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Solar Eagle

M is for Monstrosities - A Wasteland Compendium

By Kerry WilliamsPublished 3 years ago 9 min read
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Hey all you Wasties! Before you go getting your amp on, you might wanna reconsider your living choices. Like, did you know you're doing yourself in? Ready for the big change? I'm not talking a bullet to the head; I'm talking about something even worse. Greasers.

User. This section should contain information about Solar Eagles.

What? Are you sure?

Affirmative.

Well, fuck. Okay... I guess all you fucking amp heads can shoot up one more day, and then, if you're not a mindless killing machine by tomorrow, you can read... or listen... We're doing the audio thing too now, right?

Affirmative.

Yeah. So, if you didn't get that critical download as a child, or you can't be wet wired because of some stupid anomaly, and you really can't read... We've done a little recording for you where you can listen. If you can't read, and your deaf, well... you're fucked anyway. Sorry to say, but you are. You won't last a minute in the wastes. In fact, why am I even putting this in here? You're probably already dead!

User.

Ahh, okay, yeah. You're right. Right, right, right. You could be dead. Could be... but, if you're alive, this can save you from certain death. I don't see how, but-

User.

Yeah, yeah, I got it. Okay. Let's talk about Solar Eagles.

Haliaeetus Solana Giganticus. The Giant Solar Eagle is the only known large raptor (bird) to survive the human extinction level conflict. Sexually dimorphic, the females are fifty percent larger than males, and have significantly differing plumage. Distinguishing the Solar Eagle from other birds is easy. The feathers of a solar eagle have a significant advantage over other bird's feathers, giving them a clear advantage-

Hold on. You... you're not giving them all the information.

Are you pulling this from the ten million archives thing?

Affirmative.

Who made that? Look them up. Are they inbred? What kinda-

Submissions to the archive became anonymous in the year-

So anyone could just add information? That's fucking stupid. Okay... let's stir this shit together okay. Give it a good homogeneous- Ugh... *incoherent muttering* Why do I know what that word means... A good blend!

Females are bigger than males! Why?

---

I'll tell you why. Because they are the Solar Eagles. The males are not Solar Eagles. They may be spat out by the mothers, but they're genetic abnormalities. They're not white, they don't last very long... most males you find, well, the only reason you find a Solar Eagle is, it's dead. You ain't finding a Solar Eagle. It finds you. But... where was I? Oh yeah, males. So... if a male is born, and it gets away from mommy before mommy can put it down and feed it to the rest of the pack, the male dies pretty soon after.

User.

What's up?

User, why do the males die?

Because they're not Solar Eagles. They're not even in the same group. First off, their feathers are dark like a vulture. Their bodies aren't built to take the heat. They cook. They die in a couple days, if not a couple hours. Most of the time you don't even find the bird. You just find the feathers. OH! Don't ever pick up feathers you find in the wastes. A word for the wise.

User, please explain why?

Because, most of the time, whatever ate the bird, is still hanging around. One second, you're reaching down to pick up a feather, next, you're trying to get your hand back. Also, it's bad luck.

User. This information does not calculate a high level of reproductive success. If there are no living male Solar Eagles-

They don't mate. Solar Eagles are solitary predators. I'll do a segment on vultures and other little birds, but if you see a Solar Eagle in the sky, you won't find any other birds. None. It's not cause they don't wanna be out flying around eating bugs and shit, which, by the way, is how a lot of birds get by. It's cause they don't wanna be eaten. Solar Eagles eat anything they can sink their claws into. Mostly birds but they'll pick shit up and fly away with it. Which brings me to the next part.

Solar Eagles are huge. Twenty-foot wingspan easy. Bright white topside. Sandy brown underside. They blend in with the sky from the bottom, and the top reflects most of the scorch. Their feathers are different colors top and bottom, and if you ever get ahold of one, you'll find they're super lightweight, super tough and super shiny.

User. How do they reproduce?

Huh?

If a Solar Eagle does not mate, how does it reproduce?

Ahh, "Eh?" "Aye?" What the fuck? A-sexual? What the fuck does A-sexual mean? Why the fuck! Why do I know... never mind! Never fucking mind. Asexual reproduction my black powder coated bucket of nuts and bolts. Asexual reproduction. It's how shit reproduces, when it can't have sex. Wow. Hate to know it, I guess.

User. Your hypothesis is highly probable. Many animals reproduce through these means, creating exact duplicates of themselves once they reach sexual maturity. This would also account for the extremely low number of males, and would also support the theory of males, not being accepted by the parent bird. Parthenogenesis is a commonly covered topic in pre-conflict-

Yeah, yeah. Okay, so we got all the sex... sex... ed? Education? I was gonna say sex teaching... Shit. I haven't used that word in... forever. I don't know if I ever went to sex-ed. You know they do that download when you turn eight, hoping you're not gonna run around experimenting with all your fellow subbies, but then, they make you come back for a refresher course when you turn ten. They call it, A Visual Demonstration... I didn't go. Who wants to watch someone else-

User. The course material you are referencing, the "Age-Ten-Sexual-Education-Program", is conducted using charts, posters, text subject material, and covers the social and economic failures of previous generations, warning against having sex at pre-mature ages, and suggesting a wide range of contraceptive measures for those who find themselves compelled to engage in promiscuous activity.

Wait. So... it's not... watching some guy and-

Negative.

Okay. Well... glad I skipped it them! Either way, the past is in the past. No sense in- Ugghhhh~! No! Aaaacccck! Goooddddaaammnit! No! I! You stop! AAAcccck! Fuck~! Stop! Stop, Gob Damnit! You! You... fucker! You made me swear!

User. I did not make you swear.

Why did you fucking cram all that shit in my brain! WHY!

