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Re: The night of the bugs.

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  • Attilla Danko
    Part III: Attack Mode. CN-251 grimly sensed her glycogen reserves getting lower. The wind blew hard. She reconfigured her landing gear to grip more tightly the
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 1 11:05 PM
      Part III: Attack Mode.

      CN-251 grimly sensed her glycogen reserves getting lower.
      The wind blew hard. She reconfigured her landing gear
      to grip more tightly the body of the light eater. It swayed.
      She applied all of her sensory processing power into detecting
      the tinyiest whiff of carbon dioxide. Nothing. She concentrated.
      Patterns formed then vanished as she strained to
      make sense of random sensor noise.

      But it was only noise.

      No declicious CO2. No uplifting CO2. No CO2 to make her attack
      mode come to life. No CO2 to make her lift engines sing.

      She carried the genes to make a hundred thousand daughters.
      She could anticipate that glory, but she was starving.

      The universe is not fair.

      Well, at least the air was not too dry to run her flight
      systems. But there was nothing to fly to. She set her self
      for power conservation mode and waited.

      A buzz disturbed her reverie. Her sister CN-2401 was reconfiguring
      her sensors for hunt mode. Hunt mode? But there was no CO2. Whats the point
      of sensing for water vapor gradients if there is no CO2? Then
      CD-5499 did the same. Confusion. She recallibrated her CO2 sensor
      array. Still nothing. A low thrumming shook her as CN-2401 engaged
      her lift engines and began a vertical acent. A moment later CD5499
      engaged and lifted off too. Sisters all around here were powering
      up their flight systems. They began to lift off in waves. The air
      was with their engine sounds. Absurdity!

      She was still diagnosing her CO2 sensor array. When it hit her.

      Her brain was on fire. Her nervous system drenched with neurotransmitters.
      Her sensor array came to life of its own accord. But the infrared was
      blank and the water vapor gradients were zero. It didnt seem to matter.
      IR gain set it self to high and she felt herself configuring her landing
      gear for launch. It was power and it was joy. It was wonderful in a
      sickly wrong way. But she could almost feel her future daughers being
      hatched. It was insanity. But she didnt wait for the insanity to configure
      her flight mode. She did that herself. Her lift engines came to
      life with a thrum more powerful that she could have belived on her
      low glycogen supply.

      She climbled powerfully into the sky. The shafts of light eaters fell
      rapidy behind her. She wheeled around and set course as if she
      had target lock. But her infrared was dead. H2O gradients dead.
      She just didnt care about the CO2 any more.

      The wind was fierce. The tuburlence knocker her sideways. She
      narrowly missed CD-62051. Air velocities were well outside her
      design evelope. She consumed glycogen at a prodigious rate.
      By all rights she should be heading for cover.
      But she flew on. Into the horrible wind.

      Behind her, wave after wave of her sisters arose. By the hundreds.
      By the hundred thousands. All on the same bearing.
      All flying with dead sensors. All locked on a flight bearing
      towards nothing. All desparate to lock onto a real target.
      All too giddy, too hungry to care.

      She flew on an on. A thousand wing lengths. Then another thousand.
      The turbulence grew stronger. Another thousand.
      This was beyond sense. Beyond what evolution had tuned her
      flight systems for. But the elation stayed wither her. Far more
      delicious than CO2. Far more exciting. A hundred thousand of
      her sisters flew with her. Flight engines at maximum effort.
      Sensor arrays blank.

      Twenty three thousand insane wing lengths later she flew low
      over a hummock of light eaters. In the distance rose an infrared
      glow. It grew bigger as she apparched. It was huge. Far larger
      than any target she had tracked before. It glowed hot against
      the cool infrared sky.

      Then her attack array detected water vapor. No, not merely "detect".
      She was awash. The target was enourmous and venting unimaginable
      quantities of water vapor. The target was too big, she needed
      terminal guidance. She powered her octenol and fatty-acid
      sensor array. She was nearly overwhelemed with the signal.
      Her sensors were saturating. This target was enormous and
      juicy beyong imagining.

      She flew up. Below her, her sisters were landing and configuring themselves
      to drill. There where hundreds attacking. But the target could feed a hundred
      thousand. There would be food for all.

      But in her rear IR vision, she could see a white-hot mass approching
      at high speed. It was a hundred wingbeats wide. It zoomed toward her
      dilling sisters. They saw the demon approach. Closer. Closer.
      It crashed upon her sisters maiming and crushing a dozen. Precious
      food spurted from the ruptured cargo bays of her siblings.

      There was nothing she could do. Nothing, but attack.

      She flew up.

