DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/30

(This story so far resides here: //ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )

(The conclusion.)

Enid’s mother was quite interesting as a human. Though a small gluckast, she grew in the transition much beyond what came only from straightening, so that she was all but startlingly tall. She also appeared athletic, and not in a lean way like Gareth. Gibbsen was curious whether she was as powerful as she looked. She had named herself “Ardyth”.

She was sitting, as was her habit, on a bench in the receiving bay named “Errol” (the same where her daughter became a bride), to watch when a transport vehicle was bringing in sick gluckasts. There was blood and claw marks on the sides of the vehicle, and shreds of flesh on its horns. Though it had been a near thing, all were uninjured, and so it was a glad time. The gluckasts had been greatly reduced, though Adolphus Search and Rescue was kept in more labour than ever – the infection had broken free, and it was now a constant race to find all the infected.

Gareth was also watching (he had not been on this run), rocking his baby girl in his arms. Gibbsen considered rocking silly; babies were extravagant things, but he liked them anyway. This one was named “Angharad”.

Enid came at a trot, having fetched something.

“I wanted to show you this, Mother. Dr. Kilver kept Father’s claw, he preserved it.”

She proffered the gruesome artifact, which her mother handled with interest.

“Are you sorry,” Enid asked, “that my lover killed Father?”

“Oh, no,” her mother replied, then cocked her head. “Though I do wonder what sort of person he would have made.”

Ardyth spoke without a trace of the gluckast accent – it was eerie when they had learned that this was because as a gluckast she would mimic human speech to lure people to their deaths.

“Speaking of sorts,” she went on, “I also wonder how your daughter has not a trace of your husband’s complexion.” She gestured with the claw to the baby’s rosy skin.

Enid sat down and leaned on her mother’s brawny arm.

“My husband was not grey the time he was birthed. It is argyria.” (she was careful to pronounce the word correctly.) “It was a… I did not understand yet. He used it to fight demons in another country.” She tried unsuccessfully to catch her mother’s eye. “Mother, do you believe you will take a husband again?”

“No, unless I can persuade that Mundbern fellow,” Ardyth said with a funny half-smile.

Little Angharad began to groan; Gareth touched his fingertip to her lips, and she responded by giving it a suck. Her desires thus made clear, Gareth delivered her to Enid’s bosom, and sitting down he put his arms around Enid’s shoulders to conceal the motherly feeding process under the broad sleeves of his dark robe.

They heard a banshee scream, and soon saw their friends in another great vehicle heading out of the bay into the dark. The noise of the departing rescuers dwindled, until the only sound was the baby’s suckling noises. After a while, Gibbsen found himself genuinely curious about what a human’s milk tasted like.


This concludes Gibbsen’s anecdote of the end of the gluckasts and certain doings of Adolphus Search and Rescue.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/30

DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphuSearchAndRescue 2023/11/28

(This story so far resides here: //ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )

A few days later there was a celebratory gathering at a restaurant: seven or so of Gareth’s closest friends from the station, and those to whom Enid had become quite dear in the past month.

They met at the restaurant Gellisa’s, whose entrance was the living jaws of a giant beast (whether of land or sea was not immediately apparent). The jaws could not close while the place was open, but had been trained to open wider when a guest entered. Gibbsen liked Gellisa’s – not because of the smells, or because of the rather sentimentally droning music, but because he liked to watch the articulated joints of the arthropods in the aquarium.

The gathering drank the health of the new family – some of them unfortunately with alcohol. Gareth drank water, and did not permit alcohol to Enid or Gibbsen – not that Gibbsen had any inclination to such an obvious toxin. It was yet another point in which the dullness of humans amazed him. Enid seemed curious, but to Gibbsen it appeared that she was curious mainly of why others took it, not because her senses failed to warn her against it.

Gareth spoke no more than usual, but fervently reciprocated many friendly embraces, and clasped friendly hands with his precise and expressive fingers. Enid primarily revelled in challenging any who would consent to a game of Nine Men’s Morris that was on the table: a little square of wood with holes for some light or dark pegs. She lost mostly, but was learning quite well.

