A speculative tale describing a chain of events believed to have taken place prior to the creation of the Yautja Norns. This fanfic is rated "T" for some gore. (C'mon, it's a Predator fanfic--what do you expect?)

This was written before Sam999 sent me the official Yautja Norn story which he had written. Not knowing what his intentions were for the breed's backstory, I started to wonder how the Lone Shee could have ended up with Predator DNA, and a plot gradually developed. Now that I have read his story, it definitely makes a better official story for the breed than my rendition--it's funnier, and not remotely as violent.

Predator is (C) 20th Century Fox.



The alternate Yautja Norn Story
April 12, 2010
Status: Completed

"Get him!"

The Lone Shee pelted down the hall, his sandals slipping occasionally on the damp floor. His pet Hardman Norn, Abel, struggled to keep up at his side.

What was meant to be an ordinary jaunt through the Warp had become a terrifying race for their lives when they stepped out of the portal right into the middle of a conference held by a group of Banshee scientists, which had caused quite an uproar. His portal device had been shattered by a lucky swing from one of their pet Grendels, leaving them stranded in the facility until he could find a different means of escape.

The Lone Shee skidded around a corner only to stop short when he spotted another group of Banshee charging up the far end of the hall. He glanced around wildly, but the only other exit he could see was a rather small, mildew encrusted door. It would have to work. He managed to force the handle to turn with some difficulty, but the door seemed to be jammed shut. His heart hammered wildly in his chest, the Banshee were running full out now!

With a flash of inspiration he turned to his Norn and commanded, "Abel, hit door!"

The adolescent Norn strutted forward and delivered a powerful kick to the offending structure. It popped open with a start, hinges grinding as it swung slowly inward. The Lone Shee slipped inside, dragging his Norn in after him. He slammed the door shut behind them. It was an archaic thing, with no proper lock to speak of, and he doubted it would be very effective against their pursuers. He would have to find something else, and fast, or they were doomed.

He looked around to see if there was anything else that might help. The room was mostly empty except for a few random odds and ends that looked like they had been sitting there for ages, but then he spotted a rather archaic-looking Warp portal in the far corner. It was a much more primitive model than what he was used to, but it looked like it might still be functional. What a stroke of luck this would be, if it did work!

But portals took time to warm up, and in the meantime he still had the Banshee to deal with.

The Lone Shee hastily upended one of the tables, throwing off the gadgets that had been resting on it and dragging it up against the door. Abel watched his strange behavior curiously.

"Abel, push furniture," he instructed the Norn.

More gadgets went flying as the little Norn pushed another table over, shoving it up against the first.

"Good!" the Lone Shee said, already at work on the portal's controls. "Keep going!"

There was a scuffing sound outside the door, followed by voices muttering in low tones. The door handle turned once, twice, then there was a loud bang and the door shuddered. The Banshee were trying to break the door down!

Abel pushed against the overturned table with all his might, a frightened expression on his small face. The Lone Shee bit his lip as he fired up the portal. The last destination in its database came up automatically and he hit 'Confirm'. Given the situation he felt that he didn't have the time to be choosy!

The upturned table cracked under the force of the next blow, and the Banshee muscled open the battered door in time to see both Shee and Norn vanish into the swirling blue Warp. Three of the Banshee and their Grendels immediately plunged in after him. The fourth screeched to a halt, shouting frantically, "no, wait!"

It was too late. They had vanished into a world that had been shunned by their scientists for centuries, and only luck could save them now.

*****

The Lone Shee and his Norn stepped out of the Warp into what felt like a solid wall of humidity. After blinking in the bright morning light for a few moments, their surroundings resolved into a small clearing in the midst of a hot, steamy jungle. Thick creepers snaked their way up trees or hung down like party streamers from overhead branches, strange-looking insects buzzed about them curiously, and exotic bird calls echoed through the canopy far above their heads.

