The Hunt Continues
Outside Earth's Atmosphere
October 11, 2004
Ci'tde followed his brother as they made their way into the Man'daca, leaving the loading ramp behind them. The hiss of the hydraulics drew his attention back to see their elder clearing the opening, just as it began to close. He stared at the barren wasteland outside, wondering briefly how his female might survive; the small ooman had seemed sensitive to the cold that was in the pyramid. Outside the ship, the snow seemed to be falling harder now as the night grew darker and colder.
A bark from M'dli-te startled Ci'tde from his concerned thoughts. His eyes landed on the elder as he turned his gaze away from the now-shut door. The older Yautja was giving him a guarded look, his mandibles pulled in to his mouth as he growled. Understanding the hidden warning, Ci'tde turned back around and started walking once more, with Elder M'dli-te following silently behind him.
Beneath Ci'tde's feet, the metal shook from the force of the engine's roar. He hesitated for a moment, feeling the vibration of the ship as it began the takeoff procedures. Within minutes, they would be leaving the planet's atmosphere.
A growl from the elder had Ci'tde turning his attention ahead and he forced himself to move. His eyes fell on his brother as they entered the room that housed most of their clansmen. He found that Skl're hadn't stopped walking since entering the ship. His brother's mind seemed to be elsewhere and not on the cheering Yautjas who were praising their triumphant return. He huffed at his brother's back, but failed to catch the smaller warrior's attention. Growling beneath his breath, Ci'tde pumped his arm in the air and roared.
His clansmen cheered with him, their voices rising in unison. His brother turned to look at him then, a pained expression on his face, but instead of joining in on the celebration, Skl're continued to ignore it. The crowd hardly seemed to even notice the lack of enthusiasm from Skl're as Ci'tde roared their successful return. Tucking his mandibles close to his face, Ci'tde hurried after his brother, hoping to knock some sense into him.
Why does he not cheer? Had they not been at each other's throats before the hunt about who would have the better kill? They should be celebrating with the others, partaking in the festivities and enjoying a good drink. They had become Blooded Warriors together and they had killed a Queen! Ci'tde caught up with his brother, wondering what could be troubling him so much that he refused to join in their revelries.
Ci'tde had gone to Earth for his Kiande Amedha Chiva with his two brothers. Unfortunately, only two of them had made it back alive. Chulonte, the youngest sibling, had been too eager to add one more human kill to his name that he had not been careful about the hard-meats that had already spawned. For his carelessness, he lost his life. Losing his brother like that had not been easy for Ci'tde. Thinking back now, he was ashamed at how he had lost control over his rage.
While Ci'tde was the largest of the three brothers, he was not the smartest. He was quick to temper and, if he was goaded into one, quick to rush into a fight without any plan of action; the loss of Chulonte had been no different. Due to his rash decision, he had nearly not made it back from his Chiva as well. Slowing his gait, Ci'tde sobered with this realization. Was that why his brother did not boast their new status? Snuffling beneath his breath, he shook his head to clear it. Surely they had proven their honor by killing the Queen? Again Ci'tde huffed, unable to shake the feeling that maybe he wasn't as honor-worthy as the other Yautjas believed.
Eying Skl're's back, Ci'tde watched as his smaller brother rubbed his chest wearily. He wondered if he had been injured in the fight with the Queen. It hadn't seemed like it at the time, but during the battle, Ci'tde hadn't been able to keep an eye on everyone. That was how the small female had gotten hurt; he hadn't seen the Queen moving her tail to strike until it was too late. Thinking about that, he hoped Elli would be alright.
"Mei'hswei, are you alright?" Ci'tde asked as he jogged to catch up to his brother.
Skl're looked over, his face pinched as if in pain. "I need to get to the medical bay," he said, his breath coming out in short gasps. He was suddenly halted by a racking cough that had him doubling over and coughing up blood.
"Mei'hswei!" Ci'tde bent over his brother's body, grabbing him before he could collapse to the ground. "Medic, we need a medic!"
