Location: United Kingdom
Predator vs. SCU: Headhunt
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story. No profit is being made from this.
Author's note: This is set in the Superman animated series continuity after the episode "Apokolips Now!"
It had started as just another average day in Metropolis, with people going about their business as usual while the sun shone down on them from a clear sky. It was a perfectly normal day, with nothing to suggest anything out of the ordinary.
The idyll was abruptly shattered by screams and the sounds of gunfire, with the chattering of automatic weapons mixed with the sounds of energy weapon fire. The source of the disturbance was an armoured truck being attacked by a gang of robbers led by the notorious criminal Barrage. Before the heist could be completed the Special Crimes Unit had arrived and a shoot-out had resulted.
Barrage howled as he fired blasts from his cannon arm. Despite the firepower his men carried they were no match for the disciplined police officers and were being pinned down.
Taking cover behind a patrol car, Inspector Maggie Sawyer frowned. The SCU had recently gotten a report that experimental military weaponry had gone missing from STAR Labs. It appeared that they had found it.
She thumbed the switch on her walkie-talkie. “Units three and four move in and flank them.”
Her officers responded at once, moving in to cut off any avenues of escape while keeping the criminals under fire.
“Boss! We ain’t gonna win this!” yelled one of Barrage’s men. “We gotta fall back!”
Barrage scowled. He gestured at the building they had used as a headquarters to make their surprise attack on the truck. “Everyone withdraw!”
The criminals fled into the building, carrying as much money as they could. Sawyer watched with grim satisfaction. “We’ve got them on the run. Now let’s finish them before they get dug in. Unit two, secure the perimeter.”
Inside the building they criminals were frantically reloading their guns. One of them glared angrily at Barrage. “You said this would be easy money! You said we’d be gone before the cops got here!”
“Shut it!” the armoured man snapped. He swept his arm around, indicating the piles of guns and ammunition. “We’ve got enough hardware here to take em’ all out!”
And I am gonna personally kill that ***** Sawyer he thought.
The sound of breaking glass made them all look up as a skylight shattered and shards of glass rained down on them. Barrage started to raise his gun-arm, but before he could do so a blue bolt of energy shot down and blasted through his upper torso, passing through his armour as if it wasn’t there. He stared down at the wound in shock and then toppled over, dead before he hit the floor.
Outside, the SCU officers looked up as an explosion from a top floor window sent out a cloud of fire, smoke and debris. Sawyer frowned. “Let’s go!”
The SCU hurried through the building, hearing gunfire and terrified screams coming from the upper floors. As they were warily ascending the stairs, a door in front of them burst open and a screaming man rushed through wielding an assault rifle. He fired wildly at them but they ducked and his bullets sailed over their heads into the wall. Still screaming, he turned and sprinted up another set of stairs.
“Beedler, Chidi, with me. Everyone else take this room!” Sawyer shouted.
The stairs led to the building’s roof. There they found the gunman standing near the roof’s edge. Now they could see that he was covered in blood and his eyes were filled with fear.
“Freeze! Put your gun down and…”
The man began screaming again. “NO! NO!” He stepped back involuntarily and went over the edge, still screaming. They rushed forwards but it was too late. The man lay on the pavement, his neck and limbs lying at odd angles. Police officers were already gathering around him.
“What was that about?” Chidi asked. “Why was he so scared of us?”
Before Sawyer could reply, a faint sound of movement caught her attention. She turned around but there was nothing there.
She blinked and shook her head slightly. For an instant she thought she’d seen something like a hazy silhouette moving across the rooftop.
“Something wrong Inspector?”
“No everything’s fine” she replied.
Another SCU officer appeared on the roof. “Inspector?”
She noticed that the man looked shaken. “What is it? Did you get the rest of the gang?”
“Somebody beat us to it.”
End of part 1
Last edited by chilled monkey on Jul 26th, 2010 at 04:21 PM
Jul 26th, 2010 04:19 PM
Location: United Kingdom
The room was a scene of disarray. Everywhere they looked was scattered ammunition, spent cartridges and power cells, dropped weapons, shattered glass and bags of money. Bullet holes and blast marks riddled the walls.
The criminals themselves were strewn around the room like discarded rag dolls. All of them were dead, covered in blood and displaying savage wounds. Most alarmingly, they were all missing their heads.
