“Fire it up!” Max yelled as he flipped the trigger on the handle, causing the electric pumps on his back to let out a high-pitched whine as they mixed heavy and light oil by-products together in a suspension of death. By the time they hit the pilot light, the spray was a sticky napalm.
If the flame didn’t kill you, the residue would eat your skin off your bones.
The worm reared back, screaming a high-pitched whine of pain. Max clenched down, planting his back foot in the sand to counteract the thousand-psi of the flamethrower nozzle. Smoke poured out, nearly blinding him, but his trusty HUD gave him the sight his human eyes could not. The beast thrashed around so violently the HUD had a hard time keeping it in focus.
“Feeling the burn yet?” Max allowed himself a chuckle.
Seeming to get composure, the worm reared back.
Here it was.
He couldn’t dodge, couldn’t twitch. With the force of the flame-thrower spray it was all he could do to keep standing. He would have to take this spit full-on.
But it never spat, nor did it try to swing at him in an attempt to dislodge the weapon from his bionic grip. Instead it curled it’s long thick body around it’s permanently-planted base.
At first Max thought it had expired, died from it’s wounds, but as he continued to spray the genetic aberration he saw that it still moved, still breathed.
*What is it doing?*
Max’s neural cogitator interpreted his confusion and began scanning. It switched to X-Ray mode, allowing him to see through the creature’s innards.
Behind it lay a cluster of smaller oblong shapes.
Something beeped, indicating the monster had perished. Without thinking, Max released the trigger to the flamethrower, it’s tanks dangerously close to empty anyway, they would have began to sputter soon if the thing had not died.
He dropped the spent weapon to the ground and shed the now-useless tanks. They hit the rough terrain with a dull thud and a whine. Covered with frost from the expulsion of gases at high temperature, sublimation streamed off it’s surface and pooled along the ground, giving an eery fog-like look to the area. Max had a sudden realization just how inhospitable and alien this planet really was.
He glanced at the now-silent alarm on his HUD. The horde was gaining ground, seemingly heading directly toward him.
He quickly plopped down the remaining five turrets he had brought with him, a radar, and his last solar array. It would have to do. The ore was secure, time to bounce.
His car was a half a click away, abandoned near-to-explosion in the woods just before he engaged with this sprawling base. He would have to hoof it back and hopefully repair it enough to get him home, but something pulled him toward that steaming pile of rotten flesh that lay twitching just meters from him.
Why had it used it’s last moments alive to round itself around these eggs? Why had it not even tried to attack him?