Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

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Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Mon 18 Nov - 14:07

One week later...

Her dominion over the sea was nearing its end. Her appetite was great, her meals were not. The rotting corpses left in the ocean's sun were not going to keep her alive much longer. Her webs gave her insects, but it they were so small and she was so big that eating them was now very tedious and unrewarding in regards to nourishment. Her "not enemy" has proven to be inedible too. He was mostly empty inside, a bit of mean, mostly bones, but no only one organ. And all of it, dry and dead beyond even her desire to eat. Curiously, he also refused to die, even open like this. He's been dead for days until he suddenly returned to life. Somehow he was barely affected by his physical state.

The days were peaceful, like they used to. Her "not enemy" stopped yelling at her in anger as the hours following his resurrection went by and now she was unsure if he even was still alive or if he had died again. All she knew was that he hadn't moved or spoken in two entire days.

At the end of the eighth day, as night was settling in, she noticed a star on the ocean instead of the sky. No, not a star. It was another boat, with a light on it. And it was getting closer.


Last edited by Admin on Fri 27 Dec - 12:07; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Mon 18 Nov - 19:14

She crawled among the many webs she had woven in the boat. She crept upwards, where she could see the most from a distance. This might mean more humans. But the boat seemed to move. This meant that she could perhaps simply crawl inside the boat and stay inside it until it came back onto the forest. In the meantime, she would wait and observe. If the boat came too close, she would hide away from the light and wait for the opportune moment. But no killing for now.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Tue 19 Nov - 16:17

The boat came closer slowly, it was much smaller than hers. Only possessed of one deck. She could see its small mast with big white cloth flapping in the wind, and at the very top, the biggest thing she had ever seen. It was a spider like her, it looked like the jumper type but it was two and a half times her size. It struggled to keep balance without turning the ship around under her massive weight. On the boat itself, there was one human, minding the ship and slowing it down as it approached to avoid sinking both ships. There was also two other spiders, about twice her size. Orb-Weavers, by their looks. One was fairly standard as far as spiders went, the other was an entirely new creature. It's lower body was normal, but possessed of only four limbs, the thorax, however, became partly human female from the waist up. It had four arms, two were spiky and looked truly savage, two were human-shaped and able to carry the claw-tools of mankind.

As she had planned, she went to hide in her immense boat while the three unknown spiders climbed onboard. They remained on the lower deck, near the stairs with her "not enemy" and the remains of the corpse that had died before being even attacked. They did not care in the least about what they saw as the pointless banter of a webbed and dying man, or the dead rotting bodies nearby. They just stood there, motionless.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Tue 19 Nov - 16:45

She also did. If they still would not for a long while, she would finally move to get a view of what was going on. What else was there to do, instead moving slowly and being cautious? They might be there to eat her, just as she had been craving spiders as well of late.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Thu 28 Nov - 14:30

This stalemate endured for a long time. The man on the boat seemed distraught, but knew better than to argue. He was not as endowed with patience as the four spiders now fighting a savage intellectual war simply by staying in position motionless. But spider were nothing if not meticulous and careful.

So much so that when, half an hour later they did begin to move, it was slowly. Step by step. Taking full advantage of their size and their senses. These included not only the ability to sense vibration but for some of them, the ability to see in all directions at once. So favored and well organized, the three spiders could not fail. When they knew where she was, and struck, she did not stand a chance. It was over minutes before it even started. She simply didn't know it until it happened.

At first, she felt like they were far away. Not a threat, then all of a sudden, all of her instincts kicked in that they were everywhere all around her. They moved fast and they knew exactly how to confuse her precisely the way they needed to so that she could not prevent being circled. Once that was done, she knew she was under attack, she was being threatened by a very potent force. They used tactics that would force her to defend here, completely exposing herself to another.

Something was wrong, however, for every move she made, they were ready for it. They could have, should have, killed her, every time she only received one, blindingly fast and accurate hit. Ones that would not kill, that would not even wound, just exhaust her. She moved to dodge an attack than never came and was hit from somewhere else, she pre-empted and struck to kill only to struck herself from behind and missing her mark by a large margin. Six extremely calculated moves later, she lost consciousness.

