What can YOU say in six sentences?
This is the second Vorkuta piece in the last couple days, and it occurred to me while writing it that it might be nice to see other science fiction aficionados on 6S take a whack at ensuing installments if they are so minded, and see where it is they might take it.
Ilya lay on his back on the floor, dead eyes coming out of his head; the intestine, or whatever this was that was crammed down his throat pulsed and twitched, and the two feet or so that spilled out of his mouth had veins tracing its length that throbbed with a rhythm I almost swore I could hear.
It's outline, dimensions, the tracings and so forth were those of the petrified sticks that littered the dust of red Mars, sticks which Ahlberg back in New Haven had determined to be the abandoned intestinal tubings of some long-gone alien race--alien, he'd said, because, ecologically, Mars was not ever the cradle from which such beings could have sprung.
Which didn't explain how this pulsing thing had found lodging in poor Ilya's gullet, its viscous purplish glint so unlike the husked brownish-red of those sticks.
We stared at the thing, and then Putin laughed: "An alien shitter stuffed down his throat, and is it not a real taste treat, Ilya darling?"
Russian cop humor, shaped in the tank towns where crudeness is virtue, but this time nobody laughed with him.
"Ask yourself, Putin," I told him, "how might this thing have come calling in Vorkuta II--and see how it twitches in front of you now?--and what does it mean that such a thing pulses when we have been told that its ilk are but relics from eons ago; and then too, those relics exist, perhaps in their millions all over this planet, and now comes this thing, sprung to life, and how many more of these might there be--and as well, the digesting hosts that they once must have served--and if dead Ilya is their way of knocking on doors, so to speak, what must we expect if they choose to close space even further?"