Early Slim & Crow Fiction


This is something I wrote very early on in Slim & Crow’s development. I had an idea of their personalities and wanted to get them on paper to see how people reacted.

Crow came out pretty much the way I wrote him here. Stoic. Laconic. Sometimes pauses in the middle of a sentence for no obvious reason, because it’s been so long since he’s had regular human contact he sometimes just forgets how conversations work.

Slim changed more. In this, he’s also stoic and has an air of menace around him. The original concept art made him look more like a gunslinger and I imagined him being a foil for Abe. More dangerous than Abe. More serious.

It wasn’t until I heard Lou Santini’s audition for Slim that I realized he shouldn’t be that guy, he should be the regretful hero, the tragic hero. The WWI soldier who signed up with all his school chums only to watch them get slaughtered right in front of him.

There are still some Slim lines where he’s got this cowboy-attitude, but in general I’m proud of where he ended up. We got enough Men (and Women) With No Name on the team.

Khovalyg watched the alien pack up its camp. The creature didn’t like water, he noticed.

Three days of following it, watching it, and Crow finally realized the thing’s twice-daily ritual of rubbing ointment on its body was the equivalent of bathing for the alien. And alien it had to be.

It wore a gun at its hip, in a holster, like a man. And clothes. And tech. But the wings puzzled Crow. They had membranes, like a dragonfly wing, but metal vanes and what looked like hover-assist. Straps held it on. He’d yet to see them in action.

Something else had come to Shear, hunting the monster. It followed Goliath tracks. They were both following the same tracks, Khovalyg knew. But had the alien come for revenge? Sport? Or something else? An owner, looking for a lost pet?

He’d watched it fight off blitzers and reavers. It didn’t know Shear as well as Crow, who could move through the jungle undisturbed. Normally. Currently he was nursing a wounded, splinted leg. This slowed him down and the wound wasn’t healing quickly, but he was still making progress.

Crow stood at the edge of the clearing, leaning on his long rifle, saying nothing. Being polite.

Eventually the alien noticed him, but tried not to let it show. One pause in its movement as it packed its camp, the only betrayal of awareness.

“Two days you been following me,” the alien said, its voice deep and sonorous.

Crow’s eyebrows raised in surprise. It speaks.

“Three,” he said once he’d recovered.

The alien…alien? The hunter nodded. “Don’t worry. I didn’t see you,” it said. “I saw your pet. Never got a glimpse of you.”

Crow was impressed. He looked up to the sky, produced a whistling noise that didn’t sound like anything human.

He stretched out his arm and a batray flapped down onto it. Began grooming itself.

“Got a name?” Crow asked.

The bug-man looked at him with a million-faceted eyes. “Not anymore,” he said. “Folks call me Slim.”

Crow nodded. Looked around the clearing. " Crow," he said.

The bug-man sniffed. “You got a bum leg,” he said, nodding at Crow 's splinted leg.

Crow looked down, as though seeing his leg for the first time.

“It’ll heal,” he said.

Slim removed a small box from his belt. Pressed a button on it, and tossed it into the air.

The box transformed in mid-toss, sprouting wings and a small mechanical head with beetle-eyes, like Slim’s, but mechanical.

It hovered, surveying the area, then darted toward Crow who took a step back, then held himself still. He couldn’t outrun the drone, anyway.

The drone hummed and a green beam washed over Crow’s leg. Seconds later, Crow was able to pull the splint off, put his full weight on the leg.

“Thanks,” he said. The drone sped back to its master.

“Sure,” Slim said, snatching the drone out of the air. It folded itself up, and Slim replaced it on his belt.

“You speak English,” Crow said, taking a few steps forward.

“'Course,” the bug-man said, as he went about loading his pack. “Born on Bode’s World. What should I speak?”

Long silence again. Neither of them seemed to mind. Slim continued about his business.

Eventually, “You don’t look like a man,” Crow said. It felt rude to say.

Slim paused his packing, straightened up. Fixed his bug-eyes on Crow.

“Never heard of the war?” Slim asked.

Crow’s impassive face gave no indication he had, or hadn’t, or was even listening. After a few moments silence, he said “They got a lotta wars.”

Slim considered this. It was hard to argue with.

“The Mutagen War?” he said.

Crow shook his head. Pulled something out of a pouch on his belt. Fed it to his batray.

“Bode’s World. Half dozen other planets in the Basilisk Nebula. Rebelled against Hub?” Crow said nothing. Slim continued. “Spliced our DNA with insects. I’m third-gen.” He paused. “You don’t want to meet a first-gen.”

“I bet,” Crow said. “You used to be a man?”

“Still am,” Slim said. All evidence to the contrary.

“Huh,” Crow said. “Now you hunt the monster.”

Slim shrugged, a human gesture that did more to convince Crow of his story than anything. “Came here to get far away from everything. But eventually,” he said, “everything found me.”

He looked at the man with the blitzleopard hat and pet batray. “Lots of stuff comes out of the jungle now.”

