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Trebonth

Unusual Occurence

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Posted (edited)

Rules:

Please, read the spoilers by clicking them.

Generic/RP rules:

Spoiler

-> Follow Dragon Cave Guidelines.
-> One alive character per person for reason below:
--> Only first-person RPing, because you need to feel the character yourself.

--> You can play NPCs, though, and they are encouraged as the world has 8 billion people, not 250 thousand.
-> Please, at least try to use proper grammar, as mistakes shouldn't happen.
--> Languages should be translated to English and put into brackets if you decide to write them. Same happens to whatever they say as changed, or what they are supposed to say (in the latter case, put italics.)

-> The events that happen outside of my character will be written in italics and in spoilers.

-> Be ever vigilant though, humanity will find a way to kill you if you place wrong step in wrong place... or be it thirst, hunger, illness or perhaps something very different that can and will kill you?

-> Also be careful and don't abuse powers, you can't use them whenever you want, as if you use them more, you'll get more and more tired, possibly being easy target for someone.... or something. (Yeah, the italics and spoiler part will happen.)

-> The usual good behaviour rules apply - Don't god-mod, meta-game, power-play, cybering is banned, excessive and uncensored swearing isn't allowed either.
--> Also, romance can't deviate the role-play too much. The main focus should be surviving the threats from real world - hunters, soldiers, natural disasters, as well as the natural ones - predators, hunger, thirst etc, and not being affectionate in trillion words.

-> Death won't allow mistakes. Serious injuries without health care are as well as deadly, if not extremely weakening, Thankfully, you can make another character if your character died.

-> Keep a character profile as a suggestion to how your character looks like, not as actual entrance. Actual entrance post must be written using the sheet, and it can't be an one-liner.

--> In fact, no one-liners allowed. They break the spirit. No seriously, don't do that. Especially not the "Okay" alone as response.

-> Keep OOC information out of this topic. The link to discord is there. As for now you can critique my work or plan some stuff.

-> You can either send me character sheet over PM or over Discord channel.

-> Scavenging, hiding etc. must be in well done paragraphs, based on common sense. If the action has a flaw, it might most likely fail.

Combat rules:

Spoiler

-> Combat must use a d20 die. After you wrote your post, you must roll d20, and you may not reroll/cheat (alas - be honest. Otherwise I'll roll two d20s (if any side complains) and you both would use my rolls). The next person must roll another d20 and using the spoiler, they need to take following injuries or not:

Spoiler

Defender d20 > Attacker d20 - block or dodge. (For example: If someone tried to aim for chest)

Attacker d20 < 3, but not 1 - miss (the attacker need to write the mention of miss in same post)

Attacker d20 = 1 (1s caused by debuffs don't count) - Backfire (the attacker need to write the mention of backfire in same post, backfires count as hit against attacker)

Defender d20 = 20 - Counter - The attacker takes injuries based on how much higher the defender's roll to the attacker's roll. It is overridden if attacker also rolls 20 with a grazing hit to both of sides.

Attacker d20 = Defender d20 - grazing hit (at most, makes a scar)

Attacker d20 > Defender d20:

-> 1-3 - Slight hit (at most, makes a superficial injury)

-> 4-7 - Hit (Makes target either bleed slightly, or injures their limbs.) -> Target either loses 1 to defence rolls or attack rolls.

-> 8-12 - Heavy hit (breaks bones, heavy bleeding etc.) -> Target may lose up to 5 to defence rolls and might be unable to attack.

-> 13+ AND (attacker rolls 20 or defender rolls 1) - Critical hit (Same as heavy hit, but may be lethal for character, like punctured lungs, etc.)

 

And for gods sake, AIM! You can't just swipe claws or anything similar at nothingness. Any non-aimed attacks will just cause a miss, unless you missed by yourself or back-fired.

Don't defy death either, if you were unlucky enough, only blame RNG.

The attacks are subject to common sense. For example, fire attacks on anything flammable are naturally causing worse injuries than jet of water. However, you can't hurt people by spraying them with weak-pressure water on their body! Sure it will annoy people, but it won't work as an attack.

 

The six injury boxes:
Limbs/fins/flippers: Deduction to defence or to attack or both, depending on limb quantity and their function. Bleeding may exist, and will disarm the foe if attack limbs are broken or immobilize if all limbs are broken.

Chest: Deduction to defence, and on heavier injuries, to attack. Bleeds severely.

Tail: If target has it, it only has deduction to defence, but not on attack. Bleeding may exist, but any cold-blooded creature WILL bleed heavily. Warm-blooded bleed less from tails.

Wings: If target has them, they might either lose some defence from lack of balance or ability to fly for the battle.

Head: Deduction to attack (concussions) or to defence (concussions and hits). Bleeds heavily.

Groin: Disarms foe or deduces their attack/defence for 2-3 strikes. Usually also dubbed weak point. You have to weaken your enemy first to do it. (general rule of thumb - two injuries, of which one must be heavy)

Whenever you hit a weaker point, just make the attack stronger. However, some stuff like thick scales, resistances or inexperience at beginning all reduce your strengths.

Size also matters. A bigger and heavier character is easier to hit, but able to shrug off more injuries. The contrary applies to smaller and lighter character.

The roles then change and defender attacks, and attacker defends. The roll page for anyone interested is this page, just roll d20, and deduct any penalties.

--> There are also five types of fights:

Spoiler

1. Play-fight - All connecting attacks count only as grazing hits with exception of backfires, those are accidents.

2. Training - Slight hits and hits occur with addition to grazing hits, but in changed zones:
Slight hit: 1-8
Hit: 9+

There're no heavier hits than these.

3. Non-lethal fight: Heavy hits and critical hits occur with addition of previous three types. Usually this has set threshold (like 2 heavy injuries or 6 injuries or inability to attack). It can't kill either character. Critical hits may only cripple character permanently, but not kill.

4. Semi-lethal fight: Critical hits may kill either character, if they get unlucky with rolls or if the injury applies severe after-battle complications. However, the battle is stopped just like in non-lethal fight - set threshold..

5. Lethal fight: There's no conditional surrender, you fight till either you/foe flee(s) or you/foe die(s). However, you or your foe might have mercy and just let the other fighter go.

Please, do NOT mistake play-fight with Semi-lethal fight (this is just example). Either you'll be accused of godmodding OR your character will die and the second side will be confused why this happened with its own attack that was supposed to be a grazing hit.

--> In fights, characters can opt to flee or retreat instead. Defence injuries count as debuffs for your escape roll, and attacker's injuries count as buffs. You must roll higher than attacker, if not, fight goes on and you take heavier injury (about 1 more tier, except heavy stays as heavy and critical as critical). It can't also get over the injury cap, like grazing for playfight.

 

Character rules:

Spoiler

-> Only organic and non-humanoid lifeforms for transformations (Yes, this includes Pokemon, Dragons etc. as long as they aren't overpowered)

Notes:

For organic: 90% of the body minimum must be either bones, flesh, plant matter or chitin, anything under that is similar to golem for to me, and is not accepted.
For non-humanoid: Can't resemble too much of human. Being upright, having hands or being bipedal isn't as discouraged unless it resembles a human too closely. For example, Florans aren't allowed, but Snivies with some minor fixes regarding their ability to do most on two limbs and apes are. If Pokemon or anything similar resembles human too much, for example - Lucario or Lopunny, it's okay to edit it until you finally get a being not resembling a human.

--> Legendaries and their kin of other species are fine, but all of them need to start as theoretically created babies. They won't ever have powers they have, only your generic ones like flight etc, as well as possible basic innate abilities, corresponding to type and shape of it.

--> There will be some leniency for innate abilities (go for creativity and common sense, a grass thing can't manipulate fire), but they must be connected to your changed form, and as natural as possible. For example, wings must be exact scale (one wing must be at least as long as your body, excluding head, but no more than 2 lengths) and material to allow gliding or flight.
--> Anything too powerful is banned from existence, though (examples - gods that can't be nerfed reasonably without changing them completely).
--> The characters, though, need to be first created as human. That's due to nature of RP.

---> Also, as for now, it's not possible to start as animal first (as in you have human backstory, but first post you're in changed form. I may reconsider it once we're somewhat deep enough in role-play.)
--> Your character shouldn't know when exactly he's going to change, but you can do it any time, preferably, as early as possible. It's only one way, though. It's also a full change, so any human trait is non-existent except for memories and personality, and possibly minor details like scars or eye colour.
---> Your character is not supposed to know what they are at first, or be able to master the abilities with simple abra-cadabra. They have to learn it. Their basic actions should also be somewhat handicapped by mistakes they do. It must also start at youngest stage of growth (but always old enough to be self-sufficient, like a hatchling for dragons, earliest stage possible for Pokemon etc.). However, they can grow powerful as time comes. Just don't go overboard, that'll draw attention of humanity.

---> Your character shouldn't understand humans clearly when changed, and humans shouldn't understand changed ones at all (telepathy only would affect other changed). Also, after changing, your speech skills are somewhat affected and at best would be broken. Some young animals and some older changed ones will both speak broken languages at best, but freshly changed ones might not be able to speak even like that. Although the speech will become better over time, it never will become human-like, as speech traits must be added, too.

-> This is not as much as a rule as quality-of-life information and suggestion, but if growth requires a certain time, item (like Eevee -(Water Stone)-> Vaporeon) or anything that you can't obtain normally in real world, you will evolve(grow) as if you had it.

--> Regarding evolutions, they have to happen over course of about hour or two in RP. Also, you will constantly grow details typical for next stage starting from 5 days from being in this stage of growth, not just suddenly evolve. It might get shorter if the Role-Play goes slowly.

--> Regarding non-evolution, you naturally grow from small size to normal. This includes any animal, non-evolution(and evolvable, before any evolutions) Pokemon and perhaps some of other monsters and creatures.

 

Story:

September 30, 1944. Following Germany's slow victory over Polish Underground Movement partisans, Germany wanted to turn Warsaw into ruins. However, the Polish partisans had something, a strange substance that neither side knew about, because if either Allies, Axis or Comintern (Comintern was Russia) knew about the substance, their sovereignty would be over. Despite all the attempts to research it, the Poles never understood its power, and when October loomed, they surrendered to the Germans. However, the destruction of Warsaw had far more consequences. By doing this, Germany accidentally destroyed the container of substance, the Polish were trying to research, and it, as well as an event 74 years later, would have far-reaching consequences not just in Poland, but across the entire Earth.

 

After Soviets recaptured Warsaw, the first known occurrence of a change happened, but it was cleverly hidden as "AKs guerrilla warfare." Apparently, there were makeshift defence measures against the substance, which leaked after destruction of Warsaw, such as walling off the sewers. Proper ones were made when World War II has ended, like restoring Warsaw, the communist government and the Palace of Culture and Science. Every citizen that had been changed was taken under 'casualties', and then killed off. This contained the disease somehow, but not for too long.

 

Year 2018. Nothing unusual or odd from what you, people, call Earth. Life there is like heaven, with the only disturbances being the wars in Ukraine or the Civil War in Syria. Most people have gotten lazy, and some of them brainwashed by industries, some of them corrupted. Elsewhere, starving children can be fed by richer countries. This might not be obvious at this point, but something darker and unusual looms beyond humanity. Something linked to the past, that will change everyone in the future.

 

May 26, 2018. This day was the day where a maintenance of  the sewer system was commenced, but not everything went as planned when the strange 'virus', as some cynic was describing the substance, was released. It spread over Warsaw and then over the world by the war. Poles neglected this somehow, mostly because of lack of knowledge, as most of the notes were in Soviet archives, and would be hidden until January 2045 at earliest.

 

June 1, 2018, 13:00. In Warsaw, Poland, life was normal. Sometimes people were protesting against the government. Corporate skyscrapers were rising from ground, and the Palace of Culture and Science was being landmark of this city since the 1960s. The city itself didn't vary much from other modern cities.

