She talked to herself as she looked over the beast, muttering as she tried to determine what was normal for him. Him, yes, for this beast had a certain scent that clearly marked it as male, though she could find no other clear signs. A halfbreed most likely then, a cross between a wiurn and something else like a thundergug, though that did not explain why he so casually attempted to kill her on sight the few times she had entered the room. But though he could not breed if that was so, the scent still clung to him like blood and so male she would refer to him as.
That was the only easy part of the inspection. He was big, larger than an adult of the second wiurn type and much heavier, a fact that only truly struck home as she attempted to move a wing or turn his head. 16
The beast had fallen close to the water trough, the ground torn where he had tried to grip it and keep his balance, where his hind legs had slide out behind him forming shallow holes in the dirt. That his head had not fallen into the trough was a minor blessing, for he might have drowned before she had even noticed he slept. She checked his breathing first, resting her hands on his side that was not pressed to the ground after shoving a winged forelimb away. His scales were rough, though thankfully not as sharp as the spines that ran along his back and tail or the spikes that protruded from parts of his wings, but while she was not injured from the check she was not sure if he was breathing correctly. What was shallow for this creature, what was too deep, what meant he would slip into a coma that would let him waste away or wake up in an instant to bite off an intruders head? 17
She was rather attached to her head at the moment, for this would not be a proper sacrifice if she was torn apart by a twice crafted slave beast, though she could think of one or two who might find it amusing enough to allow it. She had more things to do now before her eventual death, and she had no intention of dying so quickly after securing a position as a ‘ranger’ for the soft-skin hive. Which also meant she would have a beast that would be useful in said hunts rather than trying to kill her or dying because he was such a glutton.
He remained asleep as she removed her hands from his chest to peel back one of his eyelids, chiding the beast as she did so. This one would require a great deal of work, assuming she could ever make him stop trying to kill her. The more feral beast and intelligent prey out there would kill him easily for all his size and scales if she could not train him correctly. 18
Eyelid released and snapped shut, she pushed his head onto one side to make it easier to pry open his jaws, releasing a small cascade of drool in the process. Ignoring the sticky mix of drool and water that now speckled her hands, she leaned forward to sniff his breath. The breath that came through was as earthy as she would have expected from something eating plants all day, with a tinge of sweetness that spoke of the poison he had guzzled down. The breath did not come out in gasps and she was pleased to note that he had not vomited nor had a scent of blood on his breath. That was a good sign, as good as any she could hope for. Yes, a good sign. Sign?
She blinked, shaking her head to free it of the weight that seemed to be settling upon it. Sign that he was not going to die of the poison. The poison that made him sleep. Poison.
She began scrubbing her hands together in an odd state of panic and calm, one part of her mind assuring her that the poison she used had to be ingested and that she was not about to fall unconscious next to something that could kill her without even meaning to. Her head felt floaty, her mind drifting off to the way the water sparkled under the lab lights, and she bit her tongue hard enough to draw blood as she fought to keep her focus. There was something on her hands, something that had to get off before something bad happened, and though thought that she was using already contaminated water never crossed her mind.
At least, it did not until a minute later, as her mind began to settle down and she could recall why she was so desperate to wash her hands. The drug she had used shouldn’t have been able to affect her through the skin, probably not even had she drank the drool seeing as diluted as it would have been by the time she had gotten the drool on her. 20
Even had she been unsure of how the poison worked, she had gotten the drool of drugged creatures on her before, when she led the brown sarane to be ripped to shreds at the pit. They always tended to flail around at the beginning as they were led out, so it could not have been that. With a look over her hands to confirm there were no obvious breaks or cuts on them, she was sure it could not have been the drug.
