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  • Katerina Winters

Untitled predator story Chapter 4

Author's note: I will be posting this on the usual sites like AO3 and Wattpad but I am still working out the kinks and I dont need the pressure of a schedule right now. So I hope that its ok if I just post on here for a few more chapters.



Chapter 4


Red lights flashed along the corridors as Izara ran.

It was safe to say that this was no longer a Level 2 threat.

By the time she had gotten down to B5 all hell had broken loose. From what little she could see through the window of the now permanently sealed hull doors there was a huge gaping hole in the hull and everything and everyone inside was getting sucked out into space. Well, not everything. The latchers, basically just mutant space barnacles, were crawling into the ship in droves carried on the back of their mother. A huge disgusting creature with a porous back, filled with its spawn. The latcher queen was certainly not a Level 2 threat.

The ship, the Black Mountain, was in chaos. Alarms pealed throughout the ship's numerous levels and into every chamber and recess ensuring no one could miss its sound. And from the frantic screams and shouts all around her, Izara was sure that all one thousand of her co-workers were well aware of the situation.

Sliding around a corner, Izara nearly crashed into a group of people running down the hall. Each of them wearing a grey jumpsuit like hers.

Izara slipped past them and ignored their confused faces as she ran in the direction they were coming from.

"Where the hell are you going?!" one man shouted. "You need to get to level six!"

Izara glanced back once but never stopped running. She was pretty sure that was Deseo. He worked in logistics containment operations along with the three others he was running with.

Izara didn't answer him, she didn’t have time. She turned down another corridor into the ship's main atrium. The sight nearly took her breath away.

On a normal day, people walked the exposed halls of the massive atrium enjoying the expansive view of the other levels above and below while taking in the black blanket of space with its twinkle of glittering stars through the translucent diaminium ceiling far above. Not now though. Now, the chaos of the latcher breach was pouring into the once beautiful space like poison. Even as she ran towards her laboratory, Izara could see people running wildly across the levels towards the exits, no doubt trying to get to level six where the emergency level was located.

Was she the only fool running back to the labs?

Most likely.

But she needed to know for sure. Even as everything inside of her commanded her to run at top speed to level six and get in with the rest of the crew before it went into its final emergency mode, Izara couldn't help but think of her last patient strapped to that table.

What if he hadn't been able to get himself out from the straps? What if he was still there thrashing against his bonds as the ship broke apart from the latchers?

It was crazy, she knew that. Izara had seen the size of the creature's biceps and the strength in its massive body, there was no way in hell ladium powered restraints were going to hold him at bay long. But even with that logic, she couldn't stop herself from coming back to check.

"I'm fast. Faster than most," she told herself breathlessly as she swiped her datapad on the first set of doors and stopped impatiently to repeat the process at the next. "I can get back. I can!" she promised herself. She just had to check and be…sure.

The door to her lab opened.

A painful breath escaped her chest as she took in the empty examination table and the mangled straps dangling off the sides.

Relieved and a little saddened she didn’t waste any time and turned on her heel and ran back down the hall.

Ok, he's gone. I'm sure the yautja can figure out how to save himself. Now it's your turn to save yourself.

Level six. Level six. Level six.

She repeated her goal in her head as she burst back through the doors that led back out through the atrium.

"Warning. Emergency safety containment will detach in three minutes. Containment sectors will seal for preservation. Please evacuate to your assigned safety containment. Countdown commence."

"Fuuuuck," she groaned through gritted teeth as she pushed her legs to run faster.

Emergency lights at the end of the hall pulsed brighter and Izara's stomach dropped as the sectional doors slid shut.

She ran straight into the sealed doors. Cursing she banged her wrist unit against the door's sensor but it did nothing. Stepping back she scanned the lifeless door and realization swept over her.

"Fuck! Fuck fuck!!!" she screamed.

Taking a few steps back, Izara looked to the other end of the hall where the level circled around the atrium, and saw that the sectional doors on the far end of the curving level were closed there too.

"Sonofabitch," she hissed. She was trapped.

Running to the railing she looked down to the other levels. She was three stories up from level six. The ship was about to break apart. A method for reducing casualties and collateral damage in situations exactly like this. The giant base station class ship was going to break into dozens of different sectors and expel itself from the central base. Which happened to be the goddamn atrium! Once done the parts would linger off safely in space until the threat was neutralized and rescue support from another Black Mountain base could arrive. In a few minutes, this atrium was going to be floating in space like a detached spinal cord if she didn't get her butt in gear.

Grabbing the high railing, Izara lifted herself up and over, stepping precariously onto the thin lip on the other side. Maybe if she could drop down a few levels she could make it to the-

"Shit!" she screamed as her boot slipped from the three-inch lip sending her falling. Desperately, she clawed against the slick atrium wall for purchase.

*Thunk*

Something slammed into the wall just beneath her left boot and she stopped.

*Thunk*

Again something slammed into the wall next to the other.

