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The surface

-Transmission to Unknown receiving-

It’s confusing what to call this goop-like matter that exist in this world. Some call it goop, for lay men. Some others call it dirty ink, not sure what makes it dirty. Others call it murk, just murk. The thing is, it’s a weird substance that seems to be able to create. Just out of itself, when there’s enough of it. And weirder still is that a race of humans seems to wield this murk as if it’s part of them. The goop/dirty ink/murk stuff seems to behave differently with this race, existing in reality and spirit form. Their society seems to be a replica of any civilization that has ever existed, but it’s a dryer state and this murk stuff be used to create buildings and life indeed grows there. This reporter is observing multiple things going on at once…No…No…No! Stop, don’t come any closer, you sick fucks! No…ARG!

-Transmission end-

“Well, seems like someone had crossed paths with a murk demon. Or so says this old recording from a thousand or less years ago. Odd how complicated the world was back then, politics ruled everything. Things seemed far more chaotic back then when the murk first came than now. They don’t even know what the murk is.”

An said, twirling the little recorder in midair with her yellow tinged murk before it settled on her hand and pocketing it. It was a nice find in the ruins of an old metropolis, a thousand or so years old. The pictures back then were so colorful and bright, not the dreary world she grew up in. Movies, games, and so many things from back then floated to the surface from the murk for young ones to find but it oft had a mind of its own, taking what idiotic fuck that happened to be its next victim. An looked to her left, lifting an eyebrow at her ‘companion’ and sighed as the ‘boy’ seemed not the bit interested in what history about the first appearance of the murk was to the past. He/she was…always a hard ass. Never actually speaking and taking action when murk beasts emerged.

She felt a twinge of warning from inside her before she grasped her twin daggers from her thighs and got into position, looking everywhere the beasts may come from; even below. One of her daggers had a yellow tinged gas oozing from it, her murk was ready to sever the connection it had to the spirit realm. The beasts that lived in the murk were…hard describe; territorial, mindless to a degree, and insane. That was only the low beasts, there were others and demons to consider as well to fight and defend against. Not all beasts from the murk were mindless or insane, territorial yes, but not mindless or insane. They understood what early ancestors they had and were domesticated; the cow, horse, dog, cat, sheep, and domesticated animals of the past. But wild animals remained wild. A splook noise had her gripping the daggers tighter; seems like this was either a big one or what she thinks it is.

A black, midnight black, multi-legged, one eyed, and had hands for feet, placed a single six-person long hand near her as its hairs, on the fingers, wiggled around to sense for any prey. An wanted to run for it as this being was on the hunt for something and it was for good reason. This was a Mid-class hand behemoth demon, and she wasn’t even equipped to handle low class murk demons. Only certified demon hunters could hunt something like this in a small group, if planned correctly, and she was just there to find something for her history class.

‘If only I had listened to the Matron this morning then none of this would have happened, but I would’ve failed the class because of the assignment.’

An thought as she inched slowly away from the hairs closing in on her location. Then a roar, a lion’s roar resounded through the area and the mid-class hand behemoth was sent tumbling into some ruins, making An groan with how much damage was being done to historical things. A lion’s paw landed near her and she barely managed to keep from yelping out loud, less the hand behemoth find her. A thump beside her had her squeaking in surprise to see a living person with such an outlandish outfit.

“Best get clear of the area. The behemoth’s disturbed a nest of Sludges. Which district you from?”

The person, female, said with a heavy accent. An sheathed her twin daggers and scratched the back of her head. It was a bit hard to say which district she lived in since her classes were constantly moving from district to district, well most moved while a few others stayed in one place. She could go for her history class since she was trying to get something to show in said class, but she didn’t want to lie either. She shrugged her shoulders.

“I move around a lot with my classes. Was searching for something for my history class when that behemoth showed up and my partner was supposed to help me out of here, but they bolted, as I can’t see them.” An said, looking around a bit to see if her partner was actually there and sure enough, they weren’t. Damn asshole for bolting at the first sight of trouble, guess she’ll have to try and get home on her own from here if she could. She looked once more at the woman before looking at the odd lion’s paw and connected the dots. She was standing in front of Alethea Rampart, contractor of the Lion Titan. She would’ve squealed and gone fan-girl on the contractor, but she had to move it. A singular Sludge, she could handle. It was the hive mind they had that made them so dangerous, if one Sludge knew something, the whole hive knew. And so, she did book it, hoping she didn’t run into any Sludge on the way back to her temporary living quarters.

