Born of War (or AHHH... what came first?)

Hurrikane

Slayer
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Posts
8,358
Location
Bristol
Society
GloryHound Irregulars
Avatar Name
Oscar Hurrikane SkyQuake
Born Of War​

A blink. Another blink, then the knowledge of doing it. The first memory in a thirsty mind. Blinking again, ineffective through the thick slime. Signals flood in from limbs and organs, like a cold machine warming up in parts. It is time.
First movements come slowly, virgin sinew pulling on new-formed bone. Spasms of force transmit their way to the limbs as the natural instinct yells for urgency. Legs kick through the opaque soup, finding a solid barrier beyond a layer of shock-absorbing slime. Limbs jerk and flail sporadically, finding weaknesses and exploring limits. Claws on the rear feet scythe through the slime. The action is repeated, clearing the glutinous covering and deeply scoring the calcite wall beneath. The kicking resumes, the spine pressed against the opposite side, the legs jabbing outward again and again without any fixed rhythm, the sounds of their contact soon including a crack and the hiss of escaping gas.

With several cracks linking claw-holes already, the last almighty kick proved too much for the beleagured shell. The taloned foot kicked out a section which broke into several smaller pieces as it flew through the air. The glistening foot, exposed and wicked looking, then rereated back inside. A few seconds later the head emerged to take in the view of the world outside, moving slowly and cautiously. It saw water, which it recognised as something it needed, and somewhere to hide. It looked around and saw vegetation, and blinked as a tiny mammal ran from one tussock of tall grass to another. Something was missing, decided the creature's subconscious, prompting a loud and exhaustive clearing of the nasal passages. They had been full of the fluids and plugs needed to prevent stillbirth by drowning. With this his senses were almost complete, the odours of his surroundings flooding into his receptors, providing a wealth of new and important information, and bringing together a phalanx of attributes that turned the creature very swiftly from a new-born to a killer in waiting. With a swiftness that could compete with any predator known, the creature launched itself through the air, it's back legs leaving deep gouges in the turf. The landing was the second tussock, a front leg landing square on the small mammal's neck, beaking it and driving the doomed creature almost fully into the ground. The creature ate his first kill, thick, ready saliva washing dirt from the destroyed corpse and depositing it on the ground. Talonned forearms held the meal aloft as the clean, unused teeth scythed through bone and fur alike, making short work of the unlucky bystander.
Smells came from every direction, and the creature found itself instantly able to recognise most of them; more of the same mammal, hiding in fear to the west, two birds high in the sky to the north-west, an unidentified smell to the east that it'd investigate later, and more to it's liking, a herd of large mammals to the south.
The creature felt itself growing as it walked. Every muscle was expanding and contracting, seeming to never recede to the former size, only add a little more with each heartbeat. Bones extended, lengthening it's stride and speeding it's progress, and causing spines and protrusions to develop along the ridge of it's back. As it grew in size it's demeanour became more furious, more purposeful. Baleful.
The Faunoids were one of the larger grazing beasts on the planet, and stood an impressive fifteen metres tall, their long, graceful necks topped with elaborately frilled and feathered deer-like heads. The shadow of the creature obscured half of the herd before the first fell to it's attack. In the terrible, almost instant aftermath, twenty seven faunoids lay like cut flowers on the ground, missing limbs, heads and organs. The beast had paused to supplement it's phenomenal growth rate with as much meat as it could swallow, and vanished into the hills with a series of near-horizontal leaps that carried it almost a mile at a time.

