They had his sisters!
The baby battler had returned to the fence after his latest attempt at finding food to discover everything he’d collected gone, along with his little sisters. He dropped the piglet he’d been carrying and the animal ran off, oinking, while he squealed and flailed and blew raspberries of pure hatred.
Furious, he reached through his pattern for them, and while he did find them, they were different somehow, changed. Their pattern was new and oddly unlike his. Something had been done to them.
Only he was allowed to do anything to them!
The baby turned with a squeaking roar and raced straight towards his sisters, flailing with the tentacles not jammed in his mouth and blowing raspberries as he went. He made no attempt at stealth but flew straight down the middle of the road, his aura arching out a whole foot around him while he thrashed around himself. He’d find them, he’d find who took them, he’d beat them all to death, and he’d save his sisters! Then he’d beat them for being so stupid as to get themselves caught when he wasn’t there to defend them!
He passed many of the two-legged animals as he went, blowing raspberries of warning at them as he passed. They respected the danger he represented, moving out of his path and making strange ha sounds that must have indicated fear. At the same time, they slapped their hands together to appease him or made high pitched squealing sounds. He kept going. He was a battle sylph. He was the most dangerous battle sylph in the world and there was nothing that would stop him now!
Dozens of feet above his head, fifty adult battlers floated together in a mass cloud and watched the baby racing to storm the palace.
There he goes, Dillon said. Does he really think he’s going to succeed? He’s a moron.
Well, technically, he is going to succeed, Heyou laughed, since we’re all under orders to let him.
He’s still an idiot.
Is he? said a larger battler floating above them all. How is he different from the rest of us? He’s attacking despite the unknowns of it, despite the odds and the danger. If it were us down there instead of him, would any of us act any different?
There was a moment of silence while the assembled battlers considered that and the squealing, tentacle sucking, raspberry blowing baby vanished inside the palace.
Finally, Blue sighed. Battle sylphs are stupid, he said.
The baby burst into a throne room, flailing and sucking in fury. The room was large and filled with echoes, bigger than even the egg chamber he’d hatched in. Ahead of him, he could see a single two-legger standing on a dais, other two-leggers off to either side, but at the single one’s feet was a basket that held his sisters.
Death! Destruction! Lots and lots of conquering! The baby uttered a shriek of challenge that turned into a raspberry and charged, racing straight up the runner to the dais, passing the pillars that held up the ceiling so far above. He’d kill her! He’d get his sisters back! Then he’d damn well get something to eat because he was hungry, and if his sisters didn’t like it, then tough!
He flew past a pillar and Autumn stepped out from behind it. She brushed her hand across his backside and immediately tied him into the hive line, just as she had his sisters.
Solie opened her arms and the stunned little battler crashed into them, mouth hanging open and tentacles dangling.
“Oh, you poor little baby!” she cooed, giving him a hug. “You’ve had just a horrible, horrible day, haven’t you?”
The baby blinked. Down in the basket, his sisters chirped greetings and the Queen smiled at him.
“Tthhpptt,” was all he managed to say before he fell asleep.