Some say he was an ordinary man, some say he was a hero. Some even say he was a woman, but usually he was alone. Sometimes he was lost, sometimes he was running, sometimes he was on a mission, for what always varies- but he always ended up in the maze. Or rather, on the maze. An entire planet, with levels upon levels of twists and turns, dangers and hardships and dead ends; that's what anyone that lands there has to fight through. It's a struggle to survive torments that they have never before seen. Some who still believe in thinks like Gods say that the maze is a prison, for the most dangerous creatures and creations ever known. In the center, escape is found, but people don't always make it there. Some say the sky is made of fire, some say of diamonds, some that it's guarded by a darkness, a horror unable to be described. They say there are creatures within the maze like nothing anyone has ever seen before, that it is home to many the endangered species, forgotten throughout time and left on their own to die out. These creatures protect their planet, their maze, their home with everything they can; or so some say. Others tell of helpful beings, set up as guides for the poor souls to become trapped on the planet.
The center is the savior. It's the only way out, the point deepest inside the maze, and that is the part that varies the most from tale to tale, teller to teller. Some say within is glories, treasures that would make the hearts of kings ache with longing. Some tell stories and descriptions of beauty so extreme that any traveler to make it there would never want to leave. Every now and again, someone even says that the center holds something as simple as a teleport pad, though maybe a rather large one, able to send multiple people anywhere they like; some say this 'savior' inside isn't even worth the fight to get there.
But none of that matters anymore, not to you. You all thought it was just a bedtime story, a legend, something people told each other for entertainment in bars and around campfires. You were wrong. That much is evident when you wake up on the surface. Now is the time you find out what's real, what's the truth- and what was, indeed, only legend. Now you get to become legend yourself. It's your turn to fight your way to the center.
An unknown number of years in the future, the Earth has died. Humans have been scattered all throughout space, settling mostly on planets that already have inhabitants of another species. Nowadays, full-blooded humans are rare, though they do exist despite rumors, and a lot of them (but not all) are living happily on a small planet called Terra. One ship headed for Terra, full of humans, aliens, and hybrids alike, for reasons that vary from being to being, doesn't make it there. Not the way they planned it, anyway. You are on that ship. It got pulled in, sucked down by an unpredicted gravitational force and crash landed on the surface of a planet many had heard of, but few thought to really exist. In legends and bedtime stories, mentions of this planet with it's maze-like surface have been scattered all throughout time and space- the only thing remaining the same with every story and every teller, is one line. "The only way out, is in." Nearly everyone has heard tales of what happens in the many layers of this planet, and what lies on the very last layer. Now you're going to find out what's true, and what is only make believe.
Pictures would be fabulous. They aren't required, but really, fabulous.
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[font=verdana][size=85][b][color=#E01B6A]NAME::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]ALIAS(ES)::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]AGE::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]SEX::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]ORIENTATION::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]RACE::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]OTHER::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]anything else you think should go here?[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]DIETARY::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]MATING::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]AGING::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]ANATOMY::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]just basics, unless you wanna get all into it, in which case go right ahead[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]STATUS::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]dangerous? peaceful? endangered? etc.?[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]PLANET(S)::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]indigenous to? descriptions of the planets/atmospheres/etc. would be great, though not required[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]OTHER::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]anything else that hasn't been stated[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]LIKES::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]DISLIKES::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]type here[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]NOTES::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]random tidbits like fears and allergies, etc.[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]INTRO::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]instead of a history, you can just type up a scene from the ship before it crashed, which should also show us a glimpse of both your writing ability/style and your character's personality[/color]
[b][color=#E01B6A]OTHER::[/color][/b] [color=#B3A6AB]if you want to add on to history/personality, go right ahead and do that; anything else is welcome here, too[/color][/size][/font]
❇ Please give your characters flaws. I encourage you to take advantage of the amount of freedom you are being given, but if your character is faster, stronger, sexier, yadayada-er than all the other characters and no one gets a chance to show their individual strengths/weaknesses, then it's just no fun. Everyone deserves dehfunz.
❇ HAVE FUN, DANGIT. Seriously. What's the point of being here if you don't? If your character starts to bore you, you could always make another one and we could kill that one off. There are endless possibilities here, random new characters can be introduced pretty much whenever you want- just make sure to ask before going ahead and doing so. ;)
❇ If someone creates an alien race/species that you really like, and you want your character to be one of them, please ask the creator of the race/species first, and make sure you get all the information they have already laid out correct. Thank you!
❇ Try. Seriously, this should be the number one rule, or at least the number two on your rule-following-priorities list. (Yes, of course you should have one. What do you think this is? Sanity? Hah!) Put your back into it, soldier! No, but really, pleasepleaseplease put forth your best effort when creating new characters. After all, it is an entire species you're creating.
❇ For the sake of IC activity, let's assume that pretty much everyone goes through a washing of some extraterrestrial microbes, or has a chip installed in their brain, or something at a very young age, so that their brains automatically translate almost every alien language there is. You may make someone who doesn't, or a race/species whose language isn't included, just keep in mind that this will probably make it difficult for said character to be able to communicate with other characters, and vice-versa. If this is the case you should also provide some sort of reason, if not in the character sheet, in a PM to me. Please and thank you! :)
❇ I think that's it. Yeah. Oh, and feel free to make suggestions on anything you want, and ask questions. These things are important. Happy travels. <3
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A loud, alarmed series of chirps came from a spot deep in his throat, as his eyes fixed on another, smaller thing: a figure, that seemed to be alive. There were a lot of them, he thought, now that he was looking more at the ground than the machine, and there was no way they weren't hurt. "Oh," he whimpered, worry making an obvious appearance in his quiet voice. He took a step forward, then two steps back. The flesh of his forehead curved down, the worry coming out in his eyes as well as his tone as he whipped his head from side to side. What danger could be lurking out there for him today? It was always something new in this place, another thing to send him running and screaming back to his cave. He wanted to just stay there today, deep in his safe haven to treasure the fact that his shelter hadn't yet been destroyed, though it had been his home for so long. That was something so rare on this planet he'd found: safety. At the same time, he couldn't let himself; not with those figures, those bodies scattered around so helplessly. That was it, then? He had to help. Determination filled his eyes, but he still backed up. What could he do to help them? It's not as if any of them could run, and that was practically all he'd ever done. Running was the reason he was still alive.
