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Planet Mudball - Predator fanfiction Chap 5


PLANET MUDBALL

 

A/N – Some quotes taken from comics: Predator: Cold War (TPB); Predator: Race War #0

 

Disclaimer: I don’t own anything related to Predators, but if I did, Wolf would have killed the Predalien, jumped onto the runners of the escaping helicopter, killed all the government guys and lived to hunt another day. He was so cool. *Sigh*  

 

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

 

 

Chapter 5

 

“AAAH!!!” 

 

I am still swinging my weapon, but the appearance of three red dots in the shape of a triangle appearing on the intruder’s chest causes me to hesitate, a potentially fatal mistake. I shift my weight back and prepare to run. Before I can even comprehend what I am seeing, the guy’s chest suddenly explodes, raining yuckies all over me and all over the ship’s corridor. Oooh, that’s gonna stain - ew, ew, ew, this is worse than Care Bear blood. Why am I repeatedly getting splattered with blood on this planet?  

 

What is going on around here - what just happened to that guy? I crouch down to become a smaller target and try to calm my racing heart. I’m panting like a dog on a hot summers day.

 

I hear someone yelling, out of sight in back of the ship and loose my balance, falling on my aft. I also drop my gun. “Oh my Primus, oh my, oh, oh, help me, help me,” I babble hysterically, trying to get a grip. Do I stay or run. It looks like those dots killed him, or did I miss something else doing the dirty deed. Am I next? I can’t seem to think. Oh, why didn’t I listen to my parental units and become a medical ‘bot supervisor? 

 

I sense something large next to me, and I shriek as I feel a massive hand – an invisible hand – grab my right upper arm and jerk me upright. I totter on my rubbery legs, feeling like a kid whose mom is dragging him down the street. Killer flickers into sight for a moment, looking scary as the pit. He glances down at me, growls, and vanishes. I exhale in relief, I’m not alone…. 

 

In that split-second of visibility, I notice he’s got a mechanical something sticking out over his shoulder. Where’d that come from? I know he didn’t have that thing on earlier. Plasma charges shoot out from inside the ship, hit Killer and disrupt his cloaking field. He flickers in and out of sight, still holding onto my arm. Time to retreat and I scream at Killer, “Go, go, go!” I don’t know if he understood me, but he roars - a bloodcurdling sound that echoes down the ship’s corridor. The shots and yelling from the ship stop, then resume a few moments later. Ooh, he gives me the shivers when he does that. Hope those guys poop their pants in terror. Slagging trespassers. 

 

Killer grabs me around the waist and all I have time to think is ‘Oh, great, here we go again,’ before I am hanging onto his belt-thing, my face perilously close to his behind. I don’t think we are invisible any more, as I can see him very clearly. Hey, here’s another question. If he’s invisible while carrying me, would the intruders see me floating in the air or would I disappear, like magic? Hmm…no time to ponder that conundrum, as Killer turns and almost looses his footing. His bad leg buckles and we nearly take a tumble to the ground. I shriek, a pathetic girlie sound, as he catches himself with his free arm, pushes himself up and limps a bit, aiming for the sheltering forest. 

 

Shots are coming from behind us, and I can see men in armor pour out of the ship’s door like ants from a disturbed nest. MY nest, slaggit! Their gaze is directed right at us (Guess we aren’t invisible anymore. One question answered.), and I can see weapons coming up. Oh, oh. Not good, not good at all. I pound on Killer’s back and yell, “Killer, look out! Here they come, they’re gonna shoot! Let me down!” 

 

Killer stumbles towards the wood line, squeezing my innards a bit too hard, making me grunt and complain. “Hey, easy on the human, I’m squishy!” He’s making rumbling sounds from deep in his chest and I can feel the vibrations where I am pressed against his side. I’m all for a strategic retreat at this point in time. Even the brave must know when to run. Stupid people are not brave, they are simply dead. 

 

The bad guys are still shooting in our direction, and I cover my head in a pathetic attempt to protect myself. I can’t even draw enough breath to yell anymore, as I am still getting squeezed uncomfortably. 

