Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Battle Cattle Aftermath

Progress continues!

Albeit not on Deep Seven. We've hit a few new snags there. If anyone has been checking up on this you may note I have neglected it for quite awhile now, my apologies. After much argument I have finally received a stamp of acceptability from #0 to post this selectively fictionalized account.

First there is a small matter of background. Arketer Labs has from it's founding made a policy of discretely recruiting some of the finest minds in the world- before they become famous and thus much more conspicuous to excuse the absence of from polite society. We're quite tolerant of eccentricity but do have to refrain from taking on the odd recruit who fails for psychiatric reasons.

Such was the case of one Mr. Cooper. Exceptionally intelligent ,Mr. Cooper simultaneously scored very highly for malignant misanthropy which he expressed with a PETA-on-steroids perspective. Over the course of their his vetting process we learned of his clandestine efforts to release animals from laboratory studies- ranging from sleep studies to infectious disease research- on to much more troubling attempts to poison the meat and dairy supplies of grocery stores and restaurants.

Their recruitment was canceled, though an effort was made by the recruiter to advise Cooper towards more productive enterprises. Post graduation, the now-Doctor Cooper elected to vanish and for a great deal of time his whereabouts were unknown, not that we were paying any particular attention.

That was, until the Battle Cattle outbreak.

I would note that I personally have nothing against genetically modified foods as a concept. Indeed the field has tremendous potential for tending to the problem of world hunger, though that potential is largely wasted by companies such as Monsanto who use it solely to get richer and make farmers their economical gimps. That said I think we can all agree that genetically modifying food to bite back is a terrible idea.

Most of us anyway. It would seem at some point Dr. Cooper had it pointed out to him that if Cows, Chickens etc. were simply released into the wild wholesale there is a fair chance all that would result is the extinction of these cultivated species as they are torn apart by the more competitive wildlife. Thus Mr. Cooper bent his scruples regarding the usage of animals in pursuit of restoring the bovine breed to an imagined wild ideal.

Making use of an inherited personal fortune as well as funding from the more dramatic fringes of Greenpeace he, along with a company of true-believer personality cultists, established a crude but effective facility for tinkering with the genome of beef to shape what I would call an utterly new breed of beast that remained herd-oriented but with enhanced intelligence, horns, development cycle and an aggression level that rendered them utterly murderous and in a darkly comical twist mostly carnivorous.

Dr. Cooper's Cows were battle-ready from birth, which played a major role in how his plan was to unfold. Records show his people discretely tampered with the pregnancies of 30 meat and dairy cows, treating them with a surprisingly advanced retro-viral cocktail that reshaped the fetal calf into his new monster.

This did create complications for the mothers of these calfs, with many having difficulty in delivering. Regrettably the precise cause for this was not apparent to the attending veterinarians until they reached into a bovine uterus only to pull back a stump, at which point the calf would inevitably rip it's way free. Dr. Cooper had designed them in the confidence that the calves would be able to kill the 'human oppressors' and take over the present herd thus providing the species with 'natural independence'.

You may note that we are well into 'utterly mad science' territory. As is often the case with such, things went out of control quickly. Dr. Cooper's true believers were in place to observe the birth of the first calves and while initially thrilled with the gruesome end of the unfortunate veterinarians and other handlers were horrified to note that the Battle Cattle went out of their way to kill just about everything in the area, especially the unmodified bovines.

The plan further fell apart as Dr. Cooper assumed the surviving Battle Cattle would leave the area, which they did not. Instead they established a hierarchy amongst themselves via combat that resulted in considerable injuries and more than one fatality among the remaining calves. Fortunately for us all, they then stayed in the immediate area together to feed on the slain cows and human staff which enabled a responding militia to surround and take out the beasts with a tremendous amount of gunfire.

The local government, at an utter loss as to how this all happened, elected to suppress any reporting of it instead. Partially effective, this Mad Cow Disease outbreak still managed to catch the attention of a listening post for one of our facilities. With considerable discretion and fearing this was some manner of trap given the known enemies of Arketer Labs we did manage to find and capture one of Dr. Cooper's underlings, one of the observers of the initial 'birthing'.

I would personally count them every bit as insane as their leader but after what they saw and as wracked with guilt they were over the deaths of 'those poor gentle cows' they did prove surprisingly cooperative and provided the location of Dr. Cooper's facility, a de-commissioned slaughterhouse in the same country. The underling in question urged us to stop his former leader before 'The Release'.

