Oh wow, would you look at that, AwesomeTrinket is actually writing chapters to her stories, what a shocker. Anyway, I’m starting this immediately after I finished the Prologue, so everything’s still fresh in my mind as I write this!
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“I’ve learned so much about The Consumer! I have a theory they’re from the Dimensional Hole…” A girl screeched to the left of Bulldozer. He closed his eyes, gripping onto the jacket slung over his shoulders, trying not to pay attention to the child. Thankfully, the red jacket covered up his arms. He didn’t want monsters to see the truth of him; the “damaged goods.” The girl was about thirteen or fourteen, dark hair tied into low, curly pigtails. In one hand she held a bright green balloon, the other a notebook.
The girl was talking to a woman much older than her. Long, brunette hair flowed down in waves, and a crown made out of pure gold and rubies rested on her head. Her dress was like a pool of yellow silk, conforming to the shape of her body. Bulldozer recognized this woman as a Tiana.
“It is horrible, is it not, Nicki?” Tiana sighed, looking down at her nimble hands. “I suppose we should just be lucky we live on an island… Who would do such a thing?”
“Why do we automatically assume The Consumer is an evil monster?” Nicki piped up all of a sudden. “Maybe they have to eat monsters to survive. Like Vampires. We don’t just shame Vampires for eating monsters, why is this different?”
Bulldozer couldn’t help but agree with Nicki. He didn’t mean to hurt his Summoner or kill her. Did that mean he was evil, too? As Tiana spoke, he was briefly reminded of another one who was like him. That woman’s name was Alicia. She was one of the newest monsters. The poor thing had no idea of what the Summoner wanted to do to everyone.
…But he’d rather not remember those days. Granted, it was already two months ago that he escaped, but it still hurt to remember. The Summoner was a twisted young mind; he would admit that she was a genius, especially for her age. But at the same time, she lacked the empathy and love that most Summoners had. Alicia’s screams as the Summoner hacked off one arm, replacing it with a metallic arm she built herself still echoed in Bulldozer’s head.
“Interesting. Very interesting.” Summoner’s mouth curled into a smile. No one knew her name, so all the monsters simply referred to her as “Summoner”
Alicia screamed and wailed out as Summoner moved the saw up and down on her shoulder. She could feel her bones cracking, the blood flowing down to the ground of the Arena Defense Tower. Tears ran down Alicia’s beautiful face as she pleaded for Summoner to stop; it hurt so much.
“Shh, I know it hurts, Alicia, but it will be over soon.” Even with Alicia strapped down on a chair and Summoner standing on a stepladder, she still had to get on her tiptoes to whisper into Alicia’s ear. How a child who wasn’t even ten could be so uncaring, Bulldozer wondered as he heard the screams. “Besides, with your new arm, your power and agility will be increased by 50%. I could learn so much from dissecting you…!”
With a hasty tug, Alicia’s arm was ripped out, and she screamed louder. Summoner didn’t even flinch as blood splattered her white lab coat, instead scribbling something down using her free hand. She smiled gently at Alicia again. “Now then, let’s get that metal arm installed on you, hey?”
He had been genuinely afraid that if he stayed she might have killed him. He wasn’t too sure about her state, now that he escaped; whether she was comatose or…actually dead. The thought of being a monster who killed his Summoner sent shivers down his spine. He just remembered trying to get off the island, and Summoner caught up with him, stepping in front of the Frankenstein with a maniacal smile on her face.
“Why do you want to leave, Bulldozer?” She had cooed in her high-pitched, childish voice. “I could learn so much about Frankenstein anatomy if you stay! Aren’t you grateful for your new arms, too? With them, you’ve never lost a Guild War!”
Summoner had advanced closer and closer to him, and he could see that in one hand she held the saw used to cut off the limbs of monsters. Out of fear, he did something that no monster should ever do. He had attacked his Summoner. Bulldozer had never meant to hurt her; but he wasn’t used to his new strength thanks to the metal arms Summoner had implanted in him but a week or two before his escape. Summoner screamed, but it was sharply cut off as she fell like a ragdoll to the ground.
And then she was perfectly still.
Bulldozer was afraid he had broken something in her, or worse. The grass was becoming tainted; going from the emerald-like color it always was to dark red. He realized blood was coming out of some wound in her, and Bulldozer snapped out his shock, turning to the Energy Gateway and he started walking, passing by monsters on the island, all of whom had been modified in a way. The only one whom Bulldozer wasn’t sure had been experimented with was Galleon, and even then the shining blue and metal eye-patch over his left eye made him wonder.
A tiny hand grabbed onto his jacket as he was about to leave the island. He turned to the source, and saw a little girl with white hair tied up into two pigtails. His heart dropped as he recognized it was Neal. She had one eye gouged out by Summoner and had it covered up by something similar to Galleon’s eye-patch.
