Title: Earth Defender-Fate Unexpected
A summer storm of red rain changed life as Kylah knew it, and her in ways she couldn't imagine. Humans around the world sickened and died, or turned into wild creatures with red eyes that hungered for flesh. Her planet was on the verge of extinction, and there was nothing anybody could do about it.
Rune, a Dracan mercenary, had signed on with the Xphens to fight for them during the Earth conquest. Having Kylah capture him changed everything. She had him questioning which side he wanted to be on.
Kylah finds herself drawn to the large cat-eyed alien. Fleeing with Rune to the Cascade mountain range, she lets her feelings for him cloud her judgment. From two different planets, theirs is a relationship that could end before it had a chance to start.
Kylah drove away in the pre-dawn darkness and forced herself to not look back. It suddenly hit her that she left behind what had been the happy world with her parents. It hadn’t bothered her when she’d prepared to make the trip, but now that she actually did, tears burned the backs of her eyes.
She pushed them away. She’d cried more than enough in the days after she’d awakened from her sickness. Mostly when she’d had to dig a grave in the backyard to bury her dad. Before the illness, it would have been a monumental task, but it’d been relatively easy for her. It was physically putting him into the ground and covering him with dirt that had been tough.
At Curlew Lake, Kylah parked her car between two others that had been abandoned. Since she hadn’t washed hers since the aliens’ arrival, it blended in. If people happened to come across it, she didn’t want it to stand out.
Kylah climbed out, then went to the trunk where she’d stored what she’d taken with her. She took out her sword, and one of the backpacks that had some necessities in it like a couple bottles of water and a few energy bars. Before she lugged the rest of her things into the bush, she wanted to scout the area and pick out a spot that would be a good place to set up her new home.
She closed the trunk, strapped on her sword and shouldered the backpack. Kylah had been to the lake many times, and knew the area fairly well. She started walking on one of the trails, then cut into the trees. Dawn was about an hour away. She wanted to have a location picked out before the sun rose. There was no telling if any of the turned had ranged that far.
Kylah bypassed the lake and headed for the more mountainous area where the bush was thicker. She walked at a brisk pace for the new her, which would have had someone else having to run to keep up.
She slowed, then came to a stop to hide behind a large tree when she stumbled across a sort of clearing in the midst of the forest. Kylah peeked around the thick trunk to get a better view. It looked as if some of the trees had been cut down to create it. The logs lay in a pile near the edge of the space.
It was a campsite, but not a human one. The circular perimeter was enclosed in what she supposed was a force field. With her keen eyesight, she was able to see the waves of energy. Inside it, there were two white metallic-looking dome structures. Alien versions of tents? She could only guess. Next to them were two vehicles that looked sort of like wheel-less motorcycles.
Kylah drew fully behind the tree. An idea swirled inside her mind. It was crazy, but it was time for the aliens to be the prey. And there was a possibility she could get answers as to what the hell they’d done to her planet along with why they were there.
She took a deep breath. She was going to do it. She was going to see if she could capture one of the aliens. A single dome looked as if it could hold only one occupant. Maybe inside them were the two she’d seen last night in town. The spot was close enough to Republic for a basecamp.
To set her plan into motion, Kylah silently ran through the trees to the opposite perimeter. She had to draw the aliens out. With that force field up, there was no way she could sneak into their camp. So she caused a disturbance they wouldn’t be able to ignore.
Kylah threw back her head and let out a drawn-out howl like one the turned would make. She added a few loud growls for good measure. To top it off, she let loose a shrill scream as if she were a woman who was being pursued by the turned. At the sound of alien voices speaking in urgent tones, she ran at her fastest to the back of the camp.
She smiled. The two aliens were indeed the ones she’d seen in town. The furred one touched some kind of wrist device that was strapped to his arm, then ran off in the direction where she’d been. Kylah gazed at the one who looked very much like a human. He was the one she wanted, and not because she still thought he was a hunk.
After a few more seconds and the furry alien didn’t return, Kylah made some more growls to lure the other one to her. He took the bait. She hid behind a tree and drew her sword. She’d knock him out, then get him farther up on the mountain before his buddy returned.
She took a quick glance. He was headed right for her. As he neared her tree, she walked around it as he passed before silently coming up behind him. She raised her sword, drew it back, then with the flat of it, hit him on the back of his head hard enough to knock him out. He hit the ground like a ton of bricks.
Acting quickly, she took out two zip ties that she had in her backpack. She’d been prepared for anything. She jerked his arms behind his back and bound his wrists together. She did the same to his ankles. Thankful for her super strength, she bent and managed to hoist him over her shoulder. She straightened. He wasn’t exactly light, but she’d be able to carry him a distance to where the other alien wouldn’t find them. At least she hoped or it all could go terribly wrong with her being captured.
As she ran at her top speed while weighed down, the other alien called out a single word. Rune. She bet that was the name of her prize.