Vibrant was elated. After hunting and working right up until the battle had begun, she'd been told that she and her squad should rest so they'd be able to fight at their best when it mattered the most. Naturally she'd refused. Rest?! REST?! Laughable! With so much action going on, how could anyone possibly think to rest!?
I mean, she'd hunted for food in the Dungeon, battled the endless waves of shadow beasts and creatures in wild conflict and then they'd dragged the Biomass back to the nest only to turn around and set out again once they'd gotten there. When they weren't doing that, they'd been out harassing the horde in an endless series of hit and run attacks that had them fighting on the razors edge of life and death for hours on end. And they'd been doing those things for aboooooout. Three days straight?
So maybe she'd needed a bit of a rest. Somewhat. When her healer had collapsed in the ground, six legs splayed in all directions and passed out, she'd been convinced. So the group had gathered together, watched over by a few diligent soldiers (who also had to miss out of the action, commiserations were had) and rested in the Dungeon.
She'd awoken a few hours later, recharged, refreshed and ready for action! She'd missed the start of the battle, but that was okay! She'd be able to make up for lost time if she fought fast enough!
"Gogogogogogogogogogogogogogogo!" She laughed and her squad followed behind her as they charged forward into the enemy at blinding speed.
Vibrant had made sure that the first things she maxed out were her speed aura gland and the mutations on her legs. The thrill of running as fast as she possibly could was intoxicating. The wind in her antennae! The confused look on a monsters face as she ran past them. So funny!
After following her for so long, her squad had become accustomed to living at a certain pace. She'd never asked them, but she assumed they enjoyed it just as much as she did.
"Get' em!" She hollered and they crashed into the ugly Croca-Beasts with a vengeance.
"Aha!" She cheered as her first visceral chomp crashed down on one of the monsters her Senior hated so much. She wasn't sure why the Senior hated them so much, but they sure did! Vibrant was only too happy to along with it.
Acid flew over their heads and rained down on the crocs in front of them. The massive beasts retaliated with tremendous gouts of flame that roared into the sky whilst others simply ignored it, they allowed the acid to fall upon their scales and continued to push forward to swipe and bite at any ant foolish enough to draw close.
The battle was a cacophony of sensation to Vibrant and her mind swam with it. The smells, sights and sounds battered into her brain until she was giddy.
Her followers, fifty of them now, dashed forward to support their leader as the she leapt into battle recklessly. Claws raked along her side, great lines were gouged into her carapace and one of her antennae was near bitten off in just moments but Vibrant continued to laugh and push forward.
Forward! Forward! Forward!
Vibrant didn't know any other way!
She grew tired of being stuck in one place in an instant. She didn't want to stand here and go back and forth with these stupid Crocs! She wanted to run! Unable to contain herself any longer, Vibrant dug her claws into the soft ground and punched her legs down. She accelerated in an instant, her six legs moved in a blinding rhythm that couldn't be seen as she shifted her large frame and blew past the crocodile before her.
"Slow-Slow!" She teased as raced away.
As her Senior had done in battle, she raced from fight to fight and aided her colony brethren in their struggles. The fight had been joined in earnest now and ants fought in large groups against the monsters that pressed towards their home. The Garralosh spawn had reached the frontlines and the risk towards the ants had become magnified by a hundred times. Stronger and less stupid than the mindless, starved zombie monsters of the horde, the Croca-Beasts were cunning and brutal in their tactics.
For the next five minutes, Vibrant was everywhere. She moved so quickly not even her own squad could keep up with her as she raced through the battle unimpeded. Her wounds piled up but she hardly noticed. This was exciting! So many powerful opponents in one place made her heart pound deep inside her thorax as their auras washed over the field.
She chomped a leg here, knocked a croc off balance there, she danced through the chaos whilst refusing to stay in one place and engage any one foe for too long. Large and highly evolved Crocs challenged her but she simply laughed in their faces and ran to another conflict.
Further back, Grant kept her eyes on the sky.
"I don't see any storm clouds brewing," she noted.
Mendant clacked irritably.
"Stay still while I'm healing you. If you're going to get yourself near cut in half then the least you could do is not move when I'm putting you back together!"
"Sorry, sister," Grant apologised.
She thought her sibling was being a touch overdramatic, she wasn't cut in half or anything like it! Whilst the healer continued to draw precious healing mana, augmented through her antennae and into Grant's body, the soldier once more contemplated the sky.
When and where was the Kaarmodo going to strike? The Queen had quickly felt the wrath of the powerful mage when she had first appeared but she'd been on the field for nearly ten minutes and not a single spell had been sent her way There had to be a reason. Had something changed?
"Do you have much mana sense?" Grant asked Mendant.
"Would you shut up and stay still if I answer this question?" The healer replied.
"Maybe," Grant hedged.
Mendant scoffed a little before she replied.
"Yes I do. The ambient mana is being sucked beyond the wall. We think that Garralosh is getting a top off before she comes out."
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"Stay STILL, you idiot!" Mendant flared.
Grant slumped to the ground in agony. The healer hadn't targeted her head with that strike but the wound instead.
"I thought you were supposed to heal injuries," the soldier grumbled.
"You running off and getting yourself killed doesn't help the colony. The Generals have been told. The second she shows up, the retreat to the final wall will occur. Until then we fight it out here."
"But what about the Queen?!"
"She isn't likely to listen to you, is she? The Eldest is going to be the only one who could get her to back off and hopefully they wake up soon."
So deep it almost couldn't be described as a sound the growl rumbled through the air and through the ground. Grant felt her carapace vibrate with the force of it.