A dark, inhuman figure stalks its prey, being careful not to reveal their presence before they get close enough. There are more hidden away in the shade of the trees, but they stand back, allowing only one to come close to the focused little fae. Silencia seems completely unaware of the danger that lurks, even humming to herself as she studies the path her magic has takes through a rather old tree.
He too is in the trees, but he's concealed his presence, and remains downwind from the dark figures, so they can't smell him. His ears are pinned back, tail bristling. He sniffs in the direction of the figures. His ears swivel forward at times to listen, but soon pin back.
At the very least, it looks like they are yet unaware of others here. They are none the wiser that the little owl in the branches is actually something else, and Asato is far too well concealed for them to be aware of his presence.
Leaving that as it may, they approach slowly but surely, tightening their noose.
He notes the owl, and pauses. Eyes narrow. That owl looks familiar... But he doesn't sense any malice out of it. In fact, it almost seems... friendly somehow? There's no time to consider it, though. Or if the owl would be good to eat. He does love fowl ever so much.
Anyway. Since Asato can't find Silencia, he begins to do the opposite-- rather than look for Silencia, he starts looking for whatever it is that's frightened her, that presence he could feel that didn't belong here AT ALL. He movements are fast through the trees, never staying in one place long enough for anything to pin down his location.
Though the creatures remain hidden for now, there is an undeniable evil presence felt heavily in the air. One does not need to be able to talk to trees to know that there is something very wrong here. It's almost in the air, it smells acidic, and almost coppery. The smell of blood.
The hooting owl flying overhead finally unnerves the predators enough to make their apperance.
From the shadows they come. At least a dozen horrifying creatures. Black in color and with metallic like skin, they look like an unholy breed of a lizard with a ferocious wolf. They have no eyes in their elongated faces, all they have is a mouth full of razor sharp teeth, claws and a stinger like tail.
The creatures hiss at each other, apparently angry. One blaming the other for having lost the girl. Could it be that they have some manner of language?
They seem at least smart to know that she couldn't have gone far. They had her surrounded and none of them felt her pass by. So unless she teleported somewhere the girl should still be here.
In the trees maybe!
The group of Xenomorphs all get the same idea at the same time and pounce upon the trees where they saw Silencia disappear into. They start clawing at them and whipping them with their long tails to flush the girl out. Certain that they'll find out where she is if they search long enough for her.
Asato draws his sword-- a wide, double-edged, two-handed affair. All traces of emotion disappear from his face. He is a warrior, they are his targets. There is no hesitation. Only the battle. He cannot hesitate. Hesitation means death for him.
Asato wastes no time announcing his presence or calling out to stop the beasts. He merely leaps down from the tree above, sword held high above him. He's aiming to try to separate one of the creatures' heads from their bodies.
Emotionless and cruel as these things may appear to be, they are predators to their core and relish the thrill of the hunt. All of them raise their elongated smooth heads upwards and then quickly turn towards they heard the scream of the girl. There she is indeed.
A dozen fierce hisses are directed towards Silencia. It's almost as if these creatures were sharing the same mind. They move in unison, all faceless heads turning towards their prey. As they all look at the same time, they all charge after her with blurring speed. No hesitation or surprise, they just want their prey.
The unexpected intrusion of an owl draws pause from one of them, the one leading the charge and closest to Silencia. Small owl talons do very little against tough, smooth skin that might as well be a metal carapace, like armor. It does, however, distract the leading Xenomorph for what is the real attack.
A bursting cat man emerging from the trees and bringing an overhead swing of his sword upon the alien.
The creature tries to put its arms in the way to block which only causes Asato's sword to cleave right through those limbs and behead the creature.
An explosion of acidic blood bursts everywhere as the Xenomorph is bisected, releasing its horrible defense mechanism dying in a fountain of acid liquid that burns and touches everything it touches. Seeing as Asato likes to get up close and personal, he might be subject to burning wounds as the acid splashes all over him.
One way or another, the cat person has half of the Xenos' attentions now. In a split second the pack make their decision.
Subdue the warrior whilst the others chase after the girl.
A grand total of nine Xenomorphs surround Asato whilst two give chase to Silencia, leaping over the obstacles that nature itself sets before them with daunting dexterity.
