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Saarg decided to sample the strange organic sphere first. After his early botched attempts to bite into other things with his fangs, Saarg developed a kind of scooping motion with which to bore out chunks of food from the sphere. It had a watery, yet somehow sweet flavour that Saarg found extremely enjoyable, and the slime had soon eaten away enough for his head to be fully inside the sphere.
As the slime enjoyed another mouthful of the sweet sphere, it felt something hard lodge in its throat. The sensation didn't go away, and Saarh suddenly began to panic, jerking its head around and trying to wretch up whatever it was that was in its throat. Exploding out of the thing, Saarg hacked furiously and eventually a small black dot splattered onto the ground at the slime's feet. Incredulous that the sphere had tried to kill him with such a tiny thing, Saarg felt a peculiar urge and acted on it: The slime turned and smashed the offending organic lump into a pulp with a single, powerful blow from its tail. Despite the perplexing futility of this action, the slime felt...good about itslef, and resolved to make sure the next thing it ate was in no ways capable of defending itself like that.
Turning to the other item, Saarg was stunned to find that the formidable looking probiscous that studded the thing's back were not, in fact, sharp, or even poisonous. rather perplexed, Saarg tried to taste the thing with its forked tongue, but realised it was another in-organic organism. As the slime was about to leave, it did realise there was another hint to the inorganic flavour, and looked closely at the thing again. In the poor light, Saarg couldn't be sure, but it looked like there were dozens of tiny strands twined and tangled around the base of the spikes...
@Saarg: (Unlocked: watermelon stripes) Whatever the proboscis-y thing was, its protrusions were somewhat flexible, though it didn't help make the strands more easily accessible at all. The sound from the things that made light had been disappearing for awhile, but it was completely gone now, and new sounds similar to it weren't present either. So many nearby smells, though! Far too much to focus on any one thing... except that scent coming from the bristly thing. It was faint, but totally different than anything else the slime had noticed so far.
The slime was completely intrigued by the little strands, their smell and delicate appearance was so new and novel Saarg was simply incapable of leaving them alone. Try as it might, the slime simply couldn't force its head into the gap between the spikes to reach them. Saarg began growing impatient, the scent was tantalizing and just a little out of reach...
After another useless push, the slime decided a new approach was necessary. Its claws weren't quite long enough to reach down to the strands at the base, and the pincer on the tip of its tail was a little too cumbersome to pick up such dainty strands. As the slime had already realised, its head was completely useless too. Flicking its tongue in frustration, Saarg began considering tearing the item apart to reach the strands, when the slime realised it had a solution.
Pinning the item beneath its forelegs, Saarg forced his head as far down as it would go, then sent its long, forked tongue sliding down onto the soft, springy base of the item. There, he hooked one of the thin lines and raised it slowly up into its mouth. dissapointingly, the flavour was nothing at all like the smell, and the strand tickled and irritated the inside of the slime's mouth and neck, but Saarg felt some accomplishment at being able to consume its target.
The slime waited to see what new changes it could force upon its body with the strange addition of this strand...
@Saarg: Where was the smell coming from? If it was those strands, it couldn't be tasted. But it.. what was that? A noise down the square passage caught the slime's attention for a moment. It smelled like the small furry things it found when it first emerged from the underground, but it looked bigger. It noticed the slime, and when it did, it stayed motionless, staring. It was a half dozen body lengths away still. Was another strand in the slime's mouth? Was it really long? Both? It didn't help the slime to wonder about it, but it was getting tangled up in between its teeth, tickling the back of its tongue.
Saarg stared at the creature, both sizing it up and judging the distance between the two of them. It was far enough away that Saarg would probably be able to make an escape, or at least clamber up a wall out of harm's way. The slime slowly eased itself into a coiled stance, cocking its head back into the familiar striking "S" it had used against so many types of prey. But Saarg now had a new weapon at its desposal too: The tail with a pincer on the end. This, the slime kept relativly hidden underneath itself by dipping its front legs slightly, just incase it needed to suprise this new creature.
