As the box settles back into a straight position, the bugs’ minds adapt to the latest behaviour that is required from them. A moment ago, they were fighting till death would do them apart. Then they were scared that they were going to die not knowing how. But now they seem to care more about their own, as the missing’s absence is making itself known and a pain unknown to their species is invading their primitive mind: the emotional pain brought on by the missing, the departed and the never-to-be-found-again. They become aware of only one imperative and urgent need: that of finding their missing family members, their friends and care for them, no matter what.
Soon little clans form. It is still dark. The adrenaline is still flowing high, but there is a definite difference they can all smell in the air: being a beetle, a spider or a mutant is now irrelevant.
All yell the names of relatives and friends simultaneously, presently seeking the lost, the injured, the lonely and the desperate.
Only a few would like to resume the battle in earnest at the earliest available opportunity, but, evidently, priorities lie elsewhere. Spidey, curiously, is feeling defeated, as if he not only had lost all his children but the battle of his life too; so much so that Redbeet, having rid of Shinybeet forever – she thinks – thanks to a well-placed second-left arm in his groin, and now an angel of forgiveness in disguise, picks up on Spidey’s subtle face and distress signals, might be willing to help.
“Hey, Spidey!” she exclaims.
“I don’t want to hear from you, go away trouble maker!” he answers.
“I know where Spidey Jnr. No 1 to 15 are,” she says.
The silence becomes thicker and heavier than the surrounding air.
To be continued…