[Next] Memory transcription subject: Illia, Federation Communications Technician Date [standardized human time]: October 21, 2136
Kiran and I embraced for what seemed like forever, idly sitting on the rainbow grass that colored the forest floor while huddled together in the darkness. The campfire near us was still full of life somehow, and provided a good amount of illumination throughout the campsite.
It was quite difficult to sit on my haunches upright, with nothing supporting my back. Despite that, It was well worth it and I would sympathize with her for as long as was needed. I remained alert, with my weapon still in my grip in case the human decided to return for round two. I gently massaged the girl’s back with one of my forehooves, hoping that my attempts at soothing her would ward away the trauma she had experienced.
“Illia..” Kiran sobbed into my chest, drenching the fabric of my jumpsuit. “T-thank you, thank you. I was scared that you didn't m-make it.. I don’t know what I would do if you didn’t. P-please don’t leave me.” She pleaded.
“I’m not going anywhere, sweetheart, don’t worry.” I replied, my voice a faint whisper. “The only thing that matters now is that you’re safe. You don’t have to worry about that.. thing anymore. It’s gone.” I consoled her, wiping the still-wet tears off of her ruffled feathers. “More importantly, are you hurt?” I checked her over, examining her lithe body from multiple angles.
She thought about that for a little while, then sat up, stretching a wing. She let out a cry of pain once it was half-way extended and brought it back down gingerly, wrapping a wing around her upper shoulder. I reached forward out of sympathy, my maternal instincts moving me to comfort her.
L-Let me see, honey.” I crooned. She heavily reminded me of my eldest, only daughter, and it was amusing how alike they were, despite being of different species.
I tenderly prodded the dull side of my hoof-paw against her supposed injured appendage, trailing it up towards her shoulder, which earned a startled chirp from her, followed by a slight jump away from my touch. The area of where her wing met her shoulder was bruised a deep purple, visible even beneath her feathers from where she collided with the tree. I was beyond grateful that nothing had broken, or even shattered.
That would require extensive care, and we were lightyears
away from the nearest hospital.
“How d-does it look, Illia? W-Will I be ok?” She sniffled, caressing her discolored limb while being mindful of its positioning. Sadness etched itself across my face, but I forced a hopeful look in Kiran’s favor. Thankfully, the bruising was the extent of her injuries, none of which were life threatening, though were still in need of urgent medical attention. The most I would be able to do would be to give her painkillers and make a sling for her. Our best option now is to find Orsik and the rest of the crew.
“It’s.. fine, honey. Don’t you worry. I’ll get you fixed up, and you’ll feel all better, ok?” I said while rummaging through my bag for my first aid kit. I had a thorough understanding of how to dress wounds, as well as the proper medical procedures that came with it. Kiran would need her arm immobilized so that any further injury could be avoided. We’d better find help soon, I can only help her so much.
Pulling out the kit, I took out a bottle containing the painkillers and a small, square-shaped piece of cloth, which unfolded into a much longer strand of fabric. I cautiously draped the cloth along her shoulder, positioning her arm along her abdomen much to her discomfort, and tied it off. Her arm was now fully supported, and the risk of worsening the injury had decreased. Feeling satisfied with my work, I grabbed the vial of painkillers, urging her to take one. I then grabbed one of the large bottles of water from my pack, holding it a distance away from her beak. “Drink, sweetie.” She welcomed the fluid into her mouth, tilting her head back as I poured the bottle. She eagerly chugged down the substance in record time, unmistakably parched. It had probably been a while since her last drink of water.
I leaned back and returned the now empty bottle to my bag, and observed her checking out my handiwork. Her gaze met the ground suddenly, and she froze, her eyes glossing over. I waited for her to say something, anything. Her abrupt silence was starting to worry me.
“Sweetie?” She gazed off into the distance, no doubt reliving her near-death experience. “Are you alright?” I nudged her, snapping her attention back to me. Tears began to bubble in those wide eyes of hers again; her grip on my jumpsuit tightened, and her hackles raised. She was visibly shaking.
“It.. it came out of n-nowhere. I could feel it w-watching m-me, even before I s-saw it. It.. I knew it w-was there, and th-then.. She whimpered. T-there was so m-much blood, and I-I.. Her voice was hoarse, describing her contact with the predator. “I-I was.. Was so s-scared.. I-I’ve never been more scared b-before in my life..” She choked the words out. “I didn’t know what to do, I-I couldn’t m-move.”
I lay my head gently on top of her own. “That’s just your instincts kicking in, honey.” I assured her. “Everyone has them.” I felt her rapid heartbeat slow gradually as she listened to my words. “You’re safe.
Relax, my sweet.” The corners of my mouth turned up in a smile. “I am very proud of you, setting up camp all by yourself. You’ve proven to be very strong and capable out on your own.” My smile died down a bit. “I’m sorry that I didn’t come sooner, but I didn’t forget our promise.”
She released her tight grip on me, reeling back and looking at me with one eye. She swallowed. “Neither did I. I-I knew you would come, so I w-waited.” There was a pause after that, the both of us glad to be in each other's presence. “Thank you, Illia.”
I flicked my ears toward her, and my grin grew wider. “Of course. Let’s get out of here.” I stood up on my hind hooves with a grunt, stretching out my tired muscles. I extended my paw downward towards her, and she took it with her uninjured wing. I helped the virtually weightless girl to her talons, and hefted my backpack over my shoulders. My poor spine ached in protest, practically begging for a break. “Ready?” I turned my head towards her.
“Illia?” She spoke after a moment, craning her neck up towards me.
“That thing, the h-human.. Did you k-kill it? Where did it go?” A worried look crossed her avian features, waiting for my response. I wouldn’t want to worry the poor girl, but I don’t want to lie to her, either.
