Solo Venom's Call

She was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived...

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The westernmost tip of Kalea, Wind Reach is home to an amazing group of people and their giant eagle mounts. [Lore]

Venom's Call

Postby Oresnya Cacao on June 1st, 2019, 2:58 am

In which Or hunts a Yasi
Last edited by Oresnya Cacao on August 17th, 2019, 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oresnya Cacao
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Venom's Call

Postby Oresnya Cacao on August 17th, 2019, 5:47 pm

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Blood. All living things revolved around this one thing. The preservation of it and the spilling of it. Predator and prey found themselves on opposing sides of this eternal struggle, both vying for the same eventual result. Survival.

No matter how fearsome one was, every creature found itself on the former end of the spectrum. There was always a bigger beast, and everything, someday, became the hunted. No matter their differences, predator and prey both experienced the need for preservation of life, to prevent the letting of blood. Life depended on this, the second greatest of all instincts.

But above the necessity of fear was the driving force behind all existence, the motivation that moved all life. The need to feed. Hunger lay at the root of life, and nothing could ignore it. Nothing could take away the need for living things to feed, no creed and no faith, no strength of character or solidity of mind, nothing. This was the primal call, the wild’s draw that overcame all other instincts and emotions. Predator and prey were alike in this too.

They did, however, differ in one way, and this was in the spilling of blood. Predators knew this sensation intricately. It was an experience completely their own, wholly an inheritance of the things that killed to live, and no prey would understand the allure of blood the way a predator did. The tang of blood as it filled one’s mouth spoke to the creature that existed in the heart of every predator’s soul, and once experienced, it was difficult to ignore.

What was even more difficult to ignore, though, was the need to feed. Oresnya hadn’t had food in two weeks. Fourteen days of starvation hadn’t been kind on her. Fourteen days of starvation wasn’t kind on any living thing.

Oresnya sat on the stone bench, the firm rock digging into the bony protrusions of her backside. Any bit of fat that had been stored on her was gone along with a good portion of the muscle. Stone ground against bone, and sitting made her sore, though standing didn’t feel any better. Her muscles had wasted, and even walking took concerted effort. There was a general fatigue that made her entire body feel sore.

But this pain was the least of hers. The worst came from the venom that was yearning- no, demanding- to be sunk into flesh or food of any kind. What had began as a tingle in her mouth ten days ago and built on itself until the skin from the inside of her cheeks began to slough away. Over a week, the tingle had turned to a burn, and as more and more flesh sloughed away, sores started to form in her mouth. Despite how much of it she spit out with dead cheek skin, Oresnya knew she swallowed more. Her stomach cramped often, and though she was certain part of this was due to lack of food, another part had to be the venom doing its work. There was no food to digest, and as potent as her venom was becoming, it could strip the lining of her stomach and intestines. This morning, she had vomited a small amount of blood.

So, more miserable than she had ever felt in her life, Oresnya sat on the hard stone bench, staring past the bottom of her empty bowl and wishing she had died. Even the muscles of her tongue didn’t cooperate with her as she tried to gather the loose skin that had gathered in her mouth. Eventually, it gathered itself into a little clump, and stifling a gag, Oresnya spit it into her bowl. It was flecked with blood. One of the sores had opened itself up again.

A pale hand, though not as pale as Oresnya’s, reached forward, pushing a half full bowl of soup under Oresnya’s face. Oresnya’s eyes tracked upward to meet Eshryd’s eyes full of concern for her Symenestra friend. Tapping the bowl, Eshryd emphasized the gesture again, pushing the bowl a little nearer.

“You know I cannot.” The chefs and workers in the kitchens had been watching Oresnya like hawks, waiting to swoop down on her if she even tried to eat. Leo’s connections were widespread. He’d done his fair share of good for the people, and they had not forgotten. Since he had started Oresnya on her starvation, the workers had been hypervigilant about ensuring she did not eat.

Oresnya took advantage of the situation by giving her meals to Eshryd, and the double portions had done the mute Dek much good. Her already strong muscles had filled out a little more, and the once thin frame now looked more balanced. Perhaps it was a boon. Perhaps not. It had only added to her beauty, and she had been receiving additional attention from the men of all the castes above hers. Oresnya could tell her friend was growing tired of the advances.

