For awhile now, I’ve been playing with various sci-fi scenarios in my head. When I saw this post, I decided to give a stab at an alternate universe I had parsed in my head. I’ve used this same setting in a few other prompts I’ve written, usually revolving around a freelance mercenary group with their own troop carrier.
Done in September 4, 2020.
Note: My writing for Reddit writing prompts is different for brevity. While this is a good example of my writing, I often omit backstory and several details to create a concise post. Please look at my other works if you’re looking for my more regular style of writing.
Victoria Tellison, Armadillo Head Scientist
I’ve always wondered why mercenaries with a troop carrier wanted to hire me. Why did they need a scientist like me? Didn’t their tech wizard bug queen know things? Or just look it up on the extranet?
Looks like that was changing.
The last two months Armadillo had been visiting a terraformed planet on the Outer Rim. Some radical space pope went back in time centuries ago, stole people from Earth from the 1800s and set them up to live there. Why? Aside from her own enjoyment, nobody knows.
EarthForce has been guarding the planet, but a private space pope company known as Asucorp have been doing “research”. Mostly fielding mech suits in the remote area of the planet. But they’ve been hiring Kashri bug girls as riflemen, and going around with a few Earth mercenaries to some of the villages. The best way I could be describing it is them showing off their technological superiority. They’ve not antagonized the residents thankfully; quite the opposite.
But it appears there has been some reason to this madness.
Asucorp is legitimately having these soldiers investigate these people’s claims of “shadow people”. Strange, spindly figures that roam their fields at nights, spooking villagers and maul people. They’ve claimed this has been happening since their abduction, and EarthForce is just writing it off as “Paranormal Activity”. And it probably might be.
But I believe in facts, evidence, statistics. Ghost stories isn’t on that list.
Unless when bug girls start reporting the same phenomenon.
See, the villagers were the only people who apparently saw these beings. We’ve never saw them for ourselves, with the naked eye or scanners. Only the inhabitants have been able to do so, and we don’t know why short of doing medical examinations on the populations.
But in the past two weeks, our bug girl soldiers started reporting seeing the actual beings. They started giving us detailed accounts a lot further than the villagers, claiming they stand over twelve feet tall, can walk through walls and have two red spots for eyes. Creepypasta standard as cliche as that sounds. It was if the bugs somehow adapted to see them on their own. With the interviews I had the girls do, I was almost sure these ‘beings’ for the lack of a better word, were being observed in some spectrum of existence, unaware that they were being watched.
That changed last night. One of these things came up to a guard lance, attacking a tank crew with both Earth mercenaries and bug girls. All the bug girls were killed, with the human gunner and driver left alive. They saw nothing, except some invisible force mauling and biting down on the girls.
Our space pope captain has immediately recalled all the bug girls off the planet’s surface. Whatever is down there is some predator, and is now attacking the only beings that can actively see it in hiding.
I was now beginning to understand why I was stationed here. I could only hope I could do something more than record soldier interviews and run biology tests.