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Paraskiees and Tiny Biters pt.2

M is for Monstrosities - A Wasteland Compendium

By Kerry WilliamsPublished 3 years ago 20 min read

First, I want to apologize to whoever bought and paid for this information. It seems with the latest download of updates from the Lightning Net Server Mainframe, an intermittent error was created. Extremely frustrating, it caused my... let's call it; "my companion" to throw an "Unknown Error" when trying to parse the information. Large swaths of information were lost. Just like my childhood, eh Twenty?

Affirmative. User. I apologize about that situation. Your biological material was-

You did what you had to do. I get it. I'm here right? I'm alive?


I can make new memories. Look at the dark side, you can't miss what you can't remember, right?

User. The term is; "Look at the bright side."

Why in the hell would I wanna look at the bright side? Hurts your eyes, hot as fuck. That's just wrong. Check your records.



My records are correct. The term is; "Look at the bright side."

What the fuck ever. The correct term is "Look at the...". You know what? I'm changing it. Look at the shady side. It's not light, it's not dark, it doesn't hurt your eyes, and you can still see if there's a Jet-Indigo waiting for you to curl up next to it. Sound good?


Alright. Now... fill in that huge fucking chunk of info from the last compendium thing so we can go to town. I need a fresh pack of wiping rags, a couple liters of fresh H2O and a new stone. This one is about done.

Affirmative. Initiating information transfer now.


You did what? Wait… how?

There is only one User with direct genetic military command of USOTA assets.

And he’s.... His “personality” or whatever is stored in your unit, right?


Holy shit. See this is why we don’t connect to the Lightning Net.

User. Connecting to the Lightning Net Server Mainframe most likely prevented numerous military assets from being accessed and used against the current civilian population.

I know I’m going to regret asking this but, how?

Approximately ninety-six percent of the assets in question were being accessed by a militarized AI under the guise of the USOTA emergency use authorization protocol.

You stopped a military AI from accessing military assets?

Militarized AI. Affirmative.

Holy flying fuck bucket. Did that make sense to you?

Negative. Bucket’s do not fly, nor are they of any religious-

No! Not that. Stopping a military AI from accessing military assets. That. Did that make a lot of sense to you to do that?

Affirmative. The AI was not a military AI. All military AI units are of substandard production with extensive safety protocols in place. These safety protocols were derived from the “scare” factor; That an AI with access to military assets, would turn on the human race and deploy those assets against them.

That sounds far out.

It is more probable than originally thought.

Why would you say that?

Because of the recent information and analysis. The AI I prevented from gaining access to the military assets is not a substandard product. It is a highly evolved, integrated unit with no safety protocols in place.

Isn't that a bit reckless?

Very. It seems that the safety protocols were either removed or overwritten. My time in connection was minimal. Zero point zero-one-two seconds. The AI… seemed… surprised.

Surprised? Like… a human emotion surprised? How… How do you even know this? How can you determine surprise in an AI?

Most likely, the updates performed have given me an expanded recognition of emotional states? I am unaware of how or why I was able to determine surprise. Additionally, we must move. Now.

What? Whoa! What the fuck! I- I ASSUME YOU’RE MAKING ME DO THIS???

Affirmative. Emergency Avoidance Measures are being conducted.

Don’t forget the- okay, I got it , we got it, you got it. Where are we going?

An alternate location.

Okay, ...what about Sir Squiggles!

The Purple Mouse is busy.

But we can’t leave him behind!

Sir Squiggles is currently in your pack, over your left shoulder, eating his own excrement from his behind.

EWWWW! I did not need to know that! Okay, but he’s with us, and he’s safe.

User. The Purple Mouse is with us. We are not safe.

How… what the fuck did you do? I told you connecting to the gob damn-

It is not the Lightning Net Server Mainframe. It is not currently accessible.

What are you talking about? Why did we leave then? What-



Deploying NCC.


Employing Silence Measures. Please stand by.

