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New Purpose



Consumed as she was with the scene in the arena, Caiatl forgot the chiddik in her hands as her young body imitated the action playing out before her eyes. The living accessory screamed, then leapt to the flagstones. Boneless or not, it resented having its neck wrenched.

"Gentle, small one," her father chided through a haze of wine. "Your chiddik was bred for a thousand generations to complement your tunic. Pick it up."

"Must I? It is always in the way."

"A princess must serve her purpose as much as any other beast. Once you outgrow this tunic, you may do anything you like with the chiddik. Eat it, perhaps. They are scrumptious boiled in wine with bitter herbs. But for now—"

"Yes, Father," she hastily recited, but already, her eyes wandered back to the red sand below. Ghaul lifted the slack-jawed head—torn, not cut, from his rival's body—toward the Imperial box. Every sinew in the warrior's flesh trembled with passion and triumph.

"Your prowess pleases us, gladiator." Calus rose. "You will join us this evening for repast."

In that moment, Caiatl realized that Ghaul would not wear an absurd chiddik to dinner. He had no use for a fragile accessory whose musk and chirping and scintillating tails boasted his position. He had never needed to learn the subtle gesticulations to summon a servant who would wick away the creature's urine without drawing attention. His hands had learned to direct blades, not cloacists.

She retrieved the trembling animal with hateful hands. For a moment, she clasped down on its maw. It writhed in wide-eyed panic, struggling for breath, but she quickly released. The beast bore no sin for its place in the world; no more than she assumed fault for hers.

But unlike a chiddik, she could create new purpose for herself.

About the Author

Collin MacGregor

Collin MacGregor is the Guide Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He's also the person who willingly plays the support class (you're welcome) and continues to hold out for an Ape Escape remake.

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Barrel Slot

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Dual strength barrel. • Increases range • Increases stability

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Polygonal Rifling

Barrel optimized for recoil reduction. • Increases stability

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Hammer-Forged Rifling

Durable ranged barrel. • Increases range

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Full Bore

Barrel optimized for distance. • Greatly increases range • Decreases stability • Slightly decreases handling speed

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Ultra-light barrel. • Greatly increases handling speed • Slightly increases stability

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Weighty barrel extension. • Increases range • Decreases handling speed • Moderately controls recoil

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Stable barrel attachment. • Increases stability • Moderately controls recoil • Slightly decreases handling speed

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Arrowhead Brake

Lightly vented barrel. • Greatly controls recoil • Increases handling speed