I never knew death was a machine. Sure, the behemoth that is the Tank is a more explosive form of death, but this… this was something else. The group was making its way through a dense forest, taking a shortcut in the hopes of reaching shelter before dark. Suddenly, we hear rustling in the leaves. Holding our breaths, we pray that it’s a wild animal. Or heck, even a Runner would be manageable. We’ve gotten quite proficient at taking those dog-like machines down, especially when our team is assembled.

But no such luck. What emerged from between the trees was larger than any of us, hunched over, swiftly and silently making a beeline for our group. Aiming one of its hands at us, it opened fire. It was meant to leave the group scattered and confused, leave us unprepared for the next attack. As it charged, the blade on its other arm caught a reflection of the setting sun. This was an apex predator, a natural born Hunter. And it was here to claim us.

Worse yet, it was far more clever than we had anticipated: while it had us distracted, fellow machines had flanked us. It was a trap. We dispersed, trying to put any and all cover between us and the machines. They moved with grace, with a lethal intelligence that put them above the others we’d met. All we could do was flee like the prey we were, burrow ourselves under any cover we could find in the hopes it would make us invisible. And somehow, we managed to escape. Luck must have been on our side today. But I have now looked death in the face, and what I saw chilled me to the bones.