“Are you finally getting off the island…?” Neal whispered to him.
“Yeah. Come with me. You’re too young for…” Bulldozer motioned to the island.
Neal knew what he was implicating and gave him a gentle smile. “Don’t worry about me. You were the one planning your escape for months. Besides, the other monsters and I have to clean up the body.”
Bulldozer felt a pang in his chest. “…You don’t have to, you know.”
“Nonsense. It never happened.” Neal’s smile widened a bit. Even with the metal eye, Bulldozer had to admit she was adorable. “Now shoo. Go before anyone finds out what happened here.”
Bulldozer did as he was told, faltering to look back at him only once. Neal was waving with one hand, watching him leave. The blue portal engulfed him in light, and that was the last he had ever seen of her. He snapped out of his remembrance as a figure seemed to float towards him. The figure was female; blonde hair cut to her shoulders in soft curls.
What was strange about the figure was the glow around her and the fact she was…blurry? No, opaque was the word Bulldozer was looking for. He could see through her; he could see both her and the long waiting list of the Arena as monsters and Summoners crowded around it, trying to see who got who as an opponent. The figure stopped when she was perhaps a few inches away from Bulldozer.
“Excuse me.” She whispered. Her voice was like a breeze. That caught Bulldozer off-guard.
“What is it?” He gruffly replied, a total opposite to the figure’s voice. He didn’t mean to sound cold, though; that was just a force of habit.
“Do you perhaps know where I could find a Bounty Hunter?” It wasn’t uncommon for monsters to have someone whom they hated with all their heart and wanted to see them dead. Bulldozer admitted that no, he didn’t; sorry.
“It’s okay. Thank you anyway.” She turned away, starting to float to Nicki and Tiana, but stopped and turned back to Bulldozer. “I’m Pandora, by the way.”
It hurts, it hurts, oh please God make it stop, it hurts, don’t make me succumb to this repulsive urge again please please please –
Olivia didn’t realize she was hyperventilating until it was too late. She sucked in a breath, choking on a noodle. Olivia coughed violently, gulping down her bottle of water as tears blurred the steaming bowl of noodles in front of her. The need to consume flesh was growing stronger again; she had hoped desperately to eat enough regular food until the screaming in the back of her head could scream no more for the moment.
“Make it stop, please…” Olivia sobbed to no one in particular. Each bite of normal food made the burning in the back of her throat go stronger, and eventually she hauled herself to the trash can and threw up.
She couldn’t do this. Just one monster. One. That’s all it would take. She would even take a silver-star monster if it came down to it.
Olivia stood up, taking another drink from her bottle. She had recently traveled all the way back to Garen Forest, and was staying in one of the towns there. Ever since the dark energy caused from the hatred of Lady Arang and the group of Dark Summoners cleared up, the whole continent seemed friendlier. More towns had been set up (except near the Faimon Volcano, of course), and the towns that were already there grew more populated and better than they had been. The town she was in was one of the newer towns.
It was fairly popular; nomads like her and tourists frequently came and left the town, so there was always someone wandering around whom no one would know were gone until a month or so after she had consumed them. Olivia sighed, standing up and finishing off her water bottle, tossing the plastic into the trash can.
She glanced at the noodles, which were rapidly cooling off. Oh well. She would finish them later, after she got the meal she had really been craving. She headed out of her hotel room silently, giving a brief wave to the hotelkeeper, Katarina. The Valkyrie made some remark about another day, another adventure, but Olivia didn’t care. She needed to eat.
The sound of monsters in the town filled Olivia’s ears. She couldn’t pick one of the residents to eat; that would draw too much suspicion. The dying light of the sunset meant that Olivia could eat someone and bury them and everyone would be none the wiser until the corpse began to rot. Olivia picked someone at random, her eyes resting on a red and yellow Frankenstein.
Hm. His flesh would be tough, but it is still flesh nevertheless.
“Forgive me.” Olivia sobbed as she waited for the Frankenstein to pass by her. The streets were empty now, and it was night. She dashed forward, pulling him into the darkness with her. Tears ran down her face as she sank her teeth down into his arm, tearing out a piece of his jacket as she did so. Bulldozer was frozen in shock; everything feeling like it was happening in an instant.
…Olivia screamed in pain as her teeth collided with something metal. Now it was Olivia’s turn to freeze up for a mere second, and then instincts took over for Bulldozer. He threw her off of him, slamming her against the wall and using one hand to pin her there. His other arm reeled back, as if to punch her, but Olivia didn’t struggle, her head instead swimming. Black dots filled her vision; energy going out as she had used her last burst to try and consume Bulldozer.
Olivia felt like she was underwater, floating aimlessly in muffled waters. She realized she was going to black out at the worst possible time, but she didn’t seem to care soon after, as there was darkness, and then there was no more sound.