Where the sarane gnawed at the treat, was still slobbering over it as he ground away with his teeth, the treat she gave the wiurn lasted seconds. Alma looked up at wiurn as as she tossed the treat into the air, neck curving back, then crunched down on it with an audible breaking of the fake bone. The broken pieces fell to the ground, and the wiurn pinned the largest piece between her wings, loudly eating the meat that had been hidden inside.
“Not much for manners, are you?” Alma risked another step closer to the cage, bending down to pick up the remaining pair of treats. ”That’s alright by me. Yer pretty enough to get away with it.” The other treats were pushed through, and the wiurn hissed before she demolished them just as enthusiastically as the first, not so much as looking up at Alma as the human stared. Once the final treat was done, and little more than a few uninteresting pieces of the fake bone remained, the wiurn had looked up at her.
“Sorry love, don’t have any more.” Alma said, holding up her empty hand and the clipboard in the other. The wiurn cocked her head to the side, grunted once, then crawled back across the floor to her earlier sunning spot, content to ignore the human now that Alma had no more treats.
Alma barked a laugh, looking back down at her clipboard as she filled in the last few details. “Gonna be fun training you, I can already tell.”
“Think just having ya ought to be enough though.” Alma said with a grin, filling out the last number of her address on the form. She doubted she would ever just freeze the royal wiurn though, not even as a jewel of her collection. She had dreams of flying around the city on the wiurn’s back, swooping down and scaring whatever criminals there were into surrendering without a single flick of the wiurn’s tail. She looked back up at the wiurn, then at her free hand, the glove crinkling as she curled her hand into a fist and straightening as she released it. “Wish I could have pat ya, but not too smart with you being a giant dragon ‘n all. Not until I’ve fed ya a few days, and I’m more than the quick treat lady, eh?”
The wiurn fixed Alma with one blue eye, then closed it as she spread herself out to catch the sunlight once more.
She had left the wiurn with a spring in her step, cycling through an assortment of names as she pushed her way back into the building, ignoring the thoughts of the weaver-
I/the dream weaver is the one you need. The rest do not matter.
And the images that came with the words, the thoughts brought up of waiting in lines, lines that seemed to have no purpose beyond making you stand in the hot sun while those ahead of you chatted and laughed.
But she was ignoring the weaver, ignoring them so hard that she changed course from her path back to the main room where she could hand in the forms and take her beautiful royal wiurn home to look at other cages in other places.
That was how she found herself in front of a tank that swarmed with paper warnings, the general information of the beast hidden underneath. It was a massive thing, and, had it been drained, she could imagine that the royal wiurn would easily have enough room to fly to her heart's content. The creature inside drifted rather than swam, its body looped over itself in places as it floated near the bottom. She knew of its kind, the six eyes, massive fins, and noodle shape, though she could not recall ever seeing this set of colors before.
A quick read of the information sheets explained why.
The words “TEMPORARY TANK” were capitalized, plastered on the sides of the massive tank like flies on a bwee, and were repeated in bold, red letters at the top of the paper that normally just stated a few bits of basic information about the creature. This one said nothing of the beast at first, only a listing of acceptable pressure range, required tank size, and the salt content required to keep it alive. It stressed that the tank before her was a showing tank, a temporary one, and that while the creature could easily survive a few weeks in such a tank, or at the docks for training if the water was cold and salty enough, that it would not enjoy it. In fact, it would die horribly if it were not returned to a pressurized tank within those few weeks.
Alma skimmed the requirements, closing her eyes for a moment in an attempt to recall what pressure options the tanks at the kennels had available, then flipped the page to find the more basic information about the creature. “Abyss pliathor, huh?” Alma said, looking at the knot of darkness.
She looked back to the front sheet again, finding a list of dates stating when it had been moved to this tank and when it would be moved back, and a list of what foods to feed it while it was in this one. “Makes sense, I guess,” she said, letting the papers fall back into place, their warning once more joining the school of stickers adorning the tank. “Bit hard to feed you or let folks interact if yer in a super ‘pressure’ tank. Not that I fully get this ‘pressure’ thing,” Alma said, shrugging at her own reflection in the glass. “Not sure how to check ya out though. Never been one for sea serpents.”
Something that slowly exploded over time was not an ideal creature, she supposed, but she was pretty sure the tanks back at her kennel could manage to prevent it. And the paper had mentioned it would be able to live long enough to be trained at the docks for a decent amount of time, though she could not imagine ever using it anywhere. Even the river pliathor seemed to have a bit of an issue moving around the city.
“Bit hard to get to know yah currently. Mind swimmin’ on up a bit? Maybe a bit of a hello?” The pliathor seemed uninterested in her words, not that she was sure it could hear her underneath all that water. Alma leaned against the tank with one arm above her head, the other palm placed flat against the glass as she squinted at the dark shape as though she could figure out a way to speak to it only if she could see it a little better. “Hah, guess that weaver might be a bit useful later after all.” Alma tried to remember all the things she had been warned about when dealing with a rampaging pliathor, whether owned or not. “Y’all have a blind spot right in front of ya, right? Both the best and worst place to be, on account of the teeth and y’all getting miffed if ya notice someone there.”
