Queen of the Monsters
/* ---------------------------------
War on All Fronts (Sigma-9)
2020 Wikidot Theme
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rating: +41+x

As it turns out, being dredged back from the grave and thrown out into the world of the living has left you with a completely empty stomach. It certainly doesn't help that the last time you went out for a bite to eat was exactly when you died, and they got you before you managed to chow down. Your stomach is completely empty.

What you need is one good, solid meal.

You can smell a couple choices. They're all pretty far away, however, and a few of them have that weird scent to them that you picked up on your last attempted meal, which1 didn't go so well. You couldn't even find anything to eat when you showed up that time, and everybody just started attacking you.

You don't want to be picky, since you are absolutely starving. But you also can't afford to mess up this meal: you need to get a good meal in for certain, no bones about it.2

There's a good target close to you. Big enough to feed you for a good stretch but not so big you're worried it'll be a tough fight. You don't go down easy3 but in this weakened state, it might be a close one. Your chosen prey is a bit of a hike away4 but you can get there fine.

You pull yourself off the ground and turn your head to the ocean. Your eyes have changed in the time since you woke up. They've got new modes of seeing to them. You're not really sure how they work. Or what anything they did to you does. There's all sorts of metal in your head5 and your body. If you focus on it, you can probably force a rejection and heal the wound, but you're not sure if you have enough energy for it. In the meantime, you think it's letting you stand up, so you might as well let it stand.

One of your hands stretches out and a claw breaks and grinds into the ground. You're in the middle of a set of buildings, and although you melted the roof off when you woke up6, there's still a lot of rubble around you. Rubble and fire. It hasn't been that long. Another hand reaches out and does the same, then another, then another, and another. Then you repeat with all.

You pull yourself into the sea. In the past, you would have been strong enough to stand onto your back tentacles and pull yourself in that way, but you've never felt worse in your entire life.7 Its a struggle to bring yourself into the water. Insects freak out at your movements, but you don't listen to them. You never have.

But once you get into the water, you immediately feel better. This is your home, this is where you belong. You slip in, and start swimming. Moving your tentacles again, feeling the cold rush over your scales. It's refreshing, and you're like your old self again. Almost.8

You've been swimming for the last two days, a half limp of a swim. The distance between you and your prey was great, but even putting that aside, you're in no shape to move as fast as you're used to. All this metal and foreign magic in your system is throwing you off, and although you're a bit more familiar with most of it now.9

But here you are. You've found your prey.

It's right below you.

A hundred leagues beneath the sea.

It has no inkling that you're here.

You dive straight down.

The creature you've chosen as a meal is a great beast with a hard backed shell. An island of sorts grows on the back, drowned and revived whenever it dips beneath the sea. The kind of beast that has lived for thousands of years by tricking lost souls into thinking it is an island and drowning them in its wake.10 It's time has come.

You crash into the back of the shell, and grab onto the edge of the shell. It writhes underneath you, and you simply crawl forward and bite the neck of the beast. The cold ocean around you grows hot with the warmth of red blood. The beast writhes and squirms away from you, but your jaws are latched on and clamped shut.

The creature is strong, but you are stronger. It is quick, but you are quicker. It is great, but you are greater. Its scales are tough, but your teeth are tougher. The creature has lived for a long time, but you have just now outlived it.

It is a bountiful meal and it takes you hours to consume it all11. The meal burns and transforms in your stomach, catalyzing into raw power within your gullet. Energy flows throughout you, and you feel better than you ever have. It might just be the fact that you lay dead for ten years or the fact that you were starving even before you died, but this might have just been the best meal you've ever had.

You surge up to the surface. It doesn't take much effort. You're a lot stronger than you used to be. Everything is so much easier now. Everything is so much clearer, too. The influx of power has warped and twisted the metal that was forced into you and brought it into alignment with your spirit: it is as much a part of you as your flesh, now, and it no longer feels foreign.

You look back out again with your other senses. The ones that go above. You did this to find prey, but you weren't looking for anything beyond a meal, and that distracted you from what you might have found.12 But when you look out this time, you see so much more.

A kingdom. Swarming beasts. Dozens of them, all great and powerful and mighty, across the entire world. You've always known your place, granted to you by divine right, but you've never had enough subjects to claim it. But now… there is a world. A world of monsters. Ripe for the taking: all for you.

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