When she awoke again, she was incapable of moving. Webbing all around her kept her firmly in place. They were no longer on water. She was being dragged in the dirt and mud of a new jungle. Similar to hers, but, with different smells. This lasted for hours, until she was finally brought to a place with strange yellow three that were wider than they were tall and had no branches or leaves. They had cavities that could easily hide her entire self a hundred times.

And there were spiders. Dozens of spiders the size of her three captors. Of all shapes and sizes. They all witnessed her arrival with zeal. When she was free, she was at the foot of the largest web she had ever seen by several times. It was filled with a hundred spiders of a normal size. A hundred tasty spiders.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Thu 28 Nov - 16:00

She could not do a thing, and had thought herself dead before long. But death did not come quickly, or even at all.

When she was liberated, it was into a feast. She was already hungry, and gad not eaten spiders for very long. This was natural, and she could not stop it. Nothing mattered now, life or death: she was starving.

She lunged towards the arachnids, and feasted.

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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Sat 30 Nov - 16:48

One Spider, two spiders,.
And thus began her feast.
Five spiders, ten spiders.
A hundred more at least.

She ate the nearest and the boldest. Those that had no fear. As her size grew her hunger did not cease. Her prey began to flee as news of the danger presented spread, but others where there prevent escape. It took her hours during which she did not pause. Could not pause. It came as a realization as she drank a partly digested spider. This now felt right. More than that, she felt... connected somehow, to an unknowable thing that wanted her to do this. This was her duty.

When she was done, only a few dozen spiders remained in the web. She herself had grown to be of a similar height as the others that had brought her here. They were her ... sisters. Another thing she knew through the connection with the thing that commanded. Sleep now, my daughter. Tomorrow you will be new. Tomorrow, you will be Ananasi.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Sat 30 Nov - 17:17

It seemed only natural to follow the voice's command. The voice was soothing, and Komaci trusted this voice with her life, something she realized she had always done without realizing it. She crawled upon the web, and weaved it a bit more to her liking, before she would go to sleep, without question.

No hesitation. This had always been her. Today, it meant something else, but it was still her.


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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Mon 2 Dec - 19:40

Slumber came easy. Her entire being wanted, needed even, to shut down so that her metamorphosis could be completed properly. The changes were not obvious. To the casual observer, she was still a giant four foot tall spider. Her body did not change in any way, but her soul, her very being dissolved and reconstituted itself into something else. Something that was unnatural, yet in perfect balance with the Telurian itself.

When she woke up, she felt it immediately. She did not quite know all the ways in which she was different, she did not know all that she could do. She did instinctively know that her form was no longer limited. But, most importantly, she knew she was now Ananasi.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Mon 2 Dec - 19:54

As soon as she awoke, she walked around. What she felt was oddly normal. It felt right, and it things were as they were supposed to. The hunger was different now, but still there.

And she knew she had a purpose. She understood it not, and knew she needed guidance. So she went to find the others. Those of her own, that had brought her here.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Mon 9 Dec - 18:56

And they were many. Never since her birth had she been as surrounded. There were several spiders of normal size, they were lucky that she no longer hungered for those. Vibrations let her know where the bigger spiders, her sisters, were. A group was gathered amongst huge hollow rocks. As she approached, the voice came, one last time.

You are now on holy grounds, young one. Nearby are the lands that saw the birth of your kind. Know that these before you are not rocks or mountains, they are in fact one construction, a temple erected thousands of years ago in my name. You will come to understand my words and recognize the structure in time. For now understand this: Fail to respect this temple, and you will die.

Before you stands nine instructors. You will recognize them instinctively via their markings. Theirs will inspire you the most respect. They will teach you to change. They will teach you my laws. But that comes later. For now, understand this: They speak with my voice. Disobey, and you will die.

