An Alternity story starring Tuk and Geo
“I’ve been meaning to ask,” Arcady, the Fra’al pilot said as he looked up from his breakfast. “How did an eight-year-old human boy and a bloodthirsty Weren become such close friends?”
Tuk, the gargantuan Weren raised one eyebrow and looked up at Arcady, slowing his rapid ingestion of a plateful of less-than-cooked meat. A thread of food hung from one of Tuk’s tusks. Arcady tried not to snicker. “Uh, ya got something there,” he said thrusting a thin finger at one of Tuk’s larger teeth. Tuk grunted and pulled the offending piece of meat from his tooth and ate it.
“I am not eight years old. You forget, while I appear eight, I have only been alive for thirty months.” Geo didn’t look up from his data pad. The food on his plate remained uneaten and his juice had barely been sipped.
“Right,” said the Fra’al pilot, remembering that Geo was a genetic construct who possessed uncanny and incalculable intelligence and agility. “Tuck, care to fill me in on this no-doubt riveting origin story?”
“Okay,” the bestial Weren mumbled with a mouthful of food.
“Would you knock that shit off?!” roared Gunny. The human leapt to his feet in anger and stormed over to where the boy was scraping the stone walls of the shared prison cell with another smaller piece of stone. Gunny waved his arms frantically at the symbols the boy had scrawled on the wall. The etchings filled an entire ten-foot section of wall with seemingly meaningless symbols, numbers and calculations. “What are you doing?! You’re driving me crazy!”
“There is no reason for my work to suffer during my incarceration,” said the boy without halting his scrawling.
Gunny pushed the boy hard from behind. He slammed hard into the wall and crumpled to the floor, dropping his stone carving implement. “Knock it off!”
“Hey!” roared a gravelly voice from the other side of the cell. Gunny and the fifteen other prisoners turned to see an enormous Weren striding toward the boy and the aggressive man. The Weren stood almost seven-feet tall and his thick muscled frame was covered in bristly grey fur.
Gunny put his hands up at shoulder level with his palms flat in a gesture of non-hostility. “Tuk, I don’t want no trouble, but this kid needs to take a break. Right?” Gunny looked to the other prisoners for confirmation. All he received from the other tired and frightened men were blank stares.
“You okay?” Tuk asked, helping the boy to his feet. The boy nodded and stood slowly. When the boy was standing without assistance, Tuk turned back to Gunny and said, “C’mon, man. We’re all under a lot of stress and the kid is trying to deal with it the only way he knows how. You know, with math,” Tuk tried to muster a smile, but his bottom teeth jutting out caused his smile to make him look even more terrifying than he already was. “Now, say you’re sorry.”
Gunny grumbled out an apology and shuffled his way back to where he was sitting. Tuk turned to the boy and saw he had resumed his calculations. “That’s a fine thank you,” Tuk said to the boy.
“What should I be thanking you for?”
“I just saved your butt.”
“I could have handled him.”
“You disbelieve me? I understand. If it were a matter of age or size, this man would have the advantage.” Geo dropped the stone and strode over to where Gunny was sitting. “Stand up,” he said. Gunny laughed and stood up. “Now, attack me.”
“What? I’m not gonna…no,” he responded looking at Tuk sheepishly.
“One-One-Five-Nine,” the boy stated as if that statement would mean something to the burly alien.
“This man is right-handed and none too intelligent,” Gunny scowled at the boy’s analysis. “He has survived any physical conflicts up to this point by sheer size and not through formal training.” The boy, who looked no more than seven years of age grasped Gunny’s right wrist. “One. He will attack me with his right hand,” the boy held Gunny’s right wrist up, indicating that his right arm was indeed number one.
The boy let Gunny’s arm fall. “One-one. I will use my right hand to catch his wrist and use his forward momentum and mass to throw him…five… into the metal bed spine-first paralyzing or killing him-Nine.” Gunny laughed loud and pointedly and the boy said, “Even though I have told him what I will do to him, he lacks the basic intelligence to alter his mode of attack.”
Tuk smiled and asked, “Can you do it without breaking his spine?”
Gunny roared, balled his right hand into a fist and swung it downward at the boy’s face. In response to the clumsy attack, he snapped his head back and in the same movement grasped Gunny’s wrist in his right hand. In a fluid move, almost too fast for anybody watching to comprehend, much less Gunny, the boy yanked the man’s arm across his own body. With a twist and a bend the seven year-old boy flipped the much larger man back-first into the metal bed. There was a sickening crunch and a pitiful whine from Gunny and silence.
A prisoner checked his vitals and confirmed, “He’s dead.”
The men in the cell exploded fearful into conversations and mutterings.
Tuk looked down at the boy and said with a mixture of annoyance and awe “I thought you said you wouldn’t kill him?”
“No, you asked me if I could do it without breaking his spine. I confirmed I was able to do so,” said the boy, resuming his work on the wall.
“You Weren, you’re up,” a guard shouted through the bars to Tuk. The distant cheers of spectators of the arena could be heard behind the guard. “You can pick your partner,” the guard said.
“Hey, kid, what’s your name?” asked the four-hundred pound Weren of the seven year old human.
“I pick him,” said Tuk to the guard. “I pick Geo.”
Arcady blanched at Tuk’s story of violence. “That’s sweet.”
“I like this kid,” said Tuk, placing his gigantic paw on the Geo’s shoulder. “I feel like he’s come a long way.”
“And I feel you have become better at iterating the meaning behind your statements and questions,” Geo said, seemingly to his data pad. His Weren father-figure guffawed in response.
“You guys are a perfect match,” said Arcady wiping his mouth and leaving the two to their breakfast. “Perfect.” he mumbled as he walked away.