One of the Yautjas broke away from the crowd that had gathered to greet the newly Blooded Warriors. He approached quickly just as Skl're collapsed against Ci'tde, his body wracked with spasms. With great care, Ci'tde laid his brother down on his back, unsure what he should do for him. The medic withdrew a device that he used to scan the fallen warrior's chest.
"We need to get him to the medical bay now," the medic said urgently and barked an order to the other Yautjas standing nearby. They approached quickly – one on either side of Skl're, two at his shoulder and two at his feet – and kneeled by him, lying down two poles that formed a stretcher beneath Skl're's body. The four Yautja lifted and rushed the fallen warrior to the medical bay.
Concerned for his older brother, Ci'tde raced after them, pushing his way through the crowd. He would have followed them inside the room if the medic hadn't sealed the door shut behind him. Furious, Ci'tde pounded on the door, his mandibles spreading to a roar as he shouted to be let in.
What are they going to do to him?
A commanding bark behind him forced Ci'tde to go silent, his outraged roar coming out strangled as he snapped his mandibles close to his mouth. He laid his hand flat against the door and rested his forehead against its smooth surface. His body shook as he tried to regain control of the anger that wanted to be let loose. Closing his eyes, Ci'tde felt defeated. Not even while staring that hard-meat in the face as he waited for the killing blow made him feel as he did now. If he lost his older brother, he did not know what he would do.
"You have already defied me once, Warrior, do not think I will allow it a second time." The familiar commanding growl of the elder came from behind him and, reluctantly, Ci'tde pulled away from the door. He looked at the older Yautja from over his shoulder, slowly turning to face the elder while pulling his mandibles tight to his mouth.
Elder M'dli-te had trained all three brothers for their Chiva, but not only that, he was their sire, as well. The elder had similar coloring to the three brothers, but it was Skl're who resembled their sire the most; Ci'tde and Chulonte had taken more after each of their mothers' coloring.
While M'dli-te had sired over sixty sucklings, he had only trained a select few of them. Since Chulonte, Skl're and Ci'tde were all close in age, they had been trained together, but there was more than just blood that tied them; they were hunt brothers as well.
"Skl're will be fine," Elder M'dli-te said confidently. "Ne'jad-ke is the best medic on this ship. He will do everything he can to save him."
"I do not know what is wrong with him," Ci'tde admitted. "He was fine before."
"Follow me," Elder M'dli-te instructed and started down the hall, not even bothering to see if his former pupil would follow him.
Ci'tde hesitated for a moment, his eyes lingering on the closed medical door before deciding to follow the other Yautja. He had to jog to catch up to the elder, but once he had, he kept pace with him as they traveled through several corridors. At the length of time it was taking to get where Elder M'dli-te wanted to take him, Ci'tde was starting to wish he had defied the other Yautja and broke into the medical bay instead. Finally, they turned down one last corridor that led to a single door near its end.
His mandibles drew in tight at the sight of the door and the empty corridor they stood in. What was he doing here? He should have stayed and beat the door in with his fists till it caved. He would have gotten into that room, eventually, even if he had to use his plasma gun to break in. At least then, he wouldn't be lost in the ship with the elder while only Paya knew what was happening to his brother.
Only the honor and respect he had for the elder had him following the older Yautja to the only door that was halfway down the long, narrow hallway. Elder M'dli-te typed in a code that released the lock and allowed them entrance into the room.
Ci'tde had to admit he found himself curious as he had never come across this corridor in all his years on this ship. Other than the medical bay, he had never heard of a door that was locked unless it was a warrior's personal chambers, but they were on the wrong level to be entering someone's chambers. He hadn't realized during the walk that they had traveled to the other side of the ship and were now in a room that over looked the medical bay. The whole wall in front of them was a glass surface that looked into the large room on the other side of it. Ci'tde stared at the Yautjas who were surrounding his brother's body. They had him on a metal slab connected to several different machines.
