Zif the Swift Star
The Bloodred Ontra
Age: 12 years, 11 months, 1 week
Born: December 27th, 2006
Adopted: 2 years, 10 months, 1 week ago
Adopted: January 28th, 2017
- Level: 16
- Strength: 30
- Defense: 15
- Speed: 21
- Health: 16
- HP: 16/16
- Intelligence: 62
- Books Read: 62
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Full-Time Test Subject
Ricochet Narrowed his blue eyes looking at the trails of bright red exposed through cracks in the blackened ground. "That’s lava isn’t it?"
"That is lava." Brazen confirmed. "It’s going to make this interesting." Brazen shifted his backpack heading down a well travelled game trail.
"Isn’t it." Ricochet stated with a grumble, watching his step as he followed. "Why would snails of any kind live near a volcanic area?"
"Ric." Brazen smirked in amusement. His flashlight illuminating a thorny shrub. "In our cold climent, they need moisture. Condinsation collects in the old magna tunnels that the snails live in. I read up on them as we packed." He paused testing the black ground that crunched under foot.
Ricochet gave his friend an annoyed look as he stepped over the shrub. "You’re full of useless information, aren’t you?"
"You’d be surprised Ric." Brazen stopped as he came to a glowing blue trail about two feet wide.
"Okay bookworm, what is that?" Ric demanded with a smirk looking down at the trail that crossed a crack in the crusted ground.
"I have no idea." Brazen stated toeing it with his boot. The apparent slime stuck to his boot.
Ric turned following it towards a thorny bush at the bottom of a small hill.
"What are you doing?" Brazen asked trying to wipe the slime off his boot on the ground like one would do to animal droppings.
"Best lead we have; follow the strange glowing goop." Ric stated walking farther off.
Brazen groaned and followed his boss. "I hate when you’re right."
The flat ground wobbled as they traversed over it. Now and then lava would bubble and pop up splashing here and there, turning black as it cooled on the ground with loud hissing. The blue trail continued to glow leading them to the shadows of the cliff base. The thorny bush stood taller than either of them by two feet. The blue trail carved a narrow path low to the ground splashing here and there.
"Ain’t no way we can get through that safely," Brazen stated staring down the trail.
"We can fit." Ric stated slipping off his backpack and setting it down, his blue eyes never off the end of the thorny thatch. He flipped open the bag and took out some coiled rope. Tugging it over his neck and one shoulder, it dangled on an angle. Protective gloves tucked into his back pocket he dug around until he found flairs and slipped them into the pockets of his jacket.
Taking the cue, Brazen did the same thing. Taking only what he needed like the rope, the gloves, he fore gone the flairs in favor of the pickaxe and a box of salt.
A highpitched noise sounded from above. The waning sunset blocked out by a massive black cloud diving towards them. Both men paused long enough to watch the cloud desend into the pit and spread out into seperate creatures. Batwings on furry rat like bodies with strange long tails.
"What is that?" Brazen asked amazed at the strange creature he never seen before.
They all landed on the blue glittery trail. The wings folded back up on the elongated bodies, the four legs stomping along in the blue goo. Long lizard like tongues flicked out eating up the goop.
"Ratbats. I only ever seen skeletons of them." Ric whispered back as he watched equally amazed at the small creatures that they didn’t notice the large round rocks scattered in the shadows start to move. Slowly at first, then a little faster. Crimson red heads slipped out from the under the rocks, exposing the shells they really are. Three antennea’s expanded out from the skull-less head, glowing the same blue as the slime left on the ground.
One adventurous winged rodent thing hopped forward to lick at the above ground blue. That’s when the snail, known to be slow, struck with the speed of a cat. The mouth, a round blurr of circular teeth snapped the rodent up and before it could made a sound. Chewed and swallowed it.
Brazen and Ric both looked at eachother in horror, then back over their shoulders at the tunnel they were about to go down.
"Forget the danger, we got to save Cyclone’s life." Ric hissed, leaving the backpack he headed into the throny bush as a crouch. Ignoring the stings the thorns left as they snagged his clothing leaving jagged tears.
Brazen took a breath and followed his boss."For Cyc," he agreed dispite the gnawing fear in his belly.
The thatch ended leaving both men hissing with the sharp stings of paper-cut like pain from the tips of the thorns that cut them. The cave enterance was far larger than they both expected after crawling through the narrow bush. Moving their flashlights around, they caught glimpses of spider webs, long legged spiders and fractles hanging down dripping mineral water to the floor.
