This sucks. This really sucks. Why the hell was I stupid enough to go for it? I never thought I'd want to go back to that hell hole of a Resplex, but right now it sounds mighty tempting.
Sounded so good in the ads. See a strange new world, to build a new life and a new civilization. Sounded like something right up my alley. I'd always like living out on the land, doing things the hard way just because. The opportunity to be able to take me, my women and my gun and claim a huge tract of land, just like the legends of the west was something I couldn't pass up. Hell, at first it was wonderful, in a backbreaking, exhausting way. Sure, even with all the wonders of modern technology, the wife and I were going back in the house at night too tired to even think about well, anything, but that didn't matter to us. Damn it, we were BUILDING something out of nothing. Something real. Something that our kids (assuming we ever got up the energy to make some) and their kids could be proud of.
I wish they had of warned us about the god damned bugs! I'm not talking about the Shuttlebugs or the Flying Scorps. I more or less expected stuff like that. Any wild area is going to have its downsides. Bloodsucking 'Skeeters the size of my hand just come with the territory. Even the Cat-yotes stealing the occasional cow was something I could accept. It's the 3-meter tall flesh eating, armour piercing killing machines that I'm complaining about. What's worse is that there are a lot of them and they are to bloody smart by half. How in the name of God could the survey service miss something like THAT!
It started with rumors, talk about a farm that was losing more cattle then normal. Drunk Teenagers going out into the brush claiming to have seen something. Really, nothing abnormal. Big world like this, plenty of room for some animals that no ones seen yet. Just make sure your gun is clean and make sure the kids aren't into some bad hooch. Normal colony blues.
But then, things started getting worse. Tales of farms that nobody had heard from in a while. Of teens not coming back from their late night rendezvous. That's when the colony leaders starting taking note. No panic or anything yet. Figured it was just something nasty that the survey had missed. So they called out the militia to do some sweeps of the areas where trouble had been reported.
I saw the footage of the O'Leary place. It had been ripped apart. The Cattle dead in the fields, the building ripped open by something. Something big. They found John and his husband Maalik torn apart out by one of the sheds. What ever hit the place hit so hard and fast that they didn't have a chance to get their guns off their hips. That was bad. What was worse was what the found back at the house.
The O'Learys had three kids. Ghinjo she was the oldest, had just turned twelve. Kurwa, her little sister was 7. Josef, was just six months old. From what the troops were able to piece together, Ghinjo must have heard the bugs killing her fathers. She grabbed the family rifles, gave Josef to Kurwa and lead them down into the cellar.
Now the cellars here are not just a little place to store some junk. With the energetic weather and the wildlife, these are places where people can retreat to, call for help, and stay comfortable until they arrive. They're normally made out of the same stuff the Mobile Infantry use for bunkers. In any rational universe, once they got those doors shut, the kids should have been perfectly safe.
But any rational universe wouldn't have giant bugs that can tear open battle armour with their jaws. The found the kids down in the cellar, surrounded by a pile of spent casings. Kurwa still had her rifle in her hands, bent all out of shape from when she used it as a club after her mag ran dry. The less said out Ghinjo the better. Even after all I've seen since, it still turns my stomach…
That's when the Governor started screaming for help from Terra.