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Dimensions were sort of like brick houses built in a row. Someone wanting to jump between them first had to run across the yard; then, from there, they would have to find a suitable door to open. Technology helped both in opening those doors and pointing the wanderer in the right direction – assuming, of course, that it worked.

Josh’s technology? It… kind of worked.

When he claimed he “made all of his tech from scratch” it sounded impressive – especially at the age of eighteen. The disclaimer he neglected to mention, however, was that each and every piece of equipment was a prototype. Untested and unlicensed, field tests were how he proved whether or not his endeavors were as impressive as he claimed – and the unfortunate fact of the matter was that only a fraction of them were.

The run was designed to test his four newest projects: a hook-like attachment on his belt, a peculiar clip strapped to one ankle, a thin metal box secured to his back, and a thick watch situated on one wrist – the very device that allowed him to leap between worlds.

But if that watch was intended to let him stride casually from his dimension’s yard to that of his neighbor, it was indeed a failure. As if overjoyed at the chance to get out and see the worlds the device whisked its owner blindly down road after road, stopping at the end of a planar cul-de-sac and hurling him onto the porch of a house at random.

When Josh’s eyes opened to the sun of a new world, he didn’t find the open fields or sprawling meadows he was expecting. Vines flung themselves this way and that, climbing up impossibly tall trees to strangle at the heavens themselves. Nature seemed to angrily lash back at them, hurling heat and humidity down their lengths to bombard the forest floor with a mire of sweating pores and panting breaths.

Content with its work, the watch displayed a jovial “Battery Recharging” message and abandoned its wearer in the heart of the jungle.

Scowling Josh swept a hand across his brow, trying to gauge the time through the canopy. The trajectory of the light was impossible to determine; so, instead, the young engineer relied on sound.

The fading chirps of crickets accompanied by the growing chorus of birds put the hour at some point in the early morning. Running water on all sides told him that he was on an island or long peninsula.

And heavy footfalls quickly closing in on him told him that he was not alone.

Reaching to his back, Josh flicked a small switch attached to his metal box. Immediately the contraption whirred to life, causing the air to ripple and distort like a heat wave in the desert. By the time the oncoming footsteps reached him, the engineer was gone: tiny vibrations rendered him invisible, subtle tremors canceled out the sounds of his movements, and heavy outputs of the world’s own odors shrouded his scent.

And the guise couldn’t have come at a better time. While the creature that arrived on the scene was most certainly humanoid it was far from human: covered in a myriad of bright green scales and armed with an assortment of fangs and claws, she resembled a dragon more so than she resembled any person Josh knew. And, at just over fifty feet tall, she seemed more than capable of living up to a dragon’s grisly mythological reputation.

Josh backed away slowly. Though he was unable to make noise, he was more than capable of altering the landscape – and a falling stump or a ruffle of leaves would be proof enough of his presence.

Yet his caution paid off: the dragon looked through him on multiple occasions, and yet her eyes continued to scan unfocused into the distance. His stealth generator had been a success!

Triumphantly the young engineer turned and started to stroll away. He took three steps, each accompanied by a bang, a clunk, and a hiss respectively. On the fourth step he heard the definitive crunch of a leaf underfoot; and, looking down, he found himself quite visible.

His stealth generator worked… but only for a few minutes.

“Well, well, well…” purred a voice at his back. It was melodic and feminine; yet, at the same time, dripping with predatory hunger.

“Well…” Josh grumbled, turning to meet the eyes of the huntress. It was more than a little disconcerting, realizing that only a few yards separated him from such a reputable predator; but, with a hand on his belt, it was reassuring to know his arsenal was not yet depleted.

“You’re very good at hiding. One moment you’re here and the next you simply vanish…”

“I’m not that good at hiding: you just aren’t very good at knowing where to look.”

She scowled but otherwise shrugged aside the insult. Inching closer she arched an eyebrow, scrutinizing the dimension-traveler’s assortment of gear with feline curiosity.

“I haven’t seen armor like that before – it doesn’t cover much.”

“It isn’t armor?”

