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Title: *No way to tell if it's Day or Night
Description: Navokii Island Rat Mischief DEN Thread


Raowolf - June 26, 2011 06:05 PM (GMT)
Above the ground, the city was alive.
People and animals swarmed together, a thousand different life forms bustling around, rushing here, rushing there, shouting, running, screaming, laughing, and their voices sang up to the sky in a great cacophony of the sounds of life - and of death. On the road, a taxi pulled out infront of another car; the second driver pumped his horn, and the passenger of the Taxi swore loudly at them both.
On the other side of the road, a mother pushed a pram with a wailing baby in, holding two other young children that pushed and pulled to try and get elsewhere. In the flat above her head, an older lady was banging on the roof of her room, shouting at the young man upstairs to turn down his blaring, screeching music. On the other side of the city, a cat basked cheerfully in the sun.
All of them co-existing, living and loving and hunting and hating, running around into their eventual deaths, no matter how prolonged or close that might be. None mattered to the others; the Taxi-driver did not care about the cat, just as the mother did not care about the teenager. And together they lived; they were so close, yet so inexplicably far apart...

Under the ground, the city was alive.
Rats, rats and more rats swarmed together, a hundred different life forms bustling around, rushing here, rushing there, shouting, running, screaming, laughing, and their voices sang up to the city in a great cacophony of the sounds of life - and of death. A scavenger dug through a pile of damp, rotten food-stuffs, searching for the scrap of a meal he knew must be there. He was hungry, and had not eaten in days, yet doubted he would until he died; he was weak, and empty, too small to be a Squad One and too dumb to be a Squad Two.
On the other side of the filthy sewage stream, a Nursing Mother snapped at her young. They chased eachother, squeaking and squealing noisily, and as she turned to tend to one, another fell into the stream, and was carried off, wailing. She left it to die. A layer above the Mother, an old female rat, scarred and skeletal, yet still bulky, growled at a young male as it glared back. Soon she would lose her strength, and he would be able to take her place or eat her, but until then he would be an underling. On the other side of the system, a beetle lay in a patch of darkness, contemplating.
All of them co-existing, living and loving and hunting and hating, running around into their eventual deaths, no matter how prolonged or close that might be. None mattered to the others; the weak rat did not care about the beetle, just as the Mother did not care about the young male. And together they lived; so close, yet so inexplicably far apart...

Two identical societies, barely three feet separating the Mice from the Men, and though they knew the others were there, they cared not for eachother, for they did not need to.

And thus, life continued.

NO WAY TO TELL IF ITS DAY OR NIGHT;
BECAUSE I CAN'T TELL IF IT'S DARK OR BRIGHT.
RIGHT NOW I'M LIVING ON THE EDGE OF A KNIFE,
AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S WRONG AND WHAT'S RIGHT.

Sojourner - June 26, 2011 08:59 PM (GMT)
((... That was awesome, Rao. ;D))

The battle has been bloody, the scars now tenfold, and still my little darlings, I want more...

The ugly, red muck from the area that the previous She-leader, Nikki, had died on became stepped upon. Taking the blood of the dead, the new leader, Ace, lapped it up. Her muzzle now bloodred, her eyes bright and deadly, her chest heaving from the fight; Ace kicked mud in the direction of the dead, before she plunged down the drain...

Into darkness. Into her world.

The first thing Ace spotted was a small group of rats, which she distinguished as the previous mother and young. She watched coldly as one of them fell into the river, but was pleased to see the mother didn't get up.

Good for you. Now, to find Grak. Ace needed to find the male, to tell him of her new position... upgraded from Domina to She-leader. The new position sent a thrill of power and rightness through her. But, of course, she had no idea where the Leader was. Not in the den, surely? He had to have his own place. Perhaps she should ask. Turning back to the previous female mother:

"Where's Grak?" The female whipped around she snarled, spitting out an answer.

"Do I LOOK like I give a shit?"

"I'm SHE-LEADER, ass. Tell me where he is or-" But the female snorted, rolled her eyes, and turned back to her kids. Ace sliced at her, baring her fangs, but turned away and raced down one of the many passages, shouting out.