I inhaled sharply after a moment, inadvertently giving away the answer to Kiran even before my admission. Her brows upturned slightly with worry. My own eyes latched onto hers, and I breathed a sigh, confirming her suspicion.
“Y-you.. You didn’t kill it?! It’s still out there?! Oh, Inatala..” Her feeble legs wobbled, and I kept her from falling over. “W-why? Illia.. Y-you should have killed it when you had the chance! How is it e-even here? Did it f-follow us?!” The distraught avian squawked in alarm, and my ears flattened in response from the sudden change in pitch.
The loud krakotl girl was likely to attract unwanted attention, with how boisterous she was currently. I gently clasped a hoof-paw around her beak, attempting to silence her. “Hey! Calm down, sweetie. Deep breaths. We’re not on Nishtal, or anywhere else. Remember? There’s bound to be predators around here, so we have to be quiet.” That silenced her instantly. “Please, for both of our sakes.” I concernedly whispered. Her frantic chirping died down, and I released my paw.
I inhaled deeply, my lungs pulling in the night’s chilly air. I’d have to answer the many questions that she has bombarded me with now, lest her little heart stops.
A long breath escaped my lips. “I hesitated. I.. I couldn’t pull the trigger, knowing that I would be ending the life of a sapient, living
creature. Killing is wrong, regardless of whether it’s prey or predator. I refuse to stoop down to its level.” I explained my actions. “As to how it got here, we must have picked it up somewhere around the time when we boarded the bomber ship. I had a suspicion earlier, I’m sorry for not telling you sooner.” I was sorely tempted to put the murderous bastard out of its misery then and there, but it didn’t sit right with me.
She clicked silently to herself, the gears slowly turning in her head.
“I-I thought something was wrong, on the ship, with how you were staring at the door. I was w-worried..” She nervously fidgeted, her talons puncturing the surface she stood on. “Uhm, why.. W-why does the human want to k-kill me? What d-did I do?” She timidly met my gaze again, glancing up at me with watery eyes.
I snorted, raising a four-digit paw and setting it down gently on her uninjured shoulder.
“It isn’t you, Kiran. Killing is in a predator’s nature, their bloodlust drives them crazy. They can’t help it even if they tried, that’s why we can’t live in peace.” I snorted, angering myself over my own rant. “I just wish that we had finished the job.” I muttered, referring to erasing humanity from existence.
Something else was plastered on her face now, something not dissimilar to a look of betrayal. “Illia?” She gulped. “D-do.. do you have predator disease?” Her voice was unsteady, but at the same time, nothing but a faint whisper.
Those words rekindled a flame in me that I thought to be snuffed out a while ago. I snorted angrily, outraged that she would even ask me such a thing, after I had saved her life. She would be dead if I hadn’t intervened, but here she was, accusing me of being the very thing that I had saved her from.
The adrenaline in my system dissipated as I stared into her frightened eyes, and I restrained myself from throwing a fit. Kiran was young, and couldn’t comprehend that predator disease wasn’t an actual illness, but instead was a way for the Federation to retain its chokehold over its citizenry. Though, I wasn’t about to berate the girl over flawed conspiracy theories. She clearly knew nothing of the pain it caused, as naive as she was.
But I knew it well.
She was as stiff as the trees surrounding us, eyeing me expectantly. I felt a pang of sadness as I noticed that she even stepped back a few paces, away from my reach. The Federation had indoctrinated her far beyond the point of recovery with their nonsensical rhetoric. It was insane to think that one misguided accusation was all it took to break apart the bond between two people. There was no use reasoning with her, but I could try. Is that how she saw me? A predator? That caused me more pain than any weapon could physically inflict, especially coming from her. Where did this even come from? I was nowhere close to matching the Humans’ brutality, or even the Arxurs’, and yet, she still regarded me as one of them.
I released a snort, dismissing the indirect insult. “No.” I said sternly, clearly heartbroken, as much as I tried to mask it. “Honey, we’ve known each other for quite
a while. If I truly had.. ‘Predator disease’, don’t you think I would have shown signs of it by now?” I left the question in the air as Kiran attempted to make sense of my reasonable statement. “Well?”
“T-That makes sense..” Her voice cracked.
“Don’t you trust me, Kiran? Why would you ask such a thing?” My own voice wavered as my heart split down the middle, waiting for her reply. Although, I knew what it would be.
“I do.” She squawked a little while after, catching me completely off-guard. “It’s just.. I-I heard you, threatening the p-predator. Y-You were so b-brave, and instead of running the other way, you just.. held it at gunpoint, and shooed it away from me. You weren’t s-scared at all, even when it wanted to kill you.” She gulped.
“Of course I was scared. I was terrified.” I pleaded. “But I couldn’t just stand back and do nothing,
not while your life was at stake. I had
to be strong, whatever the cost. It would forever haunt me if I had left you to die
, to save myself. I would n-never, I c-couldn’t..” I whimpered through ragged breaths, a dam of emotion bursting through my guise of strength. “I have known nothing but pain and anguish since I set hoof on this planet. I’ve already lost so much, and losing you would absolutely destroy me.” I sobbed, gasping for air. I felt embarrassed, having Kiran see me in my current state. I had tried so hard to be strong for her, but the events of this past week have finally caught up to me.
I wept, hiding my tears in the crook of my elbow. I felt a warm touch caress my upper arm, and I moved my arm away from my eyes. Looking down, Kiran had moved closer to me with a comforting smile on her face. It would seem that she had discarded the ‘sulean predator’ claim after witnessing the humiliating waterworks display in front of her.
