The snow crunches underneath as I lie prone. It's still fucking cold with all the wind, but none of us complain. Think all of us were too preoccupied with this twisted feeling in our guts. Through a scratched scope I watch the rest of the squad approach it. For a while now we've just observed, trying to make sense of this thing. Weeks ago it was just this spire of ice that threw all our sensors haywire. With the warmth of spring came the thaw, and through the thinning frost you began to see what they were screaming about: some horrific amalgamation of tissue frozen underneath. Organic. Muscle and sinew from the looks of it. No form, no structure, no goddamn sense. No one knows where it came from or what the fuck it is, but of course it's now our problem to deal with. Their guns are trained on the spire, hesitant footsteps advancing through half-melted snow. It's not every day we deal with this sort of shit, but still, something wasn't right. Our damn guts knew it. Before any of 'em could get close I catch glints of harsh sunlight flickering off the ice-ridden flesh. It knows we're here. With fumbling haste I mash the transmission button and raise the grille to my lips. "Fire." Before any bullet could be shot this whip-like tendril bursts from the ice. It lurches backwards, and as if pulled by imperceptible strings the guns are ripped out of their grasps. The now empty-handed squad looks above in terror as their weapons implode in on themselves, crumpled up like paper, and without time to react the gnarled masses of metal and gunpowder tear in opposing directions; some of them sweep soldiers off their feet to bathe the rock walls beside them, others content to simply beat them into the soil. Within seconds the entire ground team was lost. My insides boil. I want this thing dead. Without thinking I wrap myself around the gun and squeeze the trigger, failing to recognize the stock pressing against my shoulder. The force dislocated it, I think. Through the searing pain I keep my eye mashed into the lens, still manage to see the bullet impact at the base of this tendril. Shards of ice crackled and flew free from the muscle. Yet it showed no signs of harm, no instinctual retraction of pain. Instead, the very earth began to tremble in retaliation. Comms filled with panicked screams, I don't bother to hear a commanding "retreat" before scrambling to my feet and sprinting away. I left the gun behind. It wouldn't help me. The thawing was inevitable, as is night giving way to day. Perennials reawaken once again, bloom into their full forms, threads of life pulsing as they writhe from the cold grasp of winter. Things left dormant awaken, whether we want them to or not. Winter gives way to spring.