Challenge #02131-E302: Strangers in a Very Strange LandsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  11 months ago 


planetary survey on new world gets progressively jaded as they meet real mythical animals -- Anon Guest

Welcome to Mythos. Here, there be dragons. For real, actual dragons. They don't breathe fire, but they do have an acidic spray from their own digestive tract that's almost as bad. Their original gengineers started with the largest Terran lizard - the komodo - and worked at it from there. They're sluggish and make nests out of shiny objects to attract their mates. Beyond that, they're not nearly as fearsome as they should be.

Unicorns graze in the plains, but they are not nearly as graceful and beautiful as the imagination would want. The closest the gengineers could come to the rainbow mane was a piebald tortoiseshell appaloosa. It certainly didn't flow like magic. Real unicorns didn't sparkle. It had taken years for the gengineers to get the spiral horn pattern, the cloven hooves were comparatively easier, but it meant that these creatures meant to evoke the magic of mythology had the slotted pupils of the goats and sheep in their ancestry.

Fairies are not magical. They're not intelligent, and for that, Humanity should be grateful. True Faeries are never to be messed with. Just ask the Irish. Gengineers took large butterflies, the hissing cockroach, and tweaked the two together to produce a butterfly that can sing one note. Which it does. Monotonously. The only plus side is that they look weirdly humanoid except for the slightly repulsive abdomens. If you could count that as a 'plus'.

Will paused in her work. This report was veering off into unprofessionalism, again. Planetary survey allowed for a certain amount of informality from their field agents, but this was bordering on blogging and whingeing about it. She took a deep breath, removed that last sentence, and continued on.

Once upon a time, someone wanted to build a Fantasy theme park with genuine Fantasy creatures as attractions... No. Don't write that.

Gryphons are not what you might expect. The plan, obviously, was for cat elements melded with bird elements. Unfortunately, bird wings cannot be placed on a mammal without losing limbs, unless insect DNA is added to the mixture. The resultant... cat-bugs... are almost horrific if they weren't also so pretty. They cannot fly, but can control their descent towards the ground, rather like a domesticated chicken attempting to fly. The natives here keep them as pets, especially in the high-rises, where predatory instinct has lead to the end of many a traditional feline.

Will paused again. She was going to have to describe the natives. This was a world where Humans mingled with Elves - the descendants of gengineered Humans with pointed ears, longer lifespans, and tongue-clotting beauty - also the Centaurs and the Fauns.

One of whom was still attempting to understand that they were now an Ambassador, along with their farmhand Jean.

"So... just because we met you trespassing on our farm... we're now the people with the most expertise in interacting with you?"

"Yes," said Melwraik Baz. "Gold star. You got it."

"But... we shot at you," said Jean Audrey. "That's every kind of bad start."

Will stretched at her console. "On the plus side, you also stopped shooting at us. That's bottom-rung diplomacy, right there."

Neither of the new Ambassadors seemed reassured.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / studiostoks]

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Think the people I'm usually surrounded with at this time are finally used to my random cackling which is good as I couldn't really stop while getting through this XD

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