(Okay, so sorry for being late. I typed this up two days ago, but I went WAAAAAAY over the word count (over twice), and couldn't find a to edit it down. I'm gonna put a notice for where the story technically "begins" so I can meet the requirements, but I'll post the whole thing for posterity.)
Jik tore through the underbrush, foam streaking from his snout as he followed the signs, sounds, and scent of battle. The plasma scarring on the trees grew heavier and cut deeper into the bark as he sprinted, pushing further and further into the vibrant green of the jungle. He stopped on his heels as he picked up a noise. He stood in place, Beam Rifle clenched in his claws, clicking his snout in the air as he attempted to verify whether his sense of sound had deceived him or not.
As he did, he spied, almost imperceptible, movement on the tree trunk 10 meters to his left. A small, four limbed creature, with scales adapted to blend into the tree. It was an ingenious evolutionary advantage, and the disguise would have fooled most creatures. But not Jik. All he would have to do was lunge, maybe make a short dash up the tree, and he would have a small meal. The meal the Zealots had been denying him for the last two days, barely allowing him to even sleep as they tracked the demon through the tree trunks. The meal that his body ached for with every fiber. The meal that would have to wait, as Jik heard the sound once again, and picked up a scent with his nose. Powder. Human powder.
He tore into the trees once again. After some time sprinting, a series of sounds began to emanate, and he followed it. Plasma fire, a pause, and then returned powder fire, over and over. And then, once, and just once, an explosion that rocked through the forest, and sent the chirps and calls of the various animals and birds inhabiting it into a dead silence. The same type of explosion that had rippled through their camp hours before, scattering the survivors in various directions through the underbrush. The fact that Jik could feel it ripple through his spine meant he was getting close.
First there were the bodies. In trampled underbrush, there lied the strewn, mangled body of a fellow Kig-Yar. Then another Kig-Yar. Then a Sanghelli. Then another Kig-Yar, and then the body of a Sanghelli suspended in the air, impaled onto a tree branch. The smell of carnage was intoxicating, and Jik drooled, his body aching with a sheer desire to feast. But he couldn’t- whatever Zealots remained were his compatriots, and, hate them as he might, every second he wasted put them at risk. He pressed forward.
The sounds and vibrations grew stronger and stronger, until, all at once, he stood at the edge of a clearing. The underbrush had been completely cleared here, and several trees had toppled over, their massive trunks littering the ground- this was where the explosion had gone off, no doubt. Then, all at once, it happened.
An armored figure jumped over the largest tree trunk, landing with a heavy, vibrating thud in the soft jungle dirt below - and stood, knife in hand, its tinted visor pointed directly at Jik. Human. No, Demon. Jik raised his rifle.
And then two other figures sprung over the trunk, Energy Swords in hand. The Demon spun on its heels to face them. The distance closed before Jik could fire, and then the three of them were in open melee, almost too fast for Jik to track with his eyes. He tried to find an open shot, but they were all too close, Sanghelli swords swinging, human armor moving out of the way, and then lunging with its own knife- Jik couldn’t risk it. Every once in a while, a sword or Demon fist collided with the fallen trunk, and sent shockwaves through the jungle, and Jik planted his heels into the ground, clicking his snout in anticipation. He had recognized the Elites by now- Aran Kelomee, the Zealot Commander, who had been spearheading the hunt for the past week. To say he was a force to be reckoned with was an understatement. He was tall and swift and strong- a week prior, Jik seen him jump directly into a barrack full of human soldiers, and come out with nary a scratch on his end. And there was Olin, his second- always by his side, through everything, following his orders unquestioningly and without hesitation.
The last week or so with them hadn’t been easy- Sanghelli and Kig-Yar weren’t known for being fond of one another- but you had stayed united with the goal in sight- the Demon’s head.
The demon dodged as both swords collided with each other, and it ducked between the Elites- and, with a second to spare, caught Aran by the gut. Aran screamed curses in Sanghelli, but it took only a moment for Aran to be tossed to the other side of the trunk, as Olin dashed to try and stop the Demon. It swerved on its heels, and caught Olin in the jaw with a punch. The Zealot’s shield’s broke, and he collided with the trunk himself. He made an effort to stand back up and face the human- and then the knife drove into his skull, pinning him to the wood. He twitched and writhed like a butchered animal for several seconds, and then went still. The Demon turned to meet Jik- and took a Beam Rifle shot to the chest. Its shield broke, and it itself fell back against the wood. It rolled away from Jik’s second shot, and stood, ready to dash towards the Kig-Yar- and then came Aran.
