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Absorber's back slammed into the wall behind her. Yaltrax tried his best to latch onto her with his mandibles, but the female creature grabbed his arms, keeping him back. Yaltrax kicked her in the shin, but regretted it soon, since he could feel her hands get bigger around his arms.

Must hit her as little as possible, he thought. I have to knock her out without striking her.

That, he realized, was going to be hard. It would require brains, something Yaltrax was a little short on. It would be easy for someone like Slaryka or even Yarik to figure out, Harder for Yarik, Yaltrax thought, since he's fish food, but Yaltrax? It was hard enough for him to figure out how to avoid hitting Absorber, let alone defeat her while doing it. Still, if he stalled, it might work out.

Yaltrax grasped her arms with his claws. He had no choice. If he had to hit her this one time, so be it, but after he was free, he would not hit her again until a way to defeat her arose. Yaltrax dug his talons into the ground, then, with every bit of his disproportionate strength, whirled and slammed Absorber against the wall. The shock made her grow yet again, but she grew so fast her grip slackened enough for Yaltrax to free himself.

Absorber, now sixteen feet tall, got to her hands and knees and slashed at Yaltrax. He ducked, then jumped as she struck with her other hand. He rolled when she punched, dove when she tried to grab him, and backed off when she tried to ram him with her horns. Looking behind him, Yaltrax saw the limp form of Slaryka on the floor ten feet away. He had not particular like of Slarkya, but it was his duty as a Hokanuka cult member to protect his foster brother from unnecessary harm. He dodged Absorber's next attack and broke through the left wall in one motion.

Yaltrax found himself in the lab, in the front-right corner. Of course, he thought. Whatever they originally used to put Absorber to sleep must still be here.

The doorway to his left crumbled and caved inward. Following quickly was the animalistic head of Absorber, who spotted Yaltrax immediately and backhanded him back through the wall he had just dove through. Once back in the hallway, he was followed by Absorber, who began pulling out of the doorway. He lurched forward, trying to snag Yaltrax on her index finger's claw. Yaltrax somersaulted back through the new hole, ending up back in the lab. He heard the sound or a massive creature shrugging, quickly followed by the wall exploding toward him. Yaltrax simply stood straight, allowing the giant chunks of stone to bounce off or shatter upon impact with his extremely thick armor.

Absorber then grasped the wall to her left and tore a chunk out of it. She looked at Yaltrax. She smiled.


Yaltrax jumped out of the way of a massive piece of rock as it hurtled past him. It had been half his size and plenty big enough to cause significant pain if it hit. Absorber had been enlarged by her impact with the wall a moment ago and was now twenty feet tall, being forced to crouch deeply in the enclosed space. While her offensive capability increased with her stature, Yaltrax's somewhat limited mind could see that her defensive ability was hampered by her size change as well. That sparked an idea, but one that Yaltrax had to wait to put into action. At least until he dodged that next piece of wall headed right for him.


Abosrber was having a good time. She was perfectly aware that Yaltrax was avoiding hitting her. She was just having some fun with him. Absorber was also completely aware that her size made it harder to defend in this tunnel, and that was what she was counting on. To make her defeat believable, Yaltrax would have to think he had outsmarted her. The truth was that even if he won, he'd lose.


Yaltrax caught the fifth chunk of wall hurled at him in his hands and, flexing his pectorals, crushed the stone to gravel between his palms. He spat acid at the sixth and shot an explosive stinger ball at the seventh, fragmenting it. As he punched the eighth to powder in one blow, Yaltrax began advancing. He activated his force field and barreled at Absorber. She hadn't been expecting an attack so soon and thus put up no defense. Yaltrax bashed through what was left of the front-right wall of the lab and slammed into the reptilian giantess. straining, he pinned her between the wall and his field, with his enormous leg strength keeping her back.


Absorber was in pain. Worse, she could do nothing to alive it. Try as she might, Yaltrax was, despite her size, stronger than she, and now Absorber wondered if that would still be true even if she were to reach maximum size. She had no intention of finding out. At that size, her backside and her head would be pressed against the ceiling and floor and her spine would telescope, ending her life in a painful way. Instead, Absorber whipped her tail, striking the ground at Yaltrax's feet, causing bits of dirt to crumble beneath his talons to crumble and Yaltrax to slip. Absorber then pushed with all her might, sending Yaltrax sailing across the hall, his flight ending sharply at the back wall of the lab.


Yaltrax peeled his back out of the wall and dusted himself off. His armor was now noticeably damaged, his wings were injured, and his legs ached slightly from the effort. This battle was getting too costly, and Absorber being bigger than ever didn't help.

He almost stepped on a jar filled with some blue liquid. Making sure Absorber was still recovering her bearings, Yaltrax knelt to examine his find. He picked up the crystal container and unscrewed the lid. Instantly the liquid began to froth and Yaltrax smelled something. At first it smelled nasty, but then it wasn't so bad. Nothing was. He was fine. He might as well take a nap...

Yaltrax slammed the lid on tight. Now he knew what this was, and how it would save his hide.

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