Old gods of survival. –
The Ticade Raiders are usually wrapped in thermal bandages, rags, and metal. Ticade Raiders tend to wear the thermal bandages during the night. Their encounter suits are hard power armor that perform the dual roles of both physical and identity protection. When one is a thief, one tends to value anonymity. In addition to their bandages and armor they usually wear special capes. The capes are made of a unique material that holds in heat but also possesses the strange property of being radar stealth. These make Raiders hard to track, as their capes interfere with many other sensors as well. Newer models are even said to have active camouflage capabilities. But if you ever see one without it’s suit and armor… They are a rather gruesome sight.
They’re an odd mix of reptile and insect. With four arms and a long jagged tail of bone like armor ending in a lethal stinger. Being related to many of the Flesh-Vipers on their world, they also have highly toxic venom. And these 10 foot tall monsters are topped off with killer claws. Ticade Raiders have dense armored exoskeletons, but it’s their very odd flesh that is considered to be their most striking feature. Like the Flesh-Viper, Ticade raiders have a thick red skin that resembles muscles during the day. Using this odd but especially useful feature- Raiders can vent any excess heat they acquire when hot out. Similarly- their flesh turns black at night and begins to seal in all available heat. Exceptionally helpful when living on a desert world where it can get hotter than 150 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 30 at night! More than enough to kill most life forms. But not the Ticade Raiders… They are gods of survival. They can and do walk naked through the great wastelands of Ticade comfortable and unarmed. Additionally the Ticade are almost immune to high levels of radiation. No creature is as thermally efficient as they are. Able to vent all or retain all heat as needed. Contrary to popular belief they do have eyes. They in fact have 6 pitch black eye pits that do not reflect light. The special skin in the interior of the pits acts as an advanced compound eye. As a result Raiders can see in the dark as well as they can during the day. They see many different colors and ultraviolet spectrums as well as heat vision. However they do not process what they see as humans do. To Raiders a beautiful picture is just a flat sheet of random dull blotches. However, a beam of sunlight is a brilliant parade of twinkling shapes and colors.
They have a highly complicated language consisting of high & low pitched clicks and hisses. Mostly low growls. As a result very few people can understand it let alone speak it. Thankfully they do read and write in Ancient Greek, Farsi and sometimes Russian. Raiders keep to themselves and host no other races among them. And yet they have held some of the strangest allies ever. The Ticade Raiders are the only known ally of the both the Smugglers Guild and the Torvotyrannus. This is very strange indeed.
Originally called the Tylox (Meaning “The People”), the Ticaid Raiders (Pronounced “Tike-aid”) were once a pacifist of race scholars and intellectuals who long ago mastered their desert world by use of their mathematical and architectural prowess. The Tylox once worshiped a type of mathematics that they refer to as the Pythagorean Theorem. Something about triangles… Whatever the case was – they were wise beyond all reason. Having long ago freed themselves of water, power, and food concerns with their inventions, The Tylox devoted their lives to scholarly pursuits. They gave life to the deserts around them and constructed breathtaking monuments and great cities of stone where water flowed over hanging gardens of green. These were a great and proud people. Despite their ferocious appearance – the Tylox were actually quite peaceful.
Though they were biologically well armed as a race- the Tylox didn’t really take after their predatory ancestors. This is odd because you would figure a half reptile half arachnid would be aggressive by nature- but no. Very calm and collected are they. Or at least they were…
Enter the Humans…
No one is sure when- but at some point during the exploration of the badlands on northern Ticade Humans made first contact. The first encounters with these small hairless mammals was disastrous. These humans were rather dumb and panicky animals that lied often and made habit of stealing things. –A bad habit the Tylox found to be very annoying. All humans proved to liars and thieves. But the worst of them all were those that called themselves “Libertarians” –whom the Tylox hated the most. Yet it was this group of humans that had the most profound effect on the Tylox later on. It was these strange humans called that called themselves Libertarians that frustrated but also fascinated the Tylox the most. The Libertarians always seemed to have the most intricate and infuriating excuses for taking things that didn’t belong to them then attempting to justify their theft afterwards. In short the odd humans had a very “I got mine- screw everyone else” mentality that usually involved stealing or just consuming things then going on about “individual rights” and “free market” in idiotic attempts to not to have to pay for what they just took. Eventually the Tylox would take this to heart when dealing with humans later.
