Turnabout is Fair Play 

By Llyander and Anima 
Story Copyright (C) By Llyander and Anima
 2001 - All rights reserved.

Story not to be reprinted, or redistributed, 
without author's Permission.

If you wish to use the stories, or 
anything copyright by me, please e-mail me.
I'll also forward any mail to the author.

  Turnabout is Fair Play
A Collaboration by Llyander and Anima
(Vore/Absorption, N/C)

Drifting up from the horizon, then rising paternally over the expanse of green virgin forest, the golden orb of the sun studied its child planet. Beams of its light splashed across North America, slowly reaching the forests of the Mideast. Magnifying the scene further, the sprawling forests snap nearer, until individual trees and hills can be seen. Closer still. Now, beneath the tree tops, the underbrush and all its inhabitants were visible. Birds, singing since dawn, picked up their chorus as the sun strengthened. Squirrels uncurled from their nests, poking sleepy heads from their knotholes. Owls, having reached their homes barely an hour before, rustled in their sleep before stilling once more.

Something unknown to land, an unnatural, alien creature was also moving that day, greeting the morning sun with a sluggish, lazy movement. It uncurled slowly, carefully, as thin, twitching tendrils reached out to touch and probe its surroundings, feelers tapping over grass, stone and wood to assess the potential threats that might lie around it before it ventured forth from the rotting log it had slept in that night.
Safety. Nothing moved, nothing stirred.
Another movement. The creature shifted, slowly oozing from its comfy little hollow as it carefully made its way out and into the light. The first rays of the sun slid over its rippling ebony skin, the light catching the sheen of the creatures flesh, setting up an almost hypnotic cascade of colour like oil on water. As it moved into the light it was fully exposed to view for a brief instant. It looked like nothing so much as a blob of translucent black jelly, roughly the size of a small football, the edges of it ragged and uneven, rippling and shifting with each movement the thing made. A feeler was slowly extruded, rising out of that central mass and probing around at the entrance to the log, making sure there was nothing waiting out there to surprise it. Again, it seemed to be alone and so it rolled itself out of the log and plopped down onto the ground. The moment it moved from the shadowy interior and out into the light its colour changed, rippling rapidly from black through brown and finally settling on a mottled green, blending in nicely with the grass, gathering itself before it moved on again.
It wasn't really sure how it had come to this place but its simple mind was certain that things were not always thus. Not so green and organic. It had a vague recollection of white. Cold surfaces, flat surfaces that were so much easier to roll over than this nasty, uneven brown stuff that it was forced to tolerate now, filled with little bits of debris that got stuck in annoying crevices. If it had lungs it would have sighed, but such concepts were unknown to it. It understood little of where it was, or why, and it didn't really care. One thing alone mattered to it and that was a feeling that was making itself known quite acutely as the moments passed.
It shivered and moved with more purpose now, tendrils rolling out to drag itself along the ground, moving with surprising rapidity for such an odd looking thing. As the feelers touched here and there it suddenly came across an interesting taste that stopped it in its tracks. It knew this taste, it had eaten these things before; Brown, furry things that kicked in the most DELICIOUS way when they were caught. It didn't know the name of this thing, only that it was soft plump and tasty and that was ALL it needed to know to turn and follow this tantalising new trail, trundling along towards a thick stand of privet hedges in pursuit of a meal

* * *

Pineskimmer shook out his feathers, raising his wickedly hooked beak towards the rising sun to welcome in the new day. His magnificent wings unfurled and stretched to their full, six-foot extension before settling to his sides once more. His head cocked to the side, gleaming yellow eyes surveying all around him as a new sensation impinged on his awareness.
With a precise downsweep of his powerful wings coupled with a calculated thrust from his taloned feet, the American Bald eagle launched himself from the sturdy tree branch he'd settled on last night. Four wing beats took him above the tree-tops, where Pineskimmer could survey his territory. There'd be no prey here to catch; the forest was simply too difficult to manoeuvre in! No, Pine made a token circle or two, then headed for the scrubland ringing the woods where he knew the hunting would be better, easier. A dull black snake of asphalt wound through a clearing, and Pineskimmer made for it. Directly above the unnatural strip, a warm updraft caught Pine's wings and buoyed him up. From there, the eagle made straight for his favourite hunting grounds in a deceptively-lazy looking glide.
A movement in the thick privets on the west side of the wide grassy field attracted Pine's attention. Fixing his eyes on the spot, the eagle easily located the rustling rabbit. He folded his wings back and descended rapidly, making for a perch across the field from his target. It would serve as a vantage point from which he could make his final approach, after getting his bearings once more. Pineskimmer alighted on a likely looking pine bough, bouncing it a bit. Rechecking the spot with his magnificent eyes, Pine dropped from the tree and soared towards the privets! The shadow of his proud flight flickered over the yellowed grass and rusty shrubs, arrowing straight for the rabbit. Wickedly hooked claws down like landing gear, Pine *stretched* down into the hedge...and came up empty with nothing but some leaves and twigs in his feathers to show for his powerful stoop. Screeching his outrage, the eagle pulled up. After that display, he'd be lucky the fish in the neighbouring creek hadn't spooked!

