My home got attacked when I was little, I was scared and alone. I never thought such a thing could happen. Well, I was raised by a different species of ant. I’m an Argentine ant and raised by leafcutters. I lived with them for about a month before Argentine ants attacked and took me back to my species. Then it happened, this is the story…
[[Next ->Passage 2]] It’s around 12:47 a.m when I'm trying to fall asleep. A noise wakes me up. I stand up, as the sound gets louder. I’m not too old, but not too young, I’m a 1 year old ant, which is a little less than half of an ant’s life. The noise gets louder. It’s an attack. Some colony is trying to take over this tree! I try to sleep through it, but the sounds of stomping and yelling won’t stop. I know for a fact that our colony is the smallest one of the Ant Kingdom. I know deep inside that Argentine ants are strong and they can take on any army. That makes me feel a little better. I guess.
[[Next ->Passage 3]] In school, I learned about the War of Poseidon. Argentine ants fought an army of 12,000 fire ants, Argentine ants only had 2,000 soldiers and we still won. The reason why it’s called the War of Poseidon is that it was mostly fought on human’s ships. The ants came on board and that’s where it happened. It is believed that Poseidon saved the Argentine ants because of their offerings to him.
[[continue ->Choice 1]] The sound of rumbling intensifies. I can’t go to sleep at all. I get off of my bed and start walking and see the door. It’s cracked the slightest bit, letting in light from the outside. I start walking closer and reach my arm out to the door knob, but stop.
OPTION A: [[ open the door and make sure it’s safe.]]
OPTION B: [[ don’t open the door and stay in bed. ]]
I go outside of my little room. I look up and see hundreds of warriors fighting against what looks like Leaf Cutter Ants. They must’ve seen the tree with all the Argentine ants. I get scared and go back into my room.
[[Next ->Passage 4]] I decide not to open the door and close the door so no light gets in. I jump back into my bed. I start to toss and turn in bed because it’s uncomfortable knowing that people are fighting.
“That’s it!” I think to myself. I hop out of bed and only two seconds later, the whole front wall of my room is taken down. Leafcutter ants start to storm the inside of my room. That’s when Argentine ants start to fight. I hide underneath the bed while they fight. A spear lands right next to the bed. I see a window of opportunity and scramble under the bed. I get off the floor and run up the sticks and branches.
[[Next ->Passage 4]] “Where is the queen?” I think. The queen is an important factor in our tree. She is intelligent and made all the major laws. She used to just be a worker who delivered cargo to the government and ex-government facilities. I believe she also was an accountant and went to major colleges. She is the most important person and without her, this place would fall apart.
I start walking around the inside of the tree, careful to not get in the way of soldiers enemy or not. The next thing I see are Leafcutter soldiers rushing throughout the branches. I start to run back, but they're too fast. My legs are starting to weaken. I fall down and the stampede of ants keep coming. Then, Argentine ant soldiers start to push them back. I start to get up, but immediately get swooped up by another ant. It's the queen.
[[Continue ->Passage 5]]
"We need to get out of here. I’m gathering all the civilians," she says.
A bunch of other ants start destroying stuff and fighting in the streets. We both fall and are split up in the huge crowd of citizens and fighters. An ant falls to the ground and gets beaten by a Leafcutter soldier. I get up to run towards the queen. She tells me, "Find Orson, he’ll--
Before she finishes her sentence, a leafcutter ant grabs her and takes off with her in his arms.
[[Next ->Passage 6]] "Did the queen just get kidnapped?" I think. I started to run after them, but one of the soldiers holds me back and throws me to the side where countless citizens are being held. Some are being executed, the others are being put in prisons to work for the new territory of the Leafcutter ants. I get put in prison, others are put right beside me and we start walking to the prison to get assigned jobs. I look behind my shoulder and see the Leafcutter ants controlling the riot. I look back forward and I quickly get to the front of the crowd so I can get a closer look at what we ‘re going to be doing for the rest of our lives…
[[Continue ->Passage 7]] I start to run and stop. If I go out of those doors, they’ll be after me and won't give me a second chance. I look back to the courtyard. I look back to the doors and think hard about my decision.
OPTION A: [[ get out of the prison.]]
OPTION B: [[ stay inside the prison.]]
