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Bowed down to temptation. Joining in here with [livejournal.com profile] nagasvoice and [livejournal.com profile] greenjudy in exploring the bug-infested potential world they've created. For some idea of what the HELL this is all about, check out their journals (under the tag "snake crossover" in GJ's, and all OVER the place in Naga's).



The thing, whatever it is, is not human. Neither is Wren, according to some people, but her humanity is something that can be argued, questioned. There are lots of questions she’d like to ask this, but none of them end in anything even remotely like, “So you’re human, then?”

She pants, leans back against the wall – corrugated steel rough with rust, her jacket slides along the surface, and the rasping noises seem almost too loud for tender eardrums. Shit. The thing took…a lot of killing. She hasn’t pulled the stops out that far in a long time.

Jian squats next to it, the thing that looked like a man until Wren announced herself and asked to see some identification, and reaches out with one black-gloved hand, lifts a – are those mandibles? He lets the jointed, saw-edged dagger of bone or horn or chitin or whatever it is drop, and it hangs from the thing’s mouth, strangely stiff. It has antennae. Too many of them. Any is too many, really, but it has more than any natural insect she's ever seen.

Insect. It feels like an insect. A beetle. She stares at the compound eyes, already filmy with death.

Jian gets up and comes to her, checks her over. There are a few cuts – one of them feels odd, a bit tingly, almost numb, and as she realizes it she pulls her open jacket aside, looks down at the slice in her shirt and the already puffy, reddening skin around what should be a minor injury. She raises her eyes to Jian’s face. “I think maybe we should get this thing to Laith, see what he says.”

Jian nods, gaze fixed on the wound on her side. “I think you’re right.”

They find a piece of tarp to wrap it in, careful to avoid the – claws, talons. What. Ever. It’s heavy, now that it’s limp and dead. Hard to believe it was able to move as fast as it did. Takes both of them to get it over and into the stakeout vehicle across the street.

“This was supposed to be a simple bust,” Wren gasps, a bit dismayed by the sweat on her arms, the liquid she can feel trickling down between her shoulder blades. She’s chilly, not hot. The muscles in her side under the cut are doing some funny things, seizing up and then relaxing. “A break from the rougher stuff. What happened?”

Jian doesn’t have an answer for her.
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Kiyakotari

2017

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