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Planet Mudball - Predator fanfiction Chap 1


PLANET MUDBALL

 

Disclaimer: If I were Queen of the Galaxy, I would own everything. But, I’m not and I don’t. I don’t own Predators or Care Bears or any planets named Mudball. Geraldine and Keyla are the products of my own twisted imagination.

 

Rating: PG

 

A/N: This story was originally posted on fanfiction.net. See if you recognize lines from the song Manic Monday, references to The A-Team, Star Trek, Ace Ventura, Transformers, Star Wars and Saturday Night Live.

In chapter 4, ADL’s are ‘activities of daily living’.

I will post pics of the map Dodge drew in chapter 4 and what I envision Killer’s mask looks like as soon as I figure out how to do so. I have a hard time understanding LJ’s FAQ’s.   

 

 

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Chapter 1

 

“Earthquake!” I scream, just to hear myself yell. I scramble to get out of the ship. It’s safer to be outside during these tremors. Slipping and sliding on the muddy terrain, I run about thirty feet away from the ship’s door and brace myself to ride out the quake. 

 

Slag, it isn’t my imagination, the quakes are getting more frequent. Hmm, I think they’re getting longer and more violent too. I better start keeping a better account of how long they’re lasting. Just in case. The tremors ceased, I estimate it’s been about four minutes, even though it seems like ten. Yep, it’s definitely longer than the last one. Not that it will make any difference in my situation.  

 

I’m Geraldine Delilah VanSilver, Dodge for short. I’ve been stranded here, on what I’ve dubbed Planet Mudball, for 42 days. Mudball has 18-hour days and, until recently, the quakes have been happening every five days.   The last two had been 3 days apart. This might end up being troublesome.

 

I start to pick up the mess in camp. Primus knows my fellow survivor won’t do it. Great, all my pots fell in the dirt. 

 

In between grumbles I yell for my shipmate, “Keyla! Where are you? Come on back to the ship!”

 

She has made a habit of disappearing for odd intervals since we wrecked. She could take care of herself, but I still worried. However, right now I had cleaning to do.

 

I indulge myself in a flashback of how I got myself into this hopeless situation. I had been a passenger on a small interstellar shuttle, traveling from one galaxy to another. We apparently ran into a meteor shower that didn’t show up on the ship’s scans. Man, I’m sooo going to sue someone when I get home. IF I get home. Wait, don’t be a pessimist, think happy thoughts. The hell with happy thoughts, I ran out of them when the crewmen died. . 

 

Keyla and I had been extremely lucky. Unlike our pilot, we didn’t die in the crash. The other crewman had been seriously injured, and had died after a day. I had done the best I could for him, but it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t a nurse, I was a bean-counter! Just minding my own business, going from one job to another. Shoulda stayed home. 

 

The distress beacon worked, even if the ship itself did not. We just need a little more luck to get another ship into the area to pick up the distress signal. But, I won’t hold my breath. I’m afraid Keyla and I have used up all our luck just surviving the crash. I’m preparing myself for the bad luck, pirates to pick up the signal, capture me and sell me into slavery. Or, a monster’ll just eat me. Sigh.

 

At least the ship’s intact enough to provide shelter.   This planet has enough oxygen for us to breathe, even though the air is very humid. Better than being stuck on a tundra planet.   We had enough survival supplies to last a year, and some of the flora and fauna on the planet is edible.   

  

So, here I am, down on Planet Mudball, until someone finds and rescues me. I am so screwed. 

 

Keyla broke into my thoughts. 

 

“Mrowf, yarrowww mrrroww, owwrrr.”  

 

“Hey cat.” I figured she’d be fine and show up eventually, looking none the worse for wear. Cats always land on their feet. She’s too smart to get caught in an enclosed space during a quake. Animals always seem to have a sixth sense about natural disasters. In fact, she usually gave me the heads-up when she was around. 

 

“There you are, how ya doing cat? What’s going on?” 

 

Keyla looked agitated, and bound over to me. She is a hybrid bobcat, bred for hazardous environments and space travel. They are extremely adaptable and exceptionally smart. When they reach maturity, they have a superior understanding of human facial expressions and language. They make excellent companions, as long as they liked you. I always trust my cat’s instincts; somehow she can always tell whom to trust. 

