Title: The Pyramid
Sequel to: The Cave
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, AVP Cast, Brief John Winchester, Top Buchannan, and metion of Jack McAlister
Disclaimer: I do not own
Summary: When Weyland wants to meet with Chloe, she has no interest until she realizes that they might know something about Jack, who disappeared months ago. She and Lois find more than they were looking for while in the pyramid...as always.
Note: Written for my Paranormal25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt of the story # 89: Shrine (or temple).
A stone slab slid back, revealing a brand new chamber duct.
Verheiden and Miller exchanged looks before Miller cleared his throat and moved to peer into the dark crawl space. He lowered his head and began to crouch forwards, the duct narrow and tight, only a foot or two wider than his shoulders.
“It would seem that we’re rats in a maze.” Miller commented.
Verheiden glared at the scientist, annoyed that Miller was taking all this better than he was.
“Sorry.” Miller sighed, sending the glare on his back, before beginning the slow crawl into the darkness, listening as Verheiden began to curse loudly in his own language before beginning to crawl in after him.
Connors made his way through a maze of pitch black ducts, having been released from his stone cell by the shifting of the walls. He carried a flashlight in one hand and an ice axe in the other.
Every fifty feet the duct split into two, becoming a bewildering array of possibilities, or dead ends.
Cursing swiftly when he dropped his flashlight, Connors reached down and found it, face turning disgusted as he felt some slimy residue completely covering it.
Puzzlement turned to fear.
Something was in there with him.
He stayed, silent, breathing rapid and scared, trying to hear since in the darkness he couldn’t see much of anything.
The faint sound of voices reached his ears, and his heart raced, finally recognizing them as Miller and Verheiden.
He wasn’t going to be alone anymore!
“Hello!” He called out, hopeful. “Can you hear me?”
“Who is that?” Miller called out.
Connors let out a breath of relief. “It’s Connors! Where are you?”
With all the many different branches in this duct system they could be anywhere.
As could whatever had slimed on his flashlight.
Petrified for a second with that knowledge Connors began to crawl rapidly in the direction he believed to have heard the voices. He couldn’t be alone anymore, he just couldn’t!
Rounding the corner, Connors crawled smack into something large and steely. He fell back, disoriented, before a growl echoed through the duct.
His eyes widened in horror, and he shakily aimed his flashlight at what he’d run into.
As Miller and Verheiden continued to make their way through the pitch black duct, they froze as Connors’ screams reached them, echoing around them, confusing them as to where exactly it was coming from.
“Connors!” Verheiden cried out.
Miller lead Verheiden through the ducts because the nerd was now the recognized alpha of the two, the spaghetti of a man hurrying towards the sound of Connors’ screams until they were silenced.
Suddenly, a trap door opened and Verheiden fell through, closing up behind him.
“Verheiden? Verheiden!” Miller somehow found a way to turn around in the duct and pounded on the area where the trap door had grabbed his companion. “Verheiden, can you hear me?”
“Miller!” Verheiden’s voice could be heard, faintly. “Get me out of here!”
“Hold on!” Miller called back down. “I’ll figure a way to get to you!”
“Miller?” Verheiden whispered, and then a moment later his horrifying screams reached Miller, along with the inhuman screeches from the same chamber.
Miller closed his eyes, banging his fist against the trap door, as the screams die to nothing.
The scientist drew in a breath and opened his eyes, continuing forwards, for Verheiden.
Cloaked, the Predator watched as the female came to a stop, sensing the creature around the same time he did. This female, neither of human nor predator nor serpent species, was a mystery, and with her carrying one of the Plasma Guns, she was considered a danger until it was determined whether she could use one or not.
She put away the device she’d been using to talk to another, presumably of her race, before aiming a much smaller, much less impressive and more archaic version of the predator weapon. She started shooting towards the serpent as it rushed her, hissing and hungry.
One of the bullets hit the creature in the shoulder, and it hissed, drawing up, blood dripping.
The Predator moved deeper into his hidden nook.
While he himself was here for a hunt of the great serpents, he also found them up against another race and he wanted to know exactly what they could expect out of her.
“Ran…bullets.” She snapped, his voice translator trying to compute what she was saying and translate it into his language, and yet she was speaking too rapidly for it to catch everything.
