That growl was so low, and so powerful, I could feel it rattle my external bones. What in the name of the ever loving ant queen is going on?!
Tiny, Crinis and I froze in place the moment we heard that unearthly rumble, still locked in our moment of triumph over the fallen foe. The Croca-Commander lies still beneath me, its neck torn asunder my mandible assault and I allow the mana to fade from my choppers. Morrelia is standing to one side of the monster, both of her blades buried halfway to the hilt in its flank as she comes out of her berserk rage.
Her face appears red and gaunt as she heaves deep breaths into her lungs, the light of anger and bloodlust fading from her eyes and clarity of thought returning. She looked down at the defeated Croca-Commander as if surprised to see it there, a flicker of confusion came over her expression and she slowly shook her head from left to right.
Again that deep rumbling growl rattled out from a distance, seeming to shake the very land itself beneath our feet. The only one present in the moment to not appear nervous at this development was Tiny, who only appeared satisfied as he gazed down on his defeated foe.
Checking on my core hastily I see that there is still a good 50% capacity still in the tank. The fight was a lot shorter and sharper than I expected it to be, most likely due to the Croc not being able to fully utilise its ability due to wanting to conserve mana itself. I shouldn't discount the possibility that the Croc was already extremely low on mana, which may explain the relatively low amount of fire it spat at us.
If I recall correctly, the first Croc-Commander we fought burnt down a good section of the Marsh expanse without even trying. I've no doubt this double chinned beast could unleash a similar level of devastation if it so wanted. Inside the Dungeon that is, up here? Who knows?
Satisfied that I wasn't likely to run out of mana in the short-term future I begin work on re-establishing the mind bridge to Morrelia that I had let lapse during the fight. I'll still need to be careful, mana-wise. I burned a good chunk of gravitational mana in the fight and I can feel the gland drawing away mana from my core to replenish its stock. Normally, not a problem, the core is replenished a heck of a lot faster than the gland can drain it away, especially when I can get my feet stuck into some Dungeon turf. On the surface, my core does not absorb mana fast enough to sustain me under ideal circumstances, let alone with any extra demands on it. I'll need to retreat back to our mini-Dungeon base to refill the tank before we go any further. Better safe than sorry.
[What's the problem Morrelia? You're looking a little confused?]
[Have you been hearing those growls?] she asked, a little vaguely.
[Well, yeah? Of course. I felt like my carapace had been jammed into a sub-woofer. Way too much base. Do you have any idea what might be causing it?]
Instead of answering my question, Morrelia posed another of her own.
[Do you know what species of monster this is?] she asked, pointing at our victim.
[Yup. Garralosh Commander, no doubt about it. One of the eldest children of Garralosh herself. This is the second time we've put one down] I boasted a little bit, even as my antennae wave back and forth attempting to sense the source of the intimidating noise.
[Have you ever seen it?] Morrelia asked faintly, [Garralosh, I mean?]
Surprised by the question, I turned my whole body to face Morrelia.
[Ah, no. Why? Have you?] I asked incredulously.
Again that bone rattling growl!? What in the name of heck is it?
[I think we might be about to] Morrelia muttered.
Waaaait a second. That is the sound of GARRALOSH GROWLING?! I though it a freaking earth tremor or something! No way a monster can make that kind of noise?!
[Are you sure?!] I demanded.
She turned toward me.
[You want to find out?]
I barked out orders to Tiny and Crinis.
[We are getting out of here on the double! I want to take a few cuts of this prime Croc and then we skedaddle, stage left!]
Morrelia didn't bother to wait for us, turning to run as soon as she realised what we were doing and sprinting at top speed back down the trail we followed.
Tiny and Crinis leapt into action and I assisted in the rather disgusting task of Biomass butchery. The whole Croc was way too heavy for us to carry, but were we really willing to leave behind hundreds of Biomass points lying in the dirt?!
We may be stupid but at least we are stupid for greed!
[Cut like you mean it Crinis! We need to be out of here five minutes ago!] I bellowed.
[What's a minute?!] Crinis wailed.
[Just hurry up!]
In reality it only took two minutes for us to finish separating the two arms that Crinis had been working on during the fight and one of the legs which Tiny promptly picked up and we were out of there!
[Go! Go! Go dammit! Move those legs!] I roared at Tiny as he struggled to run whilst carrying his grisly cargo under his arms. Crinis collapsed onto my back the moment we were finished carving and retracted to her compact, travel sized sphere.
Dashing with all of our strength the trees became a blur as we raced as quickly as possible to put distance between us and the scene of the battle. The inside of my carapace was sweating bullets at the thought of big momma Garralosh rolling over the horizon and burning us all to death in an instant.
Horrible visions of six headed crocodiles with nine tails fill my mind and it isn't long before I'm focusing my attention on the horizon behind us, waiting to see if our doom approaches!
[Come on Tiny, run faster! Eat an arm or something, pick up the pace!]
Only too happy to oblige, Tiny continues to run whilst stuffing his face as we flee from the shadow of the mother of all crocodiles.