There were points when other creatures appeared, some like it, others alien. It tried to talk as it had done to those below, curious about these like itself. It was almost lonely in the dream, though the dream always stated that it was not lonely, that it preferred to be alone. This part of the dream confirmed that, the creatures usually mindless or stating a false superiority to itself, for the being knew it was superior, the dream always whispering that. For all those whispers though, the being was lonely, so it tried to speak, to show mercy, to beg its opponent for a conversation, and to flee when the antagonist slashed its wings to ribbons. For the end of these fights either ended with the antagonist falling to earth, the dream confirming what a wonderful thing it had done with feelings of joy, of its wings damaged beyond belief, body wracked with pain as it fell towards a ground it never reached. To end that pain, it had to strike back at the antagonist, to drag it down with it as the being found itself nearly mindless with pain.
To talk meant pain, to flee meant pain and disgrace. It learned to never submit, that it was better to roar defiance and call upon something that killed itself and harmed the other. It learned to fight, always forgetting the earlier dreams, but never forgetting to fight until the end.
It was better than all others, stronger and smarter than them. Any who challenged it would fall one way or another, but most were nothing more than prey to be snatched up and eaten. The creatures like trees were an annoyance, one better ignored than killed. They were nothing like it, lacking the being’s wings and strength, its beauty and grace though it could never seem to make out its exact colors.
It simply knew all these things, and never could have told anyone why. Even as the dreams grew less focused, some seeming to bleed into others so that the being half-remembered doing the same actions, leaving it confused as to whether or not it had already taken some bauble or striped prey, it knew who it was.
It remembered sinking his teeth into a foe and ripping it from the sky, sending it in a confused tumble of countless wings and limbs towards the ground. Then the same beast tore through its wings, and the being gathered and released such force that it was only dream-logic that allowed it to watch it’s antagonist fall after its own blackened husk. Falling, knowing that to have taken the antagonist down with it was all that mattered, then yet again it was in the air with shredded wings. Confused, for it knew it had done this before, it nearly did not launch the killing attack, the revenge that it knew must be taken no matter what it cost.
The dreams swirled, then faded to nothing. It was as if there had never been the dreams, and there were no thoughts moving through him as it rested in the perfect darkness. But it still knew what it was.
It woke up as if it were a matter of switching from off to on. Eyes opened wide to see the world it expected, blinking several times as nothing appeared before it. There was only darkness no matter how he strained his eyes. Knowing something was wrong, that it should see something though this was the first time it had even opened its eyes in its life, it shoved itself upwards, stretching out its great wings to catch the air.
It failed on all counts. Its wings opened only a fraction before colliding with something hard and unyielding, then drooped against its sides as it felt them grow heavier than they should have been. Its head rose, then was stopped short by a yank against its throat at the same moment something pulled against its feet, dragging them out from where they had been placed and sending it crashing back to the ground.
Its body was shaking, limbs spasming as if that simple attempt to stand had been a marathon, and a heavy weight suddenly pressed into its chest as if something was squeezing it. It coughed wildly as it tried to get its legs back under itself properly, hacking up something that was only semisolid and foul tasting on the ground in front of it. The limbs were put into place, the claws braced against the unseen ground, and it stood just as suddenly as it had the first attempt, meeting with the ground just as suddenly as the first result.
Wheezing heavily now, it struggled to breath as it tried to stand a few more times, each breath feeling as though his heart was being gnawed upon by hundreds of unseen teeth. The limbs moved with a painful slowness that only grew with each attempt, until each limb felt as though it was rooted to the ground. But it continued after each fall, knowing it would never give up, not knowing why anymore than it knew what was happening to it.
It forced itself upright one final time. The other attempts had been rapid thrusts of its body into the air, wings tapping against something as the thing around its neck and legs dragged it back down. This one was as though it moved through molasses, wings failing to do more than twitch against its sides, choking and gasping for air that never seemed to reach its lungs. It did not so much as stand as push its body an inch off of the ground, limbs already shaking wildly as it strove to demand more of them.