“Then… what is it?”

“None of your business?”

Her scowl deepened, yet she successfully kept her rising temper in check.

“So few people come to my island.” She said somberly. “I truly do appreciate visitors. I’m surprised the tribes didn’t warn you about me?”

“You’re not very intimidating.”

“Really?”

She flashed him a bright grin, exposing her long and jagged teeth. Her claws extended as far as they would go, ripping at the earth to expose ancient tree roots. Her tail thrashed madly, splintering a thick trunk with ease.

“How do you figure,” she demanded “that I’m not ‘very intimidating’?”

“Well you’re strong…” he mused, gesturing towards the damage. “But you don’t seem very smart…”

One hand, absentmindedly playing with the dirt, suddenly snapped up and took a wide swipe at the human. He pushed back, narrowly avoiding the claws; and, in response, gave the dragon a scowl of his own.

“What was that for?”

“That,” she bluntly clarified “was for being an ungrateful guest. But don’t worry: I think I’ll still let you stay for dinner.”

The connotations were more than clear. Hardly wanting to see the dragon’s teeth any closer Josh turned and bolted further into the jungle – well aware of the crashing pursuit of the predator behind him.

Utilizing the miniscule lead he had, the human slipped his hand towards his belt and unclipped the grappling hook fastened there. With practiced aim he angled the head towards a distant branch; and, with a quick flick of the trigger, the sharp head was sent careening through the canopy.

As he felt the tug of metal meeting timber, his finger slipped down to the second trigger. In a rush the rope began to recoil, tugging him from the ground to send him hurdling through the trees. With minimal difficulty he caught and held the branch; then, disentangling the rope from the tree’s eves, he took aim again and moved to the next tree.

With each successive shot the sound of the footfalls at his back softened – and the pattern repeated itself until they vanished entirely. Confidently he continued to soar above the forest floor, happy to test his devices to the fullest extent of their abilities – and, at the same time, seemingly happy to let his powers of observation get away from him.

When the footfalls returned they were right in his ear; and Josh barely had the opportunity to glance over his shoulder before the same teeth he had so feared minutes before closed directly on top of him.

Josh had been eaten before and knew what to expect. The predator’s fetid breath swirled around him, choking out any aromas from the outside world; the heartbeat coming from deep within the predator drowned out his own, made him seem an inconsequential part of a whole; the saliva and spittle mingled with his own sweat, further distorting the line between himself and his captor.

Spinning on the dragon’s tongue he clicked the recoil mechanism on his grappling hook. The line began to drag him forward for a moment; then, in a terrifying instant, snapped. The same bite that had swallowed Josh had cut the anchor holding him to the tree; and the following gulp sealed his fate.

Reaching to his ankle, the engineer’s hands fiddled with the final prototype in his possession – the clip that had remained forgotten since his arrival in the new dimension. The mechanism there relaxed, dropping two large pills ahead of him down the predator’s gullet.

When Josh himself arrived in the waiting stomach, his tech was already hard at work. He didn’t feel the sting of acid but instead only the frothing bubbles of his harmless chemical reaction.

Josh had been eaten before and knew what to expect – and, as such, had prepared for just such an occasion.

“Enjoy your stay.” The dragon purred coyly. A gentle beat echoed all around him, signaling she was patting her stomach.

Leaning back against one organic wall, Josh smiled and shook his head. He would only be hanging around for his watch to recharge; and, for him, it would be a much more enjoyable stay than the huntress expected.
This is a commission, and does not necessarily reflect my views or preferences.

:iconhydroblade: has been very patient with me. He requested a story featuring his character in a "technology meets magic" sort of setting. We share several similar preferences on stories (female predators, a hunt, a dragon, etc.) which made this enjoyable to work with. It would have been longer had illness not taken its toll :(

If this does not meet your expectations give me a few more days to recover and I can try to revise it. Sick writers are still sick - and that makes us slack >.<

Interested in getting a commission? 50 :points: will still get you 2+ pages of a story of your choosing! I'm trying to keep prices down for now but, when I start picking back up on stand-alone stories again, you can expect them to rise. Take advantage of that while you can!
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:icontimamcd:
timamcd Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
I take it that was Venom?

