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File 12558948514.jpg - (77.45KB , 800x559 , Ant Suspected 3.jpg )
66308 No. 66308 ID: d1210a

>>65931
>>65952
>>66147

KILLER QUEEN ponders the potential risks and benefits of acceding to the invader's proffered choice, and finds the possible gains too valuable to pass up.

"Then I will accept your proposal. Will you unbar the room so we can relocate to another chamber?"

Rather than directly responding to her, the invader does nothing itself, but the They Might Be Giants blocking the entryway move aside, and start heading towards the next chamber slowly along with the ant controlling them.

KILLER QUEEN has the remaining poisoned ants brought out to be given rest, clean air and food, while leading her own escorts towards the next chamber. As she does, Wings Of Destiny once more addresses her queen.

"U-u-um...."
"What is it?"
"I-I guess the visitor is moving? Um, does this mean we aren't fighting the They Might Be Giants?"
"Hopefully, it will not come to that."
"Oh, that's wonderful to know!"

It is a tense process, but KILLER QUEEN and the invader once more square off, this time in a new, more freshly aired chamber, the Fat Bottomed Girls on the ceiling diligently aging Pearl Jam.

"So. We have relocated, away from the effects of Purple Haze. Now tell me, why did my sister destroy your home, and how?"
"..............."
"We relocated as agreed, now hold up your end."
"......My home was once to the North East, the only ants in a violent and treacherous area. But we survived, by being discreet, staying out of the way and focus of the others living there. Some time ago, while the light did not shine in the sky, we met other ants in the area for the first time. We met Running Wild and some of her children, roaming about openly in the forest. Fearing for the safety of the only other ants we had seen, we informed her of the perils she faced by moving so openly, citing this as the very reason she was unable to detect us, as we were exercising understandable caution when meeting her. She was uncaring, and skeptical of our claims, even saying that, shrouded as we were, she would view our words of caution as a ploy against her, and demanded we reveal ourselves to lend weight to our claims. .....Not knowing of her intentions but still concerned for her safety, my home revealed itself to her. That is when we learned why a queen was wandering about with but a few children: They were raiders, that was all she needed.
They destroyed my home, feasted on my family, and raided our supplies, just Running Wild and a scant few of her children, things that went by the title Nostrum...... and one other. Blitzkrieg, her champion. It was because of Blitzkrieg that we could not escape our doom. Somehow, he..... I am not sure what talents he has, but somehow he prevented us from interfering with pheromone communication. And without that, we were left to die at the feet of Running Wild and her children. You and some of your children may be large, but Running Wild and all her progeny that came to our home dwarf you all, and every one of them is sapient, able to react creatively to problems. Against their strength, our numbers meant nothing. We couldn't even hurt them.
As to why...... I have spent a great deal of time looking for that answer. I traveled to the southwest, to the free ant ant nation, after hearing that a sister of Running Wild had shown up there, called Iron Maiden. I met with her, but she was uncaring of my plight, telling me nothing, and so I left, no closer to revenge or answers. But finally, I heard of a third daughter..... which led me to you. .....but if you will not help me, then I must look elsewhere."

The invader has gone silent and reflective after this lengthy excerpt, and seems to be waiting for a response.


How should KILLER QUEEN respond?
Expand all images
>>
No. 66336 ID: 6faa8c

Looks like it's time to expand the Kingdom of Cydonia, eh?
>>
No. 66346 ID: 1d375b

Ok if we ally with him against our sister we gain access to his powers and his greater knowledge of the area. If we eat him we may gain his powers but no information.

I am for working with him against our sister. If she is raiding and destroying other friendly ant colonies then I don't think she can be trusted. Also if we find out this guy lied to us we can always eat him later.
>>
No. 66525 ID: 632862

>>66308
I say we accept his deal. If somehow he dies from no fault of our own, we may be able to get his corpse anyway.
>>
No. 66672 ID: d1210a

>>66336
>>66346
>>66525


So. She would gain this ant's allegiance and service, and all it's talents and knowledge, all for the small price of killing her sister, who she didn't even know.

Hm. But that might set an ugly precedent with her other sisters, however many she may have. There's a good chance it might make relationships with them more difficult, depending on how this plays out.

....Hm. The Ant said that it hailed from the North East. The same place that some Flash went missing, and Metallica mentioned a dangerous place to the north, as did Burn Craze The Hellion. Perhaps this is related.

But hearing that another of her sisters resides in the ant collective to the southwest, presumably across the river, is troubling. Should her sisters be aligned in any format, an attack on Running Wild would likely result in at best being barred from the city, at worst at war against another of our sisters.

Not enough is known about the situation to be certain, but KILLER QUEEN initially feels confident the agreement is worth it. After all, Metallica had noted that a great bounty of rare foods could be found to the North East.


Should KILLER QUEEN agree to invader's deal, and accept it's lifelong service for agreeing to slay her sister Running Wild? (Warning, decision is final)
>>
No. 66674 ID: 9891a9

Sure, let's accept. If we feel differently later, like if we want to ally with our sisters, we can just turn traitor on our agreement.
>>
No. 66687 ID: 1d375b

The one thing we do not want is a reputation of treachery. If we make the deal we need to see it through. Now if this ant betrays us or lied about our sisters actions then we can turn on him.

If our sister is wandering around dangerous areas destroying harmless friendly ant colonies then we are probably better off without her. I say go for it.
>>
No. 66692 ID: ed8d8a

I say that we operate under the assumption that Running Wild started this conflict with an attack on our peaceful exploratory expedition, and with any luck the results (or lack thereof) of our followup expedition will confirm this threat. We are simply retaliating against a demonstrated aggressor.
>>
No. 66873 ID: d1210a

>>66674
>>66687
>>66692

....There is no reason to agonize over this decision, is there? KILLER QUEEN already knew she would accept this daring and determined ant's service, despite the threat against her. Besides, to test herself against a sister, to see if she really does have what it takes to carve out a grand empire with herself at the head, to do that, oh.... the very notion is delicious

It is settled then. Eventually, only one of them, KILLER QUEEN and Running Wild, will still exist.

"...Then I shall accept your service in return for aiding you in destroying my sister Running Wild. ....But if I find the facts to disagree with you, I will feast on your innards, little one."

The small red ant bows it's head, ignoring the threat at the end, before responding.

"...If you accept the deal, then I, last of the Crimson Glory, shall serve you, KILLER QUEEN, queen/ruler/god of the Empire of Cydonia. I care not when your sister's life is quenched, so long as it happens in due time."

Crimson Glory abruptly is much more easily smelled, and Wings Of Destiny/the Death On Six Legs seem hard pressed to decide which is more shocking: That from their perspective an ant appeared out of nowhere, or that the recently aggressive They Might Be Giants have returned to Idle in chamber 4, once again awaiting orders.

Funny. In all the communication and planning that just occurred, KILLER QUEEN had forgotten about how delicious Crimson Glory smells. ....And now that she checks, the compulsion to seek out the scent, in addition to it's strength, seems to be fading. Perhaps eating The Metal only effects the eater temporarily?

No matter. A useful ally was gained, and some rather juicy data was acquired.

!!NEW ALLY GAINED:!! Crimson Glory: Last of her kind, from an ant colony that specialized in pheromone manipulation, masking and interception, the ant possesses a special ability: Masquerade. This ability lets Crimson Glory interact with and alter/mask pheromones from any member of the superfamily Vespoidea! This means that ants, wasps and hornets can be targeted by the ability! (For further rules on this ability, either ask in discussion, or in game ask Crimson Glory directly)

!!NEW QUEST OBTAINED:!! 'The Wild Sister': KILLER QUEEN has agreed to eventually hunt down and eradicate her sister Running Wild and her progeny.

!!NEW QUEST OBTAINED:!! 'The Missing Link': KILLER QUEEN has become aware of other spawn of her mother in the area, as well as realizing that her memories of her mother and early life have faded.

!!SIDE QUEST COMPLETE:!! The Side Quest 'Strange Smells in Crescent' has been completed!


Please select a new focus of attention (decided by general consensus):

-The Wild Sister:
KILLER QUEEN has agreed to hunt down and kill her sister, Running Wild, in exchange for Crimson Glory's services.

-The Missing Link:
KILLER QUEEN has heard of another sister to the South West in a grand ant nation, as well as realizing that there are gaps in her memories! Learn more about your sisters, mother and past!

-Strings of Fate:
Take control of the forces at Carpathian Ridge (9 They Might Be Giants, 40 The Merciless, 1 Flash, 5 Death On Six Legs shortly arriving[2 are ordered to fertilize the Sisters]) and investigate the area coated in pale threads and bound forms that is encroaching on Def Leppard's Field.

-The Killing Field:
Control Toxic and her retinue (19 Death On Six Legs, 10 The Merciless) as they investigate the spider/wasp field.

-The Mandarinian Buzz:
Scars Of Yesterday and retinue meeting with Burn Craze The Hellion, representative of the Mandarinian Empire.

-Stranger in a Strange Land:
Manage the Growth in Stealin' (Repeatable)

-Business as Usual:
Issue orders via KILLER QUEEN to Cydonia as a whole.
>>
No. 66920 ID: 9891a9

Let's continue The Killing Field, Toxic needs some spotlight time.
>>
No. 66927 ID: 5d5878

My vote goes to Strings of Fate.
>>
No. 66982 ID: 7ef24d

Killing Field gets my vote.
>>
No. 67195 ID: d1210a
File 125602324675.jpg - (1.23MB , 2592x1944 , Pretend The Spider Is A Solpugid.jpg )
67195

>>66920
>>66982
SCENARIO CHOSEN:

THE KILLING FIELDS

I and my party, 19 Death On Six Legs and 10 The Merciless, are still under the cover of some foliage, and are working our way around two warring titans, a giant hairy orange spider with terrible fangs, and a massive blue wasp, it's golden wings beating furiously to keep it aloft as it fights. Previously, the spider had been stalking us and unresponsive to communication attempts. The fight seems close, and it is very likely that, should myself and my group jump into the fray, whichever side we aid will have a severe advantage. Conversely, we could ignore the struggle completely, and continue deeper into the field, towards the clearing in the middle where the smells of many creatures emanate. However, our force is small, and the majority of the observed creatures here can outweigh our entire force individually. Pragmatically, I must admit our force somewhat small for this situation.

....Of course, if Scars Of Yesterday were here, leading this force, that probably wouldn't be the case. ....Hm, I wonder when he gets back from his mission? I hope he's alright....... I mean, he is our mother/ruler/god's champion, and I am worried that she might be deprived of him.

Yes, that's it.



What should I do?
>>
No. 67202 ID: 6faa8c

>>67195
Retreat home and report.
>>
No. 67204 ID: 1d375b

Hard to tell without having any contact with either side but I don't like the idea of working with spiders. Wasps and ants pretty much ignore each other as far as I know. But spiders will usually prey on anything. So if we are going to help one side or another I would vote to help the wasps. Is not really looking before we leap but should make a good first impression.
>>
No. 67205 ID: 1d375b

Good idea the new guy might have some info on this conflict.
>>
No. 67219 ID: 28b933

>>67195
Kill the spider. Befriend the wasp.
>>
No. 67295 ID: d1210a

>>67202
No. I cannot return now, with nothing to show for this venture. I refuse to fail KILLER QUEEN so abysmally. Perhaps an early return could be more amenable after we have learned more about this place for KILLER QUEEN.

>>67204
>>67219
We may be under staffed for such a dangerous area, but what about if we align with some of the locals? After all, we came here with the intent to parlay with the wasps, and the first spider we met did seem to be stalking us with the intent to eat us.

Yes. We shall help the wasp fight against the spider, in the hopes of elliciting gratitude to better facilitate dialogue between our peoples. ....now that I think about it, this will be the first time I am ever in actual combat: It was only shortly after my birth that I became Toxic. Hm. Well, I hope to get through this with as few losses as possible, there is no telling right now what may be waiting for us deeper in the field.

"We shall aid the blue flier against the spider. Get ready."

I surprise myself by acting much more composed and sure of this course of action than I actually am, possibly because I am so terrified of what is to come that I can't even muster the energy to become alarmed or anxious: My mind is purely focused on how to survive making this decision.

The struggle is heated, and both combatants seem to be completely focused on each other. It may be possible to approach unnoticed. A few tentative steps elicit no observable response from the warriors.

....I don't really know anything about group tactics, this is my first time ever being responsible for the actions of others. I hope to come up with a plan of attack that won't get us all killed.


What should I do, and what orders about how to join the fight should I give to my guards?
>>
No. 67327 ID: 1d375b

Have your guards rush in on each side of the spider and attack the legs. Follow quickly behind and see if you can find a weak point to poison it.
>>
No. 67338 ID: d1210a
File 125607361268.jpg - (227.11KB , 1200x803 , Once Again Pretend Spider Is A Solpugid.jpg )
67338

>>67327
Of course, that sounds logical.

I divide my cohort into two groups of 5 The Merciless and 9 Death On Six Legs each, leaving the 19th Death On Six Legs with me as a personal bodyguard for this operation. Each sub-group is given orders to charge forward and attack the spider from the legs, a group to each side, on my command. Hopefully, they and the wasp shall occupy the creature enough I can poison it, although I wonder how effective my poison will be against such a massive foe.

I give the order to charge, and two small swarms of ants flow across the ground, dashing madly towards the struggling titans, intent on the spider. After they have made it halfway to the struggling goliaths, I set out along with my single bodyguard. Even now, I can see the tide of battle slowly shifting in favor of the wasp, the spider struggling as it splits it's attention between the wasp and us.

As I dash across the ground, my escort easily keeping pace with me, I see my forces slam into the warring giants, climbing quickly over the spider, madly biting anything they can reach while still avoiding that horrendous, fanged maw as it snaps at them.

Not all are so lucky to avoid the jaws. 2 The Merciless fall, and a Death On Six Legs barely escapes a brutal end at the cost of a leg. Still, they fight on, fearless, one and all, and the proud warriors, the Death On Six Legs, seem delighted to struggle against such a foe.

It seems the wasp was previously unaware of our presence. A quick blast of pheromones slithers throughout the area, carrying to all of us the thoughts of the wasp.

"Away, this is not your prey. If you try to take it, I will eat you all."

Hm. At least the creature is sapient. That bodes well. ....But if the spider is to be it's prey, I wonder whether it would still be a good idea to sting the creature, as my poison is still completely unknown, having never been used.

I am still a short distance away from the spider with my bodyguard.


What should I do/say?
>>
No. 67396 ID: 9891a9

>>67338
"We are not here to take your prey, merely to aid you in its capture, in hopes of gaining an ally in this strange land."
>>
No. 67416 ID: 1d375b

We wanted to make contact with the wasps here and this seemed like the best opportunity.
>>
No. 67431 ID: a1ac99

>>67338
"We are not here for your prey; we have more than enough food for ourselves as it is. We are attempting to find allies among the wasps and this opportunity presented itself."
>>
No. 67472 ID: 632862

>>67338
Tell it we're looking for information, not food.
>>
No. 67765 ID: ed8d8a

How about we actually back off like the wasp asked, THEN start talking.

>>67472
Tell it that. And that we meant only to ensure that the vile hulk did not emerge the victor.

Going straight in to "can we has allies?" sounds really weird, *especially* in the middle of a fight. Now is not the time for complicated, discussions.
>>
No. 67869 ID: 28b933

>>67338
Back off, then communicate that you were trying to help, not trying to steal the wasp's food. If it looks like its going to lose, close in again, as long as its safe.
>>
No. 67917 ID: d1210a
File 12561503048.jpg - (69.46KB , 504x337 , Wasp Wins.jpg )
67917

>>67765
>>67869
Hmm. Perhaps it would be easiest to simply leave the wasp alone for now, and only help more if the tides turn against it. I feel reasonably sure that, should I try to form alliances mid fight, that at least someone will get fatally distracted.

And so, I give the order to withdraw, at least a small distance, to wait. I order the remaining 8 The Merciless and 18 Death On Six Legs (one missing a leg) attacking the spider to pull back to my position, and let the wasp handle this.

The wasp clearly noticed my communication to my fellow ants and our acquiescence to it's proclaimed demand, but with it's lethal struggle, it can't devote much attention to the new turn of events.

Well, the spider, even without our continued interference, is now at a rather notable disadvantage. It may be fast and powerful, especially for it's size, but it lacks the durable shell that many creatures that size have, and as such, there are now a number of small rents in the creatures legs, making it's footing slippery as the fluids ooze down it's legs, and it's sprightliness diminished from the few heavy blows the wasp was able to give it while we distracted the spider.

And then the conflict ends. The wasp finally manages to bring it's stinger to bear, and stabs the creature, injecting it's own chemical agents into it. And the spider slows in it's struggles, growing disorganized and weak, until it finally stills. As the spider's legs curl up, the wasp is already hard at work manipulating the body, it's attention still focused on it's task. Or at least, so it appears.

"....I hope you don't think you can scavenge a meal out of this, I need the whole carcass, and will defend it."

>>67472
"We are looking for information, not food. Please, feel free to do as you wish with the body, we make no claim on it."

Finally, the wasp turns it's head away from it's kill, it's incredibly long antenna waving across the distance between us, sometimes ghosting a whisper of wind across us from their movements.

"....Not here for food? Information? .....You helped me, made the kill easier, what do you want to know?"

Already, the wasp turns it's attention back towards the spider, but an antenna stays riveted on our location, attentive to anything we may wish to discuss.

>>67396
>>67431
>>67416
"We wanted to make contact with the wasps here and this seemed like the best opportunity. We were sent her, to learn more of this land, from our colony, and in this land, where so many dwarf us, we hoped to find, if not an ally, at least someone who could help us learn more of the area. We helped ease the capture of your prey, perchance could you help us?"

The wasp continues to manipulate the spider's corpse, but nonetheless seems to be focused on us.

"Ask questions while I work. Answer what I can. See what happens when I finish with carcass."

Hm. Well, even if the wasp does not help us after we finish, we may learn something valuable, having met a non-imminently violent occupant of this field.


What should I ask?
>>
No. 67919 ID: 632862

>>67917
What is the nature of the conflict here?

Have you seen any other creatures aside from the spiders?

Any interesting food sources available?
>>
No. 67940 ID: d1210a

>>67919
There are many questions in need of answers. I shall see what I can learn from this one.

"What is the nature of the conflict here?"
"Conflict? We hunt, spiders hunt, that is all there is here. What conflict?"

...I suppose that makes sense. After all, food is of paramount importance, and for such large warriors, a great deal of food is likely needed.

"Have you seen any other creatures aside from the spiders?"
"Orange-Black fliers. Big fliers. Came in a large group. Talked with both sides. Left. Haven't come back. Other than that, only us and spiders."

Hm. Clearly a group race visited. ...Orange and black, why does that color combination sound familiar?

"Any interesting food sources available?"
"Food? Spiders are food to us, just as we are food to spiders. We need nothing else."

Hm. The scouts reported a few breeds of flowers here, if the occupants don't need them, we could potentially appropriate them for Cydonia.

The wasp is still working diligently on the spider carcass, I think I have some time to ask a few more questions, if I so chose.


What should I say/do?
>>
No. 68023 ID: a1ac99

>>67940
Orange and black is mandarinians, right?

Only thing I can think of is to ask if it knows what was said when they came and to ask if anything in the field needs the flowers.
>>
No. 68167 ID: d1210a
File 125618741963.jpg - (274.91KB , 1599x1200 , Wasp Remarking.jpg )
68167

>>68023
...Orange and black, those are the colors that were seen on the Mandarinian warriors. This bears further investigation.

"Those Orange and black fliers, what did they speak of when they came, and did they perchance identify themselves?"

The wasp, fastidiously flipping the spider this way and that as it feasts on choice morsels left on the husk, responds without stopping it's meal.

"Mandarinian Empire, yes. Spoke of glory and food to be had, in the forest East-North-East of here. A few took offer. I did not. I hunt, I kill alone, that is my way. Next of a threat, some colony to the West, that they fought against, and rewards to those that joined them, as much food as desired, and as many mates as could be desired. A few joined. Not many. War and hunting, too different for us. What point in killing not to feed your hunger, to feed your young? Lastly spoke of bounties, of rewards for the death of some beetles named Metal Thrashing Mad, Bob Marley, Metallica, SteppenWolf, and one more, warned most deadly: The Ace Of Spades. Other smaller prey were mentioned as wanted, I recall them not. Some of us know Metallica, a strong hunter, respected. No thoughts were offered on bounties. No other things were said. Need of flowers? The spiders need cover, and we airborne hunters need high points to call home. So long as that is unchanged, none should care. Will not stop spiders from hunting you while you crawl the ground."

The wasp seems to be finishing it's meal, and is picking at the carcass as it buzzes it's amber wings. It seems ready to leave soon.

I may be able to ask only a last couple questions, unless I can attract the wasps interest enough to prevent it's departure.


What should I say/do?
>>
No. 68177 ID: ed8d8a

Ask about center of the area, find out what the smell comes from.

I got nothing for keeping it interested though. Wasp seems content.

If we are thinking of setting up a colony here, maybe we could plan to assist the wasps with bringing down their prey in the areas where our gatherers work. Symbiotic relationship, they get less dangerous food, we get defense, rather than a formal alliance.
>>
No. 68190 ID: 6faa8c

>>68167
>Bounty for Metallica.

OH FUCK THIS SHIT IS PERSONAL.
>>
No. 68547 ID: d1210a
File 125623751033.jpg - (140.57KB , 1200x800 , Attentive Wasp.jpg )
68547

>>68177
Well, the flowers are certainly available for harvesting, but if any gatherers would have to be protected from the spiders, then any base set up here would need an overwhelming military force to protect the harvesting Fat Bottomed Girls.

Of course, if the wasps could be persuaded to fight alongside us, to protect us in exchange for easier meals, the amount of warriors needed here would drop drastically.

"The smells from the center of this field, where the clearing with all the scents wafting from it is, what make those smells, what can we expect to find in the clearing?"

"W.A.S.P. controls field. Works to domesticate spiders, to have a reliable food source. Work is respected, many approve and assist. Then we could hunt anything we desired, not just spiders here. Many want new prey, but we need too much food to range far now. Other spiders come to free their captured brethren, field is always contested. But W.A.S.P.'s work continues."

It seems the gargantuan flier is finished with the spider's husk, and after lazily toying with it for a brief time, starts to experimentally buzz it's wings, checking for rents from the recent scuffle.

>>68190
"A bounty on Metallica? Well, that makes sense, he does hunt Mandarinian Warriors on occasion," I muse aloud, thinking what Scars would think of this revelation. ....Hehe, he would probably think he has to get a bounty too to keep up with Metallica.

The wasp ceases testing and inspecting it's wings, and turns to face our group once more.

"You know Metallica?"

...Well, it seems I have attracted the wasps attention, inadvertently or no.


What should I say/do?
>>
No. 68741 ID: a1ac99

>>68547
"He has been to our colony twice before. Once as one of a pair of recruiters, attempting to get us to join The Collective and again when he brought back our champion, Scars of Yesterday, from his ambassadorial mission to them. He has quite the appetite and a... loud and boisterous personality, to say the very least."
>>
No. 68758 ID: d1210a

>>68741
"He has been to our colony twice before. Once as one of a pair of recruiters, attempting to get us to join The Collective and again when he brought back our champion, Scars of Yesterday, from his ambassadorial mission to them. He has quite the appetite and a... loud and boisterous personality, to say the very least."

For the first time since the conversation began, the wasp exudes a benign scent of genuine amusement.

"You have met Metallica. Can afford to be eccentric, with his strength. Saved my life, when I was a still a youngling. I owe him much. You from the ant nation to the south, Brocas Helm? Been very active lately. ....I know not your names, friends of Metallica, my title is Angel Witch."

