Here I am, out scavenging again, risking my life for junk, trying to do justice to the title of texplorer that was shoved on me six years ago.
What a colossal shame!
The fifth day of my second week-long expedition has already come and I’ve got nothing to show for it yet.
But, today I’m gonna catch something; perhaps a wireworm, a teen opticat, or maybe a limping magneticrab (healthy ones are furiously fast!) if I wander closer to a body of water.
Otherwise, I’ll just admit my uselessness and gather some immobile techforms on the last day as usual, so I don’t return to Mount Offline completely empty-handed.
No, better think big. Maybe I’ll wrangle a helibison and bring my first techbeast parts back home. Yeah, that would raise some eyebrows. But… nah, I won’t even try tackling a helibison. No skill and no cogs for that. I’ll probably stick to whatever I can capture with my net pole, or it’s just gathering Coulomb’s anemones, ion lilies, byteweed and the occasional lichenized transistor again.
But today, I hunt.
It’s been a few hours since I’m traversing that particularly quiet part of the Tech I chose to rest at last night. It’s fairly close to the Barren Trail that used to connect Mount Offline with the other settlements… when there were other settlements.
A sound interrupts my daydreaming and I make a quick mental note to suppress that habit of living in my head while out in the Tech. As I turn my gaze, I notice something.
There! Movement. I freeze where I stand and hope the technocreature hasn’t noticed me yet. I slowly turn my head towards a byteweed bush in the distance that just trembled.
Lucky! It’s a Faraday fox!
Hiding behind the bush, I can make out its quadrupedal body, the randomly spread LEDs on its back and that characteristic tail with its single, rotating white light, now unmoving and dark; a sign it’s not in an alerted state.
Suddenly, the creature turns around and three mechanical eyes fall on me. Yeah, three eyes mean it’s a Faraday fox alright, but now its tail has lit up and it’s running for it!
I give chase. Today it’s my lucky day. The fox runs towards the Barren Trail, so there’ll be less and less space to hide or slip away. I might actually do this!
The fox is fast and just large enough not to fit in my techling net pole. Hunting something big enough not to be considered a techling exhilarates me, but celebrations gotta wait because I’m gonna lose the fox if I don’t act fast.
I take out one of my EW batteries to use as a pulse grenade. A single battery holds enough juice for my electroweak pulse bracer to protect me from the Tech’s invisible nasties for a day, but a Faraday fox in the bag is countless times more valuable.
Something inside me stops me from throwing that EWP grenade. It’s too strong; it might disable the fox altogether. Trying not to take my eyes from the spinning light on the fox’s tail, I take out the half-used battery from my bracer and replace it with the fresh one I was about to throw. I arm the battery with one hand and… I almost stumble on something. Junk!
I regain my pace as fast as I can; I’ve lost half a step but now I’m ready to throw. I just hope the battery I’ve been using since yesterday still has enough juice to disorient the fox without… killing it, I guess.
I throw and… it’s a hit! The fox slows down, it’s tail-light goes black and I’m on top of it in a split second.
I kneel down, towering above it. I put one hand around the fox’s neck and the other over its face, covering digital eyes that look up at me.
Check out Technodiversity, a fresh science fiction adventure that combines a sophisticated narrative in the vein of traditional sci-fi classics with breathtaking action, whirlwind romance, and spunky humor.
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Theodore Koukouvitis is an independent researcher, business consultant, and published author with several non-fiction eBooks and thousands of articles across several industries.
Driven by a deep interest in all things scientific and a passion for “what ifs”, he has been writing science fiction stories since his late teens, creating improbable yet scientifically plausible worlds.
In his professional career, he has helped several startups take off and aided various established businesses in reinventing themselves. He has also created a series of articles that helped improve disability services at a major airport in the US.
Theodore is also considered one of the world’s most sought-after writers of executive resumes and biographies for senior business leaders and Fortune 1000 executives, with over 450 executive resumes completed to date.