Author Topic: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm  (Read 23678 times)

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5130 on: March 28, 2019, 01:21:33 am »
Many eyes in a single head watched the few surviving bandits pick up the body as directed to carry back to whoever. The many eyes then watched and followed the group of three men until they simply dumped the body by the side of the road. Mica, the owner of the eyes, thought that was a fine thing. Sarcastically of course. Helen had put all that effort into doing up that body, and the men had simply dropped it as soon as they were sure no one was watching them. She followed them a bit longer and listened to their conversation, wanting but not quite willing to move in on them. What she'd done tonight had been irresponsible of her. She had a squishy to think about, she could have been hurt and that could have hurt the squishy. She wasn't going to risk moving in on the trio and gamble with her squishy. Instead, when she was sure they weren't going to come back, she retraced her steps the way she'd come back to the dumped body. Helen had taken great care to cut open the man's back and pull out his air bags. Mica knew instinctively that's what they were, the truth was that she'd eaten enough people to know what most of the parts inside were for. Except for the kidneys,(which tasted nasty) the liver, (which tasted divine) and the bits between the legs (which Mica had always avoided eating because of it's proximity to other foul tasting parts.

She gave the body a sniff, it didn't smell any different, and ripped off one of the lungs with her teeth. It didn't taste much different either. Something symbolic then? Dee said that Helen did lots of symbolic things, but Mica didn't exactly know what that meant. She bit the other lung off along with a good sized chunk of skin. A hairy man, Mica hated eating hairy people. Their skins always tickled the back of her throat and made her feel like vomiting. Speaking of which, she'd eaten a great deal that night and there was more left back at the little camp by the lake. Plenty of food a great deal less hairy than Helen's "offering." Mica regurgitated the Gore she'd thus far eaten, re-affixed her scarf, and strolled slowly back the way she'd come. Upon her arrival though, she found that she was no longer alone.

"Hey sweetie." Roxanne said. She was doing something to what was left of Mica's "feast" and that peeved the spider a little. Before her eyes, one of the bodies suddenly shuddered, rose, and then ambled into the woods where it would wait for further orders from it's new master. Then Roxanne moved to another body, and Mica knew what would happen next. It didn't matter to her that Roxanne was here making undead, what mattered was that she was doing it with meat that Mica had been determined to eat herself. Before Roxanne could kneel over the body she had targeted for raising, Mica cut her off at the pass and began ripping it apart and eating it all while staring Roxanne in the eyes. "That's fine, there are others." Roxanne said, nettled. She went to another and Mica again cut her off. "Don't be greedy sweety, it's unbecoming."

"What is un-bee-kum-in'?" Mica asked through a mouth full of viscera.

"Speaking with your mouth full for one." Admonished Roxanne, "C'mon Mica, can't I have just like, a few?"

"No!" Mica shouted happily. Roxanne reached into her robe and took out something that looked like a perfume bottle. Mica didn't like the smell of it, it smelled nasty like poison. The woman turned and went for another body, and Mica made a dive for it. This time though, Roxanne squeezed the bottle at her and Mica recoiled. "Nasty! Nasty poisons!" She screeched.

"It's just perfume sweetie, and I'm not afraid to use it! I got a spray bottle full of vinegar too, just in case." They stood across from each other, eyeing one another up, then Mica turned away and began taking bites out of every body she could find. After each bite, she would glance at Roxanne and for her part, Roxanne had the image of a child taking a bite out of the center of every sandwich on a plate. Fortunately for Roxanne, the bodies didn't have to be intact. So, Mica ate and Roxanne worked. Eventually though, both gave up. Roxanne. Only had so much time, and Mica only had so much patience and stomach space. By the time they quit on it, they'd both stopped trying to one up each other anyway.

"My-ka's gotta go back soon..." Mica yawned languidly.

"Yeah me too." Roxanne said, "The tin can is fast asleep, but that doesn't mean he won't wake up and ask questions. I'm on a short leash as it is. Remember to clean yourself up sweetie, you look absolutely grizzly."

Mica nodded, she would clean up of course. That process would involve rolling around in the grass for a bit to dislodge as much of the bloody silk as she could before taking a quick rinse in the river. She wasn't about to jump into bed covered head to toe in streaks of blood and guts. That wouldn't please Dee one bit, having his smelly bloody fiance climb into bed next to him as filthy as a mass grave.

When Mica was gone, Roxanne did a bit of snooping. There were some useful things left behind by the dead bandits, but she was more interested in how long they'd been there. A couple tents and a big yurt, but also a more permanent mud and bough structure that had probably been destroyed in the fighting. It was the stone bearing runes carved into it that was most interesting though. It raised questions about Helens involvement, and a few more about the bandits themselves. Then she remembered something Hector had told her earlier. "There's a nice girl living across the lake." Or something like that. She also recalled that the girl had lost a sister, and this stone certainly looked like a gravestone. The bandits had camped here then, but the girl had lived here. Where was she now? Most interestingly though, if this was the sisters grave, then why couldn't Roxanne sense a body beneath the stone?

It wasn't as much of a mess as Branches expected. There had been more bodies, at least branches thought so, but sometime in the night they had been moved. It was kind of surreal actually, looking out across the small clearing and seeing so little to clean up besides the blood soaked grass and litter. Here and there was a bone or some bit of corpse, but that was a lot easier to deal with from her perspective than a complete carcass or a mutilated body. Where'd they go though? It was a question she wasn't too concerned with. She prodded a leg with a stick for a bit before lobbing it into the lake and looked around.

