The Neurophages VIII

A battleswarm of 1,024 automata crouched on the vast grey hull of the ship. Each creature was perched ant-like on the hull, attached via a spiral drill bit which was screwed into the hull like a corkscrew in your favourite before-dinner vintage. They looked like nothing so much as a group of insect skeletons, with cogs and gears thrumming and turning behind crystal plates on their thoraxes.

Following standard interdiction protocol, they engaged their diamond-tipped circular saws, which descended from their bodies on telescopic arms, and rapidly cut circular holes in the hull, each big enough to fit a single automaton. Lifting the outer deck segments out with the same pseudo-limb that recently wielded a cutter, each creature scutled into the inter-deck area and then replaced the segment and acid-welded it back in place.

Having protected the occupants of the ship from explosive decompression, the automata spread themselves equally over the inner hull. They breached into the crew area like a single organism.

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