It seemed fitting that the half-Grendels would keep tabs on a world like this--it was probably just the sort of thing they liked! Although the Lone Shee noticed that the air here seemed clean and fresh, and there wasn't a trace of Grendel scent anywhere. They must not frequent this world very often. He had to wonder why.

Looking back, he saw that the portal wasn't closing like it normally would, and knew the Banshee were bound to be coming through soon. So he turned to his Norn and gave him one instruction: "Abel, run."

And they ran.

He wasn't sure what was going to happen, trapped on a planet that probably didn't have any technology to speak of, and with the Banshee aware of their location. The situation looked quite bleak, frankly, but he still wasn't about to stop running.

Suddenly, Abel stopped running, and the Lone Shee was forced to stop as well in order to avoid tripping over him. The Norn's head was turned sharply to the left and he bared his teeth in a growl, his sleek ruffs of hair standing straight up. The Shee's heart leapt into his throat and he peered through the trees, expecting to see the tell-tale red eyes of a Banshee or one of their minions, but he found that he couldn't see anything threatening.

"What is it, Abel?" he asked the Norn softly.

"Look bad," Abel replied.

"Look what?" he asked.

"Look bad," Abel said again.

"What bad?"

"Bad!" Abel exclaimed, and all at once his anger turned to fear. He grabbed the lanky Shee's hand and almost dragged him into the vegetation, and despite his longer legs the Lone Shee had difficulty keeping up with his panicked pet.

"Retreat bad!" Abel exclaimed as they ran, as if it weren't obvious enough.

They continued their flight until Abel chose a gap in the vegetation that was too low, and a branch hit the Lone Shee square in the face.

"Abel, stop," he ordered.

They crouched in the undergrowth for a few minutes, trying to catch their breath, as he rubbed his smarting head. Abel had taken cover in a clump of tall grass. His fur was still sticking up in patches and his eyes were wide. One of his ears stood straight up, while the other constantly cocked and twitched, listening intently.

The Lone Shee couldn't remember a time when he had seen any Norn so mortally afraid, much less a Hardman Norn! He couldn't help but wonder what kind of "bad" his Norn had seen. Whatever it might have been, it had completely terrified a Norn who would have picked a fight with a Grendel without a second thought. The very idea sent a shiver down his spine, and he found himself peering into the vegetation alongside his Norn.

After a few minutes, Abel began to calm down. The Lone Shee still felt on guard, but he rationalized that he hadn't seen whatever it was that Abel had seen, and that he would just have to trust the little Norn to warn him if they came across it again. For now at least, his Norn seemed to think that they were safe. He rose to his feet, brushed himself off and they continued their journey.

*****

Something peered down into the undergrowth from a branch in the trees above, watching the two closely.

The tall one wasn't like the others that used to come through here, in fact it seemed even more oblivious than they were, although the little one--the figure wasn't sure if it was a juvenile, from the way it behaved--had nearly exposed the figure's presence the first time it approached them. The little creature seemed to have quite a bit of fight in it, but since the figure couldn't be certain of its age, the figure wouldn't risk hunting it. And the taller one was completely unarmed, which made it equally unsuitable prey.

The figure watched until they were out of sight, then stood and walked back along the branch before leaping to the ground and taking off in the opposite direction. These two creatures might not be suitable as prey, but they weren't the only intelligent life forms in this jungle.

*****

The Lone Shee was beginning to feel hot in his thick robes, and from the way Abel was panting it was clear that he felt the same.

"Approach water, Abel," he told the Norn, hoping that he would be able to find some.

Abel ony looked around, then looked at the Lone Shee pathetically, his fur sticking to his damp skin. The humidity definitely wasn't doing anything for his coat.

"Abel thirsty," he complained.

"So am I," the Lone Shee agreed with a sigh. "Let's try to find something to drink."

After a little more wandering they found a place where the ground sloped gradually downward. They followed the slope to the bottom, and soon a soft trickling could be heard. Suddenly Abel rushed ahead, into the bushes.

