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11 mos ago
2 yrs ago
It seems today, that all you see,
2 yrs ago
Holy Spirit Activate
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2 yrs ago
Remember the indigenous people of the Americas today.
3 yrs ago
Critical Role? More like Crunchical Hole, haha. But yes, it's pretty uh... well, the Mercer Effect exists for the same reason people think porn is an accurate depiction of sex.
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Hello, I am me from the internet. I migrated here from Kongregate's Forum Games Forum, so feel free to look for me there if you wish to follow a career in internet stalking people. (ಠ_ಠ) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

A link to some of my past characters, which I need because static tabs do not take up internet.

Infamous Quotes From People Who Exist

“I really don’t follow how your faith believes its perfectly acceptable to doom 4,000 years plus of sentient beings, on a pre-set path of no escape from sin, just so their descendants can be offered the ‘chance of salvation’ when the god murders its own son.”

“Don’t be an ass or a pussy, ’lest you get screwed by life. Being a mouth or a hand is somewhat safer, and an eye socket is pretty much sacred in this regard, so always keep a look out.”

Most Recent Posts

It was known to him, based on Shamhat alone and in spite of her husk of a true form, that the rate at which a normal human walked could, with reasonable stamina and rest, cover anywhere from thirty to fifty kilometres in one day. In hindsight, he realised that this value too was ingrained before the words ever knew him - one thousand metres, each metre a set length, a value he had an instinctual grasp of even after recognising the precise distance it represented. It seemed that a lot of information was known to him subconsciously at this stage, though how much would likely remain unknown until it was important to know, and he could trust that it would guide him nonetheless. Likewise, he was not even close to his full adulthood - human lifespan included a period of roughly twenty “years” of immaturity. Not the cycles of this land, though. They measured time elsewhere. He had no clue where that was, and suspected that even trying to determine them required more information than he possessed, but by this system his age measured roughly three “years”.

Another part wholly understood that, even in his current state, he could, if he so chose, travel much further, much faster, and barely break a sweat. He was also conscious of his own stalling. Much slower than normal human pace. He did not, in fact, want to reach Qal’Asurah yet - not a fear of the place, but a recognition that if it were anything like Euphro-Uruk, if his encounter with Shamhat had any correlation to humans there, that he would need to steel himself further or risk being lost again. And equally, an unwillingness to abandon his pack, hive, flock… companions. That was the word she’d used. No matter his intellect compared to theirs, they were companions to him.


But he could not stall forever.

After nineteen days, he sensed something distant. Vast in scope.

Impossibly vast.

…not at all impossible. Quite particularly not so. Efficiently put together, in fact, if the metric for efficiency was a combination of lifestyle and population density.

He’d found the humans. Potentially, he’d found Qal’Asurah.

‘You have to stop here.’ The instruction to his drakes and dragons was quiet, but resonated deeply in them, even as the resonance returned with combinations of… nameless queries, worry of abandonment, and for the more self-aware sadness that he was leaving. He returned it again, ensuring they knew his feelings, his intent to leave only briefly before he came back to them, and his confidence that they knew how to keep themselves fed and gather new members for his return. This time, the response was positive. They knew he would.

And he did. No longer restrained, he ran, his body moving as the dragon-leopards did, lithely passing around forest and over canopies as if they were solid land with no obstacles whatsoever. Two kilometres- four kilometres- he sped up, now- seven, then ten kilometres- he imagined that only the fastest of the dragons would be able to keep up by air even if they were following on- fifteen- twenty- twenty five-

Suddenly, he paused at the edge of a clearing.

There rose something that, if he hadn’t already recognised its scale, might have been incomprehensible at a glance. A structure, or perhaps a great mass of structures, climbing into the sky like a steel spear trying to puncture the clouds of steam and smoke emerging from it. About the spire, walls, insanely tall in themselves, dwarfing many of the trees that surrounded the land in fact, topped with a range of structures featuring- dragonbreath? No, but similar in the sense of providing range to slay from, each scanning for any sign of life, eager to kill.

Eager? Yes, all too eager. These turrets contained more examples of the bizarre energy-dragon he’d encountered before. Not the same, though. Where that one had been overtly erogenous, seeking pain and pleasure equally, these… these only sought bloodshed. Battle and death.

