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“Jen, what are you waiting for!?”

“You too, Joe? You want to leave James like that!?”

“He’s dead, Loo. Even if he’s not, he’s infected. We can’t save him.”

“Asshole! That’s my brother you’re talking about!”

Yes. If an other can think, I have to kill it. Internal strife is no good. I’ll have to share my brains too. I can’t do that. The others are dumb, leaving the best parts for me. If others were smart, I’d be dead, consumed by hunger. But I won’t be hungry now. I secured a prey; it’s enough. Unless I can preserve the remaining prey. Can I? How?

“Hey! Swing your bat! They’re getting in!”

Preserving them will be tough. The prey are still at their trap, killing the others. Removing the prey on top didn’t do anything. There are lots of others, more than what I originally brought. They heard the commotion and came. But numbers don’t matter. One other can enter at a time. There are three prey inside. Three? Weren’t there four? Where did it go? It doesn’t matter. Three is still greater than one. The other inside can’t win. Too bad the top prey didn’t escape inside. Maybe there was another way in.

What is that? More lights? The metal hunk is shining. The fourth prey is there, behind the glass, in front of the wheel. Can all metal hunks light up? Why is this the only one? Odd. The hunk is rumbling. What’s happening?

“Brace yourselves! We’re moving!”

Moving? The metal hunk is … moving. Is it alive? No. The prey is controlling it. If it hits me, I lose. It’s much heavier.

“What the hell? It dodged?”

The metal hunk hit three others near the fallen prey. They fell over. Are they dead? No, their heads are intact. Was it not dangerous? Odd. But they were the ones forced back, so I was right. There’s no way I would’ve won. The metal hunk is speeding up. The others are stumbling after it. The metal hunk hit an other stuck on the floating cans. I heard snapping sounds. It’s dead. Why did it die, but the first ones the metal hunk hit didn’t? There were three others the first time. Is it numbers again? Or it’s the speed. The metal hunk was moving slow when it hit the three. It was moving fast when it hit that one. It makes sense. Faster is harder, heavier. When I swing my metal rod hard, it moves fast. When I don’t swing hard, it moves slow. What’s more dangerous? Fast and light, or slow and heavy? I don’t know. But heavy and fast can kill others. The very first prey I ate didn’t control its metal hunk. I understand now. Some prey are smarter. Some are dumber.

The metal hunk got away. The four prey inside escaped. That leaves this one for all the others. There’re too many. What if they break its bones by overcrowding? I’ll kill some. I can test things too. Like the prey’s weapon. The wooden stick. Is it better than my metal rod? The stick is bigger, heavier. The prey inside used both hands to swing. Was it like this?

Swish.

I think so. The sound is louder than the metal rod. How many hits does it take to kill an other? One. Two. Two—that’s it. Maybe this other was weak. Then what about this one? One. Amazing. Just one swing. But it’s possible all others here are weak. I’ll use the rod and see. One. Two. Three. Four. So weak. The wooden stick is much better, heavier. But not heavier? The metal rod is heavier, but the stick is better. Why? Is it the shape? The metal rod is even, thin throughout. The stick is different, tapered. It’s much bigger at the end. Heavier at a certain point? Does that matter? There’s an easy way to test. I’ll hold the thick end of the stick and hit an other with the thin end.

Snap.

…It broke. The wooden stick snapped in half. And the other is still alive. A shame. Maybe the metal rod is better. I swung it a lot, but it hasn’t broken. Yet. Maybe there’s a metal stick shaped like the wooden stick. That would be best, sturdy and strong. I learned a lot tonight. Prey really are good to study, much better than others. But I can still learn from others. Like the marrow. The others showed me bones were good to eat. They’re still eating the prey, but the bones are intact. What about it’s skull? Has the brain been touched? I can’t see. The light isn’t shining up there.

The light. What is it? It’s trapped at the end of a metal cylinder. Like a miniature sun. it’s not heavy, easy to move around. Interesting. With this, I don’t have to crawl in the dark. I can control what I see.

Click.

It disappeared? Why?

Click.

It’s back. I see. This button. If I press it, the light disappears. If I press it again, the light reappears. But why add a way to make the light disappear? Isn’t it always useful to have light? Unless there are others. I found the prey by following the light. Can I guide others with this? Instead of sound or smell? They don’t react. I shine the light, but they don’t move. Maybe smell is stronger. They’re still eating. I’ll test later. But if I hold the light, I can’t use two hands to swing. I can put the light in my bag. The bag is useful. Oh, the bones. Have they rotted? They still smell good. The hunger approves. I grabbed a bone and put it into my mouth. Then I sucked. The marrow came out. Was it harder than before? I can’t remember. But it’s still good. How much time has passed? Enough for this last piece of brain to rot. That must be why no others tried to climb earlier. The brain was rotten. But the brain and marrow are from the same prey. Why hasn’t the marrow rotten? Interesting. Does marrow last longer than flesh? If true, that’s good. I can stave off the hunger for longer. Maybe finding God isn’t as hard as I thought.

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Virlyce

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