“I believe you.” She smiled with her eyes. Relief washed through me instantly. She was the one person in the Federation who had wanted to be my friend, let alone even talk to me. Despite being on a mystery planet with a slim chance of escape, she was a light in the darkness. I hope she knows what she means to me.
I grew a smile of my own and latched onto her in another embrace, being careful not to disturb her shoulder. I snorted through my nose contentedly. “Thank you.” I sniffed. Although startled at first, she returned the hug, squeezing me tightly. While embraced, for a brief moment all of my worries had faded away, replaced by a feeling of adoration and hope. We departed from each other, our bond reinstated.
“See? I’m not foaming at the mouth, am I? Guess I’m not a predator after all.” I joked, hoping it would be well received. I gently tickled her side with my hooved manipulators, causing her to giggle.
“Ok, ok! I trust you! The little one laughed, wiping the remaining tears from her eyes. Her breathing returned to a calm pace. “So. Where to now?”
“What do you mean, little one?” I inquired. “It’s pitch black out there, surely you’re not thinking of heading out now, are you? The human is still out there, and it probably isn’t the only thing we have to worry about.” Wandering through the wilderness in the dead of night wasn’t the best idea, with the looming threat of predators. We’d have to make do here, where our chances of surviving the night were slim enough as it was.
“O-Oh, yeah, you’re right. I-I’m just.. scared that it may come back.” She sheepishly admitted.
“Listen to me.” I met her frightful gaze. “I will not let that thing hurt you ever again. Not while I’m still here.” A motherly tone painted my words, although sounding a bit too harsh.
“Promise.” I smiled. “Is there only one tent?” I switched the subject.
“Uh, y-yeah, sorry. Is it ok if we share?” She asked while walking up to the circular formation, opening it up.
“Of course.” The exchange was awkward, but we had to make do with what little we had. I climbed inside of the tent after her after taking out my floodlight, switching it on and setting it down directly in front of the tent’s flap, facing towards the shadowy trees. That’d provide us extra security, I hoped. I set my bag down onto the tent’s floor, feeling much better now without it weighing me down.
I plopped down onto my natural state on all fours. I had been ambling on my hind hooves for most of my stay on this planet, and had forgotten the comfort of having my weight equally distributed throughout my body. The muscles in my back ached, and I slid down and rolled onto my side, being able to relax at long last. I scooted my backpack towards me, intending to use it as a makeshift pillow. I released a snort of contentment as I rested my skull on the surprisingly comfortable rucksack. , the tent floor being surprisingly comfortable. A tired yawn escaped me, and my tongue lolled out of my mouth on autopilot as I felt my eyelids droop.
As much as I had wanted
to sleep, I wouldn’t be able to, not with the threat of danger still lurking in the forest. We were most vulnerable while sleeping, especially while it was still dark outside. The fire was still going and was fairly close to our tent, but I wouldn’t trust that it would completely protect us from predators. I groggily sat up from my makeshift restplace and shook myself awake, followed by a tired groan. I grasped my forehooves around the weapon that I had clumsily discarded onto the tent’s floor, checking the railgun’s ammunition. Dread hit me with the realization that I was down to a singular bolt. That didn’t make me feel entirely secure, but it was better than nothing at all.
I looked to Kiran, who was already tucked in and ready for the next day. She lay down on a blue sleeping bag, completely enveloped inside of it, except for her head. I chuckled to myself while watching the adorable child snuggle inside of the bag that was far too big for her size.
She caught me staring at her. “Illia?” She spoke, cutting out the crackling of burning wood for a moment.
“Yes, dear?” I yawned again, the tiredness taking over me became unbearable at this point.
“W-What’s the plan for tomorrow?” She asked me with an inquisitive inflection in her voice.
“Well, I would imagine that we’d try to find Orsik. That’s really the only option we have right now. That way, you can be treated by an actual
doctor, and not a silly sulean.” I quipped.
“I-I don’t think you’re s-silly..” She admitted meekly.
I faced her, flattered by her comment. I smiled. “Thank you, sweetie. That is very nice of you to say.” A light in the darkness.
I crawled over to her, resting on my side next to where she lay. I had my weapon at the ready with a forehoof resting on top of it. I looked down at her adoringly as she shuffled inside of her covers. “Sweet dreams. I’ll see you in the morning. We’ll go looking for everyone else tomorrow.”
“What about the ship? Shouldn’t we go there?” One of her blue eyes studied me.
“I came from there, it’s nothing but a smoking heap of metal now.” I yawned. “We shouldn’t move too far away, Orsik said he’ll come to us. Besides, we’re safer here than out in the dark, right?”
Kiran whimpered, not satisfied with my answer. “Remember our promise?” I asked.
Her deflated look withered away. “Y-yes, I do..” She breathed. “O-ok, only if that means that we can leave as soon as they f-find us.”
“Of course. We won’t stay here longer than is absolutely necessary. I’ll get a signal started in the morning.”
“A-Aren’t you worried about predators? What if they come while w-we’re sleeping?”
I lay my head down onto my satchel. “I am.” I admitted. “And I would prefer not to meet them anytime soon. I think it’s a great sign that we haven’t already.” I gave a dismissive snort, hoping that was the last of her questions. “They won’t bother us, at least not tonight. The floodlight should keep them away, no worries.” I reassured her.
“Oh, ok. Good night, Illia.” She chirped.
“Good night. Sweet dreams, little one.” I caressed her feathers, then committed myself to watching the tent’s opening for the rest of the night.
- - -
I awoke, cursing after realizing that I had been asleep. I didn’t expect myself to be awake for the entire duration of the night, but I was still upset with myself for giving in to my fatigue. Something could
have happened, but I was glad nothing did. I was still tired, having stayed awake for most of the night watching over Kiran. I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes with a forepaw. My railgun was still grasped in my other forepaw, and I brought the gun up to my hip, holstering it.