 

Suddenly in the Old City district, a couple living happily the in civilian complex got sick. Worried about their state, their son called for an ambulance. Five minutes later, paramedics arrived in location, where supposedly the couple was, but the son had fallen ill, too. The ambulance took them all to the hospital, where suddenly, all three began to develop various animal traits. The youngest, Marcin, gained black fur, and the ears spiked out, while limbs suddenly began to change their position. He himself had begun to shrinking in size. The mother of Marcin, Anna, developed wings. On closer inspection, she also developed black pitch scales, and her green eyes began to give a faint glow. She was becoming bigger, too. The oldest, husband of Anna, Adam, fainted instantly, and his body shrunk to the size of five-year old human before... surprise, he developed some sort of appendages, along with blue, black and beige fur. Polish doctors, confused, left the room instantly.

 

But neither of the original three who changed survived the fire shortly after. The criminal, a doctor, was arrested for arson, murder and destroying public inventory. On his trial, he admitted to the crimes due to "hatred to animals". Confused, the judge looked at the bones. They resembled not humans... but something else. Something that they didn't know. Something, that they didn't suspect, yet clearly was a sign of the past. From this point, Earth passed the point of no return.

 

July 21, 2018. Poles were once more fighting, but not just for independence. This war was over influence over Poland between America, Poland and Russia, disguised as 'terrorists took over Poland', and rights over research of what really happened there. Lives were lost, although not as much as in the 1939 aggression of Germany against Poland. People couldn't put up a successful resistance, because of the betrayal and the fact that most of the troops weren't mobilized yet.

 

July 24, 2018. Poland stood no chance against NATO and CSTO combined forces and capitulated. These two factions, not wanting to escalate war, partitioned Poland between two occupation spheres, despite protests of most members of UN, and even North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, deeply felt sorry for what happened to Polish people. The war was otherwise known as Three Days War. Then, some towns - Gdańsk, Kraków and Kielce were released as independent free cities.

 

However, today, July 26, 2018 will stand as Hour 0. Most of the time you heard about turned people from local radio or television channels. While corporations are trying to profit from these news, you might shortly change into non-human creature. You can feel it, albeit it's too faint to clearly feel it. You can hear it coming, yet it's too silent to catch this sound from many others. But when will it strike and where? If it came, who will you be? Or... what will you become? Will you adapt, perhaps even killing anyone who stands in your way, or die to more or less usual causes.

Setting:

The main news source is the Free City of Kraków. This city was unaffected by the war, however it's governed by the UN to ensure no further wars will break out, like uprisings or war for influence. Lately, there were a lot incidents of people there getting turned into creatures, of varying shapes, sometimes resembling our video game creatures, like Pokemon. Wawel castle, located in this city, was a place where peace treaty to end the Three Days War was signed.

 

However, starting location is in Barcelona, Spain. This major city in Spain is attractive for tourists. Some of people there were drawn into the war against Poland. Due to a touristic boom after the war, to ensure the illusion, most tourists are actually from the EU, including their former member, Poland, and the USA. It's extremely possible that the new outbreak will start in Barcelona. If not by air, some refugees might start it.

The city itself is on the brink of revolution, as you can see the Catalans protesting every day against Spain's policies. It looks like shown in spoilers:

 

You, as a citizen of Barcelona or perhaps - a tourist/refugee who happened to be there, are the one of possibly many humans to find out the hard way... that sooner or later, you will turn. Although you're a human for now, some people with known case of paranoia, would point out that everyone is the Morph, or Warsawian, as to refer to the first three people who changed. They would also claim you were replaced by an alien or something equally hostile. Although you and most people there don't suspect anything, the change might be enough to shatter the calmness of people.

 

The Changed are somewhat more everyday news, as they don't have set species or even type! Some of them might turn into our familiar animals. Some may turn into creatures of myths, like dragons. Even transformation into something called Pokemon was possible by that. Some species though don't resemble any kind of source searchable normally on the Internet. Sometimes they are called abominations, monsters or animals, depending on traits and comparing them to animal. The only problem is - they have high mortality rates due to them being threatened both with natural causes, as well as the urban ones like cars, paranoid humans, criminals, sometimes even related to their species. Thankfully, despite that, some people might still protect Changed, and law is still enforced so turned people are theoretically safe, although the creatures that were once humans wouldn't be comfortable with that.

 

However, don't let your guard down. If you get too careless in the city and show in it too much, you might find yourself in so called quarantine and pack more of city into problems. These problems are for example - police time between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM or bullying innocents to get them into lab in hope to get a cure, that just won't happen at all. Police might also check for any trace of you and try to relocate you into wild. On other side, the law might collapse instead and the only ones who could protect you are either yourselves or kind people.

 

You can try to live as it nothing happened. But it isn't simply possible. You can run away and start the life anew, or stay in the city and do the same thing. You can try to find out the answer why you were changed, but that's not going to return you to human form. You can even run rampant, having been enraged by it, but if you're too weak, don't expect the random outrage to be successful. Not even if you're strong. Granted, you'll make some damage, but you'll really drop like a fly after army intervention. But mostly important, you have to adapt to your new body. The cement jungle of Barcelona won't be that safe for creatures as it is for humans. Going outside the city? Might be a good idea, but you need to fight out predators and hunger there, if you ever stand in the forest. Sometimes also illegal hunters would try to hunt you.

 

As about transformations, a little is known about exact details. A man can be knocked unconscious and begin to change, others might wince from pain while turning, even others might be simply painlessly turned. But it's really a lottery, as you may be changed in very different way than the three ways that are portrayed.

Edited by Trebonth
I think I touched the thing up more.

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Posted (edited)

Character profile:

Quote

Username:
Name:
Age:
Gender:
Human appearance:
Personality:

Changed form (go wild with them, as long as you provide it with proper appearance and powers or alternatively it\s real thing that can be searched. Also include right symbol, like PKMN for Pokemon, ANI for animals, DRA for Dragons, Drakes, Wyrms and other dragon-like creatures, OS for Original Species, MON for Monsters etc.):
Changed appearance (If there's no link or image, minimum of one paragraph is required. If there's a source containing appearance, it's encouraged for you to modify the species a little - they're not bland ol' models.):
Possible innate powers/abilities (be realistic with this one, you can't have flying cats without them having some sort of telekinesis, but you can have flight as bird/bat/dragon-like creature, right?):
Possible innate weaknesses (should be somewhat connected to powers and appearance as usual):
Background (minimum of 1 paragraph, it's fine to do it in bullet points):
Other: (Including speech traits)

Character list:
 

Spoiler

Username: Trebonth
Name: John "Trebonth"
Age: 17
Gender: Male
Human appearance: About 1 meter and 75 centimetre high, Black, short and somewhat messy hair, with beard, moustache being short too. Green eyes, pale skin, and somewhat normal weight from starvation he experienced in Three Days War. Everything he had, was either broken, or destroyed, or confiscated. But he has glasses to see far, ragged bright blue hoodie with robo-skull in it, somewhat surviving white shirt, black socks with black sandals, and short fabric jeans. There's a still somewhat big injury where he was hit with a bullet in his arm. It doesn't look severe, nor would it impact him in any way.
Personality: He deeply hates Three Day War, for it deprived him from his nation. Being refugee in Spain, he treats any danger on his life as serious as possible. Despite his hostile behaviour, if someone is willing to open their heart to Trebonth, he might break out from the hostility, perhaps even becoming a friend for long time, as he has none in Spain. Despite that, he deeply believes in God, and that the Judgment Day will come and judge all the offenders for the crimes they made against his country, Poland.
Changed form: (PKMN) Snivy (the avatar of mine)
Changed appearance: Aside from his usual appearance (which is my profile avatar), he has decidedly crimson red scales with white 'collar, backline and eyelids' and dark beige belly. His eyes stay green, and his tail seems to be ended with bright red oak-like leaf. He's a little bigger than usual Snivy, too.
Possible innate powers/abilities: Control over plants and lightweight, due to density of plant matter.
Possible innate weaknesses: Fragile and burns very easily. Probably you shouldn't place any fire near his leaf, it is most fragile for burns.
Background: Trebonth was born in Katowice in May 2001, in rich family of businessmen, where he lived for pretty much many time, undisturbed, the only one being the war. At 8 years old, he shown no interest in learning stuff other than practical ones. More so, this caused troubles in middle school, where he was in danger of not passing class once. This was taking place even until the war, where 95% of Katowice, his city of origin, was destroyed by enemy troops, mostly due to bombardment, but gunfights also were common there. Trebonth was hit with a bullet, then, as he was too slow to react, into hand. When military saw surviving civilians, Trebonth was taken by military and transported to Barcelona after war, as the place was deemed 'too dangerous to life'. Many of his friends, perhaps even everyone he knew, died in the war.
Other: Fluent in his native (Polish) and somewhat choppy talk when talking in English. His speech trait is multiplying the letter (s), and sometimes replacing W with two letters (v), and sometimes, when in pain, also multiplies letters (i) and (y). Might add (u) before (y).

---

 

Username: Darkmega5
Name: Jake Black
Age: 19
Gender: Male
Human appearance: Tall with brown eyes and black curly hair. Wears a tank top, shorts, and swim shoes most of the time. He wears sunglasses a lot. he has a tan skin tone.
Personality: A bit arrogant, laid back, doesn't care about most things.
Changed form: OS: Nightmare Lizard (not entirely sure what to do on this one, so I just left a name.)
Changed appearance: It's 3 feet tall and 5 feet long. It has black scales around its body and legs, with crimson scales around the head. The mouth is a circle shape, with teeth coming from all sides. The eyes are shaped like ovals, with a light blue circle as the pupil and iris. It walks on all fours, with the knees bent. The nostrils are tiny circles above the mouth. It has a tail, also covered with black scales. There are holes on the back, in two rows. The toes are sharp claws, each banana size. The ear are holes so tiny, they are almost invisible.
Possible innate powers/abilities: Very good at digging and the holes on the back emit a terrible smelling gas.
Possible innate weaknesses: terrible hearing, and the gas is uncontrollable, making predators fully aware of where he is.
Background: An American, spoiled from the start, lived an easygoing life in Hawaii. He paid no attention to any news except the transformations. Every night he would pray not to wake up turned. The transformation happened during a dream.
Other: Only knows English and Hawaiian, because he paid no attention to his language classes in school.


---

Username: Serce2

Name: Raul Santana

Gender: Male

Age: 29

Human Appearance: A gruff, young Hispanic man with stony green eyes and thin lips. His hair is wavy brown, usually somewhat thick. Has a slight mustache, minor scruff. Average height, built on the heavier side. Narrow waist, broad hips, short legs. Squarish face. Generally wears business casual clothes, most of which are beginning to fade.

Personality: He’s not a patient guy. Has a constant fire in his glare, especially toward his superiors. He is quite prone to emotion, although he tries to repress it and put up the facade of a strong man. Doesn’t take sarcasm well, and his humor tends to be mean-spirited. He does have a soft spot for birds, especially his pigeons, and despite his “tough-guy” attitude can be caring to his equals and inferiors. He is driven by duty and loyalty, and is quite reliable. Very motivated.

Changed form: Corrupted Birdbeast, based on Cursed!Phoenix from Lady of the Shard

Changed Appearance: Pic. In case pic does not show, think a semi-eldritch huge bird. The main color scheme is red, which glow dimly, but the feathers are very torn up and look more like fur. A very thin slime coats these feathers. The head has a humanoid face, in the sense of the eyes and a mouth, but the eyes are a beady, expressionless black. This head is actually redundant; this Corrupted sees out of a single white eye on their belly, where the feathers part to show black cracked skin. A hidden beak is underneath this eye. Two long, wicked legs each end in a talon of three claws. The wings are wispy and sharp, with excess feathers sticking out, though still aerodynamic enough for basic flight. A cracking pattern runs down each wing, black on red.