 

We’re almost at the wood line, home free, when Killer is hit squarely in the chest with a large round from straight ahead, narrowly missing me by the way. So much for the forest hiding us, it’s already hiding the enemy. The force of the blow knocks me out of Killer’s hold and flings me into the (thankfully unlit) fire pit, wrenching my shoulder. 

 

I struggle to right myself, and see that Killer got catapulted into a tree about fifteen feet away. Oh poor Killer, I hope he’s not prone to concussions. But, his noggin seems pretty thick. But, that can’t be good for his leg, either. Slag, he’s not moving, I bet he’s knocked out.

 

Ow, owie, my shoulder is killing me, my head hurts and my ears are ringing. I struggle semi-erect, and scuttle towards Killer, momentarily forgetting about the intruders responsible for this mess.   I kneel at Killer’s side, “Killer, hey, wake up. Can you hear me?” Not even a twitch - it looks like he’s out for the count. Where’s my gun, can I use his gauntlet, what do I do, what do I do…? I lean over him, reach out and gently place my hand on his mask. I can hear him clicking faintly, and catch a movement out of the corner of my eye. A pair of black boots stops right beside me, and I look up just in time to see a fist heading toward my face.

 

Everything goes black. 

 

 

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

 

 

Oooh, my head…did anybody get the certificate number of that transport? I’ve got the mother-in-law of all headaches, and my left arm feels like it had been stabbed with a knife. And my ears are ringing like the ship’s bells during a Red Alert. 

 

I crack open my left eye and all I see is dirt and a squished plant. My head spins, and I assure myself this is okay, as I am lying on the ground, cheek in the dirt. All of me is lying in the dirt, actually. I squeeze my eyes tight and moan.   I need a miracle med kit. Or booze. Or something. I’m on my stomach and there seems to be something sharp digging into my left thigh. I thought I cleaned out all the rocks from the campsite. Wait a minute, something is awry after all. 

 

Raucous laughter suddenly erupts from somewhere in front of me. My eyes pop open, vision focuses, and I quickly close them again. I’ve gotta be dreaming. Please let me be dreaming. In my line of sight, I can see Killer hanging from a tree, missing his mask. He is trussed up in so many ropes it looks like he’s a monstrous cocoon, the prey of some carnivorous spider in a kinky B-movie. 

 

I also see most of Killer’s gear piled close to the tree, and it looks like he’s been stripped of his obvious weapons. He’s only wearing his loin and gauntlets, and that webbing stuff as well. That’s a plus. Maybe they weren’t recognized as weapons? But, I don’t know how much it helps our cause, as the gauntlets are pretty well useless right now. His arms are secured, crossed in front of him, fists under his chin. If Killer tries to use the blades bound as he is, he’ll just send them into his own skull. 

 

I don’t see any movement from Killer at all, but I do see a stain of blood trailing from his bad leg and a small patch over the chest area. Nearby, a man is playing with Killer’s mask, trying it on and getting laughs from onlookers. Another clearly nervous man is standing guard, fidgeting, weapon trained in Killer’s direction. That’s a bad accident just waiting to happen.  

 

My circumstance isn’t any better. I’m on my belly, ankles strapped and arms tied behind me. There are about ten men, in various poses of relaxation, scattered around the door of the ship. I don’t hear anyone behind me, but just because you don’t hear the rattle, doesn’t mean that there aren’t snakes around, if you know what I mean. The clearing has been burned back another 100 yards and I can smell the stench of smoke. Guess they didn’t feel very safe with brush so close, too many places to hide. We are so slagged. Hey, where is Keyla?

 

I guess my moan and wiggling to get comfortable has been noticed. A man gets up, leaves the group around the fire, saunters over and looks down at me, a nasty smirk upon his face. He’s average-looking, with a forgettable face and no distinguishing characteristics. 

 

He smiles a big, fake smile and says in a condescending manner, “We are comfortable, yes?” 

 

Ah, there is the uniqueness; he has a gold tooth that immediately captures my eye. 