The darkness grew deeper, redder as it fought to hold itself upright against the coughing that racked its form. Its legs refused to straighten any more than they already had, instead giving out completely. It might have realized then that there was no sudden jolt of impact this time from the fall had its head not smacked against the ground, head turned as goop from its throat seemed to leak out of its mouth.
It lay there, eyes open but glazed, and it would have been just as blind to the world if the lights had been turned on. It rested that way until the coughing subsided, until the fire in its lungs had decreased from a raging inferno so it could breathe again. Wheezing, with the coughing fits few and far between, it woke to dry eyes and a terrible taste in its mouth, to limbs that seemed impossibly heavy and a chest something had burrowed into.
Thus feeling better, it immediately repeated its attempt to stand, its fury such that it managed one extra try before being dragged back into unconsciousness. And again it did so when recovered and awake, and again after recovering from that one, limbs still shaking and weaker than it knew they should be. It knew, though not why, that it should be able to spring to its feet with a bellow and wings flared open to their fullest extent, ready to carry it off into the sky.
But it could not open its wings, the unseen limbs tapping against something when it dedicated all efforts toward opening them, the struggle of simply holding them up bringing stinging pains to its back as they shook and grew heavier. The legs were not the strong, thick limbs they should have been, shaking and rebelling against it even when it tried to do nothing more than drag them into place. Its tail was held slightly upright through no effort of its own, something that it through the legs should emulate, but attempts to move it even slightly failed, something holding it in a grip that was at least as strong as that around its heart.
With a body that felt both wasted and as heavy as lead, it struggled to stand over and over again, most attempts ending with a small splash as its head collided with what it had coughed out, the few that did not only occurring when it failed to lift its head at all.
The time between the bursts of frenzied activity only grew longer as time passed, and it found itself wishing it could at least see something. At first it was to see the thing that held it down so that it might better bring its snapping jaws and rending claws against the foe, though said attacks were little more than a ferocious nibbling and pawing that even a grubble might not fear. As time stretched on, trapped in the darkness and its own growing puddle of waste, it began to wish to see that so it might avoid it, the smell undetectable but the stickiness of it disgusted it.
Then it wished to see what was around it. Sometimes it made out shapes, sounds that were not its own, hurrying around it in the dark. It coughed at them in place of roars, and they seemed to press closer, squeezing away its breath with their unseen bodies until it could breathe no more.
They would burn it, making its body feel as if the fire in its lungs had spread to every corner of its body, and here there would be no attempt to stand, only to twitch and flail best it could, trying to tear off its own hide in hopes of cooling itself. Other times it would be the opposite, its body freezing as the shadowy things mocked and stole the heat away from its body until it chattered its teeth and tried to curl itself into a ball. It could not do so of course, the shadows grabbing its limbs and wrenching the rest of them back when it fought to move just one in place. When it succeeded, it found that moving even one other signaled the shadows to attack, dragging away its leg and hard won victory as it sought another.
It could do nothing against the unseen foes, though it fought as fiercely as it could, gripped by madness whenever they pushed it too far.
It had moments of near lucidity too, moments where it knew the shadows were not responsible. When it was not too hot nor too cold, it had reached under itself, testing the limits of its limbs and finding that they all were bound to some unseen device that rattled as it was pulled along, pulling all other limbs and its throat to specific points when one limb was raised. It knew this, tried to work at it with fumbling claws, swearing that it would never believe again that the darkness surrounding itself was alive and after it again. And then its temperature would begin to rise, shapes flitting around the edges of its vision, and it would once more cough defiance onto the unseen.
It began to fancy a new idea as it lay gripped in the darkness, an idea that was not so easily chased away with brief moments of lucidity, or what passed for it as it swatted at shadows.
Now it wished that it could see itself. That it was what was keeping it here, trapped and weak. It could not see its body for it had been hidden away from it, leaving it in the pathetic state that saw it fail to do so much as stand. If it could see itself, it would break free of whatever held it, its mind given form beyond the trails of weakness it had mistaken for limbs. It needed to find its proper body.
But it had never seen light, did not know how to find it. It knew of light, knew it had wings and claws, teeth and tail though it could not think of how it knew such things any more than it knew of how it knew that there was more than the all encompassing darkness it had woken to. There was no memory of its stolen body, so it decided that must have been taken too.