One such man, either Avora or Chiet, too unimportant looking and lacking the confidence to be an Endal, began to make his way across the dining hall toward Eshryd. As he neared, Oresnya lifted her head and met his eyes, baring her teeth. With the constant hunger, her canines were fully extended, and a trickle of blood-flecked saliva dribbled down her chin, adding to the dangerous sense she gave off. The man took one look at Oresnya and, deciding she was either too dangerous or too crazy to approach, turned away, leaving his pursuit of the beautiful Dek for another day.

With a smirk and a snort of satisfaction, Oresnya let her head drop back down to look at her bowl again. Holding up her head took too much effort. All her muscles were tired, and the only ones that seemed to be working well were the ones that forced her canine to stay extended. Her cheeks ached with their constant tension and the stretching of the glands that held her venom.

She needed to sink her fangs into something. She needed-

Eshryd pushed the bowl further toward Oresnya and, when the Symenestra’s eyes met hers again, glared to emphasize that the gesture was a command, not a request, not an offer.

“Eshryd,” Oresnya growled. “Stop.”

The Dek picked up the bowl and slapped it back down on the table, insisting in the only way she could. Oresnya thought that having no voice would have made her friend easy to ignore, but Eshryd had her ways.

Oresnya wanted nothing more than food right now, but eating would disappoint people, some of whom had very widespread connections. Failing them would only jeopardize her search for Yora’s family. But Eshryd’s offer was tempting. Oresnya was reaching a breaking point, and she knew it. She needed to find Leo before she did something stupid. As she stood to leave, Eshryd caught her arm and tried to pull her back down.

Something deep inside Oresnya broke. To call it a break was not quite right. Something awoke. Something that was present in all people but remained locked away by generations of societal standards and easy living broke free. With a sharp twist, Oresnya was free of Eshryd’s grasp and caught the Dek’s arm in her hand, squeezing tight and driving her long black nails into the woman’s arm with a strength she knew she didn’t have.

“Do not tempt me, Dek.” Oresnya spat the last word out full of spite. Fear filled Eshryd’s eyes, and the thing inside Oresnya reveled in it. Oresnya had been cautious in all her time in Wind Reach to never use a person’s caste as a derogatory term, but this new creature in her didn’t care. It loved watching the redhead in front of her cower and cringe in pain as her claws drew blood.

Oresnya released Eshryd, in shock at what she had just done to one of her few friends in the city. She needed to find Leo. Now. The thing in the back of her mind, the thing from the depths of her soul, told her otherwise. Food was what she needed. Everything else came after. She needed food, and the voice was very specific about how that should come. Food was life. She needed to eat to live, and something needed to die for her to eat.

She stumbled her way out of the kitchen. On her way out, she saw Bob, her appointed monitor since her arrival in the city, rise and follow her. He sensed something wrong and wasn’t about to let her wander free.
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Venom's Call

Postby Oresnya Cacao on February 29th, 2020, 4:59 am

Image
Oresnya was in the hallways now. Two forces were driving her, and only one had a conscience. There were two calls, one of reason telling her to find the man who understood why she was doing what she was doing and one of instinct telling her she didn’t need him to get what she wanted. One was well-trained by a lifetime of living in a society with certain expectations, by a soul driven to do good, by Oresnya’s belief that blood was holy and shouldn’t be spilled unnecessarily.

The other though was a force to be reckoned with. Where reason and conscience had been fashioned by Orensya’s lifetime, instinct was something that had been bred through lifetime upon lifetime upon lifetime free from any influence Oresnya could hold over it. It was tempered and perfected by time and survival, and humanity’s pathetic attempts to craft a society that pushed it out had been futile. It lurked, and when it was needed, when reason was unfruitful, it unleashed itself.

It was a power that had been built upon the dozens and hundreds of generations that had preceded her. It was something beyond the strength of a single person, something that took their strengths and added it to the hundreds that had preceded it.

“Widow!”

Oresnya didn’t need to turn to see who had called. With as often as the two talked and were around each other, she recognized Bob’s voice right away. Reason told her not to let him stop her. If he kept her from Leo, Oresnya wasn’t sure what she’d do. Worse, if he stopped her, she wasn’t sure what she’d do to him. She didn’t want to hurt him. She needed to get away. Instinct agreed, and it happily lent her a strength she didn’t know she had.

