|Home||Help Search Members Calendar Shoutbox|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
|Mimi the Lost||
Posted: Feb 13 2018, 02:25 AM
THE DAY BEFORE THE END OF THE WORLD
A tall, red-headed, wild-haired woman burst through the door to the inn and stomped her way to the bar area with a passionate fire in her sky blue eyes. Her left arm hung limp at her side, dripping with blood from the torn, slash marks there. She slammed a handful of Pokedollars onto the bar.
"Strongest stuff you got, and skip the ice!"
The bartender took one look at her and sweated, nervous about the strange, loud woman, and hurried to complete her request. The woman sat on one barstool and propped her feet on another. She pulled a roll of gauze from one of the many pockets of her brown bomber jacket. She unwound some of the gauze and tore through the end of it with her teeth and set about haphazardly wrapping her bleeding wounds as she waited for her drink. Some of the inn's patrons watched her; some curious, some concerned.
The bartender returned with her drink. Someone asked her, from a distance, if she was all right. She turned, grinning like a Purrloin in the cream and an unhinged glint in her eyes.
"Am I all right?" She got up and took her drink with her, striding to the unlucky brunette who had spoke only out of concern. "Oh, oh- That's a question! WHAT a question! Am I ALL RIGHT!"
The brunette sat back in her chair, eyes wide, seeming to try and keep her distance without actually moving. The red-headed woman knocked back half of her drink without a single grimace like it hadn't burned at all when it well should have.
"Lemme tell you something about how all right I am. I've spent the last THREE months in the desert searching for a mythical tower!" That would explain the grit on her tan skin, and the sand in her red hair.
"They say it's just a mirage. OH THEY SAY IT IS BUT I KNOW BETTER! Rumor has it that it'll collapse only to rebuild itself again, but what they don't say is HOW it does this or WHY it does this... and I MIGHT HAVE JUST SOLVED THE MYSTERY. Who knows? BUT BEHOLD."
She pulled an ancient sandstone tablet from her somewhere within her bomber jacket. The writing etched on it was faded and hard to make out. "Physical PROOF. Evidence! Not to mention, a fortune in the making from whatever egghead shells out the cash for this priceless piece of archaeology."
The red-headed woman narrowed her eyes. "But it wasn't easy. Anything worth getting is hard to get- this?" She gestured to her arm. "Angry Sandslash. Probably a mother. Fierce. Protective. Mean. Couldn't get to my Pokemon in time. Couldn't get out of the way in time. And then, there was the crumbling tower itself. A whole brick of sandstone just about knocked my head clean off! So, let me ask you something, lady. Am I all right?"
"HAHAHA! That's right. I'm BETTER than all right!" The red-headed woman threw her arms up in the air. "Legendary Pokemon ABOVE; WHAT A RUSH! Woo! I'm ALIVE!"
She knocked back the rest of her drink, again without grimacing and slammed it on the table. Then, she stomped over to the innkeeper (much to the relief of the brunette). "Get me the room closest to the stairs. I'm going to be in town for a few days. Gotta stock up on supplies while I'm here and make a few calls."
She kept on stomping, stomped right on out the door. Little did she know that she would not be returning.
START OF THE END OF THE WORLD
The red-headed woman paced the streets; the phone up to her ear.
"Yeah, okay, I GET that, but I'm not gonna up and make the journey ALL that way just for you to "verify" its "authenticity" before you can name me a price. Tell me its worth it, and I'll be at your doorstep happy to hand it over before you can even-"
A strange chill went down her spine, sudden, without warning. There was an odd silence on the other end of the line as if the person she had been speaking to had felt it, too. Then, there was static, then nothing. She stared out on the horizon seeing clouds thicker and darker than she had ever seen them, and flashes of bright blue and white lightning. And then, the earth shook.
She didn't know what she was doing before she was doing it. Running. Her legs were jelly and unsteady on the shaking earth, but she moved. A fissure, a wide, gaping, shaking chasm opened up behind her, and she stopped looking back.
A MONTH LATER...
The rain poured down like gunfire, stabbing at the red-headed woman's skin as the muscles in her arms pulled taut along with the rope. Her tiny sailboat rocked violently in the waves and the loud roaring wind and fierce rain meant she heard nothing else. She fought with the sails and the steering like a madwoman, desperate to keep the little boat afloat.