"GRAK? GRAAAAK??" More rats slammed into her, and she kicked the weaker ones down. A black rat tried to push past as well, trying to get somewhere, but Ace was desperate and ticked.

"WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING, KEE-KEE?" With that, she slammed the male down, but kept running.

((This is just me, I have no idea whether or not it's right socially. >.> Forgive my poor rat-skills.))

Raowolf - June 30, 2011 02:48 PM (GMT)
{OOC: Nah, s'good =) Different rats of course see the world in different ways, and your post well reflected Ace's hostile thoughts, though in general it'd probably be a pretty tough place. I saw a full rat nest once. I shall... Never forget it; the bit about the mother not going after her drowning child was no fiction.
Nice use of the Rat Language, also ^^ }}

IC:

Mally's mismatched eyes were focused entirely on her work. Her tiny pink paws moved swiftly, touching springs and feeling the tension on certain wires; a prod here, a nibble there... Delicacy was everything. One wrong move could kill her. No, wait, make that would kill her. She was inside the trap; the wolf's mouth; the lion's den; and her every move had to be calculated, controlled, precise. This was a basic human rat-trap - a 1990 Snapper V. 2 by the looks of it, though the label was too faded to read. She had disabled a thousand like it. It was easy. Easy. But then why did she always get such a thrill when she pressed and prodded? One wrong move would kill her. It would crunch down on her back, and the spiked metal teeth, rusted with age but still strong, would dig straight through her - a quick estimation in the she-rat's head figured that they would come out the other side. And then she would be gone. Whether it was instant death or a slow bleeding, infected-ness she was unsure; though the teeth were rusted, and the spring didn't have much force behind it any more the trap was still strong, and she knew about the 1990 Snapper V. 2s. They were powerful.
And she was only a Black Rat. A Kee-kee. Mally knew that she should be grateful that she should be born in this 'New Age', when both Black Rats and females were allowed places in life, and she was not one to be bitter, but still some things burned. Her eyes, also, should have granted her an instant-kill pass by her mother. One a pale, swirly pink-brown, the other black as her sleek fur, she could barely see. That was why she was such a good Squad Two; though her vision was bad, this only enhanced her powers of smell, hearing and the ability to feel. She could smell the amount of rust on a trap ten brown-rat-lengths away; she could hear the vibrations the spring made before it slammed shut; she could feel the pressure on a trap-wire, and knew where to push. Ahh, the Squad Twos! Her own creation! The current leader, Grak, nor his long-standing mate Nikki had neither been too bright, and she had managed to slip in her ideas to them; young rats were starting to get principles nowadays, and with careful planning and being sure to use the right length of words* Mally had had the Squad Two band set up. It provided a beacon of hope for rats, young and old. All that it required was a dab of intelligence and a knowledge of when to keep your mouth shut, and they could escape the life of persecution and starvation they may have otherwise been subjected to - because they were useful.
Traps. Dog attacks. Barricades. Human diversion. Now that the Mischief was growing, they had needed to settle down fully; this duty had fallen to Grak, and he had done so successfully - except that with permanent settlement came permanent dangers. As a Squad Two, you had no need to fight, or fear other rats, or scavenge in the gutter. You could be out and about in daylight, and as long as you had a dab-paw at disabling traps you could make a good living out of it, but that did not mean that you were in no danger. Because really, it was just like the real world.

One mistake and you were cat-meat.
Or worse, rat-meat.

That was another thing Mally disliked about the whole rat-ness; eating other rats. It just seemed... wrong. She had hardly raised these concerns with any, and in general it didn't come up much - cannibalism was quite the delicacy, and only the biggest, the baddest or the killer got to eat, and she was none of these. But still, she knew by instinct that few would agree with her - but at least she had managed to make one thing... Okay, two things... Maybe three things clear to the entire Mischief(quite an achievement, getting through to all of them):
1. If you don't know what it died of, don't eat it;
2. Don't insult the meat if you want to eat;
3. And most importantly of all, don't eat the green wobbly bit!


