Fic Hunting Park, Final
Rating 17 for violence. Serious predator/slayer action here people
Disclaimer: Joss own BtVS, whoever owns Stargate and Predator it certainly isn’t me
Author’s note: 1/ Tenhawk has made me aware that this violate cannon for the comics and books as far as Predator culture goes. I have only seen the movies, and thought it a fun speculation. I hope this does not overly annoy anyone, call it AU if you want.
2/I have incorporated a couple of ideas from emails about my last version, which I am too tired to look up and credit properly. If the people in question want a credit, I will happily do so if they email and mention that need. Sorry guys, it’s a time zone thing and its been a long weekend.
Xander lay in bed and watched the familiar, but always delightful, view of his wife’ naked rear moving away from him as she walked to the shower. Lying on the bed, he sipped his beer and contemplated his life. He had never thought, any time in his life that he would wind up the only middle class success story out of his painfully small group of friends.
The simple fact that he was able to afford to have his family stay here at the Colorado Springs Hilton, rather than the Married Officer Quarters at the base was a display of wealth, from his perspective. Faith had been recalled to Slayer HQ to debrief and train mobile reserve in Predator hunting methods, specifically on the use of slayer senses to track them. The whole family had come because it was a ‘until the job gets done’ move, not for a specific length of time. And he was not going to be away from her for very long, ever.
“Daddy can I sleep here tonight?” It was Jessie, who was more than a little thrown by this strange new world. The boy had never lived anywhere but PX-378 and it was all new to him. His entire life had been spent in what was not really a small town in the modern sense, and more a city-state in the sense of Athens when Socrates was just a guy who you might bump into in the street. He had never seen a gasoline powered vehicle before, for example, everything at home was hydrogen powered because the roof top solar panels used it as storage, but gas would have to be imported through the gate. “Please daddy?”
Not that there was any question of saying no, since his little boy was crawling into the bed even as he was making his plea. Faith walked in from the bathroom, naked as she habitually was at bedtime, drying herself with a towel. Seeing the two men in her life together in the bed she smiled at them and finished what she was doing, the Bostonian having zero tolerance for a nudity taboo, at least among family members.
“Ok you two, I have a crucially important question to ask.” They both looked at him solemnly, Jessie in particular was effective at this, it was the eyes really.
“Have I told you how much I love you today?”
“Yes.” And he hugged them fiercely. Life was good.
The Cleveland hellmouth, a few months later. 14.42 hours, Wednesday night.
The semi-annual cleanup was on, and the demon and vampire populations were falling rapidly. There had been some friendly casualties, but no fatalities. It was intensely hot, and then the headless bodies started appearing, terrible slaughter of a terribly familiar kind. It was time to see if the predator liked being the prey.
“Alpha one to Alpha base, alien sensed on a bearing of 098 degrees, over.” Lucinda Stephens was the team leader, experienced if not with this particular enemy. She had heard the stories of Buffy and the slayerettes patrolling Sunnydale with only sharp sticks and no communications gear. It was her explanation for the odd behavior of the survivors; they must have been nuts in the first place.
“Alpha base to Alpha one, roger that, all other Alpha report your situation, over.” Base was tracking them with a two-way GPS system, of course, and plotting the target began.
“Alpha two to base, faint reading at bearing 334 degrees.” Alpha two was both east and south of Alpha one, so the reading was roughly to the east of Alpha one and the north of Alpha two. Alpha three was further to the east and had no sense of anything unusual, while Alpha four was securing Alpha base and the watchers.
“Alpha base to Alpha three, move two blocks north and then turn proceed towards Alpha one, confirm, over.”
“Alpha Three to Alpha base north to Westland Street then west to Alpha one, over.”
“Alpha base to Alpha three, roger that, over.”
Which was all very well, unless you realized that the slayer sense had only a very short range against aliens. About a half what the guesstimate the plotting program was based on, actually, therefore due to basic geometry covering only a quarter of the area assumed. The watcher team did not have a precise fix on A predator.
It had rough bearing on two of the five that had come in the spacecraft currently sitting in an underground tunnel under Westland Street.
Westland Street, Cleveland, 1613hrs
Buffy Summers, longest lived slayer in history, was not an official part of the Alpha Package conducting the nights operations. She was following Alpha three, without the radio-headsets, rifles or other gear, but at least she had mentioned she was there. Cleveland had gotten used to nights like this, and, like a larger Sunnydale, just stayed indoors and pretended none of it was happening. After a few short and ugly encounters in the early days so did the street gangs.
She was far enough behind the team, in fact, that she saw the plasma caster shot that tore off Christine Wu’s right arm. And the one from the other side of the street that hit Cindy Taylor between the breasts, splashing her over the street like a tomato hit with a large hammer. The shots were from just outside the actual maximum range of the slayer sense for predator detection, as the later enquiry would determine, but at the known maximum effective range of the plasma caster. Tactics based on the assumption that any aliens would be tracked for some time before getting into range for a shot were blamed for the ambush.
Marie Guest cut loose in the general direction of where the shot from her side seemed to have come from, and ran towards it, which is standard anti-ambush tactics. If you are ambushed you are inside a killing box, and the only way out is through the ambush force position. Shots blew holes in the road, and a car that had nearly run her over exploded in a fiery shower of steel that, fortunately, did not kill anyone. She could sense the thing now, and fired at it while running, which would have been a complete waste of ammunition from an ordinary human.
