“I can’t find it!” Dax said, frantically throwing junk out of the back of the Bronco.
“Shut up, shut up, shut uuuuuuuuuup,” Jenny seethed.
A dark, shadowy figure leapt from high above the crowd and landed right on the hood of Jenny’s car with such force that the windows exploded outward like a bursting bubble.
“That is a rover!” Katie said, charging toward the strange creature.
Allora squinted in the firelight to get a look at it. The rover was small, only a few feet high, with scaly, dark, greenish-brown skin, like a reptile’s. Its eyes were golden with vertical, cat-like irises. After briefly surveying the chaotic scramble of humans, the creature grinned, baring sharp, pointed teeth.
Before Allora could move, Jenny knocked her over, attempting to escape. From the rocky ground, Allora noticed Katie pulling knives from her waist as she charged the creature. Dax found the handle of a short stick and pulled it from the bed of his pickup just as the creature sprang forward and hit him in the chest. Dax flew limply across the quarry, into a pile of dirt.
Before the creature could mount another attack, Katie pulled back a knife, gripping the steel blade with her thumb and forefinger, and flung the weapon toward the rover. With a glistening flash, her blade slashed through the crisp air, striking the creature in the side, sending it flying off the gravel lip at the quarry edge. A high-pitched squeal trailed into the night, followed by a chorus of earsplitting screeches from the valley depths.
Suddenly, an identical creature flew over the line of cars. It sprang forward and struck Jenny in the back with such force that it propelled her forward, hurling her into the road, where she crashed headfirst into the hard dirt, knocked unconscious.
The creature crawled along her back, maliciously pulled her head by her hair, and placed its palm on her forehead. The firelight revealed a lanky, reptilian creature with a long, skinny torso, razor-sharp teeth, and five locks of hair pulled back against its flat skull. Unhappy with its prey, the creature picked up a rock and raised it above Jenny’s head.