Survival of the Fittest

FLAY



Rain woke to find himself bound to a wall, his feet dangling over the floor also constrained, in the most disgusting environment he had ever encountered. He groaned as he tried to adjust his eyes to his surroundings and grimaced when he saw the decomposing corpses of six other men with gaping holes in their chests.

He felt disgust go through him as he felt the slick, sticky white substance soak its way through his clothes and mat his hair. He preferred not to ponder what it could be but had an inkling when he saw the black form off to the side.

He looked at the gigantic black serpent that towered nearby with a flicker of fear; it was massive and imposing as it continuously drooled from its row of teeth. Rain could hear it breathe in pain as it continued to lay eggs one by one from the ovipositor it sat on. He looked at his hands that were bolted to the wall by the caked saliva of the beast and tried to free himself. He was quite stunned to find how solid and strong it was and leaned his head back against the cave wall in frustration.

He heard the sound of something peeling apart and he looked to see an egg hatching nearby. Dread built up within in his chest, and he tried harder to pull against his restraints but failed to free himself. The facehugger unraveled itself from within the egg and slowly climbed out; in no hurry to latch on to the prey that was not going anywhere. Rain let out a disheartened growl of anger as he watched the parasite slowly scramble its way out of the egg and scuttle to him.

He thought of teleporting, but there were no way his arms or legs would be coming with him, and he preferred them to stay attached. Thinking quickly he summoned lightning and aimed it at the facehugger. It exploded and he let out a sigh of relief.

The massive head of the Queen rose up and looked at him with a venomous snarl. Despite its lack of eyes, Rain could feel the weight of her scathing look. He saw more movement and turned, the Queen still fixed on him, and saw another egg was beginning to hatch. He glanced back at the Queen who seemed to be giving him a quizzical look; her massive crowned head tilting to the side as she hissed.

The Queen looked to a spot near her ovipositor and hissed at something unseen in the corner. Slowly he watched as the black serpent similar to the one who had taken him saunter from the shadows, stalking over to Rain's direction. The massive tubular head fixed back at the Queen like a son asking his mother for clarification. The Queen hissed and gave a miniscule nod to Rain. Rain's eyes shifted between the two, wondering what the monsters had planned for him.

He felt something crawl up his pants leg, and he looked down to see one of the parasites from the egg make its way like a tarantula over his chest, its fingers groping sharp and uncomfortable. He felt the tail wrap around his neck and his eyes bulged in alarm when the orifice started to part, and a tube try to secure itself in his mouth. His screams were muffled in protest as he felt the tube poking and prodding trying to break through the fabric with no avail. After what seemed like agonizing minutes of tension he heard the hiss of the Queen and felt the tail unwrap from its neck. The parasite withdrew its appendage, climbed over Rain's shoulder and clung to the wall off to the side.

The serpent made its way over to Rain and alarm flooded over him; he didn't know what the creature wanted but knew it was nothing in Rain's favor. He summoned lightning once more and blasted the creature with it. It screeched in pain and flailed on the ground, the Queen roared at him for his actions, her bony hands begging to claw into his flesh as she waved them angrily from where she sat.

Unbeknownst, another one was climbing rapidly down the wall, saw what was happening, and speared Rain through the hand with his tail. Rain howled in pain, his hand cut nearly in half from the spear end of the tail. It pulled out its tail, and he groaned in pain. He could swear he saw the look of satisfaction on its face as it climb down closer to him and watched to see if Rain would do anything else.

The other serpent advanced on him, its lips quivering in rage and climbed to where he was. Rain had his head as back to the wall as it positioned itself in front of him and could only stare in trepidation as its mouth opened to reveal a small set of teeth inside. It shot out like a bullet and blasted a hole in his face mask— Rain screamed in pain.

