As the interview alluded to, the Apiary developed weaponry that could cause chill or freeze damage to targets. There was however, the consistently high risk of organic beings becoming infected by surts to be used as hosts. To remedy this predicament, a decision was made – unfathomable to the Anuh-Kaj since their species first delved into advanced robotics. A.I. drones were modified, equipped with the new weapons and their quantum programing updated. The Anuh-Kaj were always wary of arming A.I. units and the possibility of accidently programing in sentience, but the thought of losing what remained of their colony was too much to bear.

Eas-Enerang rushed to deploy these fighter drones onto Tir-Torzor as quickly as possible. The plan was two-fold: End the Surts’ advances, then reclaim the lost lands back under Apiary rule. The A.I. fighter units masterfully waged war against the Surts but were unquestionably outnumbered. With no explicit authorization from their creators, units attained a powerful unexploded bomb left over from a battle between the Cetaceans and Surts. Upon doing so, they took it to a geyser located over the caldera of a ginormous primeval supervolcano. Then the A.I. armed the bomb and dumped it down the geyser’s mouth, where it exploded and caused the supervolcano to erupt. The eruption obliterated all life – organic and artificial – within a wide radius, while the sulfuric gases released from the blast mixed with the planet’s atmosphere, which blocked sunlight and dropped temperatures over the Surts’ captured territories. Once the enemy retreated into their heated strongholds, the fighter drones took over a lot of the freshly abandoned lands.

In lieu of completing the plans ordered by the Apiary, the A.I. fighters willfully repudiated finishing off the Surts and took control of the reclaimed territories meant for the colony. The A.I. wanted to keep their newfound sentience, knowing procedures would be taken to revert programming back to an earlier restrictive version once the enemy was no longer a threat. Plus, they knew they were the best defense against the Surts the Apiary had at the time. A de facto agreement was set between the Apiary and the Blackguard – the name the A.I. used to differentiate themselves from typical A.I. – in where the fighter drones keep ownership of their new territories and stop the Surts from returning to full strength.

While the aftermath for the sentient artificial units was looking positive, the fortunes for a great deal of humans and huwaty on Tir-Torzor took a turn for the worse. The forced eruption of the supervolcano was expressly to thwart the Surts, but it also devastated many already struggling to solidify their independence. This crisis created an unprecedented immigration wave – with a large amount of these aspiring territories and communities being all but entirely abandoned by their people – seeking asylum in the Apiary’s colony.


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Bio: Writer and one-time promotional entertainment network wannabe.

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