She was in the light now - well, almost. It was hard to get and dangerous, and she was hardly the most adept at predator-dodging, but at least she had managed to get out without one of the brainless Squad Ones standing over her. There was only one Black Rat in the Squad Ones, and even he was only half-caste, and none in the Dominas, and then again he was only a single one in the hundred Squad Ones there were. Kee-kee. She never got called anything else by them. She hated to distinguish between the two sub-species of rat - they were all rats, after all, she had often reasoned - but still there was always a definite 'us' and 'them' in the air, everywhere one went.
And then a shout came up from the gaps in the grille twenty tail-lengths behind her that could be heard from even where Mally lay pressing and nudging, outside in the warm, fresh air, near the sunlight.
With bad sight came good hearing.
But she wished she hadn't heard.

"Where is Grak . . . I am leader . . . Graaa-aaaak . . . You useless Kee-kee!"
It was Ace.
Mally felt her pounding heart sink, but she refused to allow herself to settle on it until she had pushed the final place to de-activate the trap - a few moments later, with a deafening squealing creak, it swung away from her and fell apart. Then she focused on the matters of the Mischief, and what she had just heard.
Ace was now she-leader.
Ace hated Black Rats.
Ace was now she-leader.
That meant Nikki was dead.
Ace was now she-leader.
Ace was smarter than Nikki had been.
Ace was now she-leader.
Ace hated Black Rats.
Ace was now she-leader.
Ace was smarter than Nikki had been.
And crueller, too.
Ace was now she-leader.
What would happen to Mally's beloved Squad Twos?



*Too long and he got upset that he couldn't understand you, too short and he might guess what you were actually planning.

Sojourner - July 6, 2011 01:32 PM (GMT)
Ace was not- as of now- immediately planning anything. All she wanted to was to talk to Grak, inform him and the rest of the nest she was leader... and assume the position of she-leader... and lord it over the others. Simply put, she was going to push others around, and this time have the power of place to back up what she wanted. But then, as she was coming down the now-emptying tunnel, she realized what a bad idea it would be to continue on like this. Dominas... powerful, yes, but with a tide like this against her, Ace would be stupid to have a bone to pick with every rat there was. Turning around, Ace headed back...

But, stopping at the larger portion of the nest, the cross-roads if one would, Ace thought back to Nikki's death. The trap... had it been a fair fight? Yes, Ace reasoned, If she had paid attention, none of this would've happened. But the air still seemed to smell of fakeness. The fight would've been fair if... the traps had been disabled. If those Squad-twos had done it.

Search overload, in a strange way, the thought of 'squad-two's' brought up the hazy creature that had slipped in the idea. M-something.

She made those 'Squad-toes' or was auch immer. Never liked dem. Too many... vhatdumacalleets... oh, ja. Squad two's make dose extras. The pesky leetle ranks. HA! If only Ich got it to Grak dat it vould be best to dispose of dem. If du don't feet in Squad one's, three's or anyvere else... Vell, dispose of them. Ace though with malice. The hazy image of a black rat remained, but the eyes.... one was a pink-brown, the other black. The visually impaired face of Mally leered in Ace's mind's eye.

Ich vill destroy dur 'squad-toes'...

Raowolf - July 11, 2011 06:54 PM (GMT)
It was a short journey back into the main den of the rats. Three or four bounds and Mally was at the edge of the drain; through the bars of the gutter she slipped, and dropped a brown-rat-length to a shelf she knew to be there; a nail sticking out of the wall provided her next stop, balancing precariously on its thin, rusty bar; swinging down on her tail from that to a thread she herself had strung up, the small rodent ran along it, silent and fast, heading along and down the dank drain as the bare square of light above her grew tinier by the pawstep.
When it was completely gone - her bad vision only told her this by the darkening in the blurs - she knew it was time to jump. This was always a high-tension moment, when you could never know if you were in the right spot; even those with good eyes could not judge if they would land on the tiny, minute square that was safe to land on. The walls were so close around her that a larger rat would have their sides pressed - as it was, Mally's whiskers brushed the dank stone. Taking a deep breath, she closed her blank, mismatched eyes, tensed her muscles... And jumped.

