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To Kill A Lizard Person

Sulla had a very, very important book to deliver. Initially, she'd been delivering it alongside 20 other elite soldiers in a low-flying corvette, but 7 of them had been killed or injured to the point where they had to be killed when it was shot out of the air by a Goner mobile turret. Since then, her other comrades dropped like flies, leaving her the last of her squad.

She went into a holzi den, quickly killing the mother and cubs inside to prevent any noise with her knife, as she heard the whirring of Goner speeders nearby. The sun was beginning to set on this particular of the Topper-Claw Ring's 64 planets. Good. The glowing parts of the Goner equipment would make them easier to spot and the darkness would hide her.

She waited. And waited some more. And the sun was down. She'd already feasted upon the hulzi and its cubs, and so had plenty of energy with which to run.

Most Toppers weren't even close to being capable of running all night, even when they'd been trained their whole lives.

Sulla, however, had a stroke of luck when it came to the genetic lottery - because she'd cheated by being the daughter of an escaped genetically modified supersoldier who'd had a fling with her father and left the result of that fling crying outside her lover's window before leaving to avoid being captured by the authorities for use in a war against the Claws.

The Toppers and Claws hadn't been at war, aside from extremely frequent border skirmishes and raiding, for over 150 years. Once field-killer bombs, which released poisonous gases that would leave hundreds of acres of land unsuitable for plant growth and thus farming, became a technology wielded by the alliances of both species, peace had simply become a necessity for the survival of both races. The later introduction of nuclear bombs made this even more the case, if the prosperity that both species enjoyed by simply ignoring the existence of the other wasn't enough.

She could hear explosions ahead. As she got closer, it was clear that a large area was being bombarded with Claw-style explosives: launched without the assistance of AIs and coming with a lot of firepower. Maybe if she could find some Claws to enlist as her new team-

-No. That wouldn't work. There was a reason Toppers and Claws were just giving each other information and weapons rather than actually fighting alongside one another. The hatred between the 2 species was instinctive, bred in over countless millennia since before either was using fire and the "Perpetual War" was said to have begun. She'd even heard stories of there being other races before as well, but that the Claws and Toppers had wiped them out with the same ruthlessness with which they opposed one another. They'd kill her, or at the very least struggle to stop themselves from doing so.

She had to continue alone. She couldn't trust that any Claws would deliver it for her after her death. She had to bring it to the Claw High Fortress herself, and probably accept her death at their hands there. If she was lucky, their gratefulness would balance out enough with their desire to kill her for them to make it quick, although Claws that had gone on similar missions weren't prone to receiving that same mercy.

She scanned the battlefield. Those Claws were surprisingly good.

No. She had to drop her beliefs about Claws and focus only on the facts, even if they contradicted what every Topper for thousands of years had been taught about their distant evolutionary cousins. They have incredible hand-eye coordination. It's how they use those middle claws so effectively. Of course they'd be capable of ripping this battlefield to shreds without the help of AIs.

Goner corpses littered the battlefield. Their kinetic shielding was actually being quite unhelpful, as even pieces of debris that weren't initially going very fast when they hit a Goner were suddenly being launched away at rocket speeds after bouncing off, causing them to cost more energy to the kinetic shields of Goners around them, often bouncing off dozens of Goners and partially wearing down all of their armour. With enough debris flying around, which there was, their kinetic shielding was quickly being worn down and some of them dropping death to bullet-speed rocks embedding themselves into their brains and other vitals. Their physical armour wasn't good for much more than deflecting thrown sticks and stones, being far more about making the kinetic shielding work than protecting the Goner beneath if their shielding wears down.

She realized this would be her first chance to acquire Goner weaponry. She ducked as a burning piece of dirt flew over her head. The deaths of her comrades had always been on the basis of them slowing down or distracting Goner forces while she and the others got away, so there'd been no chances to acquire their weapons.

Claws were impatient. With the shielding of the Goners worn down and the Claws more than capable of dodging their shots when combining their already great physical capability with combat suits, other Claws, most likely hidden in some shrubbery beyond the clearing their fellows were making and having already killed many of the Goners that had broken rank to run away, were bound to move in to quickly wipe them out in melee.

