Haix holds the squirming Karzik for a while, trying to calm it down with honeyed tones as she picked at the knots holding its wings down. She has already decided what to call it and so repeats the new 'name' a few times as she talks, hoping the repetition might serve to calm down little Hopper enough that it would be more receptive to training.
After a while, the Karzik still squirming but not with the same energy as it had began with, she lets it go. Watches calmly as it immediately attempts to fly away only to collide with the ceiling of the cage several times. She leaves Hopper to her panicked flight, for now she is sure it is a female, and gathers up the treats and stones, waiting for the fluttering mine-beast to realize there is no escape to be found in flight but that there might be a reward in obedience. That is if the bug-bird is willing to approach her now of course.
It takes what hat to be at least an hour before the Karzik appears to grow used to her as she moves around the cage, sometimes scraping a bit of rust away from the metal net, other times moving to one side or another to better catch the sun on her scales as she pages through a book about some place outside the city. Haix almost fails to notice that Hopper has positioned herself on the bowl once more, only a foot away, eyeing the food laid out beside her as well as the gems. She sets the book aside to free her hands to scoop both sets of items closer to her, picking one stone out of the bunch to hold out to Hopper as she had done the day she had caught her.
There is none of the fluttering hesitation of that day now, the Karzik immediately flitting over to snatch up the gem with her claws, then back to the bowl with her prize tightly held in one set of her talons.
Holding a piece of meat, as well as a small stick, Haix hop-shuffles her own way to Hopper, the latter defiantly glaring up at her with a warning buzz, the leg holding the gem pulled closer to her body. Haix's response is a whistling-chirp, the treats held up in clear view of the Karzik and the stick pointed at the gem she held. Hopper gazed longingly at the food, but made no move to approach. The whistle-chirp, accompanied with a jabbing in the air with the stick did not entice her any closer.
Whipping forward with the stick, Haix rapped the knuckles of the gem-holding foot as the Karzik flung herself backwards into the air, squawking her surprise and dismay as the gem fell from her claws. She circled the rood of the cage, caw-clicking angrily as she did, ignoring the happy sounds from the scaled one beneath her. But she found she could not ignore the bit of meat held in the air, her flight becoming erratic as her stomach clenched, so she swooped to retrieve it.
No sooner had the scrap of meat had gone down her gullet then the gem took its place in the scaled hand, held in an open palm with a worm of rope laying on the fingers. She took it again, but this time found herself unable to soar with it, the noose of rope she had paid no attention to snapping taut after only a few beats of her wings. She fought it briefly, then settled back on the bowl to fix her glare on the lizard and her stick.
The whistle-chirp came again, the noise not that far removed from the sounds Hopper had heard the lizard making when it had been leaving her alone, and the stick followed a heartbeat later. The tether caused her to list to one side as she sought to evade it, and the stick banged against her other leg for her trouble. Smarting from the hit, she dropped the gem in the bowl beneath her with a splash, screeching at the lizard and trying to scratch at it with her claws.
The lizard in question waited out of reach of the bowl and Hopper's flailing, watching the enraged Karzik with a slight curl to her lip. Eventually, when the Karzik did not appear to be spitting obscenities at her, Haix produced the second gem to wave it in front of Hopper's gem-like eyes. Now the Karzik hesitated before grabbing the gem, doing so slowly with her not tethered leg, curling her claws around it as she gently took it, all the while keeping her eyes on the stick.
For a few minutes, nothing happened, and she was left to enjoy her new prize, admiring how it sparkled in this much brighter light. She even stopped staring at the stick, instead twisting her head around for a good indent of earth to hide the beginnings of her new hoard. Then the noise came again, a familiar noise, but she paid no attention to the lizard making it. The sound came again, and this time so did the stick, rapping at her claws, the gem tumbling free to rest with the other in the water as she launched herself away.
It went on for a while, the command ignored until the twig snapped out against the taloned grip holding the gem, the tiny scrap of meat that was produced instantly after the gem tumbled free but only taken by the Karzik after half a minute of complaints. Soon the Karzik was not taking the gem from her hand at all, gaze locked on the stick held by the other hand. It was a little annoying to Haix that Hopper had thought to stop taking the gems rather than drop them when she gave the order, the noise itself a clear warning of what was to come if the gem continued to be held. Then again, she could not blame the simple-minded creature for that.
She threw the stick away to clatter against the fence, and Hopper snatched up the stone without a hint of hesitation. The command, issued about half a minute later did little more than cause the Karzik to look at her rather than the gem, the stone still held loosely in her claws. So it was with one more repeated command that she reached over and squeezed the Karzik's foot to make Hopper drop it.
This method ended up with the scraping sound of a beak on hard scales, the Karzik's protests thankfully too weak to pierce through her tougher hide. The treat and praise silenced any squawked complaint, and she waited only a minute before trying again. Hopper still grabbed at the gem every time it was presented, still had to be forced to drop it as the command was repeated, but now there was no enraged buzz-whine to give her a headache and the treat was being taken mere seconds after the gem was retrieved.
It continued like this for a while, though Hopper stopped attacking her hand after several snarls and one cuff for her attempts. Then, as Haix spat out the command, ready to say it in again as she reached for the gemstone, it slid free of the claws that held it. Shocked as she was, it took a second for Haix to realize the Karzik had finally dropped something, though whether due to the command or tiredness she did not know.
Now there was genuine praise for Hopper, and a slightly larger treat than the ridiculously small pieces she had been using. The Karzik seemed almost as surprised as she did, and the second attempt at repeating the trick was not met with the same success. However, even as she groaned inwardly and repeated the command, reaching to pry the gem free as she had done so many times before, it was released into her hand yet again. And again.
