Lux Locus: Blue Fings

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"Ow' metch splodey ken this new ship dew?" the big 'un asked.

The big 'un towered over the lesser ones within the bridge. The lesser blue aliens smashed a multitude of yellow buttons on the reinforced stations. The scrap metal was thick and welded together, permitting the puwandese to let loose their aggression upon their equipment. Several screens of varying size dangled on loose cables from the ceiling, showing the crew everything they needed from ammo counts to damage inflicted to the vessel.

So far, nothing showed from the lights illuminating the bridge. The air was thick and rancid from fumes created by loose electrical wires burning themselves out and toxic fumes fleeing from the confines of their pipelines rupturing from pressure. Proper lighting amounted to no better than the screens, fires growing around them from cables that hadn't been tended to yet, and the poorly powered lights in the walls and ceiling placed in different positions. One such light was jutting out of the wall rather than being nailed to it.

Before the aggressive aliens stretched the whole of two fleets currently still engaged in battle. The warboss big 'un frowned from the massive seat he sat upon. Its back stretched far past the puwandese's head, and much like the rest of the vessel, it was made from welded scrap. The seat leaned towards the right and presented many dents created by the big 'un growing angry many times. This was his seventeenth chair, he imagined.

"Lots 'o splodey, Big 'Un Crumpagump," one of the lesser puwandese shouted in a guttural voice. "Look!" He smashed several yarnished, yellow-orange buttons at his station and sent a display to a screen ten feet wide dangling from several cables. They were ready to let go. "Wey gots smehl cannons ovehr here on theh reyt 'n left of theh ship. 'Bout a hundred of 'em." He pointed to the nose of the ship. " 'N wey got big cannons ovehr here. Twenty-four of 'em. Makes big splosions."

Crumpagump shouted in joy and stomped off his chair and towards one of the many stations controlling the guns. His stampede terrified one of the crew members who barely arrived just above the giant's knees. Unfortunately, the colossus wasn't just stampeding past him. The alien was picked up and casually thrown to the side where he passed through the fragile walls of the bridge and became lodged between several sheets of cold metal.

"Alroyt...which behtton was it ageyn?" Crumpagump wondered.

His massive blue-green finger hovered over the plethora of the buttons, trying to locate the right one. It didn't take him long to become frustrated and smash all the buttons with the side of his fist. The cannons of his dreadnought, having been trained onto nothing, fired in all directions, creating long, flashing streaks of light that impacted everything in a wide arc in front of the dreadnought and destroying all the smaller ships amongst puwandese and human. Watching the bright flashes of light and explosions through the poorly sealed window of the bridge, Crumpagump and the other bridge cheered. The lesser puwandese stomped on the ground in synchronous rhythm and let out several grunts to emphasize the silence between 'musical' poundings on the metal.

"Reload theh guns!" Crumpagump ordered. "Weh're crumpin' gumps!" He tapped his left bicep with his fingers and hummed quietly. "Which wen, which wen..."

Hanin was shocked at the carnage that had just unfolded before her. Several of ships had been damaged or destroyed outright, but the suffering occurred to the puwandese ships that were already present.

"Looks like they aren't reinforcements." The captain spoke with half-relief, half-worry. "But that doesn't make this fight any better." She groaned and rubbed her face in an attempt to wipe away her exhaustion. "That just made this into a three-way free-for-all." She peered through the bridge-window from between her fingers, seeing one of the new puwandese ships latch onto a 'local' one with chains and hooks and quickly reel into it. The impact sent the two ships into a regimentarium destroyer, splitting it in half. "That's chaos waiting to destroy absolutely everything."

"Captain," a helmsman called out. "The circle hasn't closed. More ships keep pouring in and I don't know how many are left."

Hanin grit her teeth. "Order a full, dispersed retreat. If everyone sticks together then these barbarians will chase past the end of the universe." The bridge crew stared at their captain silently, unsure of her decision. Captain Hanin met their gazes and reciprocated with a scowl. "Now!" she ordered.

