I really want a science fiction story where aliens come to invade earth and effortlessly wipe out humanity, only to be fought off by the wildlife.
They were expecting military resistance. They weren’t counting on bears.
Imagine coming to a hostile alien world and being attacked by a horde of creatures that can weigh up to 3 tons, run at 30 km/h (19 mph), and bite with a force of 8,100 newtons (1,800 lbf).
By the time you realise that they can traverse water, it’s too late. The surviving members of your unit manage to make it back by shedding their excess gear and running for their lives; the slower ones were crushed to death within minutes.
You later describe the creature to one of the humans you captured, wanting to know the name of the monstrosity that will haunt your nightmares for cycles to come.
The human smiles as it speaks a single word, slowly and distinctly, in its barbaric tongue.
This is giving me the biggest, creepiest grin I might have ever grinned
Imagine being the next crew to go down to earth and thinking “it’s fine, we got this. We have the weapons and equipment necessary to deal with bears and *shudders* hippopotamuses. We’ll be fine.”
And at first you are, you’ve learned how to dodge. You’ve learned where their territories are. You know how to defend yourself.
But then one night you are sleeping in your shelter. You’re in a tree covered temperate part of earth. It seems benign. There are been no sightings of the dreaded “hippos” around. Not even any bears. But there is a slight rustle of the undergrowth. You try and ignore it telling yourself it is just the wind.
Then you hear the rustle again. closer this time.
You peer out into the darkness but see nothing amongst the trees.
The rustle again and now you realise you can smell something. It’s musky and slightly foul. It’s the smell of an omen, a warning. But what of? Where is this smell coming from.
You sit up, but it’s too late. The foul smelling creature is on you. You are hit with 17kg of coarse fur and vicious bites. Long dark claws tear in to you and you are pinned down white the striped creature tries to bite your throat.
It takes some doing but you manage to wrestle free. Blood drips from your wounds and already they itch with the sign of infection. The creature has a bloodied snout, rust rad, mingling with the black and white hairs. It lets out a terrifying growl from the back of its throat and looks to attack again. It’s between you and your knife, so your only choice is to back away.
Eventually the creature gives up and snuffles off in to the undergrowth, down a hole near your shelter you hadn’t noticed before.
When you make it back to your base you once again consult the captive human.
“Badger.” they say, with a solemn nod.
One word: Moose
“Our vehicles are far superior to the local human models, in range, speed, armament, and any other metric you care to name! Nothing could possibly-”
“That’s called a moose.”
The invasion is going slowly. The humans have caught on and are actively destroying information on the planet’s flora and fauna before Intelligence can capture and process it. All that they have are survivors’ accounts. Bears. Hippos. Badgers. Moose. It is becoming obvious this mudball planet is a full-on Death World to the unprepared, and you are so very unprepared.
You lost Jaxurn to a plant. Not even a mobile or carnivorous plant, just one that caused a vicious allergic reaction on contact that killed him in less than a rai’kor. Commander Vura’ko died to an insect bite, a tiny local pest that sucked a tiny bit of her blood and apparently replaced it with a bit of its last meal, which was full of disease. Backwash. She died to bug backwash. And yet you honestly envy them after that… thing you encountered…
When you got back to base the quarantine officer refused to let you inside. They had to roll a containment tank outside to put you in, because you all knew there would be no chance of eliminating the smell if it got into the ship’s air ducts. Smell. You wonder if your nasal slit will ever recover from this stench.
And the smell would. Not. Leave. After incinerating your gear the Q.O. had you use every cleansing agent they could think of, including a few janitorial ones, and still everyone fled the stench if they were downwind of your tank. Desperate to protect everyone’s nasal slits from the smell the quarantine officer interrogated the humans. From them, a glimmer of hope: there was a cure. Somehow the juice of a certain fruit on this mudball was the only thing that could break up the chemicals in the little horror’s spray. Immediately the Q.O. sent a team to recover buckets of the stuff and made you bathe in it. That was hours ago and it didn’t seem to be working, though. All it was doing was turning your blue skin an interesting shade of purple.
Sighing in frustration you wave the med-assist on duty over, who only approaches after checking the wind direction. Annoyed, you flip on the tank`s vox speaker.
“The humans did say it was “grape” juice that removed “skunk” stench, right?“
It came for someone almost every night.