Hm. It seems Angel witch is now very much so willing to get into a friendly talk with us. There is much I could learn from this veteran hunter of considerable strength, if only I could figure out the right questions.


What should I say/do?
>>
No. 68797 ID: ed8d8a

Tell it your name, your entourage is known by more general titles. We are unfamiliar with a colony called Brocas Helm. Our home is Crescent, to the east. (right? Toxic was away for the QUEEN's last pronouncement, so he doesn't know about the Cydonia name.) Any more detail we could gather about another group of ants would be valuable back home.

Ask more about Metallica's activities here. It seems to be a subject the wasp is interested in, and that this individual has a positive opinion of Metallica means they are probably more friendly than Def Leppard's crew.
Man that beetle gets around.
>>
No. 68813 ID: d1210a

>>68797
(Reminder: All ants but Death On Six Legs and Scars Of Yesterday are female (most of them are incapable of reproduction, but still), thusly Toxic is a girl. Your assertion of what Toxic would know, however, is correct.)

If Angel Witch wishes to spend more time conversing with us, I will not object. I address the mighty wasp, hundreds of times my size, as she idly cleans her antenna.

"Brocas Helm? No, we are not from such a place. I am Toxic, the larger ants with me are Death On Six Legs, and the others The Merciless. We come from a colony called Crescent, to the east. What is this place you speak of, Brocas Helm?"

"The west? Well, the stream to the south, it splits. Island in the middle, that's Brocas Helm. Used to have infighting problems. New ruler took over, established competitions, tournaments, got ants to do that instead. Infighting lessened, but not gone."

Now this sounds like something KILLER QUEEN would be interested in learning. A nation comprised of ants, relatively near our home? Too good to pass up. I shall keep Angel Witch talking, in the hopes more vital tidbits can be gleaned.

"So, what kind of things has Metallica been getting up to around here?"

"You know him. Eating, fighting, bothering others, doing as he pleases. But he eats what he hunts, so most accept him. ....W.A.S.P. does not like him much, though. It is sad. Used to be good friends."

The pleased scents start to fade and be replaced with regretful, resigned tones of somber memories.

Ah.... I seem to have veered away from her preferred topics. Hm, it was going so well too.


What should I say/do?
>>
No. 69055 ID: 427807

>>68813
Try and follow this dialogue chain: There should be a decent reason for this animosity W.A.S.P. is supposed to have.

....Also, should we even continue? Once Angel Witch leaves, we go back to being outclassed, and just one spider getting the drop on us could fuck us up. Maybe we should come back after amassing some more power, or send reinforcements to Toxic.
>>
No. 69290 ID: ed8d8a

>>69055
Could ask Angel Wings for an escort, if it comes to that. We have certainly gained information here, but the investigation is far from complete. If we leave now, we will only have to send another party to investigate later.
>>
No. 69291 ID: d1210a
File 125644877388.jpg - (254.38KB , 800x1200 , The Psycho Mantis Dynasty.jpg )
69291

>>69055
"What reason is there for W.A.S.P. to hold dislike towards Metallica?"

Angel Witch stares silently over our heads, brooding in deliberation, before answering.

"Long ago, several ages past, before Mandarinian Empire, was Psycho Mantis Dynasty. Just spread, killing, feasting, piles dead in wake. No collective, no nation to stop them. So they spread, always destroying. We kept them clear of field, did not care beyond that.

Then friend, fellow hunter Metallica came to us, asking aid. W.A.S.P., long comrade/rival to Metallica, led many to his side, to repulse invaders. Fought to keep lands safe, free, so that we need not live in the Psycho Mantis Dynasty's shadow.

But the Dynasty.... was strong. Too strong, to fight so many, with so few. ....You must understand, the terrors that were part of the Dynasty."

And here is where Angel Witch ceases communicating her direct, bold thoughts, and instead..... I must say I am most surprised. This gruff hunter weaves her pheromones together to form an artful depiction of a creature.... oh.... oh, no... what terrible horror is this abomination!? It's towering form, it's long, swift legs, it's piercing, hungry gaze..... but more than anything else..... the front legs, held upright. Those machines of madness, no longer limbs, but titanic, serrated fangs, to cut, slice, and carve their prey before ever taking a bite. And that scent.... no interest in communication, no care for others: Just hunger, more and more hunger, not even to feed, but to carve and cut and slice.

"......Metallica and W.A.S.P., of 30 comrades of W.A.S.P. and/or Metallica, were the only survivors of the attempt. ....And the Dynasty persisted, spreading faster. ....W.A.S.P. blames what followed, and death of comrade hunters, on Metallica. The rest from then hold no grudge, accept that hunters made choice, that Metallica not at fault. ...But the greatest hunter of this field still holds grudge, against friend Metallica. .....Is sad."

It is clear to me that Angel Witch truly feels sorrow at this break. Likely, she is close with W.A.S.P. as well as thinking highly of Metallica, and this schism causes her grief.

...The tale told so far, and the image of that towering monster, makes it even more apparent how outclassed we are here. By now we have learned a great deal, and other than attempting to make our way to the middle of the field to harvest samples of the flowers to bring back with us, the only other thing we could attempt with what is available to us is to somehow help W.A.S.P. and the other hunters domesticate spiders, but I question how much help we could be.

....Although, I must admit that I can not help but notice that, should I somehow get Metallica and W.A.S.P. reconciled, I would not only gain gratitude from both, but I would also please Angel Witch. I can think of a great many reasons that pleasing three titans could be beneficial to our glorious mother/god.


What should I say/do? Alternatively, should I head back to Crescent?
>>
No. 69488 ID: ed8d8a

>>69291
Express displeasure and sympathy at the pointless conflict, offer minor, nonspecific help to reconcile the two parties. Ask if Angel Witch would be willing to escort you to W.A.S.P. and ask to speak with this one still-bitter hunter.
>>
No. 69655 ID: d1210a
File 125653323543.jpg - (130.87KB , 500x378 , Angel Witch Walking.jpg )
69655

>>69488
More must be learned, of this rift between the warrior Metallica and the hunter W.A.S.P.. Too many things of benefit at stake to ignore the topic, the possibility of rekindling an old friendship. For now, that begins with gaining transit to W.A.S.P. in the center of the field, and with her incredible stature, Angel Witch could likely be a potent guardian and companion on the journey.

"Would you be willing to lead us to W.A.S.P., so that we may speak with them, and perhaps learn if our hive might be able to help eachother."
"...If Metallica not killed you yet, you trustworthy. Fine, little ones, I shall lead you there, to our home."

And without further comment or pause, Angel Witch turns and begins marching with a grand, weighty gait deeper into the field. Lacking alternatives, I lead my group to follow her. As we travel, I wait patiently, should Angel Witch wish to voice any thoughts, but the blunt hunter remains silent. Finally, to pass the time and perhaps learn more, I start to speculate, upon the situation between Metallica and W.A.S.P., so far as I know it.

"It is sad, that two old comrades should be so set apart. ....Now that I think upon it, I have spoken with Metallica to some considerable extent, and I must say, he strikes me as the type to welcome an old friend back warmly; Indeed, if W.A.S.P. were willing, I imagine he would love to rekindle their old comraderie. Do you suppose it possible that W.A.S.P. might do the same, be able to let past grievances go and once more share company with their old rival and acquiatance, Metallica?"

Angel Witch twitches her head two and frow, her antenna swinging lightly through the air.

"Thoughts, honeyed thoughts.... Metallica has travelled with others before, with thoughts like this. Envoy, Emissary, Diplomat, different titles. All think twisty, tricky. Can make others do things, with honeyed thoughts. Do you claim to be one, to speak with W.A.S.P. about Metallica?"

Angel Witch has a speculative gleam to her eyes, her mandibles working as she focuses intently on me.

....A diplomat? One whose role is to use thoughts, persuasion and finesse to be of use? ...I do admit, I did have some decent success with Def Leppard, but the comparison between the potentially mentally.....limited Def Leppard and the ancient, apparantly charismatic W.A.S.P. is something of a stretch, especially since my successed with Def Leppard were partly due to threat, which I doubt would work on these titans. Besides, the intensity with which Angel Witch is concentrating on me leads me to believe failure to succeed, should I attempt this, might be viewed disfavorably.

.....On the other hand, I am in all honesty less combat capable than most of my escorts, and my only trick, my poison stinger, hasn't ever been used. And the rewards should I succeed could be great. Hmm.....


Should I claim to be a diplomat/deft communicator and meet with W.A.S.P. under that guise, where my words will carry more weight and be taken more seriously, or should I deny the title, and meet with W.A.S.P. in as complete of safety as I could ever hope to get?
>>
No. 69671 ID: ed8d8a

At the moment you are a scout, not a diplomat. Your job is primarily to meet others openly, not twist thoughts and honey ideas. You compare their needs and abilities with your own, to see what relationship should exist between. If what this situation needs is a mediator, you may have the abilities required. Tell her Metallica's straight-forward mindset and tactless approach is intentionally paired with the most articulate, eloquent insects they can find, to provide balance. You walk the path between those extremes.

Plus Metallica is a cool guy, and we don't like the idea that folks are mad at him for a silly reason.
>>
No. 69722 ID: fb1d95

>>69671
Along that same line of thinking regarding being a scout, it may be a good idea to send an ant or two back to report the situation. We don't have any Flash with us (to my knowledge) but Intelligence has increased enough to relay what's happening. With Angel Witch as an escort, we don't need as large a group anyway.
>>
No. 69727 ID: d1210a
File 125658405016.jpg - (27.39KB , 591x471 , Toxic Contemplating Choices.jpg )
69727

>>69671
....No matter what successes or capabilities I may or may not have at persuasion are largely irrelevant. KILLER QUEEN sent me here as a scout, and that is all I am. Certainly, if I see the option to alleviate this tension between Metallica and W.A.S.P., I may decide to pursue it, but I will not claim to be something I am not.

"...I am not like those small, deftly-communicating individuals who can be seen with Metallica at times, nor am I like Metallica, blunt and disinterested in semantics or formality. I occupy a middle ground, and on occasion perform functions similar to a diplomat, but by no means is that my exclusive purpose."

Angel Witch takes a moment to absorb my self-description, before inclining her head.

"...I understand, I think. Not specialist, but still knowledgeable in craft, yes?"
"More or less, that is correct."

Once more our escort begins lumbering along, not bothering to respond to my last comment. I look forward, and vaguely perceive a clearing with a great deal of activity some distance forward. Looking back, I see a relatively wide path that we took to our current location from the edge of the field. This point here may be the last point we could safely turn back without need of an escort.

>>69722
Much has been learned, but even more awaits. Taking into account the dangers of this area, it might be wise to send at least a few of my force back to Crescent, with all of our current findings. ....It is regrettable we lack winged ants, to carry such news faster, for the ground route will take 1.5 hours to traverse. Still, with the 19 Death On Six Legs and 8 The Merciless with me, a number of possible groups could be sent back to Crescent with news.


What/if any ants should be sent back to Crescent with all we have learned so far? And should I continue onward to meet W.A.S.P., or should I turn back while I can?
>>
No. 69729 ID: e0845d

>>69727
Send back 2 Merciless and 4 D6Ls, with firm orders to prioritize getting back to Crescent with this news over everything else - hide rather than fight if need be, et cetera.

And don't turn back. We've come this far already. And to be honest, we're very outclassed here in terms of combat capability - whether we have a few more ants with us one way or another won't matter much.
>>
No. 69752 ID: d1210a
File 125659964826.jpg - (98.17KB , 500x500 , W_A_S_P_.jpg )
69752

>>69729
I order two The Merciless and 4 Death On Six Legs (one of them the wounded one) to make their way back to Crescent, avoiding conflict in favor of a safer return. At the very least, what we have learned so far must be brought back to KILLER QUEEN. The six ants depart swiftly, alert to their surroundings as they speed away.

As for the rest of us.... we shall move forward. I continue following Angel Witch, as she leads us through a dense bit of bush, where I feel certain I can feel eyes watching us, to the building crescendo of scents and noise in the clearing before us. And with a final leaf surpassed, we see it!

A great valley, as if some impossibly huge monster had simply ripped a titanic jaw full of soil out. The walls are steep, and in many places, look slick. within the basin are a great many flowers, but their leaves, massive, willowy things, are in many cases bundled up into great mounds. Giant wasps dot the landscape before me, darting about, and some patrol sections of the great hole's edge, keeping an eye on the few sections of walls that can be climbed. I see spiders as well, down below, and while some are fighting viciously against the wasps, others seem cowed to some extent or other. I see a spider led to an unfurled leaf, and patiently sit inside with a bundle of food as the leaf is woven around them into a personal cell, a cage in the sky, grafted to the stalk of a fragrant flower. I realize then that there most be dozens, scores of spiders here, wrapped up in leaves. The dense forest of flowers is now put in the perspective of having enormous, powerful beasts, only moments away from any would be feeder.

.....Well, good thing I am not a Fat Bottomed Girl, then.

I follow Angel witch down one of the few paths for the earthbound, and in short order we stand at a small patch of completely bare earth, where wasps fly again and again, to and from the clearing. A plethora of pheromone messages wash over me, and I stand beside Angel Witch while she waits, observing the shifting crowd.

After some time passes, enough for three more spiders to be wound into little cages with their meals with only one resisting, no more new arrivals come to the clearing. Slowly, systematically, the remaining wasps start leaving, until only one wasp remains.

Golden hued, with iridescent sapphire wings folded about it in a stately fashion, the wasp bears many pale scratches on it's form, but care has been paid, and nonetheless the wasp's carapace glows in pristine cleanliness. And it's lengthy, sophisticated antenna are rolled in upon themselves, coiled close to it's head. The regal creature addresses us without turning to see us.

"Who are these that you bring with you, Angel Witch?" The golden giant questions, it's antenna unfurling for a moment before getting coiled tightly once more.
"Travelers, from East. Helped in hunt, made no claim on food. Wished to meet you."

W.A.S.P. finally turns it's gaze upon us, and an odor of consternation emanates from it.

"Must you communicate so brusquely? No civility, even when bringing your would-be rescuers before your mother?"
"....."

Does Angel Witch smell.... petulant?

In any case, the break in dialogue is soon mended, as W.A.S.P. turns to face us. She smells somewhat exasperated for a moment before once more smelling calm and composed.

"So, little ones, who are you, and what is it that you came here for?"

Angel Witch seems unwilling to explain us to her mother. Indeed, I see her start walking away.


What should I say/do?
>>
No. 69797 ID: ed8d8a

Well um.. I guess just rehash the introductions again. We are from colony to west, yadda yadda, looking to make contact with our neighbors. Ask about the area, and what they are doing here.
Why do some spiders fight, but others cooperate? Don't they know what their fate is? What does W.A.S.P. stand for? don't acronyms require written language?


Be on the lookout for chances to work "the beetle named Metallica told us..." or similar phrases into conversation. That story is maybe not a subject to bring up out of the blue, so we may need to manufacture a segue.
>>
No. 69849 ID: d1210a

>>69797
Well, with Angel Witch having seemingly abandoned us, I have no choice but to summarize our existence before W.A.S.P. ....For a brief moment, wild thoughts of inscribing communication into something tangible, more permanent, so messages can endure long past the winds have blown away any scent. Then I realize that W.A.S.P. is still waiting for my response, and put the thoughts aside to focus on communication.

"Greetings, I am Toxic, the larger ants with me are Death On Six Legs, the smaller The Merciless, and we hail from a colony to the East of here, near the border of Mandarinian Empire land. I was tasked by my queen/mother to investigate this particular sector of our surroundings. After arriving, we encountered an orange and beige spider of considerable size, who your daughter then assaulted. Deeming the spider unwilling to communicate, and based on hostilities it had displayed prior to Angel Witch engaging it, I determined that it would be appropriate to offer assistance to her. Thereafter, once the spider was slain, introductions were made, and eventually the topic came to how there are efforts being made to domesticate the spiders, to achieve a better quality of living, and wished to help, if there was some means to do so."
"My, what considerate neighbors. And what do you want, in exchange for your help, if indeed you can be of any help at all, considering your stature relative to the majority of inhabitants of this field?"

....Well, I don't detect the scent of aggression, hostility or dislike. There is that. Nonetheless, it seems my estimation was correct, W.A.S.P. is a much more capable leader than Def Leppard, who was cowed by the thoughts of a few ants. Still, she doesn't seem to view such an exchange of services for a reward as being a bad thing, so I see no reason not to answer.

"...It is true, we are outclassed here in many ways, but nonetheless, you are one of few neighbors to not prove hostile, and fostering new relations with such a neighbor is in the best interest of the colony."

W.A.S.P. smells faintly amused, as she uncoils an antenna to tap me on the forehead before she replies.

"So pragmatic, so concerned with the good of the whole, not just the individual. If I could lay claim to a command structure like that.... well, I imagine we already would be eating better. You want to help? I can think of two things you could do. One is minor, one is major. The minor concern is getting a more varied diet represented among the spiders held here, and smaller spiders are notably absent from the food supply, thanks to generations of learning to hide from us. You, however, they will perceive no reason to hide from. Any specimens you bring back to us alive would be greatly appreciated. But to be maximally useful, they have to be alive, corpses only can serve as individual meals, and are valued much less."
"And the major assistance you need?"
"A similar problem: We have a modestly sized stock now, but as it is, not enough are breeding, primarily because they spent at least part of their lives free, and resist captivity. Any collections of spider eggs or young would be immensely useful for rendering this plan self-sustainable, as they could be raised accustomed to a life as cattle."

!!NEW QUEST OBTAINED:!! 'The Little Things'. W.A.S.P. has expressed a desire for any small spiders that can be brought before her, but prefers the spiders alive.

!!NEW QUEST OBTAINED:!! 'Children Of The Future'. W.A.S.P. desires spider eggs and/or young, to raise in captivity to make more docile, more easily controlled cattle.

Hm. Relatively open ended tasks, but nonetheless, dangerous ones. And W.A.S.P. did ask what I (and the colony I represent) would want in return...

I could not fit Metallica into the conversation this time around. A shame, but perhaps more specific plans of how to broach the topic would be more successful.


What should I ask for as compensation for the minor, repeatable task of capturing small spiders, and what should I ask for as compensation should I find any spider eggs/young?
>>
No. 69884 ID: 782100

>>69849
You're a scout. Get what you came for, information.
>>
No. 69967 ID: ed8d8a

We still want to sample the local flora. From the sound of things, the wasps and spiders do not have much use for the flowers, so they may let us have access to them for little or nothing.
A share of the spider food would be a nice reward if we can come up with some eggs or young for them to raise.

...what are they feeding these spiders anyway?
>>
No. 70020 ID: d1210a
File 125670825066.jpg - (19.32KB , 400x366 , W_A_S_P_ Offering A Deal.jpg )
70020

>>69884

Knowledge, it is knowledge, information, that KILLER QUEEN sent me here for, what she most needs. Does she desire to farm the flowers? Establish a base? Form an alliance? Go to war? There are many things she could plan, and few prizes are so universally useful as knowledge.

"Perhaps information could be exchanged, for smaller spiders. There is still much of the land around us that is unknown, to us and our colony."
The mammoth creature before me, her burnished form gleaming in the sun, buzzes her wings, flecking off some scant pieces of dust as she replies.
"Knowledge? That can be either a cheap or dear price, depending on the knowledge. Do you trust me to bestow upon you appropriate compensation for your efforts, or do you wish to construct some elaborate and likely unnecessarily complicated scaled reward model to assure yourself you get a fair trade?"

.....Something was meant, by that obviously rhetorical question, but I feel it escaped me. .....Having only a few hours of life experience can cause something of a disconnect, when relating to someone who is supposed to have been alive for ages. .....Ages, I wonder what length of time that is, relative to what I can conceive, such as an hour or minute, and how such as W.A.S.P. and Metallica can be so ancient.

>>69967
Moving on.
"As for the capture and return of any spider eggs or young for domestication, what do you say to a share of the cattle, the spider's themselves, when they are harvested?"
"A simple, and fair exchange, but only in the presence of numbers. Self-sustainable does not mean limitless. Have a care, that if this is the prize you seek, I will deem how much food is allocated to you and yours, not you. So if your hive is particularly numerous, don't expect the food to be plentiful. Nonetheless, you will most certainly be compensated appropriately, have no fear of getting a bad deal. ..Or do worry about it, if you so choose."

Hmm. proposed exchanges are on the table now. Perhaps it would be appropriate to ask some further questions.

"Would you mind if, prior to returning to our colony, we take some samples of the flower heads of those plants which you use to cage the spiders? We are omnivores, and any new potential food source is worthy of investigation."
"....I see no reason why you cannot, little Toxic. Your bodies, so light and small, should pose no risk of inadvertently disturbing the construction of any of the cages. And it is the least I could do, to properly thank you for aiding my daughter, whether she thought it necessary or no."

Simple enough to do. Perhaps more could be learned..... the spiders, for example. What do they eat, that is worth feeding to those caged creatures?

"....If you don't mind, I am curious as to what you feed the spiders you house here."
"Anything we can't eat, really. Compared to us, the spiders can process a greatly expanded range of potential nutrient sources, so anything we can't eat, but a spider can, is harvested, and fed to them. They can consume several types of tubers that grow in great abundance beneath the ground here. although they are somewhat difficult to extract from the earth. .....And now, little Toxic, I think you have diverted enough. A deal was proposed, and I would here your response: Will you accept what I offer, or do you wish to renegotiate?"

....While she is being cordial, and I have little reason to doubt she will be fair in trading, I nonetheless feel somewhat apprehensive, about the thought of turning her offered reward scheme down. I wonder if it is something sinister, some ominous undertone to W.A.S.P., or if it simply the weight of her presence. I do admit, the longer that she focuses so intently on me, the more uncomfortable I feel.


Should I accept the deal, renegotiate, attempt to divert to another topic, or say/do something else?
>>
No. 70024 ID: 6faa8c

>>70020
Diverting further would be quite rude, and renegotiating might be outside of our intellect...
>>
No. 70025 ID: ed8d8a

Wait wait wait what? Underground food suitable for spiders? Trouble digging you say? Well have we got an offer for you. Anything else WASP has that might be worth an excavation service?
Otherwise, that sounds like a perfect excuse to get permission to start a full colony here.
>>
No. 70028 ID: d1210a

>>70024
...Perhaps I should just gi->>70025-wait, did she say excavation problems? ...DIGGING problems? Well, that might just present an alternative response.

"W.A.S.P., before I can answer you about your proposal, I have another matter which might interest you I wish to broach."
"A final diversion? Very well, by all means, present that which you think worthy."
"Our ruler/god, KILLER QUEEN, has several strains of progeny, but the oldest, the one most improved over time, is the Fat Bottomed Girl strain. They are quite adept at soil manipulation, able to handle mud, dirt, compacted clay, sand, pretty much anything bar solid rock. I imagine KILLER QUEEN would be most pleased to help you farm tubers to feed to the cattle, if you would let her children have a home while they work."
"An interesting claim, and one of direct importance. Am I to assume that in addition to designating a place where you and yours can call home while they supplement our efforts to harvest tubers, you desire to harvest the flowers, should they prove edible to you?"
"Well, yes. You admitted to not having a use for them, and we have learned how to avoid over-harvesting: no harm would come to the plants."
"True enough, and small price to pay, for the gain. But who do you expect to protect this as of yet hypothetical base, where your workers will call home hear? Will you ask for extra space, to place military force on our land? Or do you plan to ask us for our protection? After all, even here in the basin, spider assaults occur periodically, and can be exceptionally bloody."


How should I respond? Other than asking for permission to host a military force on their land or asking for their protection, I am unsure what else I could proffer forth.
>>
No. 70032 ID: 37a48f

>>70028
Might now be a good time to bring up Metallica? This particular poster doesn't have any brilliant ideas for how to put it forth, but offering our services for bridging that particular gap could be good all around. Maybe ask for protection, and hint that we might be able to do something very good for her in the near future if she's willing to grant us this for now?

