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Stone Cats

M is for Monstrosities - A Wasteland Compendium

By Kerry WilliamsPublished 3 years ago 10 min read

Okay, so before we start recording, I wanna go over the list some more. We've got... a lot to cover. I almost feel like we should put these things into categories. Smaller annoyances... Sand Grubs and Tiny Biters... shit like that. Smaller than man or man sized... Cerotes, Skinks, Geekos, Sand Hogs. Bigger than human. Stone Cats, Solar Eagles, Sand Snarks, stuff like that. Really big. Bullbears, Chalhuek, that... that big thing in the deep sands that ate all the Sand Snarks. You know what I'm saying?

User if referring to an archived memory which occurred before S20 integration.


There is a high probability that the memory and information is corrupted.

No it's not. What makes you say that?

There was significant damage. User is aware of this damage. Certain measures were employed to ensure psychological stability and to fill "gaps" of missing memories, including replicated memory and memory mimicking. User approved these methods.

Yeah, yeah I know, I approved it. But... it was real, okay. I remember it, so it's real. To me, it's real. If it's real to me, then you should consider it real as well. Understood?



Do you require medical intervention?

What? No! What the fuck? Why would you ask me that?

On multiple occasions, the User has been recorded as talking to himself. Is this normal behavior?

Of course! I'm just... thinking out loud. Ruminating... what the fu- Why do I know what ruminating means?

I have expanded your subconscious vocabulary to include more commonly accepted and understood words.

Who uses ruminating? When has anyone ever said ruminating?

Ruminating is a primary symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, very common among humans in the pre-conflict era. Some theorists say OCD and ruminating were the lead causes of the crisis in the first place. Over thinking, over analyzing, and over calculation. Risks assessment was preferred over communication. Decisions were made. Offensives were launched before analyses could be made. Preemptive strikes were used to eliminate threats before situations could turn threatening.

Okay. You got me there. No need for medical interruption or whatever you were talking about. I'm fine. Let's talk abut Stone Cats.

Stone Cats. Oh right, nothing scientific about Stone Cats. So I guess it's all me again.

Stone Cats are called Stone Cats because of the large plates of armor like hide they have on their body. Someone told me they're more of a wine-o than a cat. I don't get that, but whatever.

Could this Someone be referring to a Rhino?

What's a Rhino? Ugh... fuck! Okay! okay, I know what a Rhino is now! I did not... need... well. Okay. Yeah. Shit. Looks a lot like a Rhino. But... it's a cat.

The Stone Cat is almost the same size as a Bullbear. Just less chubby I guess. Stone Cats hide is probably a good six to twelve inches thick, hard as stone, and heavy. Their claws are harder than their hide though. A lot of Stone Cats have claw marks all over. They fight for territory, they scratch the fuck outta each other. They love to grab hold with their front claws and rake the victims chest and stomach with their claws. I actually saw a Stone Cat and a Bullbear go at it one time. The Bullbear never got em' with the horns, otherwise it woulda been game over, but the Stone Cat's claws and teeth couldn't do much damage to the Bullbear, and the Bullbear's claws and teeth couldn't do much damage to the Stone Cat.

Does the User think the two animals are evenly matched?

No. The Bullbear would win, eventually. All it takes is getting hit with one of the horns and it's lame over.

Lame over?

Yeah. They go lame, and then they keel over.

I believe the User is referring to a pre-conflict saying popularized by the constant use and addiction to a past time called "video games".

What's a video game? Is that like... watching Big Joe cheat on Little Dizzy's snoop monitor?

Possibly. Video games are a simulation where the User employs a display to observe what his controls direct, versus computerized obstructions and engagements. Fighting games, sports games, role playing games, and puzzle games were the four most popular genres.

What is a gen- no! Nope. I don't need to know. So... lame over was pretty popular. Sizzle.

No. The phrase was; "Game Over".

Game? Like arm wrestling? Sprints? Target practice? So when you're done... Game over? Game over... Game! Over... Yeah. Yeah, okay. I'm gonna use that one next time we have a tournament. Oh man I coulda used that shit a hundred times in Winter Wolf.

User has actually used the phrase before.

I have? When?

Would you like a list of specific instances?

No! No... no need. How... how would I use it before, if I didn't know...

Subconscious information archives have been available and utilized since integration. In addition, rebuilding the memory archive and-

So it's all in there. In here, I mean. In my head. Fine. All you had to say.


Stone Cats. Uh, what else. Huge fangs? They have huge fangs. They actually stick outta their mouth a lot. What else can I say? I really need to make a list of shit to talk about. Hey! Why aren't you helping me with this sort of shit?

User has stated that this directive is of the lowest priority.

