V The Village by the River

Sosina

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Nola was put out by all this....well until she heard Ricter in the group and her eyes lit up as she heard Mister Squishy's voice. Though before she could say anything she stopped herself as she waited for him to finish his questions and then Kokonoe responded and explained, she then heard her ask them about the means to get across the river and she looked up at the ship as she gestured to her workers to stop a safe distance from the river "Well going around till we get closer to the location would be safer, the more workers we have when we get there the better correct?" she said to them with the network and she looked to her workers.

"small break for food while I talk with the Tall one and Mister squishy about how we will proceed" she said and for a moment the workers looked around confused a bit as they knew mister squishy wasn't there, but they figured the queen had some manner to talk to him so they took the time to pass some food around to enjoy a small rest to recover a bit from the march so far.

Nola meanwhile got back into contact with Kokonoe and Ricter "We are able to float across the river if needed, we have a way to do so, but it would leave a few of us waterlogged and they would have to be carried after that....maybe...ten of the workers would need to recover after crossing the river in that manner..." it was a manner she was aware of as it was taught to her back in the colony she had to leave, with their numbers ten Workers could swim the river and carry the rest and all their supplies on their backs, linking arms and working together with a few rowing that were sitting on top of them, the ten wouldn't drown, but they would certainly be exhausted after crossing unable to fight or carry much of anything, and would probably have to be carried to keep up their speed. But it could be done at least.
 

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Manging to hear both Nola and Kokonoe on the other end of the radio he would wonder how thneyw ere set up since he hadn't seen any over head view of the location they were In, but he knew they could manage some way of doing it as he had planned ahead. This path was only the fastest way to get there, if they didn't cross the river then it would take about a half days walk to get back on the so called path he had set up.

Once everyone gave their sugestions he would frown as he noticed some more people coming into the shop and he would have too give them the 'one moment please' gesture before moving off into the back room to talk to them fully there. After all he couldn't juggle running the store and talking tactics with them as they made their way out into the wild and untamed wilderness. "Well um I feel that walking around could be better, but you'll be outside at night which is bad. I'm still worried about you trying this though NOla, I don't want your little workers getting hurt or anything..."

Ricter's tone clearly showed he was scared for them, and over all had worry in his voice, which Nola could hear. But he would shake off his worries and soon add, "Well if you believe in your little ants, then I believe in them too Nola, uh for your idea's Kokonoe I think it would be best to have the items stored on your ship and moved over, that way Nola's workers don't ahve to carry them all. I don't know how much your ship can lift though. But you guys can manage it." He added, letting them sort the rest out as he made his way back into the store, taking care of the customer who was waiting in line for their donuts.
 

Kokonoe

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"Okay, we are going together. I'll place the ship over the water to watch for danger, and to lift any of you in the current if anything happens... I can't lift all of you but I CAN lift a lot of you with my gravity. You Formica are resilient... takes days for you guys to drown unlike myself I'll let the twins watch the scanners while I float below the ship. I might be able to redirect the water if it doesn't get too rough... Then we can stash the tired ones on the ship here and I'll make sure they are okay. If anything is in the water... You guys cross, I'll attack it." She said that so confidently... despite her hating being submerged in cold water, or maybe she just hated rivers with fast currents. There was little hesitation in her voice, her voice died away as she stopped using her mana.

"ALPHA, BETA stop argueing we are all going over... Place the ship in the middle of the river I am gonna protect them... if you pick something up on the scanner... Beta you help protect Nola's group with me in the water, Alpha help get them to safety... At any cost... If it means leaving me behind do it." Alpha and Beta seemed shocked, but they nodded looking at each other as they got into position, Kokonoe lept of the side of the ship and stopped mid-air. As of she was in the water all ready she was floating, still minus the fact of her hair and clothes moving. as if she was under the waves already before lifting her megaphone to speak again, "We are in position, ship is in the middle of the lake, scanners watching and me looking to be the last line of defense. I'll make sure no one gets hurt, Ricter and Nola." Something... was off in her voice? It seems like she was a tad unsure if she should mention part of her plan for some odd reason.