"Hell of a creature," said Doctor Johann Karlsson, from the safety of his mobile armoured refuge.
"To say the least. Do you think it has what you're looking for?" asked Doctor Meen. Doctor Karlsson skidded his chair back and stood up.
"From what I've seen, I'd say yes," answered the younger Doctor, smiling at his host. He peered around the inside of the heavily-armoured vehicle that Doctor Meen had provided for the viewing.
"Certainly glad we're in here," he added, tapping his knuckles on the composite metal wall and wincing at the sudden pain from hitting the ultra-hard surface.
"Oh there's no question. You could only imagine what one of these could do to you in the open. I mean, that's why you're here?" said Doctor Meen in a tone that was clearly meant to share the joke.
"Why I'm here doesn't concern you," said Doctor Karlsson sharply, keen to get on with business. Doctor Meen bowed, an acknowledgement that he conceded to the younger man's authority. Karlsson had expected more resistance from him, but soon realised why the disrespect he showed had not affected the seller's mood; he had something left to show him.
"So have you seen enough?" asked Doctor Meen.
"Not enough to be conclusive. It's a very impressive specimen, Doctor Meen, but I have to ask, is the rapid growth you've shown me sustainable? And worse, is that all it has to offer?" said Karlsson.
"Oh, but it does have more to offer, yes," said the earnest Doctor Meen, gesturing with a sweep of his hand to look through the window once more.
"You already know of it's prolific growth rate from hatching," he said as Kalsson took a half-interested look through the binoculars in the direction Meen had pointed. He stared, and puzzled, fiddled with the focus, then looked again, seeing nothing but black. Then he dropped the binoculars.
"Uh," said Karlsson. His entire field of vision was filled with a colossal black shape, which at first seemed incomprehensible but soon revealed itself to be a far more advanced mutation of the creature that had bounded away from their location. Massive, leathery wings arced from each shoulder causing chaotic turbulence with every unstoppable sweep, making treetops dance wildly beneath it's decellerating bulk as it drew up to hover heavily above the scene of it's birth.
The beast hung in the air, it's four huge wings flapping in a cycle that kept it dipping but stable in the air. A lot had happened since it had emerged, in a short space of time, but not for nothing was this creature's predatorial instinct known as one of the sharpest ever encountered. It had needed to feed, to stratch it's limbs and grow, and it needed to sprout it's wings and master the air. But twenty mintues after it's long-awaited birth, these things were done, along with the decimation of two hundred tons of on-the-hoof faunoid. It was now time to address any outstanding issues, such as the unidentified smell from it's first moments. The beast did not waste time. Through it's eyes the ARV no longer lay hidden in careful camouflage, it's scent masked by artificial 'odour chaff'; the form of the armoured vehicle came sharply into focus beneath it's beating wings.
Doctor Meen saw what was coming and grabbed Karlsson by the shoulder, using his own weight to pull both of them to the floor of the vehicle. Karlsson could not help but look agog as above him in the sun-bleached sky the gargantuan creature first spread it's main wings wide, causing it to drop chest first towards the ground; then the mighty, leathery sail-like wings came together with indescribable force, the point of the wingtip's contact seeing the immediate creation of a fantastically condensed sphere of energy, which just as quickly as it was created, exploded transparently in a burst pattern away from the beast, hitting the ground hard and catapulting the vehicle high into the air. The force of the wings coming together rose the creature into the air like a rocket, where it remained, wings beating once more; as far beneath the armoured vehicle landed, rolled and crashed to a halt at a crazy angle.
Karlsson was the first to move.
"It's incredible," he said, forgetting his earlier composure.
"It is that," said Doctor Meen, rubbing his arm, his head and then most other parts of himself whilst looking around the shattered interior of the tumbled ARV.
"I'll be placing an order straight away. Enough for a breeding colony of our own." Doctor Meen stopped to brush some dirt from his sleeve and straighten his hair in the reflective wall of the ARV.
"You have the facility already? As you've seen, they're not for putting anywhere," said Doctor Meen
"Oh, where they're headed for is very secure. It's where they'll go after that folk should worry about," said Karlsson, enjoying the teasing. He wondered what his job would be like if he didn't enjoy the feeling of 'if only they knew' quite so much. His job was to source DNA for possible military applications, which as it stood was not such a morally conflicted practice; no more than any other maker of weapons or wager of wars. Where the facts became uneasy listening was when these military applications needed to be tested. Soldiers were too expensive to train, although this did not mean total exclusion from the testing process. It fell to non-military personel to perform the bulk of the research, in ways ranging from the unimaginable to the publically-explainable. One such way was the co-ercion of private world-owners into introducing military-grade species onto worlds commercially operated as hunting destinations, in the guise of a 'novelty' quarry for sporting hunters; their true lethal nature masked by the assumption that they are merely yet another of the myriad of undocumented, and mostly unremarkable species discoved regularly through space.

