Grachawk is a true monster tank. Its massive ant/bee/bird body allows it great strength and toughness to keep it in the thick of the fight, while its psionic powers are able to make its opponents run away in terror. It isn't without kindness though, as the humans it has chosen to befriend often remark on its witty sense of humor.
“Give me a render,” the Chief Engineer Franken said, “We’ve got a build order coming down the pipes and I want to make sure the systems check out before we process this.”
Junior Engineer Heiter looked up and removed his augment visor. “For this? I’ve just been running continuity checks on various proto-meshes to make certain the algorithm software is working as intended.”
“For that.” Franken remarked, staring intently at the screen. “What’s the prototype name?”
“It’s not a prototype sir, as I said, it’s just a systems check to make sure we don’t waste time on cross-breeds that cannot possibly survive the growth and mutation processes.” Heiter stalled a moment, “I was calling him my ant-bee-bird. But again, it’s not intended for production.”
“That’s not an approved naming convention, Heiter.”
“That’s because it’s strictly experimental. Not for production. But, I’ll pull up the render.” Heiter responded curtly. The two engineers had never gotten along well.
Heiter handed Franken a pair of augment visors and sent the 3d render to the in-room projection system. The projector drew a life sized three dimensional image of the creature in the center of the room. Heiter sat as Franken strolled around it, looking over the holographic model.
The chief engineer let out a slight whistle of air between his teeth. “That’s a beauty. Can we manufacture that?”
“Wait, what?” asked Heiter, not fully understanding his senior engineer’s request.
“And use organics, not synthetics,” Franken added, lost in thought.
Heiter slowly removed his visor and set it on the table next to him. He reached over and shut down the simulation. “Organics? There won’t be an internal kill switch. This is an untested, experimental predator built with zenith-level aggression and rapid regeneration. There’s no safeguards in place.”
“I’m not concerned with that,” the chief engineer said flatly. “Use organics. I want it in the test enviro in three days, accelerate the growth cycle using stims at 200% standard.”
“And what kind of intelligence should we give it,” Heiter questioned, knowing the room’s audio system was recording the entire conversation. He did not want to be the one held responsible for the eventual debacle that this would turn out to be.
Franken paused for a moment, his dull, watery yellow augmented eyes glowing slightly in the reflected projection light. “Give it a psionic cortex, something out of batch 4-20.”
“All due respect sir,” Heiter spoke each word as clearly as he could,” I don’t believe this is a good idea at all. If this thing survives the growth phase it’ll be monstrously strong and insanely intelligent for an animal. If you toss in psionics with it, who knows what would happen.”
“Your views are noted, I’m sure they have been recorded along with the rest of this conversation.” Franken said as he waved a dismissive hand at Heiter. “Oh, and Junior Engineer Heiter, when you put it in the test chamber include live prey.” Franken smiled a toothy smile, the smile of a man who believed he was up to something clever.
Junior Engineer Heiter shook his head slowly as he typed in the command code to execute a growth cycle.
Three days later, Emergency Containment Handler Juanita Vasquez furiously slammed on her boots in the containment staging room when E.C.H. Bill Hudson ran in, his nylosteel shirt half tucked into his belt, half tucked into his pants.
“What’s going down?” Hudson asked, out of breath from the sprint to the staging room. “There weren’t supposed to be any tests this week.”
“Someone let a real monster loose in the enviro about an hour ago.” Vasquez tossed over her shoulder, her attention displaced from the conversation, while she retrieved a stunstick and a side arm.
“We’re a monster factory, Vasqie, what’s new there?” Hudson replied, adjusting the straps to the myriad of emergency gear strapped to his torso.
“I don’t know man, they didn’t tell me much. The comms chirped about some big insect looking thing. It shredded the live pray in seconds and somehow took out the docs and engineers behind the glass. H Wing’s on lockdown, I guess Room 10 is non-existent now.”
“Just what I needed, another bug hunt.” Hudson panned dryly.
“Enough talking man, you know I only need to know one thing, and that’s where it is.” Vasquez replied
“Why not kill switch this thing? They could reboot the synthetics in a day.” Hudson asked.
“No kill switch,” said Vasquez, slapping the high-voltage stun mag into his pulse rifle. “It’s organic.”
Hudson fastened his helmet, “What idiot makes an intelligent, organic flesh eating monster with no kill switch?”
“The kind of idiots who write our pay checks. Let’s go.” Vasquez shouted back as she punched in the override code to unlock the door to the testing chamber.
The entire room shook on his last button press, the light flickered between red and green and back again, he turned and looked at Vasquez, his face pinched, perplexed. The emergency system alarm began to blare throughout the station, a wave of nausea rippled over the pair, both froze in place, neither able to compel their bodies to move. After several long moments, the air filled with screams and metal collapsing on metal, the two veteran containment handlers felt their bodies return to normal.
“That’s not good, “he said, his finger hesitating over the button to open the door lock. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Hudson hesitated only slightly before pressing the button to open the door, despite the obvious warning alarms. The door locks clicked before releasing, heavy internal pistons drawing back into the floor.
As the door swung open, the Emergency Containment Handlers readied themselves, their hearts pumping, their tech suits flooding their bloodstream with synthetic boosts and stabilizers. Their eyes, enhanced with augments, instantly scanned the room as they rushed in.
“I read twenty dead humans,” Hudson whispered to Vasquez, “all equipped with containment suits, weapon barrels showing hot.”
“Which team got here first?” Vasquez whispered back, eyes scanning the room, quickly darting back and forth, flipping between infrared and heat vision. “I don’t see the thing anywhere, do you?”
“Negative Vasqie, let’s keep moving to the back.”
The pair checked for life signs as they passed the bodies strewn about the room, none showing any signs of life. They slid around knocked down pillars and past torn sheet metal, winding their way through a maze of bodies and destruction.
“I’ve got something on the scanner” Vasquez said as she motioned for Hudson to stop. “It’s by the east corner, safety’s off, double mag, double stun.”
“Roger that,” Hudson confirmed.
The pair stepped closer together, closing from fifteen feet down to two feet apart. Both focusing straight ahead, as their scanners struggled to make sense of the inhuman outline in front of them.
The beast merely stood there, watching them intently. Its eyes focused intently on them, staring out from the unnaturally large eagle head which was affixed to the body of a six-foot-tall ant body, ending in a terrifying bee stinger protruding from a four-foot long abdomen.
The pair froze again, waiting for the beast to make a move.
“What is that thing,” Hudson whispered, “what did they make?”
The ant-bee-bird reared up on its hind legs, balancing on its tail, and thrust its fore legs into the air, screeching GGRAAAACHAAAAWWWK.
Hudson and Vasquez’s knees buckled, their legs went out beneath them, psionic waves of energy immobilizing their bodies and terrifying their minds.
In an instant, far too quickly for a beast of that size, the creature tore through the metal walls of test chamber and out into the wastelands surrounding the facility.
You pierce at enemies who venture too close with your massive front legs.
Swinging your front legs in a wide arc you deal heavy damage to enemies.
Unleashing a wave of psionic energy, you stun all enemies in your forward arc for a short time.
Sending a psionic pulse of fear, enemies in your aura run from you.
Swinging your massive bee stinger, you deal massive damage and send any enemy hit flying.
Sending psionically charged energy pulses into the ground, you cause massive tremors which knocks up enemies repeatedly, and deals damage to them.