CONTENT WARNING: This following story segment contains foul language, smoking, and plot development.
With a look of dread in her eyes, the dragoness sat down, reached into her pocket, unfolded a keyboard-like device in front of her and pressed the power button. A holographic projection beamed out of it, and she began to type:
Wednesday, August 11, 2110.
My name is Diris. It’s been 6 weeks since we’ve had contact with the outside world. I’m a soldier working for the BWG (The Bureau of Weaponised Genetics). I’m leaving this entry in case that I do not survive this… excursion.
Our facility is one of many artificial island forests, 10x20 mile containment plants splat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for an experimental bio-weapon (BW for short) built around the dromaeosaurid theropodic platform, designed to replace common soldiers in CQB... Basically, we’re a daycare for raptors that are genetically modified to be especially good at killing things. Each of these raptors are fitted from birth with a special visor which covers their ears and eyes, digitally feeding them visual and auditory amplifiers far more efficient than their natural eyes (all of which is done automatically). From the raptor’s perspective, he’s just happily running around killing things… lol... What a life…
It’s amazing how naïve we grow when we’ve become accustom to things. We’ve grown so comfortable with the concept of being trapped in a fortified tower surrounded by genetically overclocked raptors who would love nothing more than to tear us to shreds that the thought that something could go wrong didn’t occur to us until it actually happened. 6 weeks ago, we were hit with an Earthquake that knocked out our power. This sort of thing has happened before: The power goes out, the backup generators automatically kick in, we radio for help, and within the week, a special team has flown in and resolved the problem.
We have 2 main generators, the larger one powers the fort I’m in now, but the other, smaller one powers the communications tower we use to contact the outside world. For whatever reason, though our fort’s generator is working fine, the comms tower’s generator decided not to start at all, effectively cutting us off from any method to beacon for help.
We’ve been holding out as long as we can, but our facility was never designed with this sort of emergency in mind, so at 6 weeks, we’re already running low on food. Someone needs to go to the comms tower on foot and manually start the generator so we can call for help, and you guessed it, that person is me. Apparently I’m the only mechanic that can fit the equipment needed in order to get to the comms tower.
I’m probably worried over nothing. My commanding officer wouldn’t send me if he wasn’t confident that I’d make it… after all, he and the rest of the island’s lives are dependant on my surviving long enough to get that generator on.
The dark-green dragoness in full jungle-combat fatigues relaxed backwards into her chair as she continued her journal. Her entry gradually changed from formal to sentimental. She started gearing the entry to her family and friends, telling them how much she loved and missed them, to not be sad if she didn’t come back alive, and everything else one would expect to write in a goodbye letter.
Diris had just finished saving her entry when her commanding officer entered the door. She stood out of her seat at attention, “Sir!” The out of uniform the husky dropped onto her couch, which was very unlike him, “At ease.” He ordered. Diris relaxed and sat down in her chair once more. “Sir I-” He held his hand up and said, “Diris, just use my first name.”
“Jake, I was informed that I was the only trained person who could fit the equipment needed to cross to the comms tower on foot, and that’s why I was going alone.”
“That’s right Diris” he pulled a cigar and a lighter out of his shirt pocket.
“I believe we’re not permitted to smoke within-“
“Diris,” he said nonchalantly, toasting the edges of the cigar, “We’re going to be breaking so much protocol, that at this point my rank is going to be irrelevant.” He slowly finished lighting his cigar and continued. “Technically, we’re also not permitted to leave this fort unless otherwise specified, but if we stay where we are, we’re just waiting to die in this tin can.” He took a long drag from his cigar, savored it, and continued. “Diris, we’re going to have to do some very creative things to make this work.”
“Of course sir- um, Jake.” She wasn’t used to speaking to him by his first name, “I believe you know me pretty well. I like to do things by the book, but I understand that in this instance we have no choice but to break protocol.”
Jake looked at the floor, “It’s a little bit beyond breaking protocol” he took another drag from his cigar and continued. “The comms tower not only controlled, of course, our communications, but also the helmets to our raptors and their emergency ration dispensers. This means they are blind, deaf, and haven’t eaten in six weeks.”
“Oh!” she laughed, “Well that should make things a lot easier, right?”
Jake wasn’t laughing. “In a fashion yes, but in another…. Absolutely not. Turns out, 6 weeks of silence, darkness, and starvation heightens your sense of smell.” He leaned over and gently tapped the ash of his cigar into a waste bin. “So theoretically, one with an airtight SCBA could go through a decontamination chamber, and one would simply walk to the com tower undetected.” He paused for a moment and continued, “We’re raptor babysitters, not fucking hazmat operators. We don’t HAVE that sort of shit, BUT- We’re also a genetics lab, sitting on a stockpile of cellular body-substance isolatives.”
She gave him a blank stare that told him she didn’t get that last part.
“Cutting the crap- We need to make you scentless, and we can’t just put you in a suit. We’re going to give you some drugs that can do this, and then we’re going to have to decontaminate you.”
Bewildered, she replied, “What kind of drugs?
“They’re designed for the genetics’ labs, where scientists need to avoid contaminating their specimens with the ordinary impurities of the body, without being burdened by a bulky suit, and these drugs DO have side effects. These drugs will stop your body from exhaling, or perspiring any odorous wastes other than CO2 and water. But of course, that waste needs to go some where, so in response, the body’s kidney function skyrockets, and it acts as a diuretic.”
An awkward pause and another blank stare informed him that he went too fast.
“Or from the layman’s point of view, it covers up your odor and makes you have to pee a lot.”
“Oh,” she responded, “So why do I in particular have to do it?”
“The urine in question will be very odorous in nature, and the starving raptors will be able to locate you and tear you to shreds, and with such an increased urine production, you wouldn’t even get halfway there before losing control of your bladder.” Having had stopped paying attention to his cigar, it went out, so he placed it on a nearby table “We have an apparatus that one urinates into that will ensure that the urine makes absolutely no contact with the air, but we have very few apparatus left. In fact, with most of the team being exclusively male we have only the female ones left.”
“Ohhh” she responded. That makes sense; after all, she was the only female mechanic in the entire facility. “Well that’s no big deal.”
“The thing is-” he began, “the drugging is fairly straight forward, but the decontamination procedure is a bit intrusive.
She tilted her head, “What do you mean… “intrusive”?”