 

It’s always up in the air as to who “owned” who in this relationship.   Keyla has the typical grey/brown coat with tufted ears and stubby black tail. She stands about 15 inches at the shoulder, is about 24 inches long and weighs 30 lbs. Her eyes are what really stand out. Instead of being yellow like a regular bobcat, they are a very pretty ice blue, with a red ring around the iris. And the usual cat slit pupil. She knew she was pretty, and she has me wrapped around her stubby tail. I always was a crazy cat lady. 

 

Keyla bumps into me, nearly knocking me over, making her cat-talk noises. “Hey, watch it you big, fat cat!” She springs back over to the tree line, then ran back to bump me again. She repeats the gesture a couple more times, looking at me over her shoulder, seeming to say, “follow me stupid human.” Something has to be up for her to be acting so frantic.     

 

Well, I can always clean up later. It’s not like I had a hot date or anything else to do. I better go see what’s gotten her tail in a twist. I went into the ship to get my traveling gear and weapon, and then I follow her into the forest. 

 

We make our way through the woods, in a northerly direction. It seems Keyla’s leading me towards those fragging mountain caves. If she wasn’t so insistent, I wouldn’t have gone. Too dangerous, even with my little plasma gun. We usually keep away from the mountain, I think that’s where the monsters live. Well, not monsters, per se, just really, really big bear-like things that I didn’t want to mess with. I sarcastically call them Care Bears. They don’t care for me and I don’t care for them. At least they were the only large predators we had come across so far.

 

Care Bears appear to be fairly rare, I have only seen two of them so far. One from a distance and one I shot right from the door of the ship a couple days after we crashed. That’s how I found out they’re edible. Picture an earth wombat, entirely hairless, about six feet long, rust colored, with a white tummy, a long crocodile muzzle filled with a double row of teeth and three-inch talons. That’s a Care Bear. Nasty creatures. 

 

Unfortunately, I think another one might have moved into the area near the ship. For the past several days, I’ve had the feeling of being watched, usually right before sundown. I saw the distant brush move once, but I didn’t see anything, even though Keyla had been staring at something out there. It was kind of spooky, and I’ve stuck close to the ship since then.

 

But, back to the business at hand. I better start paying better attention. Keyla and I have hiked about a mile so far. It’s taken us just under an hour, I’m a little slow. The forest ground is just as muddy as the open terrain, and slick with fallen leaves. And now I’m trying to keep a close look out for Care Bears, or whatever it is that Keyla was trying to show me. I could see the thinning of the large trees ahead. I jumped a small creek, and we emerged from some dense brush before the foothills.

 

Pushing my way through a thorn bush (ouch!), I stop in astonishment and my mouth drops open. There’s someone near the bottom of the hill, about sixty yards away. That certain someone is half trapped under a pile of rocks and dirt. Obviously a recent avalanche from the last quake, there’s still dust in the air. More importantly, I’m not alone any more! Whoo hoo! Maybe there’s a rescue ship somewhere and I would be going home! 

 

But, first things first, gotta get him out and let’s hope he’s not hurt too badly or dead. Morbidly I thought, “if he’s dead, I hope I can find his ship to get out of here.” Let’s not go there Dodge, happy thoughts, remember, happy thoughts. Keyla was nowhere in sight, and I stumble out of the brush ready to make my way to the injured person. 

 

But, in my excitement, I’m careless. I neglect to check for Care Bears. I hear a roar off to my right and my heart almost stopped. There it is, about thirty feet away. I think the CB had been making its way over to the victim on the hill, but now I happen to be the closer meal. See, there’s the rub. We can eat them, but conversely, they can also eat us. 

 

I spin on my heel, swing my gun around from my back and take off back into the brush, shooting once over my shoulder. There was a deadfall just inside the tree line I could use as a backdrop as I try to blow the bear away. 

 

Fear made me more nimble and I ran to the partly fallen tree and scrambled over. But, there’s my bad luck again, I twist my ankle slightly, and fall right on my back on the other side of the decaying log. The Care Bear’s RIGHT over me, and I scream in rage as I struggle to bring the muzzle up to aim. I’m a goner for sure.

 

The creature suddenly roared, and I saw Keyla rake her claws over its eyes, clinging to its head. Orange blood drops flew all over me (yuck!) and I crab walk back, trying to get some space to take a shot without hitting Keyla. A foreleg swung up and out and Keyla flew off into the air. I hope she lands on her feet and not her head. Here’s my chance, I open fire, the CB’s head explodes into orange-spattered bits, drenching me in more yuckiness. The corpse slumps down over the log, its front claws hitting the ground just inches away from my boots. 