While the slime would normally have been all for attacking, this new adversary didn't seem excessivly large like the Terror from the dark passages Saarg had left, or like the light beam weilder or the collosal beast that had chased it into this passage. No, this was of managable size. But the strand was getting increasingly tangled in Saarg's mouth and the tickling was becoming increasingly distracting. Saarg remembered how agile the last creature he had fought had been, Saarg now had its bones after all, and risking a confrontation without its primary weapons was stupid. maybe it would be best if...
The creature launched itself forward, a loud noise, a growl, rumbling from its throat. Saarg flung itself backwards as the creature's jaws closed on the space the slime had been occupying a few seconds before. As he tumbled backwards through the air, Saarg lashed out with the concealed pincer, smashing it inot the other animal's snout. The thing recoiled, whimpering slightly, then baring rows of yellowed teeth with a vicious snarl. By then, Saarg was already sprinting at full pelt down the alley, trying desperately to find purchase on the walls for the multitude of tiny hairs on its body that would allow the slime to scammper up them and to safety. But the walls were either too steep or the wrong texture, and the slime found no purchase on them.
Feet pounded behind him and the slime realised the creature was giving chase, loud noises emanating in a rhythmic pattern from its mouth. Saarg knew such noises would attract attention, and forced its legs to move all the faster as the bizarre beast clicked and clacked down the alley as fast as its taloned paws would take it.
@Saarg: *snap* A sound came from behind the slime as it ran, then tripped over.. who cares? The slime felt a pain at about the halfway point of its tail, right in the middle. The thing behind the slime growled some deep noise, quickly followed by a different sound. Short and high-pitched. The pain was still throbbing, but it couldn't feel any pressure now, so the thing must have let go.
It made some other loud noises that seemed designed to carry a far distance, or maybe that's just what they did. The slime was nearly in the big wide flat space between the square shapes, only one of which it had been inside. After the noise came from the animal, another noise came from across the wide flat, which sounded... like something scraping something else, a high-pitched grating noise. A different sound followed from the same point the scrape did. This sounded like the thing that made light that the slime encountered inside, but it was louder.
The animal had seemed to respond to it, and it backed up and began to run, knocking over something else. From across the wide flat, that same light-making sound was noisy again, but didn't seem too loud this time, and it seemed to exhale with force, then the scraping sound began again, followed by a thud.
Saarg panted for air, turning and looking for the creature that had been chasing it. It had fled back the way Saarg had come from and now it seemed to have fallen prey to one of those huge, light eyed creatures., Saarg was in no state to go and try to steal prey from such mighty beasts, especially not with its tail in this state. The slime decided it needed to hide, it was down to its claws as weapons, and in this land of giants, that simply wouldn't do. Pausing at the edge of the peculiar flat space, Saarg glanced up at the towering squares. It noted that the wide flat seemed to branch off in front of each of these squares, and that on some of these branches there rested...Saarg jumped in shock. The huge light eyed noisy things. There were only a few, but Saarg couldn't see very far in the poor light, but due to their sheer size, the slime felt no intention of fighting them. The slime began to turn and flee when it occured to Saarg that they hadn't moved yet. Pausing briefly, Saarg decided that after the racket the creature had made, it was unlikely to have woken any of them up. That simplified things, Saarg knew how to be quiet.
Now its main concern was the new light weilding thing that had emerged from one of the squares, but this one didn't seem to be weilding a light beam. Odd. Maybe it was a sub-race? Whatever the case was, Saarg decided that it needed to find a new place to hide and restock on food to heal. The last square thing it had been into had proved ideal, so Saarg crouched low and crept slowly across the flat surface.
By the time it had reached the other side, the lightless light weilder had turned and, after a few more loud noises, walked back into a hole in the square, which sealed up with a hollow sounding thud. Saarg relaxed a little, then advanced slowly up one of the branches of the flat surface.