“Yeah” Alma said, nodding to herself. “That, and yer kind will attack boats in a heartbeat. Guess you think all boats are floating buffets.” That earned a laugh from her, as such thoughts do when one is not on the boat in question. She lifted one finger away from the glass, hesitated, then slid it back into place. “Dunno if you lot hate having yer glass tapped, but that ain’t something to test right now, is it?”
The pliathor continued to ignore her. Alma wondered if she could scream loudly enough to get its attention. “Probably not.” Alma looked back at the door she had come through, lowering her voice as she jerked a thumb at the large dog-sized creature standing by it. “Doubt our seeker friend over there would be willing to let me try. Not without its help.” That drew a halfhearted chuckle from her, and she shook her head at the pliathor-lump. “C’mon now, I thought it was a bit funny.”
Another look at the paper revealed that guests were allowed to feed it a pair of gut-filled buckets if they so wished, and the current little boxes for the day lacked a little ink mark. Alma set the clipboard down and went to go fetch them, keeping as far as she could from the seeker as she did so. The last thing she needed was the scream test to actually happen, and she had zero faith that the seeker would not suddenly forget its training the second it got a whiff of blood.
Back at the tank, Alma set the buckets down by the base of the ladder, stretching her arms and back. The buckets were hefty things, full of parts she did not recognize and that she had no intention of looking at long enough to do so. She grabbed the first bucket, pointedly ignoring the iridescent orb rolling around the surface that might have been an eye, and climbed up the ladder with one arm.
“Wonder if that lad carries murps and things up here” Alma grunted as she climbed, setting the first bucket down on the overhang before sliding down the ladder to repeat the act with the second bucket. After it had been set by the first, she pulled herself up, sitting cross legged on the metal lip. It was wide, a fact she was grateful for as she peered into the water, imagining how the pliathor would react to something alive and thrashing in the pool.
That thought made her rise into a kneeling crouch, pushed back as far as she could be before falling to the cold tile below. She grabbed the first bucket with both hands, and yelled for the pliathor before dumping the contents of the bucket into the pool. The lump failed to respond as the red spiraled and branched out across the nearby water, the bits of guts sinking slowly beneath the otherwise still surface.
She dumped the second bucket a few minutes later, banging a fist against the bottom twice to encourage a particularly large chunk of pink to splash into the water. Another minute of waiting turned into five, and Alma stacked the buckets before taking them back down. She was not keen on the idea of mentioning the pliathor might have hit its expiration date a couple of days sooner than expected, and, after reaching the ground, was flipping through the pages for anything that might suggest why it was not moving.
Beyond a short mention that pliathor apparently could not hear voices, “There go all mah jokes then. Poor bastard don’t know what he’s missing.” she said with a wry smile, there was nothing in the paper about him refusing to eat. Alma left again, coming back only after the buckets had been rinsed and replaced, belatedly recalling that she had to mark she had tried feeding him.
It turned out to be a great deal more difficult to approach the tank a second time. It was not the seeker, who she edged around as carefully as ever, nor was there suddenly a crowd of people peering into the tank and blocking her way. It was her legs fault, really, both becoming far too heavy to move as her eyes gleefully informed them of the massive sea snake undulating through the water, snapping up bits of meat smaller than her hand with a head bigger than an equillion.
She could not force her legs to work properly as water splashed over the walls of the pool, and she would have sworn the water slipping down the drain set into the floor had a hint of pink. It was only when the pliathor ceased his frenzy that she found she could move, though it took another minute to convince her legs to start moving as the massive head drifted by the nearest glass wall, seeming to stare at her with his blank white eyes. Could the pliathor see outside the tank?
After convincing herself that the pliathor could not see her, or at least was not looking at her, Alma made her way back to the tank with the stiff-legged walk of the condemned. But there was more to it than that as she filled in the little square with her pen, something in her heart that skipped as she looked at the massive beast. “Yer not that scary,” Alma said, unsure whether to laugh or scream as the great eyes rolled in their sockets . She could even see some brightly-colored piece of something trapped between two of his greatsword-like teeth. A feather from some unlucky izer?
It took her a moment to recognize the feeling. It was an echo of what she had felt when she had seen the royal wiurn, nowhere near the same level of need but a faint want. Alma looked away from the eyes and teeth to the forms on her clipboard, to the three unmarked sheets waiting for her to fill out. “Well, guess if you ain’t able to hear me, it ain’t gonna matter if I leave you in the deep sea tank.” Alma said it slowly, trying to convince herself. “And having a beastie like you would do wonders for the collection. First true giant I’d have.” The thought brought a small smile to her face, and she began to fill out the form.
WIth this one done though, she’d take the spider’s advice and hand in the forms. Getting the pliathor and wiurn to their new homes was going to be difficult enough.
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