It is required knowledge. That portion of your education was required for you to attain your general psychological evaluation, meriting authorization to use this device.

So-what!

I cannot allow the User to access this unit, unless he is qualified to do so. All previous access and information will be wiped from memory in-

Stop! Hold on a second. I... I already knew that stuff.

User. Are you... I detect an anomaly. Are you attempting to deceive?

No. Nope, uh-uh. That must be Woo. Better run a diagnostic on that, but, all that stuff about sex-ed. I must have learned it, right? It was required.

Affirmative.

So, if it was required, then I must have already known it. It... it must have gotten destroyed. You know. The memory revamp thing you did.

Reconstruction and reconfiguration.

Yeah. R&R. That's right. So... check it out, if there's anything else missing, put it in my subconscious. I don't need a flash download... actually, hold on. You can store all the required information for me, right?

This unit contains all of the required information, multiple indexes of-

So, no need to even put it in here. Keep it in there, and we're good. User is approved and authorized to use the S20 unit. You verified that shit way back when, remember?

Affirmative. A cursory check was conducted...

Nah. Don't gimme that shit. I was authorized. If my memories get destroyed, it's your job to rebuild them, correctly. Did you overlook the sex-ed part?

There is a lack of directive concerning loss of memory and pre-existing authorization.

Fine. Let's put one in there. The User, once authorized to access and utilize the S20 unit, and most definitely after integration has happened, make sure you include that part, once integration has happened, the User, the biological part, has access and authorization forever.

Should I impose limits on different Users, or give priority to the current User?

Oh, give priority to the current User for sure! Ultimate authority. Premier authority. Top... Top-Secret authority. You know the deal.

Should I give Top-Secret authority to previous Users?

No. Why the fuck?

Should I rescind Top-Secret authority from any previous Users?

No. Why the fuck are you asking me this? Are previous users going to come looking for the...? Are previous Users going to come looking for you???

Negative.

Okay. Whew! Alright. So... We're done with that part?

Affirmative.

And I've got access and authorization? You're not going to wipe out my memories or try and disconnect me or whatever.

Affirmative.

Okay. Can we get back to Solar Eagles?

Affirmative.

Good. Okay, so.... Solar Eagles are massive. They... hmm. They remind me of a Bald Eagle... American Bald Eagle... Haliaeetus Leucocephalus Oh, what the fuck. Did you do something again?

Negative. Complete archives are now openly accessible to the User. Top-Secret access granted.

Knowing what a Bald Eagle is... is Top-Secret?

Negative. Top-Secret access allows User to access all information in current quantum real time from this unit. A quantumly paired electron interface has been installed in your cerebral cortex, which coincides with the information archives in this unit. You may access-

Never mind. Jesus fuuugging... Okay! Ohhhh, yeah, so... the Solar Eagle... yeah... it looks just like a Bald Eagle, only all white. Super white top, sandy yellow underside, huge beak, razor sharp talons. I don't know if it has the same number of claws or not. It hunts birds, large insects, small land animals. It has a range of approximately two hundred miles. My gob.

Oh wow. This is... this is actually pretty awesome. An opportunistic feeder, the Giant Solar Eagle can lift fifty times it's body weight, and can easily pick up a full-grown human, fly them way up and drop them on a fucking rock. Ha! There's not a lot of info on it pre-war. Whoa. Hold on a second...

Are these... Are these military files? It... they're marked. I can see... hooooooooly fuck. That's just the file system for that one directory?

Affirmative.

Can I look at that? Uh... those... files?

Affirmative.

Alright boys and girls! I've got some reading to do and I've gotta take a dump. We'll cut this one off, and start the next one.

User. You have not covered everything in your check list.

Oh right! Uh, lemme see what we missed. Okay. Offense! The Solar Eagle has the best eyesight of any predator, anywhere. It can fly so close to the edge of the atmosphere it is assumed that the bird does... not... breathe. Is this correct?

Affirmative.

The bird can cover vast distances and can fly for days without landing. It navigates by using some sort of intuitive sense of direction, it is assumed something to do with the planets magnetic field. It is... an apex predator. One of just a few. It feeds mainly on other birds, fish and humans sized or smaller animals.

The Solar Eagle attacks by spotting its prey and selecting the opportunity. It then folds its wings in and dives towards the prey. In this configuration, the terminal velocity of a Solar Eagle dive is approximately 350 mph, up to 1000 mph, depending on air density and drag, and how tightly the Solar Eagle has aligned its feathers. Coincidentally, this is the same approximate speed of most projectile weapon fire with no aerodynamic coatings applied.

Avoiding a Solar Eagle is easy. Hide. The Eagle does not have any other sense of sight, nor does it seek out prey. Prey for the Solar Eagle is abundant. Attacks on humans are very rare. More frequent are random land animals, or part of those animals, free-falling through the air to hit the ground, as the Solar Eagle feeds in flight, or if the prey escapes the Solar Eagle's talons, which does not happen that often.

Hunting a Solar Eagle is currently outside the limits of human beings. Not only can the Solar Eagle dive faster than the speed of a fired projectile, they can fly higher than current mass projectile weapons can fire accurately. Due to their comparatively smaller body weight, lack of medicinal properties, lack of any general use for the talons, beak or feathers, seeking out or hunting a Solar Eagle is not considered economic or possible.

Wow. I almost sound like you. Ha! But... one thing the archives don't say, and I don't wonder why. Solar Eagles, they do have a use. Indo's... use them a lot. They use the feathers in their headdresses. They use the talons in their weaponry and for cutting things. They use parts of the feathers as fletching for their arrows. Gob. That's why they fly so fast, and straight! Solar Eagle beaks are used in rituals and shit like that.

Okay, I think I covered everything! Let's shut this one down like a spoiled meat vendor, shall we? Hello? Are we still-

science fiction
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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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