[Crawl #0005] The Eye of the Maelstrom

Crawl #0005 - The Eye of the Maelstrom
Party Members
: Labor 9, Totoro, Spider-Man

Party Meter: 100%
*Note: As the meter depletes, your party approaches starvation.
Total Coin: 732 Coin each
Quests Completed: 0

Background

Deep in the wilderness of Cevanti, a maelstrom rages. Miles in height and breadth, the storm is a perpetual feature of the land—an impenetrable wall of howling wind and rain crawling across the metalline wastes, spitting scrap in every direction. The origins of the maelstrom are unknown, save for folktales hinting at the reprisals of an ancient god. Those who dare venture close enough report only the otherworldly howls emerging from its depths.

Within the eye of the storm lives a group of people, isolated from the world outside and from any form of aid. Forced into nomadism by the ever-moving storm, their caravan is subject to its whims. The beleaguered community exists in constant motion, working in shifts. The strongest among them venture close to the storm, casting huge, tethered nets into the abyss and reeling in hauls of scrap—at once food, tools, and, they hope, the key to their escape. Their inventors work tirelessly, day and night, developing new technologies and machines in the hopes that one will prove to be their salvation.

The group would have starved long ago but for the efforts of their leader, whose unique brand of alchemy makes of metal an edible gruel. However, the alchemist is growing old. His death is approaching, and it will mark the end of the struggling community. If they cannot find a solution in time, they will succumb, at last, to the ceaseless maelstrom and all traces of their existence will be wiped from the annals of history.

Quest #1 - Arrival

Word Count – 6,100 (2,034 per party member; 3 posts each, 678 words per post)
Content – Your party awakens in the eye of the maelstrom, with no memory of the preceding events. The community seems startled by your sudden presence, but you suspect this is not the first time a stranger has appeared in their midst under mysterious circumstances. You quickly learn that you have arrived in a time of mourning—the nomadic group's patriarch, the alchemist, has died. With food supplies already dwindling and panic beginning to set in, gather information about the situation and acquaint yourselves with one another. This chapter of your tale must feature a celebration and a nightmare as central elements.
Loot – Trinket (Totoro) & 732 Coin each.

*Note: The Trinket will be awarded to one member of the group, assigned randomly. The Trinket is an Ability with a cost equal to 200 * the character level of the recipient, and must take the form of a physical item (and qualifies for the Removable modifier, if desired). Ranks of Effects for the Trinket may exceed the Effect rank cap by 1. Once created, the owner may not purchase additional ranks of the Trinket's Effects. The Relic PVP rules do not apply to Trinkets (Trinkets are not lost if the owner loses an event or conflict).Over the course of this Quest, the discovery of the Trinket must be detailed by the recipient.
 

Labor 9

Level 1
Essence
€2,224
Coin
₡10,800
Tokens
18
Do you know the old legend of the storm? No? Well then, let me tell you all about it. Once, a very very long time ago, we used to live out there; On the outsides of the storm. Our people were a peaceful one, only taking as much of the land as we needed, farming only enough to feed ourselves and our families, never did we take more than necessary. But then the outsiders attacked, and our ancestor’s refused to fight. Refused to protect the sacred lands that they had grown and harvested upon. The gods saw this act only as Arrogance and unfairly punished them for it. What was one luscious green lands, unspoiled by temptation and greed, became filled with metal and barrenness. The survivors of this great disaster were cast away into one of heavens deepest pits, both them and their descendants forced to walk the ground they did not use, lands that by the gods’ judgement was wasted by them. But… there was still hope.

It is said that one day, three heroes will come to save the village from ruin and light the way in the most trying of times and this-

“Are there really heroes out there that will save us grandpa?” A little boy curiously interrupted from the elderly storyteller’s lap.

“Of course not.” Interrupted a tall well built man from the corner of the room. The young boy’s father. “He’s using the wrong interpretation.”

“Wrong?” The little boy questioned. It was obvious his young man wondered what the right one was then.

