*Disclaimer: I own nothing but my original characters and ideas….and the plot bunnies in the corner. Please don't sue, I'm a poor college student that has no life and way too many video games.*

"Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life."

The Beasts Below

Fear crept into her throat and settling in her heart as brown eyes gazed at the hole with trepidation. Shaking hands tightened the roped around her stomach once again as she took halting steps on the bloodied sand. Carolyn Fry was truly and completely terrified for the first time in her life.

Her eyes darted around the group as she tried to find a reason behind this action, and then she did. Shazza, the bushwhacking prospector, stood alongside the young boy Jack as tears still poured from her eyes. She would occasionally swipe them away, but that only succeeded in smearing the dirt around her face and soon more tears would fall.

She had to find Zeke, or at least his body, if not for her own sense of mind than at least for Shazza's. Taking another deep breath, Carolyn turned back to the hole and crouched down. She tried to brace herself on the sand without touching the blood, but it was everywhere and there was no way to avoid it. Shuffling forward slowly, she crawled upon the blood soaked sand, and within seconds she was enveloped in darkness.

A yard in she found a flashlight, but after several seconds examining it, she concluded that it was broken, but she tucked it into her waist band just in case. Who knew what they would need to survive out here. Another few yards in and the tunnel opened up into an underground cavern. Standing slowly, she circled around and gazed in wonder at the ceiling as the columns funneled light in from the surface.

"There hollow," she whispered to herself, moving steadily closer to the light. A sound similar to fabric rustling and small pebbles bouncing had her whirling around, gazing into the darkness. The fear overcame her wonder as she saw something just beyond the shadow. It was too dark to make out, but something was definitely out there.

She turned quickly again as more noises bounced off of the cavern's walls. And then she saw it, a boot, just barely in the light. Carolyn ran towards it, stumbling to her knees she grabbed the boot and braced herself to pull Zeke into the light, but she overestimated greatly how much power she would need and fell backwards, the boot and severed foot landing next to her.

Horror filled eyes took in the limb as she crabbed walked backwards, further into the light to get away from it. She didn't scream, of that she could find pride, but she did loose what little booze had settled in her stomach. Tears tracked down her face, leaving a trail as it picked up the dirt. Sniffling and wiping away the liquid she stood on unsteady feet.

She started to make her way back towards the hole but her eyes turned once again to the boot. Shazza would need to know, and she would want proof. Carolyn made several halting steps back towards the limb before she squared her shoulders and found her courage. Marching over to the boot she reached down to grab it just as a grey clawed limb shot out and pulled the severed foot back into the darkness.

Shouting in fright, Carolyn rushed to the exit, only to find it covered by things. She stumbled back into the light, beneath the column and tried to remember whose bright idea it was to come down here…oh yeah, it was Riddick's.

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The wind rushed past, tugging futilely at the charmed feathers Draco had in his hair as he slowed the SandCat. The wreckage was within sight now, smoke still billowing in dark gaseous clouds of poison. The werewolf thought it best to come at the survivors in an angle where they could see him long before he reached them, and in doing so at a leisurely pace insured that he was non aggressive. At least that was what he hoped they took from his actions, but he couldn't be sure as it had been just over a half a century since he had seen someone other than his brother.

So Draco rolled into the crash site at a boring six miles per hour and lo and behold, nobody greeted him. Scoffing in annoyance for making him wait, the once Malfoy took a deep breath to find the humans. One was inside, the dangerous one that invoked all kinds of curiosity from him, but the majority of the group was by the spires.

Disembarking from the SandCat, Draco started to make his way over to the largest group, thinking that that would be the best course of action, when a scream interrupted his thoughts. He froze momentarily, listening further and only hearing panicked shouting before he took off. It seemed that somebody was in need of saving, and seeing as his brother wasn't here, Draco supposed that meant he had to be the one doing the saving.

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Carolyn was pulled from the spire by strong male hands before she was set down a good dozen feet from the thing.

"I heard you first, Fry!"

"Are you alright, child?"

"Did you find Zeke?"

"What the hell is down there?"