(Hopefully she'd be amused enough to say 'okay.' It's not like protecting this area is anything particularly different than what they do anyways.)

Thinking out loud for how to pursue this particular snippet...

If W.A.S.P. blames Metallica for this situation, what's the best way to get things worked out? It may have to wait for the next time we see Metallica, but getting his perspective on what happened would be good. While we're here - and you can consider this a suggestion also - we could bring it up to W.A.S.P. after we get agreement on everything else, just as an aside. "Angel Witch mentioned one by the name of Metallica - what was that about?" We're not outright saying we don't know him, but we're inviting her to at least indicate how she currently feels about it.
>>
No. 70052 ID: ed8d8a

We have demonstrated that our fighting strength, while meager compared to the WASPs, is still enough to turn the tide of a close battle. Offer to have our troops support defense of the basin here.
>>
No. 70061 ID: d1210a

>>70032
>>70052
"If we were allowed to set up a military base here, it would not have the exclusive purpose of aiding only our own: As our hosts, it would be our duty to do what we can to assist you in the repulsion of excursions by the spiders, if you would take us. It may not be all that much, but we will do what we can, should you allow such a military and harvesting base combination on your land."
"So, in exchange for us hosting you on our land, not just as harvesters but with your own military base, you would assist us in excavation of tubers, defend yourselves rather than relying on us, and come to our aid during raids by the spiders? And what if you cannot eat the flowers, and have not found spider eggs/young? What if you do not have a food source here?"
"Well, we are fairly capable of consuming a wide variety of foods, flora and fauna alike. Besides, our Fat Bottomed Girls can convert most potential foods, regardless of quality, into a potent nutrient gel called Pearl Jam. It's actually quite tasty, even a beetle with a penchant for honey favors Pearl Jam."

The genial air around W.A.S.P. withdraws, and a somber tone drifts over the area.

".....Now I see why my daughter, so quiet, disinterested in others, would bring you before me. The beetle you speak of, it is Metallica, is it not? Unless you speak of some other member of The Beatles with a penchant for honey."

Ah. I had hoped I could make a subtle shift of topic and broach the subject carefully, but apparently not. Well, little use worrying about it now; she still seems willing to communicate, so I will press on.

...The Beatles?

"...It is true, I speak of Metallica, a friend of our colony in general, and our champion in particular."
"I will not deny that the lummox can, in his own strange way, be a good friend. But.... I lost almost all of my family that day, when he asked us to follow him. He sounded so sure, so confident that we could win. And now, all I have left of my line, is my daughter, Angel Witch, and I count it a blessing that she is still alive. And that, the loss of my family, the loss of friends, that is what I grieve. But Metallica.... in his usually blunt manner, tried to make me forget them, to keep on fighting. And that disregard, for those who fell, those who followed him, that is what I cannot forgive him for. If he had shown any sympathy, any pain at the loss of those he knew, who followed him, if I knew that he actually regrets what happened.... But he does not! He still believes it to have been the right thing to do! For what?! The Psycho Mantis Dynasty was not stopped, not even slowed! All we did was fall before them, and he thinks it a success!"
W.A.S.P. slowly lowers her head for a brief moment, composing herself, before continuing.
"....You shall have your permission to host a harvesting/military base here. You seem to be earnest neighbors, and I see no reason we can not help each-other. But know this...."

W.A.S.P. leans in very close to me, and I feel that weight, that pressure from her attention slowly flatten me to the ground. I struggle to rise but can't, only able to barely breathe.

"I will not tolerate that one's name in my presence. Do you understand me!?"

I weakly irk out an affirmative scent, and just as she pulls back, her gaze's pressure abating, I catch a faint odor in the air, a smell of regret..... loneliness?

!!NEW QUEST OBTAINED:!! 'A Heart Of Metal' W.A.S.P. has revealed her core reason for holding such a grudge against Metallica, in the form of his lack of sorrow over those dead, and not feeling the conflict against the Psycho Mantis Dynasty was pointless.

Well, I have permission for a comprehensive base, and there is a standing offer on the table for providing certain services for rewards. However, the conversation seems to have stalled.


What should I say/do?
>>
No. 70062 ID: e0845d

>>70061
Thank her for her time, and ask if she would be willing to have a wasp escort us to the edge of their territory so we may report to the Queen/Mother and return with a large enough force to defend ourselves on our way to the center. (We should probably build a tunnel to do this when we get a chance.)
>>
No. 70065 ID: d1210a

>>70062
...Yes, this is likely as far as this train of thought can go right now. Perhaps it is time to head back to Crescent. .....Metallica is part of something called The Beatles? Interesting.

"Well, thank you for your time, W.A.S.P., I think I should report back to my queen/maker with what has been learned, offered and agreed to. I wonder, would you be able to spare someone to escort us back out of your demesne? As you say, we are somewhat.... outweighed, by most of the potential threats here."
"Of course, little Toxic. I hope to see you and yours again soon, the faster the domestication process develops, the better."
"Well, I can't say this with certainty, as I do not know what other matters our colony might be dealing with right now, but I think you will see us again soon."
"I hope that to be accurate."
A flurry of scents emanate from W.A.S.P, dozens of orders drifting out to their intended targets. Shortly, Angel Witch appears before us once more, still smelling somewhat petulant.
"My daughter shall show you the way back out."

Without fanfare or dialogue, Angel Witch begins to make her way back out of the basin we currently reside in, and more wasps pour into the clearing W.A.S.P. occupies, the massed bustle effectively walling her off from us. Left with little option, I lead my escorts to follow Angel Witch.

Hm. The Beatles..... W.A.S.P. mentioned them when I made mention of a honey loving beetle, it would seem reasonable to assume that a large part, if not all, of The Beatles members are other titanic beetles like Metallica?

Our walk alongside Angel Witch is still quiet, no thoughts being shared.


Should I silently follow Angel Witch back out of the field, or should I ask her any questions (and if so, what questions?)?
>>
No. 70066 ID: 37a48f

>>70065
Why not ask about the Beatles? We have a little bit of a walk ahead of us.

Also, ask if she's willing to tell us a bit more about what happened in the battles back in the day with W.A.S.P. and Metallica.
>>
No. 70067 ID: d1210a
File 125676911247.jpg - (45.14KB , 667x705 , Spider Confronting Toxic.jpg )
70067

>>70066
Well, we are going to be in close proximity for a time, I might as well see what I can learn from Angel Witch
"What do you know of this group, The Beatles?"
"Non-aligned beetle group. Members hire out as bodyguards/mercenaries. Only can be hired by someone approved by another member. Costly, but potent warriors. Leader is The Ace Of Spades. South East of here, near the waters, South of a field of small, orange beetles."
"And the war against Psycho Mantis Dynas-"
A spider leaps from cover, attacking Angel Witch while she is interpreting my dialogue. Without hesitation the giant warrior clashes with her assailant, and the two start struggling, mandibles and fangs flashing in a massive dervish cyclone. I wonder if my conversation with her might have distracted her from staying aware of her surroundings.

Another problem presents itself: The spider was not alone. A (relatively) small spider, only twenty times my weight advances on us, a single leg raised high, it's scent confusing.

What should I do?
>>
No. 70068 ID: 1d375b

Have your escorts charge it from both sides. Once its distracted by them attempt to move in and sting it.
>>
No. 70069 ID: f99908

>>70067
wave back at it
>>
No. 70070 ID: d1210a

>>70068
I send my escorts in two wings, spreading out to encircle the spider approaching us....
>>70069
But something about this feels... non-hostile, or at least, different from simple hunger. Perhaps there is more to this?

I wave a leg skyward, in an attempt to establish communication with this Orange creature coming forward. I see no particular response, but then, it seems the spider is now focused on the net being formed around it.

As I watch the upright leg abruptly descend and impale of the Death On Six Legs squarely through the forehead, easily piercing through it's hardened carapace, as I watch one of the strongest warriors in my party die so easily, I am disabused of my thoughts that this could have been communication.

The remaining 14 Death On Six Legs and 8 The Merciless surge forward as the orange spider plucks its leg out of the corpse of a Death On Six Legs, and starts skittering back, to the still open hole in the encircling net. It raises another front leg.

I am unsure how to get near this creature to sting it without being subjected to death from above.


What should I do?
>>
No. 70141 ID: ed8d8a

Trust your warrior instincts. If you think it is not simple hunger motivating this attack, then this spider must be one of the ones behind the attacks on the basin, and may be intelligent. Simple tricks might not work here.

Of course, SWARM!! is not a trick at all, and is a proven method to bring down larger foes. The thing only has so many legs to go around after all. Any better ideas? this thing needs to go down fast, so we can help Angel Witch.
>>
No. 70148 ID: 6faa8c

>>70141
Occupy its legs with merciless if you have them, otherise, SWAAARM and sting as soon as the opportunity presents.
>>
No. 70164 ID: ed8d8a

>>70148
Actually, a refinement on that idea. Occupy its leg with a sacrifice, then the others focus the swarming to attack that leg before he can pull it away. Bite his leg off.

Toxic keep circling looking for an opening.
>>
No. 70181 ID: d1210a

>>70141
This feeling, that this isn't just an attack of hunger I can't shake it. I shall have to trust my instincts, and assume this creature is sapient. If that is the case, I must disregard any simple tricks I may have planned, and think more creatively.

There are only so many angles those legs can reach, and if we are on the creatures body, it's impalement trick will work against it. I issue orders to press the assault, to bring it as close as possible, to swarm onto the beast. It continues to dance about, but it can't quite escape the net now, it seems to have trouble keeping an eye on attackers to it's rear. This does not change the deadly properties of it's legs, and I see a leg dart out to spear a The Merciless to it's side, from mouth to abdomen. The corpse sticks to the legs as a bloody trophy as it is withdrawn before it can be grabbed.
>>70148
...The corpse seems stuck, for the moment. Perhaps purposefully baiting the creature into attacking one of our number, to then attack the exposed leg? Regardless of my origins there, the fact of the matter is, The Merciless are more expendable than Death On Six Legs, our more elite, capable and rarer warriors.

The order goes out for the remaining seven The Merciless to make a surge forward, to draw the ire of the orange combatant before us and occupy its legs.
>>70164
...No, perhaps a more extreme order would yield greater net results. If a The Merciless is purposefully sacrificed, we may be able to swarm up it's leg, and perhaps excise the offending limb from it's body.

....As I make the orders, another Death On Six Legs is speared through the side when it is abruptly faced with the attention of two arcing legs attempting to impale it. The warrior, even as it's innards ooze out, starts scrabbling it's way up the leg, pulling itself along the very leg it is still impaled on. The spider tries to shake him off, but the determined warrior makes it's way to the first joint of the spider's leg before finally falling still, it's mandibles almost within reach of the spider's thorax. Another of KILLER QUEEN's progeny now adorns this spider's legs as a corpse and trophy, proof of it's lethality.

The Merciless manage to draw the creature's attention as the Death On Six Legs and I move closer behind them. A leg shoots out, impaling not one, but two The merciless in a macabre shishkebob, the leg streaking out to pierce our rank. As it passes by me, I am shoved to the ground by some abrupt attack from my side. I leap to my feet, only to see a scene much different than I expected.

The spider had deviously curved it's leg as it struck, and had angled it's leg to take my life, as well. But one of the Death On Six Legs sent with me had shoved me aside, and was now transfixed through jaw and torso, unable to do much but feebly struggle as it dies.

As I get to my feet, I am hit by a scent of gratitude and relief from the dying warrior.
"I did not fail in my duty, then, I protected my charge. That is good....."
The pheromone message trails off as his body grows still and his limbs stiff and lifeless.

......There is no time. I follow the rest of my remaining guards, 12 Death On Six Legs and 5 The Merciless as we race to get on the leg before it is withdrawn. While the foe we face has proven swift, the presence of a full three legs on it's limb, and our readiness, ends up allowing some of our number to make it on. As I feebly scrabble at the leg while it darts back only to lose my grip, I see three Death On Six Legs grimly clinging to the spider, crawling up the limb with a determination that completely ignored the danger to their lives.

The spider brings the leg to it's mouth and swift attacks one of the climbing ants with it's fangs. The warrior fights valiantly, defending his position with fervor, before being struck by another leg, impaled alongside a previously slain The Merciless on a leg.

But two of them make it in close to the creatures body, their mandibles descending on the leg's base. Immediately the creature spasms the leg harshly, in an attempt to shake free its attackers. One noble ant clings to it grimly, before finally being flung free by the violent thrashing. It is speared in the air before he can hit the ground, his head destroyed, his body now a gory prize on the creature's leg.

But the third Death On Six Legs, that one leapt free of the leg the moment it began to shake, and now clings to the creatures large abdomen, clinging tightly to the side, it's mandibles tearing into the creature's flesh. The spider hisses in pain, but the wound is relatively small, and does not seem to impede it.

There are only 10 Death On Six Legs and 5 The Merciless with me, still on the ground facing the spider, its legs enshrouded with the impaled corpses of KILLER QUEEN's children. We are still relatively tightly grouped together, and the spider is advancing on us, raising a gore coated limb as it does.


What should we do?
>>
No. 70198 ID: 3d26c9

>>70181
Get the D6L on its back to move forward and attack its vulnerable front/eyes - the area is cramped by its large abdomen (dat ass) jutting forward, so the spider's ability to attack will be curtailed. (Plus, if it stabs itself, double win.) Meanwhile, the Merciless should take point, with the D6L behind, and form a half-circle around the front of the spider - feint attacks, but focus on dodging and occupying the spider's attention. Toxic can use this double frontal distraction to circle around behind unnoticed (as the spider's abdomen should prevent seeing back there) and sting the fuck out of its weak point. Let's use that ability and see what happens.
>>
No. 70200 ID: d1210a

>>70198
....Deadly as they are, those legs are still normally jointed, and that prodigious abdomen it has should mean it can't attack much if at all to its rear. ...And if the legs aren't an issue, I could get in close, maybe have a chance to sting it.

I order the single Death On Six Legs that managed to swarm onto the spider so far to try and work his way down to attack the spider's eyes. While he does so, I order the remaining ants to form a two-layered semicircle, and harass the orange foe before us, while doing what they can to occupy it's attention with as few casualties as possible. They form up and press forward, and I watch them aggressively engage the beast from behind them.

This is my chance. I dash out wide, and circle around the creature's right flank as fast as I can, attempting to make my way to the blind spot for both it's vision and attack range behind it.

As I deploy my forces and attempt to circle around the spider, the Death On Six Legs tries to make it's way to the spider's eyes. He quickly shifts his weight to the side just moments before the spider violently raises some legs in an attempt to knock him off. Again, a third time the ant manages to keep just one bare step ahead of the spider's attempts to unseat him. By now, though, the warrior has made his way close enough to the spider's eyes that with a snap of his mandibles he tears asunder the spider's left-facing eyes.

Before the act is done, before the spider even reacts to the assault, the attacking Death On Six Legs abruptly tenses, it's scent focused as it leaps from the creature's back to grab onto a leg, morbidly enough able to gain purchase by virtue of a corpse of another Death On Six Legs.

His reason becomes obvious even before Death On Six Legs can get a firm footing, as the spider violently spasms from the wound, it's abdomen slamming down on it's own head as it's legs quiver. The spider regains it's composure as the Death On Six Legs clinging to it's leg finally plants himself firmly, it's gaze speculatively focused on the spider.

I almost make it out of the spider's field of vision, almost make it past before it recovers enough to move ably. But almost counts for nothing here, as the spider dashes back while turning my direction.

....It occurs to me now that my plan to assault the spider in this way leaves me completely alone and isolated on the far end of the spider.


What should I do?
>>
No. 70203 ID: 3d26c9

>>70200
That spider's focus is split three ways now. It can't afford to focus on any one of the three threats specifically - if it's focusing on you, have the group of Merciless/D6Ls circle around to its back while you run avoidance. If you can set up a flank, then it'll be basically defenseless. Meanwhile, that D6L on the spider's leg seems to know how to handle itself quite well. If it gets out of this alive, it's getting a promotion. Anyways, it should take advantage of the spider's current distraction to either go for its leg (probably not really feasible, given relative size) or try to take out more of its eyes and/or get it to conk itself on the head again. The more of its vision we can take out, the better.

As a side note, if the spider's left field of vision is gone from that last attack, the ants on the ground should be taking advantage of that while flanking. I don't know which way the rotation of the ants is going, so I can't provide exactness here, but 'stay in its blind spots' sounds like the way to go.

tl;dr

Toxic: Don't die, use whatever cover is available to you, dodge like your life depends on it
Other Ants: Draw its attention back by going for its back/blind spots
Ant Rider: Take out more eyes if possible, but otherwise split its focus even more
>>
No. 70208 ID: d1210a
File 12568530113.jpg - (111.27KB , 800x543 , Death On Six Legs.jpg )
70208

>>70203
I order the ants harassing the spider to try to harass the blind side more in the future, but they are still too far away, the spider will reach me before they do.

I mean to flee, I truly do, but perhaps it is the bodies still oozing gore on its legs, maybe it was the quiet protection of my now deceased bodyguard, but watching this lethal monster hurtle towards me, I can't look away, I can't move. Something shines in it's remaining eyes, and I.... I can do naught but stand still, transfixed by it's gaze.

The ants harassing the spider strive as hard as they can to catch up, to reach my side, to protect me, but they know the futility of the gesture.

.....It is strange. I cannot move, cannot even look at anything but the spider as it charges me, a front leg rising high, yet somehow.... my attention encapsulates the Death On Six Legs still clinging to the beast. It stares at the legs before it, the one raised to smite me, the one still crawling on the ground. Without warning, he leaps forward, his mandibles locking onto one of the spider's leg joints as it extends. The joint locks from the pressure, and instead of stabilizing itself and bracing for it's attack on me, the spider finds it's leg simply not there, and crashes to the ground, skidding forward. The Death On Six Legs leaps back as the body crashes into the earth, and lightly lands on the spider's abdomen as it grates against the ground. Even as the creature still slides along the ground, the Death On Six Legs is already busily attacking the wound it had made earlier on the side of it's abdomen.

I feel the spider's fangs butt against my side as it grinds to a halt, but for the moment, the spider is too disoriented to move. I see my other escort members have closed most of the distance, and will be re-engaging the spider in scant few seconds. I also notice that with it's gaze averted, I can move freely once more.


What should I do?
>>
No. 70209 ID: 632862

>>70208
Use STINGER on SPIDER.
>>
No. 70210 ID: 9891a9

>>70208
Time to show them why you are named Toxic, finish the fight with your lethal venom.
>>
No. 70211 ID: d1210a

>>70209
>>70210
Please specify where Toxic should sting the spider from the places she can instantly reach(yes, this actually matters).

Damaged Eyes

Undamaged Eyes

Mouth

Forehead
>>
No. 70212 ID: 632862

>>70211
Undamaged eyes. Eliminate the gaze attack!
>>
No. 70213 ID: 43d730

>>70211
Undamaged Eyes.
Nothing says 'Fuck You' like lethal venom to the organs of sight.
>>
No. 70215 ID: d1210a
File 125685616668.jpg - (37.89KB , 552x375 , Spider Eyes Warped.jpg )
70215

>>70212
>>70213
I plunge my stinger into the undamaged eyes before me, compelled to make up for my earlier inaction.

As the chemicals I harbor hit the spider's system, it's remaining eyes take on a rotten yellow hue, and swell, leaking fluids. The spider thrashes to it's feet, knocking me aside and robbing me of my breath as it does so. The spider's body starts loosing wisps of steam, and a wave of heat builds around it.

The Death On Six Legs still attacking the wound in it's side leaps away, coming to stand at my side as the rest of the ants hurriedly place themselves between myself and the spider, already preparing to resume the harassment tactics.

But it is unneeded. The damaged eyes and wound in it's abdomen, both leaking ooze, catch fire, and the spider shrieks as it's body hisses and crackles as fire starts bursting through it's body, it's swollen eyes rupturing and spewing ash that dissolves in the breeze.

The entire creature's body in now engulfed in the conflagration, and while I regret the loss of food this represents, the point remains that my one special trait does seem to have it's uses.

The beast is dying, it's body curling up in the fire, the dead plastered to it's form burning alongside it.

I turn to look at Angel Witch, and see her reaching a conclusion with her own fight, her mandibles buried in the head of the spider that attacked her.

What should I do?
>>
No. 70216 ID: 9891a9

>>70215
Allow her to finish, don't interfere now that she's about to win.
>>
No. 70217 ID: 632862

>>70215
Holy jesus. That is lethal venom indeed.

Ask Angel Witch if she's seen that kind of spider before.
>>
No. 70218 ID: 43d730

>>70215
Holy shit.
We have to figure out a ranged vector for that stuff.
>>
No. 70221 ID: e1487c

>>70218
If I remember right, copying Killer Queen's poison spit over to a hero unit is one of the upgrade options...
>>
No. 70225 ID: d1210a

>>70221
(And if you recall, I stated that it could not be transferred to Toxic, as she already had more potent chemicals at her disposal... as you saw demonstrated)
>>70218
(Maybe the right Valiance could facilitate this)

>>70216
While I freely admit I am completely shocked at how effective my sting was, I still maintain enough composure to let Angel Witch finish her fight: I doubt the gargantuan hunter would appreciate help at this juncture.

It doesn't take long for her to have wrenched enough tissue out of her foe's head that it's legs curl in death. Rather than feeding, she exudes a potent musk while standing over the corpse for a time, before turning our way. She stares at the still burning corpse before addressing us.

"......Thank you for your aid. If the Iron Hand had been able to fight alongside it's compatriot, victory would have been unlikely."
>>70217
"Iron Hand? I assume that is the name of the type of spider we fought?"
"Yes. Strong legs, used to impale. Fast creature, devious. One of the most dangerous small spiders. Many hunters, especially young ones, end up wounded or dead because of them."


Angel Witch continues staring at me.

".....I owe you a debt for what you did."


How should I respond?
>>
No. 70238 ID: 1d375b

"If you owe me a debt then I also owe you one. Because if you were not here then the other spider would have overwhelmed us."
>>
No. 70257 ID: d1210a

>>70238
"If you owe me a debt then I must owe you one as well, for if you were not here then the other spider would have overwhelmed us."
"Doesn't matter. Didn't have to stay, to fight. More would be alive now. Didn't know if victory was certain: Why risk so much?"

I feel a sense of gravity from Angel Witch, something makes me think I should be careful with my response, she seems absolutely riveted, some deep memory fixating her on this topic. The Death On Six Legs that climbed the orange spider directs his antenna towards our flank, his head cocked, but there is no scent or noise.


How should I respond/what should I do?
>>
No. 70268 ID: ed8d8a

>>70257
The thought of running did not even cross our mind, did it? Though we are eager to return home to serve our colony, abandoning our new friend to her death would be worse than the loss of our entire contingent. We are Proud Warriors all of us, and would sooner give our lives in glorious battle than leave any ally to such a fate.
>>
No. 70289 ID: 632862

>>70268
This sounds like the perfect thing to say.
>>
No. 70303 ID: a1ac99

>>70257
"We refuse to back down because we cannot; fleeing from any battle, and moreso leaving a friend to die in the process, whether one of our own or not, is as foreign to us as fleeing from something like an ant would be to you. It is the way of my breed as a, though significantly altered, The Merciless to fight. Even the Death on Six Legs were The Merciless once. We cannot deny doing what we were created for."
>>
No. 70309 ID: 782100

>>70268
This is simply the perfect thing to say.
>>
No. 70349 ID: d1210a

>>70268
"The thought of running... I must admit it had not crossed my mind. I will not deny an eagerness to be back within the demesne of my home colony, but that does not mean we would abandon our comrades, no matter how new and tenuous the relationship might be. It is far preferable that our entire contingent died defending you in glorious battle than simply leave an ally to such a fate.
>>70303
"We refuse to back down because we cannot; fleeing from any battle, and more-so leaving a friend to die in the process, whether one of our own or not, is as foreign to us as fleeing from something like an ant would be to you. It is the way of my breed as a, though significantly altered, The Merciless to fight. Even the Death on Six Legs were The Merciless once. We cannot deny doing what we were created for."