And yep, that was :iconhydroblade:  alright... he's a cocky one sometimes, as my predators know.  And also tasty, as my predators know ;p
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Not necessarily - at least that wasn't my intent. But you also can't really say it wasn't Venom, either :XD:

I take it you two know each other then? :XD:
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:icontimamcd:
timamcd Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Yep, we do lots of RPing together.

Speaking of which, do you still have ours for that day when it will actually beable to continue?
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:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
So much time has gone by that we may have to start from scratch - though the general premise can remain the same. I do still have it, though, if the need so calls; and, when the opportunity presents itself, I'm sure we can start back up.
Reply
:icontimamcd:
timamcd Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Alright, I did enjoy RPing with you when we did it, so if you ever do have time again, I'd love to do so once again.
Reply
:iconkiba-surion:
Kiba-Surion Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
Interesting, He was a little too cocky for my liking. Lol if it was me in the situation I would have been a lot less rude and tried to talk things through first. Though its clear with that particular dragoness it wouldn't have mattered, but at least then fleeing as he did would still work and that much more time was used while waiting for the battery recharge! After all, you never piss off a predator who decided to start talking instead of just jumping you!
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:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well I was bound by the personality and tendencies of the character - a "smart ass" by his owner's own words. So... yeah, none of that for this protagonist ;p
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:iconkiba-surion:
Kiba-Surion Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014
Yeah understandable! Still good story! I was just more or less comparing what I would have done different if I was in his position =P Either way can't wait to read more!
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:iconarchsteel:
Archsteel Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014

Hmm... I was tired when I read this the first time, so I barley understood it. When I read it the second time I was still tired, but ending up understanding it more. I am STILL tired, but I'm pretty sure I understand the story now. So he did universe shenanigans, ended up on the hit list of a dragon, nearly escaped but ended up eaten and used anti acid pills to not die...


I'm wondering, wont she be able to tell that he's not in any pain?

Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're more or less correct:

He was testing prototype inventions. He used a device to change worlds... which sent him to the wrong world. He used a cloaking device to avoid a dragon... until it malfunctioned and put him right in front of her. After a few well-chosen comments and some antics with a grappling hook he was captured and subsequently eaten, whereupon his last device (which thankfully DID NOT malfunction) neutralized the acid. Unless she asks, there's no way the dragon will know he is in no pain and that he is charging a battery that will let him jump back to his home world.

There you go, a synopsis in a nutshell!
Reply
:iconarchsteel:
Archsteel Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014
Question, what happens if the device malfunctions and takes her with him? Is it capable of that, or will it just take a large portion of her stomach eviscerating her?
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:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm not sure... but depending on whether or not he commissions me again, we may very well find out ;)
Reply
:iconarchsteel:
Archsteel Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014
Well okay then. Say, would you be open for Rp's at some point in the near future? (I intend to have as many RP's going on as possible that way I can feel completely overloaded and never find the time to respond to any of them, thus causing me to feel guilty about it and leave them alone even longer until I finally gather up the courage to respond the them.)
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well... I'm honestly not much of an RP person. Lots of people ask and I start a few without the intention or ability to finish them. Honestly it probably isn't a great idea - sorry to disappoint you ^^;
Reply
:iconarchsteel:
Archsteel Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014
Ah, okay :P. I'm going to assume you meant it wasn't a good idea on both notes. (The RPing with you and the whole getting far to many RP's to handle so I end up swamped)
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:icontriffraff:
TriffRaff Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014

Beware of prey that is prepared.....


I guess the dragon should be grateful the tablets (I assume) are filled with antacid, instead of a poison or something meant to do damage to here...

