Authors: C.L. Scholey
Tags: #Erotic Romance
Universe Hunters: Taken
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
Universe Hunters: Taken
COPYRIGHT © 2016 by C.L. Scholey
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Contact Information: [email protected]
Cover Art by
The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
PO Box 708
Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708
Visit us at www.thewilderroses.com
First Scarlet Rose Edition, 2016
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-0746-6
Published in the United States of America
This story is dedicated to
fantasy and science fiction lovers.
Cali wasn’t impressed.
Pissed, okay? I’m fucking lost.
Her feet trudged along the forest floor scuffing the dead foliage of years past. The somewhat evasive scent of smoke was in the air teasing her with an elusive direction. Her neck ached from the numerous times she twisted at a strange sound. Since when had ravens and chipmunks become so ominous? And how could something so small sound like a herd of wild elephants? Cali came to the conclusion camping wasn’t for her; she had decided this during her stint in Girl Scouts when younger. In fact, it downright sucked the big one.
The only reason she had agreed to go on this camping trip into the middle of only God knows where, was because she had a mad crush on her friend Tara’s brother, Scott. Scott was gorgeous. He was destined to be the future Mr. Cali if she played her cards right. Scott was a little on the short side, standing maybe five foot seven, but he had a chest you could land a plane on. He had a killer smile that made her weak in the knees, sizzling glacial blue eyes you could get lost in and every strand of his thick, dark blond hair was always in place. He had the sweetest personality and a way of making everyone feel special and important.
If Scott wasn’t sexy enough there was always his best friend, Jackson, who Cali gazed at as nonchalantly as possible every chance she got while holding a drool rag. Jackson’s only problem? The man had the personality of a limp dick. Jackson was also a little on the arrogant side—okay, perhaps a whole lot on the arrogant side. He was just over six feet tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed, another Adonis with rock hard abs. He looked dangerous as hell and knew it. The bad boy would taste heavenly. Cali was in Candy-Man Land—or had been.
Not two days into the forest and she had been separated from the others for a number of hours, and damned if her ass wasn’t itchy. Again Cali hid behind a huge tree and unzipped her jeans. Wiggling her hand into her tight pants she scratched an ass cheek. Up and down her fingernails carefully scratched the offending area until she wanted to cry in relief.
“Damn that’s awful,” she said while groaning. “Fuck, my asshole is in flames.” She knew better than to touch that part of her anatomy when there was no water to be found.
Her fingers continued to rake her tender flesh. Dropping her panties slightly she spun in a tight circle trying to gaze behind her. She caught glimpses of a red rash. How the hell was she to know the leaves she used in lieu of toilet paper must have been poison ivy? Or some other monstrous demon plant.
“Oh my God, when I get home I’m going to soak my ass in a bidet of calamine lotion,” she grumbled aloud.
A sound to her left had Cali hiking her pants up; her long dark hair tumbled across her face as she quickly fumbled with the zipper while trying to peer around the tree. She took a moment to rub her ass against the trunk, rocking and groaning. It hurt to scratch, but the itch was worse. She bent over, hands on her knees, and continued the motion. If she kept it up much longer, she’d put a hole in her jeans.
What a picture this would make—humping a tree.
For a fraction of a second, she was glad she was alone. Tara would never let her hear the end of this one.
A branch snapped and Cali listened intensely. She stopped scratching. There was definitely something coming toward her in the forest. Friend or foe, she had no clue. Whatever it was, it was a huge son-of-a-bitch, and it was stumbling closer. With any luck it would be Scott, he would help her, or Jackson, even drunk and belligerent, Cali would be happy to see him. It would be dark soon; the woods were spooky enough during the light of day when alone and lost. She waited, heart-in-mouth, as the bushes near her waved frantically in a struggle. The massive black head of a bear was first to poke through the foliage. Cali covered her mouth in fear.
As the bear emerged, lumbering as though drunk, Cali could see its entire back end. Half of its back was covered in a moving green substance. The bear’s mouth was open in a scream or howl, but the thick mass quickly entered its mouth. The bear’s neck expanded grotesquely to make room for more of the green substance. The throat split open at the sides allowing the intruder to escape.
It’s not real.
real. The bear continued to head in her direction, its bumbling action controlled by another. Cali stood frozen to the spot. The green mass moved back and forth over the bear stripping it of fur and flesh. Cali screamed under her hand as the white of bone surfaced. She screamed again when the mass lifted the bear’s head. A few small creatures, three inches in length, separated from the substance. They looked like locusts. The green substance was a massive ball of locusts working as a single entity with one mind.
Locusts don’t eat meat do they?
These locusts did. The noise, chewing and grinding, hideous, made Cali toss her hands up to cover her ears as even tiny pieces of bone were devoured at a great rate. The bear now lay beneath the giant bugs, half eaten. A paw raised toward her, then dissolved in a disgusting sermon of crunching and swallowing. For a moment, she forgot how to breathe. Cali’s legs came to life in a movement all their own—Cali ran. She pounded through the bush as fast as her legs would take her. She hurdled over logs, tripped over rocks, splashed through puddles. Her heart near exploding in her chest as her lungs battled for air. It was no use; the bugs were after her. Chancing a glance behind, she saw the bugs had eaten everything on the trail they made, leaving an ominous barren path in their wake.