Before he could call for her again, Oresnya’s legs tensed, one driving hard against the stone floor beneath her, the other reaching out to find purchase for the next sprinted step. As soon as one foot found the ground, it was shoving off, and the other was following it. Though it was the fastest she had ever run, it was not impressive, and Bob’s yells behind her said he was gaining on her.

Instinct told her to push her body harder, that if she just kept running she could get away. Reason, the younger of the two, was definitely the wiser. It knew she was weak and that even well-fed she was outmatched. She didn’t need to run. She needed to escape, and there were ways to do that without having to match an athlete’s speed.

Sound traveled differently in a mountain than it did in open air or even in a forest. Halls let sound echo differently depending on how broad they were and what they opened into, and the voices that she heard from a hall to her right were plentiful and said the hall narrowed dramatically, if Oresnya’s memories of home were to be trusted. Ducking that direction, Oresnya only had to run around a single bend before she ran into a gaggle of Avora that were blocking the entire breadth of the hall. There was no way around them, and the crowd was big enough that there was no separating them to get through.

But there was a way over them. Oresnya’s feet and hands slapped against the wall, and even though the pull of gravity called her back to the ground, her Symenestra body was light enough to resist. Scampering up the wall to the top of the ceiling, Oresnya skittered over the group before dropping back to the ground, bending her knees to cushion her fall. Tired as she was, she stumbled, but instinct drove her back to her feet as Bob’s frustrated yells reached her from beyond the human barrier between them.

Getting out of his sight, Oresnya ducked into a room off the hall, calming her breathing so he wouldn’t hear her as he passed. It took him nearly a chime to get through the crowd the Avora had made, and when he was finally passing where she was hidden, he was at an all out run. He couldn’t hear the little heaviness that remained in her breath, and in less than another chime, she couldn’t hear his footsteps coming from down the hall.

She had done it. She was free. She was all alone. Alone with no one there but herself. Herself and reason and instinct.

And hunger.

By Viratas, was she hungry. Reason and faith slipped away, and she was left with only two things.

Hunger and the primal thing inside that would see it sated.
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Venom's Call

Postby Oresnya Cacao on March 1st, 2020, 9:51 pm

Image
Blood. The memory of the taste of it was in her mouth, perhaps from her own sores or perhaps from the few kills she had participated in herself, but even if she had never once tasted it in her life before, it would have still been there from memories that went beyond a lifetime. The primordial thing remembered what the kill had been like and lived in those memories.

Now, part of the drive to hunt was no longer about the need to feed, the need to be sated. Part of it just wanted to feel life slip away beneath it, to prove its time-tested skills of hunting. The hunter knew it needed prey it could bring down and sensed its own weaknesses. A full-grown adult would be no easy prey. Predatory wisdom told her the young were the easiest, especially here in the mountain where the Inarta were sure their young were safe. A child then. It would be more than enough to give her strength and feed her for several weeks to come.

It waited for several chimes until its breathing had calmed considerably, then paused with a held breath to listen to the sounds of the mountain as they came to her funneled down from just two directions. Several ticks passed with nothing, but a hunter learned that patience was its greatest ally. Then, softly, the sound came to the hunter, the sound of children laughing and playing, Yasi wandering their mountain halls assured of their safety. To find where the sound came from, the hunter turned first one way, then back the other, then back once more. The sound was coming most strongly from the first direction, so the hunter’s feet set off that way.

For the better part of a bell, it strode the halls carefully, listening to the sounds and following them the way a spider stalks the trembles in its web to find the prey that had stumbled into its trap. Its steps came wearily, but the prospect of food drew on hidden stores of strength and endurance that it didn’t know it had had. Where earlier that day its steps had been weak and faltering, now they were confident and steady in spite of the weariness of the walker.

Patient hunters were rewarded, and eventually, the sounds of children came to her from just ahead. They were yelling and screaming, then laughing. There were several of them, and even children in a band could put up a fight. The hunter paused again, holding its breath to hear what the Yasi were yelling about. Their language wasn’t hers, so she missed most of what passed between them.

“I got you. I’m the Beast.”

“Nuh-uh. I’m Trinto, and I’ve got the strongest Wind Eagle in all Wind Reach. I dodged you and got you with an arrow.”

“You’re always Trinto,” the first voice complained. “He ain’t invincible, you know?”

A third voice popped up. “I never get to be the monster.”

“You got to be it last time.”

“I thought we’d agreed we were gonna be our own Wind Eagles.”