Still, when the tiny female threw her gun at the serpent, the Predator got the whole gist of the comment.
The female’s glowing, feline eyes narrowed and she reached for something on her belt, pulling it out and giving it a commanding, sure shake.
The Predator’s eyes widened in shock as the combo spear one of his fellow hunters had lost transformed before his very eyes, and yet it was different than when Celtic used it. It was shorter, having obviously taken some of this creature’s blood and modified itself to better suit her strengths.
It had bonded with her.
Those spears only bonded with blooded warriors, which were why they only transformed like this after a successful hunt.
Either this female had already killed a serpent---or she’d killed before---or the spear sensed something within her that was a natural born hunter, predator, and didn’t require her to prove it as each young male predator was forced to do by going through these rituals.
Either way, it proved his instinctual feeling that this female needed to be kept an eye on, correct.
The serpent charged her again with force and speed, and yet the female easily dodged the move and its swinging, piercing tail, slicing off said appendage with her spear.
Blood gushed everywhere.
Some even landed on her, burning at her shirtsleeve and arm, and even her cheek.
The girl’s eyes narrowed, flashing brightly gold…and suddenly the scarred skin began to glow and heal right up in front of them.
The Predator’s eyes widened.
It’d never seen anything like this before!
The female twirled the spear, eyes narrowed and on the serpent, which was shrieking at the loss of its tail, trembling, in fury and in unimaginable pain.
The blonde seemed to be thinking, calculating, and the she threw the spear---it didn’t even reach the serpent, imbedding itself in the ground between them.
The Predator was surprisingly enough, disappointed.
He’d expected something better of someone who’d bonded with the combo spear.
The serpent let out a shriek, almost like laughter, before charging the now defenseless females, racing passed the spear.
The female remained her ground, seeming to be counting something. And then, as the serpent lowered its head to bite at her she sprang upwards and jumped over its head, stopping on it and then curling in her body as she tumbled down the serpent’s back, pushing away from the body and blood-gushing tail when she reached its the hip.
Landing crouched by the spear, she pulled it out and threw it with all her might, imbedding it through the back of the serpent’s neck, the blade protruding out of its throat.
The female gave a chuckle as the creature collapsed to its knees.
“Not…so…hard.” She stood over it, careful to avoid the blood, before planting one foot on the base of its head and pulling the spear out with one easy motion. “You…don’t even…fly.”
The tip of the spear was corroded by the blood of the serpent.
The Predator knew she wouldn’t be able to use it anymore.
But then, before its eyes, the spear began to glow, and just like with her damaged skin it healed, looking even sharper and better than before.
“Cool.” The female grinned, obviously not realizing that that wasn’t normal. She then looked at her wristwatch, at a red dot, and then around her before taking the tunnel that would carry her in that direction.
Scar took off his cloaking device and looked at the large serpent she’d so easily felled.
He then looked up in the direction the female had disappeared into, and reactivated his camouflaging cloak, following.
He still needed that Plasma Gun anyway.
Jerry, Sebastian, Weyland and Stafford made their way through the dark underground maze. Stafford was ahead on point with his MP-5 machine gun, while Jerry continued checking his digital compass.
“If we can stay on this bearing, we should keep going up.” The guide announced, looking up from his wrist. “If we can do that, we’ll make it back to the entrance.”
Sebastian noticed that Weyland was struggling further back. The older man buckled under the weight of his backpack---the one containing the alien weapon, which he’d had Stafford give to him.
“Leave it.” Sebastian told the old man, placing a hand on his shoulder. “It can only slow us down.”
Weyland shook his head. “Too much has been lost to walk away with nothing.”
De Rosa sighed. “Give it to me.” He took the pack from Weyland and put it on, before reaching down a hand and exchanging a smile with the ill man as he helped him to his feet.
Up ahead, Stafford signaled the group to halt. He beamed his flashlight into the obscurity just as a Predator emerged from the darkness.
Jerry’s eyes widened.
Max began firing immediately, but the Predator also shot. Seeming to materialize in mid air, heading towards Stafford, was a steel net. It knocked the man off of his feet and enveloped him completely, causing him to scream as the net pulled tighter and tighter around him relentlessly.
The steel mesh cut into Stafford’s clothing and equipment, slicing through metal as if it were paper.
