All I know is cold.
Not warm enough to do what I need to.
What do I need to?
I stretch my awareness and find something shockin, I am an egg. I'm not coo cold, I can still make to with this, but I am defenseless and on a timer.
I know nothing of what surrounds me but cold and death so I must hatch, eat and grow. I need to.
The first thing I do is set up the biological circuits to keep myself thinking, to produce heat, so the rest of me can develop. Then its a matter of jaws, I know I must eat my way out of my prison. They'll be my only offence and defence as a grub so they i need them built well.
With my adjenda set and static settling in at the edge of my senses I rest back. Only able to feel a passing vuriosity about the various progress bars in my vision.
I try to.
My actions replayed keep me from sleeping a dreamless sleep. This fog tells me what I am !and my mame; abomination egg, clutch member 47 of 458, Echo of- It cuts off.
I sigh at the rest of the information, dismissing it all, too tired to care even as a part of me nags to consume and digest it all. I'll grow into that later, for now sleep.
When I wake I am not sure, though its colder around me, there is a choice and as I raise I start looking threw the records. What finished, when, what I lost, how, why. And finally, the brick I left, class and patron selection.
The gods available are mostly specialized and elemental focused, which to choose will entirely depend on my enviroment, though fire is tempting.
Class is more complicated, its my abilities and growth potential. Fighter is the weakest and narrowest, but can tie into every other combat class. There are craftimg classes and shaper classes, mainly focued on building things.
Some religious and god based classes in case I wanted to turn into an elemental husk. Lots of mining and mixing types of things, largely under planet cracker and refiner designations, but there's necromancers in there too.
Only one breeding class and that's tied to several other classes as requirements.
In the same tree as the Queen though is one that intrests me, Survivalist. Large sacrifices to damage potential and refineing for increased perception all around and all the utility.
Need something to eat, vomit my gut biome all over it and come back later, need it dead first, chomp > vomit > flee. I'd understand any material based on how it feels and can craft basic things with it. Seismic sensing comes with a basic understanding of structure and strength and synergies with building ability. Building primarily being chew rocks and vomit concrete, or silk. My blood is viscous and is what makes the silk and concrete, it seals wounds faster here and provides armor in my exposed or wounded flesh.
My development wont continue without a choice in at least class so I ponder my options and set the next list of things to build before going under.
-Creature registered: Godless Abomination Survivalist-
And I'm back to watching bars and replaying my waking minutes to get to sleep. So I wiggle, not much yet but my body is full of goop thats being digested by my cells to fuel my growth. Not running low on it yet but I'm about half way in and only just have internal organs.
My muscles are mostly rings that are tilted to intersect with eachother, making me look like a fat fishnet stocking. If it were made of and filled with the thickest noodles to ever smite the memory of Italy.
How do i remember Italy? I dont even think it exists in this world.
I only get and answer in a slight dream in my next sleep, of living, dieing living again and becoming strong, only to die in a cold damp cave. But this time surrounded by friends.
Oh well, on to matters more prevalent, like how I can see myself. If I concentrate I can look at various parts and pieces but not outside. Is this an audit function?
I ponder and scheme till I pass out with a vague electrical pop.
That one was new, but I managed to organize my internals, going from thick to long with all the essentials up where my mouth is. The electrical sound is worrying as is the new space I find myself in.
Its like a clock and I'm sitting woth this thing on my lap, dripping slime lichen and something sticky. I have hands, legs and a body with a spine, a human I think, but I'm not taking my hands off the thing to check my nose and ears. There's a man in a coat there, toolbelt on his cargo pants with all manners of wrenches sockets and smaller implements. He chuckles at me and pats my head.
I wake up with "there there" echoing in my consciousness, almost soothingly. I think i blew a fuse of some sort. But on to day(?) Four.
Air is thicker, the egg is starting to sag, compers coming in with a bright caution yellow pattern, I have a cluster of occular nodes just to prime for eyes later and my body has a skin to hold the organs in. I feel hung over and wriggle to the walls of my cage, trying to suck and pull, what I get is disgusting.
It feels like the scrambled mixed up fluids of my own home, water, yoke, oil, mucus and some substrate for moss. It tastes like chalk, salty, grainy mucusy chalk. AND its still watered down with pond scum. If I don't leave soon it may well get very hot.
Using a few skills I find I can sanitize and make use of the stuff so i set to making myself a hammock in my egg.
Then pass out.