 

Keyla came bounding over to me, and tries to push her way onto my chest. I’m panting too hard, and can’t get my breath in the humidity. Thirty pounds of cat on me right now probably would suffocate me. I cuddle her close, pet her head and murmur comforting sounds, along with my thanks to her for saving my life. That was just too close. Dodge dodged and survived. Ha, I think I’m delirious. 

 

But on the bright side, CB’s seem to be solitary beasts, and we were probably safe from another attack until another one moves into this territory. That should be at least a few days. In fact, this might be the one I speculated was by the ship. And we now have some meat for our larder. I’ll come back and dress it once I check on the guy by the hill. 

 

I struggle to my feet, my ankle hurts a bit but I can walk on it. And my back’s a little sore from landing on my backpack when I fell over the log. Right into a big mud puddle. Figures. And I have blood all down my legs and some splatters on my face. I took a few moments to wipe my face off with my sleeve, no sense scaring my rescuer unnecessarily.

 

I backtrack to where I entered the forest, ran into that same thorn bush, and carefully step out to look around. Keyla’s already out, everything looks safe, and I slowly limp my way toward my potential savior. 

 

But, something isn’t quite right. As I get closer, I start to pick out details that make me uncomfortable. By primus, I think it’s an alien! What was my first clue? 

 

Maybe the size of the guy? Or the yellowish skin with phosphorescent green blood on the ground? Or the weird mask covering the entire face? 

 

Wow. This is just too fantastic to be real. Of course, I’d heard the rumors about sentient life forms in space, but no one I knew had ever come across any. Could we communicate? Will he be able to help me? Should I help him? Will he hurt me? I think my brain’s going to explode with all the questions.

 

He’s buried in rocks from mid thigh down, and I can see some of that bright blood seeping out from under the rocks. 

 

Wow, he is ripped. I really have no idea if the being is male or female, but what I can see of ‘his’ body looks like a typical human male, so I will presume it is a he.   He’s lying on his back, head facing downhill - no way he could get out of that rock pile without help.   

 

Anywho, a humanoid life form, he’s gotta be close to 8 feet tall. Lots of muscles, all over. He’s got huge hands, they could cover my whole face easy, and those claws, pretty scary, almost as bad at the CB’s. His skin is mottled yellow and black, looks almost reptilian, and he’s wearing some sort of webbing over the massive chest, with a bandolier. The only recognizable stuff on it is small animal skulls, a distinctly macabre decoration. He’s got small shoulder plates, and gauntlets on each forearm.   And some sort of a loincloth that didn’t look like cloth, more like beaten metal, kind of like what the gladiators used to wear. 

 

His hair is really weird. If hair is what it is. All I can think of is two-foot long, rubber dreadlocks. It’s spread out all around his head, like a princess’s hair displayed over a silk pillow. It’s ropy, beaded, grey/black in color, and frames a mask that covers the entire face. 

 

Actually, the mask is kinda cool looking. It looks beat up, and has carved decorations around the jaw line and where the mouth would be. The goggled eyes look like those reflective sunglasses you still see on macho law enforcement types.   There’s some symbol carved into the forehead, it looks like a backward “K.”  

 

Ha, I’m gonna call him Killer. Makes me think of that old comic routine from the 1970’s, Geraldine and her boyfriend Killer. Haha. I think I’m in shock. I still can’t believe I found an alien. 

 

Goggled and inscrutable, the mask reveals nothing except mystery and menace.

 

I am afraid. I think he’s unconscious; it’s hard to tell with the mask. But, there hasn’t been any movement in the past few minutes that I’ve been gawking. At least I can see that he’s breathing.

 

I inch closer, and poke his arm with a six-foot branch I picked up.

He made some kind of a quiet purring sound but didn’t move. Ooh, that’s weird. I poke him again. Nothing. Well, I can help him out of the rocks and check out his legs, but if there’s any internal injury, he’s out of luck. 

 

Why should I even bother to help? He looks sentient, I guess. If he was some mindless monster I don’t think he’d be wearing anything even resembling clothes. My conscience won’t let me just leave him, I hope he appreciates it. 

 

What kind of face is he hiding, behind that mask that looks like beaten pewter? 

 

I can’t move him now - he’s way too big. Hmm, but I can get some tools and stuff from the ship, and I may be able to drag him back. I need to think about this. I’d have to go back for supplies anyway, to get the Care Bear steaks.

 

Ok, Doctor Dodge to the rescue, track record notwithstanding. I can do this. I can do this.

 

“Don’t move Killer, I’ll be back soon.”

 

 

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