• Published 29th Jul 2012
  • 3,738 Views, 183 Comments

Life Giver - Nightwatcher

  • ...

Chapter 4 : Sine Qua Non

/ 2/11/8252 CE

/ Corporal John Maxwell

/ Playback begin

/ Onboard UEG Corvette "Icarus"


I felt the dropship slow as it entered the small docking bay of the UEG "Icarus". I looked over to see Chrysalis sleeping in the seat next to me.

It least I think it was sleeping.

"Corporal, the ships doctors and xenobiologist need to take a look at you and.... Chrysalis" Said the Chairman.

"Of course Chairman, I Know the protocols." I said back giving Chrysalis a light tap to wake it up.

The Chairman pointed at me, "Keep it on a short leash Corporal, we do not know what its capable of."

"Yes, sir" I said as I gave a two finger salute.

Chrysalis jumped down and stood at side, looking at me. I pointed at it then to me, trying to tell it to stay close. It seemingly understood as it moved closer.

The ramp at the other end of the ship opened up and the Chairman and his two guards stepped out.

Then Chrysalis hid behind my leg as a host of men in lab coats came into the ship.

One of them spoke up, "Corporal, we need to screen the both of you. Please follow us."

I recognised the voice of James, "Alright."

I began walking only to stop as I felt something hit my shoulder. I looked over my shoulder to see Chrysalis holding on, its insect like wings fluttering lightly.


It was a short walk to the ships med-bay as the ship had been cleared of all non essential crew.

"Come on lets get that armor off." James said to me.

I nodded my head as I put Chrysalis down on one of the medical beds in the room. I felt the armor begin to recede, freeing me from its protective shell. The synthetic muscle retreated back into the armor and I hosted the remaining pieces off. Setting the necklace down on the bed.

All the while I could feel a sense of awe from Chrysalis.

Then the N-F retreated back into the lines across my body, leaving only the skin tight under suit. I rolled my shoulders comfortably. I turn to face James and when I did he stepped back whispering.

'Thats not good.' I thought. "What's wrong?"

"John aren't your eyes blue?"

I raised an eyebrow, "Yes. Why?"

He pointed to the mirror on the wall and hurried out of the room.

I turned to the mirror and looked at my eyes. What I saw formed a pit in my stomach.

My normally blue eyes had turned a green color, wisps of blue lightly spaced about.

My head snapped to Chrysalis, all I could do is stare into its green eyes.


I turned to the mirror again.

In the whites of my eyes a black speck moved.



I had been looking at my eyes for a hour, trying to figure out what was going on. My body should not be doing this. Every Human with a N-F has nanites in their bloodstream that eradicates any invading microbes or parasites that enter the body. I am immune to every disease or infection possible, alien or otherwise.

Should be immune at least.

James had come in and had taken a blood sample from Chrysalis and I for testing. Chrysalis was currently asleep once more at the edge of the bed.

My head turned when the med-bays door opens to reveal James, who was clad in his civilian N-F protective suit.

"John." he said with a nod.

"James, you find out what's wrong with me?"

He nodded, "Yes. Although we don't know everything right now, what I can tell you is that you'll be fine."


"Yes, it would seem that. We found something....odd in your blood."

"What did you find?" I asked.

"We found what seems to be a microorganism in your blood, a parasite, we assume it came from them" He said pointing to Chrysalis.

"How? I've had no contact with them outside of my armor."

"That we do not know as of yet, but I don't think you need to worry about it harming you."

"I thought you said it was a parasite?"

"It is not exactly a parasite, its exhibiting signs of mutualism. Its not 'harming' you as of yet. In fact it would be detrimental to your health if it was removed, though not lethal, that is why the nanites in your body refused to remove it themselves." James explained.

"What exactly is it doing to me Doctor?" I asked.

"That is where it gets strange. It has moved to your brain and its doing....something, nothing harmful yet. You mentioned feeling 'emotions' in your report," He pointed to the insectoid, "from them, correct?"

I nodded, "Yes, as strange as it sounds."

"Well we believe that the microorganisms are to blame, they appear to release chemicals into your body that make you feel what they are feeling. How they command the microorganisms to do this, we do not know as of yet. Among the ability to do that we believe that they can also, in higher concentrations, can cause hallucinations."

"They can make me see things?" I asked.

"Maybe, we are working on so little data right now its nearly impossible to tell, thats why I have a proposition for you."

I crossed my arms, "What kind of proposition?"

"I want you to keep the microorganisms in your body, to see what they do. This would give us the chance to study them and the ability to develop a more effective counter measure. Before you ask, yes it was approved by the Chairman."

I gave myself a moment to think. "Are you positive they won't hurt me?"

"I can not guarantee that Corporal, but as of yet, they're harmless."

I closed my eyes for a moment.


He nodded, "Good, now I have to look over the reports the xenobiologist sent over. I'm sorry Corporal but you and...... Chrysalis was it? Will have to stay here until we have an effective counter measure. That won't be a problem will it?"

