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 Post subject: Running Away is NOT the Answer! Rated M(5-21-06)
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 9:58 pm 
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Title: Running away is NOT the Answer

Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Roswell the series, books or what have you. I loved the show and miss it terribly and this fic is the revenge my muse took on me for that obsession. *rueful grin*

Summary:
Liz Parker discovers that when you run away from your problems, you sometimes go farther than you ever intended and find it hard to come home again.

Author’s note: In this part, paragraphs in italics denote a flashback. I apologize for any mispellings I missed but my beta has switched jobs and no longer has time to do that for me. If anyone wants to volunteer, I'd appreciate it. :)

Author's note 2: I've been working on this fic, off and on, for about a year and a half and I'm still not done, but hopefully I will be able to finish it. A certain someone ordered me to just start posting already, but this isn't the fic he had in mind when he said that. *snicker* (He was talking about my Buffy/Highlander/LotR cross that I've been working on for... how many years now, Margo? The problem with that one is that my muse did NOT give me inspiration in order. Grrrr) Anyway, I plan to post at least one chapter every weekend until I'm caught up to where I'm still writing.

Author's note 3: The disclaimer for the cross is at the end of this prologue and NO skipping to the end to see! Read it first and see if you can figure it out. *lopsided grin*

Prologue
Liz stared out the window of the bus as it’s leaving Roswell, hoping for only good things ahead. She knows she’s running away from her unresolved issues with Max, but for once she doesn’t feel like being the rational one.

Thinking back over what led to this point…

Her body felt strange and was doing things it shouldn’t, things she had no control over and for some reason it got worse whenever a certain alien/human hybrid came around. This had frightened her to the point where she just wanted to run and hide from it all and the boarding school in Vermont was as far away as she could get from Max Evans and everything he represented.

Before she’d met him, her life had been structured, orderly, planned out in advance so that she knew what to expect. The utter chaos she’d fallen into since Alex’s death, really before that, but especially since his horrible murder was finally too much. Liz was determined to regain control of all aspects of her life and the only way to do that was to leave Roswell behind for a while.

The obligatory phone call home to speak to her parents, who’d changed her coverage to nationwide and made sure she had a new number, are done at regular intervals.

Max didn’t have this new number and she’d given strict instructions to Maria to make sure it stayed that way. At least until she’d worked out the mess that her life had become. “I mean it Maria, don’t let him have it. Don’t keep it anywhere Michael can find it and give it to him either.”

“Okay, I got it! The number is super secret and I’m not to give it to anyone for any reason whatsoever, but Liz, are you sure you have to go all the way to Vermont?” Maria whines a little.

Nodding emphatically, “Yes! Max’s undivided attention isn’t helping right now, just the opposite. Leaving is the only way I’ll be able to have the breathing room I need to get my head on straight and that far away he won’t be able to spy on me to see how I’m doing.”

Maria winces, “Michael told Max that was going to backfire on him, but he didn’t listen.”

“Exactly! Max isn’t listening to what anyone says that conflicts with what he thinks is best because it isn’t what he wants to hear.” Liz flops onto the bed amidst clothes yet to be packed.

Maria leans down and gives her a hug, “Don’t worry, Chica, we’ll work on him while you’re gone and by the time you’re ready to come home he’ll have learned his lesson.”





Occasionally striking up a brief conversation with one passenger or another in between bus changes, reading a novel or looking through the booklet on her new school’s rules and regulations is how Liz passed the time.


More than a full day, and several hundred miles later, Liz wakes up at exclamations from some of the people on the left side of the bus and sees the remainder of a bright flash in the darkening sky. Automatically she counted, as if waiting for thunder to rumble after a lightning flash and doesn’t get to “three one thousand” before they hear a loud boom.

“Looks like a meteorite hit on the other side of the hill.” The driver announces over all the murmuring. He wonders if it hit the road they were on, as he drove along the winding highway, knowing that they would be over there before too much longer.


More than an hour later as they’re rounding the last curve the driver slows the vehicle down and it’s a good thing too. As they approach, they can see a smoking crater where the road should be and some odd looking blobs of what might be dirt or rock right in front of that, visible in the light of the flames where some trees had caught fire.

Unable to go around because of the density of the trees in this area, the bus rolls to a stop, prepared to back up. The right front wheel crushes something and it sticks to the tire. Coming to rest on top, it starts to hiss and smoke and with a loud bang the tire explodes, dropping that part of the bus down to the rim. Everyone screams, startled by the unexpected noise and movement.

Shaken and trying to hide it, “Easy folks, sounds like we had quite a blowout, but don’t worry because we do have a spare.” the bus driver puts the vehicle in park, gets up and smiles reassuringly at his passengers before he starts to open the door. As he reaches for the handle, that section of the bus drops even further to the pavement, landing on the frame with a horrid scraping sound.

Recovering his footing, the driver wrinkles his brow and mutters, “That was weird, felt like the axle just broke.”

Before anyone can ask what’s going on, a skittering noise can be heard coming up the sides of the bus and across the top. Whatever is doing it is moving too fast to see more than a pale blur and a hint of a tail before it’s gone again. This causes cursing and more screams among the passengers, including Liz.

Clutching her backpack to her chest, Liz hurriedly slides over into the aisle seat and stares at the window, the ink black night outside suddenly becoming very sinister indeed.

The sounds of every other person become muted for her as a chill crawls down her spine. {There’s a crater in the road and something is crawling on the bus. The chances that it’s something from around here are pretty slim.}

Several wet sounding splats later, she realizes there are things fastening themselves to the windows. Pale yellowish bellies with a tube of some sort swiping back and forth across the glass, as if looking for a way in. The next moment, she realizes they’re making their own entrances when the formerly solid glass starts to smoke and melt. She screams, “They’re coming through!” and she can now hear the panicked screams of her fellow passengers again.

Inside, Liz is screaming, {This isn’t happening. This cannot be happening!} but it is and there’s nothing she can do to stop it.

* * *

End of prologue

Author’s note and disclaimer: For those that can’t place the cross, it’s Aliens… so far. ;) And I own nothing to do with any part of that universe either, the movies, comics, books, graphic novels, video games, etc.


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 Post subject: Chapter 1 The Nightmare begins
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2006 1:29 pm 
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No one seems very interested in this one here, but I'll go ahead and post the next bit anyway. *sigh*

Unbeta'd until further notice. Still waiting to hear back from Greywizard, but I said I'd post every week, so here it is.


Chapter 1 - The Nightmare Begins

Author’s note: For previously made disclaimers, see the Prologue. Italics denotes a different point of view, bringing in another crossover. I think some of you will guess what it is without me saying, but at the end of the chapter I’ll tell you, just in case. New disclaimer found there too. :)

* * *

Several wet sounding splats later, she realizes there are things fastening themselves to the windows. Pale yellowish bellies with a tube of some sort swiping back and forth across the glass, as if looking for a way in. The next moment, she realizes they’re making their own entrances when the formerly solid glass starts to smoke and melt. She screams, “They’re coming through!” and she can now hear the panicked screams of her fellow passengers again.

Inside, Liz is screaming, {This isn’t happening. This cannot be happening!} but it is and there’s nothing she can do to stop it.

Some of the screams are abruptly cut off and Liz turns in time to see that the creatures, once inside, begin jumping at the passengers, grabbing their heads, completely covering each victim’s face. They look like some kind of hideously large spiders with tails and she turns back abruptly to the window nearest her just in time. Liz raises her hand and intercepts the one flying at her, green energy arcing across her skin, zapping it the moment it makes contact. It closes around her wrist reflexively, but is easily flung off, dead before it hits the floor. She looks around her at the chaos in the bus.

One young man has a knife on him and uses it to stab the spider thing coming after him, but immediately screams in pain as its blood eats through blade and flesh like acid, causing permanent damage to his right hand. Luckily for him he moved to wipe the excess acid onto the seat beside him instead of his pant leg, saving himself from further injury.

A man with an umbrella opens it to deflect his attacker and while it is still belly up on the floor he quickly stabs it with the metal point which promptly dissolves, leaving him defenseless.

Liz automatically reaches out and helps the people nearest to her, zapping three more of the creatures dead. It gives away the fact she’s no longer a normal human, but at the moment the young woman who squashed one spider-thing with a guitar case, the young man with the wounded hand and the man who formerly held the umbrella, are all very grateful for her assistance.

They all realize there’s a lull in the chaos and look around themselves in shock, seeing at least six of their number with the little monsters on their faces. Trying to remove them makes them grab on tighter and Liz is afraid of using her untrained ability for fear of the energy being transferred to their human victims.

