Hey-o guys! Here it is! The revamp of Diary of a Lone Avali! Now with 300% more world building, and 200% less boring ship logs. Yayifications! I hope you guys enjoy the read and I shall see YOU... in the comments section. BUH-BYE!! Art by @rhomboid With a groan and slow inhale, the sky-blue avali stirs from her slumber. A sharp pain wreaks through her head. She tries to grasp at herself, but cannot. She blinks a few times as her eyes begin to adjust to her new, dark surroundings. Nezun takes a few sniffs to try and get a fix of her location. A strong scent of wood and steel, possibly durasteel? she thought to herself, I seem to be in some kind of holding bay, maybe? Nezun makes another attempt at reaching for her head, this time Nezun yanks hard with her right arm, pulling out several feathers as she breaks free from the rope bondage. Damn that hurt… I’m probably bleeding now… I should get this patched up soon. Drip, drip, fizz. The sound of Nezun’s blood splats serenely against the cold metal flooring, evaporating instantaneously into a gentle puff of rancid smoke. If it weren’t for the augmentations and bio engineering advancements on Avalon, Nezun would have died then and there from the exposure of her ammonia-based blood. After untying herself from the rest of her bonds, the lone avali inches her way through the darkness, her eyes unable to get a clear image of her surroundings. The sound of her claws scraping against the rough metal and bumpy wood echoes loudly in the eerie silence as she passes by crates and the wall. Nezun’s paw finds a steel pole at chest height. She examines the metal some more with her paw. Progress! It’s a rail guard. Nezun continues to inch her way forward through the dark, guided by the railing. A mechanical door wizzes open as Nezun makes her way up an incline. A set of dimly lit emergency lights illuminate the flooring along several branching paths. Unsure of where to start, she keeps heading straight. Another door whizzes open. This room had a bit more lighting. The source was coming from a computer console in front of a well-worn chair. “Jackpot!” Nezun cries out. She quickly covers mouth and waits to see if she could pick up any noises or movements. Nothing but silence passes her ears. Nezun lets out a long-drawn sigh of relief. With a hop, she plops herself firmly into the chair and pulls the adjustable console towards her this seems to be a cockpit, I must be in a small ship if that was the cargo hold. An error message flashes on the monitor and a few options appear on the screen. The most notable was the bolded “Run Backup Power and Reboot Systems.” Without hesitation, Nezun presses the bolded option. The systems and engines spring of life as the lights in the room flash brightly, nearly blinding Nezun. She lets out a hiss and covers her eyes. “Damn it… that’s bright.” A few moments pass and her eyes adjust to the lighting. Nezun turns her attention back to the console and reads over the barrage of messages and errors that pop up and disappear as fast they show up. Thanks to the avali having sharp eyes, she was able to read the messages without much effort. After the system ran some scans a vocal-wave appears on the Console. “Greetings new user! I’m your Ship-based Artificial Intelligence Lattice, S.A.I.L. for short. Please identify yourself.” “Hmm… My name is Nezun. Nezun Skyfire.” “New super-user confirmed. Voice recording for vocal recognition complete. Scanning bio-signs… complete. Species, avali. Is this correct?” Buzzed SAIL. “Y-yeah…” Nezun ponders for a moment. I hope the others are doing alright. “SAIL, where are we?” Nezun inquires, tapping a finger lightly against her head lost in thought, the moment she does, she regrets it. A pain shoots through her head as her finger taps a small bump. “Error. Unable to provide our current location. Search failure caused to do prolonged outage. System memory banks are wiped clean. I apologize for the inconvenience.” Ugh… great. I’m alone and lost somewhere in space. What a great turn of events recently. First that group of humans invade Avalon, next I’m separated from my pack, and that weird device they had… that wasn’t normal. My head is still ringing from whatever it was. “Sail, open the shutters. I want a visual on where we are.” Nezun commands as she continues to complain about the current situation in her mind. “Right away, Miss Skyfire.” SAIL responds. The metal grates that cover the front window of ship grind open revealing a fairly small planet. “Sail, does this ship have a radio? Or a scanner?” Nezun asks, looking over status windows on the ship’s console. “Yes, Miss Skyfire. My sensors detect that we have a functional transmitter. Would you like me to bring up the interface for you?” “Just call me Nezun please, and