A Wild New World 2:
Demon Advances

by Fur and Fantasy
PG for Gen
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file

"General, the scouts can not find any of the broadcast stations," A fluffy Artic Fox vixen turned to look at the large silver-furred Wolf in charge. "Do we respond?"

"Yes," Silvercrest Garend nodded. "Respond in binary, give all of the mathematical sequences and their answers."

"How far into the Eckio sequence should I go?" she asked as she began to compile the transmission they would send back six hours after the initial contact. "They sent the first seven."

"Twenty-five places," he decided.

"Any changes?" Silvercrest Talia asked as she came down into the command center after grabbing a meal.

"Scouts still haven't found any of the arrays," he supplied. "We're replying to the transmission."

"I don't like it," her tail swished in agitation. "The initial survey didn't find anything like this that didn't blast our UAV's out of the sky. Should we call Jaysa's team back? He is the one to handle this kind of thing."

"Wait until we have some idea of what it is," he said, shaking his head. "We have other FCS teams available, after all... besides, this should probably be more of a military situation. Like you said, we didn't find anything like this that didn't blast the UAV's out of the sky. At least the current set of them aren't down yet."

"True," she nodded, still clearly unhappy.

"The transmission has changed, sirs," the vixen said a few minutes after they had replied. "It seems to be a hailing call in a wide range of local languages."

"Put it on the speaker and get a linguist up here," Garend ordered, his ears twitching at the words in languages he didn't know. Even so, he could pick up when it changed dialect.

"Wait, that one sounded familiar," Talia offered, when one went by that sounded similar to the dialect they'd picked up for the first-contact mission.

"Computer suggests a linguistic link between the languages," the vixen offered, as the lean Cheetah they'd called in arrived.

"What's up?" He asked, only to have his ears flick in surprise. "Yes, that one was a close relative of what we got from the nearest landmass. Play from the beginning, please."

The Vixen nodded, restarting the recorded transmission. He listened, considering all the languages used. Many of them were related to each other already, some of them more closely than others. But all of them seemed to be connected to the languages they knew of these days.

"We'd need somebody who's a much more refined specialist to be sure, but I'd say if we send a response, it should be in the dialect used for the FCS team," he said. "Some of the languages are probably ancient, dead ones, but a few of them are just dialects from a few decades ago, I think. Mostly pronunciation issues, so we should be able to speak."

"Good," Talia nodded. "Can you work out what it says, or should I get Greenway and her spells up here?"

"I can tell you now," he said easily. "It's a series of greetings - hello, good day, the usual sort of things. I'd say they're shotgunning it, hoping to find one we speak that they do too."

"All right," Garend nodded towards a fluffy, soft-looking Sugar Glider female that would seem more at home on his dinner plate than as one of his trusted command staff. "Tami, work up a response and send it."

"Yes Sir," she nodded. "Preferred tone?"

"We hear and understand you," he decided. "Neutral. They're trying to hide from us while making contact, and doing it well."

"Noted," the Sugar Glider nodded, typing up a message quickly.

"We understand your message. Where are you broadcasting from - we would like to communicate directly if possible. Acceptable, Generals?"

"Yes," he nodded even as the rest of the mission COs gathered in the command center.

She sent the message out, and then waited for a reply. After just a few minutes, it came.

"Communication acceptable." A string of coordinates followed, identifying three locations each five minutes from the base by hovercraft.

"Get a drone there," Garend ordered, not worrying about exactly who was at that station at the moment. "Lady Greenway," he turned to the ancient Blue Macaw that still looked in her prime. "I want a mage with the team. Someone that can pull them out if it's a trap."

"That means I must go," Alan Greenway said simply. "My apprentice can teleport herself and one other, but not a team."

"Very well," he let a decidedly displeased expression cross his face. "You will be all right with the cold?" he asked more softly with honest concern for the tropical race.

"I will be fine Silvercrest," she put a powerfully clawed hand on his shoulder in assurance. "My magic keeps me warm."

Very well," he nodded. "Tami, can you handle this, or do you want to call Jaysa back? This is his specialty more than anyone we have."

"Sancros Bonnie is still on site," Tami thought over her roster of first contact specialists and diplomats. "She and her pack will do well."

"With magical backup, that should be sufficient," Talia nodded, though it was clear she still didn't like this.

"I will not let them be harmed," Lady Alan Greenway said.

