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Serpents in the Sun

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

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Character Portrait: Eldridge Perrette
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It smelled of petrichor as Eldridge maneuvered himself between the trees, which meant many things. As it was high past noon, the usual swelter of the day had returned despite the morning rain, and the humidity that the forest contained made his clothing stick to him like a second skin. He paid no mind, however, as he was more focused on his mark, which the still damp soil was enabling him to track so swiftly.

He was following the large impressions left behind by his target, as well as the general breakage of branches and scratch marks in bark it left behind. If this were still the old world, one might confuse the beast he was tracking for a bear.

But this wasn't the old world anymore.

Nor was it a bear.

A sudden stillness in the air caused Eldridge to halt his pursuit, and he stood motionless, senses acutely aware of everything going on around him. The sound of a twig breaking in the distance caused El to snap his head in that direction, only to see an animal of quite inferior size to what he was looking for dash out of sight. He smirked.

A rabbit, huh? And here I thought they were extinct.

He was unable to continue that train of thought, however, as a rather loud roar pierced the silence, followed by a deep rumbling in the ground. With a grace that almost betrayed his humanity, El moved to gain the high ground, scaling a tree with wide branches and drawing his bow.

An arrow was drawn and notched by the time the rumbling had begun to near, and El kept his eyes in the direction of the source, waiting for whatever it belonged to appear on the horizon. Nothing did, however, even as the rumbling grew louder and closer.

Then, all of a sudden, it ceased.

Hair stood on end as El sat there, with no nearby animal life to pierce the silence. No, all the other animals had already ran. But from what?

The answer to that question suddenly burst out from underneath the ground, sending rocks and other debris flying in all directions. Partially uprooted by the emergence of the creature, the tree El crouched in began to list over, slowly at first, but then its descent gradually began to pick up.

Before hitting the ground, El jumped and rolled, springing up after the roll ended and notching an arrow with pristine speed once more. This one didn't remain notched, as El had let it loose the moment the arrowhead had lined up with the creature, which could only be described as a combination between a mole and a bear.

It was a bit larger than a bear in stature, and its front claws were much larger than its hind ones, as they were used primarily for digging and hunting. The creature also had no eyes, which only meant to El that it had one less weakness. Which is why, when he aimed, that he had aimed for the neck.

Not that it did much, besides piss off the poor thing, which began to flail wildly and let loose more dirt and more angry noises. It wasn't close to dying, not yet, but it sure put up a fuss. Fortunately, no eyes also meant that it couldn't see him.

Deducing that its primary form of identification was its sense of smell, El slowly moved to mask his scent with the surrounding earth. He backed up as he did so, crouched low and feet wide apart to minimize the amount of noise he generated. After he got a reasonable distance back, he debated running, but instead notched another arrow and took aim.



Setting

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Character Portrait: Eldridge Perrette Character Portrait: Tyra Vinter
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None, not a single trace, this was the wrong spot. In order to track it one would have to find some sort of mark it left behind, it wasn't in this area. It annoyed her immensely she was having difficulty finding her target, even if the beast traveled underground she should find some sort of remnant of its tunneling. Had she been given the wrong area? Cursing under her breath, Tyra lifted her goggles from her eyes, this was no hunt.

Despite the obvious danger, in the woods she felt at peace. The warm, moist air brushing against her skin while she walked casually through the trees. Her ears were picking up even the slightest noises, the light chirping of birds, the slight breeze rusting the branches, her own footsteps into the soggy earth. Then unexpectedly, erupting earth, a toppling tree, but most importantly, the howls of a beast.

In a moment the goggles shielded her eyes once more, dashing quickly and silently through the forest. Each step carefully placed to mask her approach despite the great speed. Through the thicket she saw it, the bear like creature that had been avoiding her, now revealing itself and howling like the prey it was.

An arrow was already inside its neck, providing nothing more then displeasure to the thick skinned brute. Its protruding bones gave it even greater natural armor on top of the natural bulk and muscle filled exterior. With a skull that thick the only ways she could kill it were poisons, attrition, or piercing its heart. Only one of those were an option however, she lacked poison, and with its burrowing abilities in would simple escape should it not be killed quickly.

