Fools Errand

Chapter 1



This is a non-canon spinoff of Assignment Risk by alephkeller. It contains no spoilers to that story other than rehashing some world lore. It's not necessary that you read that first, but I highly recommend reading it. My story wont do justice to the quality of AR.

You are Daniel

"Attacking them head on is the stupidest thing we could do."

and you are in the woods with a bunch of hick tweakers hiding from the Daxy.
Charles glares at you for a moment before responding.
"And do what else? Eat away at our food supplies and do nothing? While they pick us off? We should be getting revenge for New York!"

"How, exactly would we do that? We have no military support. The army never showed up here they just let the scales roll into town. We don't have artillery. We don't have air support. We have a handful of deer guns and shitty mall ninja ARs. If you want to run off and get killed or captured by them then you do you. I'm going to survive."

"Fuckin' coward."
Charles takes a drag from his cigarette and continues. "There is nothing for us out here. We got almost no food left and it's like every day that someone up and disappears to the fuckin' dinosaurs. I want to go out on my own terms, high as a kite and guns blazing. I've always wanted to kick in the doors of the courthouse with a gun anyways. That's where they're holed up."
You look around the camp
All men in various states of physical fitness, most of them not fit for service else they would have been drafted into the continental army.
All of the women had been carted off by the Daxy as soon as the scales arrived in town almost completely uncontested.
Some of the men tried to hastily form a militia but it was a worthless endeavor.
out numbered at least three to one with inferior technology, weapons, communications, and training.
Running out into the forest was the smartest option, despite it being the middle of winter.
You sigh and decide to change the subject with Charles.

"James is on patrol now right? Who is he with?"

"Fuck if I know. I think he left with the kid." Charles is just being petty now.
You grab a radio and try to hail James and wait for a response. After two more tries with only a crackle of static as a response Charles chimes in bitterly. "Maybe they got him too. We should attack now before numbers dwindle anymore."
You decide not to respond. There are more pressing matters to attend to anyways.

"I'm gonna go do what a bear does in the woods."

