Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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The Sunken Wreck of the Sulust Or'lath

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Irihi
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Miiya

The Aeros girl sprinted for altitude, describing tight spirals and ascending as rapidly as she could. When in doubt, go high. Cahron had taught her that aerial combat was often a matter of energy management. Even though there was no other threat in the air, gaining altitude gave her options as well as a better understanding of the battlespace. Of course, climbing also burned a lot of energy, and she was hauling a good six kilos of rocks with her.

Panting with exertion, Miiya leveled out for a moment. Below her, The Watcher blared it's terrifying battle cry as The TonDen approached. Further away, at the rocks, she espied Myrae rearming herself. Miiya mentally kicked herself for forgetting the Drow's instructions to bring her and Zhaetar's equipment to the backup rendezvous. Too late to do anything about that, now. 

Upon the beach past the rocks, the air quivered with wavery violet light. It was clearly some form of magery. Miiya was certain that was the portal to the Underneath! Myrae had opened their escape route already! Miiya felt a wash of relief. Even if the drowess took her sweet time, it seemed unlikely that the short-legged halflings and their lumbering golem could reach the portal before her. They certainly had no chance beating the airborne Miiya. 

The air was shaken by the titanic clash of starmetal and crystallized ash, and Miiya's attention was dragged down by the battle between golems. "Mister TonDen! Run!" She shrieked. "The portal is open!"

The golem showed no reaction to Miiya's cry. Able to hear her or not, it did not heed her words. She had to find a way to get the drowish construct to end its deathmatch with The Watcher. The battle was clearly turned against The TonDen as it seemed unable to do any real damage to the metal golem.   

First, Miiya tried throwing rocks. She pulled up into a stall, wound up, and threw a missile with all her might. The stone hissed through the air, the recoil from the throw spinning Miiya around and forcing her to invert to recover. Even from this altitude, she could hear the satisfying *piff* of the impact--cratering the sand yards from her target. Wow! She could really throw! Storm dancing had given her an arm like a sling, but done nothing for her accuracy. Miiya tried again, adjusting her aim. Again, she hit nothing but sand. "Gan!" She swore. The Aeros girl tried twice more before she scored a hit on the metal body of The Watcher. "Yesss!" 

The hull of The Watcher rang with the impact. The stone exploded into powder. It was a great hit. 

Perhaps, if one looked very closely, one might discover that Miiya's missile had possibly left a tiny dent upon the golem's thick metal hide. "Crap." Even managing to hit The Watcher with stones was not going to make a bit of difference. Mister TonDen was literally cracking up. That meant Miiya had to go to plan B. Plan B sucked. It would probably work, but it was much scarier than hanging out well above all the action. 

The longer Miiya circled at altitude, the more likely she was to lose her nerve. Holding tight to her satchel strap buckle, she rolled heads-down, folded her wings, and dove for the beach. 

Miiya angled her dive to keep her at the far edge of the archer's range. Staying beyond bowshot was something Cahron had drilled into Miiya, and she had a pretty good handle on just how far Hafling archers could accurately loft their bolts and shafts. The weight of her remaining stones added speed to her dive and she carried that momentum through a graceful inverted arc as she pulled up just inches above the dunes. Wingtips brushing the seagrass and flotsom as she streaked along the ground, Miiya approached the TonDen from behind, hoping the bulk of the two golems would make her a more difficult target for any hafling who decided to take a potshot at her. She was moving too fast to maneuver between the dunes, fast enough she could keep her wings at one-quarter fold as the magickally-illuminated dunes streaked beneath her.

Maybe she did not have speed and stealth like Tom Cat or incredible strength and armor like the TonDen, but Miiya could fly, and fly well. In one smooth maneuver, she popped up above the dunes, releasing her satchel buckle to dump her rock-filled ballast bag, and flaring hard to arrest her speed. She crashed into the TonDen's torso from behind absorbing the impact with arms and legs, snapping her wings tight against her back and clinging tight to her friend. Though the wind was knocked from her lungs, she still managed to gasp into where ears would have been in the golem's blank nightmare face: "Flee!" the same compulsion transmitting through the skin-to-crystal contact of her bare arms and hands.


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NoOne
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The Home Guard

"Draw!" The sergeants of the hafling squads escorting The Watcher decided to test their archers against the terrifying spider-creature.

"Aim!" The aeros circling high above was ignored for the moment, as the clear threat was directly before them. "Loose!"

A shower of crossbow bolts and arrows winged out from the Home Guard, most striking their intended target, while a few fell wide or pinged off The Watcher's impervious metal hide. Druids launched glowing missiles of magic that wove their way through the air, to strike at the TonDen.

"Sir?!" An archer pointed out the rock-throwing Aeros to his noncom. 

"Ignore her! Focus on the monster!" Growled the sergeant. It looked like their arrows were having little effect against The TonDen, but the monster was so viscerally terrifying that even the seasoned warrior was loathe to brook any distraction from the creature until it was dead.


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NoOne
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The TonDen

The construct of The Blue Ash was being battered to pieces by the unstoppable defender of Kiana, but it did not care. It fought the titanic foe heedless of the damage dealt it. The shower of physical arrows was no more effective against it than a spritz of rainwater. 

More curious was the effect of the Druid's magick missiles. Where they struck, they were absorbed into the sable crystal, melting and fusing the cracked carapace. Where there were cracks, the magery seemed to repair the damage done by the great sword, but one bolt caught the joint of the TonDen's left pincer. The enormous claw froze in mid-flex as the hinge was welded in place.

Then something light and feathered struck The TonDen from behind. Before the golem could process it, Miiya's compulsion flooded through its mind, blotting out the mad battle-lust that drove its suicidal assault on The Watcher.

The TonDen flashed from midnight to noonday skies in an instant. Crouching beneath a wild sweep of the starmetal blade, it gathered itself and then sprang away in a great backwards leap. Landing clear of The Watcher's reach, it turned and galloped across the dunes, now heading back toward the glow of Myrae's portal.


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Myrae

The drowess skidded to a halt between the rocks and considered her pile of gear. Slow down, girl. Time this right. She needed to retrieve the Draegloth's Claw and the seals of Botherel, true, but she could pull them from the wreckage of the TonDen if need be. 

"Why's everything so proting dirty?" She groused. It wasn't a windy night, yet her clothes were half-buried in drifted sand. Myrae shook them out as best she could and dressed quickly. Yes, she could pull the sword and seals from the remains of the TonDen, but it would be a lot easier to have Big Black-and-Blue providing a nice target for the angry haffers. Her magick had not yet faded, and she ran back out from behind the rocks with unnatural fleetness. 

The Watcher and TonDen were still going at it hammer-and-tongs as Myrae ran across the wet sand down by the water's edge. It was quite a sight to behold; the two titans crashing together in great showers of sparks and debris, sand fountaining around their powerful limbs as they struggled for purchase. 