“Well you see,” The man spoke, he voice going naturally deeper. “It *is* said that a long time ago we lived outside the storm, in a city whose name has long been lost to time-”

“Grandpa has a better story time voice.” the boy interrupted. Ah… the joy of kids

“Do you want your father to stop telling you the story?” The boy shook his head. “Okay, the don’t interrupt when someone is speaking, you understand son?” The boy nodded. “Okay… so where were we… oh, yes. The city whose town has long been lost to name did start out small, but it was a town filled with sin. Soon the town spread, turning into cities of massive buildings. They spread as far as the eye can see, but the people built and farmed way to much. That’s when the outsiders came, they brought peace and knowledge, but the colony only wanted the land to themselves and declared war on the outsiders. This arrogant act led the gods to destroying all they had built, every city overturned and overgrown with plants. The last of those remaining got trapped here in the storm with no hope of survival. But one day, 3 animal spirits will come to find themselves in this place, and will cause the end of all of us.”

“How do you know that’s the correct version?” The old man questioned. “After all, these are just legends, stories, after all. All stories get retold, and as the old tellers stop, the new ones take their place. Eventually the original story and teller is no longer remembered, so who’s to say any interpretation of the story is the correct one?”

“Stop giving me this speech of wisdom crap,you have no more wisdom than I do, I see the stunts you pull.” the father sighed.

“Hehe, that may be true but at least at this old age you can pretend to and get away with it.” The grandfather had a slight cheeky smile on his face. Soon after boy lightly pulled on the old man’s robes to get his attention from the talking. “Yes little one?”

“N-No matter which story is true, the 3 people that come to this town would have to be powerful either save us or d-destroy us, r-right.” The child seemed a little shaken up, probably from his father’s take.

“Yeah, I would say so…”

~~Somewhere else in the eye of the maelstrom~~

“Rrraugh…” Totoro yawned, sitting up to try scratch and itch on their back. Their short arms could not reach.

686 words, post 1/3
 

Totoro

Level 1
Essence
€2,327
Coin
₡7,300
Tokens
0
„Rrraugh… gruh?“ Totoro grumbled, mostly to himself, as he woke up. This was a weird place to be sure. Not the one he recalled having been at last, with Yuuya and Labor and Gabriel the elf. And why was this place so windy?

He twisted his head left then right, looking around like an owl. There were silhouettes… of people? He rocked back and forth a few times until he had enough momentum to get himself on his feet, then walked closer. The silhouettes quickly turned into men that held ropes in their hands. The ropes connected to nets with stuff in them. It was like they were fishing, except there was no water to cast the nets into. However, Totoro quickly understood that these men were moving along the edge of a zone where the winds were still tolerable. They blew much stronger beyond that, pushing around all sorts of items, which the nets apparently caught.

“Ruuuh…” he growled as he came closer. The men had their backs turned to him as the wind came from behind Totoro, blowing the net in the direction opposite of him and they were just reeling in their catch before the net caught too many things to be pulled back by manpower. What he did not consider was how they would react seeing a strange creature pop up behind them. Namely, when the first one who heard footsteps turned around, saw him, let out a scream and dropped the rope. When another, startled by the scream, turned around to look and reacted similarly, the other men began to be dragged by the weight of the net still in the wind. They tried to dig their heels into the dirt but it was clearly a losing battle.

“What are you doing? We’re gonna lose the net!” one of them yelled, but the men were not hearing them. The beast in front of them was taking up their entire attention right then. And Totoro, quickly understanding the situation, decided to intervene.
„Raaagh“, he roared just enough that the two humans stepped back looking alarmed, and let him pass between them. He first stepped on the ends of the rope that were being dragged through the dirt then bent way down, picked them up and pulled. His weight allowed him to make up for the two men, and with a few hard yanks he helped the others pull the net out of the windy area. The junk was saved!

„Whew… okay what the hell happened back there, guys, did you see a… ghost...“ One of the other net-pullers turned around and promptly spotted Totoro holding the two ropes, with his men awkwardly standing behind him. Nobody really knew what to make of all this, save for the big spirit who bared his teeth for a big grin and held the ropes out to the two men.