But as the humans began to encroach further and further onto Tylox land, it became apparent that the Humans would have to be dealt with before they ate them out of house and home. Many treaties were struck with the Human nations. –This was a mistake…
For in the years that followed the Tylox learned one thing above all else- There is NO treaty than man least of all Americans will honor. To believe otherwise is folly. One by one the many treaties with the humans were violated. The humans would violate their own terms and settle in territory -then refuse to leave. This caused boarder disputes to break out. That gave the human governments all the excuse they needed to start murdering the Tylox en masse. Ambassadors would quickly be dispatched to put together a new treaty. But with each new treaty the Tylox found themselves having to surrender more and more land to satisfy the humans and keep the peace. The Tylox quickly realized that every time the humans broke a treaty- the Tylox were the ones that would be penalized by having to surrender more land.
Most notable was the idiotic Libertarian named Cliven Bundhole. –Better known as “the Bumbling Bigot.” Father of the infamous Cliven Bundhole Jr. Cliven Bundhole Sr. got his start on Ticade as an illegal squatter who grazed his cattle on land stolen from the Ticade. There he looted the Tylox land for years, violating several treaties and even the laws of his own corrupt government. The Tylox being reasonable people asked Bundhole to leave. But all he would do is rant about how “god” gave him the right to live there on his stolen land. Frustrated- the Tylox offered to loan him use of the land in trade for money. The Tylox did this only because they wanted to avoid triggering yet another skirmish that would lead to yet another land grab. Initially Bundhole seemed to go along with it. –At least until the bill came due! Then it was back to more of the same! He yammered endlessly about he did not recognize Tylox sovereignty nor their right to compensation. In short- Cliven refused! Thus began a looooong legal nightmare that lasted for years more. The Tylox suffered the indignity of having to go to human courts as well as their own in a desperate attempt to have Bundhole evicted. Pleading and begging for their conditions and laws to be met. Eventually – even the corrupt human judges agreed. The Tylox had to be paid for the use of their land or Bundhole had to leave. But Bundhole did neither! In fact he expanded his operations just to spite the Tylox.
When the Tylox finally got fed up with warning him. They amassed an attack force to get rid of the pesky thief. But Cliven Bundhole had help. A large militia of brain-dead thugs that called themselves “Teabaggers” had shown up. And they came armed… Thousands of bloated and deformed inbred simpletons waddled onto Bundhole Ranch. They came with one purpose in mind. To fight the Tylox. And it wasn’t long before the supporters of Bundhole were dug in. For awhile they seemed to be little more than a nuisance. Every time the Tylox would get fed up and try to remove Bundhole, the other humans all shouted, “JUST LEAVE HIM ALONE!“ Too bad neither Bundhole nor his thugs were going to leave the Tylox alone… Some weeks into the standoff, the Teabaggers began to set up armed checkpoints along the roads and access points. Illegally stopping and searching vehicles and harassing or even threatening the occupants. The Teabaggers were looking to keep other races or just people sympathetic to the Tylox- out. But this wholesale harassment of the Tylox could not be tolerated! It didn’t matter who these animals were! They had NO right to pull guns on innocent people and demand, “Papers Please…” This idiocy had to come to an end! No matter the cost – or the perception of the humans. The Tylox refused to be prisoners on their own land!
