The sign reads
"Welcome all new travellers.
To continue you must go through a series of doors.
After going through you will pick a costume. You will then become a half- human and half that creature.
After a week(100 mins a hour,20 hrs a day,10 days a week) has passed you may morph and get another costume. To start of with you will only be able to become 40% human to 60% human.
If you put on a costume you will then become that creature, be teleported to it's home town and have to wait a week before being able to morph.
After 50 costumes you may change into one of your other costumes and become 30% to 70% human. When changing costumes you must wait at least an hour before you can change costumes again.
100 different species/gender costumes allows you to gender-morph and become 20% to 80% human
200 different species costumes allows you to combine costumes and become 10% to 90% human
400 different species costumes allows you to return to your world with no more morphing
And 800 different species costumes makes a polymorph and allows you to morph outside of this world.
Also if you have a costume like a centaur then the human part will always be human and is counted towards the human percentage.
Any gender/species transformation magic of yours can only change your gender(if you have at least 100 costumes) and the animal part to a different animal.
When you change into a different costume (that you already have) you may teleport to that species home town but you will have the week penalty where you have no costume changes.
If you die while wearing a costume you will be reborn at the local inn (or appropriate location ). If you have more then 100 costumes you will lose the costume you had when you died and go to an appropriate place for your next costume.
If you fail to make it out in 100 years(100 weeks in a year) one of your possible forms will be chosen and you will be permanently stuck in that form(apart from magic) until you die. Also there will be no possibility of going back to your world.
Also, one final note: should you take a female form and become pregnant, you won't be able to change your gender until the child is born, though the other aspects of your form may change (the child will change to match.) That is all, and good luck!
You realise that you have to do what the sign said to do and go through the doors and grab a costume.
Alternatively you could use the key system to determine the room
Written by Catprog on 11 February 2004
You find yourself in what appears to be a glass room suspended high in the sky.
The stairs are blocked by a force field.
You realise you have to go through one of the three sky blue doors numbed 1,2 & 3.
What door do you want?
Written by Catprog on 11 February 2004
You go through the door.
All of a sudden it slams shut and with no handle on this side it appears that you are stuck.
There are two more doors however and both of them have a sign on them saying
Costume room for
So which door do you want
Written by Catprog on 26 February 2004
You go through the door.
All of a sudden it slams shut and with no handle on this side it appears that you are stuck.
There are five costumes in this room, all of them male, all of them are myth air creatures.
Written by Catprog on 26 February 2004
“Meh. Whatever.” You said to yourself before slipping the magical fabrics on, around your arms and legs. Instantly you could feel the cool insides of the material brushing past your skin, almost immediately after, the goosebumps on your skin began to prickle as the hairs along your arm slowly began to attach to the woven material of your costume. “Wait… Which one was this again?” A thought you had moments after sliding the last bit of it around your body, but by that time, the metal zipper had already started closing you into the suit’s tight grasp.
“Aahhhh,” You couldn’t help but growl loudly as you felt your body beginning to change. Slowly, the furs pressed hard enough into your skin that it felt like your flesh was going to be cut into by the sharp edges. It almost felt like every cell in your body was being filtered by the tight weave lining the inside of the costume- it felt like the rest of you was becoming spaghetti as it was pulled firmly through the fabric with all its force.
It was actually your own furry fluff mixing with the brown of the suit. Soon the colors began to mix and change like thick swirls of coffee as the hues began to lighten to the tanned color of a lion’s fur. You could feel your fingernails hardening- thickening into a kind of hard keratin cone. Claws shot straight through the handpaws of the suit and you felt the tendons all along your forearms strengthening to accommodate.
Soon, you could feel your spine lengthening almost painfully as the transformation continued. You slumped over in the limited space you had and soon even your sizable shoulders were slamming into the mirror, the walls, and the door violently as you tried to contain the energy rushing through you from the transformation.
You tried your best to contain yourself within the room, but it was quickly becoming harder and harder for you, the way you slowly started to crouch in the confined cage-like single bathroom stall on the plane. From within, you felt your body slamming hard against each of the four walls as the turbulence shook you up from within. Large furry paws covered your head as you tried your best to not hit the ceiling.
Luckily, the fluff slowly growing around your cranium was enough to help cushion the impact of your head knocking around inside. Despite this, your face still remained human, you could feel the long strands of fluff falling down on the sides of your face like massive mutton chops. The hair on the top of your head became a long wavy fluff, like a lion’s mane. Despite all of this, what confused you the most about your transformation was the way your back muscles ached with pain. It was as if there was some kind of pressure building up behind your back that you couldn’t explain but whenever you tried reaching back to feel what it was, your massive elbows just slammed into the ceiling.
You fought with all your might just to touch the swelling area behind your shoulder blades and in the process, you felt your arm shattering the light above your head. Luckily, the fur formed all around you was enough to allow the glass to easily slide from your powerful muscles; but now, you were left in a completely darkened room with nothing left to illuminate the limited space you were stuck in.
You felt around the room for a moment and realized you were turned around. The energy of your transformation continued to course through your veins, you could feel every muscle within your body throbbing as they grew to sizes far larger than you could have expected. Still, your need to escape was influencing your every decision. Soon, you could feel the shattered glass of the mirror, the small damp surface of the sink, and eventually, you found your way to the doorknob.
“Click!” rang out as you tried turning the doorknob. “Click” It rang out again as you tried one more time. Still it seemed like you were stuck behind the hard plastic surface of the door. You put your ear against it to see what you could hear from the other side.
Everything sounded normal to you for a moment, then suddenly, another bout of turbulence began to shake you up from inside the small container. At this point, you were starting to feel like some kind of James Bond drink- Shaken, not stirred-. You could feel your footpaws lifting from the ground as if there was something more going on. Soon your sensitive ears began to pick up on something more happening, but your senses were still adjusting to the transformation.
It almost sounded like people on the outside were screaming, loud bangs were ringing out from outside of the stall- gunshots maybe? You didn’t seem to take much notice, you were almost completely distracted with keeping yourself upright as it started to feel like the force of gravity was wavering in and out. For a moment, you felt weightless, as if you were falling, before slamming your head hard against the ceiling once again.
Soon, your night vision started kicking in, and you were able to use the limited light filtering from underneath the door to check your surroundings. In the moment, you were completely panicked, so you didn’t realize that you had locked the door on the way in. Still, the situation felt a bit too dire for you to really care about your dumb fumble.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 01 December 2021
With your two massive fingers, you gently grabbed the notch and began to twist it. It was almost difficult for you. “Maybe the door was just… Jammed?” You thought to yourself as you tried turning it with all of your might. It felt like there was some kind of change-in-air pressure that was holding it closed, and soon, you found yourself ramming into the door with your newly developed and much more powerful shoulder.
It only took one, two, and then three powerful slams of your body to finally break the door down. When you stepped outside of the plane, to your surprise, everything seemed to have changed. Now, you found yourself standing in a small cockpit of what looked like some kind of military-style helicopter.
When looking back at the bathroom, you realized it had changed into some kind of small closet sort of space. “That’s weird” you thought to yourself, remembering the space being completely different moments before you excited the room. “Goddarn!” You yelled out as you looked into the cockpit of the chopper.
The pilot was flying around sporadically- like there was some kind of issue with the rotors of the machine.
“No, No-no-no! Get him outta here! Abort abort!” You noticed that the pilot was lacking a copilot as he pulled upwards on the handle as hard as he could. You turned to look around the much more limited space of this aircraft and wondered what could have happened. Soon, you finally got your answer. The other young man was knocked out cold in the back of the craft as if his body was thrown like a helpless ragdoll into the tail of the aircraft. His limp body still twitched- showing subtle signs of life- but you could tell the situation was dire the way he slid back and forth as the helicopter was thrown back and forth.
You could see that the pilot was tense, sweating profusely, and completely enamored with the task at hand.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 02 December 2021
Instantly, your body leaped into action and you strapped yourself into the seat right next to him. He looked a bit upset by you- a complete stranger- taking control of his chopper, but in a way he also seemed a bit appreciative.
“Ahh, the heck with it… We’re all gonna die anyway!” he yelled over at you. “You ever fly one of these things before?” he asked you.
“Uhh! Just tell me what to do!” You responded before helping to pull up the nose of the aircraft. The force of the craft going down was immense. It felt like you were forced to hoist hundreds of pounds of weight upwards just to get it to stabilize, but your newfound strength- and the intense rush of adrenaline helped you power through things.
“That’s right…!” he commented. You could tell, that was just his way of thanking you for the help. “Here! Click those!” He pointed up for a moment and when your eyes fell on whatever his outstretched fingers were directed towards. Your head began to spin as your senses took in a plethora of different buttons and levers. In the moment of panic, you wondered what exactly he was pointing at. It was all a mix and match of different blinking lights and colors, so you tried your best to guess what he was talking about.
At that moment, smoke began to fill the cabin and red lights began to flash just as your eyes began to focus on your decision. The black fog burned your eyes and filled your lungs, causing you to cough- just barely letting go of the controls.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 03 December 2021
Your powerful feline eyes focused on a specific switch ‘disengage’ as well as a few of the flashing red buttons. ‘Retract’ and ‘Anchor’. For some reason, these things seemed to make the most sense to you. You steeled your mind for the task at hand- despite the ground quickly coming closer to the chopper as it turned through the sky, just barely in your control.
“AahhH!” you screamed as it began to shake around even more.
“Attaboy kiddo!” He yelled back over at you. The pilot’s eyes were still completely focused on the ground below.
“W-What did I do?!” You responded. It didn’t seem like he could have heard you, his headset was mounted tightly on his head and the massive change in air pressure made it almost impossible for you to hear him as well. You just continued to pull upwards, helping him to maintain stability as the helicopter quickly careened into the ground.
“Maday! We’re going down! We’re going down. Charleston to HQ. Mark location. We’re headed straight towards the tombs!” From all of the banter, that was one of the only things you caught clearly- even with your powerful feline ears twitching above your head.