The ever-humble CZSS squad 2 (Deus Deuces) was discreetly deployed alongside the now-internally-famous CZSS squad 8 (Crazy Eights) to secure the facility and prevent the mass-release of the Battle Cattle we were informed were being bred there.

Unfortunately, we were far too late. CZSS 8 and 2 arrived to find the Battle-Cattle  had been released but once again did not scatter to conquer the wilds so much as stay and kill everything in the area that is not them, which was in this case the near-entirety of Dr. Cooper's Cult.

With a bit of work it was determined that the Battle Cattle did not seem to recognize machinery as either alive nor a threat, thus 2 and 8 were able to explore the facility remotely- though in shifts so as to enable squad members to avoid being overwhelmed at the excessive amounts of blood and gore. In this manner it was a simple manner to secure a copy of all available records and research data from the facility's computers- most of which were not so much as password-protected. Much more difficult, however, was how to handle the discovery of two survivors- an adult and an infant in a hardened room of the facility.

Ultimately we resolved to secure the roof of the facility and cut our way to the entrance of the panic room. The Battle Cattle were far more agile than your average cow but lacked rooftop access or any real ability to climb, leaving it the perfect staging point for a rescue attempt.

The rescue went well up until the panic room was opened, at which point the smell of the occupants- trapped within for days as they had been- unexpectedly drove the Battle Cattle herd into a frenzy. The entire mass charged into the building, many wounding each other in a blood-crazed attempt to assault the survivors and rescue team. The rescue team was able to evacuate the infant, but found the barriers in place insufficient to stop the onslaught. The team was recalled to the roof and the panic room sealed just in time.

Unfortunately the assault of the Cattle on the door of the panic room damaged the locking mechanism, effectively jamming it shut. When the remaining survivor was informed of this, she reportedly appeared relieved- before screaming at the rescue team to take her daughter to safety. Attempts at reason proved ineffective and had to be cut short when the survivor claimed to have activated the facility's self-destruction system. Though there was no record of such a system in the recovered data it was decided to err on the side of caution and the rescue team was airlifted away from the premises. Five minutes later, the modified slaughterhouse facility exploded, taking the creatures- which had crowded into the building in their frenzy, with it.

Going over the retrieved data, including security camera footage, we were able to confirm no Battle Cattle survived. We additionally learned that this was Dr. Cooper's final act. The development of these creatures had utterly expended his resources and although the bad Doctor's field test at the ranch went poorly he was in no position to work out the flaws. These details seem to have caused something of a mental break, leading him to release the remaining creatures personally before word of the fate of the cows at the ranch could spread among his underlings.

He was the first casualty. Fortunately for his daughter, what might be considered his common-law wife anticipated his actions and sealed herself and the child in the panic room thus escaping the carnage. At least until our ill-fated rescue attempt.

Every effort has been undertaken to ensure what remains could be found were interred respectfully, if rather anonymously.

This event has left us with a bit of aftermath in the form of the very young girl, the very name of whom was lost along with the facility. Her parents were not the wisest, but the child is surely blameless and whatever might be said of the Mad Dr. Cooper- he was certainly a genius. His work will be put to far better use in the future.

And this leads us to my resolution to adopt the child as my own. I will of course need help in this endeavor and have arranged for it in the somewhat more aggressive reformation of 'Dr.' Retekra Frodd who I have basically ordered 'reset' with an extensive... Well, we'll call it a reformatting.

Complaints have been registered with the ethics board and I do understand your points of view, but would challenge you all to get the individual who was Retekra Frodd to agree they were better off as a ranting egomaniac out of touch with reality, incapable of so much as the correct usage of a caps-lock.

He's seen the videos of his previous self and the writings both on the wall and in the short-lived blog from when Retekra was still capable of completing an entire three sentences before the inarticulate screaming fits.

Please note additionally that while I have a Daughter my work performance will not wane. Given the projects I am part of neither Arketer Labs nor my new ward shall want for my time. That said, I do intend to curtail some of my side projects, such as this blog.

Which is to say, I won't be writing for it very often indeed. It will not be dead however. Not exactly.

That wraps up this report-up-to-the-moment, if anyone has been checking in on this regularly I hope you can understand why I have been rather too preoccupied to maintain the previous update schedule.

Progress continues!

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