Possible innate powers/abilities:

--Corrupting strike. This is a very mild form, but the Corrupted’s slime can seep into wounds and grow to cause more damage. Usually, the immune system of even the most basic animal can fight off this slime well before it causes major injury, but for those with an immunodeficiency, it can overtake a creature. Overtaking makes a being monsterous and dangerous, but also more friendly to the Corrupted.

--*Contamination. Due to the slime, the Corrupted will contaminate any water it is in. While the slime will dissipate in a few hours, it can cause illness in any animal that injests it.

--Super strength. The Corrupted’s legs are extremely powerful, able to shatter glass and dent steel with a single kick. Its wings are able to break bones easily, even when smaller than a human.

--Durablility. It is a very muscular creature, and takes physical hits well.

--Contact Burn. The oily slime will begin to burn exposed skin to creatures touching the Corrupted. A minute’s exposure is the same as a first degree burn.

--True Sight. With its single eye, the Corrupted can see well past the visible spectrum of light and into the ultraviolet and infrared. Depending on the material*, the Corrupted can see through walls. It can see any invisible creature if said creature is warmer or colder than the surroundings.

--Light source. Except when wet, the Corrupted can glow at will.

 

*Any heavy material, such as concrete or lead, blocks vision.

Possible innate weaknesses:

--Sensitivity to darkness. The Corrupted is almost always in a place of some light, and its eye can look at the sun without harm. However, elemental darkness is effective against it and it cannot see in areas of no light.

--Healing. Although resembling a phoenix, the Corrupted doesn’t have any true rejeneration powers. While it is able to gain mass quickly, it tends to grow around wounds instead of healing them. Although the Corrupted doesn’t get injured often, it is essentially running a race against time when it is.

--Water. Most birds don’t like being doused in water, and the Corrupted is no exception. If wet, it cannot fly, moves slower, and its protective slime falls off. A small drizzle won’t do much, but storms make the Corrupted a sitting duck without cover.

 

Background: Jose comes from a poor Mexican family, which sent him to New York to support them. He got a dead-end job as a small-business accountant, barely making enough to pay for his ever-increasing rent and obligations. After a few drudging years of this personal hell, he discovered pigeon-keeping from a few friends, and is currently raising a flock of fifty pigeons on his apartment roof. The hobby allowed him to get some extra money, and after a few letters back and forth, he managed to save up enough and go to Spain for some special breeds.

Other:

---


Username: skwerl56767
Name: Samantha Vies
Age: Late Teens
Gender: Female
Human appearance: A 5'5" Caucasian girl from North America. She has short, hazel hair that she doesn't think about much and brown eyes, and she uses no makeup or jewelry, instead wearing bright or contrasting colors on her clothes instead. She typically wears jeans and a patterned shirt, and will switch to somewhat nicer, humbler clothes only when going out to eat.
Personality: Samantha has an extremely relaxed, down-to-earth personality: it is what it is, and that's just fine! She dislikes the stress of drama but it always curious to learn new things regardless, which results in most of her opinions being formed after long hours of internal reflection. It's all fine and dandy, but it has resulted in her living a bit too slow in respect to the rest of the world, which has ironically caused her stress and made her a bit more adventurous too. She isn't a contentious person but is a pretty stubborn one, avoiding fights but unwilling to back down once sucked into them, and in more recent years, she has become more cynical of people as well.
Changed form: OS. An unnamed bouncy critter.
Changed appearance: https://i.imgur.com/x1K6K7F.png
Possible innate powers/abilities/weaknesses of the Changed Form:
General:
-Neck muscles are reflexively quick. The creature can pull it back to curl into a tight ball, or snap it forward to peck at something (usually done before the mandibles are used).
-There are two sets of arms: primary (larger) and secondary (smaller, placed forward on the chest). The primary arms have overlapping scales that give them the appearance of unkempt feathers, and the larger hands have one thumb similar to a wingclaw and three larger hooked claws. The secondary arms have two fingers and a thumb each.
-The strong back legs are built to be both bipedal and rather bouncy. Elastic ligaments bind the legs together, and a pair of "control" muscles coil and release these ligaments in unison; their elasticity allows this to be done only after every other bounce. This doesn't happen during walking, which is why the creature can be exhausted more quickly with walking instead of jumping.
-The plated tail is used for balance and is held up off the ground unless the creature is depressed.
-When threatened, the creature will curl up in such a way that its scales protect most of it. It can also roll while in this armadillo curl... but only as long as it stays upright. It's too tall to be able to roll around consistently, like a ball.
Face and Senses:
-Eyesight is not much different from a human's despite the faceted design, although the peripheral is much wider, resulting in the focus being a bit narrower (like changing the FOV in a video game).
-Hearing and smell are both done by the antennae, which can safely tuck behind the head shield. The antennae are sensitive, but are most efficient only when they brush a surface; otherwise they're pretty mundane.
-Taste is relatively unchanged and can only be detected by smoother patches in the bottom and top of the mouth.
Mouth:
-The tip of the triangular head consists of six points meeting together: the top two fangs, which are an extension of the head plate, the two bottom jaws, part of the mouth, and a pair of large mandibles sprouting from the back of the jaws.

-The side mandibles are used for attacking, intimidation, and dissecting large morsels.
-The upper fangs and lower jaws act as incisors/canines. A pair of pharyngeal (throat) jaws is used to chew and swallow food.
-The inner rim of the mouth has a texture similar to shark scales: smooth going down, but rough going up. There aren't other teeth since food is typically swallowed in chunks.
-The vocal cords have a similar vibration/elastic tendency to the legs, allowing rattling, chittering, and even cricketing noises to be made. The lack of a proper tongue restricts the speaking ability, but other phonetics are still clear, yet have a ringing or filtered quality to them.
Non-scaled form:
-Fuzzy, like a bumblebee, but doesn't obscure the form too much.
-The stiff hairs help retain heat but also tend to collect dust. Thankfully they can't be brushed backward since there is no "backward".
-The hairs are a bit longer on the chest and secondary arms. They're useful for cleaning the rest of the body, and to clean the arms off they're rubbed together, like what flies and wasps do.
Scales:
-Unusual plates with a microscopic hexagonal, crystalline structure, giving them great strength and durability.
-Their thinner edges will still chip but this tends to make them sharper. The tips always break off into nubs.
-The large plates covering the primary arms' hands have the sharpest edges, as they're used additionally for combat, but they quickly dull with use and must be kept sharp.
-The slicing power of these plates is not definite: most of the damage comes from the strength of the blow as well, otherwise cuts are shallow and will only cause bleeding (similar to how hatchets work).
-The hexagonal structure makes the scales great insulators, but also means that it can be hard to cool off or warm up.
-The strangle, marbled pattern melting out of the scale coloration on the head is used to distinguish individuals.
Claws:
-The secondary arms' claws and the foot dewclaws are rather benign.
-The primary arms' claws are very long, hooked, and clumsy, but are great for attacks and hooking onto ledges or other objects. They're primarily used to help climbing. Due to being vertically thin, they're not great for digging.
-The larger claws on the feet have a distinct, triangular form, and support weight well. They don't tend to break but will still chip, like the scales. They can get in the way of walking and running but aren't a problem during bouncing, and they're fantastic enhancements for kicks.
Background: The bright colors Samantha wears translates directly to her love of drawing. She usually paints abstract images designed after her surroundings, which has resulted in her leaving her home town to travel on a low budget backed up only by a small family inheritance. She is also particularly good with airbrushing, and most of her income bumps come from contracted jobs to paint murals and decorate buildings. Her steady income is reliant on small odd jobs she takes up around the city, which didn't give her the best lifestyle, but traveling and drawing were her passions anyway; she could always pretend the park was her lawn. With such an undemanding personality, and extreme caution being taken each time she chose her next city to visit, Samantha had been doing pretty well; at least, until her visit in Barcelona was cut short by a startling news story of people turning into... creatures? This only activated her colorful imagination, and she foolishly thought that she would be okay and would just cut her visit short if need be. So, she stayed and painted for a little while longer...
Other: None

 

Username: Mikasa361

 

Name: Jehan Durand

Age: 19

Gender: Male

Human appearance:
Jehan stands at about 6’2” with a muscular, yet lean frame. Just like his sister, Jehan has toffee colored skin, but his hair is jet black. It is straight, and oftentimes Jehan keeps part of his hair tied up in a bun. His narrow eyes are dark, and he has a very angular face. He has many piercings- a bunch on both ears (helix, rook,daith, tragus, you name it), an eyebrow piercing, and, if you look at him while he speaks, a silver tongue ring which he is quite proud of.

 

Jehan often wears comfortable clothing, but usually leans towards the punk aesthetic as he does so. His clothing items of choice are dark jackets, long sleeve shirts, slim jeans and boots.

Personality:
Jehan is a bit of a rebel, often getting himself into minor mischief. But thanks to his parents being very supportive and understanding, people fail to notice that behind the punk exterior lies a polite, friendly young man who loves making friends. He also enjoys baking with his sister, because it’s just plain fun and he likes to eat cookie dough.

 

He is very protective of his baby sister, and if anyone tries to mess with her (if she doesn’t get to them first), he knows how to kick some ass. If necessary, he will render you unconscious if it means Evonna is safe. As for his friends, he cares about them just as much, but will not go to such extremes.

 

Jehan also is a bit of a flirt, but usually likes to reserve that for occasions, as he can tell when someone does not wish to be given that sort of attention. He makes sure that whoever he’s talking to feels comfortable around him, not like they want to pepper spray him. Reading is a fun past time for him, yet one may usually see him whittling a little piece of wood with his carving knife. He also has a higher pain tolerance than his sister, just a bit of a fun fact.

Changed form: PKMN- Charizard (GM note: The starting form is Charmander. It shares the colours and innates of Charizard.)

Changed appearance:
Final evolution and pre-evolution.
- Dark blue main body, with icy blue underbelly and red for the wing membrane

Possible innate powers/abilities:
Flying, ability to breathe fire? Some dragon attacks (Dragon Tail).

Possible innate weaknesses:
Weakness to water, ice is slightly more effective due to flying nature, electricity is super effective as well

Background:
- Grew up in Canada, in Gatineau
- Of French and Cameroonian descent, but adopted into a white family because his parents mysteriously disappeared on a vacation.
- Grew up with his baby sister and a group of friends, also known as the “Nah Chill” squad.
- Suffered some bullying due to his heritage, but spent more time protecting his baby sister from the bullying than worrying about how it affected him.
- Dated several people, of varying genders, but still hasn’t found the right person.
- His family is very close, but he longs to know how his birth parents managed to go missing and why they never came back.
- Remembers more about his parents than his sister, as he was around five when they disappeared.
- Took sports to keep fit, still likes to go on a jog once in a while.

Other: He has a sister, Evonna, who is about 16. I may play her sometime

Tarot Arcana: Magician

 

Edited by Trebonth
New characters.

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   Hello! I popped in really quick just to see what this was about and was immediately intrigued by the rule of "inhuman is better". The designer in me is so excited about that! I may not be able to join, but I do have some pointers for you until a proper RP Approver comes along.