''A Week Later''
It's been almost a week since the queen has been taken. And I've been stuck here, sweeping the trash from the courtyard. I look up at the hot sun, its rays beaming down on me and the others. I wipe the sweat off my head. It's around 112 degrees and the guards don't care. Just three days ago it was freezing, but all of a sudden it got super hot. I look around, there are no guards near the back gates. I slip away from the courtyard and into the cafeteria. Then, I sneak around the corner and see the back gates
[[Continue ->Passage 8]] I start to run. I realize that it isn't fair if I just leave the other prisoners, I signal a crowd over for an escape. I see a guard look over to us. He starts to radio for backup and I run with the rest of the crowd. We split in different directions and we are back in the tree. It's not the same. The buildings look different. Way different.
[[Continue ->Passage 9]] No, it’ll be too dangerous. I better just stick inside. But the queen? Who will save her now? A few guards walk over to the door and block them. I just lost an opportunity. What will I do now? I continue sweeping the floor, clean of trash. I sweep it all.
It’s been a couple of hours now. I’ve been stuck in this prison doing nothing, but hoping to find a way out. Everyone should be sleeping, but I’m not. I go over to the cell’s door. The guard who locked it is standing in the hallway. I kick the door to make him think I’m doing something I’m not suppose to. He starts to walk.
“What are you doing? You should be asleep,” he says.
“Make me,” I say like a child in an argument.
The guard takes out a key from his pocket and unlocks the door. He’s mad, I can tell. He starts to walk over to me when I kick him in the chest. He falls down and grabs his baton. He swings it at me and I block it. I grab the baton and we both struggle to grab it. I kick his shin. He loses his grip and falls down. I take the baton and start hitting him over the head. I grab his keys and start to run out of the cell.
“It’s not fair if I leave this other ants behind,” I think.
I run to the other ant’s cells and unlock them. We start to storm out of the prison in a hurry. A few other guards are coming to see what the commotion is all about. All I know is that they’re trampled over the stomping prisoners. I trip over one of the guards. My buddy, Paul, picks me off the ground. I met Paul while I was in the prison. I had his back, he had mine.
“Thank you,” I say.
“No need to,” Paul says.
I start running again and soon, we’re out of the prison and back in the tree. I look at it.
[[Next ->Passage 9]] "What did they do?" I think. The whole tree is a warzone. I look back and see the guards after me. I continue to run and trip over a bump in the tree. Needless to say, but it launches me down to a hole. I hit my head on a small pebble. The guards see me and they start to walk down to me. I scramble to stand up and continue running.
[[Continue ->Passage 10]]“Did I lose them?" I think. This war has changed the better in people. Including the king. He's become corrupt ever since the queen didn't come back. “No one knows. I need to tell someone. No, they’ll think I’m weak. I must save her myself. It won't be easy though. Orson, that’s what the queen said isn’t it?” I think. Orson is one of the elderly ants. I think he might be around 79 years old. He has a long white beard. His head is one of the shiniest things I’ve ever seen, he also knows how to do black magic, which could prove helpful if I’m saving the queen. I hear the sound of marching, the leafcutters are running throughout the streets. I run and climb up a small stick. I know exactly where to find Orson, on top of a hill. Problem is, the hill is outside of the tree and I can’t be seen or I’ll be thrown back in prison or even killed! The soldiers marching pass by and I’m able to continue my run to the outside. I check my surroundings and see the market under attack. Two soldiers are fighting, one Argentine ant, one Leafcutter ant.
[[Next ->Passage 11]]“Stop, this is my tree!” yells the Argentine ant. The leafcutter punches the Argentine ant in the face. The Argentine ant uses his mandibles to pick up the leafcutter and throw him to the ground. A crowd starts to cheer. At least we’re winning one battle. I continue walking up the tree in hopes of finding the exit, even though they’re heavily guarded. I start running when marching starts echoing into the streets. I hide behind a couple of boxes and empty loot boxes. This is where I shall spend my night, but first, I need to make this place comfortable. I walk back to where I can see the Leafcutter soldier still on the ground from the fight at the market before. I run over to him because there is a leaf from the tree. I take it back to the crates. I rip it in two pieces. I roll one up to be my pillow and the other I will use as a blanket.
[[Continue ->Choice 3]] “There you are!” I hear a raspy voice say. I shoot my head up and see a Leafcutter standing in the middle of the street. He’s got an Argentine ant by the arm, dragging him away. I duck down behind the boxes and look around. There is something I can use to help the Argentine ant. I think about it hard.
OPTION A: [[ help the other argentine ant.]]
OPTION B: [[ try and stay out of trouble.]]