"Wait!" the Lone Shee shouted. "Abel!"

There was no reply. Then the smell hit him--a musky, reptilian smell that made the Lone Shee's fur stand on end. He knew it instantly. There was a Grendel somewhere nearby!

"Abel!" he hissed. This was no time for a Norn to go wandering off on its own!

He tiptoed forward, brushing leaves and branches aside as quietly as he could. Then suddenly, with a terrifying roar, an enormous Banshee Grendel burst out of the jungle right in front of him! It snarled and swung one of its massive claws, and the Lone Shee heard the sound of his robe tearing. He threw himself backward, landing in the muddy leaf litter. The Grendel kept coming, its ruby eyes fixed on him in murderous, single-minded determination. Two more Grendels emerged from the vegetation behind it.

"Abel!" the Lone Shee shrieked. "Abel, help!"

The Grendel raised its claw in preparation to strike, the Lone Shee cringed in expectation of the blow... and then suddenly, the Grendel wasn't there anymore. He barely registered its shocked gurgle as it seemed to rocket straight upward, rapidly vanishing into the trees. The Lone Shee's jaw dropped open in disbelief. The other two Grendels skidded to a halt, muttering nervously and staring upwards, then turned tail and ran.

The Lone Shee glanced upwards also, but saw nothing. It was the same as when Abel had become startled, whatever the Creatures seemed to sense was invisible to him. The fur on the back of his neck prickled. Shakily, he rose from his position and raced back in the direction that Abel had disappeared.

*****

Forty feet above where he had just been sitting, a thin glimmering outline tilted its head, watching the blue figure fleeing toward the creek. Clawed fingers played over the freshly cleaned skull of the Grendel.

"Ay-beel," a low voice chirped, a fair if somewhat distorted imitation of the Lone Shee's voice. "Ay-beel, hullp."

*****

The Banshee didn't know what to make of it. Niss and Wurm had come scuttling out of the vegetation, whining and cowering like a pair of frightened baby Norns. The absence of the largest of the trio, Grojan, was noticed immediately. The smaller Grendels stuck close behind their masters, startling every time a leaf rustled or an insect buzzed, and generally annoying everyone with their cowardly behavior.

No one's nerves seemed to be more raw than Batul's, although this was perhaps due to the fact that it was his Grendel who had failed to return. Neither Jelil nor Tars took much notice when Batul stalked off on his own, assuming he was just going to loose some steam and would be back in a few minutes.

The loud, agonized roar brought the two Banshee running immediately. They found their comrade half crouched in the undergrowth, tearing up the vegetation in his fists in a state of uncontrollable rage. The metallic smell of blood hung thick and overpowering in the air.

"Batul, what happened?" Jelil asked cautiously. He kept his distance.

"My Grendel!" Batul shrieked. "What happened... what did they DO to him?!"

Tars and Jelil exchanged unnerved glances, not sure what to make of the display.

"What do you mean?" Tars asked.

"Look!" Batul backed away, pointing with one clawed hand.

His companions recoiled in disgust at the thing he gestured to.

"Is that...?" Tars asked.

"It is Grojan!"

"Well, it is part of him, anyway," Jelil muttered under his breath, feeling slightly ill.

Batul roared again, took up a branch from the ground and hurled it against a tree in fury. It hit the trunk and splintered into a dozen pieces. The others stepped back slightly, out of his immediate reach. An enraged Banshee was something nobody wanted to deal with, not even another Banshee.

"I will KILL that Shee!" Batul roared.

"I cannot see how the Shee and his pet could have done something like this," Jelil reasoned skeptically. "This is a bit beyond what even a Banshee would usually do. And to a Grendel? To think that a weakling of a Shee and his pet Norn would even be capable of something like this is just... just..." he waved a clawed hand.

Batul only gave him a hard stare. "Well who else would have done it?"