At the end of it all, she would end up laid face-down on a beach, the sun shining on her back, coming to a hazy, bleary kind of consciousness. She did not have time to ponder her situation for very long. She could see a thin layer of snow on the beach. Snow where it shouldn't be. In a season where it shouldn't be. She got up, exhausted, in pain, and her mind in a daze, but she would prepare. Winter was coming whether she was ready or not, and she planned to be ready.
The red-headed woman laid on her back, her sky blue eyes dilated, wide, and terrified and her chest heaving with rapid breaths. She didn't know what had happened, what she did, where she had been. Hallucinating? Was she hallucinating? Her head hurt, throbbed in pain.
She was a little girl playing near the creek until she slip and fell. She screamed for help. Once. Twice. The water pulled her under; and though, she fought it, she could not win. Her lungs burned with the need to breathe. She tried to reach for the light that she could just see. She just wanted to breathe again. She needed to breathe. And she opened her mouth, and all was darkness.
She was a young adult on her first assignment. The rickety old bridge across the canyon did not look safe, did not look as if it had been maintained in quite sometime. She didn't let it stop her. Not today. Not ever. She set foot on the bridge, careful, a light step. She did not linger. More light steps. She got midway when she heard a creek. She did not linger. Kept going. There was another creek, and a snap, and nothing felt solid anymore. There was a rush of air around her, and nothing to hold onto. She fell and fell, and at some point, she lost consciousness and never came back.
Onward and onward, these events, these dreams? They kept happening. Rapid. One after another. Yet at the same time? Something felt wet near her lip. Her hand reached up and felt it. She pulled her hand away, uncomprehending. Unable to comprehend anything. The events kept going. There was blood there on her hand, having trickled down from her nose, and she didn't even realize it. She was looking right at it, but she couldn't see it. All she could see were the events. Her body began to tremble.
And then, there was a crash. At least, it felt like a crash. She let in a desperate inhale for breath and sat straight up, pushing her hands through her wild, red hair. What was that? What happened?
The ground was gone. She looked down. The ground was several inches below her feet, and the ground and her were becoming spread even further apart. She reached out to grab something. Anything.
She didn't scream for help because she was alone. There was no one around. She was out in the middle of the wilderness, and if she couldn't grab something-
She couldn't grab something. She continued to float away. Higher, higher. She could see the stars twinkling above her, and it felt as if they were getting closer. She felt a sense of calm wash over her upon looking at the stars. She thought she might be okay. It didn't matter if she floated away. If this was how she died... if this was how she REALLY died...
That was fine. She reached out again because she wondered if maybe she'd be able to touch them. A handful of stars.
Posted: Feb 14 2018, 10:05 AM
A blindingly bright white flash filled the sky above and around her, bright enough to illuminate the world around Mimi for nearly a mile in all directions. Time almost seemed to slow for just a moment- or perhaps the next few events happened so fast that her mind could only understand them in slow-motion.
Following the bright flash, the world around Mimi began to dim- first gradually and slowly, and then exponentially. After only a couple of seconds, everything had lost all its light. In the moment absolute darkness was reached, there was another burst of white light; then, plummeting abruptly from the sky and passing through all objects in its path as if it were incorporeal, fell what seemed to be a comet swathed in and trailing a yellow and blue light. It made no sound, and indeed, it seemed as though there was no substance to it. Although it appeared as if it was going to crash directly into her, there were no sounds of impact, no force of impact, no indication at all that the comet had actually touched or affected anything. Mimi would feel nothing, but she would be blinded by the fierce glow of the shooting star that had nearly plummeted into her.
And then the very air around Mimi seemed to change instantaneously. All sound vanished. The air currents vanished. The ground beneath her vanished, though no sensation of falling accompanied it; if anything, it would feel similar to floating on water. Weightlessness. And everything was black.
As Mimi's vision returned, her eyes would confirm what her other senses may have already told her: she was no longer where she had been mere moments ago. She was... nowhere. She was in blackness. Darkness beneath, above, and on all sides. It was deep and absolute. But right before her, like a single star in a deep space, floated a fairy-like creature, whose brightness was dimming to a much more reasonable, dulled glow than the light he had been exuding previously. As the fae's light faded, his form became discernible; he was somewhat humanoid, but small.
