Robotozoan Safari

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Sam Nelson is on the Planet Nefedo inhabited by alien life-forms that resemble robots but are in fact living organisms. The Nefedrins take him on a safari in a tropical jungle to see the different types of robotozoans.

Submitted: September 02, 2016

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Submitted: September 02, 2016

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I travelled through the alien countryside in the back of an SUV in the Republic of Xhotwan, located in the Peresil Region on the northern shore of the Bronwatt Continent, Planet Nefedo. I was sent to Nefedo as the representative of the human race by the UN Starfleet. My name is Sam Nelson and I am from America.
 
I travelled in the back seat next to my Nefedrin girlfriend, Nagran Dai, who was the daughter of Secretary General Gunra Dai of the Janjin Yan. The Nefedrins were a race of humanoid people that resembled robots but were actually living organisms that evolved on Nefedo. They had exoskeletons made up of titanium and an organic battery in their chests which provided power for their brains, muscles and metabolism. The Nedefrins belonged to the robotozoan kingdom.
 
"Look at all the trees, honey" said Nagran. Nagran was 27 years old and had short brown hair that went down to her shoulders. She wore a yellow shirt with brown shorts and hiking boots.
 
"This is a beautiful country here" I said.
 
"Well, thank you, Mr. Ambassador" said Mabura. Mabura Yotha drove us through the tropical deciduous forests. He was the President of the Republic of Xhotwan which gained independence about a hundred years ago. He would have been in his late sixties with a pale yellow buttoned shirt, olive green shorts and hiking boots. "We should be arriving at the national park very soon".
 
Secretary General Gunra Dai sat in the front passenger seat looking out at the tropical forests. She was in her mid fifties with blonde hair. She wore a white shirt, jeans and boots.
 
"There we are," said Mabura as we pulled into the parking space at the end of the gravel road. The SUV ran on solar power. "Bahabra National Park".
 
We climbed out of the SUV, walked around to the back, opened the trunk and got out our backpacks. We put them on and headed into the jungle. Mabura locked the SUV by remote control. I could hear the sound of metalopithicans in the jungle and various fimbrans tweeting in the trees.
 
"This is lovely, getting back to nature," said Nagran "What do you say, honey?" Nagran turned to me. Even though the Nefedrens cannot form facial expressions because they lack a flexible skin, Nagran could smile with her eyes.
 
"It's a nice place," I said "I must admit".
 
"I'm going to show you the various robotozoans," said Mabura "You'll find them fascinating".
 
The sun bared down on us. It was extremely hot and humid. The continent was mostly tropical. There was chirping in the trees and, what looked like metallic mosquitos that Nagran called ephma, flying around. Mabura led the way, swiping at the vegetation with his machete.
 
"Sam," said Mabura "You see those creatures there, drinking from the creek with their hatchlings?"
 
"Yes, I see them" I replied.
 
"We call them donran".
 
The donrans were large metallic herbivores, about three metres long with a row of horns above their mouths and two pairs of curved blades at the end of their tails. They drank from the creeks. Their hatchlings, as the Nefedrins call them, were the size of calves. All robotozoans were egg layers.
 
This is how the Nefedrins classed themselves: Kingdom – robotozoa; phylum – metallopod; class – carushnia; order – metallopethicus; family – nefedrinidae; genus – Nefedra, species – grond.
 
The donrans were carushni metallopods. A donran bull rose its head and mooed like a cow. I walked in for a closer look at a family of donrans.
 
"Careful" warned Nagran.
 
Without warning one of the donran bulls turned around and swung its tail at me. I ducked just in time, then ran back to the Nefedrins. We climbed up the steep rock as the donran bull charged at us. I heard it swing its tail at us. Just missed me by an inch. Once we reached the top of the rock, we climbed to our feet and turned around. The bull got bored and wandered to its family.
 
"Never get too close to a donran," said Mabura "Their tails can cut through your flesh and slice through bone. Let's climb that hill over there".
 