Angel Witch..... smells sad, withdrawn, yet oddly enough she also smells relieved. Her petulant air from earlier has vanished.

!!NOTICE:!! Toxic has become more adept at communication! She is now an able communicator!

"But.... we hunters are strong. Bred from the death of spiders. Bred with death and violence. Bred to fight, to win, so the next generation can be......"

While I patiently watch Angel Witch struggle with her thoughts, mulling over what I said, the Death On Six Legs beside me continues to stare off to our flank. After a few more instants of this piercing appraisal, he turns to me, releasing a short message.

"We must leave now, Toxic."

...I'm not too sure if I should follow his advice, I think there may be something of critical importance hidden here somewhere....


What should I do?
>>
No. 70389 ID: 9891a9

>>70349
This one shows great prowess, we ought to listen to him. Get out, now.
>>
No. 70401 ID: 632862

>>70349
Follow the advice of such a skilled warrior.
>>
No. 70402 ID: 3d26c9

>>70349
Damn it, there's something important in what she's saying about the breeding. We need to find out where she was going with that.
>>
No. 70534 ID: d1210a
File 125695842495.jpg - (68.22KB , 800x583 , David Bowie.jpg )
70534

>>70389
>>70401
To ignore this warriors advice would be sheer folly, especially considering how well he has performed.

"Angel Witch, we must leave now, something is amiss."
"What? But ther-"
"Please, we have to go!"
"....I will do as you say.."

We immediately start heading out towards the edge of the field, away from this perceived threat that Death On Six Legs felt.

We are perhaps 150 centimeters away, moving at a good speed, when we see it.

A great yellow hulk, something so big I struggle to believe it, strides out of the foliage, it's cold glare observing the two of it's kin dead before it. The creature spends a moment still, and we continue to put on distance, relieved to be as far away from this monster, this radically enormous creature...... Oh.... at my best estimate, the creature is nearly 30 centimeters long. Even Angel Witch is greatly dwarfed by this true giant.

As we keep fleeing, the creature finally moves and it's gaze falls on us......
>>
No. 70535 ID: d1210a
File 125695845017.jpg - (21.43KB , 500x375 , Heroes Gaze.jpg )
70535

pressuresomuchpressuremustkeeprunningmustgetawaydontwanttodie
"DAVID BOWIE WILL FEAST ON YOUR INNARDS FOR THIS, YOU MONGRELS!"

David Bowie's eyes still veritably glowing with a baleful vendetta, their weight oppressive even at this distance. I and several other ants stumble to the ground, and the battle wearied Angel Witch is likewise slowed, seemingly struggling against some restraint. Our escape slows to a halt some 200, 250 centimeters away from the yellow mountain.

....David Bowie starts pursuing us, currently at a slow, determined lope, his weighty glare directed at us.


What should I do?
>>
No. 70537 ID: 43d730

>>70535
>"DAVID BOWIE WILL FEAST ON YOUR INNARDS FOR THIS, YOU MONGRELS!"
MY NOSE IS NOT A TEA CONDUIT AND NOW I HAVE TO CLEAN MY KEYBOARD
>>
No. 70542 ID: af3e6d

>>70535
That's probably some sort of valiance going on there. Your best bet is to get the hell out of there, possibly getting behind some cover to break line-of-sight to the gaze. Try not to look into the eyes.
>>
No. 70631 ID: d1210a
File 125696420487.jpg - (159.12KB , 800x560 , Death On Six Legs Suggesting Path.jpg )
70631

>>70537
>>70542
...No, I will not simply lay in wait for death. I struggle back to my feet, focusing, placing a leg forward, then another, then another, then I am running once more, my frantic orders to the others thankfully rewarding me with a full compliment of fellow runners, even though all of us are moving drunkenly, our bodies sluggish and willful.

But once we gain protection behind some covering foliage, the pressure, the weight, the impairment on us lifts, and we begin running full speed. I can feel the earth shake as David Bowie picks up his pursuit.

Angel Witch wants to go straight forward, to leave the field as quickly as possible, and that is the path she has been leading us on. Yet oddly enough, the Death On Six Legs still running beside me, seems to want us to veer off to either side, and take a long loop instead.

Angel Witch is still likely to listen to me, so I have a moment to decide....


Should we continue straight out, or loop to the side (if so, which side?)?
>>
No. 70632 ID: 632862

>>70631
He knows something we don't. Follow his advice, it's worked really well so far.
>>
No. 70634 ID: d1210a

>>70632
(And to which side should do you suggest they loop, to the left or to the right?)
>>
No. 70641 ID: 3d26c9

>>70634
I personally haven't seen any indication for one way being any better than the other... did I miss something?
>>
No. 70646 ID: d1210a

>>70641
(There has been no indicator which way would be better. Nonetheless, it is relevant to what will happen. So, for any suggestions to follow Death On Six leg's advise, I need a direction, left or right.)
>>
No. 70648 ID: 25db2c

I'm going to vote a tentative left for direction.
>>
No. 70649 ID: af3e6d

rolled 2 = 2

>>70646
1 we go left, 2 right.
>>
No. 70651 ID: d1210a

>>70648
>>70649
(Posts at same time, for opposite sides)
HAHA, VOTING TIME

First side to get three votes wins!

LEFT RIGHT
1 1
>>
No. 70655 ID: 3d26c9

>>70651
Left is the One True Way, in absence of any other factors.
>>
No. 70657 ID: d1210a

>>70655
RIGHT: 1
LEFT: 2
>>
No. 70660 ID: 632862

Left.
>>
No. 70661 ID: 5a9e00

Right.
>>
No. 70677 ID: d1210a

>>70660
>>70661
RIGHT: 2
LEFT: 3

LEFT CHOSEN

"Angel Witch, please trust me, let us loop around to the left, just go, there isn't time!"

Angel Witch looks initially startled, but the recent aftermath of the last suggestion made this way still fresh in her mind, she acquiesces quickly.

We start dashing off into the foliage, cutting a wide arc to get out of the field.

....There is an odd rumbling sensation in the ground, not that of something prowling about, but something making the very earth shiver.

A mountainous yellow blur whizzes past along the path we had been following, moving so quickly that I barely even see it. A split second after it's passage, a tremendous howling sound can be heard, deafening us as howling gales blast along the path the yellow blur passed through, tearing apart anything in its path.

The wall of air slams into us, and even though we cling tightly to the ground, the debris hurled at us scrapes us from the ground.

....I am no longer airborne, and seem to be relatively unharmed, but judging by the state of the vegetation closer to our old path, had we stayed the course it would have been fatal.

...With a somber realization I find that another The Merciless has perished, crushed between an upright rock and a piece of plant stalk hurled by the blast.

I don't see David Bowie anywhere, and all of us still alive are able to move. We are some distance north of our old position, and still need to escape this field in health.


What should I do?
>>
No. 70684 ID: 3d26c9

>>70677
Recoup yourselves quickly, including Angel Witch, and continue to GTFO while keeping away from the path that David Bowie took if possible. Survey the D6L with some interest while doing so, as something's seemingly changed about it.

Oh, and DON'T GET AMBUSHED AGAIN.
>>
No. 70695 ID: d1210a
File 125696895921.jpg - (291.26KB , 1200x800 , Hunter Flying Overhead.jpg )
70695

>>70684
I slowly lead our group out and towards the edge of the field, moving quietly.

As we go, I glance at the Death On Six Legs that has been so singularly useful and capable today. .....Now that I look, all the other 10 Death On Six Legs and the 4 The Merciless are each marching in step, in two distinct strain-based groups, but this one, he stands alone, at my side.

....More worrying, now that I look at him, he looks severely fatigued, strained, yet he offers no complaint, knowing as we all do how dangerous trying to communicate right now would be, with David Bowie potentially anywhere around us.

"I WILL FIND WHERE YOU HIDE, FLAY YOUR BODIES AND FEAST ON YOUR FLESH. I WILL SHOW YOU CHILDREN OF BODOM WHAT TERROR IS."

As this chilling proclamation works it's way through the ranks, I hear a buzzing sound, and see several others perk their antenna up while they pear about.

I see it, another hunter from this field, a beige and creamy yellow hunter somewhat smaller than Angel Witch is slowly flying by overhead.

I could address it, but there is the risk David Bowie is close enough to find us the moment we start communicating. The Death On Six Legs beside me offers no suggestion, although I do not know if that is because he values silence and stealth now over his own potential advice.


What should I do, should I try to hail the passing hunter?
>>
No. 70696 ID: 9891a9

>>70695
One hunter is not worth the risk of breaking your silence and alerting David Bowie to your position. Press onwards.
>>
No. 70701 ID: 632862

>>70695
There's nothing we could say that he doesn't already know from that guy's yelling. If he's smart, he'll go get help.
>>
No. 70712 ID: d1210a
File 125697086548.jpg - (82.90KB , 800x566 , Death On Six Legs Crouching.jpg )
70712

>>70696
No, the risk is too great, and even with the other hunter, I wonder if we could win against that monster.

>>70701
For a moment, I hope that the hunter will smell David Bowie's recent proclamation, but with it's wings beating so profusely, it seems to not have noticed anything. I watch in resignation as it continues to fly past our location.

Now that I spare a glance once more for my compatriots, I see the Death On Six Legs that had looked fatigued before looking even worse, dropping his body low to the ground, yet instead of collapsing to the ground, merely holding himself a scant fraction of a millimeter above it, his antenna waving frantically, as if trying to draw attention. Hm.


What should I do?
>>
No. 70713 ID: 3d26c9

>>70712
Do as he does. Maybe he's noticed something. Try to signal to Angel Witch (without 'saying' anything) to do the same, or at least to stay quiet.
>>
No. 70723 ID: d1210a

>>70713
I follow Death On Six Legs example, crouching down. Upon seeing me do so, the surviving members of my group also flatten themselves down. At this point, Angel Witch finally notices our change in positioning, and glances at us in apparent confusion. I wave my antenna in a pantomime of something laying on the ground, and I am relieved to see the sizable hunter crouch down low, trying to shelter her body under some leaves.

Once everyone is stealthily crouched down under cover, we wait.

....nothing seems to be happening, and the hunter above is almost out of sight.


Should we continue hiding, or press ahead, towards the edge of the field?
>>
No. 70724 ID: 632862

>>70723
Wait.
>>
No. 70728 ID: 3d26c9

>>70723
Does the D6L appear to be calmer now that we've all crouched down, or is it still moving its antennae?
>>
No. 70731 ID: 731dcd

Fuck yes, listen to this ant. An incredibly capable sort, we can use more like him. At first, I thought he might've been the D6L that went with Scars to Crescent, but that can't be the case since Scars got back after Toxic went on the mission. So what we've got here is just fresh talent. We haven't seen this kind of heroism since Scars made a name for himself.
>>
No. 70735 ID: d1210a
File 125697411122.gif - (21.95KB , 153x153 , David Bowie Prowling.gif )
70735

>>70728
Now that we are all hiding, Death On Six Legs is simply hiding alongside the rest of us.

>>70724
Right, he hasn't steered me wrong yet, it would be foolish to simply leave while he still perceives a reason to stay hidden. Although I-DAVIDBOWIE

The monster peers over some foliage, his gave sweeping the area. I doubt a single one of our group even dared to breathe until that baleful gaze moved on, David Bowie continuing his search elsewhere.

>>70731
While waiting for David Bowie to wander away from us in his hunt, I start pondering the performance and actions of the Death On Six Legs before me. Truly, his performance is far greater than could normally be expected, and while I do not understand it, whatever reason there is for his recent change in behavior is most impressive.

.......


Some time has passed, and David Bowie is once again nowhere to be seen. We are still hidden, and Death On Six Legs seems content to let me once more take the initiative, looking wan and exhausted, although marginally better than before.


What should I do, should we begin traveling again?
>>
No. 70737 ID: 6faa8c

>>70735
Keep an eye on the keen Do6L, and continue.
>>
No. 70742 ID: 632862

>>70735
Hmm. Why is this one so fatigued, while the others are not? I think it has something to do with his ability. Maybe we should let him rest a little longer, so that he can utilize it again without falling unconscious.
>>
No. 70745 ID: d1210a

>>70742
It could be nothing, but I get the feeling that Death On Six Legs stellar performance and his fatigued state are related. For the moment, I think we should stay here, and give him some more time to recover. We may need his assistance again, and it would be disastrous if he fell over dead from a strain we never noticed.

...........

After perhaps another minute of tense waiting, the Death On Six Legs looks much less weary: Excellent. I even get to see him finally rise from his crouch, stretching his legs as he does so.

>>70737
Perhaps it is time to go. I rise up slowly, the rest of us all regaining our normal footing slowly, trying to disturb as few things as possible in our ascent. Without any dialogue we set out, once more making our way towards the edge of the field, silent, cautious, moving as delicately as we can.

Currently, we are heading straight for the edge of the field, still roughly parallel to the path we had been taking when David Bowie did whatever it was that tore through the path with a terrible blast of air.


Should I continue forward as normal, or should I change what path we take?
>>
No. 70748 ID: 731dcd

I'd put it in Angel Witch's capable hands. Hopefully Bowie is as loud and boisterous as he's made himself out to be so far and has gone to other places in search of us. I figure it's time to move on.

If that is indeed our path then we should see if Angel Witch knows anything about this spider. We can use all the info we can get on Valiance users, particularly those that declare themselves our foes.
>>
No. 70846 ID: d1210a

>>70748
Angel Witch most assuredly knows the area better than I or any of my guard, and now that it seems David Bowie is no longer near us, I would rather leave this field as quickly as possible, lest I run into him again. I release the faintest of pheromone messages, barely carrying to Angel Witch, indicating that she should lead the way now. With a quick glance my way, she takes the lead, and shifts our path subtly, taking us under thicker foliage, to a low slung path sheltered beneath.

We make good time, and are approaching the borders of the field in short order.

...This David Bowie, his power, and more importantly, his proclamation of vendetta, worries me. I long to ask Angel Witch about David Bowie, and ask what he meant when he mentioned the Children Of Bodom, whoever they are, and it is true that the perceptive Death On Six Legs at my side shows no indication of danger, content to continue silently along with us.


Should I ask about David Bowie/Children Of Bodom now, or wait until we exit the field and hope to have time then?
>>
No. 70847 ID: 3d26c9

>>70846
Let's go ahead and ask now - keep an eye on the perceptive D6L otherwise, but we're probably not going to have another chance later, and we've covered some good distance by now.
>>
No. 70852 ID: d1210a

>>70847
Right, we have to be far enough away from that monster to communicate discreetly.

"Angel Witch, do you know David Bowie?"
The indigo hunter beside me leans in closer, trying to keep her dialogue as subtle as she can, still emanating a great deal more pheromones than any ant would when trying to be stealthy. Disadvantage of size, I suppose.
".....Yes. Dangerous fighter, suggested to avoid, take to air and flee instead. Killed father, killed siblings, was going to kill me. ....I survived because of Metallica, rescued me. Bowie is strong, perhaps strongest spider in field..... His ire, not a thing to wish for."
I try to keep the conversation short, I have no desire of babbling here.
"And what of that gaze of his, or his blindingly fast movement a few minutes ago?"
"Bowie has two known Valiances. One moves him in straight line, damages/destroys anything near his path. Name unknown. Other Valiance is Heroes Gaze, don't understand it, W.A.S.P. might. Seems similar to her glare."
"And the Children Of Bodom? Who are they?"
"We are, myself, my mother, the other hunters. Bodom was founder of tribe, long ago."


The exchange was brief, and we are still within the field. Do I have any more questions to ask, or should we continue in silence until we exit the field shortly?
>>
No. 70859 ID: 731dcd

Hmm, right, right, I guess this really isn't the time or place for this kind of thing. Let's hurry on then.
>>
No. 70861 ID: d1210a
File 125701799229.jpg - (217.59KB , 785x1188 , Angel Witch Pacing.jpg )
70861

>>70859
....Perhaps I should not push our luck. Further communication could serve to eventually draw David Bowie, after all. And while the two attempts at dialogue I perceived from him were designed to carry, he nonetheless was able to move stealthily enough to nearly discover us when we hid. I wish to be away from here.

I cease asking questions, and we continue in silence, marching along the hidden trail.

...........

Once more reaching open ground and having the sun shine down on us freely is a wonderful thing to return to, after being hunted by David Bowie in that shaded thicket of foliage. But we do not rest on our laurels just yet, continuing to fall back further from the field, until we have put a sizable chunk of distance between it and our current location.

We find a large rock to stop behind, and finally we halt, taking stock of our situation.

Angel Witch, now that she is out of immediate danger, is nervously pacing back and forth.
"....Should tell mother of David Bowie's return, what happened. Do you need further aid, or shall we part ways for now?"

Angel Witch wishes to leave and inform her mother of what happened, but still feels compelled to ask me what I would prefer her do, likely because of her self-perceived debt to me.


Should I let Angel Witch go and return to Crescent, or should I ask her to stay and answer questions, or should I do something else?
>>
No. 70874 ID: 9891a9

>>70861
She seems quite out of sorts, let her head back to her mother while you return to Crescent.
>>
No. 70881 ID: ddad41

>>70861
Let her return, tell her to be careful, we would hate to lose our only ally out here.

Time to report to Killer Queen on what we found out here.
>>
No. 70898 ID: d1210a

>>70874
>>70881
"Angel Witch, thank you for your help. I think you are right, this is where we should part ways for the moment, so I bid you farewell, and hope to meet you again."

Angel Witch barely take the time to quickly express gratitude before tearing off, flying back into the field she cam from at breakneck speeds.

.....Perhaps this David Bowie individual is more than a capable fighter, for her to be so agitated by his presence. Then again, I could hardly blame her for being worried about such a monster.

Well, I, the Death On Six Legs who has been so helpful, the other 10 Death On Six Legs and the 4 Surviving The Merciless with me are on our way back to Crescent now, we should get there in an hour or so (Hour 8.0 is the estimated return time).

A great deal of information was gained, and the potential resources we can attain from this are quite substantial.

Well, no use dawdling, time to head back home.

!!QUEST COMPLETED:!! 'The Killing Fields'

!!NEW ALLY OBTAINED:!! 'The Children Of Bodom'
KILLER QUEEN's progeny are now welcome within the lands of the Children Of Bodom, and have agreed to set up a base on their land to help farm tubers, among other things.

PLEASE SELECT THE NEXT QUEST CHAIN TO FOLLOW:

-The Wild Sister:
KILLER QUEEN has agreed to hunt down and kill her sister, Running Wild, in exchange for Crimson Glory's services.

-The Missing Link:
KILLER QUEEN has heard of another sister to the South West in a grand ant nation, as well as realizing that there are gaps in her memories! Learn more about your sisters, mother and past!

-Strings of Fate:
Take control of the forces at Carpathian Ridge (9 They Might Be Giants, 40 The Merciless, 1 Flash, 5 Death On Six Legs shortly arriving[2 are ordered to fertilize the Sisters]) and investigate the area coated in pale threads and bound forms that is encroaching on Def Leppard's Field.

-The Mandarinian Buzz:
Scars Of Yesterday and retinue meeting with Burn Craze The Hellion, representative of the Mandarinian Empire.

-Stranger in a Strange Land:
Manage the Growth in Stealin' (Repeatable)

-Business as Usual:
Issue orders via KILLER QUEEN to Cydonia as a whole.
>>
No. 70905 ID: 6c34c2

kiss her goodbye
>>
No. 70907 ID: 6c34c2

i vote for missing link
>>
No. 70908 ID: 9891a9

>>70898
Strings of Fate seems to be the PERFECT continuation on the spiders theme we have at the moment. I'll go for that.
>>
No. 70915 ID: 4a736a

Strings of Fate gets my vote.
>>
No. 70933 ID: d1210a
File 12570300612.jpg - (243.48KB , 1200x900 , Encroaching Threads.jpg )
70933

>>70908
>>70915

'Strings Of Fate' chosen!

9 They Might Be Giants, 40 The Merciless, and 1 Flash (with 5 Death On Six Legs shortly arriving[2 are ordered to fertilize the Sisters]) are currently posted at Carpathian Ridge, along with the two Sisters present.

Recently, strange, pale threads have been encroaching on the immediate area, and Sister Hazel has voiced a concern this is a problem, while Sister Machine Gun hopes to find foes in the altered area.

We (being the progeny of KILLER QUEEN excepting the Sisters stationed here) are intrigued by this new dilemma, and considering how little is known about it, should at the very least investigate. Of course, if we all leave to investigate, there would be no one to protect Carpathian Ridge. Conversely, if too few are sent to investigate, we run the risk of them all dying, should they encounter a sufficient threat.


Out of our total group, what and how many should be sent to investigate?
>>
No. 70954 ID: 9891a9

>>70933
Send 25 of The Merciless.
>>
No. 70959 ID: 632862

>>70933
Send the Flash along too, since they have better senses.
>>
No. 71006 ID: d1210a

>>70954
>>70959
25 The Merciless and 1 Flash head out to explore this newly warped landscape, cautious in their approach.

They halt a centimeter or so away from the pale threads, evaluating the material. It is still unidentified, undefined, but the threads can be seen all over the place. .....In fact, the threads seem to mostly get thicker, the deeper into the mass of threads they peer.


25 The Merciless and 1 Flash are before the area covered in pale threads, and 9 They Might Be Giants guard Carpathian Ridge under the control of the 15 The Merciless left behind.


What should be done?
>>
No. 71009 ID: 632862

>>71006
Have one Merciless chew on a strand to see if it can be broken that way.

We may have to go grab a few TMBG for their brute strength otherwise.
>>
No. 71016 ID: d1210a

>>71009
One of The Merciless bites one of the strands, to see if it can be parted.

!!The Merciless that bit one of the threads is stuck to the thread by her mandibles, and cannot free herself!


What should be done?
>>
No. 71018 ID: 632862

>>71016
Get a few more Merciless to pull her out.
>>
No. 71020 ID: d1210a
File 12570376397.jpg - (73.71KB , 500x333 , Headless The Merciless.jpg )
71020

>>71018
Right, we will just pull her away from the thread, that should pry her mandibles off if we pull hard enough.

-1 The Merciless
..........Oh



What should be done?
>>
No. 71021 ID: 9891a9

>>71020
Well, back to the original plan. Avoid the threads and be extremely cautious whilst investigating.
>>
No. 71022 ID: 43d730

>>71020
Kick dust on the threads if you have to squeeze between them.
>>
No. 71024 ID: a4e0e6

>>71020
EAT THE DEAD MERCILESS! GAIN HER COURAGE
>>
No. 71078 ID: e458fc

>>71020
We're smart enough to use tools, right? Use a stick or something.
>>
No. 71142 ID: ffdecc

>>71020
>>71078
Use sticks, leaves or anything else that would work as a bridge to cross over the sticky threads.
>>
No. 71180 ID: 613875

Hell, if there are sticks around, maybe the magic of leverage can break the strands.

are any of the local beetles around? could ask if they know anything about the strands. If I recall correctly, our deal with them was "protection" so we may as well let them know about all the protection we are offering.
>>
No. 71276 ID: d1210a
File 125711373391.jpg - (74.51KB , 980x705 , Unknown Spider.jpg )
71276

>>71024
None of us are hungry, there is no point in eating her body now.

>>71022
Some dust is kicked onto the threads. ...Well, the dust sticks, but it would take a very long time to coat all the threads like this.

