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Ni'Charak

El demonio que hace los trofeos de hombres.....

429 views · located in Elysium City

a character in “Aliens versus Predator: Burning Down Paradise”, as played by Raidose

Description

Theme Song: ::Breaking Benjamin- I Will Not Bow

Image

Birth Name: Ni'Charak Naat-Ji

Nickname: Red, Cuchillas CarmesΓ­

Caste: Nobility

Rank: Blooded (Should be Elite)

Clan: Naat-Ji

Age: 237

Height: 7'4"

Weight: 395 lbs




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Armor:
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-His father's mask, which has been repaired and modified. The mask is advanced well beyond his Cast in the Yautja hierarchy, featuring a multitude of vision modes as well as a micro-tracking dart shooter. The mask can process a massive amount of information and can paint multiple targets for his Caster and maintain the lock without maintaining line of sight. The mask is much like the Dark mask from AVP for the consoles (image right) with the following exceptions: it's a darker metal color, it has two piercings on the chin with dangling ornamental spikes, a concave and rigid mouth-piece, a small serrated blade running vertical on where the mouth would be, and a vertical row of three tiny hook-like blades above each eyebrow ridge. A large, blood-red Yautja handprint covers over the right side of his mask.

-Basic light armor which protects the left half of his upper torso, the outside of his thighs, knees, and shins.

-Leather bandolier going over the left shoulder, adorned with small non-terrestrial skulls, meant for carry any small bits and bobs, such as his mini-shurikens, his mines, and a vile of highly concentrated dissolvant.

-Lightly armored right shoulder guard with a defensive blade curving outward to deter attackers.

-Moderately armored left shoulder guard with multi-layered plates overlapping to allow better durability. Is capable of holding his bio-mask when not in use, allowing him to safely keep the mask with him at all times.

-Right wrist bracer contains a expandable protective shield to repel projectiles.

Weaponry:

-Dual Naat-Ji unique 16-inch plasma edged wristblades that have been treated and acid-proofed. Plasma edging allows almost instantaneous cauterization of wounds, making them extremely effective against Xenomorphs.

-Twelve disposable mini-shurikens, each containing a vial of concentrated dissolvant that can be released remotely. Twelve may sound like a lot, but three are small enough to fit in your hand. (In bandolier)

-One programmable multi-targeting Smart-Disc.

-Light plasma caster. Unable to charge it's shots, but instead fires higher velocity blasts of super-heated plasma. Lighter weight allows the servos to move faster, allowing for faster target-lock and greater accuracy against moving targets.

-Three laser grid mines and two plasma mines. (In bandolier)

-Disposable Combi-stick containing a vial of concentrated dissolvant that can be released remotely.

-Ritual knife for carving and the cleaning of trophies.

Gear:

-Full Medi-comp set.

-A spool of reinforced dlex thread. (In bandolier)

-Five tracker darts, which are loaded in the mask. Carries two extra reloads in bandolier.

-Gold human locket containing a family portrait.

-Wrist console holds a back-up targeting laser capable of aiming and firing the Plasma Caster without need of the bio-mask.

-Flask of Ch'inka Resin, the smell of which the serpents cannot stand.

-Drinking Gourd filled with C'ntlip (a type of fruit-based alcohol), for celebrations.

-Waterskin.

Appearance:
Despite being alive for over two human lifetimes, this Yautja is still rather youthful of body, though mature of mind and soul. Because of his youth, he lacks brow-spikes and has an undeveloped crown. A large scar on his face going at an angle from under his upper left mandible, past his left eye and through his brow marks his most notable feature. He can also completely enclose his mandibles like the Predator from the first movie. His body is very athletic, which compliments his powerful lean muscles and lithe swiftness. Despite some Yautja having rather large heads (or at least in some movies they do), his is far more proportionate with his shoulders (like those in the comics). His skin is a light pale greenish color.

His armor is fairly average, only being a dark silverish metal tone. His gear is hardly personalized, save for his wrist blades which he had shaded into a dark metallic red. On each of his fingers is a ring with a small spike on it, meant to aid in hand-to-hand conflicts. He still wears his trophy necklace from his Kainde Amedha Chiva, along with his belt which has a small, humanoid skull as the buckle, complete with the clan loin cloth. The loin cloth is dark blue, squared, and long in both the front and back, with the back being about 4 inches longer, and is very worn and torn on the ends. It drapes ethereally light, gracefully following his each movement.

A vertical, curved blade going up his right arm makes up his right shoulder plate, with overlapping plates with torn pieces of the same dark blue fabric poking out from underneath making up his left shoulder plate. He recently added a handmade leather bandolier going across his right shoulder, which is adorned with a few small alienoid skulls. He decorates his shoulder length dreadlocks with bright iridescent-red bands and beads, which almost seem to glow when he's not hidden by his cloaking, a fact which has earned him the name Red.