The woman bends down and looks closely, “They still seem to be breathing, somehow.” She picks up a limp wrist, “I’ve found a pulse too.”

The older man yells, “What the hell is going on?”

Liz reaches into her backpack and pulls out her phone, but when she tries to use it she gets a “no service’ message. “Does anyone else have a cell phone? Mine’s not working.”

Two of the four other people left start looking through their things and the bus driver speaks up from the front, “The radio is out and it shouldn’t be. I don’t understand why, there’s nothing wrong with it that I can see.”

Liz moves forward, carefully avoiding the places where they’d managed to kill the spider things as there are still smoking holes growing ever larger there and tries to peer out the front windshield at the crater in front of them. Behind her she can hear complaints about the other phones not working when suddenly the clouds in the sky part and the three quarter moon shines down, revealing something inside the crater that is obviously made of metal. She nods to herself and mumbles, “Interference from whatever crashed out there. Great, just great!”

The bus driver overhears her and asks loudly, “What do you mean by, interference? What could be interfering?”

Everyone else pauses and looks at them, putting Liz on the spot. She sighs, “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t think these things,” she points to the creatures hugging the faces of their fellow passengers, “are from this planet. Acidic blood is a really big clue and if that’s not enough, there’s a smoking crater right in front of the bus with something metallic looking deep inside it.”

“Are they after you?” The woman asks.

The bus driver gapes, “What kind of question is that?”

“It’s a fair question. We saw what she did to the creature that attacked her and then she helped us fend off even more.” Umbrella man says wearily as he sits down in an undamaged seat.

Backing as far away from the girl as he can, the bus driver ends up pressed against the doors, fear in his eyes.

Frowning, “No, I mean yes. They’re after ALL of us, or didn’t you guys notice that?” She looks disgusted. “Yes, I have an unusual ability, but I’m completely human. Born and raised in the good old USA. Do you need to see my ID now, or can we work on a way to help these people?” With a wave of her hand she indicates the victims sprawled here and there in the bus.

Guilty looks are the answer to that until the young man whose hand was wounded speaks up, “I say I don’t care what she is as long as she’s on our side and we should probably get everyone off the bus so we can lay them all into more comfortable positions at least. Then maybe the driver up there can pull out what tools are available and see if there’s anything we can use on these little shits.”

Shaking his head vehemently, “I’m not getting off this bus, that’s crazy talk! What if there are more of them out there in the dark?” the driver is terrified.

Liz puts an edge in her voice, “Then they can get in here through any one of the holes they already made or just burn their acidic little butts in again. It doesn’t matter. I agree, we need to get everyone off the bus and someone should go for help since this thing obviously isn’t going anywhere.”

In the course of moving their fellow passengers, Liz learns everyone’s names. The driver is Lenny, the woman is Jessica, Umbrella man is Tom, and the young man is Vince.

Once off the bus, all Lenny seems to want is to get away, so everyone lets him volunteer to be the one to go for help. After much argument, he takes the only flashlight and a big stick and starts running back the way they came.

Vince and Tom, armed with a crowbar and a wrench for protection, grab still burning branches from near the crater and drag them into a pile, adding more wood until they have a large fire on the road behind the bus.

Liz and Jessica, armed with a very large screwdriver and a hammer, grab bags and suitcases from the luggage compartment and use the clothing in them to make pillows and makeshift coverings for the unconscious members of their group.

Just as Liz is about to put a rolled up sweatshirt under the head of an older woman, the thing on her face lets go and scampers away a few feet before keeling over dead. Her short scream brings the others running.

It happened so quickly she hadn’t had time to pick up her screwdriver off the ground and now she wanted to know why it died without any help. Curious, she grabbed a branch that was lying nearby, ready to be added to the flames and scooted the thing closer to the fire.

Jessica goes to the side of the now freed older woman and feels for a pulse. The woman moves a little, making her jump. “She’s waking up!”

Opening her eyes, the woman asks, “Oh! Where are we, what happened? Was it all a bad dream?” She clasps the younger woman’s hand tight in both of hers, needing reassurance.

Tom kneels beside Jessica, “I wish we could tell you it was, but…” he gestures for her to look around for herself.

Starting to cry at the sight, “Oh no, not George! That’s my husband, right over there, in the grey slacks and light jacket. Get me over to him, would you?”


Examining the dead creature as best she can, Liz can’t tell why it died, but she notices it’s slightly emaciated, compared to how the dead ones she’d zapped back on the bus looked. “Why do I think this is a bad thing?” she mutters quietly to herself.


A tear running down her cheeks, the older woman is helped to stand and her face goes white. Grabbing at her chest, she cries out in pain and falls to her knees. The sounds she’s making are heart wrenching, but no one can do anything for her.

Liz’s attention is pulled to the woman and with a dawning realization of horror, she runs over to where Tom and Jessica have laid her back down on the asphalt, taking up a position on the opposite side.

Terrible breaking and ripping sounds, followed by blood showing red on the old woman’s chest as she cries out, “Make it stop! Please, make it stop!” Her eyes bore into Liz’s, pleading for release and then suddenly there’s a noisy pop and a small monster erupts out of her body, hissing at them and baring its gleaming teeth.

Liz reacts instinctively, zapping it with her new powers and killing it instantly. The woman is dead, pain and terror etched on her features and the girl is filled with horror and wracked by guilt for not ending her suffering sooner.

Tom, Jessica, and Vince exchange worried glances, everyone’s faces have grown pale in the firelight. Suddenly everywhere they look the spider things are falling off and disappearing or curling up, obviously dead.

Vince starts to curse, voice low but still carrying to Liz’s ears. “We’re gonna have to kill the things that come out of them. Something tells me we can’t let even one get away!”

“Oh my God,” Knowing what she has to do now, Liz scrambles over to the first person to wake, shaking, but ready to do what must be done.

The others hurry over and take up positions near those that are still unconscious, makeshift weapons clutched tightly and with a mounting dread in their hearts.

George opens his eyes and smiles, “Well now, you look like my Mary Anne when she was a baby and that’s a pretty sight to wake up to.” Always on automatic charm with females young and old, turning it on Liz now his smile grows wider.

The girl sadly shakes her head, tears flowing freely down her cheeks and says, “This is a nightmare, but we can’t wake up.”

A puzzled frown appears on his face, but before he can say anything it morphs into one of pain. “What…”

Liz wants to scream, but she can’t. Her terror is too real and most of it is for what this man is about to go through. “Just lie still, okay?” She places her hand on his chest and closes her eyes whispering, “Please, God forgive me?” Sending what she hopes is a lethal jolt through George’s body, she kills both him and the thing inside before it can fully escape its living incubator.

Tom stares in shock, “What did you do?”

Jessica and Vince also look her way at his words.

Shaking her head and sobbing openly, “What I had to! Do you really want to watch every single one of these people die like that poor woman over there?” She demands as she moves on to the next person nearest her showing signs of waking up.

None of them meet the others’ eyes, guiltily turning away from each other and staring down at the people who are dead already, but just don’t know it yet.

* * *

Lenny is walking now, chest heaving, he doesn’t stop though. Never being one for much exercise, he realizes that fear is his motivation to keep moving in spite of his exhaustion. It had heartened him considerably to hear normal nighttime noises, unlike the area he’d left behind at the bus.

Getting to an open area where the moon is shining brightly he shuts off the flashlight to save the batteries while he can plainly see the yellow and white lines of the road, making it easy to keep to his path.

He realizes there are no more nighttime noises again.

Suddenly a huge misshapen shadow blocks the moonlight behind him. He whirls around, bringing up the flashlight, his thumb flicking the switch in time to show him something far more horrible than the little things he’d left behind. He doesn’t even have time to scream.

The Hunter sees his prey take a kill of its own and moves in silently while it eats.

Throwing his weapon, the spear temporarily pins the prey to the ground. Its scream pierces the night air, heard for miles around. It is pinned just long enough for him to get closer so that he can finish it off.

His first kill. Taking his trophy, he moves on in search of more.


* * *

The death scream of the creature taken by the Hunter is heard by the survivors of the bus, causing them to freeze in fear for a moment, allowing two of the little monsters to escape into the darkness.

Tom whispers, “That sounded like these little guys, only a lot bigger.”

Vince starts cursing and Jessica gasps with horror as they realized the last two hatchlings they were supposed to take out both escaped, “No!”