>>71142
>>71078
....Well, there are other things that could be used. Sticks, rotted leaves, and any other detritus we can find is applied to the purpose of making the threads no longer deathtraps. After some effort, a path is started.

....Strange, behind the initial blockage of threads, the threads are much fewer in number. If we are cautious, we could likely continue further without needing to put debris on the threads.

>>71180
This is true, we did agree to offer protection, perhaps we shou-

"Ho hoooo.... Are you locals?"

!!A gold spider stands immediately behind our group! How did it get so close undetected? Where did it come from?


What should be done?
>>
No. 71279 ID: 9891a9

>>71276
Stay on guard, that golden hue betrays its powers. Ask it what purpose these threads are here for.
>>
No. 71286 ID: d1210a

>>71279
>>71279
(Which ant strain should address the spider, The Merciless or Flash?)
>>
No. 71289 ID: a1ac99

>>71286
Flash.
>>
No. 71309 ID: d1210a

>>71289
Flash addresses the golden spider from within our group.

"What purpose are these threads here for?"
"Hmm? Oh, you think I made the webs here? Ha ha, no, I'm just passing through. Actually, I'm looking for someone I heard lives around here, an ant."

Passing through? This seems a strange place to be doing that.


What should we do/say?
>>
No. 71310 ID: 6faa8c

>>71309
Ask what the name of the ant he is seeking is.
>>
No. 71312 ID: 632862

>>71309
Also ask who it is that asks.
>>
No. 71313 ID: d1210a

>>71310
"What is the name of the ant you are looking for?"
"Scars Of Yesterday"

The spider is starting to look at Flash speculatively.


What should we say/do(FYI, ants are intelligent enough to lie, if you can get them to understand purposeful falsehood)?
>>
No. 71317 ID: 43d730

>>71313
"Why are you looking for this ant?"
>>
No. 71318 ID: d1210a

>>71317
"Why are you looking for this ant?"
"Questions, questions, and no answers for me, huh? Not a chance. Hmmm...."
The spider starts walking towards us, looking at Flash.


What should we do/say?
>>
No. 71325 ID: a1ac99

>>71318
If we tell him the truth, and he has allies that are hidden from us, they might attack Crescent. And seeing how easily he snuck up on even the Flash in our group, what might he be able to do if there are more? Or if he goes to look at our colony and finds we were lying? We can't let him know either that we know the name Scars of Yesterday or tell him where our colony really is. It is for the best that we tell a purposeful falsehood, a, "lie," to preserve the colony.

"We have not heard that name before. We wished to know so that, if there might be anything to learn from him, we could, perhaps visit him as well sometime later. As far as being locals, we are a scouting party from a colony to the far north, on the other side of the mandirinian empire. To say that we are curoius of our new surroundings would be an understatement and any knowledge we could glean from anyone would be immensely helpful."
>>
No. 71344 ID: 613875

>>71325
Would it be accurate to say that this group has heard of Scars, but has never met him? The spider has not actually asked a question about Scars, which is why we have not answered him, obviously. As for if we are locals, we are new to the area, and are curious about the nature of the threads. All true, nothing important said.
>>
No. 71353 ID: d1210a

>>71344
(3 of The Merciless present have been in the presence of Scars Of Yesterday before, but no other here has met him.)

"You have not asked us a question about Scars Of Yesterday, that is why we have not answered you. As for the question you did pose, we are new to the area, and are curious about the nature of these threads."

The spider smells exhasperated for a moment before it responds it continues walking towards us at a slow rate, still some distance from us.
"...Fine, I'll ask you directly then, if I must. Do you know Scars Of Yesterday, and where I can find him?"

>>71325
....The spider mentioned passing by, but not how many, if any, were with it. And these webs...... they most likely came from a spider or spiders, which makes the possibility the presence of a spider unrelated to this low. That golden hue most probably means the spider has Valiance, which, depending on what and how many Valiances it has, could mean the spider is exceptionally dangerous. And all that to the fact the spider is looking for our ruler/god's champion, and this looks like a bad situation. If we say nothing, the spider would be suspicious, and if we answer, this could end badly.

...Perhaps..... perhaps we could answer so as to not arouse suspicion, but say we do not know of Scars Of Yesterday. It is not accurate, but it seems the safest option for now.

"We have not heard that name before. We wished to know so that, if there might be anything to learn from him, we could, perhaps visit him as well sometime later. As far as being locals, we are a scouting party from a colony to the far north, on the other side of the Mandarinian Empire. To say that we are curious of our new surroundings would be an understatement and any knowledge we could glean from anyone would be immensely helpful."

The spider continues walking towards our group, now scant centimeters away.

"....You know what, I don't think I need your answer anymore..."
The spider, perhaps half again as large as a They Might Be Giants, starts smelling pleased.
"...Because I think you, the one communicating with me, look quite like another ant I saw recently...."
The spider is right before us now.
"....right alongside Scars Of Yesterday. What do you think. Of. That?"


What should we say/do?
>>
No. 71372 ID: a1ac99

>>71353
"Our colony has seen much in its time; by and large, ants are ants. Many different varieties from many different colonies tend to look similar given that they have similar jobs. I, myself, am a scout, is it not unreasonable to assume that perhaps the type of ant you saw with this Scars of Yesterday was also a scout? This would serve as a suitable answer to your reasoning, would it not?"

As for what I think, I think that you have worn out your welcome and that we shall be taking our leave through these threads that you claim do not belong to you. It was our original intention to explore them and the area they shroud, after all."
>>
No. 71377 ID: 9891a9

>>71372
Nail on the head there, this sounds right.
>>
No. 71383 ID: d1210a

>>71372
"Our colony has seen much in its time; by and large, ants are ants. Many different varieties from many different colonies tend to look similar given that they have similar jobs. I, myself, am a scout, is it not unreasonable to assume that perhaps the type of ant you saw with this Scars of Yesterday was also a scout? This would serve as a suitable answer to your reasoning, would it not?"

As for what I think, I think that you have worn out your welcome and that we shall be taking our leave through these threads that you claim do not belong to you. It was our original intention to explore them and the area they shroud, after all."

The spider listens to the speech Flash gives, not showing any particular care, still staring at Flash. The moment we begin to move to leave, however, he takes another step forward, almost on top of us.

"No, no, I'm quite sure, you are the same kind of ant I saw before. I think we should converse more, before you leave. In fact,"
The spider abruptly folds it's mouth about, it's fangs, larger than it's head and wickedly edge by the look of them are then held at the ready.
"I insist."


What should we say/do?
>>
No. 71385 ID: a1ac99

>>71383
Seems negotiations have broken down.

He doesn't seem to know how fast you are. Do you think you could run underneath him and out the other side, feint him into stabbing his fangs into the dirt, calling for the The Merciless to attack in full force when you do? It's kind of a dirty tactic, but we've been lying this whole time; one last falsehood for the sake of the colony won't hurt too much.

And besides, as the one that led both negotiations and the attack, you can claim the right to the Valiance.
>>
No. 71390 ID: d1210a

>>71385
Flash dashes forward, streaking towards the gap between the spider's underbelly and the ground, irking out every bit of speed she can, while The Merciless stand ready, waiting for the spider to turn after Flash.

Flash manages to dart under the spiders legs before it can react, but when she spins around to face it, she sees it holding it's lengthy fangs parallel to each other, not even facing her.

....? What is that noise? It's getting louder.


What should we do?
>>
No. 71391 ID: 1d375b

"Is that a threat? We did not come here to fight good sir. And even if we did know more about what you ask we would not tell it to someone without knowing there intentions first."
>>
No. 71392 ID: 632862

>>71390
Scatter!
>>
No. 71394 ID: a1ac99

>>71390
Tuning fork. Sound-based attack. Area spread, but damage tapers off at range.

Scatter. Quickest path away from both him and the webs.
>>
No. 71403 ID: d1210a

>>71394
>>71392

We scatter, suspecting this to be some sort of attack. The sound continues to grow louder, and the fangs are starting to blur.

....The sound is getting veRY LOUDAHHH!!
Ant after ant drops to the ground, reeling in pain. In short order all of The Merciless are on the ground, reeling in discomfort. But Flash was swift, able to get far enough away that she did not collapse. She stops for a moment once she exits the mass of webbing, to consider options.


What should she do?
>>
No. 71409 ID: a1ac99

>>71403
Damage report. Are any of The Merciless dead?

Is he still giving off sound?

Has he started to attack The Merciless that are down?

Does the pain become more intense inside the area of the webs?
>>
No. 71410 ID: 632862

>>71403
Demand to know the meaning of this. Warn him that if he continues behaving this way, open conflict will be inevitable! There are hundreds of ants available to fight if necessary!

Tell it that yes, Scars is known to you and is part of your colony, but you cannot risk alerting the Mandarinians to the location of the colony! No matter the cost, the queen must be protected.
>>
No. 71415 ID: 1d375b

Don't let them know about scars unless we learn more about his motivations. Its better we let the group get wiped out than lead a hostile enemy back to crescent.
>>
No. 71421 ID: d1210a

>>71409
Contact has been lost with The Merciless, but they still live. Only Flash is free to act on her own.

HIVE MIND BROKEN (Only Flash is currently controlled)

The spider still gives off sound, but has not begun attacking the defenseless The Merciless. Instead, it has turned to face me, and stands in place, it's blurred fangs still held upright.

It is possible the threads are blocking out some of the noise, as it got noticeably quieter once I had put several clumps between us by retreating.

>>71410
Flash addresses their assailant from a distance, carefully keeping her distance.

"What is the meaning of this!? If you continue to act aggressively, our entire hive will be set against you, hundreds of ants will call you foe! Stop now or face the consequences!"
"Like I care if some little ants are pissed at me. Your pals here are going to keep enjoying Stairway To Heaven until you tell me where Scars Of Yesterday is."

Does this spider truly not care if it starts a war against himself with his actions?

....Some of The Merciless are starting to slow in their convulsions. I must get the spider to stop if I am to ensure their survival.

"..YES, yes, Scars is known to us and is part of our colony, but I cannot risk alerting the Mandarinians to the location of the colony! No matter the cost, the queen must be protected."

The spider laughs while continuing it's sonic attack.

"DOHOHOHOHO, You think I care about The Mandarinians, your queen or any of you? You pathetic wretches, I am here to challenge Scars Of Yesterday, the first of you miserable little ants to become strong, to prove his worth in The Fight Song, and I will feast on him when I kill him, taking his Valiance for my own. Now tell me, little ant, where can I find Scars Of Yesterday, or I will kill your siblings before coming after you."


What should Flash say/do?
>>
No. 71433 ID: 1d375b

"If you wish to challenge Scars I am sure he would be happy to fight you. At the moment he is out on a mission for the colony. If you waited at fight song we could send him your way once he finishes."
>>
No. 71443 ID: 632862

>>71421
Tell him that Scars is currently somewhere north of here, and was keeping watch while communications with a strange Mandarinian were initiated.
>>
No. 71460 ID: 613875

>>71421
Man, these ants are REALLY TERRIBLE at lying.

I say let him end the merciless and break for it. Scars needs to know about this new threat, and there is little to prevent him from casually killing everyone anyway. This is the only Flash in the entire colony, no one else can deliver this news quickly.
>>
No. 71467 ID: a1ac99

>>71460
I hate to say it, but we've been rock and hard place'd.

Well, unless the Flash thinks that, maybe carrying a big rock in with it to dampen the effect of the sound on her body might work. The rock is denser, positioned in front of her and, if it's big enough, could make a nice shield.

Personally, I'm seeing a few flaws with the spider's valiance: It has a charge-up time where he can't protect his small head and pretty much anything bigger than he is would probably be able to withstand more of it than he could.
>>
No. 71478 ID: 1d375b

It might have more valiance's than we have seen so far. Might be another overconfident bully but could also be more dangerous than he looks.
>>
No. 71526 ID: d1210a

>>71443
(Flash is not aware that Scars Of Yesterday has returned, but could easily believe it based on the spider. She would not, however, have any clue about the Mandarinian representative.)

Should Flash cooperate with the spider, or should she make a run for it?


CURRENT VOTE TOTAL:

>>71433
STAY AND COOPERATE: 1
>>71460
REFUSE AND RETREAT: 1
>>71467
TRY TO RESCUE ANTS: 1

FIRST ONE TO THREE IS CHOSEN
>>
No. 71533 ID: 613875

>>71526
>Flash is not aware that Scars Of Yesterday has returned
My god thats right, this is still hour 7, the same timestamp where Scars returned, and the Do6L have just departed. That was weeks ago. >_<
>>
No. 71549 ID: 731dcd

>>71526

I think cooperation is the way to go at this point. His goal seems obvious enough, and while he might kill an ant out of boredom he'll just as likely refrain from killing anyone if it leads him to Scars.
>>
No. 71575 ID: a1ac99

>>71549
But, as he's already stated, he doesn't care about pissing off a few ants. I don't think he'll have any problem justifying it to himself to kill all of us anyway once we've outlived our current usefulness.

At the same time, running away and trying to rescue the ants are both risky; if we run, he might have a speed valiance and be able to outrun us, killing us anyway; if we try to attack, again, we don't know all of his valiances, he might have an ace in the hole as a backup weapon. Though I doubt it, he seems like the type to get ahold of something that he thinks is powerful enough and lets it go to his head.

At the same time, his valiance puts him at a disadvantage; he has to hold completely still for it to work. Otherwise he'd have followed us when we started to run away.
>>
No. 71579 ID: 1d375b

Might be best to try and fight him. Any info we give him would probably lead him to close to the hive and he would probably kill us anyways at this point. If he only has the sound attack we might be able to take him on. If not will gain some info on his abilities for later.
>>
No. 71582 ID: d1210a

>>71549
STAY AND COOPERATE: 2
REFUSE AND RETREAT: 1
>>71579
TRY TO RESCUE ANTS: 2

First one to 3 is chosen.
>>
No. 71603 ID: 632862

Cooperate. Tell him that if he's that confident we can't kill him with our army, then he won't mind waiting here while we go get Scars.
>>
No. 71639 ID: d1210a

>>71603
STAY AND COOPERATE: 3 [CHOSEN]

Flash sees no choice but to cooperate with the golden spider. After all, if it wishes to challenge Scars Of Yesterday, it could come to pass that it is the spider who falls, and it's Valiance would be a welcome addition to KILLER QUEEN's military might.

"I will tell you what you wish to know, now release The Merciless!"
"Pfft, that's what you call these weaklings? Fine, I'll stop, but if you don't tell me what I need to know, I am exceptionally willing to kill all of you in retaliation. So best tell me what I want to know, little ant."
The spider's fangs once more gain distinct edges, and the strange, keening noise fades away.

In short order, The Merciless on the ground stop writhing, and groggily get to their feet.
"....Now, about Scars Of Yesterday..."
>>71433
"If you wish to challenge Scars I am sure he would be happy to fight you. At the moment he is out on a mission for the colony. If you waited at fight song we coul-"
"Bzzt, wrong. He left The Collective to return home. That home is somewhere in this area. I am not going back to The Fight Song until I fight Scars Of Yesterday. Try again, ant, I'm getting impatient."
"....If you're so confident we could not kill you with our army, then you won't mind waiting here while we go get Scars Of Yesterday."
"...Fine. Tell Scars that Made In Heaven is waiting for him. Be warned ants, I know your scents now, and if I feel you have decided to renege on your agreement, I will track each one of you down, and kill every member of your colony I can find until I see Scars Of Yesterday. Are we clear?"

The now recovered The Merciless stand once more in a defensive mass right next to Made In Heaven, and Flash stands some distance away, looking on from a distance.

HIVE MIND REGAINED (Control regained of the 24 The Merciless)


What should we say/do? Should we continue to explore the webs near Carpathian Ridge? Should we attack Made In Heaven now that The Merciless are able to fight once more?
>>
No. 71641 ID: 632862

Scars would never forgive us if we took his challenge for our own. Flash should go back to Crescent and find out when Scars can come and fight; the Merciless should explore further.
>>
No. 71653 ID: d1210a
File 125719367794.jpg - (3.81MB , 3072x2304 , Mass Of Threads.jpg )
71653

>>71641
"Then I will go request his presence here, so that you may challenge him."
"Works for me. I'll be waiting. Just don't take too long, I might get bored."
The mocking tone in Made In Heaven's response is grating, but personal pride is irrelevant compared to the good of the colony.

Flash heads out to Crescent, in the hopes of contacting Scars. While she does so, The Merciless continue deeper into the mass of threads, looking to learn more. Made In Heaven ignores both parties, content to rest on his laurels for the moment.

The Merciless, after carefully making their way around and past the webs before them, find what appears to be the thickest clump of webs, from witch a very large number of the surrounding threads seem to originate.

!!NOTICE:!! Flash has encountered the 5 Death On Six Legs en route to Carpathian Ridge.


What should the ants do? Should The Merciless attempt to make their way into the mass of threads? Should Flash communicate with the Death On Six Legs, or continue onward to save time?
>>
No. 71681 ID: 731dcd

>>71653

The Flash breed seems adept at gathering information, I'd think that it'd be natural for them to do so whenever possible. Speak with the D6L's, find out what they're about and get new information concerning Scars and his whereabouts.

As for our Merciless, I myself am unwilling to continue. I'd recommend that a guard is placed, to try and discover just who is responsible for this. It might be a bit much to ask our military presence here to tackle whoever is responsible for this and what's more any casualties would threaten the stability of our newly established base. It's my humble opinion that our Merciless discover the nature of this foe and return to base when they feel they've gotten a strong grasp of the enemy's abilities and nature.
>>
No. 71751 ID: 716eb0

Fash communicate with Do6L, get updates all around, and send them to check in with the Sisters. The 3 who are to be stationed here should then go join the Merciless.
>>
No. 71781 ID: d1210a
File 12572188123.jpg - (70.33KB , 400x266 , Sister Machine Gun Speaks.jpg )
71781

>>71681
The Flash hails the passing Death On Six Legs, who stop to converse.
"Yes, Flash? What is it?"
"Sirs, a spider by the name of Made In Heaven has currently accosted us, and threatened to attack any members of our colony if he does not get to fight Scars Of Yesterday. He held a large portion of our military force here at Carpathian Ridge hostage to ensure he would be able to challenge him, and released them when we agreed."
While the other four Death On Six Legs quickly confer about this new information, the fifth one barks out a question.
"The spider, Made In Heaven: He a gold spider, bit bigger than They Might Be Giants?"
"Yes, sir!"
"Ahhh... I saw that one at The Fight Song, watched Scars Fight more than once. ....Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I recall someone named Made In Heaven challenging someone, Detharmonic, or perhaps Master Exploder, though I did not see the fight. So, he wants to challenge KILLER QUEEN's champion? Pfaw, he won't refuse that, not unless the queen orders him to. Little Flash, you should probably bring this word back to KILLER QUEEN first, before reaching Scars."
>>71751
"Sir! Further, the encroaching webs near Carpathian Ridge are exceptionally adhesive, and getting stuck to them could prove fatal! Several The merciless are already investigating."
Another of the Death On Six Legs proffers forth a response this time.
"Acknowledged, Flash. Report to the esteemed KILLER QUEEN with your news and to receive further orders. We'll take command of the search party."
"After a few of us first perform a service for Cydonia," another one comments.
"Cydonia, sir?"
"Ah, right. Our mother/god/ruler KILLER QUEEN has christened her budding empire Cydonia, and named Scars Of Yesterday her first Knight Of Cydonia, commander of her military, a short time ago. Now get moving, bring that news to the illustrious KILLER QUEEN immediately!"
"Sir!"

The Flash departs towards Crescent, to seek audience with KILLER QUEEN.

CONTROL HAS SWITCHED TO: 4 Death On Six Legs (Normal), 1 Death On Six Legs (Veteran)[The one that went with Scars to The Collective]

No matter how pressing the exploration of these webs may be, there is a duty that must be fulfilled. Two of us must fertilize the Sisters Havel and Machine Gun present, so that they may begin their work in earnest.

We arrive at Carpathian Ridge, and enter, finding Sister Hazel busily expanding the colony while Sister Machine feeds on some food. Both look up at our arrival. They seem to suspect our purpose here, as they both halt their current activities to attend to our arrival.
"Hail, Death On Six Legs. Has our queen mother sent you to fertilize us, so that we may make Carpathian Ridge a true colony?" Sister Hazel inquires, her tone reserved.
"That is so, Sisters."
"And? Which ones of you will do it? I don't doubt that the better the mate, the better our offspring will be," Sister Machine Gun retorts, appraising each of us.
...That is a good question. Which ones of us will do the deed?


Which type of Death On Six Legs should fertilize which Sisters?
>>
No. 71803 ID: 111075

:D
MMORTAALL COMBAT
>>
No. 71804 ID: 111075

>>71781
ask them if they each have distinct features or how they would lead their colony
>>
No. 71807 ID: 111075

:D
MMORTAALL COMBAT
>>
No. 71808 ID: d1210a

>>71804
(You do recall that mating will kill the male, correct?)
>>
No. 71812 ID: 632862

So basically this is asking us if we want to upgrade Sister Hazel or Sister Machine Gun.

On one hand it'd be nice to have some better military. On the other hand, I think favoring one over the other would breed resentment and internal conflict, so just have them both mate normal D6L.
>>
No. 71819 ID: d1210a

>>71812
(And Veteran units have a heightened chance of developing a Valiance.)

Two of the normal Death On Six Legs step forth, willing to do their duty for Cydonia's good.
"They shall serve to fertilize you. We must depart, there was an issue discovered nearby that bears investigating."
"Then go, and serve KILLER QUEEN's will, little warriors," Sister Machine Gun replies, already dismissing the two normal and one veteran Death On Six Legs, who promptly head back out to reunite with The Merciless, while the two staying behind prepare for their last service to Cydonia.


Should the 3 Death On Six Legs bring any further troops with them from the base? There are still 9 They Might Be Giants and 15 The Merciless inside.
>>
No. 71831 ID: 111075

>>71819
i am actually a little curious on what is happening with the Mandillarian and Scars of yesterday
>>
No. 71833 ID: d1210a

>>71831
(This could be done, but the quest currently being worked on has not reached any resolution, and would need to be returned to before the timestamp advances. If this is desired, a general consensus of at least 3 votes is required.)
>>
No. 71836 ID: a2583f

Bring more. 4 or 5 TMBGs and an equal number of Merciless tasked with directing them. We need to leave the others to guard the entrance and protect the Fat Bottoms.
>>
No. 71839 ID: d1210a

>>71836
5 The Merciless are assigned to each handle and guide one of 5 They Might Be Giants. They mount the armored ants, and direct them from there.

Now backed by their small contingent of armorer cavalry, the 3 Death On Six Legs set out to meet with the 24 The Merciless still in the webbed ares, the Veteran from the trip to the Collective naturally assuming a leadership roll with his greater experience.

The ants unite with the 24 The Merciless still in the webbed area.

YOU NOW CONTROL:
1 Veteran Death On Six Legs
2 Death On Six Legs
5 The Merciless/They Might Be Giants mounted units
24 The Merciless

Currently, the group is before the mass of webs that many of the threads seem to originate from.


What should be done?
>>
No. 71885 ID: 731dcd

>>71839

Let's try to proceed through as best as we can, hopefully following the trail of the Merciless left behind. If we can't proceed through the webs due to the TMBGs or even the D6Ls, we'll need to reconsider things.

I wouldn't want to test the strength of these webs again, at least not directly. Mandibles use is just going to get us stuck and blowing through with sheer strength is going to snap the strand, but it'll still be stuck to the ant and likely pull them upwards towards more densely weaved strands, dooming them.