Personality: ImageNi'Charak's personality is like that of a dying fire, cold and black on the outside, but once stirred the sudden blast of heat could melt your face off. He's very cynical and calculating when not consumed by battle, but once he is it all gives way to the fangs and claws of a berserk warrior. His fiery spirit and carefully planned manipulation of enemies makes him an exceptionally deadly hunter.

Even in his youngest days, Ni'Charak always flipped between hardened discipline and explosive anger. A meticulous planner by trade, he rarely would go in for the kill till the pieces were placed as he wished. Though there were time, when his temper flared, that he'd abandon such strategy in favor of slicing through whatever was in his path. He is highly protective of both Krit'Na and the Naat-ji, and there are very few quicker ways to anger him than to insult one of those two. It was for this short fuse that he was taught the Dance of the Mad God.

His fighting style, the N'ritja gka-de L'ulij-bpe Paya, the "Dance of the Mad God" , is a dual wrist blade style, taught to him by both his father and an Elder named Yeyinde, that focuses on channeling the user's rage into momentum, strength, speed, and endurance. If done properly this can allow the user can enter a fiery state of Zazin to take on entire groups of equal sized enemies with utter ease in a display of confusing, furious, and dance-like acrobatic strikes and counters that blend seamlessly from one to the next (capoeira for preds).

There are two practices of this style, which Ni'Charak has almost mastered. The Calm Before The Storm, which entails stealthily eliminating hazardous foes and using fear tactics to herd the rest of the prey as one desires, and the Tempest, which is the trademark of the style and involves diving into the middle of said cluster of victims to swiftly slay them all.

This style is usually only taught to those Predators who have suffered great loss, as that hatred in their hearts is what this form tempers into a fearsome weapon. Though one thing is for certain, surrounding a N'ritja gka-de L'ulij-bpe Paya user is a very bad idea. It was made around the old saying "Dtai'Kai-dte sa-de nau'gkon dtain'aun bpi-de", "The fight begun would not end until the end".

Using this style, the more Ni'Charak fights, the more likely he is to whip himself into a bloody frenzy that is very difficult to exit. This means he must either ensure his fights are short and quiet, or that he must wait for all his foes to group before making his ambush. For once he starts berserking, stealth becomes very very hard to go back to.

He prefers to hunt humans, as he has much greater respect for them. In fact, it is how he earned his hunting name. And while he believes that the serpents are indeed worthy, they should be exterminated rather than hunted. He can become quickly enraged by the mere presence of a xenomorph, entering into his Tempest form instantaneously if provoked.

He always upholds his father's beliefs. Respect your prey, defend your brothers, and of course his Clan's Creed: Life Before Honor, Death Before Dishonor.

Bio:
Many cycles ago, the Naat-Ji clan were known as some of the fiercest Brawlers and Warriors amongst the Yautja. Unlike most other clans, the Naat-Ji were not nomadic. At least, not in the same sense. They would choose a world and call it home, for a few hundred years or so, and then move on. The world they chose last, the world Ni'Charak was born on, was one most interesting. It had great game, bountiful forests, a perfect atmosphere for breathing, and even it's own little secret. The hunters could not hope for a better world to claim as theirs. But now is not the time to think of this, for one day The Black Warrior will claim us all as his victory. Best to do what we wish now, before his gaze falls on us.

Ni'Charak came from a long and proud line of hunters and warriors, and was the youngest of his three brothers to earn his hunt name. His father, Naral-Gii or "Black Scythe", was of Noble blood, and thus was greatly influential to the Yautja hierarchy. Even from this age, Ni'Charak was very dutiful to his family. He always aspired to be in his father's image and uphold his families honor and legacy. Out of all his brothers, he strove the hardest to earn his father's eye. Though even still, he was but a pup, so he did as all children do. He had his friends. Well, only one, really. Krit'Na, son of a Weapon Smith and the youngest son of his family. His elder brother, however, was a different sort. He always was one to bark louder than he should. Fights often broke out between him and Ni'Charak's siblings, often ending in a bloody beating. One day, the "Barker" had gone too far. Yautja fight, often to first blood, but this day blood would not suffice, and the fool was beaten to death. Ni'Charak, the younger brother of the victor, did take pity on Krit'Na. Friendship had turned to a forged kinship.

The trial was a notable point in Ni'Charak's life, for more reasons than one. On a world a billion stars away, one of his older brothers had earned the ire of the Black One. He fell in honorable combat, and his body was returned to the clan. The other death in the family was Ni'Charak's own twin, whom was tore from his own grip by the serpents of the Khainde Amedha Chiva. This is where the heart of Ni'Charak's hatred was born, as he beat the last three of the serpents to death with only his hands. From the darkness, he emerged. Blooded and scarred, a hunter of his people. In his eyes was seen this fire, even underneath all that cold. Never did he let it show, until he fought. His teachings of the N'ritja gka-de L'ulij-bpe Paya, taught to him since he was old enough to fight, had now taken root like never before. Now there was not merely anger, but something infinitely more powerful. Hatred. And in this, he was reborn.

