Rated NC17 The Silent Queen
Kiitz’zt sprinted though the foliage as fast as his four injured legs could carry them. He had the odd creature tucked under his arm and pressed tightly to his side. The creature clung to him and panted for breath, but made no other sounds. How strange. He had caught them before and they had always struggled and made lots of noise. In fact they usually squealed and thrashed like dying tree gliders, but not this one. It seemed to trust him. And stranger still, he trusted it.

He listened for guidance but the voices were gone. His hive had been under attack and he had been caught in a trap trying to reach them. The voices of his queen and brothers cried out and then, for the first time in Kiitz’zt’s life, there was silence. They must all be dead. Massacred by the alien invaders. The same invaders that he had hunted and killed for food and sport. But this little invader didn’t act like the rest. It seemed to be fleeing the others of its kind, as if it was being hunted by them, when it stumbled upon the trap that Kiitz’zt had been caught in.

The trap was like many of the invaders’ tools. It was crafted out of what looked like thin gray bone, but it was stronger and sharper than chitin. It had pierced his legs and abdomen and rendered him completely immobile. Any movements he tried to make only caused more damage, so he informed his hive that he was dead. But death didn’t come.

When the creature first fell into the clearing where he was trapped, he thought it had come to finish him, but it just froze and stared at him with its little blue and white eyes. When he could hear shouts from others approaching, it seemed frightened by them and it hid next to his trap. It kept looking at him and looking out though the trees for the others. Then, it did the last thing Kiitz’zt would have expected. It manipulated the trap and the powerful arms opened. He didn’t know how to react. Should he kill the creature? Should he run? The creature ripped strips of thin green material that had been covering its arms and it reached out and started wrapping them around Kiitz’zt’s bleeding abdomen. He froze. His arms were uninjured and the chitin spines on his forearms were razor sharp. He could have killed the creature with one quick swipe, but he just sat there, confused. The green strips seem to stop the oozing of blood from his wounds and he understood. It was saving him. But why?

The others were closing and his little rescuer seemed terrified of them. Kiitz’zt retreated to the far edge of the clearing. The creature followed him. With the voice of his queen now deafeningly silent, Kiitz’zt made the first decision he had ever made in his life. He reached out and grabbed the creature. It didn’t resist. Even with the injuries to its legs, he knew it would not be able to keep up with him, so he held it close and he ran.

Just as he had started to put some distance between them and the pursuers, the ground and trees erupted in front of them. He leaped backward reflexively and then sprinted down a nearby ravine looking for cover from the flying invader.

Out in the open, the invaders could use their big flying creatures to hunt and kill his kind. These flying creatures could rip through their chitin with a focused piercing hail that was not ice, but something stronger, faster, and more powerful. But he could hide from them where the underbrush grew tall. He zigzagged to avoid the rattling stream of hail that followed him and then found a large uprooted tree in the ravine and stopped beneath it. The hail ripped at the bark of the fallen tree and then rattled past, tearing up trees and underbrush down the ravine. He could hear the faint thrum of the flying invader as it searched for him in a widening circle, and then it left.

The creature, still tucked under his arm, searched the skies and then looked up at him. It made no move to escape his grasp. Instead, it made a soft noise with its mouth, probably trying to communicate. The sound meant nothing to Kiitz’zt, but the creature’s body relaxed against him and that was easy to understand.

There was another sound from the direction of the pursuers. It sounded like a much quieter hail and it came from ground level. He could outrun the hunters on foot, but he could not outrun the flyer. He released the creature and sat, thinking it might be better just to hide.

“Ami! Aaaamiiiii… the bugs are gonna kill you, you stupid girl! We just want to talk. Ain't nobody gonna hurt you!”

Clark was close. Ami held her breath and tried desperately to hold still. She could hear him and the others walking through the thick underbrush near the clearing she had just been whisked away from, all of them searching for her. Sweat poured down her face and she shook uncontrollably, but remained silent. The bug sat motionless in front of her. It stared at her with its big black glassy eyes. Its head was cocked to the side, reminding her of her the dog she had when she had first arrived at the colony.

‘The bugs are gonna kill you’, Clark had yelled. Ami suppressed a laugh. Yesterday, she would have believed him. She’d seen it before; maggot infested cadavers lying just beyond the outer perimeter. They were ripped open. Eviscerated. Their organs, entrails, and eyes were always missing. Not only did the indigenous insect-like inhabitants of Isis not want the colonists there, but they also seemed to find the colonists edible and good for hunting. At least, that was the world outside of the colony as Ami knew it. But not today.

Ami also knew better than to believe that they weren’t going to hurt her. She may be fifteen, but she wasn’t born yesterday. She knew exactly what Clark and his goons wanted to do to her. With her parents dead and the whole corps out attacking a hive, there was nothing stopping that gang from getting anything they wanted. And right now, they wanted her. She didn’t think they would follow her out into the jungle, past the outer perimeter, but they did.

