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To Kill a Predator is a work of fan fiction set in the Nature of Predators universe originally created by SpacePaladin15
whose Patreon you should subscribe to.
This chapter gets a little spicy, but it shouldn't be more so than you'd find in a book they'd make you read in high school. CW: Erections
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Depiction does not equal endorsement.
Hope you enjoy it!
--- Memory transcription subject: Vilek, Venlil Student Date [standardized human time]: November 25th, 2136
I found class to be incredibly boring lately. I was sitting and listening to the teacher, Slavik, expound on the subject of 'avoidant-pattern' Predator Disease, where someone doesn't socialize properly with their herd or even forgoes having a herd entirely. The dangers of allowing solitary behavior to foment. Even if I hadn't read ahead I already knew what the treatment would be. Confinement in a care facility. Medication to make them nauseous while they're solitary, then electrical shock therapy in rooms requiring them to cluster in a small space with others. Until they started responding to solitude with stress and anxiety.
Just hammer their biochemistry into obedience, not because they asked you to, but because society and culture didn't allow for outliers. I felt sick considering it. I had felt sick of it for a long time, actually. Before the human first contact, even.
If I was being honest with myself, I was only still studying this field because I couldn’t afford to change it this late. And the idea to try and create radical change in our assessment structures had become enticing to me. Once certified, I could go study with the humans, and bring their advanced understanding of the sapient mind back home.
Slavik went on about how avoidant-pattern Predator Disease could also manifest in a small and insular herd group that tried to avoid contact with others. Herds should be expansive, fluid, and be a small representation of society at large. I struck a button, turning on a small light by my seat.
"We have a question!" She glanced my way, and swished her tail and flicked her ear for me to go ahead.
"How large can these insular groups be?"
"In theory, there is no real limit. It's about the unwillingness and inability to fit into Fed-err, Venlil society." Many Venlil still thought of themselves as Federation, and not just the ones who nursed a desire to return to the fold. We'd been out for less than a year, after all, and our society and culture had been intertwined with the rest of the Federation.
She continued. "For instance, some cases of sun cults growing in rural communities in the past are now considered examples of avoidant Predator Disease, even though their herd constituted the entire township! Because they refused to let people contact the government, family, or their past herds. So despite being of the avoidant pattern, the Predator Disease actually spread into the group, like a physical contagion!"
People murmured and wrote notes and flicked their ears in interest, understanding, or agreement. I knew she'd twist it, but I was still curious as to how. So I asked another question. "What about the Liberators? They cut off all contact with the government, their family, and their past herd. Would they count?"
She faltered, tail-tip lashing a bit nervously as she thought about it. "N-No, because... Because they're concerned, however wrong they might be, about the predators. Wanting to avoid predators is of course the natural behavior of any sapient, and... while I want to avoid politics in the classroom, the Liberators' concerns are that the government now act to further the predators’ causes rather than our own. So because they have... well, voiced plans to take action against the predators, the Liberators are afraid of retribution against their family or friends. So them closing off from society isn't an example of avoidant Predator Disease, it's a rational attempt to save their herd from harm."
I wasn't mollified, but trying to prod any further would just lead to being shut down. My grades were really good now, and I couldn't risk them, especially since this would be my last in-person class for a while. Up to a dozen paws if I was unlucky. I wagged my tail in appreciation instead, though I didn't really feel it. "Thank you, professor!"
On the way home, I was blooming and squirming a bit because of a couple of handsome boys on the train. And they noticed me, too. So I was definitely in cycle, and definitely staying at home until it was over.
When I got home, the human was exercising in the middle of the common room. At least I assumed it was exercise. He was jumping in place, while holding a long piece of rope with the ends in each hand. He swung the rope around his entire body, and jumped just in time to not hit his little flat feet. It looked like a repetitive, bouncing little dance. The impression was stronger because of the high-energy, aggressive music he was listening to: 'Metal' was an acquired taste. I didn't think I'd acquire it anytime soon. It was quite unlike Venlil music! Martin was facing away and wearing less coverings than usual, just some cloth around his hips, groin, and thighs. I took the opportunity to watch.
I could see how you'd consider a human beautiful, if a little unconventional. With only the most vestigial of fur, his body was on display in a way few others ever are. It was possible to see the structure of muscles and bones that other species would hide under fur, quills, or feathers. Without coverings on the lower legs, it was possible to see how they worked. Those small, flat feet were deceptively dexterous and balanced. Where the back of the foot would go on a Venlil, there was instead powerful calf muscles. The structure of the shoulder blades and back was similar to what you could see on a medical diagram of most bipeds, but exaggerated. Those arms were long, but what looked gangly at first glance became confident and powerful when viewed from behind, with the force of the back muscles worked in cohesion with the arms' motion.
