Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer

“‘The shell is the key’? He said that?”
“Yes. The carapace is the most remarkable aspect of this truly unusual species. In layman’s terms, it’s a pico-honeycomb that has all the useful properties of a hybrid of Kevlar and graphene. Add the light-diffusing filaments that cover it and it’s a perfect natural armour against our weaponry.”
“I always thought the ability to resist our weaponry was a bit too convenient.”
“The ‘tailored genocide’ and ‘monsters under control’ rumours? Scientist-Commander Greven says they’re nothing but conspiracy theories. Even with humanity on the brink, civilisation still needs urban legends.”
“So what has he come up with?”
“It’s an ultra-low frequency sound weapon, derived from some obscure Third Reich research.”
“Good grief, he went a long way back.”
“That’s why Scientist-Commander Greven leads us. He’s brilliant and committed; humanity’s best chance.”
“So when do we get this new super weapon?”
“It was deployed last night. Take your position, Sergeant. This should be quite a show.”
Silence falls and the thunderous noise made by the approaching legions of mutated six-legged death becomes clearer.
The vibration starts at the edge of perceptibility. It rises to become something not-quite audible that shakes everyone’s guts and makes fillings in teeth dance. Cries of pain cut the silence as the oncoming horde pauses. Suddenly, each of the coupe-sized creatures starts to rotate in place, their legs beating a frenetic rhythm as they spin faster. Screams of disbelieving horror rise as the creature’s movements synchronise and their bodies bulge and contort. With chitinous concussions, each monster expands and extrudes knobbly tentacles from under distending carapaces. As one, they all stop spinning. Triangular eyes glow on the truck-sized outlines just visible through the swirling dust
Sergeant Maxim slaps Captain Leon hard to break the man from his wide-eyed paralysis.
“It would appear someone has decided where their best chance lies. Of course, it could be a diabolical piece of combat holography by our enemies, but as they’re supposedly a mindless destructive force, what possible use could they have for tactics?”
“Sergeant, as we’re about to pulped by an unstoppable foe, let’s drop the veiled speech.”
“Works for me. Those monsters are under control. They’re being used by something else and Scientist-Commander Greven is either an idiot or a traitor. Whether his actions were guided or misguided, I would dearly like to take a squad of our most dangerous and have a pointed discussion with him to clarify his position.”
“Will this ‘chat’ result in his death?”
“Of course. Whatever he is, he’s no use to us. We’re going to need to form a resistance and develop some new tactics.”
“To the devil with only taking a squad.”
“Pardon, Captain?”
“All units, this is Captain Rufus Leon. Fall back, get airborne and re-rig for counter-insurgency. All transports to use stealth mode and reform post-sundown on my beacon.”
“I’ve had a suspicion that you’ve clarified, Sergeant. How did he know the exact frequency to trigger their growth?”
“Could be coincidence. More likely, the highest treason ever.”
“Precisely. Move out!”