If she waited until after, they'd kill her. Going in too early would have her dead at the talons, more accurately the plasma weaponry, of the Goners. She had to go in when the Goners and Claws were all too busy killing one another to notice her.

As expected, the Claws began charging in. A few fell down in the initial part, while they were being slowed down by the shrubbery of the woods and easier targets, but after that the casualties were only slightly higher than what Sulla had expected. She couldn't help but enjoy knowing more were dying than she thought would, even if they were meant to be her allies.

She began moving as stealthily as she could towards the battle. In their battle rage, Claws were prone to acting on instinct and so may give up the more important task of killing Goners for the joy of taking out a Topper, and the Goners were shooting anything that moved without glowing armour in the darkness.

Soon, she was at the edge of the battlefield, an area where the trees had been felled by the explosives barrage. She could see the corpse of a Goner with a miraculously intact plasma rifle next to it. A piece of wood, launched by either an explosion or by bouncing off the armour of one of its friends, was stuck in its head, and another in its chest. Judging by the amount of blood from each, it was hit by a blow to the chest before one to the head.

She crawled over, moving between covers and avoiding the illumination from the armour of other Goners. One corpse was moving around about an inch above the ground, the being inside having somehow died without the shielding being damaged.

She grabbed the plasma rifle. Her first instinct was to point it at a Claw.

She couldn't help but find it incredible that pure instinct could make her hate them more than she did the creatures that had killed 20 of her friends, as well as her father and siblings. She pointed it at a Goner that was out of sight from the Claws and pulled the comically large trigger.

Nothing happened. Interesting. She noticed a flashing green light along the shaft of the weapon.

She wrapped the hands of the dead Goner around the weapon. The light stopped flashing. She pulled its fingers, and indirectly the trigger, and it fired into the sky.

She pulled out her knife. It was possible a Claw or Goner had noticed her. The former would require her to be very quick.

3 Weeks Later:

She crept among the redery of the plants towards the city that the Claw High Fortress stood at the center of. This was the most dangerous part. Claw civilians, as much of a minority as they were as the Claws strived to automate everything except warfare, would be less disciplined than the soldiers and less likely to know anything of the Topper Common Tongue. They'd probably tear up the book, or otherwise damage it, while they killed her. It was unlikely that it would be delivered to the Claw High Fortress.

The fortress itself was ridiculously huge, having been collectively built by over a hundred Claw nations. The Toppers had often come through a vast passage that cut straight through the forested mountains that Sulla had come through and where the Goners had more-or-less gained complete control, so the Claws hadn't seen any reason not to build a ridiculously large fortress to withstand the Toppers.

Even to this day, it was being made larger and more formidable, growing in height and having surrounding buildings bought or seized from their owners to be knocked down to make room for or incorporated into the fortress for the sake of the stronghold's strength while old parts were constantly being repaired or replaced with more modern components so that it wouldn't collapse or have any weak points.

Sulla pulled out her eye-diamond. She noticed it was dirty, cleaned it with the break-cloak of her armour, which was made to come off easily if snagged or grabbed but be easily reattached after any battles for the warmth and bonus protection against projectiles from behind it offered, and held it up to the eye that she'd caused to become long-sighted by spending too much time at night watching screen-plays growing up while her father was out with his shroom-buddies.

Sure enough, it had missile launchers and steel dragons, as well as steel dragons with missile launchers. She would've considered it overkill if the Toppers didn't have even more extreme tools of war.

The city around it had built up from the Claw Federation soldiers buying goods and services from those in the surrounding settlements. Back then, things couldn't be automated so the majority of Claws had to suffer the lives of farmers and factory workers.

Nonetheless, more farmers, merchants, prostitutes, entertainers and so on came to sell their produce to Claw kind's best warriors, as well as just to meet them, with many of them staying and building up the settlements until they merged into a huge city that, when Sulla found herself approaching it, was home to 42 million Claws.

She covered herself in dirt and twigs as she advanced through the trees and along the river. There were regular Claw patrols, now intended for killing Goners (3-4 foot tall lizard/velociraptor people) rather than Toppers (top lads in the LIR), but she had no doubt they'd kill her just for the pleasure of it if they got the chance, so she made sure to avoid them.

