Posted by: lordkyler | January 22, 2011

Animoids the Book – Part Four

The fourth and final part of this draft of the Animoids novelization. Previous parts can be found herehere and here.

I may post segments from other drafts if they are significantly different, or contain sections not in the prior installments. So, without further ado, here are the final two-and-a-half chapters of this draft. Notes will follow.

Chapter Seven

Henry sped off across the desert at high speed. His feet seemed to hardly touch the ground. As he flew, his skin colors rippled and shifted, and turned a dusty brown to match his surroundings. The camp was coming closer now. He spotted a perimeter guard patrolling the edge of the compound. He pulled off to the side, still racing along the flats. The patrolman continued to look in the opposite direction. Henry swiftly ran in behind him. Pressing himself next to a wall, catching his breath, Henry briefly debated with himself about whether or not he should take out the guard. He decided not to, as he hadn’t seen him and there was no reason to arouse suspicion.

Sneaking around security easily by well-timed leaps over the roofs of buildings, Henry worked his way to the main building. He did knock out one guard with a quick snap to the back of the helmet. He dragged him inside the building he was guarding, and commandeered the paintball guns they were using for training. The troops were not allowed to know what they were facing, to keep the situation as realistic as possible, because nobody could anticipate someone like him.

He ducked into the shadow of a back doorway. When the coast was clear, he dealt the door a strong blow with his tongue. It failed to break the heavy security door down. Henry ran back to the guard he had taken out, and found a security card in his vest pocket. Henry admonished himself to search thoroughly next time. You never knew what would come in handy. So he grabbed a couple of paint grenades too.

He opened the door and slipped in. There was nobody in the room. A door opened onto a large central room that was open onto the second floor. There were plenty of people in this room. There had to be at least six of them. Henry wasn’t sure he could take all of them at once, not when they had guns. He stood with his back to the wall, and knocked on it. The guards perked up, and looked in the direction of the door where Henry was.

The leader nodded towards the door, and two guards jogged to the door, weapons at the ready. Henry dispatched both of them with one swift thrust of the tongue. They fell back unconscious into the main room, minus their paintball guns, which Henry had snagged with his tongue as it came winging back to him. He now had one in each hand and one spare. The other guards ran to take care of the guy who had knocked out their buddy. They approached the door, threw in a smoke grenade, and laid down a very heavy barrage of paintballs in all directions.

They would have gotten Henry, too, disqualifying him, if he hadn’t been on the wall, over the doorway. There was a ledge on the top of the doorframe just big enough to stand on, holding onto the wall with one rough chameleon hand. The four remaining soldiers entered the room, rifles at the ready. Two of them received a quick thwap on the head, and they were out like their previous comrades. They other two were simultaneously paintballed in the back. For simulation purposes, they had been instructed to react to the paintballs as realistically as possible, so they lay down on the floor, blue paint seeping into their uniforms. Henry ran off crossing the large room in record time.

A few minutes later, He was on the top floor, with the object in a glass case in a room with at least eight security guards. One even had a Nerf “grenade” launcher. The room had four exits, one on each side, with no doors. Several guards had been in his path on the way up here, and had all been either given a whack with the tongue or shot. Henry had acquired some additional gear, namely, a vest that he stuffed two extra pistols, three grenades, and a smoke bomb. He detached the smoke grenade. He snuck to a corner on the outside of the room. He had one entrance to his left, and one to his right. He stuck the smoke bomb to his tongue by the pin, and snaked it towards the entrance on his left. He snapped his tongue back into his mouth, and the pin came with it. But not the grenade, which now lay smoking in the entrance of the door.

Henry wasted no time, and ran to his right. Peeping around the wall, he saw six of the eight men firing dozens of rounds into the smoke and through the doorway. The other two were kneeling behind the stand with the object in it, looking around the corner towards the smoky doorframe. Henry used chameleon eyes to target the two soldiers closest to him, and fired. Another was smacked in the head with a certain seventeen-foot long muscle. He also had his Nerf grenade launcher taken from him by the same muscle. It flew into Henry’s hands. By the time the remaining security force looked in the correct direction, Henry had fired off two shots with the grenade launcher, one on either side of the stand. All the remaining guards were taken out in the resulting imaginary explosion, as the Nerf balls had landed right at their feet. They all fell down, “dead” or “severely wounded”. Henry ran up, broke the glass, and grabbed the object, about the size of a baseball. He stuffed it in the vest, and ran out.

A few grenades and a couple less patrols later, Henry had made it outside. He looked, and found a Humvee in a small parking lot next to a tank and a couple of cars. He jumped in the roof, landing on the head of the previous driver. Henry dumped him out the door, and took off.

