The four Great steps to holding down a leopard
Biotechnology, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Space Exploration. Everything you can imagine that would exist in the year 2099 was inevitable. But this is not a world where things turn out to get better. With overpopulation, climate change, and resource depletion happening so rapidly. One can only imagine where the world is heading to.
A Cygnus-X1, a hypernova quad-copter, breaks the sound barrier and glides into the dark and misty atmosphere. “We are here,” were the words of the commanding officer, Rio Mordecai. “Congo, Zaire, the heart of Africa.” They arrived at the Ituri Rainforest, home to the Mbuti Pygmies in the Ituri Province. The copter scanned and spotted a safe helipad to land on. And it proceeded. “Wake her up” Rio came along with three soldiers and ordered one of his men to tell Kahina Mukendi-Thompson, his wife-to-be, to get ready. The soldier patted her twice. She got up abruptly. The copter landed. And the autopilot let them know that it was safe to exit. Kahina got out first. And her heart immediately sunk upon what she saw.
The trees were withered and stripped of their leaves. The streams were polluted, and the air was thick with the stench of industrial waste. The once-thriving wildlife was nowhere to be seen, and the ground was littered with discarded technology and debris. The condition of the rainforest was appalling.
The team moved as quickly as possible to their destination. They cleared any obstacles on their way and dodged any sort of poisonous or dangerous animal that would cause them trouble.
They finally reached the Mbuti village, home of the Mbuti Pygmies. And they were met with dances and praises from the children as they clapped and sang. Because they had hope, an obstacle was finally about to be destroyed. Rio could not speak Bantu, but Kahina could. She approached one of the villagers and asked if they could see their best hunter. And they took them to see Chorum. They saw him mounted on a half-robotic elephant. He got down and approached them as a chameleon appeared on his shoulder. He was tall and well-built. He was shirtless with a robotic right leg and a vicious look on his face, with a few scars and tattoos on his face and chest. His bow was made out of two snakes. He approached the team and told them who they were up against.
“Tore, the sky Father, created the world and the first man he made from clay with some help. He covered the clay with skin and poured blood into it to bring the human to life. In the beginning, there was no death. When people grew old, Tore made them young again. One day, however, a woman passed away because the first pygmies stole fire from him and used the fire to burn the woman alive. He quickly asked a frog to move the woman’s body so he could revive her, but a toad demanded that he be the one to do this. Tore was furious and turned into a leopard. And chasing down the people that did this. But he could not catch up to them. The toad sat on the edge of a pit with the woman’s body, symbolizing a grave. He warned the toad that great misfortune would come if they fell into the pit. The clumsy toad knocked the woman’s body into the pit and fell in after her. As Tore returned home to see, the woman, who appeared to be his mother, passed away. And the toad alongside. As Tore had warned, misfortune came. His mother did not come back to life; from then on, all people and living things were fated to die. Ever since then, there has not been any rainfall. The trees have been dying. And Tore every night kills one of us and devours them, especially the children. We have found it difficult to stop him because he is ferocious, and revenge is in his eyes. He is impossible to stop. And so, we called upon your assistance to help hunt down and stop Tore once and for all.”
Suddenly, a vibrating noise echoed throughout the forest. It came from a mile away. The birds were flying in the opposite direction. Chorum could sense that the beast was approaching. It was getting hungry as it was almost nighttime. There is was no time.
Chorum called for help from his trusted hunters, and Kahina and Rio gathered their weapons and supplies. It was time for the hunt.
The first step to catching the leopard, was to camouflage themselves. The Pygmies use their knowledge of the forest to camouflage themselves, and the team, with branches and leaves, making it nearly impossible to spot them so that the beasts’ sensors would not be able to detect them.
The second step: Diversion. A villager was willing to sacrifice his life to protect his people, and so he offered himself as bait for the beast. The villager tied itself to the ground, and Chorum poured antelope blood around where he was laid so that the beast would be attracted to the bait.
Third step: Battle. The Pygmies surrounded the spot with electric nets. And the soldiers set EMP charges around the forest, so the leopard doesn’t escape easily. Then the Pygmies arm themselves with poisonous arrows, sticks, and stones just to avoid surprises. They knew that if Tore finds the bait, they will have to fight to keep the villager alive.
And the final step was to be patient. And as silent as possible.
Suddenly, there was movement in the bushes. Everyone remained silent and hidden, waiting for Tore to spring and catch the bait. The thunder roared around the forest. The Sky Father was close…
Lighting struck a tree, and fire immediately sprung up. A loud roar vibrated the whole forest and caused the villagers to panic attack. And a rainbow appeared, and the beast was on it. Chorum and the team were about to strike it, but another lightning struck, which blinded all of them. In a split second, the leopard had devoured the bait. Nobody saw how it did it.
A soldier pressed a button and the EMPs went off. It sent a massive shockwave rumbling the entire forest. And there was a painful cry heard near the burning tree. And an electric net also went off. Because something landed on it. Everyone rushed over to the net to see. And as they got close, the leopard hissed and stretched out its paw to scare them away as it was entangled.
Everyone was excited that they had finally caught the beast. Up until the leopard suddenly became stiff and begun vibrating. There was a sudden alarm sound emitting from the leopards body. The soldiers immediately knew what that sound meant.
“Everybody get out of here!! Move out the way!” Rio cried.
“Whats happening?!” Kahina quickly asked.
“Just hurry up and leave! Go! Go!”
“I dont understand why are we….”
“It’s about to explode! There is a bomb in it!”
Within matter of seconds, the leopard explodes and the fire engulfed everything and everyone near it. The range of the explosion was so huge that it could have destroyed the entire forest. But immediately, everything froze. Kahina got up and saw Chorum look up to the sky. Kahina was completely stunned.
There was a buzzing noise. She turned towards where it came from. And she saw two incredible beings. Negoogunogumbar, the child-eating giant and Obrigwabibikwa, the dwarf who can change himself into a reptile.
“It is night time” Chorum gathered and absorbed the fragments of the fiery explosion using his right hand. He then stretched his bow, as it turned into a rainbow and there was immense fire coming from the end of the arrows. He shot them at the Sun, giving it new energy for the next day. When that happened, rain started falling and the land was beginning to turn ever green.
Khani just realized that she was not any regular hunter, but a god. The Supreme Being and the god of the hunt. And that she and her team had helped him stop a force which was causing mayhem and destruction to the lives of the Pygmies.
Chorum hopped on his elephant and took off with the other deities as well, thanking the visitors for their immense help.
In the aftermath of the hunt, Kahina realized that hunters were indeed the number one animal conservationists in the planet, as they possessed a deep understanding of the wilderness and were committed to preserving it for future generations. She also came to understand that sometimes, the only way to save a species or an ecosystem was to take decisive action, even if it meant hunting an animal.
The story of Kahina’s hunt for Tore spread far and wide, inspiring a new generation of hunters to take up the mantle of animal conservation. And so, in the depths of the Ituri Rainforest, the legacy of her daring journey lived on as a testament to the power of sustainability and the importance of preserving the planet’s wildlife. The villagers were overjoyed to be free from the terror of Tore and Kahina and her team were hailed as heroes. She swore to visit the rainforest to meet with her true family and speak to Chorum in seek of wisdom and understanding of the world. The Ituri Rainforest was also saved, and the village was able to begin the long process of rebuilding and restoring the damaged ecosystem.