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“Hey, guys. Something is up. It might be a good idea to not follow them.” Guy whispered to Vienna.

“Hmph… what do you know?” She responded giving him the cold shoulder.

Unfortunately, everyone else was already leaving out the back, and there was no way to alert them without alerting everyone nearby. Guy had no choice but to follow them. However, he had a feeling like everyone was looking at them. He snuck one more peek out the window and there appeared to be some kind of commotion like they were clearing out the area of locals. This was going from bad to worse.

Once they exited through the door, Guy decided that following would be a bad idea. There was no one behind him and the girls were seemingly ignoring everyone, so it was easy for him to slip off to the side. It was a massive room without a roof. It was five levels high, but the levels were just hallways that hugged against the walls, with a center area rising straight up. Guy supposed that some kind of ship landed in here and then everything was unloaded from every level. Even though the bugs had wings, they probably couldn’t carry things that were too heavy.

Guy kneeled and took cover. Thankfully, no one noticed. The room was empty of bugs but was filled with all kinds of junk. The area Guy snuck into seemed to be some kind of workshop. There were various tables, filled with all kinds of junk alongside tools. Guy couldn’t tell what the tools did, but they looked like lasers and stuff. He watched as the rest of the girls walked out into the middle of the room, still looking bored.

“Alright… where are the supplies you wanted to show me?” Vienna asked irritably.

“Of course.” The bug creature bowed.

His legs were twitching, and to Guy that looked like he was nervous. Something was going to go down and these monstrous bugs were going to assault the women. Guy was certain of it. In his head, he imagined them getting swarmed and then cocooned. He just imagined them trapped in some kind of wall of organic mush. Guy had seen enough science fiction horror movies to know how this thing went. Next thing you knew, their stomachs would explode open to alien bugs.

He decided it was best if he found a weapon. He ultimately settled on the item that looked the most like a gun. It was lying on a shelf. It was large and looked like it might have been part of a ship at one point. However, Guy could lift it thanks to the lighter gravity on this world, and he was even able to find a trigger that would allow it to shoot.

“I’m waiting…”

“It’ll just be a second.” The bug responded.

A few moments later, a ship flew over the hole in the sky. The bug suddenly jumped away and flew off like he couldn’t wait to run.

“Fugitives! Put your hands behind your back, kneel down, and await arrest.” A voice bellowed over the loudspeakers.

“Knew it!” Guy hissed.

“What?” Vienna cried out.

“It’s an ambush!” Rex growled, pulling out a weapon from her arm.

As soon as she lifted it, a bolt shot out, striking her arm. She let out a cry as she collapsed to her knees, the mechanical arm twitching. As this happened, dozens of bugs jumped off the ship and came flying down. They landed on every level and all around the group of girls, training their weapons on them. As Guy watched them quickly become surrounded, his eyes grew as wide as pinpricks.

He had hoped that he was being paranoid, but it turned out things happened exactly like he thought they would. Trinity let out a roar and charged toward one of the bugs. They shot her and then shot her again. Guy’s eyes went wide as he watched, but he quickly realized these weren’t killing weapons. Rather, they were some kind of electrical weapon that short-circuited your body. Trinity managed to reach one of the bugs, but then she hesitated. She wasn’t a killer, after all. She just lived around killers.

That hesitation cost her. Dozens of bugs had locked onto her and they all started firing at once. A dozen hits struck her, and she finally collapsed on the ground convulsing. The bugs didn’t just fire at her. They attacked all of the women, shooting them until they were all on the ground unable to move. In short order, Guy was the only person left unharmed. Thankfully, no one had noticed him yet.

The bugs had started to cautiously approach the women. On top of that, the ship was slowly lowering down into the factory dock. Once it landed, the girls would be dragged on board, and the next thing you knew, chest bursters. Guy had no choice but to fight back. He couldn’t allow them to be captured by a bunch of disgusting bugs. They were all too beautiful to meet such a grisly fate. He picked up the weapon and clicked the trigger. Nothing happened.

“Fool, that thing requires a giant battery like that one over there.” A voice sounded from behind him.

Guy turned around to see a bug had snuck upon him. He was gesturing to an item in the corner which looked a bit like a proton pack.

“Oh… thanks!” Guy lifted the gun and slammed it down on the bug before he could react.

He was shocked that the bug was crushed under the weight of the gun. He didn’t know what expression the bug made as he died, but it was probably a surprise. Fluid splatted as he crushed its exoskeleton that would have been the skull part. It was a blue fluid, so no matter what, Guy just didn’t associate it with blood. Remarkably, the other bugs hadn’t noticed this exchange in the dark. The engine of the ship overheard as it lowered was loud to the point where nothing was heard either.

Guy snatched the zapper gun from the bug and then raced over to the battery pack the trooper had indicated. It took a bit of fiddling, but he managed to get it on his back, and then plug it into the wall. There was a rising hum as the device finally received power. He carefully skirted along the edge of the bottom floor as he watched the ship lower closer and closer to the ground. At this point, the girls had been slapped into these glowing handcuffs.