"All three locations are empty," the Artic Fox vixen called out to them. "All are flat snowfields with bedrock under them."

"Send a response with the nearest coordinates," Talia ordered. "Tami, get your people ready to go, and tell them to be careful."

"Of course," the Sugar Glider nodded before turning to go let the Wolves know to gear up.

Bonnie, Alpha of the Sancros pack, kept her eyes and ears on the readouts of the advanced sensor arrays the hovercraft she was in, the first of three in the convoy. At a rendezvous location only five minutes out from Fort Maric with someone they couldn't locate, everyone was on edge. The Fort was ramped on full alert, and if she was honest, the only reason she was out here without a full forward strike force from Cyros was the four hundred and some year old mage in the middle hovercraft.

As much as Lady Greenway played her power down, Bonnie and her packmates had seen it in action before, and it was a decidedly comforting feeling to have her along.

She saw two blips on the sensors, two aircraft coming in towards the rendezvous point. One of them touched down, the other staying in the air.

Their contact and an escort? Or bait and an ambush? They were being pretty obvious for an ambush force though. Four figures disembarked, one person-sized and three about twice that, much bulkier as well. A few seconds later and they were in visual range; looking out, Bonnie saw three tall, hulking black figures standing in the relatively gentle snow, gathered in a standard defensive array around the fourth man, with the two aircraft waiting nearby yet.

"We're being hailed," Aaron, one of the betas, told her, flipping on the radio.

"We are ready to make contact," came a low, sibilant voice that sounded perfectly practiced, if overly formal, with the language they'd been told to use. "We are willing to send one of our Phoenix away if you would prefer; we need the other for our return."

"Having the Phoenix leave would be appreciated," Bonnie said as her small convoy came to a stop not far from where their ship had landed. As the hatch opened, she saw the airborne heavy fighter move away and turned her attention to the diplomat and his bodyguard. "Camie, Lance, with me," she nodded to her best warrior and her alpha male before walking up to within a body length of the nearest opponent.

"I am Bonnie, leader of the Sancros Pack of Fort Maric," she stated clearly. "Lance is my second in command," she motioned towards the strong, stocky tri-colored male Wolf.

The diplomat stepped forward, the three bodyguards moving to let him forward.

"I am Cerexis, Speaker of the Antarctos Hive," the tall, lean man said, his black robes flapping in the ice-cold wind. "These are Baphom, Terix, and Tarrak, my Guards," he said, indicating the three towering warriors, their armor looking like massive crosses between beetle and lizard. They didn't have any apparent weapons, but Bonnie was certain that their armor probably held enough firepower to handle most any threat to their charge.

Or to wipe out the lot of them, if it wasn't for Lady Greenway being here. Once more she was grateful for the mage's presence on these missions.

"Greetings," Baphom spoke, his voice deep and resonant within his armor.

"Greetings," Bonnie said. "Our guard is Camie. We are pleased to speak with another advanced society here. It did not seem as if there was one."

"There is only one other we know of," Baphom said briefly, silencing when Cerexis raised a hand.

"There was one other," he corrected. "We do not know if they still exist, it has been many thousands of years since we saw them last. Apologies for our precautions, but our experience with technologically advanced species here have been difficult. Where did you come from?"

"Our homeland is called Cyros," she began. "We arrived here by a device that was buried in the ice of this land."

"Ah - the Relic," he nodded. "We were aware of it, but we never figured out how it would function, or its purpose. We weren't sure if it was some manner of weapon left from the old wars. What are your people called?"

"The people of Cyros are of many bloodlines, each with it's own racial name," she began smoothly. "The three of us are Wolves," she pronounced it without translating it, then repeated the name in the best translation the language they were using had. "What do you call your kind?"

"We are Demons," he said, proud of the title despite its poor connotations in the language they knew. "We have been since before the Fall, in this Hive and others throughout Ayrth," he explained. "Are you cold here? We could establish a shelter from the wind, if you wish."

"That would be nice," Bonnie smiled slightly. "Have you kept in contact with the other hives?" she asked as the Demon guards sent a brief broadcast. The remaining aircraft rose up, the floor of it seeming to twist up to extend the four sides of it as the engines shifted to direct heat inside the structure.

"Of course," he nodded, stepping inside to show it was safe. "Are your probes the robots that have been exploring Ayrth?"

"Yes," she nodded as they joined him inside the pleasantly warm structure. "We do like to know what the world looks like and what kind of technology and population seems present. There is little point to entering a world that is already too full of people."