The tension of the situation was broken when the net began to thrash around and a muffled voice came from within. The two men that were closest dashed forward and rolled the entire thing over a bit, shifting the various pieces of wood and metal inside around until a head and torso emerged from under the rubble.

„A human? Ay lad, are you there?“

„Ughhh. I feel like I went through a washing machine rapid cycle...“

„Sounds like he‘s alright. That‘s another mouth to feed though.“

„We‘ll worry about that later… hang on boy, we‘re gonna get you out of there. Just need to drag the net to safety.“

Seeing as how the strange bear-man was not just harmless but actively helping them, the nomads quickly decided that letting him help was the best course of action for now. So they quickly pulled the net away from the windy zone towards the center of the eye of the storm, where they opened it up and let the young man climb out before spilling the loot into a carriage, to be brought back to the main group and be rifled through later.

„So… what do we do about these two?“

„The lad‘s an outsider, maybe he knows something – maybe he can help us. And the animal thing… well if nothing else, it‘d make for some nice rations.“

706 words, post 1/3 (Quest 1)
 
Encounter

As the group of wayfarers hauled in their nets and prepared to return to the caravan, a chorus of preternatural screeches rose above the howling winds. Grim-faced, the men turned back to the storm, bringing their makeshift weapons—warped rifles and cruelly-edged chain-swords— to bear. No sooner had they taken up a defensive position encircling the newcomers than the attackers emerged, three winged beasts cobbled together from sheets of wind-beaten metal. Their eye-shutters irised as they focused on their newfound prey.

1548429247540.png
Prompt: Defeat or repel the winged invaders.
Reward: +250 Coin for each party member.

Pterix (Level 2)

Physical Tendencies:

Power: 20
Toughness: 20
Quickness: 40
Skill: 20

Personality Tendencies:

Aggression: 60
Cunning: 40
Diplomacy: 0
Support: 0

Abilities:

Shrapnel Blast
Damage 3
--Affects Multiple 1
--Ranged
--Finite

As the Pterix navigates the maelstrom, its magnetized wings accumulate bits of metal. With a beat of its wings, the Pterix can unleash a volley of shrapnel upon its foes.

Claws
Damage 2

Maelstrom Navigator
Flight 3
--Ongoing
Agility 2
Adaptation (All except for falling and chemical environments.)

Steel Exoskeleton
Protection 2
--Ongoing​
 

Spider-Man

Swinger
Level 1
Essence
€1,692
Coin
₡9,000
Tokens
5
Peter stood, running fingertips over a plethora of small, red nicks on his forearms. He stared at the net full of scrap metal. How did he get out here? More to the point, where was here?

Surveying the barren area, Peter inspected his saviours. Scraggy, unkempt people marched continuously, hauling all sorts of junk - mostly items built from the metal salvage that swirled around them. An enormous wall of wind encircled the caravan. The men who hauled him free of the cyclone chattered about the fate of Peter and another – a creature that Pete could only describe as a cross between a cat and a bear. It seemed docile enough, but even so, he took a few steps backwards just to be sure.

“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto,” Peter said to himself.

The hybrid creature looked at Parker with feline curiosity, tilting its head.

A warbled screech somehow overtook the raging winds around them. Peter looked skyward to see a massive mechanical bird sailing overhead, circling around them like a vulture. Its entire body was composed of metal, with long copper cables snaking down the wings. The blue light of its eyes scanned them without emotion, like a predator eyeing its prey.

How could such things even exist, let alone pass through a tornado?

Another two of its kin soared through the cyclonic winds to join in inspecting their prospective… meals? Victims? Why would a bird built of steel have any interest in a group of humans in the first place?

“Careful!” one of the men shouted. “They’re looking for blood!”

Peter pulled the collar of his shirt and looked down at his chest – no Spider-Man costume on beneath. He hadn’t remembered to replenish his web shooters either.

Great time to lose consciousness and wake up in a tornado without the suit, Peter thought to himself.