The damage wasn't quite as extensive as she'd thought it was, but it was still bad enough to be disheartening. Almost everything from inside her house had been torn up, scattered, burned, or broken and the center pillar that held up the roof had been snapped with one solid kick or maybe a swing of some tool. Replacing that would be easy though. Branches had the bandit leaders yurt and examining that gave the homunculus ideas. The yurt had a collapsible lattice, and Branches thought that said frame would make for good walls if she expanded the rectangular mud pit into a larger circular one. Inspired, she even planned out a new wooden floor and thought the canvas roof could be replaced with overlapping shingles. From mud hut to wood hut. If she felt like it, and she did, she could even build up the dirt around the outside of the house so that it created a rise up to the edge of the roof. From sunken wood hut to earth sheltered house. It was perfect, the perfect home for her. Maybe she could even take visitors like Catnip or Kathrine. Or even...

She tossed her stick away and cringed a little, grinning like an idiot. Hector could come visit. Maybe he'd have tea with her. She shook her head at the thought but it wouldn't leave her. Thoughts of the man, day dreams, slowed her down tremendously. Branches would get to work, splashing buckets of water on the grass to wash away to blood and then a fancy would strike her and she'd stare off across the lake.

"What the heck..." She groaned. Why couldn't she stop thinking about him? At least filling and dumping buckets didn't require too much attention, and besides that it helped her not think about the things she was handling. It also kept her from noticing Illiana watching her go about the task before her until the lake suddenly rose up and soused her, then dragged her back with it along with most of the gore left over from the nights fighting.

"Pffft!" She spat, "What- What are you doing!? You might drown me!"

"We won't drown and we both know it. You seemed pretty lost in thought there sweetie, thought maybe you'd gone back to being a regular old homunculus. Why didn't you just start with the house and use the dirt to make some new workers?" Illiana asked. Branches hadn't thought of that. The house didn't need to be cleaned up, there was plenty of good clay bearing soil around the pit that made up part of her hut, that should have been the first thing she should have done. Branches could have smacked herself for not thinking of it. Instead, she spluttered the disgusting tainted water and slogged back onto somewhat dry land. "Go on then, what's on your mind?"

"I don't know..." Branches finally said after after a bit of nervous silence. Illiana watched her intently, reading Branches growing nervousness with the same ease as she would a sign. "I said I don't know, why don't you just-"

"You've got a crush on someone." Illiana stated with a widening smile, "Oh how fast they grow up, who is it?"

"W-what?" Branches stuttered, "I don't know what you're talking-"

"Of course you do! Silly girl, it's a part of being a person! That nice Elle gave you a name, you ran away from sharlene, you built yourself a house and even claimed some property. Then you decided to be a little lady and now you've found a boy you fancy! Tell me everything, is he nice? Is he handsome?" Illiana prodded, waggling her eyebrows at that last. The homunculus looked away, not quite understanding what Illiana meant but starting to grasp the concept. A crush, on Hector. Yes, that was the feeling. She wasn't going to tell the nosey Illiana that though, oh no. Rather than spill the beans to her creator, Branches maintained her silence. It didn't bother Illiana though, Branches was the one being she couldn't know everything about. That lack of knowledge was troubling of course, but it was cathartic in a way. One could get tired of knowing everything about everyone. Also, if Steinar was correct and Branches was like a daughter figure to the Deus Ex, then it was only right that the homunculus should perplex her. "Well, never mind then. You just keep it to yourself, see if I care." She said, pretending not to care but clearly very interested, "But if you need advice then don't come crawling to me. For purely practical reasons I mean, I couldn't give you much advice."

"But why not?" Branches blurted before remembering herself and staring down at her feet furiously. "Aren't you supposed to know everything?"

"Yes, but not where you are concerned. Refreshing really. If you really want advice about those silly little feelings you've got crawling around in your head, making your guts feel all twisted and knotted up, then you can go to a couple people. I recommend Helen, her advice would be sound and maybe even prevent a bit of heart ache if it doesn't work out for the best."

"It... Work out?" Branches said, looking questioningly. Illiana nodded sagely, but the appearance of knowledge was just for show.

"Sometimes it doesn't. A young girl or boys feelings can shift in an instant and sometimes it's just not meant to be. Helen can tell you how to gird yourself against such an occurance, along with all the other ins and outs of building a relationship."

Branches thought about it. She wasn't afraid of Helen anymore but all the same, she didn't want to go to Helen with such a personal issue. "And who else?" Branches asked. Illiana's grin turned to a frown.

"You could also go with the person everyone on the farm went to, Roxanne Luna. I suppose it's worked out for them so far and Roxanne certainly fancies herself 'doctor love,' but frankly sweetie she certainly isn't the best romantic role model." Illiana explained, then sighed, "It's up to you though. Roxanne is nice enough. You'll probably end up representing her in court if she can't find her own counsel anyway."

"As soon as she stops being busy and doesn't have to postpone you mean?" Branches asked, easing up a bit. She'd already decided on going to this Roxanne lady. Illiana grinned fondly, there was no denying it she really did have a bit of affection for her creation. Furthering that affection was the fact that the homunculus shared Illiana's passion for the legal system after a fashion. With a bit of maturing and a little personal growth, Branches could be quite a bureaucrat if she so desired.
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