Author Topic: EP502: Gorlack the Destroyer’s All You Can Eat Adventure  (Read 11775 times)

eytanz

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EP502: Gorlack the Destroyer’s All You Can Eat Adventure

By Robert Lowell Russell

Read by Ethan Jones

---

Seven hundred battered cases of “Unleash Your Inner Awesome!” mega-nutri-bars dotted the purple grass for kilometers in every direction. Pelle the Silicate rested his rocky body on one of the battered metal crates and sighed.
Noxious smoke from the wrecked “Do-It-Yourself and Save!” cargo lander wrinkled Pelle’s nose. He wondered if the “environmentally friendly materials” the lander was constructed from were in fact sarki beetle shells and dung.
Pelle had bet the Silicate colonists on this distant world would trade their exotic spices and rare materials for a little taste of home. Now, those little tastes were baking in their crates under an alien sun, a thousand kilometers from the nearest settlement.
“I’m ruined,” he muttered.

#

Gorlack the Destroyer fixed his gaze on the rough-skinned alien sitting on the metal box.
“Bah! Zarg, my friend, it is only another of the stone creatures.”
Zarg shook his head. “These are trying times.”
The troop of warriors and women gathered behind Gorlack murmured its discontent.
“A number three fusion blade will pierce the creature’s hide,” said Zarg, “but leave its soft, inner flesh intact. They taste like kana.”
Gorlack spat on the grass. “Everything tastes like kana. I long for a proper meal.” He turned to Zarg and rested a furred paw on the other’s shoulder. “The number three blade it will
be, but first, honor demands I offer the creature challenge.”
“The coward will refuse.”
Gorlack nodded. “Undoubtedly.” He strode boldly through the grass, approaching the alien. The murmurs turned to silence.
Gorlack addressed the alien telepathically. “I am Gorlack the Destroyer. You are my prey.” He waddled forward, flaring his hips. “Observe the size of my genitals. My many children will feast on your flesh.”
He opened his eyes wide and wiggled his rounded, furry ears. “If you flee, I will find you. If you hide, I will hear you.”
He flexed his fingers. “The Goddess did not give my people pointed claws, yet I will rend your flesh.” Gorlack opened his mouth, showing smooth, rounded teeth. “The Goddess did not give my people sharp teeth, yet I will consume you.”
Gorlack held his arms wide. “Look upon your doom and despair!” Then he filled his lungs, and he screamed aloud the ancient war cry. “Hagmay!”


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



zoanon

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Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 05:49:17 AM
"gorlack just likes to pretend he has enormous genitals"
 best. story. this. year.



Thunderscreech

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Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 07:08:25 PM
That was amazing.



Scuba Man

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Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 02:31:23 PM
Well, what I liked...
 :)
It came across like an Ewok adventure. The little fuzzies came across as little fuzzy teddie bears.  Or, rather psychotic Wombles.
I had that image of Gorlack giving a crisp salute while he was strapped to the outside of the starship.
What I found... Meh...
 :-\
I couldn't get my head around why the warriors slaughtered the command crew on that dreadnought. And murdering the spa owners? By the story's end, I had no sympathy for the little fuzzy bastards. Pelle was a weak willed character.


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Thunderscreech

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Reply #4 on: August 08, 2015, 02:49:29 PM
One more 'HUUUUG MEEEE!' story in a row and we win some sort of lottery, guys.  I think it's in the Constitution.



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Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 03:07:12 AM
One more 'HUUUUG MEEEE!' story in a row and we win some sort of lottery, guys.  I think it's in the Constitution.

I'm flashing back to a "Night Court" episode.  Re: when Judge Stone hears a young lass say she's carrying the constipitution.  :)

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AM Fish

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Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 12:52:06 AM
I couldn't get my head around why the warriors slaughtered the command crew on that dreadnought. And murdering the spa owners? By the story's end, I had no sympathy for the little fuzzy bastards. Pelle was a weak willed character.
Yup.  I kinda felt this story was a lesson on how to deal with a jerk like Gorlack even if he is an asexual herbivore.  We've all met that type.  Calling the authorities doesn't always help.