The main part of the creature's body was white; his arms were long and clothed in white sleeves that seemed as much a part of him as anything else. His legs were comparatively short, though he did not seem to use them for much, as he was floating rather than standing. His stomach had an odd crease in it, shaped like an upturned semi-circle. His eyes were large and black, with little green triangles beneath them. There were no eyebrows nor any facial creases to determine his expression with, but the openness of his eyes and the slightly upturned thin lips seemed to indicate contentment and interest.
Atop his head were three pointed, pale yellow extremities- reminiscent of a star- each with a dangling rectangular blue tag that seemed to shiver slightly in a nonexistent wind. The pale yellow growth also came down to frame the sides of the fae's milky white face. Two long, ribbon-like appendages of that same pale yellow color extended from the base of its neck. They levitated delicately behind the creature.
My name is Jirachi.
The voice that this Jirachi spoke with was clear as a bell and was just as cheerful and musical, though it seemed as though it spoke with a slight echo, or as if there were multiple melodic voices speaking nearly at the same time with a slight delay, which would force Mimi to pay close attention to the words if she wanted to be able to understand exactly what being said by the lone companion she had in this strange, empty place.
What do you remember?
It was a question Jirachi needed to ask first. People's memories faded from them at varying rates in this in-between place; some lost all memory immediately upon entry into the void, others lost them gradually during the course of their conversation, and some seemed to retain most of their memories and sense of self all the way until their final moments in the void. It was important to ascertain their level of remembrance at the beginning, as it would affect the style of conversation and the types of questions he could ask.
Are you injured?
If Mimi revealed any injuries, Jirachi would incline his head and the air- or space, or void, or whatever- above Mimi would glitter somewhat, and any injuries would cease hurting, and would be mostly healed by the time Mimi left this in-between worlds to enter the next. But that was the future. This was now, and there were questions to be answered.
Welcome to the void between universes. Mimi will begin her journey through this vacuity by conversing with Jirachi, who will learn as much as he can about the human. When Jirachi feels he has learned enough, or if Mimi chooses to end the conversation, Celebi will take the information Jirachi has obtained and present Mimi with a number of challenges- mental or physical- to determine which of the Pokemon that Jirachi suggests would be the best partner for the human. Enjoy!
|Mimi the Lost||
Posted: Feb 14 2018, 10:02 PM
The red-headed woman kept drifting further and further away from the ground and closer and closer to the stars. Then, a brilliant white flash filled the sky, and the world dimmed around her. She didn't know what was happening. Maybe she wasn't getting enough air all the way up like she was. Maybe this was how she died.
As the world dimmed around her, she closed her eyes. The world was ending. She was ending, and all at once, she realized she didn't want to let go. She tightened her fists and let out a scream, an angry, anguished cry because she didn't want to die. It couldn't end like THIS. She opened her eyes again and reached, struggled for something, anything. But there was nothing there. Darkness had enveloped her and left her with nothing. She kicked at nothing, and she screamed again. Light burst through her vision again, painful, blinding light. For a few short seconds (or perhaps it was longer), her life flashed before her eyes.
She saw the shadows of her parents who were always too busy to ever really spend any time with her. She saw teachers frowning down at her, disappointed in her problem behavior. She saw a few failed relationships. But mostly, she saw the outdoors: lush jungles, sandy white beaches, the dark depths of the ocean.
And then, there was something big and bright hurtling towards her, and she curled in on herself as a way to brace for the impact that was surely to come.
It did not come.
Everything went dark again, and the red-headed woman kept forcing herself to breathe because she thought she might drown. She wasn't sure why she thought that. She didn't know where she was. This gave her pause. Her mind felt as empty and dark as the void surrounding her.
Where am I?
No answer was forthcoming. Panic sank in; her body tensed and her breathing accelerated.
I don't know anything. I don't know anything. Where am I? What is this place? Why am I here? Who am I? How can I not know who I am? What's wrong with me? Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?
Her eyes were trying to adjust to the dark void, and as they did, she scrambled for a mental grip on something. Anything.
I am... I am. I'm here. I'm right here. I'm - I'm me. Me. That's who I am. Me. I'm me. Am I okay? I'm okay. I'm me. As long as I'm me, I'm okay. I'm-
She lost track of her thoughts because she could see now that she was not alone. She stared, gaping at the small white creature before her. She considered the creature a moment. She put her hands up towards herself and looked at them, curious. She looked back at the creature. She reached up for her head, seemed to feel around as if trying to determine if she had a similar head shape to the thing she was looking at.