Any soldier alone was a viable target for this native monster that moved unseen by any but the security viewers, usually only spotted in hindsight. They were taken as silently as this earth-monster moved. Sometimes they’d find the remains in the morning taken up a tree and hung there, mostly eaten, as if it were a grisly reminder that the monster was still there, waiting unseen, to strike again.
What little they saw of the monster on the vidfeed showed true horror. Yellow eyes that shone with all the light it could gather. It had fangs as long as his grasping digits. Claws half that size formed curved hooks that allowed it to climb up their fortifications with impunity. And in the underbrush, its spots made it almost impossible to see clearly in the undergrowth, if it could be seen at all.
Even the native sentients, the humans, had a healthy respect and fear for it.
The earth natives called the monster a leopard.
It was a constant fear that muddied the senses, and let the monster hunt even more effectively as the soldiers were always on edge. Sleep deprived with fear, it made them even better targets for the monster.
But rumor was that there was worse on this planet. Rumors of a monster like a leopard but larger, and bigger in every imaginable sense. Stripped instead of spotted, which leaped from the underbrush with a sound.
A sound that burst eardrums, paralyzed entire units, and let the monster kill with impunity. While the Leopard wrestled soldiers down and ripped their throats out. This other monster, the Tiger, killed with its pounce alone.
“We’ve been through this,” Group Leader 455 snapped. “The dissection of an Earth life form will help the scientists make weapons to combat the rest of this planet’s hellbeasts. And these are domesticated. Harmless.”
The troops were not-quite-looking at her in the way troops do when they don’t want to be seen to contradict a ranking officer, but can’t quite muster a correct Expression of Enthusiastic Assent. “The name of this species,” she pointed out, “is synonymous with dullness and slowness in the language of the Earth barbarians.” Well, one language out of several thousand—these creatures needed Imperial guidance more than any other world on record—but there was no point in confusing the rank and file.
More not-quite-looking. 455 bubbled a sigh and consulted her scanner. “That one,” she decided. “Alone in the separate pasture. Scans suggest that it’s a male, which means it’s probably weaker. Possibly it’s kept isolated so that the females don’t eat it before mating season. And yes, I know some of you are here on punishment detail, but you’re still soldiers of the Imperium. This squad is perfectly capable of handling a lone, helpless, pathetic male cow.”
I’m enjoying this immensely. Wait until the aliens try Australia for size…
It was a strange creature Tar’van glimpsed at on the vast island known to the humans as ‘Australia’.
“I would warn you not to fuck with us, mate.” Their forced guide, a prisioner, had warned with a chilling grin upon capture. “If you think a moose is bad, wait until you tango with a red back.” To this day Tar’van fears the creature known as the red back, and what horrors it would bring.
The prisioner turned out to be of little help,the stubboness of his people causing them to refuse the danger that the captured human warned of. Tar’van recalls a moment when one of his squad members approached a creature know as a dingo, insistent they had seen these creatures before and they were tame. They barely escaped with 5 of the original 7 members of his squad.
Another moment Tar’van recalls was the brutal mauling they witnessed by the hands of a creature called an ‘Emu’
“Don’t feel too bad,” the prisioner mocked. “We lost a war to the Emu’s as well.”
Now with only 4 members of their squad left, including themself, Tar’van had learned to listen to the prisoner, to be wary of the simplest of creatures. This human was of the sub-species of ‘Zookeeper’ after all.
The ‘Zookeeper’ looks off to the distance, where the creature is.
“It’s a kangaroo, leave it be and you’ll be fine.” Tar’van nods, a human signal of acknowledgement if they are correct. The human smiles a bit.
“That creature cannot possibly harm us.” Tar’van’s squadleader protests. “It is so docile. I will aproach it and bring back it’s head to show this human is a fearmongering liar.”
The human reels back, a look of disgust crosses their face and anger passes through their eyes.
“Fucking do it mate, I dare ya.” The human hisses. The squad leader puffs up their hoinn gland, a sign of pride to their species, and aproached the so called ‘Kangaroo’.
“This will be unpleasant.” A squadmate mutters as they watch their leader raise their fist and bring it down on the creature. The ‘Kangaroo’ looks a little stunned by the impact, before it raises itself upon its strong tail and uses its powerful heind legs to launch their squadleader backwards through the air.
Their squadleader lands upon the ground, unmoving with black blooded oozeing from them. It appears Tar’van is the squads leader now.
