As the cool rain beat down against his haggard body, the giant Fearow had gradually begun to lose altitude keen to find shelter and a moment’s rest on land. It was a risky move for Crane. He was comfortable in the air, able to manoeuvre his skeletal frame in fluid and almost elegant motions; but on land he was vulnerable. His intimidating stature was a hindrance, leaving him sluggish and awkward as he stumbled to safety. But it was a risk worth taking. He was tired, flying for Arceus’ knows how far following his accidentally separation from the group back in Viridian. The rain saturating his sparse feathers was only another sign that it was time to rest.
Descending from the kingdom of now-darkening clouds, Crane looked down upon an island of mainly forest. There were few openings within the trees, rippling ponds and patches of lonely land that reminded him of his unfortunate situation. He was alone. It bothered him more than he’d like to admit. In death he had been alone, consumed by a silent darkness that seemed to draw on for decades. The solitude frightened him and with the momentary peace amidst a group of survivors, Crane was reminded exactly how desperately he longed for company.
Before he could comprehend his actions, the charred avian had landed.
Enlarged talons were sunk into the moist ground, subconsciously clenching and unclenching to cause ugly ripples in the peeling skin of his legs. His stature was crouched, huge wings providing support as the bony tips were planted firmly on the ground; balancing his disproportionate frame as he looked blankly down at the pool of blood which had lured him to the scene.
Crane was vacant; single, glazed eye staring intently at the cooling liquid as if hypnotized by its movements in the rain. The scent had evoked something sinister in the usually docile creature, catching the mind off guard to leave the bird momentarily trapped inside the body of a monster. He was numb, completely oblivious to his desolate surroundings as pure instinct fuelled the sudden movement of his slender neck, hooked beak now dipped into the crimson liquid. Crane remained rigid, motionless save for the gnarled sack covering his deformed face slipping forward to extinguish his vision. The Fearow remained locked in that position for several minutes, only granted his freedom as the smell faded away – smothered by rainfall.
Crane returned to reality with a start, jerking backwards at the sudden darkness of the sack. The material fell back into place, though the bird threatened both his balance and delicate bones with the sudden movement. Fortunately, he caught himself. Breathing heavily as his vision returned, it took another moment of hyperventilating before Crane fathomed exactly what he had been doing. The blood dripped rhythmically from his beak, the depleted puddle sloshing about his claws provoking a panicked screech.What have I done?!
Heart racing, the Fearow hurriedly backed away desperately scanning his immediate surroundings. He was alone, the sole predator with a mysterious pool of blood at his claws. This dissociation had happened only once before, briefly when he had suddenly found himself draped in the remains of a species he couldn’t even identify. This couldn’t be happening again.“Breathe,”
The command was a whimper, the bird struggling to quell his fast-rising terror. The last thing he remembered was being in flight, contemplating a landing stop by a nearby water source – then everything went black. It was like awakening from a nightmare, yet he knew he wasn’t dreaming. “Oh, Arceus... I’m… I’m so sorry,”
He had to escape. The air was suddenly constricting around his throat, the Gods no doubt trying to crush him for such crimes. Ho-Oh had saved his life, brought him from the recesses of Hell so that he might make amends and become something pure – and this is how the blessed re-paid him. Crane was disgusted at himself, gagging as images of murders he couldn’t remember committing flashed cruelly before his remaining, red eye.
He was scrambling away now, pitiful as he tried and failed to return to the skies. His wingspan made such sudden assent beneath the canopy impossible, feathers snagging and tearing on creeping branches, forcing him down to repeatedly crash into the awaiting ground. He covered some distance, but simply no height. He was thoroughly grounded, a shivering wreck as fear tightened its grip on the bird’s fragile mind.
Bursting through a hedge he had failed to register, leaves spraying around the bedraggled avian, Crane froze as his eye locked onto two small and very much alive figures. Oh no…
“No, no, no,”
The Fearow, the very picture of undead splendour, backed away submerging himself in the half-destroyed hedge and unwittingly ensnaring himself. It was no hiding place, merely a trap as the fearful bird lost his balance. His leg was thoroughly entangled in a mass of vines, thorns chewing at the fire-damaged skin visible beneath the sparse patches of charred feather. The struggling sharpened both the pain and panic.
Eventually he fell still, unable to halt his trembling as he looked down upon the pair of survivors. The dragon-creature’s species was a mystery to Crane, but her companion he recognised as an Eevee. He effortlessly dwarfed the duo, even as he was left half-cowering amidst his leafy prison. “Don’t come any closer,”
For one so feral of appearance, Crane’s voice was remarkably sophisticated. He spoke eloquently, clearly despite the quiver evoked from his current mental instability. He avoided the duo’s eyes, craning his head away so that they were faced with only the side of the grimy sack – it was for their benefit. Crane knew
how unsettling his appearance was and had learnt quickly that it was best to avoid eye contact. “Please… Just go,”
Crane could not conceal the sorrow seeping into his tone. He had prayed for company, the opportunity to help survivors in this cruel world, but he had arrived at this island and done nothing but kill. He was a danger to those he sought to save. It hurt, but Crane realized it was for the best. He would never escape the virus’ clutches. It was suppressed, numbed, but as he had quickly learnt only dormant. “…I’m sorry,” No one else will die because of me…
(( Just a little clarification, Crane is unstable as fuck around blood. The smell reawakens the once-infected side of his mind and he simply can’t control himself. Simply put, he’s just not there. He can’t remember anything when he’s in this state of mind and so he panics upon 'awakening', terrified of what he may have done – in this case, thinking he’s killed someone. ))