Its volatile payload makes the Funditor a dangerous creature to be around
Two Leggies. There’s always two Leggies by my side. Today, we’re training. I have target practice. We’re out in the fields and there are a few towers they want me to hit. Easy. I ate well today, so I should pack some punch.“4-GS-10, haul one!” one of the Leggies yells. I like how they yell. I face the tower, put my hands down and raise my legs up. The weight on my back is always snug, I like feeling the heat pass through me. I take my time, calculate the angle, staring straight ahead to the tower, and let loose. I feel the surge rush over me and a second or three later, I watch the tower go down in flames as some fluids leak onto my armor.
I adjust my position, my other legs strafing me a bit. Makes me feel like a turret. I look at the tower, let out a small burp, then I push. The other Leggie snickers.
“Nice one, Ten,” they say as the second tower goes down.
Seven’s always nice to me. But they worry too much.
“Alright buddy, one more. You’ve got this,” they say.
“HAUL THREE!” Eight yells. Last push. Out it goes. I watch the ball fly through the sky and land dead center in the tower, engulfing it in flames.
“Still got it,” I say. I shake my butt a little, can’t drip on the mess hall.
“I’ll report in,” says Eight, “and then we can get some lunch.”
I walk back with Eight and Seven. 4-GS-9 missed two of their towers, so their squad has to continue. Nine’s a newborn, so they’ll get there eventually. We sit down in the mess hall, I’ve got myself a humble meal today.
“God, you eat like a monster, Ten,” Seven mocks me. Funny little Legionnaire.
“If you want them to keep hitting targets the way they do, Seven, then you won’t mock their appetite. Enjoy your meal, Ten,” goes Eight.
“Thanks, you too.”
“Hey, Ten. I heard from someone that you were in Third Beta Squadron on Garulibar-Eight, during their uprising. Almost every Grenn I know or have met from that has left service, why are you still here?” Seven asks.
“I dunno. Got nothing better to do, for starters. And I like blowing things up,” I say with a chuckle.
“And you’re damn good at it,” Eight adds.
“Of course I am.”
“Okay but, like… what was it like? On Garulibar? Most of the Grenn I’ve met who served there are… well, not okay.”
“Heh. I don’t know, Seven. The rest took it a lot harder, I guess. There were moments I didn’t like either, like when 3-BS-9 got blown up. They were my cousin, I wasn’t a fan of that. But death comes to us all, eventually.”
“Were they a Fundie like you?”
“Yeah, they were. Got shot in the gut and went kaboom. Splattered everywhere, took a nice chunk of forest with them. Nine had a few seconds before going, so they managed to make a clearing near the outpost we were supposed to be taking out. Worked out well. They really helped us with their last few seconds. Very nice of them.”
“…that sounds pretty fucked up, Ten,” Seven is clearly a little shocked, didn’t mean to do that.
“Part of service, bud. We walk, we burn, we walk some more. Besides, Nine’s Leggies were not on point, you Grenn clearly are. I’ll be fine, I won’t blow up on you.”
“You better not, it would wreck our combat ratings,” Eight jokes.
“Wait, but, what else happened down there?”
“I think just about everything happened down there. From the beginning, just like you Grenn, I woke up in the mud, a small Curate licking me and feeding me. I loved being in the mud, I heard that’s not the case for everyone, apparently. So comfy and wet, nothing to do but chill and exist. It’s the best reason I have for retiring. Not having to do anything anymore. But also no longer blowing things up, and I do really like blowing things up. So, for now, I’m still here. Anyways, my squad headed for this outpost. A nice walk through some forest. I loved scratching myself on the treebark when we weren’t walking. I remember telling 3BS8 this joke… what was it again…” I ponder, “Oh yeah! What did the little tree say to the big tree?”
Eight buries his face in his hands, I think they’ve heard this one before, but Seven looks excited about my joke.
“LEAF me alone!” I roar with laughter, Seven chuckles along, suddenly stopping.
“Wait. Why would you tell me about a joke you told back then?”
“…I’unno. Because it was funny?” I don’t understand what Seven means.
“Dude, your cousin died in that forest. Next to you.”
“Leave it alone, Seven. You know how Fundies are.”
“Yeah, they died. Don’t we all die at some point? I did crouch low right after they died, to protect myself. Wasn’t looking forward to getting blown up myself much either. I blew a hole in a wall full of refugees once. I don’t know how to crack jokes about that one. Was a good hole though. I was following orders, doing my job.”
