Here is my first Predator story. First chapter a go. Got the idea after reading the Predators: Captive comic book, purchased a bunch of them and their all awesome. Highly recommend them to all fans. Researched it all as best I could; terminology and what-not. Definitions are at the bottom. There will be graphic sex in this, as well as graphic decapitations, disembowelments, other acts of Yautja violence as one would expect, very M-Rated. You have been warned.
Don't own Predators (at all) nor Aliens.
So...here we go.
Date of access...01...22...2093...11:02pm...
The screen blinked low, an underscore slashing across impatiently; erasing the authorization code and the past day-shifts requests (which weren't many). Thousands of malfunctions listed in the matter of .89 seconds; logged up at the top right hand corner in a series of white 8-bit texts. The center terminal made a small beep, followed by a series of clicks as it continued listing another thirteen problems in the soil composition, atmosphere, and fluidity levels. The swamp water was particularly off - holding eight of the thirteen problems - mainly related to the sediment quality.
Bauler adjusted the thin-rimmed glasses balancing on her nose, taking a thick drink of cold coffee with nothing short of a small twitch at the taste. Rodhiem Industries could afford everything it seemed, but they chose to skimp on thick coffee with more than 80g of caffeine per cup. It was a bitter bit of humor. Literally.
Request data list...
The computer lagged, a problem that was increasing day by day. While the computer blinked - finding the proper requested information - Bauler lit up a processed cigarette, tasting more saturated chemicals than tobacco. The taste seeped onto her tongue like a mild poison. Bauler knew of a woman who grew a few tobacco plants in her dorm on the east side of the communal building; a punishable offensive in a contained building that regulated oxygen levels like commies, but the thought of handing over a good chunk of her paycheck for a double dozen fresh rolled smokes sounded pleasant, even if it was an expensive luxury.
Core insulation decreased by 3.8% in past 24hrs...bauler001
This abrupt diagnosis came with a high pitched ring, signaling its potential danger/damage at a level six on the twelve notch risk scale.
"Carl, you fat lazy shit."
With one nail bitten finger, Bauler pressed in 6233; the systems recovery code. It took 8.1 seconds to bring back up the Core to its acceptable 99.9% after imputing the proper chemical levels manually - switching two filters to output .2 more of one oxide mineral and .8 less of one clay compound. Leaching was back to optimal levels in 2 minutes, reacting nicely to the rest of the soil diagram. The computer to the close left showed readings at stable levels. This morning they'd been - on an average - down by 10%. The morning shift - Carl, that dumb sod - was destroying both their job security by letting the numbers fall so short. It wasn't like this job was difficult. Even a Tech School drop out could punch in codes and override software mistakes every few minutes as the grid got sloppy. It was only luck that the middle-aged idiot got this job, many others were waiting with tight lips to fix some one else's mistakes, and right now...they looked like her mistakes as much as his.
In four minutes and twenty five seconds of the readouts showing normal to good - the Stasis was flickering between 99.9% and 100% - not bad for the first thirty minutes of the night shift. Success was success, even if it felt cheapen by the shitty pay and poor lighting.
Oxygen in the tank was low and Nitrogen was high, at levels close to perfect. Humidity content was back up to a soppy 87% and the temperature was at the desirable thirty seven degrees Celsius. The pressure was the only thing disagreeable. Since the start of the job it'd always been high - dangerously high even - yet as far as she was told...it liked it that way - the walls containing it would disagree however...and so would everyone else if it got out.
Bauler bent each finger back, releasing each digit only after hearing that audible snap. It was safe to say a coffee break was in order. The past eleven months in front of the same three terminals, six days a week had proven that ten minutes away from the keyboard wouldn't ruin the last thirty minutes of recovery. Coffee was prudent to the job anyways, and without it, the systems would be at a greater risk than that of a little ten minute break.
"Sit tight chicks, mother-hen will be back soon."
There was always something ominous about working the night shift - in any job really - that made everything feel shadier than the day. Out here in the tundra, night and day had little difference, yet the nocturnal hours had a certain itchy feel to them. No matter how many months the world had been soaked in darkness your body still struggled between a schedule and utter chaos. The same look was on everyones face.