The others have been newly transformed like you. They will learn, like you. There will be rules on how to treat them. For now, understand this: You are allowed to fight your sisters, but not to kill. Attack with the intent to kill, and you will die.

This is the last time I speak to you until we meet in the heart of Estolandia. Remember my words, for my first task to you is this: Survive long enough to meet me. Do NOT fail me.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Tue 10 Dec - 21:15

She had no idea how to communicate with the others, but she moved towards them, still in her Pythus form, since she knew nothing else. It was what seemed most natural to her at the moment. She tried to find the ones with the markings, as they were wise in the ways of the Ananasi and would train her in doing whatever was required of her. She moved slowly, without a want for attracting attention.

She knew not, instinctively, what had been meant by fighting without killing. Perhaps a visual example would be enough for her to understand, but at the moment, she simply didn't risk even an aggressive stance. Stealthily and quietly, she searched for mentors and answers.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Fri 13 Dec - 20:48

She did not know the meaning of "nine", but she quickly noticed those that stood out. The markings of eveyone was visible to her, clear as day. The voice had told her she would recognize those she needed to respect instinctively and she did. Their markings were far more elaborate and gave their bearers a unexplainable sort of appeal. It was pleasing simply to see them. It took her no time to realize the three spiders who had attacked her and dragged her here were present. Their markings identified them as amongst those she need to obey.

The group she had rejoined was diverse. Several had the same general shape she did, that of a giant spider. A few had the weak shape of the creatures she had so easily killed on the boat. Others had a shape that was an odd cross between the two, this form she had seen before when she had been attacked by the three spiders. Other were transforming from one shape to the next regularly.

Almost everyone was calm and composed. Except those who wore the skin of the giant spiders and also had simple markings. Those jumped and became defensive quickly whenever something moved near them. One tall Tarentula tried to attack a weak-shaped sister that had been too curious, but always came shy of actually landing a hit and then paced back and forth unable to decide on a course of action. Other huge spiders were drumming on the ground madly, using the limited communications abilities that spiders had to desperately broadcast to everyone that they were not hostile. Normally, this technique is used by a spider who comes into another one's web to mate or to build a colony. It meant "Do not eat me, I won't eat you". Here, it was likely the best they could think of to respect the wishes of the voice.

One of the instructors came up to her as she approached. He was male, and not nearly as imposing as she was, but the markings he bore clearly stated that taking him on was a tremendously bad idea. He bore the shape that was between the spider and the weak creatures but morphed into the giant spider form as he walked. When they were close enough. He began to drum on the ground as well, letting her know that he did not mean to eat her. Unfortunately, that was the full extent of spider communication. The task of understanding each other would be daunting.

But the Ananasi were known as The Patient Ones after all.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Wed 18 Dec - 10:15

Spiders weren't known for their communication skills. They were crafters, and apex hunters. Spiders weren't made for living in communities, nor relating to each other like this.

Komaci knew, however, that this was her place, even though she didn't understand how.

When she approached the male who did the dance of "not eating", Komaci did the same, to make sure no one would get eaten today. It seemed against the rules to die for the moment.

She stared at the instructor before her, completely immobile. She did not know the concept of asking, but she was -expecting- something, even though she wasn't sure what. She could see the others around, uttering sounds with their facial muscles, and some of them fought. Fighting, she knew. In fact, this is what she knew best. But it didn't seem like the best of moments for it just yet, and somehow she knew that her talents would be put to good use soon enough.

For now, she stared at her instructor, in curiosity and patience. She wanted something to happen, and she had the initiative to hope -and especially wait- for it, but all this was alien and curious to her. This newfound gift of intelligence would help her now: she would learn.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Sun 22 Dec - 11:46

Her instructor stared into her many eyes, as thought looking for something in them. When he seemed satisfied, he began to switch shapes. From the huge Pithus shape they were both wearing, to the recently discovered Half-Spider-Half-Human shape, the one known as Lilian.

