An Entropia Universe Story
Errol checked his Sollomate Rubio one more time as he walked away from Camp Icarus. He was a new colonist, having just arrived from Earth, and nervous about what his new life was going to look like on Calypso. After all, the ads spoke of the wonders, the possibilities and the opportunities; the recruiters spoke of possible fame and fortune, but the training at Camp Amundson made it plain that it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. The flora was beautiful, but all of the planet’s fauna was hostile.
He walked through the Nawa Field that prevented vehicles from getting too close to the Camp and into the area known as the “parking lot”. Couldn’t imagine why, as there were roughly six Sleipnir jumpships all clustered in the area, along with several SUVs and cars. Although the CDF issued you a Valkyrie dune buggy when you landed, part of the incentive package, Errol hadn’t invested in the Premium package Omegaton offered at a discount when you move out this far from home. As he walked out, clad in the yellow jumpsuit that marked him as a new colonist, Errol wished he had reconsidered. Still, 700 PED is a lot of money when you’re trying to start a new life.
As he cleared the congested “parking lot”, he gasped at the view. The Icarus Plains stretched before him, the greens and reds of the grasses and trees vibrant in a Calypsian Summer. Actually, Errol wasn’t entirely sure what season it was; from the information packet, the temperature difference between summer and winter on Calypso was only ten degrees on average. Still, the colours were vibrant and the wind warm; and stretched out before him was a massive herd. He hit a few buttons on his Omegaton Digital Inventory System, which had been issued at Camp Amudson, and the Rubio digitized to be replaced with the Investafoe he had purchased at the camp. He scanned the first creature one he came to, being careful not to get too close. He had no idea if the creature was aggressive or not, and the large, bony head, framed like a leptoceratops with six eyes; violet skin that was scaley from what he could tell. It calmly munched on some grass.
“Caudatergus Puny,” he read aloud off the scanner. “Danger level is minimal. Good, don’t want to die on my first day here.” With a few button pushes, the Investafoe digitized and was replaced with his Rubio once again. The guide at Camp Icarus had stated that keeping the herd pruned was essential to keeping the Icarus Plain from being overpopulated; and the nature of Calypso meant that they were filtering in all the time. It was also apparently the primary food source for colonists. “I’ll have to ask the local biologists what the breeding cycle on these things are,” he commented as he hit the charging button on his rifle.
Taking careful aim, he squeezed the trigger and a lance of energy hit the Caudatergus in the side. The creature screamed in pain and charged at him! Backpedaling, Errol wondered if it was a mistake shooting such a large creature with a rifle that couldn’t put it down in one shot. He continued firing at the Caud until its charge connected with Errol, the pain hitting him hard as he made an effort to keep firing. A second attack from the Caud hit him as well, and he thought he felt a rib crack under the pressure. This isn’t going well, he thought. The third time, he was ready, and deftly dodged an attempted bite. As he circled and dodged, he started to pant; he wasn’t used to having to handle things like this. When you hunted on Earth, it was either a kill, a miss, or you had to chase. This was like hunting an angry bull!
Finally, the Caud slowed down, sank to its knees, and closed its six eyes. In a way, Errol felt guilty for killing the creature, who to its credit was a simple grazer; but the colonists had to eat, and only a fraction of the population hunted food creatures. Most hunted the more dangerous predators that would hurt Colonists, or the local tribes of Feffoids, humanoid creatures that were roughly on par with Chimpanzees as far as anyone could tell, and were not shy about attacking human settlements. There was a more intelligent brand of Feffoid called a Maffoid, he had read, that had a village somewhere to the North, but they were dangerous only if you invaded their territory.
Using an extractor, he pulled the shrapnel from his charge shots, and a bottle of muscle oil. He deposited both in his ODIS. Then he hit a button on the extractor, and the carcass was digitized and teleported back to the food storage vault at Camp Icarus. From there, at least according to the guide, it would be processed and transported to any number of locations or cities across Calypso, to feed the Colonists in their various roles on the planet. Pulling out the Fast Aid Pack he had been issued, he quickly healed himself, feeling the rib mend and the bruises fade, the muscle aches dulling and then disappearing as the Chikara nanotech did its work.
Stretching the still-stiff muscles, he pulled his rifle back out and got back to work.