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Hunter and Prey

Posted on Mon Mar 1st, 2021 @ 9:15am by Captain Rhenora Kaylen & Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen

Mission: The Jungle
Location: Jungle

The Exec watched on as Haldeman entered the jungle, armed to the hilt and ready to prove his point. The drones followed him, allowing communication to the chute and other assistants as well as providing footage back to the broadcast teams. Viewer ratings began to spike as he entered, the champion was once again in the jungle.

Haldeman looked around his arrival point. Dense jungle surrounded him but that was no problem. He knew the jungle like the back of his hand. Closing on Rhenora and her little band would prove no obstacle. It was what happened after that, he was uncertain about.

The drones followed him, alerting the other Hunters that the Master was in the Jungle, they were a little on edge, feeling as though their roles may be jeapordised by the Master wanting to take the glory for himself.

The Exec watched on in delight as the ratings kept climbing, he had a feeling that a steady build up to a climactic altercation of the female Captain and Haldeman would be the best for success of the Game. Even the broadcaster had stopped complaining - at least for now.

Haldeman checked his tracker. The Vulcan and woman were making progress towards the idol. There were two women who were making slow progress in meeting up with other members of the crew. In addition his scanner showed a single woman with a phaser rifle. He redirected other Hunters to till with those individuals. He wanted the Rhenora and her little team.

The Captain meanwhile had a gut feel that something wasn't right. Her team carried not only limited weapons and supplied, but also injuries that hampered their progress. They were currently resting by the river until they could move and find more suitable cover. She dwelled on Haldeman and what could make a Starfleet Captain betray his morals and become such a monster.

Haldeman in the meantime had begun to move towards Rhenora's location as he made his way through the jungle, he came across other members of the Liberty crew that he could have killed but did not. He would deal with them after his showdown with Rhenora.

The Hunters gave the Master a wide berth, not wanting to have this wrath inflicted upon them. They did however begin sweeps to clean up any straggler and dispose of them accordingly. It would take approximately 6 hours for Haldeman to reach the river, they made themselves scarce in the meantime.

He moved with a purpose, confidence in every stride. He was the apex hunter as Captain Rhenora Kaylen would soon discover. As he moved ever closer to her location even the animals gave him a wide berth not wishing to test their skill against his.

The Exec smiled, his plan had worked, he might rid himself of both Haldeman and his damned ego in one foul swoop. Surely a man of his age couldn't win the game nearly a decade after he had done so the first time. To do so meant he would have to eliminate the Liberty's Captain, then catch up to the Vulcan and his comrade who were closing in on the idol. Such things could not be achieved. Still the audience was loving it.

Even after ten years, Haldeman still moved with a stealth few could even attempt to match. As he walked not a branch or twig broke,. He was like the wind, swift, silent and unseen.

The drones buzzed overhead, the only thing that gave away his location, but due to them being littered through the Jungle covering every movement of every time the sight of them was nothing to be afraid of. The sight of a drone meant something or someone was nearby - friend, foe or animal one had no idea.

He ignored the drones. They were of little importance. What mattered was meeting up with Rhenora that was the key to the Game. Not the Vulcan and the woman. Rhenora and her group.

The Exec watched Haldeman's progress from the comfort of his office, a beverage in hand and the view ratings still climbing. The people loved their champion. He had won their hearts years ago and was once again proving he had the goods.

Haldeman's mind had gone back ten years when he won the game, saved his crew from certain death. Even now ten years later most were still alive. Some even served as hunters, not that they had a choice. If they didn't those that had families, the families would die. Others were slaves or more like servants but alive. Now a new threatened that.

Time passed slowly for Rhenora's team, now considering their next move. Should they cross the river and attempt to make it to the idol? Scale the cliffs again? It was doubtful Res and herself could manage high a feat, but Prophets knew they weren't going to die on their knees.

Haldeman checked his tracker. Rhenora and her group hadn't moved from their location in hours, *Damn fools* he thought. They were making it too easy and that made him even more cautious. He slowed his approach as he drew nearer. He had to handle this just right.

Something in Rhenora's gut told her something wasn't right. "We need to" She hissed to her team, watching as Remal, Ronson, and Dean armed themselves. She was left with a short blade but doubted she would be able to use it with any great effectiveness.

His tracker beeped. His targets were getting ready to move and he couldn't allow that. He picked up his pace, still moving quietly to intercept and stop them.

Rhenora and her team stashed their equipment into whatever pockets they could before moving out, making their best cumbersomely slow speed towards the river to try and cross it. It would be chest deep in places but doable.

