A ripple. Just a shadow.
An undulation across his vision, like heat rising from payment. Then a rip through the wave-like motion, silent, a dark line slashing downward, slicing through reality. There was the sound of siphoned air and six disembodied pincers began pulling the rip, worrying it like a loop from a sweater. The tear, the impossibility, it opened wider and a head appeared in the hole.
Finn had seen all forms of monsters. In the deep, he had encountered multi-headed monsters, creatures that used bony darts like crossbow darts, and fang created as if from a torture manual.
But this didnt belong; unnatural.
Knobby horns jutted from rows of blood-red bone. The face leered at him, a series of compound eyes, swiveling independently like tiny cameras. No, not like cameras. They were cameras. A mechanical feature grafted to a biological nightmare.
The pincers pulled the rip further and it began to worm itself from the hole like the birth of a devil. The six pincers belonged to multi-segmented legs; long and spindly as if they might snap beneath its weight. A perversion of a spider. The body had two segments, the first looked like a well muscled human torso. The second segment was so large that it thudded to the floor when it pulled itself through the tear.
Engines had been fused onto the rear, bursts of steam cracking the air. Small pistons fired, corded veins stringing along its body, fed into raw joints.
Its chitin so deeply black it sucked light into its surface, distorting the air around its frame.
But the face, when the face turned to Nick he gasped. Buried beneath the ridges of hard chitin, two unmistakably human eyes stared back at him.
The legs clattered like mini-gunshots as it scrabbled across the floor.