At least you shared something in common with everyone when you worked this shift; the same sense of accepted solitude that even those on the day shift refused to feel. When people passed each other in the corridors from eight at night to eight in the morning, a look was shared - and that look meant more than words. That look was passing between Bauler and a surveillance technician right now; the same guy who set up that camera in her workspace the other day. It didn't matter how many times she caught him on break, he never gave out his name.
Eyes met briefly, small smiles were formed, and then formalities were gone; silence except the clink of the coffee lip as it slid against a cup, pouring out liquid energy. He looked like a Dean, so she referred to him as such. Never once did he seem the slight bit offended. If anything the fake name was a stabilizer for the same question she'd been asking the past month, every time they caught one another.
"The cattle work this time, Dean?", the same question every time, and followed by...
"No.", the same answer every time.
Bauler arched a shoulder, pouring her own cup of water-downed coffee. Sometimes he never spoke more than that, just drank his coffee silently - watched her when she wasn't looking - until he needed to fill it up again, then he would nod and leave. It was a habit she had too. No sense in getting up twice when you could just fill up quickly and take one back to nurse for the next hour or so. They all needed coffee, even if they got a full eight hours of sleep during the day - it was something hardwired into the human brain to get fuzzy during this time of night.
Tonight, for the first time in four sporadic encounters he chose to add more to the 'No'.
"They say thats the last of the beef...last of the cheap stuff at any rate." She heard a lighter flick, followed by the smell of nicotine. Another smoke sounded good she determined as another sugar packet was dumped in her coffee. She needed the sugar high too tonight.
"What's next...tigers, bears, an elephant maybe?" It was a joke, but when she turned with her now cream-colored coffee 'Dean' mearly shrugged before taking a sip of his own, as if the Rodheim had already denounced those ideas earlier.
"Tigers would have been better than what their planning on using, at least on a moral note."
It wasn't ignorance that made her brain go to larger animals as opposed to the reality; it was more like remnants of some childhood innocence that kept her thoughts from 'real prey'. Somewhere she knew what the company would bring in next - where they would ship them in from was another question. Would they get muggers from the street, loose-lipped operatives, the homeless? or would they find something a little closer to home that wasn't keeping up to snuff with their job?
She drank some more coffee as the seconds went by, and it seemed silence was all 'Dean' needed to state the obvious. "It's people."
Bauler wasn't shocked. People died everyday, so what if they found some commies or wasters to feed to it? No skin off her nose, and the sick reality was that as long as it wasn't her she was fine with it...and by the look on 'Dean's' face he was in the same wave length of thinking. In this day in age, your job was your only life-line. Without a job you were as good as dead anyways...so if you were slacking off...maybe it was a mercy to just throw you in the tank as opposed to firing your ass.
"Getting one in tonight. No ones making a secret ops out of it, so don't be too shy if someone else mentions it...almost like they want everyone to know."
Yea, those security cameras installed around the place yesterday makes sense now.
"Keep everyone in line maybe? Like 'you slack off, you're next in the tank' type of thing?" Another sip and the coffee went down like puss. It was only until she drained the cup that she realized her own words had made her ill. Just the thought of sending off your own employees sounded wrong, though it wouldn't be the first case in the past four years.
"You might be a bit too smart for crunchin' pass codes all day..."
The acid rose up in her throat, flowing just past her tongue - still, she could taste the coffee bile even as she poured another cup. "Yea...maybe." The conversation died then, as he topped his own cup off, raised it and left. It'd been over ten minutes, but something about the brief topic had her gut's bunching as if she needed to expel them from both ends.
In two more minutes something snapped, a sweat broke on her forehead and upper lip, but she was moving now. No more wasting time, no more long coffee breaks, and no more fixing day-shift Carl's fuckups. Knowing her luck they'd promote the lazy shit and feed her to the alien if the numbers read out wrong. They were downloaded and sent out at midnight, leaving it all to her in the end.