The scanners of the ship turned on with a soft whir sound, Alpha and Beta looking at each other as the ship sits levitating in the air. Beta shouts, "ALL READY!" From the ship as Kokonoe smiles to her friends in front of her. Her golden gaze staring at them for a moment before peering towards the current to watch for waves, she was keeping watch by the looks of it. Kinda like a soldier.

"Cross behind me but close so I can try to keep the current off you if it gets too strong, and if anything attacks cross as fast as you can and I'll try to fend it off. Preferably... I'll try to get it out of the water... Hopefully it won't be massive... or a large group of small razor-toothed aggressors... I can fend them off very well. Be careful with no rush otherwise." She stated calmly, seems working with Ricter gave her a great way to sound calm and collected when so many things could go wrong since she wasn't over thinking.
 

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Nola looked to her workers as the other two talked about the issues of walking around versus goring around, it would take longer to go around and they would have to travel during the night and that wasn't a good Idea, and Ricter gave how he felt about the Idea with a lot of worry in his voice, she understood his worry, she couldn't really lose to many workers, and she didn't want to lose any, But it was the fastest method to get to the site, and so as her workers finished eating and Kokonoe was moving the ship she looked to them "okay everyone get ready to cross the stream, ten of you will be the raft...the rest of us will ride on you and carry the supplies" she said as she looked to them all.

All of the workers started to redistribute the supplies and the ten started to link arms, as directed by Nola, and slowly they all loaded up the ten workers and helped them get to the edge of the river before climbing onboard "okay now then, as we cross don't forget to help them by rowing with your hands or the branches you grabbed" she said as the other workers nodded and the group started to slowly cross the river, the ten workers that made the raft working hard to swim against the current that was pressing against them, keeping their position if only barely.

The large group of Formica slowly made their progress keeping to the rear of Kokonoe as she requested, and all the others kept their eyes open to look out of any danger, Nola herself though was keeping her eyes on the air, this would be a bad time to be attacked by anything that could fly, while a few others where watching the tree line and the shore of the other side of the river, they had to be on guard as this was going to be one of the moments they were at their most vulnerable.
 

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The plan they had formulated seemed to be working well, the current however was strong and cold, even though the ants bodies were protected a small shiver could be felt due to the tropical weather contrasting the cool stream. Additionally swimming across was a very close activity for those carrying supplies, it was difficult and would drain a lot of energy but as they went along they wouldn't seem to encounter many problems at all.

That is till up ahead along the stream Kokonoe would notice a fallen log traveling down the river now, bouncing off large rocks and headed for the Formica who were crossing the river. It was large and could easily sweep some of them away, it was less than half a minute away from reaching them and with how it seemed to roll around it could spell disaster for some and especially the supplies that had brought with them.
 

Kokonoe

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"LOG, UPSTREAM!" Yelled Beta.

Kokonoe's eyes shifted as her ears twitched, she was looking around for the noise. It was a clunk of wood an rocks, she shifted her gaze to upstream as she heard Beta, the log was heading towards the group swiftly. Kokonoe determined she wouldn't have to worry about flying towards it and waited until it got close enough to lift with her Zero Gravity technique, lifting it as it could be useful for the time being. She kept her gaze upstream, "A fallen log... Is that why the river seems... flooded...? Could this be a mudslide..? If it is there is bound to be more logs..." She bit her lip, picking up her megaphone with her off hand before speaking to Ricter and Nola through it, "Ricter, could you be a dear and ask people if there was a mudslide or flood in and around the river that we were crossing? I normally wouldn't care too much because yay free supplies for building... but I seriously have no idea if I can stop a forest flowing down a flood..." There was a bit of worry in her voice... She didn't exactly want to drown in a river today and her only defense currently was the fallen log.

