"Rewind it and play it again."
Sergeant Grendal made a face like he had eaten an entire lemon. Reviewing the footage did that to him.
“It seems to get uglier every time I see it...” he mumbled. Several of the data analysts turned briefly, but resumed their work. He stared at the footage again.
The same scene played out. A caravan making a delivery to one of those damn EDU forts. Boxes are unloaded, some banter exchanged between the locals. More talking and general nonsense.
“Forward.” The screen sped up and everyone talked like chipmunks.
“Stop. Normal speed and prepare to filter the audio.”
The figures on the screen resumed their usual speed. A minute passes. With no warning, a screeching sound fills the air and deafens the caravan. Many of the workers pivot to locate the source of the noise and the webfort alarm starts going off. Several of the automated defenses begin to power on and self-load ammunition. Several workers collapse and start bleeding from their eyes and ears.
Confusion seems to reign for a moment and Grendal sees "it" enter frame in a blur, decapitating one of the caravan guards. The drone guns track and fire when they have a clear shot, but discontinue firing due to their friend or foe safeguards. “Hold.” The image slows down and Grendal gets a good look at it.
The creature was at best freakish. It's entire body was shaped like a snake and covered in red glowing eyes on top of plates of bony looking chitin - but it had wings. Fleshy wings. “Get pictures and distribute them to the Wikipedia goons and the e-zoologists, or whatever the hell we call them now.”
Grendal sighed. “What the hell are we calling this goddamn thing again?”
“Ticon, sir.” one of the analysts said.
Grendal waved him off. He didn't care too much about the name. He just knew that the Cybers in his area had been getting progressively worse in the recent months and he was going to need to deal with it.