Vince starts to get up to chase after his when Liz gets a sudden flash, She sees Vince being grabbed by a far larger version of the small monsters they’ve been dispatching. He’s dragged further into the dark, kicking and screaming. She comes back to the present with a snap of her head in the young man’s direction and screams a warning, “Everyone closer to the fire, now!”

Obeying her before they even have time to think about it, they’re all there and being handed flaming branches just as a huge monster comes stalking out of the darkness towards them.

Jessica practically faints at the sight of the slavering thing, whimpering quietly and going down on her knees. “Oh God, I don’t want to die,” she whispers breathily, closing her eyes and mouthing more prayers soundlessly.

Liz tries to feel for the power inside, knowing it’s there and determined to make it work for them all, she pulls as much as she can into her arm, down to her hand. Seeing the glow with her peripheral vision, but not daring to look away from the creature, she steps out from behind where Tom partially shielded her and hurls the energy at the monster when it steps tauntingly closer. It falls like a puppet that’s strings have been cut, but Liz does too, spent for the time being.

Vince crows, “You did it!

From her prone position, Liz can still see it breathing, so she croaks, “No.” Mustering the strength to make her voice carry more, “Stab it with the sharpest sticks and kill it, now before it wakes up!” her expression and tone weak, but totally panicked.

While the men scramble to do what she said, Jessica kneels down next to the fallen girl, concerned. Brushing a strand of hair from her face, “What can we do for you? Are you hurt?”

The sounds of cracking carapace can be heard in the background, along with splashing sounds of acidic blood hitting pavement and then hissing its way through the asphalt. Vince’s voice, “Watch it, man, you almost got me with that!”

Breathing heavily as if she’s run a great distance, Liz wheezes, “Took too much energy, need to… rest for a minute.”

Jessica gives the girl her most reassuring smile, “Then close your eyes and rest, we’ll watch over you.” Not wanting to even think about the fact that there are at least two more of those things out there and wondering, in spite of herself, how long it will take them to grow to the size of the one being carefully stabbed to death by the men behind her.

* * *

End chapter 1

Author’s note and Disclaimer: The newest cross is Predator and I don’t own anything to do with THAT one either. Not the movies, books, comics, graphic novels, video games, etc. If I did I’d be far more affluent and could afford a much better house than the one I’m living in. *sigh* I’m only playing with these guys temporarily and will try not to damage their reps too much with this storyline. *cheeky grin*


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 4:06 pm 
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Wow, I can't wait to read more. You like to keep us in suspense :D

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 Post subject: Hey!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:59 am 
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My only reader. *rueful laugh* Yes, I like to do evil cliffhangers, just ask Margo. *chuckle*

I'll be posting chapter 2 in a couple of days, my beta has it now and will get it back to me soon. I hope. Greywizard is helping after all, but if he ever can't I'll take you up on your offer. :)

Thank you for being my one and only reviewer! *vbg*


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:22 am 
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Whoa! First Alien and then Predator! Liz is getting a real education. Yikes!

Quote:
Liz automatically reaches out and helps the people nearest to her, zapping three more of the creatures dead. It gives away the fact she’s no longer a normal human, but at the moment the young woman who squashed one spider-thing with a guitar case, the young man with the wounded hand and the man who formerly held the umbrella, are all very grateful for her assistance.


Great start! :thumbsup :heart

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 Post subject: Chapter 2 - Falling one by one
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:17 am 
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Chapter 2 – Falling one by one

(A/N) I can now thank Tjin for his contributions to this story. First for lots of information about Predators (and some about Aliens too) and their whole background, Clan relationships, traditions and whatnot and second for the ideas he gave me here and there. Anything I get right about the Predators, thank him. Anything I get wrong is either an accident on my part or done deliberately to further my story. Either way I’d appreciate reviews telling me about it, just in case it’s something that needs fixing or at least so I can explain myself a bit if necessary. Okay? On with the story!

~ * ~



Max rolls over in bed, his hand touching the picture of his girlfriend he’d fallen asleep looking at, causing him to get a flash. A large, menacing form barely seen in shadows and flickering firelight, moving closer and baring teeth that gleam even in the meager light, it’s the embodiment of malice and he knows it’s after the girl he loves. He sits up on the couch with a shout, “Liz!”

Michael wakes with a start. He had a rare night off and was hoping to catch up on his sleep. A futile hope, he realizes now. He stumbles into the living room rubbing tired eyes and sees the person who woke him getting dressed. “What’s wrong, Max?”

“It’s Liz, she’s in danger. I got a flash of something stalking her and Michael,” he looks at his best friend, stark fear in his eyes, “It wasn’t- couldn’t be, anything from this planet!”

An ice cold chill goes through Guerin’s body, “Let’s go. We can call everybody from the road.”


A little while later as the two speed down the highway, Michael is on the phone with Valenti, getting directions to where Liz’s bus should have been at about the time Max got the flash. “Thanks man, we really appreciate it.” He pauses, “No, just that it couldn’t be something from around here, if you get the drift.” Another pause, “Better you than me, man. Amy already has enough reasons to yell at me whenever she feels like it.” Final pause, “You too and thanks again.” He hangs up and turns to Max, “We know where we’re going now.”

“Good. So he’s getting everyone together?” He asked, not looking away from the road, hands gripping the wheel tightly.

“Yeah, just to be safe. He and Kyle have broken out all the guns too and are forting up over at the Deluca’s. Isabel and Jesse are already on their way over there.” He sighs, “You know Jesse is gonna want answers, right? Isabel’s gonna have to tell him.”

Max also sighs before speaking, “I hope he handles it well, for her sake.” The threat in his tone doesn’t bode well for Jesse if he hurts Isabel.


* * *


Liz fights to wake up in spite of the bone deep fatigue trying to pull her back down into unconsciousness. She can’t remember why at first, just that it’s very important she not be caught napping right now. Opening her eyes she sees firelight flickering on the carcass of the monster she’d stunned, or part of it anyway. Its acidic blood caused the lower section of it to fall into the ground, leaving its head facing in her direction, impossibly metallic looking teeth in a permanent grimace of malice as well as pain. She shivers. The moon is high in the sky, its light and the night air seem much colder now, since she knows beyond a doubt that nightmares can be all too real.

Forcing her gaze away from the sight of the dead thing lying too few feet away, she sits up (studiously avoiding looking at the bodies of her former fellow passengers) and glances around for her companions, seeing them flank her on either side, staring out into the dark, except for Vince who is putting more wood on the fire.

He turns to see her staring at him and tries to smile, “You’re awake. You weren’t out but maybe a little over an hour.”

Before she can answer they hear the sound of something running through the woods and suddenly another one of those creatures is on the road, a much larger one, pausing to look at them in obvious surprise and then it gets tackled by something they haven’t seen before. The two roll across the road and into the trees once more, the sounds of vicious fighting carrying easily in the night air.

The humans all jump to their feet with shock and more than a little fear.

Vince asks of no one in particular, “I think we all recognized that first thing, but what the hell was it that attacked it?”

“It looked like a really big guy, kinda. Hard to tell, he moved so fast.” Liz answers uncertainly and wavers on her feet.

“Should we try to run?” Jessica asks, worried about a possible new threat as she moves to support the younger girl.

Tom glances at the severely depleted pile of sticks and small deadfalls they have to feed their fire, “We might have to before too much longer. That or go into the forest for more wood.”

Suddenly there’s a bloodcurdling shriek accompanied by a loud roar of pain nearby that is abruptly cut off and the small group can only conclude that the battle between the two unusual combatants is over.

“Which one won?” Jessica asks what they’re all thinking.

Liz speaks up, “There’s only one way to find out. We’re running low on wood anyway, let’s go see and grab any branches we can find nearby at the same time.”

“I really hope this new guy is nicer than these things have been,” Tom hopes aloud.

Vince grins, “Yeah, at least if he’s gonna kill us, maybe he’ll make it fast and clean.”

Jessica gasps, “Vince! That’s a terrible attitude to have.”

“Hey, I’m just saying, which way would you rather go, Jess?” Vince asks. Silence is his only answer.

Inwardly Liz wonders if he has the right of it after all as she and Jessica pick up flaming branches to light their way, leaving the men with their hands free to gather wood or fend something off, whichever the case may be.

They go together into the small clearing made by the tempestuous fight, avoiding the places where the ground is smoking from acid blood, wondering at the luminous green stuff splattered here and there that lights up the clearing almost well enough not to need the firelight. Finally they come to where the bodies lie and know that neither was the winner.

“Definitely not human,” Tom states the obvious, looking at the mottled green and yellow skin of the newcomer.

