Once a Glemmie, always a Glemmie Part 1
There was once a world, labeled by the Terran Expansion Explorers as Glem. It was inhabited by a species of animals that would be best described as dinosaur-like beasts on a smaller scale, many different types, shapes and sizes. They lumbered around the planet totally at peace with the nature around them. The theory was this planet evolved much like Earth had, but did not suffer any major catastrophes. They showed little signs of intelligence, and were ruled as indigenous animal life. However there was one species within the variety that didn’t seem to fit.They were particularly predatory, viscous and very carnivorous, usually eating 3 to 4 times their weight in meat a day. They seemed to have a very small, almost controlled population. They rarely mated, and the males over populating the females by ten to one. But they seemed semi-intelligent, like apes or Neanderthals. However, they were ruled non-sentient creatures by the Exploration Council. Terran Megacorporation could only see credit-signs when they saw these beasts. Perfect specimens for their weapons divisions.
Glemladines or Glemmies was the name given to them. They proved to be quite an adaptable race, with genetic adaptation systems that even amazed the best genetic scientists of the expanse. Because they were ruled non-sentient beings, they were free reign for the megacorps and Expanse Fleet to play with.
They never realized intelligence is not always outwardly obvious.
A Terran Expanse Drag Unit was so called because they usually got the missions that dragged them through the worst mud-hole-planets in the Expanse. This time the system was Bik-Tili, and they were on Biki-Tili 4, otherwise known as Grod – a hot, wet swamp-jungle world. Eight men armed with the best the Expanse Fleet had to offer, on a search and destroy mission, one that they had little intelligence on. This was the type of mission these teams got. They had to be ready for anything. That was their training.
The rest of the known galaxy was caught up in it’s own mess – a galactic war with the Karian Orb, a region of Space claimed by a barbaric simian species. Instead of seeing action engaging the enemy, Drag 14 had been inserted into the farthest region away from the action, in search of a hostile force, unknown in origin. All they knew was if the Karians had penetrated this deep into Expanse space, there would soon be a two front war. So whatever threat was here, had to be eliminated and whatever intelligence could be gathered had to be done so or destroyed.
The Intel they had gathered so far was not encouraging. Upon landing, they found the wreckage of a corporate transport from the Medi-Labs Corporation, a nice name for one of the most radical corporation in the Expanse. They had many black project contracts with Fleet. One of these latest projects was the Glemmie Units – genetically enhanced Glemmies, rigged with the latest in bio and cyber technology to act as automated armored units in support of main assault forces of the Expanse. This looked like a Glemmie transport. The crew was disemboweled and ritually mounted on the surrounding trees, as if to mark a shrine. The ship was shredded, but some of the memory core was recoverable.
Captain Gregory Bordons, commander of Drag 14, oversaw the set up of the Drag Units Sat-Com Relay Link. He figured near the crash was the best place, in case they need spare parts or extra power. The Relay would patch them into the main Fleet Com network. Four others worked around the site setting up the defenses of the Relay, including remote gun units, and mines. Bordons worked on getting the Relay’s cloaking field and defense net synchronized, and was entering in the final access code – the code that shut down all defenses and allowed approach to the relay. He always used his father’s birthday since he died on the Dand’Garan Colony raid. Damn Karians. He tucked the code transmitter away in the fold of his fatigues.
He had sent out the two others on a recon of the area, while his comp-tech worked on the data core of the transport. The Comp-Tech spoke to the Captain through his comlink.
“Looks like these corporate types were way off coarse. They aren’t supposed to be here, from what I can tell. They had an entire Glemmie unit aboard, bound for some testing planet.” The Comp-tech paused for a moment, “Ah sir, these things were new prototypes, of some kind. The new line of Glemmie for the war front. I’m trying to cut through the encryption now. Might have to take the data with us.”
“Take care of it, Ace.” Corporal Ashton “Ace” Brinks, his Comp-tech was the most cyber-rigged of all of them, so he could handle the big download of the Transport core.
