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The Origin of the Longhorn Grazers - Posted Tuesday, 9th November 2010 by Liam

This is the origin of the Longhorn Grazers, or so I have pieced together based on certain logs written by our mutual friend, the Lone Shee.

This is the origin of the Longhorn Grazers, or so I have pieced together based on certain logs written by our mutual friend, the Lone Shee.

This occurred shortly after the Lone Shee discovered the planet designated KT and the primitive Sabertooth Norns. He had taken a few genetic samples on that trip and now had a small population of the gentle giants living on board the Capillata.

But he was beginning to notice a problem.

"Me intensely hungry for protein," one of the Sabertooth Norns whined.

"Maybe eat fruit," a helpful ChiChi suggested.

The Sabertooth turned his nose up at the tubas scattered around his feet and wandered on, picking up an innocent snotrock and gnashing it absently with his long fangs. After a few moments he dropped it and the critter dashed away in a panic.

This was becoming a common trend. The Sabertooth Norns, ever catlike, seemed to find the native fruit distasteful and some refused to eat it at all, despite the other breeds' suggestions and encouragement. They were always complaining of hunger, and the poor snotrocks were getting the brunt of their frustrated antics. The Lone Shee knew what the problem was: Sabertooth Norns were predators, plain and simple, and even on board the Capillata their instincts called for fresh meat.

It was plain to the Lone Shee what he needed to do.

He took a few samples of Grazer DNA he still had leftover from his Zebra Norn project, patched a few gaps with Handle Fish DNA (the Grazer DNA had been sitting around a while) and voila: six new Grazer calves, with rather unusual patterning he had to admit, but they were Grazers nonetheless.

He chose a moment when most of the Sabertooth Norns were up near the Musicola and herded the calves into the elevator, sending them down to the Lower Meso, where hopefully they would have enough time to grow and start a herd before they attracted the Norns' attention. He felt a bit guilty about what he knew would be their fate, but such was nature, and he couldn't let his Norns starve to death.

The Lone Shee retreated to the workshop to continue one of his newest projects, and for a while he forgot about the Grazers.

Until he happened to step out into the corridor a few hours later to stretch his legs, and was surprised to see a group of Norns huddled outside the door of the Norn Meso, looking shocked.

"Me very scared!" one exclaimed.

"Maybe retreat critter!" another replied.

Uh oh, he thought.

A knot forming in his stomach, the Lone Shee entered the Meso. The sight that met him made his jaw drop.

Clearly his little experiment with the Grazer DNA had gone wrong somewhere. The Grazer hybrids had gotten... rather large since last he saw them. All right--"large" was a bit of an understatement. They were enormous. Huge. The biggest critters he had ever seen, with horns to match. And for the life of him, the Lone Shee had no idea how to handle the situation. It was extremely doubtful that they would even fit through a portal.

The bewildered Shee was still wondering how on Albia he could get rid of these enormous creatures when he noticed a brown stripey shape come slinking up through the Bramboo. A second later it was joined by another, and two small cream and brown faces appeared, peeking through the stalks toward the humongous beasts, their long white teeth bared as they chattered and stared in excitement.

The Lone Shee couldn't remember the last time he had seen a Sabertooth Norn look so lively. He watched them tiptoe a bit further from cover, slowly closing the distance between themselves and their prey. One of the humongous Grazers lifted its head, and its gaze fixed on them. Its big bulky body swung around and it took off, stocky legs pounding the ground. Several other Grazers nearby also took flight, groaning complaints.

The two Sabertooth Norns pounced on a big black and white animal that had waited too long to flee. The Lone Shee felt his squeamishness getting the better of him, and had to look away. When he finally summoned the courage to look back, the two Sabertooth Norns were already devouring the carcass. The Grazer herd stood on the far side of the Meso, tossing their horned heads and growling out warnings. The happy Norns paid them no attention.

Perhaps giant Grazers weren't such a bad idea after all.

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