Jessica stands where she doesn’t have to look at the corpses and swallows convulsively. She watches the woods around them instead.

Vince comments, “Looks like the new guy got in a killing blow, but that’s what killed him when the thing’s blood hit him across his entire left side. The acid severed his head from his shoulders, pretty darn quick, considering. I’m surprised we heard him make a sound. If that hadn’t done it, the blood loss coming out of the gash in his leg would have.” He points out the glowing green pool by the leg of the cooling corpse.

In spite of herself, Jessica looks, “That stuff is his blood?” She goes even whiter and retches.

Tom is closest, moving to support her while she throws up. He helpfully kicks leaves over it when she’s done and offers her a corner of his over shirt to wipe her mouth on.

Liz swallows hard, determined not to be sick. Her gaze focuses on something that gleams in the dim light, “Weapons! Let’s not let these go to waste. Vince, you can use the blades on his wrist; that way you won’t have to use your burned hand so much.”

Suiting action to words, she moves to tug the bracer off the alien’s arm and slips in its blood, going down on one knee and hand. She gasps at the sting of the viscous fluid, the energy from it transferring to her and “recharging her batteries” so to speak. It only takes a few seconds and when it’s done she shudders and gags a little before hurriedly wiping her hand off on some nearby foliage and rubbing dirt into the knee of her pants.

The other three notice the glow fade and exchange worried looks.

Jessica asks, “Are you okay?”

Liz nods, “Yeah, I just never want to touch anything like that again.” She reaches over and takes the bracer off the dead alien and finds a way to fit it onto Vince, doggedly trying to quell her nausea at having absorbed the life energy of another being, regardless of where it’s from or the fact that it was already dead.

While she is doing that, Jessica grabs the spear lying slightly away from the corpses. Tom takes the large shuriken looking weapon and when Liz is done helping Vince, hands her the knife after cleaning it off by stabbing it into the ground a time or three.

Vince, feeling a little better about their chances now speaks up, “Well, let’s grab some sticks for the fire and get back to it, okay?”

Liz nods, feeling far safer with the flames at her back rather than standing out here where one of those things could come at you from anywhere.

Nerves on edge the entire time, they gather what wood is available and easy to carry, then hurry back to the fire.

It’s Tom who notices there’s a change in their surroundings. “Guys, some of the bodies are missing.”

Everyone freezes in shock for a moment before hurrying to the fire and building it up again in unspoken agreement to help drive back the shadows.

There’s nothing they can say about the bodies because what they’re dealing with hasn’t got a clue about basic human decency and wouldn’t understand if anyone tried to explain it to them.

Once they’ve gotten the flames built high, they sit down and begin to strategize on how to react when one of those things shows back up again, deciding right away that Liz shouldn’t try to shock them anymore as it made her too vulnerable afterwards.

* * *

“You mean to tell me that you’re not even human?” Jesse’s incredulous voice rises in volume to the point that he’s shouting.

Everyone else in the DeLuca household stops looking for munchies in the kitchen and looks through the open dining room door in the young couple’s direction.

They can all hear Isabel begging for her husband’s forgiveness for not telling him sooner, trying to explain about their fears of exposure as well as the added danger knowing might have put him in.

“You lied to me!” Jesse all but shrieks and waves his arms around, obviously working himself up into a temper. With a hateful sounding voice, “How can I believe or trust anything else you say to me now, when you’re not even who I thought you were?”

Seeing Isabel look crushed, Amy bristles and shaking off Maria and Jim’s attempts at restraining her she stomps right up to the lawyer and slaps his face. Shaking a finger at him, “I don’t like your tone, nor your volume, Mister!” Deliberately lowering her voice, “Isabel is still the same wonderful young woman you fell in love with and married, regardless of where half of her DNA comes from and if you don’t stop deliberately hurting her feelings I’ll use a baseball bat on you next. Do I make myself clear?”

Rubbing his cheek in shock, “Yes ma’am,” Jesse can’t believe she hit him.

Kyle had just come from the bathroom, standing behind the door still, he pumps his fist in a victory gesture while silently mouthing an enthusiastic “YES!” and tries not to laugh out loud. He still doesn’t think Jesse is good enough for Isabel and no one is going to convince him of anything different.

Isabel tries to take the blame for Jesse’s reaction, “It’s my fault, I was too blunt with him and should have broken the news in a different way.”

Turning to her distraught friend, Amy cups her cheeks in both hands and looks her in the eye very seriously. “Stop that right now, Isabel. You will not start taking the blame for your husband’s poor behavior. That’s a very bad precedent to set at any point in a marriage. You each have to own up to your own mistakes, but only your own.”

Amy isn’t done with Jesse yet, “Now you,” she fixes him with a stern finger once again, “Apologize to your wife for flying off the handle and then let her finish telling you their story!” The look on her face dares him to defy her and face the consequences.

He stammers, “I-I’m sorry, Isabel. Please, tell me the rest?”

Amy nods approvingly and goes back to Jim and Maria, but before she can get there Kyle comes up and hugs her from behind.

He whispers, “Thank you! I’ve wanted to see someone do that to him for weeks.”

They both share a chuckle and join the others, continuing the quest for things to snack on while they stay up and wait for Max and Michael to call them with news.


* * *

“Let’s hope we only see one of those things at a time and we might make it.” Tom is saying just as one of the slick looking monsters drops out of the trees onto the asphalt behind him.

Vince points, “Turn around, man.” Everyone’s eyes are wide with fear.

It screeches at them, causing Jessica to whimper and freeze in place.

Liz practically shouts out, “Nobody panic, we work together and we’ll get out of this alive.”

The strength in her voice is just what the older woman needed to shake her out of her paralysis. They quickly move into their places so that when the thing charges Jessica braces the spear in a small hole in the asphalt and closes her eyes, but doesn’t scream. Impaling itself on the spear stops it in its tracks and it shrieks, loud enough to make them all jump.

Jessica starts to scream, but dares not let go or even move. “Now! Do it now!”

The creature tries to push itself even closer to her, ignoring the fact that it’s been stabbed, single mindedly focused on her as its prey.

Vince throws himself on the wildly waving tail and using the wrist blades slices off a good four feet of the deadly appendage. He is again sprayed by the acid blood, this time across his left calf, but grits his teeth and stays on the flailing stump to stop it from hurting the others with the lethal stuff.

Screaming with pain and defiance up at the night sky for a moment, the alien again focuses on the woman in front of it as the cause of its pain and torment, wanting to kill her even more.

Tom comes out from behind Jessica and slices at its grasping right side with the multiple blade weapon in his hand while Liz darts around the other side to stab it in the back repeatedly with the knife. She loses a handful of her long locks in the resulting acid spray off her blade every time she pulls it out and is slightly sprinkled all over with the stuff, but the creature dies shrieking and snapping its double jaws at last.

Liz will realize much later that the acid should have left more than shallow pock marks in her skin wherever it hit since she didn’t have time to scrape it off. For now her power’s instinctive use to change the horribly corrosive substance to something benign goes unnoticed.

When it’s over they take stock of their situation and realize not only are they two weapons down, the wrist blades and shuriken-like thing having melted, but Vince is now severely hurt.

Liz quickly uses the knife to scrape the young man’s wounds free of the acid blood, stopping it from doing further damage, then shakes the stuff off the weapon, splattering the gravel beside the road with it. She’s very worried about his injuries, sharing a look with the other two.

“I can carry another weapon,” Vince says through teeth clenched with pain and points at the sharp ended tail of the creature they’d killed. “That might be good if we could tie it on a long stick somehow, so it could act as a spear.”

Liz grins at him, “Good thinking.” She scoops it up and looks around for something useful, finds a broken tree branch and then has a minor dilemma on how to attach the tail to it before deciding to sacrifice some clothing from the suitcases. She finds plenty to choose from and starts cutting a couple of shirts into strips with her knife.

Jessica, still in wonder that they’ve survived this long, glances at the alien creature’s body, the sharp claws on its appendages and is repulsed by the thought that crosses her mind, but encouraged as well. “Guys, I think these monsters are gonna be useful after all.”



A short while later the group is ready again, each one armed with weapons salvaged from their fallen enemy. Clawed alien hands and feet, kept rigid with sticks are tied to each of their wrists and the tail is now a spear/crutch for Vince.

Testing out her newfound powers, Liz had managed to cauterize the cut-off appendages so that the acid blood wouldn’t hurt those that planned on using them for defense. She looks proud of their handiwork and asks, “Are we all ready?” Trying to extend her physical senses into the darkness because she thought she felt… something that caused a chill to run down her spine.

