The creatures found at the APAA were often little more than the dregs, abandoned beasts of such little value that their owners had been unable to even sell them to some unsuspecting newcomer. Looking over the room as the man running the place handed her a clipboard with its usual five adoption sheets before he disappeared to another room did nothing to change her thoughts on the matter.
The dream weaver is here, to the side.
She walked past a cage containing formica, the over-sized bugs silent except for the clicking of their claws upon the metal floor, a roar from outside catching her attention long enough that she wandered over to the big doors that led outside, interest fading just as quickly as she saw the stubby horns and brown scales of the noisy beast. She turned with a small shake of the head and a huffing laugh, wondering what idiot would adopt a fully grown common drake.
It is vital you obtain the dream weaver.
“No, I don’t think it is.” Alma said, glancing down the row of cages.
[Attempting to adopt: Species: Dream Weaver Age: Old (Basic)[Requires 5 posts] Species: Royal Wiurn Age: Old (Revived)[Requires 10 posts] Species: Abyss Pliathor Age: Adult (Anti-Growthed)][Requires 10 posts]
There was no reply to that at first, and Alma walked back down the path, stopping here to read a scrap of paper plastered to the outside of a cage and there to look at a likely beast that snapped or slept behind the bars. When she came upon the dream weaver’s cage, wedged between others of its kind, she slapped the clipboard against her leg. “What, not in the mood to chat anymore?”
It hung from the back of the cage, as unmoving on its little web as any of its smaller cousins. The paper clipped to the nearest corner declared it was actually a ‘she’, and that it had been there long enough to perfect its holiday celebrations. “No name?” she muttered to herself, looking back at the weaver with a raised eyebrow and a question in her mind. The weaver was as silent as a statue, and Alma shrugged, turning away from it.
“Ah, so sorry.” she said aloud without a trace of the sarcasm that soaked her thoughts.
Alma waited a moment longer, back turned towards the cage as though she was interested in the young PHIL housed on the opposite side. Heck, she thought, she might have been if she had not already bought one of her own, one that wouldn’t be trapped in its weaker teddy-bear form without the right drugs. She would have to find something else here to make the trip worthwhile.
You came here because you are meant to take the dream weaver.
“”Now why would I do that?” she asked without turning around, murmuring softly at the sleeping PHIL. “What good’s a dream weaver anyhow? Ain’t it yer kind that claimed a war was coming?” Alma chuckled at that. The labs put out duds every once in a while, and the weaver’s decade’s old claim had not done much for their popularity. She looked back over her shoulder at the weaver, unsurprised to find it still hanging in the same spot. [Dream Weaver-3]
The fly that does not see the web is caught all the same.
Except it was not words, or not words alone that time, the images of things small and buzzing and trapped on things they could not see as a larger shape loomed near floating just under the words like water beneath oil. “Threatening me now?” Alma kept her tone light as the clipboard creaked beneath her fingers, wondering if the seeker would attack her or the spider.
A truth. You are here to adopt the dream weaver.
“No, I don’t think I will.” Alma forced a laugh.
Alma could see the weaver from the corner of her eye as she looked at the door leading to the outside, its fat little body like an overripe grape. She imagined popping beneath her boot as though she was making the world’s most disgusting wine, and no unwanted thoughts scratched at the edges of her mind as she made her way to the door.
Hand on the door, Alma hesitated, looking back over her shoulder, the unmoving weaver lost behind countless other cages. Was the mind-voice weaker now, unable to do more than lightly touch where before it scratched?
The dream weaver-
Alma’s hand tensed, and began to turn the knob.
I/dream weaver/myself must leave/go/leave with you!
There was no tone, no emotion to the thoughts themselves, but images arose in her mind as the gentle touch of an outstretched finger shifted to a jab. She remembered being lost when she was young, failing to collect enough wood before the sun had dipped out of sight, of being rooted to the spot as a tat-lung twisted through the air past her to attack the citizen who had sprinted behind her, of seeing a node resting on crinkled red velvet.
“Oh.” Alma said, unmoving. The images and the words cut off like a radio in a power outage, and she wondered if she would find the weaver still hanging from its web, unmoved by its own thoughts.
