Sunday, January 22, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... Chupicabra

The essentially human, Tuva-Tuva aren't the only reconstituted life form on the red planet. Due to the vacillating conditions, many organisms developed  similar methods of survival. One species, the fearsome chupicabra, occupies the top of the food chain. The original natives (the Tuva-Tuva) obviously call it something else, though they rarely mention it at all. Just breathing the name draws bad luck. But human colonists , collectively known by the nickname 'Troopers,' (gleaned from the classic, John Ford cavalry film trilogy) christened it with a moniker taken from Spanish tabloids. 

The creature, as it exists on Mars, can best be described as a huge, strongly built baboon or mandrill. It has a wide, strong muzzle, lined with razor sharp teeth and canines worthy of an ice-age saber toothed tiger. The big ones weigh upwards of three hundred pounds. Their skin, comprised of supple, fine lined platelets (almost like reptilian scales) ranges from a rosy brown to a sunset orange. The deep set eyes are yellow and cat-like. A thick, heavy, segmented, hairless tail functions as a whip. Chupicapras almost always hunt in packs. Indeed, an especially large pack (known as a 'party') decimated  Fort Bodine back in the first days of human habitation.

They don't come near the city. Barsoom (pronounced Bar-sum) is safe. But rouge parties, unafraid of isolated human settlements, like the Texaco holding of Polvarosa, are out there. Special weapons are required to kill them. Most are guns of one type or another, armed with plasma rays. A direct hit to the skull vaporizes the brain. Anything less is dangerous. Tuva-Tuva shamans brew a particularly effective poison, delivered through blow guns. It's good, but not foolproof.

Chupicabras eat their victims from the thighs up. They prefer 'live' food. A component of the saliva stimulates the heart and prolongs life. Some unfortunates take hours, if not days to die.

You want to go out in space? You take your chances. That's just the way it is. 

They've also been known to snatch people right out of their beds. 

But that don't happen this close in. You gotta go real far out for that...... At least the way I heared it... 

And don't think you're gonna hear 'em, 'cause  you ain't. 

Them things can scoot up walls like a snake. They knuckle-trot like a ghost. 

First thing  you see is the eyes......... Don't make no difference what you see after that....... They say rich folks use 'em for guard dogs back on Earth. Don't know how the hell they control 'em. But what the hell do I care? I can't stand them Earth Folk.......

Hear her? .... Hear her?..... Hear her screamin'? She doin' it again. Miz Sissie, I mean. Soon somebody gonna run down the cellar to get her. 

I hear it all the way out in the stables. She crazy. She got it real bad. Not like me. Not like Whitey... 

All I do is talk to myself.....


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