Victoria looked around the dark cave while Abigail brought up the rear. So far they had seen nothing out of the ordinary, but they still had a lot of cave to cover... or so they thought. Martha had told them that the cave was unexplored and unmapped, so no one really knew how far or how deep it went. The two mages were given the honor of being the first people to "officially" explore Mermaid Cove.
"Man, it's cold and dark. I don't like it." Abigail commented.
"Me neither, Abigail. It's a perfect breeding ground for reptiles." Victoria commented in return. The two kept walking through the cave when Victoria paused in place when she saw multiple glints of light up ahead. She stopped and motioned for Abigail to stop.
"What is it?" Abigail asked.
"I thought I saw something. Something like multiple gleaming lights, like someone dropped some Jewels in here." Victoria told the blonde of what she had seen just up ahead. She did not like this at all. She aimed her weapon straight ahead and watched as the lights reappeared before her, but they were closer this time. There was no way that the lights belonged to fireflies.
Victoria aimed at the lights and was about to risk firing when something darted out and latched onto the barrel of the Light Machine Gun and pulled back hard, snatching it out of the startled mage's grasp. Victoria heard Abigail pull out her Sky Blade as the brunette put her hands together and prepared to fire a Beam Cannon. Victoria aimed towards the lights and fired, eliciting a loud CROAK and the sound of something heavy hitting the rock floor. She also punched a new hole in the rock wall and let in a little more light, enough light to see what she had just shot.
"What the Hell is that thing?" Abigail asked as she kicked it with the toe of her boot. It looked like a frog that had been bulked up and mutated. Victoria could not see where its eyes were until she took a closer look at what passed for its face. Instead of one eye like most animals, it had multiple smaller eyes sort of like an insect's compound eyes. That must have been the source of the light she had spotted shortly before its attack.
"It must be one of the reptiles that were in the canister. It's too big to be a juvenile." Victoria replied, using what little she knew about the natural world to try and give an answer to Abigail's question. None of Kerwes' creations were of the natural world. About the only thing "natural" about them was their ability to reproduce, but she did not fathom how that was possible and did not want to know. She had always thought that animals created in laboratories were incapable of reproduction because they were artificially created lifeforms.
"So we're fighting bulked-up frogs?" Abigail asked again.
"Looks that way." Victoria commented. She picked up her Light Machine Gun, which had been flung into a corner but was otherwise none the worse for wear. Victoria decided to dispel it to dry it off and brought it out again after waiting about thirty seconds. Even though it was not the handiest weapon in close quarters combat, it was a good one to have because its rate of fire could chew up the opposition in short order. It also served as a warning that the reptiles were near because they had snatched it away the first time, so they might try to snatch it away a second time and in all subsequent encounters.
Victoria and Abigail left it where it was, but not before the blonde mage stabbed it a few times with her Sky Blade and then decapitated it to be certain that it was dead. Victoria knew where Abigail was coming from and did not object. The caves were narrow and they could not afford to leave live enemies behind them in case they had to beat a hasty retreat. Once Abigail was satisfied that the giant frog was truly dead, the pair moved on and pressed deeper into the cave.
-Further in the cave-
Victoria and Abigail pressed on and noticed that there were precious few holes in the ceiling to give them light to see by. Victoria was tempted to blast a few holes in the ceiling with her Beam Cannon, but she did not need to waste magic power on that when there was still more fighting ahead of them. She also did not want to bring the ocean flooding into the caves while they were still inside. The two would just have to make do with what little light there was.
"Look!" Abigail whispered and pointed straight ahead. Victoria paused and dropped to a knee, aiming at flickering lights dancing in the distance. She was not going to be surprised again. This time she would throw the first punch and kill them before they could snatch her weapon away again.
Victoria quietly watched and waited, then fired. She saw specks of blood flash and a loud CROAK issue, then two of the lights got closer. That was when Abigail drew the Sky Blade and took action.
"I've got this." Abigail told Victoria. The gunslinger held her fire and let Abigail move in. She drew the sword back and channeled energy into it, then whipped it forward and spun four times in place as the Sky Blade left a thin silver trail in the air. The three mutant frogs were cut in half and their halves unceremoniously fell to the stone floor with THUDs.
"That was easy." Abigail remarked. Victoria walked up to the bodies to get a look at them, particularly the one she had shot. Her experience with the mutant reptiles on Divide Island had convinced her that all of their ilk were practically immune to small arms fire, but these mutants had thinner skin. It must have been because they were mutated frogs, which did not have scales for protection like their bulkier brethren. That lack of scales made them vulnerable to small arms fire, meaning that Victoria did not have to use the Beam Cannon spell to kill them.
"We beat these guys without breaking a sweat, but there's plenty more where they came from. Be careful!" Victoria warned Abigail. Abigail nodded.
"Don't worry, Victoria. I'll be careful." Abigail replied. Victoria brought up her weapon and the blonde mage fell in behind her. They then continued with their search-and-destroy mission as well as their race against the clock. They did not want to be in here when the tide came in.
- Mutant Frogs:
[Word Count: 1,130]
[Total Word Count: 4,676/12,500]