Talga Vassternich Part 8

Read Part 7 First


Max had lost his ever-loving mind.

No one made discharge defenses. They were weak, power hungry, and given the limited number of upgrades his suit could sustain, one of the worse choices for gear.

Yet he had made not one, but two of them.

He scanned through the military briefing his corporation had supplied him with before drop-shipping him on this remote planet.

Twenty-five percent of profits from all resources shipped into space may have sounded like a great deal at the time for an out-of-work space marine, but trapped inside the worm he was beginning to wonder if he should have taken up piracy.

At least the pirates generally didn’t smell so horrible or were so slimy.

Intel gained on this planet seemed to agree that the biters communicated through radio signals, and this gave Max an idea.

Constructing a radar and some arithmetic combinators, he pored through electrical schematics and radio theorem textbooks to see if he could jury-rig this to do what he wanted.

When he was done, he held up the hodgepodge of wires, transceivers, and fast-discharge capacitors. It wasn’t pretty, but it was his. His own invention.

If his hunch was correct, he’d just made a biter EMP, designed to issue forth a screaming tone that would disrupt their interpersonal communications. He hoped it would be enough to disorient them long enough that he could make a break for the canyon his map said should be to the north, toward his base.

With any luck his batteries would be able to power the servos in his legs enough to get him out of range. He would have to take all the remaining power from the shields if it was to work, but it was the only way.

Even then he wasn’t entirely sure how much this juiced-up discharge radar was going to pull from his suit.

Time was up. O2 levels had dropped significantly in the last few minutes of furious tinkering, and he was tired of waiting. It was time to bounce.

Rigging up the poison capsule to begin leaking through the previous air-hole he had dug through the flesh of the beast, he crammed all the remaining sulphur he had on him into the hole as well. He figured it would at least stink and give off some smoke which might help with the distraction.

Unfortunately the second the poison and the sulphur touched, they began to sizzle, pop, and put off some enormous heat.

Max recoiled at the sudden and unexpected chemical reaction going off inside his temporary shelter.

Oh shit.

He grabbed what he could, the discharge device, his knife, and the small pod that had gotten him into this mess in the first place, and began to wiggle his way back out of the worm’s body toward it’s mouth. Even through his suit he could feel the heat from the errant reaction.

But it was too late, the exothermic reaction, combined with the cramped space to created a super-hot pocket of flesh that, when Max opened up the beasts mouth and allowed air to flow down, created a reaction of catastrophic and violent results. He barely had time to route all remaining power from his suit into shields before the whole worm blew up, spewing pinkish flesh in every direction.

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