IN THE WASTELANDS
Kotal Kahn is investigating the spot where these creatures where first seen trying to figure out where their hive is.
Suddenly, a sharp sensation pierces his heart and worries flashes across his face. He can feel it, even from here. His priestess is in danger.
"Silencia." He says to himself and straightens up. Speaking through his radio.
[TASK] Kotal says, "Silencia, I feel a panic within you. What is wrong?"
[TASK] Silencia says, "K-Kotal! Xenomorphs.. Park... H-HELP!"
The little owl catches the same radio call sent to Sil. As Asato comes out of no where and attacks the xeno that she had been distracting, she hoots and makes an answer to Kotal on the radio as well. When the xeno's split their attention the owlet is torn, more are going after Asato but Sil is not able to fight and so the owl wings after the fae woman and her followers. She hoots loud and angrily and arrows toward the lean xeno after Sil. She spies a good size rock, oddly shaped with a narrow side and a fat side and looks about five pounds of granite. She drops latches onto the large stone then lifts. Even though she is no bigger then a mans fist she is gifted with the ability to carry incredible weight for her size. She hoists the big rock high and makes a tight circle around that moving target. She does a quick mental calculation of rate of fall versus the creatures speed and drops the rock. She is high enough up that it should reach terminal velocity before it hits the beast dead in the head.
[TASK] Minu says, "Hooot hooot! HOOOOOT!"
Indeed, Asato is unprepared for the splash of acidic blood. The blood sizzles on his sword. And worse, the blood seems to be purposely seeking out the thing that drew it, and a splash of blood sprays him. He emits a surprised sound at the impact. Then he realizes... it's burning him. His ears pin back angrily, and he swipes at the blood on his face with a choked sound. Yeah, that's going to be a mess later.
It's also dissolving his tunic, the cloth giving up at the mere thought of the acid on it. But that's a secondary concern at the moment. Right now he has nine of these things trained on him. But that's nine of them that aren't messing with Silencia. No time to waste-- not only is the metal of his sword being eaten away, but so is his skin. And he needs to keep these things busy for as long as he can.
With a 'tch' in the back of his throat, Asato charges a second creature, not giving them a chance to squeeze him into a position where he can't move. His aim this time is to stab into the creature with that sword and fling it into its fellows.
No dice on that. Asato is a trained warrior and it shows! He immediately negates them that advantage by charging the first one and running him through with his sword. The beast flails in agony, acidic blood spraying out as it sends vicious, desperate claw swipes at the cat man's face before its thrown aside, falling on top a pile of its fellow aliens.
That's when another Xeno jumps behind Asato and tries to rend the cat man's back apart with the claws of its hind legs.
The runners following Silencia were not picked just by pure coincidence. They are the fastest of the pack. Smaller and sleeker, they would have caught up to the girl in no time where she not hidden. The creatures pass by the girl several times but are sure that she's there somewhere and begin swiping where they think Silencia might be. They might have gotten a swipe in too where it not for a five pound granite rock suddenly hitting one of them on top of its skull by a certain owlette.
Despite being so tough, its hard to ignore that kind of impact on such a vulnerable part of the body. The Xenomorph goes upright as its hit and almost looks stupefied for a moment. As if it was going 'Duuuh' from the sheer pain. Its smaller head inside its mouth hangs out as if it were a tongue and it stumbles a few time before falling on its hands and knees, acid blood pouring down its head. That look like it hurt!
That's when the sun suddenly grows brighter and there's a heavy feeling in the air of pure blistering power.
Kotal didn't even bother answering in the radio. As soon as he heard Silencia say the word 'Xenomorphs' he was clearing the distance from the Wastelands to the Park in a single leap with enough accuracy that he actually fell on top the Xenomorph chasing after his priestess.
Kotal falls upon the creatures with the fury of an angry god. A very literal angry god in this case.
"UNHAND MY PRIESTESS YOU MONSTROSITIES!!!"
It's safe to say that Kotal may have never been angrier in all of his existence. It almost feels like the entire city trembles by his shouting.
The Aztec warrior god stomps the creature's head flat under his feet, caring little if a fountain of acid blood bursts all over him.