Simply put, under no circumstances are we to dare contact with the web. If we can't continue on with the TMBGs and the D6Ls without damaging the web, so be it. We'll just have to use our newly found ability to use tools to overcome the problem.
>>
No. 71893 ID: d1210a

>>71885
>Currently, the group is before the mass of webs that many of the threads seem to originate from.
(They have already made their way to the center mass of threads, and are currently awaiting orders on what to do from this location.)
>>
No. 71897 ID: 632862

Try talking/yelling at it, see if there's anything inside. Just introduce ourselves and ask what's up with all the webs.
>>
No. 71906 ID: d1210a
File 125723025843.jpg - (320.12KB , 700x525 , Hive Queen Spider.jpg )
71906

>>71897
The Veteran Death On Six Legs barks out a string of dialogue towards the mass of webs, in the hopes of contacting whatever waits inside.

"You are encroaching on Cydonian land! State your purpose for this, and explain the necessity of these webs strewn about!"

.........

Slowly, a shape emerges from the darkness within the tangled mass: A colossal spider is dimly visible, a hive of little eyes on it's back.

"Home to raise young. Need hunting ground. Need more room, young will not have enough. Must spread more. Webs for young, to help them hunt. Need them."

The spider seems unwilling to modify it's behavior at the request of ants, and seems to fully intend to continue spreading the area covered in webs.


What should we say/do?
>>
No. 71909 ID: 6faa8c

>>71906
Inform it that if it continues to do so, it will have to follow Cydonian law: That is to say, not kill other Cydonians, offer a portion of its kills to Killer Queen, and assist us should a war occur.

If it cannot fulfill these demands, tell it that it will either leave or die.
>>
No. 71912 ID: 632862

>>71906
Well we have no problem with them expanding, so long as they don't get all up in our grill. Inform it in which direction Def Leppard's field is, that it should not expand much further in that one direction. Ask how much further it needs to expand, anyway.
>>
No. 71933 ID: a2583f

>>71909
I am pretty sure you just made that law up on the spot, but it is pretty good anyway.
>>
No. 71951 ID: 731dcd

What is her size, in relation to The Merciless? I don't think anyone intends on fighting this spider now, the terrain is terribly for us, but we should get as much information on her now as possible for when we do plan to destroy her. Assuming we do, of course.
>>
No. 71955 ID: d1210a

>>71951
(To put the spider in perspective, the young on her back are the size of Death On Six Legs.)

>>71912
"Halt your spread towards the field of flowers out there, it is our own feeding grounds. How much further do you need to expand, anyway?"
"Need more room. As much as possible. Cannot withhold from area, young need feeding, more prey required. Why should prey order us?"
>>71909
>>71933
"We order you because if you do not comply, you risk starting a war with all of Cydonia, and I doubt a spider protecting it's young could handle such an assault. Now, comply with our requests, and no such event need occur."
"Little prey, go away. Too full to care about you now."

It is unclear if the spider is too limited in intelligence to comprehend what we are trying to communicate to it, or if it simply does not see a potential threat in us.


What should we say/do?
>>
No. 71960 ID: 6faa8c

>>71955
Fucking hell, this bitch is gonna be a problem. I'd say it's time we off her, and her kids. Get a Flash to tail her for the moment until we can get Toxic or a large force together. She just insulted Cydonia and indeed all ants.
>>
No. 71961 ID: 731dcd

Short of making a ladder of corpses, I don't see us attacking this monster unless it touches the ground, which it has no reason to do. I am unwilling to make that sacrifice, more-so because I think even doing it we would lose this battle. We need Scars or Wings to knock her off her high horse and finish her off with a swarm of The Merciless.

But we need to make a military action on her sooner rather than later. Those young won't stay young forever. I'm in favor of retreating for now, unless someone desires to try the diplomatic route farther.
>>
No. 72020 ID: 28b933

>>71955
I know that this set of ants doesn't know about our deal with W.A.S.P., but would it be possible to get some of the spider's children (via killing it or even making a deal) for 'Children of the Future'?
>>
No. 72040 ID: 111075

>>71955
tell it that we are trying to help it in a peaceful manner
>>
No. 72129 ID: d1210a

>>71960
(There are no Flash either in this expeditionary force or back at Carpathian Ridge, the one that is headed to KILLER QUEEN was the only one here.)

>>72020
(Any sizable quantity of live spider young of a species that grows to be of sufficient adult size for the Children of Bodom to use them as cattle would be acceptable, in all likelihood.)

>>72040
"We are trying to give you a peaceful means to achieve your goals, continuing to refuse them will lead to conflict," the veteran Death On Six Legs gruffly barks out, but the spider seems disinterested in communicating further.

>>71961
....We lack appropriate forces to assault this uncooperative spider, considering that where it resides is on a mass of threads that proved lethally adhesive to us. Perhaps it is time to withdraw for the moment. So long as this issue is deal with soon, there is little chance the young the spider carries will be much threat.


Should we head back to Carpathian Ridge? Should we go check on Def Leppard and the field of flowers? Or should we do something else?
>>
No. 72137 ID: 731dcd

>>72129

Then I'd say it's time we left. I propose that we leave a small guard to monitor this one and her progress. Something like 5 The Merciless. We can keep an eye on her and if Scars goes straight to the web to engage Made In Heaven our small team can report to Scars the problems with this area and our intentions of attacking the spider mother.

We'll of course want to build up a sizable military group to assist Scars in his battle against the spider mother, but that's more of a time stamp business. While we're focusing on this area, a small detour to Def Leoppard so we can see how he and his are dealing with the ant occupation wouldn't be terrible. I'd also like to try and get a grasp of their military strength so that we can consider assaulting them in the future, should it become a desirable option. Since we're allies, a group of 10 The Merciless and the Veteran D6L Sergeant should suffice.

Take the remaining bugs home to Carpathian Ridge and inform Sister Machine Gun of our intentions and of our need for warriors in the near future.
>>
No. 72154 ID: d1210a

>>72137
-10 The Merciless and the Veteran Death On Six Legs depart towards Def Leppard's field, to learn more about the beetle and it's tribe.
-14 The Merciless and 2 Death On Six Legs set out for Carpathian Ridge
-5 The Merciless mounted on 5 They Might Be Giants stay to keep an eye on the spider's lair.

The 14 The Merciless led by 2 Death On Six Legs return to Carpathian Ridge in short order, meeting with the two sisters, the two Death On Six Legs that had stayed nowhere to be seen.
.....They have done their duty, then.

"Hm? What is it?"
"The webbed area near Carpathian Ridge it the home of a spider tending her young as they grow, and she is unwilling to refrain from spreading here. Additionally, she titled us 'prey'."
"Oh-ho, a need for soldiers? Well, that I can certainly do, in fact, I'm happy to. Finally, I get a foe to crush. ......Thank you for the information, I will most certainly put it to use."

The ants, having relayed their message, once more start patrolling the area around Carpathian Ridge, watchful for danger.

...............................................................................

The veteran Death On Six Legs and his escort of 10 The Merciless make their way to Def Leppard's field, and in short order spy one of the spotted orange beetles perched on a branch.


Should the ants hail the beetle, or continue exploring the field?
>>
No. 72174 ID: 731dcd

>>72154

Hmhm, I think I have a plan now. Okay, let's get D6L to hail down this beetle and keep a guard of 5 The Merciless about for appearances sake. Send the other 5 out through the field, scattering them to gather as much information as possible. The 5 loner ants mission is to get a head count of just how many beetles are living here, find out how much territory they possess and to pass along the information of Hive Queen's growing territory and her intentions. These ants would be under order to return to Carpathian Ridge in, say, 10 minutes time.

D6L and his guard would be on a similar mission, just that his would be a more personalized mission with intentions to speak to the beetle leader, Def Leoppard. So while the 5 Merciless head out, let's have D6L and his guard hail down the beetle. I'm not that good at this conversation thing but let's see here...

"Greetings from the Kingdom of Cydonia! It is unfortunate, but we carry grim news. A monstrous spider comes, spreading it's territory and devouring those who enter it. Worse, she carries a brood of young with her. However, we, the Warriors of Cydonia, intend to deal with this menace in short time. It is simply that we would see that our allies were protected as well."

Ah, I'm no good at this kind of thing, ahah.
>>
No. 72198 ID: d1210a
File 12573032622.jpg - (104.39KB , 500x400 , Hysteria.jpg )
72198

>>72174
5 The Merciless scatter to do a head count of the beetles within this field as well as assess just how big this field is and inform the beetles of the spider's presence, then return with the gathered information in some 10 minutes to Carpathian Ridge.

The veteran Death On Six Legs and his 5 The Merciless escorts make their way to the base of the stalk the beetle clings to. None here have seen Def Leppard before, and hope that this is the right beetle.

"Ho there! I bring word from Cydonia, the-"
"What's Cydonia?"
"....Cydonia is the empire our queen rul-"
"What's your queen's name?"
".........KILLER QUEEN. I am here to deliver word to Def Leppard, are you the one we seek?"
"Def Leppard? No, I'm Hysteria."
"Where i-"
"Oh, OH! Do you want to know where Def Leppard is?"
".................Yes."
"Aw, I'm sorry, I don't know where Def Leppard is. What do you want to talk to Def Leppard for? Oh, maybe I can help you find Def Leppard, that would be fun! Or, or, or, maybe you could tell me whatever you were going to tell Def Leppard, and I'll tell him when I see him!"

Death On Six Legs desires to bite Hysteria in the face.


Should the message be delivered to Hysteria, or should the ants seek out Def Leppard?
>>
No. 72205 ID: 836378

Seek out Def Leppard. It is obvious that this bug has suffered cranial damage.

Death on Six Legs: It would be ill advised to commence face biting. You can vent later on a stalk. Or enemies of KILLER QUEEN.
>>
No. 72252 ID: 632862

Seek out Def Leppard.
>>
No. 72254 ID: d1210a
File 125731244675.jpg - (43.40KB , 251x227 , Slang.jpg )
72254

>>72252
>>72205
.....This one is clearly not worth our time.

"I shall find Def Leppard on my own, thank you."
"Oh, oh, bu-"
"Thank you, but I have many tasks to fulfill, and little time. Excuse me."

Without waiting to perceive the response of the irritating Hysteria, the veteran Death On Six Legs leads the 5 Merciless with him in a search of the field for Def Leppard.

....Hm. This area is fairly sparsely populated by these beetles. Perhaps there are not that many of them alive, after Metallica fed here. Or perhaps they never had that many numbers to begin with.

Finally, we find another beetle, and address it, in the hopes that we have found Def Leppard.

"Hail, beetle."
"Yo, what's up bro?"
? I understood the intent behind the message I just received, but the cant, the tone..... something is warped about it.
"I am seeking out Def Leppard. Are you he?"
"Nah dudes, I'm Slang. Whatchu want wid Def Leppard?"
"I have a message to deliver to him. Do you know where he is?"
"I don't tink I can help, bro. I ain't got no idea where dat foo' at."

......This is getting frustrating. How are we to find Def Leppard?


Should we deliver the message to Slang, or continue seeking out Def Leppard?
>>
No. 72255 ID: 43d730

>>72254
Third time's the charm.
Maybe it will be someone intelligible this time.
>>
No. 72256 ID: 632862

>>72254
Ask him what the command structure is like around here. Maybe he knows the location of someone else in charge of matters of military importance.
>>
No. 72266 ID: d1210a
File 125731371937.jpg - (41.12KB , 560x417 , Retro Active.jpg )
72266

>>72256
"What is the command structure like here? Is there anyone we can go to about matters of military significance?"
"Yea foo', Retro Active's where it's at for important shit, when Def ain't around."
"And where is this Retro Active?"
"That foo' always on toppuhda tallest flower, likes the view or sometin'."

>>72255
"Then I shall seek Retro Active out, I have matters to attend to."
"A'ight dude, hope shit works out for ya."

Despite it's strange way of conversing, I feel far less ire towards Slang than I did Hysteria.

We set out to locate the tallest flower in the area, and spy one that towers above the others in short order. It takes some time to scale it, but we reach the top in due time, and sure enough, there is a beetle perched upon the flower's peak.

"Are you Retro Active?"
"That I am. What do you need of me?"
...This one seems to be much more collected than the others were.


What should we say/do?
>>
No. 72383 ID: ffdecc

>>72266
Confirm that Retro Active is second in command when Def Leppard isn't available, then deliver the message.
>>
No. 72452 ID: 716eb0

brace for "Def Leppard went to investigate and hasn't come back yet"
>>
No. 72454 ID: 836378

>>72452
I could see that happening, only to have him/her/it come back later with a Brand Spanking New Valiance.

>>72266

"Retro Active. We are emissaries sent by her our God/Mother, KILLER QUEEN. We hail from the Empire of Cydonia, and we are here to deliver a message."

Deliver Message. Then await reactions. If Retro is an acting second in command in this loose unorganized cluster, then perhaps he will be able to better get these bugs under control.

Or find Def Leppard.
>>
No. 72460 ID: d1210a

>>72383
"I was informed that in Def Leppard's absence, you are the leader here."
"Leader is the wrong word for it, but essentially, yes. Why, you have a message for Def Leppard?"
"I do."
"Well, if I recall, She said there was something she needed to be sure of, and went off to the south some ways, to where we had been attacked by Metallica."
>>72454
"Retro Active. We are emissaries sent by her our God/Mother, KILLER QUEEN. We hail from the Empire of Cydonia, and we are here to deliver a message."
"Ah, you are of those ants that established a base nearby, correct?"
"That is so."
"Well, you really should tell Def Leppard first. Stubborn as she can be, she does lead us."


What should we say/do? Should we deliver the message to Retro Active, or seek out Def Leppard to the south?
>>
No. 72473 ID: ffdecc

>>72460
Do both. Tell Retro Active just in case Def Leppard is dead or MIA, then go looking for Def Leppard.
>>
No. 72524 ID: 152de6

retro has a right to know about the spider
>>
No. 72675 ID: d1210a

>>72524
"I shall inform you first, then, of what has transpired. You are aware of the webs that have been encroaching nearby?"
"Of course. What did you call them, webs? Why, what about the strange change in the nearby environment?"
"A spider is preparing hunting grounds for herself and her young. We shall defend you from this threat, but be advised to stay away from the webs for now."
The as of yet mellow and composed Retro Active seems very shaken by this news."
"A threat? An outsider to assault us? Why again, why AGAIN!"
Retro Active wildly launches itself off of the flower, flying off in a furious burst of speed.

What is so shaking, so terrifying about a threat that will be fended off? It is not understood.

>>72473
We have spied an area from our current vantage point that must be where Metallica came and fed. There are several flowers either wrenched out of the earth or cut down, clear evidence someone too heavy to land on the flowers wished to feed. We set out towards the location, to find Def Leppard.

As we head climb down the stalk of the flower and back onto the ground, one of The Merciless sent to scout the area starts to pass by.


Should we hail them and see what they have to say?
>>
No. 72694 ID: a2583f

Um... sure, why not. Quickly though, I don't want to dawdle further.
>>
No. 72698 ID: d1210a

>>72694
"Report, The Merciless."
"Sir! No beetles have been seen, sir. Their numbers must be exceptionally thin!"
No beetles? Strange that this one not run into any, in the time it took us to meet three and be on our way to a fourth. ...Then again, we can't see Def Leppard yet, since the area that was damaged is too distant to view from the ground.
"...Sir?"
"Grhm, yes, dismissed!"

The Merciless resumes her trek scouting the area.

!!NOTICE:!! A completely alien buzzing noise, far more rough and chaotic than any heard yet, drones through the air. ....It begins to fade, but still persists.

What should we do? Should we continue onward to Def Leppard? Should we try to track down the source of the new buzzing (it sounds somewhat distant)?
>>
No. 72699 ID: 632862

>>72698
Uh oh, I think we made a mistake. The beetles, traumatized from being ransacked by Metallica, are likely freaking the fuck out now, and possibly throwing themselves against this new threat without thinking.

Rush to find Def Leppard.
>>
No. 72701 ID: d1210a
File 125740448168.jpg - (117.93KB , 1280x1024 , Def Leppard Mourning .jpg )
72701

>>72699
We rush forward, trying to reach Def Leppard as quickly as possible: We fear the beetles may be panicking from the new attack, and wish to keep that contained.

We rush forward, and stumble upon another beetle amongst the fallen flowers. Finally, this must be Def Leppard.

"Are you Def Leppard?"
"....I don't want to lose anymore friends, comrades. Not again. It
Yes I am Def Leppard, what is it?
hurts too much. Why is this happening again?"

...What?


What should we say, do?
>>
No. 72702 ID: 632862

>>72701
Ask him how we can stop the panic. The spiderwebs are expanding slowly and noone is currently in danger. We can eliminate the threat given some time, but if the beetles move now there will most likely be serious losses.
>>
No. 72706 ID: d1210a

>>72702
"The threat is largely minimal. The rate of encroachment is slow, and before that time, a force shall be mustered to either forcibly eject of annihilate the threat."
"NONONOTHISCANTHAPPENAGAIN
I see, then there is no cause for alarm
ITHURTTOOMUCHTHEFIRSTTIMETOOMUCHITHURTTOOMUCH!!"

....This dual pheromone pattern is confusing, but it seems that Def Leppard can communicate through it. Still, what strange behavior. It is somewhat unnerving.


!!NOTICE:!! The rough and chaotic buzz heard earlier quickly roars to life again very nearby before snuffing out once more!


What should we say/do?
>>
No. 72707 ID: 632862

>>72706
Ask if he's okay. Is there more than one beetle here?
>>
No. 72709 ID: d1210a
File 125740644425.jpg - (67.52KB , 1024x848 , Styx Appears.jpg )
72709

>>72707
We turn to assess the newcomer, to see which beet-

What is that!?

Some spiked, beastly fly has perched on a stalk nearby, staring at us with....... with strangely set eyes.

Def Leppard does not seem to respond to the presence of the newcomer, instead continuing a frantic tirade of pheromones expressing great anxiety, worry and terror, and a loss so painful it scars the mind.

The newcomer belts out a raucous laugh, a deep, vibrating and warping thing, like a flexing of the body.

...The newcomer also seems to be broadcasting a title for itself of Styx.


What should we say/do?
>>
No. 72722 ID: 632862

>>72709
Ask what his role here is.
>>
No. 72727 ID: 731dcd

Agreeing with >>72722

Although I'm a little worried at this point. Telling these beetles about this hasn't exactly generated the response I was looking for. Still, this is a valuable look into our allies Psyche and Performance. Better now than during a worse situation.
>>
No. 72729 ID: d1210a
File 125740915067.jpg - (553.29KB , 2047x1366 , Styx 1.jpg )
72729

>>72722
"What is your purpose here?"

Styx cackles, it's body writhing in a manner that is vaguely..... off, as it responds.

"Purpose? Kekekekekeke....... Madness. I feel it, taste it, and oh, what a wellspring of woe and broken minds is hear, a cornucopia of insanity. Couldn't leave it alone, no, of course not, who could let such a thing be? It must be nurtured, made to see, the veil torn off. Then the fun begins, kekekekekeke........."

Styx abruptly focuses it's wandering glare on Def Leppard. A strange ripple starts to distort the air.

PERSPECTIVE CHANGED TO: FIRST PERSON: VETERAN DEATH ON SIX LEGS

Even as a bystander to this glare, I can feel it pulling at something deep inside me, like spidery tendrils trying to grasp a piece of my essence, and drag me into oblivion. I see The Merciless with me are looking quite distressed.

But this is nothing compared to Def Leppard. She writhes on the ground, her pheromones chaotic and unintelligible. The ground around her is starting to swirl.

"Now show me, little one, show me where it is, the place sanity cannot reach? Show me your real face, KEKEKEKEKE!"



What should I say/do?
>>
No. 72730 ID: 632862

>>72729
Say nothing. Focus on him, think not of yourself.
Climb up to the fly and bite it in the face.
>>
No. 72732 ID: 836378

A Valiance! It has to be!

We must be extremely careful about this! Seeing as he in an agent of chaos, we must attempt to distract him. Question him on the following:

Why is he doing that to Def Leppard?
Can he stop doing that?
What IS that?


Also, look for vulnerabilities and ways to exploit them. He's quite mad, obviously, so we'll have to keep on out toes and be aware of any sudden change. Keep the Merciless close. This guy might require a bull rush strategy.
>>
No. 72733 ID: a1ac99

>>72729
The instinctual response of, "Oh fuck, it's in my head," then attacking seems like the best idea; inactivity has proven to lead nearly to bad end grade results in the past, as well.

Eyes on thin, top-heavy stalks seems a bad idea, from a developmental standpoint. Let's show him why.
>>
No. 72736 ID: 731dcd

>>72729

This one appears to be agressing one of his fellows. We, as allies and peace keepers, cannot allow that to occur. And so, we shall do our best to maintain the safety of those under our care. It is our duty! A Warrior of Cydonia holds true to their word! By Scars of Yesterday's name, through KILLER QUEEN's glory, this one shall be detained!
>>
No. 72738 ID: 632862

>>72730
Redacting this; I misunderstood something. While the fly is attacking Def Leppard, run over and cut down the stalk he's perched on. Only after he's toppled and distracted should you call on the Merciless to assist you. To be safe, do not stand between the fly and the group of Merciless. Make it so he can't hit all of you at once with his gaze attack.
>>
No. 72760 ID: d1210a
File 125743484122.jpg - (1.33MB , 3137x2092 , Styx 2.jpg )
72760

>>72732
Clearly this is some sort of Valiance, and this agent of chaos, as it seems to consider itself, is something dangerous.

Questions swirl through my mind about this Styx and what it is doing, but all of them are largely irrelevant: For the moment, Def Leppard is our ally, and it is our duty to defend them until KILLER QUEEN says otherwise.

>>72730
>>72738
>>72736
>>72733
Distracted, detained, delayed, distracted, destroyed... it matters not which end point is reached, so long as Def Leppard is protected from this one.

I order The Merciless to charge Styx, and I swing wide as I follow, to keep myself out of the range of that gaze. There is something....unsettling about it.

As both The Merciless and myself start to swarm up the branch towards Styx, it cakcles again, taking to the sky with it's eclectic, chaotic buzz, it's gaze still directed at Def Leppard.

"....KEKEKEKEKE, What a treat! Ah, and you showed such beautiful madness to your guests! Kekeke..... So, when your friends, your sna,e smiling friends, when they were gone, she couldn't handle it. What is a leader bereft of her people? The sane cannot answer this. And so you retreat, you lie to yourself, to others, to everything that it's okay, things don't hurt so much, because they didn't really happen."

Styx alights on another branch, completely ignoring our attempts to stop it, all while continuing it's communication with the writhing Def Leppard below.

"....Oh, but the little ones reminded you of the truth, they made you remember the terror of the day your sanity cracked..... and now it festers in you, growing larger. You tore the spots out of your back, to forget the pain, but it wasn't enough, was it? Wouldn't it be easier to let go? Why care about things that cause you pain? LET IT GO."

...!? The ground that shifts and swirls about Def Leppard, still trapped under that gaze, now has several distinct lumps raising out of it, converging on Def Leppard as they continue to rise, up and out of the dirt.

Def Leppard is now surrounded by several similar looking beetles' in similar states of decay, all with grievous wounds. They are moved by some outside force as they slowly emerge from the ground and press in ever closer around Def Leppard. Only now, does her struggling cease. As the dead finally touch her, she looks up at Styx, and just as she vanishes under the pile of dead, transmits but one thought.

"..............The pain can go away?"
"Of course, dear follower of madness. It will protect you, keep you safe from the pain the world brings."

!? Something is happening to Def Leppard and the pile of dead about her! What the......
>>
No. 72761 ID: d1210a
File 125743488746.jpg - (79.58KB , 1024x768 , Def Leppard United.jpg )
72761

The pile of dead around Def Leppard turns to ooze, coating and enveloping Def Leppard. But mere moments after this begins, the goo turns opaque, hardening into...... what?

The opaque goo hardens into a carapace, chaotic shambles of markings dotting it's form. Two pits, like the eyes of the abyss, now glare out from this crazed mass of tissue.