A plan formulated quickly, without hesitation she took an arrow from her quiver. Tyra pulled the arm of her coat down, bringing the tip of the arrow and cutting down a previous scar that was on her forearm. With the tip of the arrow coated in blood, a tight grip formed around her bow, and in the next moment she aimed and fired. Before that arrow even landed another was notched into the bowstring, waiting for the moment it would be sent into the creature. The first arrow soared, landing in the back on a tree nearby the animal, high enough to ensure it would have to knock the tree down or climb. She had barely acknowledged the man who was in the dirt, only hoping his scent was mostly masked.

Hearing the arrow in the tree, like any blind creature on the hurt, it would assume its prey was trying to hide or escape. The sensitive nose of the target would pick up on the blood quicker then the other hunter if he had masked his scent with the dirt. Everything went as she hoped, in the moment it reared to take the tree down her arrow was loosed. It spiraled straight into her prey, piercing the heart of the brute.

It took only a short time for it to perish from the wound, the shot was true and the vital organ had failed her prey in its time of need. Blood dripped down her left arm and trickled off her fingers, dotting the earth below her. Her plan would never have worked if she was much closer to the animal, it would have failed if she wasn't upwind as well. Failure however, was not something she did often, circumstance allowed that plan to work and she was certain if conditions were different another would have formulated.

Using her right arm, Tyra lifted the goggles to the top her head. Current she lacked anything to bandage her other arm properly, so she would have to return home with relative haste. However now that the hunt was over, more concern for the other hunter had entered her mind. Other forest critters had cleared out with the more ferocious one arriving, so it was safe for the time being anyway. Dashing through the brush with feline grace, Tyra made her way to the male hunter. She offered nothing other then a cold gaze and simple words, "Are you wounded?"

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Character Portrait: Eldridge Perrette Character Portrait: Tyra Vinter
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The arrival of another startled him, and if he hadn't been as focused as he was at the time, he might have instinctively sent his arrow flying at them rather than the beast. The other was wearing goggles, and after a few short seconds, Eldridge was able to identify her as female.

His heroine.

She moved fluidly, her actions seeming to sync up with the piston-fire in his brain as he processed what was unfolding before him. She had sliced her arm to apply her own blood to her arrow.

A deterrent. Clever.

The blood-soaked arrow was shortly loosed after, and he tracked its progress into the thick of a tree beyond the beast. With another mental nod to her resourcefulness, and perhaps a mental note to remember to steal that move, he lowered his arrow at the same moment she had fired off her second one and it planted itself into the creatures heart.

He was making the motions to replace the arrow in his quiver and standing up when the female hunter approached him. Her goggles had been moved by then, and her eyes were now unobscured. The daggers she bore at him were cold, but the ones he glanced back were only fueled by a sense of wonderment and admiration.

She questioned his well being, and he almost chuckled aloud at the irony, instead choosing to mentally acknowledge it. Before answering, his gaze dropped from her eyes to her own wound, and he noted the old scar tissue that bordered the cut.

She's done that before.

He held his bow still, in his left hand, not entirely off edge yet. A firm nod answered the girl before he approached the now deceased creature. Turning his gaze back to her, he spoke.

"The contract said it was just a dire-bear."

He figured that explanation would be enough, if she was what he expected her to be.



Setting

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Character Portrait: Eldridge Perrette Character Portrait: Tyra Vinter
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He was mislead, no, the contract was more then likely mistaken. From behind the two creatures would look rather similar, knowing this however did not stop Tyra from doubting the other hunters ability. Striding forward to her deceased prey, she reached to her upper thigh, pulling her knife from its home. Kneeling down in front of the beast she began to carve its paws, the sharp claws may prove of some worth despite her inability to carry back a full load of meat. Without looking away from her process she spoke to the man coldly.

"You can tell the difference from the tracks, and the territorial markings." She quickly finished removing the sharp, and weighty, claws from one of the paws. Bundling them in her arms, Tyra picked one out and tossed it over to the other hunter.

"Top heavy, sharp, curved differently for burrowing." While the bounty was little it was proof of the finished job, now she could return home. Beginning herself on the way, without looking back she spoke once more.

"Learn that if you don't want to die." Keeping the claws held in her right hand, the left one raised at a right angle from her shoulder, as a way to wave goodbye. Now internally she desperately hoped he had something else to do out here or would take a different path. Those words were the cool 'I'm not walking in the same direction as you' kind.

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