Weyland struggled with the net, trying to help his right hand man, but only managed to lacerate his own hands. The mesh was just too razor-sharp.
Sebastian tried to cut at the net with a knife, but the blade snapped against the strength of the Predator steel.
Even though he was in considerable pain, Max was still looking out for them. “Behind you!”
They turned to see what he was talking about, in time to witness a second, cloaked Predator appear behind them, sending them crashing to the ground with a ferocious backhand.
Jerry threw a stone at it.
The Predator turned to the guide and talked towards it, pulling out a throwing blade from his belt, and the creature didn’t even throw it. With a swift slicing movement of his hand through the air, blood spurt, and the guide collapsed to his knees, hands on his blood-gushing throat, before falling, dead.
Seeming pleased, the Predator raised his spear, aiming it at a struggling Stafford, ready to finish him off.
The human was held fast in the ever-tightening net. He shared a look with Weyland, only a foot away from him, winded and helpless on the ground.
“MAX!” Weyland screamed out.
It was the last thing Stafford heard, as the Predator drove its spear clear through the net. The force was so that strong that the spear embedded itself into the rock floor beneath Stafford.
The two Predators turned to the two remaining humans, ready to finish them off.
Suddenly the Predator standing the furthest from them, the one who’d shot the steel net at Stafford, began to convulse. Its cloaking devise began to spark, the creature becoming fully visible. The sparking spread out from the Predator’s chest as he was lifted into the air.
Blood dripped down from its twitching body, green, luminescent blood.
As the creature hanging in the air became fully visible, Sebastian gasped as he realized that something had impaled the creature. A wicked barbed tail stuck straight through the Predator’s chest.
Slowly, an alien unfolded from its hiding place in the ceiling. It had stabbed the Predator, the sharp point of its tail going clean through the Predator’s armored chest.
Only now did the second Predator register the Alien. He turned his back on the humans, no longer interested, setting his sights on bigger game and looking quite anxious to get this fight on the way.
The Alien tossed aside the dead Predator hanging from its tail.
As Sebastian crawled towards Weyland, helping him as they slowly made their way towards the exit, the Predator uncloaked and the two fearsome alien warriors faced off.
There was a long moment of tense anticipation, and then the two creatures charged each other viciously, meeting with a mighty impact.
The Alien’s tail stabbed at the Predator, which the humanoid easily deflected with his twin wrist blades, slicing clean through the tail. The Alien howled in pain.
The Predator tried to stab the Alien, but the twin blades had been reduced to smoldering stumps by the Alien’s apparently acid blood.
Sebastian helped Weyland to his feet, and the two of them stumbled hurriedly out of the chamber, completely unnoticed by the two creatures.
The two beasts grappled, rolling end over end. The twin mouths of the Alien snapped at the Predator’s faceplate but the Predator held the Alien off, the teeth of the inner mouth barely inches away from his eyes.
Flinging the Alien off, the Predator stood, gaining a moments grace.
The Alien was much stronger than he had ever imagined.
The Alien charged again.
This time the Predator was ready, firing a steel net that arced through the air and enveloped the Alien, bringing it crashing to the ground. The net pulled tight, cutting through the Alien’s armored hide.
The Predator roared in triumph, quite pleased with itself due to what it considered a sure kill. But as the net cut through the Alien, the Alien began to bleed, and as the Alien bled, the net began to smoke as its blood began to eat through the steel mesh.
Suddenly the large serpent broke free, its whole body smoking from where the net had cut into it.
Caught off guard, the Predator’s reactions were sluggish and immediately the Alien was on him.
On the ground, pinned down by the Alien, the Predator tried to struggle, and yet couldn’t do anything but watch helplessly as the alien’s inner mouth punched clean through his faceplate.
The stone corridor was sprayed with brain matter and luminous green blood.
The scarred Alien threw it head back and roared with the final victory of the battle.
First blood to the aliens.
As the beeping got louder, Chloe turned the corner and stopped when she saw Lois hurrying towards her, the brunette stopping as well. The cousins looked at each other in painful relief, tears coming to their eyes.
Chloe made to go towards her cousin, when suddenly Lois gasped, and the scent of blood filled the air as the brunette collapsed to the ground, lifeless.
Behind her, a fully grown alien pulled its barbed tail out from the back of Lois’ head.
“No.” Chloe whispered, body shaking.