   -Can you describe the setting more clearly and/or provide pictures of Barcelona? You did choose a good starting location, so researching it is easy, but a lot of RPers are deterred from having to research places so they know what their surroundings are like.
   -Where's the line between realistic and unrealistic? You said "no flying cats", but I also see that Pokemon are an option for change and a lot of them aren't realistic looking. Would something eldritch count, or do we still have to obey the laws of physics (i.e. I can only fly if I have organic wings with the proper length ratio so I can actually move air and get up off the ground, versus somehow hovering by swirling tentacles around me)? Also, can we bend the rules of being organic? How much metal could you add to say, a dragon, before it becomes too inorganic to be acceptable?
   -How overpowered is too overpowered? Would a Legendary Pokemon be fine if it started out nerfed/depowered or as a baby? Would depowered "spiritual" beings (like angelic creatures) count as well?
   -I have an original species I'm thinking of using should I join this, called a Secutor. I describe it as humanoid, but in truth that just means it's bipedal, stands upright, and has hands and could be mistaken for an armored human at a distance. Would it be too humanoid to join with something like that? I've seen people argue that Snivy is humanoid, whereas others say that "humanoid" means "over 50% arguably human", so I'm not sure how loose you are with its definition.
   -Are we allowed to make our first posts in our creature forms, and yet the character history starts out being human? (So our characters were still human before the change, we just don't play the human part of it).
   -Finally, you said that the Germans destroyed Polish research about some strange item and that it has dire consequences. My question is, why did it take until 2018 for people to suddenly start changing into creatures? Was this sickness somehow contained until then? Will we be learning about this in the plot? (Which brings me to another question: does the RP have a plot, or is it a sandbox, where people can make their own plots and do whatever they want? If it's more of a sandbox I think a couple more details could be clarified in the history of this substance and how it affects people turning into creatures now, but if it has a main plot you want your RPers to follow it's fine to save those details for later).

   I hope this isn't too overwhelming to read through. I'm a bit verbose, hah hah.

Edited by skwerl56767

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   You can put this in Freeforms so that you can jump to RPing without dealing with the approval process. Freeforms has a different crowd though, where there are more potential players but there's a good chance some of them are inexperienced, so you'll have to be patient with them if they do join. With Approved roleplays you tend to have more serious roleplayers, but there are so few around (most are too busy to post more than once a week at best) that you'll have a smaller, less active crowd. Also, in general DCF is pretty slow, so if you really want activity you'll want to be in Freeforms, but I do recommend looking at some of the topmost group RPs in both sections and checking the timestamps between recent posts so you have a good idea of the activity levels in both. Ultimately though it's up to you! Valid can move the thread if you change your mind.
   If you still want to get approved it will be a while; Valid is a pretty busy person, but she said she'll get back to you as soon as she can (I have direct contact with her). I didn't make any critique posts since she was getting around to it, but I do have some questions about the suddenly-appearing combat system!

   It's interesting that you have an RNG-based system instead of relying on player merit or OOC, but I'm curious: will all of the characters have stats because of this? I don't see them in the sheet, so maybe they're all on your end? I'm assuming there are some since it would be hard to keep the realism aspect if everyone had the same strengths and weaknesses, because typically that stuff conforms with the character: a creature with thick scales would take less damage from a hard hit than something with skin, for example. Is there a system for accommodating for these differences? Will we have "saving rolls" to adjust for these things? Does creature size, experience, or weight matter a lot?
   I realize these are a lot of questions, but RNG-based systems are inherently unbiased, which is hard to mesh with a roleplay with entirely unique characters with strengths and weaknesses. I think your current system would mesh better if it was either more vague (the roll values are still there, but it's up to the players involved how severe the hit is and how it affects their characters, and you simply enforce the realism rule) or more complicated (implement some simple stats to ensure balance, which I can help with because for some reason I like making that stuff XD). The realism rule will still reign in players that try to do things like keep moving fast in a fight even though they have injured limbs, so you can't really go wrong with either change.
   Despite my curiosities about the RNG system I'm eager to try out the different fight types! I've never seen them before; we usually let the involved players do what they want.

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Posted (edited)

News: The OOC thread can be found there:

 

Edited by Trebonth

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This post starts the RP.

Trebonth: These days today...
 

Past is what killed my family, it would be no surprise to kill me in close future, I taught myself since destruction of my home city. But who was to blame about? I didn't think that even if the people responsible for that were killed, it would mend my mental injuries or restore Poland. I was forced away. Away with me to Barcelona. Never before I was in other city than Katowice... well, except Warsaw and Kraków. Who cares about these details? Probably none but... well... my relatives- wait, they're dead. Scratch it, it deemed to be a bit nostalgic. Another thing - I still kinda wish that Judgment Day will come and these idiots who destroyed my home city will pay for that.
 

Okay, calming down, I was walking, or rather limping around street, putting more weight on my left leg rather than right one, as it was stronger, apparently left from La Sagrada Famillia. It seemed to be early afternoon, as the sun mercilessly whipped me and made me thirsty. I went a bit into shadows, as these were the only ones to give me this kind of protection against sunlight. Ah yes, the palms, these were quite high. And it was my first time I saw these for real. I was listening to the prayer recently, but I didn't know what meaning was in it. I kinda just repeated all these words while others were saying that, and it wasn't successful even a bit. I never was a crowd person. As if I wished I had none of that, I guess.
 

 Since I had no relatives, no job, no friends, I had to beg. It was a hard rock to swallow after all, as I was living as rich... well, maybe it was a bit forced, but I wasn't able to complete my education either. I wondered about the future. It wouldn't be the same. One person, supposedly a Spanish tourist, insulted me as "worthless Pole" in English. I couldn't help but bear a grudge, since he was clearly stronger at me. Anyway, the living as beggar also had it's visual side... wait, what did I just say? Nevermind me. Anyway, my clothes, bright blue hoodie and fabric jeans, which were damaged the most in the fire and attempt to escape, the hoodie torn off near my chest and left arm... yeah, it hurts whenever I'm touching it. Under these, I wore white shirt, which was one of the two belongings which survived the destruction. I wore black socks along with sandals, as it was forbidden for my family to put off socks outside the house. As my sight at greater range was bad, I mostly used glasses, as without them, I couldn't see too far, maybe 20 or 30 metres for biggest letters to become blurry, smaller ones typically being blurry from 1,5 metres away, maybe less. Yeah, this was a bad side of having short-sight.
 

As I was thinking, I found myself walking in the park, looking at various people. Most of them seemed to say strange words. Probably their native language, Spanish. As I went further, there was an interesting sight - a Spanish protesting. But I was a Pole, in addition exiled with no knowledge of Spanish at all. All I could say was kinda broken greeting between Spanish and Polish. Most of people had smartphones, only I had none. I pulled out a sign and glanced at it... {In need - a victim of Three Days War. Donations are nice.} I pulled out my cardboard box, also salvaged. Inside, there were only like 2 or 3 Euros. "I have to get more of the money, I need to be well-fed." I said that to myself, before sitting on a bench, setting myself up. I put the box first, then the sign, all while nodding the anthem of Poland... if anything, this made me sad. A tear jerked through my right eye, but I swiped it. Real men doesn't cry. I mentally slapped myself.
 

Wait, these words still rang in my head. "Be brave, John, just be brave. Be strong, you will find yourself in the environment you know nothing about. And you might need to adapt..." Right, my dead mothers speech. She was quite a rich businesswoman, who kinda wanted me to be a businessman. But I wanted to be a builder or IT technician or other job, to be active, and not just sitting in a throne of money. She was dying from a wound in the abdomen, but before the hit and death, she told me these words. I heard all of this. My mother's shriek when she was hit in the abdomen. A lot of bullets piercing the body. And the injury that was pretty much not so fatal. I heard falling skyscrapers and explosions, I heard tanks and planes. Blood and pain... Deaths favourite place. I asked myself why did they want to destroy my city. I didn't know the answer. I left my question unanswered.
 

---------
 

Just as someone was going, maybe to give me some Euro... THAT ONE BAD THIEF! HE TOOK AWAY MY BEGGAR STUFF! Wait, is he... same Spanish who said I'm worthless? I'm going to show him soon, what is Pole able to do. But first order to do... "THIEF!" I shouted angrily, but the thief ran away! Well, maybe he didn't steal anything too important, but still, he took away what I got for a drink! I saw nobody to help me... There was nobody interested nearby. I felt powerless again. I guess I have to make the sign and the box again, eh? Well, screw it, I'm going near the pond and ponder about meaning of my life first. Just as my mother... well, dead mother predicted, I have to adapt. Then, I heard some Spanish saying something I couldn't comprehend.
 

- (Dios mio, this person seems to be troubled.)
- (Indeed, Rodrigez, also he doesn't seem to be speaking Spanish. If he did, he could reply.)
- (Paulos, who is he then?)
- (I think he's probably from country with language not being Spain... And that recently had a war. Look at the rip. This could be a bullet, right?)
- (Easily I could dismiss as Syrian refugee, but the war in Poland... and the coming transformations in a city in Poland? Erm, I mean, Free City of something... I mean - people turn there, but to be optimist, why would the virus turn a human into something? Especially there, in Barcelona?)
- (As far as I know, I see no logical reason. The virus in some city of Poland doesn't matter. What matters is... Hmm, either Libyan or Syrian or Polish or Ukrainian refugee.)
- (Well, there's three major flaws. First - there was almost no Syrian or Libyan with such a skin. Second - Donetsk and Lugansk are already Ukrainian as part of agreement with Russia that Ukraine will help Russia in the war against Poland. Which means one thing.)
- (Which one?)
- (I don't know, I'm already wasting a lot of time, but he's probably Polish... unless I'm wrong.)
- (Well, we only know Spanish.)
 

I was honestly surprised at what did they say. I couldn't get any meaning of it, as I was still focused on the lake. Slowly putting my one hand for support, getting up and straightening my legs, I walked more, but I needed to go to shadow. A nice, cool shade of tree. Otherwise I'll dehydrate, and just die or whatever bad thing will happen, like having to go to hospital or getting beaten up by my weakness.... Urk, sometimes I really wish that the bullet in Katowice hit my heart instead of arm and killed me before, but if I did, what would I gain? Some less days of precious life, no chance to enact the revenge and eternal peace? No, I'm better alive... At least not everything is as bad as I thought it was. Especially the prayers reminded me of the lost home country.

Edited by Trebonth

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Jake: Bye dad! I'm going to a friend's house!

 

  Can't wait to play some video games with my friends! It's gonna be so fun! I arrive at the house and knock. No answer. I knock harder. Still no answer. "Seriously? If this is a prank, it's not funny.' I try the door. It's open. "Looks like nobody's home, but why wouldn't they lock the door? Weird..." The floor is covered with blood. "OK, it's DEFINITELY a prank."  I notice the news channel is on the TV. I watch a little. "This just in, a creature was seen breaking into a house, and then walking out, with blood stains all over its mouth. Here's the video." The very house I'm in is shown on TV. "It's a turned! A turned killed my friend and his family!

 

 From that moment on, I was terrified of turned people breaking in, or even worse, becoming one. One night, I couldn't sleep. I overheard my parents chatting.

 

"Jake's been acting... weird lately"

"I know honey. It's about these creatures."

"I understand why he's afraid. One of them killed his best friend!"

"I'll talk to him about it tomorrow morning."

"Thank you."

 

"they're worried too." I thought. a few minutes later, I was asleep. As I heard the night before,  dad was waiting at the bottom of the steps.

 

"Good morning, how was your rest?"

"I heard the conversation last night."

"About that... you've got to stop worrying!" It's concerning me and your mother!"

"I know, dad. If you were in my shoes, how would you feel?"

"the same as you."

 

They want me to "move on." They don't understand! I wish they could feel how I feel. Well, maybe someday.

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Raul: Humans are cruel.

 

Pigeon laughter echoes around as a flock takes off. I scowl at the kid who ran through just a few moments ago, who’s laughing with just a touch of malice. I also know I shouldn’t feel pity for the birds. They’re street rats and they look nothing like my lovely rock doves. They’re leaner. Meaner. But it was still not fair to the pigeons that they rest their feet on the warm plaza just to be chased away in a second.

 

I raise my cup of coffee to hide my disapproving stare, but find that there’s no more to drink. As it is, I’m well over my measly budget, and now the last few days of this vacation will be spent in awful migranes and exhaustion. The in-flight coffee will seem like heaven then. I can feel the judging eyes of my waiter as I get up out of my seat and leave my tiny bill. I pick up a chunk of rye bread and head out toward the flock.

