Cunning: 6 Mystic Average Top Speed: 30 mph, 100 (flying), 60 (swimming) Notes: Nullified. Has no will, no thoughts beyond those of a machine seeking orders. Treat similar to Samurai Formica. Can no longer gain loyalty, did reach 25 loyalty as nullification was completed. Stamina: 5 Strength: 7 Resistance: 6 Dexterity: 7 Mentality: 5 Special Abilities: Swim, Fly Moves: Dodge, Bite, Summon Wooden Spear, Verdant Growth
It's colors were bright and flashy, suitable for one of those soft-skin contests of appearance or a beautiful corpse for a pit fight. That should have been such a things purpose, it's hide a mix of silky fur and weak chitin that would not turn a hatchling sarane's teeth and thin, membranous wings that looked as though a small gust of wind would tear holes in them. Lucky for her, it would not be used in the green and brown and currently snow-covered 'wilderness' the city maintained on its outskirts but in the womb of the earth where things like color meant less than size. And little Stalker, no larger than a Felusine, had something else that would prove useful beneath the earth. The click-click sounds. Low echoes, or whatever it was that the soft-skins liked to call it, what the books had described as seeing with ears instead of eyes.
She personally thought it sounded a bit ridiculous. Still, if it meant she could use the crossbreed to discover which tunnels contained living, though not necessarily breathing, prey, she would be willing to train the thing to click on command.
Stalker took no notice of her choice to train, not looking up once at her as she grabbed one item, then discarded it for another, then another. It tapped at the patches of frozen mud with its claws, recoiling and shaking the slush free of its fur when the mud proved to be less solid than it appeared. Busy as it was inspecting the dirt, it did not notice as she rolled up a metal lid from a tin and extracted a tiny fish, nor the narrowing of Haix’s eyes as she realized the crossbreed showed no sign of noticing the treat either. Deciding that there just was not enough of a breeze to blow the scent in its direction, she called out to it with the fish in one hand and a strip of cloth in the other. Now the crossbreed looked up from where it had been slapping at the mud and, without a single click, strolled over to her. It stopped just out of her reach, staring first at Haix, then the cloth and the fish. 2
Now the fish was waved side to side, swimming through the air as Haix squatted in front of the crossbreed. Her tone was inviting, her amusement at watching Stalker’s head turn in time with the fish helping to keep back the urge to simply reach out and grab it. The crossbreed was venomous after all, another reason she had acquired it. With the encouragement in her gentle tones and the swimming treat, it took a tentative step closer to the treat. Another followed, and another as she pulled the treat closer to herself. Its fragile wings were outstretched as if to take flight at the first possible chance, but it reach out with one paw to grab at the treat.
She tightened her grip on the treat, feeling the slime coating the scales squish and slide between her fingers. The crossbreed tightened its grip too and, as it tugged at the treat, she dropped the knotted cloth on its head. 3
The creature released its grip on the fish at roughly the same time she did, but fish remained stuck to her hand as it was sandwiched between her scales and the fur of its neck. Its legs dug into the ground, pushing back even as she tightened her grip. Its struggles were weaker than she expected, doing little more than trying to pull its head free as the oils of the fish sank into its fur. She hoped that it was due to it realizing should obey her and not due to some unexpected defect in its crafting.
The blindfold was pulled down over its eyes, then tightened to the best of her ability as it attempt to pull free freely switched between random tugs and a more consistent pulling. She released it, the fish still clinging to her hand though it had left an oily patch of slicked fur beneath the crossbreed’s throat.
The blindfold remained on for all of a second before Stalker reached up, curled its finger-like toes around the cloth, and pulled it free. 4
A while later, after the cross had made it clear that no amount of persuasion would cause it to keep the blindfold on, she tried to come up with a different way to make it click. The few times it had done so at the park had been right after she had dumped out her supplies on the plot. She did not have to glance upwards to know the sun was still high in the sky, and even had it not been the stems of metal with their bulbs of glass would quickly chase away any hope of obscuring the park grounds naturally.
It did click once as she considered her options, reluctant to just put out its eyes and take it to some heretic priest to repair it later if only for the amount of cringing and annoying behavior she would have to deal with afterwards. The sardine buried its head into the muddy slush a few inches away from its head, the creature leaping back with a click as if the tail was the snout of some burrowing beast coming to gnaw on it. 5 ((Stalker-16.0))
The rare few times it clicked on its own, she chucked a piece of sardine at it, biting off a few pieces of the salty flesh and bones for herself. Yelling at it left the crossbreed curled in on itself, wings fanned open and tail held as still as if it had been frozen in the cold and just as silent. Clicking at it herself, snapping her tongue against the roof of her mouth as she intended the command to eventually be, only cause it to tilt its head to one side and stare until a mote of dust caught its eye.