This time she looked down. Beneath both of her feet was a long bolt made of a familiar-looking dark silver.

Izara looked up and across the vast atrium and she saw him. On the level above hers, the yautja lowered the long bow in his hand and met her gaze. Wearing all his armor from the lab the yautja stood there with a deadly confidence she could only envy.

Izara gave him a large smile. "Hell yeah!" she shouted. Thinking quickly she stood very still on the two bolts beneath her boots and pointed down to the sixth floor and shouted again. "The escape deck!"

Immediately understanding, the yautja snapped off more arrows from his bow that pierced the wall in a staggering path.

Izara pushed back her fear and leaped forward to the next arrow. Above her, the yautja gracefully hopped floor to floor until he landed on the arrows she abandoned. She was halfway to level six when she felt his presence behind her. She could only let out a small scream of surprise when she felt herself pushed off towards the open air of the atrium and then a thick arm sliding around her waist. The yautja carried her like a doll dangling from his side as he quickly scaled the side of the wall and leaped onto the level.

Izara swallowed and stood unsteadily on her feet. She wanted to think about the fact that her life, albeit a short life, just flashed before her eyes but there was no time for that. Without saying a word she started to run down the hall and turned down a corridor, knowing the yautja was right behind her.

Ahead of her, she could see a set of doors. The last time she was on this floor there were no doors here. It was just a long hall that led to a large open space that people used as a large lounge. Normally, the space was filled with chatter or the occasional sounds of a movie playing on the large holo-screen on movie nights but not now.

Izara's feet stumbled and finally stopped as she came to a stop at the new door. Through the thick diaminium windows she could see hundreds of her fellow colleagues running around inside the large hall, each of them desperate to get to their locations.

"Hey," she shouted banging against the door.

No one looked her way. Her voice and even her fists against the heavy door barely made a sound on her side much less theirs. What? Did she really expect one of them to turn around and see her and the seven-foot yautja prisoner and say come on in?

Turning from the door she slipped past the silent yautja and stood in front of the computer terminal on the wall. Snatching her datapad off her wrist she set it on the data port and quickly accessed the files she needed.

The yautja growled impatiently behind her as the ground beneath their feet begin to shake. Izara ignored him and enlarged the schematic. They didn't have much time before this whole damn base station broke apart like a puzzle. Downloading what she needed, she grabbed her datapad and reached behind her for the yautja and tugged.

"Come on," she urged and began to run.

Silently the yautja followed her, turning sharply around a corner when she did and going up a narrow service stairwell that shook with every groan of the station.

"We're almost there," she assured her silent companion as they made it to the floor above. Taking off down the hallway, she kept her eyes focused down the long hall through the flashing emergency lights. "There is a private escape pod meant for the officers and the executives. If we can just get there we'll have a chance," she breathed.

Their footfalls fell in time with one another as they neared the corner.

"Just close the damn door! He ain't coming!" a man yelled.

A clawed hand wrapped around her shoulder and tugged Izara to a jarring halt. She winced as her back hit the yautja's armor and she scowled up at him. The yautja paid her no attention. Standing perfectly still at the corner of the hall, he leaned cautiously around the edge to look. Following his example, Izara did the same.

At the end of the corridor was the escape pod. A large round room that hadn't been there before, but would have been activated once the emergency alarms went off.

"Are you sure this is even an escape pod?" another man cried out, his thick voice familiar to her even through the distress.

"Yes, you fucking idiot," the first man hissed. "We just need to figure out how to work it."

Izara squinted and her chest filled with dread as she recognized the man. Shane Lynch, second security officer for the commander's deck, and a real fucking asshole. Her eyes narrowed on the rifle he was holding. Great, a dick with a gun, too. Can't get much better than that, she thought dryly.

Looking at the second man, she recognized the large figure of Deon Watts one of the security detail that worked the processing bay. Draped partly over Deon's shoulder and slumped to his side was a man she had seen hanging out with Deon before.

Leaning back around the corner away from their view, she turned and looked up at the yautja with a conspiratorial smile.

"I'm going to distract. Please remove that gun from Shane's hand and I'll take the one hanging on the injured one's shoulder."

Izara didn’t give him time to answer before stepping out and running down the hall.

"By the Gods and the stars, thank you. You're still here," she shouted and waved frantically as she ran towards the pod.

She could see each man flinch and turn and look at her with shock as she ran towards them. She didn't miss the way Shane's hand pulled the gun up higher before stopping himself. Probably considering his options, she thought. She had quite a reputation around the base for being able to get into anything, kill her and possibly kill your only chance of getting out of this place alive.

Coming to a stop within the octagonal room, Izara put on a show of catching her breath even as she scanned the room and each person. Again the floor shook around them and the station's main computer began a countdown.

Shane turned to her, still holding his gun across his chest at the ready. "If you know about this pod then you should know how to make it work." He pointed the rifle at her and then to the pod's main computer terminal in the center of the room. "So make fucking work," he commanded.

