"No! No! No! No! Nooooo!" Layne shouted as the second-player controller fell limply into her lap. This was the third game, the third game, he had beaten her on since The Mighty Shall Fall. She tried everything: The Run, Fight Night Champion, even Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing. He somehow won every time!
Chortling, Kruk'jedhin picked up the bowl of stew with one hand and slurped some of it up. He was beginning to find that he actually enjoyed these games, especially if it meant watching the spectacle that was the human female whenever he won.
When she had completely given up, she tossed her controller beside her and crossed her arms over her chest, absolutely stewing. Her pride hurt; she was even better than most of the boys on these games. To be outdone by a rookie- even a rookie from an advanced alien species- was humiliating.
It had been fun, but Kruk'jedhin could sense her irritability and decided to give her a break before she chose to pick a fight she couldn't win- a real one. "Will need work on cloak device," he said.
"Fine by me," Layne grouched sharply.
"Will need tools."
"You found them once, you can find them again. Meanwhile, I have to get out those bloodstains you left on my floor!"
"Not understand," he shook his head, "You tools useless. Primitive. Will need own."
She didn't like where this was going. Besides, his use of the word, 'primitive' rubbed her the wrong way, fouling her mood even more. You're the one in a loincloth, she wanted to tell him. "Then you can go get them! I'm not going anywhere!"
He growled down at her. Did she have to always be so unreasonable? "Can't," he reminded her bitterly, "Will be spotted easily. You go, or," he stood, "I lead Oomans here if seen."
Translation: If I'm going down, you're going down with me, skank! Somehow, Layne didn't see 'harboring a giant, killer alien at home' looking very well on her records. And wouldn't it be great to get an all-expense paid vacation to Area 51 for, oh, life maybe? By the glare he was giving her, he wasn't bluffing.
She narrowed her eyes at him, coming up with a bluff herself, "What if I turned you in first?"
"Would kill," he answered simply, "or if not, they still get you."
… Well, crap. She had very little options over than to do what he said and then get on with her life when he was gone, which, hopefully, would be soon. She sighed, and then muttered, "What do I have to get?"
Layne had parked her car a good few blocks away, four plastic bags tucked into her pocket. Dressed in her warm-up suit, she put in the buds of her MP3 and began a steady jog down the sidewalk, a nearby forest on one side and the street on the other. Godzilla had warned her before she left that men who had visited her house the day before might still be around and try to question her. The best thing to do was to act the least suspicous as possible. So she had decided to pretend she was just out for a run.
The cops had called just before she left the house, wanting to get a statement and ensure that she was still alive, having been missing from the team as they had regrouped after the chaos. That had been fun, figuring out how to lie, yet still remain close enough to the truth so her story didn't seem to differ very much from everyone else's. If it didn't match what everyone else had told them, they would know she was fibbing.
I was just… so scared, she had said in a soft, near monotone voice, as if she was still going through shock just thinking about it all, I don't know, I froze. In the water. That… that thing! It looked at me than went away… The next thing I knew, I was home. I was still in my bathing suit. Guess I blacked out. Apparently, they had bought her defenseless, shell-shocked woman card.
When she determined that no cars or people were near, she made a swift nighty degree turn into the woods. Godzilla had ripped something out of one of his gauntlets and gave it to her- a chip the size of her palm with a blinking red light and button. Basically the more it flashed, the closer she was to his ship.
Which she walked right into. Her right leg took the most damage and she cursed when she hit the hard metal side of it with a loud thunk. Grumbling to herself, she pushed the button and stuffed the chip back into her pocket.
As the ship appeared before her eyes, she whistled, "Sweet ride." Thought by Yautja standards it was small, meant for only a single Yautja, it was bigger than Layne's living room and could possibly double it. In style, it reminded her a bit of the armor he wore around his shoulder, but with a viewport and thrusters.
The side of it opened up for her and she stepped in, gazing around in amazement. Smoke and fog began to fill the ship, and by the scent of cleansers and sterilizers that filled her nostrils, she assumed it was a form of decontamination for whatever was on the planets he went to. It was unbearably hot and the walls even seemed to glow with heat, illuminating the intricate patterns detailed along every available space. She took off her jacket, wrapped it around her waist, and headed off to investigate.
"Do not touch any else," he had ordered her strictly once he was able to provide her with some type of list of the tools he needed. Mainly it was poor doodles that had to be drawn with a fourteen inch pencil Marcy had in her desk drawer. As if she was going to listen. This was her first- and likely only- time on an alien ship. When was she going to get another chance?
The very first thing she did was find the cockpit, sit in the giant chair, and spin around in it. Her exploration began there, to the storage units, to the engine room, and finally to the bedroom and bathroom. The first thing she noticed was the giant bed taking up most of the available floor space.
The next was the trophies of his kills decorating the walls.
Layne's heart stopped in her chest. She figured the guy was a hunter, but this was like walking into a museum owned by whoever ran Jurassic Park. And if that wasn't a T-Rex skull she was seeing over on the far left side of the room, then she hated to imagine what flesh belonged to those bones. But that wasn't what freaked her out the most; No, not anywhere close! It was the neat little row of human skulls hanging above the bed like a sick horror movie headboard.
And all this time she had made such a big deal out of dead squirrels and shooting people on video games! No wonder he laughed! The comparison was like what the witch said in the musical, "Into the Woods." We are like insignificant little ants running around his feet. SQUISH!
