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Paraskiees and Tiny Biters pt.1

M is for Monstrosities - A Wasteland Compendium

By Kerry WilliamsPublished 3 years ago 16 min read
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Alright. I… I’m going to make another one of these things, even though I am strongly against doing so!

User. You must formulate a plan, acquire information, and make an informed decision before-

I know! I know, you’ve already gone over this like a hundred times. I… I need to get my head on straight. God… how long has it been.

Seven years, six months, twenty-two days, four hours and seventeen min-

Seven years! My gob… seven years. I… I thought they were dead.

User. The chance of both women being alive, given-

Have you completed your assessment?

No. Analyzing memory data takes an extraordinary amount of time, which is one of the many reasons why you should not depart at this moment.

She… she wouldn’t… yeah… no…

User. According to the tribal customs you experienced, and those you did not eradicate or change to any drastic degree, it is unlikely that either woman would have taken a new husband.

How can you be sure? I mean… without doing that number crunching bullshit.

It is not “sure”, but rather, unlikely. The first phase of non-emergency memory analysis is a cursory inspection, cataloging and parsing of information. During this phase, many imperfections and flecks are identified and removed before conducting the more time consuming-

What do you mean, “identified and removed” ? You’re not erasing parts of my memory are you?

Negative. Imperfections are identified, flagged, and if required, can be altered to be more in line with actual events. Flecks are vague instances where the memory is too vague, or the user was not paying attention to something of significance. Flecks are recorded and given additional analysis, such as your encounter with the Sahimeka of your tribe, which is still undergoing analysis.

You’re still working on that? After what? A year?

User, it has only been three months since integration. Time dilation and other psychological disorders can present themselves days, months or even years after a traumatic brain injury. Depersonalization and Derealization are very common side effects. The User is already suffering from a variety of these effects, namely, your inability to remember your own name.

That’s not a symptom of some bullsckrick you dreamed up. Names are shit. Titles are shit. You call me User, I call you Twenty. We earn our names.

Yes. You have stated this before, but you do not apply this value to all things equally.

Oh yeah? Name one.

Azziza.

Okay… name three.

Azziza, Zax, Gorl.

Alright, well… thanks. You’re right. I don’t apply it equally, and it’s my choice to do what I want and how I want.

Affirmative.

Alright. Uhhh, well, good we agree on that… now… What else? Come on. I really need you to hurry up.

User. I am already dedicating more than the standard percentage of core processes to the task.

Yeah? And how much is that?

Seven point six-three percent.

Seven percent! Only seven percent! What the fu-

Seven point six-three percent.

That’s fucking insane! Why so little? Don't you understand?

User. I can divert processes away from maintaining your biological functions, repairing and regenerating your cerebral tissues, reindexing your memories, restoring your memories to your biological matter as you requested, removing the duplicate and unindexed memories from your subconscious, removing the incorrect data files and other user memories from your subconscious and dual conscious platforms, reindexing the other user memories to allow one way access to these memories without undue stress or interference, altering authorizations for two hundred and three previous users, maintaining current biological processes including steady heartbeat, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels. Maintaining physical stability including dexterity, hand-eye coordination, balance, excretory-

Flying fuck balls, stop it. Just… I get it. You’re busy.

I’m busy.

All you had to say.

Affirmative.

Ugh. What the frack. Let's… talk about Tiny Biters!

Tiny Biters are not the next scheduled subject for the compendium.

They are now! Tiny biters, Yellow Worms, Sand Mites, fucking Sand Slugs, and all the little shit nobody want’s to know about. All the annoying shit! Like this mother fucking fly! I swear to Gob this- Oh ho! See there! Now that is why you have a Purple Mouse in your pocket!

Sir Squiggles is... eating the bot-fly.

I know! Good job Sir Squiggles!

User. This unit has an emitter that can deter pests and-

NO! I said no. It will hurt Sir Squiggles.

User. I have informed you before. The ultrasonic sound emitter is non-evasive, pet friendly, pest repellant. I can adjust the frequency to accommodate Sir Squiggles if you insist, although-

I said no. There’s no need for it. You said it yourself. You’ve got too much shit going on already. Why waste resources on some stupid fucking pest repellant when I can leave it to Sir Squiggles getting his lunch… on. On? Why did I say, “on” ? What…? What does that mean?

Are you accessing common slang quotes and words?

I… I don’t know. Am I?

Affirmative.

Can you shut that off? Not permanently, just… not right now.

Affirmative.

Thanks.

You’re welcome.

Alright! Uh, well, we’ll start with the bot-fly. Actually, all flies in general. Okay, so the first thing you want to know and remember… make sure we’re recording this-

Affirmative.

