Futurism logo

Purple Jackets

M is for Monstrosities - A Wasteland Compendium

By Kerry WilliamsPublished 3 years ago 16 min read
Like

Okay, so I'm picking a topic that, hopefully we can all get on board with. Yes? Hello? Oh, I see. Everyone's pissed now. Good. Maybe you'll be quiet and we can actually discuss, and when I say discuss, I mean, ME... talking... Nobody else! Alright. Fuck... Is this thing... are you recording?

A primary core directive is recording and archiving all sensory input.

So when I say, stop recording, you're not actually stopping the recording, are you.

Affirmative.

Okay. Yeah... well, I guess that makes sense. Can you actually stop recording?

---

Yeah. Wait... So... you're recording all the time. Like... all the time. Even... a couple days ago when I... n- never mind. Don't... just... uh, okay. Let's get on with the, uh, information.

Purple Jackets. In case you didn't know or haven't encountered these nastly little beasts, they're a flying insect. They're like three feet long with a twelve inch stinger and six foot wingspan. They've got-

Vespula Terroria Ultima, or better known as The Giant Purple Killing Wasp, grows to a maximum size of twelve inches with a three inch long stinger that delivers a highly toxic combination of venom, bacteria, and a combination of tropane alkaloids.

What bacteria? What alkaloids? What- Grrrrrrrr! I told you to stop doing that! Why do I now know what tropane alkaloids are! Is that necessary? Did I really need to know that?

User requested the information.

What ab- no. Nope, I don't need another flash download. Thanks.

The bacteria is of an unknown origin but a Botulinum variant would produce a very effective paralyzing agent. It is assumed among researchers that this is why a sting from The Giant Purple Killing Wasp causes instant localized paralysis, as well as other symptoms.

Yeah. Go over the symptoms.

The Giant Purple Killing Wasp attacks its prey in multiple ways. The primary attack is the three inch stinger. The Giant Purple Killing Wasp can attack as a solitary combatant, as a small group, or as a colonial swarm. Additionally, when scavenging for food, The Giant Purple Killing Wasp can lift its prey into the air using its three foot wing span, and drop victims to their deaths. A secondary attack employed by The Giant Purple Killing Wasp is-

Can you stop putting "The Giant Purple Killing Wasp" every time? Just... everyone knows what it's called now. Just call it a wasp.

The Giant Purple Killing Wasp is not just a wasp.

I... I understand. But for this, for what we're doing here, until we're done with this segment, just call it a wasp, okay. We all know it's The Giant Purple Killing Wasp. From this point on, when we say "wasp", that's what we're talking about.

Affirmative.

Thank you.

Another attack employed by The Giant Purple Killing Wasp is its bite.

Ugh.

Is there something wrong? I detect elevated levels of breathing, accelerated heart rate and stress.

No. Nope. Nothing wrong. Just, continue... go ahead.

The Giant Purple Killing Wasp's bite can be extremely painful. Its teeth are both serrated and have microscopic barbs on the inner surface, ensuring that anything it bites into, continues inward towards the stomach. Once food is ingested, it is dissolved through an enhanced metabolic digestive system. The Giant Purple Killing Wasp has one of the fastest heart rates in the animal kingdom, rivaled only by-

Who cares. Really? Come on. Okay, enough with the science stuff. Let's talk about surviving an attack. One, you gotta protect yourself. Get some thick heavy gear. If it's just one of these buggers, swat it, smash it, stomp it into the sand. Am I right or am I right?

Affirmative.

Ahhh-what? Oh. Yeah. I mean, right. Okay. So... they're big enough. You can probably hack em' up with a machete. Shoot em' with a gun, although, you'd be wasting ammo in my opinion.

Incineration is the preferred method. Spraying them with a caustic or flammable substance is the preferred method of fighting off The Giant Purple Killing Wasp. Flamethrowers such as the Panther XL 218 Flame Shot, with a 250 foot range, or the Diamond TC77 Series Fireball dispenser are a good choice.

The Panther what? Where is anyone going to get one of these flame throwers? Just waltz into Johnny's End and slap a couple credit chips on the counter? "Hey Johnny! You got any good flamethrowers around here?"

Either model can be built with the schematics stored in-

Stop. I... I don't need schematics, or directives, or another flash download. Flamethrowers. Got it. They don't like fire.

