Fish out of water

I scrambled out of the hatch, snatched the gun from the floor, and crossed the space between the ship and the door in seconds. Leveling the weapon, I fired a shot through the center of the door, wrenched the thing open, and barreled out into the snow. Nothing. A swath of blood painted a trail to the left and around the edge of the storehouse. I followed it. I backed up against the wall, gun raised, and snap-checked the corner. Frowning, I looked again, casually this time. There, surrounded by bloody, strewn clothing, was a large, fresh hump of snow. I lowered the Taurus and stepped toward the mound, nudging the dead man’s bloody white oxford with my boot. The creature had buried him. What the hell for? And why without his clothes?

Then there was a crash—broken glass. And barking. Buzz was awake. I bolted around the corner and sprinted through the falling snow to the main building. The door was open. I ducked through it, my boots pounding on the wooden floors in the hallway, and turned the corner to the rec room. Buzz was going crazy. Another crash. Downstairs. I hit the steps full bore, gun in hand, and followed the sounds down the hallway to the science laboratory.

I kicked the door in. The creature jumped. An armful of beakers and chemicals and test tubes crashed to the floor. I raised the .357.

“What the fuck are you!?” I shouted, the Taurus shaking in my right hand.

It shrieked, backpedaling, and whipped its head around searching the room for an exit or an option.

I cocked the gun. “Don’t move.”

The creature was humanoid, at least seven feet tall, with green sinewy skin like I had seen in the storehouse, and a fucking head like a fish. A fish. I sneered at it.

“Do you understand me?”

It sniffed, two quick sniffs, and glared back at me, as if my scent contained some amount of that understanding… and it didn’t like it.

I fired a shot over the creature’s shoulder. It yelped and sprang backward, crashing into the shelves, and raised its arms for a shield as more glass spilled on top of his freakish head.

“Last chance,” I snarled, stepping forward and lowering the barrel toward his chest.

It stared up at me, with its solid black, unblinking eyes, and spoke in a gurgling, high pitched voice: “I am a nothing. Only Spegg.”

I dropped the gun.