Haix is not sure of the exact moment that Hopper begins to recognize the symbol, when the paper she grabs and brings to her is brought knowing it is right versus dumb luck. It does happen though, has to have happened when she was not paying too much attention, perhaps while she was trying to stack some of the papers as if they were a soft-skin house. For when Hopper has been right a third time in a row, is right a fourth time again despite a shuffling of the papers and a changing of the flat page that bears the symbol with a scroll, she watches what Hopper does when the command is called. The Karzik shuffles through the papers, kicking aside the wrong, turning her head as to get a better look at a symbol with her eye and confirm whether or not it is the right one. The wrong are kicked aside or simply ignored if they block no other papers, the correct one retrieved before buzzing her way back to Haix and her praise.
When the tether is finally removed, the noose slipped free of Hopper's leg, Haix amused herself by placing the papers around the cage while Hopper rested, then called for her to get the message. It took her some time to locate the right one, and while there had been two scattered about the floor that had the correct symbol, it was enough for Haix that she brought back the first correct one she found and not one of the many wrong ones.
After a quick glance and a sniff of the box Hopper had been carried in, Haix stuffed the loose papers inside. The last of the food, a single piece of meat and a few kernels of corn, was split between herself and the Karzik, though the latter had been fed more than enough. The next batch of training, the last things so that the prize given for it could actually be usable by the creature it was meant for, would not suffer for a lack of treats.
The fake harness was retrieved from she she had left it earlier, and she quickly made a few more adjustments as she got a better look at Hopper than she had before. The command was given for Hopper to go to her, her arm held up as an inviting perch for the Karzik to land on. She held the tangle of ropes up for Hopper to look it over, the Karzik pecking at it once, then tilting her head quizzically as it slowly spun from the force.
Haix had no intention of spending any longer on this portion of the training than necessary, this portion less about ensuring the Karzik responded correctly to a given command and more about just getting the bug-bird used to wearing the harness. When Hopper lost interest and began to look around for something more interesting to observe, perhaps a nice and dark cave mouth, Haix threw the first loop over her scrawny neck. The Karzik squawked in protest, feebly fluttering her wings before Haix pinned them down to tie the rest of the harness in place.
When the harness was snug as she could make it despite the squirming of Hopper, Haix let the Karzik leap backwards into the air, buzzing angrily as she tried to shake off the offending ropes. Her flight path grew more and more erratic as she tried to remove the harness, full of dives and sudden stops, of rolls and last-second turns that had Haix chirping in appreciation.
Haix does not tire of watching Hopper's acrobatics for the entire time that the Karzik stays in the air, noting that the fake harness does not appear to be affecting Hopper's ability to fly. It was funny to her that a bug-bird trying to toss off a harness could put on such a good show, one that put the lightning-quick battles of the pit to shame. While she can't help but sigh at the way soft-skins had managed to ruin something that should have been amazing, she does not let it sour her enjoyment of Hopper's daredevil flight.
While Haix did not grow tired of watching Hopper, the Karzik certainly grew tired of flying, the long day and the stress of the extreme flight taking their toll on her. She landed near the bowl with an annoyed buzz, beginning to peck at the ropes. Haix crouched down to stop her from pulling the harness apart.
A bit of pecking and squawking later, and the Karzik was no longer pecking at the harness. Haix left it on her for a while longer, looking up from her book every once in a while to ensure the Karzik had not returned to trying to rip it off. It only happened two more times, the second evolving into a short-lived flight that lacked the intense energy of the first and ended with Hopper settling back onto her preferred place on the bowl.
Hopper was called back as Haix hit a new section of the book, fairly certain that she might have enjoyed hunting some of the creatures the book claimed were real. Removing the harness was not as much of a struggle as getting it on the first time, Hopper feeling too tired to much more than provide a token protest as the harness was quickly taken off. Hopper was allowed only a few minutes of freedom, barely having just enough time to stretch her wings before the harness was forced back on.
It was taken off and put back on time and time again, the amount of time it was left on increasing steadily as Hopper protested wearing it less and less, panicked flight giving away to annoyed fidgeting giving away to aloofness. She had Hopper cycle through the other commands while wearing it, forcing her into flight when she made her fetch one of the marked scrolls she left out for such a purpose.
By the end of it, Hopper barely appeared to notice the thing was still strapped in place. While she was not entirely still when it came to removing or putting on the harness, it was at least no longer a struggle to slide the ropes around her body. Even Haix got better at shifting the harness on or off, her hands now easily avoiding the delicate gossamer parts of the insect-like wings, able to quickly tie it in place without risking it sliding free.