I look behind me trying to find a way to save the Argentine ant. I see nothing, but see a shiny glimmer in the dark. I run over to it
[[Next ->Passage 12]] No, it’s too dangerous. Besides, I better stay out of trouble if I’m going to save the queen. And the guards are still looking for me. I hide under the leaf I’m using as a blanket. I hear the screams of the Argentine ant as he’s dragged away. I rest my head on my pillow and immediately regret my decision. There’s nothing I can do now.
[[Next ->13]] It’s a metal water pipe. I look around again and see another shimmer, it is a suspiciously sharp stick. I say suspicious because I have never seen a stick that sharp before in my life. Not even when a child sharpens a stick. I look back at the water pipe. The water pipe could do some damage. The stick is sharp enough to stab through things.
OPTION A: [[ take the water pipe.]]
OPTION B: [[ take the stick.]]
I quickly run to the soldier carrying the ant away. I charge him. He sees me and bashes me in the head with his water bottle cap shield. I fall down.
“You fool! Do you know what you’ve done? Your own death!” he yells. I look up at him. He has his stinger pointing towards me. I look for the pipe.
“Where?” I think, looking back to him. He throws his stinger back, ready to kill when the Argentine ant bashes him on the head. I roll out of the way of the stinger. The Leafcutter gets up and starts to attack the other ant. I run over, but he throws me onto the wooden crates. It breaks.
Another Leafcutter comes and starts to take the other ant. I grab a wooden plank from the crates and charge again, this time not failing. I swing it at the Leafcutter and it breaks over his head. The other one grabs me by the petiole and throws me. A group of Argentine ants is now watching. I look for something to use on the Leafcutter. I see a rock. He starts to drag me the second I get a hold of the rock. I turn over on my back and launch it with so much force, his shield breaks.
“You lucky little monster,” he says. His stinger starts to point at me. Most fighter ants are equipped with stingers or given sharpened sticks. Yes, the stingers are artificial but extremely lethal.
I grab the rock again, but he charges me. I fall back down, getting the wind knocked out of me. I can’t breathe for around 5 seconds before he charges me again. He picks me up though. There’s this weird sharp-ish bulge on one side of the rock. I bash that into his neck. He groans in pain. I get another hit on his head, then his mesosoma, which is basically the body of the ant. He gets knocked on his knees.
“You’re weak, you can’t even kill me with those swings,” he hisses.
“No, you just got lucky,” I say. I bring the rock high up into the air and swing down.
[[Next ->13]]I grab the stick and start to charge at the soldier. He sees me and instantly knocks me to the ground. I try and stab him, but he just throws me back down. I get up and he starts to run at me. I stab his back and he punches me in the stomach. I take a moment to catch my breath and swing the stick at him, except I don’t have the stick anymore. The other Argentine ant has it. He swings at the soldier and hits him on the head. The soldier bashes him with his shield. I kick the soldiers shin and he falls down. The soldier spits acid out of his stinger at the Argentine ant, killing him instantly. I go for another kick and miss. I get up and grab the stick, but fall down. The soldier starts to punch me in the face. I stab him right in the leg. I grab his chin and stab him again, only grazing him. He hits my gaster. I kick him in the chest. A sudden pain paralyzes me. I look down and a giant spear is poking out of me! I look behind me and it’s one of the guards from the prison. The soldier looks at me and stabs me slightly with his spear. I fall down, blood dripping from basically everywhere. I put my hand on my chest. I cough and blood comes out. I close my eyes, knowing I’m going to die. Then I have the feeling of being lifted, and then I can’t hear anything, or feel the ground, or move. I wasn’t able to save the queen, I failed. The tree was taken over just about two months after I died. Most, if not all, citizens were killed. The queen was too. And my journey ended as soon as it began.I was able to get enough sleep for the night...
[[Continue ->14]] ''Two Days Later''
“I’m almost there,” I say to myself. The sun is gleaming into my eyes. Sweat trickles down my cheek. I’m at the top now, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I look closer at the green grassy hills. The river not too far away from the tree. Now I got to find Orson. Where could he be? I start to walk down when an ant jumps in front of me. He was hiding behind a couple of boxes. He comes over to me and asks what I’m doing.
[[Continue ->15]] “I’m going to save the queen,” I say.
“I know,” says the ant. “I just wanted to hear you say it.”
I look at him, his eyes staring into mine. “Get out of my-
He punches me in the gut. I quickly try to catch my breath, but he tackles me to the ground. I punch him in the face and grab him with my mandibles. I throw him. I hear a shout. It’s strong.
“Soldier,” I whisper. I jump behind the boxes and overshoot it. I start falling, all the way down. Off the branches, I go. I look back to the boxes and see the ant getting dragged away. I land on the ground.