The twins kept up the scanners as on was watching from above in-case Kokonoe needed help, looking out for more logs since one came rather quickly. Kokonoe was on edge as she waited for the news, now having to worry about anything above or below the water... The Formica being vulnerable made this a very tough predicament, especially with potential predators.

Kokonoe again spoke, "If I don't answer back... then I probably found out the answer... and if that's the case I'd get ready for a bumpy ride."
 

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Nola and her Formica continued to cross the river, carrying the supplies and other ants on the backs of the ones making up the living raft, those on the edges where also paddeling using long sticks and their hands to increase their speed to the other side, though Nola's antenna twitched as she looked up river and seen the log coming towards them and she sent a massage to her workers through the hive mind and a large group of the Formica moved to the side where the log was coming from, balancing themselves by others moving the majority of the supplies to the left side of the living raft, keeping it balanced as the Workers got ready to intercept the raft, they couldn't stop it from hitting, but they could cushion the blow and toss it once they got to grips with it.

Though they were spared having to deal with that as it suddenly floated into the air thanks to Kokonoe, Seeing this Noa looked back to her Workers as she gave the all clear down the hive mind, the workers moving back to their previous positions and redistributing the supplies to even out the weight to make it easier on the ones making up the raft, and they resumed their paddeling and improvised oar work, all silently, honestly anyone seeing that level of precision without a word would probably be creeped out if they didn't know anything about the Formica.

She looked up to Kokonoe who was now talking to her and mister Squishy once more and she called up "Worry about up river....if somthing attacks from under the water...we really have no means to fight it off other then getting to the other side faster we are to heavy in our armor to fight underwater...if it attacks from the surface we should be fine" she said to the Tall one, though honestly if it meant saving her workers she very well might dive under to fight anything that threatened them from under the water, though she had a plan to let that work out without hopefully losing anyone...but it would be hard to pull off so she really didn't want to try it unless it was completely needed.
 

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At the mention of land slides he would perk up and wonder what she ment, but Ricter would over all try to get as much information on it as possible as he went outside and talked with a few people. In the mean time Nola and her people would find she was nearly to the other side of the river, which as she made it to shore it would seem that the danger of what ever could have been in the waters was no longer a massive worry. At least for now that is as heading back would be a bit more dangerous for them later on, if they needed to do so.

Moments of silence followed before he spoke back over the coms, "Well they said that a rain strom had passed by some time ago, knocking and uprooting tree's, maybe that's why a log was going down the river?" If Kokonoe wished to investigate she could, though her virion and scanners would need to head up river to better see what might have happened or what could be the problem. On looking up at the sun it was still high in the sky, and they ahd plenty of time to do what they needed.
 

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"Got it, Nola I'll keep watch and thanks a ton my fluffy friend!" She went silent a moment but her yelling could be heard though muffled as she was shouting away from her device so it wouldn't hurt anyone's ears it sounded like "Alpha! Scan up river as far as possible with Beta! Don't go too far! If you find anything odd report back to Ricter so he can tell Nola and I immediately! Thank you in advance!"

Beta relayed the message with more yelling of course.

Kokonoe went to watching the water for anything weird, floating closer to the raft of Formica. Though Kokonoe was sitting on the log while floating, "Hopefully that's the last of the trouble, I'm trying to save energy... The more sugar I need to fuel my attacks and reaction speed... the more food I'll need." By how Kokonoe explained her mana and intellect in that moment makes it sound like it was linked to her blood sugar or sugar in-take... Perhaps this is how she ate so much but seemed to never gain any weight, it seemed like a dangerous trade off since that meant Kokonoe needed more food to more magic and thinking she did... That explains why she brought so much sugar, she wasn't only addicted to it... She needed it to function without wasting rations. She'd take out a juice box from literally her sleeve and start sucking it down, presumably trying to preserve some energy that she was exerting. "Don't be scared to snack after we make it to the other side I brought plenty and I bet this type of activity takes a lot out of you all. I just hope this is the hardest part of our Jungle Expedition." She said with some optimism, keeping her eyes on the water for any more dangers that lie under the surface of the white water rafting currents crashing below.
 