 

I roll over and struggle to sit upright, which is very hard to do when your legs are tied, and clear my throat twice, trying to get some spit going so I can talk. “No, I am not comfortable. Who are you and who do you think you are - invading my ship, taking over and treating a citizen of The United Federation in this shameful way. Release me immediately and I won’t report you to the authorities when I get back to civilization.” 

 

He chuckles, shakes his head and says, “Ah, but I am not an official citizen of the Federation. But, forgive me, where are my manners, yes? I am to be called…Louis. I am a…a…privateer, yes, a privateer, who these men look up to. We take care of each other. We are free beings and bow to no regime, no? And,” he reaches down to touch my cheek, “You should be nice to me, as I now hold your life in my hands, little girl.” 

 

I shake my head, dislodging his hand. I don’t want him touching me. Primus on a pogo stick! Damn tracking beacon. Privateers, my aft. They’re pirates. Slag. Only my slagging luck could allow me to actually be captured by slagging pirates. Slag. This is a nightmare come to life. Or a bad fiction story. 

 

“So, what do you want? My ship? Fine, it’s yours, if you can get it to work. Just let me go and I won’t tell anyone anything.”   

 

“’Tis not that simple, my dear. Your ship is rubbish. We have invested much in coming here, yes? Your beacon drew us to you like a moth to a flame, like a butterfly to a flower, like a Tiberian Bat to a rotted corpse, like a fat girl to a cupcake.” Great, he’s a pirate poetaster. “We have an investment to recoup.” He smiles, tooth flashing in the light. “P’haps you are wealthy, yes?”

 

“No I’m not wealthy,” I grump. 

 

“Ah, that may be too bad. Well, we shall see what we shall see, yes?” 

 

This guy’s habit of ending his sentences with a question is getting on my nerves. I had a thought. “What about Ki - the alien? What do you plan to do with him?” 

 

“Yes, even if you are not of wealth, we shall undeniably reap a profit for this trip. We shall receive much credits for that one, yes? We have heard of their existence, this species, this race, of alien. Very rare, very rare indeed. And to actually find one…. Never have we heard of any taken alive, no? It is worth much, yes?”      

 

“What do you mean?” My ears perk up hearing this. Killer and I are sliding further and further into a hole we might not be able to climb out of. 

 

“Many, many authorities and…private persons, yes, would love to commandeer their weapons. I have a contact, a…research individual who has been looking for an actual specimen, or pieces thereof, yes? This one is still alive, with all his technology intact, a double bonus for us. Not so good for him, no?” And the slime ball actually laughs. Grrr.

 

“How come you know so much about them?” I ask. “I may have heard rumors, but they didn’t come close to actually seeing the real thing.” I figure, keep the guy talking, maybe I can find some loophole out of this mess. My dad used to say, the more you know, the better off you are. 

 

He settles himself down on a nearby log, getting comfortable. If he was a gentleman, he would untie me and let me sit there too. Fragger. 

 

“Ah, we are talking politely now, yes? Before I answer, may this one ask how such a pretty girl came to be with such an ugly monster?” 

 

I bristle at the remark as my eyes dart over to rest on Killer’s bare face. Still no movement, I hope he’s okay. I answer, “He’s not ugly, just…different.” I guess I’ve gotten used to his face. It is just another aspect of him. 

 

“Ha!” Louis barks out a laugh. “Different is not the word, no? But please, are you a set, are you together?”    

 

I shift on the ground, stretching my legs out and surreptitiously trying to test the bonds on my hands. Ow, my shoulder. “Um, well, we kinda fell into company. I met him out in the forest. Actually, he found me, I think he was curious. I had just killed one of those big carnivorous animals, ya know. It was chasing me. He can’t talk or anything, and I don’t even know why he followed me here. I was just glad that he didn’t kill me.” This isn’t the entire truth, but ‘Louis’ didn’t need to know that. And I didn’t want to mention that Killer is wounded, it would certainly be in character for them to re-injure Killer’s leg, on purpose.   