“The tombs?” You thought to yourself. “Does he mean…” A cold lump of anxiety sank in your stomach as you wondered what he could have meant by that. For a moment, you thought you were all doomed. Your eyes scanned the horizon, wondering if this was the last sunset you were ever going to see. Suddenly, you realized what he was talking about as you gazed outside of the window.
It was a bit hard for you to actually comprehend the view, as the chopper struggled to stay oriented. Spinning out of control made it much harder to see the giant pyramid shaped structure in the distance.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 04 December 2021
“What’s going on!” you asked the pilot. Belting out the words as loud as you could just to get him to hear you.
“One second… Yeah… Gotcha…. We may just make it…” He continued. “Listen. I don’t know you. Or how you even got here…” He continued to look out the window, slowly bringing the craft closer and closer to the ground until you both were able to see a clearing within some dense foliage. “Look! We’re aiming for there!” He yelled out, pointing at the visible landing site. “We call back to headquarters after we retrieve the goods… But we have to survive first!” he continued. “Once we find the others…” For a moment, he looked a bit concerned. “If we find them… And they’re healthy. We can continue our mission.”
“Wait a minute… A mission?” you thought to yourself. “I know nothing about a mission…” You thought for a moment, wondering what was up with this costume. “I thought I was supposed to know EVERYTHING about this world after being transported… How come all I could remember is…” You sat there for a moment and realized what was going on.
“We have to go deep into those tombs, grab a specific one… Apparently a sarcophagus.” He continued as you both rapidly approached the clearing.
“And I was supposed to thwart that mission.” You remembered.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 05 December 2021
You realized, you were nothing more than a stowaway thief, given your own mission to pillage whatever they were trying to retrieve from right under their noses. Suddenly you could feel the pressure in your back churning and stretching your flesh uncomfortably. It felt like something was soon to burst straight out from underneath.
At this point, the chopper was moments from the ground, and you could see the man unbuckling his seatbelt before quickly checking over a hefty pack on his back.
“This is where I get off.” The pilot said before pressing a large red button. A small hatch on the side opened up, and for a moment, he looked back at the passed out member in the back before leaping from the chopper.
Your eyes followed his, before you watched him take a final bound from the aircraft. You took a quick moment to watch the large round object descending slowly beneath you. Then, you looked back at his passed out teammate.
In that instant, you had the sudden urge to be generous. Much kinder. Maybe even play the part to gain their trust a bit more- just to help with your mission. You could feel something tearing through your back as you stretched one final time. To your surprise, large feathery wings bursted from your back.
It was a good thing that happened, because you were only a few hundred feet from the ground as you dashed to the back to grab the passed-out body of the copilot. You felt absolutely amazing when your muscular arms outstretched- finally freeing the feathery arms behind them as you moved in perfect synchronicity to grab his limp body. In one smooth motion, you did another powerful dash out of the door of the copter as you gripped tightly around the passenger’s chest.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 06 December 2021
You spent a moment flapping your powerful wings as you glided past the landing zone. The sound of the chopper slamming into the dense jungle nearly jolted you out of your hypnotized state, but still the rush of flying for the first time on your own was something you had never experienced in your life. A tingling spread down your spine as you felt the muscles around it flexing to keep you above ground.
When looking down, you could see the tiny head of the pilot looking up at you from so far down. He looked like just a dot as his rounded military hat pulled back just to watch your broad-wings stretched across the sky. You could see his mouth gaping open in amazement as you glided around with your shirt completely torn off from the force of your wings bursting through. You slowly glided your way to the ground, taking the time to scour out the area as well, and you could see a few other members of the military kicking their legs- stuck in trees as they kicked their legs helplessly to get out. They seemed pretty stuck, but you breathed a sigh of relief because of their survival but a wave of anxiety came over you when you figured that you’d have to eventually meet them all.
After your moment of alone-time, high up in the air, you slowly swooped down to meet the pilot as he began to round up the parachute fabric spread all around the jungle floor.
“Geez Mate” He said as your wings caused the air to swirl around him. “If I knew ya had those… You could have helped us out long before.” he joked. Something about him seemed a bit nervous but the moment he saw you had saved his co-pilot, he became instantly grateful.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 07 December 2021
You just left your partner to die?” you asked him nobelly. The pilot almost seemed to take offense to your question.
“I wouldn’t have if I had the chance.” He continued. “You don’t know what our training has to prepare us for! That man is my best friend… That’s why I’m so grateful you saved him.” He immediately went to the other man’s side and began tending to his wounds.
You were surprised when he took off the other man’s helmet to see that he was a shaggy old German shepherd. The canine’s eyes were rolled into the back of his head, and his tongue sagged out of his mouth as you passed off his limp body into the pilot’s arms. “Buddy!” He called out “Buddy, are you okay!” He continued, before reaching into his shirt pocket and bringing out a small vial of something unrecognizable.
Instantly, the pilot took off his helmet as well. A much larger, harrier, yet younger husky used his sharp canines to rip open the small bottle between his gloved fingers. He held the substance in front of the German Shepherd’s muzzle and soon, his eyes flashed open with surprise. The old grey muzzle reacted as if he was still operating the plane. “Hey hey! Buddy, It’s alright.” The pilot tried to calm his friend as much as possible.
“Oh… Aahh.” The G-Shep looked relieved. “We made it…” he sighed heavily and laid back in the pilot’s arms.
“Yeah! Haha! Thanks to my skillful piloting, I saved you.” you sat for a moment and listened.
“Wait a minute. He didn’t do anything to save his friend? I guess he was a pretty good pilot for buying us all that time.” You didn’t let a single word past your lips. “Even then… If it wasn’t for my wings, we both would have been toast.” The thought droned in your mind for a second as the two canines wagged their tails together, excited to finally be safe.
The German Shepard didn’t seem to care that his chute hadn’t even deployed- still compact within the pack on his back. Your wings twitched in annoyance, but you didn’t seem to want to break up their special little moment with your micromanaging.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 08 December 2021
“What about the others?” you asked. “Don’t we need to go find them as well?” The question seemed to shock the two men out of their combined happiness. Their expressions quickly melted back into a mix of fear and concern as they looked at each other, and back to you.
The pilot stood up, leaving his friend on the ground to continue his recovery.
“Well look at you soldier!” he patted you on your bare muscular shoulder muscle and continued in an almost condescending tone. “Doing our job better than us I see?” He continued. “I don’t even know this guy!?” he blurted out in a joking manner as he turned to his friend. You and the German Shepherd exchanged quick glances before he continued. “Do you recognize this one? Not even in any gear? Weird…” It almost sounded like he was patronizing you in one way or another.
“In the cabin, you detailed how important it was to regroup with the others? Do you not agree?” you continued.
“Yeah… He’s right.” The German Shepherd agreed with you. Causing your smile to grow across your face.
“Oh yeah?” The husky joined in. “Well why don’t you go check the area for them?” The powerful beast boxed you in the shoulder. “You have the wings, you should be fast enough to just go and bring them back here.”
You thought for a moment. It was already enough for you to carry out the Co-pilot. Despite your muscular wings, the most you could have done was glide downwards. You wondered how much force it would have taken for you to actually lift someone up. It took you a good long moment for you to come to a conclusion.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 09 December 2021
“Okay. I’m fine with that” you replied. The Husky almost seemed shocked by your decision. It was almost as if he was just joking, and your quick agreement must have caught him off guard.
“Oh? Well I ain’t complaining!” He continued. “I’ll stay behind and take care of my old Buddy here! Make sure he’s fine”
“Yeah.” The German Shepherd struggled to his feet. “We can maybe set up camp, scour the area or something.” He continued as he coughed up a droplet of blood.
“No!” The husky barked. “You need to get your rest. I can take care of all of that. Just lay here, okay?” He continued, trying to get his friend to sit once again.
“Duke! Come on…” He jerked his arm away from the other canine. “I can handle myself… We both had the same amount of training, I just need to walk this off.” Before they had the time to finish their little argument, you spread your wings wide and with one powerful bound you leaped up high into the air.
The feeling of the air between your wings was absolutely divine, like stretching out your toes in the warm sand, but this time, the way your feathered finger-tips caught the wind, felt like an amazing stretch as you held your body firmly against the air blasting all around you. Flying was almost like a high to you as you carried yourself higher and higher just to survey the surrounding areas.
Luckily for you, you had already taken a good glimpse of where you had seen the other parachutes having been deployed in the area.
“This way?” You thought to yourself as you veered down to the south. Soon you made it past the high-tops of the canopies making up most of the dense jungle environment. It was pretty easy for you to see the massive fabric coverings scattered around the treetops. You took a moment to swoop around to see how many chutes had been deployed. “One… Two… Three…” That seemed to be about it.
You began to swoop down to rescue them and wondered how many had already regrouped. Unlike before, many of them seemed like they had made it out of the trees at this point. “I wonder if they’re okay.” you thought to yourself before coming down and perching on top of the thick canopies surrounding them.
It took a moment for you to finally see past the thick brush, especially due to their camouflaged military outfits. Your cat-like eyes scanned slowly back and forth until you were able to pick up the subtle movements from below you. “Is that…” You thought to yourself, wondering if it was just the wind, or if it was actually the platoon you were looking for.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 11 December 2021
Instead of just sitting there and wondering, you took your time to carefully make your way through the branches. You hopped from one to another, making your way slowly down. Clawed fingertips dragged down the thick bark of every tree you slid down. With each powerful bound of your legs, you could feel your wings spreading open to catch a bit more wind, slowing you down as you descended.
“Hey!” you called down, before you were close enough for them to notice you. “Is everyone down there okay?” You were almost surprised by the strength of your voice as you belted out your calls down below. They seemed just as startled as you from the way they looked up, confused- their eyes wandered around high above in the trees just to get an idea of where the strange voice was coming from.
When you saw the sparkling barrels of their guns scanning around, you started to panic slightly before deciding it was about time to reveal yourself. Quickly, you glided down to the ground and began to greet them. The group was defensive as they continued to follow you with their sights.
