But this isn’t right, is it? This isn’t a person.
There’s a howl of static: a badly played theremin, a radio clumsily tuned. The pitch of the voice rises, grows hoarse and pained.
More tuning. The sufferer takes a deep breath--and promptly chokes on seawater.
There’s quite a lot of panicked and undignified splashing after that, during which the broadcasting device tumbles into the breakers.
The camera view eventually clears to reveal a gently swaying view of the night sky--and the sound of retching.
On the beach, Mark Meltzer sits stiffly back on his heels and wipes his mouth. He’s very cold and very wet, and there are some distressing blank spots in his immediate memory. But he remembers Cindy. She was right there, he’d held her--and she needed help, needed a cure that for all he knew might not exist. Everything else can wait--he’s got to find her.
He jerks to his feet and manages a few long, purposeful strides along the shoreline before he comes across the comm device, bobbing in the incoming tide. He blinks at it. Scoops it up.
“Oh.” Realization. One or two of those blank spots jar into focus. Anger, fear, loss. “Oh, no.”
He could--should--call for help, find out who’s still out there, how long he’s been gone, get back to work. Instead he folds slowly forwards, arms wrapped tight around his ribs, and starts to cry.