When he suceeded, he returned to Pithus. And back to Lillian again. Then, he remained in that shape and remained motionless before the Komaci.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Mon 23 Dec - 1:33

She looked at him and guessed these were the steps to a new dance she was meant to learn. So she tried to follow and therefore imitate her mentor, by changing shapes. Oddly, the notion did not appear absurd to her and somehow she knew about it, as if the feeling was familiar.

So she concentrated and moved her anatomy, using already extensive and instinctive knowledge of bodily hydraulic control to achieve the goal.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Mon 23 Dec - 11:44

The process turned out to be difficult at first. While a good deal of the effort was instinctual, it was not a physical effort as much as a spiritual one. She had to give herself to the new form, something she did without fault, but trying to do it via movement of the body rather than a state of mind resulted only in a partial success and she quickly "fell back" into the Pithus form midway through the transformation. But now it was confirmed. She was able to do this. She only needed to work out the precise detail and perfect the technique.

On her second attempt, she successfully switched to the Lillian form. And suddenly, the entire universe gained a completely new layer. Sounds. For the first time in the several weeks she'd been alive, she could hear.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Mon 23 Dec - 17:51

What she was, and she didn't even know it yet, was a personification of the Wyrm, and a Warrior amongst them. What she become was straight out of a horror movie, and her bodily protrusions and new weapons made her metaphysical alignment clear. She looked like this:



Except her head. Since she had no notion of "beauty" or "humanity", it was irrelevant for her to have hair or any other human feature in this form. As she tried to change in a mix of spider and this odd animal, the lack of human consideration might have had an influence on the final result of her shapeshifting.



But this made a lot of things possible. Speech (which she hadn't experimented yet) and hearing, which she was, for the first time right at this very moment. She looked left and right, and seemed confused, although curious to understand what this meant. And after a while, she did.

The vibrations. These were the vibrations the animals made when they cried, with so much more detail. This is how they could alert each other from her presence. She could hear that now. She could even distinguish every single one of the creatures one from another with this newfound sense. This came as extremely good news to her.  This was meant to make her an even better predator, as this form still gave her normal vibration signals, although a bit diluted. She might need to learn how to make the best out of these combined new senses along with her old.

The Komaci seemed pleased with the awesome discovery of hearing. If the next parts of her learning would still be going in the same direction, the day would be good indeed.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Tue 24 Dec - 12:13

The teacher stared at her Lilian form for a moment. But before she could figure out what it meant, he moved on. The next request, or lesson, as it may be, made no sense. Her teacher shifted from the powerful Lillian form to the weak, fragile and ridiculous form of the creatures she so easily dispatched on the boat. The homid form.

As he had before, to make it clear she should do the same, he shifted back to Lilian and once again to homid. Then waited expectantly.


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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Tue 24 Dec - 19:33

Things were already odd at it was, and the Komaci did not understand, but at the moment, she did not mind. The Dahman in front of her was her instructor, and spent his time with her, so she would listen and obey. As with most spider-born, changing shapes successfully would not require so much effort once she'd understood that she was directed into doing such a thing­.

She understood already better the principle behind shapeshifting, and what she changed into resembled this form:




Things stopped making sense at that very moment. A world of possibilities swirled in her mind, as she saw and heard differently, and as her tiny mind exploded into something great she she thought she could never understand, she realized she was able to process this news and other things (old memories, for example) at the same time. Now she perceived the world through the mind that she had started feeling some time ago. What came as "brilliant adaptation" to her in spider now seemed like something obvious. She could recall what happened in the last days and weeks (without knowing these concepts) but it seemed her memory stretched even ridiculously farther. She could remember things that happened about a whole moon ago. She was surprised, and pleased, but her face could not find any way of expressing these things, as they were mostly intellectual and down-to-earth impressions more than emotions.

