|Attempting to draw comix since 1984.|
The Pure rose from the grey mists above the ice-marsh. Clots of gel dripped from his thin body. He had weighed ten pounds more before he had entered communion with the Transcended. He staggered from the roots of the Nurture Tree until acolytes came forward to help him.
Someone draped him in the thick plastic robes of his office. Only then did Sacrifice-is-Continuation remember who he was and what had happened.
The Righteous stood ready for his word.
Sacrifice ran his fingers over the livid welts where the roots of the Nurture Tree had bored into him. Some of the wounds were already turning septic. Such was the price for communing with the agents of the Kind Ones. If he continued in his purity, one day he too might endure the great transformation, slough his mortal flesh to become Transcended. Until then, pain and weakness were part of his duty.
I was numb with shock, with the reaction that always comes after combat. My whole unit – Vaince, Carter, Chakrat, deWalt, even nerdy tech Glover – lay in pieces around me. Just like the crew of the Tunguska when we first came here. Just like the Entity.
I prised my fingers off my combat rifle and fumbled the safety. I followed procedure, make sure the thing was dead, whatever it was. My last volley had sprayed enough of it over the flight deck. I tried to think about what to do next.