Some of my worries over the human still being out there somewhere had faltered; perhaps it lost interest after witnessing my display of superior strength? Predators preferred a challenge when hunting, but their small brains understood when the odds were not in their favor. This human in particular probably saw our small group as easy pickings, and had developed a taste for krakotl flesh. That’d explain the blood spattered all over it, almost as if it were a trophy.
I looked at Kiran, who was still sound asleep. The beautiful orange of this planet’s sun filtered in through the translucent barrier surrounding us; its angelic rays permeated throughout the tent and casted a wondrous shine onto her dull blue feathers.
I yawned, standing up on all fours and leaned into a stretch. The soreness had worn off, and I was ready for another long journey, this time with the presence of my avian friend. I had another long day of strengthening my hind legs, no doubt. I just hope that the rest of the crew were close.
I unzipped my dirty jumpsuit, checking my small cuts. They seemed to be in relatively good shape and had scabbed over, leaving a soreness behind. After confirming that the wounds weren’t infected, I zipped my uniform back up.
I gently shook the sleeping Kiran awake. “Good morning, sleepy. It’s time to head out.” I whispered softly. She stirred and sat up. “Are you hungry? I have some rations.” I reached for my pack, snatching two cans of processed vegetable bars and handed one to her. “You need to eat to keep your strength up, honey.” I dug into my own helping quite quickly, stowing away the empty can. It wasn’t the best tasting thing in the galaxy as it was made specifically for the krakotls’ sophisticated
palate. “How did you sleep?” I spoke between mouthfuls. She ate hers bit by bit, to the best of her ability. I imagine it would be difficult to eat something with a beak as narrow as hers was, so I patiently waited for her to finish.
“I slept well, actually.” She faced me, full of youthful vigor. It was almost as though her self confidence had drastically
improved overnight. She stretched her good wing out, and checked the sling on the other. Once she was done with her helping, she got up, brushing her manipulators through her feathers. “How about you, Illia?”
“Good! I’m glad. Me, I slept like a fawn.” I fibbed, stifling another yawn. “Oh, let me take that from you, sweetheart.” I motioned to her empty vegetable bar container. I collected the tin from her, tossing it along with the other. I reached for my bag, leaving the heavy non-essentials inside the tent. I slugged it over my shoulder once more, my spine thanking me for lightening the load. The pack’s weight felt far more manageable than it did before. I might even be able to actually walk around with it this time.
“Are we ready to go?” I stood in front of the tent, raising a forehoof to unzip us to freedom. The krakotl girl chirped her affirmative after checking herself over, and we both exited the tent, ready for another adventure. Upon leaving, I was extremely surprised to see that I didn’t even have to reignite the fire, as it was still burning,
although not as strong as yesterday. The crimson tree that Kiran had made the campfire out of was highly flammable, if I had to guess. That would explain the randomly scorched trees throughout the landscape that I saw earlier. I was relieved that none of them combusted while we were asleep.
“Alright. Let’s head this way, shall we?” I plucked some of the damp yellow moss from a neighboring tree with a spare piece of fabric in between my hooves in case it was an irritant, which was smart thinking on my behalf. I chucked the large bundle into the blaze, smothering the few flames that remained. The fire choked for a moment, then began eating away at the moss, emitting a white column of smoke that snaked towards the light orange of the morning sky.
We checked if we had everything, then started on our expedition. I wasn’t sure where we’d go first, but it would have to be relatively close to where the campfire was in case anyone was nearby. I eyed the skyline before us, the mountains in the distance were a wonderful gradient of bright reds, purples, and yellows, perfectly blending together.
I breathed in the fresh morning air. This would have been a delightful trip, were we on a civilized planet. It still was, to an extent. The native organisms of this untouched wonder of a planet were truly a sight to behold, regardless of its many dangers. From the vivid colors of the flora to the deep red sky watching overhead, everything about this world was eye-catching.
We ventured throughout the crimson woods, encircling the campsite while keeping an eye on the smoke signal so that we wouldn’t veer off-course too much. I also was wary of the tall grass and dense shrubs around us, concentrating on even the slightest noise or movement. Today was particularly windy, so my efforts were in vain. We kept to the more open areas, even if that meant making sharp detours around areas where a predator could be concealed in.
Every now and then we would stop for a break, as I had done before. Kiran fared well during our hike, if not even better than I. We stopped underneath the shade of some crimson trees for another rest after a long while. I unpacked one of our water bottles, taking a small swig before handing it to Kiran. We rationed our supplies as best as we could, but we were quickly running out of food. We would soon have to resort to checking if the local flora were edible.
The smoke signal was still in my sight, and we only had a small distance to go in order to complete our full circle. I had thought about calling out into the woods, but decided against it, as it was likely that we would attract unwanted attention. I felt extremely uncomfortable within the dark woodland, despite having a firearm in my possession.
I lay on the grassy floor on my side, attempting to cool myself off. Kiran was doing much of the same, though in a sitting posture. I lifted my head up, snorting through my nostrils to get her attention.
“Having fun?” I smirked playfully. She clicked her beak together with amusement.
“I would be, if the sun wasn’t burning into my feathers.” She squawked between pants. She rested her head against a rock that put even the brightest of rainbows to shame.
“It’s not all bad, is it? It's all about perspective; look at the positives! You have to learn to appreciate the little things in life.”
“Ok, I appreciate..” She glanced around her surroundings, looking for something of value. “I appreciate this rock, does that count?” She gestured behind her. I couldn’t help but chuckle. “It is
quite the rock, isn’t it?” She giggled in response. I adored bonding with the girl, she was almost an extension of my own child, in a way.
