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The conflict’s over. The prey aren’t fighting anymore. I’m not sure who won: the new prey or the old prey. I find a building to hide in, one of the one’s I hadn’t set on fire. After the fight, the prey would use those buildings again since they were precious enough to save. I’d be bad if I got caught. But I’m not sure what to do now. This room is nice. There’s no window. There’s one door. It’s a chokepoint. And the room is small enough that even if the prey force me back, only two or three more can come in. But they won’t have room to maneuver. There’s clothes hanging from two poles, lining the side of the room. It seems to be a storage unit. If prey do come, there’ll probably only be one. The building was a small one in the first place.

For now, I wait. I have food. Rushing into the prey now, it’s a bad idea. They’ve just fought. Their tensions are high, expecting more things to come try and kill them. It’s better to wait until a prey arrives. When it feels safe, unguarded. At the time it feels the safest, I’ll ambush it. Unlike me, prey don’t have others to order around. I can make sure a building is safe by sending the others through. Prey can’t do that. They have to search buildings by themselves. Would that mean prey are always guarded? I’m not sure. But even if a prey is on guard, even if there’s more than one, with this chokepoint, I have a fair chance of survival. Until the prey burn the building down to force me out.

But until that happens, I’ll wait here. There’s nowhere else to go. Without distractions, the prey will notice me right away if I go outside. Others can tell me apart from prey despite how I look. Prey should be able to do the same. I think. There were times when prey tried to talk to me like I was a prey. Maybe, I’ll kill a prey, switch to what it’s wearing, then sneak out. But once a prey tries to talk to me, I’ll be exposed. This is tough. I don’t like the situation I’m in. Why is surviving so hard? Because prey are trying their hardest to survive too.

But still, waiting like this without being able to set traps. It feels like I’m wasting time. But what can I do? The only things inside this room are the clothes hanging from the poles. How are they hanging? With these triangular shaped things with hooks on them. It seems unnatural, not something that’d grow on trees like a rope. Were these specially made to hang clothes? Prey create the strangest things. I wonder how they’re made. If I can create things with weird shapes, I can prepare better for all situations. Couldn’t I create a key to start the motorcycle? Odd. How does a motorcycle know if a key works on it or not? The two keys I had both looked the same. But they only worked on one motorcycle.

What if I wore more clothes? This armored cloth is thicker than most. But isn’t it thicker by adding more material? If I wear more clothes, weapons should work less well on me. I don’t see a disadvantage. Why don’t prey wear all the clothes they can? No, it’s simple. The armored clothes work well enough against others. The others already can’t bite through, why would they need to wear more? But it’s different for me. I’m not fighting others. I’m hunting prey. They have knives, spears, metal sticks. I haven’t seen a metal stick in a while. I wonder why. There aren’t many clothes to protect my head, my only vital part. But the clothes can protect my limbs, prevent them from getting hurt. I’m lucky the injury to my shoulder wasn’t bad. Moving my arm isn’t an issue.

I pulled on a shirt. It slipped off. But the triangular thing holding it swung up, hit the side of the wall, making a sound. That’s no good. I hope a prey didn’t hear that. I have to be as quiet as possible to prevent alerting them. I’ll leave the clothes alone, sit here. Wait. No. I should stand, be prepared to attack at any moment. I’ll ready my bow. Bows aren’t useful when the prey are right in front of me. But that’s only because the preparation takes so long. If I’m already prepared, can’t I fire an arrow at the prey the instant it opens the door? If it doesn’t die, I’ll drop the bow, switch to my spear if there’s more than one prey, switch to my knife if there’s only one. I’ll turn off the light too. The cylinder of light was useful to explore the room. But it’s better for me to be in the dark. The prey won’t see me, won’t be ready to dodge an arrow coming at it. I’ll wait with my arrow ready. Wait for a prey to come.

I don’t know how much time passed. Not enough time for me to get hungry. I had eaten after entering the little room. But waiting paid off; prey arrived. The door opened. And I released my arrow. It struck its head. The prey wasn’t wearing a dome. It wasn’t wearing armored clothes either. And it was alone. The prey must’ve been one of those kept in captivity, meant to be eaten at a later time. But since so many prey died during the conflict with the others, the prey must’ve been let free to fill in the numbers. There’s safety in numbers; prey understand that. Thanks to that, the prey wasn’t armored, died in one hit. But also because of that, there wasn’t anything to take from it. I shouldn’t have shot its head. Maybe I could’ve turned it into an other, had it help me instead. But since its head is damaged, all I can do now is eat it. A shame.

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Virlyce

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