The second installment in the adventures of Commander Kilfry! In this weeks episode: can Kilfry track down the dreaded Singularityger? Or is he barking up the wrong tree? No, wait, that's a dog pun. Let me start again... (Now with more LASER(TM)!)
Kilfry pressed his back against the warm ionised-polycarbonate of the city’s infrastructure and wearily dug his photon pistol into his eyebrow. He closed his eyes and allowed himself a momentary respite as the photo-static street lights and chlorosustainant pod beams flashed through the airways several hundred feet above his head. Not many people of his social standing came down into the bowels of the Aeropolis anymore, and for good reason, Kilfry reflected.
The floor was evenly coated with a thick, viscous brown tar down here, not to mention the intermittent garbage littering the ground, dropped from the heady heights of modern civilisation. The tar resulted from the biodegradation enzymes that washed through the lower levels every day and broke down any unrefined garbage in their path, ever since the city had unanimously decided that anything lower than thirty-feet off the ground was officially a toilet. Though the degraded trash would eventually sluice through the flood grates and into the lower aqueducts, right now it was coming up to Kilfry’s mid-calf, and was giving him the strong urge to vomit.
Scoomer slopped through the muck as he charged around the corner, spraying Kilfry’s uniform with tar particles before ungraciously slumping against a nearby wall.
Kilfry looked down at his sullied dress uniform coolly.
“You are a total dick,” he informed Scoomer unhappily.
Scoomer winced apologetically as he panted, his eyes swimming wildly in their sockets.
“Sorry… Commander…” he gasped desperately. “Sorry…”
Kilfry narrowed his eyes at the young, manky-haired tracker.
“So, do you have a bead on this thing, kid?” Kilfry asked him as he played with the intimidation-mechanism on his photon-pistol.
The mechanism didn’t do anything other than making a ‘chk-chk’ noise, but it was important to have something to have something to do with your hands, and the military discouraged smoking and masturbation.
Scoomer’s eye twitched as he sniffed the air and licked his lips.
“I’m sensing…” the tracker told him carefully. “I’m sensing… Poop. We’re standing in poop. And… there’s a special sale on pod pneurophonic systems, six blocks from here. We can make it, if we leave now…”
Kilfry grunted disdainfully.
Scoomer had proved to be less than helpful so far.
He was a multi-medium.
This meant that he had a vast array of extra-sensory perception at his disposal, through a combination of mental training and neurological enhancement technologies. Scoomer had the capacity to simultaneously perceive quantum fluctuation fields, speak with non-corporeal spatial anomalies, share protocols with closed circuit security systems, monitor city emergency vid-bands, and tell you what the most prevalent smell was in the building on the other side of the street.
The trick was getting him to focus on just one of these at any given time.
Unfortunately, Kilfry consoled himself, Scoomer was an unwelcome necessity for this operation.
Scoomer was the only hope they had to locate the Singularityger.
“Well, it’s got to be around here somewhere,” Kilfry said with a heavy sigh. “Let’s keep moving. Maybe we’ll get lucky, and it’ll jump out and bite your face off.”
Scoomer nodded thoughtfully.
“We can only hope,” he conceded distractedly.
They pushed through the earthy muck tensely but steadily.
Kilfry knew it had to be close.
Singularitygers had been encountered only a handful of times in the entirety of recorded history, but Kilfry had done his homework, and had metaphorically shown his 11th grade maths teacher what a judgemental bitch she really was.
The Singularitygers were more myth than anything else. They were the stuff of nightmares, quite literally. Singularitygers could attune their existence with a number of existential planes.
They could exist as a thought.
They could exist as sound.
They could exist as whisper on a ray of light.
The problem with their existence was that, like multi-mediums, they had trouble focusing on one particular band of existence. Truthfully, you would never even know that Singularitygers existed, until one managed to focus and manifest its existence on the physical plane, at which point a ten-foot-long, purple-striped monster was sitting in the room with you. And when they had managed to become physical once, they always seemed to come back for more…
Curse my species for being so delicious, Kilfry ruminated nostalgically.