Back at the outpost, while they were waiting for the replacement vehicle that would take them to the spaceport, Doctor Meen completed the necessary paperwork and dispatched the order via his moblie transmitter.
"Can I ask how the DNA will be used?" he asked Karlsson.
"I hope you're not asking me to give away military secrets," said Karlsson, itching to give way some secrets for once, military ones or not.
"Only if you're planning to cross the DNA, with other species. A professional interest," said Doctor Meen.
"You're worried your creation might not be kept pure?" asked Karlsson, unknowingly misreading the intent in Meen's question.
"Oh not at all. As for my creation, the Omnitrox was very much as you see it today. All I've done is iron out a few quirks, few possible birth defects. Tidied the DNA up a bit. No, you see, I've learned a lot about what it can do, but I've yet to see what it might become; if crossed with the right species. It's an area that interests me greatly. I'd be very interested in viewing any results you manage to obtain," said Doctor Meen, trying to make it sound like he didn't just mean 'tell me what you're gonna do with it!' out of pure childish curiosity.
"We have contacts on a planet with a huge diversity of animal life. The main predator there has entered a stage of maturity as yet unseen. We've been looking for the most suitable candidate for cross-engineering with the genes of the Qu.." Karlsson's voice tailed off. Almost too much.
"I see. And this beast is of the same genus?" said Meen, who if he now knew, didn't say.
"Close enough," said Karlsson gruffly as the vehicle pulled up. He turned his attention to the cloud of dust the braking vehicle had stirred into annoying life. He coughed and squinted as it settled. At least that was done, he thought to himself. They'd had more trouble finding suitable matches for research than getting a fertilisable egg to grow in the Queen.
He climbed into the vehicle besides Doctor Meen, and grinned to himself. He'd got it for a song. How could someone so obviously brilliant, able to create such monsters (or locate and refine them, the details were unimportant to Karlsson) be such a putz when it came to striking a deal? He wondered for a moment about all the gullible people in all the worlds, from the brainwashed cultists of New Idaho to the unwitting settlers of Calypso.

He wondered if he could get himself some sort of spectator spot picked out for when the egg finally hatched. He had nothing particularly against 'gentleman hunters' as he liked to call the type of people who went to Calypso. He was just about callous enough to be able to enjoy watching them die though, and like Doctor Meen, fondly proud of his creative output. It wasn't good to care too much, he'd grown to realise.
If he started caring, he wouldn't be very good at his job.

The End



Hurrikane
 
Last edited:

jjmatrix

Stalker
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Posts
1,883
Location
Arkadia
Society
Freelancer
Avatar Name
JJ Ony Matrix
Well written Hurri; I like it... I like it a lot. And "gentleman hunters" it's brilliant!
Keep them coming!
 

Hurrikane

Slayer
Joined
Jan 28, 2006
Posts
8,358
Location
Bristol
Society
GloryHound Irregulars
Avatar Name
Oscar Hurrikane SkyQuake
Well written Hurri; I like it... I like it a lot. And "gentleman hunters" it's brilliant!
Keep them coming!

Amazing how many typo's you spot the day after; all corrected now (I hope).

More tales on the way in whatever lull the WoF gives me....


Hurrikane
 

stevescamaro

Young
Joined
May 30, 2006
Posts
12
Location
im from salt lake city utah
Society
Pyrates of Calypso
Avatar Name
steve lokis camaro
ahhh.... the egg.
 
Top