Crow nodded. The planet was different now. More savage. Crow didn’t mind. Didn’t seem like Slim did either.

“What about you?” Slim asked.

“Survey,” Crow said. That was enough. Survey rangers were…well, they were basically Crow. People Celestial could drop off on a planet, alone, come back years later, pick them up. Learn the kinds of things satellites and robots couldn’t tell you. Being the only human being on an entire planet for three years took a special kind of person.

“What’s the uh…,” Crow said. “The goop. You put on yourself.”

Slim stared at him for a while. Then rummaged around in his pack and tossed a tin of the stuff to Crow.

“Coconut oil,” he said. “Some linseed and flax. Honeycomb dissolved in it.”

Crow opened the tin, smelled the contents. Smelled nice. Took a dollop out and spread it on the back of his hands. “Hm,” he said.

“Water’s bad for us,” Slim said. “Not lethal just…annoying. That stuff’s antibacterial, antifungal. Protects against the sun. All that.”

It left a waxy residue on Crow’s skin. He rubbed some on his blitzleopard pelt. It seemed a good match, keep the pelt supple.

“Keep it,” Slim said. “I got plenty. I’ve got an organ where your salivary glands are, secrets something similar but we don’t like to…,” He stopped mid-description. “It’s sort of…,” the two men stared at each other for a while again. Then Slim shrugged. “It’s gross.”

Crow thought that sounded likely. He looked around the clearing.

“Hunting this thing,” he said. “Not a race. Endurance run.”

Slim nodded. Hefted his pack onto his back. “You want to go fast, go alone,” he said.

“Want to go far,” Crow said, “go together.”

“Figure this thing’s about three days out. Not sure it needs to rest.”

“We’ll find it,” Crow said.

“Might need help bringing it down,” Slim said.

“We’ll find that too,” Crow said.

Slim looked Crow up and down. Crow did the same to Slim.

“Figure we will,” Slim said.

Evolve Hunter Stories [Canon] (Latest Story - Kala's Story)
Why does slim have a jetpack
Does Slim Smoke? E-Cig Confirmed!

Temporary pin so people see this. :slight_smile:


Here’s the sequel. I imagined a series of stories with Slim and Crow eventually meeting up with Torvald and Sunny and the four of them finding Cabot.

Here you can really see that Slim was more a gunslinger. A match for Abe. I was basically making no concession to the fact he was a medic. I wasn’t interested in his medic-ness. And that’s bad writing, can’t just ignore that shit.

The light hopper was on its side, its broken engine exposed. Abnett and Gill worked on it, while Stace and Lee watched. If they could get it working, they’d have enough air travel to get them to the spaceport. Maybe meet up with other survivors.

Stace, the youngest of them, turned idly and saw something that shocked her.

“Hey,” she said, warning.

“Holy shit,” Lee said.

Abnett and Gill extracted their heads from inside the engine housing, and saw what startled Stace.

They were being watched by two men standing just at the edge of the jungle. Well, one man. And something else. Something with huge insect eyes. The other one wore the skull of a blitzleopard for a hat, and propped a nine-foot-long Falken Hydrostatic Disruptor on the ground.

They just stood there, keeping a respectful distance. Watching. How long had they been there?

Abnett stood up, wiped his hands on the front of his overalls. He was well over six feet tall with a huge beard and a hat with the Caber & Holloe logo on it. All four of them had guns or shotguns in holsters.

He scowled as he looked from the two strangers to his friends, and back. He walked over to the two. . .men. Showing no fear.

“What the fuck are you?” he asked Slim.

“Good question,” Crow said in his low monotone.

Slim threw a look at Crow before turning his huge, multifaceted eyes on the survivors.

“Folks call me Slim,” he said. He nodded at Crow. “Crow. We’re looking for the planet tamers came through here a while ago.”

Abnett closed the distance to Slim.

“I mean what the fuck kind of alien bug monster are you?”

Slim looked at Crow, and then back to the big man. “Well I don’t know how many kinds there are,” he said, scratching the back of his neck, “but I’m the kind looking for the planet tamers came through here couple of days ago.”

“Hey. Hey Abnett,” Gill said. He was an old, thin man with a thicket of white stubble across his chin. “That’s a Basilisk soldier!”

“No shit?!” Abnett said, turning to look at the older man. When he’d turned back around, Slim had hooked his hands into his ammo belt in what appeared to be a casual way, but in a manner that also put his gun hand next to his supermat revolver. “Well you’re about worth your weight in gold,” Abnett said, grinning with dirty, yellowing teeth.

Slim shrugged. “That’s what my mom always said.”

“He means the bounty,” Crow said.

“Oh right, yeah. The bounty. I didn’t catch your meaning because it is, in fact, worth several times my weight in gold, but seeing as how the six of us,” he said, gesturing to Crow and the four other colonists, “are out here on the ass end of the Arm, and seeing how the last dive-capable ship left three days ago, and furthermore seeing as how there are now more monsters on this planet than people? I don’t reckon you’re in any position to collect on any bounty.”