A direct assault would be like charging a drake-rhinoceros- he could do it, but it’d be unnecessarily dangerous. And stealth in the manner of dragon-cats, near-impossible. But… but but but… if he were to take inspiration from the drake-termites? The drake-moles? Both humble compared to their more intelligent counterparts. Both with more unique qualities, qualities that let them pass through the very earth, channelling passages- this city’s lowest depths sunk into the earth, beneath the level the turrets would see, guarded only by the dense walls themselves.

Not nearly dense enough to stop him.

Taking several paces back, to guarantee a broken line of sight, he found a suitable spot, flexing his fingers until they popped, then began to claw at the dirt, discarding it around the hole as it developed. Deeper, deeper… deeper still, yes. With each pass, he grew more adept, finding his rhythm, finding it easier to burrow faster, and soon enough finding that the dirt he threw out simply landed back upon himself… time to move inward.

Hm. His claws had grown longer. Useful, for this case. Perhaps similar to the inner flame he’d manifested? He’d look into that later.

For now, passage through the ground toward the city was simple enough. He was hardly hindered; the ground was no tougher, though more rocky the closer he got… more, more… there. The walls. Far, far, harder to claw through, enough to deter most underground assaults - but then, he had oxygenated himself plenty before this. Time was no issue, and nor was the barricade itself, for where the claws of dragons would get no purchase, his own had the strength to pierce and cut free the material before him. It was interesting how it differed from what lay about him, though, what he’d seen in the past… as if it were layered into itself, almost.

And then, he broke through. Taking his first deep breath in several minutes, he noted the taste of the air: not enough oxygen, too much of everything else, shortening the lifespans of any who were not adapted to handle it by decades for their troubles. And even expanding the hole… perhaps this was an unfortunate spot, but he seemed to be a few dozen metres away from the nearest solid ground. Though, a relatively quick climb downward made no difference, landing him on more of that layered rock in a narrow, near-lightless hallway.

And there was life here. Somehow, a human stalked the halls- or a thing that may once have been human, or may once have been dragon, or both. It sensed him, turned, attacked with a cry of hate-

And landed in several pieces on the ground, its gore splattering him. He’d not expected a great fight, but compared to the dragons he’d hunted, it was as if it totally lacked protection. Just like Shamhat: fragile as a leaf. Or, rather, it had had a shell on its back at least, like a dragon-turtle. That hadn’t helped it when it was upright, though.

He needed more information. And, honestly, he needed sustenance too.

A few mouthfuls gave him insight. The flesh tasted wrong, rotten almost, much as the Seer’s had, and the insights in question were of the same unfocused quality as most dragons, if not worse - but they told him that more such things wandered down here, devouring whatever they could find and subsisting on toxic fluids that burned even their mouths to consume. And humans from above came, killed them, took them away… no wonder its first thought was to attack. Its life had been a piteous one, and its death had come from something it couldn’t comprehend as different from whatever else antagonised it.

It gave him some idea of where to go to examine Qal’Asurah further, though. This, clearly, was the standard of its depths, albeit this particular corridor presented an unusually-remote space; presumably, those further up would be less burdened by such awful conditions that they had to devolve to survive. And to move up, he could either climb again, fighting to ground level once again - or, more reliably, find humans to “capture” him, and hope that they represented the least ethical of the city’s populace. Between the two options, the latter seemed like it’d be faster.

Even that might take time. But then, time was no issue.
Fam you know I'm interested in this.
Something was wrong. Had been wrong, now, for the last two weeks.

For "starters", the "concepts" of "arbitrary" "lengths" of "time" had "entered" his "lexicon". A "week"? A "passage" of "six" "day"-"night" "cycles"? "Two" of them, "twelve" "days"? What "value" did this have to him? Why had he suddenly started to "think" this way?

It was unnatural. His view of the world, somehow, had been soiled. That he was even aware of this, that he was now putting into "words" what had before been pure "instinct"-

His tethers to the dragons of his tribe had been compromised. His connection to them, whilst untouched, could nevertheless not be repaired. "Repaired". Fixed, mended, put back together. A time when concepts had flashed through his head like bolts of lightning, known but unnamed, now seemed painfully distant, though it had been merely two weeks since-

For the first time since his arrival, he exerted his frustration outwardly, noise leaving his throat as a guttural roar of angst and fury as he broke down a great many trees, trying in vain to quiet his mind's newfound eloquence. This disgusted him. This was unwanted, this was not what he knew.

Again: it was unnatural. Something had imposed it upon him, against his will or knowledge, and no matter how he demanded it, it kept slipping back in... from where? How, what, in what way could he deal with this? His dragons served no good purpose in this regard, for they too were affected, or at least so unaffected that they could not-

No. That discredited them. Since the arrival of the dragon-hawks, more had joined the pack. Drake-hounds, dragon-lions, drake-moles... and, amusingly, yet more hives of drake-termites. They seemed to be everywhere. Not to mention their dragon-wasp cousins, which had only been discovered eight days prior.

Them. They were the key. It was a wide berth, a broad area that his herd covered. The territory of the dragon-wasps ought to cover a broad spectrum. But, simply tuning into their senses, what they saw and felt... a region they should have been within was, simply put, empty. And, if he was careful, and if he caught what ailed him in his thoughts, followed its thread, never touching it for what it may do it his mind...

Abruptly, he broke into a sprint, charging down the identified threat - a dragon, yes, but nothing so pleasant as those he'd known before. Not a dragon of meat, but of raw emotion, energy that threatened to infiltrate his being through its mere presence, alluring in its very nature - that was to say, unnatural.

The thing he tackled to the earth, grasped bodily in both sets of great claws, was nothing short of both erogenous and horrifying. Its shape, very roughly, matched his own, though faintly purplish and half-female in sex, as if a breeding pair had been forced into each other's space until they merged, its body ensconsed in grotesque, mismatched metal and black hide, with one manipulator replaced with... it seemed a claw, albeit rather than many distinct digits, it simply presented one overlarge, crushing appendage. A fist to his hand. And he'd been right: its very energy repulsed and aroused in equal measure, such that a mere dragon would soon be taken over by it. No wonder its territory was empty, those dragons leaving it had surely been killed to prevent its infection from spreading further.

"Haaaaa. Well doooooone," it trilled at him. Words. Was this what had been put into his, his, mind, these... utterances of meaning?

"Why are you waitiiiing? I want my rewaaaaaard."

He knew very well what that meant.

He'd not give this nightmare anything of the sort.

His claws dug into its flesh, and he ripped it in twain vertically, head-first- or attempted to, for as it perished its very form dissolved in his grasp, dissipating like air with a displeasing cackle of delight, and leaving him grasping nothing before it could be entirely bisected. But at long last, his mind stilled a ways... the discomfort of its presence faded. Alas, his thoughts remained verbal... but, at least, the threat of its intoxicating energy was erased.

'Well that's a touch rude, dear.' He whirled to face the speaker. Another being, again matching his own nature - two-legged, two-armed, walking upright. This one, at least, was entirely female, judging by its features and its lengthy blonde head-fur. 'Syn'veey'n took a long time to manifest, you know. Still, with you here...'

He looked at her without expression, examining for a time. Unlike himself, she was covered, though barely - thin pink fabric draped over her in places, obscuring her body in ways that, it seemed, intended to allure much as the energy of the thing invading his head had, albeit... not so overtly. The effort here was entirely physical, or so it seemed. Nothing touching his thoughts now. Indeed, as she looked back at him with unrestricted interest, he quickly realised that she too was a physical being - dragon in truth, instead of mere presence. But... not even that?

...what was a "human"?

'Oh, my apologies,' she uttered, as if realising for the first time. 'This must all be very confusing for you, darling.' An affectionate name. He lacked any name so far, in fact. It had been unnecessary, after all. In fact, it still was.

'Perhaps I'll explain, then,' the female- no, "woman" was the word, that was how "humans" preferred to be called. "Woman" and "man". 'You see, I, and those I associate with, realised not so long ago that the dragons in the area were acting... strangely.' They'd yet to return to the area, he acknowledged. 'And lo and behold, what do we find upon seeking through the Veil? You, you delightful morsel!'

Food? No, another term of affection. She wished to mate with him, no doubt.

'And when we realised it was a human doing all this, well! I suppose you see how much we value you, hmm?' Tentatively, he nodded, not entirely sure what she meant, before she added 'Oh, perhaps I ought to introduce myself, dear. I am Shamhat, Seer of the Most Potent and Luxurious City of Euphro-Uruk. It is a... genuine pleasure to make your acquaintance... how should I label you... Forest Son?' This last statement was not preferable to him, he had to be frank. The word itself naturally lent far more depth than those two meanings alone, to do with knowledge of the environment, and with the emergence of man from water and knowledge where woman emerged from earth and feeling; and to do as well with the suggestion of lordship, of innate goodness no matter the locale, and therefore dominion over any land he strode upon and all within it.

Both bothered him greatly to consider. They reminded him of what he'd lost.

'I am sorry, sweetling,' she continued, seeing what was on his mind through his features as she approached at a stroll. 'I say again, this must all be so sudden for you, to be hit with such strange things after so long alone... the dragons, of course, but they aren't wonderful companions, are they?' True, they served as good allies, but if he thought back... well, what they presented in their own thoughts, their own perceptions, was never up to par with the way his own conception of reality came together. It was as if he were... not merely one step ahead of them, but ten, or even twenty or more. Perhaps this, then, his final cognition of language, was inevitable, for more humans than just himself existed on this... world... well, of course, there was a whole world out there, of dragons and of humans, yes, and indeed it seemed there were far more dragons than humans, enough that the humans might struggle against them.

'Oh yes, dear, a great struggle,' Shamhat confirmed for him, smiling as she reached him. 'You see why you are so important? You, you alone love, can turn the tide of this dreadful predicament we're in. Although, as long as we are currently alone... I'm sure you understand breeding amongst dragons, of course, but you don't know exactly what you've been missing, do you?' Hmm, was that important? Well, she still wished to mate. Did he want that, too? She'd laid a hand on his chest, as if confirming what her eyes told her. 'Perhaps, whilst we're here, whilst we're alone, my charming young man... perhaps you'd give me the honour of letting me show you just how good it can be?'

Perhaps... as if seeing what was on his mind again, wanting to help him make the decision, her hand slid lower-

On his mind-

In- she was in his mind-

'HURCK-!' Her advances, on both his head and his body, were swiftly interrupted by his hand through her guts, the rending claws tearing the abdominal cavity open. His arm had passed straight through like it was water. Compared to even the pithiest dragons of her size, she was as fragile as a leaf.

'You have ruined my peace,' he muttered to her. Of course she had, she was the master of the emotion-thing claiming dragonhood. Stupid of him, to not realise after the same sort of attack! Was he so easily taken by these corruptions? He-

She was still in there!

'Nnnnnugh...' And what was that moan? Why was she blushing?! That wasn't the agony of impending death, that was sexual! And she'd thought-

Just as suddenly, waves of feeling flooded him. Not dissimilar to the energy of the dragon he'd just torn open, easily as vile and appealing in equal measure if not moreso. More focused, though. Her own pain and pleasure from being impaled, pressured into him in an effort to force his hand- or other aspects of him, no doubt. Was this what all other humans experienced? Was he doomed to-

No. Ironically, the more extreme sensations refocused his instinct. Instinct: his true refuge after all, for it brought him back to his truth. It acted for him.

One swift movement crushed her entire head within his jaws, and at once she went limp, her attempt on his psyche evaporating like so much mist. As if a wall broke, he felt the dragons of his pack approach once more, the threat undone now that the head behind it was gone. Even still, her body shuddered, as if- no, not that. This was the shudder of reality reasserting itself, as her true form presented from beneath the illusion, a twisted, crone-like figure with still-writhing tendrils erupting from the flesh of each limb, the hand that had touched him a half-claw unto itself, as if armoured to assemble into the form at will. Awful. And that had sought to mate with him.

He reverted to instinct again, and spat up a ball of flame to burn away the body. Not just spat, though - he'd learned his fire-spitting some time ago. This was much the same as Shamhat's attack on his mind... "psychic". Though his, at least, was purer. More honest. At the very least, it helped cleanse the flavour of her brain and blood from his teeth, tainted as her meat was; nonetheless, its presence alone gave him... unexpected insight.

The city. Euphro-Uruk. He did not wish to approach it, but now at least he knew where it was. If he was to go there, he needed to define himself against its lingering, body-snaring ache. His instincts were a potent shield in a pinch, but to form true armour for himself- and indeed for every dragon in his hive- demanded will and proper understanding too.

And... another city? Qal'Asurah... not the same. Different culture, hated by Shamhat, a separation from Euphro-Uruk of over two hundred kilometers. But as close as it from his current locale... hmm...

Was it safer? Unlikely. But he could approach at least. Enter. Examine. And, if they were enemies of Euphro-Uruk as the new knowledge proposed... the attack on his senses was not to be expected, in that case.

Yes. No dragons, they'd have to wait beyond its limits for safety, but... he could learn more from this than he'd ever known before.

For the first time, he had a goal to direct himself toward.

...bah. He spat at Shamhat's melting corpse one last time, then began his trek.
The first dragon-hawk to enter the hive did not do so with full intent of it, but it was far more planned than the first acquisitions of the hive. It was certainly smarter than the drakes it fed upon, smart enough indeed to pick at their edges, taking away one by one the tiny morsels of meat, cracking their shells and roasting them once it returned to its nest. It was much larger than they - and, more importantly, it had realised that this was an especially productive group! Seemingly, despite its picking away, there were more drake-termites to feed upon every sunrise!

It had figured out the why of it not too long ago. A presence, something pressing on it when it got too close to the center - which threatened to eat it, not its body, but something more integral to it. This was, at least, what the dragon envisioned. Something it sought to avoid, desperately desperately.

Yet... the more it sensed this presence. The less true this was. Was it being eaten already? It didn't know. It didn't feel like it was being eaten. Part of it wished to figure out the truth of the matter. Curiosity - lethal to most, but the curiosity grew, until it one day decided to satisfy its curiosity, and to flee if it was indeed attacked by the presence.

So, finding the drake-termites again, it flew toward their centre instead of away. The presence grew, again, but it did not eat it... the further it went, the more it discovered signs of other drakes. Drake-sloths. Drake-moles. Drake-boar. How many had it eaten? Why was it not being eaten too?

It found the presence eventually. Not another dragon, or even another drake. This one... this one stood on two legs. It had no wings, only one pair of arms, both slightly too long for its body, and not even armour upon its flesh. It had some of the look of a dragon, and indeed much of the presence of one - but not a dragon. Not nearly so unkind. Not... unfriendly? Unthinkable.

But it did not eat the dragon-hawk. Wordlessly, it bade it land nearby, the drake-termites it had eaten moving aside to form a space for it. With great caution, it took its position, suspicion rippling through its body. The moment the presence acted, it was ready to lash out and take flight again, plasma roiling in it in preparation... but nothing. It held its position, held one of its arms out, asked the dragon-hawk to come closer. Every step closer seemed a step into greater peril - but no. Even once its head had touched its clawed hand, the presence remained calm, claws grazing over its head... jolts of enjoyment. What? What was this? Why was the scratching nice? It was like being groomed by a mate, but different - not for mating, only for bonding. It did not want to mate.

It wanted to bond. The presence would not eat the dragon-hawk, no... that had been an error of its child self, when control was unknown and intolerable to it, and it could not touch anything more than the near-mindless drake-termites to begin with. Its will was greater now - so too was its mental touch. It could- but it would not. It would never, not now they knew each other. The Presence was a friend. The Presence was an ally.

The Presence needed more dragons to join it. Dragon-hawks... it knew of nests, yes. It could find them, bring them. Enhance the Presence's protection, ensure they could hunt for more and more, and in exchange, the dragon-hawks would have more of their fill than they'd ever dreamed of...

Perhaps it had been eaten, after all? Oh, well.

'How long has this threat been in the vicinity?'

'Oh, weeks now. We divined it from the Charmed Lord's Skeins, and sent some scouts into the area. Two returned just yesterday, reporting quite a few dragons clustering in an area. Ah, not a faint expedition, Seneschal...'

'Clearly. Any understanding of why?'

'Hhhmmmmm... I did some more study into the matter, and Syn'veey'n did a bit of searching through the Skeins, and she was the one who sensed a great presence there. They've drawn to a leader, believe it or not!'

'A leader... dragon?'


'Really...? A human that can command the feral dragons... how rare.'

'Unheard of! And not quite a match for the aether-dragons, unfortunately.'

'Still impressive. Did you reward yours?'

'Oh yes, Seneschal! I've pinned her to the floor with a rusted blade. She'll be there for a while yet-'


'Huaahhhnnn-! Ahh... Syn'veey'n... phhleasure to see you again... sh-so soon?'

"I got booooored. You need to be more creatiiiive."


'Sorry, dear, I'll... hooh that stings nicely... I'll find something a bit more interesting to add to it...'

'Enough flirting, you two. Seer, Familiar, you two will serve the purpose of bringing this... human into our fold. Assuming you're right about his nature, that is.'

"I don't make mistaaaakes. Stop criticizing meeeeee. Just punish me for being wroooong."

'No. Shamhat... you know what to do.'

'Mmh... and may the Charmed Lord's will be done, Seneschal...'

So, rather than the Null League, I am going to adapt a canonical faction, whose details are somewhat more known to us by default.

The inhabitants of Phlogiston Quaternus were, by and large, an insular lot no matter the hive you visited. Most so obsessed with themselves, and with their lives, and for many with their profane rituals no matter how pertinent the results, that even those who could see the stars that night were in no position to make note of one stray meteor from up above. One that ought not to have been there, if any of them saw fit to double-check those charts which determined the usual, stately, predictable procession of matter through the cosmic void.

Certainly, none would have a clue of its significance until long after they could hope to change it.

The pod, for 'tis what it was, hurtled through the atmosphere of the planet with absurd velocity, far greater than typical re-entry speeds. Even considering the world's terminal velocity, it was as if the metallic sphere had been launched from a great cannon, spitefully and with intent to shatter it before it ever landed. Though re-entry itself failed at this, the impact was much more than suited to the task - an unpleasant metallic-sounding skim from a curved mountainous rock formation abruptly turned vertical motion into horizontal, sending it well across the horizon, and eventually as it fell through tree after bizarre alien tree, only slightly slowing its momentum before its final, cataclysmic impact with the corner of a distinct, albeit large rocky formation, both pod and mountainside all but exploding into fragments of rock and hyperforged metal, both now liquidous, in the course of their mutual destruction.

Naturally, this rather disturbed the hive of drake-termites within, whose home had been more or less entirely detonated quite abruptly indeed, killing a great many of them in the process. The survivors scattered at first, taking cover in whatever hidey-holes of theirs remained, since even after that initial impact death rained down upon them like angry bio-plasma from the local dragon-hawks, both molten and solid as the remnants of their home shifted and collapsed around them. Soon enough, though, this too subsided, and the drake-termites emerged, their ranks of teeth and claws sullied and largely-vaporised to no more than two or three thousand in number, but plenty enough remaining to seek and destroy the Thing that had done this, which had put to uselessness so much work and effort.

The Thing sat there, in the cooling hole which had been their home. Not the Thing, no - this thing had been inside the other Thing, which was no longer coherent in form. This Thing, the passenger, didn't look much like any dragons that had been eaten by the hive before. It was the wrong shape and colour, more of a ball than a dragon. Some sort of food, maybe a fruit from the trees? No - it had survived what had destroyed their hive, and even swarming over it, their weapons didn't scratch its armour, though the armour was indeed that of a dragon. It felt about right, at least, even if it didn't look right.

Then the ball began to break. At first the drake-termites scattered back, partly from the force and partly from sheer instinct. Not a fruit... an egg! The food was within, a newborn dragon to eat! Even as the egg hatched, they started forward again-

Then stopped.

Something important was in it. Of course, they couldn't understand why this was, for the dragons of Phlogiston Quaternus were not intelligent, they had no conception of psychic power or synaptic connection or mental rewiring- but whatever the Thing was, it was important. More important than them. Important enough that they had to do what it wanted.

It was completion, in a way that no dragon on the planet had ever realised it was missing before.

And it was hungry. Surviving death was a lot of energy.

Hunger, they did understand; and so whilst half of the drake-termites formed a barricade around their new, their new, queen? No, it was more important than even that, and it needed a guard of over a thousand palm-sized insectile drakes, whilst the other half surged into the jungle, seeking prey to swarm, to consume...

No. To feed to their All.

By the time the child had emerged from his cocoon, the biological defense system that had kept him from harm retreating steadily into his body to leave him lying on the floor, he'd already grown used to the chittering, incoherent, non-verbal thoughts of his new protectors. They weren't like him - he picked one up in his clawed hand, turning it over to look at its ochre underbelly, and the six tiny clawed limbs that wriggled on its underside, and recognised very quickly that he didn't have nearly so many arms as that. Arms, and legs. Two arms, two legs, instead of six tiny legs. He was different. But they followed him anyway. Because he was bigger? Because he had two arms and two legs?

Neither did he have much understanding of his own psychic powers, not yet at least. That would come in time. For now, he was a babe, albeit already the size of a toddler, with claws on his fingers, and vision that extended in the four cardinal directions and was duly processed into an image far more detailed and expansive than that of any lesser being.

And... he was hungry. So, for a snack, he crushed the tiny protector, his claws backed with much strength piercing its shell and ending its life near-instantly, and then he ate it, his rows of teeth crushing the meat and exoskeleton into paste, the flavour profiles processed, catalogued, and efficiently converted into forms that were wholly edible as he swallowed the protector's meat.

He didn't eat more of them, though. They were his. They wanted to protect him. It made sense that he should also protect them, instead of eating more. That was how a pack worked... pack? Hive? Colony, army, brood, clutch, pod, shrewdness clutch chattering bed drove skulk leash crashthunderbloatcompanyaggregationpandemonium-

Lots of words he didn't quite comprehend passed through his mind. They didn't have letters to them, his thoughts for now as non-verbal as his protectors, but what they represented was all quite similar. Groups, which worked with each other. Blood, often, in this case so, but not always.

Did they have a queen? No, dead. But her youngest spawn had been fed properly, and survived, and would develop into one, and take over again. Good. Or- she would develop, and become second under him. Unusual. Acceptable.

Now the meal returned. Some of the protectors were dead. This was fine, that happened a lot. They worked to protect the queen, and now him - they did not breed themselves. They didn't matter, if it protected the hive. Food, though: a large thing similar to the protectors, but the size of himself, with the marks of extreme damage done to it. Throat opened, bleeding. No more legs - all six removed, and brought to him.

This could be eaten without remorse. So he did, his mouth opening wide to take a great bite out of its bleeding neck, its vivid violet vitality spilling down his throat in a hot wash of flavour, even whilst the flesh was chewed to ruin and swallowed down, never mind the burning that started after the first bite before steadily fading. His first true meal. Delicious flesh.

He ate half before he was finished, letting out a burp, and letting the protectors have their feed. They needed to eat too, maybe even more often, since they were so small. For now, he was sated, and wanted to digest. So as they ate, he clambered over on all fours to a nearby... tree, then clawed up its bark to the branches, pulling down the larger leaves on its branches so they fell to the ground. Then, back down, and arrange the leaves to cover himself.

He yawned, after all that, and closed his eyes. He'd be fine. The protectors would keep him safe whilst he slept, yes. And then... then he could learn more about this nice place.

Kaoru's entrance into the auditorium was relatively quiet, rather secluded one might say. He didn't see a reason to interact with the other students right now. Why should he, when they ranged from the lunatic jumping off of buildings, to fish people who'd probably never worked a day in their life to make their Quirks work for them? Not to mention the quiet ones. Of course, he'd have to speak to most of them at some point, but for now, he was entirely content in his factual superiority over them.

He was. Frankly, whilst he stood out as pretty tall compared to most of the others, what really set him apart was how much work he'd put in to get here. Maybe if he'd gotten into UA, there'd be matches for his prowess... but whatever. Ishin was still the number two Hero Academy in Japan. He knew he'd succeed here. Get his license. And then show the world his ability - and maybe teach a few youngsters how to get to where he stood in a decade or two. Well, he'd be a bit above that by then, but it was a good start for those kids.

These ones, on the other hand, well... he supposed it was never too late for people to learn from their betters, though how much potential his teachings could extract from them might be limited now. Heck, he had more to learn too. That was why he was here: how could he become a high-ranking Hero if he didn't constantly improve himself, too? Self-improvement had made him a student; further self-improvement would make him a Hero. Maybe even the #1 Hero in all of Japan, if he was good enough. Heh... that'd be great.
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