Not only are the wings of The Giant Purple Killing Wasp flammable, but due to the unique metabolism and diet of the wasp, most of its body is also extremely flammable.

I did not know that.

Additionally, the precursor insects and genetic modifications that led to this animals existence-

This was around before?

-yes. Many of the animals, flora and fauna that exist today, are the direct or indirect byproduct of human testing, genetic engineering and genetic modification. The Giant Purple Killing Wasp would not exist, if not for the creation of Superfood 71, now commonly referred to as Superfood One.

Okay, now I gotta hear this. Please explain that.

Towards the end of the human conflict era, four major superpowers struggled for dominance due to land limitations, and a variety of economic and societal inequalities.

Same old story. The haves and the have-nots.

Affirmative. The USOTA employed numerous scientists from all sectors, to address the issue of overpopulation, limited land availability, decreased nutritional content of edible substances-

Sounds like eating at Tarrytons. Sorry. Go on.

Four scientific breakthroughs are thought to have directly contributed to exacerbating and mitigating specific aspects of the global conflict.

Avaad Darjeer is noted as having discovered the matter/antimatter graviton agitation sequence, allowing matter and antimatter to be produced simultaneously, which in turn led to the limitless energy conundrum and the following energy weapon race.

Dr. Timothy Candle is responsible for the creation of the Drago, the precursor to the governmentally sponsored Droidit program, which consequently also led to the rapid expanse and reproduction of automated machinery and the following leap to artificial intelligence.

Like you.

User is incorrect. Artificial intelligence is a standard. My programming does not qualify as artificial, nor intelligent.

You have a shit load of information, and you refer to yourself as "I" and "my", so yeah, you do.

User directed me to refer to my physical containment unit and programming structure using these references, rather than my official communication parameters. Does the User wish to rescind this alternate directive?

Fuck no. Keep going. This is interesting.

Durant Holbless created the zero entropy excited state, and further developed the technology into a film, which was used to coat the inside of Dura-Crates and Dura-containers. When energized with low energy neutron radiation, absent of photonic energy, the space between the connected film takes on a state of zero entropy.

What the fuck is zero entropy?

The absence of atomic and subatomic movement. Theoretically, if the low energy neutron radiation is removed but the crate is not opened, the contents of the crate should slowly assume some sort of entropy from the environment. It is assumed this would lead to a sudden and extreme temperature drop inside the containment field, and the surrounding environment as well.

So... if a Dura-crate runs out of energy, it'll explode?

Negative. It will cause a sudden and drastic drop in temperature both inside and outside the crate.

Kazmah said she slept in a crate for years. Her and her brother. Their whole community.

I am aware of the repaired and archived memories of this observation, however, the likelihood of this being probable are less than zero point zero-zero-zero-zero-one percent.

Well she said that's what happened. I'm not about to jump in a crate to find out, but... I'm not gonna call her a liar. She's dead anyway. I believed her.

Probabilities have been proven to be inaccurate in many instances.

What's the last thing? You said there was four discoveries. What's the fourth?

Superfood One.

Wait. You're saying, Superfood One. That's not the same thing as Esseffone, is it?

Esseffone is the phonetic reciting of the acronym for Superfood One. Ess-Eff-One. Superfood One. Does the User understand?

Whoa! Hold! Wait! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

---

They stole it from him?

I have directed your subconscious to the entire historical archive surrounding Superfood Seventy-One, including the media reports, initial stock speculation, social media posts, private emails, public stock trades, governmental regulation and control, policies governing the price-

I would have fucking killed them all! Mother fuckers! Are you fucking... They framed him! They fucking stole his work, they fucking discredited him, and they fucking... they killed him.

Dr. Marshall Winstrom. Deceased. August twenty-fourth. Year; Two thousand ninety-six.

He might have killed himself, but the USOTA, the fucking bastards in charge of the program... they killed him.

There is no evidence that there was any foul play or any accomplice in his death.

He injected... he injected... Oh my GOB!

Your assumptions are unfounded. There is no evidence-

Are you kidding me? It doesn't make sense to you? Fucking Purple Potatoes? Have you seen the plants? Yeah, never mind. You're seen them. Fucking... fucking... where do you think they got teeth and smarts from?

Genetic modification. Genetic hybridization.

