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Out of the deadly waters of the Samanon river thrust a massive fish, jaws snapping as though piston-driven, twisting in mid-air, its muscles engaging pockets of gas along its tail that propelled it toward the hunters’ riverboat. It ricocheted off the engine block, back into the water, and swept around for a second leaping blow.
Gartruck Killshuck cartwheeled aside the fish’s scythe-like tail, the razor-sharp blades grazing a fold of wrinkled skin along his jaw. Undershooting the side-rails, the fish found itself grounded, flopping menacingly on the floor of the river-boat. With a great bellow, Gartruck withdrew his peppermace and began clubbing at the flopping, fiendish creature with the weapon’s burning, crystallized capsaicin head. In a killing frenzy the fish blew its gas jets and whipped its tail, man and beast suddenly caught in a furious exchange; but each slicing sweep delivered by the fish merely ripped into Gatruck’s flak jacket, while his blows pounded the beast, taking its tail, disfiguring its gills, and finally smashing the pulp out from its chainsaw-like rows of teeth. It twitched in its death throes, issuing acid and noxious bile, before coming to rest upon the deck.
“Lancing Shotfish. One hundred pounds,” said Surly, the digital hunting organizer. “Encounter recorded into memory. KillSlate uploading to Hunt-Tube now.”