When nearly everyone had gone, and Gibbsen was experimentally gnawing a few bones, Enid put the Nine Men’s Morris on the bench and went against Gibbsen until they were to leave. He had gotten someone to play with.

To be concluded.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphuSearchAndRescue 2023/11/28

DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/22

(This story so far resides here: //ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )

Raleigh cleared his throat.

“Quite a sudden question, wouldn’t you say?”

Gibbsen was reminded again how dull were some humans’ senses – it was clear to him that the question was in no way sudden. Raleigh went on,

“After all she’s only just begun a new life; hasn’t gone far from the station.” He then addressed Number One directly: “Would you not like to think the question over, and maybe have a chance for a wider experience, meet more people, perhaps – no offence to anyone present – perhaps a few folks less withered and colourless?”

Number One laughed merrily at this.

“What you say is funny, Raleigh!” Then her face abruptly became somber. “I saw many humans.”

She looked across to where Gareth stood, quiet and still as a haunting, antique painting of some allegorical scene. There was fear in her eyes, quickly being swallowed up by longing, and doubly drowned in a hopeful assurance.

“He saved me,” she said, and stood up.

“He gave me learning.” She took a step.

“He gave me clothes.” Another step. She always wore the dark print dress he had bought her, though faintly darker patches remained of her brother’s blood.

“He gave me comfort.” In time with each phrase, she took an intent, solemn step in her bare feet.

“I saw many humans, I saw them the times they died, the times they had braveness, and the times they were weak; I saw what they love, and they did not love, what they love more, and they love most, and what they hate. These times I saw humans. The humans who others thought, thought they were good, and they were not good; thought they were not good, and they were good. The time I was weak, he came into the dark, he dug me out. He got free, the time my father had him: cut the claw of death. He is ugly, but he is strong, and he is clean. He is terrifying: that is what are angels.”

After twenty-nine steps, she stood close enough to look up into his hood. She put her hand – still with her spit on it – in his.

“Make me your own, sir!”

He clasped her hand gently, and drew her the last step, quite close to him.

“Your name, is ‘Enid’.”

There was a quiver in her, which had nothing to do with trying to stand straight.

“I am named, this timeā€¦ I am Enid.”

She closed her eyes, pressed her tumbled, touselled head to the folds of his bosom, and sobbed vigorously. Her hand that he held he raised to his shoulder, and his other arm he put tenderly around her back.

To be continued.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/22

DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/20

(This story so far resides here: //ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )

The cage took the catch from the hovering chopper and rolled back to allow it to land. Dr. Kilver arrived to administer his injection to the raving beast. Number One spit in her hand and playfully held it out; Dr. Kilver smiled.

As the cage rolled away, Elroy disembarked and came carrying a small boy in his arms, whom he set on his feet before Nurse April, a tall lady with her black hair in a braid. She bent to wipe a splash of mud from the boy’s ear. The boy said he hurt his arm, and showed her a rather bad scratch. It had no doubt been a simple accident, but the blood may have been what had attracted hunting gluckasts. Nurse April took his hand and brought him away to be mended.

Number One had watched the small boy through all this with a strained and intent look, as if she was a little girl pinned in depths of shy, motherly emotion.

After this, for all her hurry and waiting, she was apparently too bemused and nervous to get up or otherwise to greet Gareth, who now came with his sable robe and silent spurs. Though, as before, the cries of the gluckast could distantly be heard, after the chopper’s noise had subsided there was comparative quiet. This was broken by Raleigh.

“Not to doubt your medical verdict in any way, Kilver, but the thought still troubles me that these gluckasts which we treat as animals could after all be severely deformed humans.”

“The proof I have,” the doctor replied, “does rest on a certain amount of knowledge and experience. For the layman,” in his eye there was a glint of humour towards Raleigh, “there is a simple and sure proof, which is the impossibility of a human and gluckast interbreeding.”

“I pray to God that’s never been tried!” Raleigh said. After this, Gibbsen could tell that in the minds of each person present the question naturally followed of such a proof for the humanity of those who ceased to be gluckasts. No one spoke it, no one needed to, yet Raleigh displayed some of the same awkwardness as if it had been spoken, and specifically in connection to Number One.