“Who are you!” One voice rang out.
“No worries. I am a friend.” You held out your hands, as well as your enormous feathery wings. “I was sent by… Duke, and Buddy, to come and find you guys.” For a moment, your eyes looked over the small group, two of them stood, and the other two were sitting on the ground, as if they had some kind of injury. The other standing person began to speak to you.
“Who are you, even?” They asked. In that instant, your plan began to rush through your head once more. You knew you had to be sneaky about things. Of course, it would be a bit odd to tell them you were a stowaway, but there was so much different about you, that you could have taken that alone and ran with that, just to manipulate them.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 12 December 2021
“I am a god, a saviour.” You said in your most heroic tone, stretching out your wings dramatically just to impress them a bit more. Your plan seemed to work, despite them having a bit of skepticism the way they looked over you. Slowly, one by one, they all took off their helmets. Three felines, and a canine. A lioness- similar to you but with the furry muzzled face of a traditional lion- unlike you. The other two were large fluffy house-cats, most likely some kind of maine coone mixes. Finally, the third and final canine of the platoon looked like a Golden retriever. He and the lioness sat on the ground as the two maine coons stood, watching you in shock.
You could tell they were a bit shocked by your appearance. You were a sphynx- the kind with a human face, wings, and the body of a powerful muscular lion. To both humans and furries, you would have been a particularly interesting sight. Still, you stood your ground, keeping your lie going as you continued to manipulate the little group. “I helped Duke land the plane, saving Buddy, and now, my next task is to help you all regroup with the rest of them.” You smiled brightly and reached out a hand towards the more dominant maine coon to gain their trust.
“Stand down.” he told the other one. “I think if he was here to hurt us, he would have done it already.” He continued. The others looked over your powerful shirtless body. Pectorals throbbing with life as your wings flexed slowly, open and closed. Your wingspan was enough to consume them all with their enormous feathery masses, but you continued to keep your distance- just in case.
“Where’s Duke! And buddy?” The lioness asked you before cringing in pain. She tried moving around a bit but the injury to her leg was still gushing with blood.
“Hey! Take it easy.” the Retriever said gently to the lioness. “Yeah. Are they anywhere nearby?” the canine continued. “We saw the chopper go down, over that way.” He pointed in the direction you came from. One of the two fluffy cats cut in and finished for him.
“Yeah! There was a big explosion. I don’t think anyone could have survived that.” You began to explain.
“They made it out just in time.” The lioness picked up from where you were. Her beautiful eyes blinked slowly as she asked.
“Even Buddy?” She seemed particularly concerned. “He was out cold when we first jumped.” you looked a bit surprised.
“Yeah… You ditched the plane after he passed out?” You asked them. The two felines nodded and spoke over each other like siamese twins.
“Duke said he would land the plane safely.”
“But then the tail began to spin.”
“Wasn’t much we could have done after that,”
“Yeah, he had to ditch, but none of us could have carried Buddy.”
“We thought he was a gonner.” You nodded slowly, listening to their story and processing it as they fed it to you.
“Well.” You began again. “We should probably head back that way, before it gets too dark.”
“Is it very far?” The retriever asked. His leg looked the worst of the two, but he still seemed to have enough energy and positive attitude to get him through- despite some visible bone sticking out of his torn flesh.
“Not very far.” You considered your wings. “If you’re flying I guess.” Once again, you considered how tiring it would have been to carry one of them back. “I can help with that… But I don’t know how long I could go for.” At this point, the adrenaline began to wear off, and your body began to feel sore from the battering you too from the plane.
“That’s alright, I know the boys can probably work together to help us.” The lioness added, looking over at the two fluffy maine coons. They looked back at her, almost reluctantly but still agreed. The lioness cringed in pain once more and you realized that her injuries were just as bad as the canines.
For a moment, you pondered which one you could have been able to help. The lioness was much larger than the dog, so it would have been more trouble to take her there. She seemed to be the most affected by her injuries though- so maybe it would have been better to bring her yourself. Help cheer her up.
Thenagain, the canine’s leg was pouring with blood and maybe he couldn’t have lasted on the whole journey on foot. The decision for you was a pretty tough one.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 14 December 2021
You decided to take the feline. Though it was a more difficult situation to lift her heavy muscular body into the air, you realized that she was probably in more urgent need of care. Her legs were mangled, blood soaking through her rough military suit- still heavy with the kevlar padding underneath. She grasped onto your powerful shoulders as she crawled into your arms.
“Thank you.” She said as she allowed herself to melt into you. It was clear that she was deeply appreciative of your decision. “I’ll be sure to make this up to you, one day.” She said to you just before you took off.
“Be safe guys!” You heard the other teammates calling out to you as you began to slowly ascend into the sky. At first it was a bit hard for you to find your balance in the air. Not only from this only being your third flight but also from the weight of her body, the equipment, and the heavy armored military outfit she was wearing. For a while, there was a bit of tension between you two as you silently worked your way high above the canopy. It took all the focus you had just to flex your massive wings up and down hard enough to carry your combined weight.
Most of the ride was silent, you could tell the feline was particularly nervous about being so high in the air as she clung to you. Her whiskers tickled the short coarse fur on your chest as she brought her head closer to you- clinging on as tightly as she could. At this point, you were still growing used to the feeling of careening through the sky, now it was as if you were barreling through the air with far more force from the included weight of your reluctant passenger.
The two of you clutched onto each other so tightly that you could feel her rapid heart beat against yours. It was clear she could tell you were also nervous about what you were doing.
“Is he that nervous around chicks? Or is this actually his first time doing this…” the lioness thought to herself, without giving you any indication about the source of her anxiety. “Well… Too late to stop now.” She reassured herself as she watched you looking around for the place you first came from.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 15 December 2021
“It’s okay. We’re almost there.” You told her, as you scanned the area, gliding just above the bushy tops of trees. For a moment, you wondered if you truly trusted in yourself, or if you were just saying that to keep her calm. “It would be bad if she freaked out up here... “ you thought to yourself. “Best to just keep her relaxed and focus on finding your way back.” Reassuring yourself as you seeked the clearing where you first landed.
“Okay… I trust you.” She responded. At this point, you could feel the powerful lioness beginning to calm down. Her tense muscles began to loosen in your arms- of course, still not enough for her to fall from your grasp- but enough for you to tell that she wasn’t going to freak out, raking her sharp claws against your shirtless body. You started focusing on her beating heart as it gradually began to slow; you even saw her closing her eyes- a true signifier of trust between you two.
Knowing this complete stranger trusted you helped to ease your mind. You were completely focused as you spread your broad wings wide and glided smoothly further throughout the mysterious jungle surrounding you. Something about the confusing repeating environment began to look familiar to you. It was as if you were guided by some kind of divine force as you quickly regained your directional bearings.
Almost instantly thereafter, you could see a distant divot in the trees- a little cut-away just ahead of you. That was it! You found your way back to the clearing. Looks like you both really were almost there.
“There it is,” you said, softly- gently to the powerful soldier. Her body still limp with exhaustion from the crash. You felt her head turning in your arms but you maintained completely focused on the landing, which was one of the hardest things for you to get a hold of with these new wings of yours.
“I can see it!” She said quietly. “You got this.” Reassuring you. Slowly you swooped down close enough to see Duke and Buddy staring up at you again. They were waving their arms for your attention. You saw them watching you struggle, almost faltering as you descended the final few meters before touching down. The sheer power of your wings alone nearly knocked them off the ground, their fur whipped wildly from beneath their protective uniforms.
“Hey! He got Casey!” They shouted. You could feel the lioness moving slightly. Possibly waving down to them, signaling that she’s fine. Slowly you flapped your wings, gliding around the open space just to bring her down for a gentle landing. The canines watched, impressed with the dexterity of your wings as they stretched and flexed, causing you to glide gently to the bottom. You felt your legs flexing from the stress as you finally touched down with bent knees to help cushion the impact of your landing.
“Hey Duke, Buddy.” Casey greeted the others as you slowly laid her between them. “This guy is awesome!” She mentioned. Duke walked up to you and placed a hand on your shoulder, patting you on the back happily.
“You made a good decision.” he said to you. “She’s an amazing soldier!” He barked in approval. Both of their tails wagged as you stood up again. Your height much taller than theirs. You pulled your human-features upwards in a smile as you nodded your head back at them.
“The others are fine.” The lioness said. “Barley is hurt too though.” She continued. “But Jamison and Beck are in good shape.” You listened to her rattling off the names of their team, taking careful note to remember who was who.
“Duke… Buddy… Two canines. Jamison and beck… The twin felines. Barley was the third canine… and Casey.” You couldn’t help but smile. “Casey…”
“Speaking of.” Duke butted in. “We never got your name, stranger?” he asked you, causing the other two to turn and face you.
“Yeah! You’re doing so much for us, it’s the least we could do in return.” You heard Buddy’s joyful high-pitched voice yipping in your direction. You took a moment to introduce yourself.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 17 December 2021
After you were done, introducing yourself, you figured it’d be best to tell them about what you had learned from the others. You paused for a moment, thinking carefully about what you were going to say.
“Nice to finally get acquainted.” Duke shook your hand with a hand on your shoulder.
“Nice name!” Buddy said cheerfully, wagging his tail despite everything that happened. He looked to be making a good recovery. Still, it was the lioness’s condition that worried you the most.
“Thank you for everything. Hero!” She concluded only moments before you started giving them your piece.
“The others.” You started, catching their attention once again. “Jamison, Beck, and Barley are back by the crash site.” They watched you intently as you brought up the rest of their platoon. “They wanted me to bring someone back., apparently the strongest member, but Barley was also hurt as well but his condition wasn’t as bad as hers.” You concluded.
“What was the plan?” Buddy asked. “How did they all decide to get back?” He continued.
“Well, the twins were going to try making it through the jungle to meet us here.” You replied. “I don’t think it’d be an easy trek for them,” You flexed your wings. “Considering these.”
