• ...
13
 190
 3,708

Uplink Two: Experiments

Sugar Dance watch from the bushes the odd creatures as they left their red bird flying machine. The creatures didn’t look like ponies at all. They seamed to be made entirely of metal, and walked on two legs with flat bits of metal at the ends of their legs. There upper legs had odd talons that reminded him of a griffin’s. In their claws They held carved wooden sticks with golden swirling designs on the side that they pointed at everything. Sugar remained incredibly still. After a few moments the one in front made a noise that hurt his ears and out of the metal birds mouth came a hunched larger version of the creatures with even more shinny arms and legs and even a few tentacles.

The shining creatures then split up with the big boss one going over to the boarder of the Everfree Forest along his many insect like legs.

The lead small one walked slowly over to a stream. Sugar Dancer was afraid it noticed him, but it didn’t seam to, he watched as it pulled out a clear cylinder then collected some of the water. He thought it was going to drink it from the cup but he just kept staring at it like it had never seen water before. After a few seconds Sugar decided to say hi.

He left the bushes only for the shiny creature to drop his glass and start pointing his carved stick at him.

Sugar approached slowly trying not to scare the creature who kept backing away from him the closer he got. Soon he crossed the stream and leaned down to sniff the creatures glass, it had wired symbols along the side sticking out in a line and looked scratchy. He gave it a small sniff, it didn’t smell like glass, it smelt kind of like the material in clothes, but older and also odd. He twitched his ears as the metal thing turned a switch on the side of his stick pointing it at his head.

Just then the big red boss one was standing in front of him looking down. Red eyes aglow in his crimson hood. It stood before him draped in cloth what was visible didn’t look pony at all. It radiated heat with several spiky bits poking from the darkness of his cloak, he felt they to we’re watching him curiously just as much as the head was.

It reached out a talon to Sugar Dancer who gave it a sniff. His talon smelled like melted bits.

Sugar smiled up at it showing he trusting the scary creature not to hurt it.

The being raised it’s talon above him, then began stroking him behind his ears. Sugar had never been pet like a dog before. It felt, good, the strange friends claws dig into his coat just right, sugar leans in looking up into the strange beasts red eyes, smiling. He knew he wasn’t a bad creature. Just scary looking.

Just then something pricked Sugar Dance in the neck. Looking down he saw a black snake with a needle head retreat into the creatures robes, then nothing else.

+•+

When light returned he saw two of the creature, but they were both different. They towered over and were screeching at one another in their harsh tong. Looking around he was in a dry cave choking with alien smells. Neither payed him any mind as they argued. Sugar Dancer tried to get up and sneak away only to realize he was strapped down to a table. The two beings stopped arguing and looked down at him. Before he had time to open his mouth a snake emerged from the one on the lefts robes and stung him in the same spot as last time. As he went under he could hear them getting back into their argument again like he was nothing.

•+•

When Dancer next awoke he was alone.

He was in a black metal cube with a single glowing orb above him. The orb was suspended by a black wire and let out a low buzz that hurt his ears. Looking around he saw a door, but it didn’t have a way to open it from his side and seamed unnaturally tall and narrow for a pony. There was a small slit on the bottom another piece of metal blocked.

Looking down he was horrified to find is coat criss crossed in stitching. Odd metal plugs were also inserted into his elbows. He felt a buzz at the back of his head and tried to take out the plugs to no effect. His skin was opened up and sealed again by these interlopers. They saw what was inside and left their metal probes in his guts for easy access. Sugar Dance thought of his friends and family, his younger sister. What if they had a way to read his mind through the plugs in his head? The buzzing between his ears could be them listening to his thoughts at this very moment. He curled into a ball and began to cry.

•+•

Connection reestablished

Loading....

Auto shunt found
Designation: Cassius
Rank: Arch Magos
Location: Byzantium Medicae Lab Deck 22.

Uplink successful

+The Flesh is Weak+

Before Cassius stood Shearia the Biologis of the Byzantium. She was a strange priestess by Mechanicus standards, preferring instead to augment herself with extra organs and biological limbs rather then mechanical ones. Her shoulders were draped in a white sash where 8 extra organic arms were stitched to her flesh, that being said she was not entirely against nonorganic augments when it suited her. Possessing a green lease in place of an organic orb. As well as a medical mechadendrite complete with various potions and administrators.

<What have you learned.> Cassius asked the medicae.

Shearia pulled up a data slate held in one of her arms, scratching across it with a stylus that replaced one of her would be organic fingers.

