at her, and his black eyes widened in alarm. He did not want her to have the machine.
Anna grasped one of the implements from the tray. As her shaking appendages closed around it, it emitted a sound, a whirring sound, and the metal tip of the device rotated rapidly. Against these vulnerable creatures, a weapon.
She plunged the tool into the technician's gut, and as the metal tip drilled through him, hot liquid sprayed over her skin. She opened her orifice, let out a shriek. The control of this body was returning to her.
The second technician grabbed her from behind. He dared touch her. She rolled to face him, jammed the drill into his throat.
He made a high, wheezing sound, thick fingers fluttering. Then he dropped to the ground.
Evolution through bloodshed, Anna thought with satisfaction.
She had to get to the machine. She attempted to stand, as some instinct now told her she could, but as her extremities touched the floor, they quivered and collapsed. There was a sound, a close sound-her respiration, heavy and fast. She extended her upper extremities in front of her, trying to pull herself toward the wall. She could not find her balance. Gradually she dragged herself forward, reached the white panels. She scraped with her grasping mechanism at a seam there. Her small appendages did not want to fit into the seam. She jammed them in, and two of the horny extrusions broke away. A trickle of red ran down the bright white wall.
With a twisting motion the panel dropped away, and there it was, the mysterious, gelatinous blackness shot through with pulsing silver. The substance through which she would connect with the machine. She pulled her shaking body close, thrust her head into it.
In an exhilarating rush of sensation, they connected, and she sent herself