Which left two possibilities. One, she had panicked for no reason, for she did not even have anything that works on such a delayed basis in her supplies that could be to blame for the effect. That theory she discarded immediately, for she had not felt any warning signs of fear before and she did not feel them now. The second was that the creature was responsible for it. 21
The lightheaded euphoria had not appeared as she touched his chest, but had rapidly begun to affect her after she opened his jaws. That suggested that the drool, which was even now oozing out into the dirt, contained some sort of poison. She slumped to the ground next to the sleeping beast, wondering if there would be any more side-effects she would need to watch out for. She was not dead, nor did she feel tired or any different beyond the return to rationality, but whatever it was had passed right through her scales.
It was not perhaps the brightest idea she had ever had, nor could she claim it was completely due to the drool she had washed off, but she continued to squat next to the sleeper, waiting for anymore symptoms to affect her. When none did after several minutes, she stood again and ran around the perimeter of the cage in hopes of finding any other problems that could tell her what manner of poison it was. 22
Other than feeling a little foolish, which was in no way connected to the poison, she felt normal and slowed to a walk. She left briefly, making sure the door clicked shut both times she passed it, before making her way back to the still slumbering beast. Using a glass vial, a fragile miracle that she should have expected soft-skins to make, she collected some of the drool for testing later. Perhaps it was only potent for a short while, or the events that led her to the trough were a sign that her mind was softening, but she had quite a few creatures she could test it on. And now that she held it up to the light, the drool seemed thicker and off color somehow, a hint of rainbows glistening on the bubbles within.
Sample taken, she resumed looking over the beast for any more surprises he might be hiding from her. 23
There was nothing else that was not already apparent to her as far as she could tell. His crest, besides a minor static shock one of the delicate frills gave her as she touched the horns, gave no sign of the intense power he could repeatedly unleash. His limbs and body were just as heavy as they looked, though his tail was much more flexible than she had imagined as he had dragged it along behind him while awake. Not flexible enough to tie it into a knot, though she had considered trying it so she could see the beast move faster than his usual lazy stroll, the weight too great for her to do much more than shove at it from a place not covered in spines.
The scales felt thick, much thicker than her own unfortunately, and she guessed that even her brand new and sharp dagger would do little to his hide. The wings had two fingers rather than a normal wiurn’s one, and she reaffirmed her decision to try to find out more about what exactly was this pet that she had purchased. 24
She inspected him as well as she was able, still wondering why a lab-crafted beast would even be able and willing to repeatably attack her without any apparent reason, wondering if this one had an uncontrollable rage to green or whatever it was the labs did when they wanted to make their beasts more interesting. He had begun only the barest movements when she decided to leave, a clawed foot curling, the long tail sliding across the ground like a salaves. The door was closed as he snorted limbs stretching outwards as a half-hearted attempt at righting himself.
She watched him for a while, leaning against the doorway as he struggled to stand on limbs that, if her experience had been anything to go by, would feel as steady as the ground in a swamp. While the creature grumbled and made the sounds of a dry heave as he eventually stood, he managed to take a few short steps to where the now cleansed water was held, drinking noisily. 25
She waited long enough to be sure that he had no lingering and more serious reactions to the drug, reading through the book as he stumbled through the grass for a while. When he finally noticed her, twisting his head with exaggerated care in her direction, it took a few seconds before she could hear the building hum. WIth a shriek that silenced the hum and sent the beast’s head digging into the ground as he felt his head would split, something she remembered as well, she closed the book and left him to recover.
While he did so, she had a great deal of fun which culminated in watching a feral jibiji, it’s head shiny with drool, allow her to grab it and snap it’s throat with none of the vigorous pecking it had given her when she first released it from the net. More reasons to duck if the beast looked in her direction then. 26
The next time she saw him, she had learned quite a bit. One was that it was difficult to find any information on halfbreeds when one did not know the name or the species crossed to make them. Another was that she was glad images were included with the beasts that were listed, because sometimes she was wrong about the crafted species. For example, despite his means of locomotion, the halfbreed in no way was related to wiurn. What it was related to was sarane, specifically a drake sarane, which explained much regarding why it was trying to kill her.
She hoped whatever soft-skin had the bright idea to breed such a thing, whether they were the one she had purchased this cross from or not, came up with more ideas like that one. She also hoped she was not the only one to have been taken in by their supposed crafted nature.