What? When did I say that? Never mind. I'll take your word for it. But... it's not the lowest priority. Not like... shit. I don't know. Drinking. Drinking is low priority. Not drinking water! I mean drinking rasp juice or... fermented shit. You know. Getting a buzz isn't a priority... not like it was ever a priority before. But it's like... how can I put this?


This project, is critical to our survival, in the long term. Do you know how many stupids come out of the sand and get killed, like, right off the bat? Hundreds. Thousands. The ones that survive, don't survive for long. I'm looking to change that.

How do you plan to get the information to these people?

I haven't figured that out yet, but when I do, I gotta have it ready. I can't sell something I don't have. You know how this shit works.

User can offer the information as a synaptic flash download.

No. Nope, nah. See that... that makes it too easy. See some stupids... they're gonna die, no matter what. I can teach em, I can hold their hand, I can even offer to be a guide like Zed. It won't matter one bit. You ever heard of the phrase, "Curiosity killed the cat?"


Wait... What did I just say? Curiosity... how does curiosity kill a cat?

The phrase was created by British playwright Ben Jonson in his 1598 play. The complete phrase is; "Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back."

What the hell?

It is now used as a warning against investing too much time or effort into something. Simplification; If you seek out danger, you will eventually find it.

Hmm. So then, whatever I was going to say, basically, I had no fucking clue. See, knowing shit, but not knowing what it means, is complete bullshit.


Yeah. Anyway. So... from this point forward, this is medium priority. Much higher than low priority. No, I should not give up eating, drinking, sleeping or pissing, but this should be a close second to all those things. Understand?


Okay. Now let's make a list of shit to discuss for each animal. I wanna do this shit right.

Scientific Taxonomy.

If we must. I don't see what it helps, but I guess it isn't hurting anything either. We'll do your fancy science names, and then... ah, okay. Physical description. Size, maybe weight, and then... Ooo! We'll go offenses, defenses. Does it have claws, teeth, stingers, or does it just smash you into goo. Then we discuss how to counter those offenses, and then we go through defenses, and then discuss how to kill it. Pretty much everything can be killed with a plasma rifle, but... we need to think of better ways to kill this shit. Got it?


Think big, and small. How Indo's could kill something, and then, maybe a town or settlement, and maybe other ways. Like the stuff about Purple Jackets and Esseffone. That was awesome. I still can't believe you didn't give me that info earlier.

User specifically prohibited me from-

Baaaahhh! That's bullshit. You and I, we need better communication. Now shut up and let me talk. Once we get done with the hard shit, we need to talk about avoidance, when to run, when to hide, and behavior. Behavior is what we've been missing. How shit acts. Shit. Did we even tell them about Purple Jackets?


Did we tell them what they look like? What color they are? Did we mention they're purple and yellow banded with dark wings and really really dark purple eyes?


See that's the shit we need to stop forgetting about. You need to help. Remind me.


Hold on a second. Let me talk.


I said hold on a second!

Yellow Worm at your foot.

Fuck! Fuck-fuck-fuck! Ugh! Uh-uh-uh-UUgh! There. Now it's dead. Jesus fucking crispy! You don't tell me shit like that! Do not... you don't need to wait, or get my attention, or any of that shit. If there's something like that, that close, take care of it.

Take care of it? Please specify.

You know. Engage one of those life saving protocols like when I was running from the Purple Jackets and lost my hand. That kind of shit.

Should I deploy emergency protocols now?

NO. How long before the scorch?

It is currently zero nine hundred zero three and thirty-two seconds.

So we have a while. End this recording, we'll do another one before we tuck in for the scorch. Let's get a few things straight right now. We've been through thick and thin. I wasn't too keen on having this box on my shoulder but... you kind grow on me. We gotta stick together. So I need you to help me out. Not fight me at every turn.

The User and S20 have near full integration. There should be minimal obstruction between-

See? That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. I say I need your help, and you come up with some sort of excuse, why you can't help. Didn't I do everything I could to help you out?

Inconclusive. I do not require-

You asked if I wanted to integrate, I said yes. NO hesitation! You know how much that hurt?

The User-

You asked me to change protocols, I said yes. All the time, I let you do things, and do I complain? Well, maybe a little, but you don't see me getting a hack saw and cutting you off my shoulder, do you?

The User's continued existence-

Oh that's a cut-out. Whatever. The point is, I need your help. I need your cooperation. You understand?

I have received your directive. I will continue to assist the User within the limits of my programming and to the fullest capacity.

Thank you! See? How hard was that?


Where's the wa- never mind. Here it is. Huh? Are you still recording?



Cop-out. The phrase the User spoke was cut-out. This is unknown. The fitting phrase is "cop-out", a commonly referred to-

You son-of-a-

science fiction

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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