“Hey newcomer!” one of the men said, his face consumed with a black, wiry beard. “Earn your keep!”

He tossed a wooden shaft with a sharpened slab of steel affixed to it, sculpted to end in a point. It was ostensibly attached the pole by a rusted nail. And this is supposed to help me how?

“I-I appreciate the help, but what do I do with-“

The first robot avian screeched, a distorted, piercing sound that forced Peter to cover his ears, and dived. Flaring its wings, it spread its steel talons wide as it plummeted towards the humans. Peter’s face dropped when he realised the bird had singled him out as the target.

“Oh no!”

“Aim for the cables!” the bearded man shouted.

“What?”

“Do you see the copper lines on the inside of its wings? Stab them with the metal! It’ll disable its wing and it won’t be able to fly!”

Peter threw himself to the ground as the robot skimmed over him, its clawed talons finding nothing to grasp. He climbed to his feet and watched as it wheeled around.

“How am I supposed to get the cables?” Peter yelled as the other two mechanical birds dove into the crowd.

The bearded man shouted something back but was lost over the howling of the winds and the screeches of the metal predators.

Gripping his rudimentary spear in hand, Peter sprinted across the barren earth, hoping to draw at least one of them away from the crowd. Maybe with enough distance, they wouldn’t see him operating at full capacity, too.

His foe came screaming back, talons extended. Peter swallowed hard and blinked away the sweat that rolled into his eyes. When the creature came low enough, there was a slim chance he could pierce the cables with a well aimed jab. It skimmed mere feet off the ground…

Wait for it…

The mechanical avian screeched, setting Peter’s teeth to clench.

Almost…

Parker drew the spear back and thrust. The dirt beneath his heel gave out and he slid, sending the tip of the weapon to the side to skitter uselessly over the bird’s chest. The talons clasped over the shaft.

“Oh no!”

The wind belted Pete’s face as he ascended into the sky, his hands wrapped tight around the spear. Metal wings flapped around him. Pete was used to heights, but not without his web shooters. He swallowed hard.

The bird scanned the ground, apparently unaware of Peter’s presence. Perhaps in rage, the talons clenched and snapped the spear.

Peter’s heart stilled as he felt the shaft fall away. With a desperate reach, his fingers latched onto the bird’s foot. Breathing hard and fast, he swiftly climbed up and around, using his wall crawling ability to stay glued to the bird, until he rested on the robot's back.

“No easy ways out of this one…”
 

Labor 9

Level 1
Essence
€2,224
Coin
₡10,800
Tokens
18
Geez, these newcomers were hopeless and more trouble the they were worth. One was already out of commission and hanging on for dear life, an impressive feat If he were to actually survive, the other, if an unintelligent animal could even be called a newcomer, was running around panicked and chased by the Pterix group after they made the stupid mistake of aggravating them with growling and waving their arms about. Well, at least the animal was good for a distraction while the men aimed their weapons to fire. But wait, what was that on the rooftops. It was another metallic creature, a humanoid one this time and… Oh god, were those… Were those human heads. That was… disgusting.

“Help, Friend…” The mechanical abomination groaned, it's voice piecing to the ears. By ‘friend’ they obviously meant the mechanical monstoristies of the air, they looked disgustingly similar.

The black bearded man aimed his gun and gave grunt. “Say hello to the devil for me.”

“Wait, Don’t do that!” The man’s shot was pulled off course by a child mere seconds before he fired. The monster got away. The monster jumped into the other monsters back. The monster was helping the birds stear and it was all this chiLD’s FAULT-

A hand grabbed the arm he had lifted up, “Now, now. There is no need for that type of behaviour son.” The robed man said.

“But this dumb child stopped me from killing one of the monstrosities!” The man shouted louder then you would ever need to for that distance. The boy already backed away at this point. “I don’t care if he is ‘Joal’s boy’, he need to be punished!”

“That isn’t your call.” The old man said. His words were calm yet authoritative, you could tell the man was use to this sort of thing. “Anyway, you should observe before you take action. Take a look closely at the ‘monstrosity’ that you were about to take a shot up.”

“What are you talking about old man. Have you finally gone coo-co-” Wait… What was that thing doing. Was it… Was it attacking it’s own kind? “What in the bloody hell is going on!”

“You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover son…”

~~Just half an hour earlier…~~

“N-No matter which story is true, the 3 people that come to this town would have to be powerful either save us or d-destroy us, r-right.

“Yeah, I would say so…”

“Come on, ease up on the kid would ya.” The younger man said, gently ruffling boy’s hair. “I mean, I just as nervous if not more so about this day, but that doesn’t mean we should scare him half to death over a legend…”

“True son, true. But you never know when the unexpected will happen.”

It was then that they all heard 4 slow knocks on the door. *Knock… Knock… Knock… Knock* it went. “Who’s that daddy?” Asked the boy curiously.

“Probably just one of the neighbors wanting some help.” The grandpa said softly to the boy before adding that ‘Daddy’ should go see who it was.

The Dad does just that, walking to the door, opening it up to greet the supposed neighbor. “Hey there, what do you… Want…” There was a thing. Right it front of him. A Non-human thing. A big metallic non-human thing that gazed over him, carrying around a limp body that was, judging by the amount of blood and heads on the creature, dead.

The man was frozen in fear, the monster only saying two words. But those two words would Huang the family’s lives forever. “Help… Friend…”

… “Wait, what?!” The fear in the room from everyone had completely vanished, instead replaced by visible confusion from the two adults and a mild curiosity from the kid.

Two arms picked up and the unconscious being off the things shoulders, showing a big red blood stain on the hip. “Help… Friend… Please.”

The sight of the beat up body put the man into adrenaline mode, motioning for his old man to help with the body as he half yelled at the child to ‘The mat’, the scare and confusion and just the weirdness if a metal skeleton in his house completely gone. Both people seemed used to this sort of reaction as they quickly did what they were asked without a fuss about it, not that the old man wasn’t still uneasy about it.

“They seem to have a mild concussion.” The auto-piloted man said, quickly removing the guys shirt to see where the blood loss from coming from. “Large cut across side but very thin. Judging by the silver flakes these were probably caused by getting hit but a large piece of metal.”

“Yuuya… Alright?” The voice came once again from the creature. It genuinely seemed worried.

“Yeah, he’ll be alright. He’ll just need a little rest and a couple of hours to heal the cut. Come on pops, you can help me take this guy to the bedroom.”

“Huh? Oh. Yeah, sure.” The old man responded, taking one end of the mat. Normally his son would carry someone of this weight alone, something had to be up.

“What’s wrong?” Damn, he was a sharp one.

“I’m just a little worried about our new ‘guest’ that’s all. I mean, coming in with an injured body when your made of the stuff that caused the injuries isn’t exactly a good first impression, and what do we do if your brother decides to visit.”

They haven’t visited us in 4 years. And besides, the guy just wanted some help but…” The man sighed. “If your so worried about it, how about you go and watch them while I Do everything here.”

“You sure.” The man nodded. “Thanks.”

The old man woddled his way but to the main room, fixing up a tilted photo frame along the way. Gotta make sure the house was clean. And what he came back to gave him a present surprise; the metallic person was playing with his grandson. He smirked. “What are you whippersnappers doing?”

“Jonhny… Fun…” The distorted voice replied.

“I’m glad your having a good time. But if you don’t mind, what’s your name?” I mean, it would be rude not to call them by that.

“It’s-”

“Emergency Code: 0421, Group of pterix attacking, they are extremely dangerous, anyone unable, unwilling, or unready to fight should stay indoors. I repeat, Emergency Code: 0421, Extremely dangerous, stay inside.” That… That was bad…

“Me… Help…”

“Alright big guy, but me and Jr are coming with you. They’ll shoot you on sight if we don’t.”

~~Now~~

“Don’t put my words back on me old man. I learnt my lesson from them.” The angry man stated.

The old man sighed at this. Just because one bad experience happens, doesn’t mean the whole world was that black and white...