There was no rushing into the room, just a casual peek to see if the sarane-gug would eat the meat before it rotted, which he had, and to make sure he was back to his slow moving self, which was true as well. 27
There were more blasts from his horn, the effect would have been almost comical as the attack failed repeatedly had it not been so painful to the eyes and ears. Reluctant to let the creature think he had won every time she left to enjoy some nice and quiet darkness, she brought out two panels of wood, their topmost edge crudely held together by jutting nails that caught and nearly tore the heavy fabric she draped over it. For the noise itself she had secured what the soft-skins referred to as ear-mufflers, sliding both padded ends over her ear holes. It lessened the noiseto tolerable levels, and she moved herself and the book about what qualified as taming under the tiny tent when her eyes grew sore from the flashes.
He kept launching blasts of lightning at first, regardless of whether she sat in the open or hid within the tent. 28
It took roughly an hour before the blasts would only consistently come if she were in plain sight, forcing her from the tent as she waited for the beast to stop trying to kill her. Surely he had to know by now that his attacks were not harming her. Then again, if he was part thundergug as the listing had claimed, it would not surprise her that he would have inherited that stubbornness. And her own drakes, the two that she fed and drugged so consistently when the soft-skins found it in fashion to have them fight to breed, would still try to reach through the bars and tear her to shreds. Well, one of them would, the other tended to leave her alone so long as she did not attempt to approach him.
Bored of yet another barrage of attacks, the fence still easily dissipating each strike without any sign of effort, she returned to the tent to rest her eyes from the glare. 29
The halfbreed never failed to strike out at her whenever she stepped out of the tent, the simple of reward of driving her from his sight clearly enough to satisfy him. She did not have the time to spend all day watching him, having other beasts to care for and items to secure and practice and care of some of her brand new equipment among some of them. By the third day of incessant attacks, she found a set of shaded goggles to purchase from some soft-skin, ignoring its prattle about its uses as she nodded and left it to sell its wares.
She took some time to adjust the straps, to slip them around her spines and have the lens darken the bright light of the kennel to the dimness of a thick forest. She grabbed a few of her new tools, and dropped them in the tent as the beast fired again and again. 30
Riku: Oh how perfect! I woke up wanting to post (unexpected, but yay) and saw I had a reply. <3 Meant to be.
May 26, 2020 6:40:43 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I really, really love all the updates that have come~! <3
May 24, 2020 2:12:37 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: np!!! I hope y'all like it!
May 23, 2020 13:45:06 GMT -6
Riku: What an awesome update, staff! Thanks for that! <3
May 23, 2020 12:06:52 GMT -6
Jack: All have been found!
May 23, 2020 9:53:27 GMT -6
Jack: Might want to be on the lookout for anything... odd
May 22, 2020 23:51:22 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Yeah it’s definitely a coincidence but wow did it work out well for us! XD
May 22, 2020 6:43:27 GMT -6
Silver: I'm pretty sure that was just a coincidence, but it sure feels lucky!
May 22, 2020 2:07:09 GMT -6
Riku: So did you guys make this hosting switch perfectly RIGHT before pb broke? >.< Thaz crazy. It’s a huge relief and I’m very glad we’ve come to this. <3
May 22, 2020 1:41:01 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: It’s free up to a certain number of GB, which we haven’t hit yet.
May 21, 2020 6:46:33 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Is the site that is going to be used to host all those images also the type you'd need to pay for? (definitely noticed the broken images yeah. Photobucket feels like it is standing on its last legs. X3 )
May 21, 2020 0:13:57 GMT -6
Morgan: I'm just kinda nervous about them going down before things get moved over completely. It's prolly nothing to be worried about though. :3
May 20, 2020 22:13:15 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Thank goodness we're moving out of there? XD
May 20, 2020 21:59:22 GMT -6
Renathan: Ugh, photobucket has the images broke again. x3
May 20, 2020 21:18:53 GMT -6