“Why don’t you just fly them all back as well?” Duke butted in. “You seem like a pretty strong swimmer!” He joked with you, though nobody else seemed to laugh at it. Still, you pondered the idea for a moment before responding.
“It was already exhausting just getting Casey here.” You started. “But I’ll consider it, after resting up a bit.” You considered.
“It could be a matter of life or death.” Duke responded. “Are you really feeling that tired?” he asked.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 18 December 2021
You all settled in for a while, the sun started to set beyond the horizon, painting the sky a beautiful shade of deep purple as twilight began engulfing the sky. It was Casey’s suggestion to start a fire. As Duke and buddy crouched around the tinder, working on getting a spark, they directed you to help fan the flames. You moved your exhausted wings back and forth to generate a bit of a gust, but it was still nothing compared to how hard you worked to lift the lioness’s body through the air.
It was an easy decision for you. Your body was burning with lactic acid as it built up in your muscles. The feeling of your back flexing from movement made you realize how truly sore you had actually become from these daunting tasks. You steeled your mind to tell them your final decision after the fire was set up.
“This is pretty nice.” You started. “I think I’ll sit this one out for a while.” your powerful voice rang out through the emptiness of the clearing.
“Really?” Duke was the first to respond. “So do you think one of us should go back to check up on them?” he continued. “It’s getting pretty late.”
“Duke, carrying two people here definitely seems exhausting.” Casey responded. “Plus it’s not like this gear is made of feathers or anything.” The lioness prodded.
“I’m feeling a bit better.” Buddy said. “I mean, I don’t mind making the trip there.” He continued, volunteering himself to check up on the others.
“I don’t want you going alone, Buddy.” the German Shepherd responded. “I don’t mind going with you.” He finished.
“No, it’s fine. I don’t mind going it alone.” He replied happily as he stretched.
“Maybe we should wait out for them a bit more.” Casey added. “I mean, these aren’t first level operations. I know they’re skilled team-members.” She looked at you for suggestions. “I don’t think it was too far, right?”
“It wasn’t all that far.” You remembered. “Yeah it may be some distance, but it should be doable by foot.” All of you sat around and pondered your next decision.
“Maybe a quick bite to eat will help us decide. After the sun sets, then we can start being worried.” Buddy added. “We all have pretty good night vision. Especially those felines. So I think the best priority is getting a bit of rest.”
“Pushing ourselves is never good. Especially in this setting.” You added, building your case. You agreed with the golden retriever as Duke started bringing out some of the team’s rations. Everyone began to watch him taking a quick inventory of the supplies in his bag, looking almost as if to ask how the supplies were fairing. Duke took a quick moment to check everything before rattling off what they had remaining after the crash. Just a few guns, some rations for a couple days, as well as a few of the leftover notes and supplies needed for them to carry out their mission. It all seemed to go over your head as your mind focused on what you all were going to do about the others.
You were happy about the final decision, appreciating the extra moment of physical and mental rest before you were potentially- reluctantly volunteered as everyone’s personal chauffeur. It didn’t take long before the sunshine quickly slipped from the darkening sky. Still, you watched the colorful horizon morph from color to color as they seeped between gradients.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 19 December 2021
“Okay. It’s getting dark now.” Buddy started. “Did you guys want me to go check in on them?” He asked curiously. You could tell the energy had finally returned to him as he perked up to offer his assistance.
“I don’t know.” You added. The group gave you a bit of a sideways look as you suggested leaving their friends in the jungle, by themselves, after dark. “I trust they’re doing fine. Why don’t we just give it a bit more time.” Everyone reluctantly considered it as they all rested among each other. “Maybe just a bit more?” Suddenly, Duke butted in.
“You think we should just leave our teammates out there?” he barked loudly. “Come on now, you’re not trying to sabotage us, are you?” This actually caused a bit of a reaction from the others.
“Woah there! Why the accusation?” Casey replied. “If he were trying to do that, he would have just left Buddy AND me for dead!” She made a good point.
“I’m just saying.” You added. “Why should we waste our energy when we need as much as we can get to move forward?” You made a good point, making them consider your words once more.
“He’s right.” Buddy said. “I know I’m just anxious to check in on them, but I think he has a good point. We’re going to need to be able to handle whatever we do after they regroup with us.” The suggestion of their fellow platoon members seemed to make a bit of a difference in how they saw the situation. Plus, everyone was still in a pretty rough condition considering everything they all had just gone through.
“I have faith in them.” You added, making them feel more secure in their decision. To your surprise, they all started letting their guard down. It was clear that they all truly believed that the others could handle themselves, and surprisingly, they actually did.
It was about an hour after the sun had fully set. The environment had become dark and cold- the only light for miles around other than the stars was the fire you helped Duke light earlier. The flames were roaring and were nowhere near close to dying out. You figured, this was enough to help signal to the others that you all were here.
For a moment, you had doubted the directions you had given them, wondering if you were just unsure about the direction you had gone. Though after a while, your night-vision eyes focused deep through the thicket of bramble covering the jungle flooring. You picked up a bit of movement- a slow lumbering type of pattern as the dark shapes moved towards you.
You hopped up, deciding to check things out. This signaled to the others that almost instantly, something was different.
“What’s wrong?” Casey asked you. All buddy and Duke did was watch the spot where your eyes were facing along with you.
“It’s them!” Buddy was the first to catch their scent, despite them being upwind of you all. “I know their figure anywhere.”
Your eyes made out the three familiar figures as well and allowed the excited dog to run ahead to meet his other friends.
“Buddy!” You heard a voice calling out from the darkness.
“You’re back!” the golden dog barked.
“He’s not doing the best, but still alive.” You heard another voice return.
“Here, let’s get you rested up!” You heard the sentiment and immediately gestured for Duke to help you set up another pallet for the more injured dog to lay on. The others smiled at you as they slowly made their way to the fire.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 20 December 2021
Part of you wanted to leave the group, now that they were all together. In a way, you wanted to remain the mysterious stranger, wavering in and out of their personal story like the tide. In another way, you thought about your mission, wondering if it would be better to stick with them for a while.
“They could lead me right to my target.” You thought to yourself. “I just have to play my cards just right.” Your mind continued to race for the first time about the main reason you were there: It was all for the sake of your mission. “I need to gain their trust.”
Despite your reluctancy. You decided to camp out with them for the night- maybe even longer. After weighing the pros and cons of your situation, you realized it could have been better to stick with them.
“Does anyone need any medical attention?” You asked them as they all cozied up around the fire.
“I think I’ll be fine.” Barley said. “I think my ankle is just a bit twisted up.” you took a moment to examine his injury.
“Maybe we should find something to splint your leg with.” Your suggestion impressed the others.
“Looks like we have a medical professional over here!” Duke barked jokingly.
“Well, he is some kind of…” One of the housecats started. “Well… What are you, even?” He continued.
“Some kind of god, as he said earlier. I suppose?” The other cat replied. Duke and Buddy looked at you, fascinated by your particularly different features.
“Oh?” Duke replied. “Is that how you ended up in our copter?” He continued. In the moment, you realized that was the story you had told the others. There wasn’t much time for you to reconcile your story, or even come up with some kind of explanation. You had to quickly figure out how you were going to move forward from here.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 21 December 2021
You realized the only way to gain their trust, achieve their alliship, and ultimately continue your mission was to make them believe that you were truly out to help them. You thought for a moment before nodding your head in agreement.
“Yes.” You started. “I’m a hybrid being of this land.” The words seemed to spill out from your mouth almost naturally. “I’m a guardian spirit of the jungle, and I was sent to help you out in any way I could with your mission.” You started. It seemed like most of the others had believed you without a second thought. Except for Duke, who watched you from the sidelines with skepticism.
“Oh really now?” the German Shepherd asked with a questioning look spread across his muzzle. “Then why was it too much for you to go check out the others?” his arms were folded in a defensive pose.
“Buddy was right.” You commented, looking over at the golden retriever’s bright yellow fur. “I foresaw that they were going to be alright. The rest of you needed to recover and if you all didn’t get appropriate rest, that would have compromised your mission even more.” You took the moment to question them further as they looked at you, impressed. “What exactly was your mission?” In the moment, you even felt impressed with the lies you were spewing.
“It’s just a simple retrieval mission.” Duke jumped to respond. “Most of the information was classified… Even for us. But it all has to do with that pyramid over there.” He pointed in a direction opposite of the deepest part of the jungle, where the others had come from. “I know you had a good view of it when we were going down.” He concluded.
“Yeah!” Buddy interjected. “Duke was supposed to be the leader of this mission. Sadly, all of our equip and the rest of the directions had burned up with the copter.” He looked around sadly.
“A few of us have some ideas of what we have to do, but all of the maps were there as well. We had left our packs in the copter because we needed the space for our parachutes.” The stripped cat replied.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 22 December 2021
“Luckily for you all, I’m a bit of an expert navigator.” You spread your wings, showing off their massive broad shape against the backlighting of the fire. “If you need any help, I’d be more than happy to assist.” Casey and Barley laid back to back with each other, watching you in approval.
“We actually need someone like you.” She smiled warmly at you in acceptance. “What do you all think about that?” The two cats immediately agreed. Buddy looked over at Duke and waited for his slow solemn nod of approval.
“Well…” He thought it over for a moment. “I’ll consider it. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of the clear… Stranger.” You could tell he was the only one not really buying your story. You figured you’d have to watch him as well, making sure to not trip yourself up over any apparent inconsistencies. “So when do you suggest we leave out?” He asked you, prodding for any red flags on your part.
“Maybe in the morning?” You answered carefully. “But I think it all depends on how the others are feeling?” For the rest of the night, you took the time to check anyone’s injuries, wrapping up limbs, applying pressure to open wounds, and taking care to keep everyone’s bodies in tip top shape for their rest that night.
You also took the time to try finding any other information you could about each individual. It was clear you shouldn’t see them as this picture perfect platoon, because from the moment you met them all, you noticed they were just a rainbow of different personalities mashed together as a ‘team’. You thought to yourself how long it would last before you noticed any cracks in their alliances.
