I watched them hack him into pieces that no longer looked like they came from a human and shove them into their mouths. Their tools were crude misshapen gouges of nearly black iron, and I knew by the grunts that accompanied their thrashing blows that they were not sharp. The jagged metal was tearing more than it was slicing.

The sky-blue lines that decorated the nearly flat and featureless faces of the creatures were now purple through the sheen of fresh blood. From this short distance, I could now see that what I thought to be armor before, were merely bony plates that stood out from beneath their rough skin. They wore hanging decorative pieces–pieces of metal and bone matted in the gore.

They did not speak to one another, but simply squatted and crawled around the bodies, lashing out with their weapons, teeth, or tearing fingers.

The largest of them, the one I assumed was their leader had pulled one of the carcasses off to the side for itself. I squinted from the shadowy corner I had tucked myself into and made out McGregg’s green handkerchief and grimaced as something that resembled sorrow flitted across the very edge of my shattered consciousness. She always wore that damned thing around her left bicep.

“Hey, McGregg! Why do you always wear that puke green shit on your arm?” I asked her while we were suiting up to head down to this hunk of rock.

“It’s from home.” She looked down and smacked the bandanna with her right hand.

”My dad used to keep it in his back pocket when he was out on missions. It’s good luck!”

I watched the blue-lined creature tear her left arm from its socket and greedily shove the ragged hunk of flesh into its mouth. He spit out the green bandanna and went back to his task. My hand clung to the empty holster at my hip as I watched it tear her to pieces.