"Understandable, but I hope you understand our concerns though. There was a time when robots like that were meant for military reconnaissance. The robots have been kept in quarantine until we could understand their purpose fully. Some were damaged in capture, and we have kept their parts." He motioned them to sit in chairs designed for comfort during long negotiations around a small table.

"We do understand," she assured him easily as she and Lance sat down with him. "There can be very little difference between the two kinds of reconnaissance. How much contact do you have with the more primitive societies we have detected?"

"Practically none, at least on an organized level," he said easily, taking a seat as well. "Our involvement in the Fall, as well as our name, has meant that we are often feared by them - we've come down in superstition as destroyers and marauders," he chuckled lowly. "Of course, all sides came down like that. Occasionally, one of us will get restless or have the idea of trying to set up a small kingdom outside and go to contact them, but that usually only lasts a few decades. Pseudo-godhood only lasts so long before boredom or rebellion sets in."

"How long ago was the Fall?" Bonnie asked with real curiosity. "What form did it take?"

"Ironically, one we'd disregarded centuries before," the Cerevix admitted. "The Fall was approximately one hundred thousand years ago. It began with a war between our creator-nations. Perhaps I should start by explaining just what our nature is? Name aside, we are not creatures from Hell," he chuckled lowly.

It took her a lingering moment to place the word with no translation in her world, then she nodded. "If I were to guess, I would go with either genetic construction, cyborg or some combination of them. Am I close?"

"Precisely right, actually," he said easily. "Our creators made us by taking human stock and genetically engineering us for improved reaction times, strength, intelligence, and other traits. From there, we were modified with cybernetic attachments. We've refined the process since the Fall, but we are the most successful of the C-G creations that fought in the Last War."

"Do you know how it is that several hives of Demons survived, while the human civilizations did not?"

"They did, after a fashion," he explained. "The locals you have undoubtedly seen are their descendants, and we have reason to believe that some enclaves still exist, albeit extremely well secured. We survived better than they did because of simple durability. When you can replace vital organs as easily as we can, it's easier to recover, and many of us were built with enhanced radiation shielding during the war, so when the Djinn were unleashed with their nuclear armaments, we survived better than the nations that were attacked in the conflagration that followed."

"A hundred thousand years," she murmured, still processing a number over five times longer than all of recorded history for any world under Alliance control. "Have you recorded how your society has changed since you were created?"

"Some," he told her after a moment. "I don't have access to that information at the moment, however. We could make an exchange of information, perhaps? Some of your history for some of ours? It would take some time to prepare a proper database for you, most likely, but we have the resources."

"I believe that is a fine idea, and an excellent way to get to know each other better," Bonnie nodded. "Any level of alliance or understanding does require some knowledge of the other side. Like you, it will take us some time to put together a reasonable history package for you. In the meantime, what would you like to talk about?"

"Your intentions for our world, would be a good start," he said easily. "It would be good to know what your plans are, and how we can help each other."

"We are looking for land to colonize, people to trade with and allies to strengthen our odds when something nasty shows up," she listed out simply.

"And your plans for the natives, of our level as well as those you expected to find?" He asked her. "We're familiar with colonial groups."

"Alliance, if it works out. We try for mutually ignoring each other when it doesn't," she said. "Out initial reports indicated that between seventy-five and ninety-five present of the world is uninhabited. Even accounting for the Hives we did not detect, there is a sizable portion of this world that does not have people. While we are looking to colonize, we are not interested in starting a war, even a one-sided one, over it. It's simply not worth the resources."

"Or the difficulty of bringing an invasion force through your Gate," he guessed. "You should bear in mind that there are reasons it is uninhabited. The Last War has left remnants... much of the fallout has faded, but there is still quite a bit there, and the flora and fauna have grown much more vicious. You are welcome to settle where you can, as far as we're concerned, just understand what you're in for."

"Thank you for the warning," she inclined her head slightly. "We were aware of the radiation levels before coming, and suspected the cause. If you would indicate the territories your Hives control, we will avoid building major bases nearby."

"We will indicate the regions, though at the moment you do not seem to be going anywhere that will be problematic," he told her. "We will also include what we know of old strongholds of the others. You will want to be very careful about exploring the Dragons' Graveyards."