Years passed, and soon the time came for Krit'Na to take his steps to adulthood. That day, the secret which this planet hid from it's inhabitants decided to emerge. Serpents, hidden deep beneath the surface of this world, far deeper than even the hunters could tell. They poored out by the thousands, and one far larger than the rest. An amazingly large, albino Ravager, the likes of which had never been seen. The Naat-Ji were completely taken by surprise, but were soon doing battle with the crawling darkness unlike ever before. It was not enough, and even the Great Naral-Gii, armed with the ancient Naginata of his ancestor, the sacred relic of the clan, soon fell before Ni'Charak's eyes. He himself soon thought he was destined to join his father in death. The sting of the serpents had pierced his midsection, and their claws had traced his face. Soon, as his blood ran, darkness fell upon him. He awoke to his clan's home in flames, the serpents fleeing from the stray plasma fire from circling Yautja shuttles.

There is no disgrace nameable to account for the shame Ni'Charak had placed upon himself. He had survived. Bleeding, beaten, broken, unconscious, and cursing the God's for not allowing him to be with his kin. He had bestowed upon himself a great dishonor. He had lived. The council of Elders, the Ancients of their kind, need not name a punishment for the young blood. His dishonor was enough, and the end of the Naat-Ji meant that he would forever be an outcast amongst his own kind, accepted only on the waning meaning of his name. But he was not alone, was he? one had not been with the clan during the purge, one had escaped. Krik'Na, who had left for his blooding rite. The Naat-Ji were not yet banished to the winds.

There was still a path to take, one for redemption. The Naginata of his father, the blades of N'Kcha-Guaysu, the founder of the clan. These were honorary weapons, and would be respected by the High Council of Ancients. They alone could give his name meaning, and with that, he could revive the clan. His honor, as the reclaimer of the blades and the redeemer of the clan, would ensure this. His father, in his last moments, had buried the blades deep into the back of the great beast which slew him. Perhaps they still dwell between it's massive dorsal spines? Yes, this is how he would save the clan. Both he and Krit'Na, his Kv'var Mei'hswei (Hunt Brother), would find this beast's lair and slay it. Though one issue remained, only one Yautja knew where the beast fled after the shuttles arrived. He was a gunner aboard the ship which drove it off.

And the last time he was seen was on a world recently claimed by the oomans......


Image Image


The image on the left is Naral-Gii Naat-Ji, with the exception of the mask, of course. The image on the right is a depiction of N'Kcha-Guaysu Naat-Ji, Ni'Charak's great ancestor and founder of the Naat-Ji clan. He is the Elder of which his family draws it's fame and nobility. Those two swords on his back are his Naginata, and were passed down the family for thousands of years. And now they're embedded in a giant Xenomorph's back.

RP Sample:
The air on this world, it was familiar. Like that of his home, but different. The stink of the jungle, the smell of ash, and the foul musk of the serpents. It all mixed together as the hunter breathed it in, bringing back unwelcomed memories. Best be done with this and leave, before his fire burns too hot. Through the spectrum of his mask, the residual heat still bubbled and hissed, even though no flames had touched within here for nearly a month. With the palm of his hand, he pushed open the grate. It's heavy metal frame fell down three floors, hitting the metal floor with a resounding clang. His clawed digits gripped the outside of the vent's opening, the dark visage of his mask inching out to better view the chamber. This place, it was once a ooman temple he guessed. He knew much of their kind, knew that they studied the serpents. They had always been the seeds of their own destruction, and the nesting resin on the floor told him that this time had been no different.

His heavy form impacted the ground, causing bits of embers to flurry around his ghost-like body. The light of their glow reflected eerily off of his cloaking. The room was nigh pitch black, brightened only by the pillars of light shining down from the blasted holes in the ceiling. Though light and darkness held no meaning to this devil, he could still feel their touch on his skin. Not a sound came from these abandoned halls, a silence unachievable even by the Nightmare Things. With the beep of his wrist console, his body was illuminated by the blue crackling of energy. Where there was once a shimmering form of his ghost suit, now there stood the demon in all his glory. He stood straight, fearing not for any living being around, nor the spirits of the dead. Though the cautious hunter always knew to never be sure of anything. Letting out a bellowing roar, which echoed down every hall, he waited and listened for the sound of movement. Only the wind, whistling over the base, gave him any reply.

"There are none here save the dead, Young Blood. Join me."