Then she stumbled onto it. A trapped bug. She’d never been so close to a live one before. It was less than a meter away. At first she thought it would reach out with its free arms and grab her or slash her to pieces, but it just sat there staring at her. She could hear Clark and the others calling out, getting closer, so she made a decision. It seemed like the dumbest thing she had ever done, but there was something about this helpless bug; even though it stood over two meters tall on its trapped but powerful legs; even though she knew it could kill her and eat her in the blink of an eye; she felt safer with this giant black and red praying mantis-like monster than she did with Clark and his gang. She examined the trap and found the release mechanism. The trap sprung open and she froze, waiting to be devoured by this deadly creature, but it just sat there looking at her.

It was hurt. Black blood oozed from holes where the trap had punched through its shell. She quickly tore off her sleeves and began to wrap them around it, trying to bandage the wound and stop the bleeding. It still just sat there, so she tied the bandage tight, hoping insanely that this thing would somehow help her in return. It suddenly moved away, skittering quickly on its 4 powerful legs, and she instinctively followed it. It quickly, but gently reached out and grabbed her, and then it turned and ran. She felt like she was strapped to the side of a speeding Viper as the bug dashed through the trees with ease, carrying her like a football. She was smiling, thinking that Clark would never catch her now; though the thought did occur to her that it might just be taking her it its hive to be eaten later.

Then a hail of bullets ripped at the ground in front of them. The bug stopped on a dime and leaped backward so fast it took the wind out of her. It ran wildly down into a ravine and stopped under a huge fallen tree. Ami caught a glimpse of the small one-manned aircraft - it was a Viper on patrol. The Viper shot at them and then kept going, searching for a while and then flying off. Ami gasped and caught her breath. She looked up at the bug and somehow knew that it wasn’t going to eat her. It was protecting her.

“Thank you” she said softly. Then she could hear the faint sound of weapons fire coming from Clark’s direction. The bug didn’t move. Maybe it was right. Maybe if they just stayed here and hid for a while, the gang would give up their search.

"That stupid little bitch is going to be sorry she ever defied me." Clark muttered angrily as he trudged through the foliage. "And she's gonna pay extra for making me chase her through this bug-infested hellhole!"

Clark had no patience left for Ami. He had tried several times to 'comfort' her after her parents died, but she seemed to think that she was too good for him. He decided he'd let his boys have a turn with her after he was done. That would teach her not to be so stuck up.

He couldn't believe it when they had chased her to the outer perimeter and she just kept running, right into the jungle!

"She ain't gettin away that easy!" He had barked at his boys when they hesitated. "C'mon you tards, the bugs will be too busy with the hive attack to worry about us, and besides, we've got goop guns now!"

The 'goop guns' he spoke of were the newest corps toy; the RCG-50. 'Goop' was a nickname for the resin gel that was stored in compressed canisters as ammo. The resin injected into a chamber where it hardened into 50 armored piercing rounds at a time. The chamber would then spin; releasing the 10mm hardened resin projectiles down the barrel with centrifugal force at about 1200 meters per second. They were funny looking - the large round centrifuge made them look like over-sized hairdryers - but with one canister containing enough 'goop' for 2500 rounds, they got the job done.

Still, even as well armed as they were, Clark was scared silly. Those bugs weren't bullet proof, but they were unbelievably fast. The fear pissed him off even more and drove him to find that prissy little bitch and make her pay.

She wasn't too hard to track and he felt like they were getting close. Just then, a Viper flew over the trees ahead and lit up the ground with its 20mm mini-gun. It seemed to chase its target, and then circled a few times before flying off to the northeast. It was probably hunting down bugs that had escaped the attack on their hive. It was way too close for comfort and his boys hesitated again, giving Clark pleading looks. He thought about radioing the squadron to keep from getting shot at, but then he would have to explain to the corps what he was doing out in the jungle. He scowled at his boys and pressed on, trying to determine if he should still have his way with Ami, or just murder her out of spite.

Clark followed Ami's tracks into a clearing with a sprung but empty bug trap. Her tracks lead right up to the trap, but only bug tracks left the far end of the clearing. A bug had caught her.

"DAMN BUGS!" Clark screamed with rage and emptied all fifty rounds into the trees in front of him. The goop gun hissed as its compressed canister injected the next fifty rounds into the 10mm heated molds of the centrifuge.

"Serves her right, C." Otto, Clark's second in command spoke up nervously, "c'mon bro, she’s bug food, let's get the hell outta here!"

Clark turned, furious. He looked back at the trail one last time. Damn bugs, she was HIS! He started walking and didn't stop until he reached his stool at the colony bar.

Kiitz’zt listened intently until he was sure the pursuers had left and weren't doubling back. What now? He stared at the frightened fragile little creature that huddled next to him. He had nothing now. His hive was gone, their voices forever silenced. But Kiitz’zt felt that he still had a purpose. This odd little creature that had saved his life was obviously no longer welcome in her own hive. It would not survive here in his world. Not without him. He could hunt and forage for it. He could protect it from the other predators. He would not be able to hear its voice in his mind, but that didn't matter. This odd creature, this ostracized alien invader, ‘she’ would be his tiny silent queen.

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