Rage flooded his system at the sight of his brother's prone body. He did not understand what was happening, but that did not deter him from flying off into an incensed rage. He rushed forward with an angry roar, planning to break down the glass with his bare hands to protect his brother. However, a sharp smack to the back of his head had him faltering and falling against the glass instead of breaking through it. Growling, Ci'tde looked behind him to see Elder M'dli-te poised in a familiar fighting stance with his combi-stick held defensively in front of him. As if Ci'tde would be stupid enough to try and attack the seasoned warrior. Even in his enraged state, he knew better than to pick that battle.
Instead, he looked to the glass, his rage draining from him as he watched the medic crack his brother's chest wide open. They used a laser to cut back the skin and cut through the ribcage before using more tools to peel back his ribs to look inside. A sickened roar escaped him and he raised a fist, but a bark from Elder M'dli-te kept him from putting too much weight into the attack and Ci'tde merely hit the glass weakly.
Looking back at the elder, he found that the older Yautja had his mandibles tucked in tight to his mouth in form of a scowl. The bristles that lined the large crown of his head stood on end with the skin pulled taunt on his forehead. It was like the elder was daring him to try and defy him again.
Backing down, Ci'tde straightened from his stance and bowed his head in respect. "Forgive me, Elder M'dli-te," he growled out, wishing he had the ability to fight the elder and win. In truth, even in an unfair fight, he still would not be able to best the older Yautja.
"I allowed your insolence for the ooman female's sake. I will not tolerate it on my ship," he said with authority. "Ne'jad-ke is doing everything he can to save Skl're. Once he removes the hard-meat from his chest, they will place him in an incubator chamber. Only time will tell if he survives this procedure."
Shocked, Ci'tde turned back to the glass to peer at the surgery happening in the other room. He watched as they cracked more of his brother's chest open and removed a not-so-fully-grown chest-burster. It was small still, smaller than when they exploded from their host's body. Maybe a few hours more and it might have torn its way out of his brother's chest and killed him.
"The cold temperature slowed the growth of the kiande amedha inside Skl're, but once he returned to the ship, the heat onboard must have sped up the process," Elder M'dli-te explained to him. "Hopefully, we were lucky enough to catch it in time."
"This new kiande amedha will prove to be quite the study for Ne'jad-ke," the elder said mostly to himself. "I have only heard of such a beast. It will prove to be quite the prey for our seasoned warriors."
Ci'tde watched as the small hard-meat opened its mouth and four mandibles stretched open into a grin. He had never heard of anything like it; a Yautja would never willingly allow themselves to be a host for a hard-meat. If they were ever put in such a position, they would never allow themselves to live with such dishonor.
Seeing that Ci'tde was placated for now, Elder M'dli-te decided to leave him alone. He could see that Ci'tde would no longer attack the glass to get to his brother – as it was in their best interest to leave the medic to do his work uninterrupted – and so the elder left, not even bothering to say goodbye to his former pupil.
Ci'tde remained in his spot, leaning against the glass to watch the rest of the surgery for a long time. They removed the hard-meat without any difficulty and quickly resealed the opening they had made in Skl're's chest. He watched as two Yautja struggled with the hard-meat as they carted it off into another room before returning his attention to his brother.
Ne'jad-ke had one of his staff help carry Skl're to the rejuvenation tank – it was only ever used when a warrior was gravely injured. They first placed a breathing apparatus over his face and connected several sensory cables to his chest and arms. Finally, they lowered him into the tank and sealed it shut. Ne'jad-ke inserted some numbers into the computer which then began to fill the tank completely with liquid. The medic watched the screen that was still computing some data that Ci'tde didn't discern.
After he finished inputting data into the computer, Ne'jad-ke turned suddenly to look over at Ci'tde, the medic's face set into a serious expression. "Skl're must rest," the medic said firmly. "We will know more after several cycles." Ne'jad-ke then nodded his head to Ci'tde and headed for the room that they had taken the hard-meat.
