From a very early age Cameron showed an interest and curiosity in animals. He loved going into the nearby woods and just watching the animals all day long. He studied their characteristics and their behavior intently. When he was old enough to go to college, Cameron chose to study anatomy and biology. However, since there was no money and no real point in knowing about animals, Cameron's parents insisted he learn something more practical. So Cameron studied human anatomy and went into the medical field, which his parents led him into.
With his natural curiosity and natural aptitude for anatomy and physiology, Cameron learned quickly. He became a very good and very successful surgeon. He was making a good living, and his parents were quite proud of Cameron's successes. But before long, his normal life would change forever.
In the far outskirts of the city, in the very wilderness areas, mutilated bodies began turning up. The bodies appeared to have been torn apart by animals. People generally avoided the areas far from the cities, as they were very dangerous and wild areas that the people knew nothing of. Cameron became curious about what was going on and what creatures lived out in the unexplored wilderness regions.
The bodies continued turning up, and with increasing frequency. Even more alarming, they were turning up closer and closer to the outskirts of the city. The pattern of bodies moved in from the wilderness towards the city. Cameron had seen some of the bodies, and wondered what manner of creature could make the grievous wounds he saw.
Then Dr. Frist got a patient that would change his life. A man had survived an attack by what was believed to be the same creatures that caused all the killings. The man was severely wounded, and barely survived. Some farmers found him as he deliriously fled the creature that had attacked him. The man was brought to the city hospital. The surgeons there were his only hope of surviving. Dr. Frist managed to save the man's life, although he remained on life support machines. In his brief periods of consciousness, he described to the fascinated doctor the encounter he had with the hellish creature that nearly killed him.
Government official, seeing that this was getting out of hand, reported the incident and the other killings to imperial authorities. Before long an imperial commando team showed up, accompanied by Tech Priest Nikolai Tesla. Nikolai was an expert in alien creature and was there to investigate. He went to talk to the man who had survived being attacked. This is where he met Doctor Frist. They got along immediately. Frist was fascinated by Nikolai's knowledge and experiences with all manner of alien creatures.
After taking Nikolai to talk with the injured man, Frist told him everything else he had managed to learn about the attacks. They then talked at great length about their theories of what kind of creature they were dealing with. Nikolai told Dr. Frist that he believed the attacks were being committed by creatures known as clawed fiends of the Donorian sector. Very little was known about them. Only that they are found on many planets throughout the sector, and no one knows how they got there. They normally show up in large groups and seem to act in a highly organized manner, similar to a hive of bees.
Frist was fascinated by this. He offered to help Nikolai, saying that his knowledge of the planet and its animal life and ecosystem could be useful to him. Nikolai was happy to meet a like-minded, inquisitive individual. Very few such people exist in this galaxy. He agreed to work together.
They spent much time going over the pattern of attacks, examining the mutilated bodies, going over the survivor's testimony, and studying all the data they had. Meanwhile, the attacks continued to occur, and with increasing frequency. They didn't seem to be moving closer to the city anymore, but instead spreading out in a ring around it. They still had no pictures or good accounts of what these creatures were or where they were coming from. Cameron Frist suggested that if they could capture a living specimen they would be able to obtain invaluable information from it. Nikolai was against the idea, but eventually agree when it became clear that they weren't getting anywhere with the information they had.
Frist, Nikolai, and the Imperial Guard Commando team (which was 2 squads of 10 men) set out to capture a living specimen. They traveled way outside the city into the unexplored wilderness outside civilization. They went only a little way into this area, being as cautious as possible. When they needed to camp, the perimeter was always guarded by 5 of the men. Frist was given a weapon and taught how to use it by the soldiers, in case he would need to defend himself.
After a few days, they came upon a cave and went inside to explore. They moved slowly and quietly. Deep in the cave, they came upon an area that looked like many cambers had been dug out of the rock. They saw in one of the chambers what appeared to be a nest, with a creature sleeping in it. It was the size of a young bear, with enormous claws. The soldiers got into position aiming at the creature and waited for the Nikolai to make his move. Nikolai fired a device that was built into his bionic arm. It fired off a massive electric discharge, which struck the creature. The creature leaped up, then it's body immediately seized up and it collapsed to the ground, smoking slightly. Nikolai checked the creature and founded it to still be alive. He instructed two of the solders to carry it. They tied it up and began to carry it.