Zelda

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Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 06:23:03 AM
Rock-creatures that love getting massages. It doesn't get any better.

I enjoyed this story.



TrishEM

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Reply #8 on: August 14, 2015, 08:25:08 AM
Except the final "Huuuug Meeee!" story to complete the triptych would have to come from Pseudopod, and I'm a bit afraid to see how that would turn out.

One more 'HUUUUG MEEEE!' story in a row and we win some sort of lottery, guys.  I think it's in the Constitution.



Fenrix

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Reply #9 on: August 15, 2015, 12:29:43 PM
Except the final "Huuuug Meeee!" story to complete the triptych would have to come from Pseudopod, and I'm a bit afraid to see how that would turn out.

One more 'HUUUUG MEEEE!' story in a row and we win some sort of lottery, guys.  I think it's in the Constitution.

We have such sights to show you.

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ElectricPaladin

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Reply #10 on: August 15, 2015, 03:19:25 PM
Because I'm a pendatic cuss, my only quibble is that they're not asexual. It's strongly implied that they reproduce with each other via the "hugging" they do. That means that they're probably hermaphrodites. The only way they could still be asexual would be if they were like the New Mexico Whiptail Lizard, which only has females, but needs to simulate sex in order to release the hormones that lead to the production of self-fertilized eggs (making them asexual lesbian lizards - and probably my favorite animals in the world).

But seriously, I really enjoyed this story. It was highly entertaining, a real rollercoaster from start to finish. A+!

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Funkyscribbles

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Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 04:14:00 PM
"gorlack just likes to pretend he has enormous genitals"
 best. story. this. year.

This was favorite line in one of my new favorite EP stories.  From battle hugs to lilliputian overlords, I loved every minute of it. This is why you don't bring bullfrogs to Australia, folks!



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Reply #12 on: August 20, 2015, 01:52:40 PM
This was super fun.  Psychotic ewoks who sometimes like to pretend their dudebros with big genitals. 

No, the killing of the spa owners and the Dreadnought staff was not necessary but... that was kind of the point, right?  Gorlack doesn't do things because they're necessary, Gorlack does things because he can do whatever he wants to.  He also tried to harm Pelle for no better reason than he was a present target, and it was only coincidence that Pelle was durable enough to enjoy the assault.

So... were these things originally just meant to be toys?  Like Furbies or something?  Because the Gorlack POV doesn't seem to be aware that it's saying "Hug me"--makes me think that being killing machines was not their original purpose.  Or perhaps their original purpose was to be killing machines that could pretend to be toys for camoflauge.

Because I'm a pendatic cuss, my only quibble is that they're not asexual. It's strongly implied that they reproduce with each other via the "hugging" they do. That means that they're probably hermaphrodites. The only way they could still be asexual would be if they were like the New Mexico Whiptail Lizard, which only has females, but needs to simulate sex in order to release the hormones that lead to the production of self-fertilized eggs (making them asexual lesbian lizards - and probably my favorite animals in the world).

That crossed my mind as well, and you're right.  But, yeah, minor point that didn't really detract from the story hugely either.





matweller

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Reply #13 on: August 20, 2015, 06:38:46 PM
Because I'm a pendatic cuss, my only quibble is that they're not asexual. It's strongly implied that they reproduce with each other via the "hugging" they do. That means that they're probably hermaphrodites. The only way they could still be asexual would be if they were like the New Mexico Whiptail Lizard, which only has females, but needs to simulate sex in order to release the hormones that lead to the production of self-fertilized eggs (making them asexual lesbian lizards - and probably my favorite animals in the world).

But seriously, I really enjoyed this story. It was highly entertaining, a real rollercoaster from start to finish. A+!

That seems like terribly limited thinking considering all of the kinds of reproduction there are in the known universe, much less beyond. I mean, besides, they multiplied over the course of an evening - which isn't to say there aren't examples of sexual reproduction that rapid, but I think most of the examples we have at our disposal would be asexual.



