Sim City 6 : Crossing bridges
24 October 2016
The next morning she woke up still feeling warm all over where the beasts were still lying. As she stirred, the first beast that had laid its head against her cheek the night before lifted its head and gazed at her. The large eyes looked soulful and sad from this close and she no longer felt the fear of the creatures anyway as they had clearly saved her life. She wondered what language she should speak and if it would make any sense to speak at all. She wanted to thank the creatures for having saved her but she had nothing to offer them as she had not taken any food with her when she had left Prime Creator’s location.
- You are welcome, said the beast in her head
- You talk my language, she said aloud surprised and one of the other beasts awoke and stretched itself. She waited for it too to speak in her head but apparently only the first beast could communicate that way.
- The others don’t speak human language, said the beast. I do but only in your head, my vocal chords are not evolved enough to make the sounds externally. I am Aiga, I was created by Prime Creator like you were before I decided to take to the woods where I found earlier versions of me. They did not have the same genetic modifications as me so were not able to walk on their hind legs initially and only communicated in snarls. When they saw me moving on two legs, they made me their leader and have been following me around even though they too can now move on two legs after I taught them how to do it.
- It really is a unique feature, she said, looking from the first beast to the others. To her, they all seemed alike and nothing other than this wordless communication differentiated them as far as she was concerned.
- I know, said Aiga. What is your name, did Prime Creator give you one`?
- She looked blankly at Aiga. She was not sure whether Prime Creator had given her a name. You can call me Omega, she said
- Welcome Omega, said Aiga. If you wish, you may join our tribe.
- Thank you but Prime Creator’s son said another so I think there are more people like me out here in the woods who might be able to help me
- They are there, beyond the bridges and huts but we don’t go there, said Aiga. We can accompany you to the end of the bridges. After that you will have to proceed alone.
As Omega awoke, so did all the beasts and she felt the slight morning chill as they moved off her body. She felt like wrapping one around her to fight the cold but she did not think it would be a wise thing to attempt. She could feel Aiga smiling next to her and knew that she was still communicating with her mentally. Aiga nudged her towards a small pit on the side of the first of the bridges’ pillars and she saw what seemed like a stack of clothes on some bones.
- We did not kill those, said Aiga in her head. They were already mortally wounded when they reached here and the others just left them and went.
- I did not think you would have killed them, said Omega.
She slowly stripped the clothes off the piles of bones and proceeded to wear all of the ragged clothes one over the other instantly warming herself again. It was not as good as the fur of the beasts but she would have to make do with this for now. She mentally signaled to Aiga her desire to bury the bones and Aiga and the other beasts helped her in pushing the earth over the bones until they were fully covered. Omega then took out a few stones from the river banks and put them on the makeshift tomb. She had watched once a priest praying in a funeral but could not remember the words. She looked at Aiga who voiced “Run with the wind” before all the beasts started howling together. Omega thought it really strange that they would howl now while they had not howled at her the night before, not even with the moon out shining brightly upon them.
- They are only howling to honour the burial performed, said Aiga
- Did they howl when they first found them, asked Omega
- No they didn’t. They ate them
- What do you mean they ate them?
- Well, the other beasts were hungry and the girls were already dead so they ate them. We don’t kill to eat humans but if they are already dead, we are allowed to eat them. That is how the prime code works.
- You mean you are coded not to eat living humans
- We are coded to protect humans and never to eat them alive as long as that code is not overridden by Prime Creator’s red code
- What is the red code?
- We can eat any human which threatens the life of Prime Creator or any of its offspring.
Omega looked at Aiga warily and Aiga signaled to her that she was aware of the stun gun but that did not count as an attack on Prime Creator’s life as the stun guns did not kill but only immobilized.
- Besides, said Aiga. I know you care for Prime Creator
- I don’t… started Omega before deciding that she need not justify herself to Aiga or to anyone else. She wondered whether she did care about Prime Creator. It was true that she had gotten used to his incursions into her world in stealth mode after the initial panic that had seized her but she had always felt like she was some pet and when she had discovered the code, she had been determined to flee
- To flee, yes but not to kill
- Well I would not have accomplished much if I did kill him. That would have only left the guards and for having roamed into their world unnoticed, I know that my fate would have been worse if I had killed Prime Creator and they had caught me.
- I see, voiced Aiga in her head and her tone sounded mocking. She clearly did not think that was the only reason Omega had let Prime Creator live.
- Can we continue over the bridges now, she said, slightly irritated
- Yes, but you must proceed carefully and walk behind us, said Aiga
- Why is that`?
- There are much earlier versions that are strong and that do not obey the prime code. They kill and eat humans and other beasts alike. They were released much earlier into the woods and have lost touch with any coding that had initially created them and would kill even Prime Creator if he were to venture out here.
- Oh, that is why nobody ventures out here!
- Yes, they are quite vicious and we too move in packs to make sure we can protect ourselves.
Aiga and the other beasts proceeded over the first bridge and Omega followed them closely. Aiga informed Omega mentally that the older beasts did not come out in the open during daytime but attacked mainly at night or when the woods were thickest and hid out the sun. She advised her to stay at the center of the pack when they would be in the woods again between the bridges. Omega obeyed religiously as she could hear the woods alive around them with the noise of twigs and even larger pieces of wood breaking. She shuddered imagining what size they might be as Aiga had given her a mental image of a giant beast when she had talked about them.
- We are far more numerous and almost as strong despite the fact they are bigger in size, said Aiga. Prime Creator stopped making them after the fifth or sixth unsuccessful trial and so they do not attack us. All in all, there must be only four left as I remember we found one already dead.
- Did the others eat that one too, she asked
- We don’t eat each other, not even earlier versions of us, said Aiga
Omega bowed her head and said nothing. She wondered whether she would eat another human being if she were to feel hungry and not have anything else. Aiga looked at her and said quietly that she was sure she would. Omega felt like saying she would not but she sincerely did not know if she would or not if she were that hungry so she just kept quiet and followed the beasts. Whenever they had finished crossing a bridge, the beasts spread out around her and formed a circle while crossing the patches of wood between the bridges. Omega walked on, hurrying to keep their pace and also aware that the minutes in the daytime were precious and needed to be fully utilized to cross the bridges. When they reached the seventh bridge, Aiga signaled that this was the last and she would have to continue alone because the other versions like her might attempt to destroy them if they went further. Aiga also warned her to be mindful of how she dealt with the other versions as they were not as evolved as she was.
There was a small patch between the last bridge and what seemed like a criss cross of logs creating a high fence similar to the one at Prime Creator’s location. She wondered whether the earlier versions of the beasts would come out here in the open. She started running towards the fence and heard the pounding of immense paws break into a race towards her as she picked up speed and leapt across the fence. One of the larger beasts had attempted to catch her in mid-air but only ended up hurling itself against the fence as it had anticipated wrongly her jump. She felt the fence behind her quiver with the shock of the beast’s body hurled against it. The beast yelped and seemed to rise stunned on the other side but she had no time to turn around and try to see it through the tightly knit hedge at the bottom. In front of her, there was what she would have otherwise coined as a welcome committee except that they did not sound too welcoming. It was a group of ladies who all looked almost identical to her except that there was something strange about their features.
She moved towards them, hand extended but the first of her copies stopped her abruptly by grunting savagely and shoving a large piece of wood that looked like half a small tree trunk at her stomach, knocking her down and out of breath
Don’t say you know – Bvdub
Strength – Bvdub
The Art of Dying Alone – Bvdub