She was readying the blade, wondering if she should bother to properly gift the eyes to the gods if she planned to have them regrown, when what she thought might have been a weakened branch cracked loudly from another plot. The crossbreed tucked in its wings and dropped as if it planned to pounce on whatever was making the noise, clicking furiously. She almost did not manage to get it a new piece of sardine in time, the knife forgotten. 6
The presence of the lizard might have completely been pushed from its mind the instant it had heard the crack, but it was harder to ignore the sudden arrival of the smelly piece of fish meat that landed just within its sight. It waited just a breath, ears swiveling on its head as the rest of its body remained still, then a paw shot out to grab the treat and bring it to its mouth, a bit of mud seasoning included. Once the meat was consumed, it started to peck and bite at its paw, trying to get at the mud that clung to its fur.
Another crack followed the first just as it finished, and it clicked at the grove of trees, trying to find an image of what was making that sound. It barely had time to try to make sense of the returning sound as another treat fell down in front of it. 7
It was not a matter of darkness so much that made it click so much as the general issue of the unknown, of not knowing what was making the sounds on the outskirts of their plot. She cleaned the mud off the knife from where she had dropped it, using the side of the cloth not smeared with fish oil. Whenever the helpful branch creaked of cracked, the crossbreed clicked, was rewarded with a treat that silenced any further clicking for as long as it took for it to eat. She had also taken to calling out the command, a click-click of her own that she preceded every thrown treat with.
Then there was a series of cracks, no longer the random singular sounds but a series growing in volume until they ended with a whumph. The last bout of clicking was called out to and rewarded, and Haix was left wondering if she would need to weaken some more branches with her knife. Or if that would even work. 8
Without the steady stream of cracking noises to keep its attention, the crossbreed turned back to where the lizard stood tearing sardines apart. She noticed it looking a moment later, click-clicking at it once, then a second, then a third time as the hand holding the treats slowly lowered to her side. The crossbreed was supposedly not one of the dumber creatures, and she had expected it would have at least connected its own clicking and the bits of meat that she threw at it. Almost ready now to try the knife option, she hesitated to click-click at it one last time, holding the meat out towards it.
The crossbreed stared at her, silent with its head tilting to one side as if considering the sound. And then it clicked back.
She showered it in sweet toned words, and tossed it the treat. There was a part of her that wanted to gut the creature right then for pretending not to recognize the new command, but it was easily suppressed by the glee that the stupid thing had finally clicked back. 9
The crossbreed’s uncertainty gradually fell away as the lizard clicked at it, then threw it a treat when it clicked back. The few times it clicked at the sight of the food waving through the air was met with no acknowledgement, and soon it clicked to ‘look’ at her whenever she clicked at it. There was also one time when a roar had echoed in the distance that it had spent more than a few seconds frantically clicking. There had been no treat for that time either, but it had not been thinking of such things at the time.
The treats slowly dried up, but the praise remained constant through the repetitions. Barring one time that earned it an irate hiss that made it hop a few steps back after the treats had completely dried up, it was listening. A few more, and she was certain that it knew that the clicks meant that it was supposed to do the same. 10((Echolocation end? Haix-172.4 Stalker-17.0))
The next command was to be for something a little more visually impressive than ‘seeing’ in the dark, and she was looking forward to finally training a beast she owned something more than a trick. It felt like it had been years since the last time she had trained a creature to attack on command, and Stalker would be a great way to break that streak. It was meant to assist her in hunting in the mines after all, for she had no intention of risking her gem-finding Walker in combat. The poor hunk of gemstone wouldn’t last a second against most creatures down there.
The combat move she needed it to learn would be no more difficult than it was to train a sarane to bite. For that reason, she had brought a metal stick that had a rubber ball on one end. A treat like the sardines would at best be eaten if she prodded the crossbreed with it, but this way it might attack. (Poison Sting Start)
Causing the other annoyance was a skill the crossbreed had mastered in her opinion, and it took to kicking up sprays of slush as it darted away or leaping with fluttering wings that never did more than extend its jump for a few seconds. Getting near the crossbreed was enough of a challenge, and more than once it flared open its wings to cancel an obvious leap as she swung the stick to catch it. Eventually her snarled shouts for it to slow down, to stop, to just stay still this time, seemed to take effect and it stopped, its tail pressed against a tree as if it could not dart around the trunk.
Haix stabbed at it a few times, always stopping just short of touching the crossbreed, the beast eyeing the ball warily as it came closer each time. Until, finally, the rubber grazed against the side of its mandible and the crossbreed decided it had enough of this torment and nipped it. 2
A treat was thrown out to the crossbreed as the tip it had snapped at was pulled away, the crossbreed hesitating for only a moment before snapping up the treat. It took Haix longer to inspect the ball than the crossbreed to eat, but the latter waited as she turned the ball to different angles to find two tiny holes in the otherwise uninterrupted surface of the ball. Squeezing it caused a small bubble of clear liquid to ball outwards. A sniff revealed nothing about the source of the liquid that might have been nothing more than drool, so Haix licked it.
