[Haul that monkey butt, Tiny! We need to move, move, move!] I shout as I zip after my pets.
Invidia has seized hold of the big ape with his stick-thin arms and clings to his black fur as Tiny leaps and bounds forward with all of his strength, making the little demon flap like a flag in a high wind. Lagging behind as always is Jim, and I catch up to him in no time.
[Jim! You need to pick up the pace! The Warriors have caught up to us!]
[What?! How many? He shrieks.
[Just the one.]
[Did you finish it?] He asks, desperately.
[No time. Doesn't matter anyway, there'll be more in the area, which is why we need to move.]
[I'm trying, damn you... I'm not built for this!]
His thoughts come with gaps breaking up each sentence as if he doesn't have the energy to think coherently anymore. The stress of the situation is having a distinct effect on him as well. I'll try to reassure him.
[Don't worry, Jim. Just a few more minutes and we'll make it to the Colony. I can sense them, hundreds, maybe thousands. Just keep pushing, and we'll get there. I won't leave you behind. If the Golgari catch up, I'll hold them off with my pets, alright?]
[Good worm. Keep at it!]
Contrary to my slithery associate, I'm bursting with energy. The more we flee, the more the Vestibule pays off, replenishing my energy and soothing my aches. We continue to run, but it's a nervous thing, with my antennae focusing more behind me than in front of me. Thanks to my particular brand of compound vision, it's not a big deal to focus in all directions. It won't take long for the Warrior I left behind to catch up again, that mental barrage is something he can probably shake off in a few seconds at most, and I don't expect the acid to be much of a hindrance. It does affect stone, but not nearly as well as it does biological matter. The amount I hit him with won't do much damage. If it slows him down for another second or two, that's a win.
I keep the mental construct suspended in my mind in case I need a bit more of that brand of magic. It's plenty useful for distracting and disrupting enemies without doing anything too lethal to them. If I'm forced to it though, I'll abandon it for a more direct form of persuasive magic. Fire, maybe.
In front of us, a pack of shadow creepers poke their heads up before hissing in our direction as we rumble toward them.
[Leave them!] I shout. [I don't care if they attack us. More chaos is better, and we can't afford the time!]
All I get is a grunt from Tiny as we continue to sprint past the pack who, thankfully, leave us alone. If they get tangled up with the Warriors, then I'll be a happy little insect but based on my knowledge of the monsters they'll probably let them through and try and tangle with all of us once things get messy. I hate those things!
A flicker of something catches my eyes and a ripple of feeling twitches in my antennae, and I throw my body to one side.
Where the heck are these guys coming from?! I can't even sense them until they're almost on top of me!
[Keep running!] I holler and follow my advice as I regain my feet and dash forward, my legs a blur as they move faster than my eyes can track.
I right myself and start to dash off once again before a blade of light erupts from the shadows on my right, cutting off my path of escape. Don't underestimate me, you punks! Do you think I'm going back to dance for your amusement?! Don't make me laugh! I throw myself forward directly into the line of the blade and allow it to strike my side as I pick up speed, angling myself to protect my legs.
The strike shatters against my carapace, leaving a shallow slice in it but the sheer force is enough to make me stumble for a brief moment, which isn't enough for the triad to catch up as I spin my legs and rush away once more. They're going to have to do better than that if want to get through my diamond carapace! You want to try and cut it with a sword?! Pure madness. That's precisely the kind of attack that it's specifically designed to ward off! Muahahaha!
I like to think of my carapace as medieval armour. When a soldier or knight was properly kitted out with padded wool, leather and chainmail, it was pretty much impossible to hurt with them a sword slash, which was the entire point. To deal damage, you needed to use either massive blunt force, like a heavy axe or hammer, or punch through it with a powerful stab. That's precisely how my diamond carapace works, whilst also being way shinier. I'm incredibly resistant to cutting, and thanks to my inner-plating, I'm pretty damn hard to crack with blunt force. The last way to try and get through is with a powerful stabbing attack, which is something I'll need to address at some point in my evolution.
If these guys want to fling more sword light my way, I'm more than happy to take them. Just don't cut off my legs, I need those.
Dash! Need to get more distance. I'm frantic for every last metre of space of I can get. Each step brings me that little bit closer to safety and a little further from not being in control of my destiny. I won't have it again! I refuse! Damn stone-heads, just get out of my way already! Their stubborn refusal to let me go is driving my anger toward them to rise, to the point where I don't even mind if they reach the Colony alongside me. That will just mean that none of them will return to their stupid city!
Arrrgh! No! Bad Anthony!
I throw on the brakes and screech to a halt as I call out to my pets.
[Tiny, Invidia! With me! Let's try and put these three down quickly! Non-lethal if we can manage it!]
I'm not sure if Invidia is especially delighted or is just saying yes, but Tiny is clearly pleased to get a chance to punch some stone people in the face. I just can't let them find out about the Colony. I've brought disaster down on their heads already, and I refuse to allow it to happen again. I'll knock down these three and then flee to safety.
[Keep going in that direction, Jim!] I yell at him, [It won't be long until you find them! Tell them I sent you and you'll be fine!]
[ alright. Then] He wheezes.
Hopefully, he still has the energy to whip up a mind bridge, the poor worm. I don't want to get eaten because I ran him ragged trying to find Tiny He slithers off into the distance as my pets, and I go face to face against the three suddenly wary Golgari Warriors. The tunnel isn't wide enough for much manoeuvring, especially with Tiny in here. There's little choice for them but to come right at us if they want to.
But they don't. When we stop, ready to fight, the Golgari simply stop and watch, weapons at the ready.
What are they doing? Aren't they trying to fight us? Or are they just?
Waiting for reinforcements dammit.