* * *

Deep within the privet hedge, the blob was aware of the abortive strike of the eagle, 'watching' dispassionately as the claws slashed at the air and then retreated, sensing more than hearing the screech of outrage that followed... But it had other things to concern itself with. Like breakfast. It had grown bigger now, bigger because it was stuffed full of a nice, plump, still-twitching rabbit.
The doe had been sleeping when the creature had found her, unaware as the blob nestled up alongside that soft, silky fur, remained oblivious as it had begun to expand outwards, slowly sliding over her haunches, surrounding her in a soft, rippling sheath of warm, translucent jelly that moved swiftly to engulf the rest of her sweet, tender little body. She had woken just as her hindquarters vanished within that clinging sheath, feeling the blob moving over and around her, an unnatural warmth surrounding her, sapping her strength. Her immediate reaction had been to try and run, to escape this... Whatever it was.
Her muscles tensed, thrashing her legs about within the soft, yielding gel that surrounded them. Something was wrong, she didn't seem to be moving anywhere, and even more alarming to her primitive little mind was that she suddenly couldn't seem to feel her hindpaws anymore! She kept struggling gamely however, kept thrashing and pushing out within her ever-growing jelly cocoon, bulging it out here and there, writhing as it slipped inexorably up and over her body, tendrils first slipping over and then engulfing her forepaws in a glistening sheath of gel, her struggles reduced to mere twitches and spasms as she was held within the cocoon of her predator. The creature slipped up over her rapidly, covering her mouth, her wild, staring eyes and those long ears until finally the doe was gone and laying there was a twitching, wriggling blob of jelly. A kick from within... Another... One final, frantic spasm and the doe went still and quiet, her little mind shutting down as her body did, drifting off into darkness. Now there was nothing to do but absorb.
The blob worked quickly with this meal; it needed the nutrition. Powerful digestive enzymes went to work, rendering the flesh into the nutrients the blob needed, drawing the rabbit into itself, absorbing it. As soon as it could, it began moving again, not wasting any time in a leisurely digestion. It could finish with the rabbit on the way. There was MORE prey to find and that was more important than comfort right now. Tendrils were extruded, gripping rocks and branches as it started to move once more, slowly this time, weighed down by the slowly digesting rabbit within it.

* * *

Pineskimmer circled the field, scanning the grass for any sign of the rabbit, hoping perhaps that he might be able to relocate his target before it got too far away. No sign, nothing. Moment followed moment, with the chance of finding the rabbit fading ever faster. Wait. What was that?
He turned in a little tighter as he spotted something new beside the privet hedge. He would never have registered it but for its ponderous, oozing movement away from the hedge... The thing was slow! It might be good to eat... Pineskimmer made a low sound of pleasure in his feathery throat, and found another perch from which he could skim low over the grass towards this new prey. Repeating his prior routine, Pine launched his eagerly-winging form out over the grass, and dipped low enough to drag his talons through the slippery-looking mass hiding in the lee of the bush. His claws met resistance and dug in swiftly to hold the prey, thoughts of triumph sparking in the bird's mind! But those were quickly followed by feelings of dismay, as that resistance caught and *held* his legs, halting Pineskimmer's flight as thoroughly as a tree trunk, the bird pitching forward with a startled, high-pitched cry.
The blob had registered the approach of the eagle moments before the impact, the eagles claws raking over it as it swooped past, followed almost instantly by the surge of what could only be described as *PAIN* flashing through its body as the eagle's claws sank in. It reacted in the only way it could, the only way its little mind knew how, by lashing out and seizing the eagles legs in thick ropes of jelly, engulfing them in moments, flowing over his claws and talons before sliding up his legs as well, dragging him beak-first to the ground where the odds were stacked more in its favour and where those huge wings would be a disadvantage, tangling in the undergrowth and only aiding the blob in immobilising it all the more quickly. Hunger awoke in it once more as it tasted the eagle. So wild, so powerful... THIS was a real meal! Digestive juices freely flowed almost immediately, going to work on those vicious claws, trying to render the writhing, screaming meal helpless as quickly as it could. It could already feel the first sweet nutrients flowing out from the struggling prey, absorbed by the hungry little blob, giving it the strength to continue fighting to subdue its prey.
PAIN! Thrashing his wings about in panic, Pineskimmer screeched in agony! His legs were burning, a pain he'd never felt the like of before seared his nerves raw before incinerating them as well, leaving only a cold numbness that was as terrifying as the pain. The eagle thrust his beak at the gooey mass enfolding his legs, snapping wildly! Wide open, his beak caught at the soft sticky mass... and stuck. Pine tried back-pedalling, tried to pull his head up and out of this not-prey that had seized him--his mind still trying to come to terms with this sudden reversal of fortunes--but his legs wouldn't respond and his beak was still stuck, no matter how hard he pulled! Flapping frantically, he tried to get airborne. Both wings struck the blob once, and came free reluctantly. The second downsweep plastered his pinions to the blob's surface, and could not be stirred. Pineskimmer jerked his neck, and every muscle still at his command, willing with every feather and bone in his body to be FREE! Warm gelatin slid down his throat and filled his crop, bringing a blessed numbing with it. His entire body began to feel numb moments later. Seeing no need to resist the urging of his tired body, the giant bird collapsed bonelessly into unconsciousness.