I didn’t find it odd or strange at the time to fawn over the beauty of an inanimate object, as we both admired its various colors. “Alright, that’s enough geology for me, I think.” I stood, dusting myself off. I heard a faint snapping sound, and my eyes traveled back to the avian, who now looked absolutely petrified, a lone eye focusing on me. She looked almost as scared as she had been when the human attacked her, but this is far worse
. Is she looking at me?
I tilted my head in confusion. “Honey? Y-you’re scaring me.” I chuckled nervously. “What’s wrong?” She gave no response. I suddenly felt a massive surge of anxiety wrack my brain, and my ears perked up. The same feeling that haunted me on the ship returned for a comeback, and this time, my question didn’t have to be answered. I heard shuffling a good distance away from me, and I whipped my head in that direction, following her blank stare. My ribcage tightened as I struggled to breathe. I watched the tall grass adjacent from our position, waiting for something to happen.
The first thing I saw were its horrible forward-facing eyes with slit pupils, instantly recognizing it as a predator. They both were dilated, intent on feasting on our bloody flesh. The feral predator observed me with its piercing golden orbs as it slunk closer. It stalked towards us with its head low to the ground, stray droplets of drool spilling out of its long, gaping maw of which were lined with dozens of razor-sharp teeth capable of effortlessly crushing bone.
I didn’t know what exactly I was looking at, but I knew it was there. The beast prowled out of the tall grass in short strides with its ghastly head low to the ground, drooling over our new and alien scent. The lengthy blades of grass combed over its rainbow-colored hide as it revealed itself. Both it and the grass were a near match in terms of coloration, as I strained my eyes to focus on its appearance.
As it moved further into the light, I was able to get a better glimpse of it. The creature itself was covered in skin instead of fur, which was odd. The upper body of the animal was speckled with various bright colors that mimicked the grass, only for it to darken as the pattern stretched towards its underbelly, and morphed into a full jet black where it reached its clawed feet. I had never feared death before as much as I did right now.
I snapped myself out of my terrified stupor, jumping up to my hind hooves and quickly yanking my railgun out of its holster, jabbing it towards the thing with shaky hooves. I gasped for air as my lungs felt heavy, staring down the freak of nature. My heart sank even further and nearly burst out of my chest as I saw two other predators just like the first emerge from behind it. Oh, fuck.
The weapon in my hoof suddenly seemed insignificant.
My eyes widened. We have to go, now.
I grabbed Kiran without a word, pulling her along rather roughly. I dashed as fast as my legs could take me while gripping around the length of Kiran’s wing. I didn’t look back once, only focused on making it back to the tent. There was no guarantee that the fire at the campsite would dissuade them from indulging in their hunger at all, but what other option did we have? I glanced back, and was horrified to realize that the reason why they didn’t already tear us apart was because they were giving us a head start.
The monstrous things were playing with their ‘food’, for fun.
I looked down to Kiran, then up to the smoke rising from the campsite. We wouldn’t make it in time. I had to make a choice.
I swallowed with teary eyes. ‘’G-go.” I flicked an ear towards the campsite. “Now!”
I squealed. She obeyed my order without hesitation, and fluttered over that way.
I was not at all prepared for what I was about to do, and doing so would most definitely result in my death. Weeping, I stood in place as the grayish-blue feathered girl escaped to safety.
“H-hey!” I bleated at the top of my lungs while hopping around vigorously, doing everything in my power to attract the predator’s attention towards me. “Over here!” My voice was hoarse, filled with a mixture of emotions. I hope Kiran will be able to forgive me.
All three of their large heads whipped towards me, my diversion evidently working. I holstered my weapon and turned tail, speeding the opposite way and galloping wherever my legs would take me. I leaped through twisted trees only large enough for me to fit through, and hopped over large rocks, hoping it would slow the monsters down.
Just when I thought I was clear, my hind leg unfortunately latched underneath a root peeking out of the ground, forcing me into a halt. I stopped moving instantly as my momentum ceased, and a sharp pain shot through my ankle. I yelped in distress, my upper body smacking onto the dirt with a hard thud. I whined as my weapon was flung out of its holster, landing in front of me. I crawled towards the weapon with all of my remaining strength.
The predators sauntered over, a threatening growl reverberating through the pack’s leader. I crawled towards my last chance at living, finally reaching it. I fitted my fumbling fingers around the weapon as the predator leader charged toward me while I turned around, leveling the weapon with the rainbow demon’s skull. I expelled a single and final shot as the round soared through its nose, expelling a fountain of brain matter behind it as it fell limp, a couple of feet away from me. The other two creatures were taken aback at first, but were now furious that I had dispatched their leader. I was hit with the horrific realization that I had just used the last of my ammunition.
They slowly pressed onward as I lay on my back, a hideous expression of hunger plastered on their flesh-eating faces. I shut my eyes tight, bracing for an excruciating death. Is this it? Is this how I die? At least I can rest well knowing that Kiran is safe. Please, don’t let my death be for nothing.
I prayed to whatever deity was listening. Let my family I lo-
My thoughts were interrupted by a sickening crack, followed by the predator closest to me snapping its head back and toppling over, painted by its own viscous blood that spilled out of a gaping wound in its skull. It had taken a clean shot to the side of the head, dying as soon as the projectile had landed. The third predator scampered away after hearing the loud noise, staring daggers into whatever it was that ended the lives of its friends. It tucked its tail between its legs in submission, hissing towards my savior before retreating back to where it came from. What on Jild just happened?
