Lux Locus: Blue Fings

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The shiny metal 'un

Crumpagump's massive boots were denting the metal of the hallways slightly with every step. He barreled through any obstacles placed in front of him, ignoring the potential dangers of these. One such danger was an exposed mana conduit cut in half and hanging down from the ceiling. Both sides were the size of a full-grown human, and the cut ends licked the walls and floors with tongue of a sparking, pale blue.

Impatient in the mere two seconds of stopped, Crumpagump jammed his fingers into the wall next to him, pulled out metal panels, and hurled them at the cables. Several bounced off, but three wedged themselves into the two halves, blocking the flow of mana and freeing the passage. An open-mouthed smile formed across his misshapen jaw.

"Oy'm gettin' there!" he shouted before charging forward across the scorched ground.

Several blocky transport vehicles easily the height of the gargantuan alien were left abandoned within the high halls of the assaulted ship. Glass windows reached the chin of Crumpagump; their high frames made to hook containers on their long, open bodies behind them. The blue alien looked at the machine a moment, pondering if he could rip out the tall sheet of metal flanked with built-in black hooks made to safely secure the containers.

The big 'un shook his head, regarding the metal as being too thin. He pushed the truck by its 'cockpit', denting the hull a little and forcing it along the ground to hid the walls with a loud thud. The puwandese overheard voices further down the hall and hurried along, misjudging his stopping speed and causing him to barrel through containers and smaller transportation vehicles. The giant rubbed his head and groaned in pain, turning to an elevated platform and seeing a human on his rear, his white clothes stained red while the metal creaked under the weight of the containers and the vehicles they were forced to hold.

"Ey, hume," Crumpagump started. The trembling human looked up at him, his mouth agape. The puwandese cocked a brow and frowned. "What's wrong with ya? Yer shakin' leyk it's 'er semthin'." The man did not answer. "Where's theh place where yeh're boss 'un is?" he asked the human.

The trapped man could only answer in small, repetitive gasps. Exasperated, Crumpagump rolled his eyes and stomped forward. The railing couldn't handle his massive frame and his hands flattened the metal. Now he was face-to-face with the human, moreso because the ceiling above the elevation was shorter than elsewhere.

"Now'n, oy'm genna ask yeh again, 'n yeh bettehr tell eh!" he warned with a finger the size of the human's body. "Where's yer boss 'un?!" he bellowed. The human forced his hand up and pointed down the hall, showed the number two, then pointed up. Crumpagump nodded. "So'z oy go down dere 'n take da..." He showed up two fingers with his left hand. "Take theh second lift up teh theh top?" The human nodded in response. "Is it in theh room or theh seyd?"

"S-side," the human squeaked.

Crumpagump cheered and jumped up, bonking his head and the angled metal and howling in pain. His landing came off as wet, so the puwandese witnessed what he had inadvertently caused. He looked to the crate immediately to his left and trapping the human before him. With both arms, his muscles strained to lift up the thousands of kilos in weight and viewing the viscera of a crushed human skid across the floor. The man teared up and trembled silently when his eyes caught sight of what remained of his childhood friend. He looked up to Crumpagump whose face was emotionless and unmoving, expecting the invader to somewhat regret his actions.

The big 'un burst out in laughter, lifting the container up and down during. "D'you see theh? Went 'n squeshed 'im good! ALLLLL across theh plinky floors!" He moved his hand flat along an invisible line. "Das 'ow yeh do eht!"

Crumpagump dropped the container hard and rushed away. He had more important things to do. The regular puwandese would take care of that 'hume' when they reached him. Crumpagump sang in guttural barks, punching dual-barreled turrets revealing themselves from the walls, ceilings, and floors when he passed them. Bored of the constant attacks and getting only minor scratches from the bullets, the big'un pulled out his cannon and tore a diagonal hole through the ceiling. Red-hot scraps fell onto the floor with a bang and a sizzle, leaving Crumpagump to wipe the powder from his face.

"Should ask meh Shiny Metal 'Un teh mehk it mehr splodey!" He didn't react to a large plan of metal, easily capable of crushing a man, bounce off his head. "Just melts..." He frowned and looked around, trying to find whatever path he was told to take.

He was met with a wide cylinder built into the corner of the crossroad, blue lights shining through the rounded panes of glass

"Theht must be it!" he said to himself. Unfortunately, while the elevator was capable of fitting ten humans side-by-side, it couldn't fit a giant beast like him. He bared his teeth, reached in, and with a few seconds of struggling, tore the elevator out and threw it behind him. "Oy'll just climb it with meh arms, then!"

The puwandese punched through the thin metal, using his arms as anchor points and began his ascent to the top. Every punch through the walls let through the sounds of combat: Screaming, bullets ricocheting off walls, melee weaponry clanking and banging together. The big 'un smiled serenely at the sound of that music but continued upwards regardless of his instincts ordering him to rip open a doorway and charge through.

