Tiny can sense it too. I have no idea how, but he begins to stare hard at the walls, electricity crackling in his eyes alongside the rage. He really seems to be working himself into a frenzy!
Dropping off the Larvae I'd been carrying I return to the Queens chamber which is growing brighter by the moment, the light is nearly blindingly bright, my legs are soaking up mana so quickly the floor feel hot to me, as if I were standing on a hot plate.
So much energy! It's almost unfathomable just how much mana is rippling through the walls. Just what could someone do with all of this power?! If this scene is being replicated throughout the entire Dungeon, thousands of square kilometres… I just…. I can't bring myself to think where it all comes from.
There has to be a source, right?!
Unease and fear shift in my heart as I think of it. Something that is capable of a feat such as this….
With just a tiny fraction of this energy I can create an all devouring sphere of death…. With just the smallest taste of the mana that is thumping through the walls in just this one chamber.
I shudder to think what the expanse looks like right now.
As the heat signatures bloom all around me I can't help but turn constantly to stare hard at one and then the next, never knowing exactly when one was going to burst into life. The tight packages of blazing heat I can feel don't grow at a constant speed, one of them will flare brightly, making me turn to look only for it to fade back slightly whilst another suddenly explodes with growth, making me turn. Over and over it happens until I'm dizzy from spinning.
I almost feel as if I want them to start leaping out of the walls, just so I know it has started.
The ants continue their constant shuffling, bringing the brood into our escape tunnel before leaving and returning to bring more.
The escape tunnel itself remains blessedly dark, untouched by the veins of light the flare brighter and brighter each second.
*Scratch* *scratch* *scratch*.
What the heck was that?!
From one side of the chamber I can hear a faint scratching sound, like claws… or teeth… on stone. I can't be certain but… I swear that sound is coming from inside the wall.
*Scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch*
From every side, from up the shaft, from the brood chamber and from everywhere in the Dungeon the horrible scratching erupted into a cacophony of sound.
The walls are burning so brightly my antennae feel like they are practically on fire and my heart is pounding in my chest. This is almost more than one ant can take!
I clench my mandibles to stop them shaking.
… stupid dungeon… stupid monsters …. You … you want some this?
You want to come…. You want to come in here and fight me?
COME ON THEN, SHOW THIS ANT WHAT YOU'VE GOT!
Right in front of my eyes an arm punches out of the dirt, sending a shower of loose earth flying throughout the room and into my eyes. I flinch back instinctively and before I can recover Tiny is there.
One titanic fist blazes with electricity and his lips are drawn far back in a ferocious screech as the ropes of muscle in his shoulder shift and send that fist cannoning into the ground.
A shrill scream, rings out, muffled by the dirt, but Tiny isn't done.
Ripping his hand back out of the ground I can see he has gripped the monster between his thick fingers. The beast looks nothing like anything I'd seen before, ink black with long thorny tentacles growing from a torso that is more mouth than body, four thin, double jointed arms emerging at jarring angles.
This monster follows no natural design, I've never seen anything remotely like this on earth! What the hells is it!?
The newly born monster shrieks and writhes in his grip, tentacles and clawed hands lashing at Tiny's long arm. The rage in the great apes eyes on burns ever brighter, matching the glow of the current burning in his hand.
The lightning grows stronger and stronger until electricity is coiling around the monsters body like crazed snakes. The creature shrieks higher each moment until, with a sizzling sound it suddenly grows still.
You … cooked it… With lightning?! That is so badass!
More and more monsters start to explode out of the walls, hands, claws, scales, and fangs start to tear through the dirt all around us. Some ants get caught as they run with the newborn charges in their mandibles, limbs appearing from the walls and floor to tear and scratch at them.
Instantly I'm running. As the walls break to pieces around me the dirt explodes as thrashing limbs and gnashing jaws claw their way out all around us.
Without mercy I rush forward to an ant pinned down by another of the mouth monsters and bite down hard with my mandibles, shearing straight through the limb that had only moments ago prevented by sibling for moving towards the escape tunnel.
"Run to the tunnel!" I scream with all my might and I hope the ants are able to hear it amidst all of this chaos. Their antennae may be covered in dirt, which would interfere with their hearing.
I throw myself forward to the next trapped worker, desperate to free them all.
In my peripheral vision I can see that Tiny appears to have simply gone mad.
His body is so charged with electrical energy that his long hair is almost standing straight up, giving him an unearthly, almost demonic appearance. His long arms smash repeatedly into the walls as monsters emerge, the tremendous impacts sending shockwaves rippling through the soil.
I see him plunge one hand into the earth and pull it out again with a bizarre hooked worm creature wrapped around his arm, leechlike mouth grasping, restrained in the apes fist.
With a mighty bellow Tiny channels his electricity into his arm, roasting the monster in seconds before turning and flinging it into the face of another creature charging at him from across the room!
A scene of chaos!
As the monsters emerge they are not dedicated to fighting only us, or coordinating with each other. They rip and tear into each other just as quickly, even if they are the same species!
The entire Dungeon is supposed to be possessed by this madness!
The wave. It's crazy!