Grendel: Fiend of Men

Reads: 333  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Just another house


This is an adaptation of the legendary fight between Beowulf and Grendel. I decided to change up some of the details to a sci-fi setting, something I excel at. The main plot points crucial to the
original story are there, but the way things look are definitely different. Also, it's in first person.

Submitted: April 13, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 13, 2018

A A A

A A A


Richie Jankowiak
British Literature 12-2
Mrs. Erismann
5 October 2017


Grendel: Fiend of Men


What is fear? How do we define it? How do we know how to know such an unprecedented emotion? Is it learned? Or perhaps it's just a manifestation that comes with us when we're born? I know the answer. It's both. Some people are born fearless but attain a cowardly fear while others are just simply afraid of everything. The question here is: how can you tell the difference? Gather around and hear my tale of struggle, my story of battle, my triumph over the Fiend of Men.
"Approaching destination," the electronic voice of my ship notified me.
"This better be worth it," I mumbled to myself.
The clouds around me began to disappear as I traveled down towards the surface of a harsh snowy planet. As my speed decreased, I thought could make out the icy ground below, but  around me snow fell in giant heavy flakes. It was clear that I was in the middle of a howling blizzard. Lucky for me technology was on my side; my ship's sensors easily able to recognize the ground below.
"Available dock, confirmed," my ship continued.
Floating to the surface now, small buildings came into view; their forms barely visible as if behind a layer of thick fog. This place really was small. No skyscrapers, no armories, no apartments, no traffic. This place seemed oddly empty. Wasn't this suppose to be a mining colony? Maybe everyone was hard at work? Or maybe something happened to them?
"Docking procedure, complete," my ship finished in its friendly tone.
With a sigh, I released the door lock and opened the cockpit. Immediately I could feel the cold rush its way in, the wind shrieking and ripping every bit of warmth from me in seconds. Was this really the place I needed to be at? Was this Herot?
"This better be worth it," I muttered again hopping out of my seat down on to the cold ground below, the snow crunching under my weight.
I looked around to see where I might need to go, the wind still tearing through me. There were only five notable buildings, all of which having the same bland blocky shape. However, there was one in the middle just up a snowy hill that stood out. It was still basic, like building blocks stacked neatly by a determined child. I began shuffling through the snow towards the building, covering my face with my arm to try and keep the wind out of my eyes. As I moved onward I began to notice that there were patches of bloodied snow on the way. There were tracks everywhere as well; footprints of some giant monster. Perhaps they were from the beast I was after? There were no body parts or corpses left in the snow, only blood and tracks. That and the uneasy quiet despite the howling wind. Maybe I should review the task at hand?
Going through my memory, I tried to disclose everything that was important about this sortie. I'm a legendary mercenary going by the name Beowulf. My personal succession rate is flawless, and so have been chosen by a prominent corporate C.O. whom everyone refers to as King Hrothgar to deal with a problem at his newest mining colony: Herot. For the past twelve days a monstrous creature has been terrorizing the colony. It started out by scaring individuals, then it began to lure out and kill miners. Now, things have gotten far too out of hand and the beast has gone on a rampage throughout the entire colony. That would explain the blood in the snow. During my briefing I remember they called this monster Grendel. They say in some ancient language this translated to "Fiend of Men". They also said that this "Grendel" is some kind of bio-weapon gone wrong. However, they're unsure where it came from. Now the only important part here is that I'm getting payed to kill this beast. If I show some evidence that I killed Grendel, I'll get my reward and be on my way out of here. This can't be too tough. I've dealt with monsters before with ease. This one couldn't possibly be any different.
Finishing my thoughts, I came upon the bottom of the slope leading to the building I was going after. As I looked up through the falling snow I could make out the building clearer. It was a grey concrete structure with rusty metal beams sticking through the top of the walls. There were two large, yellow colored flood lights on the front of the building above a large rusted door. That building had to be important somehow. It was in the center of everything and stood out among the rest. If Grendel's here, it must be in there somewhere. The fight should go quickly considering how small the building is. Most of my time would be taken up looking for it, and that's not boasting. Monsters don't phase me, but when they fight me, I have quite the effect on them.
Trudging along I made my way up the slope and to the entrance of the building. The door was covered in ice and to my surprise, was open. But it wasn't open outward or slid open like a door should. It was barely hanging from its massive hinges, bent inwards like something savage had smashed its way in.
"Grendel," I said to myself with excitement, a grin sliding across my face.
On me I was carrying a weapon called a "Slayer". Its name is cheesy to say the least, but it does exactly what it's called. The Slayer is a hand held cannon that fires sharp projectiles that bore into their target and secrete a fatal poison. It's perfect for killing giant monsters the easy way. If Grendel has any weapons of its own, I'll be forced to use this one, otherwise I'll go in with my bare hands. 
Equipping the Slayer, I moved into the building. Inside I noticed there was more blood on the floor. It made three trails leading to what looked like an old, open barred elevator. This must have been the entrance to the mine itself. Not only that, but Grendel was down there. I followed the trail to the elevator and pressed the down arrow next to the door. Sluggishly the door opened and a bloodied man was revealed inside. He was laying down with one arm over his chest and the other one missing. He also only had one leg attached to him. He was wearing a short sleeve shirt and overalls with a headlamp tilted over his face. His torso was wet with red and he groaned as I approached him.
"Who are you?" Came his hoarse voice. He must have been freezing on the floor there.