This was great. But she was lacking -everything- she was used to: she felt she no longer stuck to the ground (or would not stick on a wall if she tried to), only saw in a limited direction, had no claws, and no exoskeleton. She felt she still had her chelicerae, but they were deep in a hole in her head now, and thus much less effective or useful. She tried to stay on her two legs, and failed after a few short seconds. Short of six legs, she had no idea how to stand on the two she had left. She saw that her mentor was standing up, however and she knew that this race stood on two legs, so she tried, again, and again, until she would be able to stand up, at the very least.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Wed 25 Dec - 16:06

The instructor was pleased at the rate she was learning. All Ananasi were deadly efficient, of course, but, none he had ever seen had managed to grow barbs on the Lilian form at the first transformation. Clearly, this one was special... or favored. It did not matter, in the end. Whatever meaning it may have was the queen's place to know, not him. His place was to train these spiders to think and speak so they could continue to the realms beyond where they would meet the queen and learn what would be their own roles.

To that end, he gave the spider time to try out its new shape. Already it had realized that it would no longer be able to stick to walls and that her skin was fragile. After it was able to stand up straight, it was time to learn to walk. All the arachnid born had problems with this at first.

The teacher proceeded to walk, slowly, to give her time to analyze how to shift her weight. That would be, literally, the first steps to learn the rest.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Wed 25 Dec - 18:36

This was insanely ridiculous. She felt as though she was no longer the master of her own body. While a "normal" human would have frustrated or would have felt ashamed not to be able to do such a basic activity, the Komaci felt no such thing, but thought this was odd and vain.

How long did it take for human newborns to learn and walk? Days? If it took so long, how did they even survive without being eaten right away by everything else in the world?

While it was very full possible to reflect upon the situation and try to walk at the same time (an unusual and newfound mental prowess made this possible), she found that the good old fashioned concentrating on a single thing at a time made things easier. She looked at her instructor, thought she understood what he meant, and then realized she didn't. An example was helpful, but experience was what she needed.

A newborn human wasn't intellectually and physically fully developped. She was, although suddenly, and she could stand up decently in a matter of minutes. Learning to walk would be a matter of hours, and contrary to teaching to a human, a Spider did not know the limits of its patience. She had a single goal in her life at this moment: learning to walk, and this was the only important thing to her. Being "tired of trying" wasn't even remotely familiar to her.

And so she learned to adapt, as she always did, in an odd form, in odd circumstances. But this was her place, that she did not doubt. So she obeyed.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Thu 26 Dec - 12:44

While she was busy learning to walk, the group divided into two. Those that left with the "nine" the voice had spoken of, who had the most elaborate markings, and those that stayed behind. Her personal instructor, whom it seemed was very important but not of the nine after all, made her understand to continue what she was doing and ignore the procession that was leaving. Along with him, several more instructors remained, those all had very elaborate markings as well. Her sharpened intellect in this form allowed her to realize that they were all busy teaching others like her, struggling to learn to walk, or stand, or even, in one case, to shapeshift. A skill all others had already managed to do at least twice by now.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Seb on Thu 26 Dec - 19:00

This did not motivate her in any way: her undivided attention was already upon the task at hand, and the idea of competition was also alien to her. She needed to do this to better herself, which was a reward in and out of itself. This was required of her, and while obedience was expected, it was received unquestioningly.

Her motor and coordination skills were excellent and in a matter of hours, she'd walk normally, although running was still a challenge. She was also preoccupied with walking in a natural manner, as to be able to pass for the real thing, which was, no doubt to the Komaci, the whole point of this: predatory stealth.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

Post by Admin on Fri 27 Dec - 12:20

Her teacher was extremely patient. He seemed about to move on once she was able to walk, but he noticed that she was trying, on her own, to perfect the technique and walk in a natural fashion. Seeing that, he decided to give her more time. It would, of course, take days for a skill her instructor had no doubt she would muster on her own sooner or later, so, after some time, he made her understand to follow him. He walked slowly enough to allow her to keep up, but still slightly faster than she was at ease with. Forcing her to learn quickly. If she stumbled, he would simply patiently wait for her to get back up. Another skill she needed to learn.
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Re: Part 1: Listening to the Cosmos

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