We jumped off the rock and climbed up the steep slope of the hill which was covered in tropical trees. I saw some snake-like robotozoan, that Nagran called a jahni, climbing through the branches. It was made up of metallic rings which made it flexible, giving it the ability to bend in any direction. It was a hard climb, but we eventually made it to the summit.
 
"You see those large fimbrans over there in the clearing," said Mabura. I nodded. The fimbrans were a class of metallopods which resembled metallic birds. "We call them laqota. A group of them are loqoti".
 
The loqoti were about one and a half metres long and resembled pterodactyls with a wing-span of up to three metres, long pointy beaks and wings made of canvas. They sat in their nests, protecting their hatchlings, while their partners searched for food. They would come back and place metallic corpses of small carushni in their nests, so that their hatchlings could tear off their metallic exoskeletons to get at the flesh. They were noisy little bastards. Sounding like a flock of penguins. One of them hissed at me.
 
"Let's keep going" said Mabura.
 
We were very careful to walk around their nests as Mabura warned me that the parents can get aggressive if you get too close. We went into the deep jungle on the top of the hill.
 
"Honey, look," said Nagran as she pointed to the metallopethicans climbing in the branches above us. "umbruna".
 
The umbruna were like metallic monkeys that reminded me of the macaque monkeys back on earth. They chirped like birds. An umbruna sat in the branch picking at some red berries and popping them in its mouth. They get their energy the same way we do. Otherwise their internal batteries run out of fuel and their brains shut down, like a machine.
 
"Look at the yaqo in the tree" I told Nagran.
 
The yaqi were small metallic birds similar in shape to a robin. Their wings were leather. The yaqo sang its beautiful tune. They could easily fit in your hand. Kei, kei, kei, twitter, twitter, twitter. Then it flew off to another tree.
 
I followed the three Nefedrens down the other side of the hill. It was a very steep way down. Mabura told me "Watch your step on your way down. You don't want to break your ankle".
 
We slid down some parts of the hill, getting dirt on our paints. But that's OK. The yaqi chirped in the trees above us, flying from tree to tree. They picked up small metallic bugs in their beaks and took them back to the nest. Once we arrived at the bottom of the hill, I spotted what looked like a metallic boar with a pair of sharp three-pronged blades sticking out the sides of its mouth. Mabura called it a volqo. It had sharp toothed blades on the side of its tail and its armour was made of metal plates.
 
The volqo steered at me with its beady eyes. A female volqo crossed our path with her little hatchlings. They oinked like pigs.
 
"This reminds me of when I grew up on my parents farm," I said to Nagran. Nagran looked at me. "My father owned some pigs. We used to feed them scraps. We used to go hunting wild boars".
 
"Yeah," replied Nagran "My friend had volqi on his farm too. They were friendly. They would come up to us expecting food".
 
"Come on, you too," yelled Gunra "Catch up".
 
We walked up to Gunra and Mabura, continuing our trek through the forest. It was getting really hot now. Mabura was telling us "When I grew up on my parents farm, I had a pet volqo. I named it Eletta. I used to take it for walks. Sometimes it would get into mums garden and she chased it out".
 
We all laughed. I had placed my left arm around Nagran's shoulder.
 
"Hold very still," said Mabura as we came to a stop. "We don't want to get too close to the ebru. He might charge us".
 
The ebru had blocked our path. It was like a large metallic rhino with a couple of sharp horns on the end of its nose. The ebru stamped its feet, snorting at us.
 
"Run," yelled Mabura as the ebru charged us with its nose down.
 
We climbed up the tree as fast as can be. It had just missed me by an inch. Once we had got to the top of the tree we looked down at the ebru below. It turned around and pointed its horns at us. Its mate walked towards it with her hatchlings by her side.
 
"They're so cute," said Nagran "the ebru hatchlings".
 
Once its mate and her hatchlings walked past, the ebru turned around and followed them. We jumped down from the tree and continued on our way.
 
"One of my brothers was killed by an ebru a few months ago" said Gunra.
 
