Trapped in something small like a collapsed tunnel but not made of loose stone that could be dug out. Wings pinned to her sides, not that she would have been able to open them fully in the cramped space that held her. Hungry and thirsty, having eaten nothing since before the ill-fated meeting with the sharp-toothed creature that had tricked her. But still alive, still struggling when the unseen container was jostled or seemed on the verge of splitting open, still 'seeing' the confines of the dark crate with a buzz-click noise that she could not help making whenever she imagined the darkness stretching on into a tunnel.
Darkness was common in the mines, but to be this confined usually meant death, her instincts driving her to lash out again and again in desperation to free herself. She was on her side, heaving from her most recent effort when she heard the muffled clanging from outside, felt a slight impact as if she had forgotten to open her wings after jumping from a wall. And as she struggled to right herself, she went blind.
This was not the familiar, safe blindness caused by darkness. This was one of pure light, of white-hot spears that drove themselves into her unblinking eyes, into her skull as she squawked and clicked, kicking out with her legs as she tried to scramble away from it but finding only the slightest relief as she pressed herself to the still sealed end of the fake-cave. It burned and she could not make sense of what her buzz-clicks told her even as she cowered, of the impossible space beyond the tiny cave that was riddles with holes of infinite depth.
Keening softly as the light appeared to retreat, shapes taking form that she could now make out though she knew not what they were, she heard an inquisitive chirrup from outside her cave. A sound that only made her dig her claws deeper into the floor, pressing her body as tightly as she could against the rough not-rock end.
There are no claws and teeth that come seeking her as she tries to hide from both the unwanted light and the scaled-maker of that sound. In fact, nothing else happens despite her expectations, every muscle quivering with tension as she waits to be snapped up as a meal. She still refused to leave the tentative safety of her cave minutes later though her eyes no longer watered under the onslaught of light, even when she felt the cave begin to gently shake around her, the tamest quake she had ever experienced. Her fear of what awaited her outside of her cave outweighed even the instinctual need to fly away, to flee an unstable tunnel that would move in such a way.
The next batch of shaking was much more violent, the ground tilting away beneath her as she fluttered what she could of her wings and stretched out her legs in an attempt to make herself larger and wedge herself in the cave that seemed so eager to spit her out.
Her attempts to remain in the cave are successful at first, and she hangs suspended above a sea of waving green blades, like a massive cluster of hair-like fungus, or a jagged series of gems. The Karzik has never seen such a thing, but her wonder is secondary to the need to hold herself in place. Then the cave jolts violently, and with a sound of something striking flesh with a loud smack, she finds herself falling down to pointed blades, keening in mindless terror as her wings fail to open, as she can do nothing but watch the sharp green teeth rush towards her and-
She lands with a thud, with a bounce, but there is none of the piercing pain she expected. The ground even feels soft, softer than the dirt of the tunnels have ever felt, and she finds herself bouncing once more across the green cushion. Puzzled as she is, she wastes no time righting herself, forcing her long legs beneath her to straighten and hold her up.
The first thing seen is the metal. She knows it is metal for the way it shines in the light, for the way it rings with her buzz-click, but she had never seen metal laid out in such a way. It was like a web filled with holes too small for even her to worm her way through, crossing over itself with unnatural regularity to form a dome over her as a cave might. Any comfort such a similarity might have brought her was erased by the space beyond it, space so far away that her buzz-click could not find the true ceiling of the place nor any signs of tunnels leading away from the web of metal.
The thump of her not-rock cave falling a few feet away distracted her from her growing confusion, replacing it with simple fear as she recognized the scaled creature that had tricked her earlier. Wings bound, nowhere to hide, the Karzik nevertheless skip-hopped away from the beast, squawking threats even as her her escape with thwarted with a rattle of the metal web against her body.
Haix had never trained a messenger before, never really needed one from her time she had come to the soft-skin hive called a city. There was no one she knew well enough to send written messages to or expect them back, and though sometimes she might have considered it a lonely existence, she had expected no less when she had decided to live in a larder full of meat she could not touch. She still did not need a messenger, but the simple training challenge held by some soft-skin had provided her with an excuse just strong enough to not carve open the little omen-beast she had caught.
Not that it showed any sign of being touched by the gods now as it hopped away from her, keening and trying to fit itself through the too-small holes of the cage they were enclosed in. Now she also knew it to be more of a common creature though it was her first time seeing one, named a Karzik by whoever had discovered, or made, the thing.
Cowardly it may be, at least it showed some ability to learn. Catching it had been a simple task, the Karzik's natural greed overcoming what ever instinct that should have warned it of a creature like her. When she pulled out a gem this time, one of the ones she had pulled from it's hoard after it had been captured, there was no sudden recognition or lessening of its escape attempts. Its greed would not aid her yet, not with the trick she had pulled in the caverns still fresh in its mind. Fortunately for it, she had been hoping it would show an ability to retain some information. She could not train that which could never learn after all.