What is this? It’s not hard like the ground. There are no giant leaves of grass. “I’m moving, where am I?” I say. I get up and see fur. It almost feels like straw, it’s-
[[Next ->16]]It’s an anteater. The anteater starts to run. I fall off, the beast sees me. I start running away from the anteater. I hear the sound of marching again, it’s far away. The anteater looks at me in anger, ready to eat me! I look around, but a mere second later, the anteater charges. I climb up a blade of grass and jump on the anteater’s nose. I feel the ground starting to rumble. The anteater shakes its nose around like an elephant. I fly off and land on its foot. The rumbling gets louder and louder.
I look behind me. A stampede of children, running to a playground. I start running to my left, but trip. The anteater picks me up with his nose. Before he gets me a centimeter off the ground, I pick up a small pine needle. I stick it in his nose. I get dropped and I run into the place where the children were playing. The anteater chases me but instantly runs back into the forest. I look around in disbelief.
[[continue -> Untitled Passage]] //Rumble//
[[what's that? -> New Passage]]I look around again.
[[Continue ->17]]//Rumble rumble.//
The children are coming back. I start running but they’re too fast! My leg gets stepped on three times. The pain hurts so much, I’d rather be eaten by the anteater. I fall down and try to take care of my leg, but I don’t know how to.
The sun looks down at me. Its beautiful rays of light shining on the grassy fields ahead of me. The humongous hills in the distance. A bright beam of light blinds me, although I’m not looking at the sun. It’s too bright, a perfect white. Then, My world starts to fade away.
[[Continue ->19]]I wake up in a pit. It’s dark except for the fireplace in the corner of the room. I’m on a wooden bed, covered in small leaves. I look at the pillow, a little tiny ball of wool from what looks like a possible wool jacket. It’s warm in here. Not like the outside where the cold is in-escapable.
“Where am I?” I think. I start to look at the room I’m in. There’s an old rocking chair made of wood twigs and pine needles.
I look back at the fireplace. It’s lit up with small sticks from what looks like the same material from the rocking chair. There’s a beautiful rug in the center of the room. It has a pattern with shapes forming a tiger. I really feel better and safe. I look down at my leg. It’s in a cast, well not really. It's in a metal brace thing. It almost looks like a prosthetic. I assume it’s only been an hour or two judging how there’s no more light.
[[Continue ->23]]I look back at the fireplace. It’s lit up with small sticks from what looks like the same material from the rocking chair. There’s a beautiful rug in the center of the room. It has a pattern with shapes forming a tiger. I really feel better and safe. I look down at my leg. It’s in a cast, well not really. It's in a metal brace thing. It almost looks like a prosthetic. I assume it’s only been an hour or two judging how there’s no more light.
[[Continue ->24]]I rest my head down.
I shoot my head up. The sound of footsteps stops at a door made of sticks. It opens with a creak. An old man starts to walk into the room. He sits down on his old rocking chair. He looks at me.
“You feeling better, boy?” he says. It’s Orson. It took me a while, but it’s actually Orson.
“Yeah, I’m feeling better. What is this place? Your house,” I assume. Orson nods his head. He has a raspier voice than the last time I’ve talked to him. Even though that was a long time ago.
[[Continue ->27]]“Found you on the ground, you almost died. I brought you back to my home and took care of that leg. What were you doing out there anyway, if I may ask?” Orson said.
“I’m trying to get back the queen. The tree is at war and she was kidnapped by those Leafcutters,” I say.
Orson just does this weird okay. It’s not really an 'Okay' but more of a grunt.
“Have you told anyone yet?”
[[Reply to him ->28]]“No, sir. I haven’t. I was trying to save her myself because… I want to prove to people that I’m not a coward,” I say, remembering to respect my elders.
“Well, anyone who isn’t scared is an idiot. They think they’re invincible. Most end up dead around the tree from falling off,” he says.
[[Continue ->29]]I nod my head in response.
“I think I can help you out. I have a few things that can help,” Orson says. “Follow me.”
I do as I’m told and follow him. He leads me into a room. My leg doesn’t hurt. He opens a door the goes to the side. It reveals a huge armory of weapons.
“Take whatever you need,” says Orson.
“Woah, was not expecting that,” I say.
There is a huge array of things including, stingers, armor made from leaves, shields.
“I can take whatever right?” I ask.
“Yup,” Orson replies. I take a huge step in and grab a stinger, metal armor made by soda bottle caps, a shield also made by soda bottle caps, a spitter.
