The Book of Soltana: Gob – 7

More from our Spider friend. And new pests. -Bladed Pen

Underrealm

L’yophin

L’yophin woke with the memory of last night flooding back to him. This Soltana kept surprising him. What he thought was a great artifact for his aerary was starting to turn into a friend. He was cautiously optimistic.

The last time…

He shook awake before he remembered the past that did not wish to relive.

He opened his eight red eyes fully, seeing Soltana powered down on new the window sill. The glowshrooms were all staring at her, waiting for some sort of action. He lept out of the silk hammock, stretching and scratching his dark grey fur with his limbs. He’d need to return to the dekapillars today to make sure they weren’t being bothered. It didn’t take a single kick to keep gobs away once they discovered his ranch. The more dekapillars excreted their nectar, the less they would be able to metamorphize. dekapillars ate up the moss turf that grew all throughout the Underrealm, building up a supply until it was time to change. That was when the supernatural happened. The dekapillar would cocoon itself, and within a matter of months, change into something so unlike its previous incarnation. He needed to be careful in threatening the Gobs. He didn’t want to awaken Diniel’s ire. It was fatal.

The dekapillars metamorphosed into either a Betafly or Rhomoth, gaining enhanced abilities and a sentience they lacked before. This was L’yophins hobby and soon to be his greatest achievement; dekapillar breeding. Most had little idea on what a dekapillar would become, it was a coin flip. Not for L’yophin. He had theories that needed to be tested. Nutrition, the amount of food buildup, the environment, proximity, and love were all things he took into account. He would discover the secret. If only had had scientific gene scanning equipment, he might be able to work out the method.

He skittered along downstairs, thinking about the ranch. He thought back to Sol- or Soltana finding her true name. He had never worked with a being that could remember once they were depleted. She was spectacular in that regard. He skittered along the pathway, the glowshrooms impassively watched the toiling spider. During the awakening time, most creatures would be torpid or resting, allowing L’yophin freedom to explore. It was when twilight happened that things got hairy. Creatures would wake and roam about, some were territorial. Others were docile at best, and downright grumpy at worst. He always had to be careful when mining at the right time. L’yophin reached the high hill of the estate, seeing down into the ranch valley. The dekapillars were all milling about, eating the rich moss carpet. It was a tenacious and fast growing plant, covering the hard rocky surface with a soft layer of green. L’yophin skipped the fence, entering into the massive land that held his dekapillars.

There he skittered nonchalantly along, pondering about his new friend.

What is she? L’yophin pondered yet again. He idly rubbed at his mandibles in thought.

The dekapillars were within sight, their slow trundling forms moving about.

Just a damaged head, deep in the Underrealm. She can apparently remember more of her past the more she is complete.

Not Anform; not like how I remembered them.

Something new?

How did she get there?

How long?

To have been buried there, still active.

Was she placed there? Did she fall into a crevice of shifting rock? Was she here all along and had a cave in?

Cave in… Is there more of her? I’ll need to resurvey that area. I only stopped because I discovered her.

I shall- We. We shall resurvey the area. Once she can walk.

L’yophin’s internal monologue began grinding away, processing what could have happened. His eyes were narrowed in thought as he skittered along.

For now, I’ll get the ore forged, and collect the remaining scrap, L’yophin concluded.

An excitement welled up in him he hadn’t felt since the first time he met…

L’yophin shook from his thoughts, scratching idly at his head. He disliked remembering that time. He closed that compartment of his mind, sealing it away. dugrum were good like that, able to categorize memories and seal them away for later. They had excellent recall of past events, comparable to Anforms. In L’yophin’s case, the past trauma did spring up every now and then when he thought, like a leaky box. More leaked out as of recently since Soltana entered his life.

He skittered close enough that the dekapillars noticed him and started their trundling procession to him.

He began chittering calm words, affirming words to his precious beasts. Each one had been saved from the old Seeking Days, before the End Times. The first dekapillar scooted to him, its massive oval eyes of reflecting black pools dominated most of its face. It clicked its tiny mandibles in recognition of the Dugrum. He gently patted the larger creature, it was eight feet in length, five feet in height, and weighed over three tons. They were massive, slow, docile creatures, and quite friendly. It bumped up into L’yophin, pushing him back. They were also quite unaware of their own girth. L’yophin let out a chittering chuckle at the dekapillar as he scratched it just behind the eyes. Each of the dekapillars was different, this one had a forest green body and yellow spots along the back.