Carefully with out talking they walked forward, able to stand tall. Ric rolled his shoulders cracking his neck trying to work out the kinks the journey thus far had caused. The blue trail was still apparent although dulled with the darkness of the cave. A few strange insects resembling large gnats fluttered around them, largely ignoring the intruders in favor for the blue slime.
"Apex predator is pretty intigrated to the area’s foodchain." Brazen hissed with noted interest.
"Mmhmm" Ric hummed back keeping his eyes sharp for any strange round rocks that lurkered along the cave walls. The bright blue shell about two feet tall was not something they expected to find in their path. The ruby red skin of the small snail made a start contrast to those outside of the cave. Three blue antenneas moved with such delicatcey that it was clear they were sensor organs of some sort.
"Now what?" Brazen asked staring at the small bright creature.
"Rope it... drag it out." Ric stated with more confidence than he felt. The snail was clearly a juvinile, but one they could defintly handle...... maybe.
Approaching it slowly, the small brightly colored snail opened its mouth. The sharp multitude of razor blade like teeth yawned starking white. A tounge, as blue as the shell with equally ruby-red spikes on it wiggled out of the snails mouth. It made a small weak sound like a cry of a day old kitten. Both men stopped at the exposure of teeth and spikey tounge. "Okay.... that isn’t intimidating at all." Ric hissed.
"Maybe we should re-think this." Brazen hissed.
"Open to ideas." Ric stated not taking his eyes off the snail as Brazen took out the box of salt.
"Really? Now is not the time to eat." Ric grumbled as Brazen moved along the wall with the box.
"It’s not to eat, maybe we can herd this thing out by pouring salt behind it. Keep it going until we can put the rope around the shell and drag it up the game trail to the cage."
Ric shrugged. "Okay, you convinced me. Think we can do this before big momma comes back?"
"Dunno. It will either work, or we’ll be eaten." Brazen stated starting to shake the salt behind the ruby tail.
The snail gave another mew slinking forward. Ric shoved himself back against the cave wall as the snail slithered past to escape the poison of the salt.
"We need to give it a name." Brazen announced as he kept shaking the salt, pushing the snail towards the enterance of the cave.
"Come on, we are not naming something we need to kill. It defeats the purpose." Ric groaned following Brazen.
"The snail isn’t exactly a great thing to call it, how about Gary?"
Ric face palmed. "Fine! Shelly if it will shut you up."
Brazen smiled triumphantly. "Shelly it is."
Ric shook his head at the idiotcy of his friend and blamed it on their sleep depervation state of minds.
The enterance came into sight finally, the snail mewed louder as it slinked towards the redish tinged darkness with shadowed tendrils. The salt forcing it to go further and closer and finally out of the safety of the dark tunnel.
"It’s not going to get too scratched up by those damned thorns." Ric whispered.
"That’s good, I’d hate to hear what it will sound like to get big momma’s attention." Brazen whispered as they followed Shelly out of the cave.
The fluttering ratbats turned their attention from the faint trails of food on the ground and dancing by danger, to the big bright light of food slowly moving outside. With squeals of delight, they headed towards the larger food source like moths to flames.
The shadows of hungry rabat’s descended upon the thicket. With loud squeals they grabbed onto the vines, their wings folding against their bodies as they crawled along the tightly wound and thorny vines.
"Uhhh Ric... I think they want to eat our snail." Brazen called as Shelly backed up, her tail lifting as it touched the salt behind her. A pathetic sound came from her mouth not unlike a cat in heat.
"Yeah, and so is big momma." Ric hissed seeing the large hulking shadow crawling forward at a faster than expected clip for something of her size.
"Ric, we need to get the backpack at the start of the thorns, I have a thermal blanket in mine." Brazen stated. "It’ll bounce the glow and stop the ratbats."
"Right, I’ll get it. If I die, make sure you cure Cyclone." Ric hissed seriously to Brazen.
"You won’t." Brazen hissed staying behind the snail and tossing salt in vain at the ratbats gnawing at the woody vegetation. "I promise."
The ratbats squeaking and scurrying panicked the young snail. Lowering her bright red head, her long eye stalks retreated into her shell to make herself smaller.
The front of the beast was not where Ric wanted to be as her teeth in her circular mouth began to rotate making a buzzsaw sound. The ratbats that were coming down the entrance retreated at the noise." One saving grace." Ric whispered to himself.
Realizing he had no choice but to let himself get snagged by the thorns to get around her. As he moved he felt a thorn push into the back of his arm and hold on. Hissing in the pain he jerked his arm to free himself. The thorn didn’t let go, then another latched into the back of his thigh and another into his buttock that one elected a yelp from him. "BRAZEN!" Ric howled realizing the ratbats were crawling through and biting him. Not letting him go as they gnawed into his flesh.
