Sam peered around the corner before slipping into the alley. Remaining in the shadows she moved along the urine stained walls, stepping over trash and trying not to make a sound. Moving with a well trained stealth she scanned the shadows.
‘I can hear you my dear,’ came a chilling voice, breaking the night’s silence. Sam stiffened, a shiver running through her adrenaline primed body.
She looked back at the mouth of the alley; back towards the light. The street beyond was deserted. Buildings were crumbling and spewing bricks onto the pavement. Cars littered the road, broken, with some burnt out down to the shell.
‘I imagine you feel you can take me down child. However, I can smell your fear.’ The voice echoed against the walls in the confined space.
Sam took a breath, trying to settle her nerves and stepped out into the open. ‘There’s no shame in fear. Fear, if controlled, can be a valuable tool,’ she said, moving her body into a fighter’s stance.
‘Spoken like a true child of Grey. Pity you didn’t heed his lessons on approaching us alone in dark alleys.’
‘Grey taught me well. Why don’t you come see what lessons I learned?’ Sam allowed a corner of her mouth to lift. She’d been training since birth for days like today.
Her prey chuckled and she shivered.
‘You are no match for me? Run along little one. I have no intention of fighting you.’
‘I’m not going anywhere. I came here to kill you and I’m not leaving until I do. Besides, I didn’t have trouble with any of the others.’
There was no response and Sam stiffened, listening intently. There was a slight movement off to her right and she turned to face it. The shadows moved and parted as a tall, dark figure emerged, walking casually towards her.
The creature stepped into the light. It was a man but Sam knew better. The Alvad’s used such a disguise to blend in so they were free to walk among humans.
He was beautiful but not in a godlike, cliché kind of way. Yes, he was tall dark and handsome but his beauty came from the spark of humour in his brown eyes.
Sam frowned. Grey had warned her about the tricks these creatures played but she found it hard to believe he could be faking those eyes.
‘You are very beautiful young one. Such beauty seems wasted in your chosen profession,’ he said, stepping a little closer. Sam backed up. ‘Why are you not with your peers, finding a mate and working a rewarding career with a brighter future than this? A hunter seems an odd choice for one as beautiful as you,’ he questioned with a slight cock of his head.
‘I might have found a mate by now if you hadn’t killed so many of them,’ she said with a shrug. ‘And not sure what type of career I could get…between running for my life and scavenging for food there isn’t much chance of finding meaningful employ. Being there no social order and all.’
‘I guess you do have a point little one.’
‘Then again, you and your kind have been trying to kill mankind off for years without much success. We’re still here. So maybe you should take a lesson in the meaning of futility.’
‘I wouldn’t call your little rabble band of humans a success on your part. Out of a world population you are down to a few hundred thousand remaining, give or take. Have you thought perhaps we keep a few of you around for the entertainment factor?’ he laughed at the wretched expression on her face.
Sam thought about it. Is that all we are, playthings? Have humans being reduced to a toy? She had to admit the thought had occurred to her. She’d often wondered why the Alvads hadn’t just killed everyone. They could do it easily enough. Sure humans fought back but mankind had been no match for the alien invaders.
Sam stood tall, holding her head high. Toy or not, she would die fighting.
‘Why don’t we play then?’ she beckoned with a smile. She slipped her coat off and let it drop to the ground.
He shook his head sadly and rushed her. Sam was not only expecting it, she was ready. She gave him a round house kick to the face as he charged her.
His nose shattered, blood running down his face, the Alien sneered. ‘Not bad.’ He nodded approvingly.
Sam went to deliver another kick to his head but changed at the last second and smashed her boot into his stomach. He grunted and bent over for a second but was soon up and ready for more.
The pair were fully locked into battle, attacking their opponent with skill and power. Sam did not relent even when she noticed she was tiring faster than he was. In fact, he seemed not to be exerting himself at all. She did not allow this to intimidate her. For all she knew this was a mind trick, trying to catch her off guard.
She stepped back quickly and with a slight bend at the knee she pushed herself into a series of back flips, creating some distance from the monster.
‘You are gifted child but you are no-where near good enough to beat me. Walk away and live to fight another day.’
‘Go to hell,’ she spat, sweat pouring from her.
‘Some would say I am already there,’ he sighed. ‘But I do think you have had enough.’ The beast said, not unkindly.
Sam tried to catch her breath. Her young body screaming.
‘Perhaps you should introduce yourself before attacking someone. If you’d remembered basic etiquette you would have asked my name, which then maybe you would have saved yourself some time and your life.’
‘Why?…I don’t care what your name is…well…your number since you don’t have names.’ She said, using the brief respite to collect herself.
‘What if I told you I was known here on your planet as Two? Would that help change your mind? Would you walk away then?’
‘Oh shit!’ She couldn’t believe how foolish she’d been. She’d just provoked the second in command of the Alvad’s.