As soon as the cushion of the chair hit her ass - Bauler lit up a cigarette, sat the coffee on a half-dead heater and proceeded to bring up the .032% drop in the Stasis.
It's not gonna be me. Thats for fucking sure.
It was all a clever ruse; clever for oomans at least. The air was electric, warm, soft and smelt enough like a jungle - not home, but a jungle all the same. It was impressive. He could sense the whispering cold outside, knew this jungle was far from what was around this prison. Their technology had improved since the last time the Elder had been here, his stories were little relevant now...
They were able to contained him it seemed...but not for long.
Patience was the game in this fake jungle, and patience was one of the many things he'd found easy on his kv'var. In a few more ooman months and days the time would come. They were already getting desperate for a reaction.
The dark forms behind the eight-inch plate glass were passing by more quickly as time went on. Even up in the trees he could sense they were nervous; a skill he didn't need his bio-mask to detect. Even through the glass barrier he could smell their ch'hkt-a.
More oomans were filtering behind the glass. Night must have fallen for them, for there were always more about when their ooman internal clocks told them night hours were ahead - it was a dimming mechanism to their primal instincts - darkness meant predators - yet however ignorant they were of the urge, they still gathered together for comfort, unknowingly or not. It was interesting to watch them, hear them even if he slowed his own heart beat. Without his bio-mask, translation - he thought - was near impossible, but it gave him something to focus his useless time on and sure enough he caught on quick enough. They liked to curse at one another, disrespect and spread foul lies in their freetime. Some were even stupid, more so than one should be trying to keep him where he was - this only made inevitable escape that much closer, and their idea of containment that much more laughable.
The last time he had come to from the yellow fumes, he'd found four more encased and poorly hidden gkinmara. The last set he'd found and destroyed easily, but these ones, he'd already decided to leave them for awhile. The recording devices would give them a sense of security once again; a weakness he could play off of if the first plan failed.
A constant spike and drop in the tang of the air at first had been irritating, but now the burn against the soft flesh of his mouth it caused was relishing. The slight pain kept him sharp enough to keep vigilant.
He'd been stripped of everything - all his awu'asa, weapons and both his dah'kte; taken from him by a s'yuit-de as he lay drugged the first time. They had removed everything that made him a kv'var-de. Left him in this tropical hoax naked like a pup. Even his loincloth and rings had been stolen.
Despite his furry upon awakening, now - as he curled his claws around the bark of the tree - he once again found a small point of pleasure in the predicament. He was more agile now, just like when he'd finished his Chiva. He'd been bare then too, nothing but his combi-stick for defense against the Kainde Amedha. In a way the sensation was candid. He would rip the oomans apart with his bare hands, naked as the day he was birthed. He'd take their leaders skull - the one that walked right up to the glass with the moon-shaped eyes. Bringing back his skull would be of the greatest pleasures.
A stream of humid mist traveled around the branches of the tree, pushing moisture against his damp mandibles and high spotted crest; beads of condensation dripped down into one of his eyes, burning lightly. The eight-foot predator closed his sunken eyes and savored it for the moment, pushing his tubular tongue out to lap at the thick vayuh'ta - it swayed, curved and sucked up the bitter air greedily. They were watching - the sound of the gkinmara adjusting its zoom and focus was loud with the lack of a jungles natural calls.
He kept his eyes closed; relaxed his mandibles, leaving them to twitch lightly along the sluggish cloud of moisture. Let them watch, let them study...for he was studying them as well, and soon...soon they wouldn't have eyes to watch him any longer.
With the terminals back on level Bauler tossed a half smoked cigarette into the burnt coffee to her right. It really wasn't safe to leave the keyboard for longer than 5 minutes max. Too many things could go wrong. If that thing in the tank decided to even do so much as piss in the swamp she needed to recalculate the chemical makeup to filter out the by-products of his waste and recharge the water with the proper rich conduits it was used to. As far as she knew it was either in the tree or in the water...both areas relied heavily on her constant surveillance. The thing couldn't just stay on level ground could it?
Levels continued to hold strong. Ten minutes went by, then twenty and thirty with no drop. Steady as a cock at full mast.