Alethea looked at Miysis with a raised eyebrow as the lion looked at the fleeing girl. A mental chuckle resounded and she outwardly sighed, opening the link to their prince, Gwrtheryn McCarthy. She didn’t mind the man, but he could be such a pain in the ass with how flirtatious he could be with either gender. It didn’t help that he jumped from bed to bed, never settling down for more than a singular week before he was off to warm another’s bed.

{“How is it going in your district, Alethea? Something catch your attention?”}

{“Not quite catch my attention, just making sure a student got out of a Sludge hive area. Hand behemoth stirred the little shits up, looking for a meal. Hulda and Hrafn are in district 9, dealing with a C class titan gone rogue.”}

A sigh echoed through the link.

{“That’s nearly nine this month. Titans don’t breed like crazy like Behemoths or Sludges. We nearly lost Aiolos and Eláfi to a C class. Something is causing the Titans to act like this but Damhán Alla lies dormant in her nest. We don’t know what her webs will tell us if she’s awakened without a contractor, the world we know could vanish if this continues. Geir and Uggla do not have a concurrent answer for us.”}

{“We may have to move to force a contractor on Damhán Alla to make her reveal what her webs say, but it could backfire on us, making her go rogue as well…Sire, I’m afraid we may have a worst-case scenario on our hands. Several S to A class Titans are dormant and B to C class titans are becoming inhuman in their appearance, almost like a behemoth is trying to take them over. From what we know and researched; Behemoths don’t have the capacity to try to take over a Titan. They’re genetically incapable of such a takeover. Sludges aren’t even a blip on a Titan’s radar and the little shits are afraid of them.”}

{“Alethea, scout the area out once more before reporting back…Conrí might know something…”}

The link went silent and she looked at her Titan with a cross expression of ‘What can ya do?’ and ‘Why me?’ before getting back on him and went about scouting the area out again, hoping to find something worth this asinine trip to District 4…It was Damhán Alla’s district, and she hoped the S class titan would awaken soon…She didn’t see the little Murk spiderling come down from a web and follow her movements before scurrying off to inform of what happened to its mother.

An stood at attention as Mrs. Brairthorn lectured her; at first, it was safety, then it moved to defense techniques, and after defense techniques, An lost interest and ignored the rest of the lecture, trying to stay awake once the teacher dismissed her, not before confiscating the recorder she had on her. She would’ve just taken it back from her, on grounds that it was part of her history class assignment, but the old woman had destroyed it before her eyes and the chance of passing her history class had gone to zero…again. She heard her ‘partner’ snickering from her embarrassment and wanted to throw them a glare for bolting on her, instead of helping her with the class assignment. She just withstood the silent ridicule they threw at her with their body language and eyes.

Once the allotted time required for her punishment was over, she turned her head a tad to her ‘partner’ before turning her head forward and walked away from them. Now she had to find another thing to bring back for history class and it was within the next few days. She, instead, went to her ‘temp’ room and locked the door, walking to the bed to lay down on it. She stared at the ceiling, cracks and patches of cement covered it. She closed her eyes and sighed, thinking of what she could get if she went out again or if she was allowed out again in the next few days. She slapped the side of her neck in reflex when she felt a bite on the right side. She moved her hand to look if she hit the poor bastard but found nothing. These bites had been happening frequently but not frequently enough to warrant a cleaning done. It was usually once or twice a day or night when it happened.

Or so she thought as she felt a bite on her outer left thigh, back of her right knee, left back of her lower leg, and both of her feet. She was increasingly becoming heavy limbed and unable to move, like a paralyzing toxin had been injected into her blood stream, possibly a murk insects next meal or hive. Her vision blurred and distorted, not before she saw a faint image of a cat sized spider climb on top of her chest, then she was out. She couldn’t feel being wrapped gently in webbing and carried through her window to some unknown place.