 

It’s afternoon. There’s no shadows, aside from underneath buildings. It’s also quite crowded. They call it a siesta, where work grinds to a halt for family. If only New York had anything like that! I would feel like I owned the world if I could have a break in the afternoon.

 

I tear off a small piece of the bread. Seeds fall between my fingers, while a few enterprising doves try to snatch up their food early. My arm arcs back and throws the crumbs all over the place, and soon a flock quickly forms, full of grays and whites and the occasional brown.

 

My phone rings. It’s a Nokia flipphone, and my sister is calling. We begin a conversation, careful to keep it short and sweet to avoid the phone bill. She’s fine, I’m fine, until she cuts in with:

 

“Hey, heard you’re in Spain.”

 

Here we go.

 

“You shouldn’t be blowing off like this, Raul.” Her voice is bittersweet.

 

“I sent you enough for the entire year.” I say with a grimace.

 

“Mami’s gotten sick. Doctors say it’s might be West Nile.”

 

I am worried, sure, but this is supposed to be my vacation, damnit. “I’m going home in a week. It’s not the end of the world.”

 

“Maybe, but what if Mami's disease is  more?” My sister drops her voice, into something between a gentle whisper and a warning. “The Poland disease.”

 

Ah, yes. The mutation. People whisper about it. I haven’t seen it. There's no denying the photos on social media, but the most my life's been affected by it was the lone beggars on street corners. There was one with a hurt arm as I walked into a park, who I glanced at out of the corner of my eye, crying about a thief--possibly not a threat. I had no money to spare, none at all, and one man's misfortune doesn't mean I had to sacrifice what little I had.

 

"If something happens I'll catch an early flight. Nothing's going to happen." I shut my phone.

 

I don't really know where I'm going. Just killing time before I meet with the breeder, in a day's time. Airline tickets come cheap on some days, and beggars can't be choosers. I couldn't really afford switching my flight over, despite the promise, as the cost of transferring would cut me close to debt. If something happens--well, I better hope that the world doesn't fall apart in a single week.

 

The park is surprisingly quiet. It's full of trees here, a small island of greenery. There's a large pool of water underneath my feet. According to my phone, I'm quite a few kilometers away from my hostel; however, I have all the time in the world to get back. So much time. Too much time.

 

My hand is suddenly really itchy. Like a bug was walking on it. I scratch at it and feel coolness. Red goop falls from my fingers when I lift my hand up. Ugh. I flick away the slime into the water and wipe my hand on the grass, my hand tingling all the while.

 

Edited by serce2

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Trebonth: Pain and confusion...

As soon as I got up from the tree shade, my head started to pound badly. I gripped it with a left hand, almost grunting from pain. “You gotta be kidding me…” I growled from a pain and disbelief. As much as as I tried to avoid these situations, it wasn’t possible to cover all the possibilities. “Curses on the stealer, he wanted me to die from dehydration, am I right?” Wait, but dehydration is different, and even despite headache, this could be also a heat wave that hit me or the hyperthermia that hit me. If it was the case, I was the only one to blame. Suddenly, I felt like a sucking sensation… I couldn’t breathe, and promptly begun to choke, yet I wasn’t at same time. God knows what kind of grip did I get on the neck.

I couldn’t take it any more, anyway. I promptly fell to the roadside, with a loud thud and lots of pain from this. I was still awake and conscious, yet I wanted it to end. I wanted just to go asleep. I just wanted anything to happen. Paved road made of simple red bricks, heated by sun didn’t give me the occasion to sleep, or even close the eyes, though. I could roll around to the patch, but I felt mass of an elephant trying to crush me, yet it wasn’t. “Ow… This wasn't supposed to happen... to me.” I coughed up and tried to close the eyes. I couldn’t, but I could still hear some voices.
- (The hell just happened to the foreigner?)
- (I swear it’s almost like Warsaw…)

I couldn’t hear it any further, head was ringing further and further. Simple things were the only ones that were still around… sight and touch. Pain was getting bigger and bigger. Pain. Pain that never seemed to end. Pain that would’ve caused me to faint… wait, why am I not fainting? Pain, just pain. I wished that I just was knocked unconscious, to have a dream, to have a dream of shot killing me over and over again, I preferred these from this state. Seconds turned into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, and years into eternity… eternity that didn’t want to come away.

And that wouldn’t be true if Poland was still there. The vision was fading from pain, but I was still left with thoughts. Urgh, I wanted to faint this instant. I heard the bizarre judgment. I saw news about three first Poles missing in arson and three creatures killed the same day. Maybe they would kill a creature that was taking my place and I wake up back in Katowice? That would be heaven, but my home became ruins like three or five days ago from bomber aircraft, or so I heard from the soldiers that occupied my city.

I just wanted to shut down my brain, but it was impossible, how am I supposed to knock myself faint when I literally can't move or feel anything? Was I left only with my own thoughts? And when I thought it wouldn't end, I began to feel once again. But how? My eyes still have the dark fog that doesn’t want me to see anything, I was deaf to the sounds, I couldn’t smell anything. The annoyingly hot surface I felt before was somewhat hot, and air was, too. Wait, would it be the same location? I forgot the time, it was so painful, it wasn’t in any matter funny at all.

The next was the smell of- oh hell, it is really bad, I wanted to cough, but I couldn’t. It’s like smoke, but who’d set me or anything nearby on fire? Then, I could hear- wait, what? OWWW, okay, this awakening hurts badly, very badly and smells like a smoke. Normally, it was only annoyingly loud. Now, I felt like I’ll explode all over again. And again and again, like an never ending cycle of pain and ouch. Why do I have to suffer like that?

I suddenly and instinctively gasped for breath- wait, what happened? I swear I didn’t gasp this way, I think I heard something else. Just as I opened eyes, I noticed that everything seemed to be more blurry than it already was, only road was sharper. It also seemed to be... greener? What happened to my sight? I almost were to hold my hand, when… wait, I can’t reach my head with these. Or are they missing? No, I still feel these. Another thing is - did the world just get bigger? I would probably imagine myself as a dwarf, with a bad vision, short arms and lying on ground, with funny voice and overly sensitive smell, needing help to get up, but when I tried to get up, I couldn’t, I collapsed to ground as shortly as I only felt ground from two feet. Ah hell… I thought a curse, it was just laughable.

Great, just… ugh. Not just my head pounds from noise, not just do I smell smoke, not just I couldn’t talk… I was also quite defenceless. I could only sum this situation with three words: What an embarrassment. I only hoped that nobody else would see me like this, failing to get on two legs.

Edited by Trebonth

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   One Day in Spain

   I had a spring in my step. I had just finished a contract for a lady's old nail salon, rejuvenating its plain grey face with bright swirls of pink, orange, and teal that had a cool weaving effect up near the eaves to make it look like the colors were melting out of the building. The owner of the small shop was ecstatic, and even tipped me for the work! It took almost a week to do, but for my first contract abroad I was pretty happy with it.

   I stuffed my painting supplies and the expansive drop cloth in the trunk of my rental car, then more carefully laid out my equipment on the back seat so nothing would be damaged, and drove off to my apartment. I hadn't been in Spain for very long. I booked a room, flew in a day ago, then became excited like any other tourist and started looking around. My intention wasn't to be on vacation, so I avoided getting sucked into any tours, but I still enjoyed the scenery that was both foreign and familiar, and a little bit scary too since I wasn't used to the crowded inner city. I deliberately chose a popular city though so I wouldn't have to worry about using Spanish so much; I hate fumbling with words like an amateur in front of the local people, but I was in Barcelona, so they understood even if there was some exhaustion from hearing English all the time.

 

   After going dismissively through traffic and arriving to the apartment complex, which was outside of the inner city, I went up to my room, confidently leaving my art supplies in the locked car. I expected the end of my day to be uneventful, but upon entering the room, tossing the keys on the nightstand and sitting on the bed, I realized that a voicemail had come in when I was driving. Figures, they always seemed to come in when I didn't want them. I set the voicemail to play on speaker and plopped the phone down on my bed, getting up to grab a drink from the mini fridge.
   "Hey Samantha! It's the Pub Guy! You remember me," the voicemail began. I rolled my eyes; he was one of my more persistent clients who I couldn't afford to go to. "So, you know how I keep checking your website to see which city you're in, and whaddya know, you've finally crossed the ocean! Took you long enough! So listen: you're in Spain, right? Well guess what? So am I! The pub's right here!" I looked up in surprise from my drink. "Now I know what you're going to say: 'wouldn't an Irish pub be in Ireland? Don't you sound American?' Well, yes and yes, but travel happens! Also Irish pubs are everywhere, so get used to it. Anyway, if you have some time on your hands, call me as soon as possible and we can make a new contract, no travel fees this time! I'm looking forward to it! Oh, and NO TEXTING. I can't have my phone vibrating all day while on the job.

 

   End of voicemail." The automated voice announced. I smiled again in amusement, going over to pick up the phone. John, or "the Pub Guy" as I had been calling him, was a pretty charismatic, multilingual individual, and ever since he saw some of the bird designs on my website he's been asking for owl art on the pub since. I had to keep turning the offer down because I couldn't afford to fly to Europe at the time, but what do you know, I happened to fly to the country he was in! Now I just needed to figure out his location... too bad I couldn't just text him. I hated having to call people because it takes all of my focus to understand the filtered voice.

   Despite that, I forewent my previous plan to search the city for some cheap, good food, and sat down on the bed, calling him back. Making the contract should go pretty quick, anyway.

Edited by skwerl56767

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Raul: Running...

 

I take my time leaving the park. The air is just a bit fresher away from the busy roads. A patch of flowers in particular catches my eye, though I don't care to stoop down and smell them. It's a shiny yellow patch, and unlike the garish bouquets elsewhere, this one is covered in leaves, with the flowers peeking out from their cover. Around them, a little higher up, are some berries. They look questionable. This side of the park seems to have plenty of them, though hidden from the average, oblivious tourist.

 

I pull up my phone and bring up my map. It's still way too early, and I'd rather not be up all night if I meet with the breeder tomorrow. I should find somewhere cheap to eat, too, and try and bring my budget back into balance. The city's fairly well organized, so as long as I glance down every once in a while, I should be fine.

 

My head is sweating. I wipe it off only to find some more red slime, which I flick into the grass.

 

The pigeon flock is back in the streets, hustling for dropped fries. I wince at their desperation; there's no way I could hand one of those greasy American foods to my ladies. Once in a while, yes, my birds would sample my plate when I brought them down into the apartment, but it was only ever a treat. Not like this, where all they eat is pure garbage day in and night out.

 

When I snap my attention away, I see a crowd. Plenty of people have their phones out, some taking videos and some calling. Getting closer, I can see through the rows of people what the fuss is.

 

Now, I have to say,

 

Oh God.

 

I see a man changing. It's the beggar from before.

 

Looks like my sister had a right to worry.

 

It takes me a moment to recover from the shock, and by then the beggar has completely changed. While I'm pushing down bile, I make a plan. I don't want to be infected. I have a life in front of me, and I could just leave that poor guy be and never worry about him ever again. But the guy, the thing really, is so small and so helpless. 

 

It's winter. I was walking home, and I saw a dead pigeon bleeding into the snow. Her wings are splayed out. I was apathetic. It was a long day at work, and I didn't want to deal with New York's endless violence. However, when I passed by her, miraculously she opened her eyes. She was breathing heavy, her head was starting to roll back, so I reached out and picked her up. I carefully tuck back her wings and put her in my coat, trying to avoid the blood---

 

I learned this trick well back in the city. If you want to get somewhere, you just make it until you fake it. 

 

"Excuse me, animal control coming through! I got to get this thing to the pound."  Mentally, I rehearse the words until they sound just like a Spaniard. The crowd parts ahead of me without even looking. I dash toward the former beggar and scoop the thing up. It's a reddish lizardish. There's a leaf at the back of its tail. My few precious seconds are almost up, people are starting to get suspicious, so I dart through and run. 

