NaNoWriMo premise: Curtis – Human Bounty Hunter

My premise for this year’s NaNoWriMo, will be inspired by the “Humanity, Fuck Yeah“- threads one can find on the internet. Which has stories of how horrible, nice, honest, dishonest, et. cetra. The human race can be. I am thinking of three books, one detailing the encounter I give you below, but from the Selendaris point of view.  Along with the expansion to the NaNo 50k mark, it’ll feature more details on both the Selendari in question and the state of the universe. I think there’ll be three novels in this series, maybe four. Which leads me to reach at least 150k words, for three, or 200k for four if I write all four during this NaNo….

“It was in the fifty-sixth solar cycle of the space station Silvara Eight orbiting our- the Vadrian homeworld, that I met my first human. I had been briefed of humans, of course. And I knew some of their languages. I could, however, rely upon the translating amulet that the human was wearing to translate to the vadrian tongue. The man was named Curtis. He detailed no family name, so I never thought to ask.

As I was the operating officer of the security detail of the station, I was the one who went down to the surface after he had secured repairs to his ship. Curtis told me that we needed to use a landing ship I was prepared to lose. And that I would have to bring supplies for- I could see uncertainty in his eyes. “Maybe twenty of your solar days. I believed the man to be insane. However did as he told me. All the man carried was his space-suit and a huge backpack. Ah. I forget. You’ll likely want a description of the man.

I know he is a man because, as the security officer, I was tasked with searching the man for illegal cargo. Curtis not only acquiesced but stripped himself, and told me the best procedures. The man seemed no worse for wear after the extensive search. Curtis could tell me that there was a fugitive on our soil that he was hunting, as a far out branch of the human law engine.

Curtis’ legs, raw muscle. Larger than any of our own master athletes. With our clunky gait provided by our three spiky legs, there was something definitively unsettling about the ease with which humans moved. Moving up his bone-coloured skin, I could see scars so aplenty, that one wondered how the man could move at all. We’d been detailed on their bodies. But the details had been nearly nonexistent when it came to why it was made the way it was.

It looked like Curtis’ skin was sewn together with scars. Nevertheless, you’ll probably want to know the structure of his face. His nose, sprouting from his strong jaws, with a mouth that when opened completely looked as if it could eat the entirety of a small animal whole, was stiff, and triangular. His eyes, lightning quick. And uncertainty was felt in my stomach anytime those fearless deep wells of knowledge stared straight through mine.

In his spacesuit, his physique was far less pronounced. And I was far outmatched when it came to carrying capacity. That big backpack of his carried rations, emergency supplies, my supplies, and a great assortment of strange implements of metal and thread. I would later know their use, but at this time I would not know.

As we landed, Curtis shifted. Before seemingly falling on top of me. It happened in the instant we touched down in the location Curtis had told me we needed to go. The explosion was horrible, the craft obliterated. Curtis had a tear in his space-suit, amongst other minor impalements. However, all the damage I had taken, were few specks where his blood had fallen onto me while he protected my body with his own body. I felt kind of cramped. And tried to motion for Curtis to get off. However, he shook his head. Then whispered something to me.

“If I move now, they’ll shoot again. And the damage will be worse than the roof collapsing, which it probably will in a little while.”

My ears rung with his words, as we waited for what seemed like hours. The man continued to bleed onto my protective clothing. There was a slight hissing, as I knew the blood ate its way through the outer layers. It would not hold forever. However just as I thought that, Curtis moved. “The capsule seems to be holding, and it’s heat-shields protects us from the scans of my prey.

We should be safe for a little rest.”

The rest was indeed little. Curtis sprayed some sort of adhesive from a can onto the spots where his blood had begun to eat its way through my suit. It wasn’t that the environment was hostile to me, but at Curtis’ advice, that if I join him, I needed a hazmat suit and armour. I had worn them both. The blood had stopped eating the suit at least. Which was something that was not lost to me as picked pieces of metal, and glass out from his flesh. The deepest cut had gone into the muscle of his foot.
Curtis said nothing, and tore at the inner layers of his suit, and worked the metal out of his muscle. Sticking his fingers into the wound, after wiping some strange smelling fluid onto them.

