This is part of Great Thumbs of Wisdom's oneshot campaign. The theme this month is war, and his part is titled "The Copper Edge". If you want more details on the campaign, please PM him.
It's been awhile since I've updated any of my pikfics, hasn't it? The reason is that I'm mostly focusing on DeviantART now. Will that change? I don't know, so I couldn't tell you regardless. I understand that most of the users in this section are new (since the time I stopped posting), but there must still be some oldies here, right?
In the lush forest, the sun was just above the horizon. Bulborbs were settling in their spots to rest, and unmarked spectralids sat idle as they waited for the temperature to rise. The corpse of a wollywog slumped at the egde of a pond, and a swarm of fly-like creatures known as red bottles were feeding on it. An unlucky one hit the surface of the water and was scooped up by a water dumple. Soon a breadbug, having smelled decay, appeared to claim the feast. When it started dragging the wollywog away, the red bottles scattered into a mass of loud buzzing. Life proceeded as normal.
And in a small clearing was a tiny mound, and in this mound was an opening that led directly downwards. A white pikmin popped out, and it proceeded to march away. It was followed by many more, about thirty or so. Twenty five minutes later, each on came back with a berry in tow. They had discovered a grove of burgeoning spiderworts, and had reaped the rewards. One after one, the workers jumped into the hole. But instead of a sublevel, this hole led to a system of tunnels. The pikmin walked through a specific pathway single file, which led them deeper and deeper into the nest until...
...They reached the chamber that housed the center of their colony. The white onion.
The white onion was unusual as far as onions go. It couldn't fly nor did it have three stilts. Instead, it had many, more spindly legs that it could crawl about with, and was slightly more bloated. It also had some vague purple markings.
Each pikmin presented its berry before the onion. From beneath it, a feeding tube appeared to engulf each berry like a snake does a mouse. After absorbing them all, it ejected a large number of seeds from its flower. These took root, grew into white pikmin and were plucked by the others. The newborns fell in with them.
Another group, numbering even more than before, emerged from the nest to continue harvesting the berries. The process continued as before. Eventually, the white onion couldn't eat any more, so the surplus food was either stored or eaten by the deserving units. Since pikmin lack teeth, the berries had to be mashed to a pulp before consumption.
After some time, all the berries were gone. Another group of pikmin emerged and left in search of more food to feed the ever growing colony. And their sensitive eyes were perfect for locating sustenance both above and below ground.
But they were being watched now.
From a slightly higher elevation watched another pikmin. It was bigger and had a pointy nose, a red pikmin. It surveyed the nest area for a few moments, cautiously eyeing the whites still milling about the perimeter. Then it hurried away. Fast as its legs could carry it. It couldn't take any chances; if it had been noticed, the white pikmin would've mobbed it to death, and there would've been no hope for escape since whites are twice as fast as reds.
Why would the whites do this? You're about to find out.
The red made it back to another clearing in the forest; this one larger. In it was the red onion, and below it was a huge swarm of other reds. The scout ran up to them and waved its leaf, giving off a series of bopes. The rest of the colony got the message and came forward. The red scurried back from the direction it came, followed by a crimson mass.
Some white pikmin were sitting near their mound when they saw it. A single red pikmin. They got to their feet and prepared themselves, but then saw many more erupting from the plants. They were sent shuffling down the hole, and only moments later did many whites come pouring out from underground like water from a fountain. It was on.
White pikmin only feed on plant matter, as both they and their onion cannot digest solid protein. Reds can't either, but their onion can. Hence these omnivores are known as the Red Death: the last thing an unsuspecting creature in the forest sees before it dies is a red wave heading for it.
White pikmin themselves aren't palatable to anything because of their poison, with the only known exception being the brown bulborb. But they weren't what the reds were after. Not only was this reducing the competition, but they could take their vast food reserves and, more importantly, the white onion which would feed them for a long time. Without it, the colony would collapse.
And the white pikmin knew this.
The whites formed a defensive mob around the mound, and the reds didn't hesitate to charge right in. The whites outnumbered the reds and were faster, but the reds were bigger and had those spear-like noses.
