Spegg and I walked the frozen shore southward, following the trail of death. The egg he had created from the tissue of the elephant seal and a snippet of my DNA had finally hatched. And it was hungry. I stepped around a pile of remains and trailed a few paces behind Spegg, who was focused—his nose in the air—on a little cove in the distance.

His earlier words played in my head as I watched the tide paw at the eviscerated body of an emperor penguin, then retreat with a small helping of loose feathers and viscera. “You are a father,” his toothy sneer flashed in my head.

I set my jaw. I’m not the father of this monster.

Spegg straightened up and pointed at the cove. “I think he’s ahead,” he said. “Oh, you will remember this day, Chikushou,” he added, bounding forward.

I felt a wall of rage bricking up behind my eyes and struggled to push it away. Stay calm. You can’t win like this. The pink shit Spegg had injected me with was aggressive. Anger, fury, frustration were all things of the past. If I let them get the best of me, the serum would take over and render me a fool.

I spied a penguin’s severed head fidgeting in the water between a couple of small ice chunks, its eyes wide and blank. I shuttered and looked away. Then I saw Spegg… who was literally skipping along joyously. He even took a couple steps to the right and booted a dead penguin.

I must have growled or something because he wheeled around and sniffed at me.

“Stop dragging your feet, Papa,” he said.

That was it. I bent over, snagged a fist-sized rock near my feet, and raised my hand….

My pulse beat fiercely in my temples, the full power of my anger throbbing in my jaw and my whitened knuckles. But it didn’t vanish. It raged on. I held my stance, arm cocked, the cold stone digging into my palm. Spegg eyed me intently, and drew a wide smile. Suddenly, for some reason, I didn’t want to kill him. I hated him, but I didn’t want to kill him.

“What are you waiting for, Chikushou?” Spegg said, arms akimbo.

“Nothing,” I said, and walked up to him. I took the stone and plunked him in the chest. “Don’t ever call me Cheekshoo again, Fish.”

Spegg nodded, wiping off his chest. “The Lilith has bonded with you, Wayne Robertson.”