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Project 4-12 is the fifth episode in Tremors: The Series. An old man is found in the desert and has more to him than meets the eye when he tells the Perfectionites that his mutant pet is on a rampage. It is up to Burt and Tyler to kill it.
In Universe Perspective
From the Survival Journal of Burt Gummer:
I knew something was wrong with Cletus Poffenberger when I found him wandering in the desert. Like the mad scientist he is, he was raving about a monster on the loose.
When Rosalita's hired hand Harlow was attacked by a mysterious creature, we realized that Cletus wasn't kidding around. Harlow said the beast resembled a giant porcupine with a rhino's horn, so it wasn't a member of the Graboid family.
Cletus and I set out to hunt down the creature, which Cletus called "4-12" — in a tone of voice most people reserve for chihuahuas named Munchkin.
While we searched, Cletus revealed that, 30 years back, he'd worked as a biochemist in a top-secret compartmentalized skunkworks laboratory buried in the desert near Perfection. The lab was run by the Proudfoot Corporation for the good ol' federal government.
Cletus's project was 4-12, a killing machine intended for use in the Vietnam War. After creating a DNA-splicing chemical called Mixmaster, Cletus blended the genes of several dangerous animals to design his monstrous masterpiece.
When the feds decided to disappear the lab, Cletus fled with his baby, 4-12. The two of them had been living as pals in the desert ever since.
Supposedly, 4-12 was docile as long as Cletus fed it a certain type of cactus bud. Since Cletus hadn't been able to locate any cactus Prozac lately, 4-12 was off its meds and on a rampage.
While Cletus was spilling his guts (so to speak), 4-12 was lunching on the guts of a Road Hog who'd pulled into town. After some strategic maneuvering, Tyler, Jodi, Nancy, Rosalita, Harlow, Cletus and I reconvened at the scene of that assault. 4-12 was absent, but I deduced that it was combing the area in a standard military search pattern, as it'd been bred to do.
Sure enough, it returned right on schedule. Instead of heading straight for me and my gun, however, it ID'd a juicier target of opportunity — Chang's Market, where the others were hiding.
No one was killed, and the market only ended up with one significant hole in the wall. I've seen worse. The women fled to safety; we men nearly got pinned down.
Just in time, El Blanco arrived and swallowed 4-12 whole. A regrettable instance of premature celebration transpired before the Great White Graboid vomited 4-12 back up — alive and intact.
Tyler, Cletus, Harlow and I made a tactical retreat to Tyler's shed. We had mere moments before 4-12 broke in. While Cletus tried to negotiate with it (he's a mad scientist, remember), the rest of us got busy. We jury-rigged a passable flame-thrower just in time. Big, bad 4-12 came through the wall and got himself a face full of Nevada napalm.
With 4-12 fried, Cletus faces an even lonelier existence than he'd had before. But I think he'll be fine; living without a companion — be it a mutant porcupine or a wife — builds character, and forces a man to improve himself, body, mind and soul.
Witness my sterling example, if you will.
The story is of the Perfectionites' first meeting with Cletus Poffenberger. When Project 4-12 escapes and runs wild in the valley, Cletus, Burt and Tyler hunt down the beast. After a long hunt, Burt is forced to kill 4-12 with a homemade flamethrower, much to Cletus' sadness.