Tom lifts Vince to his feet and the latter speaks, “We’re ready. Bring ‘em on!”



An hour later Vince is dead under the body of the monster he killed, sacrificing himself to save the others.

The rest of them have minor acid burns on various parts of their bodies and are all feeling a lot more dejected. The burns are minor due to the discovery by Liz that she can use her powers to make it harmless, she just can’t heal the wounds.

Working together again, they make a new spear, with no time to mourn their loss they continue their defensive preparations, still unwilling to risk running out into the dark to try and escape.

Liz could almost swear she can sense the things coming now, feeling a minor electric tingle shoot through her body whenever they’re near. Like now and she heartily wishes for an end to them, one and all.

Another of the monsters comes out of the trees from behind the fire and jumps over it to stab Tom through his stomach with its tail, making him drop his spear and drags him to itself.

Liz grabs for the man, knowing she can’t possibly save him, but trying anyway.

Jessica freezes, terror rooting her to the spot. “It came over the fire,” she whispers in dumbfounded disbelief and denial.

Tom, knowing he’s done for now, locks gazes with Liz for one split second before being yanked further out of her reach. Then he yells, “I’ll take you with me, you bastard!” Slashing at his attacker over and over with his borrowed claws as he’s dragged off into the woods, leaving the women in shock at how quickly it all happened.

No!” Liz screams in helplessness and anger.


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 Post subject: Chapter 3 - Burn Baby Burn
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:27 am 
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Super Orb
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2001 12:58 pm
Posts: 143
To those who are actually reading, enjoy! Oh yeah and you can blame Tjin for the chapter title. LOL


Chapter 3 – Burn Baby Burn

Previously…
Tom, knowing he’s done for now, locks gazes with Liz for one split second before being yanked further out of her reach. Then he yells, “I’ll take you with me, you bastard!” Slashing at his attacker over and over with his borrowed claws as he’s dragged off into the woods, leaving the women in shock at how quickly it all happened.

No!” Liz screams in helplessness and anger.

Now…
Jessica is going into incomprehensible hysterics, curling up into a ball as close to the fire as she can get without being burned.

Liz scoops up Tom’s fallen improvised spear and whirls all around, glaring at the trees and wondering which direction death will come from next.

Inside the girl is seething with more than anxiety, fear and anger. The energy she’d inadvertently absorbed was blending with the healing energy made a part of her very being by Max’s miraculous revival of her more than a year before. The new powers developing in her allowed the girl to gain some of the instincts of the hunter who died and they’re getting stronger with each passing minute. The need to hunt, to kill these things is growing and her anger at them for killing so many people is making it harder to resist the impulses whizzing through her brain.

Her heart racing, nerve endings tingling still with alien energy that she can feel it doing things inside of her, Liz tries to reach out with her new abilities and get a sense of the monsters she somehow knows are in the shadows. Whispering through gritted teeth, “How many more of you are there?”


* * *

Out in the night, the small creatures that had burst forth from the humans’ chests and escaped were eating and growing at an alarming rate, both of them are different from their brethren who’d been “born” out of the animals that could be found near the site of the first drop of eggs farther along the bus’ planned route.

While still small, they’d known to keep clear of the humans, watching and learning from the mistakes of others of their kind. Soon they would be ready to seek revenge on those killing their own.

* * *

Suddenly Liz knows, not only that there are more out there, but how many and how close they all are. Gasping with terror, she screams inside at the unfairness of it all before getting an idea of how to keep the things at bay.

“Fire.” Yes, the last one had jumped over their small blaze to get to Tom, but the flames never touched it. Something is telling her she needs to make sure the next one gets an intimate kiss from a very hot date she’s going to introduce it to. Knowing she has a little breathing room, she starts grabbing suitcases, duffles and other bags, piling them up on either side of their fire and throwing their remaining fuel on it all to help with the burning.

Liz stops, sensing other things now as well and wonders if it’s more hunters and her instincts tell her to be wary of them, too.

Grabbing a burning branch and then lobbing it into the trees nearby, she sends some of her own power along with it, to act as an accelerant and wherever it lands, the trees and underbrush go up like presoaked torches.

With a shriek, a squirrel launches itself out of the top of one of the tallest trees and lands on the road with a sickening thud.

Liz’s breath hitches in her chest at the sight, knowing she’d caused this disaster to befall the poor little thing and goes down on one knee near it. Sensing it’s still alive, but quite obviously in pain, she reaches out to almost touch it and mercifully absorbs its life force, putting it out of its misery and increasing her own energy level by a very small amount.

“I’m sorry,” she whispers to the small furry body as she stands back to her feet. Tears roll down her face at that and at what she’s about to deliberately do next, “I’ll make up for this one day, but for now it’s a dire necessity. Thank you for showing me what I needed to see.”

Closing her eyes, she reaches out with her new senses and feels the life forces of all the nearby Earthborn creatures, heartbeats rapid with fear of the fire, one of their oldest enemies. Liz realizes she can now sense a little something from the plants, shrubs and even more from the trees. “Wow,” she says with sad wonder.



Jessica finally notices what Liz is doing after everything on both sides of the road and many of the bags are burning. “Wha-what are you doing?” She uncurls and stands shakily to her feet, moving away from the increased heat of the much larger blaze.

Not answering and instead using her powers once again, the younger woman manages to “pull” a flaming tree down to land between them and the bus. Turning to the other side of the road, she repeats the process twice more so that quite a conflagration surrounds them everywhere but on the road, back the way the bus came from.

Staring in awe at the very high flames all around them, “How are you doing this? How is it we can even breathe?” For the first time since Tom’s death Liz looks at her and Jessica really wishes she hadn’t, because there’s an expression on her tearstained face, something in her eyes that is very frightening.

Breaking eye contact to scoop up her knapsack and put it on her back, “If I start a big enough fire, maybe someone will come and help us. We’re not waiting around though. We’re getting out of here, back to our normal,” her tone is almost derisive on that word, “Lives where we won’t have to think of this night again and never tell anyone about what happened here, ever.” She fixes Jessica with a look until the older woman nods in understanding.

Liz continues, “I’m not gonna let them kill anyone else. If there’s any more dying it’s going to be them only!” Liz finishes angrily.

The blonde is stunned by the vehemence in the girl’s tone, then realizes she shares the sentiment and stops the fear of her companion that had been growing for a few minutes. Nodding emphatically she agrees with Liz, “Amen!”

With a feral grin at her last fellow passenger, the brunette stoops and picks up the strange metal spear and hands it back to Jessica. “Let’s go.” She turns and starts to walk quickly back along the road, improvised spear once again in hand, the flames racing fifty feet ahead of her on either side of the road.


* * *


Having had to stop for gas at one of those all night places, Michael is inside while Max stands at the pump. Both are impatient to be on their way again, so Guerin grabs up only the barest of essentials in the way of food and drink before he comes back out.

Rounding the fuel island he notices the nozzle is still in the gas tank, though it had stopped pumping due to being full. He then sees his friend’s slack facial expression and ashen complexion so he drops everything into the passenger seat and reaches Max’s side in two long strides. “What is it?”

“It’s Liz, she-.” He can’t go on for a moment. Swallowing hard, “Michael she’s killing things!” he sounds horrified. “Trees, plants… even small animals, drawing their energy into herself so she can control the fire. There are flames everywhere now and she’s lost it completely, she’s the one who lit the fire and is using her powers to fuel it, spread it. She’s so full of hate. What have I done to her?”

Michael is surprised, but not horrified, as his friend is. He’d never thought to try and use the life energy of other things, creatures, to get more energy, but he’d never been completely depleted before either. From what Max had said earlier about the monster after Liz, he wondered what he himself would be driven to do to stay alive in the face of that and didn’t fault the girl one bit.

Grabbing his friend by the shoulders he gives him a little shake to snap him out of his dark reverie of self recrimination, “You saved her life twice, that’s what. If you hadn’t saved her that day she’d be long dead and buried. If she wasn’t changed by you healing her she’d be dead at the claws and teeth of one of those monsters you said are stalking her. Now get in the car, Maxwell, I’m driving from here on out.”

As Max stumbles toward the passenger door, Michael removes the nozzle and hangs it back up, putting on the gas cap and silently praying for Liz’s safety. No one would ever get him to admit it, but he cared a great deal for her because she had been the first human to ever know who and what he was and accepted him anyway.

