Bones, Ore, Ink, and Shells
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A scavenge for myself and SP payment for JadedSnow.
Bones. That was Callisto’s task for the day. She had to gather any bones she found to bring back. She’d teamed up with Sounder and Jyran, an abyssal and a polar aqrion who had decided to join them, as well as with her friend, Kyuquot. The four of them had decided to team up to gather items as it was easier to work together and find more than for only one of them to work. Glancing around the ruins where she’d chosen to search, Callisto’s eyes landed on a bump in the sand. Grinning, she darted over, using her tail to disrupt the sand below. As the sand cleared, Callisto was disappointed. It was only a metal stick with a strange green paddle on it that was barely staying together. Curious, Callisto swam around it, carefully pulling at it with her teeth. SNAP! The metal fell apart, leaving Callisto with a green piece of metal. Hey! There were words on it! Callisto carefully swam around it, shifting the sand and metal as she tried to make out the words. Sea-t-e? Shrugging, Callisto gave up. The words were too disintegrated for her to read and the metal was basically crumbling under her touch. She turned her attention back to the ruins. There! She caught sight of what was certainly bones, whale bones to be specific. Callisto carefully picked them up, putting them in her small pile that she’d already found. It wasn’t a lot, most of the bones had already started to disintegrate from age and scavengers. Well, at least she’d found some. It was better than finding none. Carefully bundling up her finds, Callisto raced to the surface, the bundle of bones hooked over her dorsal fins and crystal horns. Here, she would wait for the others, give them time to finish up their gatherings.
Why was it always him who had to find the ink? That’s the one thing that Kyuquot wanted to know. Every. Damn. Time. He HATED the sticky, slimy, fin covering, dark ink that cephalopods made. Just barely suppressing his hiss of anger, Kyuquot looked for his hated enemy, the octopus. At least the sneaky bastards inked at the slightest provocation, he had that on his side. The bottles that were strapped to his side clinked with his every movement and Kyuquot had to resist the urge to yeet them into the deep. He grumbled to himself angrily. Curse Calli. Curse the pair that had joined them. What were their names? Oh yeah, Sounder and Jyran. Why did they have to bring non pod members again? Oh yeah, because it was nice. Kyuquot couldn’t care less. He just wanted to find octopi and get this horror of a gathering over with. A flash of movement broke Kyuquot from his angry mumblings. Was that what he thought it was? Of course it was. It was a Sneaky Inky Bastard. Darting forwards, Kyuquot swam around the poor octopus, ink staining the water as the octopus desperately tried to escape. Letting it go, Kyuquot bottled up the ink. One down, five to go. An hour or so later, Kyuquot had gathered all the ink he needed. Six dark bottles clinked against him as he swam towards the rendezvous point at the surface. Of course, Calli was already there, floating the bones that she’d gathered on her rostrum. “Fancy seeing you here.” She said, grinning at him playfully. “Yeah yeah.” Kyuquot said, shaking his head. “How were your octopus friends?” Calli asked, flicking his rostrum with her tail teasingly. “Inky. I hated it.” He muttered, a smile tugging at his face as he riskily nipped at her fluke as she whacked him with it again. “Well, it will be nice to hang out with you while we wait for the other two.” She said, her body stilling as she relaxed. The only sounds were the lap of the waves against her bones and her body, the clink of the jars against Kyuquot’s side, and the whoosh of their breath.
Sounder swam deep, descending into the darkness that she called home. As the light dimmed, the hums of the elements around her guided her. She could feel the buzz of the rock, the cry of the broken glass, the song of the metals all deep below in her home. Sounder continued her descent, following the swirling song of the metals, searching for an open vein, not that she would hesitate to make one. A glint caught her eye as her glowing nodes revealed an exposed chunk of metal that had sunk years ago from the human’s time. It wasn’t necessarily what she was looking for, but metal was metal. Calling it to her, Sounder continued her search, the metal floating behind her thanks to her element. She swam deep and far, not finding anything aside from deep sea creatures and the scalding water from the thermal vents. Fine. She would do it herself. Taking a deep breath, Sounder let her found metal piece sink to the floor besides her. She couldn’t risk keeping it afloat while she did this. She needed all her concentration on her task. Slowly releasing her breath, Sounder focused on a swirling song in the cliff ahead of her, the earth rumbling as she called forth a vein of ore. As the cliff wall split to accommodate for the new exterior, Sounder smiled. She pulled a large chunk of the ore forwards, out of the wall. This would be enough, she hoped, especially with her human metal. Gathering both of them to her with her element, Sounder slowly started her ascent to the surface, being careful to save her energy. Calling the ore forwards had been the hardest thing she’d ever done with her element, but she was proud to have accomplished it. She continued to swim towards the surface, the figures of Kyuquot and Callisto slowly becoming more and more visible as she continued her ascent. As she reached the surface, she smiled, continuing to float her metal with her element. “Ta-da!” She said, grinning playfully. This earned her a smile from Callisto and an eyeroll from Kyuquot. What was his problem? Oh well, it was none of her concern. Now to wait for Jyran to return.