One way to do this was to take advantage of the thick canopy, even if it wouldn't get her very close to the city as the Claws were wise enough to fell any trees near their jewel city that enemies could hide or take cover behind.

After that, it was a matter of staying far up one of the slopes next to the river, where less Claw patrols would go, even if they were far less lazy than usual now that they were actually under threat.

Now she was in the clearing, where the river led into the iron and sulfur-rich hills that the Claw Federation would be willing to sacrifice the most soldiers for due to its military value. She couldn't see any way over the electric fence and ditch full of poisonous water around the outer homes of the city. There were too many guards.

She considered various possibilities. She knew one.

Topper and Claw coding were both very different, hence the need for a physical book to transport the information in. That said, she still had a modified jingler, nicknamed for how they'd jingle when put in pockets with money, that could take pictures.

She snapped away at every page of the book. In a few minutes, she was done.

She waited. She'd been doing a lot of waiting these past few days.

2 days later.

Yes. Yes. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

One of the Claw patrol noticed the book and picked it up. Sulla's knowledge of the Claw tongue was poor, but she was able to get a "take to leader. Contains [Topper but in Topper] and Claw merged tongue."

The previous squad had tossed it away. Others had ignored it. On one occasion Sulla had to ambush and kill a pair with her plasma bolter and knife after managing to comprehend that they were illiterate and that one was planning to give it to his daughter to help her learn how to read.

She heard words like "serious". Even if this didn't work, she was already working on a backup.

The second copy of the book was almost finished. The only difference between it and the original were how it was made onto flat rocks with numbers on their rims. By the end of that day, it'd be finished and Sulla could leave the rocks, all contained in a basket she made, and book at seperate locations at once to ensure one of them went to the right place.

That said, the soldiers seemed to be taking it seriously, so the rocks may have been pointless.. Even so, she'd better be careful and make sure with the rocks as well.

3 weeks later:

Sulla jumped over the log as she sprinted away, but the Claw soldier had predicted this move and a pair of bullets smashed straight through her. Within 2 minutes, Sulla died of bleeding.

Her book and rocks both ended up separately reaching the official ruler of the local area (who was largely a figurehead) and the local general (to be taken far more seriously).

Due to it, Claws were now able to interpret the countless messages they received from the Toppers by radio of the whereabouts of Goners, the future actions of Toppers, requested actions, and so on. The Claws were able to send their own messages. This ultimately won the Goner-T/C War for the Toppers and Claws, who later formed The LIR or League of Intelligent Races as a security measure by roping in other races like the Tartles and Sagwalli.

That book contained a dictionary and quick explanations of grammatical rules, in Claw where appropriate so that Claws could understand, of what would come to be known as the The LIR Common Tongue, which would come to be spoken by dozens of species on a daily basis.

The LIR Common Tongue is spread to the Claws in a book by Sulla, last survivor of a squad sent to ensure this happens, to help increase the odds of victory against the outside threat of the Goners. Stay hydrated.


Articles under To Kill A Lizard Person


Comments

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Thicc Shrek
Thicc Shrek
15 Jan, 2020 08:44

Wait... Why doesn't 1 species try to screw over the other by siding with the Goners?

Dr Jimothy
Jimmy Shrekson
26 Jan, 2020 00:13

Both Claws and Toppers: Hey what if we help you screw over them *points at other* so long as we keep our autonomy? takemyeyestakethemasidetakemyfaceanddesecratemyarmsandlegstheygetinthewayandtakemyhandsthey'llunderstand Goner General: *pulls out plasma rifle* Lookie here buckaroni that's just not how we're gonna do things it's simple you surrender or we conquer you and either way autonomy is a thing of the past for you you got that schwazzlemuck? That said, you could surrender just for the sake of preventing your folks from dyi- takemyheartpullitapartandtakemybrainorwhatremainsandthrowitallawaycosI'vegrowntiredofthisbodycumbersomeandheavybody Claws and Toppers: *looking at one another* *both at once* fuck these scaly shits. *whip out rapid-fire railguns and start blasting*