The wings had been fragile, as thin as Hopper’s were, even the same general color and appearance as the scarab karzik’s set. With wings like that, simply dragging the creature on a leash would risk a trip and tear that would render them unable to catch the air. With three hundred credits spent on the mining halfbreed, she was not willing to risk damaging it so quickly. With it silently pressing itself to the back of the cage bars, she could not trust it to run away. And seeing as it would have been entirely useless in the mines if she carried it in a sack, she was not keen on taking it straight there to assess it’s hunting abilities.
The wings at least did not appear to be damaged as she watched it from the other side of the fence, held open slightly as if it planned to fly off the porch of the decrepit-looking home the second she stepped onto the property. October Start: 1
The wings fluttered as the creature randomly lifted and lowered them, the movement itself almost imperceptible though the exaggerated movement of the rest of the wings made it much easier to see. It was easy to blame the fact that the creature had such fragile wings as the reason she had brought a slightly less rough bag, the sack’s surface much smoother to the touch than the usual more heavy duty ones she employed for transporting less than willing small creatures.
Then again, had it been just a little smaller, she might have carried it in a box. Or, if it had been just large enough that she would have strained to carry it for the length of time it took to transverse the ground between the kennels and the public park, she would have stuck it in a box and had it carted over. The creature had been light enough that it would have been an easy trip however, and the wings had meant she had to protect it somehow. 2
That was where the potential for blaming the horn came into play. The creature’s claws certainly had not started the tear in the sack, not as blunt as they had appeared when she had first looked the creature over. She had been so sure that it would not be able to claw it’s way free of the sack, not until they had reached the park at least, despite the finer make of the sack. The claws should not have found purchase on it, and they had not felt like they had as the creature had hammered at her back as it struggled to escape. However it had twisted it’s body in the sack, it had failed to ever strike her with it’s horn, something she mildly regretted as she might have been able to stop it’s escape.
No, instead there was a kick from all four legs at once that sent her staggering as a loud ripping sound came from the sack, the weight on her back disappearing a moment later. Then all she had was the meat treats meant to reward the creature, the rope looped and tied around one arm, and the torn sack. 3
It had ran nonstop from that moment, skittering back and forth in a wide zigzag as it clicked wildly under the dimming light of the sun. It’s disorientation did not last long enough that it might have been the curse of deep dwellers, taking only half a minute before it’s crazed run found a place to run to rather than wasting it’s energy trying to avoid the grumbling ssashirk who was glaring at it. With one final loud click, it dashed towards the massive house, squeezing past the bars without any apparent difficulty, running in a circle around one blackened and withered tree, until it came to a stop at the porch. There was a sign on the fence to the side of her, written in the blocky script soft-skins favored. Guessing that it was some warning to trespassers, she ignored it as she watched for some beast to come barreling out from within the darkened entryway, or from one of the many shadows in the large yard. 4
The stand off continued until the sun finished dropping out of the sky, no movement from the grounds besides a rustle of leaves and a dried creak from the trees as a breeze that she did not feel passed through them. The halfbreed had laid down on the porch, having made no attempt at moving into what had to be an inviting space for a creature made for the dark places below the earth. The building itself had shown no signs of life beyond the creaking of a wooden shutter that barely hung onto it’s frame, and Haix was growing more and more sure that no one was living in the structure. Nothing dangerous at least, thought something about the big house, a mansion if she recalled correctly from her bored research into soft-skin structures, was unsettling. Not intimidating, no, for it was just a soft-skin building, an abandoned looking one at that. Something felt wrong about it regardless. 5
Without any sort of obvious threat that the halfbreed should have set off after it had been on the property for so long, Haix spent around a second trying to decide what the best course of action was. She could have called out to whoever lived there, asking for permission to set foot on the property as if she was just as pathetic as their kind. Or, she thought even as she stepped over to the gate with her eyes locked on the yawning halfbreed and conveniently never focusing on the warning sign, she could go get the critter and never have to deal with them at all. She had no intention of taking anything away from the building except that which was already hers, and whoever had let the building fall into this condition probably would not care so long as she did not cause any serious damage herself. She did not even have her burning knife on her, so she doubted she would accidentally burn the place down. 6
There was no sudden jolt as she stepped through the opening, no howls or roars in warning, no snarling or hisses as something rose from the shadows to strike. There was only the crunch of the brown leaves beneath her foot. The halfbreed did not start as she stepped loudly through the courtyard despite her best effort, the dry leaves noisily crackling even when she dragger feet through them, or tried to gently brush them aside to quiet her footsteps. Each failure at moving silently annoyed her more, and she glared up at the dead-looking trees, a question formed in anger shifting into a pit of dread. Had the moon been full before she crossed the fence? And how could the trees, as large as they had been, managed to completely cover the ground? And when hadn’t they spilled out of the property as they should have?
She shook her head. It was a soft-skin property, nothing more. 7
Then again, soft-skins were to blame for the pit, for the labs too probably. No, better not to overthink. She looked back at where the halfbreed lay, and wondered if it might be dead, a puppet-thing meant to lure her to her own death. It had not fled further into the house nor out of her sight. She paused not twenty feet away from it, watching it for some sign of a trap. Three hundred credits was a lot to lose, especially when she had such high hopes for a creature to assist in hunts in the mines, but she could always find something else.
The halfbreed stood up and stretched, purple eyes looking everywhere but at her as it pushed itself into standing position.Then it did stare back at her, and so she began a question to see if it might respond, if there was some fell magic animating it. It did nothing in response but stare quizzically at her. 8
She gave a sharp whistle as it continued to do nothing. The halfbreed tensed up, so she whistled again, wondering if it was the noise she was making or some unseen threat that caused the cross to react that way. It did not move now beyond the slow swaying of it’s tail, a breeze brushing against her scales so cold that it felt as if it belonged to the months much colder than this one.
