The grubble were the calmest about their new cage, slowing down to sniff at the churned dirt. The few that found seeds grabbed them between two tiny paws and rammed them into their cheeks, chewing in relative silence as they stuffed their mouths. Others began to dig burrows, the shallow nature of the cage not enough to deter them and soon the ones that chose to dig had disappeared from sight. Only one had continued its way to the crossbreed, curling up besides its, her, side even as she began to pull her legs under her. The grubble was crushed as she did, lacking the time for even a single squeak as one of her hooves found its head. The smell of blood gave the halfbreed pause, and she halted her attempt to stand to snap up the grubble with a single bite.
The lerrel failed to notice the death behind it as it threw itself at the bars to chitter angrily at Haix, climbing up the side of the cage to be at her eye level. 16
The halfbreed paid no attention to the other intruders at first, instead slowly rolling to her feet. It was not a quick process, the speed of which might have competed with the lazy halfbreed that had been housed in the cage previously. The sedative was wearing off a great deal more quickly than her own drugs would have though, the crossbreed appearing to focus its gaze on the grubbles exploring the ground nearby. The gaze lifted higher as Haix backed out of its immediate sight, locking onto the chattering lerrel as it planted its forelegs on the ground to rise. The third foreleg helped to balance her in a three legged stance as her hind legs slid in the dirt, then they were brought under control.
Haix watched the crossbreed shook its head with a huffing noise, like a flame reacting to newly open air, and wondered when the lerrel would realize that it was not alone in the cage. 17
It would not for a few minutes, or so it seemed to her, watching as it sunk its thin dexterous fingers and toes into the woven mesh of the cage wall and continued to climb sideways. It was still complaining, no doubt furious that it had been taken from its lovely adoption cage in the labs only to be stuffed in a sack and thrown into a room without toys or food, but Haix doubted it would be complaining too much longer once the halfbreed began to move.
In that, she was wrong. The cross dropped its gaze to the little scurrying snacks below her, the nearest of which was only a few feet away with its back to her. It did not see the crossbreed lower its head, its legs bending into a slight crouch as it took one slow, short step towards the oblivious grubble. Then another, and a third, now staring so intently at the grubble that it might have forgotten the rest of the world. 18
The halfbreeds jaws widened, appeared to split open a fraction more than the equine frame suggested should have been possible. Another step now, and the head it twisted to the side as it descended to the ground. The grubble, unconcerned by the slowly advancing jaws as the rest of its brethren was, stuffed the remainder of the vegetation in its mouth. The sharp tips of teeth slowly crept into its peripheral vision, the head blowing from behind providing just as much as a warning.
It was as another inch of the jaw slid into view that both creatures reacted. The grubble dropped to all fours, chittering madly as it tried to scurry away, and the crossbreed snapped its jaws shut a split second after the prey attempted to evade. Its jaws might have missed the grubble altogether if the living food item had not been constructed to be so fat and lazy, the larger form causing the halfbreeds jaws to close on more than thin air. 19
That extra mass saw one side of the halfbreeds teeth sink into the back of the grubble, the crossbreed lifting the now screaming grubble into the air. It was shaken roughly, blood trickling from its still struggling body down the side of the crossbreeds mouth. Another bout of shaking saw the teeth sink deeper into the grubble, its screams abruptly ending after a particularly violent shake. Then its silent corpse was thrown into the air, the hungry crossbreeds jaws splitting open to meet it.
The lerrel had not stopped hurling abuse during the screaming of the grubble, instead taking the opportunity to leap and glide its way to another spot on the fence. It did this a few more times, still chittering without noticing the deaths of several more grubble as the crossbreed fed. What the lerrel did notice was a grubble attempting to climb the fence a few feet beneath it. 20
The lerrel felt its stomach rattle and twist with a groan that the grubble should have easily heard, and its chittering turned into a decidedly more happy purr. There was no random leading and gliding now, it merely turning its body so that its head faced the ground and the climbing grubble, tail twitching for balance as it began to descend. It reached the grubble in seconds, nipping at its neck as the living food item vainly attempted to dodge. The grubble released its grip and the lerrel launched itself after grubble with a flap of its leathery wings, twisting to land on top of it with a crunch. As the lerrel began to nibble at its prize, it finally realized there was something in the cage that was a great deal larger than it.
It might have been the hunger, the rough treatment, or the confusion new environment that had led the lerrel to fail to notice the crossbreed until it was a few feet away. 21
She thought it was a special kind of stupidity that it chose to bark at the cross and cling to its prey tighter rather than flee up the wall. The cross and lerrel stared at each other, frozen but for the flames leaking from the crossbreed. Waiting for something to happen, Haix wondered if the soft-skin had trained the halfbreed out of hunting what were not obviously food creatures on its own. If they had, that would save her a little bit of work though, if they had sought to eliminate its tendency to hunt larger prey altogether, she was going to be incredibly annoyed.