She---she couldn’t bring someone back to life if their brain had been damaged!
This---this----fucker had just---.
Chloe’s head lowered, eyes watering, whole body shaking, as sadness and fury unlike anything she’d ever felt in her whole body rose within her body, churning aggressively, like a millions drums beating in her ears.
Lois’ blood saturated the air, adding to the fury as the beast within her recognized it as her pack, and snarled, viciously, wanting the blood of the one who’d done this.
Even if said blood was acid.
Raising her narrowed, completely inhuman gaze, Chloe let out a sound that she’d never heard before.
It seemed to shock the Alien as well, because the large serpent took a cautious step away from Lois’ body.
For the first time ever, Chloe didn’t try to control her mutation, control the bloodlust and the animalistic fury. She just let it take over, take control, and she was moving and doing things without even really fully understanding her actions.
There were shrieks of inhuman agony, blood spurting all over her, and yet unlike before, it didn’t burn her skin. Her body had already gotten a taste of the acid blood before, and by the time that she’d found this one it’d found its own immunity against it.
And yet even if she’d begun to melt away with the acid Chloe doubted she would have been able to stop.
She didn’t even really know what she was doing.
All she knew was that she was glowing like a Roman Candle in the darkness, breathing heavily, covered in blood, a creature that should be attacking her squirming frantically under her before a loud crack could be heard, and it went still beneath her.
The next thing Chloe knew, she was fully conscious and in control of herself again, breathing heavily, kneeling over the dead serpent, cut, bleeding, but victorious.
Getting up, shaking, shocked and confused, Chloe wiped at the blood on her face, and then noticed that the acid had eaten away at most of her outer shirt and snow pants, working its way to her inner clothes.
Giving a little cry, Chloe tore them off, standing in the middle of the corridor in her long johns and undershirt, before suddenly remembering the reason why shed snapped, and turned to where Lois was bleeding out on the floor.
Tears began to fill her eyes as the blonde went to her cousin’s body and collapsed on her knees in her blood. Chloe threw herself over Lois, drawing the brunette into her lap, and crying desperately as she cradled the back of her head, not even reacting to the huge gaping hole there from the Alien’s barbed tail.
Brain matter and blood, both red and green acid, decorated the walls around her, but Chloe couldn’t care, couldn’t care that she was vulnerable for an attack.
Lois was dead.
She---she’d let her cousin down.
Hugging Lois’ body closer to hers, tighter, unable to accept this, Chloe cried unlike she had in a long time.
She hadn’t cried when Jack had left her, she hadn’t cried when Clark had gone to his planet, she hadn’t even cried when Jack had disappeared or she’d discovered Lex’s cancer and the fact that it was fatal.
But here, holding onto her only family, Chloe cried bitter, desperate tears.
She didn’t know how long she stayed there, holding Lois and crying over her, the poison on her face mixing with her blood and tears, falling down into Lois’ face, and she didn’t care.
She didn’t care if she died.
Didn’t care if she was eaten.
And she didn’t care if she died there of old age.
“I’m so sorry.” Chloe cried those words over and over again. “So sorry----so sorry!”
There was a noise in the corridor.
She ignored it. “I should have protected you! I—it’s all my fault! If I hadn’t left you behind none of this would have happened!”
The floodgates seemed to have been opened as Chloe sobbed heartbrokenly.
Eyes closed so tightly, she didn’t notice that she was glowing brighter than she ever heard, or that her tears, mixed with her blood and the venom, had mixed and were seeping into Lois’ pores, causing her cousin’s body to glow intensely as well.
Suddenly everything blacked out.
Sebastian helped a staggering, wheezing Weyland to climb a huge stone staircase, terror on both of their faces.
“What was that thing?” Sebastian asked, looking back in terror.
“You…tell me…” Weyland’s voice was pained and breathless. “You’re…the pyramid…expert.” Now half way up the stairs, Weyland fell to his knees, gasping for breath desperately.
“Mr. Weyland?” Sebastian knelt down next to him, eyes wide. “Mr. Weyland!”
The older man clutched at his heart, gasping violently, before his whole body went slack and he collapsed to the ground.
Sebastian just knelt there, eyes wide in horror. “Mister Weyland?”