A second thud landed squarely behind him, marking Krit'Na's entrance. "This place reeks of the khainde amedha, mei'hswei. The one we seek can not be here." Ni'Charak turned away from his Hunt Brother, leering over something in the rubble. Sliding a stone off to the side, he grasped at something and held it within his hand, studying it. "This is where the signal came from. He is here. Though we are late. Cetanu has found him first..." he clicked, holding up a tribal necklace which was of Yautja origin to signify their quarry's death. The two searched for several hours, though found no trace of the hunter's mask. It was their only hope of learning that which they sought. Though their searching was not entirely in vain. Ni'Charak had found something in the dirt and debris of this shattered monolith. Tracks, and ooman ones at that. They always were ones to steal that which wasn't their own. Like vermin who steal food, they'd skitter and and forage around for anything they could find, before taking it back to their nests. Beneath Ni'Charak's mask, his mandibles fidgeted in anger. Each breath was accompanied by a deep growl.

A stern hand was placed on his shoulder in a respectful yet jesting manner. "Gkei'moun, L'ulij-bpe Jehdin" Krit'Na joked. Ni'Charak restrained the urge to tear his arm off, as Krit'Na continued. "We shall do as we always. And you should be happy, Mei'hswei, for the Paya smile on us. After all, is the pyode amedha not your favorite sport?" His brother had succeeded in bringing a smile to him, as he gave a challenging shove against Krit'Na's shoulder plate. Perhaps not all was as cursed as Ni'Charak had first thought. How far could the oomans have really gone? Then his mask started beeping urgently with warnings of all sorts. His ship's sensors had picked up on several massive objects entering this world atmosphere. The two hastily raced to the top of the ruins, gazing up at the sky as several colossal frigates peaked out from behind the clouds. Their bellies spewed out a small stream of tiny flying machines, and Ni'Charak traced their landing zones. The oomans were preparing for something. But what? They were all heading towards that large city to the North. Something had scared them, and that made the Red One worried.

Krit'Na, easing out of his dumbstruck state, could say only one thing. "Well, the serpents are still dead at least". Ni'Charak's hand balled up into a fist, as he drove it deep into his Young Blooded friend's chest, sending him backwards into a wall. His punishment for jinxing the Hunt to come. Seeing no other choice than to proceed, the duo of demons leapt forth into the trees, beginning their long trek North.

So begins...

Ni'Charak's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mr. Cade Character Portrait: Fox Character Portrait: Ni'Charak Character Portrait: LCpl Jackie Owens Character Portrait: The Queen Character Portrait: Mark Daniels Character Portrait: SgtMa William Mathew Alexander Character Portrait: Rebecca Langford

0.00 INK

#, as written by Raidose
Time: 5:47 AM Elysium Time
Date: 5-11-2211
The Anniversary Of The City.
Days Since First Sign Of Infestation: 0.
Xenomorph Population: Speculated, But Unconfirmed.
Civilian Casualties: 3 Confirmed, 8 Missing Presumed Dead.
U.S.C.M. Casualties: 0
Mission Time: 00:01







The sky was usually so beautiful over the city. Blue, sunny, with just the right amount of clouds. Flying native lifeforms, classified as a type of avians, would often flock high above, flaunting their colors. It was as if the heavens themselves had bent to the will of this city's masters to please the impetuous cattle of a populace that resided here. Not today, it would seem. Still reflecting the fleeting shroud of night and barring the way of the sun's warming touch, the thick cloud cover cried out it's mercy upon this, the City of Perfection. And Corruption. Rain flooded the streets of the less aesthetically pleasing districts, where the unwanted necessary elements of this paradise made their homes. It was little more than a ghetto on the best of days. No one looked twice at what happened here, so long as it never, ever touched the real residential areas, with their flawless and magnificent sheen. The workers who lived here, kept here by the wages barely meeting the monthly costs and never coming close to affording a way out. Wage-slaves, taken one step forward. A perfect way to maintain a steady populace of workers, at least by Corporate standards.

The scene on these abysmal streets was one that played out a thousand times before..... Violence.

"Hey, hey, man! Look, I don't want any issue, kay? You got my wallet, now just let me g-Aagh!"

The body of a middle aged man, African American by ethnicity, impacted against the unforgiving street curb. The blood from his head drifted down a nearby storm drain, carried away by the torrent of rain. Another, younger thug, caucasian, and brandishing a lead pipe, clenched his teeth in anger as he loomed over the fallen.

"Thirty-five bucks? What the fuck is this? You're payin' for your right to breath, here, and all you got is this shit? Pfft! Tough luck, gramps!"

Another hit was delivered by the mugger, shattering the passer-by's shoulder blade with the sheer force. The man's screams went unheard, almost. As this brute reared back for one more good swing, he was blinded by the spotlights illuminating him. There had to be someone to manage this lot, some kind of law enforcement, but they had no care for the civilians which lived here. Oh no, they merely followed simple orders. Maintain Peace. The Gods of this kingdom forbade that any ill news of crime, violence, or bloodshed ever reached the word of potential investors. So the streets were patrolled. Guns were loaded. And without warning or demand to surrender, the criminal was cut down by a quick burst of silenced weapon's fire.