His stare intensified as he looked between his two companions, daring them to offer an alternative. Jelil didn't know what to say.

"There are stories," Tars ventured tentatively. "Old records. Some of the very old records tell of incidents like this. On worlds like this."

Batul raised an eyebrow, seemed to want to say something unpleasant. Instead he grunted, "go on."

"During the early days of Warp exploration, following the great exodus, some of our early scientists discovered a rich jungle world. When they began to catalogue it in detail, they encountered something living in the jungle. It began to hunt them, taking just one, two at a time, leaving carnage in its path. No one could see it, and even the best fighters could not match it. No matter what precautions they took, it always came for them. The survivors finally sealed the portal, erasing the coordinates from the main computers so that no one else would stumble upon that world by mistake."

Batul looked somewhat thoughtful, but Jelil only scoffed. "I can not believe you still believe those tall tales. That story was invented to scare the undergraduates and prevent them from entering random coordinates and becoming lost--there is no truth in it."

"I have seen the record myself," Tars insisted. "The ancient scientists believed that it really happened!"

"The ancient scientists believed in the Caos Field, too," Jelil pointed out. "We all know where that led them: nowhere."

"The portal that the Shee found led us somewhere," Batul replied thoughtfully. "And the coordinates were restored from the system backup. The Shee didn't enter them in."

Niss and Wurm had returned once Batul's screaming fit was over, and huddled close to their masters' legs, shuffling and looking around uncomfortably.

"Grojan didn't get here by himself," Batul said finally. "He and the others were supposed to be down by the creek, and I did not see any tracks leading up here, did you?"

"Maybe we should check around the creek," Tars suggested, glancing rapidly in Jelil's direction. "If that is really the last place he was, there might be more clues as to what happened."

The three Banshee nodded and climbed to their feet, heading out in the direction that Batul's pet had gone when he was last alive. Batul in particular paid close attention to the Grendel's trail. Although he was a scientist, he was also an accomplished hunter. His Grendel, Grojan, was a trained tracker and it was clear that he had been stalking something for the better part of the walk.

Jelil had to pause as Batul turned suddenly and started toward the left, still following his Grendel's trail. There were deep footprints here, not only because the ground was getting softer, but because Grojan had been moving more quickly. Chasing something?

Batul gave a puffing growl and paused to examine something else--small hand-like tracks which converged on Grojan's and overlapped them, running around and over them in a haphazard way. Niss and Wurm snarled and began pawing at the tracks, until Batul bellowed at them to get out of the way. The Hardman Norn had found Grojan's trail--but it looked like the two hadn't encountered each other.

"Split up," Batul ordered Jelil. "You follow the Norn's tracks, I want to see what Grojan was trying to intercept when he came through here. And where is Tars?!"

Jelil looked around in surprise, realizing that the third Banshee was no longer with them.

"We can find him later," he decided with a shrug.

Batul nodded, and they split up.

*****

The Lone Shee was, at that moment, sitting on a log near a small pond, cataloguing some samples he had taken of the local flora. Abel entertained himself by splashing and stomping in the shallows of the pond, occasionally picking up something--a fish, or at least the Lone Shee hoped they were fish--and sticking it in his mouth. The Lone Shee pretended not to notice.

He had noticed that the tall grasses seemed to have a calming effect on his Norn, and his scientific mind had already begun working out potential uses for such a plant. His thoughts went back to his poor Norns still aboard the Capillata. If he ever did manage to get back, it would be nice if he could introduce this grass to them. He was sure his shy Treehugger Norns would feel safer in it.

Some of the leaves here had interesting properties, and one of the trees he had examined had deliciously spicy bark. He vowed to bring a little with him, just in case. He would love to put some of that into his Quirky Cookie Machine.

In the mean time he nibbled a bit on the bark itself, enjoying the flavor.

