Insects are by far the most common class of animal on the human homeworld. Found in nearly every environment, they are represented by several million diverse species, and comprise more than half of all living organisms on the planet. Thus, despite being relatively small in size, Earth insects historically represent one of the gravest dangers to the native human population’s food supply.
As humans traveled far beyond the confines of their solar system, they began to encounter animal life on distant worlds. They soon discovered that creatures possessing somewhat insectoid characteristics were just as prevalent, and just as diverse, throughout the various alien galaxies they sought to colonize as the “bugs” on their native Earth. After the collapse of the human empires, many Survivors found themselves in a state of perpetual competition with these organisms over the limited essentials found on isolated worlds near the boundaries of uncharted space. This gave rise to a specialized class of Survivor known as the Exterminator.
The Exterminator is dedicated to the eradication of any species of “bug” seeking to compete with humans on any level. What makes the job of these Exterminators exponentially more difficult than that of their Earthbound counterparts is the fact that the pests in question are sometimes elephantine in size, particularly in the case of Feral Acaeans, which are quite common throughout the Novus Æterno universe.
Many produce extremely corrosive, highly acidic saliva, possess powerful pincers and mandibles capable of rending steel, and are equipped with armor-piercing stingers that deliver debilitating and often lethal neurotoxins. Thus, while humans have historically favored the use of chemicals when dealing with unwanted bug populations, the Exterminators who have devoted themselves to protecting the various Survivor colonies scattered among the stars have taken a liking to a more primitive, yet extremely effective, method of pest control: fire.
Armed with an array of incendiary devices, these intrepid men and women descend into Plutonian depths, often spending hours navigating an interconnected series of maddeningly claustrophobic tunnels, shrouded in Stygian darkness, only to confront a nest of venomous, carnivorous beasts that dwarf a domestic dog.
It might sound like a nightmare to you, but to the Exterminator,it’s all in a day’s work.