ElectricPaladin

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Reply #14 on: August 20, 2015, 07:41:31 PM
Because I'm a pendatic cuss, my only quibble is that they're not asexual. It's strongly implied that they reproduce with each other via the "hugging" they do. That means that they're probably hermaphrodites. The only way they could still be asexual would be if they were like the New Mexico Whiptail Lizard, which only has females, but needs to simulate sex in order to release the hormones that lead to the production of self-fertilized eggs (making them asexual lesbian lizards - and probably my favorite animals in the world).

But seriously, I really enjoyed this story. It was highly entertaining, a real rollercoaster from start to finish. A+!

That seems like terribly limited thinking considering all of the kinds of reproduction there are in the known universe, much less beyond. I mean, besides, they multiplied over the course of an evening - which isn't to say there aren't examples of sexual reproduction that rapid, but I think most of the examples we have at our disposal would be asexual.

So you think the hugging wasn't sexual? Because the juxtaposition seemed to imply that that's what the author was getting at.

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Reply #15 on: August 20, 2015, 07:53:32 PM
Because I'm a pendatic cuss, my only quibble is that they're not asexual. It's strongly implied that they reproduce with each other via the "hugging" they do. That means that they're probably hermaphrodites. The only way they could still be asexual would be if they were like the New Mexico Whiptail Lizard, which only has females, but needs to simulate sex in order to release the hormones that lead to the production of self-fertilized eggs (making them asexual lesbian lizards - and probably my favorite animals in the world).

But seriously, I really enjoyed this story. It was highly entertaining, a real rollercoaster from start to finish. A+!

That seems like terribly limited thinking considering all of the kinds of reproduction there are in the known universe, much less beyond. I mean, besides, they multiplied over the course of an evening - which isn't to say there aren't examples of sexual reproduction that rapid, but I think most of the examples we have at our disposal would be asexual.

So you think the hugging wasn't sexual? Because the juxtaposition seemed to imply that that's what the author was getting at.

Yeah, seemed pretty clear to me.  If they were producing asexually, then they wouldn't need partners, they'd more likely be budding like mogwai or splitting by mitosis or something rather than engaging in much activity with one another.  I suppose it's possible that they were just assisting each other--picking off seeds like a nitpicking ape and helping distribute those seeds, but with the emphasis on hugging it seemed to be clearly intended to be a sex joke.



matweller

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Reply #16 on: August 21, 2015, 03:51:04 PM
Because I'm a pendatic cuss, my only quibble is that they're not asexual. It's strongly implied that they reproduce with each other via the "hugging" they do. That means that they're probably hermaphrodites. The only way they could still be asexual would be if they were like the New Mexico Whiptail Lizard, which only has females, but needs to simulate sex in order to release the hormones that lead to the production of self-fertilized eggs (making them asexual lesbian lizards - and probably my favorite animals in the world).

But seriously, I really enjoyed this story. It was highly entertaining, a real rollercoaster from start to finish. A+!

That seems like terribly limited thinking considering all of the kinds of reproduction there are in the known universe, much less beyond. I mean, besides, they multiplied over the course of an evening - which isn't to say there aren't examples of sexual reproduction that rapid, but I think most of the examples we have at our disposal would be asexual.

So you think the hugging wasn't sexual? Because the juxtaposition seemed to imply that that's what the author was getting at.

You're the one that said your lizard was asexual, and it's a hugger. Besides, as I said, when you look at the vast array of known options, how can you limit the exponentially wider array of unknown?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 03:52:36 PM by matweller »



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Reply #17 on: August 25, 2015, 03:03:11 PM
Hard not to have a smile on your face after listening to this one. I'm sure you can poke holes in the worldbuilding but it moved so fast and entertainingly that I have no intention to.



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Reply #18 on: August 28, 2015, 12:13:31 PM
Well, that was fun. 