Just how annoyed was not given time to be thought of as the crossbreed lunged at the lerrel and its prey, the lerrel screaming and throwing itself upwards even as the jaws snapped shut on something with a wet smack. Unfortunately for the cross, it was the dead grubble and not any part of the screeching lerrel on its face. 22
The cross did not appear to realize that the source of the blood flooding its mouth was not the same as the source of the screeching. As the lerrel clawed at its face, claws seeking and narrowly missing its eyes to instead slide across its carapace, the crossbreed violently shook its head. The attempts of the cross to both dislodge its attacker and hopefully snap its spine was not successful. The lerrel only lept free as the hard shell beneath its scrabbling claws began to heat and burn its sensitive fingers, then becoming an intolerable heat that burned its eyes. Its leather wings flung open to catch it, instinct allowing it to glide to a wall of the cage. As it reached out to grab the wall of the cage, the lerrel screamed as burned paws met cold metal.
It did not let go, instead climbing up the side of the cage with a screech. 23
After a few more seconds of shaking the nonresponsive corpse clutched in its jaws, the cross realized that the mass of brown fur was on the cage wall and not in its mouth. And as Haix watched, the lerrel screaming out is pain as it neared the top of the cage, the crossbreed let the grubble fall from slack jaws. It stared at the lerrel, then ran after it, parallel to the cage wall as it reached the ceiling. As the lerrel hooked its arms around a loop of metal, the crossbreed trotted and leapt, jaws snapping shut a good deal of distance away from the now whining lerrel. It continued to leap and snap over a few more times before coming to a stop, staring at the quivering lerrel with a head that tilted one way and then the other. A huff from it was answered with a fresh stream of chittering abuse from the lerrel. 24
The halfbreed began to trot and run around the cage, its movements what she assumed a prancing equillion might show. It did snap at the lerrel a few more times, the last a monsterous effort that saw its neck split open and slam shut in a manner that could have swallowed the lerrel whole. The halfbreeds jumps were much less impressive, and not a single bite ever came close enough to so much as ruffle the lerrel’s fur.
But the earlier damage of their earlier spat appeared to be taking a toll on the lerrel. Its body swayed and twitched, looking as if it would let go at any moment. The chitters and barks quieted as the crossbreed continued to hop and prance, flames licking out from its body that never could seem to reach the lerrel. Haix would have to remember that ranged attacks were not something it did well, a sad fact as she had hoped it might be able to breathe fire. 25
She watched this for several minutes before the crossbreed stopped trying to reach the lerrel. With a snort, a sound the beast could make that did not immediately bring forth the image of fire, it dipped its head to snare the dead grubble’s leg in its teeth, and practically skipped away. The corpse was swung back and forth, the halfbreed coming to a stop to steadily whip the stiffening body around the air.
Its back to her, Haix finally entered the room from where she had been watching the crossbreeds reaction, slightly amused that it apparently had not lost any of its old behaviors. Only slightly amused however, a small fragment that would no doubt evaporate when it came time to train the cross. That would be a problem to solve when they came to it though. For now, she was content to let it wave the body of the grubble around. 26
For the direction it faced while shaking its new toy around was, coincidentally, opposite of where she stood, and where the lerrel clung to the cage. She was not keen on having to remain up there, though she was not sure if she would kill it quickly or try to keep it alive long enough to get out of the cage. Its choice to attack the crossbreed was stupid and panicked, but it was interesting nonetheless.
So, while the crossbreed continued its visually boring form of what she could only assume was playing, she dug her fingers into the gaps left by the woven metal and began the climb. The metal creaked as she pulled her full weight onto it, her toes clawing for purchase. The lerrel made no noise as she climbed closer, pausing a second here to readjust her grip, another second there to see if the crossbreed would react to a particularly loud creak. 27
The crossbreed was too busy with the frailty of its new toy to notice the climbing lizard. The leg had ripped free of the body, a small trail of tendons and blood all that remained as the body fell to the floor. The limb alone lacked sufficient heft to amuse the crossbreed, and it let it slide free of its jaws as its head dipped down to inspect the corpse once more. It nudged the body a few times with its snout as if willing it to run, a feat that would have been difficult enough with only three legs had it been alive. The last nudge sent it flopping head over rear across the dirt, lodging in a pile of dirt. Dirt was glued onto its hide with blood, the grubble resembling nothing more than a ball of dirt as Haix looked at it from her perch. The crossbreed smartly stepped over to it, kicking out with its hooves. 28
The little body was kicked a few more times, the crossbreed prancing around it for nearly a minute before lashing out at the body again. With the corpse beginning to smoulder from the repeated contact of the hooves of flame, Haix decided it was all the more reason to reach the top and see if the lerrel yet lived.