As he gets into the car he continues to think about how good she’s been for Max, for all of them, until Max had screwed it up by boinking Tess and knocking her up. He hoped one day that Liz would forgive his stupid friend, but he wouldn’t blame her if she didn’t.

* * *

The Hunter is taking and polishing another trophy when he smells smoke. Looking behind himself he sees a faint glow on the other side of the hill and decides to check it out. Securing his trophies, he breaks camp and moves up the slope.

Eventually he gets to where the fire obviously started, just in time to watch the large vehicle explode. Seeing human bodies burning below, he knows there is now bigger, smarter prey to find and goes on the hunt with a feral smile beneath his mask.


* * *

Retreating from the heavily armed Hunter until they can grow to full size, the two xenomorphs move further away from the humans they’d been shadowing. Deciding it would be safer to follow after the Yautja rather than risk him picking up their trail, they melt back into the darkness to await the perfect time to strike.

* * *

The two women, walking a little slower now due to fatigue and lack of sleep, suddenly hear the explosion out of sight around a curve behind them.

“The bus?” Jessica asks.

Liz nods, “Yeah, probably. She stops and “pulls” down more trees behind them, making sure they’re burning well before they move on.

At her elder’s look of curiosity she replies, “In case the fire behind us dies down enough to let one or more of them through.”

Jessica pales, “Just how many more are out there?”

Concentrating for a moment, “I can feel eight, no, seven now.” She pauses as she feels the life force snuff out abruptly, knowing it’s been killed and knowing what must have done it. “They’re not far away, but not close either. There are two other… things out there too. The good news is I think those are like the big green guy we saw before and they’re hunting the monsters or we’d have long since been overrun. The bad news, we’re being followed by all of them and my gut instinct agrees with Vince, saying to avoid them all if we can.”

Jess tries to keep a grip on her panic, “Then maybe we should move a little faster?”

“Sounds like a plan to me,” Liz agrees and both women start to jog.


A few minutes later, “One of them thinks it’s being smart now,” Liz warns and reaches out a hand to slow Jessica to a walk and then stop.

Looking at the shorter girl, “What do you mean?”

Liz nods up ahead of them, “It’s run up ahead, around the fire and gotten on the road in front of us.”

Paling again, “What do we do?”

Breathing hard from their exertions, but with a hard glint in her eye the younger girl responds, “We kill it.”


As the monster comes running in their direction, Liz reaches out and tries to draw its life force out the way she has been with the forest and its denizens, but to no avail, it’s far too different, too alien. {Somehow I doubt that trying physical contact is a good idea,} she thinks to herself as she readies her weapons.

With a terrifying screech, it launches itself up into the air, intending to come stabbing down with claws and tail and then rip them to pieces.

Liz unnecessarily tells Jessica, “Move!”

The older woman has already started to dart back the way they came and to the side of the road as close to the flames as she dares go.

The younger directs a small burning tree to intercept the creature’s flight; knocking it off course and when it hits the asphalt it’s on fire. Shrieking again, this time in pain and rage it lunges at Liz.

She stabs it, her improvised spear bursting into flame on contact so she has to let go and back up quickly. She isn’t fast enough to escape the lash of the tail as it slices shallowly across her right leg, knocking her off her feet and causing the blood to flow freely.

Before it can go for her again, Jessica stabs it in the side with her spear. Yanking it out to stab again, she is stabbed in turn through the shoulder with the tail of the monster so that she drops her weapon. When it yanks its tail out, the motion spins the blonde around and down onto the road, whimpering in pain.

Liz narrows her eyes at the sight of it looming over the fallen woman, ready to go for the kill. {Not again,} she is shaking her head in denial. {No more!}

“Hey ugly!” It turns its head to look at her and she blasts it backwards into the thickest of the flames, holding it there and listening to it scream until it dies in less than a minute.

That done, Liz gets carefully to her feet, using the spear dropped by Jessica and she hobbles slowly over to the fallen woman, praying with every step for her to be all right. Sensing she’s not dead isn’t as reassuring as it should be, “Jess, please, be okay? I can’t lose anyone else tonight. Please,” she goes down on her knees and touches the uninjured shoulder.

“Wish we’d known they burn like they’re doused with gasoline before now,” Jessica says sullenly in answer before whimpering some more as she tries to roll over and sit up.

Liz chuckles a little and helps the other sit up, then starts binding up the wound as best she can, using shirts from her own knapsack for bandages.

“Can you tell where the rest of them are?” Jess asks from between clenched teeth.

Pausing for a moment, “Still back towards the bus, but they’re coming now. I can try to slow them down by sending the fire further out from the road,” she continues ripping up another shirt. “Don’t know how long that’ll buy us though.”

Jessica doesn’t have to say out loud what she thinks of their chances, both women are too obviously thinking it. “Is there nobody on this planet but us anymore? Where are the cars, the trucks? Shouldn’t someone have come along by now?”

“It IS late at night, but you’re right, someone else should have been through here before now.” Liz shakes her head, “Nothing we can do about that though. If the fire doesn’t bring them I don’t know what will.” Liz finishes binding up Jess’ wound before standing and facing the side of the road toward the hillside.

Reaching out again, forcing down the nausea that threatens every time she does this, she draws in all the life force nearby that she can find, spreading it throughout her system so that her body has more energy to quickly heal her wounds. Then, creating a stronger wind than the breezes she’s been using to help them be able to breathe, she sends the flames in turn outward from where she stands, setting one quarter of the hillside on fire. The fact she catches another of the nightmares chasing them in the blaze is a bonus. Its shrieks can be heard by both women.

Slumping down to the road in weakness and pain, “Wish I had… the strength… to get ‘em all that way,” the girl tells her companion, trying to catch her breath.

Jessica tries to offer a reassuring smile, “Hey, I’ll take whatever we can get.” At seeing the girl’s halfhearted grin, “How’s the leg?”

Glancing down, “The cut’s pretty shallow and stings like crazy and the blood loss has made me a little dizzy, but I should be fine.

Jessica indicates the knapsack with her good arm, “Know what you mean about the dizziness. Better wrap something around it to staunch the flow of blood then.”

While the younger girl does that, Jess finally gets up the nerve to ask what she’s wanted to know all night long. “How do you do what you do? Where do these abilities come from?”

Liz pauses, “I can’t tell you that. It’s not my secret to tell.”

Concerned, “Was something done to you to make you this way?” When the girl stiffens at that question Jess thinks she’s on the right track. “Did you volunteer for it, or was it done against your will?”

“Let’s just say I didn’t volunteer for it and leave it at that, okay, please?” Liz says, willing to let the woman draw her own conclusions. She tries to replenish her energy level again, to get the strength to walk once more.

Jessica now thinks the girl is on the run from whoever did this to her and wants to help, “Liz, if we live through this you have my word that I won’t tell anyone what you had to do to help us tonight. If you need a place to stay you’re welcome to come home with me. If you’d rather go off on your own and you need money, I don’t have much, but I can give you a little. Just say the word.”

Feeling a little guilty now, Liz shakes her head in denial, “That’s not necessary, it’s very nice of you to offer and I thank you, but I have somewhere to go and enough money to get me there.” She says with a smile as she slings her bag back onto her back, “We should really get moving again now though, it won’t take them long to backtrack and go around the fire.”

Helping each other to their feet, they stagger a bit and then, steadying each other, manage to be on their way again.


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 Post subject: Chapter 5 Touch of Death, Touch of Life
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:26 am 
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Super Orb
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Posts: 143
A/N I apologize for taking so long to update, but real life is a real party pooper when it comes to getting writing done these days. I'm trying very hard to pick these stories back up and hope to update Goodbye and Hello AND this one again by next month at the latest. I'm not gonna promise anything though because we all know what happens when I try to make those, don't we? *pout*

A/N 2 Remember dialogue in these, {-} is thoughts. Once again I'd like to thank my beta Greywizard for all his help. Anything still wrong with this is all my fault, people. *g*

A/N 3 Credit for the chapter title goes to Icewing. Thanks bunches! :)

Chapter 5 Touch of Death, Touch of Life

Talking to the guy in the pickup truck some more, Max and Michael follow the man's directions, getting off on a dirt road when traffic lets them inch up to it and use that to get to another paved road that will get them to a U.S. highway heading in the direction they need to be going. All of this takes precious time and both chafe at the delay, but once moving again they try to make up for lost time by speeding.

* * *

Both hunters realize the Prey are making straight for the diminutive human. The wounded hunter is amazed as well as perplexed. Looking to do battle, he just shrugs and slams the fallen hunter's spear into one, throwing it off course enough it only knocks the girl down with its tail.