[[Continue ->30]]Spitters are basically a spear but more of a sword. Made by sticks and pine needles, some are even made out of sewing needles. I look at Orson.
“Here,” he says. He’s handing me a box. I open it and it’s filled with medical supplies. I thank him.
“I know I’m asking for too much, but can you do black magic on me? You know make me stronger-
I’m lifted into the air. A purple orb surrounds me and black stripes circle me. I start spinning. My leg starts to twitch.
[[Continue ->33]]I fall in pain. Orson picks me up.
“You’re good to go.”
I take a moment to catch my breath before I go on my journey to find the queen.
[[Continue ->34]]I start running through the forest. I figured out what my leg can do. I can jump really high now. I jump on a tree branch and start to jump to another branch. I look around and see nothing but darkness. I look at the tree in the distance.
“I promise I won't fail you,” I say. I kneel down. After a couple of moments, I continue. Orson told me where to go. With his black magic, he turned a mirror into a mirror on the wall thing. The queen is back at the leafcutter’s base. I start to run. I found a new trick I can do with a spitter. I can use it as a grappling hook, there’s a button that shoots out a grappling hook. I start swinging around.
[[Continue ->35]]I’m on the ground now, just a couple of yards and I’ll be there.
“Where are you going?”
I turn around in the darkness. The very little moonlight reveals a figure, taller than me. I start to walk back. He runs at me. It’s the anteater. I jump on it. His nose grabs me and throws me on the ground. I throw the spear at his nose, it seems to not affect him. I look into his eyes, but there isn’t anger in them. Instead, it’s filled with tiredness and sadness. I look at him closer. He sits down.
[[Next ->36]]“Listen, I don't really want to get in a fight. I think I’m just mad from last time we had an encounter. I look at him, dazed and confused.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“I never wanted to fight anyone I’m too old for that. I’m just a lonely, aging, anteater.”
There’s a moment of silence. He looks at me with tears in his eyes. Carl is a big anteater, he has brown fur and sharp claws. Carl has a strong, but silent voice. He looks old and scared. His tail is cut off. His eyes are a dark green.
“It’s just… every time I try to be friendly, stuff like this happens. I ruin it!” he yells.
“Come on. You didn’t ruin it. In fact, I could use some help,” I say.
The anteater sniffs.
“You want help? From me?”
“Yes. I want some help, if that’s all right with you,” I say.
“My name’s Carl,” he says.
“I’m Argy,” I say.
[[Next ->37]]Carl looks up at the night sky.
“It’s getting late,” Carl says. His tears seem to be going away.
“Listen, I’m not like the other anteaters. I’d rather eat bugs with a few ants, but I’m friendly you know?” says Carl.
There is a long moment of silence. Carl and I don’t know what to do now. It’s just so awkward. Carl looks at me and he starts to grab a pouch from the ground. He takes out a bunch of wood from trees, mostly bark. Carl throws and rearranges it to be almost like a campfire.
[[Continue ->38]]“It’s cold,” he says.
I nod my head in response. He continues to move around the dry wood.
“Can you get more wood and some rocks?” asks Carl.
It’s the least I can do for him. I get up from the log I was sitting on and walk into the woods. I look on the ground for some sticks and rocks like Carl asked. I see some dry leaves.
//“Those could work,”// I think.
[[Continue ->39]]I pick them up and run back to the fire. I drop down the sticks and rocks and wait for Carl to finish setting up. Me and Carl sit down for another moment of silence.
“Can I get that spear back?” I ask.
“Oh yeah,” says Carl.
He takes it out of his nose and hands it to me. I thank him.
“What’d you need help with?” he asks me.
I give him a brief explanation of the queen and my story.
“Wait, I saw her being carried away by ants, but they just got scared and ran away. From what I recall, the queen went to Orson. I assume you did too because, well that armor.” Carl says.
“You know Orson?” I ask.
“Yeah, we’re best friends.”
“Pretty sure she went down to the old river before she was captured again. Maybe you can find a clue at the river,” says Carl.
[[Continue ->40]]“Woah, thank you.”
I get up and start to walk away when Carl tells me to wait. I turn back. Carl is holding the box Orson gave me. I thank him and start to the river, but he tells me something that could help me a lot.
“You can get on my back and we can run over there,” Carl says.
I look at him and smile.
[[Continue ->41]]I made it to the river with Carl. I look at it, then to the left, then to the right.
“No sign of the queen,” I say to myself.
I walk down the river. I see footprints that match that of an ant. I look closer, but they disappear. I see a piece of paper. Maybe the queen wrote it down to tell anyone where she could be. Carl looks at it.