He yiped briefly. "What was theht?!" Crumpagumped peered up and realized he had already reached the top of the shaft. "Oh. S'here."

The elevators doors burst forward, crushing some puwandese and humans in the way.

"It's the big 'un! Focus fire!" a decorated officer shouted from behind a doorway.

Bullets moved from the puwandese moving forward with slabs of metal as shields to the giant struggling to fit through an opening never made for things his size. Frustrated that the bullets were bouncing off his skin, the officer ripped his feather-adorned bicorn off his head and threw it to the ground.

"Use it, even if the hull bursts open!" he ordered.

Crumpagump wondered what exactly 'it' meant and looked around. Black marks and smokey veils adorned the walls, floors, and even the shields and corpses of puwandese. He realized too late what it came from. A human popped out around the entry-way with a silver-tube on her shoulders and fired at the big 'un. The lesser puwandese managed to brace behind the shield-bearers in time. A bright flash, a deafening noise, and then nothing but smoke. Everyone gave pause, awaiting the results but when nothing stirred, the humans all cheered and the puwandese began leering at each other. There was a vacant position of power now.

A loud, bellowing laughter punched through the smoke, making the humans pale and straightening the blue aliens nigh-instantly.

"A proper splodey!" Crumpagump cheered. "'N yeh helped meh outta that tube!" His massive body disturbed the smoke, revealing his now wounded form. The big 'un's armor had been blown off his left chest and arm, and blackened skin was in its place. Some green blood that turned blue at certain angles seeped through the cracked flesh. Crumpagump slammed an open palm on the wound, letting the pain surge through his body and reinvigorate his senses. "Gave meh eh good scar, too!" He pulled out his cannon and aimed it at the started humans. "Imma give yeh eh propehr splodey too!"

A single scream of 'no' was overwhelmed by the contents of Crumpagump's cannon, creating yet another opening for him and his puwandese to pour through while the survivors sprawled and groaning about the floor were used as playthings by the aliens interested more in them than actual fights.

"Let's off teh the head place! Kill the big 'un 'n take this ship after eh propehr feyt!" the blue colossus cheered.

He followed his kin through the breach into an elaborate hallway strewn with explosive trap triggered by lasers and empty hallways. Crumpagump frowned, scratched his head, then grabbed a dead regimentary and tossed her into the explosive lasers, triggering a large amount and freeing three hallways. The entrance to the bridge's was partially freed now.

One of the lesser puwandese looked at a screen glitching the same seven frames of an evacuation alert presented by a smiling woman.

"Wu'z this s'posed ta be?" he wondered.

Crumpagump waved a hand away at the question and groaned loudly. "Bah! There ain't nehw propehr feyt on this metal log." He grabbed a rolling tray with his left arm and chucked it forward, freeing the entrance from anymore explosives. "What's theh point 'n doing this if'n Ey kent even get eh propehr feyt outta it?"

Arms slumped and feet dragging, Crumpagump grumbled through the corridor, noting the passages between a large assortment of black holes in large cubes of metal. He figured the humans fled through the holes, although he's not sure where they could've gone since none of the puwandese seemed to be bragging about their kills. He grumbled and frown. There was nothing here that was worth the time, and so his boredom returned. A curse of the puwandese, mayhaps.

The door to the bridge refused to budge despite the loud banging on the other side.

"Hit it hardehr!" one voice complained.

"Moy big 'ead stick ain't workin'!"

They two yiped suddenly when they were grabbed and thrown away by a massive hand.

"Let the splodey 'un deal with it. Get sehm fun from that at least," Crumpagump's voice quieted.

The lesser blue aliens ran away when they saw their crazed kin holding an unevenly cut metal disc the size of his body and strapped with a barrel's length of explosives on one side. He ran forward, screaming like a lunatic. There was a flash and smoke, and it took several minutes for the ringing to fade out from the ears of the aliens.

" 'E did it!" one of them praised. "Smehed theh door off!"

"And the wall, too!" another laughed.

Crumpagump patted the sharpened remains of the wall and whined from one of the points scraping but not cutting his skin. "Propehr 'spoldin' 'ehr," he appreciated.

The splodey 'un, having been thrown down the hall and impacted the wall with full force, laid down -face first- against its blackened disc. It raised a thump then dropped it back down. The big 'un looked to his hands and shrugged at the action. The bridge was a mess. From the attacks earlier, walls had crumbled, supports had detached, cables were free, and only a few of the stations were still functional. Several dead humans lay strewn about, killed by the malfunctioning stations sparking violently with energy or crushed by collapsing debris.

The lesser aliens were quick to scramble and start recovering any weapons and armor they could from the debris. After a few minutes of scavenging, the remaining light dangling from the left wall that a row of seats and monitor stood against started flashing orange. A loud noise started blaring, and the remaining intact screens displayed an alert message in red along with rapidly changing shapes that Crumpagump could neither read nor make out.