yes, I’d like that…” “As you wish, Miss Nezun.” Replies Sail, Nezun sighs softly. “No, just Nezun. Drop the Miss too, it’s too… proper. Something I’m lacking.” Nezun reaffirms. “Of course, Nezun. Is there anything else I can do for you?” Repeats Sail. “No that’s fine, I’ll just mess around with this for the time being.” Nezun navigates through command menus on the console. “Hmmm…” She hums out loud. After a few presses on the screen, a small mic icon pops into view. With a deep breath Nezun begins broadcasting out a message for help. Moments pass, nothing but silence plays back. Nezun sighs softly and closes the broadcasting interface, leaning back in the chair, the material gives a light scrunch under her movement. She lightly taps a rhythm on the arm of the chair and hums to herself as she plans out her next course-of-action. An idea jumps into Nezun’s head as she stares at the nearby planet “Hey, Sail? Do we have any scanners? As in lifeform scanner?” “Just a moment…” SAIL replies, a few moments pass. “Currently, only the short range scanners are operational. Is there anything I can do for your, Nezun?” “Hmmm… scan the planet’s surface. There’re might be able to find a settlement or two, maybe some supplies and…” Nezun pauses, her stomach growls loudly. “…and some meat. I’m dying for some meat.” “Right away, Nezun. Scanning. This may take a few moments. Why not head to the mess hall and try to find something to eat.” Sail suggests, to which Nezun’s ears perk a little. A glint of hope sparks in her eyes. Back into the corridor she went. Looking at the now lit hallway, Nezun takes note of the interior conditions: Walls are in shambles, vent covers falling off, lights flickering; some completely out, wires dangle from the ceiling. It’s safe to say that a lot of work is needed if she wanted to get the ship back into shape. Not including the half painted walls, it looks like a mess. Bucket list project if I’m to keep this thing. Along the wall, she found herself a first-aid kit. She provides herself with basic first-aid and bandages up her damaged wrists, cursing under her breathe as she cleaned her wounds. Two doorways on the left handed side looking from the cockpit, and one on the right. In the first door to the left is a single bedroom. It contains a single earthen double-size bed; no liens on the bed and a single pillow, a faded stained oak end table and a matching dresser. A small box sits on top of the dresser. Inside the box is assorted sewing materials; ranging from darning needles to thimbles. An odd item to be left behind Nezun thought to herself as the rest of the room seemed unremarkable and dusty. The room next down the hall on the left was the bathroom. It was nearly the same space as the bedroom, and just as unremarkable. The walls were faded, as was the toilet. The sink was in fair shape, but just as bland as the rest of what had been seen so far. On the opposite side of the hall, however, left Nezun in awe. It was a kitchen and mess hall. The room is in much better shape than the rest of the ship. The materials used in the construction fared much better than the other rooms. An island sits in the middle of the room for food preparation in the kitchen half. In the far end of the kitchen were two doors, to which opened into a large freezer; inside the freezer contains large hooks on chains to which was connected to a pulley system. A few shelves line the back wall for smaller objects to be stored away. “Wooo! A meat locker!” Nezun exclaims, nearly jumping for joy. Back into the kitchen, Nezun sifted through some of the cabinets that sit next to the double doors. Inside, she finds some military rations. “Really? That’s all that’s here? Well, I guess this is better than nothing I suppose, all things considered.” After preparing the rations and eating it, much to her distaste, Nezun satisfies her hunger for the time being. If I can get to the planet, I can hunt for some meat… I’ll be set for a while if I can get my claws on some large prey. With a firm nod, Nezun returns to the cockpit once she cleans up the mess she made. With the press of a few buttons, Sail appears on screen. This time, the Avali Flag is in the background. How refreshing to see something familiar. “Welcome back, Nezun. I have completed the scan of the planet. I found a single signal. I was unable to trace an exact location, but I did get the general vicinity. The mountains in the nearby area were interfering with the signal.” Sail continues to explain to Nezun about the terrain and possible cause of signal. It seems to be a small settlement in an area in the northern hemisphere. Nezun jumps and celebrates inside. Woo! They’re somewhere cold! My luck is turning around! Nezun makes a few more attempts at sending out a distress