She could hear multiple melodic voices ringing in her ear, but she was still checking herself and the creature for differences. It was not difficult nor did it take long for her to determine that this creature and her were entirely different.
It's not me.
She only managed to focus long enough to catch the tail-end of an echo. "Rachi," she repeated.
"You are Rachi?" She gestured to him.
She gestured to herself. "I am me," she said, soft, almost a little uncertain. "Me," she repeated, with more conviction.
"Mimi. That's who I am." The conviction in her voice was much stronger now, and she seemed to try and straighten herself. She looked at the "Rachi" with a challenge in her eyes as if daring it to try and tell her she was anyone other than who she said she was.
Her intense gaze on the Rachi didn't waver even as she heard the voices coming from it again. But the defiance seemed to soften into something more like curiosity. The rectangular blue tags dangling from the Rachi's head... just... dangling.
What if she...?
She reached out to attempt to grab one and once again only caught the tail-end of what Rachi was saying.
She withdrew her hand, and an inkling of panic started to trickle back to her brain. She crossed her arms. "I'm here. And I'm me. And you're Rachi. And... this is the way things are."
Calm washed over her. "And that's okay with me. What else do I need to remember?"
Maybe things had always been this way.
She frowned as she floated aimless in the void. If things had always been this way, it must have been awful boring. She tried to get closer to the Rachi. She wanted to touch it. She hadn't touched anything else before. What did Rachi feel like? It looked like it might be squishy. Was it squishy? She wasn't entirely sure what "squishy" was exactly, but she had a very strong feeling that Rachi might be squishy.
Injured? Hurt? Pain. She stopped just short of touching Rachi to check herself. Her brow furrowed, and she frowned.
"Everything kind of hurts, actually."
And then with an incline of Rachi's head, it didn't. Mimi's sky blue eyes widened, and she patted herself down. "Wow. WOW! That's amazing! I feel amazing! What did you do? How did you do that? Could you do it again?"
She reached out for Rachi. "Can I squish you?"
Posted: Feb 16 2018, 09:31 PM
Jirachi seemed to accept both the woman's interpretation of his own name as well as the answer she gave for her own name without so much as batting an eye.
He repeated her name back to her with a gentle incline of his head. He listened to her rambling response, noting that she did not seem to recall anything about her existence before this very moment. She seemed to accept that this void was all there was, and remained calm. It wasn't the ideal situation, but at least she wasn't in a panic or a rage. He could still converse with her. He had dealt with this many times before.
Jirachi's mind began to produce a series of potential questions he could ask her, even as he answered the last of the peppering of questions that she had for him.
You may touch me, but you may not injure me.
The verb "squish" seemed somewhat violent of a word choice and brought unpleasant imagery into his mind, but the human's mannerisms and tone of voice did not indicate a violent or malicious intent. He'd allow her to approach him, and to gently touch or hug him, but if her movements became cruel or harmful, she would find herself forcibly repelled by an unseen force.
Regardless, Jirachi would move on to quizzing the human. He didn't have much time to spare, after all. He began by repeating a phrase she had used, and built off of that.
We are here, in this dark void.But if you could add colors and shapes and objects to this void,
How would you change it? What would it look like?
|Mimi the Lost||
Posted: Feb 17 2018, 12:52 AM
Mimi straightened a bit upon hearing Rachi refer to her by name, and for a moment, she paid attention and looked alert. The acknowledgement was a small one, but it was an acknowledgement. A confirmation. It felt good to be identified, to have a name, to be someone. She brightened when Rachi told her that she could touch him, and she was at his side in an instant. This close to him, she realized exactly how big she was in comparison to him. Rachi was so, so tiny!
She held up both index fingers and then placed them on either side of Rachi's cheeks and poked a few times. Her eyes widened slightly in surprise. She had expected some give, some "squishiness" but there was no give. Rachi felt remarkably solid, smooth, and cool to the touch. She ran one of her hands along his star-shaped head; here, too, Rachi was solid and firm, but it seemed as if his head was covered by a thin layer of silk. She slid her hand over Rachi's head a few times and patted him, enjoying the new, silky, soft texture.