"Target down. Situational Clean-up, underway. We'll report back when this mess is taken care of."

"Sir? What about the civie?"


The man scrambled to his knees, clasping his hands together in praise of his saviors.

"Th-thank you! Shit, I thought I was dead. If you didn't show then, I don't kn-"

"Him, too."

No moment's pause. No protest allowed. No pleading was accepted. The order was given, and a single round found it's mark between the eyes, of the fool who believed himself saved.

"Dispatch, this is K-11. Sector 38-D has been cleared. Send clean-up ASAP, over."

Two more bodies vanished into the night. No one who cared would know, and no one who knew would care. That is how this city's gleaming facade survived. That is how it always would survive, as anything beautiful did. So pretty on the outside, but beneath the skin there was nothing but rotting meat, lies, bribery, and corruption.

Welcome To Elysium City.





Looming over them in orbit, the U.S.C.M. Nicodemus Conestoga-class carrier hovered with eyes-in-the-skies and waited for comms chatter back from the grounds. Colonel Donald Briggs headed this operation, taking his place at the bridge to observe his crew. In the hangar bay, more UD-4L "Cheyenne" utility dropships were being prepared to depart and drop as needed. Global observations were underway. Nothing was getting on or off this rock without the Colonels say-so. Though it seemed someone somewhere had a lot more tug than one would imagine, for the Nicodemus wasn't to be the only carrier present. Accompanying the Colonels ship were the U.S.C.M. Osiris and the U.S.C.M. Necromundus, each carrying reserves of fresh troops in the case of infestation. No one was taking this lightly.

Drowned out by the roar of thunder and rocked and battered by the high turbulence, the landing crafts parted the cloud cover in droves. Inside, their pilots checked and rechecked their landing status, confirmed authorization. Authorization not given by Mr. Cade, but by someone several tiers higher than him. Drop zones and landing pads, both in and out of this city, were designated and reserved for their touchdowns. The flying monsters of steel landed their feet upon the surface of their drop-point, opening their sides to reveal the armed and ready troopers they carried. Some a little dizzy or sick from the ride down, but all marched out into their formations. Sergeants within each squad sped them on, shouting out their various gung-ho speeches to motivate faster deployment.

"Let's go, ladies! Wake up time! What, did you doze of on the way down, Patterson? Come on, move your asses! Hustle like you got a purpose, Marines! Command wanted that Forward Base operational yesterday!"

Within the confines of the Elysian Tower, an overpaid receptionist noticed the military official approaching her desk from the elevator. He looked to be just about as annoyed as she did. Making a point about his tardiness and that Mr. Cade doesn't like to be kept waiting for an appointment, she pressed the button on her terminal and paged his office. Inside, Mr. Cade could do nothing but peer through his darkened glass window at these new and unwanted visitors.

Like a swarm of ants, their armored bodies scoured out and off of the landing pads, eagerly awaiting orders from above. They mapped out grids of the city and the colonies that lay beyond it's walls. Positions were noted, orders were given to begin setting up, and plans for grid-by-grid searches were already being organized, starting with the inner city and working their way out. The civilians may not have been too keen on that, but it held no difference. The Colonial Marines were here, and ready for a fight.

Or so they thought....




Deep within the darkness of the city's extensive underbelly, maintenance teams never stopped working to maintain the luxury those fops upstairs. Even now, on the celebratory day, the anniversary of the city's birth, they continued working. In the darkest of places, where even the security lights seemed to flicker in and out as they pleased, fear began to grow. Stories of things that lived down here, people disappearing and never being seen again. It all had some of the men terrified to even think about going down there, though to the vast majority this was nothing but a load of crap, and superstition, to support said crap. If there was something down here, then why hasn't anyone caught it? The security teams searched down here a lot. Routine is what they usually said, but the various spooks usually pointed out that they didn't do these walk-throughs till after the disappearances. Of course, most simply respond by stating that it's likely to make-

"Pussies like you feel safe at night, Redgy. Seriously, dude, the guys up-top probably have to arrange these God damned things cause you chickenshits won't work down here till Daddy checks under your bed."

"Man, that ain't funny. I told you that damn dog use to sleep under there and growl when I fell asleep. Friggin' little rat gave me nightmares till I was fourteen. But seriously, you're buying that load of shit they keep spoon feeding us? What about Ray? His girl ain't seen him in months. And we both know his broke-ass didn't scrape together enough to tell Mister Cade to kiss his ass."

"Dude, there could have been like a million reasons why nobody found him."

"Yeah? Name one."

