Predator: Worth Trophy

Word count: 3416

Cetraend was resting his right elbow up against the tree — hiding in the leaves ten feet from the base. He arrived on Earth six months ago after hearing from his fellow Yautya that humans made good prey. He didn’t believe that a species that evolved from a dumb monkey was any such challenge, especially to him. Last Cetraend heard the monkeys were still using swords and sticks and relying on animals to do the hard labour that their weak bodies could not accomplish. In the mood for something different Cetraend left his tribe and headed to Earth. When he first arrived, he landed his ship in the middle of a swamp in the middle of a forest not far from a human settlement to the west. At first all there was to kill were odd flying creatures. He killed five before he got bored and turned them into a necklace.

Finally, he found some prey. A few monkeys had left the protection of their city and had wondered into his swamp. Two were carrying a large fork-like tool, the other was using some kind of projectile weapon. Cetraend was known for his speed and stealth. He commonly used his plasma caster and net. He rarely used his whip and gauntlet blade on his right wrist but he has used them.

Leaving his ship and setting it to camouflage he leapt up to the nearest tree and leapt from tree to tree, eventually getting behind the three monkeys. They weren’t really doing anything, just standing around in a small group an arm-length apart from each other, it looked like they were looking for something. Cetraend didn’t know what. He zoomed in with his vizor, looking at the face of the monkey with the projectile weapon. He set his helmet to pick up some of what they were saying.

‘Fi-r-e…arr-o…l-t…them…kn-ow…fou-d,’ was all Cetraend was able to pick up.

One of the monkeys ran back the way they had come. Cetraend watching the direction of the footprints the monkey was leaving behind. The one with projectile weapon ignited the ammo of its weapon and aimed up, pointing it in Cetraend’s direction.

Cetraend lined his laser-sight and shot at the monkey, his plasma striking he’s target, shooting its head off, but not before the monkey unleashed the ammo at Cetraend. Cetraend quickly ducked the projectile as it flew overhead. The other monkey was frozen as he saw what happened to the bowman. Cetraend didn’t wait and jumped down behind the other one and run his gauntlet blade through it back. Cetraend was so bored and frustrated that he punched a hole right through the monkey’s back, blood spilling out the back. He removed his hand, letting the monkey fall to the ground. They weren’t a challenge, he thought. Jumped back to the safety of the trees and headed back to his ship.

***

For the next few weeks more groups showed up, no doubt looking for the ones he killed weeks ago. he killed them all too. Still no challenge. One thing that he noticed is that the monkeys were a superstitious bunch. They had an unusual fear of the dead. Finally, bored he headed further west to the human settlement to the west. He watched the festivities on top the branch. He found it odd that after all the men he had killed these humans showed no signs of fear, he enjoyed it when his prey was fearful and he certainly gave them plenty of reasons to be so, and yet nothing.

He was a safe distance away. The tree line to the stadium was pretty far away. Adjusting his vizor he found that the humans were challenging one another, wearing some weird body armour that covered their entire body. He was somewhat amazed how fast some of them were able to move in such bulky armour. He also found it laughable that they were hitting each other with metal sticks. He almost gave his position away at the spectacle when he let a little laugh out and almost lost his footing.

Throughout the day he saw one fight after another, it seemed to go on forever and not many if any of the challengers seemed worthy. That was until the last one appeared from one of the pyramid-shaped huts, coming out to fight the champion of the last round. This one was big, almost as tall as Cetraend and his sword was almost has as big as it was; six feet long. He watched the two fight. At first it almost appeared that the champion would win, being small and fast, but the big one just knocked him over with the hilt of his blade. Before he could get the killing blow a man that had been sitting in a large chair stood up and called the fight to end. Cetraend wondered why the tall one stopped, after all the one in the chair hadn’t done anything all day. Why would the big one-stop? Who was this other man that seemed to have authority?

The one that was sitting in the chair clapped his hands, the crowd shortly followed. Disappointed that the big one didn’t finish the fight. Cetraend was about to leave and head back to his ship when suddenly the crowd all turned his direction. Afraid he’d been spotted he began to move when he heard the sound of a large animal below him. He saw a large group of monkeys were whipping two long-snouted animals, they were being whipped hard as they pushed a large cart behind them. Cetraend froze when he realized that the monkeys had found his ship, it was still in camouflage but they still had found it and they were pushing and shoving it through the forest. Cetraend wanted to act but he knew they would spot him. He watched as they brought his ship to the man that was sitting down earlier. He zoomed in on his vizor so he could hear ‘Th-s…i…am-a-zn-. To..n-gh-t. Cel-i-br-t. Cast-l.’

Cetraend wouldn’t let this stand. He would never let it down if his tribe learned that a dumb un-evolved species had found his ship, and who knows what they intended to do with it. He leapt off the branch and headed towards the large stone structure to the distance. Night wasn’t far away now, and he wanted to shows these monkeys that you don’t fuck with Cetraend.

***

In his rush to get to the castle ahead of them he had slipped a few times and was almost seen by one of the crowd. His pride was getting to him and it was starting to show, he gave himself a chase to center himself when he hid himself inside a tree, he saw opposite the castle on the other side of a mote that went around the castle.