"Of course the system goes high flat now."
The heavy sealed pack of noodles was her safety net, set down in one lower shelf. 'Breakfast' was a no-no after how late she slept. The dry, processed starch was fine every now and then, but this would be the third time in a row. They were cheap, and dense...even with the added microwave non-biodegradable addition.
With a push of a button, the bottom of the bowl shaped packet started to heat up. The contents inside started to rumble and bubble as steam cooked the noodles from a separate water packet beside the microwave emitter.
Bauler crossed her arms, leaning back in her chair; which gave a ferocious squeak as the smell of salty noodles filled the small monitor room. The bowl of noodles changed colors when heated, from a light pink with yellow writing...to an off green that was suppose to be blue with purple text. Advertising now meant bright, shiny, and always changing to keep the customer interested.
Sometimes it seemed the only smart people were the ones doing the shit jobs, or perhaps, the smart ones just knew how to sell to the idiots...either way humanity was becoming gaudy and evil - still, when the noodles were done she ate them...even enjoying them on a more baser level.
Hunger was hunger and her belly expanded happily when all pound and a half of noodles were gone.
The numbers, levels, and bars read fine just as they had been before the attack on the noodles. She smoked another cigarette, enjoying once again how utterly unhealthy the day was already going. The compounds physician did say she needed to gain some weight - though the coffee and cigarettes didn't help like the fatty and salty noodles did.
Times like this made her crave a book, but knowing these terminals like she did, the readouts would shift as soon as she finished her first paragraph. They only ever seemed fine when she kept her eyes glued to the screens, it was like one big trickery. It was as if someone was fucking with her, making sure she spent every fucking second of her job watching the numbers for any change - so she did.
For the rest of her shift she sat there; noodles sitting in her belly for half of it and only moving into her bowls with the addition of the toxins from her cigarettes. Coffee was a luxury at this point; wanted but not had. As expected the numbers never changed but a hundredths of a fraction.
At midnight she logged the info for the past 24 hours, hers and Carls transmitting through the wires that dissapeared into the walls, traveling to the levels above where it would be recorded and someone else could judge the numbers for what they were. It all made her nervous, but still - as she watched - the numbers didn't change.
At the last thirty minutes of her shift she made a gamble; a coffee run. It was a bold test really to see if the numbers changed in her absence. They'd been fine all night, now at 7:32 am, carrying a fresh cup of coffee to the terminals, Bauler took a seat before turning to the screen. A long sip of coffee, a stretch of her legs and a shift in her chair took place before she gave the computers a lick of attention - what she found was as she suspected. The inkling hadn't done anything in the end, it was still odd, scary and shocking to see.
The computer let out a screech again, this time the noise was longer and louder - it was a terrifying sound. On her shift never had a spike so low occurred, even Carl - the dumb fuck he was - never left her with a readout so low.
If anything she'd expected a 2% drop max while she was gone. Someone had to be fucking around with the grid for this to happen...
"...somthing, has to...be."
"Just goes on the fritz for no reason...new systems too. I mean this has to be the third time tonight, at least." Observation room went quiet again. 'Dean' pinched the bridge of his nose, monitoring the cameras which were focusing on all corners of the tank, two arial views and six more burrowed into the trunks of four trees - they all went black. Five out of the twelve came back on, followed by two more of the arial. One minutes later the rest fuzzed to life, switching between infrared and night vision, but never normal optics.
"Something is seriously fucked with these things." 'Dean' mashed the reboot buttons, watching the screens go black for two seconds before coming backup as they were minutes ago. The alien was where it had been before, backlighted by the glowing swamp bog. It's head turned softly, mandibles flaring in the darkness. It's most recent kill's skull was cradled in it's claws, the arm elongated on a crouched knee.
'Dean' grimaced, turning in his chair from the screens just as the alien started to turn the bison skull in his long fingers. It was enough to make him look away. Soon it'd be a human skull perching in that monsters hand.
"I wouldn't worry about it Julian, ain't gonna kill the freak to have a few minutes of privacy..."