 

Thank goodness I was walking in a straight line all day. If I didn't mess up my exit, I should get back to my room in five, adrenaline-fueled minutes before the police find me. I'm pushing aside people on the streets with my free hand, my hood as far down as possible. Just get home, get this thing to safety.

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Posted (edited)

   Some Congestion and a Design

   Before the hours waned into evening, to the point where my brain started erratically dancing between production and procrastination, I hastened off to my meeting with Johnathan. Even though he said not to text I sent him one anyway, just a quick message that said I was heading over straight away. Not that the contract was urgent, but as a contractor more work is always better.
   I plopped back into my car - checking the backseat out of habit to make sure everything was where I left it - and drove off, back into the inner city. I kept my windows rolled halfway down to cut the noise but allow a lot of air to pass through, and was greeted by a pleasant breeze the whole way. The city had a sort of stagnant smell to it, but my imperfect nose caught mostly the engine exhaust, which I didn't mind. It reminded me of how industrious and inventive people can be, which doesn't happen much these years...
 

   If only I had been brave enough to try a welding or engineering class, or maybe some physics, I thought, That would have been fun. Maybe I would have invented something! Not that painting isn't something I like to do... I kind of wish there was a better way to tell if you'd like something than just gut feeling and trying it. I hate investing in things that don't pay out in the end, and then I lose money and boy I hate being in the red even more.... Oh, what's this? My mental rambling was diverted by the traffic suddenly becoming dense, as if there was an accident ahead. I frowned, trying not to think about the situation and willing myself to think about what I was going to ask Johnathan instead. Since he's been bothering me so much, should I slip in something extra? I said I didn't have a good crimson color, but maybe I'll splurge just for those red berries he wanted the owl to hold... I sat up a bit higher, as if I could somehow see past the car in front of me. What's going on up there? Maybe it's just a tourist attraction? Maybe something with the pigeons? There sure are a lot of them here. I guess it's more likely that it's just congested though.

   Samantha, focus! I snapped at myself, and I slumped back in my seat, a bit annoyed. I swear, I haven't been able to think about one thing for ten minutes in my whole life. Where was I? The red berries, right...

   It took six more minutes for the traffic to start moving again. By the second minute my mind was busy running in noncommittal circles, so I started up some quiet music on my phone to keep me distracted which blew through the remaining time pretty fast. I was less annoyed with myself and the speed as cars began crawling forward, tapping my fingers to the tune of the happy techno. By the time I had passed the "source" of the congestion I saw a group of people on the sidewalk, but they were dispersing, and nothing of interest was around. No flashy signs, no people with wavers, no rioters or injuries... just a random traffic hiccup, I suppose? It's not like I knew Spain all that well. Maybe this was normal out here.

   I hope not. That was interruptive, I thought, brushing windswept hair out of my face as a gust rushed through the car. Guess I shouldn't be surprised with a city this big though...

 

   I finally arrived at Johnathan's pub, just before seven at night; yeah, me and my American time... He was working the bar with an employee and happily greeted me when I entered before insisting I stay inside out of the cold. I wanted to tell him, "John, I came from one of the coldest states in the US", but was too nervous about making the contract to say anything. At least it smelled nice and clean in there, and wasn't as loud as I expected.

   He fetched us a plate of boneless wings to snack on while we discussed the mural I would be painting on the building. It took a while to figure out how to portray the caramelized, earthy flavor he wanted people to think about, plus integrate the owl, the mug, the berries, and all that fun jazz, but we finally worked something out. Then he bought me another plate of wings to bribe me to use the ladder he had for painting.

   Yeesh. I hate ladders. I always like using platforms instead, but, he could only afford to bring his own ladder out here instead of renting hefty construction or warehouse equipment. Oh well, no scissor lifts for me; but I did convince him to let me have windy days off. It seemed like a good compromise.

 

   I signed the contract, finished the food, and I was set to start sketching the mural's design on the brick tomorrow. A good day, but nothing spectacular. As I drove back to my apartment the design with the owl dominated my mind, although I did wonder at one point what that traffic jam was all about... eh, I guess it doesn't matter. If it's important it'll be on the news the next day; all I have to do then is to learn some better Spanish...

Edited by skwerl56767

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Trebonth: Grabbed.

I saw more and more blurry shapes looking like humans. Ugh, how even, are they calling 112? Or 997? Or just looking at me? This didn’t matter, their voices seemed heavy, somewhat unreadable… Uhh, what is happening? I swore something happened there, but as soon as I thought that, I felt… a human hand holding me, and on the other side a fading black fabric? Strange, it seemed MUCH bigger than it was before, that I was just confused what was going on. I decided to take a look. The streets and colourful buildings, as well as cars seemed to be a lot bigger than before. A lot of the people seem to be pushed. Ugh, I noticed that I was also curled- wait, I swear I just saw a leaf. A crimson one, and... tail? I yelped loudly, but I heard sort of a gibberish. Ugh, did my language become this bad even for me to not hear it correctly?

Then I remembered something. Morning, Katowice. When I was walking on the streets, a lot of people shouted out the betrayal loudly, but many of them panicked when first aircraft came a lot of them tried to hide in buildings. But that was trap - the planes dropped napalm on the streets and buildings. I kept running. I was getting more and more exhausted. Then the soldiers came to the city. I felt pain on the arm, so I hid in the ruins of an office building. The city was destroyed just in one day, and it was horror just to see it. Corpses of various unlucky people, burnt or with bullet wounds lying everywhere, waiting for burial, heavily hurt people not able to help others, dying themselves or yelping for help, military forces occupying the city. And then most people in there were exiled into various parts of Europe. Including me.

And now? What matters any more? I had enough abuse. But this might be a new beginning. I still didn’t see myself fully, but I had to when there’s water or a mirror to look at. A crimson tail, hand and hisses couldn’t really matter much anyway - I could be either faint or unconscious, or that something else has it… but I was awake. Oh god, I still need a rest, my head is still pounding from all these sounds. But the hand vibrated, not letting me to. I was becoming more and more stressed each minute… and I didn’t know how to get out of there. Was that what I’ve wanted? But, maybe I could pull another Katowice in this form and somehow do it. But noticing, how high it now became, it was no sense jumping there. I’d die or hurt myself badly if I fell into the road, I thought. I just needed to stay as silent as possible... Wait, these voices were new-
“Cawaw, what are these cawalking ones doing on cawtone ground?”

Huh? I barely understood it, though. Ugh, felt like yet another language I didn’t know. I tried to rephrase it in my memory, without effect. Yet another language to learn, and I only know Polish and English… just great. My best bet would be probably to ask when we’ll stop… gibberish, yet another time, I couldn’t hear myself either… great. I can’t understand myself, I can’t understand people, I can’t even understand the noise. I wished that a bullet didn’t miss me, once again. But it was futile - I wasn’t in Katowice, I am not there. How would they even get a gun to kill me anyway?

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Ugh... what happened...

 

I wake up, finding myself in the local forest. I feel... different, somehow. I realize I'm on all fours. What??? oh no... I had turned in my sleep. My parents must've thrown me outside, thinking my turned self killed my human self. I smell an awful stench nearby. Wherever I go, the stench follows. I see a rabbit in the distance. Well, if i'm like this from now on, I'll need to hunt. I ate the rabbit whole. I start returning to town, but there's caution tape surrounding the forest. Great, now I'm like the devil to my town. I go deeper into the forest until sundown. Using my new claws, I dig a hiding-hole for the night. Before i fell asleep, one last thought went through my head; I'm stuck like this forever.

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Raul: Home-bound.

 

I push open the doors to the hostel rather roughly. The wood slams against the wall, causing the people outside to shake their head in a sort of disgusted amusement. At least it's safe. The hallway is poorly lit, some lights flickering in and out, threatening to plunge me into darkness. I hear muffled sirens, so I hold my breath and bring the lizard closer; but it passes by, back to the scene of the crime. 

 

I practically throw the former beggar onto my bed. It's well made, my suitcase right underneath. No one else is around. I lock the door and open up my laptop, ready to book an early flight back home. Forget about the breeder; my sister was right. I hesitate before texting her. She doesn't need to know I'm in danger.

 

As I sit down, I notice something in my pant's pocket. It's the rye bread from earlier, somewhat dried out by now. I tear off half and pick out some seeds, leaving both by the lizard. Is that what they eat? Old seeds? I don't know; I've never had the appetite for reptiles.

 

The clock is ticking. I can only hope they didn't get a clear enough view of me. Eventually, though, they'll check the cameras and see me head here. It was stupid to grab the mutant. Now, I need to move tonight. I have enough--barely--to cover for the transfer expense. As I'm typing away, though, I feel something soft in between my fingers.

 

Red feathers are poking through. I don't think about it, but I can feel it in the back of my head. A thought dropping in the back of my consciousness, slowly bringing my stomach with it. In a daze, I move to unlock the window leading to the alley. I won't tell anyone, not my family or the breeder, if I even have the time. Better they think I'm dead than--. The forest beyond the city is my only shot at saving my life. Not just mine, his too.

 

I take a precious moment to change out of my hoodie into a long-sleeved shirt. In the mirror, my skin is already torn up and burned, with that weird oil coating it in a red sheen. The worst damage has feathers beginning to grow. It hurts when I touch it, a sharp throb that doesn't go away. I pick out a backpack, pack some extra bits of jerky, birdseed, and bread, before picking up the lizard one more time.

 

I attempt to climb through the window. It's a solid drop, but I can get into the alley system this way. One last look at my hands: slowly growing, slowly spreading.

 

That's what I get for a good deed, huh?

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Trebonth: A breather from action.

 

I couldn't really help but ponder where was I going. I couldn't really know when would I get to stand-


OW! Thank god that the surface I landed on had been relatively soft, as soft as bed I had- wait, the person, as I saw it further, seemed to have- feathers on hand? Waaaait, but I had yet to see my body and I’m jumping right on conclusions.

Then… rye bread? Uhh, I remember I was very hungry for some days after war and before the incident, so I wouldn’t just abandon it because it wasn't looking tasty. After I got on fours again, I tried to move forward. but it was getting nowhere - I wasn’t moving, when only moving my legs. Then arms? Erm, it still didn’t work- wait, how’d it even work? Would I have to crawl to keep moving? On all fours? Great, back into crawling kiddo stage… But it wasn’t necessary, the bread seemed to be in reach of my mouth. I actually did pretend I still had a human body, and the thing is just trying to crush me.

Anyway, I took a bite from it- a bite? I wasn’t able to sink teeth on it. I decided to help myself with arm-didn’t work, I couldn’t still see it. Then, I literally shook my head and it worked somehow on the bread, and swallowed it. It tasted bland, but it didn’t make me disgusted somehow. But it filled my belly a bit… wait, a bit? It killed my hunger literally. but… I think I made my surroundings a bit too messy with all that rye. Then seeds. Eh, I loved sunflower and pumpkin seeds as a kid, so I just mentally shrugged and just picked one for a taste- again, bland, not good, but not bad either.

But I didn’t see anything reflective. Nothing at all. I couldn’t prove my point till I had strong argument. Like really - a leaf tail or the god-forbidden smell of smoke or the recent failures - blame it on something sitting on my back and crushing me. Lack of teeth? Blame it on the fall. Not seeing an arm? Blame it on amputation. All three of above? Blame it on some weird and bizarre dream.

But… I wasn’t really napping, were I? If I was, I'd likely would be in warm bed in Katowice, shivering from fear against planes, soldiers and stuff... ugh, why am I even thinking of that? Are my current troubles not important enough? Ugh, maybe they were, so I couldn't really neglect them.

I tried to nod a Polish Anthem to calm myself - and I couldn’t. And then, when I was trying again, I felt that warm, humane arm scooping me once again in the tight grip. Not again, I tried to say, but it was the same gibberish, with a faintly hearable… hiss? Or was it another thing? What was it at all?