Gareth moved to stand before Number One, and looked steadily into her eyes from within his hood. She returned his gaze, only blinking a little. After what seemed a long time, he looked up at the wall, and spoke to all there:

“I have thorough proof by my own means of this woman’s humanity. For the sake of those who do not have Dr. Kilver’s skill, or mine, I would prove the humanity of her womb.”

He turned, strode several yards, and faced her again. From across the receiving bay, he held out to her his thin, grey, firm, unwavering right hand.

“Will you be my own?”

To be continued.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/20

DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/17

(This story so far resides here: //ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )

Number One was leaving Raleigh behind on his crutches, as they made their way to the receiving bay where Gareth would be returning. Gibbsen came at a more reasonable pace – he missed his master, but would not see him sooner by hurrying. The banshee scream had come while Gibbsen was helping Ansel, one of the mechanics, so Gareth had gone with Elroy.

Nurse April was waiting in the bay, as was the rolling cage with the restraining arms – from this Gibbsen surmised that a child had been rescued, and also a gluckast taken. He wondered how that had gone.

Number One sat down by the wall. Though she could now stand quite straight, it still tired her after some time, especially when walking. Though her feet could fit in shoes now, she yet went barefoot. Raleigh came, as out of breath as she had been, and leaned against the wall beside her. He eyed the cage.

“You know, Number One, we could try and find a quieter place for you to live…”

“No, I will not leave. Unless,” she added in a softer tone, “you need my room for somebody you rescue?”

“Not at all, I only thought… but there’s the chopper, I think.”

Gibbsen had noticed that Number One had noticed the chopper’s sound much sooner than Raleigh – only a little after Gibbsen had himself. She had good ears for a human.

As the shape of the chopper could be made out, something twisted and curious seemed to be happening towards its front. Then they saw that a struggling and raving gluckast was clutched by the gargantuan foreclaws of the chopper. Raleigh shook his head.

“That man can make his chopper do anything. Doing it that way would have saved me my leg.”

To be continued.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/17

DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/15

(This story so far resides here: //ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )

Adolphus Search and Rescue had dealt with many serious injuries, and could have saved Moses if the murderess had only assaulted his throat. However, the angle and violence of the final blow had broken both his skull and his neck. He was dead before his murderer was killed.

“It doesn’t seem right,” Raleigh said, “to go and bring in another gluckast so soon after this happened.”

Dr. Kilver’s humorous gleam had been replaced with a downcast but stubborn front.

“We do not know,” he said, “how long Number One will be contagious – it is most crucial that we continue, now that she is all we have left. She is square one.”

“This is not a search and rescue,” Mundbern said then, “no human dies if a gluckast remains a gluckast. Are we to abandon the purpose of Adolphus Search and Rescue, and let human beings go unhelped because we are spent on this endeavor?”

“Gluckasts are one of the chief threats we face – eradicating them is a cause even without their humanisation.”

“So far it has proven more dangerous than killing them outright. And how quickly do the gluckasts breed? Eradication may never happen.”

Elroy put in a word: “This could change very rapidly: it is a unique case where in less than a month we have a fully grown person, ready to help so long as they are willing. This is faster than even insects breed, and with their help we could build an entire compound: soon we would even be capable of infecting the gluckasts and tending for the infected en masse.”

“And,” said Dr. Kilver, “this all rests on our success at this present stage.”

Raleigh sighed.

“It appears that you ask us to declare a war.”

“I do. Only I would say that war is already declared.”

“Remember,” said Mundbern, “that it was not a gluckast who killed Moses. It was a human.”

“I mean that the very nature of the gluckast is a declaration of war. We simply see now a path to victory. We must take it, or we have surrendered to the Devil.”

“I wonder,” said Raleigh, “how the gluckast originated, having such a nature.”

“Some diabolical foul play – perhaps better not to know. I have no doubt that this mysterious contagion of humanity is the riposte of heaven.”

Gareth said, “It will succeed.”

To be continued.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/15

DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/12

This story so far resides here: //ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue

(A very disturbing point – reader discretion is strongly advised.)