Hearing hurried scuffling down the stairs towards him, Sebastian tore his eyes away from Weyland, terrified, his gaze landing on…
“I heard your voice.” Miller announced, stopping by them, eyes wide as they rested on the dead body. “Mister Weyland?”
“His heart.” Sebastian answered, standing up on shaky legs and looking down at Charles Bishop Weyland.
A roar came from the chamber Sebastian and Weyland had just escaped from.
Sebastian turned to Miller, eyes wide. “We need to get out of here, immediately!”
“What the bloody hell is going on here, De Rosa?” Miller wanted to know as they ran back up the stairs. “Connors and Verheiden both got killed and I couldn’t do anything! What’s in this pyramid with us?”
“Gods and demons.” Sebastian whispered.
“What?” Miller choked.
They raced into a vast chamber filled with rough hewn stone pillars and statues. The chamber was inky dark, but the pillars made it hard to see too far away…anything could be hiding in here.
“We have to keep moving and stay on this heading. Before---Jerry said we needed to stay in this direction and keep together if we want to make it to the surface.” Sebastian announced.
The digital alarm started to go off again on Sebastian’s watch.
“What’s that?” Miller asked at the sound.
“The pyramid---it’s moving!” Sebastian explained as the pyramid began to shift, reconfiguring once more.
“You have it timed?” Miller was shocked, and impressed.
Sebastian nodded, looking around him frantically. “Through there!” A heavy stone slab rose from the floor, slowly closing off the doorway ahead of them. “Hurry!”
Sebastian helped Miller through the doorway, but by the time Miller is safe, Sebastian has to jump up and haul himself onto the slab, just barely scrambling across the top of the stone slab seconds before it sealed completely.
The last thing Lois remembered was seeing Chloe, then a sharp pain in the back of her head, and then darkness. So as she awoke with a sharp gasp of air, looking around the darkness, she was disoriented and afraid.
She looked around the dark corridor, surprised that it wasn’t as dark as she remembered it. The brunette frowned.
Where was Chloe?
She looked behind her, eyes widening in horror when she saw her cousin lying lifelessly behind her.
“Chloe?” Lois whimpered, turning and crawling towards her cousin, leaning over her body and searching for a pulse, letting out a breath of relief when she found a strong one, and saw Chloe’s chest rise and fall with her even breathing.
She’d just somehow gotten knocked out.
Probably by whatever had knocked Lois out.
Why was Chloe only in her boots, Long Johns and undershirt?
And then Lois’ gaze finally noticed the body of the large, fully adult Alien dead behind Chloe, and her half melted clothes, eyes widening.
There was a noise, and Lois turned towards its, eyes narrowing, crouching on her hands and toes, sniffing, eyes tingling…
And that was when Lois realized it.
Something---something was different.
Pausing, confused, she almost didn’t notice the blur coming towards her, but the shift of movement pulled her out of her trance, and she looked up, eyes widening in horror as the large humanoid creature Chloe had told her about appeared out of seemingly thin air.
While Lois was always deeply protective of her baby cousin, she felt even more protective than usual, aggression lacing the feeling and causing her to growl when the Predator advanced towards them
Suddenly the pyramid began to move all around them, and before the Predator could reach them, a wall came up between them.
Lois sighed, collapsing on her rear, looking around the small cell she and Chloe found themselves in.
She turned to look at her cousin and went to her, shaking her softly. “Chloe? Chloe! You have to wake up.”
There was a groan, Chloe’s eyes fluttering open, golden and feline. “Lois?” Her voice was groggy.
Lois smiled down at her. “Hey.”
Chloe’s eyes then widened. “Lois!” She shot up and hugged Lois tightly to her, crying. “How---how? You were dead!”
“Huh?” Lois patted her cousin’s back confused. “Well, you brought me back, obviously. You’ve done it before.”
“Lois---your brain was all over the wall!” Chloe hiccupped, holding on tighter. “How---?”
“Ewww.” Lois made a face at the description before pulling back and looking into her cousin’s face. “Chloe---you can’t---not without an intact brain.”
“I know.” Chloe whispered.
“Then how---?” Lois asked.
“I don’t know.” Chloe sniffled.
And then the blonde’s golden eyes widened even further despite being completely feline. “Lois…”
“Yes?” Lois asked, wondering what else could have her cousin looking so shocked.
“Why are your eyes red?”