*****

Batul followed his Grendel's trail. Grojan's tracks seemed to end at a clump of vegetation, but then Batul pushed the branches aside and saw a pair of dried, muddy footprints on the other side--Grojan had pounced on something, or tried to! Batul followed the tracks, eyes narrowing as he made out a new set of loosely kidney-shaped prints. Sandals?

Suddenly he heard a cough! His head snapped up and he found himself face to face with Tars.

"Where have you been?" he demanded.

"Following the Shee's trail," Tars informed him. "But it looks like Grojan already found him."

Batul scoffed and pushed past him, picking out the Shee's lighter tracks with his sharp eyesight. Grojan had been chasing him, all right! The tracks ended in a patch of mud with a depression shaped like somebody had sat in it, and two long-fingered handprints, one on either side. Grojan's tracks also stopped--literally--and although Batul looked, there was no sign of what had happened after that.

"I don't understand this," Batul muttered. "Grojan had him... so what happened?"

"Perhaps the Shee had a weapon?" Tars suggested uncertainly. "Grojan might have caught him off guard, he stumbled back here and fired before Grojan had a chance to take him down."

"But then where is Grojan? How did the Shee just... spirit him away?" Batul frowned.

He stood for a moment over the muddy impression, thinking. Then he felt Tars tap him on the shoulder. He ignored it for a second, but the tapping continued.

"What?" he demanded.

"Batul," Tars replied in a quiet voice, "that isn't me."

Batul's eyes widened as he realized that one, Tars's voice indicated he was too far away from him to be capable of touching his shoulder, and two, he could distinctly feel something running down his back. Slowly, he turned his head, watching in horrified fascination as the dark reddish drops dripped down on his shoulder. He exchanged glances with a rather shocked looking Tars, then craned his neck, looking up into the trees.

Slowly, not taking his eyes off the steady stream of drips, he approached a nearby tree. And began to climb.

*****

Jelil couldn't help but feel grateful that it was Batul's Grendel that had vanished, and not his Niss. He grinned slightly. As awful as that was, he was just selfish enough not to be ashamed of it.

With the help of the two Grendels, he had followed the Norn's tracks until they reached a small muddy stream, at which point it was clear that the Norn must have come here to drink. After meandering aimlessly around the edges of the pool several times, the tracks turned sharply and disappeared into the undergrowth, headed more or less back the way they had come. Had the Norn been recalled by his master?

The Grendels were eager to chase down the Norn but the Banshee was less certain. Jelil was debating whether he should follow them or go find the others first, when he heard a sudden scream that immediately made up his mind. He stooped low as he raced back the way he had come, and then onward, following Batul and Grojan's tracks to the top of the muddy slope and onto what appeared to be a sort of game trail. A second later he nearly collided with Tars, who was running the other way.

"Tars! What happened? Who screamed?"

"It was Batul!" Tars gasped.

"Tell me, what happened?"

"N-not now! Let's get out of here!"

At Tars's urging they turned and raced into the undergrowth, the way Jelil had come. Jelil steered him toward the pool where he had followed the Norn's tracks, where Tars promptly dropped to his knees, splashing water on himself and shaking like a dog. Wurm hovered over him protectively.

"Now what happened?" Jelil asked firmly.

"You know I split off earlier, I found the Shee's tracks and was following them. I ran into Batul, he was coming the other way and he had been following Grojan's tracks. We found the place where they intersected, Grojan had that Shee on the ground and he was standing over him, and we couldn't figure out what had happened. There was just no sign of Grojan, it was like he just vanished." Tars swallowed thickly. "But then we noticed this... this fluid, coming out of the trees. It was blood. Batul, he went up to see where it was coming from. I stayed below since we couldn't both climb up..."

*****

Batul was getting impatient, he must have been climbing for ten minutes now and his arms were getting tired of gripping the tree. He looked up, toward the direction the blood must be coming from, and saw what looked like something hanging from a nearby branch. What was that?

