A Day in the Life of a Bash-Gor Family
The Bash-Gor are an alien tribe currently recovering and still fighting a krevloc invasion.
Gal-rul, Garina System
The long ride into their old home town was quiet. As children, they had played in the parks. They watched the ducks swim in the ponds, the people walk in the streets, and there they made a pact to never separate. Ever.
Ressa and Nyra now headed back to their childhood city. From the edge of town, they could already see that signs of activity were gone. The stale air barely moved over the littered streets. There were houses with doors broken and windows smashed. Corpses lined the street. Nyra would watch each one as they passed. The sight of a dead body, especially a mutilated one, no longer bothered her. Ressa was the same. They had both been around long enough to earn their experience and rank in their unit.
Nyra turned her attention to Ressa. He was double-checking equipment, including the bio-suits they would have to wear eventually once they got out to explore on foot. The other members of their unit included four warriors, a scientist, a doctor, and four gatherers.
* * *
“Hurry up Tomi,” said a woman dressed in an old lab coat. She was cleaning up her work area.
“No problem, Mi’elle!” said Tomi, a child who was eager to help.
Mi’elle was an older scientist who didn’t lose her quirky nature and patience over the years. They were putting away some seeds specimens gathered from a recent excursion. She was making sure no traces of malignant bacteria or fungus were present. A contaminated crop would be disastrous.
As Tomi put away the last beaker, Mi’elle wrote up the last necessary notes she would use in her report.
“Good job, Tomi!”
“Thank you,” said Tomi. She was twelve, thin, tanned, and had dark hair, with natural orange stripes. Her clothes were slightly worn and one size too large. It was a hand-me-down from another girl in the tribe that was too big to wear it. Supplies were limited: clothing, fuel, tools, building materials, medicine, weapons, even food..
Most of the food was grown within the city. Sometimes, unopened jars and cans of food were brought in from outside the city for inspection. Fresh fruits and vegetables, and less often, livestock, were also brought in. These “imports” were often gathered through trade with neighboring tribes or cities. Sometimes, they were taken from missions into other cities.
With their world turned upside-down, these people adapted their lifestyle for survival. Most of the population was lost during an invasion of monsters known as krevlocs. Families were ripped apart. It was later on that the survivors got together and formed new families and a new government. A system built for survival. Tomi and Mi’elle were part of a nu-maly; a new family. They both lost loved ones, and now they had each other. The family tradition was important. No one could survive alone.
* * *
Nyra was the first one off the truck. They had stopped a few yards from the front of a food center. The area was clear of any danger, so Nyra gave the signal for the others to come out. Four warriors, including Ressa, went into the building; the glass door was already shattered. Nyra and another warrior stayed behind to provide cover for them and safety for others.
Inside, the smell of decay combined with the darkness of the area set up for a possible hostile encounter. Ressa called out into the darkness. There was no answer. The warriors were quiet. Then, a scurrying, scratching noise started to come their way.
“Ready your weapons, wide shots!” ordered Ressa.
Suddenly, a group of rat-like creatures rushed for the warriors. They began to screech loudly.
“We got screamers!” said one of the warriors.
“Open fire once you make your mark!” shouted Ressa.
As soon as the first creature came into sight, it was hit with several projectiles. Before it died, three others came. The warriors’ multiple-shot weapons were able to hit each one, and after several shots, the monsters died. These rats were fast, so a single more concentrated shot would not be effective.
After two or three minutes the rats were all dead. Adrenaline rushed through the warriors as they made fists with their hands and raised them in silent victory.
As the all clear message came over the radio, Nyra smiled, biting her lips.
The warriors inside began to make their rounds of the place to make sure there was no more danger. After a few minutes, two warriors came to the door and called for the others. With the warriors providing protection, the gatherers, doctor, and scientist were safe to do their job. They left the truck and headed for the building.
Back on the truck, a warrior listened to any broadcasts over the radio, then began to transmit a call for rescue. Nyra kept an eye out for any trouble.
Two warriors stood guard at the entrance of the food center. Two were inside to provide immediate protection. The gatherers began to carefully select food that would be potentially uncontaminated: non-perishable food and seeds.
The scientist and doctor took reports. Skeletons littered the floor, their flesh eaten and rotted off. The krevloc screamers that mutated from the rats had finished them off. Perhaps one of the people had become a krevloc screamer and burst out of the store in search for more victims.
The team didn’t have much time. The store and probably the city didn’t have any power. Once the sun went down, they would have to rely on battery operated lights and makeshift torches. They had to visit a few more places before they left.
* * *
As Mi’elle and Tomi finished, a short young man entered the room.
“Greetings ladies,” said that man, “how goes the research?”
“Kavo!” said Tomi.
"Hello, Kavo Min,” said Mi’elle, “Are you here to pick up Tomi?”
“Of course, my lady. I am here to escort the princess to her class.”
“Yay!” said Tomi. “I love art class!”
“That is a sweet little fact!” said Kavo Min. He then turned to Mi’elle, “is everything all right here?”
“Yes, all is under way. I will go home and begin to prepare dinner.”
