30% A Small World / Chapter 3: Corruption

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Chapter 3: Corruption

I held her by the neck, forcing her to watch the chaos. The queen cried as she watched her colony run amok. The red ants used their brute strength to rip the black ants to shreds, while the black ants used their sheer numbers to swarm the red ants, killing them one by one. I laughed maniacally as I snapped off the queen's head from the joint using my powerful jaws. Then I felt a nudge.

I jumped out of my sleep to see the ant who had rescued me. He beckoned me to follow him. I noticed, as we left the room, that there were several ants in the room still resting. As we walked along the close corridors, several ants greeted me, welcoming me to their colony. I smiled gratefully returning their greetings. I caught a few of them glaring at my silver leg. Those ones I ignored but I still tried to keep up my phony smile. I couldn't help wondering about the strange dream I had, somewhere under the wall of hate and evil that had enveloped me I could feel something tugging at me, a part of me which I had long since buried.

When we arrived the queen was busy working. She was digging a new tunnel which led from her room.

"Oh hello Reed," She said addressing the dumb ant," I see you've brought the newcomer."

Reed nodded his head.

"Well have a seat over there," she said now speaking to me," Tell me about yourself.

I, not wanting to be long but also not wanting to tell the truth, told her that I was from a colony of mixed ants who were destroyed by a fire. I told her that it was a very peaceful place and everyone worked hard and got along well.

"Ah! I See," she remarked," If that's true I could really use your help"

"Really?" I asked.

"Yes, the colony as it stands is falling apart." She said.

"Oh," I said smirking to myself a little.

"Yes we are currently being terrorized by a monstrous frog," she began," It seems to have a particular taste for the red ants of the colony and it's been causing them to become hostile." She turned to look at me.

"Reed said that he saw you defeat a rhinocerous beetle, is that true?"

"Yes," I replied proudly.

"Well do you think that maybe you could beat a frog?"

I looked at her skeptically.

"Please, I promise I will take the greatest measures to ensure your safety, right now you are our only hope." She looked at me pleading.

I smirked as a nasty plan developed in my head.

"OK," I said," But I only need one ant to help me "I looked over at Reed and he smiled proudly the only reason I was taking Reed was that I felt like I owed him; after all, he did save my life.

"Is there anywhere me and Reed could have a quick spar?" I asked the queen. Despite already making the decision to take Reed with me I still had to evaluate his strength. I wouldn't want him to be fodder for the frog.

"Well there is an undeveloped area where the soldiers like to fight," she replied, "Reed could show you"

I looked over to Reed; he nodded his head and gestured for me to follow. He led me along the complex network tunnels, finally stopping in a large open room. A few people were sitting around and a few fights were happening near the center of the space. Reed led me straight to the center and then adopted a fighting stance; I copied him to show I was ready. With speed and grace Reed trotted forward and swung at my face I raised my forelegs to defend but no blow came.

Instead, I felt his mandibles wrap around the larger part of my build. He tossed me into the air. Unhindered I twisted my body in the air falling straight towards Reed with my forelegs coiled back behind my head. Before he could receive the heavy blow Reed jumped backward allowing to me to slam into the ground displacing all the dirt below me, without pausing I leaped in with my mandibles wide open to grab his thorax. However Reed stopped my charge by grabbing my opened mandibles. Annoyed I grabbed his mandibles slamming them shut and pulling him to the ground then delivering an uppercut. He released me and stumbled back. Feeling confident I charged in again but this time Reed was prepared, he easily side-stepped me then knocked me off my feet with swift sweep kick then with a short jump Reed slammed his knee into my head causing me to lose my bearings for a few moments.

"Ok ok you've made your point" I said raising my leg in surrender. Reed held out his foreleg helping me to my feet.

"I'm just going to take a walk, come and find me when you're ready," I said as I walked away from Reed. He was definitely a worthy ant. Up to this point, I had never lost a fight whether with my colony or while I was on my own but he did beat me, next time I'll make sure I pay him back.

As I wandered throughout the colony alone in my thoughts, I searched around for a red ant to have a conversation. I stepped into the social area of the colony where a group of red ants were speaking.

