Twenty-eight days have passed since I last saw prey. The meat finished smoking, the last step of preservation done. I completely ate the first preserved prey. One lasts for four weeks. I still have three whole preserved prey. And a little bit left of another. That’s over twelve weeks before I have to find another prey. While waiting for the meat to preserve, I checked the surroundings. I didn’t find any more ropes growing on trees. But I found others. Lots of others. I brought them to the building, kept them away from the food-preservation room. There’s over four hundred of them. It was hard to get them all to stay. The inside of the building is full. No more can fit. The rest of the others are outside, in the space between the fence and the building. I blocked off the fence’s chokepoint with a rope.

The fence hasn’t broken down. The others don’t move, standing in place instead. As long as nothing attracts their attention, they don’t do anything. Mindless. Dumb. Their hunger has completely consumed their brains. They can’t even remember how to walk. From the door of the food-preservation room to the fence, there’s a path I created. The others don’t react when the door makes noise. They used to. But not anymore. It’s a bit baffling. They’re dumb. But they can learn. They know the sound of the door opening and closing won’t get them food. It’s worrying. What if I’m leading them by banging metal together? What if they stop following me halfway to my destination?

I tried to take advantage of this. But I couldn’t. I can’t teach the others anything, not without prey around. I gave an other my bow, tried to teach it. I can guide it to shoot an arrow. But it doesn’t fly far, no power behind it. I have to manipulate the other’s arms, bend its elbow, pull its hand back. Shooting the arrow myself is much easier. Teaching them to hunt prey without prey around is impossible. And if there’s prey around, they only react in one way: chasing after it. So I gave up. Others can learn. But they can’t be taught.

No prey has come since the last five. I set a fire, made sure there was a pillar of smoke up at all times. But it hasn’t attracted prey. There must not be anymore in the area. Or they chose not to approach after seeing the others gathered behind the fence. Either way, I have to leave. If prey won’t come to me, I’ll go to them. With four hundred others, there’s no group of prey I can’t hunt. I’ve also gotten better with my bow. I’ve practiced, finding the best posture for the highest accuracy. Now, I can hit a prey-sized target one out of two times instead of five. The target I practiced on was the prey dangling from the tree.

There’s only one problem with leaving to find prey. The food-preservation room, I can’t take it with me. The hooks. The shelf. The table. Those are hard to take. And if I hunt prey far away, I can’t bring them back to the room, not with the others trying to eat them. I’m too weak to carry prey too. I can bring the salt with me. I can create a fire to smoke the meat too. But the room is important. The ceiling has loops for the hooks to hang from. The room also prevents others from getting in. I can’t preserve food without a door. As long as the prey I hunt live in buildings, it should be fine. But the most important part is the hooks to hang meat from. Without them, I can’t smoke meat, only salt it.

But I have to leave to find prey. I’ve already packed a lot of items. The cloth inside the rooms of the building on top of the beds, I used them to bundle things—everything that wasn’t a part of the building: bowls, plates, utensils, canned food, jars, everything. Then I tied the bundles to the others that were weaker than the rest: the armless ones, the shorter ones, the ones with no lower mouth. They’re not good for hunting prey. But I can still make use of them. The bigger others, I gave them more clothes. I took clothes from the weaker ones, put them on the big ones. It makes sense to strengthen the most effective others at hunting prey.

I also used the woodcutting tool, cut down many trees. Mostly for wood to keep the fire burning. But also to make into spikes. The spikes were for the others to tie to their wrists. But I ran into a problem. There wasn’t a lot of rope left. I could’ve torn clothes into strips. But I let the big others wear them instead. I couldn’t tie the spikes to the others. But I figured out what glue was used for. It sticks things together after hardening. I glued the spikes to the others’ hands, solving the issue of no rope. I glued a spear to an other. But it didn’t know how to hold it. It was a waste of a spear.

I want to bring the fence with me. But I don’t know how. Instead, I broke the pointy parts off of the fence, glued them to the others stomachs. The pointy parts were like branches of a tree: long, multiple splits. Designed to impale others, prevent them from getting close. It works on prey too. Placing these parts on the others should make it hard for prey to approach. And if I tie all the others with the pointy parts together, that’s almost like a fence. A moving one that chases after prey. But still a fence. I haven’t tried tying them together though. I don’t think it’ll work. If one other falls down, it’ll drag the others with it. Then the only thing the pointy parts will impale is the ground. Getting them to stand back up would be impossible without untying them.

But it’s been a productive twenty-eight days. The meat’s been preserved. There’s a lot more others following me. I’m ready to find more prey.


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