The gem was placed back in its pouch, and she resigned herself to letting the little Karzik hop around the enclosure and hopefully work off just enough fear that she could begin training it. Settling down into a crouch, she double-checked the supplies she had brought.
Haix began talking to herself aloud, forcing her thoughts into words even as her own instincts cautioned against it. One did not want to warn off the prey with idle words in a hunt after all, or give predators an easier time of locating oneself. The words were slow, meant to be a soothing bunch of noises, with words hissed and sang and drawn out as to show how very little interest she had in the Karzik, and how very friendly she must be.
The bits of meat and plants were laid out, sorted into piles so that she might figure out what it was that the beast preferred as treats, popping a kernel of some nut and a dried piece of meat into her mouth to test them. When she did not keel over in pain or begin hallucinating, she looked over the bits of rope, of paper and the few gems she had brought as she tried to decide how exactly to begin.
Water would be a good start. She took the bowl and filled it, looking up once to send the Karzik into a flurry of squawks and chittering as she pushed the bowl of sloshing liquid a short distance towards it. She had not fed it, not given it even a little bit of water for a while, and so she felt confident that the Karzik would soon hop its way over for a drink. Thirst and hunger would do what her voice could not do alone, and letting it drink would only sharpen its hunger for the treats she held.
While waiting for this most recent show of panic to taper down, Haix set about tying the ropes together in her best approximation of the harness the Karzik was being trained for. To do this, she had to look it over several times, the panic her gaze provoked eventually dying down as she loosely tied the last knot in place. She would have to adjust it when they got to that part of the training anyways.
It took longer than she would have liked for the Karzik to approach the bowl, though it no longer was sent into a shrieking ball of panic whenever she so much as glanced its way. She busied herself with scribbling whatever came to mind on the scraps of paper she had brought, tiny scrolls that she rolled up and tied shut with twine, still chattering away though her words were less simple observations and more sweet-toned insults directed at the fear shown by the beast that now eyed the water so desperately.
It kept moving its head side so side, as if the water might suddenly spring forward to engulf it at any moment, or as if it would vanish if she looked at it the right way, revealed to be nothing more than a trap. It did not, and instead it was the Karzik that suddenly leapt forward, claws grasping the edge of the bowl as it perched there to glare at Haix.
She does not immediately drink. She wants to, more than she even wants to fly away from the scaled beast that keeps making meaningless sounds, more than she wants the gems glittering in the light at the feet of said beast, but she does not. It is all she can do to glare at the scaled one, the buzz-whine she makes a threat that she is unsure she can back up. Her throat is dry as if she had been eating the jagged rubble of the mines, her body feeling light enough to float into the air without use of her wings, and there is nothing she wants more than the water in the tiny pond she perches on.
Yet she does not drink, glaring at the scaled one, hoping that it will back off and leave her to drink in peace, that this is not some other trap. The tones are soothing, but so was the silence back in the tunnel.
She pecks at the water, sudden violent movements that allow only one or two drops to find their way onto her mandibles, even less making their way into her beak of a mouth. The lizard moves, had not stopped moving as it talks, but there is no apparent threat in the way it does. Another peck, this one a bit slower, the life-giving fluid sliding down her throat as she tilts her beak to the sky. She holds this position for a few seconds, glaring at the green of the lizard, the gleam of the metal web, the blueness of the cave's ceiling.
Then she drinks. It is a furious bout of pecking and slurping, the Karzik nearly losing her balance several times when she tries to open her wings for balance, finds herself unable to do more than grip the lip of the pond tighter with blunted talons. The lizard still does nothing, and she gradually slows her attack on the surface of the pond.
The thirst subsided quickly, nearly as much water having been swallowed by the Karzik as lay splattered on the grass and her chitinous shell. She did not relinquish her grip on the pond's edge, the water appearing to have washed away some the intense fear the scaled one provoked in her. It was still talking, still making noises that were not the buzzing nor grinding sounds she was used to hearing from others below the earth. It made no move to close the short space between them at first, and she took the time to look it over carefully.
A quick buzz-click was fired off to get a better look, but she had barely a moment to process what information the echo returned to her when the lizard took a step towards her. She leapt from the pond's edge, spilling yet even more water as it tipped dangerously for a moment, hopping away as fast as her legs to take her.
Now there was a new noise from the scaled one as it stopped, watching as she tripped and scrambled away on two legs to ram the metal web with enough force for it to ring out. It persisted as she found herself sliding around on the wet grass as she furiously hopped around the perimeter, her ungainly attempt to escape drawing another bout of it as she realized following that path only brought her closer to the lizard and fell trying to change directions.
The laughter had been a surprise even to Haix, but she could not help it was the Karzik hopped and tripped repeatedly, almost as if it was trying to dance for its life. It appeared that the Karzik did not take too long for it to realize she was laughing at it rather than threatening it, and the bug-bird drew itself up to its full height to squawk at her one time. A challenge, or so she thought, and so Haix accepted it, grabbing the surprised Karzik with ease as it tripped once again.
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