1144 Words, post 2/3
 

Totoro

Level 1
Essence
€2,327
Coin
₡7,300
Tokens
0
What a strange day this was. First he had woken up in a weird place with winds everywhere around him, then he had met a bunch of new humans who fished things out of the wind with nets, and now he was getting a workout more tiring than even pulling the sled.

Namely, by running away from first one, then two flying metal birds that thought him to be the tastiest prey. Only one seemed distracted by the human that they had found in the fishing net, thrashing around and screeching. At least, that was what he could see at a glance, he didn’t have the luxury of stopping and taking a closer look.

“Oi, bear-thing! Come over here!” one of the men shouted. There was a group of three, all wielding those metal boomsticks with one exploding end. They were waving that end to point at the metal birds.

He wondered what they would do as he ran in a broad arc until he was heading straight towards them, ducking under the bird’s sharp claws. More than once, they had already scraped against his back and head, but fortunately, they were misjudging the amount of fur that he had, and didn’t manage to sink their talons into him.

The humans stepped to the sides and let him run between them. Anticipating what was about to happen, he covered his ears with his paws. The next instant three sharp cracks exploded and one of the birds screeched, though whether it was from pain or rage he couldn’t say. He slowed to look over his shoulder – and promptly had to drop forward to avoid having his eye gouged out by a talon. The first bird had taken the brunt of the attack and slowed a bit while the second had come straight for him. However, it wasn’t done yet: it slowed to a near halt and turned to face the four of them.

“Incoming, take cover!”

“Gruh?”

Totoro turned around to notice the men raising makeshift shields made out of metal scraps and huddling behind them while the metal bird defied physics by staying in place even as it pulled its wings to cross them in front of its head. He took far too long to understand that it was preparing something. Because when it flapped its wings, it was already too late.

Screeching, the Pterix spreaded its wings out at top speed, overcoming the magnetic pull of its metallic body and sending the numerous scraps of metal flying like shrapnel of a grenade. The area in front of it was peppered by the sharp-edged pieces that would no doubt have grievously injured several humans had they not cowered behind their shields. Totoro, however, did not enjoy such protection.

He gave a pained roar as shrapnel dug into his body. He had brought his hands up to cover his eyes, the most vulnerable part, but the shrapnel dug past his furcoat and fat layer, drawing blood. Yet, the pain was almost entirely confined to his arms, he noticed. And as he lowered them to look at the battlefield, he understood why.

A familiar humanoid figure stood before him, acting as a shield. Its metal body had taken the brunt of the attack with little more than scratch damage, though the burlap sack on its head was torn a bit. As the bird flapped its wings to escape the humans’s counterattack the figure turned around.

“Fluffy… okay?”

“Gruh… rah, rah”, he replied and nodded. Some blood stuck to his fur where the scrap had dug into his arms but he was still capable of fighting. Had it not been for Labor, he would not have escaped this lightly. But, he would have to thank her later. Now, he waved towards the birds and growled a series of noises. They had to go, but he couldn’t harm them. They may be attacking, but they were just predators looking to feed! To attack them for following their instincts was wrong. So, he tried to tell Labor that they had to drive them off.

“Fluffy… too nice…” Labor murmured. Then she nodded.

As the bird came back around for another attack, Totoro grabbed Labor by her waist and just as it descended to attack them again, he threw her upwards. Given that her metal body was a little heavier than that of a human, he wasn’t able to throw her far, but it was just enough that she could grab onto its wing and climb onto its back to attack from a relatively safe angle. Then he jumped out of the way to dodge the talons.

As he rolled along the ground and came to a halt, he noticed that an item had dropped next to him. It was tiny, comparable to an earbud in size. “Gruh… rooo rah?” he growled as he picked it up. And the item responded: “What this… from bird?”

He responded with a surprised, high-pitched yelp and nearly dropped the item. And again: “Thing talk!”

It would appear that the bird had unintentionally dropped an auto-translator into Totoro’s furry paws. A fairly broken translator, messed up by the magnetic wings and the tornado, but still functional – more or less, anyway.