In the shadows, Scar stared at the solid stone slab blocking his way to the females. In one sense he was glad, because he needed time to process what he’d just witnessed, and yet in another he wasn’t, because he really needed that Plasma Gun.
Sensing something, the Predator turned in time to see a Face Hugger leaping towards him. He unleashed a throwing disc at the smaller creature in mid-air, slicing it in half.
He sensed something behind him in a crevice in the wall.
Reacting on instinct, Scar caught the returning throwing disc, spun around, and lopped the giant serpent’s head clean off.
“Wow…that was some…Samurai move.” He could hear the other female’s voice. Obviously there were hidden peepholes in the wall for them to see him.
They’d witnessed his hunt and were impressed.
As they should.
Then again, Scar didn’t exactly have the ability to bring one of his fallen back to life…so he too was somewhat impressed and in awe of this new, previously unknown species he was encountering on his hunt.
As he stood over the dead Face Hugger, Scar wondered if the elders knew what the blonde female was.
Using a ceremonial knife, he cut off one of the creature’s fingers, before removing his own armor visor, revealing his face.
“Whoa.” Came an astonished voice from the other side. “You don’t see a face like that every day.”
“Lois, trust you to pick up on the most mundane of details in this whole situation.” The blonde female sighed.
Using the severed finger like a crayon, Scar traced the Predator warrior insignia on the forehead of his armored visor, the acid blood leaking from the finger, etching the insignia into the metal.
“What…is he doing?”
“He---he’s blooding himself.” The blonde sounded surprised.
Scar prepared himself and took in a deep breath before marking the same insignia on his own forehead. The serpent blood seared into his flesh, causing him to cry out in a mixture of pain, but also of pride.
He was finally a man.
“He just---himself! Why?”
“Ancient tribal warriors would mark themselves with the blood of their kill. It’s a rite of passage. A sign that they’ve become a man.”
There was a gasp. “That’s a teenager?”
Scar, still wincing with pain as he reapplied his face visor, wondered what a teenager was.
Miller picked himself up off from the floor, looking around the walls and the ceilings of the chamber they were trapped in for the time being. It was completely covered in hieroglyphics.
They’d made it to an ancient library of some kind, and while it made no sense whatsoever to Miller, the drawings were awe-inspiring.
“This is starting to make sense.” Sebastian announced as he went over the hieroglyphics intensely.
“What is?” Miller asked, going to his side and looking at the specific glyphs Sebastian was immersed in.
“I think this is a manhood ritual of some kind.” Sebastian finally spoke, not looking away from the drawings. “The humanoid ones, they’ve been sent here to prove that they are worthy to become adults.”
Miller, who had yet to see these ‘perfect predators’, as Sebastian had called them, just frowned.
“Who knows how long these creatures live.” Sebastian continued. “Perhaps for thousands of years. However old they are, this is their rite of passage.” He traced a hand over the hieroglyphics. “That’s why they didn’t carry those guns with them to begin with. They had to earn them. Like a knight earning his spurs.” He paused. “The glyphs are a little difficult to make out but the story’s all here.”
Millers gaze followed Sebastian’s hand as it traced each glyph and spoke of the story it represented.
“Thousands of years ago these hunters found a backwater planet.” Sebastian began, eyes narrowed, concentrating. “They taught humans how to build and were worshipped as Gods.”
Miller made a face.
“Everyone hundred years the Gods would return…and when they did, they would require a sacrifice in their shrine.”
“Or the pyramid.” Miller interrupted.
Sebastian nodded. “Humans were used to breed the ultimate prey, and the Hunters would battle these Great Serpents…to prove themselves worthy to return home to the stars.”
Miller took in a deep breath and hugged himself, despite not feeling very cold at the moment.
“But if the Hunters lost…they made sure that nothing survived. Total genocide…an entire civilization wiped out over night.” He looked up at Miller from the hieroglyphs.
“So the humanoids, the hunters,” Miller finally spoke. “They brought those creatures here to hunt?”
Sebastian nodded, running his hand over his head. “And they use us like cattle. We’re hosts for them to breed in.”
“So we didn’t discover them.” Miller frowned.
“No.” Sebastian agreed, face ominous. “That heat bloom was designed to lure us down here. This whole thing was a trap.” His gaze went back up to the glyphs. “Without us, there could be no hunt.”