"Now, before you get started, I know there's an alien in the life boat. I know that, Charlize doesn't know that. Okay? So, it would've actually made sense if Charlize goes 'Fuck you guys, Imma go to my life boat.' Goes in the life boat, alien eats her face, off she goes."

- a wise scholar

The battle was coming to an end. The field was littered with smoldering wreckage of the enemy's fighting machines. There had been moments where it seemed the resistance was on the verge of winning, but it ultimately turned around into a hard-earned victory that left invading drones desperately needing to replenish themselves. Now came the thing that followed every conquest over the humans.

It was feeding time.

For enemy units that lay charred to a crisp by one of the Lasers or crushed by a Destroyer, salvage was a lost cause. The human body was a fragile thing when it was exposed to extreme heat or pressure, and there was no doubt many of the opposing troops had already been boiled alive, ground to a pulp, or vaporized entirely when their fighting vehicle was destroyed. Thankfully, a gold mine of disabled machines with relatively intact cockpit sections still dotted the battlefield. This drastically increased the possibility of living pilots being trapped in the rubble.

Soldiers and Tanks swarmed over each pile of wreckage like flies after the meat inside a carcass. A single Tank could use its strength to pry the torso of the enemy's humanoid machine open and allow itself and its allies easy access to the pilot inside.

The first hatch finally gave way to reveal a young woman in the cockpit seat. She appeared in some foggy state between dazed and terrified, and she was wearing a strangely semi-transparent flight suit. The same unusual phenomenon was soon occurring all over the battlefield.

Under different circumstances, this may have made for an intriguing discovery. The humans must have been in desperate shape if they had come to relying on their childbearers to fill their ranks. The issue wasn't worth much thought to a starved Soldier, however. All that mattered was the abundant number of healthy enemy pilots meant they had food. Fresh, precious food.

A chorus of high-pitched screams filled the air as waves of Soldiers invited themselves into the cockpits. Human blood sprayed out of each open hatch, painting the white armor on the outside the machines in a bright red color. Pieces of restraining equipment, scraps of pilot suits, and anything else that got in the way of the flesh were either spit back out or thrown aside. The Soldiers devoured their helpless enemies alive.

The average human could keep a unit of Soldiers fed for a week. In sufficient numbers, a group humans could load the Soldiers with enough nutrients and biomaterial to spawn an entirely new nest. The humans from today's battle were relatively smaller and leaner than the usual spoils of war, but they offered a few extra juicy bits and were more than enough to hold the hive over until their next ambush.

One pilot with disheveled brown hair and a broken pair of glasses managed to squirm out her cockpit just as a flood of Soldiers overwhelmed the twisted ruins of her combat machine. She darted from the crash site in a fit of hysteria, fleeing for dear life. Her retreat was brought to a swift end when several Soldiers pounced on her and took hold of each of her limbs. Said limbs were then torn off so the growing mob could share the meal. The girl would have been conscious through whole ordeal if one of the Soldiers hadn't closed in to savor the contents of her skull.

Out of all the components in the human anatomy, the brain offered the most tender meat. In addition to being one of the softest and easily digestible parts of any human, its dense collection of neurotransmitters and bioelectricity also made it the most nutritious. And it could all be accessed with some simple blunt force to the scalp.

A situation arose in an area of the battlefield where a unique human machine had crashed. This vehicle was painted primarily in yellow, separating it from the plain white used on most of the other machines in the the brigade. The pilot had climbed out of her wreckage brandishing a firearm and was making short work of any Soldier who got in her way.

Several yards away from her, a group of Tanks had just finished breaching the cockpit of another white machine. Inside was a girl who had apparently shattered her both of her arms during the crash. With nowhere to go in her mangled cockpit and no way to fend for herself, she made for an especially enticing meal.

She tried to wiggle out of her seat on leg strength alone when they came for her. Tears filled her eyes as one of the Tanks eagerly sized up the circumference of her head with its pincers. Another began tearing away the abdominal section of her flight suit to clear a path to her intestines. Trapped in her cockpit and cornered on all sides, she must have known there was no time left for her to be rescued. All she could do now was hope for a merciful death.

Her prayers were answered when she noticed her gun-toting squadron mate was nearby. When the two girls met eye to eye, she began begging for mercy in what started as a frightened whmper and quickly escalated into a frantic squeal.

"Please... shoot... me... Before these things eat me... Yui!"

The pilot with the handgun suddenly hesitated in remorse. It was an incredibly foolish and distinctly human gesture that left her open for attack.

A mob descended on the frozen pilot and sent her hurtling to the ground. Her screams were stifled when one of her attackers pried the armored collar of her pilot uniform open and took a bite out of her larynx. She remained silent as her motionless form disappeared under a writhing swarm of Soldiers. All that remained when they were done were some pieces of bones that had been drained of their marrow and a few glossy shreds of a black and yellow jumpsuit.

The crippled girl in the white machine's cockpit gave up her begging once there was no one left to hear her. The hopelessness in her eyes made it clear she had resigned to the fact she would soon be joining the feast with the rest of her comrades. Her voice ascended to senseless screams of fear and agony as she was scooped out of the tin can and provided much-needed nourishment for Tank and Soldier alike.

The ground forces had finished their fill well before the sounds of enemy air support began to howl from the distance. The Lasers were already returning to their defensive positions when the Tanks and Soldiers began to withdrawal.

The human settlement had fallen, their latest line of mobile infantry had been slaughtered, and the additional units that were meant to serve as their reinforcements would arrive far too late to be of any help. All that was left to do was rest on a hard day's work and hope the next meal would be just as delicious.