After Sheriff Jacobs and Kind had rode away in their beast I lingered only for a moment. I would have to fly to the Titan One and see if it was as good a location for a hive as I had thought. With a leap into the air and a buzzing of my wings, I found that my increased size had a role to play in my flight. Maneuvering tightly was difficult and ended up causing me to spiral around dangerously. I would have to fly in straight, steady lines if I was going to avoid losing control. As a drone I was able to zip around to where I was needed in a moment's notice, but as a Proto-Queen that was far less likely an occurrence to pull off. I understood now why Queen Chrysalis avoided moving around the hive as much as possible.
With night vision provided by my glowing eyes, I was able to quickly locate the metal archway poking from its hole in the ground. I had to fly over a strip of stone road that had a few beasts roaming along it, but otherwise it was mostly uneventful. The landing at the Titan One, however, was something else entirely.
The entrance looked better from afar. Up close there were errant paints and colors all sketching out different paintings, each of them overlapping another and accompanied by vulgarities and 'So and So was here' everywhere. The most upsetting aspect of this place was the lingering emotions that I could feel, as if they clung to the walls in memory. Fear, dread, anger, resentment, doubt, anxiety, paranoia. All of these negative emotions and more acted like a repellent to me, making it very difficult to walk forward. I explored anyway, hoping all of this nausea was just from the front door alone rather than the entire structure.
Moving through the archway I came to a low tunnel, forcing me to crane my neck downwards in order to not scrape the very rusty metal roofing that was cylindrical in shape, ribbed along the entire length of the structure. More nonsensical paintings were inside, alongside the scrawling of the insane and terminally bored. The air was metallic and dusty, possibly from all the dirt having blown into the entrance combined with the deteriorating metal that groaned with every hoof step impacting it.
"This place is creepy." I complained to myself, my voice vibrating along the walls, only to be swallowed by the eerie void of the place. It was like a tomb in here and all of it silently screamed for me to leave. The emotions of dread and anxiety were so strong in this place it was like walking through sand just to continue on. It was looking less and less likely that I would make a place like this into a home for my drones.
Trudging through, I eventually came to a vertical shaft with some kind of box at the bottom. It was large and metallic of course, fitting the square shape of the tunnel I stood in with what looked like wires strewn around with frayed ends at the bottom. Just beyond that platform was a pool of still water, dark and murky like the rest of this place and contaminated with rust from disrepair. Seeing no other way down, I buzzed my wings tightly to my side, allowing me to steadily float down so long as I didn't move. With a crunch of rust peelings I soon landed, my hooves feeling tainted and grimy from the rusted steel beneath me. Every step gave another metal crunch from the structure relenting under the strain of my weight.
"Definitely creepy." I affirmed to myself, trying to combat the void of silence with my own voice. It wasn't working. "Couldn't I have picked a cave or some kind of other hole in the ground and gone from there?" I complained to myself. The more I saw, the less I liked of this Titan One.
Moving out of the square shaft I happened upon a very large room, errant metal pipes jutting from the floor like some building had been ripped apart where I stood and simply vanished. Steel beams were holding up nothing but a crumbling ceiling that flaked with rust as well, this entire place feeling like a morgue for buildings.
At long last after moving through the large room I came across a barrier in the form of a large stone door with a valve on it. This valve had been rusted shut, and my magical attempts to open it only cracked the wheel right off.
"Great." I grumbled, flinging the valve behind myself to clang loudly against a steel beam before rattling on the floor. "Why would humans even build a place like this? Were they hiding from something?"
Shaking my head I decided to continue with a more direct approach. Looking at the side of the stone door in front of me, I guessed that it should be at least three feet thick. Probably a good test for my body hardening spell, right? I placed a hoof on the door and gave it an experimental shove, my hoof lighting with magic and causing the stone to leave a scorched hoof-print, but nothing else beyond that.
