With an extra mouth to feed my food supplies did not last for as long as I would have liked (Chain can eat a lot more than one would think at first glance). And we were forced to make our way back to the surface effectively cutting my explorations short. It was disappointing but things never go easily when we’re trying them for the first time.
Of course I’d gotten lost so many times there was no way I was going to be able to find the place I’d originally come in at. So I had to settle for guessing and hoping the path I picked eventually led to the surface. It was slow going, but the tunnels gave way to sewers, and eventually I could hear the familiar sound of cars passing by overhead.
Coming up out of a sewer is a lot more dangerous than movies and TV makes it appear. And the last thing I wanted to do was to cause a car accident and get myself killed in the process. So I had to find a ladder and a manhole where I couldn’t hear that many cars passing overhead. It took me an hour or so, but eventually we found a good spot to breach the surface.
I slowly twisted the manhole cover until I could lift it up and push it to the side (these things are way heavier than you’d think). I was met with bright street lamps and the smokey smell of a fall night. Once I crawled above ground, Chain followed me up, climbing the ladder much easier than you would expect a four legged creature to be able to. After helping Chain up I looked around to try and figure out where we were.
A small one lane road, the tall city skyscrapers stretched above the trees in the distance. I thanked my lucky stars I was still close to the Twilight Cities. It would take a bit of walking to get back to my apartment, but it was doable. After replacing the manhole cover we started the long night walk back to the city.
But things didn’t go smoothly. We had only been enjoying the crisp fall air for ten minutes when I noticed the headlights blinking, the car was just off the side of the road over the curb and onto the well trimmed grass. Bits of metal and—something else. Something red and brown and gray–where scattered about.
We quickly ran up to the car. There wasn’t anyone around that I could see so I shouted out that I was a doctor and if anyone needed help they should yell or make some kind of noise. But we heard nothing–and after a search of the car it seemed like there was nobody around. Which was a little odd, most people would just use their cellphones to get a tow truck to come pick them up. But if that was true the car would have been gone as well. It was possible that the car was too far gone to even be towed but–it wasn’t adding up.
Chain hissed at something–which forced me out of my own thoughts. It hadn’t been apparent to me at first what the car had hit. But Chain was pointing her sharp tail twordes a body in the woods. The body of a very dead deer. It was clear to me what had happened in that moment (or I thought it was clear anyways). The car had hit a deer, the driver had panicked and made things worse by driving off road. And for whatever reason they hadn’t had their cell phone on them and had to go walk into the city for help. In other words there was nothing I could do to help. So I turned around to start walking once more. But Chain just kept hissing at the deer.
I did my best to try and calm her down, but she refused to look at anything other than the dead deer. She had led a sheltered life–so I reasoned she just wasn’t used to seeing non-Cryptix animals. I took a step towards the deer to show her that there wasn’t anything to be afraid of. But then–the creature suddenly started to move–it shifted around and twitched for a bit before standing up.
I was horrified, the creature was covered in blood and a good amount of it’s flesh had been carved away by the car and the road. But it was somehow still alive. It ignored Chain who was still hissing at it, and turned it’s black shiny eyes to me. For whatever reason I didn’t feel threatened at all, though it was very creepy.
After getting home I learned what this Creature was–a Crypt Deer. An undead deer that is somehow incapable of dying. The Cryptinomicon insists that early after undergoing the process of becoming undead the monster does everything it can to kill itself. If it’s right (like it so often isn’t) then the Cryptix jumped in front of that car on peropous. But that really doesn’t seem right to me, nor does the creature’s apparent immorality. It’s tough for sure but everything dies eventually, that’s just part of life.
The Cryptinomicon says that the Crypt deer will stop returning to life if all of it’s flesh is eaten by a Light type Cryptix (The Cryptinomicon likes to refer to types a lot, it’s a poor classification system. But I will go into more details about that in a different part of my notebook). But that also seems unlikely to me. It’s more likely that reducing it’s flesh down to nothing is more than enough to kill it. And it’s ability to “return to life” is just incredible survivability and fast healing. Still after having witnessed a deer with open wounds and skin and flashes hanging off it’s body just get up and walk away. It’s easy to see why someone might believe this creature is some kind of deer Zombie returned from the dead.
The creature did just walk away after getting back to its feet. No harm came to me or Chain (despite what she seemed to think). But the Crypti Deer did insist on locking eyes with me for far too long. It seemed to me like it might be trying to tell me something. But honestly that’s probably just the exhaustion talking. What would such a Cryptix even want to say to a human like me?