It'd have to do this time, too, because before he could convince himself otherwise, he was sprinting on all fours toward the wreckage, tail waving behind him. It didn't take him long, his legs so fast even for a naturally agile camrong, but once he got there his determination was already wavering. What if they weren't as helpless as they looked? What if they were just a new danger? Another whimper sent him over the edge. Why was he always such a coward?! Oh, right, because it kept him alive. "Too bad," he murmured to himself, the words coming out in clicks and warbles. Slowly he made his way around the wrecked machinery, and peeked around at the bodies, all bent in ways that must be more than uncomfortable. "Oh, no..." He held his bottom teeth between his gums, then darted out to the body nearest to him. His eyes widened, and his body curled up next to it, whatever it was, his tail flicking about nervously. "Hmm?" he questioned, sound bubbling out as he scooted closer, then nudged the body with his knee. His head tilted to the side, twitchy nature beginning to show as he grew more and more nervous.
The flickering of the sky caught his eye as it always did, and he once again wondered how it managed to look like that- like someone had gone and lit the clouds on fire. Sometimes something like wet soot would rain down, hot then cold, cold then hot, and give the illusion even more evidence. A sigh came out like bubbles as he looked back down at the figure, nudging again, this time with his head. His toes curled into the black powder that covered this area of the surface, and his hands rested on his knees. "Wake up..." His whisper was hopeful, urgent, and he fought the urge to flee even harder every second he sat there, waiting for the bodies to stir. When he glanced around, he was happy to find no more than he would during an hour of calm- the land bare, empty except for the large holes that led to lower levels, and the occasional rock, some containing secret caves like the one he found refuge in. That refuge was so appealing, the holes so foreboding he found himself looking between them and the bodies like he wasn't sure which one needed more attention. That observation might even have been true.
“Goddamn ships,” muttered the Kafkan in his native language. This ride was going to be irritating. Yes, he wanted to go to Terra but he didn’t want to travel there. Travels were boring and most ships didn’t serve Ba’ath dishes. Where’s the teleportation device when you need it? He thought as he entered the ship.
The ship was quite small, though when compared to other civilian ships(except the Semein flagship Lat!uR, which was absolutely massive as it housed their entire population) it was of medium size. The Kafkan walked past a couple of doors and reached the elevator. “I hate travelling,” he grumbled again.
The ride had been pretty smooth until the turbulence that started a few minutes back. The turbulence only lasted a few seconds each time but the frequency was increasing. What the hell? thought the Kafkan as he got dressed. He had been trying to get some sleep and the turbulence wasn’t helping.
He went to towards Captain’s cabin but was stopped but a Security guard. The Kafkan would have gotten himself through if he had persuaded the guard and the Kafkan had started to try but left as soon as he realized the guard was a Nikolite, a silicon based life form. He was allergic to silicon and nitrogen based life forms. What a pain, he thought. He tried to sleep in his bunker but to no avail.
He went to the library instead. A lot of good books were available on the datapad, like the classic ‘Cow! Cow! Holy Cow!’ by Conrad, a Licun and ‘Kill me, Please’ by Sinon, a Craou. He put the earphone of his phone in his ears and pressed play. As ‘Beibs is Dead’ by Re Al Musizian was playing he started reading Conrad’s book.
The book read, “What a beautiful sight. Look there! It’s a cow. A huge ass cow! Let’s slaughter its ass and eat it... No Wait! Maybe we should make it into a holy thing! After all it soooo badass! Here’s to the hol-”
And then everything went to hell. From here until the Kafkan woke up near the crash site on a planet, everything was a blur. One moment he was pretty happy, next moment the ship was hurtling towards something making the Kafkan puke. The kafkan did wake up on the planet for a few seconds but exhaustion took over and he was fast asleep again.
The uncomfortable position he was made being asleep a big problem. But The'San did not want to move. He was still tired, and had likely broken a few bones. Not that the bones of a Minotaur were brittle, they were much stronger than any other humanoid's, but the crash was pretty rough. The Kafkan tried to move but couldn't; he had his seatbelts on. When did he manage to wear them? he wondered. It took him a few minutes to get it off.
He wriggled free and looked around. He was still in the wreckage. Most likely the spaceship had landed at an angle and that's why the hull was intact enough for him to be alive. Most of the passengers were dead, or just about. He moved his body parts slowly to make they weren't broken. His chest hurt a lot but he had to move.
He had quite a lot of blood on him, mostly not his. He scraped off as much blood off his clothes as he could and started to make his across the wreckage. There were a lot of sharp protruding pieces of metal all just long enough to get in the way. The blood on the ground made traversing without slipping difficult. Yes, he was a predator of much class, but still wet blood was a pain to deal with.
"Fu-" he shouted as he moved. His ankle was swollen though luckily it wasn't swollen enough to be considered broken. He noticed he was still breathing much faster than usual. Was he scared? He didn't know.