Alma pulled her hand back from the door, turning to look back down the rows of cages. What possible reason could she want a dream weaver for? She had no friends to impress with their fallible fortune telling.
I/the dream weaver, the thoughts overlapped on themselves, and Alma grimaced, can see the future. For a moment, the only thoughts in her mind were her own, the noises of the other beasts seeming to cover the softer touch the weaver’s mind had taken on. Warnings of demise, so your many deaths and mutilations will be less.
Alma uncapped the pen, recalling the information and number written on the weaver’s cage after a moment of thought. “How much less?” She tapped the point of the pen against the first form, tilting her head to the side.
There was no response. She pulled the point of the pen away from the page, ready to leave the creepy spider to the ones running the APAA.
All deaths. The thoughts were somehow quieter than before, and Alma strained to hear the words for an instant before recalling the damned voice was in her head. If you listen to I/the dream weaver, no more deaths shall claim you while you own me/the dream weaver.
“Ominous,” Alma said with a laugh, but she scribbled on the form all the same.
-wanted to leave immediately, whatever fortunes the dream weaver had spun not counseling patience, but she refused to waste a trip to the APAA on picking up only some common beast. Alma passed a large number of oddly young beasts, each creature’s paper label proudly declaring this or that beast to have been antigrown. Some, like the tainted equillion that spat flame when she was a bit too slow to pass, were more than mildly interesting to her, their species meant to be long extinct. A tainted might just be the perfect addition to the small group of equillion she owned, bringing the number up to something she could call a small herd.
She decided against it as another sweep of its flames nearly burned her hair from her scalp, scurrying to one of the doors in her haste to get away from the tainted equillion. This door led outside, and she was once again greeted by the sight and sounds of an unbroken brown drake, the sarane snarling and pacing around its enclosure.
It paid little attention to her as she walked off to the side, and, had it the same gift of flame the tainted had, it might have killed her a few seconds later as she froze.
Wiurn were dead, at least the original versions were. The royals had been rumored to be strong, faster, better than any of the others, the ‘ultimate flying mount’ or so the encyclopedia had claimed. And it had not saved them from whatever had killed the rest of their kind, their bodies thrown to the bwee as all their supposed power had fled them, leaving behind only meat that most did not bother to revive or tan into clothing.
The creature in front of her did not appear to care about any of that. It, a he maybe, he sunned himself on the bottom of his enclosure, mighty wings spread wide to catch every last beam of sunlight that slanted through the bars. The reddish markings on his wings looked like old blood, the blue of his scales catching the light like hundreds of valuable gemstones.
The weaver, even the raging drake, was completely forgotten as she walked up to the sleeping monster, each boot slowly lifted and lowered so as to not make a sound. [Royal Wiurn-2]
She stopped just a foot before the bars began, drinking in more details of the creature. She could see the tips of the creamy scales that covered his underside, the brassy helmet with its curved tendrils that looked like it could not possibly just be a part of the creature, the wicked tailblade that seemed to shimmer with unused venom. The spikes that ran down his spine, the gap where a rider might put a saddle between his shoulders and take to the skies.
Alma reached out a hand to the bars, as though she could stretch her arm and fingers the several meters it would take to touch the creature’s nearest wing, and her eyes caught the marks. Her hand stopped its journey, eyes tracing the thick cylinders of metal that kept the creature contained, thicker than her arm, the cuts and dents in them that would not have been stopped quite so well by her own flesh and bone.
Alma yanked her arm back, holding it to her chest with her other arm as the clipboard smacked into her shoulder.
He was a limited edition wiurn. She inhaled deeply, taking a step back and closing her eyes against the tranquil sight, the sounds of the raging drake imagined to have a new source. What use did she have for a wiurn anyways? She had the invisible one, plus a very special breed of their second version. Their better versions, or so the labs had claimed, as the original wiurn dropped from the skies and their new cousins had taken their place. Revived or not, he would never be able to compete with the six-limbed one and the abilities it might inherit as it grew older, and royal wiurn were not so special that they could not be customized with the right bribes, not used as the basis for something else, something better.
