Huntmaster Du’Naan felt the wind on his face and he could smell the air thick with pollen and alien spores. The air was too cold and dry he thought. Without his environment suit he would only survive a couple of days in this biome. However the equatorial regions of this world were ideal for clutchlings and that is why he and his clan were here. To clear the world of the alien threat which had recently begun to occupy it. 

A Realm exosuit landed in the clearing. Its powerful jets kicking up dirt and turning the soft purple grasses beneath it into a flat gray ash. His hand involuntarily gripped his spear harder as he watched. The Batra had a dozen names for humanity. Most were curse words as well. Graceless. Filthy. Callous. They were used interchangeably. 

“Vanguard. It scouts for others. Its silence is optimal.” he croaked softly into his communicator. He felt his clutchmates nearby in the cover of the meadow. Still and patient like a snake watching its prey. Waiting to strike. 

The suit began to stride forward. Its servos hummed with each step it took as it swept the area with its sensors. It had not yet taken a defensive stance. A mistake Du’Naan felt. An enemy does not cease to be just because you do not know it is there. A lesson Batra warriors learned early. 

“Decloak now.” Du’Naan ordered and silently all four Batra shimmered and transitioned from nearly transparent blurs into solid forms. 

“Fire as one” he said while simultaneously firing his spear at the exosuit. His shot hit dead on and the suits shield flared and collapsed. His clutchmates were barely more than clutchlings though and only one of their three shots hit along with his own. But that was enough to scorch the suit’s armor sending molten metal and sparks flying. 

“Scatter! Secure the kill!” he barked as he leapt to the next area of cover. The suit fired its rifle and rocket pods at them. The rifle shot hit the tree where Du’Naan had just been and the tree exploded in a shower of wood and smoke. The rockets fell and exploded doing little of consequence. The suit began to fall back and with its jets it started to lift into the air. 

Du’Naan ducked beneath a tall cluster of purple grasses and took aim again. He focused and steadied himself to fire between his heartbeats. A few more beams lanced out from nearby but did not hit the rapidly moving suit. He would have to do better. He committed to the shot and his beam sliced the air with a high pitched hiss and struck the suit again. This time there was no shield and the armor did not hold. The chest buckled and collapsed and the suit tumbled backwards and fell onto the ground. 

He gave the command and he and his warriors leapt forwards to secure the kill. He reached the downed exosuit a few seconds later. Inside he could see a mortally wounded human-warrior. It was trying to say something but no words emerged. It gasped like a fish torn from the water. Du’Naan took careful aim and fired. 

“Prey felled.” he said and with a gesture he and his clutchmates cloaked and began to move towards the rest of the invaders. 

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