There were five voices in all, but that mattered little. What the hunter had gathered was that this was a game making light of the Beast and turning a frightening situation into something they could control. An idea crept into hunter’s mind as slowly as she crept toward her prey. She followed it, taking to the walls and moving up on to the ceiling. Each hand and foot was placed deliberately and slowly, so as not to make much noise. The Yasis’ arguing did the rest.

They didn’t hear her until she twisted her neck around to look at them from above and spoke in the best frightening voice she could muster. Days of swallowing her own venom had turned her voice harsh and raspy, guttural and monstrous. “How about I’m the Beast?”

Baring her teeth and hissing, the hunter dropped into the middle of them. Shrieks filled the air, and the children scattered, thinking it was all a part of their game. They were more than happy to have an adult jump in on the fun and play the bad guy, all but one of them. One saw the look that hid beneath the surface of her eyes, the hunger, the predatory grin that wanted nothing more than blood.

Oresnya saw this. The human part of her and the part of her that controlled reason saw this and urged the part of her in control, the part of her driven by more base instincts, to hunt that one. The rest saw it as a joke, but if this one survived and another Yasi went missing, this child would be sure to blame Oresnya. The girl in question had gone off in one direction with one other child. All the hunter needed to do now was separate the two Yasi.

Quickly, so as not to let her prey team up with the other, she sprinted toward them, using precious energy. It was necessary though for her survival, so she spent it, threading between the two, black claws extended and grabbing at them playfully. The ploy worked, and the pair split.

Slowing and breathing deep and hard to replenish the air she had lost, the hunter began to stalk her prey through the intricate, winding halls of Wind Reach.
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Venom's Call

Postby Oresnya Cacao on March 3rd, 2020, 3:44 am

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The preservation of blood. There was nothing better at this than the desperation of a thing hunted. She had seen it in the monster’s eyes. Or she thought she had. She wasn’t sure what she had seen there. It was an odd emptiness, perhaps with a hint of hunger, but even that seemed sparing.

None of that mattered though. The Widow was hunting her. Little Kitilik’ had never been so scared in her life. Breath she desperately needed for running away refused to come as she panicked. Instead of deep breaths, she hyperventilated and had to stop to calm herself enough to steady her breathing so she didn’t faint. Despite this though, she had never felt so strong. Her legs had never carried her so fast, and her senses had never felt so sharp.

She could hear the Widow behind her in the halls. If the rumors about the city were true, the Widow had killed an Avora not even ten days ago. Sure, it had been a fair fight in the Pits, but Kitilik’ had to wonder why the Symenestra had been allowed to stay after that. The woman was dangerous, dangerous for Wind Reach, but Kitilik’ didn’t care about that right now. Her immediate concern was that the Widow was dangerous to her.

She was being hunted. Her immediate thought had been to run, but now she realized she was lost. Even in the comfort of her home, in the safety of Wind Reach, she was lost. She didn’t know what turns she had taken, which turns she should take to get back to where others could keep her safe, and behind one of those turns, she knew, the Widow waited.

She was being hunted, and now, she knew she had to either shake her hunter, hide away, or make it to the protection of others. Kitilik’ was scared, but fear was powerful. Fear guided was powerful. Fear let run rampant made one weak and unfocused, blind to the world about them. Kitilik’s fear was a bit of both. Her body was more willing to do what she demanded of it, but she found it difficult to concentrate and form a semblance of a plan.

Her chest pulled hard at the air, trying to fuel her as she continued to run. Kitilik’ came to an intersection of tunnels, a fork in her path, and tried to remember if she had ever seen it before. Something said that the hall to the right led to the Infirmary. There were bound to be people there. Confidence burst into hope inside her, and she took the right path.

Around the next bend though, she froze. There, gouged into the wall, were deep scratch marks, fresh ones. Only the Widow could have done this. She knew where Kitilik’ was trying to go and had cut her off. Kitilik’s heart fell as she realized she was cut off from everyone. If she kept going this way, she would stumble straight into the Widow, straight into the heavy black claws that could cut stone, straight into the fangs that could melt flesh.

She was trapped, and all she could do was run back the way she had already come, back the way the Widow wanted her to go. All she could do was make her way deeper into the trap, entangle herself more in the Widow’s web. All she wanted was to be free and safe, but she was being hunted.
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Oresnya Cacao
The Chain sets us free.
 
Posts: 133
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