One week in the Tylox announced their final warning. “Leave peacefully or be destroyed! “ But the Teabaggers didn’t go. In fact they took it as a challenge to their god they called “the free market” and began to mobilize for combat. This was it... The moment the Tylox had been dreading. The Teabaggers were a gaggle of untrained undisciplined morons with guns. They had nothing in their favor but numbers and the outdated weapons they held. And as they closed in on the nearest Tylox outpost – the Tylox prepared for their arrival. As the mob came within 15 miles or so of the outpost, the Tylox began to set up a little surprise for their guests. A new class of weapon that they had developed by analyzing and improving upon human firearms. It came to be known as a “Sharpie.” A mech sized sniper rifle with significant range that can unleash shattering damage. Used to take the heads off of large mechs in one shot- this miniature prototype was the first of it’s kind. As the mob closed in on 5 miles the Tylox used a range finder to spot Bundhole himself riding in the center of the large group holding a bright yellow flag. The Tylox ranged him and got a lock. The Tylox called out to the mob- “STOP! Stop or we will be forced to defend ourselves!” But the Tylox were ignored…
With a large clank the Sharpie fired into the center of the crowd. Cliven Bundhole’s head exploded into a thin shower of blood as the projectile passed. Everyone stopped and fell silent as the grave. The Tylox then got on the loud speakers and yelled, “We shot your leader! He is dead! Go home, NOW!” The bewildered Teabaggers gasped and looked at each other. As they began to prattle among themselves another shot rang out. The head of the Teabagger’s Imperial Wizard popped open and splattered more blood over everyone around him. At the sight of their headless spiritual leader the Teabaggers panicked and ran for it. It was a full retreat! The Tylox had won! – For now…
Later the thugs were asked about their defeat. They ranted wildly about how they were somehow “screwed” –not by the Tylox but by something they called “Black” people- and “Liberals.” The Tylox were confused as they did not see any of these “Black people,” “Liberals,” or “Libturds” that they kept blaming for all their problems… But whatever they were mad about – it didn’t matter. The Tylox had their victory.
After that rousing victory- the Tylox were ready to revolt! They had had enough of the humans and their thuggish ways! But they weren’t stupid. They knew very well that the Humans had vastly superior numbers and technology. If the Tylox fought the humans it would be a slaughter. The Tylox would lose. And so started the “Rise of the Raiders.” The Tylox knew their days were numbered. They were NOT a warrior race. They dreaded the idea of a violent confrontation – especially with such a daunting foe. But they did have one advantage over the humans… The Tylox were smart! They learned fast and they collaborated with ease! So they used their remaining time to learn and to acquire as much of the human’s technology as possible. They studied hard and learned their ways. Not long after -they had gained the ability to use and produce more modern weapons. They even learned how to drastically improve production time. And they learned all this in no time flat! Which was critical! Because in just a few years the Humans had successfully pushed the Tylox off their land.
It was on Ticade Canyon where the Tylox made their last stand. The Tylox had been arming for years and the humans knew it. The Tylox amassed every fighter they could spare and launched an all out assault on the nearby human city of New Sumter. They massacred the humans. But the battle was only the beginning. The Tylox forces had stalled for time by leading small attack groups to counter the humans and show their approach. All spare Tylox forces were then stored within their last remaining nexus of Sogerathus. Now the combined might of the Tylox race was flooding into New Sumter. And the humans were ready for them. The Tylox didn’t have to wait long for the counterattack. It was total shock and awe. The Tylox were quickly beaten back to their nexus by wave after wave of forces backed by atomic weapons. Thankfully the Tylox didn’t have all that much fear from atomic hellfire and radiation. And thus was the human’s supreme weapon rendered all but useless. But it didn’t matter… As the Tylox predicted the humans eventually overran their positions defeated them. The once great city of Sogerathus was burned to ruin. –It’s people murdered, their bodies littering the great stone halls.
But all was not lost...
While the humans were busy fighting off the Tylox army, Grand Chieftain Tycorba had snuck a large strike force past the humans through underground tunnel networks that led to the humans space docks. Sensing the end, Tycorba had weeks ago struck a deal with several smugglers to get him and his people onto several cargo freighters. Once Tycorba met up with his operatives they quietly ushered the ruminants of the Tylox people into hundreds of shipping containers that were loaded onto various starships. The security sensor net having been rigged- no one was the wiser! The ships took off into space carrying their lethal cargo. Once far enough into space, their escorts turned on the convoy as Tylox saboteurs hijacked the freighters from within. The struggle for control was brief but bloody. Victorious- Tycorba and his people drifted off into space. There they plotted a course to new worlds and new homes. The Tylox would now become a true interstellar race! But more than that- Tycorba vowed to return one day to Sogerathus. And free his home. How- he did not know. But he swore vengeance nonetheless!
