Part 3 Interlude (+ an Update!)

Wow it has been too long.

So I should explain myself. I had always intended to take a break after Part 3 of Infiltration, but the end of Part 3 also coincided with a lot of psychological developments all happening at once. I don’t want to get too deep into it because what I write will end up taking up a majority of the post and you can imagine much of what I’ve been going through has been very personal, but hopefully it’ll suffice to say that a lot of things that were a mystery to me and that always seemed out of reach are suddenly starting to click.

I have almost completely left all social media at this point — not because of any drama, but because I simply feel better when I’m by myself, with few friends to occupy the same space as me. The Autorise discord server is still up, but don’t expect me to respond to any pings.

As for Part 4 of Infiltration and the rest of the Domain going forward: worry not, because I guarantee the story will continue. I have no ETA, but that’s because my mental state also has no ETA. Still, everything that happens through the rest of the story has been planned out — and even after that story is done, there is plenty more to come with this series.

But for now: here is an update on that kitty we saw in the last few chapters!

That woman’s weird blood still wouldn’t leave the cat’s tongue. Every so often the little animal would stop in its tracks to cough and hack, as if a ball of black fur were lodged in its throat, yet this did nothing to relieve it of the bitterness that permeated its senses.

At least for now it was free of those girls – those little giants so incessantly hellbent on taking it for their own and doing who-knew-what with their unwilling pet-to-be. As far as the cat was concerned, they were all held back by some of the older humans in the nearby settlement. With that in mind, the cat trotted back to the woods: the land to which many of its kind had fled with the recent occupation of men in the area.

In this ruined land, men shouted at each other as if they were incapable of expressing any emotion between indifference and outright anger, dug holes in the dirt as if they were giant bipedal moles. Any time the cat heard one of them shout, it would typically make an effort to further distance itself from whatever had caused the commotion – which, a lot of the time, meant going back into the forest. Men were hardly capable of life in the trees, anyway – but then again, after living so long in the ruins before being herded away, the local feline population could understand why these creatures would rather live in a mostly-empty land than live somewhere that had been occupied for centuries by towers of lumber. The humans certainly were resourceful, as the men and women were swift when taking their chance to occupy what had once belonged to the native cats. Their methods of taking the land were unfair and didn’t even consider the population already there. But at least none of those in charge were little girls.

From the edge of the woods, the cat continued to trot, glancing at the ruins. One person that caught the cat’s eye was a man on top of a platform supported by tall, yet flimsy-looking metal beams. Almost without meaning to, the cat began walking over, intrigued as all the regular noise in the area seemed to subside at least for a short while. Once close enough, it took a seat by the base of the metal beams, its ear twitching.

This man must have been able to see everyone and everything from his vantage point. The animal below could only imagine the kind of sights he had unlocked. Perhaps there would be more to see from this metal stand than from any tree in all the woods.

The man shouted. Immediately the cat flinched, the hair on its backside frizzed up – as if trying to ward off a threat – and its ringing ears flattened against its head.

Just as quickly as the noise had started, it stopped. The cat blinked and sat down for a moment, waiting for the next bout of hollering to come.

Above its head, this man seemed to shift every now and then – and it seemed that he would shift slightly before raising his voice. In due time, another shout came.

Thinking it had learned the noise’s pattern, the furtive feline leaped up and grabbed onto one of the beams between the platform’s legs, its claws managing to perfectly hook around the shape of the metal. It then paused, looking, listening, holding its breath for the next moment it would have to jump to the next level, grabbing its chance as if pouncing on prey. Once at last the moment came, it jumped again, then listened, then jumped one more time, all the while its unblinking, bright-green eyes remained wide open, pupils contracted to tiny slits.

Caught in mid-jump, a fleeting moment left the creature flying, grasping for something to grab onto as if it had proper hominid fingers. As it was wont to do, the cat held its breath – and continued to do so when it was sure that it had started to descend.

And again a beam came within the cat’s paw – or at least part of its paw.

A hole in the beam – one which had originally been intended for use with a screw – was now being impaled by one of the cat’s nails. While the beam suffered minor scratches from the surrounding nails, the feline was left to groan in pain, dangling by a single nail that begged to break off from the rest of its now-throbbing paw.

Smooth as liquid, the tiny, pain-stricken animal attempted to wrap its other front paw around the beam and pull itself up. It craned its neck upward and reached to bite down on a tiny rod before arching its back and placing its two rear legs on the beam which it still found itself stuck in.

In this position, it could see nothing but the platform that the man had been standing on. It heard footsteps, it heard a heavy breath which preceded another holler. Once more the cat’s ringing ears flattened against its head, wondering where, when, and if its nail was going to split at the cuticle, to let it plummet with the sting of unnatural-tasting blood still on its tongue.

It moaned again. It wanted to cry for help, but there was no help up here.

The cat tried pulling back. No solution. It tried licking around its nail. No effect. It was only after pulling upward, moving a shoulder in the same direction, when the nail came out. Uncertain if it had just seen a few drops of blood on the beam or if that was just rust, the cat tilted its head upward and continued its ascent, few steps left to ascent.

The last step would be the largest leap, as it was the leap over the ledge upon which the man stood. It had been a some time since he last needed to shout at someone.

Seeing its opportunity, the feline shuffled its haunches, then came up with a massive leap, landing right on the ledge of the platform. It had reached the very heights it had intended to reach – all without the man even noticing, as his back was turned.

The victorious creature took a look down, scanning its lime-colored irises over the area, witnessing the part of the land where the river led into a cave and came out the other end and into the lake – where the long-disused tracks rusted into pebbles, where the tampering of men ended and the purity of nature began.

There was probably little chance of it being able to get down from this high up by itself, so the cat took a deep breath, the hairs on its back fluffing up. Before the man could hope to realize the cat was there or issue another command, its unseen adversary issued a command of its own to those willing to listen.

And immediately following the cry of a man, a mighty meow spewed forth, for all those willing to listen.