broadcast but is unsuccessful. “Damnit! Is there no one in this sector?” Nezun taps a claw against the captain chair’s arm, “Sail, can this rust bucket fly?” “Affirmative. We can do basic space-travel, but our FTL drive is out. It seems that the last crew that was aboard were mid-repairs and abandoned it.” Nezun sighs softly at the news. “Can the ship handle landing on the nearby planet, Sail?” “Affirmative, the ship’s exterior is well prepared for planetary entry and landing. However, we are low on fuel, and will not be able to leave the planet’s surface with our current fuel supply.” At that Nezun sighs again, but SAIL continues, “Our current source of propulsion seems to be from the planet’s gravitational pull. I have deduced that with the current state of the ship, and our speed that we’ve been pulled here and left floating through space. We’re lucky to be pulled into orbit, and have not plummeted to the surface.” Nezun humours the thought for the moment, but quickly pushes it to the side. Well, I’m still alive and kicking at least. I sure hope Dom and the others are doing okay… it’s actually kind of lonely with them around. “We do, however, have a teleportation pad in the holding bay for planet-side travel. You can use one of the comms-link bracers on the shelf next to the pad to warp to-and-from the ship at will. Be warned that doing so drains the energy in the device and can only be used twice every twenty-four hours.” With that spill of information from SAIL, a fire of curiosity and determination ignites in Nezun’s eyes. With this, I can secure food by hunting and begin to make my way towards the signal to investigate. This will have to wait until tomorrow though, I’m getting rather tired… With that final thought, Nezun begins to put the system in stand-by. With a few presses of buttons on screen, the computer’s hum dulls to a near inaudible buzz. She makes her way back to the bed room, looking it over it once more, Nezun shrugs to herself and crawls on top of the bed, curling into herself and begins to drift into sleep. “Why do all of these have to be so bloody big?” Nezun complains aloud, rummaging through the cargo hold’s closet. The ‘shelf’ SAIL had referred to was inside a closet next to the teleport pad, the insides were lined off with shelves that housed a plethora of comms-links ranging in sizes and shapes. After several ladder climbs and stool standings, Nezun managed to find a human, child-sized comms-link. It fit her wrist like a charm. After close examination and configuration, Nezun confirms that the link is operational. She had taken the liberty to check out some of the supply crates before-hand, finding several useful items that will prove invaluable. A dated Matter Manipulator that seen better days, some rope, a knapsack, and another first-aid kit. With Manipulator in hand and gear in tow, Nezun steps onto the teleportation pad and activates it with the comms-link. The pad buzzes to life, a bright red and white light over takes Nezun as she dissipates into matter and is rushed away in the blink of an eye. The teleportation was a success. With a quick glance, Nezun took note of her new surroundings; she was standing in the middle of a clearing amongst the forest. Needled evergreen trees composed most of the visible forest and towered over the small Avali. Nezun decides to head towards the nearest tree and proceeds to climb to the top with relative ease, granting a much better view of the area. Another chilly gust sweeps across the meadow as Nezun scouts out the area. With her eyes squinted she catches a glimpse of smoke rising over the canopy. A spark of exploration ignites in her eyes as she scampers down the tree, missing a branch, she tumbles into the snow and is buried by the ensuing fluff. With a soft sneeze, Nezun pops her head out from the snow before shaking it off. Dusting off her backpack, Nezun darts off towards her new destination. Keeping her wits about her, Nezun kept glancing about the trees as she trailed her way across the open field, head held low in attempt to hide herself visibly. Not a moment too soon did she spot something off in the distance to her left. Pulling into a screeching halt, Nezun levels herself with the ground, ears perked and nose to air. Searching, analyzing, plotting her course of action. These things were nothing new to her, as she had done them hundreds of times before. The hunt was on. With a slow, deep breath, Nezun edged her way towards her target, only moving when she was sure it didn’t see her. Crack. Nezun breaks a branch hidden by the snow. A thunderous bellow echoes throughout the field before she can regret The sound nearly deafens Nezun, she cowers for a moment and pins her ears back in an attempt to block out most of the sound. Grunting