@Saarg: No longer feeling direct danger, and slightly familiar with at least some of the shapes it was seeing, the slime took notice of what it could see further ahead. The arms of the branching path was of varying width, and there were periodic lights- not a bright as the one the thing made, and it was yellowish instead of white. These lights didn't move though, and didn't seem to be looking for anything. The light was wider though, and illuminated more than the small, bright lights did, just not as well. The stationary lights were on top of very long, slender things that faced the wide flat. Some of the other branches were more narrow, but the same lights weren't there. Some light was spilling through a wall... thin rays of light. The light that did this was kind of blue.
@Sevak: Something nearby rolled onto the slime, which it felt between its legs. Maybe it could get a grip on that to right itself. It looked a lot like the thing it rolled down the hill in, but didn't have anything inside. The big light in the sky had turned orange, red, and disappeared below the ground far away, and it began to get a little cold.
Sevak started trying to use the rolled thing to get his balance again. It was starting to work up until the point where he should've rolled right back onto his upright position. He half panicked though and had gotten onto his back again. So the slime tried it a few more times, unable to get completely where he needed to be just by trying to turn himself over with one shove. It wasn't until he realized he could move some of those legs as a sort of lever with the ground to keep his current position and add a tad bit more shove to it in order to advance that position to upright. This technique worked and amused the slime. It was upright, though balancing carefully on the rolly thing under it. How'd it manage that? Sevak didn't know but it soon flopped off, landing a bit clumsily on its leg-feet as the object skidded in the opposite direction. What else could these legs do?
@Sevak: The air grew colder, and a slight breeze blew over the slime. The light in the sky was mostly faded, but there were little white dots every once in awhile that didn't fade. As it got darker, smaller and fainter tiny dot lights could be seen. There also began to be small noises of different kinds, but not very many, and they seemed to be coming from things that weren't close to each other.
Sevak was interested by the lights, though he was confused slightly by the sounds he heard from the tiny holes he used as ears. He didn't quite like the colder air, but he did notice that the darker it got, the more lightdots became more abundant. The brighter green/yellow line along his scales seemed to glow from the bright color they held. It was just a slight glowish look, but he found that interesting. He couldn't explain why it would do that but it again caused his backmost eyes a bit of pain from the bright color he still hadn't quite gotten used to.
@Sevak: The noises made by the new things now that it was dark were... different. The things awake now sounded and moved differently than the things that were out when it was light. The slime was beginning to feel somewhat tired, which it hadn't felt before. It was far away and very high up, but something made a noise that Sevak hadn't learned to classify yet.
Saarg was most perplexed by the varying hues of light and also by the sheer size of the world the slime found itself in. The huge squares it was now approaching were at towering structures. The slime froze as a thought struck it:
Maybe they were nests for the light weilders?
Saarg spent a few moments crouched low on the braching flat, considering whether entering one of these nest boxes was really a good idea...
Eventually, the faint throbbing pain in several of the slime's wounds and some kind of feeling of aggression deep inside the slime (a feeling that flared whenever it thought of how it had been chased by the light wielders) got the better of it, and Saarg crept up one of the flats. It slid up a gradual slope between two pools of yellow light cast by the slender poles, and found itself next to one of the slumbering light eyes. Saarg couldn't resist the opportunity and lipped up as close as it dared to the giant.
To saargs unending suprise, it found the thing was...inorganic!? How? How could an inorganic thing move and roar and fire light from its eyes? Saarg flicked its tongue against the cold body of the thing and got a metalic tang on its tongue. The four strange legs were no better, although they seemed softer than the body. What really confused the slime was the intricate pattern of tubes and...complex shapes that made up the beast's underbelly. This was simply too strange and the slime began to stagger out, its head pounding in confusion. As it began to leave the creature, something caught the slime's eye: In the middle of the beast, there seemed to be a small, inky puddle on the ground. As Saarg watched, a small drop fell from the metal box's innards and dropped into the puddle with a faint plop.
Was this creature, inorganic though it was, actually bleeding?
Ish feeling this odety, began to look around the room again, trying to spot something ti make a meal out of. it hoped this next meal would be one of matter is could physically consume.
Sevak was trying to figure out a way to get to the sound. He was tired, yes, but the odd sounds were fueling an interest in him. He seemed to like the night a bit more because of this, though the sounds were going to take getting used to. He used his new legs to move along the ground, happily skirting around any object in his path. He found this fun. Lots of fun.
Once done playing around, the slime had moved toward a mess of tree branches it had previously left alone, climbing on top of one of the lower and less 'branchy' branches to see if he could actually climb. The legs worked sort of, though the climb factor was a bit harder. Sevak was sure he'd watched one of the centipedes climb once. Why couldn't he do that as well as them?
@Saarg: If this was blood, it didn't smell like organic blood. Did inorganic things.. The inorganic blood smelled funny, like it was sweet... but.. something was off about it, issuing warning. But that sweetness was very interesting! The metal animal's eyes stayed dark, and it didn't move, but it made a click sound. No, not a click. More like a 'pang'. Then it did it two more times.
@Ish: The slime didn't see anything that looked edible besides what it already found, but there was another room connected to the one it was in where it just ate the big brown hollow furry thing. The slime tried to concentrate on the other room, or on anything else, but it couldn't seem to control its eyes or muscles very well. They seemed to be wobbly... if it would be able to get into the other room, there did seem to be small wooden parts that stuck out of the walls slightly, kind of how the big square panel on the outside of the room looked. Maybe the other panels could be opened through force as well?
@Sevak: The slime quickly ended up on its back with its legs flailing around again. Something about the slime's own size was a few body lengths away, and came up from a hole in the ground. It was difficult to tell what the thing was, but it was furry. It started sniffing the air, and Sevak caught its attention. It approached slowly and timidly, sniffing constantly. The sound from before that came from far above made its noise again, but it seemed a lot closer.
Sevak had started to try to flip itself over when he noticed something coming toward him. He paused then, watching it come his direction. The furry creature reminded the slime of the squirrel it had attacked not too long ago. But squirrels were diurnal and it was night right now. So the slime occasionally moved a leg a little now and then in hopes of getting an easy meal. Playing dead had helped the squirrel at first, so Sevak figured it would work here too. If not, he guessed backing off wouldn't harm much. Fighting probably was a given if this creature was aggressive.
@Sevak: The noisy thing from above passed by overhead, out of view. The sniffy thing kept creeping closer and closer, smelling the air and other things nearby. Was it sniffing things other than the slime just to make it think that it wasn't locked on to it in case it was paying attention? Able to see the animal better now, the slime could tell that its face was a different color than the rest of its body, and its tail wasn't furry. It sniffed one of the slime's legs a couple times, then opened its mouth and bit! It didn't bite hard, but tugged on the slime's leg, then let go.
Ish panicked and focused its energy to its wings, giving it enough control to fly into the air and the next room. It ignored everything around it and Beelined for the clear wall infront of it, slamming into the glass at a fairly high speed. Ish, hoping to break through this barrier blocking its freedom.
@Ish: (Unlocked: brown bear, formaldehyde) The slime's head and vision were still swimming from the... whatever it was that it got out of that dead thing that didn't taste as dead as it really was. It started wearing off finally, but still affected its limbs slightly. Instead of feeling wobbly, it felt more rigid, clearly becoming free of whatever the hold was that stuff had over it. The clear wall made a loud thud sound, followed by a crack. The slime bounced back a little, but could see that a line formed in the glass. A jagged line. One that began spreading on its own.
Ish took advantage of whatever this wall had happen to it and used its renewed control to take off and crash through the clear wall and fall to the ground. Ish rolled around on the ground for a few minutes before getting up and checking its body for wounds, then tried to get its bearings again.
@Ish: The slime saw small pieces of glass stuck in between the ridges of its bark in a few places, and some superficial scratches. It decided that if its was less armored than it already was, it might have actually been hurt! The leaves on its wings weren't as durable though, and were ripped in a few places, but only one of the wounds seemed to be anything worth noticing.
Ish was as thankful as it could be for the armor and took the pain I it's wing as an annoyance. However, it began to look around, noticing that it was finally outside again. That other place was weird and didn't feed Ish much. It looked around for something to eat and help digest to get more energy.