I turned my head to my side slowly, still wary of my surroundings. Right next to me was the same human whom I had spared earlier, with its signature metal pipe still strapped to its back. Its arm was outstretched towards the dead predator, with a terran-made weapon grasped in its paw. It lowered the gun down to its side, and I screamed as it began stomping towards me, intending to claim its stolen kill. “O-Oh, Jild, no! P-please, don-don’t eat me!” I cried, trying to reason with the predator. Without thinking, I mindlessly raised the spent railgun up to the thing, attempting to shoot it, and it retaliated, wrapping its gloved fingers around my own. It effortlessly ripped the useless gun away from my grasp with a mighty paw, tossed it to the side, and wrapped its paw around my body. My nightmares were coming true. I would be eaten alive, without remorse. I would much rather have died at the fangs of the feral predators instead of the human’s. The human would take its time, and enjoy every second of my suffering.
I was lifted up slightly while screaming my head off, struggling to worm away from its grasp. I squirmed violently, not having enough air in me to continue screaming. The murderer held the gun’s muzzle up to my neck and uttered a single sentence with a deep, growling rumble: “Stop fucking moving.”
My translator implant belted out the meaning to me and I stupidly followed its orders. I shut up, both terrified and surprised that it could understand me or even articulate comprehensive words. I was fully expecting it to sink its fangs into me, but instead, the masked figure slipped the straps of my bag off of my shoulders, dropping me onto the ground and taking my satchel. It began to search through it diligently, tossing out what wasn’t to its liking. The human took out the last of my water supply and interestingly enough, a few of my vegetable bars. It tossed my near-empty bag back to me and slung its own massive bag around, stuffing the supplies inside.
I could only watch as it stole what little supplies I had left. For a moment, I was filled with pure, unbridled rage, replacing my fear with anger. “You m-monster!” I stood on my hind hooves, ignoring the pain burning through my right ankle and attempted to make myself appear as big as I could. “Y-you killed them!” I shouted at the emotionless predator. It had ripped my colleagues to shreds until they were unrecognizable, and it would
pay. It in turn slightly tilted its mask towards me, unimpressed. I shrunk back down as its gaze fell upon me, and my ears flattened to my skull.
A low rumble came from it, which my translator picked up on as a chuckle. It was laughing. How dare you?!
I snorted angrily. “You.. you’re.. Laughing? Wh-What is wrong with you?!” I yelled at the deranged predator. At that moment I wished I could go back in time and pull the trigger.
“I’m the monster. That’s funny.” It sadistically remarked. “I’m not the one who bombed an entire planet full of billions
of innocent women and children.” It turned to face me fully, stalking over to me. My posture tightened as its hulking shadow loomed over me, being closer to me now than ever. It could probably smell the copious amount of fear that my body was producing.
“I should kill you right fucking now.” It growled, practically spitting venom. It gripped its weapon tightly, threatening to break it. The being relented, apparently deciding against it. Wasn’t it going to eat me?
It stood there, staring down at me, unmoving. “W-why?” I whined. “Why did you.. k-kill them?!”
“You’ll have to be more specific.” It taunted me. My anger only grew.
“The.. the forest. Admit it! You killed them! I s-saw, I was there! Only a predator can do what you d-did!” I gasped, not meeting its gaze.
“Forest?” It scoffed. “What the fuck are you talking about?” What?! That made no sense.. Assuming it really didn’t know what I was referring to.. Had it not killed that group of krakotl? No, that can’t be. Is this a case of predatory deceit?
“Wh-wha..” I stammered, confused.
“If you’re referring to the ship, that was me.” It spoke of the murderous act almost as if it was proud of it, which sickened me to the core. “I enjoyed every second of watching those featherfucks gasping for air, pawing at the airlock. I’d do it again, if I could.” Its grating voice resonated through my bones.
I was enraged at the monster’s admittance of murdering the bomber ship's crew. I felt a wealth of emotions coursing through me, none of which I could openly express. I could only stand there, waiting for its next move. I heard my name being called in the distance, but absent-mindedly ignored it.
It leaned forward until I could see my own reflection in its reflective face mask.
“I’ll give you one last chance: you stay far away from your friends, unless you want to die. If I see you again, next time I won’t hesitate to kill you.” It proclaimed with a gravelly voice. It unfolded upward, straightening its spine. It then turned, walking away with its bounty into the wilderness once again, leaving me alone and confused. Why on Jild did it save me? That made no sense whatsoever, and went against everything I had been taught. Did it really hold back its bloodlust just to taunt me over how much it loved killing? Why didn’t it eat me while I was vulnerable?
Multiple questions flooded my mind, and I had developed a headache that was worsening by the second. Today was quite the adrenaline booster, I would need a long
rest after all of this.
With the human gone, I was left to my own devices. I picked up the scattered contents of my pack, recollecting them.
I heard the rustling of leaves across from me, and I faced the source of the noise. I was spent emotionally, the constant adrenaline rushes taking its toll on me. I could do nothing but lean against a lone stump as I accepted my fate. I had a good run.