"Alright, how about a bit more force?" I asked nobuggy, shoving my forelegs from the ground to rear up, slamming into the door with such force that it cracked into a dozen chunks of rock and spilled onto the floor intermixed with steel reinforcement that had bent in the center. After my ears had stopped ringing from the cacophony of noise as a result of my actions, I saw a very long and non-rusted tunnel laying in wait ahead of me. The rusted metal on the walls I had become accustomed to at this point were replaced by very smooth stone walls that were square instead of cylindrical. The only problem is that the long tunnel reminded me too much of a Gouger, whom would leave straight tunnels for entire kilo-trots before slamming into the hive.
With a shaky step forward, I soon moved my way up and over the rubble that had once been a door and proceeded down the tunnel to whatever lay ahead. As I continued, the ghostly emotions of stress and fear became like quicksand and combined with paranoia and dread once more. Whatever had happened in this Titan One was strong enough that it was making me physically sick, but I still had to figure out what it was before I left this place for good. This much emotional negativity in one place was too much for even a Proto-Queen like myself to handle. What would happen if a drone were to hatch in a place like this? They would go insane!
After what seemed like an eternity of endless walking, I stumbled onto a set of metal doors that had escaped the rusting process entirely. They also turned somewhat successfully after a little force, possibly being caught by something. Part of the invasion planning had been familiarizing all of us with likely hideouts that Ponies would use. The prime target being bank vaults and storm shelters. These doors worked in a much similar way, so I wasn't that surprised that the humans had found a use for the design as well.
All of my familiarity with what I was walking into vanished the second the door swung heftily open. There was a human boot poking from behind what seemed to be a desk with a metallic box on it. I had no idea what human could live down in a place like this, but something about it didn't feel right. An overwhelming sense of sorrow was coming from this room with a tinge of anger that made my wings chitter in agitation. I carefully approached the boot, swinging around wide in case something were to leap at me. I had no idea if humans suffered from Gougers as well, if they build underground like this regularly.
Well... I didn't have to worry about a Gouger at least.
There was a skeleton. It wore a green outfit that was mostly pristine, aside from the fraying around the wrists and neck. They held one of those slim metallic things in their hand as if grasping onto it for dear life. The jaw of the skeleton was opened wide, like the human had died in surprise or shock. I quickly looked around this large room for anything else that might be out of place and found yet another skeleton just opposite this one. It was sprawled over a desk and looking towards the skeleton on the floor closest to me, a metal thing on the ground below its grasping hand. A great many packages were laid out along the ground, some of them with labels like 'Beef Stroganoff 003'. I had no idea what had happened here, but it didn't look good. On second thought, I didn't want to know. I wanted to get out of this place!
I turned tail and bolted for the entry door, the heavy mass of it still swung open. I turned a bit too roughly and ended up bashing my armored flank against the metal of the door's frame, causing it to shriek in metallic agony and buckle. I was mostly unharmed, but my impact with that door had flooded me with feelings of hopelessness and misery. The feelings of anxiety and paranoia were getting to me and I thought I heard specters of the past yelling about launch codes and access points. I chose to ignore it, favoring a hasty retreat instead.
Eventually after another eternity of running I came across the broken rubble of the door I had kicked open and stumbled over it, nearly bashing my head against the flooring from a dangerous slip. I took a moment to catch my breath and try to calm down after that, looking down the dark hallway with a sense of foreboding. How long have I been down here?
The howling wind from the entrance of the Titan One gave me chills as the sound of a Gouger's wail sounded throughout the tunnel system. It was a mixture of haunting screeches and airy gasps for breath combined with the movement of dirt. Usually that would be the last thing a Tunneler heard before a Gouger burst through the tunnel near them and ate them while the rest scattered for cover.
"I swear on everything holy Jacobs, if this is some kind of Halloween prank I'm deducting at least a day's pay from you for this. Makin' me crawl and stumble through a freakin' abandoned missile silo!" I heard a distant voice complain, modified by the metallic echo of the tunnels. Why wouldn't my own voice echo?