“What happened here?” asked Sawyer.
“We don’t know. We came in and this is how we found it. No sign of anyone else.”
“Inspector, we found something” said another officer.
She followed him to a far corner of the room. He pointed up and she tilted her head to see. Dangling from the ceiling by a length of cable was the headless body of Barrage. A gaping hole in his torso revealed that the flesh had been cauterised, indicating he’d been killed by an energy weapon.
“Okay secure the building and seal the area. Nobody enters until forensics arrives.”
“Yes Inspector Sawyer.”
Toby Raynes was sitting on the settee reading a book when she heard the door open. She looked up to see Maggie enter. Smiling, she put down her book and stood up to greet her.
“Hi Mags.” She walked up to her and gave her a small but affectionate ‘welcome home’ kiss. Maggie smiled back. “Thanks babe, I needed that.”
“Tough day huh?”
“Not too bad all things considered” Maggie replied as they sat down together. “It’s just that something very strange happened today, even by Metropolis standards.”
Toby nodded. “You want to talk about it?”
“You know that story you covered on some weapons that were stolen from STAR Labs?”
“Today we found them. For all the good they did the thieves.”
Toby listened intently as her lover described the incident. When Maggie had finished, she said “wow that is strange.”
“Tell me about it. Four hardened criminals all killed in a matter of minutes by a killer who uses both razor-sharp blades and sophisticated energy weapons, the money and guns were left untouched while the killer left with the dead men’s heads, and slipped right past us. Not to mention the way Barrage was strung up like a slab of beef.”
Toby frowned at that part. “I’m not sorry he’s gone” she said bluntly. “He tried to kill you Mags.”
“Yeah I won’t lose any sleep over it either” Maggie admitted. “But we can’t ignore a wholesale slaughter like this.”
“Were there any clues?”
“Just a few flakes of rusty metal. And you know that silhouette I mentioned? We inspected the roof and found drops of blood. Forensics has confirmed the blood came from the dead men. So it seems our killer has some kind of cloaking ability or device.”
“You think it’s some kind of meta-human vigilante? Or someone with high-tech gadgets?”
“You know me too well babe” Maggie chuckled. “Yes, that’s what I think it was. And since Superman’s currently out of town it’s up to the SCU to nail this perp.”
“You’ll get him” Toby said with a smile. “And don’t worry; no one will hear anything about this from me.”
“I know Toby. Thanks” Maggie said with a warm smile of her own.
Toby kissed her again and stood. “I’ll make us some dinner” she said. “And after that, well…” With a mischievous wink she disappeared into the kitchen.
Maggie grinned, her eyes glittering with anticipation.
The following night, in a disused apartment block in Suicide Slum a local gang, the Sharks, met to discuss what had happened. The meeting consisted of five men; all of them hardened criminals armed with automatic weapons.
“You all heard word on the streets about what happened to Barrage and his boys” said the gang’s leader. “We’re here to discuss who it could be and how to get them first.”
None of the gang suspected that they were being watched by eyes that saw them only as multi-coloured thermal images against a black background. None of them noticed as three points of red light formed a triangle on the leaders back as he spoke.
The Shark leader’s speech was interrupted as a blue energy bolt shot through a window and blasted into his back. He fell to his knees and slumped to the floor, revealing a massive cauterised hole.
Drawing their guns with enraged cries the gang opened fire, certain that they would hit their mystery attacker. With so many gunmen they could hardly miss.
Finally the sound of gunfire ceased. Smoke curled up from the barrels of their weapons as they moved forwards, eager to see what was left of whoever had been outside.
“Freeze” the voice of Inspector Maggie Sawyer called out. As the gang stood still in surprise, a part of the ceiling suddenly gave way and something dropped to the floor. It was all but invisible, nothing more than a shimmering distortion in the air, vaguely human-shaped but much larger than a man.
The wraith-like form raised its left arm and fired a small metal projectile. A Shark gurgled as the flying object sliced his throat open before embedding itself in a wall.
Screaming, the remaining three again started firing their weapons wildly. A pair of gleaming serrated blades extended from above the ghostly assailant’s right wrist and one swing sent a Shark’s head rolling across the floor. A second later and the blades were driven through another man’s heart. His eyes widened and he struggled weakly as the creature lifted him off the floor with just one arm. With a casual swing of its arm it sent him flying across the room to crash into a wall.
