And let me use an image from the splendid Mutants in Mega-City One collection for which I now own the original artwork!
Dead men tell no tales
"Santa, please call here" says the sign but it's the judges who kick down the door. They are too late, the drug has taken hold and I'm already effectively dead.
"Jovus! He's been gutted like a fish."
"Eyes up, rookie. Perp may still be here."
The toxin paralysed me, heart rate reduced to almost zero, everything slowed to crawling speed, except my brain which races away but I can't let the judges know I'm still alive.
"Clear. Whoever did this is long gone."
"Call the tech. I'll check the body."
Coloured lights reflect off her leathers as the judge checks my non-reactive pupils. I can feel drops of moisture forming in my eyes. Maybe she'll spot my tears and realise I'm not dead? But no, judges are trained for blood and violence not tears, and she stands up again as the tech sets his tri-d camera recording the scene.
"OK, rookie. Tell me what you see."
"Male, mid forties, naked apart from his u-fronts. Belly has been opened with a serious blade, I'm guessing it nicked the aorta because there is a lot of blood. Let me just look inside ... yes, his liver is missing. It's him isn't it? This is the work of Santa Claws, the Christmas Delivery Man."
"Sure looks that way. Sicko's fourth victim in as many years. Let's see what else we've got here apart from a corpse."
Time passes. I'm just a piece of meat to them now.
"All done," says the tech. "You want me to send Re-syk up?"
"Yeah. We've got what we need here."
Then I'm alone again. I hear the judges starting their door to door but no-one will have seen or heard anything, while I lay here taking it all in, unable to speak.
Re-syk is a short guy in the familiar yellow jumpsuit. As he lays out the body bag he doesn't notice my finger twitching, the drug is wearing off. Good Grud, what if I'm zipped up in his van before I can move?
However this guy is slow, methodical, diligent. He hasn't even got me in the bag when I suddenly sit up. His face is a picture but my hand closes around his throat before he cries out. My blade was hidden beneath me and his eyes widen as it slides in below his ribs.
"I'm sorry," I whisper in his dying ear, "but you have something I need."
I eat his liver straight away and feel life flood through me as mine regenerates. My belly wound closes and my mutated skin knits whole again while I quickly bottle a pint of his blood to use next time. Five minutes later I'm wearing yellow and pushing the gurney down the corridor. The judges don't even look in my direction while they browbeat the neighbours.
Re-syk are expecting a body without a liver and that is exactly what I intend to deliver.