"Thank you. If they were your opponents, I expect whatever might be left would be extremely dangerous to stumble into," she acknowledged. "Do you know if any of the current human strongholds are near a Dragon Graveyard?"

He seemed to think for a minute, considering the question.

"Belzen's Holding, in what we used to call Appalachia," he said. "They have been salvaging what they could from one - the Dragons were very much like we are, though with arguably higher quality components."

That raised an eyebrow. "Yet you survived and they did not?"

"Quantity, and preparedness," he pointed out. "Also, the Dragons were not nearly as intelligent and adaptable as we were, even then. Our creator-nations had already been prepared for nuclear strikes centuries before; the shelters had been converted to our production facilities. The Dragons were made by people who build new facilities, which weren't hardened against nuclear strikes. Compound that with a hundred-to-one population advantage, and we have survived far better than they."

"Understandable. What of the Djinn that launched the nuclear strikes?"

"Destroyed in the process of launching them," he shrugged. "As far as we can tell, at any rate. They were built by second-world nations that had nothing but money to throw at the project, and dwindling amounts of that. They were built out of sub-standard, first-gen parts, with minimal genetic engineering thanks to religious restrictions in their part of the world. The nukes were the best weapons those nations had - they just used the Djinn as delivery boys."

"It seems an expensive way to deliver a bomb," Bennie mused. "How much of your population saw your creators?" she asked curiously.

"It was, but they didn't see much for other options at the time, I suspect," he said. "It was a desperation move by countries that saw a chance and took it. As for our population... none of us have seen them, in person, but most of us are familiar with them from our creation. The oldest of our number are only a few centuries old, as far as I am aware - any older have edited their records in the datafiles, not impossible. We are still manufacturing more of our kind," he added, guessing at the point of her question. "As a matter of fact, if we establish trade, we will likely be interested in genetic samples from other worlds in your Alliance."

"It is not out of the question. So even the augmentation has a finite lifespan," Bonnie nodded, a bit disappointed. "Do you have good baseline for how long a human could live without augmentation, with technology that limited disease?"

"Their lifespan typically measured one hundred and fifty, one hundred and eighty-seven for the oldest individual, with full medical care. He may have made his second century, but it would have taken a great deal of medical extension of his life that wasn't available during the War," he told her. "We have found that replacing organs as they fail can do quite a bit for extending life, but there comes a point where it's just not worth it any more."

"At some point you become fully machine," she nodded in understanding. "I have heard that some people are psychologically ill-suited to have lives much beyond the average for their race, while others could function, theoretically, forever, will few ill effects. You clearly have technology we would be interested in trading for, and it sounds like we likely have things you are interested in as well."

"I am certain," he nodded. "Perhaps you would be interested in a token trade?" He offered, signaling to Baphom. "What would be of interest to you? Information, medicine, wealth, armor, or weaponry?" He asked her, clearly keeping a close eye on her responses and interest.

"Thank you. All are of eventual interest," she said, a curious look for the guard who apparently had samples that were not visible yet. "However information on this world and medical technology are of primary interest to us."

Baphom tapped panels on his armor, and they slid open. He pulled out a small metal cylinder, and a datapad. He opened another, apparently by accident, and she caught a glimpse of a small display case, and a glimmer of exquisitely cut gems inside it.

She was absolutely certain that Cerevix was watching her reaction to the 'slip' as his guard closed the panel and put the two samples onto the table, though she wasn't as sure what he thought of her lack of real interest in it. While she had no doubt they had value and would eventually come into play, personally and professionally she didn't care that much.

She also realized that the guard's armor had to be at least half a foot thick, at least in places. Bonnie reached out to the datapad, pleased to find that it was clearly labeled in the local language they were using and turned it on.

Looking through it, she realized that it was a field guide to the flora and fauna on the planet ... current species, rather than old ones, though each had a 'lineage' section that seemed to be locked up.

The demo-version, it seemed.

"That is a guide you will likely find quite useful," Cerevix told her. "A collection of plants and animals, and their best uses, as our Hives know them. It also includes a map of the most dangerous areas, and why they are dangerous - background radiation, Dragon remains, or local creatures. I suggest you stay clear of anything marked in black on the map - that represents an area Demonic scouts and explorers have never returned from, whether because they found paradise or death."

"A most useful collection," she nodded, definitely impressed.