Then, she gave a slight knock on Rachi's head, not intending to harm but just to see what it would sound like. She grasped one of the tags hanging down from Rachi's head in a delicate manner, but it almost seemed as if she needn't have worried. It didn't look like the tags were really capable of being bent despite how paper-thin they looked; they felt very firm, too, and the edges of the tags were a bit on the sharp side.
"Guess you're not very squishy. Huh." She poked Rachi's belly a couple of times for further confirmation. Yep. Definitely not squishy. She paused at the crease in Rachi's belly and ran her hand over that, too, curious.
She tilted her head and raised an eyebrow when Rachi asked her what she would add to the void if she could. She looked thoughtfully at the void around her, up, down, side to side.
"Well, y'know, it's kinda getting old being surrounded by nothing. Might be nice to have something to set my feet down on?" She stroked her chin. "Land," she said, after a moment. "Ground?"
She knew the words, but it was difficult to give them context at times due to the loss of her memories. "There should be food around, too."
She frowned a moment, brow furrowing with some concern. Food. Right, she needed to eat. She didn't feel hungry at the moment, but eating was something that was done. That was needed. Did Rachi magic hunger away, too? Or maybe magic up some food? Her brow furrowed a little harder when she realized she couldn't actually remember what food looked like, but she was sure she would know it if she saw it. She decided to move on, though. No point in being bothered by it. Surely, Rachi would get what she meant.
"Oh! And maybe something to climb! Something really tall! Like... like a... uh... a tall thing. I want to be able to take in the view below me! You know, an actual view. Of, um... I dunno. The land? And the food on the land?"
Mimi gave it some more thought. "I think there should be other things, too. Things that can hide behind things? Or how about some hidey-holes, maybe? And maybe there's something in the hidey-hole sometimes? And sometimes there isn't? If I could walk around, I want to discover new things. Things I've never seen before."
She paused. "It kind of seems like I haven't seen a lot of things. Have you seen a lot of things, Rachi? Maybe it wouldn't be hard for you to go all sparkly and make things I've never seen before here?"
Finally, she focused her gaze back on Rachi. "Maybe it'd be nice if it weren't just us. I mean, I'm sure you're a good friend?" She sounded only slightly uncertain about this.
He'd healed her, let her touch him, was talking with her. It seemed like a fairly good description for the word friend, right? "But it must be lonely just being the two of us. So, there should be more Rachis here, too. Maybe some that actually are really squishy. And maybe more of me?" Her brow furrowed again in thought. "People?"
Something in her expression shifted, becoming almost forlorn. "I kind of feel like... maybe it wouldn't be good. For us to be alone, I mean."
Posted: Feb 20 2018, 01:07 PM
I see. Good choices.
Jirachi replied, after the human had said her piece in response to his questions. He was pleased at how she tried to answer his questions thoroughly, to the best of her ability. It wasn't a lot, given that she had no memories to really work with, but it was enough for him. He had worked with less before.
Soon, you will be able to have those things.
You will have places to go, friends to be with.
Feeling as though he should leave her with a bit of encouragement, he thought he would at least mention that Mimi had something to look forward to, particularly since he was about to leave her to her own devices while Celebi took over to finish what they had to do before the human could enter the new world.
I'll ask one more question.
Do you have any unfulfilled wishes?
As Jirachi spoke, he bowed to the human in a gesture of farewell. If the human was looking at the fae, and was observant in that moment, she would see written upon the three blue tags that dangled from Jirachi's star-shaped headdress, a record of the brief conversation that the two of them had just shared. Each answer he had given was written in compact, scrolling text, as if on some enchanted parchment.
As Jirachi bowed, his dull glow began to increase in brightness. It was gradual, at first, but as he straightened from his bow the lightening was exponential. Before the light became too harsh for Mimi's eyes, Jirachi spoke his goodbyes to the human.
I wish you luck.
With those final words, Jirachi swiftly flew up into the air, his trailing lights of yellow and blue following him as he took a position high above Mimi, finally settling into place as some sort of star or moon, much larger and brighter than the little twinkling stars he had created before in this false sky. He cast a slight bluish light over the black void, though there was nothing yet save Mimi herself for Jirachi's light to illuminate; but soon enough her surroundings would change.
