Sun tso watched somberly as the drones dug through on the remains of The Progate Temple. The Queen was dead. The scent of death pheromones hung thick in the dusty air. The Queen-Mother of the Stalgasin Hive was gone.

The Jedi had murdered her.

Occasionally there would be a rush as a drone carefully extracted an intact egg from the rubble. Some had miraculously survived the attack, but not many. The intact eggs were rushed into the Hive proper and the make-shift nursery where specially-trained drones would care for them. Occasionally a parasitic worm would slither from the rubble, so warriors armed with pikes, (the only weapons the invaders allowed), stood guard over the wreckage. Without the queen, the worms were uncontrollable and had to be destroyed on sight. Karina's undead warriors had ceased to function as she died, but the worms still lived, driven by instinctual need to find hosts. They could not be allowed to infiltrate the Hive, lest they destroy them all.

He turned to look at a group of white-armored human drones who were watching the mournful workers, ensuring that they remained peaceful. Once, one of them actually attempted to aid the drones in digging eggs from the rubble, but was driven off by angry curses. They did not need alien help, especially not from the aliens responsible for this act of regicide.

They didn't know what to do, now. The Queen was dead. Archduke Poggle the Lesser had been captured by the Jedi. Sun fac, the Archduke's right hand, had died in the initial battle between the hive and the Jedi forces. Most of the aristocratic caste had been killed. Sun tso was the highest ranking surviving noble, but he was relatively inexperienced. The planet was infested with human drones and Jedi. And there were no mature Queens ready to replace Karina the Great. It would be years before the Stalgasin Hive produced another generation of eggs. They had already lost so many warriors to the Jedi and their drones that they were greatly weakened. They were open to attack by rival hives.

While it was not his place to question his betters, Sun tso could not help but wonder why The Archduke had led the Jedi directly to their queen. In fact, most of Poggle's decisions had led to nothing but loss for Geonosis as a whole. Two major battles, an orbital bombardment, an invasion by Republic forces and now the death of their exalted Queen and Hive Mother.

Perhaps it was time for a change in leadership. Poggle was old, and he would not live forever. While Sun tso recognized that he himself was unqualified to rule as Archduke, he would be willing to support a worthy challenger should one step forward.

Shrill shouts of disgust and horror shocked him from his revery. They had found the Queen.

The Queen's body was a gruesome sight. Geonosians were not known for going weak at the sight of gore, but upon uncovering part of her remains several drones became ill and Sun tso turned away in horror. He gave the command to cover the smashed remains with the displaced rubble, and the drones complied quickly. There was nothing left to recover, now, and he would not allow aliens to look upon their dead Mother.

He would leave drones in the ruins of temple to slay any surviving worms.

The Jedi expected him to report to them. They were not like his people, they tolerated disrespect, and would give them a great deal to tolerate. He strode contemptuously past the white-clad drones and into the main hive.

The End