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:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I suppose you're right.
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:iconkatzefalke-sergal:
KatzeFalke-Sergal Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Student General Artist
Amen to the sick writers thing. I've been 'sick' and slacking since early november. Also, hope you feel better. :D
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:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! You are a little more 'sick' than me though - a cold may be aggravating, but it isn't nearly as serious :(
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:iconkatzefalke-sergal:
KatzeFalke-Sergal Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Student General Artist
Yeah, right now it's so bad I can't even sit right... Or lay. So woo, sleepless nights...
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:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm sorry dude...
Reply
:iconkatzefalke-sergal:
KatzeFalke-Sergal Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks... But yeah, it's getting worse...
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:iconi-love-dragons1:
I-Love-Dragons1 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014
(Dragoness wanted to digest him I assume?) Good guy for coming prepared for all situations! I like him and I love this story!
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You make the assumption that she didn't know what he was capable of... but that is a stretch, saying she is a nice person :XD:

I'm glad you enjoyed it! 
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:iconaltran79:
altran79 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
Cloaking devices, no matter what no one bothers getting them out of beta resulting in the whole 30 second duration business :P
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
They're certainly glitchy, that's for sure.
Reply
:iconaltran79:
altran79 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014
FPS games are pricks when it comes to Cloaking devices 30 second duration my arse, you can't even run with it on
Reply
:iconartan118:
Artan118 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm...that grappling hook for some reason reminds me of a Maghook from Matthew Reilly's 'Scarecrow' series.
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I can't say I'm familiar with the series :XD:
Reply
:iconhystericalscientest:
HystericalScientest Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
Try thinking of the Just Cause 2 Hook. Spent 9 hours messing around with it. Best 9 hours of the game. (:
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:iconartan118:
Artan118 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, it's by an Australian author.
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:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well that isn't a guaranteed "You won't have read it!" sort of deal. I read the Ranger's Apprentice series, which was also by an Australian author.
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:iconartan118:
Artan118 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Can't say that I've read that one...
As far as I know, the reason you haven't read any of the Matthew Reilly books is that they don't seem to be your type. You seem more of a fantasy-orientated person, whereas these books are about fictional missions carried out by a group of US Marines (that's the 'Scarecrow' series) and then there's others, such as 'Hover Car Racer', 'Contest', etc.

Here's his website: www.matthewreilly.com/
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the link, though you're right: I suppose I am more of the fantasy/sci-fi type :XD:
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:iconartan118:
Artan118 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh? So you do like Sci-Fi? Hover Car Racer is mainly in the 'future Earth' Sci-Fi category.
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:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well... I like more adventure/action sci-fi. Racing isn't necessarily my thing ^^;

For clarification I mean things like Ender's Game or Avatar.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconhydroblade:
Hydroblade Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014

Amazing story! Well worth the wait. I found it very funfilled, and now realize I need to better describe my tech for next time... ^^;


You did amazingly with what I gave you, and I am truly thrilled with how this came out. :)

Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it! And again I do apologize for the delay.
Reply
:iconhydroblade:
Hydroblade Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
No worries, it was worth the wait.
Reply
:iconhawkeye1041995:
Hawkeye1041995 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
Bah, those grappling hooks always fail you when you need it most.
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Having the wire bitten in two is a great way for it to malfunction :XD:
Reply
:iconalrita27:
alrita27 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Nice try, huntress.

Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
She gave it a shot ;p
Reply
:iconhaloveteran:
haloveteran Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
his grapple hook thing reminds me of the ones they use in Shingeki No Kyojin
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I wasn't given details about the grappling hook, so I did take some inspiration from Attack on Titan :D
Reply
:iconhaloveteran:
haloveteran Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
i was reading it and kept imagining her as a titan XD which she basically is just a smarter scaly titan
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Bigger, too, for the most part - she tops the 15 meter class.
Reply
:iconhaloveteran:
haloveteran Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
SUPER TITAN
Reply
:iconshurtugalskulblaka:
Shurtugalskulblaka Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Wish I had 50 pts I'd have my luna meet luna XD or Embyr but I alas am broke
Reply
:iconbowtothedrow:
Bowtothedrow Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Alas :(

Who knows? Maybe someone will donate to you at some point? Or perhaps you could offer a commission to another deviant yourself and make a commission with that money? The possibilities are endless!
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January 22, 2014
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