      In the distance she could her her sisters dying. Some could not
      land because chemical weapons had fouled their terminal
      guidance systems. Others were being crushed by fast moving things
      that were bright in the infrared.

      She had to ignore the threat. This was her only chance to attack
      and find food. Her only chance to carry the precious genes she
      carried to their destiny.

      She flew up. She skimmed the vertical surface of the vast target.
      Octenol readings were too high to be useful. She re-callibrated her
      water vapor gradient sensor to *reduce* sensitivity. Then she could
      sense the top of the target. The flew over the hemispherical surface,
      skimming the enourmous dome. There in the center, undefended by
      protien spears, she landed.

      It was a curious surface. It was covered with criss-crossed ropes
      of some tasteless polymer. She configured her landing gear for drilling.
      But, the ropes shifted and she launched into the air. She heard the coms-
      traffic of countless numbers of her sisters advising each other to land
      when the rope net was still and flat. She waited.

      The dome below her moved up behind a giant shadow. The shadow thing
      was dark in the infrared. The dome held it self very still, just
      touching a dark cylinder of some sort. It was an unnatural pause.

      Never mind. She saw her chance and dove for the surface. Her landing
      gear was already in grapple mode and her salivary glands were
      pumping as she hit the surface. She powered her drill engine. With
      a wonderfull feeling of power, her drill sank into the keratin
      surface of the dome-target. Her anticipation swelled.

      Then she broke though into the food layer! She pumped anticouagulent
      furiously. One hundred and twenty five nano liters. It was all she
      could muster. Then she began pumping out food.

      It was wonderful. It was so real, so tasty, so full of protein
      and glycogen, so full of the voices of her unborn daughers.

      She had pumped a microliter when she caught a glimpse of that bright
      infrared thing that had crushed her sisters. She kept pumping. If she
      stopped, she would never lay eggs and her descendants would never
      be. She needed three whole micoliters or she would be unworthy of
      150 million years of evolution. If she was still drilling when the
      infrared-bright thing came, the universe would be as if
      she had never been hatched.

      She *pumped*.

      ...

      One and a half microliters. The bright thing turned. Her sisters began
      to land around her.

      Two microliters. The bright thing was closing. Her hull plates began
      to creak and slide apart as her food overfilled her fuselage.

      Two and a half microliters. The bright thing crashed onto the
      dome fifty wing lengths away.

      She *pumped*.

      The bright thing swept towards her. It crushed CN-54041. CN-561211
      attempted emergency takeoff, but couldnt extract her drill. She was
      maimed horribly.

      The bright maimer swept closer.

      Three microliters! She hastily withdrew her drill. She snapped it
      back into its sheath with a twang just as her lift engines began
      to thrum. She attempted take off.

      She was heavy. She lifted slowly... so slowly. The
      bright maimer swept closer and closer and swept just below
      her. She detected octenol traces as the tubulence spun her over.
      It was some kind of counter-attacking target.

      No matter. She had her precious cargo. She powered down her
      sensor array. She would need all her glycogen to run her
      flight systems. The temptation to stop and savor her sweet
      cargo was great, but she flew on, sure in the knowlege
      that a hundred thousand Children of the Night
      would rise to follow her.

      The universe was hers.
    • Richard Harding
      I am in awe....I have been humbled by the master.....I am not worthy!!!! Wow Attilla!! Good stuff that switch to the other side . However, write 5 volumes,
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 2 3:52 AM
        I am in awe....I have been humbled by the master.....I am not worthy!!!!
        Wow Attilla!! Good stuff that switch to the "other side". However, write 5 volumes, and I will still feel no pity.....Nuke'em all!!!
        Ahem.....Mike and Ziggy....Rob...??? I am dying to hear what happens to Chad, Lucretia, Ma, Pa,.....Snidely Whiplash.....

        Sir Richard

        ps. "I smell a Pulitzer"
      • r.prevost@home.com
        Very, very nice indeed, Attilla! Perfect, dead on, mood. Wow, nicely modulated!! :- ... the point ... neurotransmitters. ... was ... matter. ... landing ...
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 2 6:11 AM
          Very, very nice indeed, Attilla! Perfect, dead on, mood. Wow,
          nicely modulated!! :->