And finally, the ooze cracks and breaks, revealing.... an altogether different Def Leppard. Five times her old size, and far more armored, Def Leppard's scent nonetheless is being transmitted from this body, warped as it may be.

"That's right, remember the dead always, keep them close to you, let them keep you safe, strong, free, kekeke."

The new Def Leppard slowly stands.


What should I do?
>>
No. 72779 ID: 731dcd

>>72761

I'm, err, not sure, actually. On the one hand, Styx has ceased being an aggressor, making our earlier stance null. Def Leoppard doesn't even appear injured, no, she seems much stronger. So, D6L would inquire into this strange thing and discover just what on earth this bug did.

But my genre-saviness is saying that we're in for a fight against an evil Def Leoppard...

Well, I figure, stick with the ant side, not like we can justify an attack based off of a hunch alone. "Def Leoppard? Are you quite alright? Styx, what is the meaning of this? What have you done?"
>>
No. 72782 ID: d1210a
File 125745843184.jpg - (545.63KB , 1280x1024 , Styx Glare.jpg )
72782

>>72779
Something I do not understand, perhaps cannot comprehend, has just transpired.

But I have a duty to perform, and so I carry on.

"Def Leppard? Are you quite alright? Styx, what is the meaning of this? What have you done?"
The fly cackles as it flits about in the air, it's maniacal glee overpowering.
"KEKEKEKE, Free, free free. I took off the rules, let her see the truth. She lied, to all and self, before. She put on the faces of dead tribe, played out a lie for you, lived in a dream they were still alive. Now, they are with her even in death, and she can be free from all concerns. Free, free to delight in chaos and madness, free or the delusion of rules, laws, order, those lies we tell ourselves. Here, let me share with you it's splendor...."

Styx directs his gaze on us now, and I watch a ripple flow through the air, racing at us at a blistering rate. Before we have a chance to react it is upon us.

The ground starts heaving and an oppressive force envelopes us and.....

My head feels... strange.
Why serve KILLER QUEEN? Why live beholden to another? I should do as I please, free of worry, of restriction.

What? No, no, never, not betrayal! ..Grngh, why is it so hard to think....
But what of what I wish to do? So many things to see, to explore, to kill, to eat, to warp...

...Freedom..... what I want...no, no, I must....
I could die without ever having been free to do what I wish. I want to be free of that which binds me.

...No bindings...that sounds....unh, so distracted.....


What..... matters to me?
>>
No. 72789 ID: 632862

>>72782
What worth is a life without duty? Without family? You would give up so much, and gain so little. As a nomad, chances are you would simply die in a fight over a few scraps of food. You would be giving up the opportunity to lead a massive army of ants to glorious victory under the loving eye of KILLER QUEEN, or to die in one magnificent last stand against enemies too numerous to count. Not least of all, remember that even while serving your queen, you have much flexibility in how you carry out your orders.

Long live the QUEEN!
>>
No. 72798 ID: af3e6d

>>72782
Ask yourself, why do you serve? You serve Killer Queen not because you are told to, but because it is what you must do. The very core of your being is based around working for the whole. It is your sworn duty to work for the good of Cydonia. You are a creature of honour. Freedom, to you, is not the release of all bonds, of all duties. Freedom is the ability to carry out your duty simply because it is the right thing to do. Alone, you are but one ant. You may feed freely, you may fight freely, and you may even be victorious, but it cannot last. Your enemies would be too numerous, too strong for a lone ant to deal with. As a part of the whole, you have a fighting chance. As part of the whole, you have the support of others, and likewise they expect you to support them. As part of the whole, you have a reason to be. A goal. A duty. You know what is right. You can die alone, or you can fight together.

Long live the Queen!
>>
No. 72800 ID: d1210a
File 125746214021.jpg - (138.04KB , 800x578 , Veteran Death On Six Legs Captures Creature.jpg )
72800

I can't control my body, I can't interpret anything from my senses, and I writhe on the ground, my body seizing as some otherworldly and vast.... THING tries to invade my mind.

>>72789
Do anything you want to do, become truly free.

...No.
What?

No, I will not follow the path of chaotic freedom, of unfettered thought. What worth is a life without duty? Without the colony?
What worth is being bound? So many things you could do without those chains.

Perhaps. But there are things that can only be achieved in a 'bound' world. I could lead armies for our queen, win glory for her name. And though I am bound, I have much freedom already. I have no need of more.
No? NO!? But the sweet embrac-

I have no desire for this maddened, warped freedom you offer. I shall not be swayed from serving KILLER QUEEN

My jaws snap shut as I once more become aware of my surroundings, a pale, wriggling monstrosity from the ground captured in my jaws. As I struggle to make sense of the situation, I realize I feel.... different. Not in mind, but in body, as if my form was more firmly aligned with my way of thinking, more anchored to my identity.

I become aware that Styx still floats in the air, and Def Leppard still stands in her spot. ....Have they not moved, or has so little time passed?


What should I do?
>>
No. 72808 ID: 632862

>>72800
Throw the white creature at Styx, knock him out of the air. Then grapple him, and force him to release Def Leppard and the Merciless from his grip of madness.
>>
No. 72810 ID: a1ac99

>>72800
It looks like some form of larva.

A thought: Maybe it is one of Styx's offspring and he/she uses them to control other insects by binding them to the insect in question. A metamorphosis into some twisted progeny of chaos.

Rend it in twain. Check The Merciless and see if they are similarly accosted by these... things. If so, slay the larva. It could as well release them as it has you.
>>
No. 72814 ID: af3e6d

>>72800
If you can disrupt Styx, do so. Also, check around to see if any The Merciless have escaped the mental grasp.
>>
No. 72817 ID: 716eb0

Do you understand now what freedom within the service of the QUEEN is? To be able to do what you want as an individual ant, but what you want more than anything is to serve your colony? That is the path open to you now. Scars was the first to understand it, and that understanding brought great strength. Forge your own path, for the glory of Cydonia.
>>
No. 72822 ID: d1210a
File 125746566384.jpg - (141.73KB , 800x583 , Veteran Death On Six Legs Freeing The Merciless.jpg )
72822

>>72814
None have escaped, they all writhe under the grasp of this..... Madness. They seem almost submerged within the dirt as it roils around them.

>>72810
I rend the fleshy creature in my mandibles into a splatter of gore, and quickly begin digging in the ground near one of The Merciless. As I pry her out of the ground, I find another pale and fleshy creature the same as the one I killed attached to her, it's amorphous body starting to ooze over her. I rip the creature off and caste it's carcass aside, and move on to free the others. The corpulent fleshy masses die easily, and I free my escort in short order. However, while they are still alive, they seem dead to the world. For the moment, I am alone.

>>72817
The freedom to choose your chains, to choose the ones that you actually want, that is the only freedom I need. And I choose to follow our god/mother, KILLER QUEEN, till the very moment I die.

I look about, and see that Def Leppard is staring at me with interest, though of what type I cannot be certain. Styx, however, is not so relaxed.

"I offer you release, I offer you freedom, and you reject it? You accept that which binds and restricts you? ....No, I do not accept it. I will MAKE you accept Madness."

The fly, some ten times my size, dives toward me, it's legs held in a strange fashion.


What should I do?
>>
No. 72823 ID: 632862

Fling a grub in its face to distract it, avoiding its legs. Attempt to climb upon it and attack its wings.
>>
No. 72826 ID: d1210a
File 125746851037.jpg - (189.87KB , 600x377 , Madness Spawn The Merciless.jpg )
72826

>>72823
I hurl a gory piece of flesh at Styx, forcing it to focus on the incoming projectile. I leap skyward, hoping to latch onto the mad fly as it passes, but Styx proves to be a surprisingly deft flier, and nimbly dodges my grapple, continuing to the ground. While I am still mid-leap, I see Styx land amongst the now motionless The Merciless.

"Madness should be shared with all... kekeke!"

As I land on the ground once more, I see the strange, pulsing ripple emanate from Styx once more, this time when he is standing right on top of The Merciless.

Perhaps the job was partway done, or perhaps this power grows in strength with proximity. It doesn't really matter.

I watch the 5 The Merciless, their bodies quickly subsumed and encapsulated in the strange fleshy sacks. They grow, warp and shift, and I watch as they are taken by Madness. I watch my failure to keep them safe.

I can feel it. They are no longer part of the colony. They are lost.

And now, as I watch them charge me at Styx's bequest, the accursed fly cackling behind them as it takes off, I know I must kill them, they who have fallen and become the spawn of madness.

....Which may prove difficult, as they are much larger than before, and look much more bestial, more wild. They charge me in a loose line of five, howling for my entrails.


What should I do?
>>
No. 72832 ID: 632862

>>72826
Call out to Def Leppard for help. Climb up on a stalk so that they can't rush you all at once.
>>
No. 72862 ID: d1210a
File 125747635413.jpg - (275.98KB , 1334x932 , Def Leppard United Questioning.jpg )
72862

>>72832
I quickly backpedal to one of the decapitated flower stalks still rooted in the earth, scuttling up as quickly as I can in the hopes of forcing the warped The Merciless to come at me in smaller numbers.

....I am dismayed to note that they seem faster than me in their new state, as well as being comparably sized to me now.
Well, Styx seems to have departed after converting The Merciless, his chaotic buzz fading into the distance.

I hail Def Leppard as the warped The Merciless begin to approach.

"Def Leppard, can you assist me?"
"Hmm? Why should I? You barged on our land, and threatened me into cooperating. Why should our relationship be cordial now?"


....Something is different about Def Leppard's thoughts, something off. ....I wonder if she has been warped in mind as well as body, just as The Merciless have. Still the very fact she converses shows that she still has sapience and is willing to listen.

Speaking of which.... they seem to have caught up with me, and two charge up the stalk at me, and will be upon me in seconds.


What should I do? Should I continue trying to persuade Def Leppard to assist me, or should I focus solely on my assailants?
>>
No. 72864 ID: af3e6d

>>72862
I knew the initial threats would come back to bite us in the ass(gaster?)... You don't seem to have much hope other than getting Def Leppard's assistance, but I'm at a loss as to what to say.
>>
No. 72870 ID: 82167e

>>72862
"We were trying to protect you and your land for our mutual benefit - our methods may have been crude, but our aim was the same regardless. And we will continue to fight, and hold to our deal with you, if you are willing."

Meanwhile, draw upon your experience from watching the fights to attack the mutated Merciless as they come towards you - hopefully they're now too unintelligent to use strategy. Try throwing them off the stalk if need be, or going for vulnerable spots as they climb.

You should also probably be broadcasting for the other 5 Merciless to come to your aid.
>>
No. 72886 ID: d1210a
File 125747939133.jpg - (154.54KB , 600x415 , Madness Spawn The Merciless Attacking.jpg )
72886

>>72870
I begin broadcasting a call to arms for any nearby Cydonian, but I have more pressing concerns to deal with.

Such as the twisted mutants that were once The Merciless, now lunging for my face. I parry the first attack, but underestimate the speed and reach of the mutated ants, and the second tries to clamp down on one of my antenna to wrench it off. I recoil instinctively.....

...And find that in my new form, I have much, MUCH more durable antenna, and can exert a great deal more force through them. The attacked antenna slams into the second mutated ant, striking it off of the flower stalk to fall to the ground below.

Before another can fill the hole left by the one I knocked off, I once more engage the remaining warped ant, still contemplating the change in my antenna. Shortly, I thrust an antenna forward, thrusting it into the eyes of the attacking twisted ant, knocking it off of the stalk as well. Hrm, a good bit of force was in that hit. For the moment, I have a brief respite as the lone occupant of the stalk. But I can see the two I knocked down starting to climb once more, the others with them.

!!NOTICE:!! The Veteran Death On SIx Legs has gained the new ability: Pack-A-Punch. He can now freely manipulate his antenna, which are now comparably durable to any given limb, and can be used in combat as well as functioning as limited manipulators.

>>72864
This will be far more easily handled if only I can convince Def Leppard to help me. I once more hail the beetle.
"We were trying to protect you and your land for our mutual benefit - our methods may have been crude, but our aim was the same regardless. And we will continue to fight, and hold to our deal with you, if you are willing."
"You admit to desiring that which is on this land, then. But you claim you will hold to your agreement, and protect me? Prove I should believe you. Prove it by killing your twisted comrades, show your commitment. Do that, and I shall offer no further complaints, and assist you and yours however you wish."


Great. I have no idea if anyone even perceives the distress broadcast I am releasing, and Def Leppard doesn't want to help. I may have to solve this situation myself, then.


How should I approach this? I am still on the stalk, and the mutated ants are climbing to my position above them. Should I fight them here, or move the fight?.
>>
No. 72887 ID: 632862

>>72886
Continue the fight here, it's a great tactical advantage. Focus on one ant at a time with your mandibles while using Pack a Punch to keep others away.
>>
No. 72888 ID: af3e6d

>>72886
They are lost, but if you can defeat them you'll cement this alliance. I think it would be best to stay where you are, since they need to climb up to strike at you and there's not enough room for all of them to fit (is there?) so their numbers don't mean as much. Did the fall look like it did any damage? If so, keep knocking them off, possibly into the others. If not, try to hit them hard and fast before they get good footing at the top. Don't give them a chance to get a shot in.
>>
No. 72891 ID: 836378

Alright. We have to focus. The only way to get this done is to trick them somehow. They seem to be under the full sway of something that may or may not be a Valiance, so we have to be careful.

We need to move away from this area. Try and draw them within range of any TMBG's in the area, and if you can find them, order them to help you in the fight. These are mutated Merciless, so while they'll still be a bit harder, you can probably take them.

You just need some allies. The only suggestion I can possibly offer is to find some.

Otherwise, you could try to fight them one on one on the stalk. This is ill-advised, however, seeing as you'd need to go for a side kill.
>>
No. 72895 ID: 731dcd

Interesting spectacle I return to! Very well then! What we fight here is not a battle of strengths, but a battle of will and ideals. Let us prove that ours is all the stronger!

"Very well then! No matter the end, I stand by my ideals! I shall stay true to the course, for I much prefer it over any of your 'freedom', for it sounds a hollow thing. What is your 'freedom' without ideals? Without honor and courage, without companions and allies? I desire no such freedom from these ideals, these notions! To me, your hollow freedom is but a word! But enough! Come, my sisters! I shall put you to rest! But remember, even in your warped forms, you are the progeny of glorious KILLER QUEEN! I would be disappointed were you to be defeated to easily! Come!"
>>
No. 72896 ID: a2583f

Address the others directly in your respite. You probably know what words swayed them.
"Is this what your freedom is then? If you could do anything you want, you would rather fight your sisters and die in a field, alone and friendless, than be a part of something great, and see the glory of our kind realized?"

Back up the stem, getting as many to follow you up as possible, i.e. not be waiting on the grounnd. Knock one off the flower and dive after it, pierce it and end it before it has a chance to regain its legs, then get to another flower.
>>
No. 72936 ID: d1210a

>>72888
(The fall caused no discernible damage to the two knocked off earlier.)

>>72887
>>72895
>>72896
My position is advantageous, and with my new skill, I have many more options available to me when clinging to a surface than I normally would. I will face them here.

...Perhaps there is another way. I was able to resist the effects of what Styx did, could The Merciless be renewed, returned to their old minds? The effort must be made. Freedom, that was the lure placed before me, I see no reason to believe it would be different for them. I issue a bold proclamation as they near my position once more. I must try to bring them back, they are my responsibility, it is what one does.

"Is this what your freedom is then? If you could do anything you want, you would rather fight your sisters and die in a field, alone and friendless, than be a part of something great, and see the glory of our kind realized?"

The mutated ants remain unresponsive, continuing to charge me. Perhaps they can no longer understand me: Perhaps they no longer care. .....It seems this must end in violence then. So be it.

...Heh, I was the voice of caution to the battle-hungry Scars Of Yesterday, and look at me now, about to fight my corrupted sisters, and I feel..... excited, tense, exhilarated..... I feel a great tumult of emotions, all gearing me more and more towards that which is coming.

Well, if this must happen, let it be done right.

"Very well then! No matter the end, I stand by my ideals and the will of KILLER QUEEN! Come, my twisted sisters! I shall put you to rest! But know this, even in your warped forms, you are the progeny of glorious KILLER QUEEN! I would be disappointed were you to be defeated too easily! Come!"

As the first of the second wave reaches me, I lock mandibles with it, both of us trying to maneuver within our limited space for better positioning. Or we were, until I employ Pack-A-Punch to batter the head and eyes of my opponent. It flinches back from the assault, and as it does I wrench my head back, tearing it's mandibles from it's face. As it howls in agony, I snip off one of it's legs and smash my antenna into it's eyes, blinding it while robbing it of it's footing. The wounded and pained creature drops off the stalk, falling to the ground below, it's path marked by a fine trail of internal fluids gushing from it's devastated face.

But the remaining four show no signs of wavering, and still rush towards me. It looks they intend to attack me in pairs from hear on, and the stalk is too wide for me to prevent them from doing this.


How should I defend myself/handle my opponents? Or should I attempt to relocate?
>>
No. 72952 ID: 632862

>>72936
Scurry up a bit further to see if the stalk gets any thinner. Also look around to see if there are any other tight spaces available to fight in.
>>
No. 72961 ID: a1ac99

How far up the stalk are we? Could we snip the end of it away, dropping ourselves to the ground before cutting the main part of it it down? If we could do that, one or more of them could end up overturned or crushed under the stalk's weight. If they get overturned, we could just crawl on top and end them, if they're crushed, they're gone anyway.
>>
No. 73004 ID: 731dcd

>>72936

Doho, Twisted Sister, that's good. Let's use that terminology, I like it. Alright D6L, let's see... Worst case scenario is that one of the Twisted Sisters gets a hold of you and drags you back, pitting you against all 4 at once. We're going to want to avoid that. Luckily, your Pack-A-Punch should be able to help defend against that kind of maneuver.

Ah, I can't really plan out attacks and that sort of thing though... I'd just say something like, hit them and don't get hit back! So, my battle plan here is, well, to let you guys take care of it! It's in your capable hands now!
>>
No. 73006 ID: a2583f

>>72961
I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of a plan that hopes on the weight of a flower crushing an ant.

Might try throwing yourself downward at them in an attempt to knock one off with you. Kill it quickly, before the others have a chance to climb back down. Anything to fight one-on-one.
>>
No. 73011 ID: d1210a
File 12574950381.jpg - (204.18KB , 600x387 , Twisted Sister.jpg )
73011

>>72961
(The stalk is large enough two Twisted Sisters can come at you at once. It is far too wide for a single ant to be able to quickly cut through.)

>>72952
Sadly, the stalk I currently occupy terminates relatively near the ground: I cannot climb any higher. .....Unless I were to climb to the very top and stand at the summit, but doing so would mean the Twisted Sisters could come at me from any side. Although, I would have access to all my limbs for combat purposes again...hm.

>>73006
This is also possible. I am confident I could knock a Twisted Sister to the ground along with me, and I feel myself a capable enough grappler I could assure that the Twisted Sister took the brunt of the impact. However, this would leave the remaining three above me, where they could potentially drop on me. Even if they don't I will have given up my perch.



Which course of action should i take? Should I ascend to the summit of the stalk and fight the Twisted Sisters there, or should I tackle one to the ground and try to finish it before the other three catch up?
>>
No. 73012 ID: 632862

>>73011
Ascend to the top.
>>
No. 73021 ID: a3b36a

Punch the fuck out of them! Follow the Way of the Fist! Er... antennae. Whichever.
>>
No. 73095 ID: 836378

>>73011

How maneuverable are they? You said they were fast, but how is their turn speed?

If it's not good, you want the top. Constantly circle strafe and strike at the neck from the side.

If not? Perhaps we can lure them into a one on one fight at the top? We just need to get them all up there at once and then work at them one by one.

Take these Twisted Sisters down, and you will know a True Name, Death on Six Legs.
>>
No. 73176 ID: 716eb0

I don't see that there would be much of a difference between fighting in the open space on top of a flower vs on the ground, except that the ground plan has likelyhood to reduce the number of attackers in exchange for a brief tactical disadvantage. It seems like a fair trade, because they still have us beat in a fair fight.

Of course the meteor smash might knock more than one off the stem if we time it right, further reducing the danger of them having the drop on us.
>>
No. 73257 ID: a1ac99

>>73176
Well, we can punch with the antennae, what's to say we can't punch even harder with our other limbs? They're actually built for that motion, after all and if our change has made our antennae capable as something to smack people with, well, you get where I'm going with this.
>>
No. 76187 ID: d1210a

>>73012
I quickly dart up the remaining stalk, reaching the summit shortly. There is room enough for me and naught much else up here, excellent. If I'm quick and alert, I could defend this position fairly capably.

....Or so I initially surmise, until I see the remaining four Twisted Sisters spreading out, to come up at me from all sides. This will be a riskier position to defend, now.

>>73021
As they begin to reach my position, I begin lashing out, viciously striking them with my adapted antenna, dazing them while momentarily halting their progress. But I cannot keep all four off the top with just this.

>>73257
....I have been foolish, to forget what I already had. As a Twisted Sister lunges at my flank, I kick out with a leg, the blow impacting the warped ant in it's gaping maw, causing it distress. As the other Twisted Sisters begin to engage me directly, I start whirling about, a flurry of kicks and antenna strikes, fending off my attackers.

.....But it's not enough. I am not able to cause serious injury in this fashion, not yet. Their bodies are surprisingly springy, and seem to flex with impacts enough to minimize harm to them. How could I work around that?

>>73095
I hate to admit it, but these Twisted Sisters are vastly superior to The Merciless they once were, and may well be the equal of Death On Six Legs. And their talent at abruptly reaching top speed makes them regrettably more mobile than I. I am only able to handle them by virtue of the fact they seem to attack me mindlessly out of insanity, hunger or rage, and have no mind for tactics.

Lure one into an individual fight? Truly, I do not deny feeling confident I could dispatch these aberrations individually, but how to separate one from the rest? They continue to hound me as a group.

>>73176
...There is an option present for singling out one of these Twisted Sisters. And considering how futile it seems to be attempting to engage them all at once and still be able to best them, I decide to commit myself to the path I have devised.

I dodge a snapping bite, and spring forward, bulling into one of the Twisted Sisters, catching it by surprise. But I don't simply tackle it, I continue to rush forward, and abruptly I and the Twisted Sister are plummeting to the earth.

Even with my weight added in, it is unlikely that the fall will be directly damaging.

But then, it doesn't need to be.

As the Twisted Sister hisses in a cry of challenge, I employ Pack-A-Punch, beating the maddened ant in it's gaping maw, crushing and pulping sensitive tissue. The creature tries to real back, just as we reach the ground. I put all my body weight behind a single antenna still jammed in the battered face of the Twisted Sister, and tense myself for the coming impact.

A vibrant, jolting shock runs through my system, but I seem to be much more durable than I was before, not even my antenna pained from the impact.

The Twisted Sister has my antenna impaled straight through it's head, pinning the corpse to the ground. One more down, three left.

I yank my antenna free as I perceive the remaining Twisted Sisters leaping down towards my position. Def Leppard is still looking on as a spectator, and I cannot sense any other ants in the vicinity. I wonder how much more ably my opponents will fight on the ground. The real test of martial skill may be coming, and I must survive, if KILLER QUEEN is to learn of what bizarre events have transpired. I must best those before me.


What should I do?
>>
No. 76188 ID: 632862

>>76187
If they are jumping down, they cannot dodge while falling. Meet one as it lands and bite its head off. Then it's 2 versus 1, and we already know you can beat those odds.
>>
No. 76189 ID: d1210a

>>76188
I brace myself on the ground, hoping to capitalize on my more durable form successively, and use a descending Twisted Sister's momentum against them. As I stand my ground, I see the creatures plummeting towards me, and try to gauge which one shall be the one I shall target. I make my choice.