Moses stood above his mate, like an angel in a dark suit. She crawled nearer to him slowly, no longer weeping, but neither did she wipe her tear-stained face. He smiled, though he shook with the exertion of straightening his still crooked back.

“My mate, I give you your name: it is ‘Beauty’.”

Her face showed no sign.

“I want no name,” she said.

She stretched out her arms to him. Gibbsen gave another warning cry: he saw the cold, deliberate look in her very human eyes. Moses willingly bent to embrace her – until she sank her teeth into his neck.

His grief-stricken wail was horrible to hear, though quickly broken. The woman twisted her head like a tearing fish, bit again, attacked the wound with her fingers. She moaned in despair at the lack of her claws, and whipped her mate’s head against one of the bars as if he was no more than a rag doll.

The report of a gun stunned Gibbsen’s brain and set his ears ringing. Gareth was there, and at a look from his shaded eyes both locks unfastened. He strode through the doors, his dark robe billowing. With a kick he flung the woman aside onto the floor, where she twitched, and blinked in the blood that gushed from the bullet hole between her eyes.

Gareth holstered his smoking revolver and crouched low, staring into Moses’ eye, less than an inch from his face.

Then he stood slowly, and called to Number One. After she crept timidly in from somewhere near, he beckoned to her.

“You must say goodbye to your brother now.”


The only sound then was of her bare feet on the concrete, and her breathing; both quickened at the first glimpse, and became constricted with tears. Before she reached her brother she had to cling to the bars as she went. Beside his body she sank to the polluted ground, gathered his bloodied and broken head into her lap, tried to meet his blank eyes, and tried over and over to call his name through the shaken weight of her weeping. He was dead. Her brother was dead.

Dr. Kilver came in, and leaned on the cage. He spoke in a low, drawn voice,

“Gareth, why did you let her see this?”

“Because, Doctor, she will learn the hard way what her brother has learned the hardest way: not all humans are good.”

To be continued.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/12

DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/09

(This story so far resides here: ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )

In the days that followed the screaming did not cease – rather, it changed from the animal uproar to human wails and cries, and continued unabated. Something must have gone wrong. After nearly a day and a half of this, Gibbsen went to investigate on his own.

The new human was still in the containment cage, though the restraining arms had been dismissed. She was still in the coarse gluckast garment. Though seemingly strong enough to stand, she crawled on the ground, distraught, grinding her teeth and weeping violently. The food offered her had been eaten, but clearly in a wild manner, which left much of it spattered and smeared like a wolf’s kill.

Dr. Kilver and Nurse Kley, who had apparently just witnessed such a scene to give the patient dinner, were discussing in undertones what to do.

“…Tranquilliser would work,” the nurse was saying, “now that she is a human?”

“It is detrimental in any case,” the doctor replied, “and a full examination seems invasive when we can see quite well that bodily she becomes healthier by the hour.”

It was quite obvious to Gibbsen that the woman’s pain was emotional. Humans ought to be more perceptive in such things. The doctor went on,

“I hate for their meeting to be this way for Moses, but by now it seems he is our only hope to possibly get a word out of her about what is ailing her so.”

Moses was sent for, and he came in, his shoes flopping awkwardly, being a size too large so as not to hurt his changing feet. The doctor and nurse respectfully left him alone. Gibbsen did not count: he stayed.

Moses began bluntly:

“I was Thakrut, you were Ugnaka; this time we are people. People!”

The woman looked at him with wide, tear-filled eyes.

“Thakrut? Do not see me. I am weak!” And again she filled her cage with a raging, hopeless cry. Moses attempted again when she had to catch her breath.

“I am Moses this time. And I will give you a name. I do not hate you, I love you, my mate.”

Her lip curled in a sneer of anger.

“You love me? You love me, and I am weak?”

“I love you, more this time than I love you that time.”

She turned or rolled towards him, raised herself on her hands, and paused a moment before saying clearly,

“Come, hold me, make me know what is you love me.”

Gibbsen’s hair stood out straight, and he gave a warning, “Chit-chit!” How could humans be so blind?