The mass moved on hind legs, arms swinging, a gaping hole where a mouth would be—as if it was one giant entity instead of thousands of bugs. Not even Cali’s worst nightmare would have prepared her for the sight of moving death.
The deep ravine came up too fast; Cali had no time to slow down. The breath torn from her, she toppled over, rolling, tumbling. The old foliage of leaves, dry and brittle, crackled underneath. Her ass bounced off a small incline sending her airborne for a brief moment. Her hands tore at small pine trees, trying to slow the descent. She smashed into a hollow log consumed with dry rot, hitting her forehead and almost sending her face first through the ancient wood, stopping her rapid descent.
For a brief second, Cali saw stars. She pulled herself up onto her hands and knees and, as though in a dream, she turned. The swarm moved toward her, now slowly, as though examining her, or playing with her. Cali couldn’t move. The head of the beast was in constant motion. What looked like eyes appeared sunken in, then bulbous. Two creatures, one on top of the other, at either side of the face formed antennae. Tiny spats of black bear fur waved in the soft wind, before fluttering to the ground. It remained standing on hind legs stepping toward her, machine-like. Cali couldn’t breathe; her lungs constricted.
Death was coming for her, and it was hideous. To her right, Cali caught a glimpse of something glowing—a bright white light. The ray of brilliance grew to such an extent Cali’s arm came up to shield her eyes. Blinded, she still tried to look at the light. The compelling luminosity caught the creature’s attention. The mind-numbing noise the bugs created grew more intense as they changed direction, abandoning her, and approaching the brightness.
The locusts began screaming as the white beam shot shards of red-streaked lightning. The bug creature ignited and still it moved forward, unable to resist. Pieces of the creature fell off as though shedding. Tiny limbs and body parts crackled and melted. An entire arm fell away, then its head. Piece by piece the creature split apart as would a jigsaw puzzle. Cali crouched with her hands to her face, trying to filter out the stunning beam.
It hurts so much.
She was trapped, fixated, and hypnotized. Her eyes burned, her flesh tingled. Two thoughts burst into her consciousness,
flee or die.
Decision made, she gasped in pain, while dragging herself in a different direction to escape the brightness.
Glancing back, Cali watched the foliage on the ground under the creature burst into flames. The heat following her, too close, her movement stinted from pain, Cali smelled the rubber of her running shoes when they began to smoke and blister. The creature thrashed and screamed; the stench repulsive. Smaller locusts tried to break free, but once doing so the light caught their attention, burning them, searing their green bodies into smaller bundles of flames lighting up the forest floor in a patch quilt of radiance.
A few of the locusts landed on Cali. The red beams seared their bodies to her skin. Cali gagged; she was on her hands and feet now, her runners riddled with burnt holes, stumbling to gain her balance. Her knees kept giving way. She could feel the heat against her back. Her ass was already burning from the poison ivy, the added sting of the high temperature increased the pain ten times, and she cried out in agony. Blisters covered her bare arms and hands. It was too much pain. The light crept closer. Cali collapsed. Her eyes closed as the bright light dimmed then separated into two shadows standing over her.
Strange mumblings woke Cali. Her eyelids fluttered as her ears strained to catch the sounds. What happened? Disorientation washed over her until horror-filled images and pain crashed into her thoughts.
. Glancing around through slitted eyes as best as she could, Cali didn’t move a muscle, afraid the green bugs would again attack, afraid the light would burn her again. The pain was minimal; from her limited position, she could see there were no bugs, just voices.
Cali heard words forming within the mumbling sound as she concentrated harder, but they sounded childish. As though an adult were just learning to speak, or had a speech impediment. They were men’s voices, deep, strong. Whoever it was they were coming closer. The pounding of her heart echoed in her ears as her breath quickened. She was no longer in the forest; the smells and sounds were too unfamiliar.
“Blazar dith ith awfwull. How doth humans do dith?”
“I think you woll, no roll your tongue, Deimos.”
“More like this.”
“I jist donn get it. We look sthupid. Things ith hangin out all ova the place.”
“We look human. The things are limbs. And this blob we make noise from is a head—I think. I don’t have much information to access. Earth is relatively new to our species. And if we speak in our own language around the human we might burn her hearing things. It appears we all have two of the devices. It would also appear we have almost two of everything.”
“Exthept this little hangy thing; wookit, it wiggles when I move.”
“Enough jiggling, Deimos. It’s our fault the human almost died. We can’t interfere in sanctioned beings’ lives. Hopefully, it will be able to understand us. I reconfigured the transfer process to include the language we heard the other humans speak before we came across our prey. Humans appear to have some intelligence. Unfortunately, we can’t return the human until it heals. So you’ll just have to get used to the transformation.”
“Fine, Blazar.” The words were filled with annoyance. “Dith human won’t like dith.”
“Like it or not, there is no way of getting around it. She’s ours for the duration of our mission.”
Cali groaned, the muffled sound escaped before she could stop it when she tried to move. The two dark shapes came closer. She could feel the hardness of the bed beneath her. Cali was cold with the metal pressed against her tits and belly. She lay face down. Her attempts to roll over proved pathetic and a hand on her back stopped her efforts.