Those Days with the Monsters - 55

2022.01.25 17:08 PlsHlpMyFriend Those Days with the Monsters - 55

Voices swirled overhead; Kirell groaned, trying to think. The exhausting, shaky feeling of atmosphere exchange was nearly gone, but it was still difficult to process what had just happened or, worse, what he should do now.
Everything felt heavy, and he wasn't sure he should try to move yet anyway. This place felt a bit similar to Rykthen, and it was often best there to pretend to be asleep. He was less likely to be bothered that way.
"We lost thirty good fighters to this little maneuver, and did you forget we're already running short?" an irritable, rasping voice demanded. It was definitely a Tzyx. Given the number of soft shuffles running around, there were quite a few of them around, but only one was talking. The one speaking must be important.
"We've done the best we can, sir." That was a slightly higher-pitched voice, much slower and steadier. "And we can't say it was a complete failure. There's this fiber bundle, and a bit of data, and this... whatever this is." A soft tap at the side of Kirell's head probably meant that he had been gestured to, or nudged with a foot, or something. He tried his best to not respond.
"A snarling meat-sack is what it is. Don't forget one of the ones we lost went out to this thing."
Kirell's frills went slightly red. That couldn't have actually meant that, right? The translator had mentioned a connotation of death, but that couldn't be right. Kirell wasn't sure he was even as tall as a Khuman, and the Tzyx towered over the Khuman crew. He was simply too small to have done something like that. The translator must be having trouble again.
"It isn't a complete loss, sir," the other voice repeated. "The quickgate connected properly this time. We usually lose about thirty fighters to a failed connection even before the war creatures come into play, so our losses are lower than expected."
"'Lower than expected' won't get any of us to the bridge of the Ravening, will it?" the lower voice grumbled. "If there's no one in the flagship, what good are the rest of us?"
A hissing rattle that Kirell's translator interpreted as a sigh sounded. "What else are we meant to do? Everyone of higher rank is busy biting each other's underbellies. Just... do your best, sir."
In a much quieter tone, the lower voice muttered, "My 'best' would be better in a higher seat."
The steps around Kirell were much further away; he risked opening his eyes and glancing around. The room was brightly lit from a large blue-white star shining in from above; the Tzyx around him glittered a bit in the light. Kirell hadn't realized they were shiny black. Somehow he hadn't been expecting that.
"It's awake!" someone called, and another black bulk rushed at him. Kirell's frills flared red-black and he lashed out with one foot, expecting to be completely overpowered. He wasn't. Instead, a sickening wet thump sounded as his rear claw made contact, and the Tzyx looming over him made a strangled gasping noise. It was suddenly very heavy, as well as a little bit cool and rather wet. Kirell's entire foot seemed to be a blur of green.
"By the Hungry... Medic! And someone restrain that thing!"
Kirell felt the weight of the Tzyx being pulled off him, replaced by the equal weight of Tzyx appendages pinning his legs, shoulders, and to a lesser extent his head. The muddled feeling resolved, and he realized that a Tzyx wearing blue leg bands was crouched over another one nearby, this one oozing green from its chest. Kirell's frills went red-black as he realized what was going on. The green on his leg was blood. That hole... he'd made that with his rear claw.
"No good, sir. Straight through the ventral notch and ventral hemolymph channel, clear through to the cardiac cluster. He was gone on impact." Kirell thought his heart was trying to migrate to his toes somehow. He had... had he done that? Had he done that? His claws? The blue-white light seemed to dim and go gray for a moment.
"What the hell kind of pet do those things keep?" That was the higher voice he'd heard before. "That's the second one it's killed at least."
"This little meatsack!" Footsteps rushed up on Kirell; there was barely time for his frills to pulse an alarmed red that pushed out the black before something grabbed him by the throat and jaw and ripped him out from under the restraining Tzyx.
"Calm down, sir."