“We should sleep in shifts.” Duke suggested as you all were winding down. “Casey, Barley, and Buddy. How are you guys feeling?” each of them gave a quick status report and the dog figured it’d be best if they were the first to rest. “Okay, Buddy, myself, and the new guy will keep watch for now. The rest of you can get a bit of sleep before the sun starts to rise.” He demanded like the leader he was. You promptly agreed to him, trying your best to not make him feel like you were trying to outshine him.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 23 December 2021
Time passed for a while and you watched over the others as they slept. Your eyes were stuck on their gently heaving chests as their breath slowly expanded and contracted their chests. Everyone still slept in full gear and you were the only one still half-clothed. Your chest was completely revealed, and most of your clothes were still torn and tattered from the transformation. Quickly, you took note of how much of a problem this would become in the future.
“Funny how this game was about outfits… And I’m here, the only one without one.” You laughed to yourself as you watched the crackling fire dance before you. Still, you knew that the only way to progress your story successfully was to work on the relationships you shared with the others. “So Duke.” You started. “What got you into this field of work?” You asked him. The dog didn’t seem to react to your questions immediately. Watching the warm glow of the fire reflecting against his dark fur, you saw him slowly turn in your direction to respond.
“It’s in my blood.” He said. “I’ve wanted to do this my entire life. It was as if I was born for this role.” he continued before his attention drifted once again to the fire. At this point, one of the felines had already injected himself into this conversation as he started thinking about his own response to the question.
“My father was in the military.” You were impressed- you didn’t even have to ask him anything.
“That sounds nice.” You said, replying to them both simultaneously. “So…” It took you a moment to remember the feline’s name. The both of them looked almost exactly alike other than some vague differences in the way the fur coloration had streaked across the twin cats’ faces.
“It’s Beck!” he smiled at you warmly. “Nice to meet you! Sorry for not getting fully acquainted earlier.” You nodded back at him.
“So Beck... You wanted to follow in his pawsteps?” You prodded him further, slowly trying to weasel your way into their friend group.
“Beck was always one of those legacy fools.” Duke interjected. The cat didn’t seem to mind.
“Yeah. We’ve come from a long line of military family.” Jameson nodded in agreement before picking up where his brother left off.
“My brother and I wanted to just continue that legacy.” He looked over to the dog. “Don’t think that’s something Duke could understand.” The German Shepherd scoffed and looked away. “Still, it’s not a profession we dislike.” The other twin concluded.
“It works out better for us because we’re identical twins.”
“There actually were a few more of us, but they’re off doing other things with their lives.” Beck picked up where his brother left off. “See it’s good though, that we’re twins because we’ve always had an innate sense of teamwork.” He looked over to Jameson. “Isn’t that right?”
“Oh hell yeah!” his brother responded. “We work very well together. That's why we’re always picked for these higher-level missions. Duke seemed particularly frustrated by the siblings bragging about their family, almost like they were prodding at a soft spot within the old canine.
“Whatever.” He interjected. “A good soldier should be able to have that with anyone. You both were just blessed by coming from the same womb.”
“Bah! That’s just Duke. Don’t worry about him.” Beck reassured you. “It’s like, there’s always some reason for him to be mad.” he teased.
“Oh. Why’s that?” you asked the twin cats, somewhat disregarding the rude canine’s moody huffy in the meantime.
“Fucking felines.” he scoffed to himself. You were at least able to pick that part up. For the rest of the night, you and the other cats continued chatting until the sun started coming up again. By that time, you started feeling a bit exhausted, but for some reason you could tell that the transformative energy made this far easier for you to bear.
You felt comfortable with the amount of information you received from the other three keeping watch with you. From the conversation alone, you learned a lot about each of them as an individual. Despite being twins, the two of them actually had vastly different skill sets.
“Maybe that’s why they work so well in a team” you thought to yourself. “These twins are so complementary to each other. Of course, they’d even be able to accomodate for each other’s weaknesses in a tactical situation.” you looked over at Duke. He was quiet for most of the time, so at this point, you didn’t seem to learn much more about him other than what you could already tell; he was a bit of an asshole. “Maybe that one just takes some time to open up.” You wondered.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 24 December 2021
Soon, the sun began to rise again, the others started waking up one by one. They all seemed to feel much better than before, and your medical attention really worked wonders on them. It was like that was all they needed to return to nearly tip-top shape, despite the severity of some of their more serious injuries. Most of the others seemed like they would still be able to hold their own in the mission- maybe with a bit of help from the healthy ones.
Duke was the first one to get up and start sniffing around his teammates as they started waking up.
“Okay. Our turn to rest.” You could tell the dog was exhausted, though he tried his best to not show it. You were pretty tired yourself, but you didn’t let your pride get in the way of things.
“I’m fine with that.” You replied, yawning and stretching. The two twin cats took no mind of it, but you noticed the canine staring at you once again with a questioning face. He didn’t seem to push much more, but you couldn’t help but get the feeling that he could see through your lies. It made you a bit nervous, or maybe that was just the fact that you had stayed up for most of the night. Still, that didn’t stop you from getting a hardy sleep while you had the chance.
At this point, most of the crackling grey firewood had started to blow away with the morning winds. This was no problem for you though, quickly wrapping your wings over you like a thick down blanket. You didn’t know how long it took for you to fall asleep because it almost felt like a quick moment to you when you blinked your eyes shut.
Soon after- or not- you found yourself waking up from the midday sun. Luckily for the group, there were no other imminent threats to anyone’s safety as the team recuperated their energy. You must have slept for longer than anyone else, because when you looked around Duke already started to pack up his things. The other twins were blinking their eyes awake slowly, resting with their backs against each others’. They had been awake for a while, but their bodies were still clearly exhausted from the walk back. Both of them lazily rested there for a moment, but it was clear you were the last one to return to consciousness.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 25 December 2021
From the moment you woke up, you were filled with the same vitality you had felt from earlier. It didn’t take long before you started feeling like your normal self again. You almost immediately got up and started assessing the others and their conditions. One by one you looked over everyone’s wounds and asked them questions about how they felt. Every one of them were doing much better than the other day, so much so that every member was finally able to stay on their feet.
“Yeah I’m doing well” Casey responded. “Thank you for asking!” She was the only one who seemed to truly appreciate your care. “What about yourself?” This question actually surprised you, as she was the only one who seemed to return the concern.
“I’m doing fine, thank you!” You responded politely. When you made your way over to Duke, he barely gave you a reply, only nodding in response as you approached him with the question you repeated to everyone else.
After a while, you found yourself running out of things to do. The urge to ask anyone what was next for the plan came over you, yet you took your time in your responses, making sure to let on as little as possible. You didn’t want to seem like you didn’t know what you were doing, especially since what you told them all from yesterday. It was clear the best choice for you was to start out by giving suggestions and input just to solidify your newfound role in this platoon.
“Okay. Now that we’re all set, why don’t we start heading towards the pyramid?” You asked everyone. “It would be best if we got there before it got dark again.” You suggested.
“I agree!” Casey jumped in right behind you.
“Can we rest a bit more?” The two other felines asked. “How’re you all feeling?” They asked Duke, Buddy, and Barley.
“I’m good.” Barley said in a casual tone. “We can head out whenever works for you, but I have a lot of energy now.”
“We should just go now.” Duke suggested. “The hybrid is right, we should try working on getting there before it gets too late. It’s already noon.” They demanded, causing the felines’ faces to sour as they watched him pace among the camp.
“If we leave out now, we can go at a moderate pace, Right?” Buddy asked Duke. “That way they can still get a good amount of rest while we still can make some progress towards the structure.” his tail wagged slowly as he awaited someone’s response.
“That’s a good idea.” You said. “Is there anything else we need to do here?” You asked Duke.
“We just need to pack up. Then we can start moving forward.” He said as he finished his own bag. “Have the twins help with Casey and Barley’s stuff. They’d be much faster. They could get their break when we’re walking.” He demanded.
The two of them scoffed, reluctantly obeying his command. “Hey, Falcon.” It was a different name, but it was a cool one none-the-less “Why don’t you scout ahead with those feathers of yours.” He asked. “See how much distance we’d have to cover. Maybe help guide us along the way.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 26 December 2021
You figured it’d be significantly easier to fly on your own. The idea actually seemed to excite you. Remembering the rush you felt as your body fell through the air, confident that your body alone was enough to keep you from careening into the ground to a horrible death. You’ve done it before, so why not be able to do it again?
“Sure” You agreed. “As long as I don’t have to carry anyone again anytime soon.” You poked fun at Casey for a moment, barely noticeable to the others. “I’ll do a quick swoop from here to the structure and take note of whatever significant landmarks may be needed.”
“Thanks soldier.” Duke returned. “You’ll be a big help for us on this mission.” Despite that being exactly what you wanted, there was something weird about the way the leader almost demanded it of you.
“I guess he’s the true leader here.” You thought to yourself as you wondered if it was just a force of habit. “It’s in his blood, afterall.” you remembered the sentiment from earlier. The others quickly parted with you, shooting a few typical sentiments your way. ‘Take care. Be careful. Come back soon.’ the works.
Then, you bent your muscular legs before leaping high into the air as you flapped your wings hard. You were definitely right, it was far easier to fly like this now. It didn’t take long for you to realize that almost half of your flights were made with extra cargo, but now, it was far easier to maneuver through the air at incredible speeds. The wind blew all around you as you quickly ascended as high as you could before spreading your wings as wide as possible to catch the air and glide towards the massive pyramid.
You had to go high over the canopy before you were able to see the structure, when you did, you realized how large and amazing it looked. It didn’t seem like your normal average pyramid, something about it felt technologically advanced- almost modern as you approached it. You could see pulsating microchip-like tech designs running all through its hard brick surface. As you approached it, you also saw other smaller metal structures sticking upward from some of the sides.
