Max flew through the air in a cacophony of biter guts, poison capsule mist, and sulphur-filled smoke. His ears rang from the explosion, and it felt like something had penetrated his right thigh.
But he couldn’t worry about that right now, because he was falling through the air, and about to land on top of a Behemoth Biter.
Hitting the biter’s back was like hitting a rocky path after being ejected by a cannon. It’s hard, scaly surface was potted and scorched, like a turtle’s shell if that turtle had lived through a Max Max film.
He bounced and landed a second time near the behemoth’s tail. The massive alien didn’t flinch, didn’t even seem to notice him.
Max stood, shaking off the wooziness from the explosion.
He looked out on a sea of biters, spitters, and bases, as far as he could see. It was nearing nighttime, as the sun was setting in the north.
And all eyes were on him.
He whirled around, looking for an escape route, nothing but biters in the other direction, but he noticed something.
They weren’t looking at him, they were looking at the little cloud of destroyed worm.
He took a hesitant step and jumped off the back of the behemoth to the ground. His servos were spent, and now only served as dead-weight in his suit. With no power to his servos, he had no assist, meaning he had to exert himself more than normal to move in his suit.
No time like the present.
He took a step behind the behemoth, then began to run.
Immediately, the hissing started. All biters turned to him slowly, as-if in a trance. The look on their bug-like faces chilled him to the bone, but he had to keep moving, keep pressing on.
His muscles ached, but still none of them moved, only hissed at him, as if trying to track him through the maze of biter bases.
He was running out of energy, his muscles were spent after being cramped into that worm’s stomach for so long. With no power to help him with his suit he was pulling double or triple duty to move.
Why were they not attacking, why were they not moving? Why were they allowing him to live?
He looked down at the pinkish leathery football-shaped cocoon nestled in his arm.
He had their egg.
He looked around, realization dawning on him. This massive, sprawling base contained no worms, only biters and spitters.
He’d never been to a base that didn’t have worms before.
But he’d also never noticed an egg before. He usually just razed the bases to the ground, claimed the ores, and moved on.
He stopped for a moment, pulling out the egg sac and holding it up into the air.
Every biter stopped hissing and became deathly silent. Not one antennae twitched, not one eye moved. Every single alien was locked in on that egg that he carried.
Possibly the last egg of the biter nation.
Max smiled, snagged the last of the capacitors from the discharge defense he still carried and attached them to his suit, giving his servos enough power to assist with his running speed.
Max dropped the spent capacitors on the ground, tucked the egg-football into his arm, and jogged out of the biter base completely unscathed.