Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 15:32:46 GMT -6
Fiera stepped into the mines for...well, the first time. She thought she had been in a mine back in her hometown, but thinking back on it, it was really only a couple of her friends that had worked there. They always brought back stories though- enough that Fiera knew enough about mining that she could fib to anyone about her past as a miner, and they'd believe it. Well. Unless they could actually see her. Her luxurious fur and untoned body was enough to show that she had lived a life of physical comfort. Then, of course, there were the smaller details- she had bothered putting on makeup and nail polish for this, not knowing how dirty she'd get. Her tail was perfectly coiffed and uncovered, and fate rubbed it's little hands together thinking about how dirty it would get in a matter of hours. It would take her forever to wash out all the grit and sand from the long black hairs. Furthermore, her outfit was... an interesting choice for mining to say the least. It could be described as a miner's outfit, yes, but something about the materials and cut of the clothing made it seem more like a costume than a work uniform. If you asked where she got it, you likely wouldn't get the same answer twice, but if you averaged all her answers together you'd get something along the lines of "sexy aisle of the halloween costume store". She certainly thought it was comfortable, but several hours in the mines could easily change one's mind on that. Especially without any sort of protective wear, she was almost guaranteed to get a colorful variety of bumps and bruises working today, which she'd no doubt retreat to her apartment to quibble over for the next week.
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 15:36:39 GMT -6
Of course, there was also her equipment that insinuated her inexperience. She only had a single mallet, instead of the buckets of tools and instruments that other miners had. She gave them a withering glare as she passed by- out of envy, more than spite. That was one of her biggest flaws, of course- spitting vitriol at those who hardly deserved it about things that weren't even their fault. About things that she didn't even think were their fault! Unfortunately, she lacked the self awareness to identify what was actually wrong, so any modicum of stress could set her off steaming. Compound that with how stressed she was lately in general, and there was very little that didn't set her off. She was excruciatingly new to The Labs, and had little to get herself started with. Her exodus from her homeland was unplanned and unfunded, and she made her way with what little she was able to steal before she left and sell on her way out. By the time she got the the city, she could feel the dwindling weight of her coin purse like a second pulse. She had heard from eavesdropped conversations between other people that the mines here were rich, full of gems and 'other things'. What other things she had yet to find out, but so far her imagination had only naively good things to say about the possibilities. So, with what little funds she had, she managed to get herself a single piece of mining equipment, and a...wiggly rock thing. It would appear that monsters were the 'in vogue' thing in this city, and not wanting to look unfashionable (or perhaps, just foreign), she had quickly collected as many as possible. Possibly a poor idea, though their care was easier than she was expecting.
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 15:41:53 GMT -6
A "gem wyrm" the seller had called it. Apparently the most common sort of "gem familiar". Supposedly very helpful in the mines, helping to sniff out rare ores and gemstones. Currently, tied to her belt loop with a few cords of twine. An experienced pet keeper, Fiera was not. She had just barely wrestled the creature home, not even having a pet carrier to transport it. She was dreadfully lucky that the specimen she bought was not a particularly aggressive one. She had quickly dubbed it "Viridia" when asked to register it, though the name currently rang hollow with unfamiliarity. She hadn't the foggiest what it actually was, they didn't have anything like this back home. Was it a member of local fauna? Or another...magic, scientific creation of the mysterious labs? She heard that they could be found naturally in the mines but if that was the case, then how...did they even come to exist? She cleared her head of that line of thought- thinking about the origins of life wasn't something she felt qualified to have an opinion on. Not right now, at least. Maybe later with a fuzzy bathrobe, a cup of tea, and the unwilling audience of her bedroom ceiling. The creature looped forward though, seemingly unbothered by the string- could it even feel it with skin like that? She followed it through the tunnels. It knew more about this place than her, certainly. Then there were the other two. Lolas, they were called, the "offspring" of a species called Lotine, which Fiera hadn't seen as of yet. They were small, cute, colorful- all things she greatly enjoyed, so she picked up two. Sisters, as far as she knew, she named them Sola and Luna. Cliche? Perhaps. But there was something to be said for classics.