Part of her wanted to run, part of her congratulated herself on living this long and standing up the killing machine- no matter how suicidal the action was now evident to be, and another part wanted to throw up in the giant toilet a hop, skip, and a jump away from where she was standing. Those squirrels, even in death, sought vengeance on her stomach. She swallowed down the sick feeling and began to back away, unable to tear her eyes from the holes where some used to be, as if they were staring right back at her, telling her that she was next.
Something made her jump, revving her up for fight. She reacted in milliseconds. A sound banged through the ship and echoed of the walls, making her cry out in surprise. Her eyes darted to and fro around her surroundings, searching for a threat.
It was her cell phone.
"I gotta pocket gotta pocket full a sunshine,
I gotta love and I know that it's all mine, Oh!
Do what cha want but ya never gonna break me,
Sticks and stones are never gonna shake me, Oh!
Curse you Emma Stone! She scowled, glaring at her phone and wanting to melt it with laser vision. Layne stepped out of the room and sealed the door shut behind her. She let it play for a little longer as she headed back to the storage and engine rooms, wanting to make whoever was calling wait a little longer for scaring her out of her wits more than the skulls did.
"Take me away…!
To better days…!
A sweet escape…!
Take me awa-!"
"Hi-lo?" she asked as she answered the phone, getting out the first of the plastic bags once she spotted one of the tools she needed to get.
It was one of her employers, Stacy, from the local paper. "Layne! Thank God! I was worried about you!"
"You heard what happened at the carpenter center?" she questioned, placing the phone on one of her shoulders and holding it there with her cheek.
"Darlin', it's all over town! What was that thing?"
Lies upon more lies; it was starting to worry her. "I don't know! I didn't get a good enough look at it during all of the panic. Pretty freaky looking though, I'll tell you that." She spotted another item and grabbed it, but this time she paused to test its weight. Maybe she wouldn't need to layer the bags after all. They were as light as a feather. "But that's not exactly why you called, is it?"
"Well, you are one of our best freelance writers and have more knowledge about this than the rest of us from being there at the scene…"
"And we finally get to the point! Give the girl a medal! No wait! A cookie!"
"Layne, I'm being serious! The people have a right to know what sort of thing is lurking around our city and the police won't tell us any details! It's your duty as a writer and as a citizen! Surely you must know something about what's going on! You're a witness!"
As she looked around for more tools, trying not the laugh at how wrong Stacy was, she replied, "Nope! Don't know a thing! I pretty much darted out of there after all of that. Look, Stacey, I'm still a little shook-up and my head hurts, so-"
She dropped her phone by accident and it disappeared into the fog that still shrouded the floor. All she could hear was the barely audible mumble of another voice. Frantically, she dove for it on her hands and knees, trying to find it by feel. After a little while, she gave up and began yelling at the top of her lungs, "WHAT?! I CAN'T HEAR YOU! I'M GOING THROUGH A TUNNEL!" A very strange looking tunnel…
"WHAT?!" came a shout somewhere in the fog, "CAN'T… YOU…"
"I SAID, SPEAK UP!"
"I… HEAR YOU! I'LL CALL… BACK…!"
No! Nonono! Layne panicked, because she still couldn't find the stupid thing. "STACEY, WAIT!"
The phone went dead, but thankfully something good came out of that. When it shut off, the screen lit up, shining through the fog. Layne pounced on it like a cat on a mouse. Now it wasn't just her legs that felt wet from the mist, but her whole body. She sighed in relief as she shut the phone off and pocketed it away.
Godzilla, you better be really grateful for all of this when we get out of this mess YOU made! I just gave up what could've been the story of a lifetime for you!
As she made her way back home, all items having been collected and the ship hidden from sight once more, she wonder what she would do if this ever did blow over. Godzilla had threatened to kill her if she'd said a word of this to anyone, and she wouldn't be surprised if that deal was for life… if she even made it that long. For all she knew, he would kill her once he was done playing the house guest and add her head to his little collection. Now that made her queasy, and she unconsciously brought a hand up to her throat.
Well, Layne, her mind began to joke, if you do die, try to die in style! Don't be his pet, be his pet peeve. She didn't see that ending well, but it's what she was already going with and she supposed it would be better than dying a sniveling coward backed into a corner of her living room. Or being probed. She wasn't fond of that idea either.
She parked the car in front of the cottage, curiously shitting through the bag in order to examine the tools again in a better light. She pulled out a thing that looked like an overly large hammer and raised a brow at it, "What the heck does he need this for?"
All of a sudden, Layne felt like she was being watched. She jerked her head over to the side to see her annoying freshman neighbor staring at her- or rather the object in hand- jaw slightly dropped in astonishment. He continued to stare at her and she stared right back, scratching her brain for a good answer to what the thing was and why exactly she had it. Finding none, she did the first- and only- thing that came to mind.
"Face Thor's almighty hamma!" she shouted at the top of her lungs in an accent, "For Asgard!" With that, she charged into the house as if she was storming it, never once looking back.
As she quickly shut the door behind her, startling an always battle ready Godzilla in the process, she sighed from the busy day and dropped the items off on the table. Something dripped on her head and she looked up to find the he had been making something of his time as well. The kitchen ceiling had various types of birds- from a hawk, to a vulture, to a robin- all strung up and plucked free of their feathers.
"We need to find you another hobby," she muttered, which he just trilled at. As she sat down on the couch to rest for a moment, staring depressingly at the game console near the TV, her mind went over the day's events. That was when something new came to mind- something that made her smile that she hadn't yet tried.
"Get in the living room!" she ordered the alien hunter. Without another word, she sped off in search of her Marvel Superhero games. At least one of them had to be two-player without being in VS mode.