Haldeman took up position in front of them, still in the jungle and out of sight but he had clear shots on all of them. His rifle moved slightly as he picked out his targets, saving Rhenora for last.

Something caused her to stop and look carefully around the jungle. She had the distinct impression she was being watched
"someone's watching us" She hissed, having her hand on her blade. Her team tense and readied themselves.

Haldeman watched as the group stopped before reaching the river, they had bunched up around Rhenora. His rifle swung as he picked out a suitable target. There was a male officer obviously wounded supported by a female. There was another male officer up front holding a large knife. Another male had his arm around Rhenora. *Must be her husband* He thought as he then found his target. A male to one side of the others, with a quiver of arrows on his back. "Hello victim." He whispered.

" We know you're there" Rhenora shouted as the team huddled, the old fashioned wagons circling with the most vulnerable on the the inside. "Show yourself!"

He sighed, leave to Rhenora to ruin the surprise. He raised the rifle, centered on his target. A lancet of energy erupted from the jungle and struck house in the shoulder, knocking him to the ground. As he watched the officer fall to the ground he touched his wrist com and from the jungle the song "Enter Sandman" began playing.

Rhenora ducked as the energy beam erupted from the jungle, hitting House in the shoulder before dropping him like a sack of potatoes. Then the music started. A several thousand year old tune of heavy guitars, base and drums with an gravelly voice that spoke of nightmares and terror. It could only mean one thing. Haldeman.

She rose, sure of her theory as Sarah scrambled to get House to cover before any further weapons fire. "Reveal yourself Haldeman, face me like the man you are, or are you too weak to face an injured woman?" She was goading him and she knew the risks involved. She was also buying her team time to get to cover.

Another lancet of energy burst from the jungle. "Have your people stand fast Rhenora and come forward or I'll shoot them one by one."

Her gut clenched recognising the voice and confirming her fears. He was coming after them, and he was making it personal. Her team had hunkered down behind some fallen timber, providing meager cover but something at least. " Stay here..." She ordered, stepping towards the direction the energy blast had come from.

As Rhenora started walking forward he emerged from jungle. The rifle held loosely in his hands. Helmet on his head. He could now talk to her alone and get her reaction, after she got past wanting to kill him.

She walked a confidently and strongly as she could, masking her weakness as much as she could. She tried to ascertain his position but as he had stopped firing it proved more difficult than she had anticipated.

He emerged from the jungle walking with confidence towards her. He could see she was favoring a leg yet trying to hide it. He reached a halfway point and stopped waiting for Rhenora to reach him.

Kaylen held her chin level as she approached, putting as much weight as she dared on her leg without risk of it buckling underneath her. Weakness could not be shown, she had to hold her own here against a man equal in age but superior in strength and survival skills. He also had the added advantage of being in 'charge' of the jungle.

"What do you want Haldeman" She spat as she stood before him, a full half metre shorter than him.

"Now Rhenora is that a way to treat an old friend?" His voice coming through the helmet speakers. The rifle pointed down from her. With one hand her reached up and took off the helmet and smiled at her. "There that is better. Gets stuffy in there." He told her.

She regarded him with a critical eye. His subtly of his face obscured by layers of heavy makeup designed to make one appear younger and more youthful. Beyond the makeup he had aged, but seemed confident in himself. Maybe too much so.

"You are no friend of mine" She spat, giving him a glare that would make mirrors slink off the walls and go elsewhere to shatter.

"Hmm. You may be right but I am a friend of yours." He replied showing a mouthful of white teeth.

" No friend would do what you have done to me. No Captain would betray their oath, their friendships and throw another crew to be slaughtered" She was angry. Damned angry. She wanted nothing more than to pummel him with her fists but knew it would be futile. She didn't even have her crutch with her, just a small blade that would be next to useless.

"Please spare me the sermon Rhenora. I kept my crew alive! When there was no one to help us but ourselves and finally me." He shook his head. "If you really believe what you say, then you won't care if I offer you an out. Is that what your saying?"

"What I'm saying is there never should have been an IN in the first place!" She was yelling and she quite frankly didn't care at the moment. Doubtful there were any Hunters around with Hadleman in the jungle himself. Another drone neared, its buzzing bringing the apprehension that they were most definitely not alone.

Hold that thought." He replied as he touched his wrist unit . "Jammed the audio and video feeds. Happens all the time with the humidity." Now we can talk. You were saying?"

" I was saying how I resent what you have done to my crew" She cut to the chase. "How could you?"

"What I did to your crew? I gave them a chance to live or would have preferred them all executed. I'm the Game Master remember?"


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