Saarg was unsre about the strange noises the beast above it was making. It wasn't even sure if the creature was truly...the slime floundered for the proper term...living? It moved and made noise, and like all other living things it seemed intent on Saarg's death, but it was made of inorganic material! It was cold and complex...and it didn't bleed like every other moving organism it had encountered. The thing unsetteled the slime, and Saarg was filled with a sudden desire to be away from it.
But the sweet scent of the fluid over-rode Saarg's instincts. The slime took a tentative step forward and, quicky as it dared, shot forward and lapped up a mouthful of fluid.
It BURNED .
Sarg staggered back, flailing and lashing its head from side to side at the bitter-sweet, noxious tang of the liquid it had just sent searing down its neck. The slime fought every instinct inside it to stop from shrieking in pain and collapsing there and then. Saarg hobbled/rolled out from under the box and meandered in an unseen direction, head spinning and innards cnvulsing.
Saarg felt something soft underfoot, and impartially registered that it had strayed onto a pool of springy green things: An oasis of softness compared to the cold, hard surfaces it had previously been walking on.
The slime sighed in satisfaction and, against every instinct, bellowing for atteon and obediance, collapsed onto the green blaket below, exhausted and in pain.
Saarg was seen by humans recently, and not just a quick glance. Something else just happened, though even he doesn't know about it yet. The first story arc was Arc 1, Introduction. The current arc is Arc 2: Tabloids and Rumors. Everyone might want to think about evolving some defenses and decent movement speed, if you don't have it already. Ish, Saarg, Sevak, Wrecker, Arq, and Bosque are already set up.
Also, don't forget about the NPC slimes. One of them started with Planarian, one started with Coast Horned Lizard, and the other started with Cordyceps. They will be seriously dangerous, in time. They won't be encountered for a couple arcs yet, though.
@Ish: Lots of green in many directions, and each seemed to be different, as the slime expected. The sharp-edged place the slime left was on top of ground that was higher than where it came from outside, and it had a somewhat better view because of it. Some of the tall brown things the slime had eaten parts of before became lush and leafy at their tops, except for one. Its twigs didn't have leaves, and had some sort of green tangled-looking hair-like thing stuck at the top.
@Saarg: The up was still dark, but the lights on the long, thin things weren't on anymore. Saarg heard a click sound, but different than the ones the inorganic thing made. It also didn't come from its direction. The sound of one of the big inorganic things roared near the slime, which instantly started going away from it. It wasn't the one the slime was just under, but another. Did it come from the wide flat? Saarg was far less tired, and wasn't wobble-minded anymore. It also noticed yet another lump inside it that seemed like it was supposed to be there, but it wasn't there before it licked up the inorganic blood.
Ish looked at the plant with curiosity. It got some running speed and too to the air, flapping its wings with a bit of pain. It struggled to fly, but did make it to the odd plant in the tree, it grabbed the plant in its mouth, clamping down and ripping it out of the tree before gliding down to the ground. It began to chew and take in the plant, hoping to get something out of it, even if its just energy.
Saarg was perplexed. Had it...what? This had ever happened before. One moment it had been dark, painful and silent, then the next...this. It ws likthe slime hadn't been...there, in its own body, for a brief moment. Saarg didn't ike this. Fortunately, the pain had diminished, and to the slime's suprise, it could move its jaws again. Its body ached from the regenerative process it had come to rely on, but it was a good pain.
It reminded the slime it could hunt again.
The fact that the large inorganic organisms were waking up was of great concern to Saarg, and the fact that it seemed to be getting lighter (how this worked the slime had no idea) meant that the slime really needed to get out of the open. Forcing itself up, the slime crept with forced patience towards the enormous square it had been maing its way towards originally. Glancing back over its shoulder, it saw, to its increasing bemusement, that one of the light weilders had just opened up the flank of one of the light eyed things and got inside. Had it eaten him? This was al too confusing for a now very stressed and very hungry Saarg, who decided to take one of those metal things apart ad find out how it worked once it was big enough.
There was no obvious way into the large square ahead, so Saarg began sneaking around its side, looking for a way to access it, and the food that was doubtlessly inside.