Now it understood. Its memory of light had been taken, its form had been taken by someone jealous of it. It could not recall who could have done such a thing any more than it could recall ever meeting any other form of life, but that had been taken by the thief as well. Its life grew simpler from that moment. It fought to free itself, and challenged the one who had trapped it, had stolen so many things from it. It raged and coughed, determined to to find where the body had been hidden, where the thief cowered from its rightful judgement.
The rage did not lessen when it choked itself into unconsciousness, did not boil away as its body burned in a lightless fire. It did not blunt when its head lolled on the ground, unable to be lifted free of the things that glued it in place, its hate only sharpening with each failure.
But then came the fear. It did what the pain and an eternity of imprisonment had failed to do, coiling around the anger as both feelings sought to smother the other. The fear of always being trapped, of the weakness it felt in all things that had seemed wrong. What if there had been no thief, and it had always been nothing more than this? It could not remember anything other than this, the darkness, the suffering, the things moving around it. The pride that had burned strongly within it upon waking fueled the anger, demanding that it was powerful, that this was not right and it had to fix it.
The fear was the opposite. It had no recollection of any time before this, of no time that it had used its imaginary wings or limbs. It had always been weak, would always be weak, trapped and alone with a throat that felt so dry that it tried to lick up the dried phlegm on the floor. The coughs were dry, though much more painful, with no sign of improvement.
Like the wings and the claws, it knew it should have been able to find others. Not just the possibly imagined sounds of the things in the dark and their movements, but sounds that would make sense as it sent its fevered mind out to catch them. The shadow things thought nothing, the thief it had suspected, had called out to in challenge both aloud and in thought, had never thought at all, not even the feeling of a mind hiding itself from it.
It was maddening. It gave up calling or searching for others, splitting its time between fending off the shadows and trying to prove, as pride demanded it do, that it could stand. That it could do more than stand, but even that seemed to fade away from it in the dark. It could do nothing but feel pain, the jagged shards in its chest that holding its breath made only tolerable, the pain of weakness, the pain that moved between its limbs and head so that even its mind felt as heavy as its limbs.
Twilight-Claw: And usually I do notice those things. x3
Aug 11, 2022 8:35:50 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Lol, I honestly hadn't noticed them until you said that Darky! XD
Aug 11, 2022 8:35:38 GMT -6
Darky: With bonus feesh~
Aug 11, 2022 2:09:03 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Awesome growth! And I see they still got the birds flying around them. x3
Aug 10, 2022 13:31:10 GMT -6
Morgan: The Shabutau eyes are so expressive! I'm impressed with them. c:
Aug 9, 2022 21:09:30 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: *Dances* Yes! Primal Expertise is here! <3 Just now noticed the list with what is updated, thanks Silver! Definitely loving all those tiny updates that where made with the rest as well! <3
Aug 1, 2022 15:20:01 GMT -6
Darky: Yep, they're def 5-fingered, complete with a thumb :3 And danku~
Jul 21, 2022 4:04:19 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: The Dynasty Tat-Lung looks awesome Darky! You made them look really cool! I think I even see a thumb in their design that fits their most likely one to read books in their design. <3
Jul 20, 2022 13:26:25 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like this part "and would like to remind you that lost digit reattachment is a service offered at all Labs-Aligned hospitals within the city." of them a lot for some reason, I don't think many people go to that establishment a lot. x3
Jul 2, 2022 3:42:55 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I didn't even noticed it was double headed until it got mentioned in the cbox (which was really just five seconds after seeing them! XD). :3
Jul 2, 2022 3:41:30 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: I'm glad you like them!! Seeing as they're a retired breed, I wanted the Magestorm to be extra special.
Jul 1, 2022 21:08:53 GMT -6
Morgan: Oh, the Magestorm being double headed is a really neat surprise! What a cute species. c:
Jul 1, 2022 21:02:39 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Afraid I don't have any. :C
Jun 30, 2022 14:16:45 GMT -6
Darky: Btw, still on the lookout for 1 sapling flower if anyone has any spares? (Not picky about colour~)
Jun 30, 2022 4:28:15 GMT -6