And so on, Hopper soon releasing it on the first mention of the command rather than waiting for the repeat or the questing claws, the gem falling to the grass repeatedly before Haix started to stick out her hand to catch it on the first utterance. She replaced the treats with praise soon enough, not wanting Hopper to grow too full for the next set of training that had to be completed. She waited varying times, trying to determine if it was tiredness or coincidence that freed the gem, but the only thing that remained the same was the command and the Karzik's sudden opening of her claws.
There were a few minor upsets during the tests. Once Hopper dropped the stone before she said anything, releasing it into the palm of her hand without a single breath passing between her teeth. The Karzik had eagerly waited for praise, looking up at Haix with at first expectation, then confusion as the lizard was silent beyond a single snarl, the gem held out to be grabbed once more. The next time Hopper waited for the command, and was awarded the praise she deserved.
Another time saw Hopper simply refuse to take the stone once more, knowing that she would just be made to drop in a short while later, no time at all to hide it away and having no interest left in examining it. The other gem was held up, and she took that one instead, and the testing continued from there, the Karzik apparently now understanding what was desired of her, only earning snarls or silence when she released the stone too early or to the wrong sounds.
The different sounds did not trip up Hopper for too long, and for that Haix was grateful. She did not want the bug-bird to drop whatever it carried at some random cry, though she doubted she would ever actually use the Karzik as a messenger.
The next trick was the companion to the first, the one she might have started with if Hopper had not been so eager to snatch away the gems and reluctant to release them. The stick returned to her hands, turned around once over as she looked at Hopper's claws. The Karzik watched the stick warily in return, shuffling back a few paces, nearly the limit the tether would allow, as Haix approached with the stick in hand.
And proceeded to do nothing else, merely relaxing near the Karzik as she twirled the stick between her fingers. The look the Karzik had given her upon picking it up was not lost on her, though it amused her slightly that the stick was something Hopper remembered to avoid but not the old gem trick from earlier. Pain really was the best teacher, if properly applied of course. It would not serve her here for the Karzik to be scared of the thing she intended her to hold though.
After a few minutes, Hopper began to relax, no longer eyeing the stick with the same tension she had felt earlier. She hopped closer to get at a piece of meat Haix held in her other hand, keening softly as the treat moved to hide behind Haix's fingers. Deciding not to waste any more time, she held out the stick and the treat, the latter behind the other so that it would block any easy attempt at grabbing the treat.
Hopper was not discouraged even when the treat itself began to move so that the stick was always in the way of her beak and mandibles. She pecked from above and ducked under to snap at it, but the stick was always there. In a fit of cleverness, she bounded forward, hopping onto the stick with her claws, forcing it out of the way so she could reach the treat. The treat was given with a bit of praise as she gulped it down.
The drop command seemed to confuse the Karzik, Hopper taking a second to look down at the stick held in her claws before releasing it with a squawk. Settling down to her preferred perch of the bowl, she cocked her head as Haix held out the stick slowly, gently nudging her neared foot with the edge. There was a new command sound for this, though it sounded so similar to the first in Hopper's mind that she could not help but buzz in confusion. She had nothing in her talons to let go.
Hopper lifted her leg up to see if there was something clinging there that she had missed, and found the stick rudely thrust under her claws as the new sound was repeated, her claws curling over the intruding object more out of instinct than obedience. She released it almost just as quickly, accepting her treat and half-hearted praise as a way to soothe her after the startling experience.
Which was repeated again and again, the Karzik instinctive snatching at the stick only to let it go the instant she realized she was holding something. Saying the drop command only hastened the process, the Karzik showing no inclination to continue holding the stick after grabbing hold of it. At best, hopper would hold the stick for roughly two seconds on her own before letting the twig fall to the ground.
So Haix stopped rewarding Hopper for any hold that lasted less than three seconds, grabbing and holding the Karzik's talons shut over the stick while repeating the new command several times and giving a treat to reinforce that this was the right thing to do. Then the treats only came when when the claws did not immediately release it after she let go of them. Hopper fretted over the contact at first, pecking Haix to the point that the Ssashirk was surprised she was not bleeding after a little while, but soon stopped after a particularly forceful peck was met with a snap of Haix's own jaws inches away from her head.
She stopped holding Hopper's claws shut shortly after that, the Karzik now holding the stick for increasingly long amounts of time on her own. It was after the stick was being held for over a minute, Hopper releasing it only when the correct command was given, that Haix considered trying to make Hopper hold something else other than the stick they had been using for practice.
Back came the gems, and though Hopper eagerly grabbed the first, she discarded it only a few seconds later. The second stone was not even taken, not even when the command to hold itwas given. Haix had to press the gem into her open bird-like claws and hold them shut for a second, repeating the command as she locked eyes with Hopper before the Karzik would even take the gem from her. Even then, the Karzik nearly tossed the second gem aside with the first, only a timely repeat of the hold command stopping her.
The first gem is picked back up as Hopper holds the second, Haix repeating the hold command whenever the Karzik appears to loosen her grip, or hold the gem out behind her. The drop command comes later than it ever did with the stick portion of the training, Haix examining the gem she held with minor interest as she kept an eye on the Karzik. She gave the command to drop it as the Karzik began to fidget with the stone, tapping it lightly against the bowl as it tried to put its weight on the occupied foot.
Then the first stone was back, held before the Karzik and the hold command repeated. Gingerly, as if she expected another trap as the one that snared her foot earlier, she raised her leg to rest her foot on the stone, closing her claws on it only with a repeat of the hold command. Haix was pleased, and gave Hopper a small piece of food.
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