The air whooshed past her face, blowing her whiskers and tail up and making her ears flap. She opened out her paws and relaxed her leg muscles, tensing her shoulders; when she hit the small square of wood that provided a boat to her and other passers, the shock of the landing passed up her slack leg and was absorbed into her body. If she had tensed her legs, they would have snapped easier than matchsticks; if she had slackened her shoulders, she would have been squashed with the pressure and sharp change in speed. Her landing was perfect. Her landing was precise.
And it still damn well hurt her paws.
A small piece of string attached her raft to the wall; she clambered along it, untied it - it was too difficult to redo if you nibbled it loose every time - and leapt back onto her boat just in time. The freezing, filthy water lapped at the edges, and she felt a thrill of fear as it skimmed her fur; a sharp, painful memory of falling into it... The icy waves, and strange things brushing against her. Unable to take a breath, she struggles to the surface - but the surface is no longer there! She's sinking, and screaming, but the filthy water is flowing into her mouth and choking her, until eventually she knew she was going to die...
No. That wasn't happening. That was then. She had been saved, she hadn't died, and now was now and she was on a boat...
A baby rat body drifted alongside her.
Mally turned away, disgusted; the mother had probably left it to die.

The stream she was on was pretty useful; it ran in a loop through the centre of the rat den, and then back round to the entrance she had come in through. Once she reached the den, she would leave this raft here, then next time a rat went down to her exit they would take it back up and leave it in the precise spot needed for them to get back down with. Only one could travel at a time, but it worked, and provided safe travel.

A short while later, her vision became brighter as overheight lights spread fast. She counted them silently, picking up the tethering string and preparing to jump.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine... JUMP! The black rat scrabbled on the edge of the shoreline, struggling to hold her raft as it was pushed along by the strong current. Then there were other paws on hers, and yet another set on her forelegs, and they were pulling. By scent, she recognised them as a young Black Rat, in training to be a Squad two - she liked him and he adored her - and a female Squad One who had worked hard to get where she was and, though ruthless, was grateful to Mally for fighting for female rights. She was a Brown Rat, but not one of the Racists. "Th-thanks, guys," she panted, standing up on her hind legs and shaking out her tail.
"'Ave ya' 'eard th' n'ws?" asked the Brown Female by her side.
Mally nodded silently, heart suddenly sinking.
"What'cha gonna' do 'boot 't?"
The Black Rat was silent, mismatched eyes downcast, ears drooping sadly. Finally, after a long pause, she spoke. "I don't know, Beat. I just don't know."

Kat - August 5, 2011 07:23 PM (GMT)
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Near the center of the mess of rats, an abnormally large female brown rat groomed herself carefully. Her little pink tongue slid out of her mouth, around her teeth, to flatten down the pieces of fur that were dirty or out of wack. She had once seen a cat do it while she was above ground - it seemed to work for the cat, it would sure work for this young rat. Oddly, she hated when her fur was dirty or looked strange and rough, like most rats. It was rather wierd, but it made her look like one of the most well groomed rats in Navoke... because she was the only one that groomed herself...
<br><br>
This rat was named Pandora. She was indeed one of the second highest ranked rats in the Mischief, an extrordinary achievement for a female. However, Pandora was also one of the wierdest and sweetest rats in Navoke. Not long ago, she was promoted to she-Domina when Nikki, their past she-leader, was murdered. Pandora had been sad for the deceased rat, but she hadn't really known anything about her. What was more unfortunate about the situation was that Pandora had taken Ace's place, meaning that the cruel rat was now she-leader alongside Grak.
<br><br>
Pandora's dark brown fur was smoothed quickly as she ran her tongue across it, even though it was really gross. She didn't understand how cats did it all the time. When Pandora came to spots she couldn't reach, she lifted her leg to run her four pink toes across it, using them as a sort of brush. It worked well, because when Pandora put all four feet on the ground and glanced into a puddle of water, her fur was smooth and sleek, just the way she liked it. Swallowing, Pandora blinked her dark brown eyes a few times at herself through the puddle. Was it going to be hard, being Domina? What about when Ace died? Then Pandora would have to step up to be leader. But, Pandora was sure Ace wasn't going to die any time soon. She was actually more concerned on another question... What if I die first? Pulling her head away from the water, she chased the thought away from her mind and glanced out across the land of Navoke, wondering instead what this day would bring her.
<br><br>
"listen to me
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Kytara'sParadise - August 15, 2011 06:59 PM (GMT)
The black rat slipped down, into the Mischeif dens. Without any sense of urgency, she scampered into the throng of rats, as they went about their own business. Nazneen was a Squad One; she wouldn't be getting trouble, not from many rats. Naz wended through the crowd, taking in every pelt she brushed, every individual scent. Such was the intrigue of living in such a large colony.