The crew immediately went to distributing the message to the other ships of the fleet, drowning the creaks of the ship's metal and the explosions of the cannons. After several minutes had passed, Hanin was about to order her own ship to retreat when it shook violently, throwing some crew from their seats.

"What was that?" she asked aloud.

Another tremor nearly threw everyone onto the floor or into the seats of their colleagues. Red lights on gyros illuminated the bridge while a blaring horn deafened everyone.

Intruders aboard! Intruders aboard!

Regimentaries, clad in a blue colored armor of padded metal and kevlar hid behind the corners of the hallway that the breach had been made. Yellow foam expanded from the broken metal and some had overshot onto the protruding object and the darkened walls.

Several of the soldiers readjusted the joints of their armor while others checked their weapons' full functionality. Cartridges were properly fitted, the ejection of casings worked. All that was left was to see if their bodies were as efficient. There was just one...abnormality.

"Doesn't that boarding pod seem a bit...big to you?" one of the soldiers asked. Her voice was becoming quieter the longer she looked at the pod jutting through the burst-in hull.

"Don't be daft!" another protested. He shifted nervously behind his corner. "Puwandese are bigger than humans."

The first shook her head slowly. "I've seen the puwandese in person." She turned and looked to her comrades. "That's near three times their size."

The experienced veterans suddenly paled after assimilating what the soldier had just said. Loud thuds and bangs came from behind the pod's circular door made of thick metal. Some of the regimentaries felt themselves relax a bit after noticing the trouble the would-be boarders were having with their attack.

They were brought out of their reverie by the loud bang of a fist denting the doorway and thrusting it into the wall opposite it. Laughter accompanied echoing footsteps of metal-on-metal, revealing a colossus of a puwandese. He wrenched the door out of its hole and admired his handywork, letting the humans gawk in terror.

There lied a puwandese several feet in height, easily reaching seventeen judging by the proximity of his head to the ceiling. He was nearly scraping against it. His body was massive, nearly filling out the hallway that could fit three men side-by-side. His skin was coarse, covered in scars, and had the distinctive blue-green hue that all puwandese of his size sported. His body was wrapped in thick, rough armor made from scrap soldered together. Some parts of the armor were protruding while others caved in. He wore heavy gray boots made from a single casting of steel, showing that he was protecting everything but his hands and head. With arms and legs as thick as tree trunks, the creature was in no imminent threat from its lessers.

He laughed, looked to his left and rolled the 'disk' at the soldiers, crushing two in the process and lodging half the door into the wall. The soldiers could now see the puwandese's large overbite and crooked, protruding fangs from both jaws covering much of his cheeks and chin.

"Toym fehr sehm crumpin'!" he cheered. "Crump da gumps!" he roared.

A loud cheer echoing his words came from the boarding pod, letting loose dozens of blue aliens into the halls of Hanin's flagship.

"PUWANDESE BIG 'UN!" one of the regimentaries exclaimed at the top of his lungs.

Bright flashes illuminated the halls as guns exchanged their bullets. The armor of the regimentaries held out for maybe a bullet or two, but it didn't take long for them to be shot down by the hail of metal flying their way. The puwandese fared better, if only because of their skin. Crumpagump watched his warband rush past his legs with a wide, toothy smile. It took seconds for his patience to evaporate and for his smile to flip to an enraged scowl. He kicked a lesser away from his leg and pulled in straps over his shoulder and hip, letting him bring in a massive, underslung cannon to bare.

Its body was a tube wrapped in rectangles of differently-colored metal. Several exhaust holes had been drilled along the exit of the cannons barrel, and a magazine the size of a puwandese's head just in front of the lever.

"Geht me a splodey stick." Crumpagump patted the barrel with his right hand. "It goes boom!"

A deafening explosion rang the ears of everyone in the corridor, but the puwandese were the only ones who found it fun. The walls were turned into molten slag, and many soldiers from both sides were killed in the process. Crumpagump let out billowing laughter while bullets ricochet'd off his thick skin.

