“Hello beautiful,” Max said as he picked up the egg sac. This little guy had helped him limp along for a week now, every day a new ore patch. It was so prolific, that he was not only able to keep up with ammo demands for the never-ending onslaught of biters and spitters that continued to throw themselves at his walls all day and all night, but he was even able to bolster his defenses with more laser turrets and a few more solar panel arrays.
Most of his house was surrounded by miners hacked with productivity modules. He had given up trying to keep his house clean anymore, the pollution was incredibly invasive.
But it was worth it, he was doing well in resources, and as long as this little guy continued to produce he would be sitting pretty for weeks to come.
The biters had to stop coming sometime, right?
Max could understand there being a lot of them, but endless wasn’t in the cards. A population couldn’t literally reproduce endlessly with no harm to the species. The world had an end to it, for that he was sure. Even if they ended up running from the other side of the planet, they would eventually run out.
Life was surprisingly good, which was why he was surprised when he realized the spot on the ground where the egg had lain all night was bare.
This was also the time Max finally noticed the brown on the egg had grown to cover nearly half of the egg’s leathery surface. The parts that had started brown a few days ago were now a mottled gray, the skin was beginning to shrink and crack near the top edge of the egg.
He looked at his house, realizing the damage the pollution was doing to his house as well as his lifeblood.
“Maybe it’s time to give you a better home.”
He looked up at his factory, seeing the pollution for what it was. Noxious. Invasive.
The computer had tried to analyze the internal processes of this egg in an attempt to explain how it produced the ores, but had failed in it’s confusion only to note that the amount created had diminished with each day.
As the pollution went up, it’s production went down.
Realization finally struck Max. This was why biter bases always seemed to be situated on top of mineral deposits. They weren’t defending them. They made them.
He wanted to sit down, take this in, but no, he couldn’t sit down. He didn’t have time. He was slowly choking out his only ticket for survival.
What was he going to do? If he stopped his mining efforts he could last three, maybe four days at best before being overwhelmed by the biters and unable to continue repairing their damage.
If he continued with his multiplicative production method, he would kill this worm egg.
Max needed a solution and he needed it fast.