“Take that!” Leeroy roared as her mandibles tore down yet another foe.
The blood and mana within her body thrummed with excitement as the battle unfolded before her eyes. The ants were fighting, gloriously fighting! All along the wall the horde surged and pushed higher, bringing them within reach of the deadly jaws of the insects above.
“Hahahaha! Die for the colony!” she screamed as she tore into another creature.
Was she telling the enemy to die for the colony, or inviting herself and her siblings to do so? Even she wasn’t sure as the joy of battle overtook her senses. She’d put herself on the frontlines, obviously. As close to the action as she could get. She figured the others had assumed that she would do that from the start, so was it really a breach of trust if she followed through with that expectation?
Freed from concerns such as the grand strategy, self-preservation or any sense of the situation around her, Leeroy was able to embrace and indulge her burning desire: to fight! To put her life on the line in the service of her family! What was the point in preserving her life if she could spend it to save even a single one of her siblings? None! Joy soaring in her heart, Leeroy continued to lunge forward to a dangerous degree, teetering over the edge of the wall so she could reach more foes!
The nearby general assigned to this section of wall eyed the manic council member warily. She couldn’t help but sigh at the vagaries of fate. That her unit would be tasked with the mission of ensuring the safety of Leeroy, was not something that filled the ant with glee. She would do her duty, naturally, she just felt that, what with the apocalyptic battle the colony was facing, her job didn’t need to be made any harder.
“Step up the line” she bellowed.
Moving as one, the reserve soldiers pushed forward to support the ants on the edge of the wall. Some of them grabbed onto the legs of the ants in front, whilst others moved alongside them to help prevent them from being overwhelmed. It had only been a minute since the horde had made its first contact against the wall. Already the enemy was beginning to wash over the top of the wall. It was too soon. The colony needed to drag out the fight whilst minimising their losses.
They would need to hold at this wall as long as they could.
“Hold the wall!” she cried, “for the colony!”
“FOR THE COLONY!”
In complete silence the soldiers roared as one. Thousands of individuals moving in a coordinated unit they battled furiously at the edge of the wall.
Where the hell is our mage support? The general couldn’t help but worry as she watched her soldiers battle under the umbrella of her aura. How long were they planning to take? If this goes on much longer then we’ll start to lose soldiers.
Just at that moment the roar of flames erupted behind her. Long pillars of fire from the second wall roared into the sky. Like furious dragons they took flight before arching down. Searing heat and the crackling sound of flames assaulted the ants as the spells passed nearby, but it was upon the enemy the full force of the strike fell.
Ten metres past the edge of the wall, the fire impacted and spread. The fireball swelled and hundreds of monsters were engulfed in the blaze instantly. The fire mages had struck!
The smell of burning Biomass and the shrieks of monsters pierced the air. The monsters had piled themselves high against the earth wall and now that density came back to haunt them. Hundreds were roasted in an instant. The flames roared hot enough to singe Leeroy’s antennae as she continued to hang over the edge of the wall.
“That’s what you get!” She cackled at the monsters suffering beneath her, indifferent to their pain.
Any pity would have been needless in any case, as the monsters did not suffer for long. The horde still appeared endless and the monsters only pressed forward all the harder. Those who had fallen to the spell were consumed and only seconds later the enemy began to threaten the wall once again.
“A chomp for you! And a chomp for you! You dare face me? Feel the edge of my mandibles of wrath!”
Leeroy was driven to the peak of excitement by the carnage. Her eyes shone with such an intense fighting spirit, her enemies may well have been losing HP when they looked too closely. The clash of monsters! The colony fighting as one to repel the invaders! It was intoxicating.
The words of the Eldest rang in her ears.
No sacrifice without purpose. Preservation of life is the fundamental principle of a flourishing society. Leeroy had been drilled on these points many times, much more than her siblings, yet in the heat of the moment, even this was not enough to contain her boundless spirit of sacrifice!
As the large Soldier ant screamed and roared her defiance at the enemy, the nearby general began to notice a change come over the figure. It was almost as if she were vibrating with pure energy. The general sharpened her attention. It would be soon…
After chomping away one more foe, Leeroy could no longer contain herself. She shuffled back a few steps and paused for a single heartbeat to gather her strength.
“WITNESS ME!” She screamed as she scrambled forward a few steps and hurled herself off the wall.
In that one glorious moment, when her legs left the ground and her body began to sail into the air, Leeroy felt as if she could see her own future. She would fall amidst the enemy and fight with every fibre of her being. Like a burning flame consuming its fuel, she would flare bright and many monsters would fall before her. But eventually, she would be overcome. Torn apart by the enemy, she would pass away at the foot of the wall, selling her life in its defence.
But so great would be her sacrifice, so expensive would be her death, that she would turn the fate of the battle! Right here, she would save her family!
Alas, it wasn’t to be. After too short a time, Leeroy felt her legs seized by powerful mandibles and her forward momentum was seized.
“What?!” she cried, “let me go! It’s all part of the plan!”
The general sighed.
“It may be part of your plan, Elder, but I was instructed by general Sloan that we were to prevent you leaping off the wall as part of her plan.”
Damn you Sloan! Leeroy raged. I’ll get my chance yet!