He estimated he could jump out pretty easily and land on the branch right below it. That should give him a real good vantage point to examine the thing up close. He readied himself, then jumped, his feet hitting the other branch with a loud slap. He braced himself, but the branch was solid and held his weight easily. He could see now what the object was.

It was the skinned, headless corpse of his Grendel.

He clenched a fist, silently running through all the nasty things he was going to do when he caught up with whoever had done this. A part of him still believed it was the Shee. One thing stuck out in his mind though--how could the Shee have managed to haul Grojan's body over forty feet into the trees? And more importantly, why? This really didn't fit with what he knew about Shee, and his friend's strange story began to seem a little more believable in light of it.

He had no more time to ponder it, however. As he turned to make his way back down to the ground, the branches in front of him seemed to swim, and he blinked a few times to rectify his vision. He opened his eyes in time to see a large shape hurtle toward him, and had just enough time to let out a surprised shout before the thing was directly on top of him. Reflexively, he swung his fist, and thought he caught it in the ribs before a clawed hand clenched around his throat, lifting him off the branch.

The riot of colors resolved itself into a figure, and Batul found himself staring into the glassy black eye sockets of some kind of tribal mask.

It was the last thing he ever saw.

*****

The Lone Shee tramped through the jungle, feeling thoroughly miserable. The heat only seemed to be worsening as the day progressed, and the humidity was becoming unbearable. Even the most bothersome insect species seemed to have thrown in the towel and were now leaving them alone.

His feet were sore, too, and the prospect of wandering around aimlessly in the jungle for another four hours had lost its appeal some time ago. He sighed in utter relief as they came to a small clearing.

However, they were not the first ones there.

Abel immediately growled and began trying to push his master back into the trees, but it was too late.

"You!" a rough voice bellowed.

The Lone Shee turned to see two Banshee charging toward him, accompanied by their Grendels. Oh, no. Oh, no! He spun around and ran in the other direction, with Abel right behind him.

"Me hit Grendel, me hit bad Shee!" Abel yelled, but at his master's urgings he kept running.

The clearing ended up ahead, the open valley consumed by thick tangled vegetation. Without a second thought, both Shee and Norn plunged headlong into it. The Lone Shee thought he heard the Banshee gaining on them, when suddenly Abel threw him to the side. He nearly hit his head on an outcropping of rock, and was about to give his Norn a few words for his recklessness when he caught sight of the little creature's condition.

Abel was staring at a certain point in the growth nearby. All his fur was standing on end--making him look rather like a disheveled Poodleettin--and he was growling, very softly. The Lone Shee realized this was an attempt to protect him, and furthermore that this the same response he had shown to the invisible "something" that they had encountered before, and decided it would be wise to stay very still. He tried to follow the direction his Norn was looking, and for a brief moment he imagined that he could just make out a shape in the vegetation. He had almost convinced himself that it was his eyes playing tricks on him when the Banshee's voices became clearly audible, perhaps only ten yeards away--and the shape turned its head to look in their direction. The Lone Shee gasped audibly and was about to flee when the two Banshee suddenly burst out of the foliage.

"There you are!" one of them exclaimed.

"Look out!" the Lone Shee yelled. "There's--there's something out there!"

The Banshee ignored his warnings. He was just reaching for the Lone Shee when something inexplicable but very, very shocking happened. There was a blur and a gust of air, and something shaped like a person--but looking like nothing more than a strong summer heat wave distorting the background--rushed past. The Banshee in front of him gave a brief, startled gasp and then a shout of alarm as he was dragged off into the undergrowth.

The Lone Shee, as well as the remaining Banshee, could only stare in horror as he disappeared.

"Tars!" the Banshee shrieked.

He spared the Lone Shee only a brief glare before racing after his companion. The two Grendels hesitated, seemingly unwilling to follow. Their red eyes settled on the Lone Shee.

"Run!" Abel exclaimed.

The Lone Shee rose to his feet and bolted, his Norn following suit.