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As the Formica raft got to the edge of the river Nola climbed out and the Workers all started to quickly unload the living raft and help the others onto shore, it was quite clear that the ten that made up the raft were totally exhausted, barely able to move as they were picked up and carried by some of their fellow workers, and they were fed from the stores of food they had, on top of that the workers that had been the raft were rapidly shedding their armored Carapace, and eating the armor to regain the resources used to make them, and as they shed pieces of armor, it was made more and more visible that they were totally spent, shaking and struggling to eat the armor plates as the others helped them get away from the rivers edge.

"We are across and safe....Tall one can the tired rest in the ship?" Nola called up as thankfully it seemed like nothing else had come to bother them as of yet, but it was clear the Ten Workers that had made the raft would slow them down if they were to walk or be carried, as they were incapable of doing anything at the moment. Astra and Sonna meanwhile were taking inventory and rationing out food for the others, to make sure they all got something quick to eat while Nola was making her request to the Tall one.

For the time being the tired workers were carried and held between two other workers in what was clearly a defensive stance to protect them as the inventory and small meal was done, as while the river was dangerous, they were still fairly vulnerable what with a portion of their numbers now incapable of running or fighting back if needed.
 

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Up ahead both Alpha and Beta, depending on who spotted it first, would notice that a small section of the river was damned off, as if animals had broken down multiple things just to place into the river to stop the flower. However it only seemed to enhance its size as it was unfinished. Actually, if they were very keen on insight they would notice that no one was here, not an animal, or person, or even creature as it seemed this damn was uninhabited but looked to be only half finished over all.

If a closer inspection was made they would find that the water here was only pushed to one end, still leaving the river to be much bigger than normal, but also leaving a gap to where the damn creaked and whined under the pressure. Then with a lout 'snap' noise they would see a number of twigs and small logs give way as they flowed down the river towards Kokonoe and the others. No doubt they would see it in passing but aside from this the path ahead of still very jungle and foliage filled but closer now that they managed to pass this small obstacle.
 

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"That's peculiar... it looks like a dam... A poorly constructed or half finished one at that, Sister..." He'd turn to his twin who was taking scans and photos of the entire scene, "It flooded the river quite a bit... But it doesn't look like anything is here... it's... quiet? That's unusual... Eerie, I wonder if a predator owns this neck of the jungle...?"

"It's hard to say but we should get as much information as possible... the others got over the river so we have some time... But the dam seems to be made with very large materials... The creature that did it is either very large or very strong... Perhaps both." She stated looking up at her brother before the structure's creaking and whining finally let to the snapping as it broke apart in a large rush of water and wood.

"It gave way!"

"I can tell, thanks..."

"We should head back and report our findings."

"Good idea I'll pilot us back now, we have a few passengers to carry anyway due to the plan." The ship turns back around and flies quickly back to the group as they are snacking. Kokonoe gave a hand signal to Alpha and Beta to start the scanners and get beds ready for the ten Formica that couldn't move much. The river took a lot out of them so she also gave the signal to get them some food as well, Beta would be caring for them until Kokonoe went back onto the ship.

The pink haired Nekomata spoke as the ship's shadow passed over head, "Sure, I had that in mind, too. It'd be safer that way, the teleporter should be online soon when the beds are set up. Food will be set up for them, too... As well as the new on their findings of whatever they found up-" She paused to see all the foliage rush down stream... Logs... twigs... it looked like it was made from several trees. "Stream... Well... that's... peculiar."