“Specimen 12445 is male, possessing organs consistent with that of old Terran Equines although shrunken down and with exaggerated features: the head, brain, hooves, and eyes for example are much larger then that of a standard equine.” Shearia answered reading almost directly off her notes. An annoying habit, especially for Cassius who possessed internal logic banks but each priest or priestess had their preferences.

<How can they construct buildings without digits?> Cassius asked.

“Unknown.” Shearia answered before continuing.

“Muscle structure is also increased.” The Biologis continued.

Cassius interrupted with his own observations from the planet.

<The gravity on the planet exceeds that of Holy Terra by a factor of approximately three, that could also be the reason for the quadruple body structure.>

Shearia rubbed her chin ponderously.

“Possible.” She added that to her notes.

“The nerve plug I installed indicates higher brain functions, as well as vocal cords I found earlier in surgery.”

<Vocal cords?> Cassius repeated back intrigued.

Shearia nodded.

<Can you decider their language?> A whole new language by a race that had just developed locomotive engines on a geocentric planet. Imagine the philosophies they had come up with, the myths to explain their place in the universe. The lore in their archives. It would all be his if he had the key to their tong. Cassius was starting to let his excitement get the better of him.

“Not with just one specimen.” Shearia replied. “I’d need more specimens from the same area.”

Cassius nodded.

<You will have all you desire. I will return to the pla—>

<Oh No You Will Not!>

An unexpected message flashed into Cassius’s manifold.

The door to the Med bay sighed open revealing a tall thin black hooded figure. Various antenna sprouted from its back mounted power pack. It strode in on a tripod swinging counter cog wise clawed feet scraping the metal floor. It wasn’t in a hurry but reached Cassius in 5.6667 seconds after it entered coming to a stop. The figure removed the hood revealing a bowl shaped head covered in emerald optics all evenly spaced. Cassius recognized her immediately, his fluids running cold it was the one priest he hoped to deal with the least.

<Primus Catherine so good to see you again. Did you get new augments? They look very ni—>

“Don’t you start with me Arch Magos.” she put special anger into flesh voice that wouldn’t be possible through the hymnals of the noophere.

Primus Dominus Catherine is the Tech Priestess in charge of all Skitarii maniples of the Byzantium. A woman of rigid structure and a short fuse. Unlike Arch Magos Cassius who removed most of his emotions long ago. Catherine preferred to keep hers in for (she claimed) combat purposes, even (Cassius suspected) enhancing her normal human emotions. Particularly her anger. As such she was not a priestess to be angered lightly. And it looked like she was very very mad at Cassius.

<You know full well why I’m here don’t you.> Catherine said switching to a form of binary only available to high ranking officers, keeping Shearia out of the conversation. Before Cassius could respond Catherine interrupted him for yet a third time in as many minutes. It was really starting to anger him.

<You broke protocol by venturing down to the planet.> Catherine continued her rant. <It is ludicrous for a high ranking officer, Much less the captain of the bloody ship! To venture down to an unknown world just minutes after it’s discovery, with nothing but a single lander and a five man squad. ON TOP OF THAT!>

Catherine took the binary version of a inhale before continuing, allowing her cogitators to cool for a second before heating up again.

<I only took command directly to get to the planet before any other magi decided to.> Cassius responded.

<Those where MY Skitarii. MINE.> She pointed to her chest which displayed the cog Mechanicum. <I don’t fly the ship.> she then pointed to Cassius. <YOU don’t command the Skitarius.>

Their was logic in what the Primus was saying. A commander being part of the initial team to an unknown world was against logic. Cassius admitted defeat and bowed his head to Catherine bringing it to about eye level with her mask.

<You are right Dominus. The next expedition will be lead by you and your Skitarii> Cassius admitted defeat to her logic.

Catherine folded her uppermost arms together, likely smirking underneath her rebreather at her victory over her superior officer.

“What is known about the life forms?” Catherine asked Shearia not even bothering to turn her head, but she did focus four of her optics on her.

“Going off of Specimen 12445 we are dealing with sentiment quadruple equines, of increased strength, capable of speech on a world three times Terran standard gravity, that is also geocentric.” Shearia quickly read off scrolling through her notes fast. “Unknown tech level, but we couldn’t find any nonorganic air craft in their atmosphere.” Catherine nodded turning her attention away from the Biologist and to the captain.

“Mission?” She asked her hands going straight to her sides.

<Capture more specimens for Biologis Shearia to research ALIVE.> Cassius responded. <Also stick to stealth paramilitary, if they are sentient they may learn of our efforts to study them and counter. You may leave whenever you are ready>

The Primus nodded rotating her waist 180 degrees and striding back her same path.

<Also bring back some flora, I believe they are herbivores.> Cassius amended to the mission parameters.

The door sealed shut behind her.

Uplink Interrupted