The smaller set of teeth had destroyed most of his mouth, his bottom, and top lip nothing but mangled pieces of flesh and the gold and purple face mask now coated in blood. He gagged on his own blood and flesh, most of his falling to the floor of the cave as his head hung forward from the gaping hole that was once his mouth. He felt the creatures move away from him and the parasite return to shove its tube down his throat. A small gurgle of protest was all he could manage before he blacked out.


On the other side of the jungle, Cassie had her aviators on hailing her mother with the communicator; doing her routine check-in with the General.

"We're looking for the nest right now— I'll let you know if we find anything," Cassie said.

"Copy that," General Blade answered, "Any idea with what we are dealing with?"

Cassie sighed and looked back at Kotal Kahn and D'Vorah, who were discussing something she could not overhear. He had his Maquahuitl sword club across his back, and his arms crossed over his chest, but Cassie could tell he looked tired, the dawn not coming soon enough for the sun warrior. The remaining four Osh-Tekk warriors were standing nearby as they looked in the darkness of the jungle for any movement.

"Bug lady thinks it might be some sort of bug colony or hive or, whatever, I don't know," Cassie said, shaking her head. She frowned a little bit, "But whatever they are they are getting busy."

"Thanks for the image, Cass," she heard a familiar voice chime in, "So quite literally a bug hunt? Hope you didn't forget your OFF. Oh! Try it on D'vorah and let me know what happens!"

Cassie smiled as she overheard her father's voice in the background. "Hey, Dad."

"Hey kiddo, how's hanging with Apocalypto and Arachnophobia?"

"Eh, ya know..." Cassie said with a shrug. Johnny laughed in the background and hummed the 'Itsy Bitsy Spider.' Cassie rolled her eyes but smiled.

"Knock it off Johnny."

"What'd I do? I'm just talking to our kid. Geez..."

Cassie heard her mother sigh in annoyance before she changed to a sterner voice; trying to get order back into place, "Continue Sergeant Cage."

Cassie cleared her throat. "We're split up right now. We have our radios on us if anyone finds the nest first. Priority is to destroy it before it gets out of hand."

"See that it is. Make sure to tie up any lose ends. Good hunting. General Blade out."

Cassie placed the communicator back in her pocket and searched her ear for her Bluetooth piece. She tapped the microphone end and activated it. /Takeda. Got anything?/

/Besides the heebee jeebees. No ma'am/ Takeda answered through the comm. link. Cassie smiled, she could only imagine especially with Ermac around.

/Jin. What's your status?/

/Whistling Camptown Races at the moment./ Kung Jin said with sarcasm. Cassie rolled her eyes, understanding that they didn't find anything either.

/Cassie.../

Cassie hesitated when she heard the distress in Jacqui's voice. /Are you alright?/

/Ferra and Torr are dead./

The comm went silent for a moment before Takeda's concerned voice came over the radio. /What happened?! Are you alright Jacqui?/

/I'm fine Takeda. There's something here in the jungle and I don't think it's the same thing we're looking for./

/What are we talking about?/ Jin asked.

/Some sort of reptile guy built like a brick-shit house— Don't worry you'll know when you see him— took out Ferra and Torr like they were nothing./

Cassie's head leaned back in frustration at the news. /Fan-fuckin'-tastic./ she groaned. She knew her friend and frowned slightly when she had to ask. /You okay? He attack you?/

There was a small pause on the other end as if she was looking for the right words to say. /He... wasn't interested.../

/I'll come find you Jacqui./ Takeda's voice interrupted, his voice overbearing with worry.

/I'm okay Takeda. I'll catch up—/

/No Jacqui—where are you?/

/I'm a big girl, Takeda! I'll find you!/

There was a pause of silence before Jin cut through again. /Awkward.../

Cassie rolled her eyes. /Jacqui, rendezvous with Takeda and Ermac. Jin, you and Erron Black keep on with what you're doing/ Cassie looked over at Kotal Kahn with an unenthusiastic grimace. /I'm sure Kotal Kahn be thrilled to hear this./

/Yes ma'am/ answered Takeda with a disappointed sigh.

