Anniversary Email 54

Congratulations on two years, <NAME>! <COMPANY> has long been a leader in extra dimensional excursion. Forays into ominous, other worldly zones. Places where the laws governing our reality may not apply. Some are stretches of silent space, empty of life and matter. Vast swathes of nothingness. Others are realms of disquiet. Eerie universes where we are certain we are being watched, though scans reveal nothing. Still others are dreadful planets where humanity is locked in endless war with strange and terrifying creatures that seek to exploit the rift we have torn between our worlds and feast on our home.

Given your last name, we have decided to assign you as a squadron leader to one such endless battleground. The blood soaked world of X-19, a cragged rock of a planet, populated entirely by an incredibly hostile species of sentient insects. Their terrifying chittering presages the arrival of tens of thousands of their drone troops, each equipped with odd biological weapons that sling poisoned barbs. Though incapable of penetrating armor, their multi-faceted eyes allow them to quickly seek out the joints and points of articulation where their ammunition can strike home and deliver a debilitating dose of neuro toxin.

Assuming you are unfortunate enough to be captured, your still conscious but immobile body will be dragged into the depths of one of their massive hive compounds, where you will be presented as a gift to their hideous queen. There she will cocoon you in strands of silk, leaving you to hang from the ceiling as the toxin slowly wears off. From here you will bear witness as your comrades, still living, are fed into the holes containing the queen’s awful, voracious young. Their screams will pierce your ears as they are devoured alive, providing sustenance to the next generation or your implacable foe. This you shall endure until such a time as you are taken down, remorselessly dragged toward your own waiting cavern and certain doom.

On the positive side, the silk is incredibly soft and comfortable. Your stay will be almost luxurious in that regard. We are looking into applications for it in textiles. Assuming you should somehow escape the hive, it would be helpful if you could bring as much of the silk back with you as possible. Even better would be the capture of a queen, that we might turn her into a biological factory of the material, though she will only produce it as a means to aid the feeding of her terrifying young.