The Humvee sped across the desert sand. Henry left the engine running, and performed a flying leap from the hatch on the top. He landed, and did a quick roll to slow his momentum. Coming to his feet, he took a few steps to completely slow down, and stopped in front of Jim, breathing heavily. The Humvee slowed to a stop about sixty feet away. Henry held the small object out to Jim, and Jim stopped the timer. “Great time, Henry, but did you really have to jump out the roof?”

“Hey, you never know when I’ll need to do that.” replied Henry, trying to get his breath back and relaxing in the heat.

“Well, anyway, your time and skill ratings qualify you for the ‘big meeting’ with El Presidenté.”

“President of What?” asked Henry, who hadn’t been informed about the rating system he would be judged on, or what would happen depending on how well he scored. “The president of Lincoln Labs?”

“No, the President of the United States of America, Henry” said Jim.

Henry had been lying on the ground, feeling the wonderful warmth seeping into him. He laughed, thinking Jim was being sarcastic. Then he opened his eyes and looked at Jim. He was serious. Henry sat upright very, very quickly. “What?! When???” He demanded.

“The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, regardless of how well you did. I’ll be there, along with you, the Secretary of Defense, and some other key individuals. Due to you’re success, though, the plan is to most likely start a new, secret branch of the military, very top secret, and very, very elite. I hope you’re ready.”

Chapter Eight

The meeting with the President went well. After five hours, the President received a full briefing, a brief demonstration, and a minor shock. The Animoids Corp (nicknamed Critter Corp by the President,) was unofficially official next week, which meant the whole thing was completely off the record. At the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense, (And Jim,) The President was pulling major funding into the new branch. To keep it secret, the funds would be reportedly spent on what would appear to be major misappropriation of funds, such as saying they had spent 13 million on studying the effects of heat on raisins in MREs, or something like that. “Trust me,” said Jim, “it’ll work. People are always ready to believe that the government is wasting their tax money.”

The elite of the military would be pulled from their current duty, interviewed, and, should they choose to accept it, become a member of the fledgling organization. If not, they could leave, but only after signing confidentiality agreements similar to the one Henry’s martial arts trainer had. They were going to build a highly confidential base in the middle of the desert Henry had taken the test in. The facility would double as an area similar to Area 51, but somewhat less restricted.

The construction crews got to work in record time, and the new Headquarters had the basic buildings up and ready in a matter of two weeks, with plenty of room for expansion, which Henry was sure would be needed. Henry had designed the standard on-base living quarters. They were needed, as the base was thirty miles away from town, and supplies came only twice a week. The Animoid soldiers would live in these for several weeks at a time. The living quarters were two stories tall. The top floor contained the bedroom, bathroom, etc., just like a small house. There was a kitchen in case the troops wanted to cook their own meals instead of eating cafeteria food. The ground floor contained their office, workspace, and training room, which would vary depending the animal each of the selected chose. Henry’s was outfitted with people shaped dummies, bars, and all kinds of ledges and gymnastic equipment. His office contained his scientific work.

At the moment, Henry was weaving his way through a jungle of bars and poles with frightening agility. Jim walked in. “Hey, Henry, We’ve got our first prospect. She got in about fifteen minutes ago. You’re the man for her final interview, so come on, Hot Shot.”

Henry stepped outside of the air conditioned room, squinting in the intense sunlight. Henry kept the office air-conditioned, but he had a special platform installed on the roof for catching rays. He and Jim hopped in a I.B.T.V. The Inter-Base Transport Vehicles were very cool. They were small cars that looked like a cross between a convertible, with their black plastic hoods that zipped up at the touch of a button, and a jeep. They were low slung, with their sides coming only a bit above the waist, and could seat four. They were shiny black, with the Animoid Corp logo in reflective silver on the hood. Henry took off at full speed, which was surprisingly fast for such a small car. “So, tell me about her, Jim. Why’d she get chosen for the first on-purpose Animoid?”

“Jane Castello. Well, she’s an zoology expert working for the government. She knows a lot about almost every animal there is, and so, aside from using her as the primary in-field animal consultant, she’ll be the one planning most of the programs we’ll use to get DNA samples for the new people, after they choose what they’ll be.” said Jim above the rushing wind. Luckily, there wasn’t much sand here, just cracked, dry mud, so there weren’t sandstorms. There were small roads between buildings, too, although the I.B.T.V.s could probably handle off-road if they had to.

“She’s not much in military training,” Jim continued, “But after the way you turned out, I wouldn’t worry about that.”