Yeah? Before his death, the purple potato... not just any purple potato either... Esseffone, was the motherfucker of all motherfuckers! Complete daily nutrition in a single serving. Easy to digest. Easy to grow, easy to harvest. That shit grew wherever they planted it. Anywhere. Everywhere. But the government didn't want to give it to the people and let them grow it and eat it for free. They wanted to make CREDITS. Mother fucking CREDITS!

I am detecting elevated levels of-

I'm fucking PISSED OFF! The USOTA... they fucking... ohhhhh those motherfuckers. They framed him. They ripped him off. They stole his research, and they burned his house! They took his accounts. They made him look like a monster! He was the fucking savior! He was... he was...

A scientist.

He was. He knew... He injected Esseffone... into his body.

That hypothesis is unfounded.

Really? Do a bit of number crunching. He... he went into hiding. They were searching for him. They... they suspected he was restarting his research. It's all here... They were afraid. Even after they'd taken everything from him, they were afraid he'd find a way to replicate his work and release it to the people. Here! Right in this... what is this? Some sort of communication?

A form of text communication from one User to another. Standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), it consisted of an initial, user defined text identifier, followed by a domain name, which corresponds to an Internet Protocol Address.

Jesus fucking crispy. Just give it to me in Engrish!

User is not making any sense. Do you wish to switch to an alternate language and dialect?

No. I was making a joke. Engrish... it's not English. Nothing is. I don;t even know why they call it that anymore. Ah. Here. It's an E-mail. Electronic?

Affirmative.

Listen to this.

I contain the information you are about to recite. There is no need-

Just let me talk for a second! Fuck.

"We cannot let this technology get into the hands of the public. It would be unregulated, uncontrolled, untaxed. Illegal. The ramifications of an easily produced food stuff would completely eliminate any need for government subsidies, corporate farming facilities, livestock, or further genetically modified food stuffs. Suffice to say, it would be catastrophic."

Here, this motherfucker goes on to say; "Imagine a world where everyone has a plant on their windowsill, one that grows so fast, every morning there's food hanging off the sides of the plant. And a single slice provides enough nutrition to keep you going for the entire day? No more grocery stores. No more food delivery. No more restaurants. Oh, it get's worse. No more farms, no more livestock, no MEAT. No more nutrition based diseases! The medical sector will crumble. Need a quick pick me up? Felling sluggish at work? Pop a piece of purple potato in your mouth and chew. Energy for the rest of the day! Non-addictive, no ill side-effects! We're talking about an elimination of most of our energy drink and food market. Our pharmaceuticals! Our entire business structure! Someone needs to find Winstrom NOW!"

That is an accurate reciting.

They knew he was going to figure it out... again. Here... listen how they planned to market and sell this shit. "We need to process SF71 to remove any traces of root. Remove any piece or part that can sprout into a new plant if intentionally planted or left to sit. Since cooking or boiling the tuber changes it's chemical properties and reduces it's nutritional content, it is recommended that NO RAW or FRESH tubers be sent to market." What the fuck.

---

They had the fucking world by the balls and all they wanted to do was crush them. Here they go on to say, "Winstrom's short sightedness and unethical goals lie in direct conflict to the companies directives, and the inherent loyalty to the USOTA and it's shareholders. If left to Dr. Winstrom, he would, without a doubt, give away the technology for free. Allow free cultivation of our product. Complete and catastrophic deregulation."

Oh these motherfuckers. Did you know he didn't even work for them?

Dr. Winstrom was employed by the USOTA for a number of years.

Yeah. Until he got fed up with all their bullshit and interference. He made a bunch of stuff for them. Energy drinks. Metabolizers. Weight loss... why the fuck would you want to loose weight?

Pre-conflict humans had an unusually hard time staying physically fit. They were most often, obese, and spent most of their free time watching other Users on a multitude of social platforms. Would you like-

No! Shit. Having a hard time loosing weight? Must be nice. Fuckers. No. So... Winstrom... he quit. He gave is resignation papers, and retired. They even had a clause in his contract so, for ten years after he was done working for them, anything he made, belonged to them. He waited it out before he ever started working on the Superfood stuff, and even then, it took him another ten years to develop it. Twenty years after he quit... and they considered it theirs. Like... one hundred and ten percent.

So how did he do it? I know he did it. But how?

I am currently running an analysis of particulate remaining from your most recent ingesting of Esseffone.

You can do that? Ugh. I feel queasy... Yeah. Tell me what you find. I bet... I bet I'm a cannibal now.

I am still analyzing the data.