They were all talking too fast, and the pilot of the Hunter-Gratzner could barely make out the occasional word from the blood rushing past her ears. Panting heavily, hands on knees, legs barely supporting her, Carolyn was able to gasp out what she saw.

"Stupid, so fucking stupid," Carolyn was talking about herself. "I don't know what the fuck is down there," waving a hand vaguely in the direction of the spire, "but whatever it was got Zeke and nearly got m-"

A hard yank on the rope cut her sentence of effectively as she was dragged kicking and screaming back to the spire. She slammed into the hard dirt before she started to be pulled in. "Get it off of me!"

She was shouting, yelling, screaming, and hands were grabbing her, trying to pull her away. But whatever was down there was too strong because the next thing she knew she was mostly in the hole, hands grabbing at the crumbling dirt as the others held onto her feet. Another hard yank and she slipped further into the hole.

Then suddenly a hand reached in and grabbed her arm in a painfully tight grip, pulling her out of the spire and clear of the hole. Seconds later the rope was cut, and Carolyn would have fallen to the ground if it hadn't been for the one still holding her arm. Taking heaving gasps, she turned to her rescuer, ready to thank whoever it was that saved her from death, but then she realized something…she didn't recognize him.

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Johns wasn't quite sure what had happened. One second the rather hot pilot was explaining in her colorful way what was in the hole and the next she was flying backwards. His morphine addicted self froze only for a moment before he took off after her, Imam and the others not far behind.

Johns grabbed at Fry, getting her shirt with one hand and her arm with the other he pulled her back as hard as he could, but whatever had a hold of the other end of the rope was too strong. Imam, Shazza, and one of the older Chrislam kids grabbed what they could and tried to yank her back from the darkness and the thing that had her, but she kept getting further and further into the hole, and before he knew it, the bounty hunter and the priest were part way into the hole as well.

Sweat slicked skin made his grip falter and he could feel her slipping. Carolyn was still screaming, nails digging into the crumbling dirt as she was pulled that much further, and then suddenly his grip failed and he fell backwards.

Staring in disbelief, Johns was convinced he was about to see another survivor meet a terrible end when suddenly there was another person. A pale young man, just out of boyhood, reached one arm into the hole and singlehandedly yanked the terrified pilot to safety. The merc was frozen in shock, but luckily the Imam was not, and reached around with his ceremonial knife and cut the rope.

Johns watched with detached interest as the line was pulled into the hole and disappeared into the black. Whooping noises of the likes he never heard before started up before ending suddenly. Whatever was down there was clearly disappointed in its missed meal.

Carolyn was hanging loosely from grip of the stranger, before he let her go and she collapsed into the sand. Trembling from the experience, she tried to stand but her legs seemed too weak. Shazza seemed to be torn from grief and curiosity as she crouched down to help the acting Captain to her feet. He saw Fry rubbing her arm where the other had grabbed her and he saw a dark bruise already forming. Imam stood a few feet off, the ceremonial dagger forgotten in his hand.

Standing slowly, Johns picked up his dropped shotgun and though he didn't point it at the stranger it was clearly meant as warning. The merc took in the other's appearance. He was young, just in his early years of adulthood. Skin was almost unnaturally pale, chest bare except for a strange necklace. A tattoo adorned one bicep in a design unknown to him. His hair was short and spikey, as if it was styled to be messy. Feathers and beads adorned the white hair, and Johns found his eyes being drawn to the earrings. There were several studs and hoops, but what drew his attention were the strange bird skulls he had on either side.

It was because of the strange decorations that Johns almost missed the other things, the not human things. His ears were pointed, slightly curving upwards at the end. His face was angular, eyes an electric blue that actually glowed. His nails were sharp, but not overly long, they were also black. And his eye teeth were elongated, the teeth next to them also pointed unnaturally so.

Staring at the one before them, the stranger who had saved another one of their people from dying, what they should have said was thank you. And that should have been followed by pleasantries such as names and etc. This did not actually happen, of course. What followed was Johns stepping forward, gun still in hand, asking, "What the fuck are you?"