The Tylox did indeed go on to colonize many worlds that were to their tastes. And there they became very successful. But something snapped deep within the minds of the Tylox. After losing their home, they were never the same. They became vicious and aggressive to outsiders. Their once honest and scholarly lifestyle gave way to hate and warmongering. They quickly picked up the habits of their libertarian foes and became thieves. Smash and grab raiders that fed on the weak and the unarmed. This shift from passive intellectuals to savage thieves marked the turning point where the Tylox abandoned their former identity and became the Ticade Raiders. With help from their Smugglers allies they solidified their new identity and culture in blood. Their new roles as Raiders saw them attacking travelers of all races. The Ticade raiders ruthlessly targeted the weak and unprepared. They even go after colonies and towns. The Raiders settle in an area, build a fortified factory base, and then go on the attack steamroller style. Overwhelming their victims with unending waves of forces. This slow grind takes place over months as the Raiders wear down their opponents and slowly gain ground. Eventually their enemy tires and falters. The Ticade Raiders then swoop in for the kill. They then pawn the leftover spoils to the Smugglers for money and goods.
Their alliance with Smugglers Guild is somewhat understandable. The Smugglers Guild trade and sell stolen technology and vehicles as well other contraband. Naturally the Smugglers tend to hide out in deep space and in the deep deserts. They often trade consumable goods with the Ticade Raiders for things that the Raiders have stolen. Also they trade the Raiders for some of their unique capes. True enough many factions trade and have deals with the Smugglers- however the Smugglers eventually steal from and betray EVERYONE! Everyone BUT the Ticade Raiders! They never cross them and they never will. Some say this is because the smugglers live near the Raiders. But Smugglers live near many races they steal from. Similarly it is said that the Smugglers need the Raiders for protection. But Smugglers rely on many of the races they cheat and betray. So far- no definitive answer exists as to why the Smugglers won’t cross the Raiders. Honor among thieves? Not likely…
On a similar note, the Ticade Raiders relations with the Torvotyrannus are also a complete mystery. It should be noted that the Torvos ally with no one! They kill every sentient being they run into and take their DNA to clone newer Torvos. In fact the Raiders are the only sentient life forms they will not kill on sight or at all. In the years following the Torvo Wars a few theories have formed. The main one being a shared lineage. While it is true that the Torvo and the Raiders share a common genetic ancestor, this theory is flawed due to the fact that the Solack share far more in common genetically with the Torvo than do the Raiders. It has also been said that the Raiders adopted a policy compatible with that of the Torvo- This however impossible due to the fact that the Raiders would have to be killed in order to serve the Torvo’s prime directive. Some say the Raiders simply appeased the Torvo and cooperated. However many other far more powerful races and factions offered to do this and were slaughtered outright. The Torvo were not in the least bit interested in appeasement. -Nor did they want or need an ally at all. To make matters more interesting neither side traded anything with the other. Truly the Torvo/Raider alliance is to this day one of the greatest military mysteries in the galaxy.
In light of this gift of gab many people say the Ticade Raiders are born with silver tongues. –This was most amusing to the Ticade Raiders because they don’t really have tongues at all. At least not “true” tongues. More of a bifurcated sensory organ that fills the role of one. What the Raiders do have however, is a formidable military. Raiders have decent technology and phenomenally fast build rates. Because of this, Raider bases can build and back-build almost overnight. Their armies have neither strengths nor special abilities, but nor do they have any weaknesses either. In all they are very adequate in comparison to other races. Interestingly enough, the Raiders are not fully nomadic. Once they bunker down in an area they are there to stay. Dug in like ticks.
The Ticade Raiders are perhaps most notable for their part in the Battle of Ticade, where the leaders of both the Raiders and the Torvo made their last stand after being cornered off-world by the Furries. It was there that the new Grand Chieftain of the Raiders Sobanoka and the Rex of the Torvo forces Amadeus were both slain along with their second in commands by a team of mixed peasant rebels turned mercenaries. -Led by the infamous terrorist “or hero” Tromili. The loss of the legendary leader Amadeus at the hands of such peasants was the shock that ended the Torvo War. The Torvo never fully recovered. The Ticade had used the mass of their population in an attempt to shield the two leaders. They failed… And most of their race was slaughtered by the combined armies of the Humans, Solack, Machina, and the Furries. But they faired better than the Torvo whom were hunted to extinction by the Solack.