An dreamed, dreamed of many things. Terrible and wonderful things. Love, betrayal, sacrifice, hope, sadness, and destruction. Images flew past her dream eyes faster than she could catch what they held. Then she woke to darkness, motes of bio-luminescent crystals and moss dotted the darkness but not enough to tell her what was going on. A skittering of legs on stone darted past her in several different directions. That’s when she heard heavy legs, gently gliding on stone and moss, towards her. The motes of light seemed to grow brighter, and a brilliance glowed from a singular mossy crystal a top of a near 4 story high spider. Its many eyes gazed at her with curiosity and delight. She echoed back the curiosity, but it was mixed with trepidation and confusion.

“How delightfully curious of you to be in my nest, young one. Tell me, what did you see in your dreams?”

“I…couldn’t catch the images, they flew by too fast. But I caught fleeting emotions from them…Love, betrayal, hope, sadness, sacrifice, and destruction…I don’t understand…”

“Hm…Its natural to not understand something you do not know. Tell me, what do I feel?”

“Curiosity, delight…waiting something…finality…understanding…love for children…?”

“Good, Good! I have many children that have been my eyes and ears to the outside world for many years. Nothing brings me more joy, heartache, and frustration then my own children. But tell me young one, how does spider silk feel?”

“Comfy and warm. Thank you…”

“Do not thank me, young one. Your previous state of dress was unbecoming, even if it allowed easy movement. Do you fear me?”

“I wouldn’t lie, you being as tall and big as you are, frightens me but you look cute.”

“Thank you, An. I’m gladdened you think I’m cute and would like to extend a leg out in thanks.”

An and the near 4 story tall spider spoke before the spider reached out a foreleg to her and she hesitantly but firmly gripped it to shake hands with it. A burning sensation began on her hand, rapidly echoing in pain all over her body, she grimaced and grit her teeth as she and the spider continued shaking ‘hands’. Her right hand was gripping the leg and felt weakened with the pain, and her left hand joined the right and the pain soared in her body, but she kept eye contact with the spider. A burrowing sensation began in her head until she blacked out, still staring at the arachnid.

“I seemed to have chosen quite well with this contractor. Fred, Amelia, dears, come take An to the den please, let Julia know that she has a new student to teach.”

The spider said, moving An to lay on her back and hands releasing her left foreleg. Two near horse sized spider came forward and wrapped An loosely in webbing and took her to the den, to learn all there was to know of Damhán Alla’s abilities and her duties. Said spider, the near 4 story one, chuckled delightfully to see the looks of the other titans if they knew she was awakened now and had a contractor. The child should start slow, either start with history or hands on with her poisons. Or combine the two, that would be delightfully…disastrous if she thought of it. Start with history first, web reading, things that deal with trying to view the future. Before trying to delve into her combative skills, which seemed she had a talent for poison. A skittering and chattering cat sized spiderling insistently tapped her right foreleg with its own foreleg, until she allowed it to climb on top of her head.

“Mother~…Lord Miysis and his contractor’s been spotted in District 4. They were talking with King Conrí’s contractor, a c class titan seemed to have attributes of a behemoth before it was defeated by Aiolos and lady Eláfi, but they nearly died from it. Lord Hrafn and his contractor are dealing with a c class in district 9. Momma, could it be coming true, your dream?”

“Aye, it seems the fools didn’t listen to my warnings before I went dormant. Seems several other A-S class titans are withering away in their dormancy. Darling, relay to the web readers that we need to find Kuroi Tsuki’s contractor. He would help come up with a cure… Billee and Baem need to be found contractors as well.”

Damhán Alla said to her little one before they scurried off her head to relay what she said to the web readers. So much time has passed and yet little had been done to shore up their defenses. Someone had found something that can overcome a B and C class titans’ mentality and introduce a behemoth’s destructive mentality and single mindedness. Combine it with a Titans abilities and endurance, it’s almost like a god walking, but with no intellect behind their actions. She sighed and settled down on her own massive web, it wouldn’t do to dwell on such things. She blinked eight eyes slowly as a thought entered her head and she looked to her web for answers, or anything to give her a direction. She touched her right hind leg to the back and a rush of information entered her head. A name, one that would be worthy for her new contractor. Moira Aisling; fate, destiny, dream, and vision. Such a lovely name. If she could smile, she would and be such a lovely one. For now, she had a contractor and will be taught everything about being the titan Damhán Alla’s contractor.

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