With a whir the scanners scanned the exhausted soldiers and they dissipated in a light, which was the teleporter from earlier working it's magic. "Anything we need to talk about before I tend to the others Nola? Of course if any information is seen on the scanners I'll tell you of it, otherwise the soldiers and scans will be my main goal for now." She stated still sitting on the log floating in mid-air.
 

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As the Workers were put on the ship Nola looked up "they are not Soldiers they are Workers" She corrected the Tall one wonder how she could make that mistake? Then again she hadn't seen a Soldier yet so maybe that was it? She remembered in her classes that other species didn't have set Soldiers or Workers, they were all able to do different jobs, but that also meant they were not specialized like her kind was, it was hard to say if that was an advantage or not though.

Looking to her remaining Workers she waited for them to get the food they needed, it was both to lighten the load they were carrying, after all they just lost ten workers so they had to redistribute the remaining supplies, some of which was being stored in their stomachs for later use or redistribution, and as she seen them packing up to make sure they had everything balanced among them she nodded as they all started to stand, their armor thankfully hadn't taken any damage so they could keep it on rather then shed it, eat it, and regrow it to replace any damaged parts.

So she, Astra, and Sonna walked around inspecting the Workers to make sure they were all properly laden with supplies, in a balanced manner, and they were, so with that all checked she returned to the front and they all started to move once more, "Tall One we are advancing once more, the only thing I can think about to mention is that you please keep an eye open above, we can watch down here. Also let Mister Squishy know we are all okay, other then that if you could give a better heading that would be helpful" she said as she continued to walk with her workers, they could correct their heading as they walked once Kokonoe gave her a better one to walk.
 

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With the two sides moving on ahead, after a brief amount of stopping, the time seemed to still be in good graces with what Ricter had planned for them to do. Matching his estimates as they were nearly at the half way point through the dense jungle and humid landscape, it was a lot of walking however and obviously it was far away from civilization so a soda wasn't going to be on the menu unless packed ahead of time. But thirst would obviously kick in as Ricter would manage to call in over what ever connection Kokonoe had set up.

"Are you guys okay? From what I can guess you should be nearly half way there by now, I hope the river wasn't too dangerous for you all." He said, still worried that this might be a bit much for them all but they had numbers and time, at this rate they would reach the village by sunset. However along the way they would notice something strange, it looked like markings on a tree as well as scratch and claw marks that split bushes in half, what ever was around here seemed to be very strong or just big over all. However there was a distinct number of foot prints that were covered in rain and mud from the last time it showered here, they seemed to have hove like imprints in them, similar to a horse or bull.

Upahead though they would notice a break in the tree's as now they could see over a massive expanse of land and jungle, they were now on a cliff it seemed, not very high up but big enough to warrant not jumping down. It was only about 20 feet or so of a drop, still enough to hurt and at the bottom jagged rocks lay at the base of its sheer drop off. But ahead from that they would notice something else, over the horizon, around another five or so miles out, they would see a destroyed watch tower, in ruins. If Kokonoe went ahead to try and get close she would find that this was the location that fit the maps, however this would be if she went close at a safe distance, if she aimed to go strait into the village she might see something more.
 

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"Oh yeah, workers... Sorry, force of habit since we are doing a soldier's job technically. So we are all soldiers today, by human standards I mean of course. I will inform Ricter and give the word for Alpha to scan for a quick walk way... I'll have Beta watch for any air attacks wile I tend to the workers that are unable to move. I'll get back to you soon, of course." She smiled before floating back to the ship with the timber and strapping it down so she didn't have to keep it suspended in the air. She dusted off her lab coat before talking to Ricter via the Megaphone which Nola was tuned into as well as Alpha and Beta at the same time, "Alpha, set up the scanners and scan for a fast and safe pathway, Beta keep watch for any air based attackers... I have workers to tend to."

"Yes, Mother! Right away." Beeping was heard in the background as the machines regulated the Formica and the scanners kicked on.

