I run along the trail of workers, snapping and biting at everything that obstructs their path towards the escape tunnel. My main purpose isn't to kill these monsters but to try and get every worker I can to safety.
"Into the tunnel! Into the tunnel!" I constantly shout at my siblings as I snap at the claws and arms that threaten them as the monsters in the walls rip themselves free.
What is the state of the brood chamber in all this chaos? Did we get all of them out?
Worry pierces my chest when I think about the defenceless grubs that may not have been shifted in time.
I need to go and try to save them!
[Tiny, protect the tunnel!]
I can't even be sure the ape has heard and understood me in all of the chaos but I don't stay to check. As I run back toward the chamber I start channelling my gravity magic into my mandibles. As I see ants caught or stuck on their path towards the escape tunnel I immediately reach out to them with the gravitational energy, yoinking them towards me and closer to safety!
I get a few very startled looks from a few ants after they've unceremoniously flown through the air towards me. I'm not sure if it was the shorter distance or finer control on my part but the ants manage to land on their feet, the larvae they carry safe and sound.
Most of the monsters I'd first sensed growing in the walls have emerged by now, snarling and biting, tearing into the first thing they see. So many of these monsters bear no resemblance to anything I've seen so far in the Dungeon. Inhuman, illogical, unnatural creatures of darkness and shadow. Impossibly large mouths, limbs bent at insane angles and with more joints than they could possibly require.
These monsters look straight out of some nightmare!
I won't be distracted from my purpose!
When I see no more ants emerging from the brood chamber I charge along the wall and make my way inside, threading my way between the creatures, lashing out with my mandibles whenever I'm threatened.
Strange as they may be, they still don't like it when I chomp one of their limbs off!
Bursting into the brood chamber my heart drops low in my thorax. There are still dozens of larvae here, tiny little grubs that are completely defenceless against the nightmare horde that has emerged from within the very walls of their sanctuary.
Already I can see several young that have been destroyed by the conflict.
We weren't fast enough.
Little grubs they may have been, but they were members of my family!
They have become the first members of our colony to be sacrificed to the wave.
I'm instantly filled with regret. If I'd kept better track of time, if I'd been a little quicker, if I been a bit stronger. I could have saved them.
Hold on. One larvae in the middle of the room is wiggling furiously towards me as vicious beasts battle all around it. Just before it becomes stomped under the foot of an ignorant combatant I flash back to my senses and activate my mandibles!
The tiny grub flies through the air, rocketing out of the brood chamber and slamming directly into my face!
I didn't have much choice! If I tried to catch it in my mandibles I'm likely to injure the thing, they're so little and spongy!
Using my face to absorb the impact may not have been the most sophisticated of solutions but it seems to have done the job!
The lucky grub squirms with joy at its emancipation. This larvae seems unusually active and aware for a creature nearly without senses.
You ok there little one?
I couldn't save the others but I'll absolutely save this one!
With no more workers inside the chamber and hopefully none coming back I turn my back and leave, unable to do anything for those that remain alive inside.
Come on Anthony, get this little one to the escape tunnel. Save this one larva.
Then you can vent your rage!
My eyes are nearly blinded by my grief and guilt. I'm determined to see this one to safety however, so I lower my head and bull my what out. Monsters screech and scratch at me, one scythe-like limb stretches out of the darkness to scrape along my side, sending sparks flying as it scores my diamond carapace.
I don't respond, I can't respond. I won't risk anything until I can save this defenceless member of my family.
Before me a horrific monster rises up, twisted and broken like a spectre of death itself. I can feel the painful stinging of death energy roll over me as it draws closer.
The hp drain might be something I can deal with but it'll be enough to kill this larva in just a few seconds. Dammit!
[Tiny! Kill!] I roar in my mind!
From the other side of the Queens chamber I hear a deafening shriek as Tiny unleashes his mind affecting vocal attack, causing all monsters in the room to shudder with pain as the sound scatters their consciousness.
Without ears the grub is sheltered from the attack but power of the sound waves vibrating through its fleshy body threaten to shake the poor thing to bits!
The nightmare beast before me reels backwards, disoriented from the blast and before I can even react a blinding flash of light erupts in my peripheral vision.
Turning my head I can see Tiny, still channelling electricity throughout his entire body looms over the monsters around him like an angry god, the current in his hand flashing ever brighter.
With anger contorting his bat features he throws forward his hand towards where I stand.
I have no idea what he is doing at first, but a moment after he thrusts his hand out a terrifying arc of electricity bursts forth, burning the monster before me into shreds!
Legs scrabbling in the dirt as fast as they can I stumble and lurch my way forward, sacrificing my balance to eke out every ounce of speed I can muster. Gogogogo Anthony!
As I approach the mouth of the escape tunnel I can see that the workers have already formed a defence line, using their numbers to try and fend off their attackers.
Spotting a gap in the line I hurl myself forward through the air, leaping for the finish line!
A sudden, sharp pain explodes from my abdomen and looking down I can see a hideous beast, tremendous spikes on the ends of its limbs, climbing out of the dirt beneath me. One arm has been extended, the spike piercing straight through my abdomen and coming out of my back!
Holy crap that hurts!
My HP has plummeted!
Save the little one first, I'm so damn close!
As I thud into the ground painfully, terrible spike still piercing me from beneath I start to drag myself towards the escape chamber, little larva still gently gripped in my mandibles.
From behind me I can hear the sound of scattering earth and new limbs clicking as the beast emerges from the dirt.
I'm nearly there Gandalf! Just a few more feet.
This wound is excruciating!
Inch by Inch I move towards the tunnel, my blood staining the earth of the Queens chamber behind me.
Finally another worker notices me approaching and rushes forward, closing the gap between us in just a second.
Tenderly the worker takes the larva from me and turns, rushing deep into the tunnel. The last I see the little grub is limp in the workers mandibles, hardly moving at all.
I hope you make it little one.
As for the thing behind me….
You should never have stabbed me in the business district!
Taste my justice!