"Yeah," replied Nagran "That was sad". She looked down. "The ebru tore a hole in the side of his stomach. He had lost a lot of blood. The doctors couldn't save him".
 
"His battery went flat. Oh look, Sam. You see those creatures over there".
 
"I see them" I replied.
 
"We call them janavu"
 
The janavi were like huge metallic cow like creatures with a pointed snout and two pairs of sharp blades near the end of their snouts. There was a whole herd of them. Bulls, cows and hatchlings. They had their heads down, chewing on the grass beneath them.
 
"Don't get too close now," said Mabura "They can cut you up with their sharp blades".
 
One of the janavu cows raised her head and mooed. Another one mooed in response. Suddenly they all stampeded  in our direction. Mabura told us to duck behind the log. We complied as we jumped behind the log just in time as not to get trampled by the janavi. To my amazement I saw these huge metallic wolf-like creatures running in amongst the janavi.
 
"What are those wolf-like creatures?" I asked.
 
"Hasqani," replied Nagran "A single hasqani is called a hasqan".
 
"They're huge. About six feet long".
 
The hasqani had sharp, jagged metallic plates behind their heads and aluminium plates along its back. They had sharp blades around the end of their tails. Boy, could they run. They finally isolated one of the janavi and pounced on it, piercing its throat with its sharp teeth so as to suffocate it. The janavu struggled for a while before its brain shut down. The other hasqani ripped off the janavu's armour with their teeth and paws to get at its flesh and entrails. We watched as the hasqani fed on the janavu's flesh.
 
"Come on" whispered Mabura.
 
We quietly sneaked off, careful not to disturb the hasqani as they fed on the janavu.
 
***
 
We had been trekking through the jungle for a while now. Some fimbran cackled in the trees above us.
 
"We are going to go across the creek towards the cottage," explained Mabura "There will be some stepping stones that we can hop over".
 
"OK," I replied "Sounds great".
 
I saw what looked like a metallic butterfly flying beside us. The Nefedrins call them oflan. There were many different species of oflan. We entered the clearing and walked down towards the creek.
 
"Oh, no," said Gunra as she came to a stop. "This creek is surrounded by sifeti".
 
We came to a stop. The sifeti resemble a metallic crocodilian with a cylindrical body made up of segments. They could hold their bodies above the ground and had sharp blades on the end of their tails.
 
"Look's like the sifeto is blocking the path to the creek," said Mabura. The sifeto bull spotted us and turned towards our direction, hissing at us. "Better be careful. The sifeti can be quite dangerous". The sifeti crawled towards us, hissing at us. Hsssss. "Move very, very slowly. They have sharp teeth that can tear through metal".
 
I gulped. If that sifeto bull could tear through metal, then imagine would it could do to me. I did get bitten once. By a metallic lizard. It tore out a chuck of my skin. I could imagine it tearing off a chuck my leg. My heart was pounding as we carefully sneaked past the sifeto, being careful not to get too close. Without warning, that sifeto bull charged at us.
 
"Run!" yelled Mabura "To that log, quick. Especially you, Sam".
 
We sprinted towards the log as the sifeto ran after us. We jumped onto the log. The sifeto snapped at my legs, missing me by a few millimetres. We ran along the log towards the other side of the creek. Mabura hopped off first on the other side, then lifted Gunra and Nagran off the log first. I jumped off the log. Luckily for us, sifeti can't climb.
 
We were puffed after that ordeal. We continued walking through the tropical grass towards some more trees.
 
"Look at the jadefirins, honey" said Nagran as she placed her right arm around my waist.
 
"Yeah, they're cute" I replied, putting my arm around her shoulder.
 
The jadefirins were small metallic birds that were horizontally flattened with pointy beak and cotton wings. They were making a racket, sounding like penguins and squawking, sitting in their nests, looking after their hatchlings. The mother birds would come in and feed the chicks metallic worms, their beaks tearing through the metal.
 
