|Gender||Male & Female|
The Yautja, known colloquially as the Predators, are an extraterrestrial species characterized by their hunting of other dangerous species for sport and honor, including humans. The species first appeared in the 1987 film Predators, before going on to appear in its sequels Predators 2 (1990) and Predators 3 (2010). Aside from their repeated conflicts with humans, the Predators have notably been associated with the Xenomorphs (Aliens), leading to the extensive Alien vs. Predator franchise, including the films Aliens vs. Predators (2004) and Aliens vs. Predators 2 (2007). The Predators have also featured heavily in numerous literature and video game spin-offs, including crossovers with other well-known franchises.
The Predators are a sentient, humanoid race that breathe an atmosphere similar to that of Earth's, but possess a level of technological advancement far in excess of anything available to humans. The Predators stalk and kill their prey using a combination of highly advanced technology, such as active camouflage and energy weapons, combined with traditional ancient weapons, such as blades, spears and nets. The Predators often ritualistically mutilate their victims and usually claim their quarry's skull as a trophy. Capable of interstellar travel in star ships, the Predators have hunted on Earth for centuries and have also had prior contact with the Engineers. They have been known to deliberately breed Xenomorphs in order to hunt them, often as part of initiation rituals for young Predators.
Predators almost always operate alone, exceptions being when young Predators undertake their first Hunt as a means of initiation, although even then each member of the group is expected to hunt for and by himself. When hunting, Predators notably follow a strict code of honor that dictates the manner in which they will hunt their prey.
Biology and physical abilitiesEdit
Predators are bipedal humanoids, physically distinguishable from humans by their greater height, the long, hair-like appendages on their heads nicknamed dreadlocks, and their faces, which feature arthropod-like mandibles and no visible nose. Some Predators have also been seen to possess sparse, coarse facial hair on their cheeks and above the eyes. While generally uniform, each Predators' physical appearance includes a number of subtle variations, akin to human genetic diversity. Similarly, while Predator heights vary, they are typically over 7 feet tall, although some have been known to grow to 8 feet or taller. The species' reptilian-like skin can range in color from light to dark, be mottled or clear, and can appear dry or moist and clammy.
Their bodies are resilient to damage, capable of recovering from multiple gunshot wounds with minimal or even no medical attention and surviving radiation doses which would be fatal to humans. They are also highly resilient to most bacteria and viruses. They are incredibly strong, easily capable of outmatching a conditioned adult human male in unarmed combat and able to land blows that can shatter solid concrete. They are capable of tearing a human's head and spine from the body with little effort, while some larger specimens have been capable of tearing a human body in half using only their bare hands. This strength evidently extends to their lower bodies as well, as Predators have been seen to jump up to three times their own height, and are capable of falling up to ten times their height and landing safely on their feet. They are also skilled climbers, and in fact appear to prefer moving at height through trees or across rooftops in pursuit of prey. Though capable of surviving exposure in Antarctic temperatures for an extended period of time, it is implied that Predators have a preference for hot equatorial climates. Their blood is luminescent phosphor green in color, and has the capacity to partially neutralize the Alien blood. It has also been shown to bestow significant life-giving properties on humans, capable of extending a person's lifespan beyond what would normally be possible.
Predators' vision operates mainly in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; they can easily detect heat differentials in their surroundings but are unable to easily distinguish among objects of the same relative temperature. A Predator's helmet increases its ability to see in a variety of spectrums, ranging from the low infrared to the high ultraviolet, and also filters the ambient heat from the area, allowing them to see things with greater clarity and detail. While they are capable of breathing Earth's atmosphere, is seen using a breathing mask after losing his helmet. Their dietary habits are also mentioned in Predator 2, where it is revealed that the creature regularly visits a slaughterhouse every two days to feed on the stored meat there.
While the maximum or typical lifespan of a Predator is not known, it is accepted as being in excess of human lifespans, and it has been implied that Predator Elders can live for hundreds to thousands of years.