“Ok, Mi’elle, we’ll see you then,” said Kavo Min and then left with Tomi.
* * *
After the food center, the team went to various sites around the city. Blowing whistles every now and then to make their presence known and then waiting to see if any survivors would come out. Often, they were greeted by krevlocs of one species or another. Krevloc screamers were most common, but the occasional krevloc stinger, krevloc jumper, and krevloc charger would also attack them. Thanks to the team’s reflexes, experience, weaponry, and training, they were able to kill the beasts before they would lose any of their own members.
Their search so far, though, was not fruitful. No one had been to the city in a few years; the chances of finding individual survivors was slim, but maybe finding a group that got together was not out of the question.
Ressa made the observation that it was getting late. The number of krevlocs they faced had slowed them down. They were also low on ammo. He made the order that they would head back home now and come back another day.
They headed back the way they came. They passed by a building with a large yard. In the yard was a tower (more like a pole with a nest on top). They stopped for a moment to check it out. This was a place Ressa and Nyra used to play. They noticed a lot of foot prints on the floor. They were krevloc prints. There were a lot of scratch marks on the base of the pole.
“Do you suppose someone climbed this to avoid a krevloc?” asked Ressa.
“I think he did,” said Nyra. She slinged her weapon behind her and climbed the pole. When she got to the top she called out that she found a survivor.
“It’s a little boy!” she said.
He was barely alive, unconscious, and probably starved.
“Do you need help bringing him down?” Ressa said. But before she could answer, a mean-looking krevloc appeared from an alley.
It had a large head with a big mouth and rows of sharp teeth. It had no visible eyes and it rushed straight for the nearest warrior. It was so fast that its blue and purple skin seemed to blur. The warriors squeezed off a few shots but it didn’t slow him down.
It attacked a warrior biting deep into his upper body. The warrior screamed in pain. Ressa was able to get a good shot at it at that point. The shot went right through the beast’s shoulder. The krevloc dropped the warrior and charged for Ressa.
Ressa was reloading his weapon, but it looked like it was too lat for him. The other warriors weapons weren’t at the right settings. Just as the krevloc leapt for an attack, Nyra from the crow’s nest above fired a direct hit through the krevloc’s skull and neck.
The head flew towards Ressa, keeping its momentum, but the creature was already dead. It landed on Ressa, knocking him down.
After the commotion, Nyra climbed down with the child. The wounded warrior had a deep bite mark and was slipping in and out of consciousness. Ressa was ok. He ordered everyone to get on the truck, try to revive the child, take blood tests from the child, the warrior and himself, and get the heck out of there.
The child would not wake up. The blood tests were negative for Ressa and the child but the wounded warrior had the krevloc parasites in his blood. Ressa took the responsibility of relieving the warrior from his incurable disease.
Everyone was sad to lose a member of the team, especially Ressa, who was in charge of the mission. Nyra put her hands on his shoulders and comforted him. They continued on to town.
* * *
Kavo Min was teaching art along with another teacher who was teaching geography. Most classrooms had two or three teachers teaching different subjects. Sometimes the subjects would have something in common like maps in art and geography. sometimes the teachers would get into a debate and show the class that there was more than one way of looking at something. The teachers would rotate so that the children got a very diverse education.
The children would also learn how to behave in a group, when to stop discussing and move on, how sometimes experienced people make mistakes, etc. At least two guards would be present in class and would often stand watch. Rarely they would participate. Their main role there was for protection.
The classes were often small, with six to ten children attending. This might have been to give more attention to the students, or it might have been like that because there weren’t that many children in the tribe. Children made up about twenty to thirty percent of the Bash-Gor tribe’s population.
For this class, Kavo Min was the head instructor, and the subject was art. All the children were finishing up their maps of the city. Although Kavo Min was a good art teacher, he didn’t fail to emphasize the importance knowing the city’s plans. Everyone was to know the different sections of the city and which parts would be quarantined during an emergency. They had to know all the alternate routes, and all secondary havens, etc.
The geography teacher taught the children how to read maps and recognize elevation lines, streets, rivers, emergency buildings, etc. By the end of the class, the children would all have accurate maps of the city and they would be aware of important routes and information.
* * *
Ressa and Nyra returned to their city. They underwent an de-contamination process with their team and reported what happened in the other town--including the loss of their teammate. The gatherers’ goods were sent for inspection and the child was sent to a hospital.
At night, only a few parts of the city were allowed to have power. The generators ran on a limited resource so they had to use the energy wisely.
Finally Ressa and Nyra went home. They were let in by Kavo Min.
“You guys look like you faced the entire krevloc horde!” he whispered.
“It was a rough day,” said Nyra.
“We lost Joe,” said Ressa.
“Oh,” said Kavo, “let your pain pass, my bother and sister.”
“Thanks,” they said.
Kavo told them Mi’elle and Tomi were asleep. There was some food for them, but the warriors were not that hungry.
“You have to eat,” said Kavo, “If you get any thinner, you’ll be inverted.”
His humor was appreciated, though the warriors didn’t laugh. They took a bite and then went to sleep. The morning was another day and another trip back into the town. If the child they found would wake up, he might know if there are any other survivors.