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Fauna Subject to Change

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By Brandon Case

Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash

“Kill them, Captain!” Corporal Keril screams at me, spraying the herd of deer with his MK-790 plasma rifle. “Kill them all!”

The animals drop by the dozen—their bodies strewn across the twilight meadow.

I put a hand on the Corporal’s shoulder. “Easy, soldier. They’re just deer from the terraforming: genetically certified by NewWorlds Co.”

Keril’s ammo runs out. His eyes bulge, finger still clicking the trigger. “Y-you didn’t see…”

A deer steps through the trees behind Keril.

Its head splits down the middle; spiked tongues lick the halves of its fang-studded skull.

“…Fucking terrorformists,” I snarl.

The herd swarms us.

Brandon Case is an erstwhile government cog, fleeing the doldrums into unsettling worlds of science and magic. He has recent or forthcoming work in Escape Pod, Martian Magazine, and After the Gold Rush. You can catch his alpine adventures on Instagram @BrandonCase101 and Twitter @BrandonCase1235

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