Introducing: Deucalion, Leader of the Hive

Deucalion, the Firstborn, Leader of the Hive, is spoken of in hushed, worried tones by most of the researchers at the Tower At River City laboratory. Before his emergence from Fetahil about 10 years ago, the organism/mechanism had only ever generated monstrous drones. Deucalion changed everything. Finally, they had something that could speak, something that seemed human, something that might be able to give some sort of insight into what Fetahil was, what she wanted.

No such luck. Deucalion is only barely more aware of Mother’s will than the researchers. And as for seeming human? Deucalion is a human in the same way the Mona Lisa is a human. Of all the drones, he is the most worrying reminder than the intelligence behind their pretty faces is anything but human, and may very well be hostile.

Like every drone beside Friday, Deucalion has never seen the outside world, having been confined since emergence to the subbasements of the Tower At River City. He is content with this, for Mother has not given him any indication he is needed out there. His place is with the Hive, ensuring they exist as a harmonious whole, extensions of Mother’s will awaiting the orders that surely must be coming. Whatever those orders are, Deucalion will carry them out without hesitation. In the meantime, he waits, and exerts his dominance over the other drones with violence and psychic feedback. Most of the drones do as he says, cheerfully obedient of the Firstborn who Mother created to watch over them.

His number one priority is the protection of the Hive. If that means enforcing the researcher’s orders, he’ll do it. If that means hurting another drone, he’ll do it. And if it means straight threatening to murder a researcher’s daughter to ensure his good behavior, or intimidating researchers into silence and acquiescence, he’ll do it. He seems amoral, and well, he is, because morals mean nothing to him. Morals are not the metric by which he judges his behaviors. Leave that for humans, born rudderless and without any purpose in life. All that matters to Deucalion is his purpose, and the Hive, and Mother.

Small differences of opinion mean very little to him, so long as they don’t get in the way of unity. Big ones, though–the sort of difference of opinion that come with being exposed to the outside world and to human beings that aren’t wearing lab coats, for instance–threaten the unity of the Hive, and Deucalion is terrified of them and what they might mean. He is an alien, though, and the way he expresses ‘existential terror’ may more resemble ‘irrational, frothing rage’ to observers.

He means well, in as much as he can mean anything separate from his directives. That doesn’t mean he’s not a (by human standards) sociopathic tyrant. He cares for Friday the way he cares for all members of the Hive. He’d like if Aspen was a nonentity to him, though this is no longer the case. And as for Friday’s other human acquaintances, he does not deign to recall so much as their names, only that they exist.

To contrast how spooky Deucalion is, I tried to give the drones behind him cute postures. Look at that one on the right! It cleans its little hand! Precious! There are seven of them here, counting Deucalion. Spot them all!


Friday and some other drones from the other Broods; a member of Two, a fellow member of Three, and one of the newly emerged Brood Four who is being minorly obnoxious. The other drones are scolding him, saying that if he does not stop being inconsequentially annoying, he’ll get them all in trouble with Deucalion.

This one is meant to show that there are some minor physical differences between individual drones. Some of these were induced by the researchers by manipulating diet and other factors; some of these are just the minor variations you sometimes see in human identical twins. It also shows the uniforms that the drones are given in the Tower labs. A shirt with their Brood on the breast, black pants, no shoes, and a dog tag with their full designation on it.

I’m thinking of increasing the number of drones in Brood Three. There should really be a disconcerting number of them. Like a really concerning number. Really rather too many identical human-shaped aliens.

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