He had said he was slight by his species' standard, but he already looked more than capable of taking on any other sapient, except a Mazic. Or an Arxur, if those could be said to be sapient. The concept that Martin was at the lower end of human physicality was rather intimidating to consider.
Most peculiarly, I had a good view of the human secret of thermoregulation. Thiva had mentioned that the UN had specifically barred humans from talking about it with their Venlil hosts, but with even rudimentary medical learning it became clear from just looking. Martin's skin was covered in a thin sheen of fluid. No wonder the human took care to shower or bathe every paw, if using water was how they keep cool!
Taking a few steps closer, I was struck by how the air around him tasted. Salty, and thick with something harder to identify. I found myself blooming again. As the song ended with a drawn-out wail, he heard me and stopped his jumping to turn around. The human's face didn't seem off-putting after just a few paws with him, even though he was panting open-mouthed from the effort.
Martin seemed a bit agitated from the exercise, his face bloomed red. "Oh, hey Vilek! Workout in high gravity is no joke!" He bundled the rope and its two handles together, then with a swift and smooth arm motion turned his upper body and threw it clean across the room and right onto his shirt which he had crumpled next to the couch.
The motion astonished me. The muscles of his back and shoulder worked in perfect cohesion, and he made a one-in-a-hundred throw with all the certainty of someone who considered it entirely ordinary. He turned back and saw my stunned expression, and tightened his neck diffidently. "Uh, sorry, is the common area no good for exercising? Or is the music too loud?"
I took a step closer. "How... did you do that?"
He took half a step back, and blinked with confusion. "...Jump?"
I took another step, then another. Each inhale tasted of salt and water and his own unique taste. My bloom got stronger. "No, the throw! That was crazy!"
He seemed flustered, and took another step back. His knees hit the couch. "Yes, I guess I should explain that. Humans primarily use muscles in our back called the latissmus dorsi and the subscalpuris to throw things. Our brains are also well attuned to intuit trajectories. We're uniquely good at it among animals on Earth because... well because..."
Hunting. Right. Predator. But that didn't matter right then. In fact, it was a good thing. Our predator, My predator, was a force for protection. Thiva had explained his knife metaphor, and I appreciated it. Who couldn't appreciate the beauty in a sharp knife held in the steady hand of a chef or craftsman? Plus, at this particular moment I was simply too curious about one other thing. I leaned right in closer, and he stumbled back onto the couch. And I pressed in closer and opened my mouth, unfurling my tongue and dragging it directly over his neck. My tail wagged wildly. Who's the predator now? I'm the one tasting him!
He tasted good, salty and faintly sweet. My tongue dragged a loud gasp out of him. "Ahh! Vilek, what on Earth are you... Ah, shit!"
I climbed into his lap, grinding my torso against his, and licked the other side of his neck while nuzzling it intimately. The cloth covering he was wearing couldn't hide that he was starting to present, pressing against me and eliciting a mewl of delight in response. My claws moved over his chest and shoulders while I kept tasting him, and he let out a low groan. Males are males!
This was it. The body heat, the taste, his hands on my fur, I felt myself melting into the joyful moment completely and moaning and squeaking with eager anticipation as my claws dragged down his sides to start tugging at his shorts, and...
A shrill voice in my ear, a shape lunging rapidly from behind us. "What are you DOING?!" I was yanked back by the hair on my head, painfully!
--- Memory transcription subject: Thiva, Venlil Student Date: [standardized human time]: November 25th, 2136
My friend trying to steal Martin made me so angry I was trembling. Even if she was clearly in her cycle, that wasn't an excuse to rut the nearest male you could find! I dragged her off of the human and onto the floor, while she yelped in pain. I lunged, paws raining down blows on her.
Suddenly, I found myself jerked up. My wrist and the scruff of my neck were both held by an iron grip as Martin pulled me away. His voice was a growl of tense, controlled fury that brooked no discussion. "Enough! What's wrong with you, both of you?!"
Vilek was sobbing on the ground, and I felt my heart aching with sympathy. I had just hurt my best friend, pulled her around like a rag doll, and for what? Because she was horny? Because I wanted dibs on the guy when I hadn't even told anyone how I felt? The tears started to burn in my eyes, threatening to leak out, and I meekly went slack in the human's grasp. Despite being held by a predator, I didn't feel any fear. Just shame. It was clear he was stopping a fight within his herd, not looking to hurt anyone. The idea that Martin would hurt a sapient was ridiculous, anyway. I choked out my response to his command. "I-I won't hurt her, I'm sorry."
I found myself deposited at the foot of the couch, on my knees next to Vilek. Martin was standing before us, looking down with a stern expression. His shorts were straining to hold back his presenting member, which undercut his authority just a bit.
