Chapter 0: HUNTER
The creature had no name. There was nothing like it on Earth.
But tonight it would show everyone what it could really do.
Massive and powerful, the creature smashed a path through the moonlit forest. It tore apart the brushwood, uprooting tall trees that had stayed standing for hundreds of years. Its night vision brought a bloodred tint to the shadow landscape.
It was hunting.
Supernatural senses had already pierced the skin of its prey like great, invisible fangs. The creature scented hot blood coursing through veins. Heard the stroke of limbs brushing together. Felt the currents in the air swirling around its victim. With every splintering stride, the picture became clearer...
The hunting creature did not know why its target had been chosen for death this night. But killing was something it did exceptionally well.
There. In the forest clearing, in the darkness, its prey was hiding. Keeping stock-still.
As if that might save it.
A triumphant roar built in the hunter's throat. The undergrowth exploded around it as it flew like a living missile toward its victim, baring gleaming, knife-point teeth...
Less than a second later, the creature held its prey in its snapped-shut jaws.
The perfect kill.
A small group of people were waiting, watching, wondering as the creature returned. "An impressive result," said one onlooker softly. "We're ready to move to the next phase."
The creature sensed the fear and excitement mingling in its audience. It turned away, looking back into the forest. A forest that it might once have called home, far away and long ago.
Then the creature stalked over to the man who had spoken, looming over him. With a flick of its thick tongue, it spat the remains of its victim at his feet.