"We are fine here, the Formica will be too, they need rest but everything else seems normal... I didn't want to wake them, so I decided to give them a regulated drip of sugar water to revitalize them as they sleep... Their muscles are rather torn from the ordeal. Heart beats are high, too. They will be in pain once they wake up and might need a few hours of rest." Kokonoe spoke before she was interrupted by Alpha.

"I found something on the scanners... a lot of things are broken and clawed... There seem to be hoof markings, too." She said zooming into the scene, "There is a break up ahead and a cliff side near by. Jagged rocks and some sort of ruined buildings... a tall one."

"Seems there is a cliff up ahead and stuff like that... and hoofed animals nearby. Animals with hooves tend to be territorial, but if it's intelligent which it seems to be judging by the structure... I want to see if we can talk it down. I'll go off ahead, fly down alone and the ship will come back to you after. This ship goes a good forty five or sixty miles per hour. It'll take me all of a few minutes to have the ship fly there and back to you. I'm really quiet on my feet and have great reflexes so i should be able to sneak around with no issues. Alpha and Beta will keep watch and will listen to your commands, Nola. Alpha speed close to the structure. I'll report any sightings from scouting since it'll take a bit to get to the cliffs and scale them." The ship was off silently but quickly... Kokonoe started to float down to the tower herself... The ship wasn't gone long at all, Kokonoe was floating from a safe distance the rest of the way herself since she wasn't leaving the Formica unprotected but she wanted the scout out what the scanners might miss. She went down lower than normal but always tried to stay hidden from sight since sound wasn't an issue for her.

She looked at the paper map and squinted, she rose the map to over lay the view and back... "This looks so similar to the picture... This has to be it, then.. That tower I could rework into a lab with a shield generator for safety...!" She shook her head around, "Science later protection now, keep it together Kokonoe! I'll fly in a bit closer to see if I can spot anything." She said getting used to talking with herself.
 

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As the group of Formica got to the cliff side Nola looked down, then Kokonoe made her little announcement and She nodded, meanwhile she looked at the cliff again before sending a command to her workers through the hive mind, as they would be waiting for Kokonoe to return she decided to make this cliff less of an obstacle for when they had to bring Mister Squishy to the town, granted he would have a group of Workers and maybe a Soldier with him when he did, but still she knew he couldn't walk on walls like her kind could, so as she watched the workers place things down for the time being she directed them on where to start their work.

Silently the Group of Formica starts to carve out chunks of the ground, using their self made building materials to shore up the parts they were leaving in the cliff as they started to carve out a set of stairs in the cliff side as well as making a safety rail with their stone like building material that they could produce from their mouths, this would use up some resources, but it would need to be done eventually anyway, so better to do it now then leaving Mister Squishy up here while they built it when they brought him, where their may be a chance of something trying to eat their Mister Squishy, and Nola wasn't even about to let that be a possibility.

As the work continued Nola herself was keeping an eye out for any danger that might come after them, their armor would give them quite a lot of protection, but again she was really the only out of all her workers that knew how to fight properly, and even then she didn't have the physical capabilities of the Soldiers she could make if only she could find what she needed, the only thing they could do at the moment is rely on numbers if they got attacked, and at the very least they had that going for them, even with ten of them out of action they still have forty three of them in total so they were not defenseless.

In the ship the ten Workers were not in as bad straits and the scanners would indicate, after all, they always had a slightly elevated heart rate, the Muscle issues though would be a problem later, but nothing a lot of rest and food couldn't fix at least. But they stayed there resting their bodies absorbing the liquids that Kokonoe left for them.
 

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As Kokonoe would go on ahead and search the little village she would find that it was in a constant state of disrepair, she could tell this place had been abandoned for some time. The wood from the buildings had extensive water damage, most structures here were collapsed and over all the ground was flooded over in large puddles of water but deep groves in them had filled with water. Leaving tracks from one end to the cave that was near by.

