A note from Virlyce

Scheduled release, why you do this?

What are the prey doing? Arguing? Fighting each other? Why does one prey have a woodcutting tool? There aren’t any trees nearby. The prey in the middle stopped moving. It’s lying down. It looks like it’s about to be butchered. Maybe prey do eat prey after all? Or the prey are going to cut it to pieces, use it to distract the others while they achieve their goal. What exactly is their goal? I’m not sure anymore. All they’ve done so far is try to kill me. It’s odd. Prey run from others. Why would they come here? Unless, they want to turn into others?

There’s only two prey left. It’s not as dangerous to observe them. I’ll let them be, see what they do. If they leave, do I follow? They’re both wounded, their mobility hampered. If I follow them, I can flee if they chase. But the prey with the bow is the issue. Without my cover, I’ll die. I’m not as strong as the big prey either; I can’t carry around a dead prey as a shield. Can’t I use other things as a shield? If I carried the fence with me, it might work. But the fence is stuck in the ground, keeping the others back. There aren’t any large pieces of wood I can move easily. The beds inside the building? No. But do I need wood? I can copy the prey, can’t I? They crouched, using their bags to shield themselves. I have a bag too, filled with meat. It should be enough to block arrows.

If I follow the prey, I’ll discover where they live, find more prey to hunt. But they’ll notice me following them. Will they still retreat to their camp? And they might have black boxes, able to talk with the prey in their camp. They’ll be ready for me ahead of time. Preparation is key; if they fortify their camp, there’s no way I can kill them without others with me. And I can’t call others to come if I’m following the prey; they’ll attack on sight, get killed by the prey or kill the prey. Either option isn’t good. It’s a risk. If I follow the prey, I’ll find their camp, maybe discover where prey come from, unearth an infinite supply of food. Or I die. Is food more important than living? Without food, I can’t live. But food isn’t a problem for me right now. I have lots of meat in my bag. I have lots of meat being smoked. I have lots of meat to process. If the prey leave now, leaving their dead companions behind, that’s another three bodies. Three bodies can last me many days.

But before I can decide whether to follow the prey, the prey have to leave. They’re still in the same place. Arguing. The big one still has its hands on the dead prey, ready to block any arrows I shoot. The other prey is holding the woodcutting tool, pointing the metal end at the big one. They were coordinated when they first came, working together, not fleeing upon the first death. But now, they’ve fallen apart. As expected of prey. But what was keeping them from fighting before? Is it because of the death of the third prey? Too many things have happened; I can’t know the cause. Maybe the big one was unsatisfied with the smaller one. It failed to kill me many times. Is the big one upset about that? I kill others when they annoy me, get in my way. What’s to stop prey from doing the same? They already abandon each other to live. That’s the same thing as killing one another.

And they’re fighting. The small one attacked the big one with the woodcutting tool. But the big one blocked it with the dead body. It dropped the body, taking the metal stick from between its back and its bag. Two prey came with spears. Two came with bows. The big one came with a stick. The smaller prey is retreating, drawing distance from the big one. But the big one is limping after it. They’re both limping. And shouting. They’re too far to hear their words clearly. But I can hear the tones. One is terrified. The other is aggressive.

I’m being ignored. Do I shoot my last arrow? No, there’s no need. They’re weakening each other. Getting further away. Is this a trick? Are they pretending to kill each other to escape? Prey are sneaky. But I don’t think it’s a trick. The big one knocked the woodcutting tool out of the smaller one’s hand. It seems like the metal stick is superior. No, the big prey’s superior. It doesn’t matter which weapon either has; the big one wins. Why aren’t I as big as it? It’s not fair.

The smaller prey turned around. It’s running. Limping and running. But the big one isn’t chasing. It’s coming back, back to the two dead prey on the ground. Their bags, it’s going through them. What is it taking? Food? Weapons? It’s wary of me, watching while searching. It thinks I’m going to shoot it. But can it see behind itself? The smaller prey, it stopped, came back. It drew its bow, loaded its arrow. But it’s not pointed at me. It’s aiming for the big one. Why? Didn’t it already escape? It came back to shoot the big one. For what? I’m too far to hear the prey’s bow. But I saw it fire, its arrow hitting the big one’s leg. The big one turned around. The smaller one shot another arrow. It hit the big one’s torso. The big one grabbed a bag, held it out in front of itself. But it’s too big. The smaller prey shot another arrow, shooting past the bag, still hitting the big one’s body.

The smaller one’s walking back. It readied another arrow. The big one can’t move, both its legs injured. They’re shouting again. Did they come to an agreement? The smaller one lowered its bow. The big one threw the two bags over. The smaller one approached, slowly. It stopped in front of the bags, took them, walked backwards while wary, watching the big one. And me. Did it just want the things inside the bag? I’m curious now. What’s inside of them? They must be important, important enough for the prey to kill each other over. But now there’s just one prey. One injured prey that’s fleeing. The big one, it can’t stop me. One injured prey. I don’t need to hunt it. There’s plenty of food already. But I want to know, what’s in the bags?


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