Edited by Trebonth

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Jake: Wait a minute...

 

I emerge from my hole after a refreshing sleep. Now how to get out of here... suddenly, an idea hit me. I could go under the tape! I did so, and I went to a nearby airport. Carefully, I sneak onto a plane headed to Germany. I quickly hide inside a cargo hold, hoping to not be found. The plane takes off. "no turning back now." I said almost silently. After many hours, the plane lands. I exit after everyone else. Thankfully, the pilot doesn't notice me. At almost midnight, I see a building. Through a window I see a man and a small lizard. At that moment, the terrible-smelling gas started coming again. Oh no... hopefully the gas will stop soon.

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Raul: **** 

 

The lizard hisses as I pick him up. I mumble out a sorry as I reach the window. First, I drop both the lizard bag and the backpack on the ledge below. I watch anxiously as the former almost falls off, but it stops sliding in time. It's not too bad a drop, but the thing's tiny. Next, I myself climb through. It's a small fit for me, and I scream as the metal bars dig into my burned skin. Concerned tones come from the rooms adjacent. Someone rattles the doorknob. I grit my teeth and fully exit the building. I haven't forgotten that I sleep on the second floor, but what other choice do I have? My hand catches the ledge in time; I swing and barely pull myself up. From my tough position, I swipe my arm across for both bags.

 

I never thought I'd say this, as a hardened New Yorker, but I'm glad that I'm in the sketchy part of town. It's all still touristland, however all of the recent pickpockets means I'm alone. The alley is fairly narrow, but nice: bricks line the streets, sunlight reflects off of the wood to give a golden glow. Some people left out potted plants. My phone's battery is quite low, so I close all other apps in favor of my map. It's probably the fifth time I had to open it up today. I look for the closest forest, something big enough that we can hide in. There! Two hours away, the Parc de la Serralada. I look at a few pictures. It's huge. I can see pictures of the ocean, and of forest stretching for miles and miles, all the way out into the countryside.

 

Two hours away. Two hours assuming I don't change into whatever this red feathered thing is.

 

I start running through the alleys. Avoid the main roads, but if I must, walk through them with a sense of purpose. I can barely catch my breath, and a few minutes in, I'm feeling exhausted. Adrenaline doesn't let me down, though, my legs keep moving on and on. In my head I see the shoreline, where hopefully I'll spend my final minutes as a human.

 

That's a horrible thing to think about, but in my situation, it's what keeps me going. Every once in a while I check up on the lizard. About an hour and ten through, I take a break as soon as people stop milling around. I should keep pushing on, but my throat's parched and my phone's dead anyways. The sun's beginning to set. I can hear the sounds of the highway, a sign I'm almost there. I open up the bag as wide as possible, split a piece of jerky and throw the creature one piece. Water has never been so pure, even the crud 1 euro bottles. I offer a small bit on the bottle cap.

 

"I'm really sorry for just grabbing you." I look at the former beggar, not sure if he still understands. "I wasn't sure of anything else to do."

 

I show him my hand. The spread isn't as bad as I thought, but now it's gotten to my thumb. I can feel a claw pushing out, a status quo underneath the panic. Blood is pooling underneath the skin. "I think I was infected even before I took you. This city is going to go to hell. Maybe it's what humans deserve." 

 

I lift up a small bit of my shirt. It's almost all blotchy and red, but there's not as many feathers as I expected. 

 

Footsteps on cobblestone. A woman carrying a bundle of clothes. I move to zip up the bag, before feeling guilty for all of the lizard's suffering. Instead of leaving him in darkness, I offer up my hand. 

 

"We're only a few minutes away. Ish. I guess it's fair to give you some open air."

 

The woman passing through takes a glance at me, then a double take. "You're the guy in the news." She looks at my hand and gasps. Her hand goes to her phone.

 

For once in my life, I flash a cocky smile. She's not gonna take freedom away from me.

 

"Come on, lizard. Let's run."

Edited by serce2

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Trebonth: Huh, how even did I do that?

Ugh, this darkness... and pain! This wasn't very nice, but it was only fair when the darkness opened up and faint light came from the hole on. I could probably think, what he said, but not exactly - it felt muffled and cut off a bit. Like some of the records? I didn't really know. But the air was a... a lot better anyway.

But two words stuck to the memory: 'sorry' and 'grabbing'. Wait, what was the hand- was that all... feathers? What just happened? Then the words 'infecte-', 'hell' and 'humans'. Ugh, what's meaning of this? I tried to figure out, but really couldn't. I cocked the head sideways, blinking occasionally.

Then a piece of... meat? I took it a try and... ****! This not tasty as I thought it would be! I almost retched, but feeling parched too, I tried the water. It was refreshing, at least, not like anything I have drunk. It killed a bit of my thirst.

But then I noticed some sort of similarities. I had to crawl under ruins to save the bloody life. I had to use all four limbs to save my life in the rubble, ruined buildings, against the never ending destruction and war. All of that in the heated days and dark nights, on full alert... Wait, something reminds me, that I didn't do something...
...use all four limbs...
...all four...


Even if it was unthinkable in my opinion, and the fact, I was once again on the rough ground... Wait, but last time I was at soft one and darkness! Anyway, hearing a semi clear instruction 'run', I decided to use left arm and right leg. Right arm and left leg. Huh, the view was shaky a bit, but it worked? I felt a sensation. A strange one - the method I used was kinda... natural?

I spurt forward. even though the stones weren't good for running on, but what choice did I have. Onwards, as fast as possible. Adrenaline fueled me, not knowledge. War was my teacher, but I had to learn again.I forgot for a moment that there was a tail and a leaf, or that my arms weren't visible. I thought like the one trying to hide from endless war.

Edited by Trebonth

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Raul: listening to the ocean.

 

I don't hesitate to get up. I pick up my backpack by a single strap, and seamlessly bring it to my shoulders without missing a step. The feather's spread has reached my foot, so I can feel the discomfort of a sore, burnt foot--but it's either pain now or death later.

 

The woman drops her laundry in a scream when the lizard escapes the bag and runs. Surprisingly, he manages to keep up with me, hobbling over the stones with an ease I didn't expect. Soon enough the woman becomes a speck, and I stop looking behind.

 

It was a straight path to the forest from here. The sun's getting rather low on the horizon, marking the end of the work day. To my right, whenever there was a gap in the buildings, I could see where civilization stopped by the ocean. If I got on a hill, I could probably see the water from here. But I can't detour, not when I hear the police sirens wailing, hunting for me. They're drawing ever closer, but they won't find me. Or him. I've dodged the NYPD a couple of times, not by something illegal but just to get out of their biased sights. Laid-back Barcelona doesn't have anything on me.

 

It takes about ten minutes of sheer endurance to see the trees. I'm underneath the highway now; I catch my breath in the darkness of the tunnels. It's fairly cool and humid. A biker passes by on the right, but they don't even glance at me. A sign out in the daylight points me to the Parc, and behind me, the city's skyline is lit up in preparation for night. 

 

I recognize the importance of this tunnel. It's the marking point of my choice. I can go back, lose myself in the neon and the skyscrapers, the life I've always known and that I'll always love and miss, or I could go out to the cliffs and survive the next morning. If it was up to me, I would return, but I'm not exactly alone anymore. Not when I've come so far.

 

The trees block out the setting sun, chilling the air and making me shudder. Joggers are returning home, listening to their iPods. I'm a dead giveaway with my feathered, clawed hands, when I'm in the sunlight. Now the shade keeps me safe. 

 

I turn right. I can see the ocean. The cliffside and the beach is abandoned. To the north-east, the sky becomes a deep purple. To the south-west, it's a brilliant red. Far, far away, well past the city, a storm thunders over open water.

 

Fitting for the last thing I'll ever see as a human.

 

Now that the lizard's free, I can rest.

 

I give in to pain. My backpack falls to the ground. Adrenaline crashes; I curl up on some dirt and cry. Imaginary needles prick my skin. Veins burn. It's not a sharp pain. Not exactly. It's everywhere, a constant white noise that intensifies when I try to sit up.

 

My vision blurs...

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((my most recent post didn't happen. sorry for any inconvenience.))

Jake: Up and at em...

 

Emerging from my hole, I hear faint sobbing in the distance. questioning what I heard, i tried to call out to whoever was crying, but all I can do is hiss.

 

OH COME ON!!! well, this stinks. I start to tread my way to the poor soul. Why must my new form be so slow?!  Not like there's anything I could do about it anyway.

 

while I'm walking, falling every now and then due to my new form, I see a pit. deep but small. Do I try to pass by it? One fall could make me slide in there.

 

I decide to try and pass. foolish mistake. I fall and land on my back. I hiss angrily.

 

Great, I can't call for help, getting up will take a while, and I'm vulnerable. 

 

oh no.

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Posted (edited)

   What a Morning!

   I was tired, both mentally and physically, and even though I wanted to stay up a bit longer I knew it was a bad idea. So, after feeding my grey cat Aegis his dinner, I scribbled down my last ideas for the mural, set the drawing pad aside, and wrapped up for the night. I had to be up early tomorrow so I can take some good photos of the wall I was working with; I might be able to pull off some nice translucency effects...
 

   -0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-
 

   I woke up with a start. For a second I felt a bit confused; usually I slipped in and out of dreaming before finally waking up. Then I groggily dismissed it and tried to roll over, away from the dim light filtering through the patio door curtains.
   Ohhhh.... that doesn't feel good. I gritted my teeth against a sudden, sharp pain in my back. I shifted more carefully, now noticing how heavy I felt and the aches in my limbs. Great. Must be another neck kink, I thought, I really need to find a way to keep me from sleeping that way.
   I wasn't happy about it, but I sat up in bed and tried to sit upright, moving slowly. I pushed the pillow I was sitting on away from me when I realized I was tilted, then looked up at the ceiling and stretched everything out. There was a noticeable pop in my back, and instantly I felt better, albeit dizzy for a few seconds.
   "Whew...." I sighed, "didn't want a headache." I took a second to wake up the rest of the way, looking at the wall, trying not to slump back over. Right. Need to shower. No wait; feed Aegis first, THEN shower.
 

   I let out a wheezy laugh. I nearly forgot about my own cat! I pushed myself onto my feet-
   WHOA! Too fast-!
   There was a mighty thud as I bashed my head against the wall, unable to stop myself. I crumpled, bumped my nose on the baseboard, and lay there for a second, astounded.
   I.... it didn't hurt....?!
   I looked up at the wall, surprisingly, without having to move my shoulders much. There was a sizeable gouge in it, and the center of it had broken through the drywall. Yet, there wasn't a drop of blood. I wasn't sure if I was more flabbergasted by that, or more terrified that now I couldn't get my security deposit back.
 

   I slowly picked myself up. My legs felt different... really different. My arms felt really far back on me. My whole body still had a dull ache, just enough to annoy me. I put my arms on the wall to help lift me up, noting that they moved the same, but felt incredibly heavy; and now I could see why.
   They were black and fuzzy. The length was the same, but my wrists were stiffer, and I had lost a finger on each hand. The majority of their length was replaced by extended, hook-like claws. The reason they felt so heavy was because of giant growths shielding their outsides, shaped like ragged feathers, crystalline, rigid, and colorful. I stared at the plates in awe, simultaneously grossed out about how I was extra hairy now, still trying to process what I was seeing and how it was possible. It was almost like I was dreaming, and it certainly wasn't unusual for me to dream as being something else, but usually I had a sense of omnipresence - like I could see myself, through my eyes, all around me, and even detached scenes - when I dreamed. This was definitely more limited and more real.
   If I wasn't me though, then that meant something really wacky had happened, and the likeliest one... was the Poland virus... but I was nowhere near Poland! Closer by an ocean's length, sure, but still on the opposite side of the country!
 