"Jesus Christ, what has gotten into you two?"
We both whimpered, then. Our ears stuck flat to our skulls in penitence, our tails curled between our legs in submission and a plea for forgiveness and reconciliation. "I-I'm sorry! I just... I s-saw you and Vilek and, and I was just so upset, I-I didn't think, and..." "Sorry! I-I'm... I'm in my cycle, and I was just thinking that... It's... it's not my fault, I-I didn't..."
Martin let out an irritated sigh and raised his palm to silence us. "Okay, one at a time. Thiva, why were you upset to see Vilek acting like that?"
My tears were running now. "B-Because I like you, and I d-didn't want her to steal you..."
My confession didn’t elicit much reaction from him other than a light grunt of annoyance. I felt terribly ashamed. "How long have you two known each other? Do you really want to start tearing her to pieces over a guy you met a month ago?"
"I've known her f-for as long as I can remember! We... we've been best friends from birth! V-Vilek, please, I-I'm so sorry!" I turned to my friend and threw myself at her. She flinched, and that hurt more than anything she or Martin could say, but I pressed on and hugged her tight and moved my tail to stroke against hers. After a few moments, she consented to wrap it around mine. She cried quietly, and her own paws dug into my fur as she clung to me tightly.
"I-I... It's okay, I knew you liked him, I sh-shouldn't have... I just wasn't thinking..." She sobbed with her own shame, burying her face in my neck fluff.
I felt stupid. This was Vilek. I lived with her. I trusted her more than anyone on all of Prime, she'd do anything for me in a heartbeat, and all I needed to do for her was open my heart the tiniest bit. She wasn’t even asking to date him. "I-It's okay, it's okay... We could, y'know... share..."
She coughed twice from the crying, before pulling back to look at me with one wet eye and a look of surprise. "...r-really?"
"I-I mean, like, it's not unknown for a boy to act as relief partner to someone else while in a relationship? Or even dating two girls at the same time?" I turned my head to the human, hopefully. My heart fluttered in my chest. Sharing a boy wasn't unheard of, and we were all living together! And he'd be overjoyed too, this could work!
Martin stared down at us impassively. His voice was calm and measured as normal, but there was an edge of ice to it. "What's a relief partner?"
My friend explained. "Wh-when a girl's in her cycle, she can have a guy she knows... um... h-help. It doesn't imply a relationship, it's just mating."
The chill didn’t leave his voice. "Vilek, did I give you some sort of Venlil signal that meant 'go ahead'? Any sort of... cultural indicator of consent that I'm unaware of?"
She squirmed a bit against me, uncertainly. "I-I mean, you're presenting... like, right now?"
He blinked with confusion. "Presenting?" Then his face got red. His voice dropped a bit. "...Oh, I see. No, that's just biology. 'Presenting' can even happen while human males are asleep. An erection is not consent."
Vilek tried to wag her tail-tip encouragingly. "You're male, though. I-I mean... the problem isn't getting a boy who'll agree, it's not having them fight for the chance! And we're willing to be exclusive, right?"
I added in, "Yeah! Are you saying you don't want to have two adorable girls to mate with?"
"I'm setting that part aside for the moment." He paced back and forth a few steps, moving his hands with agitation. "I am just... so sick... of being judged for my biology, of having people make assumptions about my inner life based on nothing but physical traits! I've got forward-facing eyes, so I must be a murderous monster! I've got a dick, so I must be okay with being a living dildo! No, not just okay, thrilled!"
I had no idea what a 'dildo' was, and the translator's best guess was 'adult toy' which made no sense in context.
He sighed, and ran his fingers through his hair. He sounded tired, and sad. "How do you know I'm not homosexual, or asexual, or just monogamous? Do you Venlil even have those concepts? How do you know I even want to be with aliens, and not my fellow humans? How do you know I’ll be okay if – if an attempt at a relationship fails, and I’m left on the street?! You don't, you can't! You just... assume. Everyone just... assumes."
We stumbled over each other to try and appease him, this wasn't what any of us wanted! Males needing to expressly consent just wasn't a common problem for Venlil! And we’d never, ever throw him out! "No, w-we didn't mean to-" "Wait, Martin, o-of course you get to-"
He raised a hand to silence us again. "Please, I don't... I don't have the energy for this right now. I'm heading out, I've got things to do, and I need to clear my head. I'll be back in a couple of claws."
He rushed to fetch his clothes, his mask, and his carrying bag. I was hyperventilating and trembling, my claws digging into my arms. I don’t know what to do I don’t know how to fix this what do I do I fucked up I fucked up so badly he’ll hate me forever and I’ll lose my human and and and oh Protector please I fucked up
He hurried out the door and slammed it shut behind himself, not even looking at us.