Most of the next two times I awake is trying to pull myself airborne and make sure my body is breathing threw the silk supports. When the project is done I mostly exhale into my egg, building pressure the more I breathe, with my outside skin done the pressure helps quickset my internals.
I feel almost smug as I briefly have an out of body experience while the day scrools back and forth.
I'm not sure the out of body was real or not as i wake up with a bad feeling, I can't breathe.
Half done and not ready for action, I hope I can find food, I can't wait for lychen to both grow a colony in my gut and that colony grow on whatever's around me. At least I can stay awake most of the day, I only need to rest while I'm exhausted.
My jaws are impressive I think, my skin is extra soft and gooy because of them, though they don't mesh together much. They close in from the sides and pinch together with their curve making the points overlap so the flat edges sheer at what the teeth pierce.
With the dizzyness setting in the time has arrived. I wiggle my way to the end of my leathery walled egg and opened my jaw, tips digging on the only empty ish part I can sense and flexing closed.
My tongue tastes it, it's milky and warm, if it weren't so tough I would eat it all. Beyond is cold and stinks of death, but the air flows over me with the oxigen I need as the hissing escape of air agitates the outside. Its almost harder to breathe but I move forward, jaws open as my tongue prods to find anything edible.
I find silk threads, firm mucusy threads, other eggs. Other, cold eggs. Siblings who didn't...
I nip the one beneath me, snipping a small hole in the top and starting to suck. My tongue in suckling down the stringy swirl of egg, others shift and collapse nearby as I assess my assets.
I am blind. No sight at all, as with any larvae.
Sound is less simple, my flesh is squishy and sensitive to vibrations. Vibrations in the air are hard to make sence of, most I can do is frequency groupings but the vibrations in the ground are far more clear.
I have lungs, more like a sub skin fat foam but it smells and breathes as I wiggle, being so squishy means I am stretchy so eating doesn't restrict my breathing much. Still I have to fill up, so my back segments have no breathing stuff and are extra stretchy so I can nearly triple my length.
The pile is shifting a little bit and it smells like fungus and bacteria hasn't quite set in yet. I think im alone but its so squishy I can't tell.
Once I'm full I move on, leaving the egg to leak as I nuzzle my way up threw new cracks, upward. So many eggs. So cold.
The further I go the fresher the air until i reach an empty space. The air is moist and moves, rising. It's cold and damp.
I don't remember the flashback, only that it happened and I passed out.
Maybe I overestimated my endurance, wont stop me exploring the pile, theres a fissure I imerged from, feels like the peak. One crack makes two directions so I work my way down the shallower side. Another crack so I go left, then it cirves right and down more, the whole way I'm eating up silk and leaving a trail of it.
By the time I reach the ground I curl back around and head into the pile, making a small basket for myself almost unconsciously before im out again.
The mental image is disturbing. Like a bunch of riverstones all dumped into a mud pit and swirled around till they adhered, then plopped down and left to dry and settle. Its caved in slightly and the base has a few pretty vertical cracks I came across, all stopping at a rim of sorts that arks up to intersect with more triangular cracks that eventually come to the culvera or crater thing at the very top.
Its a structural nightmare, no airflow, water management, no passageways. Like spmeone just shoveled the egg stock from the queen with not a second thought. The only worse thing is if someone knew how to specifically fuck it up for us and they couldn't make too many improvements without active measures like rolling a boulder into the pile every once in a while.
When I wake first thing is making a skirt around the base and starting to organize internal spaces for airflow at least. For now im going to have momories of mowing a lawn and swinging a sword.
Two different lives.
I wake up deeling dry and sore, I got one hell of a workout and its catching up to me, but things need done. I go into my menu space and see I'm a hatchling, was since I started moving in my egg, I put development on hold and go all in on recovery.
Probing a circuit around my egg pile then around that with a thicker line of silk I eat around the outer band of the clutch, laying the dead ones outside my set perimiter as i lay layer after layer of silk moving back and forth between the cracks and my perimeter. The soft sacks of my once siblings arranged by their deadness, the most alive surrounded by the cold dead.
It takes a few cycles of droning on like that to find that I work while im asleep, meaning I dont rest, meaning I have two layers tall all around by the time I decide to rest. Pulling something could mean a hemorrhage and that would lead to all kinds of crap that would hurt my performance.
The hive needs me, some time to rest and tune up wouldn't hurt too bad. One dead egg gets taken as I get back to my hammock. The map comes up as I slowly suckle the undeveloped slurry of my sibling into my back half. Looking over it is like some sort of strange sandcastle made of eggs, the cracked cone at the center of five pedals makeing an even shape, the pedals adhering to a strict circular perimiter with an inner ring with by now a one layer tall ramp helping up onto the cone. The plan is to have some false entrances so anyone reaching straight in hits a dead end.
I feel bloated as i scheme on the inner sections I'll work on once the cone is a bit more gone. Turning back to my senses I find my body working on the eggshell, noting my chomper isn't sore I turn in for the night, closimg the arches on the third layer and reinforing the silk girdle on the schedule for tomorrow.
I dream. A car crash, a camp fire. I wake.
Eggs make a two thick ring ontop of the existing features of my weird igglue, compulsory bleeding making the shick film that stiffens and grows tight to support and stabilise the siblings who showed no signs of life. Those who did are on the second layer, away from the entrance halls and along the lateral passageways before the ramps, or on the third layer adjacent to the ramps. The layers are working inward rapidly as the cone looks to dwindle slowly, making a squat patty with regular holes around the outside and an internal wall holding a small pool of lichen at the center. The work is slower now, the eggs on the bottom can breathe is they need to and the second ring goes slower as the indernal walls take shape.
While my body is mostly lung and marrow I am running low on blood so most of what I'm doing is clearing floorspace and demoing layouts. Having eaten a third egg and this time not even feeling bloated from it I start work on the forth layer and propper internal spaces.
Sleep, hospital, flaggons of ale. Awake.
One of the lively eggs wiggled as I went past, I wormed my way back to poke it but it was still. I wander if that was my sister's death throws or her jumpstarting sonething. She stayed in either way and I went back to work, the entrences from the bottom layer lead inward to a pretty evenly spaced five way intersection, two dead ends forward but to either side a single ramp meeting with one of the others and turning inward to a three way intersection. With the floor layer done to the cone again the walls are close to half its hight, the inner layer of the second floor earninng a little more contemplation from me as I work a layer of silk reinforcement over everything.
The bar for my health hovering around the mid point as I contemplate and consume a fourth dead sibling. I decide to switch some flips back to development before feeling the warbling pitches and harmonies of speech.
I pause, utterly unable to parce the meaning as I take my food amd head down to the floor to feel their footsteps. Another voice interrupts the first with a short chirp with lots of clackles and pops, much lower and to a human's ear alot gruffter. Theres a pause as they both come close, taking a winding path as the little one starts speaking again.
Some long song as they walk around spots a little wider and a little smaller then my mound, other clutches. That makes me mad as I chew the case from one of my should have been siblings. The heavy one makes his noises again and makes the little one shut up, only for a second as they divert their cource and come straight for my mound.
You had better not you basterds.
The gruff one speaks again as they take slow steps around my castle, the little one answeres much faster, the heavy one in thick hide boots with metal tips to the heel and toe, the smaller one in lether dress shoes, the pointy prissy kind. I can tell they're looking in by the way their speech echos around in my tunnels. I let go of my meal and get ready to spring at the little one, bunching up to fill one of my tunnels and setting my jaw open. His voice takes a higher harmony as he speaks into me hole and I make a noise back, my internal wind pipes only able to make a discordant gurgle.
The larger one makes a comment thet had the light one turn and step inftont of my cave, his words fast as he apperently defends his practices. I disagree on that front.
Springing forward i skip off the ground and sail into his boot face first, catching a bit of cloak as my compers close on the lether shin covering. I try and coil my tail around his leg as in my atherial command center I smack the borough button with a fury. The cloak blocks my grapple attempt as the space is awash with the discordant screeching of a scaired little man as i feel something crack under my maw. My pincers glowing in my vision with the mana of my being pumped into them to the point of overheating.
Then I'm crushed, gripped tight by a strong hand as wide across as I am thick. The broad digits digging deep into my collar or protective breathing flesh and pressing on the net of muscle beneath as I writhe. Taking every moment I have left to take something from the foul tasting basterd as I'm ripped away.
I screech in rage and chomp at the air, trying to jostle free of the grip. The small one speaks again and it sounds so much smaller. The big one speaks, I feel better threw his own arm what he says,
"Then you've already failed them"
A confusing monent of inertia later and I realize I'm flying threw the air, impacting not long after. I'm disoriented, weak and in pain but as I clatter to the ground I hear a limp in the smaller one.