Air, sound, even light itself seems to drain away as the Gravity Bomb tears its way though the space between us. Even deep in her frenzy, Garralosh has enough awareness to know that the dark, rotating sphere screaming its way towards her face is bad news. Her claws dig into the ground as she attempts to shift her momentum. It’s an impossible task.
She’s too damn big, even with her high level skills assisting, she can’t possibly turn that ship around in time. The piercing wail of the Gravity Bomb drowns out all noise as it streaks towards the giant Croc and Garralosh barely manages to turn, getting her head out of the way, before the spell strikes her in the side.
Broken and leaking blood onto the floor, I watch the sphere slam into my foe and then expand. Like the eye of an angry god opening, the sphere flashes open in a split second and tears into reality. The sound is unbelievable. I’m sure that Garralosh is screaming, bellowing in pain, but I can’t hear any of it. The ground is being ripped into the air and sucked into the spell. The air is being dragged in from over a hundred metres away. The flow of air causes the wind to rise which cascades onward until a raging storm has arisen, the gravity bomb in the centre. The wind circles and shrieks, so quick I feel as if it could cut me. Particles of dirt caught in the storm stab at my wounds as I struggle to stay on the ground.
My legs are so damn weak!
My wounds have really piled up, and the healing isn’t coming through fast enough! I can feel my body trying to stitch itself back together, muscles knitting, carapace healing over, organs closing themselves. I need all the strength I can get to anchor myself to the ground. In desperation, I trigger my healing gland once more, a pathetic trickle of healing stimulant drains into my system. It’s not enough.
My muscles are crying out in pain. My minds, no longer distracted by the formation of the spell are hit full force with the severity of my wounds and I struggle to cope. To block it out I sink deep into the cold embrace of the meditation skill. The needs and wants of my body fade slightly and I watch my work unfold with a detached curiosity.
The Gravity Bomb is pitch black. Even the light around has grown dim, the edges of the sphere are almost impossible to make out. It’s hard to even see Garralosh, as she suffers the direct influence of the spell. It hangs in the air where it first expanded, motionless, whilst the rest of the world is destroyed around it.
With a snap that rings in my ears as it echoes from the distant trees the ground cracks and shifts. Directly beneath the miniature black hole I’ve created, the rock is being pulled upward. Great, jagged rents appear and extend in moments as Pangera, here in this place, begins to be pulled apart. Still the air is howling and descending in a twisting spiral. Dimly I’m aware that even the clouds overhead have begun to move, to turn as the winds reach even the atmosphere.
The pheromones barely register to my antennae before they are snatched away by the wind.
“Hold on, Senior! You aren’t going flying today!”
It’s Vibrant. She stuck close to me during this entire battle and even now she refuses to abandon me.
“Get out…” I wheeze, but she doesn’t seem to notice.
“Sorry about this, Senior!” She chirps, irrepressible even in these circumstances, then I feel her bite down on my carapace and dig her claws into the dirt. Just in time. I’m holding on with all my strength, but my legs … well… I don’t even have all of my legs at this stage, never mind the state of the ones I do have. As a matter of fact, just the two of us might not be enough.
The pull from the Gravity Bomb is ridiculously strong. What Garralosh is feeling, caught in the middle, I can hardly imagine. Bit by bit, my claws begin to lose their hold on the ground. It also doesn’t help that the ground around my feet is losing hold on itself, and is starting to break apart.
“Let go of me Vibrant!” I push out. “No point coming with me!”
“Nope-Nope!” Is all she says.
It feels as if the world is disappearing into that black sphere of death. Chunks of soil have begun to break off the eighth wall and fly through the air to vanish inside the ominous void. I hope the ants are safe! With a spasm, my claws give up the ghost, my muscles no longer able to sustain my grip. With a lurch I rise into the air only to be yanked back down to the ground by a force I can’t see.
What the heck was that?
I shift my body and catch a glimpse of a darker than dark patch of soil beneath me from which a small forest of black tentacles have emerged to wrap themselves around my waist.
Crinis! What timing! Please tell me Tiny isn’t going to come up here. I’m worried he might try and fight the Gravity Bomb if he were to see it.
Moments later I feel more chomps and bites on my extremities and carapace. Even as the insane drag of the spell tries to pull me into the air into its ever hungering maw, I feel more stable than ever. What’s happened?! I take a risk and shift myself a little and to my shock and horror I see a forest of ants behind me, each of them gripping onto each other and the ground as those closest have gripped onto me. They’ve formed living chains that emerge from tunnels in the ground dozens of metres away to bind me back down to the ground.
That’s insanely risky!
“You idiots!” I rage. Or at least, I attempt to rage. I don’t have the energy for anything like raging.
“We’ve got you, Senior!” I catch a message, from Leeroy of all ants.
“How the … heck are you … still alive?!” I squeeze out, but nobody can pick up my message, or they choose to ignore it.
Pinned to the ground by my colony I have little choice but to flop in place as the two competing forces seek to rend me in half. I do have the time to look out across the field of battle to see that no such aid has been rendered to Garralosh. Her children have fled, even now they run to seek shelter behind the seventh wall, dragging themselves away from the Gravity Bomb on all fours, or sixes, for those with the extra set of legs. Fear is written in every line of them, but not one seeks to defend their parent.
Suffering the horrific forces unleashed by my spell, Garralosh struggles alone. And struggle she does, for she isn’t dead. I’ve been paying close attention in the hopes that the gruff voice of our noble system wizard will resound in my ears, but no luck so far.
We stay like for far too long. I watch the Gravity Bomb devour and consume everything that it can until it eventually flickers and fade away. All at once the nightmare I unleashed is over. The howling wind, the circling clouds, the groaning earth. All of it fades away and the light returns once more.
Garralosh is alive. But only just. A full third of her body has been carved away, eaten by the void.
“Heal me, quick.” I say.
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