Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds (excerpt)


**** moved through patchy woods. The Topaz breezes had begun to blow, and he was cold and hungry. He thought longingly of his comfortable little hideaway, that he'd spent so much time putting together.

I had jars of food. . . blankets . . . Stop thinking about it! There's no way I can go backnot now.

He didn't know how far he'd traveled, but he figured he was in the Southern edge of Downtown.

He'd traveled roughly five miles from where he'd killed ***

He wanted to travel deeper into forest, to move further from the scene of the crime. But **** didn't trust his sense of direction; not enough to try to find his way through dense woods.

And he was so hungry.

I could wind up lost, wandering around in circles and still come out at the same end. I'll find someone's garbage can, and dig through it.

Inching closer, he peered through the trees. He was facing the backstreets of a neighborhood; a poor one from the looks of it, the houses ramshackle with peeling paint. He could see wooden trash-bins beside the houses. Ahead the street dipped into a steep hill.

With any luck I can at least find a half-eaten sandwich. The possibility made his mouth water.

 **** crept out of the trees, and walked over to the bin. The streets were deserted, which meant he'd at least timed his excursion right. It was after curfew.

He snatched the top of the bin, and pawed through the refuse. Damn!

There was nothing in the bin that he could even come close to making a meal out of. Looking around, he scurried to the next house, and opened the can.

A loud creak cut through the silence.

 **** whipped his head to the right to see the bronze  and flesh man ,wearing goggles and a helmet. His right arm ended in a contraption of bolts and gears. The android was straddling a robotic bird.

He leaped back, just as the trash-bin exploded. . .

“VIOLATION!” The rider screeched.

 **** landed on his backscrapping his elbows. He scuttled away, then flipped over making it to his feet just as the second explosion split the airso close it singed his hair.

The rider took aim again. “VIOLATION! You will be eliminated!”

 **** raced toward the woods.


As he reached the edge of forest a primal instinct told him to jump. Incredibly, for a moment he was airborne.

Fire exploded just under him. He fell hard through the trees. . . and came down on his ankle. He felt his  bone pop and crawled forward, afraid to look back.

 **** looked over his shoulder.  Looking confused, the rider had stopped at edge of the trees. It looked confused.

He won't fire. He'd set the whole forest ablaze.

“Violation!” The robot took a tentative step forward. “Intruder trapped in woods. . . request backup!”

 **** struggled to his feet, tried to put weight on his ankle and bit his lip to keep from screaming in pain.

He couldn't go into the city to search for food. He was cold. Hungry. And now he was injured. **** let out a sob of rage. . . 

Another cold night. Another night of hunger. . . and fell to his knees.

He felt the change coming.

And welcomed it.

Hair crawled greedily along the length of his body. His nails blackened, lengthened and grew razor sharp. His eyes turned yellow, burning now with a savage intelligence.

His ankle snapped back into place.

The werewolf stood stretched back, spread his arms lifted his nose and howled — a feral cry of yearning.

The rider heard his alien cry. If he had any thoughts about going into the woods, the howl settled them.

No way.

It backed up, “Violation!” sounding even more unsure.

The werewolf growled low in his throat. He could easily catch the rider and kill him. No problem. He wanted to. But he was. . .

Hungry! If I kill him, others come. . . They'll hurt me.

Now his hungry blotted out all thought. The werewolf moved deeper into the woods. With preternatural eyes, he spotted the rabbit racing in panic ahead. It had smelled him.

He leapt forward and landed in front of it — cutting it off — and ended the rabbit's life with one snap of his jaws. He tore into the rabbit's flesh, eating ravenously. No steak had ever tasted so good. . .


Copyright Valjeanne Jeffers 2011, 2012 all rights reserved

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