The grounds laid ablazed with fire. Charred mindworms, human corpses and machinery are feasted upon by the ever hungry flame. Stoically, the mindworm boil refuses to burn as the masses of wriggling worms piled upon each other smothering any flame before they had the chance to spread further.
As Kostya drove near, the horrible scene of the carnage became apparent. Arms, legs, torsos of human bodies were seen protruding from a sea of pink mindworms. No one wishes to be near that monstrous boil, those that found themselves too close had their minds paralysed by the mindworms' psychic intrusion. Soldiers flaming patches of mindworms one moment may find themselves stunned wide-eyed and looking in horror as they were engulfed in their own flames.
The buggy came to a halt and everyone disembarked with their flamers ready.
“Patrol Team 112 assisting Squad 56”
“Finally, some helping hand. I want you guys to hold a line at the rocks over there and watch out for break-aways from the main boil. They have tried it a few times and we’ve only just able to hold them back. Oh yeah, thanks for the extra fuel. It is going to be a long day.”
Everyone was nervous, but they were kept busy cleaning up small patches of mindworms. Soldiers were encouraged to frequently make contact with each other on radio to detect who had been paralysed by the mindworms. While safely away from the main boil, the mindworms psychic interference amounted to just incessant background whispering. Thick smoke soon covered Kostya’s vision but thankfully the rebreather prevented him from choking. Kostya noticed Gavril had been absent on the radio.
“Have anyone seen Gavril?”
Great, where are you Gavril, and curse this smoke.
After stumbling in the smoky haze, Kostya found Gavril standing in a small pool of mindworms, hands deathly gripping the flamer. With no time to waste, Kostya grabbed hold of Gavril in one hand and flamed the incoming worms with the other.
“I NEED HELP HERE!” Kostya shouted on the radio.
“Move, c’mon move Gavril. Don’t make me leave you behind, even if you are bastard at times.”
Kostya slowly dragged Gavril away from the mindworms but during struggle, Gavril hand twitched and his flamer was accidentally set one of Kostya’s leg on fire. Help arrived in time to see a soldier dragging another with one of his leg ablaze. The fire was quickly extinguished and any mindworms found were brushed aside.
“You need to seek aide for your leg. Your buddy is lucky to have a friend like you.”
“I’m okay,” said Kostya, but as he tried to walk he winched in pain. “Alright, I’ll go back to the hospital. I guess the adrenaline wore off.”
... you're different ... A thought drifted into Kostya's mind. He looked around for the source, but drifted back into the cloudy haze the painkillers.
Later in the day, more reinforcements arrived and the gradual bombardment reduced the boil into manageable size, but not without casualties. Those who were lucky like Kostya and Garvil returned back into city for intensive treatment.