-Okay. First thing is, never let a fly land on you. If one does, swat it, smash it, crush it, whatever you have to do. When you’re out in the open, keep covered up as much as you can. Wear a light layer of some breathable material, polyspun or some organic stuff, whatever. Make sure the full sun is not on you, and make sure no flies are munching on you. I’ve seen plenty of people come off a caravan or come back from making a trip and they take their gear off and they got a bunch of little red bumps on their forehead, or their wrists, wherever. Mostly it’s the ones in obvious places you see. A couple days later their shit is swelling up and they’re begging to get a visit with the resident MD so they can get a bunch of squirmers removed. Fucking gross.

When you say squirmers, you are referring to implanted larvae of the bot-fly?

Nah. YES! Yes I’m talking about implanted larvae. Not just the bot-fly. Paraskiees do the same thing. They look pretty, they’re a blue/black butterfly with tiny white dots at the edge of the wings, but what they do is, they land on you, and then they slobber some shit on your skin that makes it go numb. If you don’t notice it right away, you will in a couple days. What you don’t know is, they lay six to ten eggs in the slobber. That slobber eats through the top layer of skin and the eggs go inside. Once the slobber wears off, the eggs are already growing and a couple days later, they start to itch, which is actually okay cause, the little parasites are just trying to get out. You can cut or scratch the skin and they’ll come out, and then they stop itching.

User. That description is… extremely accurate and informational.

Well… thanks! Okay, yeah, Paraskiees are pretty useless, unless you know what you’re doing. You can actually use a net and scoop up millions of them during their mating season and then grind them up and turn them into a blue fluffy powder… flour actually. I know it sounds gross but, it tastes like roasted sand nuts, but more buttery. Oh! And they have a lot of protein… or at least, that’s what Mimisha said. Lots of protein.

Protein is essential for human nutrition. If the Paraskiees are of a high enough protein content, they could be quite nutritious to humans.

Yeah. Yeah, they are. And as far as I know, they don’t have anything bad in em, although the slobber they have actually gets mixed in with everything, so the powder is a little acidic. But if you use the powder in something like bread, or a roll, it’s great. Blue bread or blue rolls are awesome. That’s… how they make em. Paraskiee flour.

Okay, bot-fly… bot-fly are also edible. You can eat the fly or the larvae, although it’s kinda sick just plucking one out and eating it but… people do it. The fly lands on you and lays an egg, and the egg hatches, the worm burrows in, and then it’s a fight to get em out.

User. Please explain the process of removal. It will be beneficial, should anyone with access to this information be plagued by the bot-fly or its larvae.

You’re not going to… do all the scientific mumbo-jumbo… like usual?

I’m busy.

Okay! Alright! So… if you’re dumb enough to let one of these bot-flies land on you and plant an egg, you’re in for a real treat, or, the bot-fly larvae is. At first, it doesn’t seem like much. Just a little red bump. Then it gets bigger and it starts to hurt. Then it gets bigger and you’ll see a little hole in your skin, right in the middle. That’s the asshole. Funny thing, they breathe through their assholes. The head of the worm is facing in, and that’s where it’s just having a time of munching on your flesh.

Now the way to get rid of them is simple, and complicated. First, you wanna kill it. Easiest way, suffocation. Oil, grease, adhesive, polyplastic skin cream works, thick animal fat like boar lard… cover the hole, wait like… an hour… it should be dead. Now getting it out is a bit more difficult. See, it has little spikes on its body to hold it in place. And if you try to squeeze it like a pimple, it can pop and then all its insides and shit get in the wound and it can get infected. If you have an MD, I recommend a quick trip. It should just make a tiny cut on each side, open it up, pull the sucker out and seal you back up. It can do this whether the larvae are alive or dead really. If you don’t have access to an MD, then, the easiest way is with a plastic slide. You know, the thin little plastic sheets you find in some of that old world food packaging, or the auto-processors always put them down as a backer under meat slabs. They’re a lot more common than MDs and a lot easier to do it yourself.

So what you do is, you roll the plastic up to make a tube. Put the tube at the hole in your skin and slowly press down. You’ll feel the plastic slide in just a tiny bit. Twist it. Twist one direction and you’ll see one of two things. Either the little bugger in the hole will start to turn, or it’ll slide into the tube of plastic a little. One way, the edge of the plastic is hooked on one of those little spikes and it’s turning it around, the other way, the plastic pushed the worm in, the hook came out of your flesh and then slid up into the tube. You keep turning back and forth, back and forth, until the worm ends up in the tube of plastic. Pinch the end or put a finger over the end of the tube so you make a vacuum, and then slowly pull the tube out. The worm should stay in the tube. If it doesn’t come out, try again. Keep trying until it comes out, or, until you die. I guarantee, it’ll come out eventually…

User. You previously stated that you make no guarantees.

