XI – Curiouser And Curiouser

The Smelly on the ground was certainly a head scratcher. Something about the dismembered corpse didn’t seem right at all, as the body appeared to be out of proportion when compared to what we already knew about smelly’s nasty relatives. He was smaller somehow and less threatening than the giant versions we were used to.

Also the glowing vegetation around us gave everything a sickly green color. Not appetizing at all. The Doc was the one to put his finger on what was bothering me.

“Notice something odd about our dismembered friend?”

I stared at the corpse real hard. It was the thorough once over that made me start.

“He’s smaller. He’s not a full grown Smelly.”

Doc shook his head.

“Try again.”

Try as I might, I was stumped as to what he was seeing. Doc waited a few seconds for my response. Seeing that I was standing there with an expression somewhat like that of a confused steer, he harumphed.

“This is another species of Smelly! The size of the torso tells me it was only about six and one half feet tall as compared to the nine feet of his relatives. Also, it has no tail. In addition to everything else, this one stood straighter than the other ones who were bent slightly forward. I’d dearly love to get a look at the rest of our friend here. Chances are we’ll find more anatomical differences as well.”

Well, the Doc got his wish.

Walking down the tunnel toward us was Philos and two scouts, carrying what looked like a big load between them. A closer look revealed the load to be small Smelly’s missing parts.

Acteus glared at Philos with a look that promised nasty things later on. I couldn’t fault Acteus as no one was supposed to walk out of view of the rest of us. Still, I wanted to know what was so important that Philos would break discipline the way he had. He could have endangered us all with his stunt.

Philos managed to speak first.

“Boss! Look what we found! The rest of little Smelly!”

I fixed him with a basilisk glare.

“Don’t ever get out of sight again or I’ll kill you myself. And keep your voice down. Smelly’s butcher could still be fairly close by.”

Philos nodded as he and his companions dumped their prize in front of us. Sure enough, there were two arms, two legs, and one nasty looking head. All were in proportion to the piece we already had, so it seemed that the Doc’s theory had been born out.

Doc seemed perfectly happy with his catch until he looked at the head. I thought he was going to cry. Not a pretty picture when the guy was six foot four and one hundred ninety pounds. Instead, it turned out it was anger at what he had, or had not, found.

As we crowded around to get a closer look, the reason for Doc’s upset became clear. The simplest soldier could have recognised the problem immediately. The head cavity was minus a brain. Also, the head had a trap door sealing up said cavity.

Doc shook his head in perplexity.

“This can’t be right! It’s impossible! Illogical! Heads don’t have trap doors!”

I smiled at his confusion.

“Well, it seems this one does. Got an explanation on howcome?”

Doc glared at me.

“Unlikely as it may seem, it appears that our friend here is not natural. Like Athena’s Owl, somebody built him. Don’t ask me why as I haven’t a clue.”

An artifical Smelly. What other little surprises were waiting for us?

Chapter XII

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 12:21 PM  Comments (1)  

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