870 words, post 2/3 (Quest 1), total 1576 words
 

Spider-Man

Swinger
Level 1
Essence
€1,692
Coin
₡9,000
Tokens
5
The wind blasted Peter’s face as he clung to the back of the Pterix. The snapped spear spun in two halves to the ground, which was a dizzying distance down. The metallic bird flapped its wings and ascended above the caravan, its head rotating as if deciding which of the scurrying humans below would be its next target. Apparently it hadn’t noticed Peter on its back, or had no fear of him. No doubt being a robotic avian the size of a large elephant would impart a level of confidence against the feeble struggles of the flesh-and-bones humans.

Whichever was the case, Peter was about to test it out.

He looked at the beast’s metallic back. With the only tool capable of cutting the cables lying uselessly on the ground below, there had to be another way to disable or at the very least hinder it. Although Peter’s experience with artificial intelligence boiled down to the work he performed on Doc Ock’s mechanical arms, he hoped he could cobble together some solution if he could look deeper at the robot’s functionality.

Peter edged his fingertips around one of the metal plates on the bird’s back and pulled, sticking to the creature with his feet. Even with the wind whipping in his ears, he could hear the groan of the plate as it gradually peeled backwards. As he hoped, a mesh of wires and machinery grew exposed. The copper cables that lined the wings appeared to meet right in the opened area. Even without the spear, he could do some real damage to this thing now.

With a final yank, Peter tore the metal plate free and it threw it into the sky.

The robot’s head pivoted, its illuminated blue eye’s aperture focusing on Peter.

“Oh, that can’t be good.”

The bird threw its head down and its back upwards, trying to buck Parker off in one powerful motion. Peter flew off the robot bird’s back, unprepared for the force. His heart leapt into his throat as he hung suspended from nothing in the air, the enormity of his height ringing even clearer than before, before gravity sank into him again.

“No no no no no no!” he shouted as he plummeted. The mechanical avian was behind him, but its speed drew it closer and closer to him. Peter grit his teeth and hoped that he would still land on the bird as it passed beneath him. A moment passed where it looked like he had overestimated his luck and dread filled his mind.

He slammed hard into the bird’s head and rolled down its neck, heading quickly for its tail and the sheer emptiness of the air. Pushing the thoughts born of adrenaline from his mind, Peter latched onto the shoulders and hauled himself onto the robot’s neck.

There was barely time to catch his breath as the bird banked hard to the left. Peter clung tightly as they flew vertically to the horizon, but now that he was on, he wasn’t going to let go easily. The robot flung itself right but still couldn’t dislodge its unwanted stowaway. Instead it spun like a corkscrew, over and over again.

The world rolled in Peter’s vision, the dust strewn ground and dusty sky tumbling over one another. His lunch churned in his stomach like clothes in a washing machine. Gotta...stop the rolling...

But how?

C’mon Peter! Think!

His eyes found it difficult to focus as his sense of balance dimmed. The only things he could make out reliably were the metal components that made the bird’s neck and head... and the shimmering blue eyes.

That’s it!

Slowly, cautiously, Peter dragged himself along the robot’s neck. Peter could feel the neck trying to writhe, to knock him off, but the gravitational forces applied even to the robot stopped it from doing much more than trembling.

Making it to the head, Peter squeezed tightly with his thighs and slapped both hands over the robot’s eyes. It warbled in confusion, pulling out of its corkscrew flight pattern but unable to right itself. It soared haphazardly downward, flapping to keep itself from plummeting like a stone but heading irrevocably toward the ground.

Peter clung on for dear life. He thrust the bird’s head from side to side in an effort to control the descent and succeeding only slightly; the robot would jerk in the direction but then resume to flailing about wildly.

Another strong ‘suggestion’ of direction, unplanned, launched Peter and his steed into another of the Pterixes. They clashed in a whirl of wings, claws and sparks. Rebounding off, Peter’s ride tried to flap its wings but the motion didn’t stop their acceleration with the ground. Looking over his shoulder, Peter spotted severed copper cables and sparks spraying free.