On the Captain’s comlink came the recon report “Home Nest, this is Wayward Battery One. All clear at 2 clicks, point alpha. Proceeding to point Beta.”
Two men stumbled through the thick foliage.
“I thought we had complete control of things, Rallie.” One said to the other.
“The ones I have seen were controlled by a central command unit and could not operate otherwise. They said these things didn’t have the brain capacity to operate on their own, to make tactical decisions, or even understand what had been done to them. Their instincts were controlled by bio-systems implanted in them, their aggressive and predatory tendencies all regulated by cyber-processors linked to the central command unit.” Private Steve “Rallie” Raliant cautiously scanned the knoll they had entered. They both crouched down and removed hand scanners from their belts
“So what’s controlling these?” Private William Drally inquired further. Rallie and Drally were always stuck together because of their names.
“Got me. They are still looking for the control unit back at the crash site. Maybe some one’s got it, maybe a Karian changeling spy. We’re here to find out. We’re here to take them out. All we got to do is patch into their tracking signal and we’ll have them.”
An electronic alarm sounded on one of their hand scanners. They immediately had their assault rifles at ready and panning the knoll.
“What do you got?” Rallie surveyed the area while Drally watched his scanner.
“A reading. A tracer, less a few hundred meters, south-south east.” Rallie charged his Under-mount Electro-Ball Thrower on his assault rifle. “It’s a Glemmie signal. What the hell, these things should have a range of a few kilometers. We should have gotten a reading a while back.”
“I have a bad feeling about this” Rallie moved to a position with cover.
“Stay frosty. Visual?”
“Nothing. You sure?” Rallie lowered his rifle and peered through his scope. Nothing moved in the jungle. Nothing could be heard.
“Too quiet.” Drally looked up from his scanner, to look around the area. “What the hell? Scanner shows they are in visual range… These things are big. We should see it by now. Do they have cloaking fields?”
“Stay here, I’ll check it out…” Rallie moved through the foliage to the clearing. He kept his rifle level, creeping through the thick flora.
“You are getting close. You should see something soon.” Drally dropped the scanner and level his rifle in the direction of his partner to cover him. He suddenly disappeared in the grass. His head reappeared a few seconds later. He held up a blood-covered device.
“What the hell?” Drally focused on the device with his scope. It was some kind of electronic device, but it was covered in blood. “Is that…?” he mumbled in his comlink.
Rallie answered “Yep, looks like a tracer implant.”
“How the hell did they figure that out. They are supposed to be animals…” Drally was getting nervous.
“Well, rumor has it they are semi-sentient and that fact was covered up…”.
“But still!!!… Semi-sentients don’t rip out cybernetic implants from their central lobe. And survive for that matter!” Drally thought he saw movement to his left. “Get back here. We are heading back to base camp. Bring that thing with you.” This is too much like a trap, he thought. But they can’t set a trap. Not without someone telling them to.
A shot was fire. It sounded like a missile to Drally. Suddenly, the ground around Rallie erupted in fire and energy. Rallie was ripped to shreds. Not really knowing where he was shooting, Drally fire his EB Thrower in all directions. Blue charged balls of explosively charged heavy-plasma arched in those directions. Screaming over his comlink, patched into the team channel, he had only a chance to say. “Home Nest, this is Wayward Battery One, we are….” A large explosion silenced Drally abruptly.
The others heard the distant thunder of heavy arms fire. Captain Bordons also heard the broken transmission of Drally before the last clap of thunder. Battery One was out.
Over his ear-piece, Bordons heard “Captain, we found what’s left of the Control Command Unit. It looks like it’s been gutted.” Ace said after the last of the thunder faded.
“Alright, suit up, and lock n’ load. We’re heading out to point Beta on the patrol grid from here. We have contact with the enemy.”
With the Control Command unit out, what the hell was controlling these things? These things shouldn’t even know how to fire their own weapons systems, Bordons thought. …Let alone set up an ambush to take out two of my best scouts.
Last Updated 08/19/03
Copyright Ronald W McClung