/Copy/ Jin hailed back.

/Copy that Sergeant. And guys... keep your eyes peeled./ Jacqui said before she turned off her radio.

Cassie exited the comm. link and looked over once again at Kotal Kahn.

Kotal Kahn and D'vorah turned to see the Earthrealm ambassador approach them and Kotal couldn't help but frown at look on her face, as if she was the messenger of news he would not enjoy hearing.

"Ferra and Torr are dead..." Cassie said as the corner of her mouth tugged in disappointment; she gave him a sympathetic look. Kotal Kahn pupilless eyes grew a little wider, the arms he had crossed over his chest dropping in disbelief. D'vorah hardly had a reaction, a small look of stun, but a tiny one as if she didn't care.

The Emperor cursed in his native tongue, his tone sad and heavy with disbelief. He exhaled deeply, the news sinking in and looked at Cassie with a guarded disposition. "How did this happen?"

"They were attacked," Cassie answered.

"Attacked by what?" D'Vorah questioned, her tone coming across harsh. Cassie narrowed her eyes at D'Vorah, prepared to say something but decided not to.

"Was it the creature we seek?" Kotal Kahn asked.

"No. Jacqui thinks this is something else—something we haven't seen before," Cassie answered as best as she could. Kotal's head dipped a little, a look of deep concentration on his face.

"I believe this very well may be the creature that Reptile had thought he had seen watching us," Kotal Kahn looked at the trees. "I pray he has not befallen a similar fate as Ferra and Torr."

Oh, yeah that's right he went off somewhere...

Cassie frowned; a small voice in the back of her head that wasn't exactly rooting for Reptile; how could he have taken it down if Ferra and Torr couldn't. She looked at the Kahn and gave him the best hopeful smile she could fake. "We'll find him if he's alive. He's probably around here somewhere..."

Her words did little to settle the Kahn's uneasiness for his Zaterran friend.

A scream of surprise startled them all, and they turned just in time to see one of the Osh-Tekk warriors being carried up the tree by something Cassie wouldn't have pictured in a bad acid trip. It was nightmarish and certainly not as cuddly as it was when it was a chest-bursting little monster. It was black and boney and looked as slippery and smooth as the drool that poured out of its mouth continuously. It had its long, sharp tail wrapped around the warrior as he screamed going up the tree. Before Cassie could pull her guns it had disappeared, his screams diminishing the higher it took him.

Screeching erupted, and they turned to see three more coming for them, all of them climbing down the trees with ease and landing on the forest floor. They stood on hind legs, and Cassie felt a little uneasy when they stood at its full height. Kotal Kahn removed the sword club from his back and watched the as creatures approached them, snarling with greedy clawed hands ready to grab what they could. The Osh-Tekk warriors backed in fear, their spears feeling a little useless in their hands.

Cassie pulled out her guns and cursed. "I liked them better when they were smaller and... albino."

Kotal Kahn gave her a look that seemed to agree with her statement.

Cassie noticed that while D'Vorah was in a defensive stance she saw a sly smile snake its way on her face as if she wanted this to happen. It pissed Cassie off— what was so special about these things to D'Vorah?

One of the Osh-Tekk warrior charged with his spear and had managed to impale the Xenomorph into its spiny, jutted ribcage, but it might as well of been a mosquito bite. The Xenomorph leapt on the Osh-Tekk warrior, and he screamed as it drooled over him and took him up into the trees.

Cassie fired at the second one that began to advance on them, its bullets hit its target, but it was taking a while for them to sink in. The Xenomorph's hide was naturally tough, and while it screeched in pain, it advanced on Cassie and Kotal Kahn. The Xenomorph leaped for the easiest target which was the smaller humanoid. It flew past Kotal Kahn running like a jaguar on the hunt. He swung his club but missed his target and felt the speared tail cut across his back as it passed him. He doubled over and watched as it advanced on Cassie.

Cassie let out a scream of surprise when the Xenomorph barreled into her with the strength of a sumo wrestler. She hit her head hard on the ground and began to see stars. She felt something sharp wrap around her ankles and drag her.

"Fuck!"

She looked down to see the spiny back of the Xenomorph start to carry her away to a tree. As calmly as she could she reached for another magazine and reloaded it and this time aimed for its head. Yellow blood exploded from the back of its head, and it screeched in pain. She felt the tail loosen from her ankles. However, the spear end cut across her calf, but she still took the opportunity to kick the tail off her and crab-walk away from it as fast she could.

She heard more screaming and saw another Osh-Tekk warrior being carried off into a tree, its hands trying to pry the hands off him with little avail. Cassie turned to see as the Xenomorph who still had a little bit of fight in him, snarl and tried army crawl its way to her. She aimed her gun, but nothing happened.

"Are you shitting me?!" She yelled as she slammed on the bottom of the magazine and pulled the slide of the gun, trying to fix the jam; she looked up to see it getting closer. However, it didn't make it far when Kotal Kahn's club smashed on its head, finishing the job. The Xenomorph's lips flickered before it went slack.

Kotal Kahn pulled out the club, noticed the acid was eating through it and with a grumble threw it to the ground; now useless. Kotal Kahn came to Cassie's side and offered her a hand. Cassie breathed a sigh of relief and accepted it, letting him pull her to her feet.

"Thanks," Cassie said. Kotal Kahn said nothing but nodded. They looked to see lucky Osh-Tekk warrior run to them, a look of fear on his face. Cassie, Kotal Kahn, and one last Osh-Tekk warrior were all that remained in their party, and as Cassie looked around, she felt a frown etch itself onto her face out of suspicion and not concern.

"Umm... Where'd D'Vorah go?"


The Xenomorph dragged its unconscious host towards the area of the nest. It lifted its head and sensed the air for any prey in the vicinity. Not feeling anything it tilted it's head down and trekked on, the unconscious victim dragging harshly and carelessly through the jungle floor.

Suddenly a presence appeared before him, and he snarled at the creature that stood in its way; a strange, female humanoid. As he prepared to attack whatever this creature was, he heard a strange noise of cricketing and chattering that was vaguely familiar to him penetrate him and he shook his head at it. It was irritating, and he did not understand it.

It increased in annoyance and sound, intensifying and overwhelming its senses. It shook his head, letting out a heaving growl; the more he tried to rid himself of the sound the more it grew. He knew his siblings could hear it as well, and they buzzed what was happening to him, but he could barely register it. It started to diminish, and he could hear the voice of something that was not a part of the hive speaking to him.

"...This One greets you..."

He hissed once more at the creature, understanding now what happening. How dare this prey think itself equal to communicate with the hive! It's inner mouth shot out in anger at her as it snarled. The humanoid seemed more amused than frightened, and it sent hatred through it. It would make it pay! It was prey! The prey would have its flesh ripped and eaten!

"...Much hatred you have... This One also belongs of a hive... I merely wish to learn more of your kind..." said the humanoid as she placed her hand over her chest and gave a humble bow to him. He hissed angrily at her gesture of peace.

His siblings chimed in, also furious at the creature's demand.

...Prey!...

...Rip!...

...Feast!...

... Bring!...The voice of the Matriarch commanded. It stopped hissing when it heard the Matriarch's request. This was not the way things were supposed to happen. It would tear the creature apart...

...BRING!... came the Matriarch again. It snarled in contempt but knew it had to obey. It looked at the strange creature with animosity for a moment before it passed her and allowed her to follow it to the nest.

D'vorah gave a satisfactory grin as the Xenomorph led her to the nest by order of the Queen. She had lied to the moronic creatures. She was not there to learn more of them.

She was there to devour them.


Anger flooded the Predator as he stalked from his position in the trees, annoyed by his incompetence to locate a simple Hive Drones nest. His wrist computer buzzed loudly, and he saw the letters flicker before they reached the screen with clarity.