"Alright.... Well, those damn Hyperdine Oxidation Filters are a death-trap and a half. That big opening in the inspection tank? Ray could've fell over the railing doing something stupid, like he always does, and gone down stream. The water pressure would have just shoved him along. Hell, it'd do more than that, it probably shove his ass through those narrow intake tubes and squirted him out the other side like a tube of toothpaste. The bits of him would be utterly unrecognizable, but still would be picked up by the scanners as contaminants. The system would have isolated that line and flash-boiled it away to sanitize it, leaving nothing behind. Hell, maybe we've all been drinking little vaporized bits of Ray for the past few months...."

"...... Wow. Is this the kinda shit you think of in your spare time? Cause if it is, man, fuck, go see a shrink. I mean, damn!"

"What? Things like that happen. My uncle Mike? Gone. Inspected a fission generator when a breach happened in one of the lines. The vacuum pressure sucked his entire body through a quarter-sized hole. The only reason nobody found out sooner is because some the remains of his tendons and shit actually blocked off the-"

"Okay, okay, okay, okay, change of subject! Please? Jesus H. Christ, dude. But seriously, man, I am not cool with you going down there on your own."

"Oh, for the love of- Fine! I'll get Miller to go with me, since he's already down there anyway. There, you don't have to go, and I won't go alone. Happy?"

"Yes."

"Alright, let's see if the assholes asleep or not."

Though they had no idea what lay in those dank halls. Behind the shadows of machinery and hidden in the veils of hissing steam. Things from nightmares given live. Things which were hunting their friend. Through the mucky sludge of the ill-maintained tunnels he raced, breathing erratically as he clutched his chest. He'd been running for his like for the better part of an hour now, fleeing those things which took away the workers right by him without a sound. In the dank and dreary void of the shadows, he saw them. He knew they were still chasing him, but the aged and out of shape man could no longer continue. Struggling to contain his gasps for air, he hid behind a large wall of piping. All was quiet, save for his beating heart. Maybe God would have mercy on him, and the heart attack would take him before they did. He began to leer his head out, checking the coast, when his radio sprang to life.

"Miller! Hey, Miller! C'mon, man, pick up the comms. I know you're asleep down there, jacka-"

With a whimper and the stumbling of his shaky hands, he managed to silence the voice which threatened his life. It was way too quiet down here, perfect conditions for that sound to travel. He didn't breath, didn't move. Just sat there, praying to any divine that would hear him. Once more, no sound was made for the longest age. From a combination of fear, stupidity, curiosity, and maybe a need to stop kneeling on this cold, hard ground, Miller once again dared to look beyond his shelter. Darkness, and nothing more. No horrors crawling on the walls, no shrieking monsters thundering down the tunnels. Not a soul. With a heavy breath, ushered forth by the sudden relief, he looked back, and saw.... a mirror? His heart froze as he gazed at his own blurred reflection, an image which gleamed off the head of this terror with no name. It's head raised, it's eyeless-stare meeting his petrified eyes. It's lips retracted in a hiss. He saw it's teeth....

And nothing more.




In the heart of the Jungle, only about a few miles from the city, the storm roared with all its fury, yet gave not a tear from it's clouds. Heat lightning, caused by a completely separate storm coinciding with the one that hovered over the city right now. A residual side effect to the atmospheric conditioning needed to prevent the levels of nitrogen in the air from reaching too high. The air here was humid, but not wet. It was certainly hot, though. On this world, the spring seasons were often hotter than the summer, and without the comfort of the invisible atmo-field of cooled air, previously set records were being broken. Hot, populated, violent, and with potential conflict on the horizon. Ideal conditions from those who looked at this world from beyond the stars, hidden in the vast expanses of space. Though already there were some who lurked in these canopies, seeking not the hunt, but the answer to a question.

As to what they were, well.... That was a matter of who you asked. Angels and Demons, Gods and Devils, Ghosts and Spirits. Every culture that has ever walked the Earth had a legend told about them, the invisible killers who preyed on man. The Hunters, who came in the hottest seasons, to claim their trophies. Though while no hunt was established, how could one resist such tempting game? Beneath the sea of leaves, a squad of E.C.P.D. had been assigned to investigate missing research personnel and the disappearance of several captive animals. They marched along at a relatively slow pass, awaiting the regrouping of one of their comrades. James Taggert, Roger Keyes, Raymond Lewis, and Pete Farva.

"Man, where the fuck is Farva? His ass been gone now for like forty minutes."

"Probably still takin' a dump. Told em' not to eat them damn berries."

"Yeah, I don't know. That's one seriously long shit he's taking."

"Hey, cool it. He said he'd catch up."


"'Least check and see how close he is? It's hot as fuck and I wanna get back before noon."

"Yeah, alright. .......Well, that's fun."


"What? That dumb bastard head the wrong way?"

