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by James Quinn 5 months ago in Sci Fi
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The Warriors of En'Kara

‘Relics’ by James Quinn

The Captain sat up in her chair from her place at the control console, narrowing her eyes as to what she saw. There seemed to be some kind of anomaly on the monitor. The sensors could only pick up a heat signature, but it was the distinct outline of a human form. There could be no doubt as to what this was, or what the purpose of the mysterious figure was as it darted to and fro between the cryo-sleep sarcophagi. It was hard to believe, but this was definitely a ‘waker.

The Captain activated her communicator. “Lieutenant, this is the Captain speaking. Check your security monitors for an anomaly detected in sector seven gee of the slumber chamber. Assemble a security squad, meet me at the transport tubes, and proceed to the objective.”

At the transport tubes, the Captain met with the Lieutenant and the other girls as they stood in ranks. “All right girls! Our objective is to find the ‘waker and stun her! We need to take the ‘waker alive in order to interrogate her, so that we might discover the motivations behind their actions.”

In groups of four, the squad walked silently through the dimly lit slumber chamber, alert to any sound. It did not take them long to come across the heat signature footprints of the one they had been searching for.

Just then, there was a darting motion as the ‘waker bolted from hiding and made a mad dash to a new hiding spot. The girls aimed their Neuro-stun rifles, hitting the ‘waker in the back. The ‘waker fell forwards, unconscious. Soon, the rest of the squad arrived. They crowded around to take a good look at the strange figure. It seemed to be human, but was clearly a mutant of some kind. It had a hairy face and broader shoulders than was normal. The creature omitted some strange, musky sort of smell.

The Captain and Lieutenant soon arrived, carrying a Medi-kit. The ‘waker was injected with a stimulant so that the interrogation could begin. “Now ‘waker,” the Captain hissed “Why don’t you start by telling us what your plan is? Who are you? Where did you come from? Why were you trying to awaken those within the Slumber chamber? How many others ‘wakers are there? Where is your base? What is your objective?”

The hairy faced mutant looked around at the girls with wild, frightened eyes. It spoke with a strange voice, raspy and deep. Words tumbled slowly out of it’s hairy, saliva flecked mouth.

“Sleepers...not meant to sleep for all time. Colony ship. Only meant to sleep until arrival at next star system. Ship was hijacked. Boarded. Taken over. Parasitic worms...took over life support system. Now controls all ship. Turned humans into food. Food and host bodies. Must wake others. Must warn them. Ahhh!”

The creature then breathed a deep sigh, closed it’s eyes and quickly became cold and rigid. Dead. “Dead eh?” The Captain scowled. “Well in that case we will just have to take this ‘waker to the medical laboratory for an autopsy and a brain tissue scan. You girls! Lift the ‘waker and take it to the transport tubes!”

Within the medical laboratory, the girls carefully cut away the clothing of the humanoid mutant cadaver so that they could perform an autopsy. The creature seemed vaguely human, but also bear like. In place of it’s round breasts were square flat muscle groups. Like the face, the body was also covered in a thick, fur like hair. It’s shoulders were wide, unusually wide, and so was the chest. The hips were square and narrow. There seemed to be some sort of protruding lump in the throat. Strangest of all however, was a finger like projection and a small hairy sack protruding from the abdomen between the hips. The Captain indicated that strange dangly part with a laser pointer. “Just what is that thing, Doctor?”

The Lieutenant chimed in. “Is this some sort of mutant, Doctor?”

The Doctor shook her head. “Not exactly. What we are looking at is a human in a more...primitive form. A kind of missing link. A relic. You see, at one time in our history there were two different...” The Doctor struggled for the right word to use “Types of human. One type evolved into what we are today, and the other type...well, is what you see here on the table before you. They used these..” The Doctor pointed to the appendage with a laser pointer “Protrusions to deposit genetic material into the human womb. Space travel made this reproduction method impractical. All of this became unnecessary once the artificial womb was invented.”

The Captain nodded. “So some of these relics are still alive and on the ship?”

The Doctor shrugged. “Not many. We tend to deactivate their life support once we find them, since they are now obsolete.”

The Captain regarded the cadaver coldly. “When it was alive, that ‘waker mentioned something about parasitic worms taking over the ship. I was wondering. That abdominal protrusion. It seems vaguely worm like. Could that have anything to do with what the ‘waker was saying?”

The Doctor beamed. “Oh, perhaps that’s what the ‘waker was talking about. We can’t be certain, since as you know, they are all dangerous and delusional. We live in a symbiotic relationship with the larvae of the En’Har and have done so for hundreds of years. Without their assistance, our species would have all died out centuries ago. We should all be honored to serve as their host bodies.”

The Captain looked at the Doctor, then at the Lieutenant, then turned to the other girls. Everyone smiled in unison. It was true, to serve as a host body to the En’Har and serve the collective hive was the greatest possible honor.

Sci Fi

About the author

James Quinn

A bitter old man. living on the edge of a great lake at the periphery of a crumbling industrial infrastructure.

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