*****

Abel and the Lone Shee flew through the forest, the two Grendels crashing through the vegetation behind them. Then, without warning, the ground beneath the Shee's feet gave way and he found himself falling. Abel held on to his hand tightly, but found himself dragged in.

The two Grendels pawed around the circular hole, growling and snorting and sending dirt raining down on the Shee and his Norn. The sounds of their frustration eventually faded, and the Lone Shee peered around into the darkness. There was a dim lamp flickering overhead, but most of the room was deep in shadow. He could just make out a series of irregular shapes mounted on the far wall.

Then his eyes adjusted to the dark, and he gasped.

The shapes were skulls. Some were enormous, some were fairly small. He could only guess at the creatures they must have come from. But what drew his attention were the four objects that had been placed in the center of the room, arranged on the floor in a neat semicircle. Their surfaces were clean and polished, but he knew that at least two of them must be very fresh. They were skulls, one of which had clearly come from a Grendel, while the other possessed a curious and frightening combination of Grendel and Shee traits.

Placed next to them was an object which appeared to be a spine of some kind, clearly organic although it had been fashioned into a simple dagger. The Lone Shee touched it with one hand, marveling at its construction. It was very hard, very durable. The scientist in him began to wonder how he might put such a material to use around the lab. He had never seen such a material, who knows what kind of properties it might have?

As he was taking a sample of the artifact, Abel let out a small whimper and hugged his leg.

"Abel, stop it!" the Lone Shee exclaimed.

There was a small cascade of dirt and a Banshee appeared through the hole in the ceiling. He landed neatly on his feet, his eyes falling on the Lone Shee, then on the assortment of skulls.

Then the three of them heard a dreadful sound, a low hollow fluttering, like a purr. The Banshee exchanged horrified glances with the Lone Shee, then began fumbling with something hidden in his robes.

"Is that a portal device?" the Lone Shee asked.

Abel hugged his master's leg tighter and pleaded, "retreat bad!"

A shadow appeared over the opening in the ceiling, and a figure dropped into the cave, landing as neatly as the Banshee had. It was a tall, masked figure with mottled yellowish skin and thick black dreadlocks. An array of skulls hung from a cord slung across its chest and it had a pair of serrated blades mounted to one forearm. A fresh skull was clutched in one hand.

"It's the Hunter!" the Banshee gasped.

He drew a knife from his robes and flew at the figure, which spun to intercept him. A fierce fight ensued, the Banshee attempting to stab the figure with his knife while it blocked and struck with its wrist-blades. He managed to score a few hits, but the struggle ended abruptly when it hurled him against a wall. He slumped to the floor with a groan and didn't move.

The figure turned and Lone Shee froze in terror as it looked right at him. Its wrist blades were still fully extended and the wounds inflicted by the Banshee were smeared with with a luminous green substance he took to be blood. It took something from the unconscious Banshee and thrust it out for the Shee to take. He stared down at it in surprise--it was the Banshee's handheld portal device.

It gave another clicking purr and then told him, in what was recognizably an imitation of his voice, "Ay-beel, hullp."

The Lone Shee's jaw dropped.

The figure turned and walked away from him, hauling the Banshee up over one shoulder and jumping--actually jumping--back through the hole in the ceiling, although it must have been ten feet over their heads. The Lone Shee was left standing in the cave, completely flabbergasted. One of Abel's ears was standing straight up and he looked just as surprised.

"Well," said the Lone Shee slowly, "let's see if we can go home."

He examined the controls for the portal device, and keyed in what was by now a very familiar set of coordinates. As he took his Norn's hand and approached the swirling vortex that was the Warp, he noticed several drops of a luminous green substance on the floor.

Well, it couldn't hurt to take one more sample back with him...

...could it?

Creatures is © Gameware Development. Breeders Beware is a non-profit fansite run by Ghosthande and is not affiliated with Gameware, nor intended to infringe upon their copyright in any way.