“I’m sensing a cheese-like texture…” Scoomer announced as he rubbed his temples. “Emmanating from the mid-street quantum fission-anamoly.”
Kilfry furrowed his brow and turned to examine Scoomer.
“‘Cheese-like’… What??” he asked with exasperation. “What the hell are you talking about, you mutant?! What ‘mid-street quantum fission-anomaly’?? Speak humaniclish, you ball-bag!”
Suddenly, the end of the alley-way erupted in a bright-flash of heat and light. An enormous hulking purple beast exploded into existence before their eyes and frantically dashed out the end of the alley
“I’m sensing…” Scoomer predicated quietly. “That the Singularityger has become physical again.”
Kilfry resolutely operated the intimidation mechanism on his pistol, and took off after his prey.
All thought of the brown, shit-like tar tarnishing his uniform was gone now, as Kilfry slopped through the dingy streets.
Some thought of the tar returned briefly as Kilfry felt it squelch down the inside of his boots and seep into his socks, but it was only for a moment and didn’t really count anyway.
The decorated military officer grunted gutturally as he caught sight of the great pan-dimensional cat rounding a corner ahead of him and he quickened his loping pace.
Kilfry hadn’t failed an assignment yet.
He’d be damned if he lost this collar.
Commander Kilfry idly made a mental note to formulate some sort of a joke about cats and collars as he barrelled forward into another one of the city’s midnight orifices.
Suddenly, Kilfry froze in his tracks
It was a dead-end, and the beast was nowhere to be seen.
Kilfry scanned the walls of the alley frantically.
He knew the Singularityger couldn’t move very fast when it adopted a non-physical form. It had to be close by still.
The Commander dug his heels in and gritted his teeth.
With iron resolve and an itchy trigger finger, Kilfry began firing erratically into the alleyway, as per his default military directive.
He roared triumphantly as the narrow passage lit up with the bright yellow illumination of his photonic-light blasts. He cackled maniacally as the photons seared the polycarbonate framework of the buildings he struck, and hoped that his wanton destruction was covered by his insurance provider.
And then, as the euphoria of warfare subsided and his ammunitions battery ran out, Kilfry lowered his sidearm.
The Singularityger was still nowhere to be seen.
Kilfry scratched his head.
“I felt sure that would work…” he muttered quietly to himself.
Without warning the alleyway lit up, and the scent of burning oxygen flooded Kilfry’s nostrils.
He felt the Singularityger’s tree-trunk paws lash out, pushing him to the ground like a rag doll. He felt the weight of its colossal body come down on him, squeezing the air from his lungs and snapping several ribs in his chest like wishbones. He felt its knife-like claws shoot out unhesitantly, searing through his chest cavity with heated arrest.
This is it, Commander Kilfry realised as he felt his lungs filling with blood, the mighty quantum-beast’s toothen maw descending on his head.
This is how I die…
Kilfry gasped as fire from an unseen laser lashed out, and the Singularityger’s blood spattered across his heavily tar-stained dress-uniform.
It was a terrible idea to wear my dress-uniform for this, Kilfry realised as the great cat’s beastial form fell on top of him.
Kilfry craned his neck desperately as someone dragged his prone form out from under the fallen monster.
Scoomer smiled at Kilfry modestly as he pulled him to his feet.
“I sensed that you were in trouble,” he confided. “It smells like poop down here.”
Kilfry threw his head back and laughed, whilst simultaneously attempting to stop all his blood from pouring out.
“That it does, old friend!” he conceded joyously. “That it does…”
Commander Kilfry examined the fallen Singularityger and shook his head condescendingly.
“Perhaps we should put a collar on it…” he jibed. “Since I made it my bitch! Plus… y’know… it’s a cat!”
Nice one, he assured himself.
Scoomer said something else, but Commander Kilfry didn’t really care.