Enough, no more mistakes!

Cetraend waited and watched upon a the tree branch. The castle was a fortress, with three towers, one on the left, middle and right ends of the castle wall; a wall that stood eight stories tall made of black rock. The outside wall was flat and smooth. Cetraend was kind of impressed by the structure, it seemed their engineering was better than their weapons of war. Multiple sentries went along the top of the wall; their movements were not well timed but Cetraend was able to pick up a pattern in the chaos.

He watched as the monkeys brought his ship up and past the metal porcelain gate before going out of sight. With his vision impaired Cetraend changed his vision, it went from blue; only highlighting body heat in orange and red to black and white; leaving a grey outline of the castle, his ship came into vision, its online in grey. He could see the skeletons of the humans that were carting it in and those of the sentries that were still watching the wall. The main group in the entryway spread out from his ship, like a colony of ants that had lost their leader and went inside the castle. He could see more humans inside but they were too small to see exactly what they were doing, most appeared to be on the ground level in some large hall, he also found many spread throughout, it seemed there was no sense of order among them and yet they found his ship. His heartbeat increased and he clenched his left fist at the mere idea of the monkeys achieving what they did. He was lost in his anger, sadly at himself. Bringing himself back to the moment he saw that the large group that found his ship had entered the hall had now started to dance. Having enough he switched his vision back and began planning his assault.

He leapt down making sure that he landed as quietly as possible and proceeded to jump across the mote landing by the wall. He couldn’t approach from the front, there were too many sentries so he run around to the back of the castle. The wall was smooth and flat like the front but he dug his claws in and climbed up the wall. The wall crinkling as his claws pieced the bricks; he swiped his vision back to see if he could see any skeleton figures and he saw none as he proceeded up. He reached the top and saw a locked door, he crushed the lock with his bare hands and headed inside. Using his x-ray vision, he navigated the maze of corridors and empty rooms. He killed a few monkeys as they came in range, but since they weren’t worthy prey, he left their heads, he wanted the big one and he wanted them all to know not to mess with him. He headed to the hall and without being seen found a place to conceal himself. In the rafters on a large beam that held the roof up. Scanning the hall in heat vision, looking for his targets. There were many guards spread-out unevenly through the hall. He found Chairman and Tallman. Chairman was at sitting on his throne at the end of the room and Tallman stood to the left in front of Chairman. There was also another guard on Chairman’s right.

Cetraend aimed his laser sight on his helmet and shot at the guard on Chairman’s right, the head exploding; brain and blood spraying all its body. The moment the guards head exploded the hall broke out in panic. The guards throughout the hall remained stationary. Guards armed with projectile weapons shot up at the support beam; firing in all over the place. Cetraend moved slightly out of way when any shot that got a little close. A few moments passed and the hall was empty of any civilians. Some of the guards’ motions were rather erratic. Cetraend jumped down into the middle of the hall; fifteen feet away from the Tallman and the Chairman who was now was standing up from his chair at the other end of room. His armour made a large thud when he landed on the carpet beneath him. Everyone turned in the direction of the sound. Cetraend tapped the controls on his gauntlet on his right arm so that he would quickly flicker in and out of sight. Behind Tallman and Chairman every other guard ran away in fear when they saw Cetraend.

Cetraend grinned; not that anyone could see through his helmet as the other guards ran out like scared children. The Tallman stepped in front of Chairman — blade up and at the ready. Cetraend admired Tallman and decloaked, revealing himself and that he was still in the middle of the hall. Tallman pointed his blade past Cetraend and yelled something that Cetraend wasn’t able to understand. The next moment a few guards that seemed to have regained their composure came running up at Cetraend with swords’ and shields raised. One on his right separated from the others; aiming to get behind him while the other two came in from the front. Cetraend gripped the handle of his whip on his belt and flicked it at the two coming at him. He brought the tail of the whip back across at the two and unaware of the blades on the whip, it cut through their necks, their heads dropped to the ground. The last one coming on his side now momentarily frozen as he saw his fellow knights fall. In that moment of hesitation Cetraend with his other hand took his net launcher off his belt and shot a metal spiderweb like net at the knight. The force of the net shooting him across the room before falling to the ground. The net with help from the mechanical gyros built into the pegs tightened around the knight, crushing him in his in his own armour. The guard struggling to free himself as the gyros maxed out, the net tightening around his body like someone crushing a cocoon in their hand. His body imploding from the inside out, blood and guts oozed out of the joints in the now crushed armour plates.

Turning back to the throne he found it empty. Tallman and Chairman had escaped during the fight. Not wanting to waste his hunt and miss the chance at getting his trophy he glanced at the ground by the throne and found faint a footprint trail heading off to the right, going through a wooden door at the corner of the hall. He switched back to x-ray and saw Tallman leading Chairman by the hand up a set of stairs that started passed the door they had escaped through. They were heading towards a tower at the back of castle. Cetraend recoiled his whip like trained rattlesnake being instructed to curl up and put it back on his belt. He charged across the hall, through the door in a matter of moments. He climbed the staircase like it was nothing, his heart raced, but his breath was calm; going as fast as he could, not dropping his sight off Tallman and Chairman.

