Talga Vassternich Part 4

Part 3


“Dammit,” Max said as he looked out over the horde of biters and splitters bearing down on him from the west.

There were hundreds of the things, more than he had ever seen in one place before this. Why were they all coming to this one location? What alerted them in the first place, and most importantly, what was he going to do to escape?

His car was too far, he would never make it there in time. He could try to run, but his depleted batteries would only get him so far. His exosuit’s servos were too power-hungry and all remaining juice would have to be routed to the shields.

No, running was out of the question and he was completely out in the open. He looked around for something to hide behind.

Or in…

“Oh I’m going to regret this.”

Max pried open the dead worm’s mouth, crouched down, and dove down the esophagus of his sworn enemy. It was slimy, sticky, and smelly, but it was also surprisingly not dark. The worm had some kind of bioluminescence built into it’s innards that Max could only guess at it’s evolutionary benefit.

For now, he was hidden, though he did not know for long. did the biters bury their deceased? He didn’t think so, but he couldn’t be sure. He was a more than a sitting duck here. If they found him, clutching one of their eggs, it wouldn’t be pretty.

Despite the half meter of flesh on all sides, he felt the rumblings as the horde complete their run. The ground stopped shaking and everything became eerily quiet. Max could hear his stomach rumble and found himself holding his breath. If there was one thing he knew about these monsters, it was that they were very sensitive to stimuli. Pollution, noise, light. You name it, it made them investigate, and where there was one, there were more.

The rumblings started up again, slower. A methodical rhythm that started quiet but began to speed up in time. He could feel them marching all around, seemly aimlessly, just outside his protective casing.

One of them alarmed, that deep-throated hissing sound that so repulsed him. The trigger finger of his hand twitched, itching to have a gun to hold. He forced his nerves to calm.

More rumblings, then a screech. Then something metallic scraped and bent. His suit had magnified the most minute of sounds to allow him to soak in the information better.

Suddenly a hiss, but not a biter hiss, this was something mechanical. then screams as a loud whoosh sound.

Max smiled. They’d found and probably bit into the remaining fuel tank of his flamethrower.

The only good roach is a dead roach.

Ring after ring of dots representing biters suddenly blinked into existence on his HUD, as the computer took the sounds and mocked up an approximated echolocation diagram. After the commotion died down, they went back to a slow march, they seemed to be going in a clockwise motion, if his suit’s analysis was to be trusted.

The sea of dots went farther than than his HUD could display.

Suddenly, Max was jostled as the worm around him moved. He extended his arms to help balance himself but they were of little use in the confined mushy environment. Was it alive? Did he just seal his fate by literally jumping down the throat of his enemy?


Part 5

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