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PostPosted: Wed Jun 1, '11, 8:19 pm
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This is the origin story of Lohengrin Corg from the EOTA universe. This is a different incarnation of Corg than the one I used in "Beyond Reality" and its follow-ups.

The bead of sweat dropped from Corg’s face onto the grey carpet at regular intervals like a leaky faucet. His face grew redder with each physical exertion. His breathing grew more ragged as he struggled to lift his 95-pound body off the ground until his scrawny arms straightened out. Descending once more, he found that keeping his chest at a minimum of two inches from the floor was even more strenuous than pushing himself back up.

“Omigod! Look at Corg! He couldn’t hit the broad side of domed city! Did you see that t
hrow?”

The ten-year-old boy gasped for air as he continued to force himself to perform more push-ups. He had already performed twenty, but the boy reasoned with himself that that was far from enough. The other boys could do twenty and barely break a sweat, and they could do five pull-ups on the high-bar two. Corg struggled to perform even just two.

“Well, I guess there are no more other choices, so you get to be stuck with Corg on your team this time.”

“Ah, what the heck? I had to play with him last time!”

The evaporative cooling that sweating usually brought to a normal person was offset by generous amounts of heat that Corg’s body produced as he madly drove himself to perform more push-ups. He was now breathing through his mouth in short, rapid bursts, and his arms were burning beyond his capacity to support. However, a deranged determination to continue this daft reach for true physicality dominated the young mind of Corg, and he continued to push himself further.

“Wow. Just wow. Even Valerie got a better running time than Corg did.”

Corg’s forces soon failed him and he collapsed, inert, on the carpet. Using what little energy he had, Corg dragged himself across the carpet and pulled himself up and onto his bed, where he lay on his back for several minutes, saying nothing, just breathing and trying to banish the images of his classmates from his head. He wiped the sweat from his brow, but the beads of sweat were soon replaced by new ones. Now, if he did this every day for the next few months, he’d soon be able to best all of the schoolboys in arm wrestling or throwing, Corg reasoned with himself.

His concentration was interrupted by the mechanical whir of his door sliding open. His father, a bearded man in his late 40s, walked in and observed his son for a few moments.

“You’ve been at it again, haven’t you?” his father asked, disapprovingly.

Corg looked over at him, the red in his face making his freckles almost invisible. Still trying to get his energy back, Corg simply nodded, being too tired to speak.

“Corg, I’ve told you before. You can’t push yourself like this.” His father’s disapproving tone was soon dipped in a pool of concern. “Who cares what the others say? It’s not the end of the world. Besides, you get good grades and you don’t get into the trouble. So what you’re not the best at athletics. You don’t have to be! We can’t be the best at everything! When the time comes for you to go to college, people will kill to have the grades you have.”

Corg remained silent, the taunting voices of the children at school screaming louder than his father’s encouragement.

“Come now. Take a shower and watch some TV with your dad.” With that, his dad turned away and left the room.

***
Corg walked into the living room of the house dressed in a pair of beige shorts and a T-shirt of a rock band called Robot Sex Toys, whose insignia was a short, well-endowed woman with long, lime-green hair. He plopped himself on the couch where his dad sat and looked into the telescreen in front of him.

His dad, who usually enjoyed watching sports himself, had the channel changed to a nature documentary. In this particular program, a brave, but obviously stupid film crew decided to try to film some bio-monsters in their natural habitat, i.e. outside of the domed cities. After a short section on the mating habits of buzzers, the film crew decided to up the ante a little and focus on the feeding habits of locustas. This caught Corg’s attention.

Corg stared at the eight-foot arthropod with some sort of morbid fascination. There was something mesmerizing about that single, large red eye and the constant, rhythmic opening and closing movements of the creature’s mandibles. Corg felt as if the insect was staring right at Corg, looking into his soul. Corg’s father seemed oblivious to Corg’s almost-unblinking stare.

With the sort of attention that Corg didn’t even display even in his favorite classes, he watched the large invertebrate gracefully track down an armored ant, it’s favorite meal. After several moments of posturing and stillness, the locusta struck. It’s long, serrated arms shot out and grabbed the unfortunate ant, severing two of its legs in the process. Its prey struggled to wriggle itself free, but the locusta maintained its grip on the creature, moving its four powerful legs back and forth in order to maintain balance. The locusta’s claws ripped into the ant’s powerful exoskeleton, causing a dark black ichor to pour out of its wounds. With supernatural precision and speed, the locusta shoved one of its claws into the fresh wound, effectively skewering the animal.

Corg’s dad laughed out loud at what he saw. Corg reacted differently: without realizing it, he felt three of fingers—his middle, ring, and pinkie fingers—curl up against the palm of his hand. His thumb slowly lined up with his index finger, which now jutted out like the locusta’s claws. Some unknown force compelled him to the do the same on his other hand. His hands shot out in the same way the locusta’s claws did when grabbing the ant.

Corg’s dad noticed his son’s imitation of the creature. “Fascinating, isn’t it, son?” He smiled a little. “Not too many kids your age find this stuff interesting anymore. You should watch more of these videos, you know?”

The ten-year-old’s topaz eyes were locked in mortal combat with the hypnotic gaze of the locusta’s red eye. Without looking at his dad, he agreed, “I believe I will. I think you’re on to something, dad.”

“See? Don’t worry about being athletic like the other kids. Just be you.”

The program now showed the locusta’s mandibles, those large, perpetually-moving chitinous blades, tearing through the ant’s exoskeleton and ripping out the reddish pulp that was the ant’s flesh. Corg’s hands now straightened out from the faux-locusta claws into something more rigid, all of his fingers straight and together. Pulling his elbows back against his ribs, he began to striking the blades of his hands against each other in a constant opening-and-closing manner. Corg even felt the same invisible force work on his legs, causing them to subtly move from one side to another, the same way the locusta had done so to keep its balance.

In a couple of moments, the program went on to discuss the mosquito waspy family and the diseases that they carried. Felk continued watching with rapt attention, although his hands now reverted back to the imitation locusta claws that hey taken before.

“Dad? Do you think you can pick up a few more of these nature videos later on?”
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