Speech, language and communicationEdit
Predators possess their own language, both in spoken and written form, the former of which resembles a series of clicks, roars, snarls and growls. The written language is expressed in a pattern of dashes not dissimilar in form and function to many Earth-based languages. These written symbols appear on the creatures' gauntlet displays, helmets, architecture and many other surfaces. Predators are also known to imitate human speech that they overhear. It is unclear to what degree a typical Predator can comprehend this speech, although the creatures at least seem to hold some understanding of the language as they have been known to repeat phrases at vaguely appropriate times as a form of communication with prey. Older Predators with more experience among humans have on occasion been known to actually learn to speak English, at least to a limited extent.
There is evidence that Predators understand the concept of humor. For example, a deleted scene from Alien vs. Predator shows the Predator Scar causing a corpse to shoot out it's inner jaw and startle Alexa Woods, which gives Scar some amusement.
Clothing, Technology and ArmamentEdit
Clothing and armorEdit
Predator clothing and armor can be as varied as the physical appearance of Predators themselves and appears to be based largely on personal preference of the individual. Design changes can include tribal ornamentation on the forehead.
Perhaps the most recognisable aspect of a Predator's armor is its Bio-Mask, the outward design of which can range from simple and utilitarian to elaborate and decorative. Other typical clothing includes wire mesh undersuits with temperature control elements to help the Predator adapt to even the most harsh environments, metallic armor plates and bandoleers for weapons, including grenades. Wrist gauntlets provide a number of weapons, including retractable blades and self-destruct explosives, as well as computerized control for many of the Predator's systems.
Yautja technology Predator Technology is distinctive in many respects, not least of which is its ornate, tribal appearance masking deadly, sophisticated weaponry. However, despite the species' obvious technological prowess, including access to adaptive camouflage and plasma weaponry, traditional, ancient weapons, such as knives and spears, are still employed widely (and apparently considered by Predators to be more "honorable" than advanced technology).
At least one Predator weapon uses a metal that does not correspond to any known element on the periodic table, and many devices have been shown to be completely resistant to the effects of acidic blood belonging to Aliens, an otherwise incredibly corrosive substance. Some aspects of Predator technology have been in use for millennia. In addition, several of these tools make use of thermal imaging to track prey.
- Cloaking Device: Light-bending adaptive camouflage allowing Predators a form of invisibility, or at least translucence. The invisibility effect has been known to be shorted out through contact with water, or if the arm gauntlet is damaged.
- Bio-Mask: The Predator's mask contains systems to enhance its vision and provide additional vision modes in other electromagnetic spectra. It also grants access to Vocal Mimicry and the Language Translator, and records anything the Predator sees so that it may be reviewed at a later date.
- Wrist Gauntlet: Includes the Predator's Sat-Com and sometimes a Plasma Bolt or Power Punch Glove. Also incorporates touch-pad technology to control a Predator's Cloaking Device, Self-Destruct Device, and even remotely pilot Predator vessels.
- Medi-Kit: Predator hunters carry field medical equipment including solvents capable of cauterizing and healing Predator wounds and various serums and other medical devices.
- Wrist Blades: Razor-sharp serrated blades worn on a wrist gauntlet for close combat.
- Scimitar: Essentially an enlarged Wrist Blade worn on the forearm.
- Plasma Caster: A ranged weapon capable of directing plasma bolts at distant targets. Aimed through the Predator's Bio-Mask.
- Plasma Cannon: A hand-held version of the Plasma Caster.
- Spear Gun: A projectile weapon that fires small metal spears, comparable to a traditional firearm or crossbow.
- Combi-Stick: A retractable spear that can be used either in hand-to-hand combat or as a thrown weapon.
- Net Launcher: A handheld device capable of firing a wire net with enough force to pin a target to a wall. The net also features an automatic tightening mechanism designed to cause grievous wounds to the enclosed target.
- Smart-Disc: A self-guiding discus-like cutting device.
- Shuriken: Similar to the Smart-Disc, except considerably larger and fitted with several fan-like blades.
- Glaive: Similar to the Combi-Stick, this combat staff is fitted with a sizeable blade at each end.