- - - V V V [STORY IS CONTINUED IN THE COMMENTS!!!] V V V [First] [Previous]
My girlfriend loves anime and spends her vacant time watching it on tv and reading manga. I don't know much about it but she's been having a hard time giving other animes a chance. She not on Reddit but I just want to help her out with some suggestions. From my memory, she's stuck in the loop of
Demon Slayer Naruto Haikyu Hunter x Hunter One Piece Food War Black Clover
She probably reads other stuff but those are the things I recall. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. TYIA
Tortured Souls Kill 666 Bandits, Cultists, or Knights Hammer Down Kill 50 enemies while Berserking as a Barbarian Emancipation Complete the campaign Curious Collector Unlock all Codex of Power Aspects Convenient Crafts Craft any Elixir, and any Incense Legion Killer Kill 666 Demons, Fallen, or Goatmen Turned Kill 666 Drowned, Vampires, or Werewolves Shifty Swipes Kill 50 enemies in Werebear form and 50 enemies in Werewolf form as a Druid Estuar Sightseer Explore all of Estuar Undead Undone Kill 666 Ghosts, Skeletons, or Zombies Turning the Tides Collect 1000 Aberrant Cinder in Helltide zones Devoted Protector Reach Level 100 with any character Dedicated Protector Reach Level 50 with any character True Perseverance Reach Level 50 with a Hardcore character Army of Bones Summon 100 Skeleton Mages or Warriors as a Necromancer Living Nightmares Complete a Sacred and Ancestral Nightmare Dungeon First Aid Upgrade your Healing Potion to max tier Master Combatant Get 5 PvP kills In and Out Kill 50 enemies in Melee range and 50 enemies out of melee range as a Rogue Exterminator Kill 666 Snakes or Spiders Master of the Elements Kill 100 enemies with Fire, Frost, or Lightning damage as a Sorcerer End of the First Mother Defeat Uber Lilith Potent Alterations Upgrade a piece of Armor, Jewelry, and a Weapon Chaotic Whispers Open 10 Caches of Chaos from the Tree of Whispers Worldly Slayer Kill any World Boss
Doomslayer is regarded as the most iconic demon slayer character in fiction in the internet. You hear memes praise him as the ultimate killing machine. So what demonic opponent that could give him a huge challenge if not beat him?
Apologies if this has been discussed before but I recently came across a conversation with Captain Marvel about binge watching Buffy the vampire slayer with Nico and it got me thinking how great some of these little interactions can be if you take them for what they are and don’t overthink them. The combat is great and definitely the best part Of the game but the abbey moments present a beautiful slow burn that really has a lot to offer if you let it. What are your favourite abbey conversation moments?
Greetings to all you paranormal junkies. I have created this community as I have a severe passion and fascination for any and all paranormal videos, not just watching them but actively trying to find every little detail that may or may not solve, debunk or certify any paranormal events. My wish is that this community with fill with those who not only crave the unnatural but with question everything until there is nothing left to question, have deep debates about video evidence, legends & myths. I also hope that this community with in good faith and good sense reach out to help those effected by paranormal activity.
So please feel free to post your videos, videos you find you feel were not covered enough or dismissed entirely. Old, new, photos, video, ghost, creature, cryptid, alien, ufo, miracle, demonic, witches, skinwalkers, bigfoot, ... You name it!
Preferences of posting.
When you post a video, please put all details you have found about said video, All the W's(where, when ect). Lets leave the speculation to the debate side of discussion. If you truly dont know thats ok too.
If your sharing a story, please try to insert some form of visual form that provides an illustration of understanding, from the setting to anything that may help readers/responders a better image of what your describing.
Why was this created?
I created this community because I watch paranormal videos constantly! Slapped Ham, Depths of Dispair, Chills, Frostmare, Bizare Bub, Nukes top 5, Jaymez, That is impossible, Dread captures, real horror tok, Scaryfy, Unlitmit Creation, Litodry and Im sure theres a few Im forgetting. If there is a channel you like that I havent listed please feel free to share it!
I also intend for this to be a place of true help for any and all having issues with the paranormal. It is far to often that I see videos where someone is having an issue with an item and some personl in the comments says "burn it". Any true paranormal junkie knows this is the last and worst thing you could possibly do.
My goal is to not only have a large assortment of paranormal videos from across the globe for all to watch, research, catalog, discuss & if at all possible help those effected so please feel free to join, post, start a discussion & invite your friends and family
A little about me- I live in an est time zone (Florida man type beat), and tend to be free most of the time, though I’ll probably just let you know if I need to bounce for a while. If I don’t, then it’s either urgent, or I’ve fallen asleep.
Unlike some of you lunatics out there who can somehow find the motivation to write out 20+ paragraphs about the smell of some guy’s fart, I, with my 7 years of roleplay experience can only conjure up the will to write out 1 - 5 paragraphs of consistent quality when my ephemeral motivation is at least a little more stable than a wet noodle, which it usually is! I’ll just be sure to give you a heads up if I’m not feeling it at the moment. I usually tend to build up off of ideas that my partner has, and tend to come up with better ones when I have a partner to bounce them off of! I don’t really mind what my partner wants to do concerning whether they want to use canon characters or ocs, as long as you don’t mind me mainly sticking to using ocs myself. Although, I don’t mind playing canon characters on the side for building up a scene or other story purposes from time to time.
Communication, communication is key! If you just need to bounce for a while and don’t know when you’ll be back, just gimme a shout and I’ll understand. Life takes priority, after all.
Yeah, that’s... all I really have to say. Message me if you like, or don’t if you don’t want to. It’s your choice.
-List of fandoms/genres that currently interest me-
Kinda limited for the time being, I know, but surely I’ll get into more stuff as time passes.
Dm me or reddit chat me or contact me however you like, I usually roleplay on discord though.
Story Brief: I play a chaotic evil character, rest of the party tries to abandon and murder me on sight, then blames me for being everything wrong with chaotic evil when I defend myself.
This was a very long time ago on a play-by-post site that you've never heard of; I think the site was called mydndgame.com? I checked, but that domain is up for sale as of the time of this writing so if that's what it was it sure didn't last very long. With the story I'm about to relay to you, I can't help but imagine why that might be!
I am uncertain how this party came to be but we were a group of five, all apparently some flavor of autist. The campaign was in the Dalelands of Toril (I think that's right?) and we were all starting at level two. The party composition was a human ranger, a half-orc bard/barbarian (bardbarian!), a dwarf paladin, and my character was a human wilder. For those unfamiliar: wilders are the charisma version of the psion in the same way sorcerers are to wizards, except that wilders are actually really good as you'll learn later.
