of Beasts and Man

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Bubbly Bubbly

Decisions, decisions; Bubbles was spoiled for choice that day, as he was the night before. It really was a wonder just how powerful his new eye was. He was there, the entire time, in the plaza, watching that freak fight his dog. He was sitting on the porch of the Shelled Aceon, sipping on one of the bottles of swill the meathead of a tavern keeper kept as “import”. More often than not, he found himself looking down at that bottle, glaring at it in his black hand, but remembered he had to keep at least one of his three eyes on the entertainment. He was still working on moving the large, purple monstro- blessing- miracle! Yes. It was a bloody miracle of an addition, after that craven harlot had carved out his two original beauties on the left side of his face. At least she kept the right two intact, but now he pondered if that was a good thing or not.

After all, this carnival of slaughter was only caused with one eye. He was able to hide, “tell” people he wasn’t there with only this one miracle. What really was a wonder was how could he, with all his power, even be comparable to the likes of the freak still fighting his cur? How could that feeble arm even be considered the same source when... what was it doing? It was breaking chains.

“‘Unga bunga,’” Bubbles said, chortling as he waved his bottle. Some of it spilled out, but it was a mercy for him, even more as he smashed the glass against the blue stone beside him, making up the porch and steps into the red wood tavern. “‘Me smash good. Me can break things.’”

He sighed, leaning on his knees, and was actually starting to grow bored watching this simpleton. It was a good thing he already designated him to die: he finally saves her, “purifies” her... but doesn’t simply control her mind so that she could forget all of this happened. He’s simply listening to her beg him to kill her, to the point she’s trying to get a rise- and there it was.

“And then he’s going to cry over killing her,” Bubbles grumbled, clapping, slowly, shaking his head. “The troglodyte... I should be the one crying! Where am I going to get another dog of that pedigree. Oh, it’s always about you, isn’t it? ‘Oh, I don’t want to die. Please don’t sacrifice me so you can become a god.’”

But the freak couldn’t hear him. None of them could, and neither did the crowd that appeared almost out of nowhere –maybe too strong a word. Roaches and rats had to come out of somewhere, after all, even if it was rotting mounds and fetid muck. The guards were the worst, having hidden in their neat little hovel until it was absolutely sure it was all clear. Shame, too. He wanted to hang some of them up, have his pup compress them into their armor until they were casks, then continued to be squeezed before turned over and spilled out like a slurry.

And even the crowd was boring him! Can’t he get a bit of excitement here? He went through so much work to get his pet to string up those people, to get the darkness set in, and now all he had were people mumbling warily. No no no. This won’t do.

“Get angry,” he said, walking to each member of the crowd, peering at them with his eyeball. “Get mean! Get stupid! Let’s have us a good old-fashioned lynching already!”

To the crowd and the centers of attention, though, it would seem like no time had passed, but he was sure it would catch up to them. In time. Time is fickle like that, doesn’t like to be ignored or screwed over. They’ll all crash at some point, but hopefully after he got a show-

No. No show. They just allowed them to run down the stairs to the dock... Bubbles followed after, skipping down the lofty heights, but didn’t follow all the way. He settled at the landing, watching those fools, both the freak’s gathering and the mob, charge down them. The freak had reached the pier, a Terra Force dingy just a bit further... but stopped.

“Oh?” Bubbles said, leaning forward. “What’s this?”

The freak was screaming something to that pinker-than-sty Itchyoman, who was screaming something back. It was probably something noble or selfless or- stupid. It was most likely stupid... but the freak barked back, sending her running like a dog, a real one. Her tail was even tucked in between her legs; so adorable.

What was the freak up to, though? What was his grand scheme? He was looking down that crowd with intent- he got his hopes up for nothing. As usual. The freak simply ran to the hag’s whorehouse, or, as the locals called it, the Hag’s Loveshack. Same kettle, different perfume; Dark Ones know she has had her fair share of seamen. Who knows? Maybe she had her own fill of the Dark Ones, too, but he had hoped They had better standards than that... but also knew that any port in a storm.

The freak went under the awning, little more than steel poles shoved into the stone mountain on either side of the tavern which just so happened to have a little alcove of its own. Not even the mountain wanted to touch her, already so wasted. He could see her from here, passed out on one of the fat couches that lined that porch. All hands were on deck earlier apparently.

The freak waited by the door, waving at the mob... and Bubbles regretted again having his hopes raised. This time, it was his own fault; he did make them stupid... er. Stupider. Every single one of them turned and followed him into that tavern. What happened next? He doesn’t know! He didn’t care to know! He simply went back up the steps, accepted another complimentary bottle of spirits -none of the “imported” garbage this time- and climbed up to the Shelled Aceon’s roof. At least the weather agreed with them; this freakin’ sucked. He laid back on the soft wooden roof, covered in congealed hay, and crossed his legs, waving it along with a jaunty tune as he drank.

