Chapter 57: The Running Shooting Dog
I looked down at the cocoon as I weaved flesh and broke bone. This one had a lot of problems. Not enough mobility, that tail slows it down too much. I wanted to make this one a ranged skirmisher. Like it could run at the enemy lines and pepper them with poisonous spines.
The quadruped design seemed good, this new template was designed to be a fast moving land based ranged unit. I made the body similar to a dog or wolf, this body structure ensured stamina and mobility while at the same time keeping the body low to the ground making it harder to hit.
I made this scorpion-like tail so that it could fire accurately in a wide range of directions. I wanted it to be able to fire on the move accurately at anything it could see. So I gave it four eyes, two on each side of it’s head. I also gave it sharp fangs on the off chance it needed to enter melee combat, that would be avoided if possible but you never know.
The only problem was that due to the demands on the tail I had to make it quite large which meant it threw off the creature’s balance when it took sharp turns. I needed to find a way to make it more stable…
Perhaps I could slant the limbs away from the body at an angle…
Yeah that might work, although it might reduce speed. But I’ll need to test it to see how much speed exactly does it reduce…
“So how is it going?” I heard Cecilia ask from behind me.
I turned to see her naked on this strange couch… she called it a Chaise Lounge or something. It was like a half bed and half couch, with a backrest for her to rest on and a long section for her to put up her feet. She was currently lying on her back with Lily lying on top of her while also on her back. Lily was naked as well naturally and Cecilia was reading a book with one hand while groping Lily’s chest with the other. I could tell Cecilia just liked the feeling of her soft melons in her hand…
“Not bad I’ll need to run a test naturally…” I said as I looked back at the cocoon as it erupted and version 9 of the Running Shooting Dog popped out. I’ll come up with a better name later…
“By the way, what are you going to name that one.” Cecilia asked as she gestured to the other one I had curled up next to me.
I looked at it as I pondered that question. This one was a test run for the body, it didn’t have that spine firing tail so it just looked like a dog, well if you were very generous with the definition of dog. It was the size of a small cow and much bigger than a man. I kind of messed up and it had black spots all over it’s white armor plates. Well it did make it look quite nice… like a dalmatian… a killer dalmatian…
I’m not kidding about that killer part, even without the tail this thing’s teeth and jaw can rend steel. It struggles a bit against mithril that was too thick but it should be able to snap the limbs of more thinly armoured humanoids. Armour prevents penetration, not force afterall. The larger prey would need other designs, but so far I would rather fight the larger ones myself. It’s just too much fun to pass up honestly…
“Errr… how about… Spots?” I suggested.
“Wouldn’t Spot sound nicer?” Cecilia suggested.
“But it has more than one spot on it… see?” I replied as I gestured to it’s spot covered body.
“I don’t know, it just sounds nicer I suppose.” Cecilia said.
“But it doesn’t make sense. Why would I name it after a singular spot when it’s covered in them?” I retorted.
“Oh friend, you’re just bad at naming things…” Cecilia said with a dramatic sigh.
“Hey, I’m not that bad!” I replied in indignation.
“You wanted to name the Adjutants the Invisible Melee Bladers.” Cecilia deadpanned.
“Well…” I muttered in response. In truth I knew she was right, I am bad at it… I said I would rename the Project: Phoenix Slaves but now the project was over and I never did rename it…
“I’m keeping the name Spots…” I replied stubbornly and I heard her laugh lightly as my comment.
“Very well, then Spots it is.” Cecilia said with a final chuckle.
“Although I assume you plan to bring this one back to the palace? I guess it can serve as a guard dog for me when you’re away.” Cecilia said.
“Yeah I guess so.” I replied.
“It might scare the other nobles though… I don’t mind considering I spend so much time with you… but it might scare the children…” Cecilia said as she stood up and walked over to Spots as she examined it.
“A wise one once said, being in the proximity of dangerous monsters builds character.” I replied.