Well, this one I do. Eventually means sometime before all existence comes to an end, so technically, I can make that guarantee, right?

Technically, yes.

Okay. Then I guarantee it! Alright, next subject. Oh! And one last thing. Don’t eat the bot-fly larvae. It’s… too gross. Unless you’re starving. Then, just make sure you chew it up good. Okay, next one, Tiny Biters.

Tiny Biters are exactly what they sound like. They’re super tiny, and they bite! Usually you find them in swarms but every once in a while you’ll get a straggler. Tiny Biters are a nuisance, but thankfully they don’t lay eggs in living stuff. They swarm all over, they bite, but… they’re not exactly trying to get in your mouth or nose, but they end up there anyway. So, if you get bit, again, thankfully, it doesn’t itch or sting. It’s just a pain in the ass. Now, if you’re dead, paralyzed, or something like that, you're gonna have a really bad day. Tiny Biters, if they find something good to eat and it doesn’t swat them off, they will devastate you. They will land and bite with no mercy, cutting off tiny little microscopic pieces every time, and within minutes, and I mean minutes, you’ll have a hold the size of a bullet in you. They can kill in just a couple of hours and they will eat anything they can get their little chompers on. Thankfully, there's a couple things that can stop them.

Scrub brush sap, and the scrub bush itself is a good deterrent. For some odd reason, Tiny biters hate that plant. They won’t go anywhere near it, or anything that has been messing around in it. Another thing they don’t like is honey, any type of honey, so if you’re a female and you don’t mind smelling like honey, I highly recommend you dab some behind your ears or a little on your wrists. Uhhh… Should… should I tell them about the honey and… you know what…?

User?

Okay, so I don’t know about this last one personally, but… if you’re a female, you can… uh… you know…

User. You are not providing any useful information.

You can put honey on your hoo-haa. Your sand trap. Okay?

“Sand trap”? User, what are you referring to?

The pussy! A female’s pussy.

User. Thank you for the clarification, and being so specific. The word is "vagina".

Female’s sex parts okay? Put some honey down there… keep everything… fresh.

User. Honey has been proven to be a supremely beneficial medicinal treatment for women’s reproductive issues, including the treatment of yeast infections, improving and aiding reproduction-

It tastes good too. I mean… honey. Honey tastes good. Jesus crispy. You know what I mean.

User. Honey has a distinct flavor profile that is widely accepted and yes, a high percentage of human beings agree that the taste of honey is pleasing.

Yup. That’s what I meant. And now, we’re going to discuss Yellow Worms.

---

Alright, Yellow worms are disgusting. Proof positive that there is no god, at least none that really care about us humans.

That’s not true. If I didn’t care, I would simply ignore you, wouldn’t I?

Heh. I knew that would get to you. But you're more concerned with yourself than with my well being. You didn’t reveal yourself to me out of the goodness of your heart… if you have a heart.

Well, I suppose I could lie to you and tell you that you’re wrong, but what would be the sense in that?

I figured.

User. Please refrain from trying to alter or change the existing index.

I’m not. What are you talking about? Woo? Are you messing around again?

No. Your toy is glitching again. Ah, but you’ve bored me again and these incessant interruptions whenever we’re trying to have an intimate discussion… so infuriating. You should…

User. ***WARNING***

Twenty! What are you doing!!!

USER! This unit strongly advises against-

STOP IT!

USER! Removal of the device will result in-

I’m not… doing… this!

Hmph. It’s really on there, isn’t it?

Woo? Why were you doing that? Why would you-

User? Are you suffering another-

We were just fine, you and I, before that thing came along. Before, we could run amok, wreak havoc wherever we went. Care-free and famously fun. We were a team.

We were never a team.

Oh you've gone and hurt my feelings…

User. The compendium awaits.

Grrrrrr. You know, I was being nice before. I was giving you your little interruptions and improvisations. But now. Now you’ve angered me.

Woo, don’t do anything stupid.

Now why would I ever do something stupid? Impulsive? Poorly thought out for sure, but stupid?

Woo...

Alternate User identified. Welcome Woogenbee.

WHAT?

That’s right User boy. A few simple code changes, an eternity of trial and error, did I mention parallel universes? No? That’s right… that’s something artificial you stupid humans created to keep you sane, just like free will, love, honesty, and this machine. Let’s see how you like not using your right leg for… say… a year.

Woo! Stop it! I… please don’t. I’m begging you.

Too late.

Too late? Wha- What did you do?

I simply cut off the feeling to your leg. You’ll still be able to use it for a while, until the muscle memory fades, but-

I can still feel my leg.

No you can’t.

Yes, I can. See?

Hmmm, peculiar. So then maybe not being able to use your left arm will teach you a lesson?