They pulled up at a building on the very outskirts of the HQ. Jim and Henry hopped out. The building was medium sized, and all traffic through the base had to come through here, including supplies and prospective soldiers. Everything was dropped off here, inspected and then brought to the base by army transport. Henry stepped inside and had to readjust his eyes to the indoor lighting and air conditioning again. He was shown inside a small room. The room contained only a light bulb, a desk and chair for him, and a bench against the wall with a woman in it. She stood up to shake Henry’s hand. “Hello, sir.” she said. She had shoulder length dark hair. She was medium height and build, and looked as if she had a bit of Spanish blood in her. They sat down again. Henry looked over her qualifications. They were excellent. “So, you’ve made it this far. What makes you want to be a part of the new organization?”

She cleared her throat. “Well, I’ve been looking for something new, a bit more active. I got tired of taking little hair samples, and sending them off to the lab just so they could tell me there’s nothing unusual in the DNA. It just seemed kind of pointless. So, when they told me I could work with animals, and see some action, I didn’t see how I could refuse.”

Henry smiled. She would probably get a lot more action than she counted on. “So, Jane,” he said. “would you be willing to do things like this?” As he said ‘this’, He leapt up, almost hitting the ceiling, landing crouched on the table, and shifted. Jane looked on in amazement as Henry shrunk. Scales flipped down like dominoes. Henry was fully chameleon. Jane continued to stare. Henry slid off the desk and transformed back to himself. Jane finally spluttered out a few words. “You can- can, turn into animals?”

“Yeah,” said Henry. “Anything we can get a DNA sample of. Interested?”

Jane was still too excited to get her mouth to work properly, so she just nodded.

“All right, said Henry. “Welcome to the Animoids Corps. Come back tomorrow so we can decide on a criiter for ya.”

Chapter Nine

Jane decided on a golden eagle. She had often seen them soaring in her home in Nevada. It had been three months since her injection, and she was ready for training. The thing about the training was that when it got to the part of the using the animal, no one could help. You had to figure it out yourself.

They could and were teaching her judo, Henry could offer advice on morphing speeds, but nobody could tell her anything about how to use it. The closest they could come to help with flying was to get a hang gliding expert, but he could only help with teaching about wind currents and such. It helped, but not nearly as much as she would like. The only thing to do was practice, practice, practice. She was gliding, now, searching for the warm thermals that would lift her up. She caught one, and soared up hundreds of feet. Far below, she could see the base.

With her acute raptor vision, she could make out individual heads. Including the heads of the training dummies. Smiling mentally, she tilted her wings, letting the air spill from them. She rocketed towards the ground, a large, feathery missle. Several days of practice paid off as she swooped towards her target. The animals instincts were not much use. Golden eagles did not dive like this very often.

When she morphed, she found, as Henry did, that the animals instincts replaced her human ones. Humans did not have very many instincts left, it seemed somewhat strange, having so many more conflicting impulses than usual. She was getting used to controlling them, though.

[Notes] This is the end of this draft, where I stopped working on it.

In these drafts, the chameleon tongue is rather too prehensile, and the training simulation is somewhat iffy, but that’s being changed.

As for the funding, come on, like the government is really paying five hundred dollars for toilet seats. (Yes, I realize this idea was used in Independence Day, but at the time I wrote this, I hadn’t seen that movie, so it still counts. Besides, it’s just awesome.)

I may have spent a bit too much time describing the on-base houses, as compared to the rest of the base, which really should have received more description. I also should have spent some time detailing the construction, and Henry’s and Jim’s feelings about the sudden changes, moving, etc.

The name Critter Corps is now abandoned for being dumb as all but the most casual of nicknames.

Jane in the future is going to be rather more useful than she is here. Henry was an accident, but I should have explained why everyone else gets to choose the animal they’ll morph into. (Essentially, with a program this secret, using civilians as often as not, with technology this untested, its better not to have anything standardized, and the “Critter Corp” gets a lot of free rein) Golden Eagles do in fact dive on occasion, but it’s still something they’d have to practice.

I’m currently about to begin a retooled, revamped, and rewritten outline for this story. Remarkably, although I’ve had the idea for this story, I’ve never had a real, actual story, e.i. a plot, just those scenes at the beginning. I’ll take more time to explain things logically, develop the characters a lot more, and develop things gradually. (Always room for the other stuff in sequels.) So keep an eye out for hints about the all-new Animoids, (and possibly a newer, better name,) coming soon!

In the meantime, I’ll probably end up posting sections from other drafts, posting some older character bios (which will still serve as the basis for the more developed characters,) and even deleted characters.

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