He aimed the gun at the cockpit of the ship. He only had one shot at this, but if he could take out the ship, it’d do more damage than any individual bug, right? He hit the trigger and fired. A bolt of energy shot out from the gun. If Guy didn’t see it, he wouldn’t believe it, because there was no recoil at all. It hit the glass front of the ship, and then a moment later there was an explosion. A fireball erupted from the cockpit, and the ship started to rise. However, it tilted to the side and then slammed into the wall. The entire thing tilted, and then collapsed, taking out the far side of the building. Explosions erupted and the ship began to explode.

Confused bugs started to fly around like a hornet nest that had been disturbed. Guy lifted the gun and started and pressed the trigger again. To his delight, it fired again. It wasn’t a single-use item. He let out a laugh as he started to press the trigger over and over again. Everywhere a bolt struck erupted in fire and explosions. He carpeted the walls clearing out the nest of bugs.

“He’s down there!” A voice shouted out, finally recognizing where the attack was coming from.

Bolts started flying down, but Guy had played enough Halo in his life that he was quickly able to take cover. He started to take out the supports the bugs were standing on, forcing them to lose their advantageous positions one at a time. He clicked again, but this time, the device didn’t trigger.

“He’s out!” one of the more observant bugs cried out.

“Damn!” Guy threw the weapon away with the depleted battery.

A brave bug flew right at him, shooting its zapper gun. That reminded Guy of the one he grabbed off the body of the other bug. He pulled the zapper gun from his belt and shot it. It struck the bug, causing him to fall out of the air like his strings were cut. He ended up landing and sliding up to Guy. He pointed down and shot again. The bug had a surprised face as its head exploded in blue.

“Huh… you shoot them twice, and they explode!” Guy announced excitedly.

He leaned down and grabbed a second gun from the dead hands of the bug. Then, he started shooting up, always pulling the trigger twice for the kill. The bugs flew around and it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Some of them did shoot back, and the first time Guy was hit, he got scared for a second. However, it didn’t feel much worse than getting zapped by an outlet. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, but he quickly shook it off.

Running around the factory, he took down bug after bug. A few tried to attack him hands-on. Their pincers looked scary, but a single punch broke through their exoskeletons and their head popped off easy. Covered in blue blood, Guy ran around laughing as he mowed down hundreds of them. He was hit nearly as many times as Trinity, but they weren’t all at once, and he was able to shake it off or take cover every time. Plus, he didn’t hesitate to go for the kill.

As for his conscious, why would he be disturbed over killing a bunch of bugs? They didn’t even bleed red. This was exactly like a very realistic video game, and just as fun.

“The monster is coming! Retreat! Retreat!” The soldiers began to fly up and out of Guy’s reach.

While he was slaughtering half of a contingent of bugs, the girls had managed to free themselves of their restraints and get cover. They had wanted to help, but they found themselves frozen over the sight of the senseless slaughter before them. Even Rex who might have had some xenophobic tendencies and also fought in real wars had never seen such horrific and aimless slaughter. These hardened criminals felt slightly sick as this brutal man covered in the blood of his enemies laughed and killed indiscriminately.

When the insects had finally scattered away, he walked over to the girls. His shirt was torn, he was covered in blood, and smoke rose from several spots where the zapper had burned him, but he had a smile on his face and a confident expression in his eyes.

“Ar-are you some kind of death god?” Trinity asked.

He blinked. “Huh?”

“Y-y-you killed them! You killed them all! Not just the men… but the women… one of them was pregnant!”

“Oh… is that what those little orby eggs were in that thorax of one of those bugs. Yeah… I had to smash all of those.”

“I-I’m gonna be sick!” Vienna suddenly leaned over a table and threw up.

“Huh? What? Would you rather they capture you? How can I allow that? I won’t allow anything to happen to any of you. After all, we’re together! You’re my people, after all.”

“T-together?” Nixle’s eyes widened.

“Y-yours…” Trinity blushed.

“Can you guys walk?” Guy ignored their strange behavior.

Perhaps, they were shaken up over nearly being caught.

“I’m good,” Trinity said.

As the other girls started nodding, Rex spoke up with a bitter expression on her face. “Those weapons screwed up my cybernetics. I won’t be able to walk without a good fifteen minutes to repair.”

“We don’t have that kind of time.” Guy reached out and grabbed her, picking her up.

“Wh-what are you doing?” She cried out as he lifted her in both of his arms. “U-unhand me!”

“We don’t have time to play around,” Guy said to her, his expression suddenly extremely serious. “We need to get out of here fast.”

Rex’s face turned red and her heart starting beating out of control. “Th-that… i-if you say so…”

The soldier girl who hated other races and wouldn’t let anyone touch her suddenly turned shy and allowed this human to carry her without complaint. The other girl’s mouths fell open as they saw her behavior. Just as they turned to leave the building, an announcement blared up over a loudspeaker coming from the front of the building, which still offered the only exit.

“Fugitives! The building is surrounded. Come out with your hands up!” A voice declared.

“This is bad,” Vienna said, having recovered from her mess. “What do we do?”

Guy was surprised to see all of the girls looking toward him now. Wasn’t he just tagging along? He looked around briefly, and his eyes fell on something familiar. It was a crate that had been broken open. It was filled with battery packs that looked like the one he had been using earlier. It was the one that was powering that canon gun. A grin formed on his face.

“Grab some of those packs.” He declared. “We’ll be shooting our way out of here.”

“D-does he remind you of someone?” Vienna whispered to the others.

“Yeah… Boss…” Trinity shivered.

Some distance away, Faratite, Dixi, Ten, and Cerisa had been negotiating with the locals regarding getting some repairs on the ship.

“Does anything feel a bit off to you guys?” Dixi asked. “They suddenly seem nervous.”

“N-nervous?” Faratite looks around, suddenly looking nervous over other people being nervous.

“You can tell?” Ten asked. “They’re Hiverians, I have a lot of struggle figuring out anything from those expressions.”

“You’re one to talk!” Dixi rolled her eyes at the moment who covered her face at all times. “As a former sexbot, I’m very sensitive to subtle changes in behavior.”

“You didn’t have to sleep with any Hiverians, did you?” Ten asked.

“Although I can not see your facial expression, I predict by the tone of your words that you are asking that with a look of disgust on your face. Rest assured, I did not sleep with any Hiverians during my time as a sexbot.

“She is correct, however.” Cerisa declared. “Since we’ve talked to them earlier, they’ve become increasingly more neurotic. I initially thought it was just something your kind does sometimes.”

“Was it that supposed to mean?” Ten demanded. “Ah… nevermind that, perhaps they’ve determined who we are?”

No sooner did she suggest this than a group of Hiverians holding guns started marching up the platform.

“This isn’t good!”

“Take cover!”

The girls slammed the button to close their cargo door. However, the bugs immediately flew forward. A dozen made it passed before the crack crew too small.

“Freeze!” One of the bugs yelled.

“You’re under arrest!”

The girls began firing on the Hiverians, but the Hiverians fired back. They took down three bugs before all of them had become stunned. As the girls spasmed on the ground, the leading Hiverian picked up a communication device.

“We’ve secured the cargo, awaiting orders.” He declared.

He waited for a response, but it didn’t come. Instead, they could hear firing on the other side. There was shouting and screams as well. It sounded like a battle was going on outside. The Hiverians all looked at each other with confusion, or whatever constituted confusion on those bug-like faces.

“Commander? Headquarters?”

The noises of fighting outside slowly grew quiet.

“Maybe they’re jamming our signal?” One of the cadets offered.

“Open the door, now!” The leader finally ordered as silence filled the room.

One of the Hiverians pressed a button, and the door started opening again. It started with a crack that slowly spread, opening them to a scene of carnage. There had been at least fifty soldiers. They were all dead now. Splatters of blue indicated where they had once been. Standing on the platform just out the door was a small woman in a robe. There wasn’t a single splash of blood on her, but it was clear she was the source of carnage. Her face couldn’t be seen, and her entire body was covered in a long black robe giving her an ominous feel.

“Boss!” Faratite cried out excitedly.

“Shoot her!” The lead man cried.

They all raised their weapons and started to fire, but her body disappeared like an after image. She appeared to the side, much closer now. They readjusted her fire and she blurred away again. She appeared on the other side now, already inside the cargo room. They changed directions again. One more blur, and suddenly the head of one of the Hiverians left his body. He didn’t even have a chance to scream.

The Hiverians fired wildly, but one died after another. Boss didn’t even use a gun, and if she used a blade, its shine never reached the light of the cargo room. As the leader realized he was the last one standing, he dropped his weapon and fell to his butt, stumbling back. Boss appeared directly in front of him.

“I-it’s not our fault!” He cried out. “The Alliance demanded that we apprehend you before they arrive!”

“With a hefty bounty reward, I’m sure…” Her voice was so cold that it felt like death was speaking as she took a step toward him.

“I-I’m just part of the security detail! Please, I’m innocent! I have children! Three thousand of them!”

She stopped. “Very well, you may live.”

“R-really?”

“No.”

She reached out and grabbed his head, picking his body up. With a yank, she ripped his head off his shoulders. As the girls watched this, they all shuttered in terror. When she dropped him, she tossed a key to the Dixi. She quickly unlocked her restraints and the restraints of the rest of the girls.

“The Alliance will be on our ass soon. Where is the away team?” She asked, not offering any support for the prior captives.”

“They haven’t called back in.”

It wasn’t clear if Boss was listening though, as she walked to the door of the cargo and was looking up with a frown.

“What is it?” Ten asked, following her and looking where she was looking.

“Somethings off.”

“Off?”

“This was too easy. They could send a hundred times that number. There should be waves and waves of them coming at us right now.”

The girls all gulped over Boss’s words. Boss lifted her own communication device.

“Pandora, what’s the radio traffic saying?”

Pandora was a technical genius, but also a recluse who didn’t go to the meetings typically. It appeared she had hacked the communications and was keeping track. That’s why Boss had been able to react to the attack so quickly.

“It appears that all units have been redirected to another location in the center of the city. There appears to be some kind of extreme threat they are all afraid of…” the girl’s voice responded.

All of the girls looked around in confusion. They all had one question on their mind.

“What would be scarier than Boss?”

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