The Roar of Our Stars Round 4: Chat 4

Icon credits: First and Second.

cheydostudio: Button! I found something weird in my forest.

buttonhole: isnt it wierd that u call it urs?

Delia scrambled backwards on all fours, her chest tight with surprise. The smoking remains of her computer wafted upwards into the air, curling around the triangular face of the black creature.

“Not dead, huh?” she murmured. Her gaze was transfixed, staring into the creature’s yellow eyes.

It had smelled dead. And it hadn’t seemed at all perturbed by the stick she had used to roll it over. And to poke it.

“Delayed reaction syndrome?” she asked herself, then winced as it took another bite out of her computer. Metal curled around its lips as it chewed. It didn’t seem overly concerned about her, but every time she moved too quickly, it would pause and hiss. The sound was on too low a register to sound like a cat, but it did move a bit like one.

Carefully, Delia pulled herself up to her feet. She considered running, but then remembered the lightning speed the creature had displayed in attacking her computer. Better to climb.

She reached behind until she felt the rough bark of a tree. Eyes still on the creature, she found a branch hanging low enough to grab. She had spent enough time in the forest that she was a better climber than some of the animals.

Her sense of dread had returned, but her premonition still felt unfulfilled. She hauled herself to the top of the tree and waited. Watching.

For a few moments, Button sat at his PC feeling anxious and not quite knowing why. He’d known Delia for a couple of years, and she had always been completely open about her situation. At first, he hadn’t been sure that it had all been true, given the nature of the internet. But then he’d seen enough photos for the stories to make sense.

It had always seemed lonely, though. None of the photos had included her parents, the busy scientists who had dragged their teenage daughter out to Nowhere Island. He drummed his fingers on the spacebar and watched the blinking cursor travel across the screen.

He scrolled up a few lines, trying to find something that would make him feel foolish for worrying. For some reason, Vivane’s name stuck out ot him.

She was still online, at the top of his Currently Online list. Button double-clicked her icon and started typing.

hey how are u online so often?

Her shout-y text was oddly welcome after Delia’s unexpected departure. SCIENCE, MY GOOD SIR, it said.

that doesnt even mean anything

NO I GUESS IT IS KIND OF VAGUE
BUT THE TECHNOLOGY IS SORT OF A SECRET

Button scratched his chin. can u give some 2 delia? shes gone missing

SHIT REALLY? OKAY I’LL DO WHAT I CAN
WHICH YOU KNOW IS A LOT BECAUSE I’M FUCKING AWESOME

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