Myrae closed the distance, her hair streaming behind her from the speed of her sprint. She could see that half the netting was torn from the TonDen. The seals and some treasure were still hanging from its less-batterd side, but the Draegloth's Claw was stuck point-down in the sand under the golem between it's pistoning leg spikes. Myrae needed to get under there before the blade was trod upon and buried beneath the sands. She bent her pounding footsteps toward the battle. 

This was certainly thrilling. Crossbow bolts and arrows struck the sand around her. Sparks of molten metal and clouds of exploding ash showered her. Thunderclaps of monsters colliding shook air and ground as she dropped to a knee and slid between the pounding hoofspikes of the TonDen, reaching out and wrapping her hand around the hilt of The Draegloth's Claw. 

Got it! Myrae felt a flash of satisfaction. As when she had lept from church steeple to Roc wing during the battle of Kiana, she had done the impossible, and looked damn good doing it. Too bad no one was wat--"WHOOF"

Without warning, the sable sky of the TonDen's undercarriage turned robins-egg blue, then dropped and smooshed Myrae face-first into the yielding sand, knocking her momentarily senseless.

When she pushed herself out of the drowess-shaped depression, spitting sand, she was rather nonplussed to find herself staring up at the towering form and glittering eye of The Watcher, berift of her crystalline canopy. "Gleth." The curse didn't adequately express Myrae's feelings, but it would have to do.


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The Watcher

Deprived of its adversary, the golem's sword swing continued a full revolution, then another, and another. The torso of The Watcher could freely rotate whilst its helm remained locked on a target. With the TonDen in retreat, the nearest target was a rather sandy-looking drowess pushing herself to a knee. The metal golem scanned the warrior of the Underneath with its green eye. "YOU ARE ENEMIES! I WILL KILL YOU!" It informed her, tilting the whirl of its blade downward to make a drow puree. 

This was a favored technique of The Watcher, spinning rapidly round to form a murderous starmetal disc which easily ripped through armored flesh and bone without losing momentum. It often used this manner of attack against footsoldiers to good (and gruesome) effect. 


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NoOne
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Myrae

There was nowhere to go. The whirl of razor-edge starmetal hemmed her in above and behind, great crushing feet in front. 

Make a hole. 

Myrae raised The Draegoth's Claw and screamed an evocation she had not used since the battle atop the roc's howda. Alone, it would have been enough to deflect the titanic spinning blade, push it aside enough for the drowess to roll away from its deadly sweep. But the mythic blade she held was not content with half-measures. It ripped the magick from her, lensed it, bending it back upon itself a hundredfold, before releasing it in a monstrous shockwave. 

The hemispherical blast engulfed The Watcher and scattered the neatly-regimented Home Guard like ninepins. 

The light in The Watcher's huge helm faded to darkness. The power animating it guttered and winked out. The great sword dug into the sand and the enormous torquing momentum of it wrenched The nerveless golem off-balance. It slowly toppled backwards, striking the sand with a tremendous gonging noise, crushing more than one of its prostrate escorts.

As for Myrae, the vicious power torn from her throat by the Draegloth's Claw caused her overtaxed vocal cords to rupture. Her own magic smashed her into the sand a second time, and when she rose, this time, she could not draw breath. She was drowning. 

Bend, find the air, make a hole. Blood spattered the sand as she leaned upon The Dreagloth's Claw, trying to find a position to open her airway. Just enough to stand. Tiny panting, bubbles of pink froth. Must get up. Must move.


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NoOne
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The Watcher

Magick sparked within the clockwork metal chest of the defender of Kiana. The malevolent green star of its single eye rekindled. Again its battle cry rang out as--with screeching and grinding of sand-filled joints--the mechanical golem rose from where it had fallen. 

The light of its eye swept the beach at its feet and locked on to the kneeling choking drowess. "YOU ARE ENEMIES! I WILL KILL YOU!" No longer neatly oiled, the great sword arm groaned and creaked, lifting its blade high overhead, before bringing it smashing down upon its tiny adversary. 


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Irihi
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Miiya

A streak of tawny feathers zipped beneath the descending blade and crashed into Myrae, knocking the warrior of Botherel aside, an instant before the starmetal sword would have cloven her in two. 

Miiya had nearly been blown from the back of The TonDen by Myrae's magick. She had turned, her sharp vision easily picking out the drowess's distress. For one small, mean second Miiya had felt a twinge of satisfaction. 

Serves her right.

Then she had stuffed that nastiness deep down inside and opened her wings, catching the slipstream around the fleeing TonDen and wheeling back toward Myrae.

I'll save everyone! 

The Watcher was flat on its back, the Home Guard were downed. Flush with the lucky victory of turning the TonDen away from its deadly battle, Miiya was feeling heroic. Yet as she had neared Myrae, her grin had become a grimace. The monstrous metal golem was rising! 

Hurry! Hurry! 

Miiya had wheeled into a bank and dropped down to dunetops, beating with everything she had. The huge sword was up! Now it was descending!

Gonna make it!

"Gotcha!" She crowed a split-second before impact. Gan, but grounders were dense! Miiya's tackle did not carry her and Myrae nearly as far as she had hoped. Rattled by the impact, the Aeros girl grabbed the drowess and dragged her to her feet. She was still dancing, she had the necessary strength. The Watcher was slow--had looked slow from the air. 

I can do this!

The sand was loose underfoot, throwing her off-balance. The Aeros girl had little experience with treading on such a miring surface. "Run!" Miiya exhorted Myrae, flapping for balance and pushing the drow to hobble as fast as she could.

The Watcher had looked slow from the air. It looked a LOT different up close on the ground! Glancing fearfully backward, Miiya felt her sudden burst of confidence drain away. 

What if I can't?


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Lassroyale
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Joined: 8 months ago
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TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

 

═ ✽ ═

The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambush. Startled beasts indicate that an attack is coming. "

-Sun Tzu

 

═ ✽ ═

 

It’s only later as he’s escaping this whole catastrophe and looks back, that Tom-Cat decides something: this is all Myrrrae’s fault.  

 

Okay, so maybe it’s not entirely the Drowess’ fault (the assassin has a newly developed and biting hatred of Kiana, Halflings, and that monstrous golem called The Watcher) but the cost of Myrae’s blunder was more than she, or anyone, should have to pay.  Not that he cares.  Or has time to examine the jumbled mess of his feelings, right now;  he’s barely able to slow the rush of thoughts in his mind long enough to think, let alone sort through  everything that’s happened.  He just doesn’t like other people gambling with his life, that’s all.    Besides, this isn’t about him; it’s about the Drowess.  (Or so he tells himself.)  It’s about her and the price they’ve paid for what? Her greed? Stupidity?  (He carefully doesn’t define to whom ‘they’ refers.)  

 

He knows he should be objective, give her the benefit of the doubt, withdraw into the safety of casual indifference and let apathy create a protective circle of detached isolation around him.  Except, the thing is that even on a good day, Tom-Cat isn’t what you’d necessarily (or at all) call charitable.  And today sure as hell isn’t what you’d call a, “good day”, by any stretch of the imagination.  So yeah, Tom-Cat’s not feeling the least bit charitable towards Myrae, towards Kiana, towards those fur-footed Halfers, or towards that wretched golem, The Watcher; but the Drowess, especially.  Maybe he’ll later admit, after things have settled and he’s able to - and willing to - think rationally, that the disproportionate amount of anger and agitation that’s seething in him was mostly driven by the massive amount of fear and adrenaline coursing through his veins, and feeding into one another in a morbid feedback loop.  (Currently, the rational part of his mind is distant and oblique and buried under many compact layers of fury, frustration, and 100% pure feline obstinance and hauteur, like the mineral layers of a sedimentary rock.)  

 

Maybe he’ll find some charity within him...later.  Right now, it’s infinitely easier and less confusing for Tom-Cat to place the burden of blame entirely on the Drowess’ shoulders.

 

═ ✽ ═

 

So how did they get here? Well, Tom-Cat can’t speak for anyone else, but for him it started with a chance meeting, a Drowess, and a contract, which led to a halfling fisherman and an Aeros girl, which then led to a pounce that would prove to be -- it’s not important right now.  Here’s what is: for him, it starts with an Aeros girl and a pounce, and it ends with teeth, trauma, wings, and claws, and a terrifying monster constructed of metal and magick with a single, hateful green eye.

 

 

═ ✽ ═

 

 

As these things usually go, everything erupted into chaos all at once and went to pieces quicker than two shakes of a Tartary lamb’s tail.

 

It starts like this: No sooner has Tom-Cat heard the marching approach of the Kiana Home Guard, than they’re suddenly there and forming ranks a mere dozen or so yards away.  The dark sky  erupts with a brilliant flash of light that momentarily blinds him, before it dims and bathes the beach in the sickly glow of a magicked, artificial light dome.  He quickly slips back into his shirt and slinks forward as Miiya takes off in a flurry of feathers and rushed instructions.  He takes a step forward, then stops himself.  He experiences a queer moment of dissociation as he finds himself unexpectedly indecisive, and finds himself at odds with his contractual obligations and an impulsive and irrational inclination to...Tom-Cat swears under his breath.   

 

He starts to shout something after Aeros girl as she flies fast and low across the dunes, but his words are suddenly drowned out as the voice of some sort of metal...abomination...thing, rends the air like a thunderclap.

 

“YOU ARE ALL ENEMIES! I WILL KILL YOU!” it announces in an echoing boom that Tom-Cat feels shudder through his chest.

 

The incongruity of the golem’s voice is awful, the texture of it colorless with the cold detachment of an automaton, while somehow also conveying a clear and unflinching malice in its inflection.  The sound cleaves straight through his thoughts, feelings, and control; it bypasses his higher brain functions and cuts straight to the part of himself that’s pure primitive and primal animal core.  The part of himself that, over a millennia or so of evolution, has shed the useless notions of logic and emotion; the part that’s all impulse, instinct, and feline sixth sense, an infusion of ancient muscle memory that’s ingrained into his DNA and is fine-tuned to do one thing: survive.  

 

 And, although brief, it’s the part of himself, that’s currently in control, gripped by simple and unthinking animalistic fear.  The animal inside of him, the one that’s perpetually lurking just beneath his skin, is clawing at hypersensitive nerves at the tangible animus that The Watcher exudes, primal instinct urging him to gain the shadows and escape the threat.  That same instinct tells him that the golem is a menace that he - they - cannot confront and survive; not directly, not indirectly.  That any distance is too close.   The enormity of it, The Watcher,  with its baleful green eye, unfeeling metal body, and colossal starmetal sword, crashes over him in an overload of danger signals that spark through senses preternaturally heightened by the sharp bite of fear, panic, and adrenaline he tastes in the back of his throat.  He inhales a slow breath and  lets the influx of information in the atmosphere wash over him as he tastes the air.

 

 Fear saturates the air.  It’s not all his own.

 

Tom-Cat manages to fight back the animal, the fear, if just.  He forces himself to take a deep breath, and as he does so he samples the particles in the salty, oxygen rich air.  Sweat.  Panic.  And something else; acerbic aftertaste.  Magick - dark magick.  He breathes deep.  He’s been in tough spots before.  He’s been in life or death situations.  He will not be weak; he is not weak.  (Never again.  He’d vowed it back then, before, back when... He won’t break his vow: he will never allow himself to be weak again.)  He breathes out.  Calm.  Steady.  

 

His nerves still feel raw, too jittery with the rush of adrenaline, but his hands don’t shake. 

 

The screech of metal on crystal cuts through the air grabs his attention, the clash of the two behemoths shaking the ground beneath his feet.  He watches the TonDen struggle with The Watcher from a safe enough distance, watches as that huge starmetal sword slams into the Drow construct’s crystalline carapace in a shower of molten sparks and explosions of jarring noise.  

 

It’s now or never: does he stay or should he go? Logically, Tom-Cat knows what the right decision is.  And yet, like earlier that night, an erratic and powerful impulse rises in him that threatens to override all logic.  It roots his feet and he lashes his tail in frustration at his own paralyzing indecision.

 

He’s almost too aware of the glow of the Portal somewhere se behind him, feels the occasional tickle of its magic on his senses when it shimmers crosswise in the opening like ripples across the surface of a previously still lake.  His instinct for self-preservation asserts itself, tells him that he should turn and run while he’s still able to;  tells him to use the chaos of the situation to make a clean cut and continue on.  His only obligation (if it can really be called that) is a contract that he may or may not want to have to fulfill.  And the portal is right there.  He could slip just past the magicked doorway, disappear into the shadows of the beach beyond it and be gone before anyone has had time to catch their breath.  He could be away from here, (from Kiana, from them) and far, far, away from that hulking metal abomination before any of the others make their escape through the portal and realize he wasn’t waiting for them.  

 

And even if he wanted to go through the Portal, he wouldn’t; he knows better.  It would be suicide to try and go it alone, because no matter how well he sees in the dark the reputation of the cave systems of the Underneath are notorious for a reason.  The last thing he needed was to be forever lost in the depths of the earth.  Besides, this isn’t his fight - or so he tells himself.

 

A contemptuous voice slithers up from the back of his mind in response to his thought.  It digs down into the framework of his mind and makes a hole right at the edge of his cogitation; in spite of himself, Tom-Cat feels that ever-present and deeply entrenched sense of self-loathing trickle into the empty space, filling it.  It’s just a tiny whisper of self-doubt and should be innocuous, but it’s not; it’s grown deep in soil rich in idee fixe, with roots reaching back in time to when the seed was first planted.  

It says: There’s nothing keeping you here; and, Nobody needs you; and, Who would?

And always underneath, the insinuation: worthless freak.

 

Tom-Cat recoils from the words in his mind, in his heart.  He hates himself for even having these thoughts, for always carrying them, because rationally he knows his worth and knows it’s not true.  And yet, and yet, there’s always that one, niggling question of: But what if it is? He grits his teeth and hardens himself.  He tells himself that he doesn’t owe anyone anything, that it’s better if he leaves now when nobody will notice that he’s gone until much later.  Or maybe they wouldn’t notice at all, or care.   If he’s honest with himself, he knows that if he leaves now his presence won’t be missed.  It won’t affect anyone.  A clean break.  And really, that should make him happy, right? It should.  It does. It does. He repeats it to himself, tries to believe it, and is prepared to leave. 

