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RUNNING THE GAUNTLET
The battle was over quickly. Emitting a shrill elephant-like squeal, the Alien dropped before the masked Predators double-bladed wrist gauntlet as he thrust it under its jaw. Withdrawing his fist, he leapt aside, narrowly escaping an arterial rush of acid blood that ran from the gaping wounds onto the street. Each drop vaporized through entire feet of the concrete the instant it touched.
The victorious Predator turned to face the Turtles, noticing them for the first time. It sprawled out on the street, coiling like a jaguar in wait.
It was a devilish looking creature. Humanoid and at least seven feet tall in height, it wore a smooth, acid-speckled mask over its face. Black, tube-like dreadlocks hung ceremoniously from its head. Its avocado-yellow skin was visible through its chain mail armor, standing out even in the pitch black Dhoonib night.
Raphael flinched at the Predator, his lips curling in disgust. "What are you lookin at, fuckface?" he snapped.
The creature remained still, moving its steady gaze over each of the Turtles. It stopped on Donatello. Then, unexpectedly, it laughed. It was a coarse, shrill, resounding laugh, but there was no mistaking it.
The Turtles heard a whirring sound coming from the Predator. Suddenly, three red dots appeared in a triangle on Dons chest plate.
Mike pointed a finger at it. "Oh jeeze, looks like some kind of las" was all Don had time to say before what could only be described as a blue fireball flew from the Predators shoulder to pelt him in the chest. He was thrown backwards, crashing into the drivers side of a parked aircar.
"Don! Jesus, are you okay?"
An expression of pain and shock was displayed on Dons face. "What do you think ?!"
The Predator laughed once more, then seemed to be keying in something on a mechanical device on its forearm. The creatures body shimmered, and then a moment later became completely transparent. As if becoming pure water, its liquid-like translucent figure could be seen sprinting away from the alley to disappear at the intersection.
"Well get that punk!" Raphael cracked his knuckles. "Oh yeah, well get him."
"Seemed like he was in an awful hurry," Mike observed. "Wonder why he didnt just fight us right here and now?"
"Scared him off is what we didthe four of us against just him and his lonesome. Yeah, real tough guys, these yautja feebs are. Chicken shit space prissies is what I callem."
With Leo and Mikes help, Don got to his feet. His gaze was fixed on the black, three inch-deep crater in his chest plate. "Now that was just plain rude," he said. He closed his eyes, concentrating. Before the eyes of his brothers, the living metal around the crater swirled and filled it, interweaving to return the entire chest plate to its normal appearance. Don had healed himself.
"I dont think Im ever going to get used to that," Mike interjected.
Leonardo backed away suddenly, tapping his brothers as he did. "Ah, brothers ?"
At the entrance of the alley was a entire horde of Aliens. Teeth, claws, and tails glistening in the darkness, they were making a mad dash for the Turtles. Skittering over the ground, the walls, and the catwalks of the surrounding two buildings, they were only seconds away.
Mikes eyes widened with horror at the sight. "Oh shit!"
Giving it all they had, the Turtles started running into the alley as fast as they could.
All except Raphael.
"They gave us these guns for a reason, dumbasses." Almost casually, Raph raised his plasma caster to the horde and pressed the trigger. Nothing happened. He pressed it again, then a third time. Nothing happened.
"Hooo-boy " Panicking, he threw the gun aside and tried to catch up to his brothers.
"I tried to use mine, too," Leo shouted behind him. "Blanque must have had his men give us blank guns on purpose."
Raphael grimaced. "Jee, you think?"
Mike gave a frown. "But why?"
"That rotten bastard "
An ear-piercing blast rang through the air, followed by one of the Aliens elephant-like squeals. Raphael peered over his shoulder just in time to see one of the charging Aliens heads explode.
"Mine works." The smoke from Dons massive cannon-morphed arm trailed behind him as he continued running.
They rounded the corner at the back of the alley, dashing around an Earth-like dumpster. They hadnt the faintest idea where they were going but they had no choice but to continue running.
"Guys, its a sewer!" Donatello shouted.
The others gasped as they realized Don was right. What could only be an open manhole was only feet before them, the cover just beside it.
"Jump for it!"
"Sweet home Alabama! Whoo-ee!"
Not even needing to be told, they did so, the advancing Aliens claws only inches away from their shells behind them.
They quickly found the manhole into which they jumped was not a typical Earth sewer. At first it felt like they were going down a spiraling waterslide, then it felt like they were being drawn into a vacuum cleaner.
Not a normal vacuum cleaner, noa vacuum cleaner that sucked them in with increasing air pressure, flushing them through a forking series of pipes and wind tunnels. Early on Leonardo bellowed to the others to hold hands and stay together, which was a virtually impossible task with the building pressure and velocity nearly ripping them apart. What was worse, as their speed increased, they were becoming unable to breathe, the very breath sucked from their lungs. When Raphael passed out, Leo held on. Somehow they managed to stay together for some three minutes, but then Michaelangelos body got slammed against the rim of a new wind tunnel they were being blown into, wrenching his grasp from Don and blowing him into the tunnel opposite it while his brothers continued on.
Mike let out a frantic cry before he was beyond hearing.
Leonardo shook the cobwebs out of his head, blinking fast as his vision blurred back into clarity. He didn't know how long hed been out, but his intuition told him it had been a good long while.
The heat again, the humidity... just like in the bar. Looking around, he found himself imbedded in a wall of the same organ-like fleshy material hed seen in the Spaceport Jockeybar. Beside him were his brothers, still asleep for the time being.
Raising his head, Leo saw the single most hideous, monstrous creature hed seen in his life. A gigantic Alien perched upon a white, winding sac, large organic tendrils holding the bulk of its mass up and in place. Its head was three times as large as the other Aliens hed seen, and had curved ridges to it that formed a cranium that almost resembled a flat crown. His stomach turned as he watched one of the pod-like eggs being regurgitated from the winding sac, laid next to the handful of others beside the gigantic Alien.
If he had to pick a name for the creature before him, Leonardo would have indeed called it an Alien Queen.
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