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 15:46:56 GMT -6
These "Lolas" were quite intelligent, so she had been told. They certainly seemed responsive enough, floating through the air after her. She tried tying them to her like the gem wyrm, but they easily wriggled out. Still, they followed along regardless, so she let them come. She wasn't actually sure to what extent they were intelligent, however. She had heard whispers of The Labs having created sapient creatures but... was such a thing even possible? Or ethical? She idly knocked a tip off a stalactite with her hammer. Surely not. The world was filled with a lot of fantastical things, but... talking animals couldn't be one of them. The world had enough trouble treating people like people, she thought with a frown. That's what the whole...mess she got into back home was about. People were treated poorly. Poor people strike back. Poor people strike back too hard. Attempt to argue against this. Get unceremoniously told to not let the door hit her in the butt when she left. Fine. She had had a couple months to come to terms with her exile... but the loneliness was something she still couldn't shake. Perhaps that was the real reason she adopted so many of these monsters so quickly- company. Human company was something she was still shaky on, but these creatures couldn't say no to her presence. Well. They could run away, but they wouldn't if they liked her well enough. Which is why she thought it was a good idea to bring these little creatures along. Fiera knew they'd have to be trained eventually- currently only one of them, Sola, even knew to respond to it's name- but perhaps something like this would let them warm up to her first. Hopefully, that would make them more receptive later on.
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 15:53:22 GMT -6
Viridia finally seemed to stop...or at least slow down in a divot at the side of a tunnel. Most of the wall was smooth and picked clean of any potential valuables, but ahead of her it looked like something had happened. The walls were lined with scorch marks and riddled with cracks. Several rocks had collapsed into the hall, partially caving in the tunnel. An explosion? A campfire gone wrong? A fire elemental golem with a very bad cold? It was hard to say, but the carnage here was all the evidence left behind. The rocks looked like they had been sitting there for a while, however, and were layered in enough dust to make them look uniformly grey. Fiera knew that they would close down a tunnel if it were truly unstable. Or at least, she assumed they would. Did they? She tried to remember what Albion told her about mining back in the day... and quickly disregarded the thought. Albion's old boss didn't care much for 'workplace safety' anyway, not when there was money to be made. She instead looked at Viridia, snuffling through the piles of detritus. She picked up one of the smaller rocks, and turned it over in her palm, revealing that it had a faintly glimmery quality. Maybe they were morphamorphic? No, wait. That wasn't right? Maximorphic? Metamorphic? ...Igneous? Something like that. She was pretty sure these had good crystals in them sometimes. If that book was right. The book she couldn't remember the name of, or what it looked like, or where she read it. You know, that book. But if this definitely real, very much not made up book was wrong... well, there was more cave behind this. She'd just have to climb over this huge, unsteady rock pile to get to it.
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 15:58:03 GMT -6
Finally, she decided to get to mining. She decided that mining wasn't really about effort, so to speak. It was about strategy- why waste time smashing apart a billion rocks for the hope of finding a crystal, when you could be careful and discerning and pick out just one? She strode forward with a sense of pride and purpose, surveying a rock before her. Large- up to her hips, easily. But, upon closer inspection, with little flecks of something brighter. She knocked on it. Probably hollow! Could be a massive geode inside! Yes, with just a bit of analysis, she had secured herself an excellent bounty- and now all she had to do was collect it! Without further ado, she lifted her mallet, and slammed it down on the large boulder- nearly cracking her own teeth from the effort, and leaving the rock unscathed. The lolas scattered away- not fleeing completely, but hovering several feet from the loud sound. Ow. So that didn't work too well. "Don't worry about it!" She said at the Lolas breathily. "That was just a...test strike! Make sure the old mallet is secure. Can't have a loose mallet now, can we!" Somehow, they didn't look convinced. Internally, Fiera made a note to pick a smaller rock next time. That one, clearly, was no good at all. Not nearly as, ah. Hollow. As she first thought. But that's alright! Every good miner makes the occasional mistake. Viridia regarded her with vague disdain. She tried again, this time on a rock half the size of the last boulder. This one, thankfully, chipped when she struck it, pieces flying off in chunks. Not completely destroyed, but another blow cleft it in two. "See?" She offered half to the Lolas, half to herself. "This isn't so hard!"