Whenever Raiders are dealt with, the commander has to be thorough. On Arcadia a human commander was removed from the battlefield for a disciplinary hearing for breaking protocol. In total he was gone for only two weeks. When he returned to the field he was shocked to find that Ticade Raiders had gone from mere raiding parties and a small outpost- to a full blown fire base with multiple fixed fortifications. It took the better part of 5 years to remove them after that.
In the past the United Empire of America attempted to westernize the already westernized Ticade. The Americans gave them training and funding in exchange for fighting Muslims in Trashcanistan. The Raiders took the money and the training then began to mow down their American trainers as well as their supporting marines after waiting for the best opportunities to ambush them. Prior to this betrayal Faux News insisted that the Raiders were allies and wanted nothing but freedom. After- Grand Chieftain Tinakyaiden of the Ticade Raiders only had one comment to make- “If you fools really thought that we were ever on your side, then your people served to die.”
This was not the first nor the last time Americans would pay for their ignorance of a belligerent culture in such a way. Since then most other races distance themselves from the Ticade. Yet few ever honor their territory. Great Commander Namotoss of the Solack Empire once commented, “As long as people continue to trespass on Raider land, the Raiders will continue to encroach on our own. “ –Though Namotoss was greatly ridiculed for this statement, it was ultimately proven true. It was a fact that was later utilized by the Solack to annihilate the backbone of Ticade Raider forces once and for all, when the Solack offered a peace treaty to the Raiders.
After many years of morbid tolerance many of the prime races began a heavy crack down on Raider race. Once more the other races were winning. Finally, after a long and bloody campaign the Solack offered to give the Raiders a set of new uninhabited planets in the outreach territories if they would agree to leave contested space. The Raiders reluctantly agreed and over the next ten years sent the majority of their embattled population to the new words. On the tenth anniversary of the great pilgrimage the Solack released a set of metagenic viruses on the Raider planets decimating their populations. The Solack then set out on their usual routine of xenocide. After only 3 years the Ticade Raiders were functionally extinct. A Human commander was reported to have exclaimed, “The Solack seem to be taking up their old habit of genocide. I suspect that with all the practice they are getting quite good at it…”
Many called this final act a vial betrayal and cemented the saying, “Beware of Solack bearing gifts.” However the Solack insist that it was merely. “ A matter of payback for the Torvo Wars.” Great Commander Afrovenatoss of the Solack was then made infamous for adding, “ Long ago the Ticade made a decision to side with the mortal enemies of everything that lives. We simply honored that alliance. And as for any betrayal…” He then took out a small tablet and read, “If you fools really thought that we were ever on your side, then your people served to die.” - Grand Chieftain Tinakyaiden.
Deception and betrayal had now come full circle. Who was to say that the Solack were wrong for following the morality of the people they exterminated? In the end the Solack gave them only what the Raiders themselves had preached. Nothing more-
So ends the tragedy of the Tylox. One more atrocity in the Core Galaxy. The sun rises once more. Every day I take a piss. – No one cares… It’s all normal.
The Tylox - Concept, Stories, and Art © Infinity Unbound
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Or any other forms of stealing.
Ok so before we start.. YES. This is still Chops the Shape-Shifter- Her- infinityunbound.deviantart.com… This is just her furry form. As requested by I should note that he specifically asked that she NOT wear her hat. But.. Chops said in not so many nice words that he could go fornicate himself… Annnd that’s Chops for you…
Anyway- this is her Furry form. While in it she likes to be called Fur Chops the Grey. She chose that name after watching a certain rings related movie trilogy. About 10 times… Since then she’s become partial to roaming around Tromili’s house at SunRain Valley and- well… I’m not sure how to put this so let me just call it what it is. Chops has been sneaking around and eating random parts off of mechs and jets. Much to the chagrin of Tromili whom still has no clue what the hell is going on.