The wound oozed after his fingers left it. And he touched the two sides of the skin together before applying the same adhesive from the can that had stopped the blood previously. The wound stayed shut, and Curtis worked his foot for a while before taking a short nap. The rest period lasted about fifteen of your “minutes”. Curtis stretched and said out loud. “That should allow them to get some bit away, and allow us to pick up the pace.”

As I followed Curtis, I noted how he carried the weight of the backpack upon his wounded foot as if it weighed nothing. “Does it not hurt?” My question went unanswered for a bit of time as the man worked his way up a small hill that my three spiked legs made short work out of. “A bit, I’ve been through worse. Luckily it only tore through about half the fibres in that muscle. I should have about half the efficiency of it and need a bit more rest than usual for a few days, as the salve I applied works.” I wondered how his body could function in our atmosphere.

As far as we knew it was poisonous to humans. Curtis did use a rebreather, but as the day went on, the man adjusted the efficiency of it down and eventually put it back in its place in the backpack. “Humans can breathe most atmospheres, if they have a healthy bit of microbes in their lungs. I should have no trouble the rest of my stay on your planet. ”

Walking on, we found somewhere to nestle for the next brief rest. I was exhausted. Yet it had been what Curtis called a “short walk” that lasted some eight hours. The man still only required another fifteen minutes. And was ready. I however, was finished. Curtis didn’t seem to mind spending an hour or so recuperating on my behalf. However instead of recuperating as I had to do, Curtis went on exercising his leg. Yes, the very leg that had been half torn open a third of his homeworld’s day ago.

Curtis told me that the creature he was hunting was a Selendari Conman that had managed to get onto the Human Empire’s most wanted list, for a large list of crimes against a lot of people. And that the Selendari needed far more rest than a Human. Curtis also prepared one of his rations. The human could tell me that he could’ve eaten it cold. But that he preferred it warm. As that lent itself better to the taste in his opinion.

A few hours later, and after my ration had been nearly consumed we trudged on. I wondered how Curtis could still walk. A damage like that to any of the Vadrians, and they would be crippled. Probably for many moons. It was our next encounter with a trap, that really put the fear of humans in me. Curtis walked straight into a laser-cutter trap. He’d not been surprised, however, there was a gleam of something unsettling in his eyes as he pressed the trigger.

The man was crazy, and as the laser sliced through his foot. This time the other foot. I noticed something strange. As Curtis fell to the dirt, his suit managed to confine the muscle. It still held the same shape. And was slack. Curtis had relaxed the muscle before the laser had cut it. Curtis didn’t look scared at all. And started applying the salve. This time clearly in pain. However refused any when asked if he wanted sedatives.

“If I eat that, It’ll slow down my senses, and make my body unreliable. I can handle this pain. It’ll soon be nothing. Once again sticking that strange black salve into the wound. Curtis when he tried standing he couldn’t. And asked for a branch of a nearby tree. Which he strapped to his leg by use of strips of fabric. The wound was sealed with the same can he had used before. Curtis wrapped the entire leg with fabric, then rose.

His gait still a bit stunted, I asked him “why did you willingly step into the trap?” Curtis simply smiled. “I have the opportunity to make them think that I will be either incapacitated or dead. Before following them, it’ll mean they think they’ve lost me. This trap, was lain here mere hours before we arrived. And by triggering it, I’ve given them the satisfaction of thinking that they got away.”

It made little sense to me, as Curtis now heaved whenever he stepped, and his gait had become unsteady. However, the man trudged on. Looking like the hunt would be long since over, I wondered why Curtis had asked me to prepare twenty days of rations. As we walked, Curtis picked up fruits, nuts and many other things from the woods around us, and tested if the Human body could withstand them.

As it appeared, the human body could withstand most things even those extremely toxic to ourselves. And as the days went on, me feeling ever more exhausted, the incredible stamina of humans was hammered into my brain. In the last few days, the campsites had started to show signs that they had been left in a haste. And the bounty hunter could tell me that we were gaining fast.