As indicated by Ricter, there was a mining cave here, and around 6-7 buildings that all but had nothing inside of them, picked clean by animals, bandits- you name it. If she looked around inside she would only find ruins, nothing of interest mostly, and as she would walk around the soft squishy ground she would note that some of the buildings had damage outside of water. Similar to claw marks, and doors being bashed in, even some pillars being chopped in half by a weapon maybe as the residents had left in a possible hurry too thanks to how everything was thrown about in a haste, at least what was left.

However as she would no doubt look around she would hear splashing behind her, then stomping following the splashing, with a quick turn around she would see something emerge from the cave. It looked like some sort of monstrous creature, with curved horns on his head, and standing well over eight feet tall, they had a humanoid body with large muscles. He wore no shirt, or pants, but a ragged loin cloth from the leather of some animal, as for his face he seemed to resemble a bull of some kind. Hove's for feet, and a long tail with a bristle of fur, he seemed ot be the spitting image of a minotaur and by the look he was giving he seemed to be examining the area before his eyes looked at Kokonoe.

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On the other hand as Nola's workers would get to work on making a path way towards the village that wasn't too far away form the group, one of the workers would go a bit to the side, collecting resources to use for the steps. However suddenly a vine would lash out, aiming to grab the little worker and pick them up by the hips, the vine was very strong but it didn't seem like one of the vines were just around, but multiple. From the bushes 3 more vines would slip out and aim to grab the ankles of two workers, and one would be Nola herself as some creature was trying to capture them.
 

Kokonoe

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"This is definitely it...", she said levitating just off the ground rather than leaving her walking through mud in her sandals which for her would be a fate worse than death... Wet and dirty feet? No way in hell was she touching that mud. "This place is going to need storm drains for sure... It's almost like a marshland, I'll have to make a new marsh near by..." She said writing some notes down for future references, "Wood is water damaged... that'll have to be fixed or we will have to just not use wood at all. Most structures are demolished or collapsed onto the ground... And the shape of these grooves look familiar..." She squinted at them, but was more into the damages for now. She still have to be careful with whatever came around as she remembered the claw marks.

"I should check the housing... See what's salvageable..." She said floating around to every one individually. Everything seemed disheveled and damaged, anything that could be used was raided she couldn't even find documents about how this settlement was like before whatever destroyed it. Did people move out do to how bad it flooded or something else? "Hmm..." She kept looking and saw the claw marks, structures bashed into... pillars broken in such a way that was too clean to be blunt force... Something strong chopped through them, at least that's what she concluded gazing onto the mining cave for a bit, "Something happened... it was definitely a rush to get somewhere that's for sure... I haven't spotted any blood so maybe this damage was do to fear tactics or people trying to help others escape.... or to gather as much materials they could in anarchy. Hard to tell... but I'll make more notes." She said to herself writing her findings, it seemed safe but... then her ears twitched.

"...Splashing...?" She said as she heard unfamiliar foot steps, putting her notes away in her sleeve as she turned towards the cave system. It was extremely, especially for her below average height, muscular like a body builder and to top it off humanoid. This creature reminded her of an old lab assistant named Tager, minus the not wearing clothes part seeing at this bull man had only a loin cloth. He seemed to look around as he examined the area before seeing the pink furred nekomata herself as she adjusted her spectacles "Hooves... a tail... fur... Minotaur-like... Body like Tager... Are you a beastman, too? Also... I know bovines have thicker skin than felines like me... but... aren't you..." Her eyes motioned scanning over his body so he got what she was alluding to, "Cold? There has to be a terrible draft in a cave... I'd be freezing." She decided to make conversation or try having no idea if it was more or less like her clan.

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With Nola and the Formica workers working on building stairs Alpha and Beta continued to scan the area watching for threats. Alpha's reading picked up movement in the ground... but not fast enough to help out before some Formica were grabbed by the threats, "Beta! Scanners picked up movement but the vines moved fast! They need help down there! I'll take care of the ones up here, besides one has Nola... and we know that Mother won't tolerate something bad happening to her!" She yelled out to Beta.