[[Continue ->42]]“What is this?” I say.
I pick it off the ground, the mud covering most of it.
“Put it in the water to clean it off,” says Carl.
I take his suggestion and run over to the water. I dip the muddy part in and take it out once it’s clean. I look at it in the moonlight.
''2026, Earl Road, Prison 1403,''
[[Continue ->43]]That’s all it says with a picture of a prison wall.
“They’re keeping her in a prison.”
“Where is it?” asks Carl.
“Pretty far. Prison 1403. Earl Street. Where is Earl Street?” I wonder.
“Earl Street? That’s just behind the forest. We need to go. Now!” yells Carl.
“All right! Let’s go.”
I jump on Carl’s back and he starts running like never before. I quickly grab onto his fur so I don’t slide off. Carl is a good new friend. He doesn’t want to fight through. I’ll just let him wait outside while I get the queen.
[[Onward ->44]]“You ready for this?” asks Carl.
I’m confused. I already said I was ready. What could he possibly mean?
Carl starts to jump up and down.
“Woah!” I yell.
Carl is jumping over boulders up a mountain. The forest is still an adventure. I see a tree in the distance.
“Carl stop,” I say.
Carl quickly jolts to the left.
“That’s my home,” I say. I point to the tree. It looks even worse than the last time I’ve been there.
Carl sits down as the sun rises.
“Just tell me when you’re ready,” Carl says.
“I am,” I reply.
I get back on his back and we start running again. The sun radiates the tree even more. I know I must do this. For everyone…
[[Continue ->45]]It’s been a couple of minutes since the tree faded away. Carl and I haven’t stopped once. He doesn’t seem tired. I look over my shoulder and see a bunch of ants. They’re refugees. There’s nothing I can do. Maybe when we come back, we can save them. Maybe. I start to get bored. Carl has reassured me that we’re close like thirty times. I look into the forests. Then, something happens. Carl falls. Not from tiredness. No, something bumped into him. Well, more like charged him. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe.
[[Continue ->46]]I get up from the ground and look up. It’s an anteater. He’s fighting Carl. Carl trips over the other anteater.
“Hey!” I yell.
I charge at the anteater, my spear ready to stab. The anteater justs hits me down to the ground. I throw the spear at its leg. It loses balance and throws me into a tree. One of the branches stabs through me. I don’t feel anything. Not even my soul. I slide down the tree and put my hand over the wound. Carl is trying to control the anteater, but he’s too weak.
“The medical supplies.” I think. I reach my arm to the box. It hurts too much. I can’t grab it. I don’t think I can do it. I rest my head on a log nearby and wait for my doom. Then the box is slid over to me by Carl. There’s nothing he can do. I try to ignore it and wait to die. But something inside me doesn’t want to die. If I quit my mission, I’ll be a bigger coward than I already am. I grab the box ignoring my pain and stick a syringe with medicine, mostly painkillers are in the box.
[[Continue ->47]] Carl jumps and knocks the anteater to the ground. I take my spear and throw it again. The anteater tries to hit me. I block it with my shield. Orson told me something. He told me to say these words and a nice surprise will happen.
“Ryuu gekiken,” I say. The purple orb comes back. It surrounds the other anteater. Black stripes quickly go around the orb. The anteater looks shocked. I was too. The orb starts to shrink and eventually, it’s gone. The anteater’s gone too.
Carl looks at me and asks, “what was that?”
“Orson taught me that,” I say.
“Ryuuga wagateki wo kurau,” says Carl. That’s something that I was not prepared for. Carl said something that means, ‘Let the dragon eat my enemy,’ and I said, ‘Dragon fencing’
I look at him. He didn’t say it right so the dragons wouldn’t attack me.
When did he learn that?
[[Continue ->48]]“Orson taught me too. Listen. There’s something else he taught me. Japanese. I’m a fluent speaker.
Doragon ga keimusho ni watashitachi to issho ni tonde mimashou, Let the dragons fly with us to the prison.”
I look at him. Saying that makes anyone faster. I jump on him and we take off. Carl has the ability to run three times as fast as he did before. The prison could be in an anthill we don’t know is that it'll take a while to get there.
“Why?” I ask.
“Never been there. I can’t go.”
I jump off and give him a pat on the back.
“You sure? I mean, we had the best time together,” I say.
“Don’t worry. When you come back, your tree will be free from leafcutters,” Carl says.
[[Continue ->49]]I’m confused, but don’t say anything.