Abnett’s mouth was hanging open, slack. He looked at Crow. Crow shrugged.

Slim snapped his finger-claws in front of Abnett’s face, getting his attention.

“The tamers?” he said.

“Those people,” Abnett sneered, “left us out here to hang,” he was towering over Slim now. In a minute, he’d poke Slim in the chest. “While they went off and got on the evac ship.”

Slim pursed his lips. “Seems out of character,” he said. “People come all the way out here for nothing but to save your ass. Seems more likely you lot were off smuggling or poaching when the balloon went up and by the time you hauled ass back here, you’d missed the boat. That what you reckon, Crow?”

“Seems likely,” Crow said, with a nod.

“You calling me a liar?” Abnett said, poking Slim in the chest. It seemed for a moment like Crow flashed a smile.

“No,” Slim said, taking a step back. Putting some room between him and Abnett. “I am not calling you a liar. You don’t seem like a liar to me. You seem like a bully, an idiot, and a coward, but not a liar.”

“You son of a. . .,” Abnett went for his gun.

There was a quick, sharp whistle from Crow, and a heavy black animal slammed into Abnett’s face, wrapping its leathery wings around his head, snarling and chewing. None of them had noticed the batray circling above.

Abnett fell screaming, his hands clawing at the bird, his legs kicking.

“Alright, alright,” Slim said after a moment. Another, different whistle and the batray detached from Abnett’s face and flapped the few yards through the air to perch on Crow’s extended arm. The creature preened itself pridefully.

Abnett’s face was lacerated, bleeding, but nothing was missing. He opened his eyes and saw Slim standing over him, his supermaterial revolver pointed right between Abnett’s eyes.

“You want to know what kind of bug monster I am,” Slim said evenly. Abnett’s eyes crossed looking at the barrel of the gun. “I’m the kind coulda killed you and all your friends before you cleared leather. I’m the kind come out of the bush looking to see if any of you dumb idiots need help. But I am not the kind,” Slim said, holstering his gun, “to kill a man in cold blood just because he’s too scared to see straight. Get up.”

Abnett looked away from the gun to stare at Slim, eyes wide, mouth open.

“Get up!” Slim barked.

Abnett scrambled to his feet. “Swear to God,” Slim said, mostly to himself.

Abnett got up and retreated over to his three friends.

“Now me and my friend here,” Slim said, as Crow fed some jerky to the batray perched on his arm, “are gonna find those tamers. . .,”

“They’re gone,” Gill interrupted. “Took the evac ship out. Probably at Sapphire by now.”

Slim looked at Crow, sniffed. “Well that don’t seem likely to me,” he said. “Someone said it was Will Cabot’s crew and if it was, they’re still here somewhere. Now,” Slim said, pointing to the disassembled mover, “can you get that thing working?”

“Yeah,” Abnett said, mopping the blood off his face with a handkerchief. “Just needs some work. Me and Gill were gonna. . .”

“No,” the young woman, Stace, said. “It’s fucked.”

“A smart one!” Slim said. “And honest. Therefore you,” he said, pointing to Stace, “are now officially in charge of wrangling these idiots. We’re gonna find Cabot’s crew, see if the know a way off this rock. You want to come along?”

Stace looked at Abnett, still wiping blood from his face, while Gill and Lee got in each other’s way trying to bandage the wounds.

Stace shrugged. “Sure,” she said.

“Good answer,” Slim said. “Come on.”

He and Crow started walking. Stace followed. Abnett hung behind, but reluctantly came along. Gill and Lee followed him.

“You dumbshit, Abnett,” Gill hissed.

Crow, walking ahead of them, smiled.


Wow this is great. Excellent work @Matthew :grinning:

To be honest when i saw the thread title i thought Slim and Crow fanfic…


I need more!
These stories are so good I want more!

I want :heart_eyes:


So cool! Thanks for the awesome read!


I didn’t want to say [Canon] because this was very early and the character changed a lot.

Khovalyg (Crow)

Yeah guess that makes sense, but around these forums you kinda have to be careful of certain things… cough cough Sexy Wraith cough cough.


These are awesome! The Evolve universe is so damn cool.


No yaoi… No lemon

Disappointed, it’s the 21st century man!!!


Fun read. It’s also interesting to see how different Slim was at this stage in development.






This was very pleasing to read. Matthew your talent is amazing, such enjoyable writing.


Take my money for an audiobook! :heart_eyes:


I have no idea what a supermaterial revolver is, but I want one. …Actually, Bucket mentions “Supermaterial cannons” in one dropship convo. What’s “supermaterial” stuff, @Matthew ?

Until further notice, I’ll just assume it looks like the revolver on the bottom here.


He says Fermionic Condenser cannons or something, doesn’t he? Not Supermat.


Huh. I think he does say something like that. Either way, I know I’ve heard “supermaterial” weaponry mentioned before, and Bucket seemed like the logical choice for who said it.


I’ve heard it somewhere too…Now I cannot remember where. D:


Dammit, you too?


Nooooooo! It’s on the edge of my memory but I can’t get it! D: