They didn’t seem to take notice of him and he quietly moved in behind the shield of the strange hominine insect as it moved forward with measured deliberate movements. It began unstrapping a long wooden rifle-like weapon from its back and readying it before its person. The insect was seemingly unfazed by the attack of the creatures as many more then he could count were swarming upon it. There was something very large before them, in the distance, obscured by the numerous creatures wiggling through the goo. The insect turned its head back to him, suddenly, and took a long examining look at Jim with its large black compound eyes. Something slimy wrapped about his right arm then, and jerked it up, forcing him to lose his grasp on the rifle. It dropped down, but his left hand had a tight grip on the forestock and prevented it from hitting the floor. He simultaneously looked up and pulled his arm back in vain. An orifice of layered flesh flaps and tiny fangs stared down at him, a purple tendril dropping down from the side of the orifice and tugging at his arm with tremendous strength. One of the hump shaped things was above him in the goo, a second purple tendril shot out from it and wrapped immediately around his neck, tightening. The tendril was rubbing and burning into his skin like coarse ship rope. Within seconds his breathing was cut off, and it felt as if it could squeeze his head off. The pain of not breathing overcame him and caused him to panic. He dropped the rifle and tried to pull at the tendril around his neck with his left hand, while trying not to have his right arm yanked off by pulling it back against the thing’s grotesque strength. He would be choking but all his air flow had been cut off, spit was drooling from his lips and he felt as though he were falling into a deep fog.
He could see that the human was dying. He was compelled to help him, but at the risk of completing the mission? One for many, or many for one? To him the choice was obvious; sacrifice one for the many every time. But he hated the Riachen, and he couldn’t stand by and watch them take life. Anger filled him and he disengaged the shield, drew and elongated an energy blade while holding the wooden weapon with his other leg and slashed the tendrils with a single swipe. The Riachen reeled back a bit from the pain and he moved expeditiously to stand over the human, engaging the shield once again, burning through tendrils and Riachen that had moved in to attack him at the sight of the breach in his defense. He turned the blade off and pouched it, and then pried at the still tight tendril with his tarsus until, eventually, it was removed from around the human’s neck, whose face had developed a bluish hue from the lack of air. He hoped he hadn’t been too late and was relieved to see him take in a sudden, and deep, gasp of air, open his eyes and sit up choking and spitting. The human’s eyes were wide with shock to see his alien physique positioned over him, and he hastily got to his feet making short, high cries of surprise and aversion, frantically looking around until he spotted his rifle. There was enough room for the two of them to stand and move within the field, although it was a very tight space. The alien motioned for the human to take one of the shield devices. He nervously eyed it but kept darting his eyes toward the rifle. However he shortly acquiesced and took the device. The alien then reached into a pouch and drew a small disc shaped object and rubbed it until it glowed.
“This allows you to understand what I am saying”, he said showing the human the device. His mandibles were chawing around the labrum, the red maxilla peeking out and the labium moving up from the bottom as the palps jutted in from the sides. This made clicking and chomping noises in different tones that seemed to be translated through the device into English within the presence of his mind. The antennae rotated and repositioned about the alien’s green triangular head as its black compound eyes were seeing him in ways that Jim could only imagine. It was truly astounding to witness such a creature, and it was talking to him. He was overwhelmed with wonder. “You have nothing to fear, I just saved your life. I am Lay’tog. You are born like me, not made like them.” He motioned to the hump worm-like things that were crashing feverishly into the shield causing an array of sparks to flash moment to moment all around them. “They are called Riachen. That device you hold, and this one, keeps the energy dome full. Pick up your weapon and follow close to me. We don’t have much time.”
He turned away from the human, readying the wooden master weapon before him. The Mother Riachen was very near. They moved forward under the protection of the energy dome, Lay’tog knew that it didn’t have much power left. He couldn’t move too fast or he would out pace the human, but he was able to convince Jim to jog a little in time with his long four legged strides. The horde of Riachen was dissipating as their numbers burned into charred bits. They had thrown themselves foolishly at the shield in abundance the moment he had gotten close to the Mother in a panicked attempt to try and curb his advancement. With their numbers thinning they could now make out the Mother’s lair. An immense animation of vibrating beige flesh, crowded with long burly black tendrils that extended out from her, floated before them in what appeared to be a thinner solution of the syrupy fluid. A large orifice exactly like those of her brood, was located in its center, surrounded by smaller purple tendrils that whipped about, a few extending out to the walls of the den. There, countless translucent sacs were attached to the walls. Inside were the unmistakable forms of small human children and babies.
“Oh my god!” Jim was deeply disturbed, horrified at what he saw.
“Yes, it is a gruesome sight. You must stay strong in the wake of this abomination and the repugnance of its acts. Stay focused human, we must rid the cosmos of this existence above all else.”
The smaller purple tendrils were plucking the sacs off the wall and moving them through the goo and into the gaping orifice. It was obvious they were being eaten. Once it had placed four within its maw, the larger black tendrils swelled at their stem and a bulbous mass pushed through them to their ends. Out of each one oozed a dark grey sac of hideous organic material pockmarked with calluses and sore-like abrasions, which hung in the ooze and began to glow from within. Mere moments later the sacs reached a burning brightness and the skin cracked and separated, revealing coiled fully formed Riachen that released themselves from the tendril and floated into the goo, uncoiling and immediately joining the attack on the energy dome. The Mother was in a constant state of reaching to pluck sacs of sustenance from off the den’s wall.