Satire, Sci-Fi, Serious, Short Story, Story, Writing

Closing Report: Runners

The Runners were long creatures with pulled, beetle-blue limbs that stretched down until they met bulbous joints, which then allowed their appendages the same degree of movement as the arm in the socket of a man’s shoulder. Streaks of red ran down their twig-like limbs – the crimson juice of succulent bauble berries (which was also the main source of food on the Runner’s tiny planet). Males – identified by their lithe and limber stature, along with reproductive genitalia present on their buttocks – were typically painted from the groin upwards, with the red concentrated into thick patterns on the torso. The females – identified by their slothlike attitude and large, unattractive bodies – were painted primarily on the lower limbs, crawling halfway up to the groin (or as far as the children were willing to touch each unique and individual specimen with their juice-covered fingers).

Initial contact with the Runners proved uneventful. John Smith #1 breached sanction by approaching a lone, injured male. Though upon arrival, the male reacted by openly attempting to communicate with JS1 in a delusional haste. Frightened, our operative quickly left the field, though managed to escape unscathed due to the male Runner’s weakened state. After debriefing, JS1 recalled that the male had, “Sufficient wounds upon his legs and upper thighs, to suggest that he had escaped mid-meal after being deemed some other beast’s snack. Though this should hardly be the case, as the only other creatures present on the Runner’s planet are nothing more than small, aquatic lifeforms…”

Second contact did not assume the accords. JS2, confident of positive contact, approached a pair of reclining females to attempt a peaceful exchange. However, as the females caught sight of him, they sprang with unexpected agility, smothered him with their rippling folds, and proceeded to consume him raw.

Subsequent observations noticed an altercation between the aforementioned reclining females and the remainder of that tribe’s female population. The remainder of the females verbally attacked the first two specimens, crying at them with corpulent, woesome notes, though did not physically attack or otherwise engage through violent means. However, the two female specimens were denied food at the ritualistic sunset meal.

It is said that, before Exodus 1 removed all funding for the Runner Initiative, that a rogue observer recorded a lone tribe of males – and only males – fending for themselves as a nomadic group, surviving far from any females of their species. These males operated in the same capacity as escaped, human prisoners, and exhibited psychological phenomena suggesting a persecution complex that thoroughly invaded the entirety of the all-male tribe. These males, however, heartily welcomed any strange Runner who wished to join their tribe, and ventured deep into the alien woods (and close to existing male/female colonies) to join with their newest member(s). The observer also noted a curious expanse of culture within this nomadic tribe – as the males exercised a previously unobserved aptitude for sculpting natural likenesses of their biome from the moldable, edible mud of their planet:

“A sculpture,” the observation wrote, “of artistic proportions depicting a female of the Runner species. However, she was created wholly in the nude, given the slender likeness of a male Runner, and was devoid of all female, reproductive genitalia, save only for the symmetric breasts…”

Regardless, these lithe males would be unable to sustain a colony on their own, and would eventually return to their corpulent breeders so as to sustain the Runner population (had the tribe grown too large). Analysts believe these males to be an insubordinate fraction of the species, and perhaps had been democratically exiled from a larger community. Others are of the opinion that these males left of their own free will.

Moreover: man, analyzing no substance of profit or importance upon the lonely planet, ceased all contact and future observations of the Runners species entirely. All human operations on the Runner Planet have been effectively ceased, save for any additional operations that had been established illegally under the court of International Man and Space Law. Dated March 19, 2076.