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  • Beqanna


    Assailant -- Year 226


    "But the dream, the echo, slips from him as quickly as he had found it and as consciousness comes to him (a slap and not the gentle waves of oceanic tides), it dissolves entirely. His muscles relax as the cold claims him again, as the numbness sets in, and when his grey eyes open, there’s nothing but the faint after burn of a dream often trod and never remembered." --Brigade, written by Laura

    [open]  things fall apart; any


    It returns, as so many do, to this land.
    It is older, now, and in this, more dangerous. Its body is strange and alien, its skills sharp and deadly. It is undoubtedly a predator among animals designated prey by nature, this strange alien, child of a dark god and a monster. And it does what predators do - it hunts. It kills. It rends and tears and swallows flesh and it does not feel remorse for these things, because the hunt sates the hunger. It is the nature of things, and nature is, as they say, red in tooth and claw.
    But there are other things, thoughts that rise up and away from the reptilian seat of its brain. It knows that there is a kinship, however frayed, to the other creatures around it. That it, while foreign, is not entirely so.
    It can speak, though the words are sometimes labored. It has practiced, on its own, making its strange mouth form the sounds, though it has been a long time since anyone has spoken back in return.

    It feels a pull. A homing instinct, the way birds migrate south for the winter. But this pull isn’t so clean, it is undecipherable. Though perhaps to the birds, the pull of the south is undecipherable as well. Perhaps there is some reason there, a reason that lurks behind the rough comprehension of its alien mind.
    Whatever the reason, it is back in the thick of this land, its birthplace. It is back and all around it smells of meat, but it does not hunt. Instead, it stands, and watches as they move, and perhaps behind its flat gaze there is a flicker of something more.

    and what rough beast, its hour come ‘round at last
    slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    semi resused post but i kept thinking about this weird dude and needed him to exist again
    Dreams have carried her through the years - both her own and those of others. Sometimes she spends weeks as a kitsune and loses herself in the smaller world that exists, the tunnels and games and routes that are barred to her as a horse but with paws she can traverse more freely. Those weeks she loses track of whether she is in the waking world or the sleeping one - especially lately, when the earthquakes and floods and lands have stopped their shifting and changing and there are no longer major disruptions with which to mark the passage of time.

    She does not know whether she is awake or asleep now, as she moves through the forest. Her seven silver-tipped tails flick behind her as she wanders - and her mind is somewhere else entirely separate from her body. Drifting in and out of dark and bright thoughts in equal measure.

    So she should not be surprised when she stumbles across him, but she is.

    It startles her enough that she shifts back into a shimmering mare in an instant. Perhaps it is some deep instinct - to not be so small when faced with what so clearly has predator written over every inch of their body. Even as a mare, though, she feels that tingle down her spine as she looks him over. The one that warns her to run, to get out of here as fast as she can.

    Existing here, in this space, is dangerous but she is still so unsure of whether she is in a dream or not and that causes the fear to settle somewhere in the back of her mind and chest, where she can ignore it.

    While her tongue takes over and says: “Woah, is that really your face?”

    Dream or not, she hears the words and winces. “I mean…” Sokali quickly decides there’s no real damage control she can do from that opening line and she simply falls silent - silver eyes not daring to blink as she remains frozen in her spot.




    It scents her first - the scent of prey, something thick and aromatic, but there’s something else to it, something unlike most of the prey. Before it can think on this further, try to pick apart the oddness of the whiff of scent, it sees the blur, and there is an equid creature there, where one had not stood before.
    (It does not know how to change forms. It cannot. It can only slowly, torturously, twist its too-sharp lips around the sounds they use to communicate. It can watch their movements and try to mimic them, to play at being something it is not. It will never transform, in this way, only the barest shift. What would it be, to change so much of one’s self?)

    It looks at her, glimmering in the shine - a different kind of sheen. Creature’s body brings to mind a carapace, but she is like a glint of sun on river water. It thinks the word beautiful, but it does not try to say it, the word would fall, mangled, from its mouth.
    She speaks like they all do - fast, easy - and its head tilts. It does not know what is wrong with its face either - it feels no pain there, it has not been hurt recently. Maybe it’s a greeting of some sort.
    It doesn’t know the response - is this a greeting to be mimicked, or is there another response to that call, some expected answer - so it goes with the greeting it knows, even as she is mumbling something else, something seemingly unrelated.
    “I’m…Creech…er,” it says. This, it can say. Its name that serves as moniker and description both.
    “Your…fa..ce,” it adds, nodding a little, satisfied with its attempt at mimicking her greeting, even if it does not know this particular ritual.

    and what rough beast, its hour come ‘round at last
    slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    Her rude greeting goes over better, if stranger, than she expected. There’s an introduction - and then a repeating of ‘your face’. For a brief moment, Sokali is insulted - what is wrong with her face? This thing was going to try to insult her - before a tiny crumb of common sense wiggles its way into her brain and she realizes he is just parroting back what she had said to him.