She thought of the fury that must have damaged those thick bars of metal, of how long and terrifying it would be to train a beast like that, how useless it would be the instant flames came boiling out of an equillion’s mouth.
She opened her eyes slowly, and the wiurn was still there. The beast made for kings, a king of the sky in his own right. Alma sighed. The want was still there, even as she looked over the wounds carved into the cage’s bars, even as she reminded herself that the only reason he might be rare was because he was no king despite what the books liked to claim. That a royal wiurn was only a trip to the Hunter’s Lodge away, that, if she truly wanted such a useless beast, he would only be a showpiece that did little more than rot in her kennel behind her actually unique and rare and useful beasts.
She looked up at the paper on the cage, reading the sparse information about the beast. It declared him to be a royal wiurn, revived into the prime of his life and safe from whatever tool the labs used to wipe out the others of his kind. He was also a she, a queen of the skies instead of a king.
Alma filled in the form, then paused, looking back up at the wiurn. Tapping the pen against her bottom lip, Alma glanced over at the drake, then back to the wiurn. She had found it funny that someone might ever adopt an unbroken common drake, to take home something made to be untrainable and useless in every way. How could she know that the royal wiurn would not act the same, a mad queen that she could never ride into the skies, that she would have to keep frozen and locked away like so much of her collection?
Alma walked back into the building, forcing herself not to run as she reached the supplies laid out for visitors and volunteers, ignoring the scratching in her mind as she held a massive bag of donated stuffed treats, the smiling cartoon sarane on the front declaring them to be so good that they might be unbreakable, pulling out a few of the massive fake bones to stuff them under her arm.
She was back in front of the wiurn a minute later, the beast still sleeping and the drake’s complaints quieting to grumbles as it flopped down to chew on the bone-y treat she had tossed in with it. The sound of teeth scraping against bone did what all its rage had failed to do so far, and Alma’s breath caught as the nearest of the wiurn’s blue eyes blinked open. The other followed a heartbeat later, and the beast did not so much as yawn before it twitches its head upright, head tilted to one side as the wiurn stared at the drake.
A cough from Alma brought the long neck whipping to face her, and Alma kept her vision locked to the cage bars off to the side, not wanting to meet the wiurn’s eyes now and prove she had wasted the paper. Not that there were a ton of beasts here she wished to claim.
The wiurn’s wings snapped shut like a closed fan, the patterns hidden under folded skin and over-long fingers as the wiurn heaved her body off of the ground, what weight not resting on her taloned feet now on the delicate knuckles of her wings. The tail rasped along the ground behind her as the rest of her body followed her head, oddly bird-like with each quick shutter-stop move. Alma kept her eyes fixed on the cage bars that seemed so comically oversized before, deciding that it perhaps could have stood to be a little thicker as the wiurn crawled to where she stood.
She had held onto the clipboard and pen with one hand, one of the remaining treats locked in the grasp of the other, and began talking aloud as the blur that was the wiurn grew more defined. “Quite a pretty one, ain’t yah, with all that blue. Guess the folks here take good care of yall.” The wiurn was near enough now that her shadow lapped at the base of Alma’s boots, but she had paused before reaching the bars themselves. “Gonna clang them with yer tail? Rather you don’t but I’ll accept it. So long as the bars hold. Ha.”
The attack did not come then, nor did it come as Alma kept chatting away, voice strengthening as she chatted about how she’d set up the cage for the wiurn back at the kennels, “Thicker bars, but the cage’ll be so big you’ll barely notice. And the place’ll look like a plateau or something. Did something like that for my other wiurn. The invisible one.” On and on she went, risking a step here and there, watching from the side of her gaze to see the wiurn follow her steps with a bob of the wiurn’s head. Though the wiurn did not seem to be staring so much at her as slightly to the side of her.
“Oh!” Alma stopped, then slapped herself lightly in the face with the clipboard. “The treats. Right, sorry about that.” She let the other bone treats drop away from where they were tucked under her arm, then held the bone out to the bars. The instant it slipped between the nearest pair, the wiurn snapped at it, and Alma released the treat to avoid being yanked in.
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