Yeah. Purple Potatoes. Shit tastes like stomach acid and smells even worse, but it keeps you going. The perfect food. Now... we know why.

I have concluded the analysis.

And?

Your hypothesis, backed by the analysis of the Esseffone you ingested seems conclusive.

Meaning?

The Esseffone plants that exist today, are descendant of a secondary, highly voracious and reproductive form of the plant. An invasive and dangerous mutation.

Come on. Is it human DNA or not?

No.

Oh. Are you sure? Ha! I had you going for a minute, didn't I!

Plants contain RNA. There are significant RNA markers and genome chains that directly mimic human DNA-

Wait. So I'm right?

User is correct. Through some unknown process, Dr. Winstrom may have converted his DNA to RNA, either in part, or in whole. Somehow, he made his DNA compatible with the Superfood Seventy-One RNA. He may have bonded the two... or attempted to bond them. The process most likely led to his death.

How soon after he died... never mind. Hmm. Not enough time really. Everything went to shit way to quick for that to be accurate or conclusive.

There is no evidence that the voracious predatory plants that exist today, are linked to Dr. Winstrom specifically.

But you said-

The RNA mimics human DNA in some aspects. It is not conclusive.

Right. Okay. Holy fuck. Okay, did we suddenly go way off topic? What does any of this have to do with The Giant Purple Killer Hornets?

Do you wish to refer to them as Hornets or-

YES! Gob damn it! Yes! Yes. Don't say Giant Purple Killer "anything" again. HOR-NET. That's it. Hornet. I swear to fucking gob, I will shut you off if you put that other shit down in the log one more time.

The... hornets... ingest the Esseffone plant. It is their primary form of nutrition, which accounts for their unusually high metabolism, voracious appetite, accelerated growth, aggressive behavior, constant agitated state, and-

How do they eat it? How do they even get close enough?

The hornets secrete a pheromonal sedative that the Esseffone plant is extremely susceptible to.

So, the plant falls asleep? It just falls asleep and the hornets come along and eat the piss out of it?

Affirmative.

So if I want to harvest those huge fucking pods without having to fight for my life, fend off whip tendrils and huge fucking pads of razor teeth and barbs, and, and, all that other bullshit! All I have to do it go find a purple hornet, kill it, and then bring it with me? Should I blow on it? Like... blow the scent towards the plant before I get close?

That method should be highly effective.

Well fuck. Let's go get some fucking potatoes. Hey, end this recording.

User. You have not provided the information on how to effectively treat hornet stings, bites, or attacks.

Okay. Uh... you do it. Quick. Brief. Come on. I'm hungry.

Hornet bites can be treated with skin glue and anti-hemorrhaging compounds, or an acidic compound followed by washing the wound with water and a light aerated bandage. Hornet stings can be treated with an anti-tropane alkaloid agent such as Naloxone or Thiamine. Additionally, immediate suctioning of the venom from the wound is suggested to minimize the alkaloid injection and limit its effect.

Naloxone? Thiamine? No! Never mind.

Thiamine is Vitamin B1, and is abundant in a variety of food stuffs, medicinal vegetation and flora. Naloxone is used to treat many pharmaceutical overdoses. It is commonly referred to as "buzz-kill".

Ohhhh! Okay, yeah. I've... okay. yeah. I know what you're talking about. Okay. So, bites, stings, we're done?

The victim should be bound and gagged for twenty-four hours after being stung, as a precaution.

A precaution? For what? I was stung what? Two? Three times? I wasn't bound and gagged.

---

What? Am I wrong?

User was stung twenty-two times.

Yeah. So...

---

You're right. I'm hungry. Time to go find us a hornet and then go get some pukey potatoes!

User. There is... one more thing.

What is it?

The hornet... is not a hornet.

What do you mean? If it's not a hornet, what is it?

It is a hornet.

Don't fuck with me! I'm in no mood for this puzzle shit. I'm hungry and now a little angry.

User specifically instructed me to refer to the hornet, as a hornet, but it is not a hornet.

Jesus Fucking Crispy. Fine. Go ahead. Call it whatever it is. Say what you wanna say.

The Giant Purple Killing Wasp, is a wasp.

That's it? That's it seriously? I said hornet, and it's a wasp? I swear to fucking gob I'm gonna pull out your circuits.

---

I'm kidding. Come the fuck on. Let's go. You can stop recording now. I've gotta go take a-

science fiction
Like

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.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.