FEROCIOUS FORTRESS IMPERIALISTS
THE WOLVEN LYCANATE
Written by Rio Cienfuegos
Inspired by a story by Darcy Vrekeen
Wolven Pre-Magnon Heritage: genuses Canis, Chrysocyon, Lycaon. Genetic, epigenetic, and hormonal modification, occasional cybernetic modification
The Wolven were the first recorded race to ascend. Some accounts put Bovaron before them, however most evidence points to Wolven being the first demonstrably self-aware race in several pre-Magnon trials. Wolven kind were intentionally developed as military tools, strictly obedient. However, with time and with increased societal acceptance pre-Magnon scientists felt more free to design breeds with increased intellectual freedom and curiosity.
Ascension: the gaining of intelligence, self-awareness, and racial identity by post End of the World Era races.
-:: Entry ::- YhIsrC3KPn13TS2EM5s
Beneficiarius Aurgr's eyes twinkled and his two subordinate Legionares gaped unabashedly. They had found it. On special assignment now for over two months, their task had been to scour Victoria Island to locate the site where their breed had originally been trialled and launched.
Unlike most races, the Wolven remember the times of the Magnon Dominion - the time when pre-Magnons dominated all other creatures, using them as pets and slaves and entertainment. Interestingly, the Wolven held less rancour towards the Magnons than many races. The Ancient Magnons had made them intelligent and strong, worked them yes, but generally loved them as well. Ancient Magnon technology was incredibly useful, and so Wolven were systematically seeking out facilities where their kind had once been "improved," "developed," and "tested."
This site, thought the Beneficiarius, must be around 800 years old. He took it in, feeling quite chuffed he had found it. From almost any vantage point it looked like a small hill, but the vegetation patterns around it felt oddly organized. A vague microenvironment that had no apparent reason to be there sprouted non-local vegetation. The assortment of flowers was particularly odd at this time of year. Two long rows of trees had seemed to form a funnel to this spot. At its conclusion they found the door.
"Open her" her growled to his right-hand Legionnaire.
"...Can I use it?" he grinned.
The Beneficiarius twitched his nose in amusement. "Attempt to open the doors using less forceful means, Legionare, but yes if we are unsuccessful you may use the special explosives."
One hour later and several half-hearted attempts to 'open the doors using less forceful means' later, Aurgr gave his Legionares the go-ahead to blow something up. They were in the middle of nowhere, doing nothing but looking for months now. He had to give them some joy.
His Legionnaires sniffed and snorted happily as they placed the explosives. They ran up to hide on the hill above and behind the door and comically mirrored each other in an excited little spin before settling low to the ground. The explosion shook the ground, producing a loud metallic twang and hurling the door inward. The Legionares howled. Normally this would be a punishable breach of stealth, but Aurgr ceded that the rumbling detonation would have already revealed them to any other creatures in the area. A relaxed swish of his tail informed the Legionares the had done well.
They scrambled down to enter the complex. Through a dim entry hall, lit only by the sunlight shining in the entrance, then through an air-sealed door into a medium-sized room, pausing as dim lights flickered on and a faint hum ensued.
"Observe everything. Legionare - take notes." The wolven on his left drew out a notebook and recording device.
“Running systems diagnostics.”
A voice from everywhere and nowhere - they had been told to expect this. This was excellent, thought the Beneficiarius, they would have real intel to bring back.
“Systems diagnostics complete.”
A green button on a nearby wall began pulsing with light. With a low growl, he indicated his other Legionare to push it.
“Welcome to Morpheus Labs’ Field Trials Division. I am SAINT, the Systems And Information Neural Terminal. How might I assist you today?”
The Beneficiarius moved his Legionare aside, "Say nothing, touch nothing, only observe." Then, to the machine, "Tell me what Wolven you made here."
"I'm sorry, please rephrase your question so that I can help you."
He thought. This was old tech. Magnon tech. He cleared his throat, trying to make his voice grumble less, trying to make it sound more "human" as they had called themselves.
"Answer my questions sequentially. What are you called? Do you operate across multiple facilities? What are the locations of your other facilities? Tell me all about the information stored here. How can I access and save all the data on experimental trails?"
“I am SAINT, an artificial intelligence developed by Horizons Innovation for the purpose of maintaining this facility. This is the Morpheus Labs Field Trials Division research facility, one of eight genetic research, production, and post-production modification facilities owned and operated by Morpheus Labs."
A projection began on the wall. The locations it displayed were not precise, but they were enough.
"This map displays the locations of our sister facilities. For a full summary of our research activities, please state your access code a place you device on the transmission pad. Please state your preferred language and file type."
A green circle on the desk was illuminated, pulsing in a different time to SAINT's light.
The Beneficiarius mused to his legionaries "We'll need to get a techie here - no way we can get SAINT to tell us much without some sort of access key. Before we go back to report we'll camp here and map the facility. Look for anything useful to take back. Our Legion will be very pleased. In the meantime..." he cleared his voice and directed himself to SAINT "Tell us all declassified information about this facility. I am a high-ranking visitor, my subordinate will arrive shortly with my access code. Give me information verbally in chronological order."
"Welcome, guest. The Victoria Island facility was opened by Morpheus Labs 307, 056 days ago - and that's how long we've gone without a safety incident! At Morpheus Labs, your comfort and security are important to us. Please listen to the following safety requirements while you wait for your escort..."
The Beneficiarius twitched his ears in amused irritation. "We may as well set camp now, sounds like it'll be a while."