Lux Locus: Blue Fings

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The trail

Those puwandese who did not participate in the boarding bellowed guttural cheering at their comrades returning through the shoddy airlock with loot in tow. Every step shook the miscolored scrap metal haphazardly fused together into metal plates. Some of the blue aliens didn't care, and were more preoccupied with bashing the hull and using all their strength to twist and pull bolts, hooks, wires, and other metal paraphernalia that didn't belong where they were. Crumpagump followed behind Smoothnshine who was sporting a wide grin on his face.

"So where're we gehhna go, Shoyn?" the colossus asked.

Crumpagump's legs vaulted over most of the blue aliens, and the corridors were built at a height just shy of the top of his bald head. They were, however, more than wide enough for his width.

"Oy told yeh: Almost got eht."

"Get it NOW!" Crumpagump shouted impatiently.

While the lesser puwandese jumped or flinched at the loud voice, Smoothnshine kept his impassive face and toothy grin.

"Yeh cehn't make it fastehr. Should take eh lighting or two teh get it all," the shiny metal 'un claimed.

The big 'un's eyes were filling with red as his impatience grew as large as him. "Oy have teh wait?!"

Shine waved a hand dismissively. "Yehs, but yeh got yehr beasties teh crump, no?" Crumpagump raised his fist angrily and prepped himself to bellow into space, but calmed himself instead. "And oy can show yeh theh project we can use fehr teh foyt against theh other warboss big 'un."

Crumpagump pursed his lips and looked to the side. "Show me theh project," he ordered.

Smoothnshine nodded. "Yeh'll loyk it a lot."

The travel through the corridors caved the big 'un more of his routine 'lighting'. Puwandese were attacking each other while frantically working around the vessel. A group of larger puwandese were basing the skulls of their lessers into the wall to push bolts and nails in since their hammers and bolting tools were broken in a previous altercation.

Crumpagump ignored a plate of misshapen metal drop from the ceiling and bounce off of his head. It was yet another common occurrence for pieces of metal to fall off or the hull to fold outwards into space. It just made puwandese stronger to live with constant stress in their lives. The warboss rounded a corridor opening up to the largest hangar of his fleet and watched puwandese get pulverized by a conduit in the walls blowing out behind them. The big'un stared at the gruesome sight and reminisced.

"Eh problehm, Big 'Un Crumpagump?" Smoothnshine asked with concern. "Getting excitehd teh see moy project?"

The big 'un scratched a fang absentmindedly. "Jehst thinkin' about when oy was smehhl loyk them." He laughed and walked forward, ignoring the small flames licking at his legs through his armor. "Now theht was propehr livin'." Crumpagump hopped forward and landed on his massive feet, his eyes bolting left and right. "Nevehr knowin' when yehr gonna geht inteh eh foyt or if yehr gehnna get crumped boy yehr own gits or yehr silent belcher in teh silent air."

Smoothnshine grunted in disagreement. "Yeh got this big, strong, and smart boy raidin' hume ships and gettin' inteh smeyll foyts with theh Kol-Katan." The shiny metal 'un grabbed a lever jutting out of the wall at an awkward angle next to drop-down door thrice Crumpagump's size and four times his width. Even he struggled to pull it down. "Shouldn't yeh be satisfied loyk this?" he grunted.

"No! No excitement anymore!" The big 'un looked to his burnt chest and slammed an open palm against the still-healing wound. "Need propehr war!" He raised his giant fist into the air. "The more 'splosions the better!"

The door shot up instantly, burrowing into the floors above and startling Smoothnshine. "They messed with theh pressure again!" he growled through clenched teeth. Smooth dropped his head into his hands and clenched enough to dig into his blue skin.

Crumpagump rushed overhead, enticed by the sound of banging metal and screeching flames. The hangar was filled with blocks of metal too big for Crumpagump to measure. Where the entrance was sizeable already, these pieces were big enough to fill up his dreadnought's whole cargo. Bright lights at various intensity looked down upon the works of Smoothnshine with awe and envy while the metal 'uns worked their craft. They were dotted everywhere, from the highest peak of metal to the lowest point beneath the hangar floor. The big 'un pushed aside a container his side, nearly crushing some puwandese on the other side of the mound it sat upon.

"Do yeh leyk mey way of meking them weyrk diligently?" Smoothnshine boasted?

The metal 'uns working on the 'project' were chanting in unison, their guttural voices echoing against material, project, and each other. Metalwork was synced in unison to the chanting, and soon after the twisting of cogs, bolts, and screws joined in. Steam released from overheating tools was not left out, creating a bizarre melody that only the puwandese were capable of creating.