 

It’s better this way.

 

═ ✽ ═


[OOC: 1/3]

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
 

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

 

═ ✽ ═

The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambush. Startled beasts indicate that an attack is coming. "

-Sun Tzu

 

He starts to go, intending to slip off and disappear into the darkness past the portal silent and unseen, when he catches a flash of white hair and a flurry of tawny wings  in the corner of his eye.  

 

He turns, looks.  

 

The flash of white that Tom-Cat sees is the banner of Myrae’s white hair streaming behind her as she runs headfirst towards the TonDen and The Watcher, the former hammering at the latter’s metal body, the titanic blows creating nicks in the metallic alloy and sending bits of shrapnel, sharp as needles and as hot as lava, shooting off in random directions.  The Watcher, in turn, is swinging the sharpened metal slab of starmetal it calls a sword, into the TonDen and shearing off crystal fragments and crystalline ash from the construct’s body.  And then Tom-Cat’s mind goes numb with momentary shock as he watches the Drowess (he notes absently that she’s once more clothed - pity that) pull off an incredibly lucky and well-timed slide underneath the TonDen, which consequently put her within The Watcher’s kill box.  He takes a few steps closer, narrowing his eyes as when he catches sight of the prize she risked her life for: a finely made sword with a pitch-black blade that seemed to absorb any light that touched it. 

He barely has time to sneer, grudgingly admire the Drowess’ athleticism, and spare a thought for what he sees as incredible stupidity, when, biting the heels of Myrae’s stunt, there’s a flurry of motion and the whooshing flap of fast-moving wings.  Tom-Cat’s eyes suddenly widen as Miiya flies in fast and tight, executing a precision maneuver as she skims the air just above the dunes. (He can appreciate the amount of control and skill it takes to thread that needle with such speed and accuracy, even if he’s weirdly bothered by it.)  He ignores the clench in his stomach as she slams into the TonDen’s backside and clings onto the crystalline construct, involuntarily moving in their direction before jerking to a halt when he realizes what he’s doing.  He stops  just beyond the rocky outcropping and his animal hindbrain screams at him as The Watcher seems to grow exponentially, the closer he is. 

 

Too close, that metal monster is too close!

 

 The sight of the massive golem evokes a visceral jerk in Tom-Cat, and he can’t help the reflexive curve of his body as he automatically adopts a defensive posture, with his ears pinned flat back and his tail wrapped protectively around himself.  He bares his teeth in an anxious snarl as a low, frantic, warning hiss is forced from his throat. It’s a pure animal noise, instinctual and involuntary, and feral.  He shivers as heat lances through him with the sudden intensity of a flashfire, followed by a familiar and ubiquitous ache that pulses deep in his bones.  Shaking slightly, he pushes it down, and It’s difficult; the animal is so close to the surface, provoked by the malevolent and elemental presence of the metal golem so close - too close - to them.  Tom-Cat grits his teeth against the fire and adrenaline that’s spiked, unbidden, in his veins, and forces stillness through his limbs; he bears down and doesn’t let the feral impulse rule him. 

 

His expression is still drawn tight and agitated, a wild snarl twisting his lips as he looks back down the beach, seeking.  The crescent yellow slits of his narrowed gaze lock onto the Aeros hanging onto the back of the TonDen’s crystalline black carapace; he’s not thinking as his focus narrows, intent.  She looks so  small and fragile framed against the massive size of the two living weapons locked in combat, and so easily breakable, the jostle of her tawny wings making her look more bird than girl. He breathes in shallowly through his mouth, absently tasting the air: powdered crystal, ash, sulphur, and beneath is something new, faintly recognizable.  The animal rakes its claws down his back, sending electricity jolting through him as the tips drag over the bumps of his spine.  He flexes his fingers, the tips throb; he almost feels the phantom pain as sharp points ache to unsheath and break free…

 

Tom-Cat abruptly snaps out of it when the TonDen’s color suddenly switches from a deep black to a robin’s egg blue, and the visual change is so unexpected that he blinks in surprise, his focus averted.  His field of vision widens, visual information rushing in like a downpour, and it’s too much; he has too much primal fear running through him, the stink of the adrenaline surging through his blood rising from his skin like noxious fumes.  He hasn’t felt like this in so long, and has never encountered anything that so easily threatened to shake apart his discipline.  He can’t - won’t - even think about a forced shift; he’d be little better than a moondrunk were-creature, heady and feral during a full moon.

 

He lifts his eyes as the TonDen bends its spiked legs to gather energy, and, with the Aeros girl still clinging to it, it disengages from its duel with a powerful leap into the air.   He follows the arc of its jump with his gaze, noting with some relief (that he won’t examine), that it - they - land well out of range of The Watcher’s deadly sword.  Tom-Cat feels a little of his tension ebb and loosen the rigidness of his spine; he unbends, doesn’t quite drop his defensive posture.  Still, it’s a bit easier to shrug off, or at least ignore, the twinge deep down in his bones.   The TonDen with Miiya as its passenger, starts to gallop in the direction of the portal and subsequently, towards him.  He glances briefly at the Aeros holding fast to the construct and looking for all the worlde like she was riding a horse, and not some monstrous “living” weapon that was forged in antipathy and held together by Drow dark magick.  

 

He wants to laugh at the sight.  He doesn't.  Uncertainty furrows his brow and he hesitates for a second, restlessness settling between his shoulders, his tail whipping back and forth behind him.  There’s no time for hesitancy.  and yet… He can still slip away, if he moves quickly.  and yet... He has to move now.  and yet...    

 

I don’t want to.  

 

Tom-Cat is less shocked by the thought itself, than he is by the fact that it’s actually true.  Moreso, by how simply he wants it.  He swivels an ear, fists his hands at his sides, feeling rattled and immediately angry at himself.

 This isn’t my fight.  What the hell is wrong with him?

 

[OOC: 2/3]

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


Irihi liked
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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
 

 TOM CAT ┨

A Felonious Feline

 

═ ✽ ═

The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambush. Startled beasts indicate that an attack is coming. "

-Sun Tzu

 

“YOU ARE ALL ENEMIES! I WILL KILL YOU!”  His thoughts shatter as The Watcher’s roared words crack the air and carve a path straight through the center of his internal debate.  What happens next is a turning point for Tom-Cat, though its significance is lost under a series of pulse-pounding moments half-remembered in the record of bone-deep bruising, lacerations, and warm sensation of blood in his mouth. 

 

He redirects his attention towards the awful, magick-driven automaton. Then, a great number of things happen all at once, many of which are Tom-Cat thinking variations of: I’m going to die herrre; rrrun; and, fasterrr.  Later: Mine. 