In particular she ate the left Gravity Unit off the wings of one of the Alara fighter jets in the hanger. Along with some engine parts and some of the left shard laser components. Basically everything expensive… In all she now weighs about 5 tons in highly compressed material. But because of the Feydium in that Gravity Unit, she only weighs about 275-340 lbs. in measurable weight. The method to this madness can be found in her newly acquired “wizard” powers. She can perform all sorts of (magic tricks) with her new gear. –Or at least give the very convincing illusion that she can, anyway… Truthfully there is no true magic, just exotic arcane technology. And Chops, er… “Fur Chops the Grey” takes advantage of everything she can get her grubby little tentacles on. And she does indeed put it all to interesting use.
For example- She uses the Feydium ring’s gravitational distortion field to give the illusion that her glowing staff has magical telekinetic powers. Like the ability to lift someone into the air. Or more likely- to pick them up and slam them on the ground a few times. That coupled with the energy shield off that jet and that canalized shield battery, really make her quite powerful. And of course by virtue of just being her Shifter self- she can shoot lightening, fire, ice bolts, whatever she wishes to complete the effect. She’s a fraud in that aspect. But she loves to play the role of a powerful and mysterious grey wizard to those easily fooled by parlor tricks. –Usually religious folk…
And Chops being Chops, she takes advantage of them all for profit and power. Something Tromili disapproves of. And Tromili is pretty much the only thing holding Chops back from taking things too far or randomly killing people for shits and giggles. Chop gaining a taste for killing for fun, pretty much being what Tromili had feared the most. It’s very easy for Shifters to kill. And kill brutally with little to no effort. Something Vexovok is known for. And something Tromili to the best of his abilities tries to train out of Chops. Chops whom has come far from the sweet innocent little blob of tin she used to be. And not necessarily in a good way. In truth she takes too much after her master Tromili now. She’s become cruel and indifferent to other “lesser” life forms. Violent and spiteful for what humans did to her in the past. In truth she’s as far from the humble and kind grey wizard she tries to take after as one can get. Yet she’s always kind and loving to Tromili. And at least grudgingly respectful to his friends.
Before all this – she never used to take humanoid form for anyone but Tromili. Now she openly flaunts her body. Amused that Furries are a “clothing optional” race. Which allows her to manipulate and even hunt down males for food. Oh indeed... Don’t let her voluptuous appearance fool you. She’s still an ice cold flesh eating carnivore. That’s right… Shifters eat human flesh. Chops eats people. And among her antics she has managed to amass quite some fame in a short period of time among more simple folk of various worlds, as being a powerful fearsome sorceress. Understandably so, most of those people have a somewhat negative view of her. They respect her power but generally don’t welcome her presence at all. Worse is the fact they have no idea what she truly is. Many believe she really is a wizard of the Furry race. Sparking unfounded beliefs in magic and sorcery where there was none. That mistaken rekindling of superstitious fears causes a ton of societal problems… Executions for suspected dark sorcery, witch hunts, you name it. And Chops is much the cause of it all.
Now that’s not to say Chops never does anything good. She does like to play the hero from time to time. Helping others –usually to combat a hostile force. But that’s about it. She fights her own battles now. Completely independent of Tromili’s guidance or knowledge. And despite the fact that she usually helps the Furries- she eats them too. And just to prove she’s and equal opportunity offender, she also eats Myjikaa on occasion. Really- she just enjoys the action of ambushing her prey, pinning them down, then eating them alive while they scream and twist in pain. And since she’s in truth a large bulletproof monster from another galaxy… She can pretty much do as she pleases. I mean, what the hell can you really do? Shoot her? That does absolutely nothing. Cut her in half? Give you 2 reasons why that’s a horrible idea… Both named Chops. In all there are very few things that can harm a grown Shifter. Still- she’s not completely invulnerable. And for that matter, she does love to spend an awful lot of time as a fighter jet lately. It is possible she takes more risks as she grows the complexity of her form.
In the meantime- Fur Chops the Grey she shall remain.
Oh- and that skimpy little grey vest she has covers noting… Also- that’s not actually a hat…
Fur Chops the Grey - Concept, Stories, and Art © Infinity Unbound
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Or any other forms of stealing
Thus there is a tidbit of private information regarding Chops as a reward. And that is?
