Just past midnight a delivery truck rounding a bend is hit head on by a small car driven by a sleepy mother with her baby in the safety seat.
The truck rolls, dumping its load down an embankment, much of it tumbling into the river. One box of particular interest catches a current and floats silently away.
The car spins before smashing into a tree. The mother dies instantly.
The baby is unscathed. But when police and fire arrive no identification can be found. The car and the woman are untraceable.
The baby is brought to the fire station looking healthy and normal. He’s nicknamed Bobby.
At the age of three, Bobby is adopted by a young couple in Oregon.
But by the time he turns four Bobby is becoming not so cute any more…
His adopted father, Lennie, is busted for drinking on the job. With his commercial pilot’s license revoked, the only work Lennie can find is the dangerous position of test pilot for personal body jets.
In the process, Lennie lifts bits of equipment here and there along with stolen blueprints and body jet parts for project Blue Jet, using them to construct his own personal flight suit.
And with his adopted son going crazy, his wife’s nagging getting tiresome, and employers getting wise to his sticky fingers, Lennie puts on his Blue Jet outfit and flies away.
Lennie’s younger sister, Laurie, is getting baptized in the river current just as an earthquake strikes.
Thrown into the rapids Laurie struggles for her life until making it to shore a mile downriver.
Exhausted, Laurie discovers herself beside a mysterious box partially smashed open and decaying in the rocks. Unlabeled, it crumbles apart when she touches it, revealing an odd appliance with no openings… and a gentle hum of life!
In the aftermath and aftershocks, law enforcement officials try to calm nerves. But an alarming rash of sudden disappearances involving children across the county breaks out.
Community fear turns into anger as nervous parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers press authorities for decisive action despite the absence of any firm clues.
Bobby’s emotional and mental development freezes at the age that his body starts to change.
His arms grow longer, thinner…and he grows new ones as well. His head gradually changes shape even as his feet and legs become spiny and grotesque by human standards.
Shunned by a frightened society Bobby retreats to the thick of the Northwest forest, there to learn survival as a terrified child-monster. Those who catch glimpses say he looks like a human insect. And from then on, Huminsect he is.
His wayward foster father, now called the notorious Blue Vulture, utilizes intelligent propulsion, advanced maneuverability, and the latest cybernetic controls for speed, acceleration, altitude, spin, roll, reverse, shotgun, emergency landing, collision brake, and evasive override.
Blue Vulture strikes throughout the west, able to knock off remote liquor stores and take off into the sky disappearing not only with cash but with booze.
He becomes a human bird of prey, a lonely vulture on the fringe motel circuit.
Lennie and Laurie’s younger brother Larry, and several boys on the swim team his junior year of high school, had something in common. The boys had either seen or knew someone who swore they had seen the Waterwolf.
The Waterwolf is reported in or near the river weeks before the quake and right after.
Is it real? Adults dismiss it but the boys aren’t so sure. If it isn’t some undiscovered predator why doesn’t it move or look familiar? Why have kids gone missing?
Still isolated from everyone in the wilderness, Laurie believes that the newfound tool she calls the “Holy Cross” is a gift from God to be used for the miracle of His Will.
Believing she’s been sent on a Holy mission, Laurie stays in the woods to gain knowledge and skill with the Holy Cross. The object is a magnetic air brace that instantly expands to form a cross, and holds fast wherever activated in mid-air(!) extending roll bars able to support Laurie’s weight without bending or giving way. She controls the cross on glove-top panels.
Laurie works vigorously practicing flips, rolls, perch support and fall-breakage. Because she already worked to gain amazing gymnastic skills in high school, she has the balance, muscle strength and endurance to turn the Holy Cross into a great physical advantage.
She is being watched.
The creature’s beady eyes assess the potential prey. It’s pointy snout sniffs for clues. That’s when Laurie turns to see…
…But it has no interest in anyone as old as Laurie. Not Meat good.
Laurie bravely follows it into the dense woods and makes a disturbing discovery. After eating children, this monster leaves trails of excreted victims parts leading to dead ends deep in the forest.
Elsewhere in the forest little Bobby, called Huminsect by townsfolk, is innocently reaching out to other children who are with their parents at campsites.
But they fear him.
So Bobby is befriended only by occasional animals, and becomes driven by hunger to commit acts of desperation. Of course that leads to being hunted by relentless people with agendas.
And now Lennie is confronted by his holier-than-thou sister Laurie, who has tracked him down and is trying to save his soul.
Lennie says “Never trust a Christian; they think they’ll be forgiven for anything!”
That’s when their hunter leaps out of the river and devours them.
After crunching and grinding their remains until his hunger is satiated, he rests for a moment on the bank.
He is large. He is vicious. He is Waterwolf, a river hunter and carnivore with heightened senses of smell and taste, with night vision eyelids and a voracious appetite that serves sustenance of a body ten times the mass of a man, and a hundred times deadlier.
Frantic parents and baffled officials have no explanation for the mysterious sightings of a frighteningly fast “insect-like beast” with a horrible stench and a paralyzing growl seen carrying innocents away.
It’s the cruelest terrorist attack yet. More children vanishing! Vanishing from bedrooms. Vanishing from cars. Disappearing in the snap of a twig.
Then Larry’s older sister is taken by the Waterwolf. At least that seems like the only rational explanation for Laurie’s disappearance.
Larry’s friends band together to turn Larry into River Rat, capable of killing the monster, whose abilities include a four-hour underwater breathing capacity, bubble-free exhaust mode, bottom-walker boots, torso shielding, a cutlery glove, killer arm darts, an underwater punch enhancer, a sonic blaster, a sonar view screen, mini-ballast bags and an aquatic jet-pack.
But the Waterwolf, familiar with underground rivers, cavern lakes and the surface tributaries and channels that cross North America, goes on his way to hunt fish, beaver, deer, moose and bear, avoiding encounters with humans. Most have gone badly.
Meanwhile, the Child Eater has been reigned in by its creator, underground biologist Victor Vittima, an unethical experimenter funded by the radical rogue billionaire code named Menstra.
Vittima transformed an innocent lizard into Inescrekil, a creature that eats only young humans. Somehow it had escaped the lab and was consuming local stock at will. They are not yet finished lab testing their latest biological weapon and take it back to the privacy of their hidden lair.
So Huminsect was the only monster left for River Rat to find.
Despite Huminsect’s short distance flight ability, acidic spit, the power of rapid climbing on almost any surface, a paralysis stinger, built in night vision, hydraulic-powered limbs and bullet proof shelling, Bobby still has the maturity of a 4-year old.
And River Rat kills Bobby.
With no further evidence in motion we the jury find the defendant, Larry (River Rat), and his young accomplices guilty of the manslaughter of his adoptive nephew, Bobby.
Who knew guilt could be so complicated?