It took him five minutes to traverse the wreckage. There were small fires, nothing major, but the Kafkan knew the fires had a chance to reach the engine core. Luckily there were more than enough safety measures on board for the engine to not blow up sky high; but that didn't warrant the Kafkan to stay in the ship. Getting out and away was first priority.
He reached the captain's cabin. He really did want to go the other way but it was blocked. The pilot, a Stunch, a carbon based humanoid life form, was lying dead with half his body missing. The copilot, also a Stunch, was well, let's just say, The'San only knew he was Stunch because he had seen the flight crew list...
He looked outside and wondered what he would do next... He noticed some movement outside. Ah... Good... Survivors, he thought. The survivors would need a plan...
Loud cries of surprise rang hollow in his ears; jostled items crashed past his now-jellied feet. His hands immediately shot forward and clung onto the monitor's swinging arms, successfully saving himself from slamming his face against the very panel he'd been admiring. The turbulence was uncharacteristic for such a fleet vessel. How badly were his legs trembling? He had enough sense to fling himself into his chair before he became another uselessly somersaulting crewman trying to find their sea-legs across the shaking decks. His fingers flew across the keyboard, recoding an override before the security system locked out their pristine eject pods. Bleeping red lights answered him, accompanied by thick luminescent letters announcing that the escape pods were no longer functioning. Bright enough not to be mistaken for anything else. Chaos surrounded him, in a matter of seconds, people running and screaming as consoles and overhead panels shook loose in the aftershocks of some kind of unknown blast or anomalies. He didn't what had hit them or why nothing seemed to be functioning properly, nor could he spare a thought to anything but his erratic tapping. The frantic timbre of his tapping fingers, a truly classical piece if it'd been played across the ivory keys of a piano, was only met with disappointing bleeps indicating that his efforts were futile. His mouth twisted into a desperate frown, eyes pinched closed. Automated warning systems droned overhead.
Slowly, he began to come to consciousness. It was an almost familiar feeling, the slow peeling away of darkness to reveal several shades of grey. Blotchy silhouettes and unidentified forms wavered like hazy mirages. The pain followed – sometimes it was a throbbing, sometimes aching, and sometimes a sharp, dizzying feeling that made him want to retch the remnants of his dinner. Or, how long had it been? Perhaps, there was nothing left to come up. This time it was just a dull ache that permeated his entire skull, compressing his mind until he felt as if he were suffocating. As if something were pressing down on his ribcage, pressing them down dangerously close to his straining lungs, those useless organs who couldn't seem to fill with enough oxygen. His puckered gills wheezed open like the unfurling of a birds' wet wings, then closed, then flared once more. What had happened? Where was he? Smoke writhes from heaping masses of crunched metal and, from what he can access between watery eyes, smouldering corpses. Delicate control panels and viewing screens had been shredded in the assault, leaving nothing behind but limp and sad wires with tiny buttons dangling from them like dislocated eyeballs. Perhaps, the remaining life was trickling up his spine and causing him to hallucinate. Was he even alive? His eyes fluttered closed with a weak, dejected sigh. His arms felt lifeless and his legs equally useless. Even moving his eyes was a constant struggle and he soon gave up on it all; what was the point? He wasn't even aware where any of the others were, if anyone had actually survive or if he alone remained.
It seemed like ages passed before his eyes unglued. Sleep would not come. The Galapa rolled onto his stomach with the aid of his sluggishly slow-moving arms and leaned his cheek against the rough terrain; with each laboured breath a huff of dirt spat up in a lazy haze. He imagined the sandstorms he'd experienced on Kashgosha. Regardless of his innate hatred for barren wastelands, it wasn't likely that he'd explore any more planets. How far had he been thrown from the wreckage? Obviously, because he hadn't been properly strapped in, he'd been thrown from Engineering room upon impact and landed amongst the graveyard of scraps and sticky gore. To his irritation, Guppy found it difficult to unwind himself from the foetal position. He remained motionless, accessing the situation. He could hear the irregular heartbeats ricocheting off his ribcage and pulsing through his prickling arms and legs; thrumming uncomfortably through his ears. Skittering footsteps rekindled another flavour of fear within him, though he still couldn't gather enough strength to push himself to his feet. Feeble excuses echoed internally; regarding him as a coward who couldn't even gather enough willpower to save himself from being eaten alive. Something bunched around his midsection, warm, soft, then twitched. Were his intestines writhing out? No, no, impossible. He would've been in indescribable pain.
“What—” The Galapa's wheezing breaths hitched a few scales, then faltered completely. His intestines were not sloughing out of his stomach—no, not at all. There was something curled against his side; something humanoid with long arms and legs; something with a swishing tail and owlish eyes. It might've shocked him just as much as seeing the lifeblood drain out of him. Had he read about such a species? Such a perplexing thought at such an inappropriate time. He jerked his head and his long neck creaked ominously, gills flaring open. He swallowed, choked and sucked in three deep breaths, letting them out through his multiple nostrils. “Who are you? Where are we?” He croaked uncertainly, trying to regain himself. Appropriate questions would have been, “Are there any crew members left?” or “Am I alive? Is this a dream?” He simply didn't want to know. Whether or not he liked it or not; this was not, wherever this was, something he could control. He kept movement to a minimum, relaxed as much as his body will allow, in an attempt to conserve as much energy as possible. Not that he could truly escape if this unusual individual decided to plunge a blade clear through his belly. He'd certainly cause an unfortunate mess.
Lumi realized there was a problem before anything visibly happened. She felt the concern, the fear radiating from the front of the ship, but as she had a seat close to the very back, she couldn’t taste the specifics. Was it uncertain, or definite? Life-threatening, or merely enough to make their heart pound? She wondered if they were going to have to make an emergency landing. Perhaps Terra was not where she was destined to go after all. She glanced down at her arm for a moment, her white skin making the off-white cloth of the seat look yellow. If not Terra, she mused, where? Then, suddenly, she was thrown forward in her seat, smacking her head despite the empathic warning she’d been given. The rest she was oblivious to.
