“On-Duty Workers, utilize fuel resources responsibly during work periods, your efficient production benefits the HiveClan. Off-Duty Workers, limit your fuel consumption to minimal amounts during rest periods, your conservation benefits the HiveClan.”
Regular broadcasts over the public speaker system extol the virtues of responsible resource management, and ensure that no Drone gets more than one hour of uninterrupted sleep at a time during his or her rest cycle. SanitationWorker M23012 opens his eyes just enough to register the noise before turning over in his nook within the communal barracks and drifting back asleep. The Machines of the HiveProper and the lives of the HiveClan Denizens, those On-Duty and Off, create a comforting hum of busy industry around him…a noise he’s known since his hatching one hundred and fifty eight Quarters ago. One amongst many tens of thousands and, like his brother and sister WorkerUnits, lacking any sort of higher education, curiosity or sense of free will, he is nevertheless proud to be a productive part of his HiveClan. With little effort he is soon back to comfortable snoring and the twitches of a peaceful dream.
“WARNING WARNING WARNING!! Breach in Progress at Exterior Hatch Alpha 19, repeat BREACH IN PROGRESS at Exterior Hatch Alpha 19! Obstruct and Expel Hostile Elements! Protection of the Hive benefits the HiveClan.”
Warning lights and alarms blare throughout the Hive as WorkerUnits on the affected level scurry towards their barracks for the duration of the breach. Legs pumping and tools held carefully so as not to jostle their comrades they hardly notice the blurred wings and leveled weapons of the SecurityDrones as they buzz past overhead. Swinging together in unison, they follow their Primary into the Breached Zone. Thin and fast and lightly armored, the SecurityDrones are armed with short range projectile weapons and long staves topped with barbed lance heads. Arriving at the now visibly damaged Hatch, they take up an interdiction pattern, hovering just above the ground for maximum mobility. With a spray of liquefied metal, the Hatch is breached and their enemy reveals itself.
Squirming through the breach is the armored form of a RavagerWurm. Fifty feet long and massing twenty tons of squirming lethality, it continues to spew acid from its maw as it advances on the SecurityDrones. Surrounding the tooth ringed oral cavity of the Wurm are dozens of sensor nodes. Not quite eyes, not quite ears nor nose, they serve several functions of each and then some. Hundreds of thin whip-like tendrils sprout from its’ body, grown originally to help the worm move through its’ burrows, now put to deadly use grabbing and squeezing the life out of several Drones as they leap to attack.
The projectile weapons used by the SecurityDrones may be short range, but they fire impressively large rounds filled with a variety of substances ranging from knock out gas to toxins or flammable liquids. The lance, or Stinger, that each Drone carries is made of an incredibly sharp substance and easily capable of punching through a person…both weapons mean very little against the bulk of a Wurm. Aiming for the sensor nodes scattered randomly around the Wurms “head”, the SecurityDrones try to blind the beast and open wounds through its armor hide that would allow their toxins to take effect. Within just a few minutes of engaging the Wurm, fully half of the Drones are dead and the rest are wounded and retreating.
“WARNINGwarningwarning!! Ravagerwurm loose on level 19! Soldierdrones report to level 19 and begin immediate and aggressive expulsion of hostile!! Continued Persecution of our enemies benefits the hiveclan!”
Gathering together on the access ramp to Level 19, the SoldierDrones of the HiveClan check their armor and weapons with a strict, almost monk-like silence. Lead by a FatherConsort, one of the mates of the MotherQueen, the SoldierDrones are fanatical in their defense of the HiveClan . Dressed in the heaviest of armors they are unable to use their wings to fly and instead rely on twin rotating propellers mounted on maneuvering gimbals to achieve aerial mobility. In their great, gauntleted hands they heft giant war hammers and powerful rifles. BroodMarkings adorn their armor with ritualistic flair.
With HandSign and a stern look, FatherConsort A4 launches his warriors up the ramp and at their foe with the hard rush of mechanical wings. As one of the Eldest and most Elite of the warriors that the HiveClan can call upon, the Consort wields an ancient long sword crackling with a powerful energy field. His wings, far stronger than the Soldiers and unencumbered by the armor he wears, blaze into life and blurring motion as he leads the charge. Finding the Wurm moving through a heavily populated portion of the HiveProper, he signals to his troops to begin the attack. Swooping close behind, his warriors begin to fire round after high speed round from their rifles. Unlike the Security forces pistols, the semi-automatic rifles fire solid slug ammo at incredibly high speeds. Long range and incredibly powerful, the first few shots that find the Wurm punish the beast, opening up gaping wounds in its long body.
Screaming with rage and pain, the Wurm stops its search and turns to face this new threat just as the first of the Soldiers come within range of its tendrils. Slapping ineffectively at the warriors armor as they punish the beast with hammer blows and short range rifle fire, the Wurm begins to squirm and howl and spews forth a great stream of acid froth. Covering one SoldierDrone from head to foot and splashing on the WorkStations and Barracks that surround the battlefield, the acid begins to tear into the heart and hearth of the Hive, turning anything and anyone touched by it into puddles of green sludge within minutes. Never uttering a sound as he dies, the unlucky SoldierDrones death is accompanied by the screams of dozens of WorkerUnits trapped within the slowly dissolving structures.
With a flash of yellow energy, the FatherConsort lands atop the Wurm and slams his sword, fully four feet long, all the way down to the hilt into the Wurms body. Shifting his weight and twisting with his hips, the FatherConsort rips his sword out in an arc of energy, blood mist and rage, cutting a deep gash out of the Wurm. Broken, bleeding and blind, the RavagerWurm dies.
“Day cycle 3 now ending, day cycle 4 now beginning. All workers report to your designated areas. On-Duty Workers, utilize fuel resources responsibly during work periods, your efficient production benefits the HiveClan. Off-Duty Workers, limit your fuel consumption to minimal amounts during rest periods, your conservation benefits the HiveClan.”
SanitationWorker M23012 rolls from his bunk, pulls on his work gear, grabs his tools and makes his way to the fueling station. Grabbing the rations afforded to him, both fuel for his tools and food for himself, he quietly munches while standing in line with his fellow WorkerUnits. Ten minutes after he woke up he steps out into the street in front of his Barracks on Level 19. Standing before him is a unit of SoldierDrones drenched in Wurm guts and blood, only some of it the Wurms. The street, their armor and even the corner of his own Barrack are pitted with Wurm acid. The howls of those unfortunates trapped within buildings destroyed by the Wurms rampage fill the air. A FatherConsort, stern and noble and very intimidating, stands beside the Wurms corpse using HandSign to direct the efforts of the WorkerUnits around him in clearing rubble and rescuing the trapped. Reading the few gestures sent his way, SanitationWorker M23012 lights up his flamer and without another thought begins to incinerate the remains of the Wurm, purging it from his Hive with every puff of flame.
Just another day in the HiveClan…