The pyramid wasn’t one singular structure- it had many smaller more thinly designed pyramids at each of its corners where the metal antenna pointed upwards in all directions. You were absolutely shocked by the technological advancements that seemed to hide just within the stony surface. In an instant, you were completely enamored by what you had seen- you knew the others would be just as impressed by the apparently ancient tomb before you.
Leaning to the side, you swooped around to return to the clearing, taking note of a few taller, thicker, and oddly bending trees on your way back to formulate a solid report for the others. You were becoming better and better at navigating the more time you spent in this mysterious environment. There was something about the massive roots as they twisted above and below ground like massive pythons that kept pulling you back into the jungle’s mysterious depths.
“Hey everyone!” You called to the group, hovering half a tree length off the ground. “We have to go this way. It’s maybe a day’s walk if we pace ourselves.”
“We won’t dawdle for too long.” Beck replied. “But as long as you can scout ahead we should be in good standings by the time we’d need to rest again.
“Sure thing!” you agreed.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 27 December 2021
You tried your best to remember every little twist and turn along the route they had to take. Surprisingly, it was a lot more effort than you initially anticipated. Still, this new body had far more endurance than your old. The way your wings spread out to catch the wind beneath them was something you could have never imagined before- now, you easily made it through the discomfort just to get another moment above the clouds.
For the next few hours, you made sure to report back to them every time you had a moment. You wondered if it was almost annoying to them but with the way they all slowly lumbered through the treacherous terrain caused you to worry whether they would make it there on time. Honestly, you could have flown loops around them- spanning back and forth from the pyramid to their original base about a hundred times over before they even reached the midpoint. Like you said, you were their guardian angel; you watched over them.
Suddenly, you saw something lurking through the forest ahead of them. It was some kind of feral tiger. It was far larger than any of the others on the team, and with their compromised condition, you realized that you only had moments to warn them before it would have made its move.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 28 December 2021
You quickly swopped down to their levels before calling out to them. Their attention was quickly directed to you as you cawed a warning their way.
“Look out! Tiger! Just ahead.” You swooped in the direction as well, trying to deter the massive feline as it stalked them. Despite your in-flight agility, it was no use. The tiger remained completely focused on what could have been its next meal. You watched your team stopped, looking cautiously through the forest with their semi automatic rifles scanning target-lessly through the brush.
You could tell they had no idea what they were looking at. They only had the general direction you had swooped in. “I have to do something. Quick.” You said to yourself as you watched the bright orange striped beast closing in on them.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 29 December 2021
Thinking on your toes, you quickly swooped to the ground and grabbed a handful of smaller rocks before flying high up again. One by one, you threw them from your grasps, trying to even flap your wings hard enough for them to gain speed. Alas, all it did was slow the beast slightly as the hard pebbles bounced off of its thick coat. “Dang it!” You spat at yourself moments before spotting an even larger rock nearby. You steeled your mind for the exhaustion you’d feel afterwards yet the adrenaline pumping through your veins didn’t even allow you to think twice about how much you were pushing your body. All you could do was act.
With all your might, you flapped as hard as you could to lift the rock with your powerful muscles, despite how difficult it was to stabilize yourself in the air. It only took a few extra flaps for you to reach an optimal height to drop it. Your eyes were blurry, the darkness spreading across the land cast long dark shadows of the trees all around the floor of the thick jungle foliage. The only thing lighting your path was the occasional flash of your team’s barrels as they periodically shot into the darkness. Of course, most of them missed- unable to see the beast, now only a few yards away from them.
You aimed the rock directly above the Tiger’s body, grunting loudly before you released the heavy weight. Your flapping wings nearly carried you even higher as the weight was released. You could feel the recoil shooting through you as you watched the rock descend quickly. “Yes!” You thought to yourself right as the rock landed directly on top of the tiger.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 30 December 2021
“Nice one!” You heard Duke barking up at you as you slowly made your way back down to the team. “You should have one of these yourself!” He joked with you as he shouldered his gun. The others joined in laughing for a moment before the twin felines added their two cents.
“Yeah! Sure got better aim than us!” The larger twin giggled slightly.
“I can see that.” You responded. “We’re only about a mile away.” You continued as you looked around at the setting sun. “I think we can make it there before nightfall.” Concluding your report.
“Okay.” The lioness said. “I feel good to keep pushing forward, what about you Buddy? Barley?” She confirmed.
“I’m good!” Said the smaller canine.
“Yep!” The golden retriever said.
“Right! Let’s make that time.” The other twin replied. Duke said nothing and took the lead before the reset of them started trudging through the thick winding roots all around them. In that moment, you were absolutely thankful for the wings you were gifted by this transformation.
“Pretty nice group here.” You thought to yourself. “Too bad I’m going to have to betray them at one point.” You reminded yourself as your mind flooded with the directives about your mission you remembered receiving before you were teleported into this form.
It took about an hour before you guys finally got to the pyramid. When you did, actually standing next to it and looking up at the massive structure made your stomach tingle with excitement. Somehow, the technology around it caused it to light up brightly as the bright white lights periodically flashed.
The structure seemed to light up the dark night’s sky for you all as the group approached it. Even a few hundred yards away from it, the sparkling shimmer of the structure’s illuminated surface almost seemed to guide you all the rest of the way. “Guess I’m done for now.” You thought to yourself, thinking about how the guiding light was a far better beacon for them to follow than you could have been.
As you all approached the building, you started to realize how exhausted you actually were becoming from everything. Not only were you the one to carry back the heaviest member of the platoon, scout ahead- straining your wings to their limit. You even saved everyone for potentially the second time with that Tiger. The exertion finally started taking its toll on you as the group neared the base of the pyramid. It was a good thing too, because part of you felt like collapsing right when everyone passed the last little section of shrubbery before it opened into a small clearing.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 31 December 2021
“Woah!” Casey gasped as she saw the true massiveness of the tower. Duke and Buddy also made a quick noise at the magnificence of the structure. You had already seen it before, but part of you also wanted to gasp in awe- despite not letting a single breath pass your lips. You still wanted to seem cool to everyone, despite being on your last legs from exhaustion.
“Go inside?” The twins prodded excitedly.
“Why not!” Duke demanded. As he started to lead the others of the platoon into the building. For a moment, you thought about it- nearly having second thoughts as you neared the threshold of the massive pyramid structure.
At this point, you had become so exhausted that you didn’t even know what to do. Part of you wanted to stay outside and set up camp- you didn’t know what could have been inside. Thenagain, maybe if you all entered the building, there would be an even safer position for you all to set up camp in. Regardless, at this point you were so exhausted that your mind was slowly becoming more and more corrupt with how tired you had become.
The last thing you wanted to do was show them any indication that you were actually feeling it. You were a god after all. You pushed through it though- you were the last one to enter the building and of course they seemed to expect you to check the flank to make sure it was clear.
When you got inside, you looked around to see a kind of feat of technology. Bright lights lit up hallways, and the walls were decorated with various types of statues. They took the form of all sorts of anthros like birds, canines, felines, you even spotted some kind of creature that looked quite similar to you: a human face, feline attributes, and powerful broad wings. It was actually the centerpiece of the massive hallway you all stood in, luckily for you, none of the others seemed to take much notice as they examined the space.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 01 January 2022
You noticed the others started looking a bit weary as well. Surely Duke wasn’t going to have them all keep going. Looking around, you took a moment to check the status of the others. To your surprise, they were just as exhausted as you. At this point, it was all just a matter of who was first to cave.
“Hey Duke.” Casey was the first to say it. “I think we’re all kind of exhausted.” She continued, allowing the others to give their input afterwards. It seemed like all the others had agreed with her. Luckily for you, this was exactly what you wanted, at this point all you had to do was support your teammates.
“Okay.” The German Shepherd actually agreed with the team for once. “Now that we’re in a safe environment, it’d probably be a good idea.” You were absolutely relieved, and even wondered if he was just as tired as the rest of everyone- of course, the trip took all day, so it would have been weird if he wasn’t tired.
Everyone started setting up for the night as everyone started divvying up the shifts for the night. When the team finally had a share of their rations, you realized that the more time you spent in the space, the more quickly you started regaining your energy.
“Guess that rest really did matter, huh…” You thought to yourself for a moment. “Maybe… it was something else?” Your mind began to wander as the others started falling asleep one by one. For once, you weren’t the first to keep watch, regardless you were still paranoid about whether the others would be suspicious. “Seems okay.” You thought to yourself, pondering why the others didn’t question you. “Heh! God’s need sleep too I guess.” You thought to yourself.
While the others slept, you couldn’t help but examine that statue which looked remarkably similar to you. What could it have meant, what was it doing here, and what could it have had to do with you. This place was so modern that it was particularly weird to have such a historical looking figure in someplace like this. That was one of the last things you could remember before falling asleep with the others.
Suddenly, something shocked the entire team awake. A deep rumbling sound started shaking the entire building as a massive block descended over the entrance.
“OH!” Duke yelled before pointing at the slab of rock closing them in. “Do something!” He leaped into action, trying to find something to prop the door open.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 02 January 2022
You quickly grabbed the nearest thing you could find, which was a massive brick and tried to prop the door open with it. By that time, the space was only a few meters wide before you were able to slide the hard rock form into the space. With a loud crack, the brick started to shatter, straight down the middle a massive fissure started to form. Everyone seemed to hold their breaths as they waited to see what was going to happen.
Slowly, the hard block’s integrity started breaking down. You bit your lip hard from suspense, just waiting to see if the door would stop moving but you were quickly proven wrong when the bright yellow brick shattered beneath.
With a loud hard slam which shook straight through the rocky interior of the tomb. You all could feel a powerful quaking all throughout your bodies as the room shook back and forth like an earthquake. You watched as tiny powdery rocks fell from the ceilings and you held your breath wondering if the whole cavernous depths were about to fall down.
At this point, the door seemed to be the least of everyone’s worries. It was now a matter of whether or not the entire structure was going to collapse on you. Luckily, the shuddering slowly died down, everyone was looking around to check that all the others were okay. Occasionally, even a few other larger rocks had fallen, startling everyone as they landed nearby, but not close enough to cause any significant damage to anyone or the campsite.