- Maul: A heavy bladed weapon comparable to a police officer's nightstick.
- Whip: A segmented bull whip capable of slicing targets in half with enough force.
- Mines: Predators utilize a variety of mines with varying trigger mechanisms and detonation effects in their hunts.
Culture and HistoryEdit
- Yautja Honor Code
Predator culture revolves around the stalking and hunting of dangerous lifeforms. Predators primarily hunt not for sustenance nor elimination of threats, but purely as a means of entertainment and proof of worth. As such, they will only attack life forms that have the ability, natural or technological, to provide them with a challenge. Indeed, Predators will often travel great distances to find worthy opponents, or seek out ways in which to attract or transport such prey to them. When travelling to other locations, Predators are often drawn by intense heat and armed conflict. Predators have been known to use other non-sentient species as tools to aid them in their hunts, including alien hunting hounds. On occasion, if a particularly worthy member of a sentient species is found on a hunt, Predators will systematically eliminate those who are close to the intended target in an attempt to enrage them and increase the challenge of the final confrontation.
After making a kill, a Predator will mutilate the corpse and turn it into a trophy. This can involve skinning or decapitating the carcass, or even removing all of the bones from the body altogether. One typical means of displaying a kill is to hang the flayed body upside down from a great height. Skulls and sometimes spinal chords are routinely removed and collected, and can commonly be found displayed on board Predator vessels or even worn about the Predator's person if size permits this.
Despite the ferocity and brutality with which Predators hunt and kill their prey, they adhere to a strict code of honor that forbids them from killing children or unarmed adults. They have also been known to spare pregnant women and those with terminal illnesses, although they will not hesitate to kill such targets if directly attacked by them. A human who has managed to kill a Predator in single combat is often spared and even rewarded with a gift (often a rare or exotic weapon) as a sign of respect. In even rarer cases, a human who has fought valiantly alongside a Predator may be similarly honored, as was the case with Alexa Woods.
Failure in a hunt typically results in the Predator committing honorable suicide, usually through the detonation of their Wrist Gauntlet's self-destruct mechanism, which may simultaneously be used as a last-ditch attempt to kill their prey. This explosion is also intended to wipe out all traces of the Predator and prevent their technology from falling into the hands of their prey, an occurrence which is considered a huge affront by Yautja society and typically results in the Predator responsible being banished. Should they be killed, a Predator's ship will return automatically to the homeworld, taking with it a record of the individual's hunt, recorded through their Bio-Mask.
The Yautja society operates a class system, nominally based on an individuals hunting experience and prowess. Their castes includes:
- Young Blood/Unblooded: About 25% of male Yautja are unblooded. This means that the Predator has made no distinguishable kills. Once a Predator kills their first worthy target, usually a Xenomorph, and collects its head as trophy, they become blooded. All unblooded are children too young to safely hunt Xenomorphs, or those who simply have not had the chance to battle a Xenomorph yet.
- Blooded: About 45% of male Yautja are blooded. These are warriors who have gained their clan's symbol upon their forehead after their first successful Xenomorph hunt. They are allowed access to more advanced weaponry denied to the unblooded Predators, including the Plasma Caster.
- Retirees: About 10% of male Yautja are retirees, Predators who have fought their time and now are too old and honoured to hunt. Females commonly come under this section due to their roles as mothers and the driving force behind the homeworld's natural wasteland systems.
- Elite: Elite Predators are often leaders in their clan, and are only elevated to the caste of Elite Predator once they have acquired the skull of a Xenomorph Queen. About 15% of blooded Yautja are Elite Predators. Elites specialize in a particular weapon, making that weapon their strongsuit; for example, a Brawler specializes in Wrist Blades, while a Spearmaster specializes with the Combi-Stick. Elite Predators often become retirees after a few decades.
