[BGM- End of the World, Hamasaki Ayumi (lyrics)]
*Oddly enough, though it is the height of the snowfall, the EGC Library is packed-- indeed, possibly more so than it ever was before. Nearly all of the occupants are college students wearing layers and poring over books.*
*After all, term papers have to be written, snow or no snow.*
Man: Really, now, Dr. Rat! Your knowledge of xenobiology is amazingly extensive. How do you know so much?
Rat: Well, Dr. Howard... Mouse and I travel a lot. You'd be amazed what things you can learn on the road.
Howard: True, but what you know is truly beyond the work of most around here. Why, you even seem to have broken past the metaphorical barrier that keeps most researchers from learning much about the Mazoku. The courage and persistance that must have taken...
Rat: *sheepishly* It honestly didn't take much.
Howard: Surely it must have. Aren't you afraid of them?
Howard: *blink* My word.
Rat: *Laughs* In truth, the Mazoku have always been something of a specialty of mine. I actually wrote my senior thesis on reproduction among Mazoku under the Lord of Nightmares.
Howard: *face lights up* Really now?! That's one thing that's always confused me! Some scholars say that they do it by splitting like an amoeba, but others say they go about it like most races do, even though they are markedly different in every other regard... how is it in reality?
Rat: *smirk* Well, actually... it can work either way.
Rat: *nods* Higher level Mazoku often "break off" pieces of themselves and create new Mazoku from their own substance-- for example, it is said that the Priest-General Xelloss Metallium was made in this fashion by Greater Beast Xelas Metallium. However, these are not considered full-fledged "children", but rather expensive minions. "Children" require that a "broken piece" be placed in another Mazoku-- a "mother" --both to incubate and to absorb genetic material from this "mother", resulting in a new, varied mazoku with the potential to be more than the sum of its parents.
Howard: Fascinating. How large does this "piece" have to be?
Rat: Anywhere from a single cell to almost full size-- the size of the piece merely determines the gestation period. The larger it is, the sooner the "child" would be born.
Howard: Astounding! So gender really is irrelevant?
*Rat bursts into full-fledged laughter. Howard is confused.*
Rat: Oh, my dear Dr. Howard. That would be oversimplifying things.
Howard: *bemused* But why--
*And suddenly there is an inhumane racket of monstrous roaring and people running around screaming their heads off, in that manner of convienient catastrophe EGCers are so used to by now. Dr. Howard and Dr. Rat run from their place in the stacks of books to the main study area-- only to find that in the middle of the room, on a stack of crumpled up desks and crushed tables, is a mazoku. A rather large, gruesome Mazoku that looks like the bastard child of Giger's xenomorph aliens and Miyazaki's demonic worms.*
Howard: Good God, what is that?! What is it doing here?!
Rat: ........*says nothing, but steps forward, gaping in awe*
*A student yells at the Mazoku and hurls a rather large reference book at it. The book bounces off of its head and it roars in pain at the student, swatting around at him with its long, slimey, insectoid tail.*
Rat: .....I don't think it means us harm.
Howard: What? But it.. that...
Rat: With a tail like that, it could've beheaded that boy in a single swipe.
*Very slowly and carefully, Rat begins to approach.*
Rat: Ah... it's all good, we're not going to hurt you, now--
*hissing quietly* RAT!
*Rat stops in place, puzzled.*
*quietly* No, no no. No. Go away from me.
Rat: Hn? *blink* Ch--
*The Mazoku roars back at him, its hot, foul breath blowing his ears backward and ruffling his fur. He doesn't, however, budge. In fact, he squints curiously and walks forward again, right up to the Mazoku's snout.*
Rat: *quietly* Chatty? You're Chatty, aren't you?
*weakly* I'm not Chatty, I'm just... someone who sounds just like her.
Rat: ...this is your "true form", isn't it?
*The Mazoku simply lowers its head and lets out something like a full-body sigh.*
Rat: *quietly* What happened? Did the Snow weaken you to this point, or..?
*Wordlessly, the Mazoku does a kind of back-wrenching rear up off of the ground, exposing a part of its torso that had been hidden amongst debris... a circular area of "normal", pink skin embedded within the goo and the worms.*
*Rat walks up under the Mazoku, past dangerous drips of slime, ooze, and minor worms, right up to the circular area. He puts up a paw to touch it-- and the skin suddenly breaks into an amorphous, monstrous mouth, which promptly chomps down on his paw.*
*Somewhere in Subspace, or Limbo, or even possibly the Astral Plane itself, Chatty and Phibrizzo are fighting. It's an apparent continuation of the situation in the bar-- but though there is plenty of insult screaming and things blowing up, it all blends together into a sound like a powerful wind.*
*Might it be added that Chatty isn't the one blowing things up. In fact, she's the one getting the crap kicked out of her. And yet she keeps diving at Phibrizzo and ineffectually trying to punch him or dropkick his head...*
*One time she does this, he yawns out of boredom and finally snaps his fingers.*
*She freezes in place and falls stiffly to the ground, like a cheap action figure.*
*He walks up to her and speaks quietly. For some reason, he can now be heard over the wind...*
Phibrizzo: You know, it would've been easier for the both of us if you'd just drunk the eggnog.
*And then, without further ado, he just slams his right hand into and through her collarbone in a very unpleasant and bloody mess, embedding it up past the wrist. Chatty screams as her form begins to melt away into worms and goo, and a crack of light begins to fissure at Phibrizzo's mid-arm.*
*Rat rips his paw out of the mouth, horrified. The mouth promptly shifts form into that of a small, round, cutesy green eye, which glares at him.*
He's waiting for his arm to regenerate.
Rat: *regaining his composure* And then he's coming after you?
*The single eye blinks at Rat a few times, and then "scowls".*
Rat: ...I see.
*He walks out from under the Mazoku and back to Dr. Howard.*
Rat: *quietly* Get everyone out. Now.
Howard: What? But the term papers--
Rat: What do you want them to do, hand them in posthumously? Get everyone out.
Howard: .....haihai. *Yanks a megaphone out of nowhere and starts herding gleeful students out of the area.*
Rat: ....Mouse? *starts yelling as well* MOUUUUUUUSE?
Mouse: *on top of a nearby twenty-foot bookshelf, smoking* I'm here.
Rat: *relieved* Oh. Good. Mouse, get down here. I need you.
Mouse: *sigh* Great. What now?