“Geez.” The canine, Barley huffed, having stumbled to his knees- still weakened from the fall. Jamison and Beck were at each side of him looking out for the canine. Casey was watching with wide slit eyes around the room, trying her best to be aware of any other pieces of ceiling as it slowly continued to tumble down. Duke and Buddy were also close to her, huddling together with their heads craned high up.
You also took the moment to look up at the rocky cavernous ceiling and quickly noticed the stones peeling away from the top of it. At this point, you started to become worried about the door closing on you.
“Ya think that’s gonna open back up again?” Duke questioned everyone.
“Who knows. I mean, it was open when we first came here.” Casey replied.
“I don’t know. What if this is a trap?” Buddy added, you could see his hands shivering in fear as he looked around. Just like them, you started to look around as well.
You started to notice the other hallways spanning deeper into the building. Not only that, but the doorways opening above you seemed particularly interesting as well, luckily for you, you had a massive set of broad wings allowing you to enter the pathways overhead.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 03 January 2022
“Hey.” You caught the group’s attention. “It looks like there are some pathways just over that way.” You started. In the moment, you were too exhausted to try navigating the tunnels overhead- especially by yourself. What you really wanted to do was get a bit more rest before moving forward. Considering it was only a few hours after setting up before that strange event had occurred, you couldn’t help but wonder how tired the others were. For you, it was enough rest to have at least partially rejuvenated you- but that was just considering the other-worldly abilities this latest transformation had given you. Still, you had a bit of concern for the others as you all continued deeper into the mysterious building.
“Woah!” You heard Buddy say as he watched a string of blue lights pulsating down the hallway, illuminating the darkness far beyond what your eyes could see. You could hear little murmurs of the others as they all quietly wondered to themselves what was just beyond the next bend. The hallways were twisting and turning deep into the belly of the massive structure; you all wondered how long it would be until your group came across anything interesting.
Still, it felt like everyone had been walking for hours until the group came across the second room. At this point, your head started to spin from all the twists and turns your group had taken to get here. Despite that, everyone was completely enamored with the mysterious room before them.
In the middle of the huge space there was a pillar of skulls. Water was cascading down the various rounded craniums before spilling like veins into a pool of water just beneath them. For some reason- despite most of the skulls belonging to furries- the sight still sent shivers down your spine.
Upon further inspection, you noticed a small row of screens- all displaying static- all pointing towards the middle as they almost encased the walls all around you. There were five screens total, each with their own dials pointing in an array of different directions. You took a moment to note where the wires were going.
The bunches of their lifeblood led directly back into the wall in a massive tangle of plastic casing. Every time the room pulsated with the blue light- like a heart- you watched the fuzziness quickly flick to some kind of program. It was far too fast for your eyes to catch, but it was still enough to indicate that something more was going on here.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 05 January 2022
You decided to focus your attention to the skulls spilling with water. For some reason they all seemed to be turned in a particular direction. Their arrangement looked like a vector field to you- a series of arrows pointing towards a central direction. The length of their muzzles corresponded to how close the tiny spot in the middle was as you looked even more closely.
“Oh? Is this a pattern?” Casey took notice of what you were looking at. “It looks like a flower!” She commented about the way the skulls almost fanned out like petals around that central point.
“What’s that?” Barley approached with Beck still at his shoulder helping to support him. “A button?” He was actually what brought your attention to the space in the very center of the skulls. Their hard lines seemed to draw your attention in as your eyes focused on the spot they both helped you notice.
There was a skull buried in the center. All you could see were the teeth sticking out of the area in the middle. Just beyond the cage-like form of the hard keratin spikes- you saw it!
“You’re right!” You turned to thank Barley and Casey for their help and started to open the slender toothy maw of the central maw to reveal the button.
“You do the honors!” Barley said.
“Right! Go ahead hero!” Casey confirmed. You could see the others coming around to take a look. You could see Duke taking a sideways glance at you as his platoon gathered in support. It quickly faded away as you pressed your finger into the mouth of the skull before a loud clicking sound rang out into the large empty hall.
Suddenly, you heard the screens buzzing on. What you saw next shocked everyone. Each of the screens seemed to be some kind of altered reality. Every one of the fuzzy rectangles displayed a scene of each of the members of your platoon- everyone but you.
“What the heck!” Buddy said, shocked by the image of himself in some mysterious chamber. Each of your teammates were scattered into different rooms and each of them seemed to be doing some kind of ritual.
Duke was scaling a wall, Buddy was solving some kind of puzzle on a table, The twins were still together- holding hands around some kind of glowing object on a pedestal, Casey was doing something with a rope, and Barley was laid out on a table; covered in bright colors all over his pure snow white fur.
“Now what’s all that about?” You heard Duke barking from behind you.
“Yeah… That’s really creepy.” Casey added.
“What do you think this could mean?” You asked the others.
“I don’t know!” Duke commented. “You’re supposed to be the guide, right?” you could tell he was visibly shaken from the scenes on the televisions.
“Maybe it’s some kind of mind trick?” You pondered. “I mean! We’re all here now!” You added as you tried reassuring the group.
“Well how about this.” Duke continued. “We can do something with those little dials, maybe?”
“That sounds about right.” You continued “I think that’s a good idea. Thank you Duke.” He gave you a massive smile as you rested your hand on his shoulder.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 06 January 2022
You thought for a moment about which dial you wanted to turn first. Of course, everyone expected you to be the one to turn it. They watched you as you made your decision. Honestly, it wasn’t that hard for you. Barley seemed like he was in the most trouble, the way he was strapped to the table, covered in colors, and also hurt from the crash, you figured that it’d be the best dial to start with.
It was unclear what would even happen when you touched the screen, nonetheless turn the dial. Everyone was feeling how thick the tension was- you could almost cut it with a knife as you reached towards Barley’s dial. Upon turning it, the screen quickly changed. It snapped in place and revealed you standing over Barley as he lay there. But for some reason, it didn’t really look like you.
Having transformed, you didn’t have a good idea of what exactly your face looked like- something seemed a bit off, but the other furs didn’t seem to catch the nuances of your features. Still, you could sense that something was particularly weird about the image.
Suddenly, you felt absolutely faint. A wave of exhaustion washed over you and you could feel yourself falling back. The last thing you could remember was feeling the others catching your body as you quickly lost consciousness. It almost felt like you were being teleported to some other transient world and when you came to, the horrors of what was on screen had become real life.
You were standing over Barley as he was tied to a table. The same colors you once saw- grainy on the screen- were now in full saturation. Fear gripped your stomach and the first thing you wondered to yourself was whether or not the others could see what was going on. Next, you were concerned about Barley. If you were here, was he also here too? The past almost seemed hazy to you- as if it were a dream. Still, you didn’t know what you were going to do about the situation unfolding before you.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 07 January 2022
Your mind was racing, something felt like time was running out. Slowly, you approached Barley’s body on the table- unmoving, you were afraid of the worst.
“Barley?” You called out to him.
“Huh? Who’s there?” the Samoyed was unable to lift his head from the table. “Is that you? Hero?” He questioned before you moved into his field of vision.
“What’s going on here? Are you hurt?” You asked. Concerned for his health, you were wondering how you could get him out of this weird mechanism. His arms were held down on each side of him as if he were being prepared for some kind of burial ceremony. You hoped your assumptions weren’t correct as you examined all around the table. Your eyes scoured across the smooth black surface he was on for any places the shackles would have had any give.
Your powerful fingertips dug firmly around the metallic cuffs, they were on firmly. You also took a peek underneath the table, feeling it with your fingertips for anything that could have given some kind of indication of freedom. Something like a switch, a lever, even something hidden underneath the raised edge- anything you could have done to find a way out for your friend.
Suddenly, the ticking of a clock started to sound out around the room, you noticed the four walls starting to slowly close inwards, yet there seemed to be no mechanism on the inside bringing them in. You wondered what this could have been, why it was here, and whether the walls were going to close in completely around the canine, and yourself!
“Uh! What was that?” He asked, trying to look around, suddenly, you saw him noticing something on the ceiling which shocked him to his core. “Tomb… Room?” He said aloud, confused. This must have been some kind of device meant to encapsulate a captive within some kind of hard granite sarcophagus, based on the shape of the room surrounding you. When you took a look at the space just underneath the table, you realized the floor was also cut out like a negative of the bottom of the tomb room.
“Uh oh!” now you had a few different things to worry about, not only the limited amount of time you had to free your friend, but also how you both would manage to get out.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 08 January 2022
Now, you were really kicking yourself. Maybe something you must have done under the table had triggered this reaction. But now, you had to really think on your toes! You looked around calmly, trying not to panic, searching the doorless walls for some kind of clue or hint. The timer ticked once more, bringing the medium sized room closer around to Barley’s restrained body.
Still, there was nothing on the walls that could have given you indication of release. Next you mind brought you back to that table. Despite finding nothing, the intricacies you examined prior thought about your previous decision and wondered if there was something more with the weird mechanism that could have given you more guidance. Of course, it was the only thing left for you to do at this point, so you crouched down underneath the table to examine what was down below. Maybe if you could see what was there, things would be easier. The only thing you could see was the same kind of intricate flow of electrons spilling from the ceiling, around the walls, and down to the table.
The first thing you noticed when you crouched down was that there was some kind of separation between where the walls came in around the underneath of the table.
“Okay. That seems promising.” In that moment, you at least had the chance to plan your escape. Next, you looked up to see some kinds of buttons or devices underneath. You were surprised by the way the technology underneath was crafted. It seemed like some sort of puzzle. You were feeling good, as if you had figured out not only your escape, but also some kind of plan about how to release your friend.
Instantly, you formed a correlation around what you had seen on the walls, and the dimly glowing formation under the tabletop. Quickly you started examining the pathway flowing from the walls. You took your finger and tried to match the movement as it flowed down into the area around the table. It took a couple times for you to get it, and the room even ticked the walls closer a few times as well. Still, you didn’t allow it to deter you. You worked your best to memorize the pattern before going back underneath to match it with your own movements.