"My name is Beowulf. I'm here to conquer the Fiend of Men," I answered triumphantly, peering down at him
"The monster?" He questioned, his voice weak and laced with pain.
"Exactly. The monster," I responded, keeping my tone.
"No. No no no." He pleaded. "Don't go down there. Save yourself. You don't understand. Nothing can stop that thing," He continued, choked sobs forming in his words.
"We'll see," I scoffed.
Observing the room I noticed a primitive metal lever on the side. Instinctively I pulled it down and with a lurch the elevator began to make its descent into the depths of the stone tunnels below.
After what seemed like forever the elevator came to a halt. This must have been the bottom. With the door shut I couldn't see a thing outside the elevator. As a precaution I drew the Slayer and pointed it at the door in wait. When almost a full minute had passed, the metal door began to slide open. There was nothing in front of the elevator; nothing but a dark rocky tunnel with another trail of blood on the floor. I slowly took a step towards the tunnel and suddenly a wet cry of rage rang out like a train passing by. I looked down to see how the man was doing and saw he was beginning to squirm, trying to get as close to the back wall as possible. He was sobbing on the floor.
"Please don't leave me," He managed through his fear.
"Don't worry, I'll come back for you. Just hang tight," I assured him. Then I started to slip off into the darkness.
For what must have been almost an hour I wondered the tunnels of Herot's mine. It was much warmer down here underground, but all the main lights were dark. The only visible lights now were coming from dim orange tubes that sat on the tunnel walls. They must have been emergency lights running off a back up generator. Everywhere I went there were trails and pools of blood all fresh, but never once did I see a corpse or a single thing that resembled a part of a human body. For all I knew someone could have been playing an incredibly sick joke. Though the likelihood of that was far too low. I had found nothing important so far, no leads, and no hints towards any direction I needed to head. But then I came out into an open cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites, all of them forming what looked like deathly stone fangs inside cruel grey jaws. 
The scent of death was in the air, making it all too clear where my target was. Grendel had to be here. I could smell the blood of the innocent. There was no mistaking that warring odor.
Stepping forwards into the middle of the cavern I witnessed a horror I had not seen before. There were piles of bodies laying on the ground propped up against rock. Many were on the floor cut apart and bloodied up. Some were torn in two with their innards strewn about. The ground was so red and slippery with blood and other internal parts that it was sickening. All of them had died in different ways, but all of them had the same lifeless scream plastered on to their faces. I couldn't help but gag at the sight. I've never seen anything do something like this before.
In the darkness there was suddenly a loud disgusting crunch. The sound was all too familiar: bones. Grendel was here and very close. Good. My mission was halfway over. The sooner I kill this monster, the sooner I can get away from this mess.
Quietly I snuck around a corner and to my horror I found what could only be Grendel. It had its back turned to me and was hunched over something, the sound of crunching bones all too clear. It was undeniable that Grendel was literally devouring some poor soul. I couldn't seem to pull my eyes away from it as it feasted, it skinless body showing pumping veins and every muscle fiber it had.
After only a few seconds, the crunching and ripping stopped, and Grendel slowly rose to its full height. Then it turned around and glared right at me. Its face was so unnatural I couldn't believe my eyes. There was a hole where its nose should have been and the front of it throat was cut out; open so I could see Grendel gulping down the last bit of its meal. There were three rows of jagged teeth on its top and bottom jaw and it had lifeless grey eyes.
"Grendel," I muttered.
With a wet howl Grendel leaped toward me. I fired the Slayer for an easy kill but it was on top of me before the shot hit. Grendel screamed with eerie delight as it grabbed me with its monstrous razor clawed hands. The Slayer was no longer an option as I watched Grendel open its unholy maw. With all fright pushed aside, I gripped Grendel's arm and began to dig into it with my fingers. Grendel shrieked again as my fingers sunk into its bleeding flesh, wrenching me off of itself and reeling back. I took this opportunity to stand up and ram the beast, slamming into it with everything I had. Grendel veered back into a wall of stone where I stuck my fingers into its shoulder and pressed my foot against its chest. I pushed and pulled with all my might and miraculously pried its arm right out of its socket. Grendel let loose another howl of agony and started to crawl away. It had met its match and was now afraid. It no longer cared to fight me. The only thing it seemed to want now was to get as far as it could from me. Grendel was like a frightened animal trapped in a cage.
Not ceasing, I grabbed Grendel's dislodged arm and pounced up to its body. Sensing how close I was to it Grendel let out a short whimper; a plea for mercy. Showing no remorse, I drove the razor like claws of its hand into its head. I waited for death to take Grendel, and when it died, I took its arm back out of its head as a trophy and as proof to King Hrothgar that the task had been complete, then I grabbed the Slayer and quickly ran back to the elevator.
When I had made it back to the elevator I saw that the miner was still there. He was still breathing. The poor man was still huddled in the back corner.
"You're alive?" The miner asked, his voice haggard and dry.
"And so are you. I kept my word: I've come back for you. Now what is your name?" I responded.
"My name? It's Wiglaf," He answered, barely audible.
"Wiglaf, I think you and I are going to get along great together," I said cheerfully.
Carrying Wiglaf up out of the mine, I put him and Grendel's arm in my ship and took off to find King Hrothgar. Grendel was dead, I was triumphant, and Wiglaf will get to live to see the light of tomorrow. It's situations like this that harden people up and teach us to forget fear. Monsters like Grendel are born fearless, but it takes only a swift beating to turn a beast like that into a coward. Much unlike Wiglaf, who will surely have little to fear after surviving against such a wretched, feral enemy.

 


© Copyright 2019 Liberator2033. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

More Science Fiction Short Stories