/More Hive Drones are breeding. You are failing./

He growled irritably at his computer. /Humans have made the breeding flourish. Permission to destroy area if Hive is not contained./

/Granted. Destroy the Hive or destroy the area. Leave nothing./

He flicked his wrist computer angrily and looked at the canopy of trees below, the dawn starting to rise over the horizon as well as the temperature. His scanners searched to pick up any sign of movement for drones below. He would prefer not to destroy the area; it was an acceptable hunting ground, and he still wished to hunt after he destroyed the nest. He still wanted the alpha, and his skull would have an excellent place amongst his collection of trophies.

His audio receptors picked up something; a strange chirping like that of a bird and his scanners zoomed in on the location of the noise. He saw two heat signatures walking together in the jungle— humans by the looks of it. He recorded the sound and played it over and over, testing it to see if it would be an appropriate hunting call.

The thought of the hunt soared through him, but he reminded himself that his mission was to destroy the Hive Drones. He gave the heat signatures one last glance and an excuse crossed into his head. He had not searched in that part of the jungle yet and perhaps he could accomplish both tasks.

He agilely jumped from tree to tree and made his way in that direction.


Erron Black considered himself an extremely patient individual when it came to certain things, but even he had his limits; especially when it came to his personal pet peeves.

He had recalled a dark frown behind his face mask when he was paired with Kung Jin but did his best not to express his feelings in front of the Kahn; the Emperor had other important things to worry about.

However, the more they progressed towards the gorge, himself leading ahead, he was considering asking Kotal Kahn to up his pay if he was able to restrain himself from throwing Kung Jin off the bridge once they got to it.

The punk had not stopped whistling the entire time they were together, and that so happened to be number one on his list of small pet peeves. As they moved through the thick brush, Erron would purposely swing branches behind him so they would hit Jin but much to the gunslinger's displeasure, he was able to block them easily and continue whistle lightly. The tunes he was whistled were inconsistent and irritating—and he swore he heard Camptown Races at one point. Erron began to feel his jaw grow stiff from how hard he was gritting his teeth; doing his best not to say anything.

As the sun started to rise, an orange autumn coating the jungle in its light and the Shaolin persisting, Erron had enough.

Kung Jin who had been lost in his thoughts heard the click of Black's hammer pulling back and a revolver aiming right at his forehead. He looked at it unimpressed but confused to why he had drawn his gun on him.

"Knock. It. OFF," was all that Erron could muster angrily through his gritted teeth.

Kung Jin raised an eyebrow at him and blinked blankly at him. "Knock what off?"

"It is bad enough that I have to be paired with you but continue to be a noisy little shit, and you'll be whistling to your grave," Erron warned.

Kung Jin smirked at him like a kid who had been caught but couldn't care less, "You're just mad because I beat you," Jin smiled arrogantly. "You must learn to let go of the past, my friend."

Erron was having a hard time not pulling the trigger and instead, opted for narrowing his eyes into a hard, impatient glare.

"You looked like an easy target, you won't get so lucky next time," he clarified with an arrogant tone that was intended to offend.

Jin frowned in response; it had worked.

Jin returned to the glare, offended and shrugged at him aggressively, "Why wait till next time?"

"Don't push me, kid," Erron warned, he de-cocked the revolver but walked forward. He couldn't kill him, but he wanted it to be clear to Jin that he was the one in charge. Jin could see what his intention was and stubbornly returned the favor until they bumped chests like a couple of roosters, both of them unrelenting. "How bout I push you off a bridge?" Jin questioned challengingly.

"You best back off," Erron warned, his hat shadowing the Shaolin's face as he looked down at the kid that was a couple of inches shorter.

"Or what?" Jin grinned, lifting his chin in defiant confidence, "I'm not afraid of hitting an old man—again,"

"It'll be the last mistake you'll ever make," Black growled vehemently.

"Bring it on cowboy," Jin said, slamming his staff purposely by his feet in a show of dominance.

