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Snippet #2821776

located in Short Stories From the Abyss, a part of The Abyssal Paradox, one of the many universes on RPG.

Short Stories From the Abyss

Into the Abyss; another world of strangeness beneath the plates of Titan's Fall.

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The short, weasel shaped man finally came to a halt far outside the Stoneworks, shaking and out of breath. He rubbed his backside where his white and red, heart-pattern boxers were showing and shakily pulled a crumpled pack of cigarettes out of a vest pocket. The wolves had stopped chasing him a while back, but he'd felt compelled to continue running until it was physically impossible to continue.

"Goddamn wolves," he whined, bringing a deformed cigarette to his lips and flicking the flint on his lighter. A slender, black gloved finger gently pressed the flame out, and the acrid stench of burnt leather filled his nostrils instead of the sharp aroma of tobacco. He flinched, looking up suddenly into the silhouette of a person he had neither heard, nor sensed approach.

"No open flames," she commanded, in a mechanical monotone. The sharp hiss of a mechanism in her backpack releasing a short burst of pressurized gas punctuated her words. "What did you learn?"

A terrified squeak was all he could manage to utter in reply. Burgundy eyes narrowed down at him with palpable disgust, near luminous from the inside the rough fabric of her hood. She exhaled a note of exasperation into the filtered mask covering the lower half of her face and turned away from him to survey the vast emptiness of the town outskirts. He gasped for breath as though an enormous weight had just been lifted from his chest and hurriedly mopped the cold sweat from his brow with his sleeve.

"W-w-wha-what are-"

"My presence is unofficial... for now," she informed, to which the weasel seemed immediately relieved.

He took a breath, and then began to vomit out the morning's events in while she approached a scar in the landscape. They'd ended up near the site of the morning's battle, as the intel she'd intercepted reported at least. The weasel followed close behind, chattering ceaselessly about ravens and "shinies." Occasionally he'd take a breath, and the quiet whirr of the compressor in her pack would break the silence.

The woman's composite-toed boots crunched with intentional heaviness through the detritus as she knelt down to pluck a rock from the lip of the scar and examine it closely. It was rough and dusty on one side, like a piece of rubble should be, though the side facing the interior of the scar had been cut to a near polished finish. She wiped the dust from gloves onto her black and navy colored fatigues and walked briskly to what she guessed was the scar's origin point. The weasel followed behind, describing in excruciating detail how the wolves had separated the fabric of his trousers from his ass while she grasped at something intangible in the air.

"... And then I ended up here," he finally finished, watching the woman rub the air slowly between her gloved fingers as though she were sampling a soft fabric. The weasel fidgeted nervously in the silence as she carefully scraped some brackish salt-water and... webbing(?) into a glass vials and then moved to closely examine a shard of metal. "U-um," he stammered, when the silence was no longer bearable. The worn, half-melted ends of her half-cloak fluttered for a moment, driving him to swallow the rest of his words. Suddenly, she strode off with a purpose, and he jogged to keep up with her. Something in the distance had caught her eye, and he was just glad it wasn't him.

After a while they arrived in an area where the ground had been stained by some kind of sticky residue which carried a strong saccharine scent of... sour apple? She knelt down and picked up the smashed remains of what was probably a helmet, staring quietly into the remaining eye of its mask for what felt like ages. She flicked a stone at him, which he nearly dropped when it proved hot against his skin.

"That should satisfy the Corvids. I doubt they give us any real information but see what they know anyway," she commanded, rising to her feet with the mask shard.

"A fire crystal?!" He exclaimed with a note of incredulity. "I'm to just give this to a bunch of birds?! Do you know how much these cost?!" He spat, pointing the glowing crystal at her accusingly. The weasel's anger evaporated when she turned her burgundy gaze on him. He recoiled away from her with an intimidated yelp and began shuffling back towards the Stoneworks.

"After you're done, tell our 'friends' in the Halcyon Horde that the Templar are in Undercity. That should keep them out of our way for a while."