Unknown Sci-Fi -- A Web Novel

Chapter 8 - Panic

          And so it began. The order came down from Mr. Luscious and the UCCS Command that the wall around the facility would be enhanced to defend against arachnoid's. This decision was partly based on overall concerns that the training facility was lacking in parameter security. The second was a real concern that the escaped arachnoid's would return with greater numbers and overwhelm them and the town. The UCCS was also receiving panicked requests from all neighboring towns that they wanted more protection from what they thought was an imminent attack. The local papers were printing stories on how to identify signs and what to do in the event of an arachnoid invasion. The media, although limited in their reach, caused a heightened fear and level of panic by providing a vision of a thousand arachnoid's crawling over the terrain and decimating the population. The reality of the media's picture of Armageddon was also partly shared by the UCCS and Mr. Lucious. This heightened fear was directly linked to the immediate aftermath of the arachnoid's escaping from their enclosures. It also didn't help that each arachnoid was named after one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It's unclear if this was started by someone within the Defenders ranks or the media but it stuck. They would be known as Death, Famine, War and Conquest.

          When the arachnoid's initially escaped their enclosures an all out search with the recruits in full battle gear ensued through the adjacent wooded area and town. The towns people were advised to remain inside and secure their homes while the threat was high. The UCCS command sent in additional assets to include the ability to patrol the skies with aerial recognizance. The search went on for two weeks resulting in zero sightings and no trace of their existence. The decision was made by the UCCS to scale down the search as it was clear to them that the arachnoid's had left the area and an immediate attack by greater numbers didn't seem likely. However the UCCS didn't want to completely rule out the possibility of a future attack so they added security measures. Torment would have an upgrade done on the parameter wall to add in additional fire throwing stations and a fire resistant lubrication would be applied to the external walls to counteract the arachnoid's speed and agility. The UCCS and Mr. Lucious knew that every second counted when utilizing fire on such illusive enemies. The patrols of fully equipped Defenders would become permanent in the towns surrounding Torment and the use of specific abnormalities had been approved.

          The MIST facility in the Open Plains UCCS had utilized a specific species of abnormalities that were human and part hawk. These abnormalities were not common and were only found in one town in the Fishing UCCS. They had enhanced sight, hearing and smelling but sadly couldn't fly as they didn't have wings. Some of the abnormalities did have hawk feathers growing out of different parts of their bodies which generally gave them a more ammonias appearance. The MIST facility Commander agreed to lend out two of his abnormalities to Mr. Lucious. These elite troops were known as Strike Hawks and were the best option for an early warning system. Albeit they had not specially trained for identifying arachnoid's but given a high enough perch they would adapt quickly to the new threat.

          Mr. Lucious signed the construction order for building a high perch for the Strike Hawks to utilize. It would be constructed in the center of the town near the governing gathering place which was built on a hill that overlooked a portion of the town and Torment. The construction plans called for the height of the perch to be 120 feet tall with two observation levels. The first would be at 60 feet and the second would be 120 which would allow the Strike Hawks the flexibility to use different vantage points. Each observation level would have living quarters to accommodate shifts of one on and one off. Their abnormalities fit the job well as they were uncanny at being alert for long stretches and when relieved would be able to turn it off when entering their living quarters for food and sleep. The perch was equipment with radios on each observation level from the UCCS Command. These radio's were from the pre-terror era and provided a direct connection to the rapid response team operations unit that engaged the embedded town defenders when threats were identified. The Strike Hawks were also trained in long weapon's combat shooting and were issued long rifles which they used with deadly accuracy. The perch became a beacon of safety for the town and allowed Mr. Lucious to sleep a bit sounder at night. However, this extra layer of security didn't satisfy Mr. Lucious completely as he had other ideas and assets he wanted to implement to further shore up the security.