“You did what you were told to do, which is the safest bet for a Funditor. It’s what I expect you to do on the battlefield,” Eight is being comforting, not unwelcome.
“Wait, Ten… Three Beta Squadron… so… you Grenn were, at least partially, responsible for the escalation of that uprising, right?” Seven seems really shocked now. I get that a lot when folks find out I’m from Three-BS. Not sure why.
“I was following orders, Seven. You should try that sometimes.” Eight chuckles at my joke.
“Sorry I asked, dude,” Seven pouts.
“Heh, it’s all good, Seven. Your line of inquiry makes sense. You worry about combat, about death. I don’t. It’s my purpose, it’s what I’m built for.”
“As am I, Ten, but that doesn’t mean I’d be okay with Eight here dying or myself getting blown up.”
“Your combat ratings are high enough that I doubt you or Eight would. I think you’ll have a lovely retirement, actually.”
“Not sure I’ll retire, actually,” Eight butts in.
“Good for you, Eight. Fight the good fight.”
“I can’t wait to get out myself. I think I want to open a bar.”
“Good for you, Seven. Do what you believe in.”
“Pff, a bar? Are you not grateful to the Coalition?” Eight judges.
“No, I mean, I am, but I don’t want to continuously put my life on the line for it.”
“Their choices are theirs, Eight. We all do what we want, eventually. ”
“I think, when I do retire, I’ll call myself Alex,” I ponder out loud.
“Nice. I haven’t thought about a name yet,” Seven replies.
“I think you’d make a good…” I think for a bit, “Marge.”
“Oh, I do like that!”
“I think I’ll go with… Burk. Had my eyes set on that for a while,” Eight goes.
“Alex, Burk and Marge, sitting in Marge’s Bar, swapping war stories. I can dig it,” says Seven.
This is the second installment of our four-part documentation on the Grenn. Today we will cover the Grenn Funditor.
After the Grenn were discovered on Syrena-C651-F5b, most attention of the Coalition military brass went to the Legionnaires at first. These were ostensibly the best soldiers, but a few days after their initial discovery, a lone group of surveyors witnessed a skirmish between two different colonies of Grenn. One xeno-ethologist aboard the scout craft noticed a pattern in the movements of the Legionnaires of one colony: They deliberately seemed to lure the members of the other colony into a narrow gorge, hidden from view. When Legionnaires of the other colony swarmed the gorge, they were suddenly hit by volley after volley of bombs, until most of the Legionnaires were either killed or severely maimed. As suddenly as it had begun, the bombing stopped and the opposing Legionnaires quickly dispatched the rest. Extrapolating the parabolic trajectory of the bombs, the surveyors saw a group of large Grenn, protected by Legionnaires.
This was the first time Funditors were seen in combat. The largest subtype of Grenn except the Queen, the Funditor is a hulking creature that does not move on its two hind legs like the Legionnaire, but instead walks on four legs, with the two front legs free for use. At first mistaken for a juvenile Queen (which had been categorized just days earlier), the Funditor plays a vital role in combat. Its internal sacs do not produce eggs, but quasi-solid mineral deposits filled with volatile organic compounds. The Funditor can hurl these projectiles more than one kilometer far, and during that time, the remaining water evaporates, making them so unstable that they will explode on impact. Its volatile payload makes the Funditor a dangerous creature to be around, and a direct hit from an opposing Funditor into a group may lead to an explosion that leaves nothing but a smoking crater. On Syrena-C651-F5b, they seldomly come above ground, except when the colony is launching an assault, and even then they only surface under protection of Legionnaires. Their physical volatility has led to the evolutionary development of a calm an easy disposition, in sharp contrast to the feisty and aggressive Legionnaires.
When the Coalition militarized the Grenn and their crack biologists artificially enhanced their intelligence, great care was taken to retain the docile characteristics, leading to a laidback personality. Newly hatched Funditors are bred for a specific conflict, much like the Legionnaires, and after their compulsory military service, they are free to join civil society, in which case, the ventral glands are removed, free of charge, to eliminate the danger of exploding in a crowded area. Nevertheless, almost all Funditors choose to undergo this procedure and join civil life as upstanding citizens. Their calm personality makes them easy-going creatures, capable of many careers, easy to make friends and slow to anger. Although Funditors have a reputation of being friendly giants, it is ill-advised to get into a fight with one as they are physically even stronger than Legionnaires due to their enormous weight. Indeed, any street thug brave or desperate enough trying to rob a Funditor, might end up being pounded into the pavement with his own limbs. Because despite their calm exterior, all Funditors are bred for one purpose: War.