          --- In OAFs@y..., "Attilla Danko" <attilla.danko@s...> wrote:
          > Part III: Attack Mode.
          >
          > CN-251 grimly sensed her glycogen reserves getting lower.
          > The wind blew hard. She reconfigured her landing gear
          > to grip more tightly the body of the light eater. It swayed.
          > She applied all of her sensory processing power into detecting
          > the tinyiest whiff of carbon dioxide. Nothing. She concentrated.
          > Patterns formed then vanished as she strained to
          > make sense of random sensor noise.
          >
          > But it was only noise.
          >
          > No declicious CO2. No uplifting CO2. No CO2 to make her attack
          > mode come to life. No CO2 to make her lift engines sing.
          >
          > She carried the genes to make a hundred thousand daughters.
          > She could anticipate that glory, but she was starving.
          >
          > The universe is not fair.
          >
          > Well, at least the air was not too dry to run her flight
          > systems. But there was nothing to fly to. She set her self
          > for power conservation mode and waited.
          >
          > A buzz disturbed her reverie. Her sister CN-2401 was reconfiguring
          > her sensors for hunt mode. Hunt mode? But there was no CO2. Whats
          the point
          > of sensing for water vapor gradients if there is no CO2? Then
          > CD-5499 did the same. Confusion. She recallibrated her CO2 sensor
          > array. Still nothing. A low thrumming shook her as CN-2401 engaged
          > her lift engines and began a vertical acent. A moment later CD5499
          > engaged and lifted off too. Sisters all around here were powering
          > up their flight systems. They began to lift off in waves. The air
          > was with their engine sounds. Absurdity!
          >
          > She was still diagnosing her CO2 sensor array. When it hit her.
          >
          > Her brain was on fire. Her nervous system drenched with
          neurotransmitters.
          > Her sensor array came to life of its own accord. But the infrared
          was
          > blank and the water vapor gradients were zero. It didnt seem to
          matter.
          > IR gain set it self to high and she felt herself configuring her
          landing
          > gear for launch. It was power and it was joy. It was wonderful in a
          > sickly wrong way. But she could almost feel her future daughers
          being
          > hatched. It was insanity. But she didnt wait for the insanity to
          configure
          > her flight mode. She did that herself. Her lift engines came to
          > life with a thrum more powerful that she could have belived on her
          > low glycogen supply.
          >
          > She climbled powerfully into the sky. The shafts of light eaters
          fell
          > rapidy behind her. She wheeled around and set course as if she
          > had target lock. But her infrared was dead. H2O gradients dead.
          > She just didnt care about the CO2 any more.
          >
          > The wind was fierce. The tuburlence knocker her sideways. She
          > narrowly missed CD-62051. Air velocities were well outside her
          > design evelope. She consumed glycogen at a prodigious rate.
          > By all rights she should be heading for cover.
          > But she flew on. Into the horrible wind.
          >
          > Behind her, wave after wave of her sisters arose. By the hundreds.
          > By the hundred thousands. All on the same bearing.
          > All flying with dead sensors. All locked on a flight bearing
          > towards nothing. All desparate to lock onto a real target.
          > All too giddy, too hungry to care.
          >
          > She flew on an on. A thousand wing lengths. Then another thousand.
          > The turbulence grew stronger. Another thousand.
          > This was beyond sense. Beyond what evolution had tuned her
          > flight systems for. But the elation stayed wither her. Far more
          > delicious than CO2. Far more exciting. A hundred thousand of
          > her sisters flew with her. Flight engines at maximum effort.
          > Sensor arrays blank.
          >
          > Twenty three thousand insane wing lengths later she flew low
          > over a hummock of light eaters. In the distance rose an infrared
          > glow. It grew bigger as she apparched. It was huge. Far larger
          > than any target she had tracked before. It glowed hot against
          > the cool infrared sky.
          >
          > Then her attack array detected water vapor. No, not merely "detect".
          > She was awash. The target was enourmous and venting unimaginable
          > quantities of water vapor. The target was too big, she needed
          > terminal guidance. She powered her octenol and fatty-acid
          > sensor array. She was nearly overwhelemed with the signal.
          > Her sensors were saturating. This target was enormous and
          > juicy beyong imagining.
          >
          > She flew up. Below her, her sisters were landing and configuring
          themselves
          > to drill. There where hundreds attacking. But the target could feed
          a hundred
          > thousand. There would be food for all.
          >
          > But in her rear IR vision, she could see a white-hot mass approching
          > at high speed. It was a hundred wingbeats wide. It zoomed toward her
          > dilling sisters. They saw the demon approach. Closer. Closer.
          > It crashed upon her sisters maiming and crushing a dozen. Precious
          > food spurted from the ruptured cargo bays of her siblings.
          >
          > There was nothing she could do. Nothing, but attack.
          >
          > She flew up.
          >
          > In the distance she could her her sisters dying. Some could not
          > land because chemical weapons had fouled their terminal
          > guidance systems. Others were being crushed by fast moving things
          > that were bright in the infrared.
          >