Nazneen was startled from her introspective reverie when a significant odor met her sensitive rodent nose. She peered around, and spotted a large she-rat grooming herself like one of those cursed cats. Such nuisances, they were, Nazneen had no idea why one would mimic them. With another sniff, she realized it wouldn't be a good idea to bring it up; That was Pandora, second-in-command to the leaders.

"Hello!" Nazneen cheerfully greeted her. Her gregarious nature kicking in. Not for a moment did she think that this brown rat might not like being addressed by a black rat, and one of lesser rank. Naz grinned peppily at the other rat.

Raowolf - August 28, 2011 10:50 AM (GMT)
{OOC: Sojo's taking a step back for personal reasons, so we're going to go without her for a while. That okay with you guys? She is still the she-leader of the Mischief, unless she decides to adopt out Ace, because we still need our awesome-banana plot, but just for a while she needs some RIRL-time - which is perfectly okay =) }}


user posted image

Closing her eyes, the small black rat took three long, deep breaths.
Time to think. She needed time to think.
One... Two... Three...
She opened her eyes. The two rats before her were staring at her expectantly, the faintest trace of a frown behind the larger's eyes. She could almost see - of course she could see very little, but she could sense this - the panic and accusation there; 'What do you mean, you don't know what to do? You're Mally, brave leader of the Squad Twos - you know what to do about everything!'
So the black rat did what she always did in these situations: she smiled, and pretended like she knew what do to.

"Don't worry, guys - the Mischief can't survive without the Squad Twos. Ace can't get rid of us; the she-leader doesn't have much power anyway, you know what Grak's like. It'll be fine... We'll work it out. We'll work it out..." Almost without meaning to, she reached up and pulled on one of her ears, as she always did when she was thinking, and closed her left eye - the pink one. It helped her vision only a little. She still had a few hopefully staring at her; she needed to say something else, for despite the jovial tone and words, they were not fully convinced. "Look, we need to carry on with life as normally as possible," she began. "The last thing we need is the young getting scared, or the food sources depleting; something tells me Ace will not be entirely focused on keeping us all alive with the menial things like Nikki was.
"Just... Carry on with your normal duties - Squad Twos to me. If you see anyone, tell them to carry on as nor--"
"WHAT THE ---! IS GOING ON HERE?!"
Ah. She should have known Grak would find out soon.


~---------------------------------------------~


user posted image
Today was not a good day for the violent leader of the Mischief.