Ci'tde watched over his brother's unconscious form. He had no sense of time as he stared at his brother floating in the strange liquid, but he hardly moved from his spot. Occasionally, his eyes would flicker to the computer screen that spouted off data he did not understand, but they always returned to his brother's face. There was no sign of him waking, no indication on whether he was recovering. Ci'tde's only hope was that his brother did not get any worse.
As Ci'tde watched and waited for any sign that his brother would live, he found his thoughts torn from his brother's health. His mind wandered back to his Chiva and his short stay on the small ooman planet. The small backwater world had been a means to an end for him when he first arrived. His goal was mainly to kill as many hard-meats as he could find and return to the clanship honored. At the time, he couldn't think much beyond being Blooded and getting his first trophy.
Yet, an ooman female had gotten a trophy before him. A small, puny soft-mead had killed a hard-meat while he could not. Even now, after he was finally Blooded and headed back home, the shame of this bothered him. He had been able to smell her fear when she had stumbled upon his fight with the hard-meat. At first, he had thought she was the one with the plasma gun, but it had been the female who had fled with the other oomans.
Elli hadn't run though, not like those Kwei. Even though she had been scared, she had stayed and even managed to save his life. As much as he hated to admit something so pathetic, it was true. She had killed the hard-meat and in the process, saved him from death. The female had given him a second chance to prove his honor; an honor he had earned by protecting her in return. While many in his position might have just killed her, even though dishonorable and a hard act to prove in a Chiva, he hadn't. Not when she had gone so far as saved him and had even offered him some of her food.
Her strange behavior for a human had intrigued him. Her honor and bravery had him dragging her along as he tried to get his first hard-meat kill. When they had been separated, he hadn't expected to find her alive. It wasn't until after he found her in that room trying to fight off several hard-meats, even though she was easily outnumbered and overpowered, that he felt compelled to Blood her; she had proven herself more than once that she was honorable and brave.
Thinking of her honor now had Ci'tde looking down at the trophies he had saved for her. She hadn't wanted them, something he couldn't understand, but she had allowed him to collect them for her, anyway.
Eying the tongue from her kill, he thought of a way he could give it back to her as it was hers by right. Her first kill, she should have such a fine trophy to display. Perhaps a way she could wear it? And then there was the finger he had also collected for her. Maybe a weapon? He would have to speak with one of the metal workers below and see what they could fashion for her. Then, he would have to find a way back to her and give her back her trophies.
Looking at his brother one more time, Ci'tde nodded his head before turning to leave the room. He had a lot of work to do before he could go back to the ooman planet. One way or another, he would find a way back to his female.
September 30, 2008
A small Yautja shuttle neared Earth's orbit. They were passing through the galaxy looking for a viable planet to place the Predalien they had on board. It had taken them four seasons to learn all they could on the new creature.
The medic on board studied the specimen inside its cage. The large hard-meat stalked back and forth, studying the Yautja just outside its reach. It had tried to impale the Yautja who kept watch over it many times, but the cage that held it locked up kept it from doing any real damage.
The Predalien had proven that it would be quite the prey for them to hunt. While it lacked the same level of acidic blood its predecessors had, the creature had retained the oblong-shaped head, sharp talons and deadly tail that sharpened to a point on the end. The black exoskeleton was mottled with dark spots, much like the Yautja it had come from. The mouth on the hard-meat held mandibles, a new feature it had gained from its host. It still had the inner tongue that could be used both as a weapon as well as a way to feed itself.
Elder M'dli-te had finally gotten the approval from the other council members to place the new hard-meat on a new planet that they were planning to use for their Chiva. With the last training ground on the ooman planet destroyed, this new one would prove to be quite the challenge for seasoned warriors.
The medic watched the scans that were being ran on the Predalien. They would be putting it into stasis soon to prep it for transport, as well as the smaller ones they had on board to create more hard-meats. The creature seemed to have quite the adaptation to tranquilizers and could build up a tolerance rather effectively, much like or even better than a Yautja.