- Clan Leader: Clan Leaders are only made by the Adjudicator's decision. The only way to become a Clan Leader is to clean out an entire Xenomorph Hive larger than 300 members with a maximum of two other Predators. When this has been proven, the three (or fewer) Yautja all become Clan Leaders. They become the forefathers of that clan and will repopulate with females of their choosing. In order to be eligible for the trials of a Hive cleansing, each member of the trio must have at least 3 Queen skull trophies. After this point, any Hive cleansings that the forefathers complete will give the clan greater honor and standing in the caste system. Clan leaders comprise 5% of the Yautja society.
- Adjudicators: The adjudicators are the administrators and law enforcers of the Yautja. They are world leaders and the ruling class in Predator society. Less than 1% of Yautja are adjudicators, due to their massive worldly role. At this point, they simply no longer have time to hunt off planet, but often foray into the underground hunting grounds, where younger hunters train in order to lend experience to the young ones. Adjudicators are always the leaders of a clan and no adjudicators have ever risen to that position without first having completed at least five Hive cleansings.
- Bad Bloods: These are criminal Yautja who have been sentenced to death and escaped. The Predator justice system shows that crime is very low. About 2% of Yautja are bad bloods. In PCJV, the term bad bloods was also applied to Predators captured by humans and brainwashed. They met honorable deaths at the hands of their clan brother Scarface.
- Apprentice: These are honorable humans taken by Predators to learn their ways.
Relationship with XenomorphsEdit
Predators apparently have a special hunting relationship with the Xenos (which they refer to as "Serpents". They seem to consider the voracious alien lifeforms among the most worthy of prey and have been known to specifically breed the creatures at numerous sites for use in the initiation hunts undertaken by Young Bloods. To this end, the Yautja are known to capture and imprison Xenomorph Queens, using their Eggs to breed lesser castes to hunt. Some of these captured Queens have apparently been imprisoned for tens of thousands of years. Large statues of Xenomorphs can often be found in and around Yautja hunting temples and ruins.
Some human scientists studying the two races have even theorised that the Predators may have had a hand in creating the Xenomorph species, although such concepts are not widely accepted as anything more than speculation. Even so, the Yautja clearly have a significant understanding of the Xenomorphs, and obviously have far greater respect for and control over the creatures than humans; whereas human attempts to capture and study the Xenomorphs has routinely resulted in disastrous breeches of quarantine and significant loss of life, the Predators have successfully entombed and utilized Queens for thousands of years with almost no major incidents.
History with EarthEdit
Predators have a long and involved history with humans on Earth, dating all the way back to ancient times. Predators influenced the development of early civilizations including the Ancient Egyptians, the Khmer Empire, the Aztecs and an undocumented culture inhabiting what is now modern day Bouvetøya in Antarctica. Upon their arrival in ancient times the Predators were worshipped as Gods by the primitive peoples of Earth, and they in turn taught these early humans how to construct Pyramids (explaining why so many of these civilizations share distinctly similar cultures and architecture) that were then used as hunting grounds for Xenomorphs. These Aliens would be bred through the use of sacrificial human hosts that the civilizations would provide.
As part of an ancient rite of passage conducted every 100 years, young Predator warriors were taken to Earth to face swarms of newborn Xenomorphs spawned in these pyramids. Each Predator was expected to return with the head of a Xenomorph killed in hand-to-hand combat. If the young hunters emerged from their trials successfully, they would use the acid of their foes to sear a clan marking or other symbol into their Bio-Masks and foreheads. If they failed and the hunting grounds were overrun with Xenomorphs, the Predators were expected to activate their Self-Destruct Devices, dying honorably and eliminating all trace of the Xenomorph infestation.
Not all hunts on Earth were conducted in such a manner. Predators also visited the planet to hunt humans as well. Predators have been linked with the destruction of the ancient Mayans in Central America. Yautja individuals have also hunted humans during the Renaissance, in North America prior to its colonization by the European nations, in 1930, on Iwo Jima during WWII, in Cambodia during the Vietnam War, in Beiruit, Val Verde during the late 1980s, Los Angeles in the mid-1990s and Neonopolis in 2030, as well as numerous others. A Predator also travelled to earth in 2004 to clean up a Xenomorph outbreak in Gunnison, Colorado resulting from a failed hunt in Antarctica earlier in the year.
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