The latest arrival is insulted. He steps into the path of the other Prey and it slams into the Yautja with a loud crash and both go tumbling, narrowly avoiding crushing the tiny female in their wake.


Liz doesn't lose her grip on the spear, but the haft is broken by the fall so that she now has no reach. Undaunted, she scrambles to her feet and dives after the wounded Hunter, fully intending to get up close and personal with what's left of her weapon. Reckless as this is, she doesn't care, thinking she's going to die anyway so she might as well try and make a good accounting of herself.

The wounded hunter is down, hurt even worse and being toyed with, raked by claws now, too. Sparks fly wherever the Prey rakes armor, leaning its face down toward his, jaws opening up in a slimy smile, drool pooling on the hunter's mask.

The girl jumps on the monster while it's intent on its victim, grabbing hold of one of the spine protrusions to help hold herself in place while stabbing what's left of her spear deep into its back between said protrusions.

With a shriek of pain and rage, the creature whips its body and tail around, knocking her off with a slap of that appendage so that she flies through the air and hits the dirt rolling.

The weight lifts off him and the hunter knows the Prey has gone after the human it just swatted like a bug. He gets up and is about to follow when he notices his fellow hunter is in trouble and goes to help, pulling out and extending his own spear as he tries to run.

Coming up against a rock stops Liz's movement and would have severely bruised her back had she not still been wearing the backpack with her journal inside. She looks up, realizes she's in the dark amongst the trees and knows this is not good. Unable to see very well even though there's a hint of grey in the sky signaling the fact that dawn isn't far off, it might as well be hours away for all the good it'll do her.

Reaching out with her senses, she feels the monster has followed her and is close by, slightly overhead and hears it hissing, confirming its position. Taking a chance, she forces herself to use some of her power to light the tree on fire and is rewarded with a shriek of pain as the alien jumps out of it and away before it too, can catch fire.

Something falls to the ground at the base of the burning tree and Liz can see it's the spear that had been imbedded in the thing, the acid blood burning along its length from guard to sharp point. It must have gotten caught in the branches of the tree and yanked out as the monster fled the flames.

She darts forward to grab and pull it closer to herself with one hand, dousing the flames with the other so that it doesn't heat up and burn her. Her ears tell her the creature is coming again, running around and around in a shrinking circle, faster and faster, with her and the burning tree in the middle. Grieving, in pain and still dizzy from her rolling fall, the girl prays, "Oh God, help me."

A whooshing sound causes the Roswell native to jump slightly in fear and is followed by a loud thunk, then pain burns along her ribs. The monster's tail had lashed out of the dark and buried itself into the tree the girl is standing in front of, narrowly missing impaling her because she'd moved just in time.

Without thinking, Liz grabs at the tail and tries to pull the life force from the creature, but it's quickly being pulled back already, so all she gets is a jammed knuckle for her trouble. Ignoring that pain and the burning sensation in her side, she sidles around the tree gripping the spear, ever mindful of the flames growing closer overhead.

Suddenly the creature is there, breathing in her face, hissing and drooling all over her. With a shriek, it impales her on the tree with its tail through her shoulder and rakes its claws lightly down her front, slicing open soft flesh and grating on bone. Her backpack falls to the ground, the straps severed. Liz screams, it shrieks and in desperation she drops the useless spear, grabs the clawed appendage that is wounding her, getting cuts on her hand in the process, but not caring. Using her newfound ability, she pulls its life force quickly into herself.

Shrieking again, only in surprise this time, it wants to bolt, but has no strength. Snapping feebly at its killer, it whimpers and slumps down to the ground, dead.

Liz wants to wilt with relief, but can't as she's still pinned to the tree with the monster's spear of a tail. She has to use her newfound powers to free herself and nearly blacks out with the effort, remaining upright through sheer will power and hate.

Breathing raggedly due to such severe pain as well as the strange energy rippling through her system, Liz bends and picks up the spear. Ignoring the lightheadedness from blood loss, she stabs the carcass over and over again. One handed at first and then with both, sobs escaping as she vents her anger, not caring about anything else for the moment.

When the creature is totally disfigured and melting its own grave into the earth she stops, coming back to herself and remembering there's one more of the things to deal with. She hurries back toward the road, never realizing her wounds have stopped bleeding and the skin has knitted back together completely, leaving pink scar tissue.

Unnoticed on the ground, the backpack underneath the creature is disintegrating in the acid blood. Liz Parker's journal is no more.

Reaching out with her senses, Liz can feel the life force of one of the hunters begin to ebb even as his roar of pain reverberates through the trees. Two more steps and she's on the road and can see for herself the Alien atop the body, glowing green blood around its mouth and dripping from its jaws as it crows its triumph to the barely seen early morning sky above.

She doesn't see the other hunter yet, knowing he's alive nearby, but concentrating mainly on the monster before her. Liz hadn't realized it before, but this one appears larger than all the others and for the briefest of moments she wonders if it's the one that came out of the huge body builder looking guy.

It lowers its head, sees her standing there and shrieks a challenge before running at the one it has been following all night. It's so intent on reaching her it doesn't see the wounded hunter lunge out of the dark. It does, however, feel the slice that takes its left rear leg off and it screams in pain and anger.

The hunter is spattered with acid blood, forcing him to back away and yank his armor off, throwing it to the pavement. Due to his wounds and severe blood loss, he doesn't move out of the way fast enough to avoid the monster lashing out with its tail and gets knocked out against a tree trunk.

Not standing still during all of this, Liz has snuck around the creature, coming up on and stabbing it from behind, but it kicks her with its one good leg, claws raking her right side and thigh as it sends her flying to land near the dead hunter. Crying out on impact, she could swear she heard bones crunch in her left arm. The sharp pain in her side makes her think she has at least cracked some ribs, too and when it's painful to breathe that confirms it for her. She's lost the spear, it's still imbedded in the monster's back and she can feel blood flowing freely down her side and leg, the loss of which is making her very lightheaded yet again.

{I'm getting really tired of this crap,} she grumbles to herself.

Seeing the hunter's blood so close by, she reaches out for it, then hesitates a moment, "I'm sorry," she whispers before plunging her right hand into the bright green pool around the body, making a grimace of pain at the alien energy coursing through her again, arcing across her teeth and even across her eyes as she shudders. She'd never have done it if she didn't need an energy boost to deal with this situation and she wants to keep that thing as far away as possible, knowing she can't fight it now. {If I ever could!}

When the glow fades, her vision clears enough for her to see the creature is about to stab the unconscious hunter with its tail and she sends a wave of force out, knocking it into the air and down the road at least two dozen yards. She realizes she hadn't made a gesture for that and quips, "Look ma, no hands," then shakily gets to her feet once more.

Hurrying as fast as she can limp to the hunter's side, Liz kneels by him with a gasp of pain at the pulling of her latest wounds and concentrates hard on not draining, but empowering and healing the being in front of her. She prays this will work.

When she thinks she has it, she reaches out and touches the wound in his gut, energy she can feel starts leaving her and entering him, causing his body to jump slightly. She's very glad he doesn't regain consciousness yet as he'd probably kill her without realizing what he was doing.

The wound begins to knit together under her fingers, other places on his body as well and his breathing becomes less shallow, more even. Drained, the girl pulls her hand away, slumps onto her left side and rolls over onto her back, spent. {He's not in perfect shape, but he's a lot better off than he was and I just hope he wakes up before that thing can crawl back up to us.}

Suddenly her foot is grabbed and she's dragged along the pavement, too hurt and exhausted to even try and kick out in defense. The grip is shifted to her thigh and she's dragged further, leaving a damp trail from her blood soaked clothing and now she's looking up at the last monster as it stares malevolently and triumphantly down at her.

"What are you grinning at, bastard? You're gonna die and I'm gonna watch." She tells it, tired beyond belief, but still defiant.

It sinks its claws into her left shoulder, making her scream, then raises its tail and waves it menacingly about. Lowering its face to hers, it starts to open its jaws when it gets knocked over, tackled by the hunter. The two go rolling a short distance away, separating and facing one another, each sizing the other up.

The Alien looks at the Yautja in front of it, then back at the girl who is on her side, trying to sit up once more and hisses its displeasure. Whipping the tail around and down, it impales the girl through the body and lifts her up into the air, dripping blood and screaming.

