When my dish of curated agony arrived at its destination the Croc responded much as I would have expected, with unabridged terror and anguish. The sheer terror and pain of ones' core being drained is unique experience and I'm glad I had the chance to share it with this particular Croca-Commander. I feel gratified that I suffered for a noble cause.
Stunned by the sudden arrival of such a dense and rich package of sensation through the mind bridge that connected us, the Croca appeared to be unable to resist its effects and succumbed for a moment to the illusion that the sensations it felt were real and not, in fact, crafted by a nefarious ant.
In my experience utilising mental warfare, I've found that it's generally the case that a monster has a chance to 'resist' your sending through sheer force of mind. I have suspected that this resistance is based upon the Will stat in some way, which is why I had been worried the Croca may be somewhat impervious to my mental strikes. Not so. It seemed that the impressive physique of the Croca-Commander hadn't come without a cost.
Tiny, we have found your spiritual brothers here in the Croca-Beasts! Tough as nails and just as intelligent!
The monstrous crocodile reeled in horror at the pain it felt emanate from within, arms flailed and the creature attempted to fling Tiny and Crinis away but the two pets were persistent, not willing to allow the beast to escape.
I flexed my legs and dashed toward the Croca at full speed. I closed the distance in a few seconds, my mandibles opened wide and ready to deliver their own particular brand of law and order.
I poured my strength into the muscle that lined my head and bit down with every ounce strength in my body. One bite is never enough! No ant was ever intended to win through an alpha strike! Bite, Bite and Bite some more!
I wasn't willing to continue to empty my mana from my core, so I refrained from infusing my mandibles with mana and relied on their base destructive power. I'm the first to admit that my destructive power is somewhat lacking, that's nothing new, but with my skills and high level of mutation I can at least contribute something on the ground level.
I'm not willing to keep flinging spells, that's for sure! After so recently going through the experience myself, I'm in no hurry to taste of those delights once more.
Forced to use Splintering Chomp due to the solid defences of the Croca, I work as mechanically as possible, bite, open, bite, open, as I tried to pierce through the hard scales of the monsters' leg and puncture the sweet, succulent muscle tissue beneath.
Tiny continued to unleash his barrage of punches even as his feet flickered above the ground as he shifted his weight to suite his punches. Electricity sparked and danced every time he struck home and the damage was piling up.
For her part, Crinis focused on keeping the two arms she had control of bound and contained as her saw teeth went to work. In order to escalate her damage she switched gears slightly and shifted her head so that she had access to chomp down with her terror inducing teeth on the Crocs shoulder.
Which may have been a mistake since the pain of having those fangs sink deep into its shoulder seemed to be enough to shock the Croca-Commander out of the delusion that I had supplied it. Its eyes flashed red as it bellowed with frustration and rage. Still light on his feet, Tiny managed to slip out of range as the Croc flailed at him with its two free arms, its claws raked through the air leaving a shining trail of light as it executed a skill.
Holy mackerel! That looked sharp!
Quick as beat the Crocodile switched its play and turned to snap at Crinis with its vicious upper jaws.
[Crinis watch - ] I called but not quickly enough.
Thankfully it didn't matter as Crinis artfully dodged, her entire body morphed out of the way, her shadow displayed its flexibility, and incredible ability to compress itself, her body chose to be where the jaws were not.
[Nice, Crinis! Be careful up there!] I cheered.
I wonder if that's a skill that she picked up? That level of movement, the speed she was able to do it, I haven't seen her do anything like that before. Her body has always been somewhat, amorphous, able to be compressed from her full, inflated ball of death down to a mere softball of implied illness.
This is a different type of shift, as the Crocs jaws closed in she retracted the part of her body that would have been bitten, whilst leaving the rest of it alone. For a moment it even looked as if the Croca had bitten a chunk out of her since there was nothing but air remaining when it withdrew its teeth.
I refuse to sit by and let the pets do all of the work!
Digging deep it reared back and crunched down with a Splintering Chomp. A resplendent crunching sound rang out as my mandibles pierced through the crocs scales and bit deep into the leg beneath. With a load groan the commander staggered to one side and I seized the opportunity to pull it off balance and threw my weight to one side, gripping the earth with my claws and hauling on the Croca-Commander with my jaws still lodged in its leg.