 

It goes like this: The Watcher turns its single, spiteful green eye upon Myrae and begins to spin the top half of its body around in a circular motion, gaining speed as it rotates on its axis.  The massive, starmetal sword is held straight out from its body, with the flat side parallel to the ground.  The blade’s honed, razor-edge slices the air with a high-pitched whistle as it spins round and round in deadly revolutions.  It tilts down and angles the whirring blade towards the downed Myrae, obviously seeking to cleave the Drowess in two.

 

Tom-Cat’s taken a dozen or so steps towards the would be grisly crime scene (or so he thought), when he’s blindsided by a sudden realization: he won’t reach her in time. It stops him dead in his tracks as effectively as if he’d been cold clocked by the TonDen. 

 

The assassin knows he’s fast, probably faster than most; but he’s not that fast.  At this distance, there’s no way he could reach Myrae before that vicious spinning blade tore her asunder.  He could try and maybe he’d actually reach her, but it wouldn’t be enough.  It’d only serve  to bring him closer to the gore and place him directly within the metal monster’s murderous line of sight.  If he was a few feet closer, maybe there’d be a chan-  Tom-Cat never gets to finish the thought, the sing-song words of evocation setting off a cascading effect of events that he only remembers in vague impressions pressed into his skin and bones, and the rebounded echo of some predatory instinct chased from the shadowed spaces of his mind.

 

Myrae screams out an evocation and lifts the Drow-crafted sword; the vanta black blade draws light into it, and even voids the light refractions from The Watcher’s polished metal body.   The Watcher advances upon her, its spinning blade pitched to strike and sunder her body in two.  Despite the grisly inevitability of the situation, Tom-Cat can’t look away and he’s poised on the edge of motion, body held still and tense with terrible anticipation.  The modulation of the Drowess’ shouted words feed the power of her spell, and as she lifts the Drow-crafted sword against the towering behemoth that was now upon her.  The vanta black blade seems to bend and draw the light into it like a vortex; there’s a curious feeling in the air like a static charge before a gathering storm.  To his eyes, the atmosphere immediately surrounding the black sword bends inwards, compressing, and then all at once, the gathered energy shoots outwards in an explosive shockwave that hurts his ears and knocks The Watcher on its back, the light of its green eye extinguished - albeit temporarily.

 

Things move quickly after that.

 

Tom-Cat is already moving in Myrae’s direction, realizing that this is the only chance to get the Drowess out of immediate danger, when two thing happen at once: The Watcher gets back up and Miiya flies straight into danger for a daring (and stupid) rescue.  He ignores the panic he feels tightening his chest when the pair go tumbling arse-over-kettle in the sand, The Watcher’s massive starmetal blade biting into the sand where they had been just seconds earlier.  It’s obvious that the Aeros is panicking and not helping the situation at all, as he watches them struggle to hobble away from The Watcher, who booms out its iconic catchphrase one last time as it sets upon them.

 

“YOU ARE ALL ENEMIES! I WILL KILL YOU!”  There’s no time for his hackles to be raised, however, because he’s suddenly there, lifting Myrae’s free arm over his shoulders and taking on most of her weight.  Or at least, that’s his plan - he could probably lift the Drowess and carry her for a short distance, at least long enough to get them away from that huge starmetal sword, but the Aeros girl’s panic isn’t allowing that to happen.  He can feel vibrations of The Watcher behind them - so close, too close - and that primitive voice inside of him is absolutely screaming, drowning out any notions of being nice.  As Tom-Cat supports the injured Myrae, and indirectly struggles with the panicked Miiya to keep all three of them upright and, more importantly, moving away from the inexorable threat of the metal and magick titan closing in on them from behind, a random thought cuts across of animal panic and fear that’s been driving his actions up until then. 

 

 The night started out with such a gratifying pounce.  He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the thought, and has to tamp down the sudden hysteria from overtaking him as the alarm bells in his brain blare out danger warnings that shoot down his spine with a physical shudder.  His animal is so, so, close to the surface… Tom-Cat just barely swallows his panic and hysteria, and snaps out an order to Miiya.  It’s not nice or cute - he needs her to listen right now or they’re all going to die.  And that’s just not an option for him.

 

Let GO, you little idiot!” he hisses, leaning around Myrae to catch Miiya’s panic-stricken eye.  You’rrre going to get all of us killed.  Let go and RrrUN.”  And that’s the crux of it, isn’t it? Even if he doesn’t admit it, that’s the real crux of it.  He wants her, needs her, to run, to get away from The Watcher’s immediate kill box, and maybe they could all get out of this more or less in one piece.  And just as he hisses out the last word, it happens.  The Aeros is too panicked, isn’t listening, and she tugs particularly hard, which along with the panicked flapping of her wings, sends them all toppling off balance.

 

This isn’t good. There’s no time to think.  If they all go down, then they all die.  It’s as simple as that.  Tom-Cat knows it in his bones as surely as he knows that the animal in his skin is screeching at him to leave them and run.  But that isn’t an option - as soon as he took Myrae’s other arm and helped, it was no longer an option.  It’s something he’ll surely second guess later - much later - when his heart has ceased jackhammering in his chest and his thoughts have slowed down enough to sort through. Right now, however, Tom-Cat does what he always does in times of extreme stress: he lets his instincts reign.  And that’s exactly what he does.

 

Here’s what he knows: 1.) He trusts Myrae to take care of herself, and knows that she’ll escape if given the space and time to do so, and, 2.) He does not trust the Aeros girl to take care of herself or not allow her panic to get more than herself killed.  And for some reason, that’s just not acceptable to him.

 

With that in mind, Tom-Cat feels his body move, hardly thinking about what he’s doing.  Behind him, he hears The Watcher’s gears and metal begin to move as it raises its blade, noting that it doesn’t sound as smooth as it did before.  The mechanisms no longer seem as smoothly oiled as they were before; it’s moving maybe a second slower than it had been.  And that’s plenty of time for the assassin to execute one desperate plan, a last ditch effort to save their hides.  To an outside observer, it’s an example of fluid motion, graceful, and almost astounding that it managed to work.

 

And so it goes.  

 

Tom-Cat uses their falling momentum to his advantage and twists around to Myrae’s front.  Facing her, he catches her eye and throws himself backwards, gripping her shoulders in a bruising grip as he does so.  He leans forward as they fall back and quickly says, “Duck and rrroll, Myrrrae.”  Then, “and then rrrun!”  There’s no time to say anything more.  As soon as Tom-Cat’s shoulders hit the ground, he curls his body and plants his feet flat and firm at the Drowess’ midsection, using the natural energy built up from their backwards fall, her overhead trajectory above him, and a hard push with his legs to thrust her out of the way of danger.  There was no time to see how far out of the danger zone he was able to “throw” her, however; he had to keep his momentum going in order for this to work.

