Chapter 33

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Ravki pulled the ship around the island's steep cliff just as he watched the small cyborg throw the bigger yautja off the side. As if she perfectly timed and aimed him, Bor landed with a hard thud against the top of their ship.

Beside him, Mokembi let out a snarl and opened the side hatch. Within seconds, she was grabbing a hold of her sibling.

Casting one last glance back at the cliff, Ravki noted that the cyborg waited just for a second for Bor to hit the ship before turning back to the horde of creatures at her back.

Ravki put the ship into stasis and went to Mokembi's side. Together they hauled in the injured youngblood, carrying him across the small ship. Ravki growled out a command to the ship's computer as he eyed the gaping wound on the warrior's chest. A black, iridescent barb still protruded from the wound. Above them, the ship whirred as a large metal sarcophagus lowered from the ceiling. Quickly, both he and Mokembi lifted Bor into the healing chamber. Somewhere in the back of his mind Ravki noted with a modicum of pride at the size of Bor. He was much bigger than the last time he saw the hunter. He must have found his confidence. Only a hunter who had truly found their way in the hunt could undergo such a transformation. Bor's increased size was evident in every aspect of him - from the broadening of his shoulders to the thickening of his limbs. Before he left, Bor had been one of countless youngbloods on Ojibwe all vying to prove themselves. He was eager but unsuccessful. Yet there was a determination in the young warrior that did not go unnoticed.

"She did not do this," Ravki stated as he typed in the final command to the sarcophagus. Immediately the chamber began to lift back into the ceiling.

With her hands still covered in the bright blood of her sibling, Mokembi gave him a narrowed look. "I am not blind." She snarled before walking around him to the sink just as an alarm sounded.

Ravki turned to the control panel. High above the cliff something large was emerging from the clouds. He spoke without looking at the huntress. "Black Mountain is here."

The large interceptor class ship pushed through the atmosphere. The peacefulness of the white clouds in the bright sky disrupted as they rolled across the ship's hull.

"I will retrieve the cyborg," Mokembi announced as she grabbed her spear next to the exit hatch.

Ravki looked at the girl fighting on the cliff. One by one, the creatures fell as she tore through her enemies. Even from here where they hovered a few yards away he could see the growing distortion of her face. Her wide mouth filled with sharp teeth and the vacant bright glow of her eyes. This was not the girl from the Black Mountain employee photos. This was not the girl Bor spent months with on this planet. Nor was she the girl that made sure to toss her injured companion to safety. No, this machine was taking over that girl replacing her with something uncontrollable. Another sensor flashed on his control panel just as Mokembi opened the door. The huntress would no doubt bring the girl in, but at what cost? On the other side coming through the forest about a half a mile away were Black Mountain special forces. They were coming for the girl as well.

Ravki made his decision. "No," he said simply and Mokembi halted and turned to look at him over her shoulder. Her long thin spines whipping through the air in her annoyance.

Without consulting the huntress of his plans, he put the ship into stealth mode and ascended just enough to fire the shot at the girl. The stunning bolt hit her square in the back just as the last creature fell by her blade and the soldiers burst through the tree line.

Mokembi released a savage sound of frustration and stomped back to him spear in hand.

Calmly Ravki turned to the angry huntress and spoke before she did. "They will not kill her. She is too valuable. And we will not risk losing her to the volatile program embedded in her mind." He turned and looked as the humans picked up the unconscious cyborg. "We will get her safely and with the yautja she trusts."

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