In the main underground laboratory that was part of the production complex where these creatures were manufactured, a small toy size Devil Snail had been subjected to further testing but due to the new nature of the technology this testing was going through many teething problems. There wasn’t a chewy stick left in the building. Two three-metre long nylon tethers kept in place the toy size Devil Snail unit to the shiny polished concrete floor. Looking in from behind an armoured bullet proof window technicians and officers monitored the experimental attack unit, computer screens glowed and flickered with data, a dozen cameras recorded the test. The unit hovered one metre off the floor, stationery in space with nothing but the tethers hanging loosely to the floor. Turning on its own axis the Devil Snail fired at a target on the wall, nothing more than a paper bull’s-eye roundel ten metres away glued on the granite wall. A narrow pretty blue pair of laser beams emanated from the poodle’s eyes straight on target burning small holes where the bull’s-eye was, slowly turning in ovals to obliterate the rest of the paper target. Black burning tracks showed where the beam traversed over the paper before it flamed into oblivion. Target destroyed, the Devil Snail turned to the right ninety degrees and fired at another paper target, only this was smaller to simulate more distance. Again the blue laser cannons fired from the animal’s eyes setting the target on fire, the unit was about turn around one hundred and eighty degrees to face the other direction when the main gravity drive failed and the animal clattered to the floor. A technical problem of some type caused the gravity drive to fail and animal to fall unpowered to the ground, not even the powerful four legs stopped the animal from falling onto its side, power was totally gone. The test was only partially successful; technicians warily left the secure room to examine the Devil Snail after cutting the power and closing the unit down. There was a danger of explosion due to the laser weapons, power source and gravity drive but the problem had to be solved. More technicians and units were available if anything bad happened. When the problem was fixed this type of Devil Snail would take up a specialised role out in the field assassinating targets that the land-based unit had trouble reaching, explaining the gravity drive and the ability to fly at low altitudes. In time the larger units would have the option of this new technology when it was perfected, if the mission profile needed a flying poodle dog.
Another project based on the Devil Snail was the Double Devil Snail; this was like a push-me-pull-me in Doctor Doolittle that was based on a Llama animal but with a head on either side. Devil Snail design teams looked into mounting two heads on one attack unit to give double firepower and lethality. If each head was given independent control of movement, ability to locate targets and to fire at will, with its own artificial intelligent brain and other systems that the normal unit had, then only half the number would be needed to guard secret installations. The back legs would have to be redesigned so they faced forwards as the normal legs did, in effect it was like two Devil Snails cut in half and joined together. Back legs were able to support extra weight due to their larger size; the new front legs were made stronger to handle the increase in animal mass and weight. Due to the extra power needed to power the laser cannons, the second brain, targeting systems and other equipment a bigger more powerful battery pack was needed if the three-month life was to be maintained. The Double Devil Snail was just at the design stage and only one unit had been built; it was being tested in the lab on a test bench. Many problems had to be overcome before a prototype was built and even longer until full production examples were deployed into combat operations. This weapon would be a real war winner for extra special missions, a flying version was in the works for the future but the normal flying Devil Snail still had problems to be solved first. English army enemies would be even more under gunned in future battles.