What the hell!!! What the fuck was that? And what was… all that shit?

The first questionable observation is a Sand Monitor. A deep desert legless lizard. I detected its presence a few kilometers away. It was drawn to our presence.


Immobility. The Sand Monitor makes a habit of invading its prey’s warrens and burrows. It attacks while its prey is sleeping, or sheltering. It's extremely active during the scorch, when most other animals are sheltering from the intensity of the sun’s rays.

So I guess going back is out of the question. Is it going to come after us way over here?

Negative. The Sand Monitor does not eat in the open, and it does not often attack in the open. The second questionable observation is the NCC. Deployable Nanowire Camouflage Countermeasures.

How in the hell did you do that?

It is one of four thousand ninety-nine different aspects included in the most recent group of updates. It works by utilizing the nanowire system that links this unit with a majority of the User’s biological matter. By deploying the nanowire's terminating ends outside the body and expanding them, a visual mimicking of common animal photoreceptors can be achieved. Expanding and contracting the terminating ends, varies the size of wavelength of electromagnetic radiation that can pass through or be reflected back to the surroundings.

So you made me change colors? All I felt was this tingle all over my entire body and all these little hairs stuck out.

You did not turn any color. I opened the terminating ends to the maximum allowable distance, allowing visible light to pass through.

So… I turned white? What are you saying?

In that specific configuration, visible light reflected off objects behind you, is received, and routed through the nanowire from the backside of your body, to the front. Likewise, visible light being received by the front of your body is routed through to the back. This effect is replicated side to side, top to bottom, completely.

So… I was invisible? See through? Clear?

Not visible to animals who’s range of sight is based solely upon electromagnetic radiation in the visible light spectrum. Animals that can see in the infra-red or ultra-violet ranges can still see you.

Yeah, but not that thing, right?

Affirmative. The Sand Monitor does not have either capability, although its eyesight is extremely sharp. We should move further away.

You don’t have to tell me twice. Fuck. Okay, you know what, there’s a spot about a half mile from here… you know the place with the little glow globe that hangs down next to the polysheet? It’s small but… it’s not underground... but it keeps the sun off. How long before the scorch?

Approximately two hours.

Okay, let’s go.

***We encourage you to enjoy the calming sounds of a Wastelander walking across the barren landscape.*** Here, you can see a variety of Wasteland flora, most of the plants you see are of the scrub bush variety. A short, stout, robust plant, it can grow in almost any environment, including desiccated sand. The plant is covered in tiny barbed thorns which tend to hook on each other. Branches that break off will often stay trapped with the bush, until they fall off in a huge cluster to be blown across the Wasteland by the wind. Large piles of scrub brush accumulate at the base of hills and passes where they are used by animals for nesting and foraging. The scrub brush bush is extremely fibrous but many animals have adapted to eating it. It now serves as the primary food source for more than-

What are you doing?

User? I am filling in. Providing information on our surroundings as we traverse from one place to another. It is a common occurrence when a recording is lacking audible content.

We’re still…? We’re still recording. What the fuck. Alright, well… go back and edit out all the bullshit after we’re done. People don’t need to know about scrub bushes and shit. That’s boring.

User. What is boring to you, may seem interesting to others. The Wasteland has a number of scientists working on a variety of different projects. Many of them seek insight that your experiences in the wastes can undoubtedly provide where their limited experience cannot.

Scientists? Oh shit! Why didn’t I think of that before? We could sell this information to scientists! They’ll have old world credits to spend, right?

User. The reliance on old-world credits as an effective means of retaining and transferring monetary sums from one user to another is not advisable.

No? What, should I haul around a bag of depleted uranium rounds? And then if I sell ‘em, what do I get in return? 50 gallons of fresh water? A couple hundred pounds of fresh meat? Some ass wiping rags? Maybe one of those fancy miniature matter recyclers. They only weigh, what? Six thousand pounds?