Suddenly, one of the soldiers yelled out "we've got live signals all around us. They're everywhere." Nikolai shouted back, "It's a trap! Get out of here!" That's all the time they had before the creatures were upon them. They sprang out of all the surrounding chambers with a speed that was incredible for their immense size. From every direction, the massive creatures poured out of their chambers and attacked. The soldiers began firing off in all directions. Frist was stunned and terrified as the hellish firefight erupted. Through the carnage, Nikolai yelled to the soldiers with the captured fiend to follow him. Several of the soldiers had already been attacked and ripped to shreds by the monsters. Blood and guts covered the floor and walls of the chamber.
Once he had begun to recover his wits, Frist began to fire away randomly at the beasts. One of them leapt down from the ceiling at Frist, and with one brutal swing the creature severed Frist's arm with it's claws. Frist screamed in pain as his right arm, still clinging to his weapon, fell to the ground. The creature then back-handed the doctor, who flew across the chamber into the far wall. Many of his ribs were crushed and pierced his internal organs. Frist landed on the ground, unconscious. Nikolai, blasting away at the creatures, saw Cameron fly across the room. He looked over to see his friend and student lying on the ground. He yelled "FRIST!" One of the creatures leapt onto Frist and began devouring his legs. Nikolai ran towards Frist, blowing the creature's head off with his autopistol. Nikolai pushed the creature off his friend. He discovered that Frist was still alive. Nikolai picked Cameron up on one arm, turning around to gun down another of the creatures with the autopisol in his other.
"We've got to get out of here," Nikolai shouted to the troops. "There's too many of them!" The captain of the team shouted that they'd hold the creatures off. He instructed Nikolai to take a few men and get out of there with the specimen. The two soldiers carrying the fiend and two other soldiers went with Nikolai. Five stayed behind to hold off the creatures. The others were already dead.
The five brave men who stayed behind sold their lives courageously, and managed to buy enough time for the others to get out. Most of the creatures were held up by these five men for the precious couple of minutes it took for the creatures to overwhelm and slaughter them. But it was enough. The others blasted their way out past the creatures that had surrounded them and ran for their lives. Another of the soldiers was killed when a wounded fiend, lying on the ground, lashed its claws out at him as he ran. The rest made it out of the cave. The remaining solder not carrying the captured specimen dropped all his grenades at the cave entrance as they ran out. The resulting explosion killed several creatures and collapsed enough of the cave entrance to stall the pursuit.
As soon as they had a chance, Nikolai set Frist down to check on him. At his point, Nikolai was coated in his friend's blood, but amazingly Frist was still alive. Nikolai set to work sewing up Frist's terrible wounds so that he would survive the trip back to civilization. Nikolai managed to stop his bleeding and stabilize him. They then wasted no time getting back to the city as quickly as possible.
A few days later, Cameron Frist regained consciousness. Nikolai had saved his life by repairing him with bionic parts. Utilizing his skills as a tech priest, Nikolai gave Frist a bionic right arm, bionic legs, and some bionic organs. Once Frist recovered, he could function normally with his new bionic parts. After explaining this to Frist, Nikolai moved on to some more disturbing news.
After having spread out in order to encircle the city, the clawed fiends had finally made their move. In one swift, coordinated attack, they all swarmed forward out of the wilderness. Everyone was fleeing in terror towards the city in the face of this massive onslaught. The sheer distance the beasts had to cover meant that there was still time before the horde reached the city. The suburbs and rural areas would surely be lost, but the planetary defense forces were mobilizing to set up a defensive perimeter around the city itself. It may still be possible, Nikolai explained, to defend the city from them.
Frist was stunned at the news. Everything was falling apart. Could those nightmarish creatures be stopped before they overran the city? Or would everyone be slaughtered? Frist became determined, more than ever before, to find a way to stop them. Frist and Nikolai set to work studying the living specimen they had, keeping it alive but performing all manner of medical and scientific tests on it. They worked frantically against the clock as the tide of clawed fiends flowed toward the city.
Meanwhile, the defense of the city was being organized by Donovan Frist, who had become a Captain in the Planetary Defense Force. They hadn't had much time, but did the best they could to set up makeshift defenses and try to defend the border of the entire city while letting through the thousands of fleeing refugees. Camps were set up within the borders to house the fleeing citizens, but it wasn't enough to prevent complete chaos from breaking out in the crowded streets.
Then, sooner than anyone had hoped, the creatures were upon them. The loyal defenders were able to take out many of them at long range, but it didn't seem to matter. There were overwhelming numbers if the monsters, and they just kept coming in a massive, unstoppable swarm. The defenders held at their posts as long as they could. Eventually they had to fall back. Donovan ordered that defensive fire be kept up while they moved the defensive lines further into the city.