I start walking over to this beast of a prison. It’s walls stand tall in the moonlight. I go towards it and look back. Carl is already gone. I reach my hand to open the door, but stop.
“Is this really how I want to do this?” I think. I look around and see ladders and construction going on around the back.
OPTION A: [[ get in through the main doors.]]
OPTION B: [[ sneak in through the construction.]]
I walk into the unguarded prison, ready for what comes next.
After a while of walking, I realize this isn’t a prison. There are no ants in here. I see a large door about the size of Carl. I push it open with very little force. Another hallway. I walk down hallways for what seems like hours, but then I see guards at the door. It’s too dark for them to see me. I walk towards them and take one down with my spear. I get the other with my stinger. I open the door they guarded and see… doom. Hundreds of soldiers are in this room. Most of them have weapons, but others are injured soldiers. Two of them see me. I run through the crowd which was a stupid idea. Three of them knock me to the ground. I hit two with my spear and four others with my stinger. I jump over a few with the leg enhancement Orson gave me. I look down while mid-air. I know what I have to do.
“Ryuuga wagateki wo kurau,” I say. The orb surrounds the soldiers. Dragons fly around the orb and attack them. Nearly two seconds later, they’re all gone.
I push another door open and continue going. Another hallway with soldiers in it. I fight them off. There’s a captain here. I stab a few. I ram a huge crowd with my shield. I jump to where the captain is and kick the guards by his side. The captain hits me in the chest, but my armor absorbs it. I grab him and tackle him to the ground.
“Where is she, the queen?” I say.
“You’ll never know. I will never tell.”
The soldiers start to walk over to me and I raise my spear to show that if they get closer, I will kill the captain. A few back off.
[[Continue ->Still]]I run over to the ladder and climb it. I start to crouch walk on the rafters and stop. There’s a way in through a window. I look into it and see two guards standing by a door.
“Shouldn’t o through there,” I think. I climb up to another part of the rafters and scaffolding. There are two construction workers standing by a wall. It looks like a re-modeling. I sneak behind them and my foot kicks a red toolbox. A wrench and a couple of nails fall out. I jump back down to the original rafter from before. I press up against the wall so I don’t stand out that much.
“What was that?” says one of them.
“Don’t know,” says the other. I hold my breath before climbing back up. I have a plan. I run towards them and jump on the scaffolding right above them. I roll on my back and my elbow hits a paint bucket off the rafter. I scramble to my feet and start to run.
“Hey!” yells one of the construction workers.
I don’t look back and continue running. I jump over one of the walls. I don’t land on my feet, instead I land on my side. I hit the concrete floor and take a moment to catch my breath.
“Ow,” I groan.
I stand up and feel a sharp pain go down my left arm and to my leg. I start to walk over to a door and realize, I’m inside.
I start to run and open a door. There is a crowd of people inside. It’s the prisoners, but they’re wearing suits of armor. They aren’t prisoners. They’re soldiers. Two of them run to me. Then three. Then four. Then the rest of them. I see more scaffolding inside and jump up there. I throw my spear down and hit two of them. I use my stinger to spit acid and someone grabs my leg. I fall off scaffolding. I kick the side of the scaffolding. It falls down, crushing almost all of the soldiers. I stab the one that grabbed me with my stinger and run over to my spear that’s on the ground. I grab it and look around. There’s only a few of them left. I throw my spear and hit only one. I see a spear fly right at me. I quickly pull my shield in front of me and the spear hits it. The spear falls to the ground. I start running into the crowd with the shield and ram into the crowd. I stab three of them and spit acid. Then, they’re gone. I feel a sharp pain in my arm. I look down and there is a spear going clean through my arm without struggle. When the scaffolding fell, it destroyed almost everything in its path. There’s a cage in the corner. Maybe the queen? Maybe.
[[Continue ->Tie it Back Together 2]] “She’s at the king’s castle,” says one of the soldiers.
“Take me,” I say. The captain gets up and leads me to the king’s castle.
We start to walk down this narrow hallway with guards there.
“Back off,” says the captain.
The soldiers don’t move, instead, they open the door. There is a crowd of soldiers again. I hear the hum of beeping. Long beeps and short beeps. Morse code. The crowd of soldiers pulls a string and a cage falls down. It’s a trap.
“No!” I shout. I throw my spear at the captain. It hits him through his chest. I grab my spear and move out the way. I spit the acid out of the stinger and the ants start fighting me. I keep shooting acid until they’re all gone. I see a cage in the corner with a tarp over it. It’s moving. I run over to it but was stopped. An ant jumps in front of me.
“Well, you found me,” he says.