“Oh who said it?” Cecilia asked as she looked up curiously.
“Me…” I replied with a smirk and Cecilia let out a small laugh at my little joke.
“Well given enough time I have no doubt your words will become words of wisdom.” Cecilia said matter of factly.
“That’s great, a bunch of humans parroting my words.” I replied dryly.
“It’s not that bad, it’s better than curses and insults.” Cecilia said.
“True…” I said as I watched the Version 9 Running Shooting Dog shake off it’s birthing sickness. The newborns take a while to get going, this one was almost done, I just did some final tweaks before I released it.
“What did you name this one?” Cecilia asked curiously but I felt a smile in her voice.
“Erm… I haven’t decided on a name yet…” I replied and I sensed Cecilia’s smile widened with mirth.
“You said this was supposed to harass the enemy right and support existing soldiers right?” Cecilia asked as she cupped her chin.
“Yeah…” I replied as I waited for the name she inevitably was going to come up with.
“How about… Harrier Hounds?” Cecilia suggested as she turned to look at me.
“Or do you have a better idea?” Cecili added with a sly smirk.
“Yeah… let’s go with that…” I muttered in response to another light laugh from Cecilia.
“Glad I could be of assistance.” Cecilia said as she laid a gentle hand on the side of my massive frame.
“Hahaha, thanks.” I replied with a smile of my own as I looked down at my favourite human.
“Now then, next is the test correct?” Cecilia said.
“Yes…” I replied as I ordered the Harrier Hound to run around the massive room in the vault. It looked good… but it could use some more refinements… probably the angle of the slant on the legs could be improved. The speed went down slightly but it was still quite fast… faster than a horse at least…
“Happy?” Cecilia asked.
“Yeah… but it could use some more fine tuning… the turning is not as stable as I would like.” I replied as I gazed at the Harrier Hound making sharp turns.
“Alright, now then let’s test it’s firing stability…” I said as I turned to the row of cocoons with humans in them, most of them were male with a few females.
I sent out a command into the hive and one of the cocoons spat out a shivering and slime covered man. I made the cocoons because I wanted to keep this place sanitary since Cecilia likes to sit around here. The cocoons fed the test subjects and also filtered out their refuse. I could just tie them to a wall or something and let them defecate everywhere but it would just be insensitive to let Cecilia lay around in this room when it smelled like refuse. I even made this little air freshener creature for this room since the birthing fluid did have this odd odour.
The man gasped for air as his eyes locked on to Cecilia. His eyes widened in blind hope as he scrambled to his feet only to be seized by the Adjutants.
“MY QUEEN, PLEASE SAVE ME!” the man howled as he was dragged to a particular section of the wall where I tied up the test subjects. I called it the Stabbing Wall!
“It’s Empress now actually.” Cecilia replied calmly as she put a hand on her bare hip and calmly observed.
“Don’t you want to get dressed?” I asked.
“Oh no need, dead men tell no tales. Besides, look at his little thing, he’s not in the mood for that.” Cecilia said as she shifted her gaze to his genitals.
“EMPRESS MERCY!” the man sobbed as the adjutants fasted his limbs to restraints.
“If you wanted to avoid this fate then you shouldn’t have raped your twelve old daughter…” Cecilia replied coldly as she gazed at him.
“Oh this is the pedophile? I thought the last one was the pedophile.” I asked as I turned to look at Cecilia.
“The last one raped a random eleven year old girl on the street, then killed her to hide the crime. This one did it to his own daughter, but didn’t kill her. The crimes are similar in a way, so I suppose it isn’t that surprising you got slightly confused.” Cecilia replied calmly, but she had to raise her voice slightly because of the man’s incessant screaming and begging.
“Well they are just living breathing testing dummies to me anyway… gag him...” I said as one of the Adjutants took one of the gags lying around on the floor and shoved it into his mouth muffling his screams.