The wings were out! Yes! ... Wait. The wings are out! I’m going to crash!

Peter and the Pterix hit the ground with tremendous speed, digging a trench into the earth. Parker held on with all his might but the crash threw him free of the robot bird and, after a solid hit to the head, into blackness.

854 words, 2nd post, 1641 total.
 

Labor 9

Level 1
Essence
€2,224
Coin
₡10,800
Tokens
18
Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock. The seconds passed by, each one growing longer then the last, time never felt this slow. Waiting for a loved one to wake up from this state was hard… they looked so beat up. How… how could anyone do something like this… They didn’t do anything wrong… They… they just wanted to express themselves. Is that so wrong? I looked at their face. They looked the worst I’ve ever seen them, it pained to look at them for too long. This couldn’t be real right? Yeah, it had to be some sick twisted dream, right? No… that was wrong… I know this is will, that this is what happened-- will happen and that I wasn’t there--- won’t be there for it. I decided against it, somehow felt that my decision was the right one, but it wasn’t-- won’t be. It was then that I felt their fingers start to curl around mine. They then turned my head and said one thing, “Why did you leave me? “Why did you abandon me?”

“I didn’t- I didn’t mean to!” I yelled as the whole room started getting darker, their voice repeating over and over, getting louder and louder. All out of sync, all yelling from different directions. It was overwhelming, it hurt, it starting overloading my senses. “Please! I didn’t mean to! I didn’t-”


Both men woke up suddenly and sporadically, scaring each other’s sweat covered faces even more than the shock of waking up so suddenly would have by itself. The guy who carried in by the creature, despite having significantly less context, calmed down rather easily. “I have two questions for you, where am I, and where are my friends?” His voice was cheerful as he spoke but his eyes had a serious look that was hard to find, it was sort of scary how he said his lines this way.

Joaled sighed, this guy was going to be a handful. “If you are referring to the metal scarecrow that brought you here…” he started explaining, taking it slow as not to over-explain the situation and short it out in as little time as possible. “They should be in the lounge room with my paps and son taking care of them. As for you, you’re in my spare bedroom. You were passed out cold and hurt when your friend managed to find us, it’s lucky the first place they found was the home of a doctor.”

“So they’re okay?” The man’s eyes seem significantly more relaxed this time.

“Yeah.” Joal answered.

The patient took a breath of what seemed to be relief as he laid back onto the bed. “Ça c'est bon.” he chuckled. “That girl seems to have a habit of getting in over her head.”

“Girl? Huh.” Joal quietly commented to himself before turning his attention back. “Your friend did seem worried about you though, want me to bring them here Mr…?”

“Sakazaki.” The man replied, “Yuuya Sakazaki. And Oui, I would like to see them.”

“Wait here while I go get them for you then.” Joal then softly got up from the chair and walked into the hallway.

‘God dammit, what were you thinking to yourself Joal.’ He thought to himself soon after, stopping to lighting bang his head on the wall. ‘Not only did you fall asleep while looking after a patient, you fell asleep on the patient! How do you even do that.’ He sighed. ‘Okay, calm down. Breath in.’ He breathed in. ‘Breath out’ He breathed out. ‘Now, It’s all right. It was an accident, we all make them. It was just one time and you’ve been tired recently as you haven’t slept that much since the patriarch passed away like most people, just make sure it never happens again. Okay? Okay.’ Well, now that that was clear up with himself, Joal went along the hall to get the other new arrival. But, as he stepped into the room, he noticed one problem, only his son was there, who immediately ran up to him and hugged his legs “Hey there Junior.” Joal said as soon he pat his son's head. “Where wrong? And where is Grandpa and the robot?”

“There was an alarm saying that there was a attack from the birds again.” The kid semi-wined. “They are both out there helping out, I hope they can fend them off…”

Well, there was the trouble Yuuya mentioned. “Don’t worry, I’m sure they will. And until then I’ll read you your fraviote story.”

754 words, Post 3/3
 
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