Something hurts. As soon as Lumi realized the pain, flashes of memory hit her before any true consciousness began. Every cut, scrape, broken bone, and burn she ever had came back to her as clearly as the day they had happened. She found, finally, her reason of pain this time wasn’t in her memory, and it was then she managed to force open her silver eyes.
Distorted metal was all around her, broken pieces of the ship scattered and smashing so everything was ruined. Her neighbor from before was no longer there, though considering what had happened to their section of the ship, Lumi had a feeling she would only have to look ahead to figure out where her body was. Lumi herself was boxed in, squished up against the side of the ship that had broken away from the main hull by a large piece of debris. Her left hand was throbbing, and when she compared the pain to the past, knew it was broken. She felt a scratch on her face and was sure her rib cage was bruised. Smoke filled the air, making her cough and tilt her head away as if she could breathe cleaner air from the sky.
Lumi tried to push the debris that was pinning her away, but found herself unable. She tried to wriggle out of the little space she was smushed in, but that almost made her break a rib. In her mind, she began sending out a distress call instinctively, despite knowing there were no other Estray on board who could pick up the mental plea. Try as she might, she couldn’t escape the ship, and fear began to close her throat in a way she wasn’t used to. It was much too soon to die, her mind still much too intact.
The fear, the painful, terrifying fear of the passengers who had survived, and the ones still on the ship who could not escape the death that for them was minutes away, was assaulting Lumi the longer she was awake. Her breathing came in shorter gasps, and she found thick, silver liquid sneaking from her eyes down her face, tears she did not want to shed but could not help. For some reason, she did not expect aide from the others. They were panic-stricken, and that lead to immediate self-interest. She understood. But in the meantime, she felt everything, including her own fear, and almost wished she had died instead of being forced to struggle this way. But she continued to struggle nonetheless. Wherever they were, after all, demanded exploration.
In a panic, Myrtle wriggled, noticing first that the varying shades of darkest grey at the edges of his vision shifted and second that his whiskers tickled as an indication that something was too close to his face.
Whiskers? he thought. I don't have-
"Oh." He'd shifted form in his sleep. Not an uncommon occurance but one which was usually a stress response. Although what could have stressed him significantly enough to warrant changing into something with whiskers was beyond him for the time being. It wasn't until he rolled over, realising that the not-quite-pitch-black was the desert floor and the shadow cast on it by his own face, and saw the crash site that his mind shot into overdrive and retrieved all information relevant to the sight before him.
He had a memory, strangely in reverse, of the incident which had led to him being where he now was, which was almost half a mile from the main bulk of what remained of the ship. He remembered first seeing the ground rising to meet him at substantial speed, then shifting form in midair to prevent as much damage as possible (A small, excessively furry, white ball with a tiny face and stubby legs, bred to be sheared for clothing material on many planets, was probably a good choice). He remembered being flung through a breach in the hull of the ship as it struck the ground on it's second bounce. He remembered seeing someone being pulled through that hole by the wind rushing through the ship. He remembered the screams, the running, the overwhelming sound of panic. The initial impact. The unbearable turbulence as the ship screamed towards the planet surface. The alarms starting when everyone already knew something was wrong. The first few shudders that set people on edge. And the final image, that one of a calm journey on a craft full of eager, excited people. People he could see in the distance, hazy figures on the ground.
It was time to investigate, for investigating was not only necessary at this point but it was also one of Myrtle's favourite things to do. And at a time such as this, what could help more than doing something he loved?
The Formam thought for a second and fixed on an image of a pet he had once seen. It was a quadruped with a long head, a variant of those canines that humans were so fond of, except hairless, endowed with longer teeth and either blessed or cursed with a series of spikes down it's spine. Mrytle was not inclined to like such a creature but it was the fastest running thing he had seen that was reasonably close to his own size.
The 'dog' bolted across the open desert, not as quickly as the real thing would have done but still rather fast, and covered the distance in a couple of minutes, all the while thinking just how lucky he was that he had sustained no injury more major that a few bumps and bruises through the incident. A headache proved he had collided fiercely enough to cause a blackout but the thick fur had protected him against any real damage. He imagined seeing the incident from afar and the 'dog' rolled to the floor, legs waving up to the sky with a series of yelps and yips coming from it's mouth at the mental picture of that ball of fluff catapulted across the sky and rolling across the open ground with a trail of dust billowing up behind it. Myrtle could laugh because Myrtle was uninjured and had not yet processed the idea that others may not have been so fortunate. The idea had certainly not crossed his mind that he would soon be wandering through a graveyard.
And so it was with a light heart that Myrtle, who still had yet to learn about fear, apprehension or death, bounded through the wreckage looking for someone else who had woken up. Everyone appeared to be asleep despite the blazing sun and he could understand. They had all been running around and yelling during the incident, they must need rest after such exhertion. He just hoped they would wake up soon. Some of them didn't look like they could stand too much time in the sun. Some already seemed to be incredibly sunburnt.
Humming pleasantly and bouncing along in the form of a somewhat scary, scaly, spiky canine creature, Myrtle listened out for the sound of anyone who had awoken from a slumber of length unknown. Soon he heard a cough from nearby and his ears pricked up. Certain traits were impossible to avoid imitating while in certain forms yet he relished in the moments he could not control more than any other and so was thrilled when he took off towards the noise with his tongue hanging frenziedly from his jaws.