Things were moving a little fast as it was for Grak; one moment he was killing the old leader, ruling the Mischief and enjoying a life of killing and feasting, and the next there were Squad Twos, and black rats, and cocky young'uns he apparently wasn't allowed to kill, and ranks, and challengers, and mates that fought their way to the top and then were killed so fast that he barely had time to bear a litter by them - it really was thoroughly confusing. Shaking his head, the battered old brown rat opened one eye blearily, to see an eager yet worried face but inches from his.
Instinct kicking in immediately, he leapt to his paws, shaking the last of the sleep from his scarred body, and snarled, lashing out at it; clearly taken by sharp surprise, the little brown rat leapt back. Its small black eyes were wide, and it shuffled back on to two paws, grinning sheepishly.
Ah. Not a challenger, then.
Still, better show it who was boss; there were fewer and fewer rats he could kill these days. "ALL RIGHT, YOU ---ING LITTLE KEE-KEE, WHAT THE ---! ARE YOU DOING IN MY ---ING QUARTERS!?"
The smile faded from its lips, and it looked to be about to sigh - but catching sight of Grak's thunderous expression, it did not give the antagonising action.
"I-it's Nikki, sir. She's-she's-she's... Nikki is... Ace..."
"GET IT OUT, YOU KEE-KEE!"
"She's dead, sir. She was killed a few hours ago by Ace, sir. Shall I tell the Squad Twos to go and--"
"I WILL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO, AND NOT THE ---ING OTHER WAY AROUND!"
"Yes, sir," said the smaller rat, clearly through gritted teeth - the leader decided to let that one slide. "Do you want me to tell the Squad Twos to find out how she died?"
Grak nodded, clearly pleased with his work. See, he thought in his version of smartly. You shout at them and they learn not to undermine your authority. Of course, if I'd have killed him... And he shook his head, tuning back in to the messenger's speech as it drew to a close.
Deciding that he would look stupid not to have listened, he nodded gruffly instead. "I'M GOING BACK TO THE MAIN DEN!" he bellowed. "SO TELL THIS... ACE-" he lingered on the name "-TO PREPARE TO MEET HER NEW MATE AND LEADER."
"Oh, I'm sure everyone will have heard you coming, sir."
"WHAT WAS THAT, YOU ---ING KEE-KEE? SPEAK UP!"
"Nothing, sir!"
Humph.

On his way out, moving with a rolling, determined gait that reminded one of an over-proud bear that needed to pee but which felt very authoritative to him, Grak nipped at the other rat on the way out.
Cheeky little cat-food.
As he came out, he took a long, deep breath, savouring in the smells and sights and sounds of the Mischief's den. Rats bustled everywhere; rats killing rats, rats fighting rats, rats talking to rats, rats eating one rat whilst cheerfully bellowing at another; this was the life he liked. This was the one he had helped create. Proper rats, doing proper rat things - now that's what I like to see. The leader's den was in a hole dug through a thick metal pipe, high up above the rest and reachable only by a long journey of crate-climbing, rope-swinging and mud-jumping/swimming; a rat up there could see everything. That was what he liked about this den: he could see... Everything.
It was beautiful.
And then the mood was interrupted by his own echoing shout.
"WHAT THE ---! IS GOING ON HERE!?"

He liked to keep them on their toes.

Kat - September 3, 2011 03:21 PM (GMT)
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Pandora continued to stare into the puddle, it's water murky and muddy. Her reflection wasn't a bad sight, Pandora was a good looking rat when she kept herself cleaned up. She was big, too, towering over most of the rats in the Mischief. Many muscles hid themselves underneath her thick skin, contracting and retracting whenever Pandora moved her small, thin legs. She was kind of just a magnificent rat, even though she had a childish mind. Raising her head up a little bit away from the puddle, Pandora gave a toothy grin. Instantly she let out a sigh. Her yellow-tinted teeth were horrible looking. Everyone else's teeth look like that too, if not worse. she told herself, letting her dark lips fall back down to cover her long, sharp teeth.
<br><br>
The voice of another rat drew her out of her opinions about her appearance. Her mind shifted from herself to the other rat's speech as she whirled herself around quickly. "Hello!" It was a black rat. All of the brown rats she had been raised with, including her own mother and father, had always told her that black rats were bad. They'd said that they were little vermin, like spiders or mosquitoes, just pests. For the first half of her life, Pandora thought about believing them. However, she had never fund anything wrong with these rats. They were just smaller and black, and that fact didn't bother Pandora one bit. That was why, right now, she didn't mind that she was associating with a black rat openly.
<br><br>
In another second, Pandora realized it was Nazneen, a Squad 3 black rat. Even though Naz wasn't that high up in the ranks, Pandora had always respected her for her uplifting personality and cheerful moods. Pandora honestly hadn't spent that much time around the small black rat, but she had nothing against her. "Hello, there, Nazneen!" Pandora greeted back, her voice much louder. It was an accident, Pandora was never purposely loud. It just happened to be that way when she spoke in her high-but-deep bellowing voice. "Wonderful day today, eh?" Pandora grinned, her eyes glancing around to watch the other rats. Some eyes turned to her, but not many. Besides, Pandora liked an audience.
<br><br>
"listen to me
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