Jin genuinely thought he was going to attack him until he saw his blue eyes shift over his shoulders that caused his eyes to widen and bring his gun over Jin's shoulder and fire. Erron pushed him out of the way, and Jin could have sworn he saw something white sail over his head.

Jin rolled back to his feet, the gunshot that was so close to his ear that it took a couple of seconds for the ringing to clear. He looked up to see Erron struggling to detach the crab-thingy that had latched onto his face, with its tail around the thick layer of poncho around his neck. His screams were muffled in the panic, but he could hear him shout at him: "GET IT OFF!"

Jin, albeit a little reluctantly, climbed to his feet and helped by trying to pull the tail from around his neck. Jin was astounded by how strong it was and clung to Erron's neck as strong as springs in a bear trap. He had lost his hat and his gun lay off to the side, so he could try to sneak his fingers under the belly of the bug and use them to pry it away from his face as the facehugger fought its own battle to shove the tube down his mouth with no luck— his face mask saving his life for the moment.

When the facehugger realized that he would not be able to lodge the tube into it's potential victim's throat, he turned to the only one it could accomplish it with.

Jin felt the tail whip from Erron's neck and latch on to his faster than he could register. His hands instinctively went to his neck to pull the suffocating tail off. He brought one of his hands up and pushed against the facehugger as it unlatched itself from Black's face and tried to make its way over to Jin's. Jin felt alarm run through his as Erron did his best to hang on to the slippery facehugger; it's legs bending eagerly to latch on to Jin's head. After a few agonizing seconds, Jin coughed for air as he managed to unwrap the tail from his neck, and they were left holding the alien wondering what course of action to take next.

"Now what?!" Jin yelled. Even with both of them, the facehugger fought them wildly and with more strength they didn't think it could have; Black with the body in his hand and Kung Jin trying to control the tail.

"Throw it!" Erron shouted his voice heavy in alarm as he began to feel the facehugger start to slip.

"On three!" Jin shouted back, nodding his head to the side. "One! Two! THREE!"

Simultaneously they threw it as far as they could away from them. As the facehugger flew through the air, Erron expertly reached into his holster and grabbed the other revolver. The facehugger landed harshly but before he could presume its attack it was killed by Erron's bullets.

Erron and Jin both exhaled in relief, Jin placing his hands on his knees as he hunched over while Black panned around looking at the jungle for any more. Jin rubbed his neck where the facehugger's tail had latched on and gulped. "That was a little too close."

"Enough games," Erron grumbled, picking up his hat and dusting it off, "Let's find the nest and get out of this damn jungle."

"Sounds fine to me," Jin agreed with a nod.

He retrieved his staff, and Black placed his fallen gun back in his holster, his other gun still out and ready. They marched through the jungle with Erron in the lead once more. As they came closer, they heard the sound of a waterfall and found themselves at a shallow gorge with a river below it.

The continued to hike along the ridge until Jin saw the outline of the bridge in the distance. Well... bridge was hardly the word to describe the wide, thick, fallen tree that looked rotted and old that lay between the cliffs. Jin frowned at it; the whole bridge screamed 'don't cross me, I suck.'

Erron was the first to cross the bridge, his boots heavy as the echoed over the surface of the wood with the waterfall roaring in the backdrop. Jin followed hesitantly behind, checking behind him as he passed. They had made it halfway through when they heard something heavy scratching its way towards them. They looked behind them to see what they had been looking for snarling and drooling at them from the end of the bridge. Erron grimaced as he looked at the adult version of the chestburster and wished they had remained small.

"Well you got uglier," Erron remarked with a droll tone, pointing his gun at it. The Xenomorph hissed at them.

"Great. Now you hurt its feelings," Kung Jin sarcastically added as he pulled an arrow from his quiver.