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 17:58:15 GMT -6
She looked inside the rock, eager to claim her beautiful, sparkly, glittering...mushrooms. Huh. She leaned down for a closer look. She wasn't sure they were actually growing IN the rock so much as sitting next to it (was that even possible...?), so she might have just not noticed them until now. She prodded one quizzically with a finger. Smooth, but firm, easily springing back to it's full height after she retracted her finger. She crossed her arms and huffed. They weren't even fancy mushrooms! They didn't have lace, or look like they were bleeding. They didn't even glow like they did in movies! What a rip off! A waste of effort! She still absolutely shoved them in her bag. But she wasn't happy about it. She didn't even know what mushrooms went for around here. Did anyone in these parts eat them? Were these even the fun mushrooms, the kind that made you see pretty colors? They could just be useless and lethal for all she knew. Well. She did note quietly that poisonous mushrooms had their uses too, so long as they killed quickly and quietly enough. Her younger days were a testament to that. Fiera decided to get off that train of thought. Those days were best left forgotten- it's not like she could go home now, could she? ...Well, she probably could, but she would be likely be killed immediately. She laughed, a quick, breathy noise. Maybe they'd even feed her poison mushrooms! Wouldn't that be ironic! Her mood lifted a bit with the gallows humor. She went to raise her mallet again, and smashed it back down on another rock. The Lolas fluttered away again, in a flurry of colors and the sound of wooshing air. Viridis, on the other hand, continued to nose her way through the pile.
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 18:11:17 GMT -6
Fiera decided to be a little more lighthearted about the mushrooms. Surely they were worth something. Everything's worth something. It's just about finding the right buyer, that's all. Were they poisonous? Sell it to someone in a dark alley. Medicinal? Sell them to an apothecary. Taste good? A chef would certainly appreciate it. Literally normal in every way? Fiera was at least partially sure she could swindle a mycologist into believing they were a new species. The real trick would be making sure she didn't hit up the same mycologist twice. She'd hate to get run out of two towns. She wondered if it was possible to get exiled from The Labs. It was a bit more advanced than her hometown, after all. She supposed the 'police' would handle it. Pssht. Cops. What a joke. Easily avoided, easily beaten in a fight, and if those two didn't work, easily bribed. It was even easier, back home. Most of the town's guards were attracted to the job not by love of justice, but by love of either money or violence. It certainly wasn't a job for those with high intelligence- they usually got cushy bureaucratic positions. For her, getting them to follow her orders was as easy as slipping over a coin purse, whispering a bit of blackmail, or the promise of a head smashing good time. By the time she left, half of her town's law enforcement was wrapped around her little finger- not that any of her crew ever thanked her for it. Of course not, that would be far too much for those ingrates. But... she ultimately didn't think getting too into crime here was a good idea. She promised herself she'd make a fresh start here, make something of herself. Did she really just want to retread old ground?
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 19:13:36 GMT -6
She frowned. No, if she was going to start fresh, might as well do it the hard way. What was that old phrase? "Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you'll land among the stars?" What a bunch of schoolyard tripe. But still... maybe it had some truth in this situation. Getting into trouble again would just, well, get her into trouble. This time, it would be easy to avoid too- she didn't live with her siblings anymore. Or her mother, thank god. All of the bad influences on her had just...vanished. Of course, the same went for the good influences. She groaned. Fiera really needed to get out more. She raised the mallet again, channeling her frustration into further destruction. At least the Lola were getting slowly used to the noise- with each stone smashed, they didn't skitter away quite so far. After she had crushed a good dozen, they were almost calm, barely flinching as each one crumbled under the hammer. (Viridia, of course, was completely unperturbed, gently munching on stones as Fiera worked.) Soon enough, they were back to gently floating over Fiera's head, their movements mirrored. Occasionally one would break away and a session of rapid play would proceed, consisting of one of the Lola (usually Sola) chasing the other round and round the hall, pinning the other up against a wall. At that point, they'd usually trade spots, chasing the other right back. It made a pleasurable backdrop to Fiera's work- she bought them for a reason, after all. Vain as it was, pretty things calmed her, and the light flickering against their colors was just about the nicest thing in here. For that reason alone, they were proving to be a good investment. Now if only she could find some more inorganic pretty things...
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 21:10:06 GMT -6
Alright. Ok. This was starting to get a little unpleasant. Nothing she couldn't handle of course- she'd been shot at and stabbed multiple times before. But did her armpits have to be quite so sweaty? Did the beads of sweat going down her forehead have to go directly into her eyes? Did the gem wyrm have to crunch rocks quite so loudly? The answer to that last one was apparently yes as Viridia nonchalantly shoved another rock in her mouth. Honestly, Fiera wasn't even sure if gem wyrms actually ate, or if she was just doing that to piss her off. Or if she just happened to get a really dumb gem wyrm that ate rocks and there weren't even any gems here at all. She, uh. She hoped that wasn't the case. That would be a really disappointing waste of her time if so.
Sola and Luna, on the other hand, seemed to have fully acclimated, spending more time than ever playing. She tried to summon up some envy for them, but she fell just short as tiredness took over. How long had she even been down here? She pushed up her sleeve... only to remember that she sold her watch months ago to buy ferry tickets. Exorbitantly priced ferry tickets, mind, but it wasn't like she was going to swim across that river. She made a mental note to punch out that ferrymaster if she ever saw him again though. For the time being though, she suspected that she hadn't been down here nearly as long as she would have liked to have been, and hadn't gotten nearly as much done as she wanted to. Still...maybe a break was in order. She flopped down next to the pile of rocks, slipping her canvas backpack off of her shoulders.
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 9, 2019 21:44:41 GMT -6
Fiera opened her pack, looking at the contents within. She carefully (And quite pointedly) nudged the mushrooms she collected earlier out of the way, and instead brought up some packages, wrapped in wax paper and tied shut with a piece of twine. A couple deft movements of the fingers, and she had a lovely unwrapped ham and cheese sandwich in front of her. Normally, she'd never eat something so childish or messy in public. Instead she'd go for a cup of tea or some photo worthy mini foods, but these dank caves were hardly "in public" now were they? Other than the first couple trickles of people at the entrance, she had hardly seen anyone else here the whole time. Needless to say, there was nothing to be worried abou- what was that.
She flicked her ears about, searching for the source of the sound. What WAS that? A moan? A cry for help? The wind? The last seemed the most likely... or, perhaps, the most optimistic, given the circumstances. She had heard many stories about mining, yes... and that included the awful ones. Getting stuck in holes that you were just about able to get yourself into, but never back out. Hitting a pocket of bad air and suffocating without ever knowing what hit you. Cave ins leaving you alive, but slowly dehydrating to death with no one knowing you were still alive. The thought was enough to make her shudder. But these mines were open to the public, so they should be safe... right? She looked at the Luna, Sola, and Viridia. If they had heard the sound, they showed no sign of it. Viridia was still half buried in the rock pile, and the lola twins had taken to grooming each other on the boulder from earlier.
Post by Fiera Ferella on Jul 10, 2019 8:36:33 GMT -6
Fiera felt a little disheartened at her pets' lack of reaction. The gem wyrm was a cave critter, so she would know if something was wrong... but also, she was essentially made of rock. Would she even HAVE empathy for a creature stuck in the caves, or even acknowledge them? Furthermore, Fiera didn't know if Viridia ate only rocks, or if a conveniently trapped miner would make a tasty snack for her...which would make it logical to ignore someone stuck in a cave in until they were too weak to fight. The thought unsettled Fiera enough to finally make a decision. She carefully rewrapped her sandwich, placing it back in her bag, away from the mushrooms again. She stood up, brushed off her pants, (which was more symbolic than anything. That dirt isn't going anywhere, Fiera) and tugged on the string a couple times to get the gem wyrm's attention. The lolas perked up as well, peering over the boulder- was it peering? Fiera realized she wasn't entirely sure if they had eyes. Then, she looked off down the tunnel, further into the caves- the sound had faded away, but she knew where it had come from. Just down that dark, spooky tunnel. Excellent.
With a huff of only vague irritation, she began to awkwardly stumble up and over the rock pile. While this tunnel was partially caved in, there was still enough room for her to easily slip over the top of the pile, dragging her gem wyrm behind her.