"Don't tell me to calm down!" Kirell gasped for air as the grip tightened. His eyes darted between the seven eyes of the Tzyx in front of him; the size difference was suddenly much more apparent. "This little creature dares to kill my men, in front of my eyes! This unbearable insult–!" The grasping hold on his neck shook with fury; Kirell thought his jaw would be pulled from the socket. "A lower lifeform took two lives under my watch!" He wanted air. He needed air. The room was spinning, and the Tzyx holding him was hard to reach.
"I'm not sure it's a lower lifeform, sir. Don't kill it before we find out. And the blood devil didn't seem to like us taking it."
The grip on Kirell didn't ease, but now it was accompanied by shaking and some shouting. He couldn't make out the words around the ringing in his ears. The calm, higher tones responded and then silence fell, a horrible pause. The light blurred. Then, with an abrupt shout that thumped dully against his eardrums, Kirell felt himself hitting the floor. Impact was less forceful than he'd expected, but he found himself skidding several feet, gasping for air.
"Fine! But cover those damnable claws at least. Two is enough."
By the time Kirell made sense of things, some kind of heavy metallic spheres covered his feet. It felt a bit like the squishy sphere he'd had his foot stuck in before, only more glossy and less green and gray. Kirell's frills turned brown in disgust as he realized he'd gotten his foot caught in something he'd... killed.
He didn't want to be a killing sort of creature. Ylem were supposed to eat plants and live quietly on their odd planet, not go around killing things so very, very much larger than them. This was too much like the Khumans. Deep down, Kirell discovered that he was still very much afraid of the Khumans, of their immense power and ability to strike so brutally. And now his own claws were bloody too, and he was afraid of them. It might be better that his claws were sealed in these spheres.
He tried to move, but discovered that the restraints were held to the floor with some kind of suction. Not that there was anywhere to go in the first place. The jump gate lay on the ground as twisted, blackened metal, completely ruined. Kirell didn't even know where he was, but it seemed likely that if he made it through any doors he would find more Tzyx, more doors with more Tzyx behind them, and nowhere for him to go.
Kirell's frills flushed orange and red at the sound of fiber sheets flipping. One of the Tzyx was flipping through his journal. They shouldn't have that.
"Stop it! That's mine!" Everything seemed to stop at his shout as all the Tzyx fixed their eyes on him. Kirell could barely breathe.
"I knew it." That was the high voice, and it came from a Tzyx standing at one end of the room, on a slightly raised platform.
"Knew what? What are you whining about?" The lower voice was a Tzyx flanked on either side by about four more, who appeared to have just returned to the platform. He seemed more important than the higher voice, which didn't bode well for Kirell. The parts of his neck and jaw that had been shaken still ached.
"It just talked. It's sapient."
"And what should I do about it? It's still a lower life form; their fates are all the same. Unless you feel like playing nanny to a meatsack?"
"You want to kill it?" Kirell's frills flared wide and red-black. He'd somehow forgotten, in his emotion about the journal, that he was in a lethal situation.
"It killed my men. It's right and just to avenge the insult!" The flanked Tzyx started forward again; Kirell felt his frills go black.
"Sir, I would advise against it."
The room went dead silent. The higher-voiced Tzyx was holding the other's forelimb; from the silent stares, this was a serious matter.
"Tznə, what do you think you're doing?" The lower voice carried an unmistakable threat. Probably no species in the known universe would mistake it for anything else.
"Saving your career, sir."
There was a moment of silence. Then, the other made a rattling click. "Fine. Explain. If it's not satisfactory, you'll go to feed the Hungry."
The other, apparently named Tznə, bent his head and let go of its superior's forelimb. "Yes sir. That thing was in the same place as the blood devil. If you kill it, and the blood devil goes into a rage, the responsibility will be yours. You said yourself, sir, that your superiors are always looking for someone else to take blame. If you kill it, that someone would be you."
"I see." The superior waved one forelimb. "Your answer is satisfactory. It will not be killed. Rather, send a broadcast for those devils to see. I will see how well we can use the meatsack before deciding."
Tznə bent further. "Thank you, sir."