"What's going on?!" a puwandese screamed in panic.

Another raised his head up to fast and banged it against a folded piece of wall jutting from its prior resting spot. The metal bowl around his head dented, but it did its job of protecting its owner. "Theh ship's gehnna 'splode with us still on it!"

"Stop the splodey!" the big 'un ordered.


Crumpagump bounced in place, wracking his mind with solutions, but nothing came to him, until...

"Get the shiny metal 'un!" the big 'un ordered.

The puwandese rushed off while the rest tried to stop the countdown the best way they could: By destroying everything in sight. Wires and cabling were ripped out and walls were shot up, but nothing worked. Crumpagump narrowed his eyes and looked around. There was plenty he could destroy as well, and he was bored. He shrugged and joined in the ripping and tearing. The big 'un ripped off a broken workstation and chucked it into the ceiling, planting it firmly in the metal and laughed. The lesser puwandese were energized by the actions of their leader and were quick to join in with more enthusiastic destruction. They were so enveloped in their actions that they didn't even notice a small tremor rocking the bridge. Several minutes later, an angry voice shouted at all of them.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" it bellowed.

All heads turned towards the one Crumpagump called for. Unlike the other puwandese whose faces were twisted into bloodthirsty, open-mouthed smiles with eyes bulging from adrenaline, this puwandese was calmer. The snarling was left for a closed mouth still displaying a variety of misshapen fangs sticking out from between chapped lips. His eyes were steady and pensive, and his demeanor altogether was the complete opposite of what all puwandese were like: Surefooted and patient.

The puwandese's armor was, unlike the others, solid chunks of unpainted, silvery metal. It wrapped around his body tightly, compensating for the joints by using several different types of flexible plastics, ceramic, and soft metals. It displayed no details other than poorly hidden streaks of polish and meticulous welding. He clenched the sides of his head, wincing at the loud sirens leaking from the damaged speakers of the bridge.

"Theh self-destrehct?" he wondered.

"Shiny Metal 'Un Smoothnshine!" Crumpagump yelled joyfully. He stomped towards the smaller puwandese who had to bend backwards a bit to look at his leader's face. "Can yeh do semthin' 'bout this?"

Smoothnshine grunted and waved a hand forward. He meticulously chose which station to use, choosing one in front of the captain's chair. The shiny metal 'un looked back to the chair and heaved a saddened sigh.

"Would've leyked teh use theht one instead." He took a look at the console before him and started to think while the other puwandese resumed smashing things due to their impatience. "Barely even holdin' on teh theh support cables." Smoothnshine took a glove from a compartment in his chest armor. It was comprised of thin beams of metal attached to pockets at the end for the large fingers of a puwandese to enter. "Oy kehlls it eh skelly glove," he congratulated himself.

At the ends of the fingers were thin nails that the shiny metal 'un used to start typing several command lines that came to him as though it were instinct. After several more minutes of work and ticking, the sirens stopped blaring and the damaged ship resumed its wailing of creaky metal and loose 'flesh'. The lesser puwandese threw their hands up in cheer and did not hesitate to take their loot back to the main ships docking with the new trophies of the puwandese.

"Gehhna chop 'em up and use their bits," Smoothnshine stated quietly. His view was engulfed by Crumpagump striding past him towards the damaged glass panes of the bridge. The colossus stood there, 'gently' punched the curved metal of the wall. The shiny metal 'un walked over to the colossus, curious. "What's wrong, Big 'Un?" Smoothnshine asked.

Crumpagump replied with a low, throaty growl. "Ah'm bored. I kehneht even feynd eh propehr place teh feyt." He kicked some rubble on the floor. "Been lookin' everywhere fer one."

Smoothnshine looked up pensively and tapped his right cheek. "Yeh need eh biggehr warband teh attack theh big, propehr places fer theh battles yeh want," he concluded. He wagged his finger while formulating a plan.

"Oy keep foyndin' new gumps to join moy warband, but they nevehr have big numbehrs," the big 'un complained. He watched the glowing hull of a destroyed human ship float down and disappear from sight.

Smoothnshine grinned maniacally. "Then there's good news!" Crumpagump turned to him, partially intrigued. "Oy found eh propehr giant warband on theh other soyd of some hume systems." He tapped the underside of his eye. "Get wheht oy'm sayin'?"

It took him a bit, but Crumpagump's eyes brightened up, a huge smile traced itself from ear-to-ear, and a huge chunk of air remaining in the ship disappeared in his lungs. " 'N Yeh know where it is?" Smoothnshine nodded. Crumpagump wringed his hands together and turned to face the shiny metal 'un. " 'N weht about theht project?"

"It's progrehsen, but yeh still have theh rest of yer toys," Smoothnshine said.

"Okay then. Oy want teh know everythin' about theht othehr warband!"

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