    “Oh.” And then Sokali laughs - because what else would you do when you’ve clearly made a fumble. She is embarrassed and fascinated all at once. There is still a prickle of fear somewhere down her spine but she continues to ignore it.

    There is danger everywhere, surely this Creecher wasn’t so different. Her silver eyes roam the sharp edges of his body but note the presence of hooves. This is still one of them, and whether or not it was actually safe - that fact alone did make some of her wariness drift away like tufts of fur on the wind.

    (Floating but reluctant to do so, clinging to nearly every damn thing in an attempt to not leave. Such lovely imagery.)

    The part-horse, part-predator status of this Creecher does absolutely nothing to clear up whether or not she is caught in one of her dreams. It is just odd enough that her mind may have produced him.

    “I’m Sokali.” She states a little more clearly, ducking her head in a quick nod - her silver eyes alight with amusement.

    And then - “Are you a dream, Creecher?”




    It never knows, really, how to define itself. Its bearer was the same as Creature (and its sire, a dark god – but that is irrelevant, for their paths have never crossed), but the ones whom it grew up with were not, they were shaped as the thing before it is.
    When asked what are you? - and it has been asked this, before – it only gives its name. Perhaps the name was a kindness, or a mockery – it doesn’t know the difference. Not really.

    It listens to her laugh, a clear and pleasant noise. It is tempted to mimic this, too, but it knows already it cannot. It has a sense of humor, certainly, but Creature’s laugh is a different, trilling thing, and it knows from experience that the noise is not always recognized as mirthful. So few of them can distinguish the language its distorted mouth knows easily, so instead it labors and it learns and maybe, someday, it can become.

    It does not try to repeat her name, but nods, to show understanding. Its head tilts to watch her further, still caught by the colors, the shimmer, the memory of changing that she carries so easily. She asks more questions and this one it knows.
    “No,” it says – another easy word, short, breathed out, then, “real.”
    It moves closer, and, daring, it reaches to touch her, to brush its warped maw to her. To show her, best it knows how, that it is real.
    “Real,” it repeats, withdrawing, satisfied with the answer.

    and what rough beast, its hour come ‘round at last
    slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    Not a dream - real. This was only disappointing since she could control things in dreams, and she rather enjoyed that. In reality she was as untethered as anyone else, annoyingly at the mercy of whatever interactions and weather phenomena that may descend upon her.

    Despite, apparently, being real - she did not currently find this interaction to be a burden.

    However, it was absolutely terrifying, having Creecher reach out to touch her, and Sokali’s muscles all tensed as the desire to run returned from where it had vacationed for a few moments and attempted to choke sense into her. But the weirdly-smooth muzzle of the being just brushed against her skin and it confirmed that she was real too - and a little bubble of laughter escapes her once again. This time half delight, half relief over the pain-free interaction.

    Her smile rejuvenates, illuminating her expression once again as she quickly replies with a wink - “Oh, I’m only real sometimes.”

    There is a youthfulness around the pink mare, some things lingered more in her than they seemed to anyone else. The ease of her laughter, her willingness for games. And for friendships.

    The way she speaks with absolute certainty about things she should really give more thought. “Well since you’re real, we’ll be friends - okay?”



    It does not often dream. Perhaps this is because it lacks imagination, or perhaps it sleeps too deeply to court dreams. When it does dream, they are often practical – dreams of hunting, or of its kin, dreams of the forests and meadows it haunts. This does not bother it, of course – it cannot miss things it does not know to miss.
    It does not often dream, but it thinks the sound of her laugh is curious, and lovely, and the chime of it may etch itself across Creature’s mind, and will, perhaps, be dreamt of.

    Were it a more cerebral type, it might lament their contrast, might long for the lightness of the strange being who questions Creature’s reality. It might painfully contrast its odd, drab, alien body against the lithe pink shimmer of hers.
    But Creature does not long to be anything but Creature.
    Instead, it lets out its own version of a laugh, a birdlike noise that comes so much easier than their complicated language. It moves its head in a quick nod, and reaches to touch her again, because it liked the noise she made.
    “What…” it begins, mouth again battling for the difficulties of a foreign language, “do friends…do?”
    It does not often bemoan the slowness of its language – it does not often speak, in this way – but it wishes now it could do so, could tell her it has never known anyone who called themselves its friend, but Creature thinks – it thinks! – it likes the idea.

    and what rough beast, its hour come ‘round at last
    slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


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