Talga Vassternich Part 14

Read Episode 13 First.

Max ducked behind the cover of the nearest electric miner. Crap!

He knew this day was coming, just didn’t expect it to come so soon.

The worm was sitting just a few feet outside the only entrance to his house.

He activated his computer systems to begin analyzing this new predicament. As far as it could tell it was a baby worm. It had all the normal parts to it, mouth, torso, rooted to the ground, but curiously it was a different color than the ones he had met before.

This one was a bright pink. Figuring it for it’s newish skin just now being exposed to the atmosphere, Max chanced a look out around his hiding spot.

The small pink worm seemed to not notice him, instead randomly looking around the base.

Max picked up a pebble and tossed it in the direction of the thing. It instantly whirled around and began tracking it. Gut-reaction seemed to have it instantly shoot something out of it’s mouth at it. But this wasn’t the normal green acidic slime Max was used to from the older ones, this was pink.

Hmm.

He waited for the worm to lose interest in the pebble and start it’s gaze wandering. He was about to toss another pebble when a lone logistics bot wafted past the worm on some random task.

Splush! Pink slime hit the bot, which barely seemed to notice it as it kept on about it’s task. No alarms. The liquid didn’t seem to be acidic like it’s larger-scale brethren. Max decided it was time to chance it. He couldn’t hide behind the miner forever. This was his base, and he needed to figure this new situation out.

He stood up, cautious, waiting for the spit. “Hello there worm. How are you.” No spit came.

The worm tracked his movement as he strafed to the side, each one keeping a careful eye on the other. Finally Max walked forward, putting a cautious hand out as he drew near.

The small worm recoiled slightly, then spun and spat. Pink slime coated his hand. Sensors registered it as viscous, but innocuous. He wiped it on his suit and got closer to the worm.

Max crouched down and gingerly placed a hand on the side of the worm. “Hey there buddy.”

The worm shook, nuzzling up it’s thin torso against his hand. Like a stationary snake, it’s hide was leathery and tough, despite it’s young age.

His suit picked up sub-sonic waves emanating from the the thing. It had to be trying to communicate with him. Despite all it’s attempts, the suit wasn’t able to formulate a reply that made sense. Max turned off the subroutine. He didn’t need a computer to translate for him.

“Well I suppose I should name you, shouldn’t I?”

Max stood up, peering down at the worm that barely came above his knee. “How about I call you Rex.”

The worm responded to his name by curling itself part-way around his leg.

And thus began a new age of Max Power and his worm friend. Over the next few weeks and months, the two bonded each day, slowly growing to be able to recognize each other’s thoughts and actions through a series of low rumbles and shakes. It was like teaching a dog, if the dog was tied to the ground.

Rex was not only smart, but was able to communicate with the other biters.

Max learned over time that when Rex had hatched, all the violence and anger from it’s kin had scared it, and it had sent out calls that it was okay and safe. The biters had backed down.

As Max suspected, Rex turned out to be one of the last remaining breeding worms on the planet, and he also considered renaming the worm when he realized that Rex was the sole provider of eggs for the entire colony. But Rex liked the name and didn’t want him to change it.

Over time Max was introduced to the other biters, and though the two never fully trusted each other, a tenuous relationship was wrought. Mining rights to the entire planet were given in exchange for protection from other corporation’s interests, and with the understanding that higher efficiency mining operations would be used so as to minimize or almost completely eliminate the pollution.

Max Power become known universe-wide for his innovations in clean mining technology, making billions mainly off of his deals with local residents of alien planets.

Of course Max had to end up moving his house, as it was too close to Rex as it continued to evolve over the next few decades, but he never strayed far.

And as the sun began to set on Max’s life, he insisted on spending those days in his old mining operations house next to his life-long stationary friend, Rex the Worm.

Other Factorio Related Fan-Fiction by Scarhoof:

“A Biter like No Other.” Rick was just a small-time mining mogul sent to scout out the planet Remnal-7, but Rick finds himself caught between a turf war between rival biter factions. Can he keep his company afloat and ease tensions between the clans?

Also check out a new type of extreme short-fiction by Scarhoof:

“I Spawned on an Island.”

Coming this summer is my highly anticipated cross-species erotic title, “Brokeback Biter.”

George didn’t know what he was getting into when he was sent to round up the gas worms with the biter FLRNRK-9. But things are lonely out on the trail with nothing but worm slime to keep you company. Will he brave a love that dare not be? Will he give in and learn to love the multi-segmented arthropod?

Finally, don’t miss my latest film premiering at Sundance this fall: “The Human Biter-Pede.” It will shock you to your core.

Author’s note: Thank you all for the support over the last few weeks while I’ve wasted hours away at this story. I’ve never done fan-fic before, but I had a lot of fun doing it. I appreciate all the kind words, and I’m glad that I was able to bring the world of Factorio to life in a slightly different way.

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