“I don’t know what they expected.” the human says, smugness filling their tone. “Kangaroos are fucking shreaded. 8-pack and all.”
Tar’van steps forward to the human, whom inches back in a sign of fear as Tar’van pulls their blade from its holster, and in their first act as leader, frees the human of the bonds around their hands.
“Please,” Tar’van bags. “Get us back safely.”
@kryallaorchid, you guys really lost a war to emus? Why was it necessary?
oh, mate, you never mess with the emus.
(Jesus christ. Dont get us started on kangaroos)
They had faced Emu’s. They had lost one in the battle but had experienced them. But this was no emu.
Looking to their guide, they all stare in horror as his face changes from calculating to fear. Pure, heart consuming horror as he stares at the large bird.
They mimic him in fear. Squawking the horrific name as another joins the first in the mad run towards them.
The only ones to survive was the native guide and Tar’van. The guide was carrying the soldier over his shoulder as they made their way back to the settlement.
Tar’van was a wreck. Periodically alternating between rocking in complete silence and whispering broken words in horror.
When they consulted the native all he said was “Its spring…. Magpie season…”
“Listen up, troops. This armour upgrade has been tested both in the laboratories of the best Imperial military scientists and in the field. We are impervious to the stings of any insect on this hellhole of a planet, striped or not! We can brave the perils of its wildlife, and conquer it at long last! Revenge for our fallen companions! Glory to the Emperor!”
“Excuse me,” the native Terran guide speaks up in a tired tone, and the squad’s cheers die on their lips. “This is Japan. You haven’t seen what–”
“Silence, worm! No sting can penetrate this plating!”
The guide tries to warn them once again, merely earning a blow that throws them to their knees. The troops set out, morale high, certain in their ability to brave the wildlife now and thirsting for vengeance against the non-sentient native species. One soldier thumps his fist against a tree. A hollow sound follows.
In an instant, the soldier is the centre of a storm of the striped insects. At first, no one pays it any mind. Their little stings cannot penetrate the new plating, after all.
But then the soldier falls to his knees, and the squad stares in horror as the insects enclose him in layer upon layer of their own bodies, all moving. The squad’s medic yells a warning at everyone to stay back, watching the readouts of the unfortunate soldier’s armour on their diagnostic screen with undisguised horror. The insects aren’t even stinging. They simply keep moving, one atop the other, and the soldier’s body temperature is slowly rising until he drops to the ground, quite literally cooked alive. The insect swarm takes off, unharmed save for the ones that were crushed when the trooper fell.
Finally asked about what happened, the human sighs. “Japanese honeybees. They do this to wasps, too.”
“How?” You ask. “How has your species dominated this planet?”
The human bares its teeth. A smile, they call it. Something humans do when they are happy. Yet you can’t help but think of all the creatures with the their large fangs and sharp teeth. (What kind of species uses a threat signal as a sign of happiness?)
“Persistence and ingenuity.” The human answers, still smiling.
It doesn’t matter that this one is your prisoner. Humans, you decide, are as terrifying as their planet.
“And scattered about it … were the Martians–dead!–slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain; slain, after all man’s devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, had put upon this earth.”
– HG Wells, The War of the Worlds,1898
I’m picturing aliens going up against a hoard of Canadian geese, or a swan.
I think at that point they’d just give up.
Or fire ants
No one even MENTIONED snakes yet…
This thing gets better EVERY FUCKING TIME I SEE IT.
“Let us try the creatures that the humans keep for domestic companionship”
“Is that a miniature tiger?”
“Why does this human own a small pack of wolves?”
The aliens ask their human captive why small wolves live with them.
“Oh, you mean dogs? Yeah, they’re the only animals that can keep up with us.”
The aliens look at each other in fear. “What do you mean?”
“Oh well that’s why you guys ‘won’ is because humans aren’t super fast or strong. I think my middle school biology teacher called us pursuit predators? It means we evolved to hunt things by following them at walking pace until they had to stop to sleep and then catching up to them then. Dogs are the only animals that can keep up with us. Did you know one time a pack of wolves tailed a herd of caribou for three days straight?”
“Uh… okay, what about these small round things with big teeth?”
“Omg dude no if you give a hamster enought time that little fucker can chew through concrete :)”
The aliens wonder if the surrender of humanity was a trap.
Somebody do sharks or sea creatures next. Giant squids would wreak havoc on their ships.