(You can take this onward as the starting point, although it's sort of awkward without context.)
The Zealot jumped over the trunk, and before the Demon could even register his movements, Aran had slapped a device onto its back. The demon stood for a split second, and then a blue field engulfed its body, freezing it in-place. Aran’s armor lockup device- Jik had thought it was useless. He’d been proven wrong. Jik raised his rifle.
“Wait!” Came Aran’s bark. Jik tilted his head. “Wait?” the Kig-Yar responded, confused. Aran walked towards him, disregarding the frozen Demon. The Elite motioned to the pinned body of Olin. “This creature-”, he started, stopping to spit at the dirt in disgust- “killed all of my men. Every last one is now with their fathers- except you.” Jik tried to ignore the venom in the Sanghell’s voice or the hatred in his eyes as it spoke, but couldn’t. “I plan to take my time butchering this animal.” Aran let out a deep, sadistic laugh as he finished the sentence.
Jik clicked his snout, processing the statement. Yes, the Zealot has lost everyone- but so had Jik. Every last member of his mercenary crew had bled and died at the hands of the Demon, here, in this godforsaken jungle, far from home. He was tired. His body ached. He was hungry, and wasn’t willing to wait around any longer than he needed to. “Let us be done with it,” the Kig-Yar clicked. He raised his rifle.
A flash of movement went out in front of his eyes, and he watched his rifle fall from his arms- or, as it seemed, his arm. His right arm fell to the ground in front of him, sizzling and smoking. And then came the pain. Blinding, searing, overwhelming. He howled to the sky as he clutched the orange, burned stump where his arm had been. Aran let out a laugh as the Kig-Yar howled, driving a kick into his stomach, taking the wind out of the mercenary’s gut and leaving him whimpering and gasping in sheer pain. Aran raised his sword, and walked back to the Demon.
“I wouldn’t expect a mercenary to understand-” he motioned with his sword to the smoldering Kg-Yar. “-But killing doesn’t take skill. Not compared to hunting for sport.” As he said the final word, he turned back to the human. “And I plan to take a fine trophy.” He raised his sword, aiming to lop the Demon’s head clean off. And then there was a flash.
Electricity shot out around the Demon, momentarily sending Aran reeling. He recovered quickly- but not quick enough for the Demon to move. Whatever it had done, electricity now crackled around its chestplate, and it looked as if its harness was broken, short-circuiting as it tried to regenerate shields that no longer worked. The Demon dived towards Aran, and he tried to bring his sword down on it. He wasn’t fast enough, and an armored fist drove into his gut, breaking his shields. Aran reeled, swinging his sword wildly as he groaned. The Demon caught his sword hand, and twisted it- the Energy Sword fell free, and the Demon caught it with its free hand, and swung low. The Sanghelli’s stomach opened up, and his guts came free, spilling onto the mud below. He let out a pained whimper- and then the sword swung low.
Aran fell from his legs at the kneecaps, and hit the dirt, howling weakly in pain. Just as quickly, the Demon disappeared into the trees, leaving the Sanghelli and Kig-Yar to lie in their own humiliation. Jik managed to stand, the pain in his stump now replaced with shock- and stumbled over to Aram. The Zealot’s blood seeped into the dirt, and his guts hung from either side of his laid-out figure- his breathing was labored and weak. He turned his head to the Kig-Yar, and his eyes were small and distant. He wasn’t long for this world, and would be seeing his fathers soon. “Jik…” He crooned out. He couldn’t say anything else, but his pained expression was clear- he wished for mercy. And then his expression turned from pain to horror as he saw the drool coming from Jik’s mouth.
Two days. Jik hadn’t eaten for two days. The pain in his arm didn’t distract from the pain in his stomach- if anything, it only amplified it. He needed to eat. The kind thing to do would be to raise his Plasma Pistol, and to put the Zealot down before he started. Aram crooned his name out once again, and Jik was almost tempted to comply- but he looked to the burned stump where his arm had been, and turned back to the bleeding Sanghelli, hunger in his eyes.
Killing him would be easy. But eating his commander alive- now that would be fun.