Battered and bruised after our encounter with the scavengers, we took what we could of value from their corpses — beetle and scorpion carapaces might be worth something when we get back to town . . . if we live that long.
Things did not go well. Not well at all. Mark Adder and Sin are dead, while Cody, Rubbish, and I are badly injured and exhausted. We are holed up in one of several anthills in the area, and we didn’t tell anyone where we were going. We had to do something . . . but maybe we could have done this better, I don’t know. We can debate tactics later during whatever shit-duty punishments Chief Ward or the Foreman or whoever else gives us for trying to save Nil, if we live.
We tracked the ants back to a colony of several anthills; I used my extra sense to do a little reconnaissance. Ants down one way, nothing but a pool of water down the other. The insects were aggressive and fought hard, but we got them in a bottleneck the first time and were able to knock some into a pool of water in the second fight, drowning them.
We headed south, and that’s when things went south. The ants spotted us while we went back and forth about our tactics. Flying ants were able to buzz over any coordinated front . . . and the queen marched steadily onward, despite our best efforts. Our strategic withdrawal got a lot less strategic when our exhaustion took its toll, and we just stopped landing decent blows and stopped making shots we used to make with one eye closed. Rubbish went down, then Sin, then Mark and Cody. There was nothing I could do — the queen was coming too fast for me to drag them out of the way and half of them were on the other side of a pit, so we’d all have been caught in the acidic miasma surrounding her. I lured the queen away from the others and somehow, Cody came to during all this and brought Rubbish back from the brink; Mark and Sin were already dead. Just before I was about to make a run for it back to Nil, Cody shot the queen from behind, killing her.
We are not giving the fucking diamond to Jessica. It’s for Nil.