Kirell didn't know whether to be relieved or worried. The Tzyx were about to try to speak to the Khumans, and he was stuck in the middle. This was likely to be dangerous, no matter how the discussion went.

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2022.01.25 17:08 YamSlow7922 GF (W25) lost feelings for me (M24) after "I love you"

Hello fellow redditors,
I (M24) have been in a relationship with an awesome woman (W25) since September 2021. Sadly almost three weeks ago she broke up with me after about 4 months.
Yes, this is not a very long relationship but I never had a gf before and she once had a very short relationship about 5/6 years ago, so this relationship really meant a lot for both of us. We both aren't the type of people who "casually date" other people and just "see if it fits".
She was always very committed and even though she was working full time, had evening school afterwards and also had to take care of her horse, she still made sure we met at least once a week. That isn't a lot but from Monday to Friday she basically left home at 5am and came back at 9pm, so there honestly isn't much time left there. But when she couldn't be with me she at least texted quite often throughout the day even when she was working.
In general she was pretty clingy (I liked that a lot), quickly introduced me to family and friends and was always really excited to see me. In November we even had sex and both of us were virgins before. One week later (end of November) we went to a car show where she was even more clingy than before and so was I. This was the first time she asked me about us planning a vacation for next summer. A little while earlier that same day I even heard her talk to a friend about moving in with me so we could see each other more frequently.
I was really flattered by all that has happened in November. The next weekend (first weekend of December) was also very beautiful and it was only one day to our 3 month anniversary. She was really happy that we have been together for 3 months and even got me a leather bracelet as a gift. When she gave it to me she had such a huge smile on her face and such joy in her eyes. So at the end of that evening my feelings overwhelmed me and when saying goodbye I said the 3 magic words "I love you" to her. For the record: I have great feelings for her but even for me that was too much ... but my mouth was faster than me so it just came out and you can't really take that back. She answered that she wasn't sure and didn't really have time to think about these things yet. I said it was okay and she could take her time.
At first I really thought that everything was okay and she just needed some more time to say these magic words. Well, no ... after that day she only texted once per day and when we met at the weekends, she didn't want to have a decent conversation with me, let alone cuddle or hold hands or anything. I asked her from time to time whether something was wrong but she always said that everything is fine between us and that she is just heavily stressed out from everything that's going on in her life. So I assumed she didn't want to distance herself from me but only needed some time off. Basically I accepted that and didn't try to "push" things by talking and cuddling and replying to messages too much.
That behaviour didn't change for the rest of the month and in between Christmas and New Year's Eve she went on a vacation with her family. After that we met up for New Year's Eve where I had the feeling that she didn't even want to look in my face. A couple of days later I received a text that she wanted to talk. So we met and she said that she had that feeling that there isn't "more between us". She couldn't really explain further and admitted that she used to have feelings for me but apparently those were gone and she didn't even miss me when she was gone with her family.
I also asked her if this had anything to do with all the pressure in her life. At the end of January she has some big exams coming up which she worried about for months. At first she stated that maybe this had something to do with it and that currently everything seems to be too much for her. So we agreed to stay together and that I would leave her more space, meaning we would only meet every other week or so but could wait until summer when her evening school is finished for good. Another day later she called me and said that she didn't have a good feeling with that agreement and it "wouldn't be fair" to plan ahead for so long with no guarantee of it getting any better, even in summer. She even admitted that the 3 magic words made her "start to think if we matched". A minute later I asked if there was anything about me she didn't like but she said that I was a perfect match for her ... yes, very confusing.
In the end she said that this month is super stressful and maybe next month will be better. So she promised to call in early February. So now I wait but don't really know what to do when we speak again.
TL;DR: My gf (W25) lost all feelings for me (M24) after I said "I love you" even though a week before she was super clingy and talked about summer vacation and moving in together for the first time. Only a couple of weeks prior she even lost her virginity to me, so you could say she also took this relationship pretty serious. Now she broke up with me but agreed to talk again in a month.
My question: Can someone explain this kind of behaviour? What should I do now / in February?
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