As this was happening, Frist and Nikolai were making their breakthrough. Combining their knowledge of alien life forms animal physiology, they managed to come up with a way to kill the creatures. They had created a poison that was relatively harmless to humans, but would kill the clawed fiends. They came up with this by realizing that they clawed fiends, being not from this planet, had a completely different physiology from the life of this planet. So they were able to some up with a chemical mixture that the life on this planet had adapted to but that would, in the proper mixture, kill the clawed fiends.
They were very confident they had the perfect weapon to use against the monsters, so they tested their chemical on their living specimen. Sure enough, it killed the creature almost immediately upon inhaling the substance. Unfortunately, they didn't have the materials or the facilities to mass-produce the gas in the city. They would have to go somewhere else, make enough of it to wipe the creatures out, and come back with it. Frist and Nikolai took the instructions on making the chemical and a sample and set out of the spaceport.
When they went outside, they were greeted with complete chaos. The creatures had just broken through the military's defensive line. The Planetary Defense Forces were now fighting running battles with the monsters in the streets of the city. All hell was breaking loose. Clawed Fiends were running rampant in the streets while people screaming and fled in terror. Gunshots were heard everywhere in every direction. Just then, Cameron's brother Captain Donovan Frist showed up at the lab.
Donovan asked Frist if he knew where their parents and sister were at, and if they had managed to escape. Frist, having spent the past week in the lab, had no idea what had become of his family. "You've got to get out of here, Cameron," Donovan said. “They've broken through. We can’t hold them off any longer.” Cameron quickly explained to his brother that they had discovered a poison that could kill all the clawed fiends. They needed only to make it to the spaceport so they could escape with the formula and return with enough poison to rid the planet of the beasts. Donovan understood the importance of preserving this discovery.
Unfortunately, the defense of the area around the spaceport had been devastated. The entire area was completely unsecured and likely overrun with the clawed fiends. Donovan still held out hope. He ordered all the troops he could round up in the area to escort Frist and Nikolai to the spaceport. Donovan led the mission personally.
Gathering up the last of their ammo, the beleaguered troops set out on their most desperate mission. Donovan led them in an insane charge of deadly fire and blood and death through the streets of the city. Many of the soldiers were killed as they charged through the hordes of creatures permeating the doomed city. But none of them broke. They continued to run through the city, screaming madly and gunning down dozens of fiends in a running battle.
Donovan himself, leading the charge, was brutally slaughtered by one of the beasts. But Frist had no time to even mourn his brother’s death. The men continued sprinting and firing until they had finally reached the spaceport. The few remaining soldiers, perhaps some of the last in the entire city, set up a perimeter. Frist and Nikolai made it to their ship. Luckily, the remaining three Imperial Guard Commandos managed to protect the ship from being stolen by rioting mobs. It was one of the only ships left in the city. The periodic evacuation ships had stopped coming once the city’s defenses failed. Everyone else was now trapped. Those who had come here hoping to catch one of the last transports out all lay dead in a heap outside the spaceport.
But there was no time to think about the devastation that had been wrought. Frist and Nikolai escaped in the ship. They made their way as quickly as possible to the nearest Imperial world…
A few weeks later, Cameron Frist and Nikolai Tesla returned to Abraxis at the head of a small Imperial fleet. By this time, the city where Frist had spent most of his life was gone. His family was dead, and everything he knew was gone. His home was completely overrun with clawed fiends who had begun digging caves and tunnel complexes where the devastated city used to be. They had consolidated and started regrouping, perhaps in preparation of spreading out to attack another city. Frist noticed that they fought in a highly organized and coordinated manner for such primitive beasts.
As Frist and Nikolai watched, the entire city and its outskirts and massive areas of wilderness were saturated with chemical weapons from the orbiting fleet. The poison they used was not fatal to humans, but would prove devastating to the environment and very harmful to the population. But it had the intended effect of killing hundreds of thousands of clawed fiends.
For Frist, it was a bittersweet victory. He had already lost everything. And deep down, he knew that many of the fiends had likely survived the attack, hiding deep within their cave labyrinths. And from the behavior of the clawed fiends, Frist strongly suspected that somewhere on this planet was a queen that was controlling their behavior in their coordinated attacks on the city. They would be back. He knew it. If not on this planet, then certainly on others. His work was just beginning.
In the aftermath of this incident, Frist chose to stay with Nikolai. He had nothing to go back to on Abraxis. Nikolai was so impressed with both the courage and intelligence of the doctor that he offered Frist a position as a tech priest. He would have the same job that Nikolai did: to study and collect data on alien races in order to identify their weaknesses so they could be purged from the galaxy. Frist gladly accepted, and has had this position ever since, performing it quite successfully.
Dr. Cameron Frist had already seen much turmoil and violence, but he would soon discover that his adventures were just beginning…