The final gang member stared in horror as the near-invisible from turned to him. It stepped forwards and suddenly its camouflage deactivated, revealing the creature in full view.
It was over seven feet tall, lean and powerful with pasty yellow skin. Metal armour protected its lower legs while its upper legs and torso were covered by a wire mesh. Around its midsection was a belt with brown cloths hanging from the front and back.
On either wrist was an armguard. Two vicious-looking blades extended from the right. Its shoulders were covered by metal pauldrons, with a small cannon fixed to its left.
From the back of its large head dangled several thick dreadlocks, looking more like cables than woven hair. A metal mask with two eyes and a short, slightly rectangular ‘snout’ covered its face.
The man screamed as the shoulder cannon swivelled and fired.
End of Part 2
Jul 29th, 2010 10:23 PM
Location: United Kingdom
The Special Crimes Unit arrived on the scene, having been called in due to the possibility of high-tech weaponry being involved. As officers poured out of their vehicles, buckling up flak jackets and readying their weapons, Inspector Sawyer faced them.
“All right people listen carefully. We’ve got reports of screams and sounds of a fire-fight coming from in there before it fell silent. We don’t know what we’re dealing with so proceed with caution.”
“You got it Inspector.”
A group of officers entered the building warily. The sight that greeted them at the top floor made several of them gasp in horror.
Five corpses dangled from the ceiling by their feet. All of them were headless. Blood fell in thick drops from each one, creating red puddles beneath them. The air was filled with the cloying, metallic scent.
Sawyer frowned. “Spread out and secure the area. Stay alert.”
As the officers moved to obey, Chidi turned to her. “What could have done this?” she whispered.
“That’s what we’re going to find out” she replied. As she moved forwards something caught her eye. “What’s that?”
Chidi peered at the object the Inspector was pointing at. It resembled a pair of stag beetle jaws made of silver metal attached to a short stem. “Some kind of spear tip I think. Forensics will be able to tell us more.”
Neither of them knew of the spectral form that observed them from a nearby rooftop.
Some time later Sawyer was at her desk examining reports from the coroner and forensics examiner.
The M.O. was the same as the previous incident. The dead men, identified through fingerprint analysis, were all known criminals. They had been armed and had gotten off multiple shots. Two of them had been killed by a plasma weapon of some kind, while others had been sliced apart by razor sharp blades. The heads had been removed with surgical precision.
Strangest of all had been the spear tip weapon Sawyer herself had recovered. Analysis had shown that its metal didn’t correspond to anything on the periodic table.
She put down the reports and sighed as Chidi’s word came back to her. What could have done this?
Maggie was immensely relieved when she was finally able to return home and unburden herself to Toby. Her girlfriend had always been a great listener and she listened now.
When she had finished Toby frowned. “So basically you’ve got an invisible killer with weapons like nothing on Earth who takes heads from his victims?”
“That’s basically it yeah.”
“I’m worried Mags. I know you and the rest of the SCU are trained for this kind of thing but…”
“Hey.” Maggie gently placed a hand on Toby’s knee. “Its okay babe, we’ll be careful.”
“Okay.” Toby smiled and relaxed. She lay down and rested her head on Maggie’s lap. Maggie stroked her hair, enjoying the feeling of the soft strands on her fingers.
For the next few days the spree of strange killings continued. The next victim was the meta-human criminal Riot who had recently escaped from Stryker’s Island. He was found like the others, beheaded and hanging upside-down. Hellgrammite was found the same way as were Dr Light, Shrew-face and Mr Bloat.
The next victims were a pair of homicide detectives. “A vigilante is bad enough but now we’ve got a cop-killer” Chidi had commented.
By now the press had found out about it. The newspapers and television were rife with discussion on who would be “the Headhunter’s” next victim. The fact that the killer was no longer limiting himself to criminals meant that people were scared.
Fortunately the crime scenes had also yielded vital evidence. That evening in the briefing room the SCU assembled to determine a plan of action.
“Alright people listen up” said Sawyer. “We’ve been reviewing the evidence that’s been gathered and Beedler has come up with a theory on our perp.”
“Thank you Inspector but I can’t take credit for it being just my theory…”
“Save the modesty Beedler, just tell us” said Sawyer in a tone of mild amusement.