"I see them Ric!" Brazen shouted. "The darn things aren’t reacting to the salt. I can’t get around you and Shelly. You’re side by side blocking the path."
"Well.... shit." Ric hissed trying to yank out of the rodents’ fangs to grab his knife in his caught ankle.
The whole thicket shook as a low almost inaudible sound rumbled. The ratbats squealed and squeaked in terror, the ones who were not just about on the baby snail.
Brazen looked up to see two blue stalks of light from between the vines, then the thorny tonged flicking through the vines and latching into the ratbats flesh. Dragging them out with death rattles before spitting them away.
More glowing blue stalks joined the first two, on both sides of the thicket, and above. The adult snails were rescuing the baby. Tossing the remains of the box of salt at Shelly’s back, the little snail mewed loudly and shot forward with gusto fit for a rabbit.
Ric still struggling froze as the ratbat gripping his arm was yanked back forcefully, taking a chunk of flesh with it. Same with the one on his leg. Thankfully the one on his butt cheek let go to flee from the threat.
Finally, free, Ric ran out after the snail, grabbing a backpack as he ran out of the thicket. Brazen hot on his heels.
"The blanket!" Brazen hollered, snagging the other backpack.
"You stop and Get it out!" Ric shouted not stopping, neither did Shelly who was charging up the well-worn path towards the awaiting cage.
"Screw it!" Brazen yelped seeing the swarm of black in the pale pink of the dawn sky. "Put it on her when we get there!"
"My thoughts too!" Ric huffed ignoring the blood trail he was leaving.
Behind them, the adult snails tore apart the protective thatch eating the ratbats within. Only one snail turned from the feast following the fleeing baby snail and the two creatures stealing it.
Brazen and Ricochet both hurried keeping behind the young snail that was moving faster then they were running. Ric glanced behind him hearing a different crunching noise. "Ohhhhhh shit! Shit! Shit! HURRY Brazen!" Finding speed he didn’t know he had.
Brazen looked over his shoulder at the huge snail getting closer. "Awwww crap." he howled, maneuvering his shoulders and arms behind him, he let the backpack slide off his back, down his arms and drop behind him. Giving him extra speed while creating an obstacle for the bigger snail to get around.
Shelly spotted the dark square cavern ahead: safety!
The game hunter didn't expect such ease having the small snail practically bolt into the trailer. Releasing the trigger, the door slammed shut trapping the small snail within the cage. Locking the now distraught gastropod within, he glanced up to the two approaching hunters - using the term loosely. The giant mother snail he expected. The swarm of ratbats, he did not. Dragging the large rifle from the roof of the truck, he took aim.
Ricochet and Brazen both hit the dirt as the thunderous boom from the rifle exploded over their heads.
Startled the adult snail reared, showing the crimson underside and thick blue stubby claws wiggling helplessly as the weight of the large heavy shell pulled it back. Back. Backwards down the game trail, rolling. The boneless mollusks flesh, squished and severed under the weight of the shell as it rolled.
The blue glowing blood spewed from the snail attracted the swarm of ratbats, they dove towards the snail carcass. Other snails moved towards the feasting ratbats to have their own meal.
Lifting their heads, Brazen and Ric looked up at their hired guide and back to the dead snail. Scrambling in the loose volcanic rocks, they stumbled as they hurried towards the dune buggy attached to the trailer.
"Thanks for the assist." Brazen sighed heavily.
"It's what I'm paid for. Surprised you two even made it back alive, and with a snail even. I expected you both to be dead by dawn."
"You're a load of sunshine Termini." Ricochet huffed looking back at the snail in the cage. "Now we just got to get this thing down the mountain and home."
"That's the easy part. I have a lift for such things." Termini smirked.
Ricochet paled. "That rickety metal thing with the pully?"
"Hasn't failed me yet." Termini laughed.
"And hope it won't in the next 48." Ricochet muttered weakly.
Dual Flintlock Pistols
Cutesy Sheriff Badge
Mystical Chibi Fairy Doll
Curious Broken Clock
Death Knight Legeica Figurine
Snail Shell Mug
Z Coalition Poster
Natural Leather Messenger Bag
Plas-Tek Morostide Chained Blade
Plas-Tek Giant Morostide Meat Cleaver
Plas-Tek Giant Hacksaw
Hen of the Woods Mushrooms
Heavy Magnifying Glass
Black Skull Votive Candle
Country Road Print
Treasure Map Piece 6
Beaming Sun Puffy Sticker
Cloaked Sand Spirit Plushie
Ontra Poison Darts
Cursed Demon Sword