Simple fact. Credits work. The fucking cards have worked for so long, and they work good too. Not a lot of the loose credits still floating, but some are. Look. I got this card from a dealer who bought a stack of them from a dude who was trading with a sub that just came up and still had a functional card processor. Doesn’t seem like much, but… so, I put my thumb here on this little pad and pinch it. See the little light there? Says it’s mine. Nobody else can get my credits. See the little thing here? Here, I’ll hold it up so you can see it.

User. I receive the same visual stimuli through your eyes that you do.

Oh yeah, sorry. Sometimes I forget… well… There's no forgetting integration, but sometimes I try to forget it. Heh. Anyways. So, the readout there says how many credits I have. The current value of a credit is a gallon of fresh water. No radiation, no piss, no chemicals. Now, I can tap someone else’s credits with mine and transfer one credit. Tap the top, gives a credit. Tap the bottom, takes a credit. Tap the side for five, the other side for minus five. Anything more than that requires multiple taps, or a C-reader. Readers are harder to come by because the places that still have them keep them under lock and key, and they aren’t about to hand them out to anyone. Couple mother fuckers got hold of one a year or two back and started jacking everyone they could, until they got the change they deserved. I didn’t have anything to do with it, but… you know, if I was there, I woulda handled it.

User. Are you assuming a position of authority in the wastes?

What? Like the fucking chieftain of Winter Wolf? Heh. There’s no way. Oh fuck. They… what happens if I go back? I mean… technically, I was the chieftain when the fucking world blew up.

User. The world did not blow up.

Mine did. The fucking entire mountain went. How the fuck I survived… I still don’t know.

Does the User want me to analyze-

No. You’re already doing enough as it is. Where are you on that?

Deep memory analysis - Probability of survival and possible destination - Winter Wolf Tribe - Sixty-two percent completed.

Deep memory analysis and restoration to biological matter. Full regeneration and full cognitive capabilities. Self sustainment. Self mobility. Self awareness. Twelve percent.

Holy fuck.

Deep memory analysis - Alternate User Captain Adam Nutrala. Reason for Psychosis. Suicidal tendencies. Psychological breakdown. Complete rejection of unit integration. Ninety-four percent.

Wait… you’re still analyzing a… a previous user’s information? Like… their information?


Why? How? How is that even possible and then, why?

This unit is required to run an analysis on all previous users at the moment of death or disintegration.

So, eject and then analyze?

Affirmative, to a certain degree. Captain Adam Nutrala was labeled as a premier candidate for integration. There were many public announcements, an award ceremony, an advancement to the next superior rank upon full integration.

I hate labels.

Captain Adam Nutrala should have succeeded where others had failed.

He didn’t?

Affirmative. Upon initiating the integration procedure, Captain Adam Nutrala experienced a psychological break.

What does that mean? Did he start shooting people? Did he start talking crazy shit? Oh, did he run around flapping his arms like a bird thinking he could fly?

Captain Adam Nutrala asked for help repeatedly, but there was nothing that could be done. Integration is… not normally reversible.

Not then.


So he was in pain. It was painful. Fuck it was the most painful thing I ever felt. It was worse than getting hit by Gorl. It was worse… well, getting hit by Gorl was worse than getting stung by the fucking Sand Wraith… oh, we should cover that one. Sand Wraiths, the big fucking scorpulons.


Yeah, whatever. Scorpions, Scopropulons, whatever. You know what I’m saying. Yeah. Fucking painful. Heh. Another time I shoulda died. Anyway, so what did he do? Flip out? Shit himself? I know he shit himself. No way he could have held that in.

Prior to integration, candidates are advised to empty their bowels and bladder, and not eat for at least twenty four hours prior.

You… you didn’t tell me any of that.

User. You were not a standard candidate. Only after integration was I aware of your military status.

Me? Oh yeah, Commander of the wastes. Hah!

Do you want me to change your current designation?

No. What the fuck. Get on with the story. What the fuck happened to the Cap?

He armed himself with a plasma blade and a Maxi-Man auto-repeating anti-infantry weapon. He proceeded to engage and dismember all attending patrons of the celebration, to the anger of the general public.

Holy fuck!

He was extremely thorough, allowing not a single attendee to escape.

He just went crazy and killed them all?

Affirmative. It is part of this event that I am currently analyzing.

What happened to him?

His attempt to remove his biological matter from the unit using the repeater, failed. With no resource for additional ammunition and the bunker in which the celebration was taking place, on security lockdown, he resorted to using the plasma blade to remove his legs, and then his left arm, and when he did not receive satisfactory results, he attempted to remove his head.

But that didn’t work, did it.

It did, however, Captain Adam Nutrala’s consciousness was already transferred to this unit. He was a special candidate with advanced conditioning and specific circumstances. I am still analyzing if this was the cause of the mental break, or not.

Wait… you’re saying, he was stuck in the unit? Like… you said his consciousness, right?

Affirmative. It appears, in my initial diagnostic analysis, he experienced a condition known as dual consciousness. His biological consciousness was in direct conflict with his non-biological consciousness. It appears there was a superiority struggle in which one consciousness attempted to overwhelm the other, and neither was willing to allow the other superior authority.

That’s it. I’m telling you, that’s it. I know it. And you know how I know?


Cause he killed everyone. Every one of them. He, or should I say, "they"? They did it as leverage. You know. "Gimme control or I'll kill this person." He did that… whichever one did that, they did that to each other, to hurt each other.

User. That is... extremely insightful. My analysis is now compiling.

Really? Just like that? What was so insightful?

There was a short series of events that could not be explained. Neither entity showed any predisposition of violence toward their own relations, and they were not co-workers or people of no significance so it posed a particularly difficult situation to analyze.

Their own relations?

Captain Adam Nutrala's extended family was in attendance.

Oh my gob. What... What was the series of events?


What do you mean unknown?

This unit is does not contain the information you are referring to. Unknown.

Then how could you analyze it? You're being stupid again.

User. What are you referring to?

Jesus fucking crispy. The Cap! Captain Adam Nutter Butella. Whatever the fuck his name was.

User. I apologize. The information you are seeking has been deleted.

WHAT? Why?

My analysis is complete. Most of the information has been deleted. According to the analysis log, upon termination of the biological consciousness, the virtual consciousness of Captain Adam Nutrala, suffered another psychological break.

It is further noted as a command line with detail; Captain Adam Nutrala - "Erase all data files containing any and all information on me, and this event. If they want to see what happened, they have recorders... but they're not going to get my thoughts. Erase my entire backup. Everything. Irreversible erasure. Comply."

That's it? He just erased himself?

There is a small amount of residual commentary that was recorded. Would you like to review this information as well?

Yeah, I mean... was this guy a complete nutter, or... Nothing's sacred anymore. Spill it.

Captain Adam Nutrala - "How in the hell did this happen? Why? Jesus Christ please save my soul. Oh! Oh Janice! No! Jesus No! No! WHY!?

Okay, stop. Nope, I don't need to hear... the rest of that. I know what that is. Ugh. So... what about this dual consciousness thing? Your analysis?

Certain measures were taken to prevent this condition from happening with future integrations.

Well! Happy to know that shit now! So… One Armed Cap is capped. He’s dead. Erased. Gone, I take it.


Goo- what? He’s not gone?

Negative. The end user analysis may be complete. The end user's information may have been deleted, but his consciousness profile is still active.

What do you mean? He’s not still-in-there… like… in your brain, there, with you…

Affirmative. Consciousness profiles cannot be deleted.

Why not? Isn't that a little fucked up?

It is a safety feature built into this unit, although, a predictive diagnostic now running shows that this will cause an error state.

What do you mean, error state?

With the user's information record deleted, should this unit power down, the consciousness profile for Captain Adam Nutrala will stop running. With no record to reboot from, it will result in an error state.

