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It’s warm in the bowels of the spaceship, too warm, and dripping coolant makes the floor vulnerary. The only light comes from their comms.

“Cyclometer’s ticking up,” says Kip. “We could run into another cyclom any sec–”

It bursts from the vent above, a screaming alien blur of talons and gravlax, and Taran limns the fuck out of it with her thundering logogriph. Alkaline blood paints the corridor.

“Nevus Christ!” cries Kip, shielding his face from the susurrus.

“Oh, sack up and suppurate the body before it can recalesce,” grumbles Taran. “We didn’t join the Hamartia Corps for the retirement plan.”