His arms are heavier than iron, and his breathing is labored.
But Jesus Christ and all twelve disciples, it's not like he can just quit fighting these swarms of monsters and demons.
So he fires every bullet he can finagle; he attacks with the pike until it snaps in a mammoth, razored mouth; he resorts to fists and elbows and feet; and, when he's driven back, and back, and back by a fire-spitting serpent, he finds himself near the forge once more.
He dives inside, and hefts the first weapon his fingers close around: a samurai sword, as beautiful as it is deadly.
But Ben has precious little time to appreciate the aesthetics. He has a serpent to behead.
He doesn't expect to be thrown backward upon the kill stroke, as if he's ignited a powder keg by mistake.
Hurtling through the air, Ben twists, and —
shit damn shit shit shit shit
— he's sailing into the forge, headed for a workbench covered in all manner of sharp, certain death.
Two heartbeats later, he blinks in the Texas sun.
He's standing just outside the Acme, sword still in hand.
He doesn't feel like an overgrown pin cushion, but he takes stock of himself, all the same.