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This story is No. 9 in the series "The Military Option". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: How do you describe what happened in Wyoming?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Buffy-CenteredbatzulgerFR711,3141103,80124 Jul 1324 Jul 13Yes
"Good afternoon. My name is Captain Summers and I would like to thank you for attending this meeting.

"You were requested to come to this briefing due to either you or your personnel's encounters with the extraterrestrial creatures we have designated as the 'Hunters'. This includes the most recent action in Wyoming, as well as the Fort Huachuca incident in 2002, the Los Angeles incident in 1997, and the Nicaragua incident of 1987.

"This organization, Training and Procurement Facility 7, is tasked with dealing with acts of extreme biological warfare. We take this to include macro-sized attacks as well as micro-sized. Alien invasion counts as macro-sized in our planning.

"We have had difficulties in determining the goals and technologies that the Hunters have used, because of self destruct systems integrated into their equipment. This has changed.

"We know of Hunter incursions dating back to at least the 17th century. Up until the Wyoming incident these incursions have consisted of from one to at the most six Hunters being seen at anyone time. The Wyoming incident consisted of at least twenty. It is difficult to get a full count due to the damage that was inflicted on their encampment.

"At the moment we have in our possession all twenty of the sets of the remains plus their equipment. In addition we have gained samples of another type of extraterrestrial life-form. This one being a form pack or herd hunter.

"At this time I would like to describe our extant knowledge of these lifeforms.

"First the Hunters as shown in illustration 1. They are a bipedal race standing between 2.1 and 2.7 meters in height and massing between 150-250 kilos. They are oxygen breathing and prefer an atmospheric content of 23%. Normal Earth concentration is 20.5%, therefore they must wear respirators for optimum physical performance. They are adapted to a very hot climate as they have no real body hair or fat deposits to act as blubber. It is not immediately clear what section of the animal kingdom they fit in. They are capable of some thermal regulation, but no organ like the hypothalamus has yet to be found. There have been no structures identified as either primary or secondary genitalia. They have skin very similar to a reptiles and facial features that seem closer to an arthropods. Notably the mandibles as seen in detail in illustration 2.

"They are quite muscular and agile, and are capable of leaping great distances horizontally and vertically. They are easily able to lift the weight of a full grown man and carry it one handed while climbing a tree with the other. They can run at speeds of close to 40 kilometers an hour also carrying that level of mass.

"In terms of senses, analysis of their eyes and technology revealed that they see in a thermal sense. Much like that of a pit viper they track their prey by body heat. This sense is quite acute however their eyes are not used to focusing through the different density of Earth's atmosphere compared to their own.

"That brings us to the helmet as I have here. It is manufactured of a unique alloy with some very interesting characteristics. It contains a compressor to increase to levels of Oxygen in the air, a humidifier to moisten it, an impressive set of optical filters which can compensate their vision as well as provide vision in several other spectra, and finally, what appears to be an audio recording system. There is also a sighting system that appears to tie into this shoulder mounted plasma launcher.

"We have gained a great deal of information from their technology as one of the items we have recovered appears to be some form of interstellar cargo vessel. This vessel is quite large and was the probable means of transport for all the Hunters as well as the second life-form. At the moment the vessel currently designated US Army Vessel Dutch's Payback...Sorry sir, the name being stored at a classified location until General Schaefer says otherwise.

"The majority of their gear is constructed of that unknown alloy and powered by ultra-compact radioisotope thermoelectric generators. That's right, all of their powered equipment is nuclear. They are using Polonium 210 as the energetic element and are capable of drawing off around 95% of the emitted heat as electric power, apparently by using an advanced form of thermionic converter whatever that is...

"Yes sir, no editorializing. The generator is contained in the left gauntlet assembly and is designed to self-destruct if needed. Probably to prevent reverse engineering by prey species...Oops?

"The main harness consists of the body armor and the cloaking device emitters, along with holsters, and pouches and cases for equipment and tools. The armor is rigid plates covering the neck and throat and act as a socket for the helmet mounting. The rest of the body has trauma plates over what we believe are the critical wound zones and a electromagnetically rigidized netting which is quite able to slow bullet impacts. The emitters are worked into the mesh as well. Using the majority of the power produced by the RTG they are some how able to bend light around the Hunter providing functional invisibility. We have however, determined by field research that they are still detectable in certain high and low frequencies in the near visible light spectrum.

"This cloaking device is also vulnerable to immersion so water cannons would truly ruin their day.

"I have mentioned a second life-form. We have determined, with assistance from the Rabid Wolf Pack Control Section of the US Fish and Wildlife service's scientific specialist, that this second form is not native to the same planet that the Hunter's are from. These second forms that we have started calling 'Battle-Axes'. They are carnivorous pack hunters that are functionally blind, navigating instead by sonar. In addition they are dramatically photo-phobic. Light will make them back off. They can get quite large, with the biggest showing up around as massive as a compact car. They are strong, fast and tough, but they are fortunately not bulletproof. We think we got nearly all of them, but we still have a team in Wyoming hunting down strays. We do have two live ones in captivity and they are not happy with us.

"Our current belief is that the Battle-Axes are used as cattle by the Hunters. This was determined by cooked chunks of Battle-Axe in the Hunter encampment.

"One of the interesting things about the Wyoming incident was that there was no response to the deaths of so many Hunters. Normally, more Hunters appear and remove the bodies and all technology. This was not the case in this incident. Our current belief is that the Hunters in Wyoming were here illegally. As the Battle-Axes are carnivores which would be quite happy to eat humans, and as we believe the main usage of Earth is as a game preserve by the majority of Hunter society, letting the Battle-Axes loose on Earth would be an attack against their tourism industry.

"Strictly speaking, we believe that the Hunters killed in Wyoming were all criminals, guilty of illegal ranching and quite possibly poaching as well. As we are the game animals to the Hunters, would they really expect us to fight back so effectively?

"Our current mission is to consolidate the research on the vehicles, equipment and lifeforms. We have all research being done in extremely well shielded rooms so that any EM or radioactive signal can not be traced to their locations. When we have more information we will have another briefing, and maybe then we can come up with a plan to kick their Great Green and Yellow Hunter butts off our planet...Yes sir, no editorializing..."


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