He tenses his stomach and uses the energy from his kick to regain his feet, barely touching the ground with left foot before pivoting hard towards Miiya.  Keeping low, ears flat to his head and his tail acting as a ballast, Tom-Cat plants his right foot and digs deep, pushing off from the ground hard as he launches himself at the Aeros who’s still mid-fall (he might be impressed with himself if he was able to see how fast he was moving right then).  He catches Miiya around the waist and manages to wrap his arms around her body and wings, or at least he’s able to pin her wings to her sides long enough to prevent her from immediately snapping them open and slowing their forward momentum.  He realizes as they go flying through the air that he’s built up way more energy than he originally thought, and they were going to hit the ground, hard.  It take a minor herculean feat, but Tom-Cat manages to twist them so that she’s above him, and he just catches sight of that massive starmetal blade slamming into the sand where they both had been just a split second earlier, before the air is punched out of him as they plow into the ground with enough force that he sees stars for a moment.

 

He keeps his arms wrapped around Miiya as they slam into the sand and skid for a few feet before coming to a haphazard halt.  She’s breathing hard, adrenaline and shock momentarily robbing both of them of their senses.  He can’t breathe, there’s no air in his lungs, he can’t breathe - until he abruptly is able to inhale a huge breath of air into his lungs.  He breathes in deeply, the world seeming to snap back into sharp focus for him, and he opens his eyes and realizes he’s looking directly into Miiya’s.  Some of the panic has ebbed from her expression and has been replaced instead by shock.  They stare at one another for a moment, breathing harshly as their thoughts slowly catch up to action, and Tom-Cat realizes that he still has his arms locked around her.  He starts to let her go, words bubbling up his throat - an apology? Something harsher? He’ll never find out because all at once that proverbial klaxon alarm in his brain is blaring and drowns out everything else.

,

Time slows as over her narrow shoulder he sees The Watcher already bearing down on them, the artificial light catching and glinting off of the sharp edge of the ridiculously huge starmetal blade as it sings towards them in a downwards arc.  Again, there’s no time for words or for thoughts, just instinct and action.  This time it’s not fluid or fancy or even the best course of action; he just reacts to get them both out of harm’s way.  Well, that was the plan at least.  

 

Tom-Cat locks his arms around the Aeros’ slender body and throws them to the side into a harsh, haphazard sort of roll.  There’s a screech of grinding metal above them, which he can’t place, but he knows they’re not far enough out of the way.  He presses them both down into the sand, molding himself against her until they’re as flat as possible, and hopes it’s enough to not be cut in half.  He grunts as he feels the pressure drag across his shoulders, but the pain doesn’t register immediately.  

 

The Watcher is momentarily stuck, Myrae’s earlier attack having done more damage than anyone could have originally imagined.  Tom-Cat knows they need to move now.  He starts to move, starts to get up, when the pain hits him all at once.  His back is already soaked, wet; there’s blood running in rivulets down his arms and sides.  The pain is as bright and sudden as a shooting star, and still there’s no time to allow it to cripple him.  Instead, he uses it to sharpen his focus, even though, as he sees the amount of blood already pooling around him to stain Miiya’s clothing, a part of him simply wants to pass out.

 

He drags her up, his features contorted and harsh with the pain and adrenaline flooding through him.  “GO NOW!” he yells pushing her, before stumbling off in a different direction than her.  Hopefully the monstrosity will follow him, but there’s no time to see if that’s the case.  There’s only the blood he flowing down his back and the primal instinct driving him forward.


 

[OOC: 3/3]

 

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
───────────
DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
───────────
RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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NoOne
(@noone)
Citizen Citizen
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
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Myrae

There was a whole lotta tossing going on. 

Myrae cleared her airway enough for a shallow gasp. Enough to blink the sand from her eyes and clear the roar in her ears from drowning in blood. Still head down to keep some air coming in, she saw the metal legs rise, then shift their stance, heard the creak and grind of blade and metal gauntlet above. She tensed for the dodge. Even as disabled as she was, she might survive this. She must needs only move a few inches to avoid the slow swings of the titanic sword. Should the Watcher try to spin up again, she would be able to back out of range of its spinning blade before the first revolution. 

Ready, here it com--"OOMP!" Abruptly, Myrae was lifted from her feet as something boney and feathered struck her midsection, eliciting a spume of air and bloody foam while carrying the drowess out from under the cleaving crushing sword. She skidded a few feet, flat on her back in the soft sand, and got one quick full breath, fighting through the reluctance of her stunned solar plexus. She didn't waste the precious air on words, and instead curled backwards and rolled to her feet. 

Miiya was yanking on her arm, but Myrae ignored her. Or she tried to. Despite being ridiculously light, the girl was strong. Far too strong. She also apparently had never helped anyone else walk, because all her tugging and flapping was accomplishing was to keep Myrae off-balance and distracted enough that she could not focus on the single most important task; not getting chopped in half.

Then the assassin was there--why?--and helping about as much as Miiya was hurting. Myrae took a half-second to glace at Tom-Cat through narrowed eyes.

Ah.

His focus was on the birdlet. A kind of wide-eyed tail-twitching fast-breathing fixation on miss fluttery tugs.

Myrae knew that look. If she'd had an ounce of breath to spare, she would have given voice to her thoughts. Children, control yourselves! 

And then she was flying again. Myrae did not care what Tom-Cat had said. She was surprised he had the wherewithal to speak to her at all, considering he had just chased his feathered toy in front of a speeding trainwreck of doom. She certainly had the reflexes to complete her boot-assisted flip and hit the sand running. Air was overrated. Distance between her person and starmetal death was much more valuable. 

After all this, Myrae still had the Draegloth's Claw! Hooray. It was time to bug out. Miiya had the battle instincts of a dodo. If she got herself and Tom-Cat killed, well that was just too bad for them, and pretty fiscally advantageous for the drowess. Myrae wasn't about to waste time, right now, doing the calculus to decide if she owed that bird brain anything. They'd see about that later, if she survived--if any of them did, for that matter.

The drowess did not look back, she did not run an evasive pattern, her ears told her that the chopping going on had nothing to do with her, that the haffers hadn't reformed their lines, and that was good enough. Some of those hafling archers and mages were going to recover, eventually. Myrae, in her present state, judged she could make the portal before the Watcher finished off Tom-Cat and Miiya. The same might not be true if one of the fur-foots got a lucky crossbow bolt into her. 


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Irihi
(@irihi)
Villainess Noble
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 662
 

Miiya

Then Tom Cat was beneath Myrae's other shoulder and doing a proper job of supporting the injured drowess. Miiya, on the other hand, had no idea how to carry the weight of another walking. She was pulling on Myrae's arm, stumbling, flapping, creating general confusion and knocking all three off-balance, without adding to the speed of their escape.

I have to leave them!

"Come ON!" Miiya grunted, hauling unhelpfully at Myrae even as The Watcher stomped after them, raising the starmetal blade once again. 

Tom Cat hissed at Miiya, but it was too late, the Aeros's efforts were worse than nothing as she toppled all three. 

Then something happened that she couldn't quite follow. She had been about to hit the sand directly under the descending blade when the world went topsy-turvy. The signals bypassed her brain, bouncing off her spine to her muscles. Low-altitude mid-air collision! Flare! Twist! Feet down! Beat!

None of that happened. Her wings were clamped to her sides. A too-hot body with a grip like steel had her trapped.