The Karzik was tired, the sun would be setting soon, and Haix's willingness to keep training the little bug-bird was beginning to wane. If it was not for the fact that there was only one last thing for the Karzik to learn, something that should prove to be even easier than the harness training, she would have left long before the sun dipped beneath the horizon.
But there only was one last thing that needed to be done before Hopper could be considered a messenger capable of using one of the special harnesses the activity offered in reward. That was why she began to fashion a small net of sorts, knotting the remaining bits of rope together with the harness so that the Karzik might carry something more than the weight of rope. The last knot was tied after the two gems were slipped in the little net, and she called for Hopper once more.
She was a little more careful as she slipped the harness onto Hopper, holding up the weight of the stones to disguise it as she tried to make sure the weight would not slide around too much and possibly damage her wings in flight. The real harness would be a great deal more rigid than her makeshift one so there would be no need to refit the net every time Hopper was harnessed. That made securing the net and stones even more important, as scarring the Karzik now would mean it would take twice as long to complete the training, and possibly undo what had been done before.
The load appeared secure, and she released it as she held out her arm in case Hopper flew into one of her mindless panics. Hopper merely sagged at first, the weight of the stones not doing much to bend her back further than it already was.
Then the Karzik began to fidget, shift her weight from leg to leg as something registered as being off. She buzzed her wings, Haix bracing for a sudden hop, but Hopper did not launch herself into the air just yet. The Karzik instead started to wiggle in a ridiculous manner, as if the added weight on her back would suddenly over balance and fall off if she just tilted her body in the correct angle. When it did not, the stones not even clacking together having been tied so tightly in place, she raised herself to her full height with a buzz of her wings.
Even at that steep angle, the net held and the stones continued to weigh her down. There was one last wiggle of the hips, then Hopper leapt off of Haix's arm with a high-pitched whine of her wings. Or rather, she tried to leap into the air, finding herself instead falling slowly to earth.
Beating her wings harder and faster than the tired Karzik wanted to, she arrested her descent a foot above the ground and began to rise. Slowly at first, wobbling as she first fought to buck off the extra weight, then only keep herself level as her balance shifted with the rocks on her back. The first time she put on speed, one of the quick turns she had tried to shake the harness off with back when she had been less tired, she crashed into the metal net, tumbling to the ground as Haix ran over to her.
The Karzik struggled into a standing position, shaking her head to clear it as Haix waited a foot away, crouched as she looked over Hopper for any sign of damage. The flyer was not squalling as it might have been expected if something had seriously injured her, and the way she shook out her wings showed no signs of a break.
Hopper gave one last shake of her head before folding her wings back, buzzing when the edges on the net and stones brushed against them. She hopped around the grass now, slow little hops as if to confirm that the tumble had not broken her legs or some other part of her, or as if the fall might have weakened the net so that the stones would now go flying off as she bounded around the cage. They did not, the knots holding them in place as firmly as they did when they had first been tied.
Haix watched the Karzik hop around, trying to notice if there was a reason to stop the training now when they were so close to finishing it. Was that half-trip a result of tiredness and the extra weight, or was there some invisible damage to her legs that caused her to stumble? Was the reason she no longer flew due to some discernible tear in her transparent wings, something that would render all of the messenger training useless, or just exhaustion? She needed to be sure, and every second longer that the Karzik hopped along the ground soothed some of the worry that she had wasted her time.
Well, there was no way to be certain that the wings were not damaged unless she got Hopper back into the air, no way to ensure the Karzik would even grow used to carrying the extra weight while flying unless she made her fly. So Haix called the command out to Hopper, holding out her arm as the Karzik reluctantly took to the air once more.
Hopper made it to her arm with wobbly ease, returning to the air a second later as Haix flung out her arm to launch Hopper up, calling out a command to get one of the papers. And when Hopper stopped flying around the cage, trying to rest on her perch that was the bowl, she called to the Karzik again, repeating commands until the wobbliness was gone from her flight, some of the speed and grace returning to it though her head drooped and and her landings on Haix's arm were the heaviest they had been.
Again and again, until the sun was long gone and it was all Hopper could do to stay in the air with the weight of the stones on her back. Whether she had learned to deal with carrying a load or not, it was clear that the training for that day was over, regardless of whether or not Haix wanted one more test. The Karzik was gently placed back in the box to rest, the rest of the supplies gathered up, and Haix left the cage with all she had brought into it.
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