"Look, I see a bubra running along over there," I said pointing "Behind the nests".
 
The bubri resembled small metallic rats except they lacked external ears. Just like the other metallopods.
 
We continued on our way, entering into some more jungle. There was a pride of abralans walking through the forest, looking for prey. The abralans looked sort of like metallic lions with metal blades around their necks and their bodies were segmented. They had sharp ferocious teeth.
 
"Their teeth can cut through metal," said Nagran. "You see those sharp blades along the sides of their tails".
 
"Yes, I see them" I said.
 
I saw a male abralan swishing its tails from side to side. Their were female abralans as well and they brought their hatchlings with them. A group of hatchlings tried to play with their daddies tail, trying to bite the blades. But they got out of the way as he swung his tail to the right.
 
Towards our right were families of metallopethicans called jadi. The jadi looked like metallic baboons with a long narrow nostril above their mouths and a tail with a circular blade at the end. They had sharp blades around their necks. I saw a male jadu playing with its hatchling, tickling it. They crawled on the ground on all fours.
 
"I see they have sharp teeth" I said to Nagran.
 
"That's because they're omnivores," replied Gunra "they eat plants and robotozoans".
 
A male jadu picked a bubra off the ground and handed it to its hatchling who grabbed it with its little hands. The bubra squeeled as the hatchling tore off its armour with his teeth to get at the flesh. The white milky blood pouring out of its corpse. The bubra's flesh was white.
 
A spotted a metallic spider called a kafron crawling on the truck of a tree. There were what looked like tiny metallic bugs called jada crawling all over a rotten log. They fed on wood with their metallic teeth, making them Nefedo's equivalent of termites.
 
"You see the aq amongst those trees over there, Sam?" said Gunra.
 
I looked towards the left and found the aq walking across the forest floor, pecking through the dirt for bugs and metallic worms. The aq was like a metallic rooster with sharp blades on its neck and plates along its back. It wings were folded in.
 
"Honey," whispered Nagran in my ear "Now is your chance to shoot the aq. We'll have it for dinner tonight. Got your stun gun with you?" I took the stun gun out of my holster on the right hip. Mabura turned around and walked to us. "Now aim and shoot".
 
I raised my stun gun, aimed it so the laser pointed at the battery of the aq and fired. It heard a zap coming from the nozzle of the stun gun Mabura gave me to hunt game. The aq collapsed on the ground.
 
"I got it," I shouted "I killed an aq".
 
We ran through the jungle towards the aq that was lying on the ground. It was bigger than a chicken. Mabura got out a cotton bag. I picked up the aq, which was quite heavy, and placed it in the sack.
 
"We'll have it for dinner tonight" said Mabura, lifting up the bag holding the aq and carrying it on his shoulder. Then we continued walking through the jungle.
 
 
***
 
As we strolled through the jungle I spotted another type of jahni climbing through the branches above me. The kafrons crawled along the trunk of a tree. I had my left arm around Nagran's waist.
 
"Hey look, sweety," said Nagran in my ear. "An ondron".
 
The ondron was a small cat like metallopod with a spiky frill behind its neck and its tail made of metallic rings. It held its tail in the air as it stalked the jadefirin that was happily minding its own business, digging for bugs. We watched as the ondron paused for a second. Then it pounced on the jadefirin which tried to get away. But the ondron caught it and punctured its neck with its sharp teeth.
 
"Such an efficient killer, is he?"  I said as I continued on our merry way.
 
We then came into a clearing where there was a swamp in front of us and a wooden bridge going over the stream.
 
"Do you see the afleni wading in the water?" whispered Nagran.
 
"I see it" I replied.
 
The afleni was a tall bird-like fimbran metallopod that stood to the same height as me. It had a three toothed frill on the back of its head and a tail with jagged points. It's beak looked sharp. The water went up to the afleni's knees. The afleni peered into the water.
 
"You know what it's searching for?" asked Nagran.
 
"It's beak looks sharp. Maybe good for cutting through metal" I said.
 
