No common ground
Posted on Mon Sep 11th, 2017 @ 4:47pm by Lieutenant Taavis
Creatures in the Corner
Location: Qirs hive
Hearing the sounds of squishy fluid Taavis caught sight of movement toward the back of the chamber. Her eyes strained to see what was happening and after a dozen more steps she came to a halt, her own fear now gripping her heart. Hanging along the ceiling, in a protective coating of resin, was a large abdomen-like appendage not unlike that seen on Earth Termite queens. The sound had been another of the eggs being placed on the floor. Her eyes followed where the appendage went to, turning her head to her left and into a dark niche. The sweat was running down her face and Taavis could feel it trickling down her spine, along with a chill that temperature alone could not have solved. The dread was felt and Taavis used all her discipline to push it down and maintain control. She needed all her senses here. A low, long hiss came from the dark niche and Taavis turned to face it, while stepping back. A large head, four times larger than any other Qir, came forth from the pitch black and into the light. The teeth on this beast were not metallic, instead being like quartz crystal. The Queen, her mind told her.
With the inky blackness shadowing the Queen, and only her head protruding from the darkness, Taavis could not make out much detail. The head alone, being at least four times larger than her progeny, was proof enough that this creature could and would shred anything that threatened her hive. The Queen turned her head this way and that, hissing occasionally. There was a ruckus to Taavis's right and she looked over to see an Andorian male being dragged into the chamber kicking and screaming in fear. Taavis half turned that way, ready to aid the man, but Queen gave a sharp, quick hiss and several of her drones surrounded Taavis to cut her off. She raised her hands defensively and to show she would not interfere. Instead, she watched.
The Andorian was taken and forced to stand near to an egg sack, the drones holding him in place easily. The top of the egg split open and folded aside. The Andorian struggled vigorously but it was useless. A small, eight legged animal crawled up and out of the egg, sitting on the edge of it. It moved like a spider and had a long tail as it appeared to be sensing the air around it. Quick as could be it leaped at the Andorian and smothered his face with its belly as the legs locked around the back of his head, the tail going around the neck. The drones let go of him and he collapsed onto his back. Taavis gave a sidelong glance to the Queen, who appeared to be watching her in turn, and then amazingly seemed to chin toward the downed Andorian. It was as if Taavis was to observe what was happening.
The Andorian began to twitch and undulate, the facehugger now leaving his face and curling up in death beside his head. A fist-sized object punched the rib cage upwards from within the torso, the Andorian now spitting up blue blood as this thing within seemed to be chewing and piercing its way out of his body. Finally, accompanied by a sickening gurgling and crunching, a small drone burst out of the chest cavity and gave a squeal as it aligned itself to the outside world, still sitting in the hole it had just caused in the body. With a final screech it took off running into the darkness, the Queen hissing after it before that large head turned back to Taavis. Seeing her chance to try and communicate, her fear now completely dissolved as she accepted her own death, Taavis took a careful step toward the Queen.
the Queen hissed at her soldiers and Taavis was allowed to approach the matriarch. She made sign with her hands, letting the Queen know she wanted to touch her but the acidic mucous would prevent it. The Queen produced the clear, viscous Taavis was still covered in, even though it had dried and caked onto her clothing and skin. Taavis put her hands beneath the drool and slathered them in it, and once protected she brought her hands back up. One on each side of the head, the Queen still allowing it, Taavis touched her fingertips to the creature's head to establish a mind meld.
Taavis sucked in a breath as the first connection was a mass of visual stimuli, not only from the Queen but also from her hive as she was constantly connected to her progeny. Focusing on just the Matriarch, pushing the others aside, Taavis dove in and went deeper into the Queen's mind as she established communication.
"Do you understand me," asked Taavis, speaking aloud as she closed her eyes and focused.
The Queen understood and responded. "I know your language."
"Why do you attack?"
"We must survive!" The vehemence behind that thought was unmistakable.
"Did our kind attack you?" Taavis needed to get the information and then report it.
"Entered nest, we were hibernating. Fire to destroy and get to core of warmth."
Core of warmth must have meant the power generator. The mine did have its own power source. "Often we react with destruction before we understand. You have my sympathies for those lost."
"No sympathy for your kind. Hive fights hive for hunting. You are many. My prey."
Not sure she wanted to know the answer, Taavis decided on another query. "Why am I here?"
The Queen brought her head close to Taavis's face, snout to nose. "I must eat. Make young from your flesh."
There it was, a visual within the mind of the Queen. The eggs were produced after the Queen consumed a new life form, one she had never encountered before. Through a molecular change the Matriarch would then produce an egg specifically designed for that animal or species. The Queen had not had the opportunity to ingest a being with copper-based blood, to create progeny that could and would survive by consuming herself, Billi, and others. The iron-based were all over, the cobalt-based now finished with the Andorian. Taavis was the catalyst for the next species to be considered.
"Would you consider a truce?" Asked Taavis.
"No," the Queen was blunt. "Prey does not need truce. Prey is prey."
"The prey will leave, then you will be stuck with just the animal life." Said Taavis. "We can learn from each other, live separate. It is now known that you are intelligent."
"None will know." Stated the Queen. "You will be consumed for the good of the hive. No answers given."
That was it. There would be no peace. The colonists had invaded the hive and destroyed their resin construction to get to the power generator. Once that had happened the hive awoke and fought back, bringing the entire nest out of hibernation to protect their own. Now, the Queen was determined to end a threat before other hives found her to be weak and easily overtaken. Like ants and termites these Qirs fought back and forth for control of hunting territory and survival, but only every 20 years. It was a biological form of the Borg, yet these creatures did not assimilate together, instead they fought to outdo others of their kind. When she had entered this chamber Taavis had spotted something she could use to her advantage, but only if she could get to it. A coolant tank filled with tens of thousands of gallons stood in the back of the chamber, used to keep the generator from overheating. It would immediately destroy all organic life it came in contact with, disintegrating it within seconds if touched. ~The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one~
Taavis had that thought in mind, keeping it separate from the Queen. The beauty of the Vulcan brain. "May I have time to explore? To understand you better before you use me to survive?"
The Queen gave in. "See perfection. See our might. Take your kind and leave this place. Send them sky message." A large hand came out of the dark and pointed to a console partially covered in resin.
It was impressive to speak with the Queen, with Taavis getting better speech from the Matriarch the longer they stayed connected. However, the Queen had made her position clear and Taavis would now have to act. It had been stated that there were more hives so damaging this one was not an act of genocide even though Taavis could easily motivate herself to kill every Qirs on the planet. Breaking the mind meld and stepping back, re-aligning as just Taavis for a few minutes, she then turned and went towards the console the Queen had pointed out. Hopefully, it would be able to be used for communications.