Another brushed up against the first, clicking excitedly, it was orange with black stripes, its eyes smaller with larger mandibles. He gave that one a good petting. All sixteen began to surround him, except one. L’yophin noticed one was scooting away from the others. It was a bright green but had the addition of large green bumps along it. L’yophin narrowed his eyes at that and skittered around the group, chittering at the fleeing one. It stopped, looking back with beady eyes and tiny mandible. The pattern on its face made it look like it had four eyes and a large mouth. As L’yophin got close, he understood right away what was going on.

“Gobs!” L’yophin shouted.

A dozen were clinging on the back, staring back stupidly at the spider.

“Freeloaders off!” L’yophin shouted as he grabbed the closest one by its green scruff, its grubby hands tried to cling to the soft warm hide.

With four arms, he hurled the gob away, its body tumbling around end over end in the air. It struck the soft moss with a squeak, lying still for a moment before rolling to its feet, staring back. The other eleven began gibbering in their strange tongue, protesting L’yophin’s outrage. It made him more determined to get rid of the pests.

“Go away!” L’yophin shouted as he grabbed and hurled another.

It flew with a shriek, landing next to the other. The other gob picked up its buddy, patting him down. Two stared back, waiting. Ten more thrown gobs later, L’yophin inspected the dekapillar, seeing no adverse effects. They might have been trying to herd it away, where they could collect the dew without trouble. L’yophin turned to leave, and stopped, one of his eyes caught the movement of the gobs as they began to scoot closer.

“Rot in my chitin!” L’yophin swore as they were still determined to get that dekapillar. L’yophin shooed the large bug away to the others, the gobs responded by spreading out.

L’yophin sighed.

They weren’t going away easily like the others.

He began working quickly, pulling out the thread from his thorax and looming it between his eight limbs. He had dexterous fingers sporting long claws on each digit, capable of looming and sewing. They were also capable of tearing the nearly indestructible silk. He hastily made a sack, making sure to keep the thread inert. The gobs stared on, unaware what L’yophin was doing.

L’yophin pounced, silently skittering to the closest gob and bagged it. It squeaked in protest. The other eleven caught on and did the only thing that came to them; running in all directions. Two hours and a sack of gibbering gobs later, L’yophin was finished. He skittered to the outer fence, seeing the scrap fence lined with sticky silk had more company. Another dozen gobs were stuck along the silked fence flailing about. There he spotted on either side of the stuck gobs a piece of ruined scrap had been placed against the thread further up the line, preventing vibrations from traveling and alerting the main estate. It also explained why they got in, they simply scurried across, with most falling. He had threaded alarms all throughout his domain. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously at the uncharacteristic intelligence of the gobs. Someone else must have set that scrap. He skittered over the wall, dumping the sealed squirming sack to the ground. L’yophin eyed the scrap beam, seeing it was heavy and long. It took some time to get the beam off as it tangled with his thread. Another half hour later and the beam was dumped on the inside of the fence to prevent reuse. He then worked on freeing the other gobs, tossing them aside. They all scurried to the noisy sack, poking at it. L’yophin rolled his many eyes, gobs tended to stick together. He guessed they were trying to herd the dekapillar to somehow assist freeing their friends. It wouldn’t have worked and would have only resulted in a tangled up dekapillar. L’yophin let out a sigh as he shooed the gobs away and opened the sack, dumping the gobs to the mossy earth. They all mobbed together and ran, gibbering in protest as they scurried off into the dark. For now, the mystery of who set that scrap beam was unsettling. Or if there were more loafing about.

L’yophin grabbed his sack and scurried back over the fence, eyes quickly tracing for any signs of intruders. He turned back to the ranch with a gruff. He went back to work, scouring the ranch for any loafing gobs.

This was going to be a long day.

>>> The Book of Soltana: Blueprint – 8

<<< The Book of Soltana: Vessel – 6

The Book of Soltana Glossary

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