Title : Hunter, Prey
Author : Booster
Rating : PG-13
Summary: There’s something out there in the jungle with Graham and his men. And it’s hunting them… (Predator crossover. Part of Jinni’s 20 minutes with Graham Challenge.)
Disclaimer : Buffy and the gang belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Predator belongs to Twentieth Century Fox. I own nothing.
Setting: Set after Buffy season 4.
Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth, FanFiction.Net, if anyone else wants it, just email and ask.
Feedback: Yes, please.
I run through the jungle.
It’s out there, following us. Somewhere in the trees. After us.
Spilsby trips and falls beside me. Morrow and I quickly haul him to his feet and we take off again at top speed.
Use the down slopes for a route, keep moving as fast as we can. I have no idea what’s out there after us, but it’s vicious and well armed.
We were just on a standard Search and Destroy mission here in the depths of the Amazon, tracking down and destroying a Logves demon nest. Simple stuff, huh? Couple of day’s trek, wipe out a breeding site, and link up again with Riley and the others.
We weren’t expecting to find the nest already under attack.
We slow down cautiously as the trail narrows, and it looks like there’s a fallen tree across the path. That wasn’t there before. It’s getting dark and there’s a storm moving in on our position.
I nod to Morrow, and like the well trained trooper they are, Spilsby and Morrow carefully approach the blockage. Raising my rifle, I sweep the area behind us, searching for something, anything that shouldn’t be there.
It’s quiet, the only real sound being the increasing winds as the storm rolls in. The light gets more indistinct as the cloud cover falls. Drops of rain start falling on my helmet.
No… just my imagination. I sweep the area from left to right, constantly scanning. Behind me, Morrow climbs over the tree, and Spilsby starts his approach.
And then I see the three little red dots.
And there’s no time to think. Just react.
I slam into him at my highest speed, knocking him over the other side, and hopefully keeping enough inertia to roll away myself before I get hit.
The shots, from whatever strange weapon it has, hit my arm and the fallen tree next to me. Desperate, bleeding and furious at this ghost that stalks us, I swing my gun round and fire at random in his direction. I know I probably haven’t hit him, probably not even scratched him, but he’ll have to keep his head down for a moment.
And the rain picks this moment to start hammering down.
And I can see something.
The rain’s splashing off something that’s not there. There’s that vaguely man-shaped form, and at long last I have something to shoot at.
I think of all the Logves bodies ripped apart that we found. Of the shadowy figure we saw through the burning nest. Of when that figure saw us, and changed targets immediately. I think of all the running we’ve done for the last hour or so, all the close calls we went through. And I use up our last remaining grenade.
Big, big mistake.
There’s a metallic noise like a sword being drawn from a sheath, and the live grenade’s batted back towards us.
I yell “Grenade!” and dive for cover as far away as I can, hoping that Morrow and Spilsby hear me over the ever-increasing sound of the rainstorm.
It explodes, reducing the fallen tree to large splinters, and toppling several others there. I pick myself up off the ground quickly and spin round looking for a target.
Then I pause. The ground trembles. The rain pours down ever harder, and the lightning flashes illuminate the clearing that’s just been formed.
The ground moves beneath my feet, and I realize what’s happening.
“Landslide!” I shout desperately seeking to warn the others, as the ground slips and finally tears free of the hillside sending us all down the slope at high velocity.
I’m thrown from side to side, bouncing off a rock here, a tree there. My backpack and helmet get ripped off in my tumble, and I almost drop the gun as my injured arm gets hit. I gasp out in pain, but those conditioned reflexes they teach at Basic kick in, and somehow I hold on. I can’t see the others and pray they’re all right.
And then I fall off the edge of the cliff.
There’s just enough time to regret ever volunteering for the Initiative, and I hit the water.
It’s just deep enough to break my fall, and somehow I summon enough strength to swim upwards and burst out of the water, desperate for air. I break the surface, and luckily it’s far enough away from the following landslide that I’m safe from that.
The river’s freezing cold, and I can feel it sinking deep into my bones. Glancing round the pool that I seem to have landed in, I swim over to where the waterfall cascades down from the cliffs above and pull myself out. Exhausted, shivering, I collapse on my back and stare up at the sky. I glance over to my left and freeze motionless.
Slightly sheltered from the pouring rain in this little oasis of ours, it stands there, clearly visible. The long dreadlocks on its back, the fiery red eyes in that mask it wears and that double bladed long serrated knife on its right hand: they all tell me what I’ve run into.
I dare not even breathe.
And then it looks directly at me.
But it’s a casual look. A quick scan of the area type look. Why doesn’t it see me? Why aren’t I dead?
And then it straightens up, and walks towards me, fading out of existence as it goes.
And I’m still alive.
And if I watch carefully, I can see the footsteps as it makes its way up the almost sheer cliff face. And then the rest of the Predator file comes floating up out of my memory. They don’t see as we do. The best guess back at base is that they see heat patterns somehow, perhaps in the infra-red spectrum.
And I’m frozen, lying here half under the waterfall, rainfall hiding the sound of my breathing. Practically invisible.
want to be that close to a Predator.
Grabbing onto my gun, I carefully make my way down the river as far away from the Predator as possible. Base camp here I come. Morrow and Spilsby should have enough lead time now to get away from the Predator, so hopefully this is it.
And against a Predator, that’s as good as a win.