There they are. Look at them. Peacefully sleeping for now, awaiting the day when they awake and take their first steps into the world. Shhhhhh little ones. You don't know it yet, but the world will be your oyster. Yes it will! You will roam wherever you wish and bring prosperity to our family. Our enemies will flee before your strength and become food beneath your mighty mandibles.
Yes they will! You adorable little things!
WHA?! What now?!
[Crinis, why are you interrupting my egg time?!]
[I'm very sorry Master but I believe I have detected another wave approaching from the tunnels below]
Haaaa. These stupid monsters just won't stop! I'm going to have to work out a solution for this problem before the time approaches. These waves have caused no end of headaches and significant losses to the colony over the last week. Those Crocs down below are going to get what's coming to them, the sooner the better.
[I'm on the way Crinis. Tiny wake up! Time to fight]
[oh? OHHHH! FIGHT!]
Reluctantly I turn away from the twenty small, white spheres occupying the egg chamber. They are in fact, the only occupants of the egg chamber and the workers have been caring for them diligently but I can't help coming up to take a look at them every now and again. When I think of the future that these little eggs could bring for the colony I get so excited I just can't help myself.
I put in a lot of work to create those eggs! I deserve to be a little happy now that they've finally arrived dammit!
Just three days ago the Queen managed to gather the Biomass necessary to lay this small clutch and it'll take a few more days before they hatch and then two weeks for them to complete their time as larvae and become pupa, then a little longer for them to finally eclose and take their place under my tutelage.
It’s soooo loooong!
I know it's my own fault for extending the development time of the workers in order to squeeze more stats into them but I'm so frustrating right now. I feel like kids probably felt at Christmas when there were presents waiting under the tree. I didn't get to experience that during my human life but I think I finally grasp that emotion now. The wait is torturous!
Grumbling to myself I descend through the main shaft of the nest, through the Queens chamber and into the area my pets and I have made our home. It's been somewhat expanded recently, mainly to accommodate Tiny and allow us a little more space in fighting of the Dungeon monsters that have swarmed up the tunnels periodically over the last week.
My pets and I have been training our skills, using our shortcut to venture deeper into the Dungeon and harvest Biomass for ourselves and for the Queen. We've seen significant gains in pumping up our new skills and our overall combat effectiveness has risen as a result. I'm quite pleased that my pets now have properly allocated skill points and mutation advancements, even if it took way too much effort to finally get them there.
We ran into serious trouble twice during our escapades. When Tiny and I ventured down, leaving Crinis on guard duty she had to fight off a wave on her own. Thankfully the ants from the chamber above became aware of the ruckus and rushed down to support her. By the time Tiny and I returned it had been cleaned up and casualties were at the minimum. We were a bit more cautious after that and tried to make sure no monsters were able to slip past us.
Still, the second time they managed it. Through some twist of tunnel one of the waves managed to find an alternate access point to the surface. We had no idea they up there until the colony had engaged with them and started calling for reinforcements. When the Queen's guards in the chamber above started moving out we were alerted and rushed out with them. Eventually we were able to find the monsters and defeat them but not before a significant number of workers had been killed in the engagement…
The human refugees had almost been caught up in it. When the battle raged the fighting had gone right to their doorsteps. Being saved by the colony seems to have driven their affection for ant monsters to even greater heights. When workers wander past their growing encampment they bow respectfully and cheer. It's getting a bit unnerving.
We've been even more careful since then.
I would've rushed straight into the Dungeon and shoved my mandibles through those stupid crocs faces if I could, but I wanted to make sure the colony was safe first. That was a few days ago now, we've been quietly building our strength since then, getting ready to launch our invasion and claim the marsh expanse for ourselves!
Nobody messes with my family and gets away with it!
Entering the chamber I see Crinis and Tiny ready for action. Crinis has extended her tentacles down the tunnel for more than a hundred metres, stretching her strange flesh to the limit in order to detect vibrations down the tunnel.
[Bring it all back Crinis. Time to get ready to fight]
The little tennis ball of boundless hunger begins to retract the thin, wire like tendrils she had painstakingly extended down the tunnel back into her body. When the task is done she inflates herself back to her combat ready size, ready to unleash destruction upon our foes.
Tiny has long been ready. His hands clench and unclench repeatedly as if he can't wait to allow his fists to go to work. The silver hair on his arms is already beginning to rise as electrical current begins to flicker across his body.
Ever since advancing his skills Tiny has become even more obsessed with fighting, if that were even possible. I think that now he can advance his skills again there is even more relish to be had in the thrill of battle for him.
Where the heck is he going?
Unable to contain himself anymore the ape dashes down the tunnel, whooping with delight!
[Damnable ape! Let's go Crinis!]
Rushing after him Crinis and hurtle down the tunnel ourselves. In front of us I can see Tiny moving with impressive speed, hands and legs flailing with a strange grace as he propels his massive frame forward like a hairy, overweight gazelle.
I should never have told him about the dash skill…
With us hurtling down and the monsters rushing up it doesn't take long for the two sides to crash into each other like speeding trucks.