“You kidnapped the queen?” I say.
“Yes, I did. Save her,” he says.
I start to walk over but he takes out a spear of his own. Don has a scar going across his eye and down to his neck. He also has a real stinger. I can’t tell what type, but I do recognize him. We went to the same school and he was at the top of his class. He was a pretty bad student, always getting in trouble. I remember one time he pulled the fire alarm like four times.
“She’s mine,” he says.
“Listen, my name’s Argy. I came from the tree because of you. Now give me the queen,” I say.
“You have to fight for her.”
“Then let’s do it. What’s your name?” I say.
This is a weird moment. We seem to be fighting, but having a conversation.
“Don, what’s yours?” he says. “Sorry, I forgot.”
“Then I’ll engrave it into your skull,” I say.
We start battling. I kick him, but he grabs my leg and pulls. I fall down. I jump up into the air and throw my spear. It hits his foot. I start to fall back down. He says something familiar.
The orb surrounds me along with the dragons.
[[Continue ->Still2]]“Ryuuga wagateki wo kurau,” I shout.
Our dragons start to battle. We’re both surrounded by orbs. A large powerful supernova like thing happens to our orbs. The beams of light are insane and blinding. My orb is green and his orb is purple. Our beams combine shooting an array of colors. It’s beautiful. A large explosion breaks it. I go flying into a wall, I don’t know about Don. It’s still a blinding white everywhere I look. The sounds of crumbling stone are deafening.
“Don!” I shout, “This isn't over.”
Another explosion booms. This one knocks me out cold.
“How long has it been?” I say to myself. I look around at the destroyed king’s castle or whatever they called it. Stone walls that once stood tall are now on the ground. I see Don. His arm is crushed underneath the stone. I get up and run at him. He instantly jumps up and puts his spear in my arm. I shoot acid into his face and stab him in the chest. I fall down and look at him. He falls down, but this time he isn’t getting up.
[[Continue ->Tie it Back Together 2]] I take the spear out of my arm and run at the cage in the corner. It’s the only thing not destroyed. I take off the tarp. The queen is there.
[[Continue ->50]]“Argy?” she says in shock.
“We’re getting out of here.”
I grab her with my good arm and we start to run. I charge towards the outside and jump. I see the tree. It isn’t far. Then, I look up. It’s someone I thought I’d never see ever again. Orson. He says the words of the god. I start to rise up into the air with the queen.
[[Continue ->51]]“My children, may the gods be with you. Let the tree be with you. Be one of you,” he says.
I look at him. His old eyes looking back at me. He says a few words I don’t understand. Then a white light. I start to see color again. We’re at the tree. Carl’s there. He looks proud, sitting on the grass. I look at the tree, nothing. The queen is faint. I rest her on the ground.
“King Abidus,” calls Carl.
The king walks out of the tree. He looks malnourished. The emotion in his eyes. He runs over and looks at her. He has a long sword on his back. He thanks me and takes her back to the tree.
“We did it,” I say.
[[Next ->52]]Carl laughs.He gathered the courage to help her in need. He has been living in the lower class. He should’ve been saved. Anyway, he might like to say a few words,” says the king.
The king shows me to the podium. I stand tall and confident, like those towers.
“I couldn’t have done it without help from my friends. Like Orson, Carl, and most importantly… you guys,” I say, “I did it because I didn’t want a prize, I did it for myself. To gain self-confidence. I wanted to help myself, and I think I’ve done that.”
[[Continue ->53]]I hop down from the podium and start running to the door. I take the key and put it in the lock, I turn it and the door opens. Inside is an array of books on a bookshelf, from history to fiction. I look at all the books and see some of the oldest authors dating back from 1800 to the present day. I walk deeper in and see a bed, a soft one. In the corner is a fireplace with fresh wood on the side. There are rooms in the hallway. One is a bathroom, other is another bedroom, and the last is a kitchen with a dining table. I sit down on a couch with my peace and quiet. I know that the rest of these days aren’t over. They’re still going to be celebrating. Well, at least my journey ended.
[[The End ->Thanking]]
[[Choose another path? ->Are You Sure?]]Thank you, Reader, for reading my book. This took me a long time too make and I don't expect you to play it again. The choices you made are the ones that brought you hear. I appreciate you taking your time to read my story...Clicking "Continue" will put you at the beggining where you can make different choices if you wanted too. If you don't want to then you can press the back button.
[[Continue ->Are You Positive]]Are you sure? I mean you can go back now, it took a while to read.
[[Yes ->Passage 1]]