Yeah, a little on the predictable side, some characters a bit too cutesy and flat, and I always struggle a little with murder played for laughs, BUT I forgive it all for the sheer, weird inventiveness of the romp. Assault by a killer teddy-bear that leaves the victim exalting, "I feel so CLEAN!!" And yeah, "Gorlack liked to pretend he had enormous genitals." Genius.

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Reply #19 on: August 31, 2015, 02:02:24 AM
I really enjoyed this Care Bears/Ewok/Mad Maxian mashup. Not much to add to everyone else's praise.

However, regarding the teddy bear hugging being incompatible with asexual reproduction, I have an insight. I believe the "hugging" described was late mitosis of the individual bears. If the splitting were rather rapid and not particularly well examined, it might appear that a bear undergoing a process similar to cell mitosis division would appear to be hugging itself prior to total separation of the daughter cells/bears. Now, the obvious problem with this hypothesis is that individual identity might/should be compromised so that would presume that none of the main bear characters had undergone such a reproductive method during the timeline mentioned in the story. But, IIRC, their production of "offspring" is not mentioned, the Teddy Bear Mitosis theory still holds some water.

And oh my sweet Cthulu, what other place and fabulous group of people would provide me the opportunity to use the words Teddy Bear Mitosis Theory. Thanks Escapepod!!

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Reply #20 on: September 02, 2015, 06:26:08 PM
Interspecies communication is key to healthy galactic interactions. 

Applied on a terrestrial level, is your dog’s rapt attention true love or just a manipulative way of obtaining extra doggie treats?  Are we externalizing our own preconceived notions to canine behavioral patterns?

Scientific research has shown that dogs have increased serotonin levels (chemical love) when their owners arrive.  This is a happy case where our true love for the canine species is being returned in kind.

But these preconceived stereotypes cannot always be safely applied to alien species.  Yes, they may appear cuddly and loving, when in reality they just want to snack on the outer granitic layer of your skin.

Don't fall prey to preconceived notions.  Keep an open mind, strive to communicate effectively, and think twice before introducing alien species to your home world.

Hugggggg meeeeeee!!



Moritz

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Reply #21 on: September 05, 2015, 05:25:36 PM
I usually don't like the more goofy stories, but this was a lot of fun and even had serious moments (as discussed above).



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Reply #22 on: September 10, 2015, 01:59:17 AM
I had a little bit of cognitive dissonance with this one. The title and tone, and main character, were all light-hearted, but then there were all the murders.... I'm glad that all of the little creatures weren't maniacal murderers bent on killing ALL THE THINGS, but even the nice ones did sit by and let it happen. In the end, not my favorite. I did however enjoy the back-to-back requests to hug me!!!!



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Reply #23 on: October 11, 2015, 09:47:49 PM
I played this for one of my kids on a trip across town, and it was later requested for a long trip with the scout troop.

Of course, these same kids adored Norm and his Lovecraft Mad Libs, too, so they may not be the gauge you want to set your sump pump's float switch to.

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TrishEM

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Reply #24 on: November 09, 2015, 11:11:16 PM
I was catching up on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and heard the Not My Job segment with Neil deGrasse Tyson, in which they ask him about various cosmetology issues. They mentioned a Bali spa treatment where pythons crawl all over you, with their scales acting as exfoliants for your skin, and so of course I thought about this EP episode!
http://www.npr.org/2015/10/24/450994221/not-my-job-we-quiz-cosmos-expert-neil-degrasse-tyson-on-cosmetology

A quick search didn't turn up Balinese exfoliating massage pythons, but it did turn up a spa in Bali where a python massage is given in order to trigger your fear response, with the adrenaline rush supposed to be good for you.
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/photos/python-massage-offered-spa-20713493/image-20713600

And it also turned up a spa treatment where fish nibble on the dead skin cells on your feet to exfoliate you (but beware, they can apparently spread infections).
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2011/02/28/experts-shocking-warning-dont-let-fish-chew-on-your-feet/#.VkEnjGSrQfE


FYI!