"Did you hear? That frog snatched off another three of our red soldier ants"

"I know, something must be done, is the queen going to sit by and let us get picked off like this?"

"Shush the newcomer is coming"

"That's not fair," I spoke up," The Queen is doing something, me and Reed are going to go fight the frog today"

"What the queen is sending the newbie with that poor ignorant ant to fight the frog alone"

"She must be mad!"

"Trying to stop more red ants from getting into the colony huh?"

"She is more black than red"

"And she favours them more too even giving Reed the position as head scout"

"Maybe its time we made some changes around here"

That's right! Inform the rebellion, its time!

I wandered off again knowing my work was done.

We set out as soon as it was night. Reed led me along, taking me to where the frog usually appears. He then stopped suddenly hiding behind a rock. I sat quietly there with him, drinking in the cool night air, trying to calm my nerves. I didn't actually know if I could defeat a frog. I barely knew anything about my strength, and though I was considered to be quite a good fighter back in my old colony, I didn't think that I could measure up to a frog. I felt a sting as I remembered my cheerful old colony replaying the tragic scene in my mind.

I heard a thud. I looked up to see a green monster towering over us. I stood stock still with fear as the frog moved its eyes lazily, spotting me in the low grass. With incredible speed, he flicked his tongue at me. Reed jumped nimbly to one side grabbing me in the process. That was the second time he saved. me. Slapping myself back to reality I charged at the frog. I bit into its legs and then using my front legs attempted to drag it as I had done to the beetle. He didn't even budge. Reed ran swiftly up the frog's legs, jabbing his stinger into the frog's leg as he ran. The frog hopped quickly left then right trying to get sight on his attackers. I held on for dear life as I felt myself rise high into the air only crash back down hard into the ground. Reed was thrown off. I scaled up the slimy surface of the frog's leg while he busied himself with Reed, shooting off his tongue several times. Reed continued to dodge and weave his way through grass blades using them to his advantage however he was beginning to tire though I could not believe how nimble a fighter he was. He was doing better than me.

I reached the top of the frog's head running straight for his eyes. I used four of my legs to pummel him straight in the iris. He closed his eyes quickly bringing his eyelid down upon me heavily me. I held it up and bit him straight in the eye, ripping the flesh of his eye as I took out my mandibles. The frog croaked in agony. Its lids pressed down, even more, making me use two legs to hold it. I knew a hurt eye wouldn't be enough to kill it. In desperation I used the silver leg and smashed deep into his eye.

I heard something click. Then there was a blaze of blue everywhere; burning his eye to a crisp leaving just the sockets. But it didn't stop there, soon all the juices were gone from the frog's body and the stink of dead frog filled my senses.

I jumped off the fried corpse and ran to Reed who lay exhausted on the ground. Though it seemed he had dodged the frog's attempts to eat him, two of his legs hung limply as he struggled to rise. I helped him on his feet and we began to walk away.

I questioned what I had just done to the frog staring at my steaming silver leg.

My antennae twitched. I jumped to one side, with Reed on my back, as the foot came crashing down.

There were two of them. Two humans.

"Aww man look at my frog it's totally fried," said one.

"Wow that's strange," the other one remarked, "It must've been struck by lightning, I heard it comes from the ground."

"Don't be an idiot! There is no lightning"

"O well no use crying over spilled milk lets go"

With that, they left.

I wondered why I heard them. Humans' voices could never be understood, so I wondered.

********

I watched the colony in a total uproar. The red ants went at each other's throats mercilessly. I saw the queen get her wings ripped off by a combination of three red soldier ants. The black ants screamed revenge as they swarmed their former brothers cutting them to pieces. Reed and I watched on. I smiled, my plan had gone perfectly. The queen was the most stupid one of all. She practically set up herself for a rebellion. I mean seriously sending the newcomer, a red ant, to kill a monster which had already killed off tons of red ants from her colony already? All it took was a little silent ranting to some of the other red ants. I knew it would have already had happened by the time Reed and I got back. And he knew that he was now to become my faithful servant. How could he not be, I was strong. And the strong are to be respected, if not feared. I beckoned to Reed and we walked away in silence. I guess I would have preferred to kill the queen myself. O well, I've always been the lazy type.


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