* * *

The blob felt the prey go limp and it ceased the wild secretion of digestive acids, returning to a more sedate and conservative mode of feeding. It rippled under the eagle, the avian slowly sinking down into the transparent mass with soft slurping, suckling sounds, engulfed a little at a time as hungry tendrils slid over and around his form, binding him deeper and tighter into the predator that had tricked him. Pineskimmer twitched once, twice, an eye opening to gaze up at the sky that was forever denied him now.... A shimmering layer of gel slide over that staring orb and the bird went still and quiet, now surrounded in a cocoon of jelly.
The blob remained where it was, slowly absorbing the prey into itself. While it was not advanced enough to understand a concept like pleasure, it understood that this prey made it feel sated, that the hunger was gone, for the moment at least. But with the hunger leaving, new sensations rushed in to take its place. There was a moment of disconnection, a moment where the blob felt strange on the ground, it had the sudden urge to spread its wings, soar up into the heavens and hunt as it was born to! It rippled around itself, the slowly digesting eagle dwindling within its liquid crystal coffin, trying to understand what was happening to it as the moment passed and once again, it was safe and secure on the earth that was its home, digesting its prey as was natural for it.
Another moment of disconnection, a desperate burning NEED to feel the air washing over feathers that were slowly melting away within that liquid cocoon, the urge to twitch talons that were already long dissolved. There came a flash of clarity. It was not only absorbing the flesh of the eagle, but the awareness as well, the very knowledge and instincts that made the eagle what it was... This…This was not supposed to happen! This could not be! It was predator... No... It was prey... It… Was?
It roiled nervously around the melting body of the eagle, confused now as the two psyches came together, the wild, feral nature of the eagle all but overwhelming the more sedate and cautious identity of the blob that had consumed him. Must stop this, must eject the digesting remains, this toxin that threatened to destroy it from within! Shivering, the blob tried to do so, tried to make itself move away from the melted remains of the eagle... And failed. The creature went still, the digestion all but forgotten as the needs and emotions washed over and through it, paralysing it as it lost its certainty of who or what it was. An eagle… Or a rabbit… Or perhaps one of the other creatures that it had once devoured. Too many voices! Too many. Cohesion was breaking down, confusion and chaos swirling like red flashes of lighting in the flickering mind of the blob.
There followed the second moment of clarity. A meeting of minds between predator and prey, between the creature and the eagle. An understanding was reached without words, almost without thought. Slowly, slowly the other voices died away, pushed back to where they belonged till there were only the two… Pineskimmer and the one who had bested him. The two voices merged even as the blob completed the absorption of the eagle. One voice now, one mind… A blend of the little creature's cunning and patience and Pineskimmer's feral joy and passion. Nothing had perished... Something had been born.
Soon, it gathered itself, taking stock of its surroundings once more. There was no trace of a blend, no division, only a single mind and set of instincts driving the strange creature. On the cellular level, what had been the blob's and bird's DNA were now a double helix of a single creature, unrecognisable from that which had awoken that morning and set out to hunt. The land would have recoiled from this contradiction if it could, forsaking it, or perhaps tossing it into the sea to rid itself of this creature that should not be.
In the green shadows beneath the bush, it turned its attention to its soft, gelatinous hide. A little control exerted over it, and the blob's surface stretched tight, forming a perfect dome. A dome that absorbed any sound directed towards it, feeding the information into this new mind. It listened... Senses tuned to the forest all around. Squirrels, birds, a scrabbling in the leaves and needles of the floor that might be a wolf or fox... Food?
It shook itself. It no longer needed food, couldn't process any even if it caught something. The blob's reserves were full, and a full day would elapse before food would be needed again. So now, the issue was safety. An instinct, to locate a tree branch to roost on, floated to the fore from the instincts of Skimmer. Flowing smoothly over the humps and mounds of the forest floor, it made its way to the nearest tree. Then, extending a pseudopod, touched the tree's trunk and clung. Pulling itself up, the blob lifted from the earth and spread across the trunk. From there, flowing vertically up the bark was a simple task, the sticky mass oozing out onto a limb high above the earth. Safety.
There, it waited. Tomorrow was another day. Tomorrow was another meal, and there was so much food to eat. Yes, so much... The prey would become the predator now. Skimmer had learned this, soon other creatures would learn as the blob grew in size and more knowledge was absorbed. They would learn that turnabout is fair play.