When it stops waving her about, Liz takes as deep a breath as she can and screams, "Kill it! Kill the… bastard… Now!" She then manages to grab onto the part of the tail in front of her and starts trying to drain the life force from the monster, not caring that she'll fall from quite a height if she succeeds. Apparently it takes conscious effort to switch back to that mode, she just hopes she can do it in time, grimacing as she is jarred again and again by movement of the creature. Finally she has it and her grip tightens between the tail joints of the monster's spine and she feels the telltale tingle start to flow up her arm. She violently yanks it all into herself.

On the ground, the Alien is distracted by what Liz is doing long enough for the hunter to step in and slice its head off, unaware the monster was dead before his blades bit flesh. The body sinks to the ground slowly, but the tail falls fast, crashing to the ground on one side of the road.

Liz blacks out for an all too brief period of time, then comes to, lying on her side with the hunter standing over her, mask off and knife in hand. The shocking sight of that visage helps the girl gather enough of her wits about her to wonder if he plans to kill her after all. Then the blade slices down, cutting through the part of the monster's tail that is protruding from her torso, the jarring motion making her scream in pain once again.
Automatically her hand goes to the stump, intending to pass over it and neutralize the blood so that none of it can burn her, but the hunter catches her hand.

*flash* Liz gets the gets the distinct impression the hunter doesn't want her to die. At the same time, jumbled images flit through her mind of what can only be a space ship, dark corridors, strange technology, an obvious trophy room, what looks like an infirmary of some sort. *end flash*

Her vision clears to see him take out a small canister and spray the cut end of the tail so that she can see it seal, trapping the dangerous liquid inside.

Liz grins at that, "Neat."

The hunter stands to his feet and gestures for her to rise and follow him.
Thinking, {You've <i>got</i> to be kidding! I have to WALK?}

*flash* She gets a vision of herself lying here, dead, for people to find. The vision changes to Max, broken hearted to the point that he howls with grief and lashes out at the people around him, exposing his abilities for all to see and earning himself a one way trip back to the white room and vivisection. *end flash*

Once again, she has to protect Max, this time from himself. In spite of everything, Liz still loves him enough to want to, so she sighs, struggles to her feet and stands before the hunter.

He bends down and breaks off a claw of the corpse, dipping the sharp point into the acid blood and stands, points with his free hand at his own forehead where he'd marked his kill and indicates with the appendage that he will mark her as well.

Understanding dawns, {This is necessary,} so Liz braces herself, nods and allows him to brand her right cheek. Her only reaction is the breath hissing out between her teeth at the bite of the acid on her skin.

The hunter goes to his fallen comrade and bends to pick up the body.

Liz closes her eyes, draws on some of her borrowed energy and does what Ava taught her months ago. Projecting her image to Max.


* * *

Driving along the deserted road, Michael slams on the brakes at the sight in front of the car, it skids to a halt with the apparition standing inside the hood. "Liz?" He's shocked at her appearance, her hair partially gone and what's left all tangled, the torn and bloody clothes, the still smoking mark on her forehead, the thing sticking out of her middle looking entirely too painful.

Max is surprised his friend can see her too, but neither comment any further, listening to what she has to say instead.

{Pay close attention, Max, I'm hurt really bad and know that if I stay here to wait for you, I'll die before you can get here. I saw that, being 'flash girl' now too.} She smiles wryly, {If I go away on the ship with the big guy here, I'll live to come home again one day and I'm not ready to die yet, Max. Be strong, don't let yourself get caught and put in the white room again. Do you hear me? I love you, but this is goodbye, for now.} She fades away.

"Goodbye? No, Liz, come back! Don't leave me!" Max gets out of the car and yells up at the lightening sky before hitting his knees, wracked by sobs.

Michael rests his forehead against the steering wheel, eyes burning with tears he refuses to shed, missing her already and wishing he could have at least said goodbye.

* * *

At a noise Liz opens her eyes and sees the hunter is gesturing once more, letting her know she's to follow him. Tottering along, she does.

Even burdened with the weight of the dead, the hunter is obviously going slow for her benefit, though not nearly as slowly as the injured girl would like. She is in so much pain her eyesight narrows to focus only on him and misses seeing Jessica's foot move as she walks by. Having feared being the cause of her friend's death, Liz never actually reached out to feel for the absence of the older woman's life force and so doesn't know she's still alive.

* * *

Coming to underneath a monster is the last thing Jessica expects and the accompanying adrenaline rush gives her the strength to shove it off enough to scramble up and away before she has to grab a tree to hold herself upright and off her injured ankle. She gasps with pain as the movement of holding onto the tree reminds her of her injured shoulder and that makes her remember her companion.

Looking around frantically and calling out, "Liz?"

Seeing a trail of red blood amidst the carnage of monster bodies, Jessica grabs up one of the fallen torches and relights it on the pyre of one of the creatures before starting to follow at a halting pace.

She stops and turns back, looking at the bodies once more and turns back to light each one on fire. Seeing it as part of her promise to the girl not to tell anyone about what happened here is to get rid of the bodies and so she does. When she's done, the day is bright enough she can lob the torch at the furthest body and continue on her way.

Unsure of what she'll find, but knowing she has to at least go look for the girl who tried so hard all night to keep her alive, the woman limps on.

* * *

After what seems like an eternity, Liz notices there's more than one hunter in front of her now. She stops, trying to focus. At least a dozen, no, more than that, are standing in a long row.

"Her" hunter passes through the line and relinquishes the body to others there, then turns and gestures for her to follow him again.

{This making me walk here on my own has got to be some kind of macho thing,} she thinks, but has no other choice, so she doggedly forces herself to go on, limping past the forms towering over her and then she crosses an invisible barrier. A much higher gravity suddenly pulls her down with a vengeance so that her breath leaves with a loud grunt. In spite of the great amount of pain, she can't make any more sound than that, due to no air in her lungs and what she's trying to draw in isn't fit for human beings to breathe, it stinks so bad.

Forcing her head up a little, she sees the Hunter in front of her, just standing there, waiting to see what she will do. {Great, more macho bs!} Unable to get to her feet, she forces herself to crawl until she's next to a wall and then somehow manages to get up. Hugging the wall, she follows him once more and manages to go several yards at a painstakingly slow pace. Then she starts to get dizzy due to the atmosphere change, her eyes roll up in her head and she starts to fall.

The Hunter catches and carries her the rest of the way to the Healers. {This puny human has spirit and is worthy to become Clan.}

* * *

Jessica, her entire body hurting abominably, limps out into the open in time to see Liz disappear among many more of those Hunter guys, going into an almost invisible "something" that is suddenly quite visible. She gasps when the opening closes and the all too obvious spaceship blasts off, disappearing again into the now rising sun. The overwhelmed woman sinks to her knees and passes out once more.

It's more than an hour later that the first fire truck arrives, bypassing the woman on the side of the road, unseen. Someone in the second sees her and radios her position to the paramedics, they are forced to race on toward the huge fire they must fight ahead.

An hour later Jessica is at the nearest hospital where she's diagnosed with a puncture wound to the shoulder, weapon unknown, a severely sprained ankle, numerous cuts and bruises and a concussion that could be the cause of her slight memory loss.

Outside the woman's room, government agents are informed of this last fact and don't react well.

The larger of the pair asks, "Are you telling us that all she remembers is being on the bus last night and seeing what she thought was a meteor hit somewhere nearby? I don't believe it. We'll make her remember. We have to know what happened to all those people!"

The staff psychologist speaks up, "I'm convinced she must have seen what happened to her fellow passengers, but it was so horrific she's blocked it out and it's quite possible she may never recover the memory. Trying to force her to while the trauma is still so new would be a bad idea. Give her some time to heal and then we'll try hypnosis, if she consents."

The agents exchange looks with each other and nod. "We'll play it your way, for now."

* * *

Onboard the Yautja Clan ship…

The Clan Chieftain is listening to his grandson's appeal for the small human to have Beta status. Other Betas resent this and argue for her to be killed.

The Chieftain looks toward the back of the Audience Chamber and demands, "Healer speak!"

A Yautja very differently dressed from the others speaks up now, "It lives." This is said quickly before turning to leave, not daring to stay in the presence of her leader any longer.

Contemplating this and having listened to both sides of the issue before him, the Clan leader comes to a decision. "The soft meat has proven itself by killing Ultimate Prey, we will not put it to death. It will have Delta status if it survives the genome sequencing."


End chapter 5


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 Post subject: Re: Running Away is NOT the Answer! Rated M(5-21-06)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:38 am 
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I found this today and loved it. You have done a great job writing it where even though I have not seen the crossover movies, I can still follow what is going on. I loved you characterizations so far and really hope you plan to continue some day.


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