The blur of movement caught everyone but her by surprise. The large yautja appeared out of nowhere to Shane's right grabbing the rifle from his hands.

As Shane and Deon both shouted in surprise, Izara reached over and deftly plucked the remaining rifle hanging from the injured man's shoulder.

"Ok then," she announced happily as she reached back behind her and stored the weapon in the hidden locker panel in the wall.

"What the fuck is going on?" Shane growled, moving away from the massive creature as it moved to store his gun in the locker.

Not bothering to reply, Izara turned to the terminal and pointed at Deon absently. "Put your friend in the medpod," she instructed as she typed at the screen. Around them, the pod began to hum to life. Lights blinked on and parts began to move.

Doors shutting. The computer rang out in its cold voice.

"But there isn't a…" Deon's words faded as he turned with the groaning injured man holding his bleeding side to see the sleek white and glass surgical containment pod come down from the wall.

Izara went on. "This pod was created for the higher-ups and should have everything five people would need to survive in the most hostile of environments. Get ready to strap yourselves in once you get…who is that by the way?" she asked looking to the injured man Deon was trying to get into the medpod.

Laying the man against the tilted bed, Deon stood back as the glass shield slid back over the prone man and sealed shut. Turning to her Deon gave her a nervous smile. "That's Kang, Kang Hua," he clarified. "I accidentally shot him when we were fighting off the latchers in-"

"Who gives a shit!" Shane yelled from his already secured position against the wall. "Just strap in already."

Izara frowned but didn’t argue. Deon really did need to strap in. Beneath her feet, she could feel the pod begin to move away from the ship and into free space and soon the thrusters would activate. They did not want to be standing when the hyperdrive kicked off.

Clumsily, Deon followed Shane's command and went to strap himself across from him.

Behind her, the yautja's clicking noise filled the room. Izara didn't look up from the screen. Instead, she waved at him over her shoulder indicating to one of the other standing harnesses.

"Get strapped in," she called out distractedly.

She could hardly focus on the winding sound of the hyperdrive preparing itself around her or the sound of the Black Mountain Base station breaking apart. She was too focused on the data in front of her. For some reason, this pod was not linking up with the rest of the escape pods and more importantly the main escape deck with the rest of the crew. The navigation chart had to be showing her an error. For some reason it had them charted to stop safely in a galaxy off the known charts.

"This has to be a mistake," she muttered, typing furiously at the screen. If she didn’t change this now, who knew where the heck they would end up.

"Hyperdrive in 5," the computer called out.

No dammit. Her fingers flew over the holographic keys even as the primal clicking sound behind her picked up in agitation.

4

"You're gonna die if you don’t get strapped in," Deon called out worriedly.

3

"If she's too stupid to strap in then let her die," Shane laughed.

2

There wasn't enough time. She couldn't get past the odd presets and link up with the other systems that were still in range to match their coordinates.

1

The grip around her waist was unforgiving as it hauled her back and away from the terminal and slammed her against the padded section of the wall. Face to face now--well--more like her face to his chest, the yautja pushed her into the wall. There was no time to grab the harness as the pod took off. The forward pressure flattened the heavy creature to her and she gasped. Who needed a harness with there was a four hundred-pound yautja smashed against you?

Picking up speed the octagonal pod began to spin. In front of her, the yautja let out a deep growl. Izara could see him grip the metal grip bars around her upright seat pulling himself closer to prevent from being thrown. She needed to help in some way.

Despite the crushing g-forces that made her want to shut her eyes and give in to the numb oblivion of sleep, Izara pulled her arms up from between the massive hunter's chest and grabbed the harness clips on either side of her. Glancing up she could see the creature's red eyes watching her even as his dread-like spines floated in the air to the side of his head as the pod spun. She ignored him and fought back against the immense pressure and pulled the strap forward. It was like fighting a boulder against your chest while sinking in water, the pressure of the nauseating g-forces was astounding. Slowly, she got her arms over the big yautja in a hug-like position grasping the harness clips in both hands.

She just needed to get them to meet across his broad back. She was fighting for breath. People weren't meant to move like this during take-off. The straps weren't designed to hold a bulky space hunter and a girl together at once. This was all very impossible but it didn't matter. Gritting her teeth she hugged the yautja's muscled frame tighter. She could hear his growling undertone in her ear even as his pauldron armor pressed uncomfortably into her cheek.

"Just a little more," she groaned. She knew the other clip was only inches away from the other.

The yautja made a sound under his breath that sounded almost like a growling word. Releasing a breath he sunk into her fully and things happened at once.

Just as she felt every inch of the creature's body envelop her, the belt snapped together securing them into the harness. Izara realized as she looked up to the glowing red eyes looking down at her and as her last coherent thought went through her that he had been simultaneously holding himself to her while trying to keep from crushing her.

How unexpected.

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