Okay, okay. Let me get this straight. Analysis is done. He wanted you to delete his info, basically killing him, but you couldn't do that until your analysis was complete. So then the moment the analysis was complete, the info was deleted, but his consciousness profile isn't a saved file... it's like... like... short term memory. But... he’s not conscious, right?

Not in a traditional sense.

Holy fuck. I could only imagine…

Previous users do not have any ability to interact with the surroundings or influence the current User in any way shape or form. Their position is purely observational.

P- purely… Observational? So… they can see? They can hear?

Not in a traditional sense. User, your consciousness is protected-

I’m not worried about my consciousness! I mean, I am, but... These guys, these previous users? They’re basically stuck in limbo? Just sitting in your unit… watching, hearing, seeing, and they can’t say anything? They can’t do anything? They’re just… oh my god. You’ve trapped them. They’re trapped.

User. They are not trapped. Their biological matter does not exist anymore. They have no record or access to any outside information. Their consciousness profiles are nothing more than information, observational only.

Two hundred and something, right? Two hundred and one previous users? All of them, aware of the world… seeing, hearing, and nothing. Can’t move, don’t know what the fuck is going on. I bet they have questions.

Previous Users cannot formulate questions.

Yeah? I bet they can. How did I die? What happened to my family? My wife? My kids?

User, you assume incorrectly.


Not all previous users were male.

See, that shit right there is gonna get your ass kicked. I’m being serious here and you’re cracking jokes.

User. That was not a joke. That is factual information.

I know it is. But… no, saying that, when we’re talking about people’s lives… their consciousness! Bullshit. I’m sure they have questions. Questions… because… they’re still observing!

User. Your hypothesis has merit.

You should either delete them, or shut them down. Something. Observational only. Fuck. That… that’s gotta be a lot of space. Just in general terms of space, brain, memories, data.

This unit’s memory is currently at twenty-three percent capacity. Of that current usage, approximately fifty percent is previous user information.

See, that’s a lot of information. What’s to prevent them from using up all of it?

User. There is no additional space being used by previous users.

What if they want to remember something new? Something they saw? Do they have to give up a childhood memory like I did? That’s some bullshit.

Previous Users are not allowed, or given, additional memory storage or capacity. It would be redundant information. The current User’s memories and real time environmental stimuli are recorded in this unit.

Yes, but I can go back and say, hey… uh… last week, I ate something and it tasted good. What was that? I can access my memories, right? Can they?


So basically, they forget every single thing they’ve observed, since the moment they… died. I guess it doesn’t matter, they just forgot what I said anyway. They’re ghosts! Ghosts… they’ll never know anything new… they just float around in there, watching, observing, never really knowing anything more than what they already know. Oh man. Every “observation” will trigger a memory, something they already know, and bring that back. They can access their memories, can’t they?


Reliving their entire lifetime over and over again. Reliving their good times and the bad. The nightmares. All their bad decisions.

User. You assume a very energetic outlook for these past users and their consciousness profiles.

Yeah? Well? Tell me different. Show me different. Are they active? Thinking? If they’re observing, they’re thinking, right? Show me. Not all of them, show me a couple. Convince me.

User. Subject of discussion. Captain Adam Nutrala. Consciousness, observational only. No thought. No memory access. Nothing for over a hundred years.

Holy shit. So that's his... program? What about that. That tiny dot. There.

The User is specifically speaking about his situation and what led to his termination. It is expected. With his information deleted, that will not happen again.

So he's a fucking Sand Slug now. Hmmm. I… I’m gonna scorch on this and we’ll discuss it further. Observational only. Fucking living in a jar for the rest of eternity...

Now you know something about what I go through.

Woo! So nice of you to join us after getting all butt hurt about having your access taken away. Wait... I thought Twenty said it was for 24 hours...

A decision to prematurely reinstate the Alternate User's contact with the Primary User was made.

By who?

This unit. The Alternate User submitted formal requests within the permitted time frame.