          > She had to ignore the threat. This was her only chance to attack
          > and find food. Her only chance to carry the precious genes she
          > carried to their destiny.
          >
          > She flew up. She skimmed the vertical surface of the vast target.
          > Octenol readings were too high to be useful. She re-callibrated her
          > water vapor gradient sensor to *reduce* sensitivity. Then she could
          > sense the top of the target. The flew over the hemispherical
          surface,
          > skimming the enourmous dome. There in the center, undefended by
          > protien spears, she landed.
          >
          > It was a curious surface. It was covered with criss-crossed ropes
          > of some tasteless polymer. She configured her landing gear for
          drilling.
          > But, the ropes shifted and she launched into the air. She heard the
          coms-
          > traffic of countless numbers of her sisters advising each other to
          land
          > when the rope net was still and flat. She waited.
          >
          > The dome below her moved up behind a giant shadow. The shadow thing
          > was dark in the infrared. The dome held it self very still, just
          > touching a dark cylinder of some sort. It was an unnatural pause.
          >
          > Never mind. She saw her chance and dove for the surface. Her landing
          > gear was already in grapple mode and her salivary glands were
          > pumping as she hit the surface. She powered her drill engine. With
          > a wonderfull feeling of power, her drill sank into the keratin
          > surface of the dome-target. Her anticipation swelled.
          >
          > Then she broke though into the food layer! She pumped anticouagulent
          > furiously. One hundred and twenty five nano liters. It was all she
          > could muster. Then she began pumping out food.
          >
          > It was wonderful. It was so real, so tasty, so full of protein
          > and glycogen, so full of the voices of her unborn daughers.
          >
          > She had pumped a microliter when she caught a glimpse of that bright
          > infrared thing that had crushed her sisters. She kept pumping. If
          she
          > stopped, she would never lay eggs and her descendants would never
          > be. She needed three whole micoliters or she would be unworthy of
          > 150 million years of evolution. If she was still drilling when the
          > infrared-bright thing came, the universe would be as if
          > she had never been hatched.
          >
          > She *pumped*.
          >
          > ...
          >
          > One and a half microliters. The bright thing turned. Her sisters
          began
          > to land around her.
          >
          > Two microliters. The bright thing was closing. Her hull plates began
          > to creak and slide apart as her food overfilled her fuselage.
          >
          > Two and a half microliters. The bright thing crashed onto the
          > dome fifty wing lengths away.
          >
          > She *pumped*.
          >
          > The bright thing swept towards her. It crushed CN-54041. CN-561211
          > attempted emergency takeoff, but couldnt extract her drill. She was
          > maimed horribly.
          >
          > The bright maimer swept closer.
          >
          > Three microliters! She hastily withdrew her drill. She snapped it
          > back into its sheath with a twang just as her lift engines began
          > to thrum. She attempted take off.
          >
          > She was heavy. She lifted slowly... so slowly. The
          > bright maimer swept closer and closer and swept just below
          > her. She detected octenol traces as the tubulence spun her over.
          > It was some kind of counter-attacking target.
          >
          > No matter. She had her precious cargo. She powered down her
          > sensor array. She would need all her glycogen to run her
          > flight systems. The temptation to stop and savor her sweet
          > cargo was great, but she flew on, sure in the knowlege
          > that a hundred thousand Children of the Night
          > would rise to follow her.
          >
          > The universe was hers.
        • attilla.danko@sympatico.ca
          ... Amusing and very well writen. I especially liked the SF angle. I hope other OAFS will forgive us sucumming to an off topic thread. -ad
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 2 5:38 PM
            --- In OAFs@y..., r.prevost@h... wrote:
            > --- In OAFs@y..., Richard Harding <rharding@i...> wrote:
            > > The Night of the Bugs
            > > A play in four parts by Lotta Deet
            >
            > ( Part II ) The Summonning

            Amusing and very well writen. I especially liked the SF angle.

            I hope other OAFS will forgive us sucumming to an off topic
            thread.

            -ad
          • attilla.danko@sympatico.ca
            ... all!!! ... Sir Richard, I wouldnt want you to think I had any fondness for those little terrible breeding machines. Nuke em all! Ahem. Slighly more
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 2 5:49 PM
              --- In OAFs@y..., Richard Harding <rharding@i...> wrote:
              >However, write 5 volumes, and I will still feel no pity.....Nuke'em
              all!!!

              :) thanks.

              Sir Richard, I wouldnt want you to think I had any fondness for
              those little terrible breeding machines. Nuke'em all!


              Ahem. Slighly more on-topic:

              I'd like to try spraying Permethrin on my bug suit. But Matt and
              others have mentioned that Permethrin is a no-no in Canada. The
              only info I can find on the web says that Permethrin is a controlled
              substance when used as a agricultural pesticide.

              Anyone know if its legal to import in one-bug-suit quantities?
              Or how I would find out.

              -ad
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