If it did not, or was close enough that it would not outlast the crossbreeds toy below, it would be a simple matter to unlock its death grip of the bars. If it yet lived, and had even a fraction of its healthy strength, it might scream and fight her, drawing the attention of the crossbreed before she could be safely away. The thought of reaching the top only for the lerrel to open its eyes and resume screaming, and the cross waiting to bite off a finger or toe to play with was not one she wanted to consider. 29
As she drew level to the lerrel, her movements slowed. The things face and limbs were covered in horrible blisters poking through what little fur had not been burned away by the heat the crossbreed had sought to fight it with. Several on its hands and feet had burst from the exertion of climbing up the wires and the grip it held on with.
She could not even tell if it was still breathing at first, almost did not want to know for the pain of touching the lerrel might be enough to wake it from its stupod if it still lived, the resulting scream of which would undoubtedly be enough to be heard over the pounding of hooves on dirt or on flesh. She would have to pry it off at some point, if not just to prevent the calling of Yasog into her kennel. She watched the crossbreed kick the small body again, trying to figure out how to knock the lerrel off. 30
Fiera Ferella: I picked mine because ive always wanted to write an amphadron tbh. :0 I'm eager to see how it'll turn out!
Jul 11, 2020 22:00:43 GMT -6
Riku: Oh, I see what you mean now, Nerius. Dang...that’s a good point. How do we get around it? Naturally we will look at the opponent’s stats - which can’t be done IC. Hm.
Jul 11, 2020 14:30:04 GMT -6
Èdan: Not necessarily, there's stuff that can affect a foe's aim in the same turn
Jul 11, 2020 8:51:23 GMT -6
Nerius: The lack of suspense. I slogged through them all for the points, but it got super tedious to write. (This isn't specific to mosca, just a general 'why I'm eh on this tourny'.)
Jul 11, 2020 6:40:13 GMT -6
Nerius: And it's not about "winning", rather I was referring to the disaster that was my attempt at the petite tournament. And how one glance at the stats made me go 'yep, gonna loose this one', and be proven right in every single round. It's not the loss, but..
Jul 11, 2020 6:39:31 GMT -6
Nerius: Yes, the dreaded auto-hit or auto-miss can strike at any time, but what I mean is the only way a mosca is loosing is if there's a un/lucky dice roll.
Jul 11, 2020 6:36:02 GMT -6
Èdan: Don't forget there's moves and abilities that halve dex or affect the opponent's aim. Not to mention, never underestimate the cruelty of a natural 1
Jul 11, 2020 6:16:47 GMT -6
Riku: High dex can miss. I had an unbroken brown who won like three fights by sheer luck of the enemy missing over and over. Lol Besides, not to be cliche, but...it’s not all about winning. You can come in second place and still get 23 pit points.
Jul 11, 2020 0:48:50 GMT -6
Jack: Don't forget to PM me your intent if you're entering! I need to know before training!
Jul 10, 2020 17:29:29 GMT -6
Fanged: I'll be going with a huntress mosca build I have in mind.
Jul 10, 2020 17:12:28 GMT -6
Xentus: I'm the one who's entering fully intending to utilize the 9 dex flighty mosca. Curious to find what might beat it
Jul 10, 2020 17:07:55 GMT -6
Flare: In opinion, I have a kakum baakir set aside for Flare's usage, but I've never worked with it. It'll be a new species to work with. Just because soemone enters a 9 dex creature doesn't 100% mean they'll win.
Jul 10, 2020 17:04:42 GMT -6
Nerius: Would use one myself, but I don't want to waste a re-growth on something I'll never do anything with outside this tournament, especially since there's no guarantee there will be enough people for it to run.
Jul 10, 2020 15:53:52 GMT -6
Nerius: I was looking at the stats of the creatures that could be entered, when it was first announced. Someone enters a flighty mosca? They're going to win. There's nothing that can move faster, and nothing that can survive a hit from wing buff while in flight
Jul 10, 2020 15:52:37 GMT -6
Nerius: I've considered it, as I do want the pit points, but I dunno. My last attempt at tournament rush training uh, did not go well *coughwhiptailcough*. Plus I suspect someone's going to enter a mosca and basically auto-win.
Jul 10, 2020 15:49:29 GMT -6
Riku: Hopefully more people do. Counting myself, I think there’s only 4 right now. 🤔
Jul 9, 2020 17:21:27 GMT -6
Flare: I'm gonna enter
Jul 9, 2020 14:48:47 GMT -6