The faint sounds of one who struggles for no more reason than they have nothing more to do soon became clear in the air, as clear as the smoke which lay thick above the wreckage, and Myrtle tentatively stepped towards it with his nose sniffing the air. His sense of smell was no more enhanced by taking the canine form than was his mental state but imitation was just so fun he could not help himself. After locating the general area Myrtle set about poking his head into cracks to try to find the mystery person and it was not long before he was met with a white-skinned and silver-eyed woman. It was a species he found both new and entracing.
Boo, he tried to say, forgetting to alter the creature's mouth and instead simply barking in the stranger's face, huge teeth seeming to grin from behind gnarled lips.
Fading with absorption, the electricity disappeared entirely. A few short moments elapsed, and then a pair of curiously-red eyes snapped open sharply. At once alert and aware, Jharitkvinforetur-Al flexed his hands, retracting the silvery claws that had escaped their confinement when the adrenaline had flooded his unwitting physiology upon his discovery of their impending collision.
Wordlessly, he stood, scanning the area for other living beings. Several minds were present but not active, most likely unconscious. A few were exhibiting more neural activity, and though he did not attempt to read the thoughts, he was able to pinpoint their location- not too far from his own.
This was immediately put from his mind, however, by the presence of another, insistently pinging about inside his head. Someone was at least partially telepathically-able, though the message as he received it was not in the sensical form of words, but merely a garble of distress and the occasional pain-sensation. It was making him distinctly uncomfortable, and for this reason among the obvious others he chose to deal with it first.
Picking his way carefully over the wreckage (he was, for the most part, uninjured, but taking chances was not an inclination of his species), he was outpaced in time by a quadrupedal creature that he did not recall seeing on the ship. His hue took on a slightly-perturbed yellow, and he ascertained that it was traveling in the same direction as he. Upon arrival at its presumed destination, the creature issued a bark, apparently peering down at something in the wreckage.
Unusually enough, the non-speaking creature was exhibiting a mental signature more commonly characteristic of humanoids, which was to say that Al was quite certain it could think in complex forms. Whether it was native to the unknown location the ship had crashed at or not was something he couldn’t determine, but at any rate it did not appear to be hostile. If you would excuse me, he requested of it, I think I’ll need to be moving some of these objects. For the distress signal was clearly issuing from here, and so it made the most sense to clear away anything that might be causing the problem.
An alabaster hand, twisted in a way that most limbs should not be, poked out from beneath a steel beam, which with some effort Al would be able to move. This may hurt, he informed whatever lay under the debris, but I can assure you of its necessity. With that (and perhaps a good deal less sympathy than he should have had, not that he knew any different), he carefully hefted the beam off and away from the small appendage. This slow-but-steady process preoccupied him for a few minutes, but eventually the wreckage in the immediate area was cleared away.
Are you able to move? he inquired. The girl- an Estray, if he was not mistaken- was small enough that carrying her would not be out of the question for someone of his size and stature, but it would of course be better news if she was able to do so under her own power.
Inhaling deeply, Al at last took in his surroundings with more than a simple passive observation. The dirt beneath his feet was black and grainy, broken up only by the occasional boulder dotting the horizon. The terrain indeed seemed to resemble that of their destination’s more desert-like regions, save that the coloration was off considerably.
What bothered him, though, was that in all his years and over all his studies, he had never once heard of anything quite like it.
He enjoyed traveling, but mostly he just flew to different planets; however, he had decided to take a ship to Terra this once, just to conserve his own energy. As he floated there, he couldn’t help but notice the variety of races within the ship, there were even half breeds which he frowned upon. He had no clue how different races mated with one another, nor did he want to find out, but the thought simply made him sick to his stomach. He floated away from those types of aliens and made his way over to a few purebloods, at least he could relate to them more.
Silence filtered into his ear holes, but it wasn’t to last. Talking sprung up between several occupants and the sound made him grouchy. He enjoyed silence, but a lot of noise caused him to be a bit irritable and the first thing he did was snap at the nearest alien, threatening to zap the poor alien if he didn’t move away from him. He turned his attention back to the encyclopedia of advanced races and species and continued reading, but the noise level was still growing and the turbulence was making it hard to concentrate. Cursing, the Derospex floated back to his quarters and lay upon the interesting looking device known as a “bed”. He closed his ocular holes and proceeded to allow himself sleep.
The tiny cat sized alien awoke, finding himself surrounded by wreckage. His vision was blurry and the only thing he remembered was awakening from his slumber earlier and having his head knocked hard against the wall. Grunting, he lifted himself off the ground and placed a tendril against his head, rubbing the spot that hit the hard metal of the ship. He was suffering from what the humans called a “headache” and it was growing in intensity.
“What the hell happened?” He asked out loud, but mostly to himself as he attempted to piece together the cause of the crash landing.
Looking around he noticed other bodies scattered about, while some still managed to cling to the destroyed hull of the ship. He didn’t know if they were dead or simply knocked unconscious, but they weren’t moving. The Derospex’s vision slowly stabilized as he floated there, gathering his bearings before attempting to move in any direction. When he was able to focus and take in his surroundings, he was utterly shocked by what he saw. His beautiful blue color was a beacon for predators on this dismal planet. He noticed movement from others who had been thrown out of the ship upon impact and noticed an odd creature, one that had nudged one of the unconscious beings only for the unconscious being to slowly awaken. Derospex found this display rather interesting and floated over to each and every body checking to make sure if they were alive or dead. Sadly, most were dead and the only ones alive were those who had begun to awaken from the wreckage.
“It seems we are the only survivors,” Xander spoke his voice quite melodic, “does anyone have a plan on escaping this dismal planet?”
