The EMD pistol chirped and sizzled but only gave the charging LMO a half blast, stunning the maddened beast just slightly. Its eyes widened and its body tensed. It struck me with full momentum and the force of the blow caused my legs to give out. My back and shoulders smacked the floor hard and I instantly had the wind knocked out of me. The EMD pistol was knocked from my grasp but I managed to hold on to the pry bar.

With the full weight of the beast on top of me, I felt overwhelmed and trapped. The LMO wasted no time. Like a feral animal, the creature bit and tore into my left shoulder with unbridled ferocity. I opened my mouth to scream but I heard no noise. The LMO made a loud guttural sound as it dug in. Rows of sharp teeth cut through fabric and flesh and muscle and pierced deeply into the bone. I was stiff. Muscles failed me. At first there was no pain – just shock. I closed my eyes tightly, clenched my fists, and winced. Then the pain set in. It was a terrible, agonizing fire that ran like a scalding river through my entire body. My left arm was useless.

The intensity of the pain may have saved me from a terrible end. With a great gasp, I opened my eyes and saw the pry bar clenched tightly in my right hand. I would not die under this creature. I pulled all my strength, jerked upward, and threw my body weight up over the LMO. With the spike end of the pry bar, I began stabbing at its eyes and face, causing huge gouges to open in its flesh. It released its bite on my shoulder and began to wail. Suddenly, I found depth in the soft eye socket with a sturdy downward jab. The spike sunk deep into the eye and I forced my weight down on the back end of the bar. The LMO let out a squealing screech and began to writhe uncontrollably underneath me. Even without the use of my left arm, I held it down. It tore at my chest with its claws and I saw bits of fabric and flesh come away in its hands.

“Die, you miserable wretch!” I screamed, as I worked the pry bar back and forth, grinding all the way down to the base of the skull, destroying the brain tissue and widening the eye socket horribly. Blood spray and fluids gushed forth. I continued to grind.

As the LMO’s screeching began to subside into soft gurgles, it sprayed white spittle across my face and clothing. Blood from my shoulder wound ran steady into its face and onto the floor underneath us both. There was a vile smell that rose from its mouth and the open wound I had created. Viciously, I continued to churn the spike in its skull until the beast’s convulsions subsided. “Come on, already!” I shouted. Near death, the flailing arms and kicking legs ceased. The LMO stopped moving.

I was out of breath. Sweat dripped from my face. My heart pumped furiously. I was almost at a point of total collapse. Blood was everywhere. I pulled the pry bar loose from its skull, with a squishy sucking sound. I then pushed myself off the creature and stood over the body. My shoulder burned, as if pierced by shards of hot metal. Although I was certain that the LMO was dead, I kept the pry bar held high. I couldn’t move my left arm.

As I looked down at my wounds. Blood ran in rivulets from my hand to the floor. I felt sick and light-headed, a sure sign of blood loss. I had to get help. I had to get to the Medical Lab on the upper deck. But before I could move, the ship gave a violent shudder and the lights dimmed throughout the lower deck. I slipped sideways in the blood slick beneath me and fell hard on to the body of the dead LMO.

[Communication sent: 11FEB2186 Shinkai Maru 5]

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