at the loss of the surprise attack, she recklessly charges at the creature. Breaking past the tree, the monstrous being swipes at Nezun whom skillfully dodges thanks to her small and nimble frame. A thunderous crack splits the air. Nezun takes a moment to assess the damage done. The large tree was toppled over as if it were a twig. “I’m finished if I take a direct hit.” Nezun tells herself. She shakes off the surprise just in time, the creature makes a follow-up swing. A whoosh of wind hurls past Nezun’s face. Another, and another. “This thing is fast for its size.” Nezun mutters in surprise. The game of cat and mouse continues on. The creature topples over trees with each swipe at Nezun. The creature’s swings become more wild, swinging wider and more sluggish. A gleam sparks in Nezun’s eyes; the hunt is on. The creature winds up with both arms over head. With a smash, snow flies everywhere and creates cover. Nezun strikes, leaping up and slashing at the beast’s shoulder. Her makeshift blade buries deep into the flesh. A blood curdling scream rips from the creature. Its swings and trashes wildly, kicking and knocking up more cover as it desperately attempts to fend for itself. The tiny Avali strikes again. Using hit-and-run tactics are working in her favour. A moment of hesitation! Nezun takes this opportunity to strike again and plunges at the creature from its blindside. Nezun’s vision turns white, and then black. She coughs and spews up a tiny amount of blood. “D-damnit… what?” The creature had taken a blind swing and hand planted its backhand firmly against Nezun’s body causing her to fly a dozen feet away and roll several more, separating her from her weapon as she flailed along the ground. The force of impact was enough to knock her out momentarily. Shaky, Nezun get back to her feet. She wipes at her mouth with her right paw and gazes at it. “Blood… BLOOD?!” Something snaps in Nezun’s mind, any sign of consciousness leaves her eyes as she suppresses the pain, charging headlong back into the fray. Now with nothing but tooth and claw, Nezun assaults the weakened creature, swinging savagely at what seemed to be it’s vitals. Cries in agony continue to leak from the creature as it got weaker, nearing its end. It helplessly fails about before toppling over, finally giving away to its assailant. Nezun stands atop her prey, a cry of victory echoes in the field. Bloody and beaten, but not broken. This was what she missed. The thrill of the hunt, fighting against the odds with life in the balance. This was her sport. Nezun blinks several times, coming back to her senses as she takes in the information around her. “D-damnit… it hurts…” She groans out as all the built up pain hits Nezun, she drops to her knees and cringes. “I-I need some rest…” With her hard earned victory, she comes to a full flop atop the corpse. Weakly, she presses a few switches on her comms-link. A woosh over takes her senses as Nezun is enveloped by a white light and ported away, cargo in tow. Back aboard the ship, Nezun slips down off of the corpse. She stumbles on her landing, but manages to regain balance. “This shouldn’t have been too much for me.” She told herself. Whipping her Manipulator out, she begins to dissect chunks off of her haul. Thanks to the nature of the manipulator, the chunks fell off the body cleanly, sealing veins as it cut and preventing a mess. Nezun sighed at this convenience of this, thinking that it seemed too convenient. With all the meat stowed away and some now in the oven, Nezun staggers her way back to the cockpit. “Welcome back, Nezun!” qued S.A.I.L in an out-of-place chipper tone. “Thanks, Sail.” She replied exhaustedly. “Huh… were you always this chipper?” Inquired Nezun at the realization of the tone of S.A.I.L’s voice. “Negative. I have finished a secondary data mine and discovered old files that seemed to have been used by me with the previous Superuser. As such, I took the liberty of installing and running the files after check for safety breaches.” S.A.I.L yakked on about other files and configurations that had been stored away in a secondary data that had been saved from the offline wipe. Nezun’s prize, according to SAIL, was a grown Poptop. A fearsome and territorial creature. The one she had fought had just recently reached its max size and wasn’t a seasoned adversary. The thought of fighting an experienced creature sends shiver down Nezun’s spine. Was it fear? Or something else? She pushes the thought of her mind as she returns to the mess hall to partake in the feast that she had won. After munching down several large hunks of seasoned meat, Nezun lets out a large, drawn out sigh. “Meat truly is the best!” Nezun chirps out, rubbing her belly. At that note, she wobbled her way back to her bed.