n planet without purpose.
The act of transferring him from the Joe System to a completely different one with a yellow sun and a habitable planet must have used an enormous amount of power.

The technologies that made this possible also made it clear that this was not a casual event!

Rumors swirled around that the first-rate superstates developed a means of teleporting something from one star system to another.
Whether these rumors spoke the truth or not, most people considered such technologies to be out of reach of the general public.

Thus, Ves held a definite interest in the alien device.
What was its origins? What kind of aliens constructed it? What was its purpose? Why was it buried in a desolate red dwarf system in the galactic rim?

”Why did it trigger now? ”

He racked his brains over the last question and couldn ’t figure out an answer.
He pushed his questions to the back of his mind and jogged towards the site that glistened in the alien sun.

He controlled his pace since it would definitely take a few hours to reach his destination.
All the while, he kept observing his surroundings for any further clues.

”This valley is completely barren.
There ’s not a hint of life in this place. ”

Now that he distanced himself from the forest, Ves sensed that the ominous waves he caught before had faded away.
Nothing else brushed against his sixth sense, so he slowly let down his guard.

”There shouldn ’t be anything I should be worried about here. ”

Just as he took another step forward, the ground underneath broke apart as a massive mouth ripped upwards.
Some kind of two-clawed worm emerged from below and tried to snap his body in a single bite!

Fortunately, the worm was just small enough to pass through his body, but the hole the worm had dug caused Ves to lose his footing.
He started to slide into the bottomless well until he hastily engaged his hazard suit ’s antigrav function.

After the clawed organism failed to bite him, it crashed back down into the earth, turning around for another go.
The soil beneath the worm ’s passage bucket as the alien creature forcefully dug close to the surface.

”You won ’t get me this time! ”

Ves hovered higher and retrieved a white block made out of exquisite alloys and composites.
It quickly unfolded in the majestic gold-crusted Amastendira.

He dialed the power setting to a moderate setting and pointed the muzzle in the direction of the disturbance in the soil.

”Come on then! Take a bite out of me if you dare! ”

Even Lucky stood ready on his shoulder.
The cat had been caught off-guard with the first strike, which shamed him to no end.
If Ves couldn ’t take down the worm, then Lucky would definitely follow suit.

The clawed worm emerged from below yet again.
As far as tactics went, the worm primarily appeared to be driven by instinct.

Some things always stayed the same.
Worm-like creatures never exhibited any notable level of intelligence in the galaxy.

A thick golden laser beam seared the worm straight into its maw.
Its internal organs received so much damage that it instantly broke the beast.
With an agonizing wail, the worm collapsed on the soil, having reached just short of engulfing Ves.

The ugly worm ’s appearance repelling him on a primordial level, so Ves quickly shot it again until he became sure of its demise.

After that, he spent a couple of minutes inspecting the dead creature.
As much as he wanted to leave the sordid corpse behind, Ves still had to find some clues on what went on in this place.

A brief inspection of the corpse revealed that the worm wasn ’t as long as he thought.
It was roughly as long as a mech.
It featured no obvious organs besides the claws.
It didn ’t even possess any eyes as far as Ves had seen.

Underneath the cutting burns left over from the Amastendira, Ves spotted a number of unknown but disgusting-looking organs.
He didn ’t dare to come any closer.

He might have been able to figure out a wealth of information if he was an exobiologist.
Sadly, his expertise only extended to mechs and machines.
He remained as clueless as a bystander when it came to alien life.

”This is one scary creature, though.
It ’s likely not the only one that ’s around here. ”

Ves looked back at the barren valley and imagined the clawed worms lying dormant underneath the surface.
The thought instantly sent a chill down his back.

He checked the power, water and oxygen reserves of his hazard suit.
”I only have two days left until my oxygen reserves run out.
Water will last a little longer, but my suit is able to recycle my waste. ”

If people had to leave their hazard suits every time they needed to go to the toilet, then they wouldn ’t be so widely used.

Ves tried not to think he ’d be drinking water filtered from his own bodily waste in a couple of days and focused on his power reserves.

”My battery will only last for a week. ”

After that, his suit would run out of power.
The motors that eased his motions would lock up and the waste management systems would stop supplying him with recycled air and water.

Ves did not relish the thought of devolving into a savage that lived off the land.

”I have to find a way out as soon as possible! ”

He left the corpse behind and continued to run towards his destination.
Along the way, he encountered several more ambushes.
The clawed worms really didn ’t like it when someone stepped over their heads.

Ves solved each and every one of them with a single laser beam.
The creatures possessed no resistance against this type of energy damage.
Added to the fact that the Amastendira ’s battery constantly regained its charge on its own, Ves showed no scruples against the primitive beasts.

He finally reached the site atop the hill after four hours of running.
The marathon took its toll on his body and he stopped again to catch his breath.

Once he looked up, he observed a clearly artificial sight, something he had never encountered since he ended up on this planet.
He came across a city of crystal.

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