"That's an ignorant load you just spewed Maile, real ignorant."
Maile shrugged, taking a sip of his coffee as he turned the page of his Honolulu surfers catalog. The man didn't care, just kept reading, ignoring the vitals to his left as they beeped softly with the aliens heart beat. Even Julian could tell the vitals had been irregular as of late; a slowing pulse that seemed to correspond with their conversations.
Through the thick glass of the hanger-sized observation window the jungle tank glowed. The moist air made visible clouds of wetness that drifted by in shrouds. Water slipped down the glass, trailing streaks so thick that even a man like Mr. Rodheim - with his quarter inch thick glasses - could see them.
"It can see you, you know..."
Maile looked up, wrinkling his nose and rubbing the scruff on his chin. "I doubt that, as far as you know it can't a see an inch in front of it's ugly mug." Despite the Samoan's words he stared out through the eight-inch thick glass. A semblance of fear could be seen behind his straight face, as if he was telling himself it was a lie, but his mind knew it was true - after all...it was true.
The biologist knew it could see just fine without it's headgear, how good no one really knew though. It could see enough to drop on the bison though...and that was enough to make Julian hesitant...maybe not Maile, but Maile was an idiot. If Maile died then it was Maile's fault.
When Julian turned back to the screen the alien was gone.
Fearful at once, Julian checked all the monitors and then switch to infrared vision. There - in the swamp - the alien was submerged to it's neck, head turned right at the cameras; body temperature rising in the warm bubbling water. The pang of terror was still evident, leaving behind a lingering sting in his gut. The talk about it had made him nervous quickly, and seeing it gone like that...he almost pissed himself.
"I'm heading to the restroom..."
Julian stood sluggishly at first, then turned to Maile. "Just watch what your doing for five minutes would you? I'll be back in a second."
Maile grunted and pushed the catalog away, watching both their screens intermittently as Julian left around the corner. "Nervous little shit." With a cross of his legs he resumed flipping through his catalog with a frown on his face, little did he know the optics on one security camera fitted its zoom over his shoulder, watching and recording. The man behind this certain camera had found just what he was looking for.
Her heart hammered, jackknifing as the clock struck 8:00am. Nothing happened, Carl wasn't behind her, no alarms went off signaling the end of one shift and the start of another. Another five minutes went by and the prospect of working a double became more and more possible.
Bauler paused over the keyboard, letting the terminal reset itself back to its main readout screen. The green monitor hummed as the numbers continued to change in minor increments, always fluttering back up to where they were suppose to be seconds later.
The door opened suddenly. Her chair turned quicker than her mind could comprehend the action of seeing who it was. She'd expected Carl of course - the fat greasy bulldog - but no, it was 'Dean'. How did he know which office was hers? - and thankfully she knew not to bite out snarky remarks until you came face to face with your victim.
"Day-shift didn't make it I assume?"
His tone hadn't really been as curious as it should have been, more along the lines of a statement than anything really. Bauler arched a brow, causing her glasses to shift along her nose. "Does that surprise you?"
She opened her mouth, but 'Dean' slammed the door - hard - behind him. Those blue eyes of his searched around her small space, falling along the strewn wrappers and old coffee mugs, then his gaze fell on the terminal behind her shoulder. She'd like to have said she wasn't intimidated by him, but you couldn't tell your heart to stop racing no matter how hard one tried. Again she opened her mouth to speak, and once again he stopped her. A strong firm hand clapped down on her shoulder, shaking her whole body and making her chair whine in the process. A breath of air left her mouth in surprise but she didn't make a sound. "I bumped into Mr. Rodheim in the corridors just a few minutes ago." He paused and looked her over; the look doing nothing for her frame of mind.
"He got the readouts you'd sent to level A an hour ago." She could tell he was going to talk more but she blurted out as she ripped her shoulder from his grasping hand.
"And Carls being replaced." Bauler frowned, hearing that shift when he said 'replaced'.
"I know how you feel, he said Maile was as well, being replaced that is. Maile, I worked with him you know."