Moses stood so tall that he swayed, and the sweat ran to his chin. The foolish lock obeyed him, letting him through the outer door of the cage, and fastening again behind him.

As the inner door unlocked for him, and he stepped through, Gibbsen heard a banshee scream in the far-off map room.

To be continued.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/09

DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/07

(This story so far resides here: ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )

They were solemn faces gathered at an empty table, a few days later. Under the table, hidden from all but Gibbsen, Raleigh’s heavily damaged leg was tended by masses of long, stringy air-fish. Moses was not trying to sit upright. Number One clung to his arm. The raging shrieks could be heard at intervals again, this time sung by the female gluckast they had captured: Moses’ mate.

Raleigh and another (named Elroy) had gone in a chopper, with Moses to guide them. They had returned shell-shocked by how near they had come to disaster. It had been a wonder that they achieved their goal with only an injury, great as the injury was.

“I dislike,” Raleigh was saying, “to kill gluckasts now, knowing they could be changed. It feels like murder.”

“It is not,” Moses said. “Uklag, I would kill her. Number One is my sister.”

“Moses is my brother,” Number One added.

Mundbern said, “To forbear to create human life is no more murder than it is murder to forbear to marry and have children. Meanwhile, if the gluckasts pose a threat to human life, it would be more akin to murder to allow them to live.”

“Would it not be best,” Raleigh said, “to release the contagion somehow, infecting the gluckasts en masse?”

Elroy said, “We still do not know how likely they are to survive the transition without care. And the gluckasts would kill the infected as soon as they began to smell like food. The banshee cried for a reason when Uklag turned to Number One.”

A particularly bestial yell from Moses’ mate drifted to their ears. Raleigh winced as if it had been loud.

“Why does Dr. Kilver not anaesthetise his projects?” It may have been a technically sympathetic statement, but Gibbsen was sure it would not be perceived as such by humans. And it was indeed strange that the doctor did not anaesthetise, or else that it was ineffective.

“I am sorry,” Moses said. Raleigh looked up, distracted from the pain in his leg for the first time perhaps.

“This isn’t your fault, Moses. Experiments go wrong, discoveries have a cost. As it is, I’m sure this will be well worth the trouble in the end.”

Raleigh’s sentence was punctuated by a brutal yammering from the captive gluckast.

A defective air-fish had come loose from Raleigh’s leg, and drifted near Gibbsen, who ate it. It was not crunchy, but at least it had only a little smoky taste.

To be continued.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/07

DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/05

(This story so far resides here: ofourmaker.com/2023/10/17/adolphus-search-and-rescue )

Needless to say, everyone present was curious to go with Number One, but naturally only Gareth went this first time. Gibbsen didn’t count (which he often used to good advantage).

Her brother met them – standing erect, in a dark suit, with combed hair, and wearing shoes. He gave a toothy smile, which in his lined and weary face looked noble.

“Brother,” Number One said quietly. She went and put her head against him, and he stroked her tumultuous hair. “Haho,” she said, muffled in his suit coat.

“Haho, little sister. Number One they are calling you.”

“And they will call you Number Two!”

Dr. Kilver shook his head, with a smile under his moustache.

“I and the SAC took the liberty of naming him: we chose Moses, because we drew him out.”

“Yes,” her brother said, “I am Moses.”

“They named you!” Number One said in an awestruck voice, with her hands on his arms (which was silly behaviour to Gibbsen).

Drops of sweat were growing on Moses’ brow, and he stepped awkwardly away from his sister – but it was only to sit down in a chair, and slump forward as though he had been holding his breath until that point.

“I stand hard to stand so high for meeting you, Sister. So it is not easy to stand.”

“Your heart was beating hard not because I see you?” Number One asked, with some very human humour in her tone. Another smile was his only response to that. He spoke to the doctor:

“We will choose a next gluckast this time, and will take her?”

“We can hope for a good success in taking another in, yes.”

“Please, choose the one I want: she who was my mate.”

To be continued.

#DailyCreatedOOM #WrittenOOM #AdolphusSearchAndRescue 2023/11/05