!? The Twisted Sisters flail their legs, and their decent trajectories shift significantly! The one I targeted slips away, and another barrels into me. I manage to snap my jaws open in its direction before it hits me, but then we are both hurled into a wild tumble across the ground.

Scuffed, scraped and dazed from the impact, I groggily get to my feet, finding one of my mandibles glistening with ichor. It seems I cut a great rent in the Twisted Sister's side, but it is still functional.

Now all three Twisted Sisters are around me, on ground level. They spread out to encircle me, showing some restraint for the first time. They seem to be waiting, but still hungering for my tissue.


What should I do?
>>
No. 76190 ID: 25302b

Being surrounded is obviously bad, you need to find a way to outmaneuver these beasts. Is your new-found strength capable of launching you from the ground, even a little? Coming at them from above might be just the surprise you need.

>>76189
>Their bodies are surprisingly springy, and seem to flex with impacts enough to minimize harm to them. How could I work around that?
Aaaaand now I am thinking living trampoline.
>>
No. 76191 ID: 632862

>>76189
Hm, they have a higher top speed, but what about sprinting? Rush one in front of you (the injured one if possible), jump up and ram every limb available into it, including antennae. The impact should get you some extra air in either a forward or backwards direction. Twist around in the air so that you land facing the rear of one of the Sisters, and attack.
>>
No. 76211 ID: 5d5878

>>76189
If you get the chance or have a choice in the matter, take down the injured one first. It'll go down quicker with its prior injury and thus there will be fewer opponents to deal with.
>>
No. 76456 ID: d1210a

>>76191
I bound forward as quickly as I can, my forelegs joining my antenna as I assault the nearest Twisted Sister in a flurry of strikes. The creature is battered and unable to respond, but still stands, if barely. The other two are closing in now that my attention is on their peer.

>>76211
Yes, the one I already wounded should be the easiest to fell. Hm. It seems that while it is incredibly easy to attack the twisted sisters with strikes and kicks, their bodies seem very suited to blunt trauma, and suffer little in the way of real damage. Conversely, I was able to rip a large gash in one of the Twisted Sisters rather easily with my mandibles. Of course, trying to fight point-blank face to face against multiple opponents carries it's fair share of risks.

>>76190
....I have an idea. I spring onto the Twisted Sister before me, using my weight to drive the dazed creature into the ground as I leap into the air, aiming to land on the wounded Twisted Sister.

I manage to hook a few of my limbs onto the Twisted Sister as I once more leap into the air, carrying the wounded one with me sailing over and past the third Twisted Sister. As we sail through the air, I heave my body into rotation as we begin to descend, putting us both in a wobbling spin. As the ground rushes up to meet us, I hope I time this right.

I slam the Twisted Sister head first straight into the ground, both of our weight twisting and bending it's body as it impacts. With an abrupt snap, the Twisted Sister's head pops off of it's body, a small spurt of gore and ooze drooling from it's body as it's head tumbles away.

Two more to go.

I turn to see the remaining Twisted Sisters have emulated me, and are both airborne, scant moments away from colliding with me. I don't have time to avoid this.

The two Twisted Sisters slam into me, knocking all three of us tumbling in a mad flurry of snapping jaws and moving limbs.


What should I do? Should I try to exit the grappling match, or stay in and try to employ my mandibles, which seem more effective at injuring Twisted Sisters than simple strikes.
>>
No. 76481 ID: 9891a9

>>76456

Get out of this brawl, you're outnumbered. Staying alive is better than killing one and then being killed by the other.
>>
No. 76542 ID: 898207

>>76456
i agree we need to get out of that situtation
>>
No. 76562 ID: d1210a

>>76481
>>76542
I struggle to break free, only to realize that the Twisted Sisters possess eight legs now, their extra legs deceptively emulating antenna. A full sixteen legs and two gaping, fang-filled maws threaten my body, and it is all I can do to keep myself from being overwhelmed.

Thankfully, my mind had already turned to escaping this grapple, and I only suffer a few scratches to my carapace as I pry myself out of the hectic tumble.

Once more, I stand, tense and ready, staring down the two remaining Twisted Sisters. One starts circling to my side, likely to come at me from behind. There are perhaps two body lengths distance between myself and the sisters.


What should I do?
>>
No. 76589 ID: a1ac99

>>76562
Charge toward the stationary sister. Veer off before reaching her and grab her by her middle before forcing her into a turn that angles her other side toward the remaining sister and tearing her in half.

They may be big, but they're not that much heavier than you, they're more susceptible to ripping and tearing and, if we can get her by her blind-side, manipulating her movements should be easy.
>>
No. 76749 ID: d1210a

>>76589
I charge the Twisted Sister still standing her ground before me, my mandibles opening wide in a challenge to her. I close the distance rapidly, and-

!?The Twisted Sister that was circling around to my side slams into my flank, it's fangs scrabbling against my carapace, seeking purchase. As I react to this assault, the other Twisted Sister lunges for me as well.

I was unprepared this time, and the surprisingly deceptive tactics used against me caught me off guard. I feel no less than half a dozen cracks appear in my carapace as it gets hammered by the assaulting warped ants, and in several places I feel my innards start to seep out.

No.

I can't fall, not this close to the end. I have but two foes left, what kind of warrior would I be, if I were to fall so close to grasping victory?

I watched Scars Of Yesterday fight when he could barely stand, I watched him ignore grievous injuries and fight without pause or reservation, no matter the situation. Could I call myself a Proud Warrior if i could not do the same now?

I welcome the pain, the assault of my foes, if only I can strike them down.

I have decided, then: I shall walk down the path of suffering, of carnage, of war without reservation.

I will follow the path that Scars still walks.

I will follow the Valiant path.

The dozens of golden nodules on my body abruptly flare with light as I am buried under the assault of the Twisted Sisters, and-

THUNDERSHOCK

The air smells sharp, acrid, as if something intangible was burned, and the Twisted Sisters convulse, their body movements hurling them off of me, their movements shaky, erratic.

.....What did I do?

!!NOTICE:!! The Veteran Death On Six Legs has developed the Valiance: Thunderstruck. This Valiance allows an electrical current to be circulated through the bearer's body, shocking anything in direct contact with the bearer.

...No matter. There is time to ponder this later. I have the advantage for the moment, and I would regret not using it.

...I am starting to become fatigued....


What should I do?
>>
No. 76768 ID: 613875

>>76749
come at one from the flank and rend its side before it has a chance to recover it's footing.
>>
No. 76770 ID: 632862

>>76749
Grab the one closest to you, flip it over onto the other, then stand on top of the pile and Thunderstruck. While biting it.
>>
No. 76857 ID: 613875

And then once you are down to one-on-one, use lightning-punch to finish the last one.
>>
No. 77008 ID: d1210a

(Pretend I titled the first use of Thunderstruck as THUNDERSTRUCK, not THUNDERSHOCK)

>>76768
I rush one of the stunned Twisted Sisters, my body sluggish but still responding to my demands. I slam into the warped ant, ramming it's still twitching form into it's compatriot as I tear into it's side with my mandibles, tearing gory rents in it's torso.

>>76770
I straddle the now intertwined mess of limbs that is my two remaining foes, trying to recall the feeling from before. That..... sense of space, like a quintessence of a personal bubble. Like anything within my field is subject to my will......

THUNDERSTRUCK

Writhing, rippling tendrils, glowing bright and fierce, play across my body, surging forth into those I fight. Once more they jerk and quiver, unable to control their forms.

No, this is still not enough.

I plunge my mandibles deep into the wounds in the flank of the wounded Twisted Sister, and the warped ant shrieks, it's innards boiling, evaporating and splitting it's carapace as I employ Thunderstruck on it's exposed innards. It's legs curl in death.

Now only one remains.

It takes me a moment to regain my focus, as this new talent of mine seems fairly strenuous: By the time I am ready once again, the final Twisted Sister is also recovered, staring me down.

>>76857
I stare at my last foe for a moment, weighing my options.

And then I charge forward, hissing a challenge as I ready my antenna: I wonder, can Pack-A-Punch be combined with Thunderstruck?

Hah, I suppose I will find out shortly.

I ready my antenna, and feel Thunderstruck crackling within them.

As the last Twisted Sister lunges for me, I slam an antenna wreathed in lightning into it's gaping, fanged maw, and am rewarded with an acrid smell wafting from the now convulsing Twisted Sister. I stand at the ready, but in a few short moments, the creature stills in death.

Hm, it seems that Thunderstruck is much more dangerous, if I can bypass a foe's carapace.

All five Twisted Sisters are dead now, and Def Leppard still looks on me with amusement. Styx is nowhere to be seen, and I assume it fled.


What should I do?
>>
No. 77024 ID: 632862

>>77008
Ask Def Leppard if she is satisfied, now.

Inquire as to why she has not gone mad like the Twisted Sisters.
>>
No. 77047 ID: d1210a

>>77024
"Are you satisfied now?"
"Of course. You willingly killed your comrades to defend land that you do not live on. I shall trust your word."

"How is it that you retain your mind after Styx.... altered you?"
"I do not know. Perhaps it is because I have my friends with me now. Perhaps the contentment, the peace I feel from that protects me. Or perhaps there is some other reason. I know not."


...Hmm. Perhaps it was too much to expect Def Leppard to understand the mechanics of what happened, but still, I have few answers to that which transpired.

...Well, Def Leppard seems to be safe and healthy, and the threat is gone. I have the chance to report this information. Further, the occupants of the encroaching webs and Made In Heaven's challenge are still only known to those of us stationed at Carpathian Ridge.

.....But perhaps there is something more important to be addressed now. I am clearly no longer a Death On Six Legs

So..... if I am not what I was, who am I now?
(Standard Naming Conventions Apply)


What should I say/do?
>>
No. 77054 ID: 632862

>>77047
I support the name Battery.
>>
No. 77079 ID: 5d5878

>>77054
I support this support.
>>
No. 77095 ID: d1210a

>>77054
>>77079
Battery.....

I am both a source of energy, and capable of battering my opponents. An apt enough name to claim as my own.

!!NOTICE:!! BATTERY, A NEW HERO UNIT, HAS BEEN NAMED!


What should I do?
>>
No. 77402 ID: a3b36a

Now that Def Leppard is of sounder mind, check if the message got through his spazzing out from before.

After that, I'd say report your findings to the local nest.

Perhaps you should consider reporting to the Killer Queen herself to let her know that she has another hero unit at her disposal, and to inform her of the latest developments. This can wait, if you are still needed in the area.
>>
No. 77412 ID: d1210a

>>77402
"So, you are aware of the spiders, and the encroaching webs?"
"I know. You told me, did you not? So, the spider wishes to hunt here? Know this: should it encroach directly onto these fields rather than just near it, I shall aid you in slaying it.


Oh? Interesting news indeed.

Still I have duties to attend to, news to deliver. I say my goodbyes to Def Leppard, and return to Carpathian ridge.
....sure enough, the scouting The Merciless found no evidence of beetles. Still, at least only the five warped into Twisted Sisters were lost during this event.

I make my way to Sister Hazel and Sister Machine gun, who both perk up with decided interest at my arrival, both still midway through laying their first batches of eggs.

"Oh-ho? I recognize the scent, but not the form: Could the one from earlier have risen to Hero? Did this one claim strength for itself?" Sister Machine gun ponders, a pleased scent on her.
"It would seem so, sister. I wonder, what could have caused this?" Sister Hazel adds, her scent concerned.

"I bear news of some import, it is true, Sisters," I reply, and tell them of Def Leppard's insanity, the arrival of Styx, and the madness it spread to both kin and Def Leppard alike, though oddly only Def Leppard seemed to retain her mind. It takes some time to communicate Styx's abilities, as I only have base guesswork of some sort of bonding parasite the fly controls, but how does that explain Def Leppard being approached by the moving corpses of her dead kin? There are still questions.

What I know relayed, I once more set out for Crescent, to return to the capital of Cydonia and tell our god/queen of what has happened.

And to let them know, queen/maker and her champion alike, that Scars Of Yesterday has a challenger.

!!NOTICE:!! Battery will arrive at Crescent at hour 7.5

!!NOTICE:!! Strings Of Fate Quest completed!

!!NOTICE:!! New quests will be available when Battery reaches Crescent!

!!NOTICE:!! The yellow and black beetle near Crescent and Burn Craze The Hellion's meeting with Scars Of Yesterday has dropped to the ground after shaking the bumble bees futilely attacking it off, and is now making it's way towards Stealin' by foot! It's path is slow and meandering, but it will likely stumble upon it eventually.

!!NOTICE:!! New Quest Gained: The Colors One Wears

Please choose the next focus of attention:

-The Wild Sister:
KILLER QUEEN has agreed to hunt down and kill her sister, Running Wild, in exchange for Crimson Glory's services.

-The Missing Link:
KILLER QUEEN has heard of another sister to the South West in a grand ant nation, as well as realizing that there are gaps in her memories! Learn more about your sisters, mother and past!

-The Colors One Wears:
Investigate the yellow and black spotted giant of a beetle making it's way towards Stealin'!

-The Mandarinian Buzz:
Scars Of Yesterday and retinue meeting with Burn Craze The Hellion, representative of the Mandarinian Empire.

-Stranger in a Strange Land:
Manage the Growth in Stealin' (Repeatable)

-Business as Usual:
Issue orders via KILLER QUEEN to Cydonia as a whole.



The first one to get three (3) votes will be chosen.
>>
No. 77413 ID: a3b36a

I'm a bit epic-fight-ed out. I vote for Stranger in a Strange Land. See if the blob is doing okay. Maybe we can expand its chamber. Maybe add a trapdoor chute from the surface directly into its chamber for tossing it live prey?
>>
No. 77421 ID: 632862

>>77413
I support this.
>>
No. 77426 ID: 9891a9

>>77413
>>77421

In the interest of a quick decision and the possibility of some down time, I'll toss in my vote to Stranger In A Strange Land myself.
>>
No. 77429 ID: d1210a

(Good thing the vote came in so quick, I was about to go to sleep)
>>77413
>>77421
>>77426

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND SELECTED

Currently, the engorged, brilliantly scarlet spiked collection of gaping maws and tendrils that is the growth is anchoring itself in the chamber it is slowly outgrowing, and giving off considerable heat, all while shrouded in an ominous, dusky mist.

The chamber is collapsible, however the creature will soon be too large for the collapse to cause any damage without more room for falling debris to accelerate, and more earth to draw upon.

Further, the sole entrance to the chamber is also collapsible, although the grow is several orders larger than the tunnel would permit to pass.

The pile of Roots Of Chaos has grown, and now holds some 176 units of food.

What should be fed to the growth, if anything?

What specific safety measures/changes in tunnel design/immediate area should be employed?

If any attempt at communication with it is made, what breed in what numbers (currently only Fat Bottomed Girls and some The Merciless reside in Stealin') should make it, and how closely should they approach?
>>
No. 77484 ID: 45be60

Offer growth Pearl Jam
>>
No. 77486 ID: c05c83

>>77429
Do we have any fallen enemies near enough to feed to it?
>>
No. 77515 ID: d1210a

>>77486
There are no additional fresh corpses besides the remains of ant lions, which the growth has already been fed.

>>77484
Reminder: It was deduced that flesh, from strong opponents, preferably still alive or only recently dead, will result in the growth becoming as warlike as possible. Attempting to feed the growth plant based materials other than Roots Of Chaos and Bohemian Rhapsody may change what the end result of the growth's incubation is.


Proceed with feeding Pearl Jam to growth? And if so, how many units worth?


Any plans for design changes to further secure or augment the test chamber the growth occupies?
>>
No. 77517 ID: 632862

>>77515
Enlarge the chamber, and start digging a tunnel towards the surface. Stop just before completing it so that the growth remains hidden but could be fed quickly from above if needed.
>>
No. 77539 ID: 45be60

>>77515
Is Pearl Jam considered plant based? Granted, we make most of it from plants, but my understanding was that it can be made from any foodstuff we get our hands on, making it's origin irrelevant. It is just Ant Food.
In any event, I certainly want to try feeding it some of the aged stuff if it's quality improves.
>>
No. 77845 ID: a1ac99

>>77515
If we make it too warlike, it might just start killing whatever it sees, friends and foes alike. A bit of plant matter shouldn't hurt it, in any case.

We should definitely look into digging the area around it out to give it more room to grow and us more room to collapse down on top of it should it come to that. Maybe make a hole in the middle of the ceiling to lure enemies towards and just let them, "drop in," as it were, covering it with a leaf or some twigs. Just enough to block it from everything but direct scrutiny.

If we're going to talk to it, we need a group that's more than five strong and composed of a combination of The Merciless and Fat-Bottomed Girls in equal amounts so they can come to a direct consensus from both the war-like and peaceable members of the colony. Maybe ten, five of each?
>>
No. 77852 ID: 5d5878

>>77539
Yeah, Pearl Jam's pretty good quality, and we want to make this thing slightly mentally well-balanced. I say we give it some of the good stuff.
>>
No. 77854 ID: d1210a

>>77517
>>77845
All 42 Fat Bottomed Girls currently idle travel to Stealin', and begin work both expanding the chamber while preserving it's ability to be collapsed, as well as digging a concealable tunnel leading skywards. The plan is to keep the tunnel as hidden as possible, to stand up to all but the most determined search.

>>77539
>>77845
>>77852
5 The Merciless travel alongside the Fat Bottomed Girls to Stealion', and they along with 5 of their less martially inclined sisters peal off to bring 5 units of Pearl Jam to the growth, and attempt to communicate with it.

As they near the growth, it seems to smell the Pearl Jam, and redoubles it's emissions of desire for food.


How should the ants attempt to communicate with the growth?
>>
No. 77870 ID: a1ac99

>>77854
Place food within reach of the growth's tendrils and retreat to 125-150% of its reach, just to be safe. While it's eating, so to not risk the topic just going right back to food, ask what, exactly, it is underneath its exterior(warrior, scout, forager, other). If it can be convinced to speak on this matter, things could be handled much easier, foods that it might enjoy more could be found for it, etc.
>>
No. 77882 ID: d1210a

>>77870
The 5 units of Pearl Jam are placed within reach of the growth, and the ants withdraw to a safe distance while the growth engulfs the food with one of it's strange mouths.

The ants address the growth as it feeds
"What are you? What form are you inclined towards? We wish to know of you."

scents, varied and more than a little jumbled, tell of a powerful warrior, but the image seems to waver from a lithe, fast flier of great size with swift and precise jaws, some monstrously large yet lithe and slender form, with legs like spears and a terrifying fanged maw, or gargantuan, heavily armored flier, carrying a potent poison under it's thick armor.

As to what kind of food it wants, it doesn't really know. It thinks that the next thing it gets fed might finally bring it to completion.

It wonders what it should eat, what it should do once it is fully grown.....


What should the ants respond with?
>>
No. 77884 ID: 5d5878

>>77882
What to eat? The enemies of the nation of Cydonia, of course. You shall fight them as a valiant knight, bringing glory to yourself and your QUEEN.
>>
No. 77890 ID: a1ac99

>>77882
Seems like it might have the right materials to achieve any of those forms it described, but it's a bit of a toss-up as of now. Something's probably missing. Given what it said, it could be the last remaining piece of the puzzle to, "hatching," it.

"How do you believe you could best serve KILLER QUEEN, sibling? What form, of the many you have described, do you feel would allow you to best meet your potential and what do you think you would require, as far as food is concerned, to reach that state?"
>>
No. 77896 ID: 45be60

>>77890
I think we have the ability to affect that with what we feed it. Personally I like either of the first two, but I don't think we should postpone feeding it to try and get the perfect thing.
>>
No. 78153 ID: d1210a

>>77884
"What to eat? Those that stand in the way of our homeland of Cydonia, of course. You shall feast on those that fall before the collective might of KILLER QUEEN's empire, and have your fill of carnage, tempered to promote KILLER QUEEN. What other life could there be?"

A flurry of jumbled emotions flow out of the growth, ranging from heartfelt agreement to ambivalence to outright disgust with the idea. Perhaps the creature has multiple possible minds, as well as bodies.

>>77890
"How do you believe you could best serve KILLER QUEEN, sibling? What form, of those you have described do you feel would allow you to best meet your potential, and what do you think you would require, as far as food is concerned, to reach that state?"

A moment of indecision passes, while various modes of thought and wants war for prominence within the growth, before a bold, stark scent takes command.

An image of a warrior with legs like fangs, long and subtly edged, and a swift, flexible form, able to slip in close to eviscerate foes, flits into being. The creature is incredibly large for an ant, some half dozen centimeters in body length with legs every bit as lithe and lengthy. It's mandibles are some many-jointed monstrosities, deft and able to impale anything it can reach. The creature is fast, brutal, a living engine of destruction.

The thoughts proclaim this form, the one it seems to identify with, as the strongest.

No other voices seem capable of wresting control from this one. It's will is strong, there is no doubt.

As to what it needs.... an image appears, of a pile of mandibles, fangs and claws of all sizes being fed to it appears, and the creature finally being complete.


What should we say/do? (should growth manipulation be concluded for the moment?)
>>
No. 78212 ID: 43d730

>>78153
...We should go this route.

...And name it Pulling Teeth.

Find some mandibles (attached to enemies is fine) and begin a-stabbin'.
>>
No. 78215 ID: 5d5878

>>78153
We must return when we have the bodies of our foes. Their very weapons shall create that which shall destroy yet more untold numbers of them.
>>
No. 78245 ID: 45be60

what still needs to happen before time stamp advances?
>>
No. 78380 ID: d7df6a

>>78245
Completing all the sidequests, preferably, for MAXIMUM XP.
>>
No. 78824 ID: d1210a

>>78212
>>78215
!!NOTICE:!! QUEST ACCEPTED: The Fangs That Feast On Gods: A thought of singular hunger for the carnage of combat in the growth has said that with a feast of fangs, claws and mandibles, it could become a juggernaut of destruction. Collect enough fangs, claws and mandibles to present to the growth, and attempt to Name it during it's feeding.

>>78245
>>78380
If another quest (or the timestamp) is desired as focus now, please choose, as Stranger in a Strange Land does not exclude focus on other pursuits.

-The Wild Sister:
KILLER QUEEN has agreed to hunt down and kill her sister, Running Wild, in exchange for Crimson Glory's services.

-The Missing Link:
KILLER QUEEN has heard of another sister to the South West in a grand ant nation, as well as realizing that there are gaps in her memories! Learn more about your sisters, mother and past!

-The Fangs That Feast On Gods:
A thought stronger than the rest in the growth has said that with a feast of fangs, claws and mandibles, it could hatch in a form it prefers. Collect enough fangs, claws and mandibles to present to the growth, and attempt to Name it during it's feeding.

-The Colors One Wears:
Investigate the yellow and black spotted giant of a beetle making it's way towards Stealin'!

-The Mandarinian Buzz:
Scars Of Yesterday and retinue meeting with Burn Craze The Hellion, representative of the Mandarinian Empire.

-Continue Stranger in a Strange Land:
Manage the Growth in Stealin' (Repeatable)

-Business as Usual:
Issue orders via KILLER QUEEN to Cydonia as a whole.



The first one to get three (3) votes will be chosen.
>>
No. 78827 ID: 5d5878

>>78824
I'm gonna say Missing Link.
>>
No. 78829 ID: d1210a

(Clarification: Business as Usual is how to go directly to a timestamp)
>>
No. 78906 ID: 135c19

>>78824
>>78245
burn crazy hellion
>>
No. 78935 ID: 1876d1

>>78824
The Color One Wears
>>
No. 78959 ID: d7df6a

>The Colors One Wears
>>
No. 79067 ID: 954933

>>78824
The Colors One Wears.
>>
No. 79124 ID: d1210a

>>78935
>>78959
>>79067
THE COLORS ONE WEARS
CHOSEN
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