Challenge #02357-F167: Armour-plated BadasssteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction8 months ago

Some species have chitin as Armour.
We Humans have interior Bones and Skin.
But what If an Alien species has developed an exterior Skin of Bone ? -- Anon Guest

There are very few examples of osteodermis extremis in cogniscent lifeforms. For Deathworlds, and the Deathworlders who dwell on them, it makes more evolutionary sense than -say- being small, mobile and squishy. Though not common, it's generally expected for Deathworlders of level four or above to at least have some osteoderms.

The Kraakinok were one such species with heavy osteoderm coverage. Having heard the stories of the Alliance's most impossible Deathworlders, they followed the usual rules of egocentricity and assumed that the Humans would, like them, be covered in bony plating.

Their first sight of a Human out of their livesuit was more than a little shocking. The Human Bob was small, apparently squishy, and not even slightly armoured with any kind of bony plating. Indeed, their exposed skin displayed several contusions and lacerations that had managed to reach their soft flesh despite the livesuit protecting them.

"This is the creature who defeated seventeen Aaruith juggernauts?" Qoroq boggled. "You are soft and squishy! How can you be a Deathworlder and soft and squishy?"

"Just lucky, I guess," Human Bob finished the decontamination routine and immediately submitted to the tutting Mediks. "Your lot, you had a big tough world where anything tougher than you tried to bite - including your own. My lot... well. We started off by running away and scavenging later. Couldn't afford to haul around big exterior bones. So we worked on being smart. Remembering things and telling stories is how we rose up enough to start predating on each other."

Qoroq couldn't see the sense in any of that. "You did not use good protein in rivals?"

"Yeah, nah, we had enough diversity to practice omnivorism without cannibalism. Even then, we had a pack-mentality that had us looking after the pack mates, not killing them. And -yeah- we did eat our dead at one point, but... we never made them dead to eat 'em. At least... we never found any evidence of that..." Human Bob shrugged and then whispered an apology to the swarming Mediks. "Besides, all that happened way late in our evolutionary path. It never would have worked out."

Qoroq said, "Yet you add things under your dermis for... decorative purposes?"

"Some do," said Bob.

Qoroq verbally agreed with the Alliance when they assessed Humans as insane. "These Humans are crazy," he muttered.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / FrameAngel]

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