"No, his tag isn't showing up. Then again, neither is mine. I swear to God, this shit is about as reliable as a prize you'd get out of a God damn box of cereal."


"Hey now, that ain't true. I've had my Snoopy watch for ten years, and it still works."

"Whoa, wait a minute. I got him. He's..... what the fuck? In front of us?"


"Bullshit, that fat motherfucker wouldn't run that fast after a truck full of Krispy Kremes."

Beyond them was a thick tangle of overgrowth and vines, unwelcoming to say the least. Pushing their way through, the troupe soon came to a clearing, following the lead of the locator tag all the way to the base of a large tree.

"Well, guys. Apparently Farva became a tree...."


"There's a wood joke in there somewhere."

"So where the hell is he?"

"Whew, damn it's hot."

"Yeah, no shit. I'm sweatin' my balls off over here."

"It's says he's right.... Oh for fucks sake. It moved again. He's just through there."


The brush beyond was just enough to make line-of-sight difficult to manage, but something was moving over there. Shadows occasionally blocked out the light from the sun, which was just now beginning to illuminate the clouds. They approached, but did not enter. Not so much out of the preservation of the man's dignity as sparing their eyes from such a horrid sight.

"Hey, Farva! Get your ass out here!"


"Yeah, man! We sittin' here waitin' on your ass!"

"......Uhhh, why isn't he answering us?"

"I don't know....... Oh, fuck my life. I'm going in."


"Got your back, bro."

The leader of this band leaned forward through the vines and leaf cover, only to go reeling back with the vision he received. His frantic left hand, in an attempt to balance himself, grasped onto a mass of vines, and tore them down. Now all could see it. The skinned cadaver of their missing squad member, with his locator tag at the top of a mound of skin, organs, and bloody rags. The squadmate at his six locked his finger down in a fear-trigger, hosing the entire tree with pulse rounds. Then the laughing started.

"<{:HEEHEEHEEHEEHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAA!!:}>"


"Fucking Christ!"

"Where The Fuck Is That Comin' From?!"

"I Don't Know, Just Fucking Shoot It!"


"I Can't See Anything!"

"Yeah! Come On, Bitch! Where You Hidin', Huh?! Where You Hidin' At?!"


James Taggert, the man who lead this squad, had been off-Earth for nearly 11 years. He thought he'd seen everything. But he failed to see what hit him. A massive force, something huge in size, bull rushed through him, sending him flying back-first into the unforgiving trunk of a tree with a simple backhand. Whatever it was, it was too fast to see, even from his other comrades. The ghost moved with such purpose that even Lewis didn't see what was coming. The vice like grip on his throat tightened as he was dragged off, practically swallowed by the jungle itself. The poor soul kept screaming the whole time, bloody murder. The kind of screaming a human only makes when he's being ripped apart. Keyes burped off several bursts into the foliage, but the screaming kept going. He turned to his downed leader and advanced to help, oblivious to the shimmer of something suspended in the air in front of him.

"Keyes! No, Wait!"


Too late, as the invisible noose wrapped tight around his neck. In the blink of an eye, the full grown, two-hundred-and-twenty-five pound man was whisked into the canopy. His gun hit the ground a second later, and James bolted for it. Gripping it tightly, he unloaded all one-hundred rounds into the jungle, hoping that maybe he'd at least get that damn taunting to stop. It never did.

"<{:HEEHEEHEEHEEHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAA!!:}>"


"<{:Over Here....:}>"
"<{:Over Here....:}>"

"<{:Turn Around!:}>" "<{:Turn Around!:}>" "<{:Turn Around!:}>"


"<{:Over Here....:}>""<{:Over Here....:}>"

"<{:HEEHEEHEEHEEHAAHAAHAAHAAHAAA!!:}>"


Taggert's weapon clicked. The clip was spent. The hair's on the back of his neck stood straight up. He could feel the presence behind him. And it spoke one last time.

"<{:Got your back, bro.:}>"


His head whipped around, meeting the invisible demon's fiery eyes. He screamed. The sharp, overwhelming pain of heated metal rending his flesh.

And the sound of his severed arm hitting the jungle floor......




Destroy. Escape. Survive.

By Any Means Necessary.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mr. Cade Character Portrait: Ni'Charak Character Portrait: LCpl Jackie Owens Character Portrait: Rebecca Langford Character Portrait: Gary Character Portrait: Krit'Na

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#, as written by Raidose
"Everything is progressing as I said it would in the last report. The only thing worth noting is that we've found something interesting about the Leo Rosa. I'm sure you recall that it's a rose like plant that secretes a sticky, sweet-smelling, acidic substance to draw in insects. Well, today we learned that the substance is also highly combustible. One of the lab techs on his break apparently decided to believe that the No Smoking sign was just for show. Ended up contributing more to the field that he ever did in life."


