Big Game V – Chapter Thirty One: The Voice
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Lower portions of the Hive Mother’s consciousness monitoring position and velocity noticed that they were almost to their destination, and awoke her higher brain functions. It had been a long journey from Ifan 3, and lonely with Telōk so far away, but the voice had been there. It had grown louder as she approached the Chasma Spica, though it had always been with her. At least, it insisted it had always been there, and it was so reassuring and unquestionable that it had to be right. After all, it had showed her the fertile world of Tashka Prime. Poorly defended; rich in resources; in short, a perfect staging ground for the consumption of the entire sector. It had taken a bit longer to circle around to get to it, but the voice assured her that it was well worth it. Their previous campaign had allowed one of their Conch warships to calve twice now. Four new transports and a supply ship had also been born. She had enough Conch warships to quickly overwhelm all defenders. And we land all five transports…
Yes, four made perfect sense now. Obviously the fifth would continue on to the central system that the voice called Iperin. If she inhibited spore production and masked her psychic signature, they would make planet fall on Iperin without detection and sow discord among the prey that fought there. Not to mention that the energy saved by eliminating spore production would allow the ship to grow more warrior organisms. Whether these musings were her own, or the Voice’s, the Hive Mother could not say. What she did know was that after Tashka was devoured, the rest of the fleet would join them. The last Conch Warship altered course for Iperin, as the rest of the fleet slowed to sublight speeds and activated the propulsion vent organs necessary for planet fall.