I am Celebi.
The new voice that greeted Mimi was disembodied; no source revealed itself and it sounded from every direction simultaneously. The voice sounded nearly like a whisper, like a light breeze blowing over a delicate wooden flute; breathy, and yet sober, with full, velvety undertones. The voice was both more feminine and more bold in comparison to Jirachi's. Judging by her next choice of words, she was even more direct than Jirachi, as well.
I desire to test you and thus make a judgement and determine what will await you in your new world.
As the disembodied words reverberated through the inky black void, Mimi's environment began to change, to come to life. All around, little green saplings- tinted slightly blue by the light that Jirachi was radiating down upon everything- sprouted up out of the nothingness and matured right before the human's eyes into healthy, tall, magnificent trees. Celebi herself remained out of sight, and her voice echoing from all directions.
Do you agree to be challenged?
|Mimi the Lost||
Posted: Feb 20 2018, 07:44 PM
Mimi brightened when Rachi complimented her choices. He was a good, uh, Rachi that Rachi. She patted him on the head. "Thanks!"
Then, her eyes widened when Rachi told her that soon she would be able to have those things. That she would have places to go and friends to be with. Her eyes got wider and wider, and she broke out in a grin. "Yeah? So, you ARE gonna make with the sparkly magic stuff and make those things, then? Great! I can hardly wait!"
She rubbed her hands together. She couldn't imagine what it iwould be like in her head, not really, but she positively itched to see something new, to experience something different than what she already knew thus far. She paused a moment at Rachi's question, slightly taken aback.
"Uh, well, I guess my wishes were for those things, and if you're already gonna fulfill those wishes, then technically, they won't be unfulfilled?" Mimi looked thoughtful. "So, I'm good, I think. Yeah. I'm good." She gave a nod of her head. She noticed Rachi was getting brighter and brighter. "Uh, Rachi, you doing all right there-"
"Luck? What am I going to need that for?" She scooted back in surprise as Rachi shot up in the air with little warning until it seemed he was nothing more than a brighter than average twinkling among the stars. Mimi reached up as if she thought she could touch him, but she could not. She frowned. "Rachi?"
There was silence for only a moment, and in that moment, Mimi felt a definite sense of loneliness, of being left behind. Then, another voice introduced herself to her. She whirled around a few times, trying to find the source of the voice but there seemed to be none present.
"Celebi? Uh, you a friend of Rachi's? Is Rachi coming back? Did he need to take a break or something?" Mimi scratched at her head, a puzzled expression on her face. Her frown deepened when Celebi said she wanted to test her and judge her. She didn't like the sound of that! Who did this Celebi think she was? Mimi opened her mouth to give Celebi a piece of her mind (well, what little was in there, anyway), but then paused when Celebi said "your new world."
Mimi sucked in a breath. "Whoa- My new world? I'm getting my own world?!"
She stopped to consider this a moment. "Hm. Getting a whole world to myself seems a bit excessive. Pretty sure I don't know the first thing about owning a..." Saplings started to pop up out of the nothingness, at her feet and all around her. She whirled around again a couple of times, taking in this new development with wonder. "Do I agree to be challenged?" Mimi repeated back, still looking around to see if she could catch a glimpse of the mysterious voice.
Mimi put her hands on her hips. "Y'know, you got a lot of nerve telling me you're going to test me and judge me when you won't even show your face to me. But if you think I'm going to back down from a challenge, then you got another thing coming! I can handle whatever you throw at me! You want me to climb those- uh -"
Trees, her mind supplied after a moment. "Trees? I will climb those trees! I'll climb one right now!" And so, she proceeded to do just that, leaping at a tree and trying to get a good hand-hold and foot-hold on it.
Posted: Feb 27 2018, 06:19 PM
The single-syllable remark that echoed out in a delayed response to Mimi's tirade sounded almost sarcastic. As Mimi struggled to gain foot and handhold on the trees, she would find some success at first, the trees having somewhat rough bark that, although it might cut unpleasantly into her skin, provided decent grip. But as she continued trying, the bark that coated the trunk of the tree would grow smooth until it was no longer able to be gripped and Mimi would slide back down to the ground, no longer able to climb the trees about her.