"The medical device is what we call an auto-surgeon - it contains thirteen charges of nanites, each charge sufficient to perform six hours of basic surgery, such as an appendectomy, sealing internal injuries, or other basic procedures. You would have to key it to the proper 'baseline' for your species before using it, however. There are instructions included, of course, in the language we are speaking."

While she wanted the guidebook far more than the nanites for it's immediate usefulness, she knew the reverse engineering possible with the medical technology was far more valuable in the long run.

Lance leaned over to look over the guidebook and whispered in her ear. "Guidebook has my vote. We're going to trade with them more for the longer-range things."

"The nanites, do they do well in the field?" Bonnie asked even as she nodded to her second in command. "For emergency surgery without a medical center, or are they better suited for the more controlled environment of a medical center?"

"We have refined them for field-use," he said easily. "In a medical center, we are as likely to replace as to repair. In battle, you don't have that luxury."

"Very true," she said thoughtfully. It wasn't the kind of priority they had, though she didn't know many warriors who wouldn't take cybernetics over death. "I believe the knowledge of this world will be valued the most," she smiled. "I did not come expecting to make a trade or offer, however, I do have supplies in the hovercraft to make a similar offer to you. Information, medicine, wealth, armor, or weaponry?" she offered in exactly the same order he have offered to her.

"Same for same," he suggested with a smile. "Information about you would be most welcome, and let us be more prepared for our next meeting. A linguistic lexicon, perhaps?"

"Linguistics and cultural primer," she smiled and nodded before accepting a small radio from Camie. "Bonnie Sancros to HQ, over," she paused as they picked up and replied. "Please put together a lingual and cultural primer, transmit it to my craft." She paused again as her request was processed and accepted. "It will be a few minutes. In the meantime, would you mind telling us a little more about yourselves, your culture?" she turned her attention back to Cerevix.

"Where should I start?" He asked her easily. "Our history, current situation, leadership structure, something else?"

"A basic cultural and leadership structure would be useful," she decided. "It does help to know where the person you are talking to fits into society."

"That's complicated," he admitted. "Are you familiar with communist theory?"

It took a bit of mental digging, but Lance eventually spoke, though he was clearly less than certain of the definition. "Where the government owns the land and resources and uses them, and the population, to best produce what is needed?"

"Basically," he nodded. "It was the system our creators operated under, and we have kept it going. It works well, when your people are built to think of the Hive before the individual. We occasionally have an aberration develop, but they can usually be re-routed into exploration or scouting... a field where their individuality becomes an asset to us."

"How do you select your leaders?" Bonnie asked, understanding and agreeing with what he'd said. It was not that different from how a Wolfpack worked.

"The Directors are chosen by seniority and knowledge," he explained. "Leaders in a group in the field are assigned by expertise. For example, right now I'm in charge of this particular group. If a fight were to start, Baphom would take command, as my most experienced guard. We can shift command structures quickly, since we're all networked together."

"Extremely efficient," Bonnie said with honest appreciation. "I am curious though. You clearly have a technological and organizational advantage on the human civilizations we have seen. Why have you not expanded?"

"Little interest in it, for the most part. The Directors have never made a priority of it." He thought for a moment, then continued. "It interferes with our communications as well, stretching out through areas across the background radiation. We can get messages between Hives, but a Hive that spreads out too far would have a hard time maintaining communications among its members."

"That can be a real hassle," she nodded in understanding and acceptance as most eyes turned to the door when someone knocked firmly.

It opened without a command, admitting the Wolf with the datapad.

"Your primer?" Cerevix guessed. "In a language we have access to, I hope?"

"Yes, and in the language we are using now," Bonnie nodded as the datapad was handed over. "It should prove helpful when we meet again."

"Quite," he said after a moment to consider it. "At your base, or would you prefer a neutral location again?"

"We will host, but in a neutral location," she offered.

"Very well. Send a broadcast on the same frequency you sent your last reply when you need to give us a time and location."

"We will," she said as she stood with Lance to leave. "Until we meet again."

"Until then," he nodded, waiting until they were out before converting the shelter back into the aircraft it had started as and taking off.

A Wild New World 2: Demon Advances

PG for Gen

28 KB, Story is Complete, Series is in Progress
Written December 12, 2008 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann

Setting: Ayrth, Gre'and Alliance

Contents: Furry. Gen.

Pairings: None

Blurb: Shortly after the first set of contact teams leave Maric Fort to meet with the locals of Ayrth, a communications attempt by a society at least as advanced as they are sets things into overdrive.

Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.

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