*Cresta: A techno-organic race from the planet Crestar with long, soft bodies, tentacles, and large, watery eyes. They speak in a synthesized voice, and their large “brain sack” lays hidden behind a spiral shell. They wear breathing helms when not on their own water-based planet.Cresta Research Laboratory for Advanced Security
*Ingot: A cyborg race from the planet Ingilium that wears bulky techno-organic armor and breather helms built directly into their bodies.
Lugg leans over a tray of medical-type instruments.
A fellow Cresta lumbers over and taps him with a tentacle.
“Oh? Yes. Can I help you?”
“It’s time to eat. You coming?”
“Yes, Lugg. Please, you’ll wither away to nothing if you keep working like this.”
“Heh, heh… I doubt that. But, well… I guess you’re right. Here, let me just—”
“Put it down Lugg, or I’ll be forced to call for help.”
“Yes, yes. I’m coming…”
Lugg and his companion shuffle down a long grey tunnel on cushioned flipper-like feet, their tentacles sway at their sides.
A large well-stocked pool behind a thick glass wall swirls with murky sea vegetation and swimming creatures.
Three other Crestas flip their heads out of the water and grin down at the two.
“Come in and feast a while.”
Lugg’s companion climbs up a ladder and leans over the pool, his eyes glowing in anticipation. He darts a glance back at Lugg.
“Aren’t you coming?”
Lugg stares at a fish swimming in the murky depths; he heaves a sigh and turns around.
“Hey! Come back! You’ll die if you don’t eat.”
Lugg lumbers away.
A huge Ingot lays slumped on the laboratory floor. Lugg holds a flexible disk in his tentacle, aimed at the Ingot. His Cresta companion stares at him through, wide, amazed eyes.
“I never knew you had it in you, Lugg. For such a pacifist, that was quite a move. I thought he’d wreck the place.”
“Don’t be silly. I’m always prepared for invaders. I’ve been working on this weapon for years.”
“You? Create a weapon? I thought you were working on a new breathing mask. You can’t even eat meat. Your vegetables are served cold—on a plate for darkness sake—and far from their natural environment.”
Lugg holds up the disk and grins, though his eyes remain soft and serious.
“This is the most effective weapon ever created. When this Ingot awakes, he’ll feel weak for hours, and all aggression will have left his body. He won’t want to fight.”
“You have altered his—”
“Brain activity. He’ll be useless as a fighter for months, even years, and he certainly won’t come here again. If we use this weapon judiciously, neither will any others. All wars will end.”
“How? I mean; I’m stunned. When did you discover that this… this thing worked?”
“Right after I tried it on myself.”
OSKILTH WAR AT AN END
The island of Oskilth has finally been subdued through the use of the Mighty Lugg Stinger. Unfortunately, the Taser’s mind-altering abilities affected so many active Cresta soldiers that the Crestar governing body, Ingal, has decreed that the Mighty Lugg Stinger is too dangerous to remain in existence.
The scientist behind the mighty invention was ordered to destroy it, but apparently he and the Tasor have both disappeared…
A young Cresta enters a small, dim, hole-in-the-wall laboratory.
“Lugg? Sir? Are you here?”
“Lugg shuffles forward from a dark corner and meets the youth.”
“Hmmm? Can I help you?”
“Oh, hi, sir. I live down the hall. My mother sent me over to give this to you. It’s cold sea-pie. We heard that it’s something you like. She just wants to thank you.”
Lugg’s large, luminous, green eyes gleam in the dim light. “Me? Why?”
“Well, my brother was slated for the next trip to Oskilth. He’s of age and was set to fight—”
“Ah, yes. So many were sent over…”
“Well, now, since the war is over, he’s being sent to Cresta Labs for adaptive technologies… something to do with making better breathing masks.”
“Honorable service. I’m happy for him.”
“Anyway, mother’s real glad, and I am too. Maybe things will be different when I am of age.”
“I hope so. But you know… I’m not really here.”
“Yes of course. Mother figured it out, but she’ll keep your secret safe. Do you have the Mighty Lugg Stinger still?
“It was stolen.”
“Don’t be. Sometimes things need to be stolen.”
“Really? I never… Well, I better go. Mother said to tell you that she’s sorry you have to leave, well, she’s sorry.”
“It was a small price to pay.”
“Enjoy the pie. Bye.”
Lugg watches the youth lumber away. He stares at the pie, grins, and then lumbers back to his worktable. He lays the pie down next to a new, very different looking weapon.