As the pit-like mouth moved closer, Rachel-7 experienced her first fight or flight response.
She would later describe the feeling as the “becoming stupid” reaction.
Adrenaline flooded Rachel-7’s new nervous system. Her pupils dilated, her muscles tensed, and her heart beat so loudly she couldn’t hear anything else.
“Hello,” the creature said. “My … name … is … Anderson.”
The noise didn't register. There was only the heartbeat – everything within in her was focused on that ring of sharp teeth.
Rachel-7 was too sure of herself to flee. So sure, in fact, that she’d forgotten that she wasn’t an Aye anymore.
She was used to wearing a starship. Starships had weapons and shields; humans, she would soon remember, had hands and clothing.
Still flying high on panic, she pushed herself off the ground, stood at her full height, swayed back and forth a bit, took a step back, and balled her hands into fists.
She could see the monster now: a tall, roughly humanoid mountain of gray granite and jagged purple crystal.
“And … you … are?” Anderson said amiably.
Rachel's fear became action.
And thus began the most pathetic fist-fight in the history of humankind … and in the history of a number of other bipedal races, including the Dak’Oot species that heals through punching.
Rachel-7 struck Anderson as many times as she was able, pressing to find any discernible weak spot.
There were none.
And there didn't seem to be any part of it not covered with a jagged crystal.
Rachel-7’s hands were soon bleeding like fountains.
“You … should … stop … that,” Anderson said. “I’m … not … trying … to hurt … you.”
Rachel-7's medicloud desperately tried to keep up with its host’s flailing arms, patching the wounds as quick as Rachel-7 got them.