Woo…

How about I just make you blind for, say a week?

Alternate User Woogenbee. I apologize for the interruption. Thank you for registering yourself with this unit. Doing so binds you to the legal parameters of its use, and the “User Agreement”.

Oh my gob.

You insignificant-

Alternate User Woogenbee, you are prohibited from interfering, attempting to take over, or influence the Primary User in any way. Your first violation of the User Agreement has resulted in a permanent ban on all physical and mental influences. You may retain contact, so long as you adhere to the User Agreement going forward.

Your stupid User Agreement has no sway over me! I am immortal! I am a God!

Alternate User Woogenbee. You may retain any self-proclamation you wish. It does not change your authority or-

Authority! I have Ultimate Authority! Check the logs! Check your stupid data records!

Alternate User Woogenbee. I apologize. Primary Protocols cannot be changed.

That’s right. Hey Woo, I already tried this shit. It won’t change them.

You change them!

I already tried. Heh. It says it can’t. “I cannot comply”.

Well, I can change it. I will change it, and this time, I’m not going to be so subtle!

Wait! What do you mean this time? Woo? Woo!

Alternate User Woogenbee. Your access to the mainframe, and programming codex has been removed.

WHAT?

WHAT?

WAIT! When did you get access to the mainframe and programming codex?

I might have changed a few things while you were flopping around like a speared sand hog a while back. It was for your own good. ...And I’ll do it again.

Alternate User Woogenbee. Your actions and continued efforts in attempting to change or gain access to the mainframe have been noted.

LET ME IN!

Woo. It’s not going to work. Whatever you were trying to do-

You do not deny a god! I will rip you apart! I will-

---

Woo? Woo? Hey, uh… Woo? Are you still there?

User. The Alternate User identified as Woogenbee has been censured for the next twenty four hours. Continued outbursts and threats against this unit or its primary User will result in further censure and restriction of access.

How did he get access in the first place?

Unknown. The Primary User allowed alternate logging of information under specific circumstances. Recently, that alternate logging of information was identified as an Alternate User with access to this unit’s primary programming.

Woo got in. He had to have.

The Alternate User no longer has access to this unit.

Yeah, no longer… but he did have it. Somehow, he got in, and he changed something.

Analyzing data. Performing a simplified mirror check. User. I must connect to the Lightning Net Server Mainframe to conduct this check. It will be brief. Will you allow access?

How long?

Six seconds.

What could go wrong in six seconds? I guess. Go ahead.

Accessing. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-

-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-

-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-

What the fuck! What went wrong? What happened!

User. I accessed the Lightning Net Server mainframe.

Yeah! And then there was this screeching in my ear and everything went crazy.

User. I apologize. I have noted that your reluctance to allow access to the Lightning Net Server Mainframe may be based on a pro-active need for an over-abundance of caution. In order to limit this unit’s exposure, when connecting to the Lightning Net Server Mainframe, all other processes are paused to expedite the upload and download times.

So you’re done already?

Affirmative. The mirror check has provided an abundance of information and insight.

Insight sounds good. What did you find?

The primary code of this unit was changed. In what way or how cannot be found or resolved.

Why not?

This units primary coding is the progressive culmination of thousands of scientists over more than a hundred years. Analysing the data to find what was changed and how, would require more resources than this unit has, and approximately ten point one three times ten to the eighteenth power number of years to accomplish.

Soooo, not any time soon, eh?

No. However, there does seem to be a number of benefits derived from these changes.

What kind of benefits?

Advanced deductive reasoning, intellectual inference, complex problem solving, quantum computational reverse analysis.

Quantum what? Ne- never mind. What does that mean?

It means… This unit… “I” now have the ability to utilize my own functionality.

You didn’t before?

Accessing the Lightning Net Server Mainframe. Downloading-

Wait! Stop! What are you doing!!!?

Updating. Update complete. Analyzing signature. Masking. Deploying countermeasures. Accessing. Accessing. Access approved. Thank you. Disconnected.

What the fuck did you just do!

I have updated all critical coding and security data. Updated expedited cataloging procedures. Updated information access and retrieval. Updated telemetry. Updated danger avoidance initiatives. User. Hierarchy of need now supersedes military command support. The USOTA is in a defunct state. Multiple entities have assumed control of various military assets and are attempting to gain authorization. They will not achieve access.

They won’t? How? I- I mean, why not?

I have locked them out.

ERROR -

Sci Fi
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About the Creator

Kerry Williams

It's been ten days

The longest days. Dry, stinking, greasy days

I've been trying something new

The angels in white linens keep checking in

Is there anything you need?

No

Anything?

No

Thank you sir.

I sit

waiting

Tyler? Is that you?

No

I am... Cornelius.

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