made up every inch of her. “Your expression becomes very charming.”

My throat was very dry. I swallowed, and licked my lips, and it didn’t help one bit as she smiled at me. “I’ll… be back, as soon as I can.”

“I know,” she said softly, and squeezed my hand one last time. She leaned forward, and planted a gentle kiss on my knuckles, before carefully setting out a new set of clothes. “I hope you will not mind. I took the time to launder these for you.”

It was shocking how many resources were necessary to set up even the initial pulley system that would- slowly, and over the course of about half an hour- transport everyone down to the bottom of the crevasse. What was more shocking was how much of it we already had. I was running trips back and forth constantly for the next four days, giving me little time to spend around the girl. When I was around her, she would ask questions that were at best peculiar, at worst downright sobering.

“When was your first kiss?”

“Ah… I think with my first girlfriend, in my second year of college. It took us kind of a long time to reach that point.”

Long nylon ropes swung down into the crevasse, scientists going down in teams of two when the wind had dropped, fastening the cables at the bottom, and then using the primitive gondola we’d rigged up to return to the surface.

“What’s your favorite food?”

“I was always partial to a nice steak quesadilla, myself. You make it by- Well, here, I borrowed a cookbook- don’t eat that!”

The lighting was an issue. At the temperatures we were working at, chemical light sources were wholly useless. The strange glow had vanished since Otto and I left the temple, which was disquieting. We wound up setting up chains of the portable flashlights that we usually wore, arranged to create sparkling, reflective pools of light. I thought it only made the darkness look more deep and unpleasant, but it was a lifesaver on some of the slippery ledges.

“What do you want to do with your life?”

I paused at that question, lying in the bed, bone-tired. “Do with my life?”

“Yes. What are your aspirations? Your goals?”

I remembered my girlfriend, her look of pain and anger and betrayal and fury when she told me that I was going to go nowhere in life. I slid my arm over my eyes to hide the response. “I’m not sure.”

“It seems few humans are. The world is full of so many fascinating goals, and so little time to fulfill them. Why did you come here?”

“To escape.”

“Ah.” She was quiet for a second. “I think maybe my reasons were the same.”

I lifted my head at that. She didn’t often venture comments about her past. “Are you remembering something?”

“No.” She shook her head. “But this is such a barren, lonely place, I cannot imagine anyone coming here for something. They would have to be fleeing something, instead. Like those creatures.” She stared for a moment. “They are curiously familiar. Like you, but subtly wrong.”

“Subtly?” I asked, an eyebrow raised. “Anyway, I don’t know what I want out of life. I just… never figured it out.”

“Fundamentally, if there is one thing humans share, it is the drive to create.” She studied me silently with her cool gaze. “In an entropic universe, you are driven to create order, dynamism in a decaying world. You heap snow into snowmen. You make more of yourselves. You make other things like you. You spread. You create. You intermingle.” She climbed out of the computer chair, and sat by me, gently shifting me to rest my head on her thighs. It was softer, warmer, and more inviting than the pillow could ever hope to be. “I think that is something I want, too. I can feel the yearning. I do not think I know how to create something new. But I think that I could learn from you.” She smiled, and I felt my heart beating very quickly again.

I knew what it was. A simple aping of popular trends. Like a parrot, like a mirror. Repeating what she had seen elsewhere, to get a certain reaction from me. I knew that it was an act, and it still worked. That was frightening and exciting, all at the same time.

“Did I make you sad?” asked the girl, her expression concerned, as she rested her fingers on my arm. “You look like you’re in pain.”

“Just bad memories,” I said softly. Remembering the fight we had about children. I hadn’t understood how much it meant to her. I thought life could just stay like it had, like we could remain in stasis, the relationship never changing. But there’s a word for that, and it’s ‘dead’.

“How can I make you happy?” she asked, softly, settling down to lie next to me.. I gave her an apologetic smile.

“It’s nothing.”