"I see.... We'll arrange for financial compensation for any family he may have had. In the meantime, I want you to divert more attention to the Leo Rosa. Test the extent of it's properties. If it's particularly useful, we can synthesize it and mass produce it. If it has no other uses than a cheap ball of fire, hell, weaponize it. The USCM is always buying. A replacement for your work staff will be supplied by the end of the day. Ah...... And the lab has finished it's analysis. I'll forward the details to you. Report back to me should any sudden discoveries arise. And Doctor? Try not to lose anymore members of your team. They may be junior researchers, but they don't grow on trees."


Cade's face was the definition of apathy when the vidcomm cut out. He couldn't care less about some peon in the labs, so long as it served a purpose. Speaking of sacrifice in the name of progress, another alert beeped over his PDA. Glancing down, he noticed it was S-12, a squad of his personal androids he'd deployed into the lower levels on a "routine" inspection. Mr. Cade was actually quite eager to hear their report, which was slightly unusual for him. With the tap of his thumb, a private encrypted channel was opened between the two.

"Sir, we've found a body. Wounds on cadaver indicate a clean kill. Single impalement just below the sternum. Several postmortem puncture wounds are scattered across the body, indicative of xenomorph feeding habits. Substance lining the wounds are traces of hive resin. Current projections indicate that with a lack of other bodies, the twenty-seven missing workers would all become hosts, a great increase in boldness for them. Gestation cycles of xenomorph embryos would place current hive size at approximately fortify-five members, with more than that number still acting as hosts. What are your orders?"


"Burn it. Burn it all. No evidence, no witnesses. You report these matters to me alone, and terminate anyone or anything that decides to eavesdrop. Understand?"


The metallic, monotone voice of the inhuman speaker on the other end confirmed with no emotion, as did Mr. Cade. The call ended, as he stood in front of his large, empowering window, watching over the entire South end of the city. His dark eyes pierced out through the tinted glass, as if he could spot them from here.

"Should have just died in your hole, you bitch...."




ImageThe JungleImage




Many things vied for dominance. Animals, men, monsters, and even the storms in the sky shoved each other aside. The low rumbles of thunder were gone, replaced by dark clouds that rivaled nightfall, and the downpour of rain which ruined the hunt. Though, this wasn't a hunt, was it? This held a deeper meaning, the toying with the softmeat. The great walls of the city gave little entrance for even the most savvy of hunters. But it was merely safety for their prey, and the oomans were skittish. If they were given a reason to flee, the predator need only follow the retreating prey to their hole in the great wall. Many of these little packs had they made trophies of, but this was getting nowhere. The one survivor was likely too terrified to find it's own way.

Even though the rain disrupted their ghost suits, the Yautja kept on with the chase. Close enough to startle this ooman into running, but never were they seen. The wind rustled the leaves around them, carrying with it the sound of oomans to the East. Giving up on the chase, they followed the source and found a new source to have fun with. These ones were different, a strange mix of discipline and rashness. These were warriors which Ni'Charak had known before. Good sport, not of this city. Krit'Na was inexperienced with the oomans in general, never before even seeing them till they'd landed on this world. The Youngblood listened and watched them intently, but scarcely understood their woods. Ni'Charak, on the other hand, knew a fair bit of their language. Enough to get a general idea, though he was often confused by their..... slang.

Still, it was inevitable that they run afoul of the remnants of previous squads. More so since Krit'Na had found the signal they used to detect each other on those tiny objects they carried. Perfect bait. Though their haul was.... less than desired. The supposed hardened warriors, of which Ni'Charak told many tales, barely could stand the sight of their fallen comrades. The smell of their sick lingered in the air, forcing Krit'Na to back away a bit. He raised an eyebrow and flexed a mandible inquisitively, questioning his brother's knowledge of these creatures. This earned him a threatening trill, and a hand signal to keep quiet. Even their proud race had lesser warriors, those sent into the battle without being fully prepared. The softmeat were no different. Besides, an interesting confrontation was closing in fast.





Still running, for hours it felt like. To where, to who, to what, it didn't matter. Taggert just kept running. The humidity of the jungle was unbearable, sweat was pouring off of his skin so profusely that the rain made no difference. Three times now. Three times had he run into another squad on patrol, and each time the same happened. The laughing started, guns were fired, and then everyone died..... Everyone but him. They were letting him live. Why? It didn't matter, no time to think, just had to get out of here. They were still behind him, chasing him, hunting him. Running as fast as he could, the pain in his legs rivaling that of his missing arm. His senses were all blurred by the sensation, hell, he could barely notice all the flashlights and guns in his face when he broke through the brush into the clearing.

"Get on the ground now, Motherfucker!"

"Whoa, whoa, hold up! He's unarmed! And" Gary added very matter-of-factly, "he isn't USCM. This yahoo is a local. Oh, and he's missing a limb, but I'm guessing you already noticed that....."