Bubbles’ record of the time was every quarter of the bottle he drank from. One quarter was two hours, two quarters was three, three quarters was fifteen minutes, then the last was lost to the roof sometime in between the six hours he passed out. He woke up stiff, every part cracking, aided by the rain still thundering down upon the roof. It wouldn’t be much longer, though; the stars and those four moons were peeking. How dare they perv on his alone time. He was an Itchyoman with needs just like everyone else. Can’t he be left alone to become a god in peace? No respect.

However, he couldn’t exactly give them what-for just then. Someone was getting their crab kicked in.

Bubbles hopped to his feet, skipping to each side of the roof, cupping his ear as he did. North was no good, too muffled, as was east, almost silent. South carried it well, thanks to the plaza and its many hollowed bodies, but it was the west, towards the Itchyoman District, that he could hear it the best -0oh! Bone crunching. They were getting to the good part.

He walked off the roof... landing in a wagon filled with rotting straw at the bottom... Why was that even there? He rolled out of it, grumbling as he shook it free from his black leggings, wiping it off as best he could from his black-scaled chest and back as he hurried to the fun. It was deep in the district, passed the hospice his good ole buddy ole soon-to-be-seafood special Plu took him, out towards the warehouses. Ah, such memories with them; there was that time he made his dog check each one... then the one where he lied about which warehouse to check... and, finally, giving his cur her leash back. Wasn’t his sty- Wait.

He slowed by the last yurt before the open road to the warehouses, peeking around it. There was a whole school of Itchyoman there, taking their turns on the freak in its m- the freak! That’s where he got to... What happened to the mob- who cared about the mob at a time like this! At this rate, they were going to kill his freak, then where would he be? Needed that freak; what was the possibility of finding another Cephamorian-Terrahn hybrid? What other woman would want to go on a tentacle carousel!

This wasn’t good, not good whatsoever. That crunching wasn’t getting any better either; he could just see the freak’s left arm through the mob, twisted, mangled, twitching towards his sword. Truly a pitiful sight... He was still breathing, though. His body was mostly carrion delight now, but he was still fighting to stay alive. What a perfect specimen- and why he cannot let it die!

“Fellas,” Bubbles said, strolling up. He was confident the freak wouldn’t notice him, but a few of his fellow Itchyomen turned his way. “What’s the big hullabaloo? Some of us are trying to dream of murder and supremacy.”

“Get outta here. We got this,” one grumbled, spitting in his face.

Bubbles... huffed, wiping it off, and felt his purple eye gleam, looking into that Itchyoman’s bright blues.

“I think you misunderstood. I’m trying to get some shut eye. Shouldn’t you do the s-”

The world went dark, and the next moment it was bright again. He laid on that street, stuck to it by his own blood, squelching a bit as he pulled himself free. He was surrounded by like-minded individuals, twenty in all, but he doubted any of them would be joining him. Even as he looked at them, his two, small eyes refused to see anything but whirls and fades of color and motion. Only his big ole miracle saw the world as it was, kept him from defiling his comrades.

Sadly, it didn’t do him much favor when he stood, falling over thrice. The fourth time he simply rolled forward, accepting his fate, but the road refused for him to give up that easy, forcing him back upright. Jokes on it, though; that’s what he wanted. So hah... Didn’t fall for it the next time, though.

Slowly, sporadically, he made it out of the Itchyoman District. He was more battered and bruised than when he started, no small feat given how the rock jutted into his front, but managed to find his feet along the way. Several times, in fact; however, they had to remain below him. Which they finally listened by the guard barracks.

Just in time to be knocked off them by a sudden call of nature, and not his own.

Grass threw stone aside, ripped the slate right out from under his feet, and sent him flying up. Thankfully, a tree lent an arm, but it was funny. He didn’t remember there being a tree in this area last night. He hanged there, listening to the angry yelling inside... but happened to be able to see through the second floor window.

“I’ll be damned,” he said, watching a woman in striking, pristine, smooth, yet oh, so familiar, red robes descend the steps to the ground floor, and everything that was said after was lost to his gleeful humming. He landed and watched her from the doorway... behind another familiar person, though this one he wanted nothing really to do with. Even more now since it seemed his power wore off her... Actually, did it ever really work on her? She was bringing up the back of the mob yesterday, and was even slow to follow after. If anyone, he pondered if he should study her more... but no. Not right now. He had a new dog to train. Maybe after... or maybe he could go find the freak. What about whatever knocked him out? Somebody in the District must know, and he will probe every single one if he had to- or maybe he could go destroy a few other gods and claim a few more pets to round off his collection.

So much to do, so little time... His new pet stormed out of the guard barracks. The hunt was on.

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