A bark had him jumping again, startled maybe a bit too easily in his anxious state, considering he had heard the sounds of movement before and knew that if something was going to eat him, he was unlikely to get a warning first. "Oh," he whimpered, his stretchy smile turning down into a pout as he turned toward the sound. He couldn't see where the sounds were coming from, but he could tell that there were multiple beings moving about over there, and he wasn't sure how safe they were. Then again, he wasn't sure how safe this being in front of him was, either. Suspicious eyes turned back to the creature in front of him, and the contrast of white against black suddenly hit. "Oh, no," he whimpered again, the noise coming out more like chirps than words. There was no way they would remain unseen by any potential predators. If the giant mechanic wreck wasn't enough of a beacon, the bright creature in front of him would catch something's eye in no time. There was no escaping danger on the surface. "Move? Help?" the camrong offered again, "Hide?" With the last question, he began rubbing the black powder over the foreign creature, with hopes of a make shift camouflage. Not everyone could shift appearance according to their surroundings like he could, after all.
"Yipe!" Krill shrieked, noticing the bright blue creature floating their way. "Oh," his voice trembled. The little camrong curled in on himself, practically disappearing into the landscape with his black hide, though all seven of his eyes still moved about rapidly. "No," he nearly whispered in response to the inquiries of the floating creature, and he supposed, in response to the thoughts of the creature lying before them. He pointed one shaky finger toward the nearest hole in the ground, the other up to the flaming sky. "The only way up is down, in is the only way out..." It occurred to him what came of the man he met the last time something like this happened, and his eyes squeezed shut all at once. "No!" He shook his head, denying any further request of escape. "Move? Hide? Help?" the little camrong offered once more, his lips twisting into a squiggly position that was beyond strange, even for him, before he turned away from the foreign creatures. After one more pleading look, he took off toward the other sounds and only hoped that someone on the other side of the wreckage was able enough to survive.
Just a moment later, Lumi froze upon hearing disembodied words float into her head, an offer of help attached to them. She remained as still as possible while the person carefully lifted the metal panel that was trapping her away, until finally, she was free. Immediately she brought the broken appendage close to her body, but other than that she didn’t move. She stared up at her savior, partially in awe and partially in confusion, until she remembered she still had tears on her face. Quickly, she wiped them away with her uninjured hand and shakily managed to stand on her own. Her head was pounding, filled with the pain and fear of the crash despite the fact that the pained ones were mostly all dead at this point and the living were moving past shock and onto confusion. The memory of the tragedy lingered.
Thank you Cheyiin Lumi thought, having no qualms about opening her mind to another. She had seen him during the flight, but hadn’t been sure if he was who she thought he was. Now, as she craned her neck up at him to make up for their outstanding height difference, she was sure. Cheyiin was the name her people had given his, a very long time ago when Estray weren’t nearly as developed as they are now. There were no other known species with such telepathic abilities, especially not ones who matched the description of their legends to thoroughly. The stories say it was the Cheyiin, the Knowing Ones, who gave them the tools they needed to begin an era of technology that lasted to today. Estray considered them to be the pinnacle of evolution, and the fact that she was not only meeting one, but being assisted by him, made Lumi almost forget her throbbing hand. I can walk on my own, she added, just so it didn’t seem like she was ignoring his query. She tried very hard to not stare at him too much.
Stepping off and away from the debris, Lumi took a pause from her disbelief to analyze where they had landed. Conclusion: she had no idea. Though there were bits and pieces of the terrain that hinted at one place or another, all together none of it quite fit. Wherever they were, she had the fear they weren’t going to find any species with enough technology to send out a call for help. She hoped she'd at least find something to treat her hand with.
The high pitched voice of a creature she had never seen before startled Lumi into turning around, where she realized several other survivors were awake and gathered. She sensed in him jumbling feelings, ones that all knotted together and were hard to pick out individually, but among them was definitely fear. It was a different fear from the others though. It wasn’t a fear of the unknown, an uncertain nervousness. Oh no, this was a fright that came from experience. This creature knew what was in store for them, and feared it. It didn’t bode well. She looked up at Cheyiin, hoping he would have a clearer understanding of what was going on. According to the stories, they lived forever and collected information on the entire universe. She wasn't sure how much was true and how much was stretched for the sake of story-telling, but considering where she was, a near-perfect being on her side couldn't hurt.
The fact that he was addressed telepathically put him at ease, and his skin faded slowly to a cloudy mix of cream and foggy grey-blue. Of course, T’fira. It was an old word, once used for all younger siblings or members of the Kva’miri people, but one that had been reappropriated to refer almost exclusively to the Estray. His kind did not often meddle in the affairs of other species, preferring to watch and learn, but there had been a few occasions in their eons-long history when they’d made an exception.
Though Al had not been alive for it, he was aware that the most recent of these interferences was on behalf of this people, who while promising in the areas of individual skill and group culture, lacked the resources necessary to protect themselves from many dangers of a changing and increasingly-hostile environment. Voting that losing their potential was a risk that outweighed the need to be impartial, the Kva’miri had landed on Elmala, bringing with them the rudiments of their technology and knowledge of how to put it to use.
The records taken on the Estray beyond that encounter were absolutely fascinating, and he had read a number of them before his exile. He had expected to meet a few, of course, but not necessarily in circumstances such as these.
Which led him back to his present predicament. Glancing around, he noted that a few more stragglers had started to move, bringing them to about six or seven in total. Not many, for an entire passenger ship, but more fortunate than it would have been had none survived at all. At the Estray’s assurance that she could walk, he stepped back, allowing her room to do so free of impediment.
