May 21, 2022 3:17 PM
Xian in Cosel
Next Post »
« Previous Post
Permalink

Behold! A perfectly ordinary wetland. Grass, trees, boggy knee-deep water, pond scum, mud, fog, everything a person could possibly want in their swamp.

Total: 200
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Except, of course, not being a swamp.

Field Marshal Adrien Durante of the Consular Republic of Ajanta did not expect to be in a swamp today! At least not this swamp. Some swamps were possible, since yesterday he was leading the Army of the South on a multipronged assault on separatists, pro-separatist supporters, and crab-men. But whoever, exactly, dressed him in his military uniform, quietly provided him with his holstered sidearm, pocketknife and bootknife, then dragged him out to the middle of a totally unfamiliar swamp, is not merely engaging on a prank on his commanding officer, but a really, really impressive one.

Permalink

Central Computing? He doesn't need to say it out loud to get the AI's attention.

Permalink

Nope. No Central Computing. Not visible anywhere.

Permalink

"You know," says Durante (to thin air), "this is actually a genuinely impressive act of logistical competence. If you did this just to get my ear, you've succeeded."

Permalink

 

The silt under his feet starts attempting to suck him down. Rather more aggressively than one normally expects from a landscape.

Permalink

Then he is not standing there any more. People who assumed from his skin and hair he was human might be slightly surprised at how little time that takes.

Also, there's an air pistol in his hand.

"If you don't mind I'd rather talk than fight. How about you?"

Permalink

The silt in his new location also wants to pull him down! Shlurk shlurk.

Permalink

And (he checks) there's no face behind any of this?

Because if, not, he's going to implement a very rapid retreat in a direction known primarily as 'not here'.

Permalink

If his eyes are very sharp, he might be able to see a face peeking down at him from up a tree!

Permalink

His eyes, like the rest of him, were genetically engineered by people genetically engineered by people genetically engineered by people smarter than any earthling not named Johnny von Neumann.

"If you stop trying to hurt me," he says (very calmly for someone rapidly dancing away from swiftly-spreading silt), "I won't have to hurt you."

Permalink

The face is VERY ALARMED to have been noticed.

The silt animates in all directions and heaves toward him in a great circular tide.

Permalink

Right. The very alarmed face is going to get a bullet between the eyes and he is going to go straight up into the trees, grab a branch, and see if he can leap over the silt-tide. Unless it suddenly speeds up or gets even taller, he thinks this is plausible?

Permalink

The alarmed face screams about the bullet - an understandable if rather abnormal reaction to being shot in the head - and meets Adrien in the air when he jumps, gliding on its wings, which appear to be made of leaves in lieu of feathers. And attempts to break his neck with its bare hands.

Permalink

Is this a knows-martial-arts-with-superhuman-strength kind of neck-breaking attempt, per se? Because if it merely has normal human strength and no particular martial arts training, it is going to be on the far side of Durante and moving very slightly faster than it was before before it quite realizes what went wrong.

Permalink

It has normal human strength and no particular martial arts training, but if it (she, actually) can get a moment of contact with his skin all of his muscles will suddenly go very weak like they've all been in constant use for a day or so.

Permalink

GAH.

She's still gone, briefly; it was her strength he was using to throw her, not his. His gun almost slips from his other hand and he barely tightens his grip - 

Durante is going to try to push his muscles as well as he can and run away as fast as his overstrained, exhausted muscles can carry him.

Permalink

Oh, he's - running away from her?

...okay, she'll take it. She sinks into the swamp and lets him go.

Permalink

Tired, tired Durante wants to go in SOME DIRECTION that is NOT A SWAMP.

He has wilderness survival skills! He trained in this!

He's just... really, really tired. This is more tired than he usually gets. He's going to be looking for a good place to set up camp, once he's well out of the leafwing's reach.

Permalink

Swamp swamp swamp swamp really really big tree with enough root going on that he could probably camp on top of the roots if he wanted.

Permalink

Ugh ugh ugh. He is SUPER NOT HAPPY about camping out in the swamp. Does he think he'll be able to hear trouble coming if it comes, or does he need to keep going?

Permalink

The swamp has a swamp-typical amount of bird/frog/insect noises. Other than that it's quiet. And it would be hard to move quietly in all this muck.

Permalink

... Unless you can fly.

Yeah. He... does not think he'll see a better option.

He will camp on the roots, see if there's anything he can recognize with his wilderness survival skills as being edible, make the obvious preparations that occur to him, and see about recovering from that ordeal.

He will sleep, if he sleeps, very, very lightly.

Permalink

If he looks hard enough he can spot probably-watercress and some wild rice.

Nothing bothers him at night except mosquitoes but those are available in huge numbers.

Permalink

You know, the Attani wiped those out. In the morning, he sees why.

Watercress and wild rice will provide him calories. He needs more calories than that, because the Attani were not genetically engineered for WANDERING AROUND A SWAMP, they were genetically engineered for starships in which food cost a negligible amount.

Is there any chance at all he will get out of the swamp before something horrible happens to him?

Permalink

If he keeps walking the ground does eventually dry out and he can find the river that's associated with this swamp and go upstream along a more normal bank.

Oh look, a cute little preindustrial village! It has cows!

Total: 200
Posts Per Page: