(“No! My masterpiece of snake engineering!”)
A big branch, elevated a snake's length above the ground using stones and other branches, suddenly jumped due to being hit from below. I was obviously shocked by the incident, and assuming I could read the expression of this.. Penguin looking thing , the feeling was mutual.
(“Damn tail! Push the branch stronger! Make it hit that stupid face harder! It was my magnum opus!”)
And holy (drunken snout) stone, it was huge! I did not expect my target to be ten times my size, if not more! I mean it’s thoughts weren’t exactly pointing to a very intelligent being, and there seemed to be a strong correlation between size and intelligence in creatures I’ve met until now.
But there was no time to be shocked! I could feel my mind connecting to <OUCH> this worm alternative <stupid boss>
(“Hide! So it doesn’t find us! We should know more about if before we do anything!”)
(“Run! It hasn’t seen us yet! It’s too big to fight!”)
(“Bite! It hasn’t seen us! Perfect time for an ambush!”)
Yep, strategic retreat is in orde.. [HUNT! EAT! BITE!] shouted my instincts and as often happens with young snakes, especially hungry and tired ones, reason just had no chance against them (“I’m worried what will happen when we see a cute snake when we grow up”).. And so, like an unintelligent insect, slave to its genetic software, I jumped on the creature and bit it. No skill, no finesse.. A twisted shadow of the oft practiced attack.
(“Another blow against my pride! Why does reality mock me so today?!!”)
Due to the sheer size difference, my full strength jump was barely strong enough to reach the panicking creature's ass (currently touching it’s head with its arms). Or rather a big red stump just above it.
- I could feel the venom being injected into the bite- judging by the.. Squeak? Of the creature.. It sounded like chalk screeching on a chalkboard, quite effectively surprising it. And at the same time, I could feel an unwelcome guest just barging into the confines of my mind.
<What! Ouch! Pain! Tail bitten! Insect?>
My head turned around, on someone else's orders.
<Red-nose can’t feel his flippers! Red-nose numb poisoned! Nooo! Don’t want die! Wait! What is this.. A big big cone! Why here? Big big cones can’t live away from big deep!>
I could feel the creature's instinctive fear towards itself. Confusion once again my friend, made it not recognise itself.. Knowing the drill by now, I tried convincing it to move my body outside the connection range.
Well that was easy! Except, instead of running, the only thing that happened was my nose hit the ground.
<Ouch! Red-nose can’t feel legs! Paralysed?!>
The only thing filling my head was fear, now so strong, that if I still had my negative fear resistance I would have most likely died of heart attack.
I could see a memory, of.. Senses I could barely understand? It seems that one of these.. Undercones, got eaten by another one, ten times bigger than the one currently squatting in my head. It froze in fear, even its mind no longer working.. Some kind of skill starting to work, interfering with the usual effects..
Damn! Meditation? Control? Something.. I need to get the control of the body if I want to disconnect, this thing seems unable to understand even the basics of slithering…
<What? What slithering?! Who this?>
Shit.. “Crawl away”
<No! Stupid red nose, why you think of moving! Stay still! Play dead! Maybe big big cone not notice! Stone mind!>
Nothing. I could not think. This thing could not think. My breathing nearly stopped. My heart nearly stopped. It was as If I was made of stone..
Nothing happened for a few moments.
Crash! The undercones body fell over. And then.. It looked As if it was trying to swim forward, even though it was on land… Oh look it fell into the stream…
And is not very slowly drifting away...
Connection snapped! I’m free again! (“What the hell just happened?”)(“Why did it move when it was in our head?”)(“Why didn’t we see more complicated visions, like with the gecko?”)
It seems this creature has some kind of hiding skill, which makes it not move.. And not think, and barely breathe.. Strong enough to block me as well. How the hell can I fight this type of thing? (“Well, you don’t have to! It’s swimming away!”)(“Noo! Our meal!”)(“Fast food! Too fast!”)(“Should I follow?”)
As I was wondering about that.. Unfortunately the creature got up and just walked out of the water. Yeah, for me it seemed like a dangerous passing, but due to the sheer size difference, this thing after it stopped panicking.. Or being a stone, could just walk out. Shit. Or is it an opportunity?
I mean I did inject a lot of my venom inside it.. It also seemed to be hurt from fighting something before me, not to mention nearly drowning just now..
(“But it’s also ten times our size?!”)
That was indeed a problem. Well it seems to not have noticed us.. So what do I do?
No, it’s enough. I’m too tired and too hungry to continue. And it’s too risky, I don’t want to risk dying again! FIGHT!] - not this time stupid body instinct! I started my meditation skill immediately after getting out of range of the undercone. You will not override my mind this time..
And so, glad that the creature seemingly hasn’t noticed me, I slithered back towards the nest..
Except the moment I started moving it’s beak stood at full mast. It turned towards me- bad news. Very bad news. (“Let’s wait.. it will surely get bored of waiting!”)(“Great idea!”)
Finally! A plan that worked out as expected, ground penguin did indeed get bored of waiting! And instead, it decided to come towards me!