The cavern itself was barely lit by the flashlights. The beams lanced out, and did not reach the far side. There was no movement of air, no dust. Only the occasional, very rare drip of water, like an incredibly soft and slow rain, which scintillated in the light, the gradual shifting downwards of the glacier. It was, I realized, rather like watching a bubble in extreme slow motion, rising through water. Over the millenia, it would build upwards, until it would reach the surface, passing along the city’s surface as it did. And if not for a lucky coincidence, humans might never have known the city was even here.

Well, I certainly hoped it would be lucky.

I was actually invited along for the expedition. I could only presume that it was to keep me from feeling left out, because there wasn’t much to do. Aside from a few pieces of delicate sensor equipment, there was little to carry. We set out, the fourteen of us going down in twos on the small gondola to the bottom of the crevasse. The darkness didn’t change much from the surface to the depths, but the increase in temperature was notable. From Ninth Circle of Hell to merely lethal, it was practically summery down there. As I arrived in the last car, along with Disgusting Pervert Mikhail, we found the others standing in a circle around the body of the orca man. The Commissar looked up at me.

“I did not believe you. I am starting to.”

I shrugged softly. One of the Vladmirs crouched down, and let out a soft sound of shock. “The body’s been down here for- what, nearly a week? It’s still warm to the touch.” I looked down, and saw that it was lying flush with the ice, sinking in nearly an inch, and shivered. “What could do something like that?” asked the man, his expression stunned, excited.

“Whatever it was, we need a sample of his tissue. If he is that warm, decay will set in sooner or later; it is amazing it hasn’t already.” One of the men nodded, and with some effort, cut off a strip of flesh from one of the creature’s tremendous fingers. Then we continued down into the ice.

My mind was elsewhere. On the note that had been left for me in the morning, when I’d woken up on the day of the expedition. There had been no sign of the girl. Just the note, reading ‘Meet me in the power station, tonight.’ Succinct. Ominous. The only way it could’ve made me more nervous was if it had read ‘We need to talk’. I was somewhat distracted from all the majesty and wonder by that; Plus, I’d already seen everything. The scientists did have some interesting insights, though.

“Good god.” The man held the small sensor up to the wall of ice concealing one of the buildings as it sent out a pulse. “This explains it. The density of the construction materials is phenomenally low, almost indistinguishable from the ice itself, within normal density variation. No wonder we didn’t see it.” He looked up. “For them to stand like this, the material must be phenomenally strong. It could revolutionize material science if we could get hold of a sample.”

“Hold off on any drilling for now,” said the Commissar, his face firm. “This place is ancient, fragile, and precious beyond words. If we fuck something up here, we’re going to be answering for it for the rest of our lives.” He nodded his head towards me. “Show us the way towards this statue of yours.”

It was predictable, really. Like being in a goddamn horror movie. I led them through the twists and turns of the dark city, and I had already seen it coming. The loss of the glow, for one thing. That had been an alarm bell ringing in my head since we’d first come down to set up the trip. We arrived at the center of the city, and found the empty pedestal, where the statue had once stood. Dozens of broken, icy shells surrounded it, where the fishmen had once knelt in their frozen torpor. There was no sign of them now, save for the indistinct fragments of ice that sometimes suggested the curve of an arm or the smooth knobs of joints.

“I steadfastly refuse to say ‘They were here, I swear,’ sir,” I said to the Commissar, even as my shoulders shook slightly. The Commissar looked slowly around the bare clearing, and nodded.

“No, son, no need. I believe you. There was clearly something here.” He lifted his head. “And it looks like your story checks out.”

One of the Vladmirs let out a low curse in Russian as the light shined through the vast icy globe. It had not been shattered like the others. It was mostly filled with the vast, putrescent, iridescent-black-and-green bulk, only a few yellow eyes left, the vast majority of them burst, spikes of yellow ice flowing out across the sphere from where they had been. Otto put a hand over his mouth, letting out a nauseous gagging sound.

“Your savior, your monster?” asked the Commissar. I nodded. “Hmmm. Might explain the strange raids. But that stopped happening a few days ago, and the items were returned.” He was silent for a few moments, and I waited, tensed. “If it were hostile, it likely would have attempted something on us. Heavens know it has had ample opportunity over the last few days. No, it seems far more likely that whatever rescued you is long gone, or has vanished into some crack or crevice.”