She didn't know and she didn't care. Every small cute conversation they'd had before was nothing but bullshit right now. Her shoulder still throbbed from his heavy grip and he was looking down at her with strange eyes, as if he'd been brainwashed...maybe not brain washed, but he certainly wasn't acting like 'Dean'.
"Why do I care?"
"A few technicians are setting up the monitors as we speak. Mr. Rodheim wants you to watch the numbers while he tests a new approach with the ET. Carl apparently proved...inadequate."
She sank into her chair when 'Dean' leaned down, almost touch his nose to hers. She could smell his breath, it smelt like vomit; vomit and after shave. She turned her head sharply when he pushed forward.
"Nine o'clock sharp. You've got forty five minutes. Eat, drink, take a piss. Level A will be watching the numbers until you arrive."
His mouth brushed her cheek, a seconds worth or disgust coursed through her and then he was straightening out his suit and shutting her door gently behind him. In a immature air she stuck her tongue out, shaking her head and promptly rubbed her cheek with the back of her hand, leaving raised red flesh from the abuse.
Never had she felt so violated in her whole life, and she'd almost been raped when she fourteen... a ticket to how disgusting he was despite the chiseled jaw and pretty blue eyes. To think she'd thought of asking him to the bar for shots...
She turned back in her chair, placing her forehead gently on the crumb covered desk beside the keyboard. She took the next ten minutes to rest her eyes, let the flare of rage dissipate and pop her fingers against her knees.
She'd seen the creature from a port disk Carl had swiped from a buddy in surveillance six months back. It was something not as grotesque as she'd expected - nor everyone said, but terrifying all the same. It was like some kind of amazonian lizard with powerful incisors that jutted out of it's face. It'd been a short clip of the alien wading through water, looking at the camera in the last few seconds. The look it had in it's eye...
The alien wasn't just some dog in a kennel...
She didn't want to see it in person though, even with eight-inch thick glass between her and it.
Food sounded good, but she had a vision of vomiting in fear on the keyboards, with all the VIP of the company seeing her clad in spittle. Wouldn't get a raise after something like that. More coffee would just put her on edge, and the same went for another cigarette. Water; she stood with the idea of water, and its cool refreshing taste as it trickled down into her abused stomach.
At the water cooler; a humorous little nook aside a large open corridor, ceiling thirty feet above her head and hanging light on wires as long as twenty five feet. All of this open space was surrounding a lone water cooler, welded into the wall with a counter on its right full of taps; taps containing everything from protein powder to the closest thing one could legally get to speed.
She drank the water straight, quickly, until her stomach felt heavy. Sweat broke out again on her forehead, some forming on her lower back and soaking through her high-waisted slacks.
In no more than ten minutes the water had shot through her kidneys and into her bladder - so she used the bathroom, sitting on the toilet long after she'd finished just to bide out her time. Her 8-bit cheap wrist-tech told her she had ten minutes. In five she could be at level A and if she followed the signs she'd been in the head-honcho's room in another two.
For the last three minutes of her alone time she sat; waited, holding her head in her hands with elbows on her bare knees. Panic was gone - the water cleared her head, but her stomach ached for another reason. She was bleeding now. Two months had gone by - one month of panic and now she had her period.
Luck; luck was on her side. She wasn't festering with a growing baby, but now she was bleeding with nothing but a fucking roll of toilet paper and a room full of men waiting for her to monitor the numbers for their fucking experiment.
"This...is a shit-storm." - but she took care of it, and on her merry-fucking-hoho way to level A she went.
There it is, first one posted. Since this is my first Predator stab I'd like some feedback if you have the time. Anonymous accepted of course. I watch the movies and read the comics but much of the little details are left out in those things, books I haven't read on them yet. Any suggestions, problems, or praise would help greatly. I do have the second chapter written, needs editing but will be up rather soon - and yes, there will be plenty more of our Yautja, don't worry.
On another note I haven't come up with a good name for our humanoid friend here. Any suggestions in your reviews will be noted. :) Thanks for reading.
ch'hkt-a- nervous energy
gkinmara- video camera
Kainde Amedha- hard meat