Article: 288535 of talk.bizarre
From: "Nikolai Kingsley" <>
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: acid warriors
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 1996 00:50:15 +1100
Organization: anarchartists
Lines: 193
Message-ID: <01bbdec5.6a568800$>

1: Okay. What kind of a context should I put this in? A linear context
seems so... well, linear. It didn't seem like a linear event. It certainly
wasn't a linear discussion. I expect it might help to place it in some
kind of context, though. So firstly, location; an old Parkry Hive-ship,
out on the rim of the NoSaNoOs Dominion.

2: When we say "old", we mean pre-Dominion. Design, say, thirty-five to
forty thousand years old.

1: Yeah, but the ship itself wasn't that old – it was most likely a
descendant of similar craft which had escaped the Dominion's previous
efforts to clean them all out. Really inefficient sub-space drive –

7: We spotted it light-years away, by its emissions.

1: Thing shaped like a giant pine cone, slowly rotating on the axis of its
forward vector… dark grey pitted surface, tiny lights at the end of each

2: We'd never gone up against one before, but there was plenty of
documentation, and we'd been through it in simulation. We didn't expect
any trouble.

3: You're taking too long to get to the core of this

4: You'd prefer to just pitch in with no context at all, right? Let our
audience fend for itself?

3: Well, actually –

1: As we blew a hole in the side opposite where the Hive Queen usually
lived, Farel was singing some old song he'd found in the archives: "He
says `Why? Why do we do this?' This is the very thing that's preying on
his mind..."

6: (sings idly) "Everything that rises must converge."

2: As soon as a large enough gap was opened, the first team leaped over
into the Hive-ship and started shooting. Their warrior class were waiting
for us – things the size of a small AV with hard black shells, claws and
axes. We just blew them away.

7: Sort of funny, seeing things advanced enough to do faster-than-light
travel, using battle-axes.

9: That's Parkry for you.

8: Hmm hm. Heh. Well.

4: The object of the exercise was to capture the Queen intact. Success
wasn't likely, given that Warrior Parkry of their kind would prefer to
destroy the whole ship rather than let that happen, but we were going to
give it a try anyway. I was the only one who was surprised by the
difference between these creatures and the modern variant of the Parkry,
the timid insectoid aliens who filled out the NoSaNoOs bureaucracy. These
things were savage.

9: It was a game of chess, except they only had pawns and we had knights.

2: There were nine of us, in groups of three; one group drawing the
Warrior's attention, a second scouting for the Queen and the third
covering them both. We were in constant radio contact; all of us
completely insane by conventional standards – we were all given a powerful
drug which disordered our reasoning faculties, making us better fighters.
This chemical also affected our emotions, supposedly making us less
compassionate; it had, uh –

3: You're missing the point.

1: I am, somewhat, aren't I?

3: We were – we are – warriors. Forget that mess about peaceful
integration into the Dominion; we live to kill.

6: Personally, I live to get Up. (laughs)

2: You might think that, but it's actually the fight you live for. Getting
Up is only part of the ritual, the opening prayers. The Communion is when
we kill.

5: This chemical is what sends us Up. It releases us from our inhibitions

3: The drug.

4: – it strips away the false coloration we assume for the purposes of
polite society –

7: … polite…

9: – polite society –

7: … society.

2: – and allows us to kill dispassionately.

3: Speak for yourself!

1: It's no great mystery. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and methamphetamine.
Very old formula. The prompting they give us before the missions helps.
We're talked through the mission goals, shown simulations, inserted into
our powered battle-armour, then loaded up with acid and speed and then
sent out to do the work of the Dominion.

6: (with obvious satisfaction) Yeah. We're fuckin' Acid Warriors.

9: "We are people / with a job to do / and this, dear reader, we intend to
do on you."

1: Uh, right. Anyway. I've forgotten what I was going to say.

6: "We shake it up / and we break it down..."

4: Give it a rest, huh?

2: We were all acting as individuals, linked only by our radio –

1: – and a common chemical psychosis –

2: – and, yes, but we were a team, or sometimes, three teams, moving
towards perfectly defined ends, moving with a precision that only years of
… uh…

4: Living in each other's back pockets.

6: Sleeping with each other in every possible combination…

9: Cooking meals for each other…

6: Yay, team!

4: Sieg Heil!

9: What?

2: – this isn't helping, you know –

1: Emergent behaviour. As I remember it, none of us were really thinking
about what the next step in locating the queen was, or who was covering
who… it all just happened, and neatly dovetailed together.

4: To the point where I for one can't remember who it was actually found
the queen.

9: Emergent behaviour?  Isn't that –

6: It was me. I know, 'cause I opened up my armour to get a better look at
her, and I still have the smell of warrior Parkry blood in my suit.

5: (sarcastically) And aren't you lucky that they were oxygen breathers?

9: Hang on, there aren't enough of us for emergent behaviour!

3: Wasn't that me..?

6: Uh…

3: .. no. It wasn't me. Sorry. I don't know what I was thinking.

6: (pause) Right. That's great. Fucking marvellous. Now I'm not sure.

1: It wasn't me.

8: (giggle)

3: It was me! I remember now. We'd spent all that effort in getting to the
queen, and it turned out she'd been dead for like two hundred years. The
hive had just kept going without her, the inter-ship pheromonal
communications system mimicking her control scents, keeping things running
at a level just above the point of breaking down. She was so old, she'd
decayed away inside and there was just this translucent shell left.

7: That didn't stop them from defending her to the death.

9: Which didn't take long, because they were pretty much all as old as she
was. No queen, no new Parkry.

2: At least we got a good example of an old Parkry ship for the museum.

6: And I got a Parkry Queen toe-claw.

5: You what?

6: Heh. It practically fell off anyway. Call it a souvenir.

3: You could have gotten one for me, you know.  She had six legs.

6: (smooch) Perhaps next time.

9: Um –