“But sir-” I began, not sure what I was going to say next, but confident it didn’t matter. The Commissar held up a placating hand, and I went silent.

Thank god my life didn’t appear to be a horror story, or I would be fucked sideways.

“Get a sample from that damn thing. And if it starts melting through the sampler, I want you to drop a flare on it and sink it into the ice.” The Commissar nodded at the biologist, and we all stared together up at the pedestal. “So. Who could have beaten us to this thing?”

“I don’t know, sir, but-” Otto turned, and his eyes widened. “Yuri!” he yelled, at Dmitry. “Don’t cross that!”

Dmitry, or Yuri- hell, at this point I was dangerously closed to saying ‘to hell with it’- stared down at the floor, where the shifting light revealed a series of scintillating edges. “What the hell language is that?” murmured Yuri. “It does not look of this earth.”

I stepped closer, and frowned. “That’s Hebrew.” I looked up, and saw a ring of surprised faces. “I grew up in Brooklyn.”

“Do you know what it says?”

“Hell no, I never learned the language. But I recognize the symbols.” I nodded at them. “So either the IDF has a secret Antarctic base, Zionists actually do control the world, or…” I was quiet for a moment. “Would it make me sound like a paranoid nut if I said we probably shouldn’t mess with that ring?”

“Mmmm. I think that would be reasonable,” said Otto. “Reach over it. Do not touch the ring itself. As long as it’s whole…” He shrugged. I gave him an odd look. That wasn’t the kind of thing I’d ever expected to hear a scientist say. I noticed Maxwell’s tiny white face peering out of the neck of the parka, beady red eyes fixed on the ring in a ferocious contemplation.

Frankly, on the list of bizarre and disturbing things I’d experienced, it didn’t even crack the top ten for the day.

I arrived back at the base, and to my great consternation, there was indeed no sign of the girl in my room, only the mysterious note. I sat on the bed for a moment.

Why was I so nervous? I mean, obviously besides the terrifying omens and the inexplicable horrors that had greeted me beneath the Antarctic ice in an ancient lost city filled with monuments to the dead. And the strange romance I was developing with an amnesiac Lovecraftian monster.

Hell. Was there anything that was right with me? If I wasn’t a screwup, if I wasn’t desperate and lonely and kind of a messed up human being, there was no way I’d be in this situation in the first place.

The Lovecraftian heroes tended to fall into a state of despair, consumed by what they’d seen. It was a staple of depressive writers that they always seemed to write characters as depressive as themselves, which could create a world that looked downright unfriendly. The only time they ever got something approaching a happy ending was when they… changed.

I stared down at my hands. That was it, wasn’t it? Change was the scary thing. Ceasing to be who I am, in exchange for something… new. Maybe better, maybe worse. I was inclined to think I was fine as it is, but I wasn’t, was I? This whole situation was making it clear how fine I wasn’t. Lovecraft had feared change so much that he had written it as the ultimate enemy, the most terrifying thing. But the only time his protagonists ever had a happy ending was when they’d changed so much they were unrecognizable.

I was going philosophical in my own head again. I stood up sharply, strode to the door. This wasn’t a fucking Faustian bargain with some nightmarish entity. It was an amnesiac shapeshifter trying to please the one person who it thought had saved it.

I’d tell her the truth. Tell her that I was just a loser. Tell her that she would find someone better, and that I’d help her. It was what I owed her. If I didn’t, if I tried to buy into this whole bizarre fantasy, I’d just be hurting her, and setting myself up to fail her someday in the future.

You shouldn’t just fall in love with the first person you meet. You couldn’t just change who you were. I could try to change, but who I was would come out in the end. And I was increasingly certain that someone like the girl, someone who was willing to devote herself, someone who wanted so deeply to create, someone with such a positive outlook, deserved a hell of a lot better than my dumb ass.

There is no happiness in despair, but there is a strange kind of comfort. Joy and agony fade, and in the end, you can get used to anything as long as it stays the same.

