A/N: Never tick off a healer. Never, ever, ever….
“Can’t anyone stop that monster?”
“We’re trying, but Ravana’s warriors seem numberless as grains of sand.” Sushena’s breath hissed. “Even your sister and husband are tied up in the fighting. Angada and Sugriva themselves are leading assaults on Kumbhakarna’s legs, but he doesn’t even bother to flick them off. They might as well be ants attacking a mountain!”
“Ants,” Utmila said softly, brain numb from the destruction. And there was going to be more, and more, rivers of blood pouring out until all hearts stopped-
“Ants,” Utmila breathed; and wondered what look was on her face, that Sushena himself stepped nervously back. “I need an ant nest!”
“And a vanara club! Stone, wood – anything used in the battle!”
Sushena shook himself, fur frizzed out like a cat touching water. Stuck two fingers in his mouth, and whistled. “Nila! You limping malingerer! The princess needs you!”
“Who’s malingering?” The bandaged vanara engineer hobbled out, one crutch under his arm as the other held his ribs. “You’re the one who tells me I shouldn’t be walking, much less fighting….” Whatever he saw on her face, Nila snapped almost to attention, tail curled tightly. “What do you need, my lady?”
“A bloody weapon, and ants,” Utmila said swiftly. “Fast.”
“You can have my rock, if Sushena will get it,” Nila said, as quickly. “Ants – I know I saw some when we were siting the tents, they like dry spots too… this way!”
Even with all the chaos, there was still a small mound intact, surrounded by twigs and leaves, with a tiny pack of red-and-black bodies streaming in and out of the mound’s central hole to carry out bits of shaken dirt before they could choke the nest.
“Careful,” Nila warned her, as she bent down. “Those things jump. I saw one snatch a butterfly right out of the air near dawn.”
“Perfect,” Utmila breathed, taking a grip on one side of a massive boulder as Sushena bounced over with it. “So Kumbhakarna thinks you’re ants, does he?”