Daring Initiation

The creatures in the swamp were huge serpentine masses of rubbery green. Their snapping jaws were fanged and their six-stalked eyes swirled angrily at each other. Their cold howls echoed over the greying and moist waste.

     “I think there’s a joke here that I’m missing.”

     “Oh, there is. Keep looking.”

     They were familiar beasts to the Faction, or at least their skeletons were. They were familiar to the Great Houses, though often just as inconveniences for agents and adventurous renegades to dodge. They were known to the Spiral Underworld, their evolutionary potential introduced by the Crime Lady Cortalianesquertal vel-Lineacrux. She was known for specially crafting servitors and bodyguards out of them, showing them off at the occasional open sessions of the Crime Lord High Council.

     “Nope, sorry. Still not getting it. They’re just a bunch of Drash-”

     “The boy’s first paradox. He played with fixed points.”


     “The species actually come from the future.”

     “… no.”

     “He transported their first eggs from a distant eon and chucked them into a prehistoric swamp.”


     “They’re a breed of posthumanity.”


     “Exactly. The boy did some research. Consulted the loa, sifted through quantum strands. A splinter Coterie got themselves lost on a million-year mission of the cosmos. Evolution mixed with radiation, activated a few forgotten DNA pathways. Take them back to early history, throw in a few more million years, and boom.”

     “That’s hilarious. He’s captured my heart.”

     “Definitely shows a sense of humor, if nothing else. I think the Faction’s needed that recently.”

     Two of the creatures were lashing at each other, chunks of flesh and blood hurled into the air from their fighting. Though it might have been mating. It was difficult to tell.

     “I think it shows more than a sense of humor. It demonstrates the sort of disrespect we like, the free thinking we want. The fact that he did it with a laugh just makes me like him more.”

     “I think it mostly just demonstrates he wants to piss the Houses off. He dares to.”

     “And what are we, really, if that’s not our ultimate goal as well?”

     A snuff of a chuckle. “To dare.”

     The monsters were now definitely mating.

     “What does the boy want to be called?”

     Another snuff. “Intrepid.”

     “Bit camp.”

     “I think we should let him have it. He has spirit. Let him continue to demonstrate it.”

     A nod of agreement.

     The monsters finished and started fighting again, twisting teethed tubes of snarling hunger. If one knew where (and how) to look, they would definitely see the bubbling humanity deep inside the animal biodata. It reeked of the distant future when Earth was long dead. And here they were, deep in the past, mere moments away from being abducted for some sort of miniaturized carnival.

“Historians are going to have a field day with this one.

As recounted by or possibly to Jacob Black