His first wound had been completely healed in two days. His second took a week. The wound was healed, but his bone was not. The strange salve, a product of human factories, seemed to bring muscle fibres together rather quickly, and assist in lining up bones, leaving the actual healing to the body. And as Curtis walked, his strange gait straightened out, and he would begin to jog for spurts. I had been broken into his pace by now.

As long as we took a couple of hours off every two rests, I could keep up. I still tremor to this day when I think of the terrifying force that the human body represents. If I wasn’t there to slow Curtis down, he could probably have jogged the entire time. The stamina that this man could bring from eating all sorts of strange fruits, and animals from the native environment of the planet. It had been a long time since our planet was hunted for food, as it had been on the homeworld of the humans.

But Curtis seemed to find it a natural way to expend his resources. As we worked together, I asked Curtis how he tested for the edibility. “First, there’s the test to see if it is poisonous, it’s this device” Curtis held forth a device that looked like a communications device. “If it isn’t poisonous to Humans, then there is this test.” The man brought up a sharp instrument humans liked when eating, a fork. And scratched himself in his arm. “This way, if something comes in contact with these four scratches, and it becomes painful, or something of that nature, then I know not to eat it.”

It neared our twentieth day when we finally caught up with the creature Curtis was hunting. The creature had run for far too long. Exhaustion had finally taken it over, and it simply hung limp as Curtis lifted the small form and returned the same way we had come from. Curtis didn’t allow the creature to die. And gave his own rations to it to keep it alive. It was starting to get dire with my own rations, and I was starting to grow a bit concerned when Curtis asked me if there was anything I knew in the vicinity that I knew I could eat. I nodded, but fear clouded my mind.

“There’s a large animal some days from here, that my people hunted when we were in need.” Curtis simply nodded. “It’ll be a slight detour, but we’ll go there, provided slaying one is legal.” I nodded, Curtis carried the prisoner and the backpack. The second day of our journey to the fields of the Giant Alpondar natives of the planet, the prisoner Curtis had caught talked. “Let me go, you foul-mouthed mongrel” Curtis simply ignored the creature. And went about his business. Slept for fifteen minutes, then started jogging to the fields of the Alpondar.

They were non-sapient and huge. Something Curtis simply shrugged at. Apparently the man had seen bigger. The woman the bounty hunter had captured however was terrified. Chained to the ground, and hobbled, Curtis told me to stay where I was, and he would fell one. I tried to tell him to let me help. But Curtis had simply shaken his head.

We waited for a few hours. Before the ground started shaking. Curtis came. My face expressed shook with terror as the man sat upon the neck of the creature. The bounty hunter parked his Alpondar beside the campfire, before loading all three of us onto the creature, that he then steered towards someplace in the distance. It was a mere fifteen minutes at a run that we came upon the Alpondar body.

We ate. And I packed as many rations as I could. The prisoner begged to be let go, and not be left in the care of this murderer. Curtis continued ignoring her. Curtis spent a lot of his freeze-rods to preserve the meat-rations. And we managed to get back to the landing site. This time riding on the Alpondar that Curtis had tamed.

I’ve skipped ranks, and gotten pretty far upwards in the relations and military systems of our planet since. All the while cautioning on any aggression against humans. For I have seen, what ease with which a trained human can both live in harsh new environments and sustain crippling damage. I’ll leave this letter of detail with the Human ambassadors. They’ll know better what to do with it than I. I’ve even taken to learning the Human main language, if nothing else, to simplify my own existence if I should come into contact with a human.

Our race may be space-faring. And I am informed there are many others, however, none of them are as adaptable and efficient as the human race. Any relations except peaceful strongly advised against. Curtis, a bounty-hunter travelled across the galaxy, to get ahold of ONE prisoner. His journey, not even counting the one I had the opportunity to join in on, has taken him across a dozen different star systems, and many many different climates. Yet, the Selendari that ran away from her punishment, a race most well known for being extraordinary runners could not cope with the sheer determination and endurance of a single human.”
~ Signed Mondik Veldi; War Minister, and minister of extra-Vadrian relations.