Morgana Kawatti, commander of Alpha three, was repeating the process from against the predator on her side, while also reporting the situation to Alpha Base. Sandra Higgins, the team witch, stayed with her or tried to until a wild shot from the rapidly retreating predator on the other side of the street removed her right foot. The CO of the team turned her head at the screams but did not turn back. Buffy had also run up and grabbed the injured girl, waving her fellow slayer on after the Predator.
Marie was running up the old apartment building stairs three at a time, M-14 up and bayonet fixed. The M-14 was phased out early in the Vietnam War, but it chambers the 7.62 NATO Armor Piercing Incendiary ammo standard to slayers, which more modern American rifles in the inventory do not. People who saw her mostly got out of the way in time, others she simply pushed out of the way. She had hit the thing several times, she was convinced of it, and the self-destruct could be counting down even now.
In which case the predator, and everyone within several blocks, would soon not be a slayer problem. They would be part of a fallout problem.
Reaching the top of the staircase she kicked the door open and ran out, since she could feel the predator was off to one side and couldn’t see the stairway exit from where it was. Gunfire and screaming came through her headsets, a lot more than this one ambush could explain. She focused totally on her part of the mission, worrying about anything else would be counter productive.
“And thank you Uncle Jack for that pearl of wisdom.” The slayer muttered to herself, because without General O’Neil’s training she would be panicking, or maybe ‘doing a Buffy’, as emotionally satisfying but tactically insane behavior was know in the teams. Dropping to the ground she lay full length, keeping the concrete corner of the stairway between her and the alien. Then she rolled over several times, bringing her into line of fire, hopefully in an unpredicted way. She needn’t have bothered. It was dead, one shot had blow out the back of its head.
The other predator was very much alive, however, and firing at Morgana. The building it was on was slightly shorter than the one she was on, allowing her to put two rounds into it. As it fell she emptied the magazine then put in a fresh one and emptied that into it too. Better to slay twice than fail once, as the saying went.
Alpha One’s position, same time.
The Yautcha, as the predator aliens called themselves, do not normally go in for military operations, and a multi-part operation of the kind attempted by them this night rarely goes totally according to plan anyway. The ambush of Alpha three was started as soon as they were within range, which was bad timing for the other teams. Alpha one was taking sniper fire, but the battle across town had given them a few minutes warning and only one of them was wounded. Maria Sandoval had been hit by flying brickwork from a near miss, and as the team witch was not crucial for this type of operation anyway. They planned out how the move on the sniper as they waited for medevac.
“So we’re all clear on this?” Sandra Tobias commander of Alpha one asked. “Lucy works her way north and Norma and Alison does the same from the south. I will keep contact with it here, and try to keep it occupied. The first to see it kills it, and everyone remembers to track their teammates, the only thing more dangerous than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.”
They all nodded; it was a practiced maneuver and worked for them this night. Alison was stuck by the spear thing it carried, but like her other team member survived the battle. Alpha Two was finished its fight by this time. They had had the best luck of the night, since Alpha four had moved up from the Alpha base position in the south and moved along the rooftops ahead of it. The fact that the mighty hunters were seriously spooked by the loss of their fellows helped.
Ok, so shooting them in the back as they ran away was not sporting. WAR IS NOT A SPORT. That was Jack O’Neil’s training too.
The Hunter’s Pride, under Westland street, 2224 hrs.
Buffy was stalking slowly through the tunnel. With the wounded witch evacuated she had gone looking for what LAPD Lt. Harrigan’s, report said he had found, an aliens vessel. That Alpha two had reported shooting two predators, but only found one body, meant to her that the last one had not triggered it self destruct – there would be no Cleveland if it had – and so it had gone somewhere else. The trail of green blood said the rest.
She had no idea that there was only the one wounded one left, of course. Harrigan had killed his predator in its spacecraft and only after found out there was an audience in stealth suits watching, able to kill him any time they wanted except for their honor code. So it was with battle axe held up in a combat stance that she slowly searched the vessel, the same mist that the cop had encountered preventing the blood trail from being useful. Eventually the elder slayer found a locked door. For this she had something Xander had once recommended be at available at Alpha base.
“Knock, knock.” The blonde shouted, and fired the law rocket. Quickly dropping the now useless tube, she launched herself into the room, where she found one alien with its spear up ready to fight. The axe did not damage it, but did not the weapon across the room with the down-sweep that had done that continued into a curve up and around into a side swipe that cut the predator’s head off. Noting the building sound of something that suspiciously like engines she grabbed the head and ran out just in time to avoid being barbecued by the roaring engines, as the ship returned home on autopilot.
Predator home world, after the ships return.
“…and now, exclusive to TPMY news, we have the ships security camera footage of the Hunters Pride. Here we see Lopata arrive back, the only survivor from the five Yautcha on the expedition, note that he is clearly wounded.” The tape fast-forwarded a bit to the Blonde slayer’s arrival.
“And now the soft meat appears, tracking her prey. She searches the vessel, armed with an honor weapon despite obviously having more advance weapons available. She uses one of these to gain access to the bridge and defeats Lopata in single combat before taking his head as a trophy. We only have this footage because Lopata set the automatic return before his death.”
The screen now showed the news anchor looking earnestly into the cameras. Pictures behind him showed Save the Humans campaigners, and then cut to a government spokesbeing at an official podium.
“…the human worlds and not simply the homeworld are now under the most severe travel warnings. No insurance company will provide any coverage of trips to these planets. The argument by Save the Humans campaigners, that our hunting of the creatures traditionally known as soft meat was changing the species in ways that were making them non-viable prey seems substantiated, if not in the sense that they traditionally put it. Certainly the final voyage of the Hunters Pride does not indicate the species is being weakened by loss of its best and toughest. ”