Charles looks at you like you're an idiot.
It sounded cooler in you head.
You grab a roll of toilet paper and head out of the camp.
On your way out you see Charles packing a glass pipe with what looks like, but is certainly not small crystals of ice.
You would be more confident in you chances of survival if these guys were not all constantly drinking or getting high.
you've been out here over a week, how do they still have a supply?
Snow crunches underfoot but otherwise the woods are quiet. You find a spot behind a tree and do your business.
As you are cleaning up you hear several muted pops from the direction of the camp.
Did someone start shooting?
You run back but as you approach the camp a billow of smoke wafts towards you.
It smells faintly of bitter citrus. You don't know what it is and you don't want to be breathing it in but you need to get to camp.
You turn and run perpendicular to the cloud's direction but something is wrong. You feel sluggish and the cold that was nipping your face before is notably absent.
As you keep moving past the cloud it begins to dissipate so you turn again to head closer to the camp.
By this point you feel sleepy and disjointed.
You have to slow down so as to not trip on the uneven soil.
You push drunkenly through the undergrowth and trip while trying to push between some bushes.
You can see the camp from your place on the ground covered by the foliage.
several canisters are embedded in the earth with small wisps of gas still escaping them
everyone is laid out on the ground. Some are unresponsive, some are groaning like they're in the middle of receiving an expert massage. One guy was unlucky enough to be near the impact point of a gas canister. He is curled up holding tightly to his calf as blood seeps between his fingers but his sedation is overpowering the pain.
Whatever that gas was, they took a full dose. You're the only one that can still move.
You still have enough of your faculties about you to call James and tell him not to return but as your fumble for the radio you see across the camp a squad of a half dozen daxy emerge from the treeline.
They are all armored in navy blue kit aside from the one leading them who wears all black with thick gold accenting.
She has James in tow with a claw around his neck and behind them another daxy has a teenager in tow.
She is too far away to be heard but she leans down to coo something sweet to him.
Bizarrely he seems to try to rub up against her like a cat looking for attention.
The kid just looks scared. His attention split between James' unusual behavior and the camp full of laid out men.
You do your best to stay quiet and sink into the bush. You didn't carry your rifle with you into the woods but its not like it would have helped at all against a half dozen daxy.
The daxy stream in to the camp and start searching tents until one finds the man clutching his leg.
"Male harmed! Saxis get over here, bring the kit!"
Two of the daxy rush over and begin caring for him. One tears off the leg of his pants with her daunting claws while the other begins preparing antiseptic swabs and gauze for clotting the wound.
One of them starts saying soothing things to him about his safety and happiness but your attention is cut short by the swift sound of a zipper being tugged.
Charles steps out of a yet unchecked tent wearing a gas mask and levels a shotgun at the nearest daxy who happens to be the gold fringed apparent leader.
She sees him and throws James away from the immediate danger just as Charles catches her in the leg with a slug.
He's jittery as he tries to rack the shotgun for a second shot and manages to catch the spent shell in the ejection port.
At the same time the wounded daxy draws a pistol from her side and puts a round in Charles' gut.
He falls on his back and you see a large syringe with a plume for a tail sticking out of his belly.
He went out the way he wanted to.
It amounted to even less than you expected from his plans.
He tries to lift the gun again but he treats it like it's a hundred pounds heavier. Before he can do anything else the wounded leader and another daxy are upon him, pulling the gun away and holding him down against his insignificant drug suppressed fight for a moment until he loses consciousness.
Whatever was in that syringe was strong stuff to cut through the meth he was smoking when you left.
At least they didn't kill him.
The leader daxy stands up and holds he thigh with a groan.
James crawls over to the daxy that had just thrown him away a moment ago. "Tassis are you alright? You're bleeding! He hurt you!"
He tries to grab on to her but she pushes him away with a grimace. "Now is really not the time, male."
She motions to another daxy to take care of him. The daxy pulls him away despite his protests.
Its creepy that he's like a blithering pet to her.
Tassis grunts and checks over her leg. "Saxis I know males are important to you but you better leave enough supplies in that kit for me."
Saxis finishes tying off a bandage and stands up with the pack. "One of the plates from the pheromone mortar broke off from the impact and embedded in his leg. It's not life threatening. He'll be up and walking in a couple of days."
The medic removes Tassis' thigh armor and inspects the wound. "No penetration from the slug. It looks like your armor shattered and some of it's in your leg. We'll need to get back to base to get it all out of you."
Tassis hisses through her teeth as Saxis injects something into the wound area and begins applying a bandage. "Vacation for me I guess. I'm calling the transport in. The rest you finish securing the camp."
A daxy who is bridal carrying a man who is more than willing to cuddle her pipes up from across the camp. "So I got time to take my new mate for a spin?"
Tassis deadpans. "You really want to take your armor off in this weather?"
The daxy falters. She looks at the man trying to bury his head in the crook of her neck then at a tent for a moment. "Shit, yer right."
"You should be looting the camp for more than just a mate anyway." Tassis presses a button on her helmet and calls in for transport as the daxy continue to clean out the camp of any supplies they deem valuable.
Saxis finishes caring for Tassis' thigh and takes James from the daxy that was handling him.
She starts looking him over for wounds but is pleased to find none.
"You almost got yourself shot sweetie, are you alright?"
"I was scared but I think I'm okay. Is Charles alright?"
"He got the same stuff we gave you. He'll be just fine."
Their conversation is cut short when Charles begins to stir from his unconscious state.
He is groaning and seems to act like he's relearning how to use his arms.
"Th-this is incredible! I've never felt so good! This shit rocks, what did you give me?"
A daxy that was looking him over for wounds speaks to him in a motherly tone. "That's pheromones, baby. With this stuff you'll never want to fight again."
"You're right, I'm sorry! I'll get more right?"
He grabs at her and tries to hold himself closer.
Her tone turns raunchy. "Honey I'll give you all you want back at base."
Saxis pulls James into a hug and picks up the conversation again. "See, you and him are safe now."
James' response is muffled under her armor.
"Mmh, you're warm cutie. I might just snatch you up for myself. How'd you like that?"
James eschews a response and instead returns Saxis' hug.
He's been drugged and abused and still seems to accept comfort from those that drove your group out into the forest.
Whatever happened to the other men nearly happened to you.
You try to imagine the pheromones as a poison in your body. You wish you felt sick but instead you feel warm. You feel as if you're hugging someone important that you've been missing. You know that the effects of their weapons should be disgusting but you cant muster up any negativity.
A small piece of you wishes it was you being coddled by one of the daxy right now.
A few minutes later a ship descends and makes no effort to avoid crushing two tents under its belly as it lands.
The men, still docile from the gas are herded or carried onto the transport.
You wait in the bushes until you can't hear the engines of the transport ship anymore.
In your pheromone suppressed state you decide to wait a little longer.
Eventually you wake up feeling far colder than you were when you accidentally fell asleep.
No more feelings of warm hugs or safety. You are left freezing and alone.
You curse yourself as you pick over whats left of the camp.
it's already far past midday.
Plenty of rations and canned food
A deer gun for when the food starts getting low
You select the best tent and pack it up.
By the time you're set to leave the camp there's probably four hours of light left.
You think about the men that inhabited this camp.
you couldn't call them friends but you still felt bad for them in a way.
More casualties made into slaves.
What they did to James and Charles.
You cant let that happen to you.
The sweet demeanor of the daxy picks at your mind again.
This time you feel disgusted.
You suppress the small part of you that misses the pheromones.
Twenty minutes after leaving the camp towards the mountains you hear the low distant rumble of ship engines again.
They came back for you but you got out just in time it seems.
The tree canopy is heavy enough that they wont be able to spot you from above.
There is nothing out here but untamed forest between you and the Appalachia mountains.
You have no plans other than evade daxy.
You grew up exploring these woods. You'll be fine. Probably.

Pub: 11 May 2022 03:17 UTC
Edit: 14 Jun 2022 22:06 UTC
Views: 1431