Jyran swam around in the sand, excitedly collecting shells and rocks. He would root around in the sand with his tusks until they pulled up a shell or interesting rock, and he’d then flip it onto his pile. He’d currently gone around in a spiral, moving further and further from his pile that was slowly growing. The fish swimming around the area caught his attention, but he quickly turned back to his task. He had a job to do! He had to find shells and rocks! That’s what Callisto and Sounder had told him to do and he had to do it! He couldn’t let them down. He paused as one of his shells grew legs and skittered away. What? He carefully stopped rooting around in the sand and followed his run away shell, baffled. As his shadow covered the shell, it’s legs disappeared. Jyran took a deep breath, gathering his courage as he quickly flipped the shell over with his fin and backed up, bracing himself for something scary. Instead, he found a small crab, no bigger than a quarter. Jyran smiled, gently flipping the crab back onto it’s feet, but took the shell. He was tasked with gathering shells, and none would be stolen from him by a small crab. None. Zero. Not one. Sticking his tongue out at the crab, Jyran turned, returning to his large pile of shells. Now, to get them all to the surface where the others were likely waiting. Jyran looked around. He didn’t want to take multiple trips, nor did he want to leave all his shells behind. He’d found them, after all. They were his, nobody else's! Letting out a sigh, Jyran contemplated what he should do. He didn’t want to leave any behind, but couldn’t figure out how to get them all to the surface. Should he ask for help? Try to do it in one go? Jyran groaned. He really didn’t want to leave shells behind, especially because he’d been trusted with the task of gathering some. Maybe he could find something to help him carry it? Looking around the lagoon where he’d searched, Jyran couldn’t find anything obvious that would help him, not that that meant that there wasn’t something that could. Continuing to search, Jyran swam around, keeping one eye on his shell pile as he did so. He didn’t want any more of them sprouting legs and running off with crabs. Maybe there was something under the sand? He couldn’t see anything obvious to help him under the sand, but that didn’t mean that nothing was there. Carefully lowering his head, Jyran pushed his tusks through the soft sand, almost jumping out of his skin as something hit his tusks. Pulling back, startled, Jyran shook his head, sand falling off of his tusks. He could do this. He wasn’t afraid. He put his tusks back down, carefully and slowly digging out whatever had snagged on his tusks. It wasn’t a rock! On the contrary, it was round and hollow, with an arc of plastic between both sides. Would it help? Would it work in his favor? Jyran wasn’t sure, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. Bringin it back to his shells, Jyran loaded up as many as he could hold, finally relenting and letting some of the shells remain in the bottom of the crystal clear lagoon. Jyran hooked the bucket over his tusks, hoping that it wouldn’t bust under the weight of his shells. As he carefully swam back towards the surface, Jyran grinned. He’d done it! He’d gotten almost all his shells in one load! His joy was short lived though as a quick POP and an immediate lightness in his bucket signaled that something hadn’t gone right. Jyran quickly looked around, his stomach dropping as he saw all his shells sinking back down towards the bottom, their forms flipping and twisting as they fell with almost a grace like quality to them. What had gone wrong? What had happened? Flipping the bucket off of his tusks was too easy and he quickly figured out why as one of the handle connections dangled limply and off the rest of the bucket. It had broken under all the weight and all his hard work had sunk back below the surface. He would now be very late to meet up with the rest of the group. Would they leave without him? He hoped not. He didn’t want to be too much later, but he also didn’t want to return empty finned. Letting out a sigh, he dove, swimming after his escaped shells. He could do it! He could get them! It might not be as many as he’d wanted to bring back, but it was some and some was better than none, right? Gathering as many as he could handle at once, Jyran made his way back to the surface, glancing around for the others in his group. Had the left him here, all alone? Jyran started to panic, looking around with wide eyes. “Jyran!” Callisto called, catching his attention. “We’re over here!” She said. Jyran let out a shaky breath. “Coming!” He called, adjusting his course and swimming towards the rest of the group. “WOW!” he heard Callisto say. “That’s a lot of shells!” Jyran smiled triumphantly. “Thanks! There would have been more, but my bucket broke and I lost a lot of them. This was all I was able to bring back alone. I hope it’s okay?” He said, his voice quiet. “Of course! I thank you for all of them! You did a great job!” Callisto said, smiling at the polar. “It’s time to head back to our respective homes now. You ready?” She asked, looking at him gently. Jyran only nodded. “I am.” He said.
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