I looked over at the still sleeping Chrysalis, "I don't think that'll be a problem, its been tame so far. How long do you think it will take to make a counter measure?"

He shrugged, "Not long, a day or two at the most."

"What if it gets hungry?"

"Don't worry about that, the xenobiologist will find out what it needs."

I remembered something, " Speaking of xenos did you find out what the probe was, or what it was from?"

He shook his head, "Sorry Corporal, its classified."

"I understand."

"I have to go now John, we'll talk tomorrow."

I gave a nod as he walked out.


/ 2/12/8252 CE

/Doctor James Keyes

/Aboard the UEG Corvette "Icarus"


"Gaia, begin recording please." I asked the AI.

"Recording has started Doctor." She answered.

"Good now please refrain from interrupting me."

The AI nodded and vanished.

"This is Doctor James Keyes, I will now catalog everything we currently know about the xenosophont named 'Chrysalis' as it will from now on be called. We are currently in orbit around GW-420-1, system 5929-A, sector S-478-BA-9. 420-1 is a Terra class garden world, 68% water 32% land. Its geography is very mountainous, with wide rolling plains, with what could be called rainforests in some areas. Its atmosphere is safe for unprotected humans."

"Its plant life is diverse, as with its animals. Alas I am getting off topic, the xenosophont know as 'Chrysalis' is insectoid in appearance and is quadrupedal in posture. It has what could be likened to a chitinous exoskeleton and is black in color and a green section on its barrel (Equine anatomy) and back, it also possesses a pair of wings. It has a 'horn' as well, the purpose of said horn is still under debate, but Corporal John Maxwell said that was the focal point of some kind of 'energy' but that could be a result of his 'infection', but after reviewing his helmet cam footage I am inclined to believe him. It possesses a 'crown' made up of bioluminescent protrusions coming from it head that will grow in later if it follows the aging process of its 'mother'. Its 'hair' is a dark blue color, and it eyes are a green color."

"Its age is undetermined but it can be assumed that it is a child or near adult. It is female in gender, and given its insect like nature, so is most of the rest of its race. It has appeared to have imprinted on John as it becomes near combative when we attempt to separate the two. 'Chrysalis' is extremely intelligent, most of the time only needing to be shown once how something works. Its diet is one of hematophagy, as show when early today when it bit John on the hand and lapped up the blood, local prey animals have been gathered to observe hunting practices. Their main prey item appears to be another race of near sapient horse like quadrupeds, given the fact that they have evolved to appear similar."

"The xenobiologist has begun trying to develop a translation device for use by us. Their language is make up of clicks, whistles, and screeches, similar to Terran crickets, we are making fast progress in that respect. John has reported that Chrysalis has started to 'Imitate some of the crew' but to us it has not changed any of its observed processes. He says that when someone enters the room Chrysalis 'changes into them' I believe that this is a effect of the microorganisms in his body. This would make sense though given their food source, they infect a prey item with the microorganisms then use them to get close enough to kill as the prey item would not see them as a threat. The microorganisms appear to be both transmitted by touch or are airborne (most likely both), thankfully it was easy to develop a countermeasure and infection it no longer a risk. An unintended side effect is that because of their nature Gaia has taken to calling them 'PĂșca' the name comes from a shape shifting back horse from Irish mythology. The name stuck."


"We are heading back down sometime in the coming days, returning to the 'hive' that John had crashed into, to attempt to make actual diplomatic progress. Although I don't expect much headway to be made. From the looks of it they are very primitive, they'll probably just mistake us for something were not."

"On a related note, we have finished our analysis of the alien probe. It appears to be a Von Neumann a self-replicating spacecraft designed to investigate its target system and transmit information about it back to its system of origin, the technology on the probe is laughably primitive by today's standards. On a more unsettling note it possessed a nuclear payload and one of the warheads is missing, it has been handed off to ONI for further study."

"Gaia, end recording."

"Yes James."

I closed the window on my HI and looked out at the planet spinning below. I turned when I heard the door open behind me.

"Chairman." I said.

"James, you wanted to talk?" Prescott asked.

"Yes, I did. You have read the recon reports correct?"


"I wanted to ask, how much jurisdiction do I have on this project?"

He crossed his arms, "It depends, what do you want to do."

I gestured to the planet below, "You've read about the near-sapient species correct?"


"Its a little 'pet-project' I had in mind, they are on the cusp of intelligence, maybe a couple thousand years away. A instant in the evolutionary perspective, I wish to speed up the process. They will gain Sapience sooner or later, it just a matter of how much time it will take."

"I will have to think on it Doctor." The Chairman said as he left the room.

Hours later just about as I was about to go to sleep, a line of text appeared on my HI.

I have diverted funding to your little project Doctor. Do what you must, just don't go over the allocated budget.

My eyes widened at the amount, the Chairman could build a Dreadnought with this amount or start a colony, how he moved this many credits around without anyone knowing was beyond me.


A/N : Hello everybody just wanted to say that I might not update for a while because of hurricane sandy(I live in VA).
And also a long overdue thanks to Maverick Frond for pre-reading my stuff.

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