“Uh okay. As you know Inspector Sawyer recovered a weapon from the second massacre that was found to be made of a completely unknown metal. Additionally a sample of luminous green fluid was found at the scene of Hellgrammite’s murder. Analysis of the fluid has determined it to be organic with a genetic structure unlike anything on Earth. In short, our killer is an extra-terrestrial.”
“Okay so the Headhunter is an alien” said Officer Dobson. “But what does it want? Why’s it cutting peoples heads off?”
Beedler cleared his throat. “Uh, we believe that the alien is a hunter and is here on some kind of safari. Their heads were taken as trophies. All of the victims have been either well-armed or meta-humans, which suggests that it only kills those it considers to be good sport. Stringing them up upside-down could have some kind of ritual meaning, possibly considered to be a way of preventing the victims’ souls from reaching the afterlife and thus increasing the kill’s value.”
Sawyer frowned as she recalled Toby’s reaction upon learning of the detectives’ murder. She had tried to conceal it, not wanting her lover to worry, but Sawyer could tell that she was afraid for her. I know you too well too babe she thought. Don’t worry we can handle this.
Aloud, she said “We’ve recovered samples of rust at each of the crime scenes. The rust was magnetised. A large electromagnet would do that. The kind used to move around scrap metal in a junkyard.”
She pointed to a map of Metropolis fixed to a whiteboard. “The rust flakes also carried traces of a type of mud found in alluvial deposits west of the river.” She tapped several points on the map. “All of the attacks occurred in close proximity to here, Willard’s Salvage. We believe that’s where the Headhunter is hiding out.”
“So what are we waiting for?” asked Dobson. “Let’s go get him.”
“Unfortunately there’s some red tape that has to be cut through first” Sawyer replied. “We can’t move in until midnight, although that may be just as well.” She nodded to Beedler.
“Huh? Oh yes, based on what the Inspector observed during the first incident we suspect that the Headhunter may possess some kind of cloaking device that renders it virtually invisible. We’re assembling portable sonar units that should allow us to find it. They’ll be ready by tonight.”
“Everyone, be ready to move out at twelve o’clock sharp” said Sawyer.
End of Part 3
Last edited by chilled monkey on Aug 4th, 2010 at 01:19 AM
Aug 4th, 2010 01:17 AM
Location: United Kingdom
That night the Special Crimes Unit entered Willard’s Salvage. “Sweep the area” Sawyer said into her helmet radio as they slowly moved among the towering piles of rusting metal, the sonar units making a low pinging sound.
The camouflaged Predator peered down intently from atop a high scrap pile. It tapped its mandibles against its mask in anticipation, eager to add these humans to its trophy collection.
Beedler, bringing up the rear, did not see three glowing red dots arranged in a triangle suddenly appear on his back. Just as the Predator was about to fire, one of the humans called out something. Instantly all of them turned, raised their weapons and opened fire right at it!
Caught completely by surprise, the Predator was hit by several blasts that sent it staggering back. It lost its balance and fell to the ground.
“Now! Before he recovers!” said Sawyer.
They hurried around the scrap pile to the other side as the Predator clambered to its feet. Blue energy flickered around it as it shimmered and became visible. Its shoulder cannon fizzled and sparked, clearly damaged by their attack.
The SCU trained their weapons on it. “You’re under arrest” said Sawyer. “Lay down your weapons and give yourself up.”
“Shut it” the Predator growled; having learned to form the words by listening to a recording it had made of Barrage’s voice before killing him. It leaped up, turning invisible once again.
“Fire at will!”
The SCU officers fired, pursuing the Predator as it leaped agilely from one scrapheap to another, visible only by its tell-tale shimmer.
“Damn, that thing’s fast” snarled Dobson. “Even with the sonar we can’t get a bead on it.”
The Predator landed on the ground and fired its net launcher twice. Beedler and Chidi were propelled backwards and pinned to stacks of junked cars. The net’s wire bit into their body armour. “Don’t struggle, that’ll make it worse” Beedler yelled.
Dodging a shot from Dobson the Predator landed in front of him, dropping its camouflage as it did so. It raised its arm, extended its wrist blades and slashed downwards. He tried to bring up his rifle to block, but the blades sheared right through it. The Predator then kicked him in the torso, sending him flying backwards. He slammed into a rusty car and fell to the ground gasping for breath.
Officer Henshaw took aim but before he could fire the Predator shot two spear tips at him. He screamed as they pierced his armour easily and pinned him to yet another scrap pile by his shoulders.
Damn it this thing’s taking us apart Sawyer thought. We can’t beat it with firepower, we need a new strategy.
Then she noticed something. The electromagnet! A quick glance showed that it held several tons of scrap metal and the Predator was standing right underneath it. She ran over to the electromagnet’s controls and began to operate them.
The creature turned towards her but hesitated as it saw that she wasn’t holding her weapon. That brief moment of hesitation was all Sawyer needed. She hit the release button.
The Predator looked up but it was too late. Several tons of solid iron and steel slammed down onto it with a deafening crash.
For a long moment the pile of scrap was still. Then, with an enraged screech the Predator burst free, shrugging off the heavy metal with ease.
Sawyer reacted quickly and hit another button. As the Predator started to advance on her, the electromagnet hummed to life. Immediately the scrap metal flew up and clung to the magnet’s surface. Caught completely by surprise, the Predator was dragged up as well and found itself pinned between the scrap and the magnet. It roared in fury.
“Gotcha” said Sawyer as she went to her officers’ aid. Within a moment Beedler, Chidi and Henshaw had been released.
“Are you all right Henshaw?” asked Chidi as she supported him.
He winced. “I’m fine, just stings a little.”
Inspector Sawyer looked up at the Predator. As she was about to again demand its surrender she noticed that it had gotten its right arm free and was tapping at a control panel on its left gauntlet. The gauntlet began to emit a beeping sound that quickly increased in speed.
“It’s a countdown” Beedler breathed.
Sawyer lifted her weapon, took aim and fired. The energy beam scored a direct hit on the control panel.
Instantly the device exploded, unleashing a shockwave of heat and light. The SCU shielded their eyes and dived for cover.
As her vision cleared and the ringing in her ears subsided Sawyer called out “is everyone all right?”
Shakily, all of her officers responded that they were fine. The Predator however was lying half-buried by a pile of metal, the blast having torn it free of the electromagnet.
Beedler took a wary step forwards and held up a scanner STAR Labs had provided. After a moment he said, “I can’t detect any vital signs.”
Before anyone could reply they noticed another ghostly shimmer approaching. It stopped and a second Predator materialised.
“Hold your fire!” Sawyer called as her officers started to raise their weapons.
“It’s not attacking. If it was going to attack us it would have already done so.”
The second Predator stared at her for a moment. “Inspector” it growled, the word garbled but intelligible.
She nodded. “Yes, that’s right.”
It then pointed at the first and growled “cop-killer.”
The Predator reached down and easily lifted the first one’s body. “Under arrest.”
Sawyer was surprised to hear the words spoken in her own voice. “Well it seems a little too late for that but go ahead.”
The Predator studied her briefly and then, apparently content with what she’d said, turned and walked away still carrying the other one. Both shimmered and vanished. Within moments they were gone without a trace.
“You didn’t get in any trouble for that did you?” asked Toby. “For not bringing him in I mean.”
“No, Commissioner Henderson was pleased with how we handled it” Maggie replied. “He said it was best if we let the Headhunter’s own people deal with him. Seeing as the killings have stopped I’d guess he was correct.”
“And I won a Pulitzer so I can’t complain either” Toby said with a grin.
Maggie smiled. Toby had been at the scrap yard and had gotten photos of the battle with the creature. The exclusive article entitled, “Headhunter Revealed! SCU Triumphant!” had left her feeling very pleased with herself. Maggie was happy for her too.
“I have to say babe you could teach the Headhunter a few things about stealth. How did you get those pictures without us seeing you?”
She chuckled. “Telephoto lens. Don’t worry Mags I stayed a safe distance away. You know I’m always careful.”
“Yeah I know.”
“Anyway I was thinking maybe we should pay a visit to Officer Henshaw.”
“Good thinking babe” said Maggie. She smiled. “And after that why don’t I take you out for a celebratory dinner?”
“Hmm, I like the sound of that.”
Toby returned her smile and both of them laughed.
Aug 7th, 2010 06:32 PM
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