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A short story by

Cameron Dayton

The hydralisk had almost eaten its fill, and it dropped the limb it had been gnawing on as the ground crumbled away behind it. Something was emerging from the burrows, something moving quickly.

Spinning around with a screech, the creature was met with the fiery blue arc of a zealot's blade. Pain! The weapon cut into the hydralisk's shoulder, burning through flesh and bone. The hydralisk snapped down with its powerful jaws, wrenching the zealot's one armored wrist between sharp teeth. Metal groaned. The zealot's other arm had no fire and it smelled of blood. Prey! It was trapped and helpless! Raising long barbed claws to strike, the hydralisk drooled in anticipation. This meal would flail as it was eaten.

Then the zealot looked up and sent sounds into the hydralisk's mind. Word-sounds full of ancient rage that was primal and clear.

Your meal is finished, monster. Now taste your own blood.

He swung around with his other arm, driving another pair of long barbed claws into the hydralisk's mouth.

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