Project Overview: Untitled Document is a serial comedy novel dealing with the sort of topics that we so frequently make fun of here at Something Awful.
This Chapter: The secret of the New World Order's grotesque alien surveillance is revealed! I know, I've been waiting too! Also, Captain Henry may be dead, but he may also be alive! Only reading this chapter will reveal the answer that he is alive. Shit. Plus!!! Fort Wayne Weatherman Dale McElroy is about to meet more than his match in the form of a half-crazy elderly black woman and her daughter who is named after a soft drink. This is the kind of thing you don't get to read on The Onion people!
Within the head of each member of the Gamma Strikers nested a tiny semi-sentient invertebrate known commonly - among the small circles that would know such things commonly - as a Skull Shrimp. The Skull Shrimp was one of the first technologies Raylene Conchita Leveaux IX had negotiated for at the Trade Commission. It was a product of the Gene Tanks of Karuss and was intended as a means of monitoring and controlling convicted criminals. No larger than a jelly-bean, the glistening-gray larval Skull Shrimp was inserted into any bodily orifice. It would wriggle its way into a cozy spot in the human body where it would suckle at the blood of a vein or artery. The recipient might notice bouts of lightheadedness but there was no pain associated with the process.
After a few days the Skull Shrimp would undergo a metamorphosis into its adult stage. When it emerged from its thin cocoon it would be no bigger than a dime, but instead of a tiny worm it would look like a tiny shrimp. Beating its tail and burrowing slowly the Skull Shrimp would make its way into the cranium. This process took days and was excruciatingly painful as the creature chewed and forced its way through muscle and fat tissue. Eventually it emerged into the brain cavity and it squealed with delight as it plunged through the protective sac around the human brain and sunk its thread-like appendages into the soft tissue within.
This may all sound dreadfully horrible to those of you who may not be Skull Shrimp, but rest assured that the creature was quite harmless overall and quite happy. It loved the human brain in a non-sexual sense and it clung tight to it as a spurned lover clings tight to the memories of a lost relationship. The silvery threads that found their way into the nooks and curls of brain tissue coaxed and caressed the secrets from the human mind. The love of the Skull Shrimp reached its climax incrementally. First it heard the sounds that its host did, then it smelled, tasted, saw, and finally felt. At the orgasmic moment when the Skull Shrimp transcended the five human senses and began to experience the chemical and electrical soup of human emotions it released a long trail of pheromones.
These undetectable scents percolated through the host's body and emerged from pores and sweat glands. These pheromone trails were picked up from as far away as ten thousand miles by the sensitive nose of the Shrimp Mother. The Shrimp Mother was a rotten mass of coiled sinew and uneven chitinous plates. She sat immobile in a carriage of electrodes and wires, fifty narrow prehensile snouts waving in the air and snorting for the pheromone trails of her many children. Occasionally the Shrimp Mother would groan and a fresh clutch of squirming Skull Shrimp larva would slide wetly out of her body and down a chute where they would be collected.
The hundreds of wires and electrical sensors wreathing the Shrimp Mother trailed down from her carriage and gathered into thick cabling. This bundle of cables looped across the floor of her fetid birthing chamber and, after passing through a wall, descended into a vast bank of display screens. Through an obscure process still decades away from being reverse-engineered by the New World Order the various responses of the Shrimp Mother to the pheromone trails were decoded and displayed as data on the screens. Each Skull Shrimp had four of these display screens and a pair of speakers devoted to its pheromone trail.
In this convoluted and alien way the New World Order received total coverage from all of its agents, including those unaware of the surveillance. There was still a good deal of conventional spy work going on at the NWO, due in no small part to the hours required for the pheromone trails to reach the Shrimp Mother. These more terrestrial methods were used for immediate surveillance, but it was the work of the Skull Shrimp and their howling mass of matriarchal madness that provided the most accurate and detailed information.
Teams of women in white lab coats dissected and compiled the data that poured in from the Gamma Strikers through the fleshy conduit of the Shrimp Mother. They worked quickly, even as the black-armored cleanup teams were setting the atomic charge that would destroy the evidence of Does Not Crash in the Guatemalan jungle. By the time these teams had filed back into their helicopters the technicians attending the Shrimp Mother had recognized a problematic discrepancy in the pheromone trails. Of the handful of Gamma Strikers who were not killed by the beleaguered aliens onboard the spacecraft all had been accounted for by the cleanup crews. Working efficiently the women had shot the survivors through the heart and used a serrated clamp attached to hand-held suction devices to remove each man's Skull Shrimp.
The Shrimp Mother was agitated however, because one of her children was emitting a distressed stream of pheromones that signaled "I am dying". She made pained lowing noises and dipped her searching proboscises sadly. Worse still for the technicians of the New World Order, the damaged Skull Shrimp appeared to belong to none other than Captain Patrick "Liberty" Henry. They sifted through the rapidly fragmenting streams coming from Captain Henry's cranial companion. He had been shot in the head with some sort of projectile weapon wielded by a Chimopteran in the silver uniform of a crewman. The image and sound had flickered and stuttered across the screens, an obvious sign that the projectile had struck Henry in the head and injured the Skull Shrimp.
As the creature within Captain Henry's head slowly died the images, sound, and graphical representations of the other senses fluctuated, cut-out for several seconds at a time, and eventually disappeared entirely. These last snippets indicated that Captain Henry was either barely injured or possessed of immense reserves of willpower. By the time the technicians were sure that Captain Henry had survived the helicopters of the cleanup teams were already heading back to Belize and the timer had been long set on the atomic charge. The technicians huddled together and in hushed tones reassured one another that the atomic blast would surely kill Captain Henry. No man on foot could escape the blast radius even in the hours granted by the time-delay of the pheromone trails.
"It's a moot point, he's surely dead," whispered the leader of the team of technicians.
"He was probably killed by the xenos before he even made it out," added one of the junior technicians, smoothing her lab coat nervously.
"True," continued the team leader. "We should file this information. Omit it from the report. The council will be forced to assume the logical - that Captain Henry is dead."
The others nodded and agreed, consoling themselves with fantasies of Captain Henry running like an idiot from an atomic fireball. He panted and bounced cartoonishly, then the fireball caught up to him and his flesh dissolved into the white heat, flowing away from his muscle and fascia, scouring away even the bones.
Captain Patrick Henry was dead.
gee, sun, thanks for life and warmth and light. you totally did it on purpose and aren't just a stupid exploding deathtrap
You say collaboration like it's a bad word.
Featured articles and columns that don't fit anywhere else on Something Awful.