Another series of impulses raced down her nerves. Terrain! Can't pull up! Brace! Some of that happened in that Miiya got halfway to crash position before they struck the sand, resulting in her getting knees into Tom-Cat's abdomen and elbows pretty much in his face. 

They came to rest, neither one dead yet. Crash over, or averted by landing on a Tom-Cat really, Miiya's battle instincts took over. Those instincts being essentially a great white strobe in her brain outlining the command: "PANIC!" Miiya had a lot of martial training and sparring practice with gentle "uncle" Li. She had a decent amoung of play-fighting with Cahron. She had no actual experience with life-or-death combat, which was why she'd charged heedlessly head-long into it, and now--in the thick of things--had no idea how to extricate herself from it, survive it, or even to calm down enough to implement a single stitch of her training.

Fortunately, besides being panic-stricken, Miiya was also slow and frozen, and Tom-Cat was able to roll them both away from the second chop of the Watcher's sword, almost successfully. Unlike the assassin, the aeros girl barely registered her companion's presence, even as he saved them again and again. 

Instead, Miiya stared in horror at the gigantic blade that had missed ending their lives by inches. She did not notice Tom-Cat's distress, his injury and barely registered his exhortation as he yanked her upright. The catboy was collected, skilled, lithe, and brave, yet to her he was just a null space in the mural of death into which she stared; the life-preserver of a drowning girl, to be pushed down, sacrificed, abused without thought in her mindless scramble to keep from slipping beneath the waves. 

Though paralyzed with fear, her brain was searing everthing into memory. If she survived, Miiya might someday remember and regret. For now, the Aeros girl had only one thought.  

Get away!

It was not a smart thought. Berift of its escort, the Watcher was ineffective against small individual targets at close range. Had she remembered even the most basic of evasions, Miiya could have easily closed range with the golem and easily avoided its sword swings and ponderous footfalls until an opportunity to safely escape presented itself. 

Instead, she continued to give rein to her deadly instincts. Even as The Watcher pulled its great sword free, Miiya tried to launch, scrabbling at the loose sand in a blind panic. This time her flapping kicked up a sandstorm without any intent but escape. Tom-Cat, having released her, was completely forgotten in her mad dash to save her own skin.

Higher! Faster!

She heard the grinding of the sword behind her. Some ancient instinct told her to roll, dive, anything to escape the threat from behind, but she had zero energy, zero altitude. She was flapping, running in the sinking sand, desperately trying to gain maneuvering speed. There! The dune fell away to her right and she had just a little airspace to work with. 

Miiya jinked hard right.

There was another tremendous crash. 

She felt a sudden jerk to the left and lost trim. Instinctively she flared her primaries to rebalance. 

Nothing. 

Time seemed to slow as she rolled left, still flapping, each wingbeat banking her more and more out of attitude. That can't be right. She thought as she inverted, spilling what air her wings still held, and plowed into the sand, tumbling and flopping with wings still extended mid-beat.

Something wrenched and twisted in the crash. The pain nearly was instantaneous and she pulled her wings in tight while still somersaulting. Feet down, she came to rest in an upright crouch, by some miracle. Her left side was warm, wet. The gleaming wall of starmetal beside her was spackled red. As it lifted skyward, something bandaged and feathered rose from the sand with it, before sliding down the blade and falling beside her. The sight of her amputated wingtip dispelled the fog of panic clouding her mind as frost is wiped from a windowpane. The sudden clarity was sharp and horrifying, like a knife through a fingertip.

...no...

...no!

...no, No! NO! NO!

It could not be true! It was not her wing that she pulled from the bloodied sand. This just could not be happening. Her eyes were not working right, her nerves were wrong, she was okay, she had to be. This could not be a part of her she held in her hands. It could not be.

Except that it was.

There was no misapprehending this; the true nightmare that haunted every one of her race, a loss that was unbearable, and the realizations cascaded down, beating upon her, grinding her into the earth.

Denied the sky. 

Shunned pinioned outcast.

No mates. 

No children.

Banned from the Lunar Redoubt.

Just like Ma.

She had to get this agony out. She could not contain the enormity of it; the great frozen tumor of loss, the life she had just begun to discover snatched away sky-folded and broken. Clutching three feet severed from her wing, she pressed the bloodied Alula feathers to her chest, threw back her head, and screamed. 

Miiya could sing, not always on-key, but with plenty of enthusiastic volume to make up for lack of perfect pitch. This was not a song. It was not even a dirge. What came out, instead of the pain, was just air, in a gutteral shriek of abject suffering and loss. 

The immobile goiter that twisted up her insides remained, even as her lungs emptied. Now, the great sword hung above once more; her doom. Kneeling beneath it, Miiya folded her bleeding wing around herself and laid the pinfeathers of her severed limb softly upon her cheek, drawing in only the barest of breaths. Only a year upon the winds. I'm so sorry. 

I wish I had taken better care of us. 

Miiya stared blankly at the sand, seeing not the blood-painted granules, but the face of Sen, that all-to-familiar expression of crushing disappointment etched upon her careworn features. Of all the hurts stabbing into her with her wing held in her hands that one cut the deepest. I'm a failure. I can't, I don't want to...

Take me. 

She closed her eyes and exhaled, doing nothing to avoid the killing blow. A world without flight, crushing her flightless mother's wish for her daughter, that was not a world in which she could exist. Let them do as they would.


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NoOne
(@noone)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 477
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The Watcher

The golem did not feel fear, or pain, or frustration. Each time it was denied its kill, it moved on to try again and again and again until ENEMIES were dead or it could move no more. It was not disturbed by the sand gritting its joints and slowing its movements. It was not troubled by the distress of its escorts. It was an unstoppable weapon of war.

At the same time, it was not particularly fast, nor agile, which is why it usually operated in the company of a platoon of Hafling infantry. It did its best work against massed ENEMIES or other large targets such as seige towers, battering rams, trolls, and trebuchet. With it's escorts just now beginning to stir after Myrae's stunning explosion, the Watcher doggedly continued to try to cleave and pound the agile ENEMIES into the sand with its great weapon.

When the three ENEMIES scattered beneath its blade, the glittering green eye locked upon the pair of them; the winged one and the one with a tail. Better logic might have decreed it to engage the magickal one, but absent orders from its handlers, the Watcher's priorities were simple; destroy the largest ENEMY. 

It drove its sword down upon the pair, and again missed. Or at least the two were still moving. Again, grouped ENEMIES became separate units. The Watcher followed the great span of the winged one, which marked her as the target of highest priority. It swung its mighty blade and down she went, not a kill, but close. As its ENEMIES often were, she was quiescent in her final moment. To damaged or too afraid to move. Down swung the sword.  