After annihilating the first Xeno, Kotal walks towards the wounder one and punches clears through its stomach, punching another hole right through its skull with his other fist. All before lifting the creature over his head and splitting it in three parts. Kotal is positively /covered/ in acid blood but he doesn't seem to care at all even though its sizzling his skin off. All he cares is for the safety of his people.
"Silencia, Minu, are you alright??" He can sense that they are here though he can't really see where they are exactly, what with his face covered in acid blood and all.
Unfortunately, this distracts him long enough for one of them to get behind him. And the back claws bite deeply into his back, drawing a cry of surprise and pain from Asato. It bowls him over forwards, and it's only through his training and the fact that he has the agility of a cat (of course) that he's able to take the fall in a roll, and land semi-sorta on his feet.
He lands in a crouch, clawed hands still gripping the handle of that sword, fangs bared as his breathing becomes increasingly ragged.
It's not just from pain. It's something else. Something dark.
It may not even be sensed in all this chaos. But the darkness inside Asato is increasing, gaining in strength. His skin flushes abnormally. And his eyes change. More than just his pupil contracting into a slitted one. His entire iris seems to contract, leaving much of the whites visible, the surface of his eyes glassy and shining abnorally. The rich royal blue color of his irises begins to lighten, until it is a sharp, ice-blue.
This is not normal.
Asato suddenly SNARLS at the xenomorphs around him. He straightens, but his back stays hunched over, like a beast. And as he turns to regard the one who wounded him, he emits what can only be described as a roar as he strikes again. There's almost another voice under his, the roar from that second voice deeper, throatier. And his strike, while no less fierce or quick, is not as precise as his others have been; this is a wide swing aimed in the rough vicinity of the chest of the xenomorph that wounded his back.
Asato is indeed in trouble. From within as well as without.
The reason for that is simple. A war god can't be stopped by such measly things.
The Aztec straightens up and clenches his fists as he bursts the sun energy he stores within himself. Instantly, all of his wounds are healed and the acid is removed from his body as if it was never there, even his clothes and armor are back to normal.
"I am fine, Silencia." Kotal assures his priestess when he sees her worried face. A look that nearly parts the mighty god's heart but it would have hurt him even more so if even a single hair of Silencia's head had been hurt by these creatures.
"You mean Asato?" Kotal turns as Minu shifts into her elf form and motions for them to follow and aid the bravely foolish cat person. "Come Silencia, I fear we may be in need of your healing!" Of course they would, Kotal used almost all of it on himself right now. He takes into a run towards where he can sense dark energy stirring, his macuahuitl already drawn.
Meanwhile with Asato.
Though they know something has changed in their foe, the Xenomorphs are utterly fearless. The one that injured Asato lunges at him rather than back away, earning it a sword right across the torso that slices him in half. This of course means that Asato gets another burst of acid blood all over his face and body. It looks like these creatures are at least quite willing to die if they can get their blood all over someone.
Relentless as ever, the rest try to do a pincer move on the cat person, with one on the left pouncing Asato's arm to try and bite his bicep while another flanks Asato on his right and tries to bat his sword out of the way with its tail.
But perhaps the most disturbing of all is Asato's face. It is pale from blood loss under the dusky color. Not only that, but the expression there is one of sheer bloodlust. His ears are pinned back enough to all but disappear into his thick, shaggy hair. His eyes are glazed and empty, their color pale and icy. His fangs are bared, and each breath holds a bestial growl.
The darkness inside him feels as though it's straining against something holding it back. Wriggling and writhing in his soul, seeking escape. It doesn't even take magical senses to be able to feel something 'off' about him...
This time the spray of acidic blood earns little more than a soft, short growl. Pain doesn't seem to reach him now. Because of this, his senses sharp in their bestial state, he senses the pincer attack coming. He leaps up and back, just enough to avoid the pair's combined attack. Though without Minu's intervention, even in his sharply instinctual state, he probably wouldn't have been able to avoid it anyway.
But WITH her intervention, and hopefully a little bit of luck, the two xenomorphs will bite and smack each other. With MORE luck, the strike that he aims at the pair as he lands will connect. It'll mean another spray of acid blood, but it'll almost mean death to the xenomorphs, so it's a fair tradeoff.