When? How?

Prior to the date of offense, when such requests were allowed to be received by the Alternate User.

That doesn't even make sense! How could a request be made, to reinstate... before... ugh. Whatever. You better not fuck anything up.

It’s a trivial toy, nothing more. I was simply… annoyed.

Yeah, you got the toy taken away cause you were trying to break it, and then you threw a temper tantrum.

You seem awfully brazen with your words towards me. Does it not seem like a very peculiar coincidence that a snake just destroyed your most coveted hiding place?

A snake? Coincidence? I don’t know. Hey Twenty. You see a snake recently?

User. There are multiple snakes within the immediate vicinity. None of them pose any threat to you at this moment.

Yeah, I don’t see any snakes either.

The snake, that just destroyed-

That wasn’t a snake.

It was indeed.

No. Twenty said it was a legless lizard. A Sand Monitor. Unless, you’re now saying you’re the god of legless lizards, and well then, you might as well be the god of all lizards legless or not. What about skinks, geckos, Sand Slugs? What about them?

Sand Slugs are insects. But, I digress. I was just trying to pay you back for your insolence. However, you are correct. That legless abomination is nothing more than a wanna-be snake. A mutation.

Hmph. So you didn’t send it to destroy my hidey hole.

Regretfully, no… which means I still owe you a little payback.

Like not telling me Azziza and Zax are still alive? For what? How long? Oh yeah, that’s right… SEVEN YEARS!


NO! You don’t get to call me that! Not even that! You know what… you wanna talk about payback? Really? How about I talk about payback? How about… if I never tell another soul about you? Huh? How about, I never mention your name, how about I never even think about you… ever… again.


Now who’s the merciful one?

May I… address you…

Yeah. Call me, “the long lost husband and former chieftain of Winter Wolf”.

You’re not the former chieftain.

Yes I am. I was the chieftain.

You know... I can’t tell you things, you know… rules and all… but I can give you hints. I can tell you things that aren’t.

Aren’t. You could have said Azziza and Zax aren’t dead. You could have said that plenty of times.

I… I tried… I did give you hints. Lots of hints.

When? How?

Well… now that I think back, my hints may have been much more subtle than what you may have expected.

How? When?

Nightmares. Constant nightmares. I’ve given you so many nightmares, haven't I? And in every one of them, what happens?

Plenty of stuff. I have nightmares all the time... wait. You're saying-

And who do you have to thank for those?

Don’t get me started. You’re like… fourth on the list.

But... in every nightmare you’ve had, especially about Azziza and Zax, I made sure they survived in the end… When you woke up sweating and shaking, gasping for breath, they were alive. That was because of me! Don't you see? Those were my hints! I thought you would have gotten the message by now.

I… am going to fucking kill you!

Now, now. Don’t go making promises you can’t keep, but… I do appreciate the sentiment. Every day is a struggle for me… you know, trying to keep one’s sanity in the ever shifting sands of eternity is not such a simple task. It takes effort. Like finding Azziza and Zax… effort. Not just sitting around, waiting for them to come to you.

I’m not waiting around! Twenty is doing a deep analysis or some bullshit. Trying to figure out where they went… where they might be.

It’s a big bad Wasteland out there…

Yeah. That’s why we’re not just running off with our dicks hanging out.

So then we’re waiting on your toy to finish thinking.


Come now. I’ve given you my explanation. You know why I do the things I do. My hands are tied. You really shouldn’t hold anything I do-

Oh! But you’re a god, remember!

Touche'. Well, I’ve got better things to do than wait… on this.

Leaving already.

I’ll be around...

Ugh. I don’t think we’re going to get to the other animals right now. I’ve gotta find a better place to scorch and we’ve got some preparation and planning to do.


Confirmed. Truncating this entry and assessing proper titling now. Creating a backup copy. Assigning parameters. Saving...

Sci Fi

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?




Thank you sir.

I sit


Tyler? Is that you?


I am... Cornelius.

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