Brad awoke first, thanking God for Teyata’s salvation as she still slept. He wanted to do something decent for her; a gift to thank her for all the things she’d done for him, but what could a manine want?
He knew of a nest in a dead tree, not far from the shopping centre. It had hundreds of loud droning insects the size of matchboxes. Surely they were basps. Vaulting over the edge of the roof, he gained the stone pavers before racing inside. He pulled the four hatchets from the holsters and bored out the heads, leaving a hole just broad and deep enough to house a grenade.
By the time he returned outside, Teyata had already awoken and lapped at the fountain, whilst perched on it’s edge.
“You like basp honey; don’t you?” he asked.
Teyata paused in her lapping to stare at him curiously.
He grinned broadly, running past her.
“Where are you going?” she called after him.
“I know where there’s a basp nest.”
“Brad. Brad,” she said, in rising anxiety.
She soon loped beside him. For the first time, he saw concern etched on her face, albeit misplaced, as she’d soon learn.
“Brad; what are you going to do?”
“I’m going to get you the nest.”
Her eyes widened in horror. She swiped a paw at him. His training foresaw the movement. Deflecting her paw with a slap of his palm, he dived and rolled as her other paw passed harmlessly beneath him. She bounded, almost bouncing from the trees to cut him off. With curt side stepping, and ducking, he rendered her movements fruitless.
She clung to the side of a tree as he raced past.
“Brad, do you realise how dangerous this is?”
He broke the last of the trees, sprinting across the clearing for the dead tree.
“Brad, please,” she called, almost sobbing. “Manines have died doing this.”
She reached a point where she’d go no closer to the droning cloud circling the hive.
Brad stopped two paces beyond her and turned, smiling as he placed a grenade within the hollowed out hatchet head.
“I don’t want it!!” Teyata shrieked.
“It’s alright. I’ve got this worked out,” he said twisting the grenade cap.
With ears flattened, Teyata ran for the trees. Brad raised the hatchet as the grenade built in pitch, then he flung it forward. It whined, almost to the point of hurting his ears, then it popped loudly, giving off a few sparks. The cloud around the hive swelled as the basps droned louder. Plumes of thick smoke sprouted and obscured hive and swarm from view, dissipating approximately ten seconds later.
Brad listened, no longer hearing the swarm and ran to the hive as it reappeared in the thin smoke, quickly fading. He jumped, planting his feet against the side of the tree. At the same time, he wrenched the hatchet free, and spun in mid air severing the hive from the branch. On landing on the ground, he caught the hive in the crook of his arm as he thrust the hatchet back in the holster.