Soon, you started to become nervous, thinking to yourself about how this could have been a waste of your time, if this wasn’t the right choice. Regardless, you tried your best to at least finish the pattern with your finger- just to rule it out.
After a while, and a few more ticks, you were finished carving out the shape with your finger. It started to pulsate with blue light before you heard a click. Barley groaned with relief as his body was instantly released. You remained under the table for a moment to take a sign of relief before you stood and watched him sit up.
“Thank you!” he said as you checked if he was fine.
“Anytime friend!” you replied. “Now let’s go!” You called out before assisting him under the table and through the little wedge.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 09 January 2022
The two of you slipped through the little hole from the bottom and fell into a long slender hallway. The room was completely unfamiliar to the both of you and it seemed to bring you an immense feeling of claustrophobia as you looked around, wondering which way you had to go to regroup.
“Woah!” He said. “What is this?” Asking you, as if you would have known. Of course, you had to show him the utmost confidence. You wanted to make sure you solidified his trust, despite having done several more things to already do that. Still you two were almost complete strangers- you had to make sure they were going to trust you.
“Do you see those lights?” You asked him. “They’ve been a significant part in our journey so far. Do you agree?” You asked him, trying to get a bit of input from him as well. Barley thought for a moment, trying to remember every other time he had seen those flashing blue lines carved all along the wall.
“Yeah. I think so.” You were elated, he agreed, now you had to make the choice about whether or not you should follow them. Or if you should oppose them.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 10 January 2022
“I remember seeing the blue lights leading to the entrance. So if we were to go against them, we could find the source.” Barley listened to you attentively. “Taking note of that, we need to regroup with the others. Maybe we should follow this at some other point, after finding the others.” he nodded in agreement before the two of you started making your way quickly back to the rest of the members of the group.
You allowed Barley to take the lead, just so you could keep watch of your flank, and make sure the canine was alright. With your wings, you figured you’d be far faster than any of the other teammates on foot, so you figured that it’d be best to make sure you had a good visual of the snowy white dog.
“Glad you’re here to help out.” he shot a quick comment of appreciation back at you.
“Thanks!” You replied, nodding happily. Still, you were a bit concerned about your decision. It seemed practical enough, and of course, the top priority right now was to regroup with the others.
Soon, the two of you came across a door at the very end of the hallway. Anxiously you allowed Barley to open it. When he did, you both noticed a tall drop down to an area you couldn’t quite see beyond the dog’s body. You took a moment to push past him, carefully making sure you didn’t push him off, and to your surprise, it led to one of the pathways you had seen above earlier.
Quickly, you took the lead once again. “This is the main room.” You commented before allowing Barley to take a look as well.
“Really?” he asked inquisitively.
“I am sure of it!” You remembered the pathways from earlier, so this was actually something you had been completely sure of. “Let’s go!” You said before grabbing onto him and gently lowering him to the bottom level.
To your surprise. You had seen one of the twins, Jamison, as well as Casey exploring the techy ruins down below.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 11 January 2022
As you started to descend, you took note of some of the other pathways. A part of you wanted to see what was beyond those as well, but you didn’t allow your curiosity to throw off your main goal.
“Hey everyone!” Barley shouted down to the others. “Are you all okay?” he continued. The dog wagged his tail slowly in excitement for finally seeing his other friends once again.
“You’re back! Barley!” The two down below called up to you quickly before your massive flapping wings slowed to a halt.
“Once again! Our great protector helped me out of a sticky sticky situation.” He added. “Where are the others?” he asked. Casey thought for a moment before responding.
“They were all looking for you guys!” The lioness added.
“What happened?” You asked, as you remembered the last thing you could before blanking out and teleporting to another space.
“Well.” Jamison added. “After our hero passed out, there was a bright flash of light around the room. It blinded us all, and before we knew it, we were all separated.” He continued, looking a bit distressed. “How did you find each other?”
“I was just in the room with Barley when I came to.” You added.
“Yeah. I just ended up on a table, the hero was standing over me and he helped me to escape!” He scratched his head for a moment. “It was pretty scary.” He continued before returning the question to them. Casey was the first to answer.
“I had to tie some kinds of knots to fit into a wall. I was completely trapped, but when I found my way out of the puzzle type thing, I ended up back here with James.” She added.
“Yeah. I was just here the whole time.” The cat added.
“Wait a minute.” You thought to yourself, thinking back to the screens you had seen earlier. “Weren’t the twins supposed to be together?” you pondered to yourself.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 12 January 2022
“Hey wait a minute.” You asked. “When I looked at that screen, it seemed that first teleported us. It showed an image of you and your twin together.” the other three looked at you confused.
“Oh yeah, I remember that.” Casey agreed, looking at Barley who nodded as well.
“Uhh.” Jamison looked a bit confused. “What are you talking about? I don’t remember that?” at this point, the feline started looking a bit suspicious as their eyes darted around the room.
“Are you sure about that?” You asked once more. “I was under the impression that you two were absolutely inseparable.”
“Yeah we got uhh, separated at one point.” he quickly picked up on your suspicion and instantly, his demeanor started to break down. “Why are you asking… anyway?” he spat back at you in a bit of a hostile tone.
“I’m just- Wow.” You were taken aback for a moment. “You know what, let’s just move on forward, gotta find the others.” You continued. “Any idea where you last saw Beck?” You asked the Maine Coon.
“No… Uhh… I think it was back that way.” You noticed an odd look from Casey, you could tell that she also figured that something weird was going on with James’s behaviour. You shot her a quick worrying glance and almost instantly she came over to you and quietly shot you her opinion.
“That’s a bit weird too…” she said. “I know what you meant, I remembered that screen being the both of them. AND, this behaviour is really… different for Jamison.” She concluded, her brows furrowed in a confused kind of sadness.
“Really…” You added. “Yeah I can clearly see that for myself.” You added. “What did you want to do about this? What do you think this could be about?” In that moment, Casey looked over her young platoon member for anything else which may have seen out of place.
“Look at that… James is left handed. For some reason his gun is on the opposite side it’s usually on.”
“I see…” You spent a moment, thinking to yourself what this could have been. Suddenly, you snapped into attack mode, scratching your claws at James’s body before being absolutely shocked at what you had seen. Your attack had gone straight through his body as if he were some kind of hologram.
The last thing you saw was his agonized face being ripped to shreds as your body tore apart the light illusion leading you deeper into the pyramid. Everyone else was just as shocked as you were, they all gasped and nearly jumped back in reaction to your sudden flurry of claws and wings when you attacked the illusion.
“Oh my god!” Barley and Casey gasped as you dissipated the illusion.
“I knew it!” You shouted as you showed the others the visual trick which had them almost completely fooled.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 13 January 2022
“What the heck was that about?” Barley commented. “What kind of… illusion was that?” He wondered, trying hard not to freak out.
“We really really need to find the others.” Casey added. “What could Duke, Buddy, and the twins be dealing with, if this is the kind of stuff this crazy place is doing to our minds, I just hope they’re okay.”
“I know they are.” You added. “You seem like such a well rounded platoon.”
“Yes! But we’re a team!” Barley added in. “We work the best together. Not split up like this.”
“So, what do you suppose we do, friend?” You gave him a warm smile and a gentle touch on his shoulder, trying to calm him as much as possible.
“Well… We just have to keep moving forward.” Casey added.
“He was leading us back the way we were going to go anyway. So maybe we should just keep going.” You suggested. Casey started speaking, once more.
“He was leading me back to the main hall, so I don’t understand why he had us go back when we met up with you guys.” She wondered. “Maybe he was just trying to keep me… Distracted.” She continued, thinking for a while.
“Okay. First things first. Let’s see if everyone is still back there?” you asked. The other two agreed with you. You all spent the rest of your time making it back to the screen-filled room. When you finally did, it was completely empty.
Something about the space seemed a bit different to you. You weren’t sure if there were as many other doorways deeper into the cavernous guts of the pyramid- if there were even any from when you first arrived. Maybe you were just too distracted by the screens to notice.
Regardless, your urge to push forward was strong. The first thing you did was check for the button inside of the skull- nothing. “That’s odd.” You thought to yourself before looking around. “It’s not here? Did something change?” You pondered to yourself for a while. In that time, you noticed two distinct pathways deeper into the bowels of this mysterious mind-screwing place.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 14 January 2022
Against the opposite wall, there were two paths right next to each other. Moderately sized archways hung overhead. To you, it wasn’t even a question about which one you were going to go through. One of them showed a pathway far more interesting looking than the other- so much so that you barely noticed there were two pathways. Still, the only thing on your exhausted mind was moving forward.
Wait a minute. Had you or the platoon had even an ounce of rest since you got here?
“I wonder what’s down that way.” Barley commented. “Knowing the others, that one is definitely the one they would be going down. Good choice hero!” He congratulated you as you took the lead; the other two slowly trailing behind you as you cautiously continued down the hallway.
“I think I can smell their scents?” Casey added after a short while of walking. “I definitely think this is the way they went!”
“Hah! Unless they split up.” Barley commented. “Do you think they’d do that?” You gave a little shrug before allowing the woman to respond. These were members of her team afterall.
“Most likely.” She said, solemnly. “There's a good chance that they could have went half and half. Or even one person in each pathway. How many were back there, again? Four? Three?” She questioned but your exhausted mind still couldn’t quite remember exactly how many there were. At this point, it didn’t even matter, so you just continued until something actually happened.
By the time you all could see some kind of end to the long winding tunnel you were walking down, everyone was particularly exhausted. You realized that the small group was banking on getting some kind of rest- finding any kind of place for which you all could set up a small camp or hopefully even regroup with some of the others at whatever camp they could have made themselves.
To your dismay, all you could see was some kind of walled-in structure. It was decorative as well, just like the carved entrance at the other side of what felt like miles of tunnel.
Written by Drifting Dragon on 15 January 2022
It's a puzzle