 

“Do you know where his ship is, yes?” Louis asks with a greedy glint to his eye that I really didn’t like. Yeah right, like I’d tell you, you slimy, loathsome, son-of-a-glitch. I look up at him, all innocent, and said, “Oh, you think he’s got a ship here, somewhere?” 

 

Louis frowns. I guess I didn’t look innocent enough. Slag. 

 

“Yes, they always have a ship, and it is always well hidden.” 

 

Let’s get off the ship topic, shall we. Keep him talking. “Um, what else do you know about them? Where are they from? How come I’ve only heard rumors about their existence?”

 

“It is said they come from the other side of the Milky Way galaxy, yes, and are renowned for their warlike skills. They are considered to be the ultimate predator. Their entire society is supposed to revolve around ‘The Hunt’ and related hunting activities. And the acquisition of trophies, the skulls of their victims. Gruesome, yes?” Louis waggles his eyebrows at me, trying to scare me, I guess. I had to bite my tongue in order not to giggle inappropriately. If he could have seen Killer and Keyla cuddling up around the fire….   

 

I tilt my head to show interest in what he was saying. Actually it is very enlightening. I wonder why Keyla and I aren’t dead and mounted on a wall somewhere, if these aliens are so into trophy hunting. Keep ‘em talking. “Well, every society has their little traditions,” I acknowledge, and shrug my shoulders. Ow.   

 

Louis seems annoyed at my nonchalant attitude toward the aliens, toward Killer. “They are a bunch of vicious bastards!” He practically yells at me, causing some of the others to glance our way. 

 

“There are stories and myths about them throughout the known galaxy. We don’t know for sure why they come, what they want or how they’ll react to anything we do, but we do know that they have technology that makes us look like a bunch of Aborigines. Their culture revolves around the concept of hunting and stalking prey, and we are just prey to them. They have hunted humans and eluded attention. Many people have trained specifically for capturing their technology and hunting them down. A dying alien will try to blow up his body and all equipment so we cannot steal their ideas.” 

 

Boy, I thought, he’s on a roll. Take a pill, will ‘ya.

 

“It is rumored that they can live for a thousand years….” 

 

“Wow,” I quip, “this one doesn’t look a day over 350.” 

 

Slap! He knocks me over, and I ate dirt. I struggle upright once again, really torqued off. Just you wait, I hope Keyla chews your eyeballs out, one at a time. 

 

“Do not push me, no? Come, I am sorry, but it has been a stressful day for us all. So, if we can find its ship, we would all be set for life, yes? You too, yes? Where did you first see it?” 

 

Chew on rocks, you bastard, I thought. “I really don’t remember…I think t’s off to the north…I’m not too good with directions….” 

 

Louis’ expression darkens. Slag, if I want to stay healthy, I had better work on my acting skills. 

 

“Obviously you do not understand what is at stake here!” He hesitates, and looks down at my chest. Oh, oh. That can’t be good. I glance down and am dismayed to see the gold necklace Killer gave me had slid out from under my shirt. Louis continues, “Not wealthy, you say? And, what is that, that you are hiding from me? I thought we were becoming friends, no?” 

 

He reaches for the necklace, and I try to squirm away. “No, we’re not friends! You better leave me, my necklace, and my friends alone!” Well, obviously it didn’t do me any good. Louis easily seizes my necklace and rips it off my neck. 

 

“Very expensive, and it suits you, yes? This is now my trophy. You are lucky I do not need your head on my wall, yes?. You will eventually thank me later, for having saved you from the evil monster. And you should know, I always get what I want. Yes, I do.”           

 

He ground out, “ ‘You have to understand [our] …culture…This isn’t about sport, it’s about trophy-taking. That’s why men hunt – to see who bags the biggest prize. And the biggest prize of all is a killer…When you kill a killer, his kills belong to you. Numbers. That’s what makes the world go round, big numbers.’ [i] Well, this one, he won’t be hunting anymore, he just became the prey.”    

 

End chapter 5

 

 

 

 



[i] Vachss A. et al. Predator: Race War, #0, p. 3. Dark Horse Comics, Inc., 1993

 

 

 

 


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