He glanced at the sentient canine (and something about that still nagged him, as though he were forgetting something important), and then at the Estray, who was regarding one of the others with a peculiar look. Not terribly skilled with reading the emotions of other species, Al wasn’t sure exactly what that meant, but… he shifted his focus, studying the landscape around him more intently. There was something so almost-familiar about it, like a half-remembered dream. It must have been something he’d read, but the Kva’miri were quite clear in their writings most of the time, vagueness and artistry reserved for poetry and song rather than chronicles.
The only way out, is in. The line came to him in a flash of memory, and he unconsciously projected it to all of the people around him, his mental tone as clinical as ever, but with an underlying solemnity. That was what he was trying so hard to remember, but… what exactly did it mean?
So having thought, he touched two fingers to his lips and narrowed his eyes slightly. A minute shake of his head, and he lowered his hand. His colors shifted again, moving more quickly over the surface of his skin, now a dull orange. Striding over to what seemed the largest group of the others, he looked around. These were… a Kafkan Minotaur, a Galapa, and a Derospex, if he was not mistaken. The other, even he did not recognize, which led him to believe that it was probably native to this equally-obscure place. Whatever it was, he was able to pick up on the distressed tone of its words, and tried not to flinch at the high pitch of its voice. Voices were still difficult for him to tolerate, and for whatever reason, this went doubly for the shrill ones.
Still, the implications of what was going on, hastily patched together in his mind, were more important than the method of delivery, and he pushed his discomfort aside. What do you fear, little one? he asked it, again projecting enough so that everyone present would understand the question, so that when the answer came, it would be properly in context for all of them and not solely himself.
The unidentifiable creature – who'd introduced itself as Krill – remained justifiably unidentified. When questioning it's origins, the Galapa had literally meant it's species, it's gender identification, it's peculiar racial background and it's taxonomic ranking dependant on the planet's racial classification. Regardless, he'd mutely acquiesced that it's non de plume response would have to do. The nameless one was trilling happily, scooting along on long limbs. It's smooth skin seemed illogical in such harsh climates. Wouldn't it benefit in developing reptilian scales or a hardened shell? Evolution seemed backwards on this planet – biological organization and inherited characteristics dependant on terrain was necessary for survival. “Evidently. Krill – that is your name, yes?” His voice was clipped, monotone, nearly programmed. His face was scarred, riddled with old cuts, each with it's own story. He shifted a little, throwing one lanky arm over the back of the scrap-metal-things draped over his lower legs, blinking those dark eyes at Krill and giving a short nod. It's toothless mouth gaped soundlessly, stretched wide in a nonsensical smile – flexibility was admirable. Then, it offered it's assistance. The Galapa nodded curtly and, with Krill's helping hands, so willing, so astonishingly harmless, moved the remaining sheets of metal from his legs and offered it's slender shoulder to support his weight while he rocked himself back on his heels.
“Gratitude. You have my thanks.” The Galapa acknowledge.. His hands, like his speech, were very quick. Three-pronged fingertips probed the shallow wounds punctured across his biceps, softly, gently. Small lacerations. Hardly notable. For such a large scale crash, the Galapa hadn't sustained any extraordinary wounds – nor was he in any need of medical attention. He couldn't say that much for everyone else who'd been aboard the vessel. Only a quick glance about the wreckage – with it's metal fragments forming barbaric pillars of melted morsels and incinerated niceties – was needed to glimpse the various limbs strewn about the dusky terrain like discharged dummies. Nothing could be done. His responsibilities concerning the ships landing were permanently terminated. His survivability was important to carry out his research – such things were far too crucial to allow himself to simply die. Becoming an insects next meal while he decomposed: an insignificant end. His finned ears flattened against his skull – had he heard a bark? Of the canine variety, to be sure. His au courant companion did not seem so thrilled to hear the anonymous canine's baying. Perhaps, a little bit apprehensive, which could indicate parochial predators much larger than Krill's species. He needed to be cautious. The Galapa's dynamic colours would not fare him well in such circumstances: not at all. Double-lidded palpebra's blinked like the shutters of a camera, considering.
Then, Krill's hands deftly scooped clumps of the black powder and began patting the substance across the majority of his exposed arms and chest. Luckily, the Galapa's fitted pants were unscathed. His gills, unintentionally, flared and puffed black clouds from below his neckline before neatly folding back against the folds of his long neck. He clucked appreciatively, bobbing his head forward. Tribunal kindness arose uncertainties. What would Krill gain in helping him? He followed Krill's gave towards the clearing – and the subject of his distress – and curled his lips back across his canines before settling into a calculating frown. Species: Derospex. Omnivores. Intelligence uncanny – would certainly be useful to form an allegiance person. “Finding a new means of transportation: imperative.” His eyes shuttered closed, as if collecting his thoughts within the open folds of his palms, then focused on the wreckage. It reflected in the blacks of his expanded iris. “Excessive damage, I'm afraid. Impossible to rebuild our ship.” The Galapa's forehead crinkled inwards at Krill's curtailed enquiries. He seemed to grow more anxious – as if remaining still decreased their chances of survival. His mouth worked silently, then moved to respond. Before any words could form, Krill's squiggled form bunched and pounced forward in the opposite direction. Towards the faint sounds of scrapping metal and laboured breaths.
The only way up is down, in is the only way out...
Perhaps, this was a flowery puzzle. He could not say for sure. The Galapa's eyes tore away from Krill's retreating form before he finally grunted and heaved himself back onto his feet. “Wish this was under better circumstances. Voalkath'Lonlael Reust – commonly referred to as Guppy. Was the ship's engineer.” He introduced, then added, curtly, “No longer.” This, followed by a crooked smile, ended his meagre introduction before he swept his hand forward, indicating the direction Krill had gone. “Seems we are not alone.”