Sevak didn't take to the bite too well, even though it didn't hurt as bad as the slime figured it would. It somewhat reacted to the bite at first, only to keep the creature's attention before the slime righted itself. He didn't realize how quick he was able to right himself at that moment, occupied with attacking the creature. He lunged at the odd sniffy thing, attempting to slam into it or knock it over. Knocking it out would've been nice too, though the slime did not believe he could do that with the thing so interested in him.
@Ish: The stringy plant wasn't very filling, but it tasted slightly funny. After consuming the whole of it, which wasn't difficult or time-consuming, the slime had an odd feeling, but it couldn't place it. There was something about this stuff... The plant had been attached to a bigger plant, so maybe Ish could figure it out if it did the same thing.
@Saarg: Around the opposite side of the square, the slime saw something it had been seeing periodically. A hole in the wall about halfway up. But there was light inside this one, and a light-wielder inside, moving around. The angle the slime was looking didn't allow for much information, but it could see that the light-wielder had things the slime recognized as food, since it had seen rotten versions of it before underground. It was somewhat difficult to tell also, but Saarg saw it- there was a tiny bit of movement, almost invisible, reflecting on the invisible hole that seemed to mimic the light-wielder.
@Sevak: The animal didn't resist being knocked over, really, though the creature was quite soft. It simply flop over on its side, but then sturdy itself and turn its head to the slime, opening its mouth wide and showing off its sharp and glistening fangs. The creature made a hissing sound, and a combination of breath and spit splattered on the slime's face. What kind of thing was this!?!?
Ish had noticed something and decided to out it to work. It began extending its rear section into some sort of a twirl, it saved enough energy to fully develop the same mechanism that the plant used to suck nutrients out of the tree, only on a larger scale. It looked like a tree root, but was as flexible and strong as a solid mass of muscle. Ish backed up to the tree, flexing its new appendage. It forced itself into the tree. It forced itself into the tree and the roots of the slime spread inside the tree and began to sap energy from it, nutrients needed to grow itself.
@Ish: Ish had tried to act like a plant before, with minimal success at best, and even that took forever. With this new ability though, the slime could actually watch the branches and bark of the tree start to die as it used its tail to penetrate into the tree's bark and forcefully remove its mineral content, giving the slime more energy than it was using (which was a lot) and actually filling itself up at the same time. Though the tree was far bigger than the slime, it was only able to grow itself by a comparitively small amount, but it came to recognize that it was because the slime's muscles were so much more dense than anything it ate. Ish's weight and the decreasing strength of the tree soon were unbalanced, and the branches the slime was sitting on broke and fell to the ground; though the tree was clearly already dead.
Ish's tail embedded in the let it stay attached to the tree. The root like tail retracted from tree and Ish glided down to the ground. It used some of the new energy to heal itself. Ish then went over to another tree and sucked up nutrients, trying to store it for later. It began to build up a layer of stuff similar to the white stuff in cocoanuts it's under it's bark.
Sevak was starting to think this was a horrible idea. Not only was he covered in some odd combination of spitting and whatever else it was, but this thingy was angry and had sharper teeth than originally thought. But he had initiated the fight, and getting out of it again was probably as likely as him climbing. Which reminded him he still didn't know how to climb, nor did he think he could with these legs the way they were.
Sevak slowly backed up a little as the animal hissed again, clearly unhappy about being attacked by such an odd creature. What the slime didn't realize was that his scales were starting to rattle a little, almost as if in response to the hissing. It took a few moments but the rattle became noticed by the slime as the scales rearranged slightly to produce a more effective rattle against each other. That was different. Surely this sharp-tooth creature hadn't witnessed that before. He would use that to his advantage then.
The slime forced the rattle this time, making it louder and softer as he realized he could control the sound. He moved forward slightly each time the sound got louder, trying to make himself as threatening as possible before he pushed with his legs and lunged forward. Now it probably was considered jumping. Pathetic jumping, but jumping anyway. Sevak quit the rattle as he did this, hoping to knock the creature on its side again as easily as before.