However, out of the ground just near her, a four small trees began to grow; they grew upward, forming into the four thin legs of a table, and then once they reached about Mimi's waist-height, they began to grow towards each other to form the table top. Then, more rapidly even than the other trees, a large tree began forming behind the table; after only five or six seconds it was fully grown. From this newest tree, three seeds dropped; they landed with muted thuds on the wooden table. The smallest seed was about a foot in length and half a foot in width; the largest was about three feet in length and a foot and a half in width; the last seed was about halfway in between in size. Each seed cracked open, and from each seed emerged a different creature.
The creatures were mostly identical. They were all a flat light grey color, and had a sort of indistinct, quadrupedal form that could not be identified. It was almost as if they were made of water color or wet paint, or some other medium that could not quite be contained and that had no solid lines or edges. The only thing that made them different from one another was their size. One was small, about the same size as the small egg it had emerged from; similarly, one was large and one was somewhere in between.
Each of the seeds had words carved on the inside of their now-cracked open shells. The smallest read, Agility, Energy. The largest read, Strength, Perseverance. The middling one read, Skill, Passion.
Of course, these could only be read if Mimi was observant and paying close attention to the details of the events that were transpiring around her, as there was much more going on- the creatures weren't just sitting still on the table that had grown out of the ground, oh no. Almost immediately after hatching, all three of them were moving off in different directions. As they moved, into the table four words were carved by some unseen carver: Challenge one of these.
The smallest creature dashed away with no hesitation, weaving between trees and hiding behind one of them. If Mimi tried to approached this creature, it would begin to flee again, its vague body whipping to and fro; and therein was the challenge. She would have to catch this small, quick creature, either through sheer speed or perhaps through trickery or stealth, or some combination of those. If she managed to catch the creature, it would disappear in a puff of sparkling dust, and from it would drop a small wooden token for Mimi to collect. The token was shaped like a circle, with two thin and pointed protrusions sticking straight out on either side, looking sort of like a set of handles.
The larger creature, on the other hand, lumbered off not with great speed, but with purpose. It moved away from the other two creatures and away from Mimi, deep into the forest. If Mimi followed it, she would not find it hard to keep up as it moved at a pace that was similar to a brisk walk for the human, and after a brief walk she would find herself in what looked like a recently created clearing. All the trees in a space that was about four yards in diameter were felled, and were laying haphazardly across the clearing. The creature set about gathering all of the logs into a single pile, pushing them with its head or pulling them with its two front limbs. Once they were all arranged in a pile, the creature would then begin to take the logs, one at a time, and set about building a rudimentary shelter. The challenge of this creature was perhaps less obvious; it was one more of patience. The challenge could only be succeeded if Mimi stayed and assisted in helping it move the logs and then build the shelter. If she did so, the creature would disappear in a puff of sparkling dust once the shelter was complete, leaving behind a wooden token. This one was thin and curved, with two small prongs at one end.
The middle-sized creature leapt away and jogged into the forest, every now and again glancing over its shoulder to see if Mimi, or anyone else, was following it. If Mimi did choose to follow, it would not begin running from Mimi, but after getting a fair distance away from their starting point, would slow down to walk beside the human. Shortly after, it would move to a nearby tree and use one of its claws to carve a symbol into a tree. It looked like a teardrop, not that Mimi was likely to recognize it as such. Then the creature would face Mimi expectantly and gesture at a different tree. If Mimi didn't get it, the creature would approach a new tree, carve the symbol again, and then stare at the human again. This would be repeated until Mimi understood that the creature wanted her to carve the symbol into the trees, as well; if she tried, she would find that the skin of the trees in this area were very thin and she'd easily be able to scratch the symbol into the tree trunks herself. They'd carve only a few more marks into the trees before out of nowhere, they were approached by two growling creatures, each nearly identical to the creature that Mimi had followed here, except that they were white instead of grey. Mimi's grey creature would growl in response, and then attack one of the two creatures; Mimi would have to fight against the second one, herself. Once she and her creature had fought off the two invaders, her creature would lay down to rest and then disappear in a puff of sparkling dust, leaving behind a token. The token was shaped just as the symbol they had been carving into the trees.
Once she had collected one of the tokens from whichever creature's challenge she had completed, a simple dirt path would appear beneath Mimi's feet, leading deeper into the forest, away from the area that Mimi had started in. It was clear she was meant to follow it, but where did it lead?