Mike woke in the cold night air. He grimaced with pain, as he sat up. He looked around the shadowy landscape, rubbing his head, determining where the hell he was. The gravel dug into his legs.
His brain finally registered that he sat in the middle of the railroad tracks. Mike decided that it would probably be a good idea to move in case a train came. He stumbled to his feet, not having control over his equilibrium. He staggered to the side of the tracks. The gossamer light from the Moon gave him enough light to see and backed up the thought that he had no idea where he was. He turned, seeing the fragment of the meteor jutting from the Earth’s horizon.
The memories came rushing through the fog in Mike’s head. The impact of the meteor affected everyone differently. Some imploded from its force, while others became rabid beasts attacking whoever was unlucky enough to be in their path. It still did not explain how he came to be out in the middle of the tracks and god knows how far from anywhere.
He walked along the tracks toward the meteor. Mike felt as if he were limping but when he looked down at his legs, he saw that his gate was normal. Ahead, in the brush to the side of the track, he saw firelight; at last he found someone. The air became thick with the smell of death. His heart quickened and he licked his lips nervously.
Instinctively, Mike sniffed the air as he watched the wounded people tend the wounds of the others injured worse than they. They wrapped ripped clothing tightly around limbs above craters in legs and arms as tourniquets to stop the flow of blood that pooled and seeped into the dry ground. Others, presumably dead, they closed their eyes and placed a scrap over their faces. He sniffed the air again and anticipation rose in his belly.
He heard a yipping, like the commands of a wild dog to the pack. He scanned the shadows of the bushes for movement. He saw nothing. The people heard it too and they looked around with panic but did not stop their work. Mike moved quietly out of the bushes. The others did not notice him. He stepped closer. One of the dead lay less than fifty feet from him. He padded forward, sniffing the air and at the ground. They didn’t see him coming.
A woman shrieked as the borophagus locked his jaws around the arm of a dead man. The animal growled at the man that came toward him with a large stick. The man shouted obscenities at Mike, but still he did not loosen his hold on the dead arm. He growled again and shook the corpse, his bulging forehead glaring at the other. In half a dozen shakes and tugs, Mike broke the arm free from the body. He turned quickly and ran with speed back into the bushes.