Reaching around slowly to check what he was dealing with he tells himself that it has to be smaller than it feels at this angle.
Steve: It’s nothing more than a splinter. Shouldn’t be too bad!
He felt for the first time how much of an advantage it was to be infected with this… whatever it was… and there would be a lot of healing to do after he pulled this out.
Healing he would rely on the infection to provide. He knows how this works, how hesitation can prevent you from taking action, and without any more consultation with his fears he places the rifle strap between his teeth, chews down on it hard and grabs the protruding fragment of metal tightly.