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 654
 

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

═ ✽ ═

Spoiler
Tom-Cat in a Full-Feline Shift

 

TomCat Pounce(w.blood)1

[/spoiler]

 

═ ✽ ═

 

If he really thought about it, it’s galling that it isn’t even his own pain (physical, otherwise) that ends up being too much for the animal within his skin, to bear.  It’s Miiya’s scream.  Her purely animal cry of pain, loss, and so, so much more than that, things that could never be put into words: it was the sound of a soul crying out in such raw anguish from having received a wound filled with such deep and primeval pain, that it could only ever have been expressed in one long, haunting, and animalistic wail of primal loss.  It's pure grief.  Pure hurt.  Pure disbelief.  Pure anger.   It’s a sound that tore straight to the core of oneself and stung with a depth of pain and loss that neither he, nor anyone who heard it, could truly hope to understand everything contained within her animal scream.  On some level, all he understood was its primal core, the raw, cracked power of it that alluded to a basic concept of loss that was so great, that a part of him instinctively knew that he listened to the sound of her soul dying within the trembling echoes of her ghastly wail.

And it was on that same ancient, primitive level, that something within him answered.  The animal inside of him reared up in response to what it heard within Miiya's broken scream of tragedy and loss.  It hissed as it heard her will to live simply break. 

And the animal inside of him screamed out in both answer and challenge: NO.  

The animal claimed Miiya on the beach, had marked her with its scent as it'd held her pinned beneath its claws. 

She is his.

 The animal will not allow his prey to die.  Not here.  Not until it is ready to kill her, because she is his.  HIS.  Nobody else's.  He will allow no one - nothing - else to take her from him.  

She is his prey.

My prey.  MINE.

And that’s the last, truly aware thought that Tom-Cat has for a while, before the shift overtakes him, the animal finally ripping free of his useless two-legged form to tear with claws and fangs.  A forced shift was different from a normal one.  It's more violent and far more painful, the feeling crashing into him like a tidal wave made of shards of glass and the broken teeth of porcelain dolls.  His skin feels too small, itchy on the inside, like a hundred thousand ants crawled through his veins.  A cold sweat breaks out over his skin as his back erupted into fire as salt leaked into his open wounds.  Even that was nothing compared to the actual shift.

He can’t pinpoint one particular part of his body that changed first.  Everything seems to happen at once.  His ribs creak, his teeth start to ache, and then there’s an explosion of pain within every single part of him as every single bone in his body shatters and reforms into a different skeletal structure.  His jaw elongates,  his flat Uman teeth are pushed from their sockets by needle sharp feline fangs. His fingers leak blood as his fingernails crack and fall away, his fingers twisting unnaturally as the the bones break and regrow into padded paws with razor-sharp claws.  Fire sweeps his skin as sleek feline hair sprouts across every inch, and a final loud Crack! rends the air as his spine breaks and reshapes, forcing him lightly onto four powerful limbs.

His skin still itches, his bones still hurt, and as he flexes his paws and tastes the air with his new, far greater senses, the beast that was Tom-Cat raises its head and opens its maw, revealing rows of sharp teeth made for tearing and for ripping out throats.  In this form, he looks more like a panther than a housecat, his grey fur so dark as to be almost black under the artificial light.  And as the beast screams out in pure animal rage and pain, the eerie, guttural sound is likely to trigger a fear response in those who hear it, because no matter how many years of evolution have passed since the two-leggers stopped crawling around in the mud, there still existed a reptilian or animal hindbrain leftover from that ancient past which instinctively knows the cry of a predator.

Tom-Cat scents the air again and locates his prey.  There! There is my prey.  His sharp eyes see the unnatural abomination closing in on his feathered prey and he’s already moving before any sort of thought even has time to flit through his mind.  When it does it’s only this:

 My prey.  MINE.

It’s with this driving instinct that the sleek feline, with a great leap over The Watcher’s falling sword arm, looms over the desolate Miiya for a second.  Already dead? No: he sees the very faint rise and fall of her chest.

Still alive. 

My kill.  

My prey. 

MINE.

Miiya is already traumatized, bloodied and hurt, but Tom-Cat doesn’t care in the least as he bites down and takes her into his jaws.  If she feels the sharp points of his teeth tearing through skin and flesh, if she feels her bones creak and joints pop as he bites down hard on her shoulder and neck, she doesn’t show it.  He relishes the feel of her flesh between his jaws, the fresh flow of blood down his throat, but now is not the time or place to kill, to eat.  With the feathered prey firmly in his jaws, the sleek cat leaps away with his prize just as The Watcher’s great, starmetal blade slams into the ground where she’d been kneeling.

He carries his prey away from the stinking abomination, but not before turning once to narrow his eyes and hiss at The Watcher, the sound rising up from deep within his chest.   He turns with an angry swish of his tail and leaps through the Portal to safety, dragging his prey with him.

 

═ ✽ ═

 

On the other side, he lets go of Miiya for a moment, crouching over her and hissing and spitting at Myrae, the TonDen, and the little gnome as they also come through the Portal.  His tail lashes.  There’s blood on his muzzle.  There’s blood matting the fur of his back.  And it’s this last detail that probably saves his life and Miiya’s, ultimately: he heals a bit, every time he shifts, but the wound he received from The Watcher was deep, despite it looking like just a scratch at the time. (It was sure to leave an impressive scar, if he even cared about things like that.) Shifting had saved him from bleeding out, but he’d lost a lot of blood, regardless.

His acid yellow eyes lock onto Myrae, and some residual anger and confusion from before trickles into the here and now.   It translates into a furious cry and roar as he leaps, his jaws seeking to close around her throat.  He thinks he can taste the sweat from her skin under his tongue, thinks he tastes the faintest trace of blood from his sharp teeth scraping the skin of her throat, but who really knows.  Maybe he did get that close.  Maybe he did barrel into her, bore them both to the ground, his hindquarters readying their claws to dig into her soft belly and eviscerate.

That had been the plan. 

 Who knows how far Tom-Cat got, if his point was actually made, because before he knew it darkness has overtaken him.  Blood loss, exertion, and the pain of a forced shift stole his consciousness as suddenly as his instincts had told him to leap and kill.

It’s hard to say exactly when he shifted back into his two-legged form.  Only those who were awake would be able to tell him later if it was instantly or if it was hours later.  Either way, Tom-Cat, the felonious feline, the ferocious beast who’d “rescued” his prey, was out cold for a good long while.


[ooc: The Underneath - The Rift's Shifting Caverns - The Hidden Estate at Duskhill]

 

TOM-CAT: Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ☆Try Again - ★Powder Keg - Soft,soft - ★Stupid Little Tom-Cat - ★Miiya & Cat-Tom - ★Sparring - ☆The Great Tipsu Hunt! - Stolen Kiss - ☆Not Cheshire - Returning to Her - ★Baths & Comfort - ☆Wings, Tails, & Love - ☆Cave Storms - Climbing the Walls - ★Their 1st Kiss - ★Makeouts & Memories -Laughter & Kisses
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DAETH: Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - Sensing Death - ★Kissing Fate 2/2 - Precariously Balanced Nature - At Long Last, Eddellyn - Precipice - Entering the Hedge Maze - ★The Minotaur & The Labyrinth - Into the Aegis
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RISQUÉ: Fun with Fisticuffs!
[Chatte] Chat w/Castor - Proposing the Race
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★= extra fave]


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