Tuesday, November 22, 2016

COEURL

COEURL
"He stopped short. Tenseness flamed along his nerves. His muscles pressed with sudden, unrelenting strength against his bones. His great forelegs—twice as long as his hindlegs—twitched with a shuddering movement that arched every razor-sharp claw. The thick tentacles that sprouted from his shoulders ceased their weaving undulation, and grew taut with anxious alertness."

"Utterly appalled, he twisted his great cat head from side to side, while the little hairlike tendrils that formed each ear vibrated frantically, testing every vagrant breeze, every throb in the ether."


"But there was no response, no swift tingling along his intricate nervous system, not the faintest suggestion anywhere of the presence of the all-necessary id. Hopelessly, Coeurl crouched, an enormous catlike figure silhouetted against the dim reddish skyline, like a distorted etching of a black tiger resting on a black rock in a shadow world."

"He licked his lips in brief gloating memory of the moment his slavering jaws tore the victim into precious toothsome bits."

"'Ah,' said Siedel. 'I was right. The tentacles each develop into seven strong fingers. Provided the nervous system is complicated enough, those fingers could, with training, operate any machine.'"
A.E. van Vogt, The Black Destroyer

"Ah," said Siedel, the psychologist, "the tentacles end in suction cups. Provided the nervous system is complex enough, he could with training operate any machine."

“He plunged his mouth into the warm body and let the lacework of tiny suction cups strain the id out of the cells.”
A.E. van Vogt, The Voyage Of the Space Beagle


This special edition of Stories From the Borderland originally appeared in Unwinnable #84

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