In the end, it was one final whistle combine with a step towards the creatures with upraised arms that made it move, though not in the way Haix would have preferred. Nor was it the way she expected. Rather than disappear into the dark depths of the house, the halfbreed ran towards the side of it. Haix took off after it a second later as the surprise at it’s movement choice wore off, leaves still loudly crunching as she did. 9
Gnarled roots confounded her attempts to move quickly after the creature, more than once catching her toes with painful suddenness when she tried to chase after the scurrying pet. It had no such issue, but it’s darting path took it in a wide enough route that she could still see the glint of moonlight on its wings as it reached the end of the house. As she tried to catch up, her pace a little slower to avoid any more painful stumbles, she saw the glint flash as the creature realized it had wings. Then it leapt into the air, fluttering for all of two seconds before something caught it in mid air.
She could hear it’s frantic clicking and the creaking beneath it as she got closer, the invisible thing holding the halfbreed revealed to be branches of a tree kin to those that had coated the courtyard in dead leaves. 10
Telling the creature to stop struggling would have had just as much success as demanding it come down so she could tie it up, so she settled for laughing at it instead. The laughter, while as effective as the other two options, had the bonus of relieving some of the tension the soft-skin property had been causing. Nothing here more dangerous than a tree and the halfbreed dumb enough to tear up it’s wings trying to get free.
Well. It wouldn’t need to fly, not really, underneath the ground. She only wanted it because it could poison some prey after all, which meant it only needed to get a single hit in before whatever the prey was took it out. And if the prey was truly so dangerous as to take out her halfbreed made for the mines, it would take the halfbreed’s place. Either way, she would benefit from the fight. 11
Laughter, while cathartic, did not retrieve the struggling creature. And she would need it mostly intact and somewhat loyal to her if she hoped to use it in a hunt. With that in mind, she called up to it to see if she could at least gain its attention. It paid no attention to her, caught up in it’s battle with branches.
With a sigh, calling up to it to warn she was coming, she reached out to the tree. It felt dead, the bark dry and brittle as she felt for places to grab a hold of and might support her weight before she reached the lowest hanging branches. Some bark tore away, but most of it held as she began to pull herself up the tree where the halfbreed continued to struggle. Hopefully, it would tire itself out without too much damage done, and she would be able to loop the rope around its throat without too much of a struggle. 12
After grabbing the first branch she could reach, the limb groaning slightly as it held her weight, she got a better look at the creature and the branches. She would have assumed the pet would have broken free by now, or at least tried something beyond blindly flailing in place. It was supposed to be a bit smarter than a gem drake, or so she had hoped. Yet it still was trapped, the inky black branches still providing enough of a hold that the pet had not gotten free.
Well then, she thought as she readied the torn sack with one hand, she would be glad to help it. With her other hand and her feet gripping onto the tree and what branches she could, she eventually reached the halfbreed. More than once the branches caught on her, spaces that seemed open a moment before now with a branch that whipped against her arm as a sudden wind blew,, or catching on the ropes or pouch of treats as if to treat them, if not her, free and send them falling to the ground. 13
Then there was the sap. As dead as the trees appeared to be, and as careful as she tried to be while climbing, branches and twigs that felt sturdy a moment before broke when lightly pulled on, or snapped as the wind drove them like whips onto her scales. As they broke, the tree began to leak a pungent-smelling ooze, dark enough that she could not determine what color it was, only that it glittered beneath the moonlight and had begun to coat her scales. Twigs were glued along her body as if it had sprouted additional spikes, the goop making it difficult to tear her hands away from the tree to climb further. When she reached a shaking large branch within arms reach of the halfbreed, she paused for a moment to try to wipe away some of the sap on her hands. The action was largely unsuccessful, instead seeing bits of park add to the parts of tree that already decorated her scales. 14
Zenjesi: Hi!! I have not. Makes me feel old but I am not very familiar with discord. xD Can you shoot me the link?
Sept 20, 2022 14:05:53 GMT -6
Noa: This is Kitzu/Aster btw
Sept 20, 2022 14:03:48 GMT -6
Noa: Oh hey, long time no see! Have you joined the discord yet? :0
Sept 20, 2022 14:03:36 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Hi, y'all! Cairo here. So happy to see you all here again!
Sept 20, 2022 13:44:45 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I didn't know of it either until they mentioned it and we went there.
Sept 18, 2022 2:23:31 GMT -6
Alma: A bit of hobby, a chunk of work work. I'm not enjoying the latter quite so much. XD Sounds like a pretty good time. Never even knew there was an Ikea Museum.
Sept 17, 2022 17:27:15 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Toy Figure by Coarse from that place, it looks rather pretty and feels heavy for its size. x3
Sept 17, 2022 16:45:03 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Work things, or hobby things for you? And I certainly think so, we went in the two weeks I was there with my parents to Secondhand shops, a zoo and even a Ikea Museum since that was close enough to their vacation home to make the trip and got an Fox Art
Sept 17, 2022 16:44:02 GMT -6
Alma: Been going decently over here, just working on some things. Do a lot of fun things on your vacation?
Sept 17, 2022 13:47:43 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Its going great! Just got back from vacation, how is it going for you?
Sept 17, 2022 1:09:48 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for answering the question Silver! This will make it easier for me to add the boxes of them into the registry without worrying about any new colors popping up and where to place it in a way that makes me like the organization of it. <3
Aug 22, 2022 15:34:11 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: That's pretty awesome, and I imagine the Wishing Star helps out with it as well.
Aug 22, 2022 15:28:58 GMT -6