"Yes. It feeds on aquatic nebri".
 
The afleni bobbed its beak into the water and caught the fish-like nebri in it's mouth. It tilted its head back and swallowed the nebri whole. Gunra explained to me that the fimbrans had sharp metallic teeth in their gizzards that were powered by muscles.
 
I spotted the eagle-like metallopod, called the gharha, dive towards the water at rapid speed. It had a patch on spikes on its head and a sharp blade for it tail. The gharha dipped its feet in the water and caught a nebri at high speed. It then rose above the water and landed on the rock. Tearing off the nebri's exoskeleton with its sharp beak. The Nefedrin's named the can opener after them.
 
"Come on. Let's head over to the cottage" suggested Nagran.
 
We followed Gunra and Mabura over the wooden bridge across the stream towards the cottage. Halfway across the bridge, we stopped and looked into the water which was a murky green colour. Nagran pointed out the various species of nebri which were a class of fish like metallopods.
 
There was the eel-like sarunda with its slender build and sharp triangular blades around its neck. The jabutha were large nebri that were the equivalent of fresh water sharks with sharp teeth. The circular saws were named after them. They had a pair of pectoral fins and a pair of anal fins at the back. There were the small bru, less than the size of my palm. And the usha which were streamed-lined nebri with scissors-like beaks and tiny fins. In fact the Nefedrins named their torpedos after them.
 
"They are fascinating," I said "Such beautiful creatures".
 
"They are beautiful" replied Nagran. We looked into each other's eyes. Nagran's eyes were green. I placed my arms around her waist. Nagran put hers around my neck. I kissed Nagran on the mouth which felt smooth and warm, tasting like aluminium. I pulled back and smiled at her and Nagran smiled with her eyes. We then touched each other's forehead, which is exactly how Nefedrin couples show affection. Then we rubbed our noses against each other.
 
"You are so pretty," I said to Nagran "I am so lucky to have you as my girlfriend".
 
"Thanks. You are such a lovely guy. I love you".
 
"I love you too".
 
We then let go. Nagran grabbed my hand as we walked the rest of way to the cottage where Gunra and Mabura looked over the swamp.
 
"Come on, you two," said Gunra "Time to get dinner ready".
 
***
 
After we got into the cottage, Mabura showed me how to prepare the aq. Since I didn't have metallic hands, I used a screwdriver to pry open the aq's exoskeleton. It was easier than I thought, the breastplate popping right off. I grabbed the breast plate and put it aside.
 
Gunra showed Mabura which tissues were safe for humans and which ones were toxic to us. The metallopods had special cells beneath their exoskeletons which produce the metal. They contained enough metal to kill a human. I could see the aq's battery which was like a white translucent bag which powered up its brain, muscles and other tissues. The veins and arteries were white. I took out it guts, its spleen, stomach, gizzard, liver; throwing the liver and spleen in the pot and the rest of the organs in the bin. Then I pulled out the muscles and battery and placed them in the pot.
 
While we waited for the chicken to cook we talked about the camping trips we went on. I recounted when I went hunting wild hogs in Ohio. "They look similar to volqi," I said "but their snouts are shorter, and their skins are soft. And instead of blades, they had enlarged teeth called tusks".
 
After about an hour the aq was cooked. I grabbed the flesh of the aq and placed it in my mouth.
 
"Mmm," I said "This is delicious". The aq tasted like fish.
 
"It's very nice," agreed Nagran "very well done indeed".
 
"Thanks for the lovely meal" said Gunra, looking over at Mabura "You're a great cook".
 
"Nothing to it," said Mabura "I enjoy serving our guests".
 
Me and Nagran got up and walked over to the swamp. I placed my arms around  her waist, her soft hair in my face.
 
"It’s a lovely night tonight" said Nagran as we looked up at the two moons on the horizon.
 
"Yes, it is. Isn't it?" I replied. Nagran looked at me, smiling with her eyes.
 
I kissed her on the mouth. Then me and Nagran rubbed each others noses.


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