"I swear a hundred percent, Mayor Durn; This is the real deal." I heard Sheriff Jacobs reply with certainty.
"And you're sure your 'surprise' actually stayed here while you came to get me? I have important mayor work to do, you know." Mayor Durn grumbled, coming closer now.
I would have called out to them, but the sickness I was dealing with from all the horror in this silo was making me weak. I had to leave. Hopefully the humans would understand why and leave this place as well. I would rather talk outside in the sun anyway.
With a buzzing of my wings I flew up the square tunnel with the destroyed platform again, landing at the top with a small cloud of rusted dust in my wake. I felt a little light headed and took a moment to steady myself. That was also the moment that Mayor Durn and Sheriff Jacobs came around the corner to spot me.
"Holy Jesus!" Mayor Durn shrieked, leaping backwards into Sheriff Jacobs' arms. "The hell is that!?"
Sheriff Jacobs gave an annoyed glare at Mayor Durn, none too pleased at the outburst. "It's a bunch of lights, Mayor. Keep your panties on.
This 'Mayor Durn' was slender in build, shaped like Soft and Timid. They wore clothing with a more streamlined design, something like I had seen the Canterlot Royals wearing constantly at their galas. They had a brown mane and an angular jaw. Overall they looked intelligent yet somehow welcoming. I sensed mostly anxiety and nervousness coming from them, worsening my condition and itching my nose.
"Aaaah-Aaah-Choo!" I sneezed abruptly, the dust and negative emotions getting to my system and making me more than just feel sick.
"Who's there!?" Mayor Durn shouted, hiding behind Sheriff Jacobs. "Show yourself!"
I walked steadily towards the two humans, my senses overwhelmed by the Titan One. They were blurry in appearance now, or at least my vision was. It was difficult to stand upright as well now.
"H-hello, Sheriff Jacobs... Muh... Mayor Duuurrrnnnn." I drawled, my eyes feeling heavy all of a sudden. "I don't f-feel good."
"Holy hell! What is that!?" Mayor Durn panicked.
"That's the surprise I was gonna show you... but it looks like 'Queen Blue Sun' here is feeling a little under the weather..." Sheriff Jacobs replied, somewhat concerned. "What happened to you, Buggo?"
"So much... negativity here." I coughed, trying to stand upright. "I need to get away!"
"Well, you heard the Queen Mayor Durn," Sheriff Jacobs replied with a shrug. "We have to help her get away from this Silo." They turned to Mayor Durn. "Think of the PR you'll get from this." They arced their hands between the other like a banner, "Mayor Durn saves life of first alien!"
This emboldened Mayor Durn, the skinny human alight with eager determination and pride for what would be to come. "A-alright, lets..." Then they looked at me as I drooped my head to the ground and tried to walk myself away from the Titan One's deeper structure to the entrance. "Lets call an Ambulance!" They shouted with vigour, pulling a smartphone from their pocket and rapidly jamming their thumb into it.
Sheriff Jacobs put an arm around my midsection, just over the wings. "Come on now, Queen Blue Sun. We've got a town to make famous!"
I looked in confusion at Sheriff Jacobs before my vision began to swim. The negative emotions here were so potent they were acting like a literal toxin to me. My legs couldn't hold my weight anymore, and I buckled to the floor. A cloud of dust forced the other two to cough and scatter away for a moment.
"Aw, not on my suit!" Mayor Durn complained before interrupting themselves. "Yes, This is Mayor Durn speaking. I need an ambulance at the Titan One silo just outside of the Monte's villa right now! Bring your largest vehicle!"
My vision was growing dark as Sheriff Jacob's hands wrapped around one of my hooves. "Hey Durn, get your big butt over here and help me pull the Queen!"
The last thing I saw before blacking out was the figure of Mayor Durn rushing towards me.