Right upon contact, pikmin of both colors were thrown about in a storm of striking leaves. Battle cries filled the air. The whites flocked and overwhelmed the front-liners, but the second wave literally knocked them back on their feet. After only seconds passed, the fighters scattered around the area, violence going on everywhere. A red knocked a white off its feet, only to be attacked from the rear by a second one. Three white pikmin attacked a red at once, hastily killing it before moving on to others. A small band of five reds used their combined attacks to dispatch any white that confronted them. A single red and a single white rapidly exchanged blows until the white dropped dead. That same pikmin then took on another white, but died of its injuries. Before the victorious white could select a knew target, another red drove its nose through its eye. Blood squirted on the red's face and it withdrew its unusual weapon. Its brain having been punctured, the white was dead before it hit the ground. The fighting continued as dead bodies continued to fall.
Underground, white pikmin were furiously hammering at the walls of the tunnels with their leaves. They were trying to signal the white onion to do something. It received the signal, but was it too late to act?
It didn't matter at this point. Straightening its feet, some pikmin were sent sliding down its legs...
The battle above ground was a losing one now. The dirt was littered with the bodies of dead and dying whites, and the reds were now advancing on the nest's entrance. Sixteen white pikmin came barreling out and attacked the still numerous reds, but they were quickly overpowered and defeated while only managing to kill a few of their enemies. The preparations weren't ready yet; there was still more stalling to be done. Red after red infiltrated the nest as the remaining white pikmin formed their last stand in the tunnels.
A red pikmin came through. It was easily killed by the white pikmin blocking its path. Another red came through. It too, was killed. Then several more pikmin came through. Using both its nose and leaf, one killed a white and severely injured another before it fell. A second red sprang forward and actually dragged a white away, where it was beaten to a bloody mess by the others. Then every red came at once. The whites did their best to hold them back, but it was no use. They were at an even worse disadvantage down here because they had nowhere to dodge the club of their leaves or the sting of their noses. A small number of red pikmin went down, yes, but mostly white corpses were filling the tunnel.
But that was fine. They had already bought the white onion enough time to deliver its final line of defense.
The whites, detecting something, immediately parted to adjacent tunnels to make way. Something came through and struck a red pikmin its leaf. You could hear the neck snap as it took the blow right to the forhead. Killed in one shot, the other reds hesitated briefly. Another one attacked, but was knocked down with a blow to the chest. It got back up, only to be knocked down again by another strike to the same area. It didn't rise again. Finally, they all came at it at once. In the assault, the foe had died and no more reds were lost. But more of them were coming. And when they came, they hit hard with their shattering blows. The reds furiously fought back, still managing to make some kills, but they themselves were dying at a speedy pace now. The force quickly became too much, and the rest of the reds were either forced back above ground or were destroyed.
Outside the burrow, more reds were waiting as the red onion had sent in reinforcements. The reds retreating from the hole grouped with them, and they prepared for another attack.
The foes revealed themselves as they stomped out of the hole. They were nothing like the whites. They were twice the sides of the reds, and much stronger too. Their bulk alone was intimidating, and they seemed just as determined as the whites that had given their lives.
They were purple pikmin. The soldiers of the white pikmin colony.
The small army of purples stomped as a threat display. The reds weren't deterred and went back to attacking. One jumped for a purple, but it grabbed the red in mid air and ripped it clean in half with its brute strength. The odds were reversed now; the reds outnumbered the purples, while the purples were stronger.
The battle carried on viciously. The reds mindlessly hacked away at the purples, but the purples slammed, crushed and even tore apart the reds. Suddenly, the fighting starting to reduce; the pikmin near the front were falling back now, though some continued to fight. But in a large flurry of attacks, they were brutally killed.
All was paused now. The purples struck the ground with their leaves as the reds stood back. The reds had already suffered huge casualties. Less than twenty-five of them remained. There were only seven purples still standing, but one purple alone was a match for five reds. And at this rate, the red onion could run out of backup. The two sides eyed each other silently.
White pikmin started to arrive to provide reinforcements. The decision was made at that moment. As quickly as it had started, it was over. The reds, as if sharing a mind, all bolted at once back to their onion.
The white pikmin colony had won the battle.
At least for today.