Cetraend slowed as he reached the top, still visible he slowly past the end corner of the stairwell. Past the corner opened to a small corridor with small square windows on either side and at the end was a wooden door where he saw that Tallman who was now guarding a door. With his vizor he could see that Chairman was sitting in the room with his hands in front of his face. Changing back to heat vision he approached Tallman, stepping curiously a few feet at a time, ending a few feet away. He withdrew his gauntlet blades and roared in challenge. As he roared, he missed Tallman’s blade aiming for his head. Cetraned leaned back, almost loosing his balance. The tip of the blade hit his helmet and hard, knocking it off back towards to the stairs. Cetraend glared back at Tallman, his anger sieving. That miserable monkey, he thought. Blinded he didn’t realize that he had made himself vulnerable.

Tallman saw that he had dishonored his enemy when he struck without warning, he didn’t know who or what this monster was? where did it come from? He figured that it was a hunter from all the eye witness accounts he had gotten from the civilians that had entered his swamp and returned. But the swamp wasn’t its home, and if it was, where has it been all this time? And why attack now? Did we offend the gods and they send this monster as punishment? Wherever it came from, it seemed to have some honor about it as after its helmet was knocked off it just stood there roaring, as if it was challenging him. Tallman, like this Hunter liked a challenge. He relaxed his stance for moment, lowering his blade and took off his helmet, while still holding his blade in his other hand, and threw his helmet to the side. He wanted this Hunter to see who he was fighting. He raised his blade and held the hilt as tight as he could, he was ready and he going to triumph over this monster.

Cetraend went in first, going for Tallman’s face with his gauntlet blades. Tallman narrowly avoided ducking down before coming back with an upwards thrust. Cetraend almost getting stabbed in the jaw turning to the side. Cetraend had size as did Tallman, although Tallman’s blade was longer, he was wearing heavy armour that slowed him down. Cetraend was lighter due to lack of armour but had reach which Tallman didn’t. The two combatants were similarly matched as they ferried back and forth. A few times Tallman was close to stabbing the Hunter, but he was too slow. Cetraend almost was on top of Tallman ready for the death blow when Tallman ducked below his blades and shoved him back.

Although Cetraend was enjoying the fight but he was tiring, after all the killing he did earlier it was starting to catch up with him. Having enough, Cetraend went in as Tallman went in for another stab strike; aiming to thrust his fist through Tallmans skull.

Tallman saw what the Hunter was doing and without thought adjusted his grip on his sword, lowering the blade and with a quick motion brought the hilt of his sword up, hitting his mark and knocked the Hunter over on its back. Breathing heavily, he stood over the Hunter to see if it was awake. Seeing that its eyes were closed he lifted his hilt up so that when he brought the sword down it had enough force to dig into it into the monster’s chest. At the point of raising the hilt above his head the Hunter’s eyes opened and before he could react the Hunter struck with its blades, digging into his stomach. He stepped back in shock.

Cetraend plan had worked, he figured Tallman wanted to end what it started at the fairgrounds. His jaw was sore but no where near as sore has Tallman was. He pulled his blades out, allowing Tallman to step back. With the distance between them increased he stood up and rammed into Tallman before going through a door. Cetraend heard a scream of fear as Tallman and himself smashed into the room. Landing on top he looked across the room to see Chairman shaking in fear, pleased he looked down to see that Tallman was out, his face bloodied from the impact of going though the door and since Tallman took off his helmet his head was unprotected by the door and the splinters that collided with his head.

He was pleased with himself and yet still not fulfilled, he wanted to teach these monkeys a lesson. You do not mess with him or his tribe. He reminded himself that this species was afraid of the dead and that some have gone insane from their own paranoia of the dead going after them. He had an idea and he left the room to retrieve his helmet and came back to the room. Tallman was still unconscious; Chairman’s knees were now shaking. Cetraend could almost hear the bones in his scrawny legs clack together. Cetraend picked up Tallman, turned him on his stomach facing Chairman, then with joy proceeded to bend Tallman’s back; not breaking it, but so Tallman was facing Chairman. He then clasped his hands on either side of Tallman’s head, holding it like a clawed-fingered bear trap and began to pull off Tallman’s head. He felt Tallman awake as he continued to pull on the head; feeling the muscles in Tallman’s neck stretch and stretch, going beyond their limits. Planting his feet, he jerked up, ripping Tallman’s head and spine out in one complete piece. Blood spurt out of Tallman’s torso before his body collapsed to the floor. Chairman burst out in a cachinnation, the sound jarring to anyone that heard it.

Now pleased he looked at Chairman in the eyes and cloaked before he left, carrying his trophy. He could only imagine what it looked like as the bloodied head and spine headed of soldier of yours walk away by itself in front of you. He grinned to himself as he could still hear laughing in the background as he traversed the stairs — the sound dying halfway down. Finished he entered his ship with his worthy trophy as he dialed in the coordinates of his home. He would be back, he thought as his ship shot up into the night and blinked into the nothingness of space.

4 comments

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