I walked across the open expanse of snow to the power station’s entrance. Only perhaps fifty, a hundred feet, through the cold and the dark. The power station was rarely staffed. Mostly it ran itself, with occasional inputs from some of the staff. It was vital to us, but it wasn’t as though it was frequently threatened. It hummed away in its own section of the base, reliable, dependable. It wasn’t much to look at inside. Not usually.

I opened the door, stepping into the warm interior as the gas generators hummed away. And I stared. Candles covered every surface, lily white and flickering pleasantly, filling the air with the warm scent of wax. A fine wooden table sat on the floor in the center of the power plant, and she stood across from me. Two fine bone china plates sat on the table, silverware beside them.

This was more dizzying than anything else I had experienced so far.

It’s part of the nature of the Antarctic job. Luxuries are scarce. The things you’re allowed to take for granted in the modern world are so far away here that they become more alien than the barren moonscape outside. I stared, my heart pounding, as I tried to come to terms with these things. “Where…?”

“Ah. I have almost prepared dinner.” She reached down. There was a large bucket, filled to the brim with snow. She dragged her hands through it, and the snow disappeared. She let out a breath, and drew her hand across the plate.

The steak quesadilla sat there. Warm, gooey cheese ran down the edges, the tortilla browned in spots, just as though it had come fresh from the frying pan, steam still running from it. “The cookbooks helped. But I do not know if it’s right. It would honor me greatly if you would help me to refine my skills.”

“How?” I asked, my heart thumping slightly. Another casual miracle. And I wasn’t fucking around, this was some straight-up messiah shit.

“Nuclear Alchemy. All things in this world can be fused or fissioned, towards the holy grail of chemistry, the most stable element, Iron. The addition of a handful of protons and nuclei.” She held up a handful of snow. “Hydrogen, and Oxygen, in abundance. Divide them, reshape them, and…” She pressed her hands together. When she opened them, a candle burned between her fingers. “You see?”

“That’s incredible,” I murmured, my heart sinking in my chest. I wasn’t brilliant, but I could see the applications right off. “Wait, what about the free energy, the radiation-”

“The thermal and potential energy can be bound into the structures of my body. Held within. Bled off where necessary. That’s why I can be warm to the touch. The ionized particles and photons can be similarly captured, kept from violently interacting with living matter.” She looked into my eyes, her head tilted. “Do you see? I am capable of great things, but I cannot create something new. With all of that power, with all of that potential for creation, I am still… sterile.” She waved her hand towards the meal. “I can make this only because someone else has first. That is why I need you. To help guide me. To show me the way. To tell me what is right, and what is wrong. What I should create, and what I must not.” She pressed herself against me, suddenly, and her warm body was intimately intertwined with mine, gently riding me down onto the ground, her eyes glowing. “I want-”

children

“No!”

There was a moment of tattered silence between the two of us as she sat atop me, her eyes wide. My ex’s voice still ringing in my head, the nauseous acidic feeling in my stomach filling me, as she slowly, shakily, stood up.

A moment’s sick hesitation and I’d fucked it all up again. Nothing but a badly programmed machine after all. Couldn’t even learn from my mistakes.

She took one step away, then two, towards the door. Before I could regain my feet and grab for her, she threw it open and disappeared into the night, a blast of arctic air arriving through before it closed behind her.

I sat for a moment, staring. I turned my head towards the quesadilla.

I stood up, slowly, shakily, and on some strange instinct, picked it up. I bit into the crisp, crunchy corn shell, and the cheese filled my mouth, mixed with the small cuts of tender, succulent steak. I didn’t know how she’d made it, but it was something beautiful, and delicious, and it reminded me of all of the happy times I’d had, and how much I fucking hated being in this desolate, isolated shelf of ice, snow, and darkness. How much I hated what I was.

There was only one place for her to run to that I could hope to find her. I threw on the jacket, the gloves, and raced out to the Sno-Cat, gunning it towards the crevasse.

One thought on “That Thing Chapter 3: The Dreams

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