Our first quest was to clear out a den of orcs who have been doing Generic Evil Bad Guy Things to our starting town. Knowing the reputation that chaotic evil characters tend to have I laid my intentions on the table very early in an attempt to allay concerns. Ashley was chaotic because I want to take the Pyrokineticist prestige class and Evil because she just really likes burning shit. Seeing as I rolled very well on my mental stats (int 16, wis 15, cha 19; the GM was using 2d8+6, IDK why) I felt that Ashley would be very friendly, amicable, and also neurotically aware of her situation. In her own words: "I can burn human villages and be hunted as a villain, or burn orc villages and be paid as a hero. The choice is obvious; we're having barbeque porkchops tonight!" The players acknowledged this and seemed to be mildly enthusiastic.
Thus we get to the actual roleplay.
We keep it simple, start in a tavern and introduce our PCs. The bardbarian and dwarf are having a drunken arm wrestling contest and regaling each other with tales of their machismo ("I once suplexed a polar bear off a cliff!" "Reminds me of that time I gave my coat to an orphan girl and had to walk through a blizzard for eight hours warmed only by the celestial hearth of my god!"). The ranger and I enter town from opposite angles and meet up at the bowyer's shop; he's buying a bow while I am having my crossbow repaired after I got a little overenthusiastic with my last Fire Ray. The ranger is immediately distrustful of my wilder; I don't know why, but "grizzled ranger wilderness man" is such a classic trope I don't think much of it and we end up entering the tavern together.
Shortly after we are all in the same ingame space together, a big ol' royal guardsman or soldier or somesuch enters the tavern and calls for mercenaries. The others answer the call, while my wilder listens from the corner given that she's not best friends with the law. We are told of the orcs and the troubles they are causing on the road, and that parties who like gold and killing orcs ought to prepare to embark with him in the morning. Yeah, I thought; Ashley likes both of those things -- one is a good target for fire, and the other buys resources she can use to make more fire. I feel Ashley is not likely to volunteer without her weapons on her -- she wouldn't be taken seriously! -- so I narrate how I'll wait an hour for repairs to be completed and approach the group then, since we have until morning.
Ashley goes to get her crossbow, returns -- and the party is gone. So much for waiting until the morning.
I make some quick Gather Information checks (I had the intelligence so I sprinkled cross-class ranks into K:nobility and various social skills) to figure out what happened, then set off at a brisk hustle to follow.
Upon catching up with the party, the ranger immediately fires an arrow at my wilder.
Ranger: [to the party] "Heh, can never be too careful."
Wilder: [hiding behind a tree] "Whoa mate, check your eyes; I am not an orc!"
Ranger: "Just because you're not an orc doesn't mean you're friendly!"
Bardbarian: "She could be a highwayman, be careful."
Wilder: "We met in town, remember? I was the one who suggested yew for your bow!"
Ranger: "If you're friendly, why are you hiding? Show yourself!"
Wilder: [Comes out with hands up; pointless gesture since I can kill people with my brain, but they don't know that yet]
Dwarf: "I use detect evil."
Wilder: [Is evil! And also has her imp patron following her without being aware of it!]
Dwarf: "She's evil. Get her and her demon friend!"
Wilder: "Wait, why is Char here? According to my backstory he- WHOA!"
Ashley is wearing a chain shirt, has 17 dexterity, and won initiative so she has her buckler out and is using Total Defense so her AC is... high. She danmaku-grazes through two sling bullets, an arrow, and two darts.
Wilder: "Please calm down! I just want to kill orcs with you and get paid!"
Dwarf: "We don't work with evil people!"
Another round of Touhou dodging ensues.
GM: "Round three. Ashley's turn."
Wilder: "I said CALM THE FUCK DOWN!"
I activate my Wild Surge and expend my psionic focus on my Psionic Shot feat and launch my Fire Ray at the ranger's precious masterwork bow. I have Privileged Energy so I get a +1 damage bonus on every die of fire damage I roll. 5d6+5 damage. The bow flashes white-hot as it is instantly turned to ashes.
Ranger: "You bitch! I knew you were bad news the moment I met you!"
They keep fighting...
I down them all in a single shot each. Including the level six NPC guardsman who attempted to intervene once it became clear that the party couldn't roll above a fifteen to save their lives. I suggest to the GM that the fire cauterized their wounds so none of them are actually dying, but he's a very RAW person and declines while pointing out that I was throwing entire virtual fistfuls of d6s. The entire party ends up bleeding out because -- surprise -- the chaotic evil character didn't think to put any ranks in Treat Injury. Ashley gave the fallen PCs the most respectful sendoff she knew -- burning their bodies in a massive forest fire -- while speculatively wondering how that scene could have proceeded differently and not at all subtly hinting to the GM to rewind so we could take the scene again from the top.
The response to this was to start making the usual noises and ALL-CAPS POSTS about how I'm an edgelord and chaotic evil PCs should never be allowed and I'm terrible and awful for destroying their equipment and getting mad when they attempted to blah blah blah. I don't need to tell you what they said. I was just astonished, refreshing the page throughout the day as they rant and rave, all the while thinking to myself "I have Asperger's syndrome and even I can read the social cues better than these nutters."
They weren't even good roleplayers. I was throwing out paragraphs and they were writing two-liners. The ranger didn't even end his posts with periods. So when I refreshed the page and found I was banned from the game, I couldn't help but sigh in relief. What could I have even said to these people to justify myslef? "It's what my character would have done?" Because it actually wasn't; I was trying my damnedest to hold her back in spite of all possible reason to go full bore on the strangers trying to murder her!
I'd still love to play Ashley again sometime. I think she has a lot of potential as a character to explore what it means to be evil, how evil is often perceived by others, and how even good people can work with evil in pursuit of a greater goal.