“Thank your friend, that was getting mildly irritating.” Cecilia said nonchalantly as she crossed her arms as she stood next to me observing.
“Now then get that armour on him.” I said. I didn’t need to say it I could just give a mental command but since Cecilia’s here I might as well say it out to clue her in to what’s happening.
I watched as the Adjutants walked forward and began putting the mithril chest piece on his struggling body. It’s only the front half, since I just needed to see how the spines would do from the front.
“Now then… calibration test. Let’s start with a standing shot, which should be the most accurate. Let’s start with something less important… the balls…” I said with a smirk as the man looked up at me, eyes wide in shock.
The Harrier Hound fired one spine and hit dead on and the man let out a muffled scream as the spine hit right on target.
“Ok heal it up, don’t want it expiring early. We still have a few more tests to run. Chop chop!” I said as I clapped my hands. I watched as one of the Adjutants walked forward and casted a basic healing spell.
It was a simple spell made to tide over an injured person by closing wounds until real healers could get to them. I put that in just in case Cecilia gets injured in an attack. Humans were so squishy and a severed artery would be very bad if Cecilia was in too much shock to cast a healing spell on herself.
“Now then the frontal approach test…” I said as I made the Harrier Hound run backwards before it turned around and charged the man. It fired a volley of spines at the man, two hit his legs and two more embedded itself in the chest plate. However two of the spines missed completely.
The man let out another muffled scream, as the Adjutants walked forward to rip the spines out before taking the breast plate off.
The spines didn't hit anything important so he would be fine for a while. Even if he was in horrible pain, but… oh the breastplate is here…
I magiced the mithril breastplate in front of me as I peered at the damage. The penetration was ok, I was just looking to see if movement affected the firing strength. It looks like other than the edge alignment the power was the same…
I noticed the Harrier Hound seemed to bounce more when it moved with these slanted legs. I ordered it to fire at the chest and only two hit the desired target. So that’s pretty bad…
I put the breast plate aside as I slithered over to the man as I gazed at his wounds. Both were stopped by the ribs. Looks like the edge alignment was messed up, I saw the spines hit an awkward angle so the breast plate caused the trajectory to shift. The end result was that the spines couldn’t penetrate well…
Huh this bouncing would be a problem…
Well might as well run the rest of the tests. I healed up the man as I continued to run my tests. I made the Harrier Hound approach at various angles, firing side long, while retreating, while back pedalling, while jumping, while taking sharp turns. It looked like jumping had the least problems, not surprising since the trajectory is fixed, no bouncing from the running.
The sharp turns performed better as well as compared to the last iteration. It looks like consistent straight movement was where this design falls short… yeah I need to fix this…
“So what’s the assessment?” Cecilia asked calmly.
“Mediocre…” I muttered in response.
“Too unstable, I need to make its movement more stable… it fires too inaccurately on the move.” I said.
“It looks pretty good to me, it already fires more accurately than everything else I have seen. Mounted archers need to slow down to shoot, they can’t nearly match the speed of these hounds. Not to mention these hounds are more agile.” Cecilia said.
“Well yeah but I’m not constrained by such limitations. If the flesh is weak it can be improved. Flesh and bone are to me what marble is to a sculptor…” I replied.
“Ok, get in the vat.” I said to the hound as it began obediently moving towards the pool of acid that was used to melt down my flawed creations.
“What about Spots? Are you going to keep him as is?” Cecilia asked as she bent down and began to pet it on the head.
“It’s appearance is quite exotic… actually… Do you think humans could use something like Spots for a mount?” Cecilia asked.
“Huh…” I paused as I ran the idea through my head.
Horses were skittish and they feared death. They also offered limited offensive options, in addition they were also much more vulnerable as compared to any of the members of my hive. I’m confident I can make something that is fiercer and more durable than your average horse…
I could make the Averlonian cavalry the best on the continent…
“Thoughts?” Cecilia asked curiously.
Yeah that’s a pretty good idea…
I like it…