The Xenomorph charged for them, snapping and drooling as it used it's clawed hands and feet to move itself on all fours, the back of its tail creating a horrible scratching sound against the surface of the bridge. Jin and Black fired at it, Jin's arrows embedding itself into its chest as Erron fired bullets into its chest. It shrieked in pain so loud they barely heard the scratching coming from the other end of the bridge.

They looked to see another making its way towards Erron side. Now back to back with Jin, Black brought his other gun out and fired at the Xenomorph coming for him as Jin took care of the other one with his arrows.

Kung Jin saw his Xenomorph take shelter underneath the tree and advanced to him out of the way of Jin's arrows and scurry under the bridge.

"You coward, that's cheating!" Jin cried with annoyed frustration, seeing the outline of the head coming closer to him. The Xenomorph sprung from under the bridge and before he knew it was on him already pinned him down.

He used his bow staff to lay across its neck as he tried to push it away from him, drool landing on him as it hissed at him. He felt it's claws digging into his arms and the nocked tips of his arrows dig painfully into his chest and legs as he struggled against the weight of it; trying to use his feet to push it off him. He smelt sulfur burning next to his feet on the bridge from its acidic blood and prayed silently that none fell on him.

He barely dodged the inner mouth that sprung at him from inside the rows of teeth and heard the smaller set of teeth snap loudly by his ear. It retracted, and he saw it come for him again this time it nicked him slightly before bouncing off his metal headpiece. He cried out in pain as his cheek burned.

With an angry look, Jin used his free hand to reach into his quiver; the arrows were pinned by his weight, but he managed to grab a small bundle and thrust them into the side of the Xenomorph's head. It's lips quivered a bit, and it went slack. Jin threw the monster off him and watched it as it fell to the water below. He grasped his cheek that bleed heavily from the small chunk of flesh it had been ripped.

Erron's revolvers clicked, and he cursed as he placed them back in his holsters and felt for the rifle on his back. He pumped the lever-action with his thumb while he fired and walked back with each shot. The Xenomorph was riddled with bullets but still advanced on him. It opened its mouth and showed its smaller inner mouth, and he got an idea.

Kneeling with the rifle aimed he let it come to him before he aimed and fired. His bullet tore through the inner mouth and exited out. Erron smiled behind his mask but felt a frown instantly form on his face when he watched Xenomorph hit the wood of the bridge, and the acid began to eat through the rotted wood quickly.

"Shit."

Kung Jin noticed what was happening and looked at the back of Erron's head with a look of extreme disapproval and annoyance. "I hate you."

On cue, the bridge began to buckle and break, and Black spun and pushed Jin forward. "MOVE!"

As they reached the near, the ledge they just came from the bridge teetered dangerously, and they found themselves running at a steep incline. Kung Jin jumped and landed back on solid ground on the ledge just before the entire bridge became vertical. Erron threw his rifle towards the ledge and made his best effort for the overgrowth on the side of the wall.

Jin looked for Black to see his hands frantically trying to grasp onto the ledge. Jin slid on his stomach and grabbed onto the gunslinger's hands before he lost his grip and almost fell into the gorge. Jin grimaced under his weight and looked over the ledge to see him dangling. Erron, with Jin's help, began to pull himself up while he braced his boots against the wall.

Jin heard the sound of something heavy land behind him and he looked over his shoulder to see three laser dots aim at his forehead. He let go of Erron and joined him dangling on the cliff as the ground exploded.

Black cursed but managed to grab the ledge before Jin let go and glared angrily at him before his hat blew off as dirt and rock flew into his face, blinding Erron for a moment. He felt himself falling before he managed to grab onto something with both hands.

Jin groaned in pain as Black suddenly grabbed his ankles; Jin's arms shaking as his hand burned from the friction of sliding down the vine. Jin looked up to see the massive humanoid with the face mask looking down at them.

Oh... so that's the brick-shit house...

Kung Jin looked at the river that was beginning to look like a fluffy cloud of pillows. "Let go!" Jin yelled to the gunslinger.