Barking an order to one of the newly Blooded waiting nearby, the medic instructed his pupil to begin preparations.
The Predalien screeched, pausing in its pacing to race to the caged wall. It grabbed the metal, shaking its cage with another screech. It was as if the thing knew what was going to happen, only proving its intelligence to be exceptional. Before the Predalien realized it, the younger Yautja shot a tranquilizer at it, injecting their latest formula into its blood stream. It proved to be most effective as the Predalien seized up before crumbling to the ground unconscious.
The medic nodded his head to the other Yautja. "Help me get it to the tank," he instructed his pupil.
Blooded warrior Nev'ka hesitated as he stepped out of the kehrite. Behind his mask, he changed through the different visual spectrums, surprised by how dark and smoky the atmosphere was outside the training room. He had just spent a good half-day training while he awaited the call that it was time to move the Predalien. Having grown tired of waiting, he had thought that maybe he should check on the status until their destination.
A roar drew his attention away from his thoughts and Nev'ka whipped his head around to see a long tail vanish from sight at the end of the corridor. Withdrawing his combi-stick, Nev'ka settled into a defensive stance, his eyes searching the walls and ceilings for something that shouldn't be there.
He moved forward slowly. At the end of the hallway, he leaned back against the wall and peered around the edge. He watched as one of his fellow clansmen was lifted off the ground with a hard-meat tail and pierced through his chest. Seeing the creature distracted, Nev'ka leaped from his spot, charging the hard-meat.
To his surprise, the hard-meat whipped its tail around, throwing the dead Yautja at Nev'ka. The warrior roared in outrage as he was knocked back by the blow. Rolling the body off of him, Nev'ka jumped to his feet, only to find the creature gone. Growling beneath his breath, he shifted through different spectrums as he looked around quickly. He will have this hard-meat's head placed among his other impressive trophies.
A familiar hiss had him whirling around, but a blow from the hard-meat's tail knocked him forward onto his stomach. He landed with a grunt on the old grating, his combi-stick rolling from his grip. He pushed himself to his hands and knees and he shook his head as his vision wavered. The blow his mask had sustained when hitting the ground was affecting the vision, the image crackling with static.
Nev'ka roared as the hard-meat's tail pierced through his chest suddenly. He grunted, staring at the pointed tail sticking out of him, his blood already forming a pool beneath him from the open wound. The hard-meat lifted him off the ground, carrying his body to where it had been hiding in the piping above. Nev'ka growled, but his eyes widened at the sight of the creature staring back at him. This was not the normal hard-meat he had been expecting.
The Predalien they had been transporting had escaped.
The mandibles that made-up the Predalien's face opened wide in a grin. From inside its mouth, its deadly tongue lashed out, effectively killing him in a single strike.
Triumphant, the Predalien threw its prey aside and roared its victory.
AN: This chapter was revised on 11/07/2013.
A huge thanks goes out to my beta reader Welcome the Rising Sun, who is helping me with my horrendous spelling/grammer errors. Thank you so much for helping me out with this :)
So I really want to thank all of my reviewers from The Hunt Begins. Without you guys this story would probably still be sitting on my computer collecting nano-bite dust. You are all wonderful people. I love the good feedback, the criticism and the questions. I will admit though that I love hearing the feedback the most. I like understanding what you liked or didn't like. It makes me want to try harder to do even better.
Second of all, I don't own anything about Predator's, Aliens or Predaliens. But Elli belongs to me and as much as I would love to lay claim to Ci'tde I cannot *cries*.
Here are some Yautja words:
Man'daca: Large Yautja Clanship
Kiande amedha- hard-meat/ black aliens
Ner'uda- A shuttle type Yautja ship
kehrite- training room
Alright I think that is all of them. Well I hope you liked the beginning to The Hunt Continues. I promise there is more to come, such as more usual comedy, horror, action and just plain silliness. Let me know if you loved/liked/hated it.