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Andrew had never known just how much it hurts to be thrown through a second story plate glass window, until about five seconds ago. He'd also never known just how much of a mind fuck it could be to see a room full of mist condense into the hazy form of a man. He spat the metallic blood that had been pooling in his mouth, then grinned as he realized just how ordinary his killer looked; Al-Hasan must have actually been a prophet, because Andrew was about to be murdered by a fucking ghost.

The return trip had been simple; second squad was already waiting at the exfil point when his buddies got there. He'd already heaved his sigh of relief when they landed in Somalia. The trip back to the base was barely another half hour. The debriefing had just ended, and a barracks on a United States Air Force base was the last place he was expecting to be attacked.

"The box..."
Casper was muttering something. His voice sounded like a rusted out engine running on gravel and tears - which was to say, not pleasant. "Starving."

"Oh, hell no."
Andrew tried to stumble to his feet, but before he could even sit up ghost boy was on him. The knee in his chest drove home a few shards of glass, and strained already cracked ribs. His reflexive gasp only widened the cuts. Hands tightly gripped his shoulders, but weirdly enough they seemed like they were only halfway solid. Drunk on pain and adrenaline, Andrew asked through gritted teeth, "So you're Muhammad? Figured you'd be... browner."

Casper paused, seeming to be waiting for something. Andrew took the opportunity to grab hold of the power. He had the feeling that if he didn't do something quick, he wouldn't be doing anything. So he reached out with threads of air. He doubted he could stay conscious long enough for anything fancy; there was quite a bit of blood pooling around him already. So he tried to slice Casper in half. Problem was, nothing happened, and Casper just grinned. "Good."

What followed was the most weirdly exhilarating feeling Andrew had ever experienced in his decidedly short life. The power was being yanked through him, far more of it than he'd ever tried to handle. But he couldn't control it; it was like being force fed cocaine. The hands gripping his shoulders seemed to be growing more and more solid. It wasn't until he was able to pick out footsteps in the distance that he had the presence of mind to scream.

A group of MPs rounded a corner, weapons at the ready. They must have been sent when security picked up the broken window. One shouted, "Get off him, hands on your head!"
The thing didn't seem to hear. "Last time I ask, get off him!"

Andrew had no idea how long it took for them to finally start shooting; the power being drawn through him was too great to allow things like a sense of time. But eventually, he heard the steady pop-pop of pistols firing, and the wet thud of nine millimeter rounds piercing flesh. The look on Casper's face was more of surprise than pain, and he jumped away. Strangely, the sense of emptiness Andrew felt when the ghost released his grip on the power overshadowed the pain of already broken ribs being pushed against his lungs.

"Holy shit, look at this guy. Call a fucking ambulance!"

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