"Got it!" Beta yelled back as he flew off the ship turning into his weaponized battle ready form... He focused on saving Nola as his blades pinpointed the vines and he tossed them... The vines dodged most of them... and he panicked a bit as the way it moved made it hard not to hit Nola, with one sword left he attempted to hit that vine one last time, "Nola! Try to grab one of my sword in-case I miss!" He yelled from the sky suddenly, seems his swords were great for projectiles but he couldn't control them until he was within a certain radius of them... Due to being so high up in the air he'd take a minute or two to get down close enough to control them.
 

Sosina

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The workers and Nola, felt the vines coming thanks to the air pressure chance, but that didn't help in evading them, with their armor on they were slower, to slow to dodge, though the one worker that was grabbed by her hips managed to dig her feet into the ground to prevent being pulled away and was pulling on the vine, thankfully the Formica themselves were strong as well.

Nola was grabbed by the arm and she grabbed the vine as well and just like her other worker she dug her feet into the ground to prevent her from being lifted into the air or pulled away, though the surprise did cause her to raise the alarm, much in the same way she had when Kokonoe had sprayed her with that weird solution that caused her to do so in her lab. This caused the remaining Workers to stop what they were doing as the alert went through the hive mind and the rushed to the aid of the others, grabbing what tools they brought with them for building and farming, axes, sickles, scythes, anything that could be used to cut the vines, some even picked up sharp rocks to use as they rushed to the aid of Nola first.

It was quick, the Workers started hacking the vine that grabbed their queen into tiny bits, while one she was safe the others started to move in, this all happened at the same time that Beta was tossing his swords, and as the blades missed they would be picked up by some of the workers and used to try to help the others, Thankfully being on the ground with the vines made them easier to hit, rather then trying to throw things at them.

Nola Herself had grabbed the last blade and was moving to aid her other workers, but at the last moment she stopped and moved back to get a better view of what was happening...and opening her hive mind to her workers, they could just barely sense what she was sensing as she kept an over watch on the girls and on the bushes so that they couldn't be surprised, this also allowed them to link their pressure senses, if they were going to fight multiple things, she was going to make sure that her and her workers acted as one large being and use all the advantages they had.
 

Ricter

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The beast man would give a frown to the felines words, she seemed to be over all aiming to speak to them however he would give a gruff huff and walk towards her. The cold air around them didn't seem to bother them at all, even while being mostly unclothed, even so he would no sooner actually speak to them as they made motions towards Kokonoe. "Danger...crystals..." On closer look, she would tell his eyes were lulled, and a deep shade of blue, similar to the glow in the cave.

But before she had the chance to investigate further the beast began rushing towards her at blistering speeds, seemingly extremely fast but not too quick as the large monster would try to slam down his fist strait on her. Though he had to jump towards the scientist to reach her better, she would have some time to evade but it was clear he was attacking now.

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The vines would be no match for the combined effort of the Formica that chopped and destroyed the vines, turning them into mulch, however what ever creature that made them didn't seem to enjoy that very much. In fact as they began to look around they would hear a loud screeching noise before something large would begin moving out of the tree line, it was big enough to cause the ground to shake a tad though as they got closer it could be seen just above one of the jungle tree's. Above them, they would notice a tall walking plant that used vines for its feet and appendages but had a Venus fly trap 'face' that seemed to be in triplicate.

All of its mouths began snapping angrily at the workers near by, however more importantly it would seem to try and target those close by. One being Beta as one of the 'heads' would try to snap around their body and enclose them in a very tough prison, all the while a much thicker vine was headed strait for Nola now, it was trying to knock her away with a powerful swipe. Not too mention aiming to swipe away any of her workers that wished to defend her as well.
 
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