   This is nuts...! This is nuts...! I chanted over and over in my head. Wait... what am I, though?!
   I looked down to try and comprehend what I had turned into. I mean, yeah, I was completely lost as to what I should do now that I was different, but having turned into so many different things in my dreams, this almost felt normal, in a really unusual way. It was both terrifying and exciting! Whatever I was though, it certainly wasn't anything I've envisioned before: my legs looked really short and muscular, but they felt pretty long, so I must be a digitigrade and kneeling. A weight was attached to my lower back; a tail? I could see scales growing from my sides, just like the ones on my arms. The dark purple fuzz continued all the way down my body too, where there were no scales, and where it met the scales there were faint, deep sapphire rosettes patterning it.
   I almost squealed aloud. That's my favorite color combination! Purple and true blue!! But why is my chest so round? NO WAIT!! I need a mirror!
 

   Motor memory kicked in, and for a moment, I tried to get up like I was still a person. I severely underestimated the length of my legs.
   Thump. I fell back onto my belly as soon as I turned away from the wall. I tried to stand up again, but it was like I was wrapped up in the sheets still. So I rolled onto my side and swung my whole body so my legs were out in front of me and figure out how to use them.
   I laughed when I saw them, or maybe I heard a bird chirp and fly off the patio. Rabbit legs! They were rabbit legs! Like my hands though, the toes were mostly claw, sort of like a kangaroo, or like... Reshiram!
   All right, all of this really wasn't adding up. Fuzz? Leopard rosettes? Rabbit legs? Pokemon feet? What the heck kind of chimera am I?!
   Immediately I had the horrifying thought that I had a snake neck and my face was the same. I didn't feel that flexible - a bit heavy-headed, actually - but at the same time...
   "Okay, mirror time..." I mumbled to myself, although the words didn't come out coherent. I cleared my throat, and it sounded raspy. Guess the transformation had more side effects than just aching. Well... for now, let's just focus on standing up... except rabbits don't really stand... One thing at a time, Samth! Okay... I braced myself on the ground, as best as I could with my weird arm-scale-wings, and pushed up. Not much different from when I was human... I rolled my weight forward into a crouch.
   I slid right in place! All right, so that was the easy part. The way I was coiled up felt like I could kick off and sail through the ceiling, but I didn't want to find out how far these rabbit legs could go and lose the rest of my deposit, so I slowly stood myself up from the crouch, not moving my feet. I had to move my arms to the sides to stay balanced, but I managed to rise up well enough. Now, the hard part... shuffling toward the bathroom.
   All right... this ought to be fun... I thought. One step at a time... DON'T bash your head into the wall again...
 

   It took a painfully long time, but the travel actually went smoother than I thought; well, as smooth as trying to walk with giant skis strapped to your feet on carpet. I had dewclaws that kept trying to catch on the carpet weave, and one time they did. That was a little too much excitement for me.
   When my arduous, six-yard journey ended at the bathroom door, I was a little scared to look inside and see how much had changed. I wasn't even a vain person, but still, I was used to my human face. I could already tell my face was different, with how it felt stretched and balanced at the same time, and my vision was a bit squished.
   Stretched is good, right? I tried to encourage myself, Maybe you have a dragon face. Maybe you're a bird. Oh gee, please don't be something gross... just one quick look, just a glimpse...
   I darted my head in, and there was a clunk.
   "ACK!" I squawked; not because I saw something, but my head became stuck! I pulled away but there was only a scraping sound as I dug into the door trim. Oh no, that's coming out of my deposit too! SAMTH! Stop worrying about that thing! Push!! I shoved away from the door, and there was another scrape. It's working! I kept pushing, trying to twist my head free, awkwardly shuffling back on my feet.
 

   An ugly ripping sound came from the trim as I tore loose, and I stumbled and fell away from it, free! One look at the damage though, and I tried not to think of how poor I was going to be, as if that even mattered now. The right side trim had a noticeable gouge in it, but the left side had splintered in half, the bottom part pulled free from the wall.
   How big did my head have to be to cause that?! Now I was really worried about what it looked like... I heaved myself back into my half-crouch though, and attempted to pass through the door again, this time turning my head experimentally.
   It worked! Apparently it was just really wide now. The rest of my body followed smoothly as long as I kept my arms tucked in.
   Now, the reveal... I really hoped I was some kind of dragon and not something worse.


   I was pleasantly surprised. The face looking back at me was not like any creature I knew, but it did revive a very old memory: my brother and I, playing with his toys in the basement, turning the room into an imagined reality with K-Nex and Bionicles. The shape of this creature's head reminded me of one of those Bionicles. It was domed, with a massive face plate starting from my nose and arching back over my head; that was the wide part that caught on the doorway. My actual face underneath was very narrow and triangular, peeking out from under the face plate. I was most surprised by the eyes: faceted like a bug's, and glowing a soft orange-yellow.
   I examined my own face for a long time, studying all of the details and almost afraid to move it. I inched in closer to the vanity, staring. I tried to blink but it didn't work; it only made my cheekbones twitch. I flicked on the light to better discern the shape of it, and quickly had to dip my head away from the light as it shone into my eyes. That was going to take some getting used to... but where was my mouth?? Was that a beak?
 

   I reached up to feel my face and - whoa!! That's... not the pair of arms I intended to move.
   I had four arms?!
   "Okay, that's never happened in a dream before..." I murmured. It came out as a series of mumbling chirps, and now that I was staring at myself in the mirror, I saw the front of my face moving a bit. I was so fascinated with everything that I quick accepted the fact that I had arms on my chest. Much smaller, fluffier arms, with only three fingers each. Hey, maybe I can keep using my phone then!
   Priorities, Samth. Priorities. I laughed at myself nervously, and heard louder chirping come from me; but still I didn't see visible movement. All right, where's that mouth? I resumed feeling over my face with the smaller arms. Even though their muscles were in a more abnormal spot for me, they behaved the most like human hands; I just had to be careful with their little claws near my eyes.
   As I felt around I noticed that I had a sort of bony structure wrapping around my face, from the back of the jaw forward to where my nose would have been; I say would have been, because I tried to breathe through it and it wasn't there. I was still breathing through my mouth even though it was closed though, like it didn't actually close all the way. I felt the underside of my neck to ensure I didn't have a freaky throat-mouth, and was relieved to find no seams or odd muscles: it was just a normal throat. So where was I breathing from? Maybe I should make some faces?
 

   I'm glad I'm not the heroine of a story. What a way to start off, I thought to myself in amusement, trying to emote in the mirror. I had limited success, with my cheeks making the most noticeable changes. Then, I tried to grin.
   I felt some muscles near the back of my head grow taught, and I recoiled when my face suddenly opened up!... No, wait... those were jaws! Like wasp jaws! That's what the bony structure was! Now I could see that the crystalline head plate bent down and in a bit, creating little teeth, and the jawline went back pretty far. It was like a snout but my eyes were further forward.
   "That's so cool," I said, and saw the jaw open. "Whoa! Heh. WHOAAA." I opened my mouth wide like a little kid, watching it stretch. It was structured like that freaky split-jaw creature from Tremors 2! I didn't have a tongue, and the inside of it looked rough. Every time I made a noise it tried to vibrate. "Waaa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah," I churred. "Ver-r-r-rba-a-a-n-o-o-o."
   Okay, so the lack of proper lips and a tongue means I didn't actually say that. Every noise I made just sounded like a weird rattle or chirping, but I was thoroughly enjoying my chirping. It wasn't a bird, or a dragon, or a bat, or anything I could directly relate to, but all of the different parts fit together so well that I wasn't weirded out by myself, even with the bulging bug eyes.
 

   Then it suddenly occurred to me: how was I going to live like this? Even if everyone was okay with a weird rabbit-legged chimera thing shuffling around, I couldn't wear a shirt or shoes very well. Could I even work a car? Swipe a credit card? How was I going to eat? Oh drat, how am I going to paint?!
   I was at a complete loss for all of it, but I knew one thing for certain: I'm not going to let myself be reduced to living like some feral animal. I'm still me! I have intelligence! It's just... now I have bug-face. Maybe I could pull it off as a really elaborate costume, or maybe I have a super-rich cousin who's one of the few people working on hologram technology... yeah, this is just a hologram. Could I even pass it off as a hologram, though...? You can't touch holograms...
   I grimaced and slumped in thought, and something perked out from under the head plate. A new set of back-of-the-head muscles... I pulled on them a bit more, and an antenna on either side of my head slipped out, perking like ears. I stared at them for a long moment before deciding not to play with them yet; I had to think about how I was going to adjust to this.
 

   I relaxed my face to let the mandibles close up and the antennae go back into hiding, then left the bathroom, bumping into the doorway again in the process. Halfway through it I heard the distinct thumping of a running animal and saw the dust ruffle on my bed swish. "Oh, Aegis..." I hummed, recognizing that the cat had hid from me. He's going to be terrified of me now. How am I going to take care of him? What if this thing eats cats?! I shuddered and tried not to think about that. I can't risk him being too traumatized to eat, though. What to do, what to do... I was momentarily distracted by something attached to my spine bumping the wall, and turned to look at it. A tail!! Golly, this thing really has my aesthetic, doesn't it?... Oh!! An email! I can email my parents! I quickly shuffled over to my laptop, keeping an eye out for Aegis so I could work around him in case he bolted. I should email John too, and tell him I'm sick. Yeah. I have a bad cough or something. I mean, it's not lying, right? Everyone thinks this is a virus. I pulled out my computer and turned it on, quickly formulating the emails to be as calm and direct as possible, although I was having doubts about telling my parents everything... they're too smart and would read between the lines; a simple "take care of Aegis for me" won't do. I didn't have the heart to lie and say it was for financial reasons even though that too would eventually be true, because who would employ me if I can't paint?
   I sighed, waiting for the computer to boot. It can always be worse, I assured myself, Just focus on one thing at a time.

Edited by skwerl56767

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Posted (edited)

Trebonth: I can't even stooooooooooooop!

As I followed the stones, into freedom, I noticed the trees. But was it really the freedom I wanted at first? What even happened when I turned? I felt strange urge of leaving the human alone, but at other side - to stop, but - whaaa!? I couldn't even dig my fingers deep enough to stop! I wanted to check on myself in peace, but I kept running for some reason. Did I forget how to stop hardly on the ground, or was that I just couldn't? What in the world? A hole, in addition out of nowhere!? No, please no, no please- phew! That was very close, as I turned around in very wide arc. I had no idea how, though, and I ended up almost colliding with... what happened to human, anyway? Nothing important, as long as I can at least avoid crashing on the obstacle I'll be good. But I was getting tired, and as adrenaline crashed on me too, my legs finally stopped, and I landed on my own belly. And I stopped, but was barely thinking. No thanks to you, exhaustion. Wait, but did I hear thunder? No time for this, I had no energy for moving. Still, that was somewhat near a person, and that's when my eyes were going to close to sleep... guess the check would be tomorrow, then.

This wasn't like I expected. A war, being poor and sudden clumsiness isn't what I expected over the last five days... I could only think this, but then I finally... curled? Anyway, I closed eyes. Good night to me, I'm too tired.

Uuuuurggh, the headache. How much did I sleep? And something didn't change. The same tail I saw yesterday? I gulped, with the heaviness unexpected by me. So this can't be... this can't be a dream. Maybe I had lizard attached to me or whatever else, but it doesn't relate on why is this world that big. Would be more than possible. But still, my limbs didn't want to move at all - last day was too stressful, and I'd likely want to sleep more, but... I stood on fours again and looked around- a big moment of what the hell. It was a bird...? Eh, it really didn't look like what I saw before. But mostly it was still hidden. Maybe I'll just go and check on myself... yeah, I could do that, and so - walked around... wait, I was so thirsty, so hungry, why did this kick in me now? And why not before I checked on myself.

Edited by Trebonth

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