"What?! No—" Erron Black had managed to get his eyesight back and looked up to see the problem was. His eyes bulged when he saw a massive figure with a cannon on its shoulder's began to power it up and aim it at them. He let go without complaint and Jin followed after that.

They both screamed the way down. Erron Black falling head over heels uncontrollably as well as Jin, who almost landed on top of him.

He hit the bottom of the river and felt his back scream in agony. Jin cried out underwater as his arm snapped from landing on a rock. They gasped for air and instinctively looked back at the ledge to see the humanoid was not following them as the river carried them farther away; both of them swimming with the current trying to keep their heads over the water.

The Predator was almost about to jump in after them, but his scanner caught the gleaming black form of something across the gorge. Usually hive drones were about the same size and weight if it was within their class (either a scout or a warrior class or the Queen) so when he saw this warrior drone he knew something was off about it.

It was bigger and bulkier than the other warrior drones and while it drooled like all the others, instead of being slick and smooth it perspired heavily over its body, as if a heavy downpour coated it and the drops rolled off him. It snarled at him from the bank and tilted it's head as if it was challenging him; seemingly thinking it was the alpha predator. He aimed for it, the three dots landing on the surface of his head and fired. The creature ducked and took off into the jungle, and the Predator clicked in thought at what he saw.

He looked at the river and then to where the hive drone took off. He made his way along the gorge to see if there was a way to cross it and pursue the very interesting hive drone. The humans would have to wait...

They finally reached shore, and both of them collapsed onto the bank, Erron who had managed to find his hat in the water, slapped it against his pants to dry as Jin was looking at his swelling in his forearm on all fours. It hurt, and he gritted his teeth as he placed his head to the mud of the bank. He had lost his staff as well, and he cursed when he realized it.

Erron Black picked himself up and sat on the mud, adjusting his soaking wet hat on his head with displeasure. Jin joined him, sitting next to him and looking down at his forearm. He saw Jin's arm quivering in pain and guessed he most of broken it in the fall.

After a couple minutes of silence, Kung Jin was the first to speak up.

"I wonder how everyone else is doing..." he said, for once his voice not caring a humorous tone.


Takeda and was not having a great time. Ermac on the other hand was hard to tell since he gave the same deadpan expression as he lifted one of the black dragon-things up and gave it's body a sharp, unnatural twist.

Ermac spread his arms and the Xenomorph ripped apart; it corpse flying as the acid coated the trees around him. Ermac looked down when he heard sizzling and noticed that some of the creature's blood hand fallen on his shoulder. Effortlessly and without a word, he ripped apart the piece of cloak that had been affected and tossed it aside, the mummified skin showing through the hole of clothing in his shoulder. It burned a hole in his skin slightly, but he didn't show any reaction to it.

Takeda heard snarling and turned to see another coming at him. He swung his whips and watched as one wrapped into the neck of the creature. He flicked the switch by his thumb, and one by one the shards emerged on his whip and they penetrated into the flesh of the Xenomorph.

It had a price, though, and Takeda frowned as the acid began to eat through the metal of the whip. The whip melted and snapped before he could lash out with the other whip, and the Xenomorph came at him again.

He cried out in pain as the tail of the creature slammed heavily against his stomach and sent him sailing into a tree. He hit the tree with a pained groan and rolled on the ground until he was on his stomach, his whips lying by his sides. He looked up to see it making its way to him with a screech on all fours, a necklace of blood dripping from its throat.

It suddenly shrieked out in surprise as a green bind grabbed it by the tail and pulled it back. Ermac who was floating nearby and with the same stoic expression levitated the Xenomorph into the air and watched it scream and writhe wildly, unsure of what was happening to it.

Ermac twisted his hand to the right with the flick of his wrist and watched as the head of the Xenomorph turned all the way around. He dropped the dead creature with a thud. Takeda breathed a sigh of relief from behind his Shirai Ryu face mask and planted his head on the ground.

"Can I go home yet?" Takeda asked, moaning tiredly into the jungle floor.


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