-Truth is… She can’t walk. Or I should say she can walk but not very well or very far. Fact is- very few Shifters innately do. It’s not something that comes naturally to them. Mostly because Shifters don’t normally have, use, or need legs. And while walking can easily be taught by direct memory transfer. -There isn’t exactly a lot of other Shifters around that Chops can DC (Direct Connect) with.
In short- Chops is a klutz. When using legs- She falls. As in constantly. Truthfully it’s not easy for a being as top heavy as Chops to balance efficiently on two skinny little human legs. And her tiny curled feet don’t help. To be honest the portions of most anime witches are not all that well thought out from a rapid motion of solid mass prospective. Giant hats, big hair, even bigger boobs, and wide hips - all balancing on little chopstick legs with tiny feet. This build might be second nature for a human. But it’s not so normal or practical for a Shifter to make use of.
It would be like a human trying to learn how to ride around everywhere on a unicycle. Yes- you could probably learn to do it. But it’s retarded from a practicality standpoint. Similarly- Why walk on legs when you’re a Shifter? Shifters can just turn into a car or a miniature jet fighter and fly around wherever they want to go. Or they just slide everywhere on their monolith body like Chops is accustom to do doing.
However- people find things that slither around or slide in an otherworldly fashion, to be exceedingly creepy. Normally Chops wouldn’t care about such opinions. But she does want to learn to walk for Tromili’s sake. In her eyes it would make her more relatable. And that brings us to Sognathus 03.
Tromili is rather fond of trains. Always has been, always will be. One of the most spectacular type of trains out there are the great Space Trains. Flying multi-car passenger shuttles that are launched out of giant modified rail guns into space. These Space Trains shuttle important people and sometimes cargo from planet to planet. Tromili is naturally quite found of them. So when he got the opportunity to buy the wreckage of the Space Train Sognathus 03 at salvage lot rates- he immediately did so. Tromili had the wreckage placed about a mile and a half out from his house at SunRain. Originally he had planned to build a model train layout, guest house, bar, and pool room out of the cars. But one rainy season the very heavy train sank into a large patch of soft mud. And that was the end of that bright idea… So Tromili left the wreak as is and planted a spinach garden on top of it instead.
And there it sat- until the day that Chops decided to make this secluded sunken lair, her new home away from home. A private area where she could go to practice being a better Shifter. It took a lot of work to patch most of the holes in the hull. Not to mention getting lights and at least some of the life support systems running again. But it was worth it to have a lit area that wasn’t raining or freezing during the cold season. Although the occasional ground or snow slides would force Chops to have to dig the area out again… And after awhile everything kind of turned into a slope. Now that whole area is as lopsided as the damn train. But- it’s home. Sorta…
Chops doesn’t actually live there fulltime. She lives with Tromili and returns to her actual home every night. –Unless there is work to be done at Sognathus 03. But- Chops does spend most of the day there now. It’s a good, private, and peaceful place to get work done. Plus it makes good storage for her thing. (A large tea kettle she uses as a bed.) Yeah… Shifters are kind of minimalists… Although, she also has a can of fish flakes and a box of light bulbs to eat for snacks.
And it’s here at Sognathus 03 that she has decided to work on her leg walking today! Unfortunately it’s not going so well… She tripped and hit her hat “which is actually a part of her head) on a steel girder. It bent the front of her hat upwards for about an hour and hurt like hell! But she’s fine. It would take a hell of a lot more than steel beams to harm her in any way. In fact the only damage during the collision was to the metal beam. She left a nice dent in the metal along with some scraped off head armor from her hat. One of the many benefits to being a Shifter is a nearly impervious body built like a Greek god. So the only thing that was wounded was her pride. Demoralized- Chops wonders if she’s ever going to be able to walk like people do. She knows in the long run it’s not all that important. But it’s a personal goal of hers.
For now, Chops just sits there and thinks… Kinda bummed out, but looking forward to cat food back at the house. Chops wonders if maybe she should try being a size smaller than 7 or 8 feet tall. That might help…
Oh the up side- she did learn to transform into a pretty convincing black cat wearing a hat and socks! A must have for any witch person!
Chops and Sognathus 03 - Concept, Stories, and Art © Infinity Unbound
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