“I don’t know what weapons World War III will be fought with but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” – Ela Patrick
I’ve seen some weird animals here in the future present. Monsters you might call some of them. But really, if you’ve never seen a killer whale before what else would you call it but a monster? What’s the objective difference between a monster and an animal? This one takes the cake though, takes it and probably defecates on it violently.
It’s not really accurate to say that an animal monster looks like a cross between other animals but I have a hard time thinking of any other way to express them. Describing things is hard without references. I could talk about how big it was in objective terms. Or talk about its shape maybe. How would you describe a wolf to someone who had never seen one?
Or I could say that it was a half-moose half-tiger with leathery skin the color of a ripe lime. Good enough right?
I don’t know how these primitive screwheads captured it in the first place or how they dragged it out of wherever they stashed it, but they had the half-moose tiger lime fighting something a lot like an elephant for the amusement of the crowd. The other beast had no trunk and a mouth-full of shark teeth but otherwise it was pretty much just an elephant. Oh, also it had a long tail like an otter.
There was a festival or circus of some kind going on. Some manner of last big hootenanny before we all go die in the big battle against the Invincible. Besides the animal monster bloodsport there were people singing and jumping around in some kind of ecstatic dancing. And then there was an actual sort of non-bloodsport, that thing I’ve seen here where it’s like football only with a ball and chain and also everyone just wails on each other. I think I saw on the History Channel that there was a game like that in Mesoamerica before all those people died of smallpox and Christianity.
Martialla walked up to my watching point and handed me a metal flask (thank god, I can’t stand another clay cup) filled with something almost not gross “There’s a bunch of those women who think you’re a god coming into camp to join up. Looks like they have flame-throwers. Home-made flame throwers which I assume are very safe to use.”
“They don’t think I’m a god” I said after taking a drink “They just think I’m an avatar of their god, and even by avatar standards they don’t seem to pay me much reverence you know? Religion is weird.” I dipped my head ‘hello’ to her “How was the flight?”
“No one shot us down so that’s good” she said taking the flask back “but there was no meal service so I won’t be flying that airline again. I brought MGP back with me. He might have enough experience to fly one of those garbage trucks with wings.”
I nodded “Two planes should be enough to win war, I believe that’s what the planners said of the D-Day Invasion. Which one is MGP?”
“Which one is Meyer?”
She swayed back out of the path of bloodsport bloods pray “Uh, nervous guy, complains a lot. Kind of rusty colored hair.”
I thought for a moment “Right, him. Is Lucien still alive?”
She looked back to the west like she was checking on him “When I left he was. By now? Hard to say. I’m not a very good general Ela, I did my best but things aren’t going great over there. I think there might be a lot of the Invincible Ela, like a lot a lot of them.”
“I’m starting to think the same thing. Do you think this river goes all the way over there? Maybe we can pick him up with our mighty river armada after we chase the Invincible out of Antolpe.”
“I’ve never known a river to cross a mountain like that but then again, I’ve never known half the crazy stuff that happens with the planet now. Is that the plan? Sail upriver and unleash the fury of our pontoons and canoes armed with slinghots and t-shirt cannons?”
I nodded “At the moment yes, but you know me Mar, I’m fickle, the plan could change in five minutes. You have any other ideas?”
“Well” she said after a long drink “Madcat told me where the Invincible base is, the real one I mean, the one where they get their weapons. We could go there.”
I experienced what I think they call dull surprise “That does sound like a good idea. Did you torture him or what made him give that up finally?”
“I’m told he was freaking out after a couple days in the pit you threw him in so another week probably did loosen his tongue some, but mostly what I think it is is that he realized that the game has changed, the Invincible aren’t fooling about anymore and since he wasn’t on their side he has to be out on side. The time for playing both sides is over when one side wants to cut your balls off.” She grunted “He’s actually a pretty good leader.”
We paused for a moment as both beasts, having mortally wounded each other which I have to assume is how these contests usually end, slumped to the ground in dying heaps blowing like bellows and making horrible animal dying noises. The crowd cheered this turn of events at first but then things turned ugly when people started to realize that if both animals die then no one wins their bets on which one would win. That’s when they started to stab at each other with rusty hooks. What were they even betting with? Booze? There’s no currency really.
“Savages. Why do we even both with these people Martialla?”
She thought for a moment “They’re the only people there are.”