Images pried their way into fuzzy thoughts. Red flesh coated with a rime of frost. Screaming, toothless faces. Vahla shook the thoughts free and continued forward in his newborn deer stride. It wasn’t a skin-thieving alien horror. It was just rats. He repeated this litany to himself over and over as he picked up speed, finally breaking into a mad run as he rounded the corner into the hallway leading to his bunk. The last thing the lawman expected was for a person to be standing dead in his path.