He noticed a instrument on the table. Captain's manual it was, a book reader of sorts, covered with goo, or blood. He picked it and cleaned it with whatever clean cloth he found, that didn't belong to him. And boy, was there such a shortage of clean cloth. Finally he had to use the his own cloth, slightly angering him. What was he even going through the book for anyways? The ship was down and out and ready to explode and he was, in most likeliness, going down, or rather up, with with. But why should? He wasn't the captain. He looked at the captain. "Useless piece of trash," he said.
He rummaged around for a while. There was really nothing here. A few batteries, a torch ( broken if you are wondering), and some other stuff that The'San did not recognize. For the second time he felt like calling someone, or rather something, as a useless piece of trash. He read a few pages of the electric-book and closed it when he realized he wasn't in the right frame to read super advanced Common. After taking all the batteries, one in total, that weren't destroyed, he started moving. The corridor where he had woken up after the crash had only one other door, the Lieutenant's office. But before he went inside he decided to go back to the place where he had turned back from.
The three minutes it took him to reach, he had spent hoping that the impassable mess hadn't really existed and that he would be able to pass with no problem. Alas! It was still there and actually looked more menacing. The entire corridor had crumpled on itself, onto a singularity. Sharp metal protruded from the mess, and it looked like a bunch tiny-people were pointing spears at him. But unlike the tiny-people's spears, these would kill with no trouble. A wire hung near the metal and sparks occasionally flew between it and the metal. Somewhere, there was still a working generator. And that meant one crucial thing. No, not that he could possibly repair this ship. It meant that the ship will explode in all likeliness if they didn't shutdown all the systems. The'San would love to be a gazillion miles away, on Earth solving a crisis, when they tried that.
He stood now before the door of the room the lieutenant had been given. The Only way out, is in, he thought and walked inside. The room was, barely illuminated by the little light that the light-machines in the corridor provided. He walked inside and by the grace of whatever devil had decided to make his life miserable that day, he stepped on some goo, most likely blood. Of course, there'd be blood. What he didn't understand was why he was the only one breathing on the ship ( as far as he knew). What had saved him? Maybe he had a guardian angel? Or maybe the devil wanted to play with a little longer. His ribs did hurt a bit, now that he thought about it. His head too ached, but that did not stop him from getting exceedingly happy when he saw a way out.
It was small and dirty, and dangerous, but he had to do it. All that clear enough path had given him a tunnel of twisted metal. He wadded through it.
The first breath of the air of the surface of the planet would have been wasted in laughing, if Kafkan Minotaurs could laugh. In reality, they too have "We are safe" expressions but that involved his tentacles, which worked as sensors. He had once heard that people on a small island on Earth loved tentacles. Maybe after solving a crisis, he'd go and enjoy some time there?
Before him stood a great cave. And survivors, too. He saw a Galappa, a Durospex and a- a something. For the most part, it was humanoid. However, its skin was a lot smoother, and it seemed to have some kind of camouflage, possibly natural. It was also much smaller than the average human, in both height and weight, but had longer arms, legs, fingers, and necks. Its ears did not poke out separately from its heads like those of human's, but rather appeared as small bumps on the sides of its head with holes in the center. What an weird creature it was. He stepped towards it.
And then, just as he was about to shift to a form he could use to speak, more people arrived. More friends to make. He turned and began bounding from side to side, his canine equivalent of hopping from one foot to the other (He loved this motion above all other human displays). A high voice caught his attention and he immediately realised it belonged to a species he had never heard or read about. His first instinct was to shift.
It was a fast change, they usually were. Flicking from his left side and heading right, his paws lengthened and his back arched. His snout receeded and his eyes grew and every feature simply melted away and it was as though the native of this strange planet appeared from the still surface of an undisturbed lake. Every feature was perfect within a few seconds, including the voicebox.
"The only way up is down!" Myrtle hollared the words back in an almost identical voice, the only difference being that he sounded a little chirpier than the original source. He grinned, assuming what a grin would look like on this bizarre little creature, and tried to take a step forward. This effort was rewarded with a fall to the ground, where Myrtle landed with a heavy thump on his new body's behind. "DOWN!" His grin grew wider. "Or up?"
Myrtle could not remember the last time he had had such a wonderful time, yet he was puzzled by the lack of excitement and enthusiasm from those surrounding him. Such unique and varied species in such close proximity, so much to say and learn, so many skins to walk in! He looked around again at his new environment. It certainly did not look like Terra.
Most recent OOC posts in The Only Way Out
OMG, you have two 'z's in your name! You lucky bugger! I'd love me some 'X' and 'Z' in my name. Alas! I don't even have a Q.
Wait, there were cats? Oh, Final...
Aw, Fate! D: *tackle hugs and sends lots of good vibes for daddy*
Guize. Guize. I'M MOVING, Y'ALL. So my laptop has been ignored. It's mad at me, too, it's okay. REALLY, THOUGH. I'll be reading and jazz throughout today and as soon as we're all finished with the house junk I'll be back to my lack-of-social-life-induced 20/7 internet schedule.
I am shamed. *return fives*
Also, I'll be the first to return a virtual high five to Yonibuns! Shame on you all, leaving Yoni hanging like that.
Doesn't it? That's peculiar. It seems to have all the proper labeling. Maybe it's just a site glitch. I'll look into it.
EDIT: Why does this OOC not show up in the OOC forum?
//high-fives all around//
Oh, I edited the end a bit, so if you happened to see it RIGHT as I posted, I'd check it again. Not that I imagine anyone did. Just if. :P
I'll totally make a post too then. I'll wait for you though Final so I don't step on toes.
Ok. I too shall get a post up then, within a day I guess. I'ma not sure.
Also, I hadn't run away. Also, hello all.