He doesn't visually acknowledge Minu, Kotal, or Silencia. He can't, not like this. His awareness has been reduced to a sense-driven, instinctual state. All his concentration is on the fight around him. At this moment he can only distinguish 'things that are hurting me' from 'things that are not hurting me', the latter of which does not gain his attention.
The owl landing behind the creatures is enough to distract them so that more of them don't try to join the fray. A few begin to swipe at Minu with their claws and tail being distracted from what's going on underneath them and too late do they see that their legs have been wrapped around with vines.
Slowed by nature itself turning against them, the Xenomorphs trying to do a pincer attack on Asato end up attacking each other, with one accidentally biting the tail of the other. This also puts them in the perfect position to be cut in two by the counter attack of the cat person, which of course ends up with both of them exploding into fountains of acid, but at least they are now dead.
Tangled as they are, the ones at the back line fall easy prey for Kotal Kahn's dreaded macuahuitl and he cleaves in half two more of them in one swing.
With only one remaining, it wiggles out from the roots and attempts to make a run for it, crawling on all fours back into the bushes with great speed.
The Kiran cat roars at the beast, and tries to leap after it. But he's too weak. The blood loss has been too great. He makes the leap. But as he lands, he wobbles, and then pitches forward, landing on the ground with a thump. One hand still grips the sword, the other reaching out in the direction the remaining creature had fled in, claws digging into the ground. He's fighting the weakness in his own body.
But there's only so long he can keep it up. With the rate he's losing blood, he soon relaxes, his head turning to the side so he can breathe. His breaths are still ragged and a growl laces each one. The darkness inside him seems to pause, but not to retreat. Not yet.
So Silencia has little need to worry he's going to turn on her. He's in no shape to hurt anyone. Only those quiet growls and the claws of his free hand still dug into the ground betray that there's anything wrong. His ears are still pinned back, though, and he's shaking.
However, the Aztec does not bother to meet it. Not when Silencia is wrapping her vines around the fleeing Xenomorph. The priestess can be such a vicious little thing sometimes and Kotal loved every second of it.
"Hah! Well done, Silencia!" Exclaims Kotal as he pounces on the wrapped up Xenomorph.
Aztecs are experts at capturing enemies alive, they had to so they could drag them back to their temples for sacrifice. Kotal demonstrates that expertise now by wrapping the wiggling Xenomorph with its own tail and tying the vines around its mouth and legs. This thing isn't going anywhere.
Kotal tosses the tied up Xeno into the clearing where it writhes helplessly and approaches Silencia whilst she assists Asato. Then, the Aztec looks up to the owl perched on his helmet. "You did well too, Minu. A pity you did not have those grenades with you."
And then Silencia's power-- and voice-- reaches him. The darkness inside him doesn't even struggle. It just sort of disappears, receding like low tide. His ears relax then, swiveling out to the sides. His eyes return to normal, the icy blue of his irises returning to their normal indigo. He emits a surprised sound, and shifts, to look up at Silencia. He seems to be looking her over, as if looking for injuries on her too.
Once he feels like he can, he sits up. "...Thank you," he says quietly. This for the healing. Asato leans over to her, and bumps his nose against her shoulder lightly. Then he looks up again, to Kotal and and then to the strange owl. He recognizes it. It helped him this time. So no, he's not going to eat it.
It might also be worthy to note that, even before his back was wounded by the xenomorph, there was already a scar there. A long, jagged scar ran from just under his right shoulder blade, diagonally across his back, ending just over his left hip. It's still there, the old scar.
Of course, the war god isn't petty enough that he would reproach the cat person for thanking his priestess for comforting him and letting him use her legs as a pillow. Simply said, the Aztec only wishes he was in Asato's position right now.
Alas, being a god means he doesn't get injured very easily and thus less opportunity for Silencia to heal him. Looks like next time he'll have to plunge head first into a mob of these creatures to receive Silencia's care.
But back to business at had, Kotal nods to his priestess and turns to look at the captured thing with a look of disgust. "Indeed, we will place it in the cells first before being examined." Then he pauses pensively, not recognizing a name Silencia mentioned. He doesn't know who this Anne Marie is but he's sure he'll find out eventually. Perhaps an associate of Johann.