"Oy love it," Crumpagump spoke in a hushed tone. It wasn't often he had to look up. "Yeh tell mey when yeh got theht other big 'un's spot, yeh?"

Smoothnshine narrowed his eyes at a group of metal 'uns not joining in the chanting and trying to affix scrap metal in place of the worked, shiny plates the shiny metal 'un had worked meticulously on.

"Yeh. Oy'll tell ya," he hissed.

"Then oy'm goin' teh kill sehm beasties while oy wait then."

The big 'un took a step and was stopped by Smooth. "Cehn yeh throw theht crate at them two ovehr there?" Smoothnshine asked.

Crumpagump followed the puwandese's finger to the two ruining his project. When he realized what they were doing, he angrily dented the rusted metal of the container and hurled it at the two 'malevolents'. They were turned into red paste against the scraps that were blown off their bolted hinges.

"Don't yeh evehr do that again!" Crumpagump warned. "Yeh follow theh ordehrs of Smoothnshine." He punched his open palm, letting out a loud 'thump'. "Got it?!"

The metal 'uns were quick to return to their tasks, inciting an approving snort from the colossus who was quick to stomp away to his fighting. After many, many grueling hours of fighting with, against, and without other puwandese alongside the beasts, Smoothnshine had the target of their next conquest. He stood outside a dimly lit arena where green and red mixed in crusted marks all around the discolored surface.

"Oy gawts theh spot!" he shouted to Crumpagump.

A loud roar followed by painful cracking and tearing preceded quick steps to the hole in the wall the shiny metal 'un stood in.

The colossus stopped in front of the hole by clinging to the rims with his giant hands."Where?!" the Big 'Un shouted enthusiastically.

Smoothnshine pulled a paper map from a compartment over his left breast and unfolded it, revealing a surface of black covered in white dots and colorful lines.

"We'hre here, 'n theh othehr warboss is ovehr here." He pointed to a system three solar systems away. "Then quickest way to him is through this system where theh humes is and ovehr here where theh humes is feytin' against semthing."

Crumpagump rubbed his chin. "Feytin' against wheht?"

The shiny metal 'un shrugged, and the two started walking through the misshapen corridors. "Oy don't know. They're jehst feytin'." He scratched his head and threw something off of it. "Then theh warboss is ovehr in this system, where theh humes is trying feytin' 'em to take over theh lighty orb."

"Then we cehn geht teh thehm quickly and geht teh warrin'!" Crumpagump said softly. His smile was getting bigger.

"But wey need sehm more mehtehl theh humes have. Teh finish the project!" Smooth protested.

The colossus rolled his eyes. "Theht's weht ey mean. Humes is weak!" He used his fingers to walk along the 'map'. "We crump da gumps thehn oy crump theh warboss, and thehn we can get teh warring for propehr fun!"

"And looting?" Smooth inquired.

"Of course!" Crumpagump threw his arms to the side, whacking a puwandese through the wall. "Feyting isn't fehn if yeh don't loot!"

In the first system in Crumpagump's path, dubbed Macromac by the colonists from a few decades past, stood twelve super-heavy defense platforms carrying the firepower of a dreadnought of the regimentarium navy. The Terran Expanse went into a panic after the awakening and discovery of the Xith'Kai aliens and their nearly wiping out seven regimentarium fleets and five Pillar foundations. With their naivety of 'invincible' super soldiers being laid low in such numbers, system rulers caved into their primal fears and invested in defenses.

Unfortunately for the Macromac system, they were still 'newly' colonized, and so their four planets were not fully outfitted for a true war. Within one of the stations, a commander slumbered in his cramped room when an officer burst into his room, her black uniform with green shoulders ruffled and unkempt from training.

"Sir!" she shouted.

She flipped a switch on the wall to the slide-door's immediate left, illuminating several sets of honorary swords and medals hanging on the wall.

"What is it?" the commander asked groggily. He pushed his white comforter to the side and set up, wiping his eyes. "I finally got some sleep after that meteor shower died down."

"Sensors picked up a distortion around one of our star's magnetic fields."

The commander peeked an eye above his hand. "And? It's likely just a natural occurrence." He shook his head. "I don't know how stars fully."

"It's a distortion that's growing into what the operators are calling bubbles."

The commander's bloodshot eyes widened instantly. "Set the station to red alert and inform the other stations!"

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