"You," he pointed to a group just getting out of the pod. "Geht teh theh sparkly disks undehr the ship end take 'em. Without 'em, the humes can't use this theyng anymore." The group charged cheerfully through the hallway opposite the big 'un and fired on the defending humans. "Oy'll be going teh theh br..." Crumpagump's cheerful expression turned sour and he shook his head. "Theh humes escaped?!"

A lesser puwandese stopped headbutting the large metal door to look at his warmaster. "Yeh. They flashed semthing in ehr eyes, then they were gehn."

Crumpagump stomped forward and tapped the sealed doors with the back of his finger. He grunted and passed a large hand across his bald head. Realizing that his cannon would likely kill him if fired directly at the metal doors, he folded it back, took several steps back, and shoulder bashed into the obstacle.

"Oy," he winced and rubbed his shoulder. "Tough thehngs."

Another few charges and he pummeled the doors down. The result was him breathing through his teeth and rubbing his arm quickly while he waited for the pain to subside. His dancing stopped when Crumpagump realized he had broken into a large intersection of the ship he broke into. White lights ran across the sides of the five pathways bending and twisting throughout the metal beast. From the floor stood turrets with rectangular pods standing on hollow stilts shimmering with mana. Several regimentaries had taken the supply cars and used them as barricades while others used transparent barricades made from mana that sat on the floor or elevations above where consoles and control panels waited.

Crumpagump stood in place while his lessers charged forwards, unaware of the barricade awaiting them. Several of them fired with their guns at the humans, many keeling over from the pain caused by their oomphers cartridge hitting them in the stomach with every shot.

"Is that a big 'un?!" one of the guards shouted.

The turrets opened up, firing a ball of blue mana that exploded when it hit a surface. The puwandese cheered joyfully at all the sounds and bright lights, invigorating them to fight harder. Crumpagump charged alongside his lesser kin, slamming his hands into a blocky vehicle and pushing it back a ways. When the turrets turned to him, he dodge out of the way, denting the ground he fell on. More tremors shook the ship, prompting Crumpagump to look around for the source while puwandese continued to fight and die, dwindling in numbers. Eventually, he heard a loud drilling coming from the ceiling, and a hole was made. The shards of metal fell down, knocking out the unfortunate humans below.

"Splodey 'Un!" one of the lessers shouted and pointed to the ceiling.

Confused, the regimentaries looked up to see a puwandese with a large glowing disc strapped to thick, black armor freefalling with the happiest expression the aliens could ever make. When he landed on the ground, Crumpagump was engulfed in dust and the sizzling edge of fire while the splodey 'un flew back up the hole, cheering at his success.

The Big 'Un bared his crooked fangs angrily, yet he could not yell. He was hit by one of the turrets and pushed by the resulting reaction of the orb. Furious at the pain that was wrought upon him, the colossus rushed to the turrets, ripping them out of their sockets like mere toys and hurled them at the defenders hiding at the workstations.

"This ship belongs teh mey, yeh stupid humes!" Crumpagump shouted. He rushed into a group of regimentaries that the lessers had yet to attack and bounced into the air. "Yehr tiny tiktak guns kent hurt mey!"

The force of the body slam collapsed the metal platform and crumpled the supports beneath. Content with his actions, Crumpagump stood upright and wiped the red from his armor. He laughed heartily with his cheering warband. "Toym teh get theh bridge!" he shouted with his arm in the air. The others joined him in his enthusiasm.

The lesser puwandese rushed off in every direction they could, chasing down whatever regimentaries remained at the crossing. Unsure of which direction to take, Crumpagump grabbed the limp, lifeless body of a puwandese and let it bounce a few times in his large hand.

"Hmmm. Which way will yehr head flop?" the big 'un wondered.

He tossed the body in the air and watched it flop about with a loud crunch on the floor. Crumpagump smiled and rushed through the northernmost tunnel on the left, his boots reveling in crunching everything beneath their wearer's weight.

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