Tasting it, it was syrupy in texture, the taste tangy, and she spat it out a moment later. A mouthful of snow eliminated any worry about it lingering, and she was satisfied that it probably was more than just saliva. Aware that the beast was now staring at her, waiting patiently as it should, she decided on a command word, barking it at the crossbreed as she jabbed the stick at it. 3
It held up for two more nips at the ball before it bolted, ignoring Haix’s hissed demand that it stay and let her poke it some more. She followed it mack to the supplies, it wedging its backside against a chain link fence as if it thought it could force its way past it through sheer will alone. It snapped at the ball before she made her first real jab, pointedly ignoring the treat to keep it’s purple eyes locked onto the stick. It only moved to eat the treat once she pointed the stick at the ground, leaning on the ball end as she spoke to it in soothing, but ultimately meaningless gibberish. Then the ball was lowered to point at it again, and its main appeared to stand up even straighter as it glared at the ball.
She did not poke at it this time, instead just calling out the command, then a second time with a wiggle of the stick for emphasis. The crossbreed attacked that time, nipping at the ball. 4
Ridelys: If you are still interested in a trade twilight, for your fidelity result, let me know.
May 31, 2020 22:49:49 GMT -6
Riku: I got three pet levels and 15c out of it. <3 And all the necessary posts for my job salary form.
May 31, 2020 18:49:26 GMT -6
Riku: In mine my crossbreed used foxfire to burn it - but then it used incendiary illusion, which was extra scary because my cross is a plant pet with thick fur. It used the distraction to escape. I’m proud of it, and it’s okay that I won’t finish this month.
May 31, 2020 18:48:42 GMT -6
Renathan: *But of course, the RNG was not having that. / In Morgan's story, the Nyssa was a real thing, so I wanted to have two different situations for the variety.
May 31, 2020 18:15:27 GMT -6
Renathan: Yeah, the 'finished the story but the RNGods are being a butt' thing is a rather unfortunate situation to be in. I had already decided that in Ren's story, the elderly woman had lied about the nyssa and just wanted someone to talk to*
May 31, 2020 18:14:49 GMT -6
Riku: That makes sense. I've considered that before. -nod- I hope your non-hxr life is going smoothly.
May 31, 2020 16:38:08 GMT -6
Haix: Just quitting the job. Don't believe I'll be making the ten posts required per month any time soon. XD
May 31, 2020 16:34:01 GMT -6
Riku: Note to haix, I believe you can post the new application form at the same time as the quitting form. Unless you are simply taking an overall break from the job system.
May 31, 2020 16:30:58 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: even AT the gardens yet. XD It sucks when you've finished writing your story and haven't gotten a success, because then its like "well... now what?" XD
May 31, 2020 15:51:47 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: ive found that when there's a quest that might take longer like this, its a good idea to try and space out the story beats to try and roll a success before i get to the meat of the story. XD Like, by the time i was 5 posts in my character wasn't
May 31, 2020 15:51:21 GMT -6
Riku: It’d definitely put me a month closer to my goals, literally, at least. 🤔
May 31, 2020 15:50:19 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: You can always try! :3 At the very least its more levels for your character and more TP for your pet
May 31, 2020 15:50:14 GMT -6
Riku: I love that you can mention that and know what it is. Muahahaha! Everyone has their secrets. 😈 (Iz not secret, just oOooOoooh mysterious effect. 😉)
May 31, 2020 15:49:41 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I hope you do decide and are capable of finishing it Riku! Will definitely be worth it in getting more points for your master plan.
May 31, 2020 15:48:23 GMT -6
Riku: I know...that was why I wanted to do it. Hm. Maybe I can plow through it. O.O (plow as in tumbling down a steep slope, not in the fast powerful way.)
May 31, 2020 15:48:18 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: This quest got 3+ quest points.
May 31, 2020 15:46:39 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I have no idea about that one for sure, but there does seem to be a few that are nearly in the rainbow spectrum with how many different colors they have on their hide.
May 31, 2020 15:46:12 GMT -6
Riku: Note that I got panic buttons this month, so in the future if the quest is only a 1QP-er, I can go do a 3QP. Or if I simply don’t want to do a new one on both accounts, I can do an old one on the second. // I type faster than my phone screen can keep up.HA
May 31, 2020 15:45:15 GMT -6
Riku: Is there a rainbow sarane offspring yet? Descended from every T1? Lol That’s be cool. // I know I’m only a few posts away from completing the quests, but I’m SO tired that I’m in and out of coherence. Lol
May 31, 2020 15:43:40 GMT -6