accidental cannibalism

7

Sockathan Week- Day 5: Post-Apocalyptic AU

GUESS WHO GOT CARRIED AWAY WITH AN AU AGAIN some of these drawings suck because I was rushing but it’s fine

AU where the apocalypse started when an epidemic spread through all of the plants and animals. It isn’t deadly to everything, but it’s definitely deadly to humans. The world was stable for a while, living off of stored or already processed food, but the food started to run out. There was fighting and panic and eventually one group of people started gathering up other humans to lose as livestock, people just call them “The Demons.” As food grew more scarce, The Demons’ numbers grew, and they started sending out scouts to recruit promising survivors or bring them back as dinner. 

Jonathan managed to avoid The Demons for a while but his luck couldn’t hold out forever. One such scout found Jonathan half starved and easily overpowered him, but for whatever weird reason, didn’t kill him. He just kind of tagged along and Jonathan got used to his presence. Every time Jonathan manages to scavenge up food it’s a roulette of whether this can of soggy vegetables will be the one to kill him. Sock never eats with him and Jonathan doesn’t like to think about what that means.

He hears rumors sometimes from other survivors, that there’s a place out there where they’ve learned to kill the disease, or at least hold it at bay, and there’s enough food there to keep everyone full and happy. They call it Paradise. Jonathan doesn’t think it really exists though, besides, Demons aren’t allowed in.

2

got another prompt on twitter for this which really speaks for itself

Complete Axolotl Caresheet

I think it is complete, making it for my website so might still be missing a few things. Breeding/Rearing info is elsewhere, same as signs of stress/illness:

Axolotls, or ambystoma mexicanum (also known as Mexican Walking Fish in at least New Zealand, Wooper Looper/Ooper Rooper in Japanese) are a neotenic salamander, belonging to the Amphibian family Caudata/Urodela. Neotenic means that they remain in their larval form, and reach sexual maturity. Axolotls used to go through metamorphosis into land-walking salamanders, changing their appearance and losing their gills, but have regressed through evolution to remain an underwater dweller. They still grow lungs, which has led many people to believe they can live and walk out of water, but this practice is stressful and cruel.

GROWTH

Axolotls start in an egg, and hatch after about three weeks, and are less than a centimeter long, with no legs. A well fed axolotl can grow a centimeter a week, and can grow to around 30cms as an adult. Axolotls have been known to live for twenty years, but in captivity, they tend to last about ten to fifteen.

Axolotls are also fascinating in the fact that if they are injured, or lose a limb, they can regenerate a new limb or even part of an organ. A photo guide of a limb growing back is available here, it’s quite fascinating. Axolotls are studied by scientists the world over, to learn more about their regenerative qualities.

TANK REQUIREMENTS

An axolotl is a coldwater creature, so they do not need a heater, and are best kept in dark, cool places. They dwell on the bottom of the tank, so a tank of considerable length is required. Height is not so important. A good starting size for a single axolotl is L: 70cm W: 45cm H:40+. A good rule is an extra 20cms length for every extra axolotl you get. This is to ensure they have plenty of space away from each other, in case one is aggressive or has cannabalistic tendencies.

Axolotls should have a filter. They don’t like water current, so a filter that produces a weak water flow is best. Canister filters are a great, but expensive option for this, as they often have a spray bar addition. This increases the output, making it weaker, and it can be aimed to trickle down the glass. So long as the surface of the water is disturbed, you will get good filtration. Partial water changes should be done weekly, for a planted aquarium, slightly less frequently is fine.

The tank should have plenty of caves and dark places. Axolotls have very weak eyes, so need to avoid the light. They have no eyelids, so you need to provide lots of shade and hiding places. They are more active at night because of this, but are not necessarily nocturnal. For multiple axolotls, it is best to have more hides, and also try to create layers, so they have more space to sit away from each other, such as ledges and flat-roof caves.

Plants and lighting can be used, but lighting is not required for an axolotl. If you use a light, you need to have extra hiding places. Plants can provide extra shade, but axies often tear around the tank and dislodge them, so be prepared to keep replanting your plants.

SUBSTRATE

Small stones, pebbles and aquarium gravel are NOT suitable for an axolotl. No excuses. The best substrate for an axolotl is either sand, or a bare-bottom tank. Axolotls basically inhale their food, creating a vacuum, and often suck up small pebbles. These can get stuck in their stomach, cause a blockage and impaction, and kill your axolotl. Sand is finer, so passes easily, and more gently on your axolotl.  Handfeeding is also a good method to keep your axolotls head off the ground, but they will still try eating pebbles when it is not feeding time. 

Sand should be smooth and fine, smaller than 1mm. Sharp jagged sand-y shard substrates aren’t much better than pebbles. Black “sand” gravel is often too rough, and can cut up an axolotls insides. 

Some people have been known to use slate tiles on the bottom of their tank, or large river rocks. River rocks need to be significantly larger than your axolotls head. It can be said that food gets stuck between these rocks and causes difficulty keeping the tank clean, and water chemistry right, but it depends on the skill and knowledge of the owner.

FOOD

Young axolotls need to eat every day, although, as they get larger and older their metabolism slows down, and they need fed less and less. An adult axolotl can be fed small meals every second day, or larger meals every 3-4. Watch your axolotls interest in food to gauge how much is good. A healthy axolotl has a belly as fat as their head.

The best meal nutritionally for an axolotl is earthworms. Worms are a stable diet for axolotls. An earthworm meal cannot be beaten for axolotls. However, if you want to add variety, which isn’t particularly necessary, there are plenty of options. There are axolotl pellets, usually made of salmon, frozen and live bloodworms, frozen axolotl foods, bugs, decapitated mealworms, shrimp, and feeder fish. Only a few varieties of fish/live aquatics can be used for axolotls, preferably cold water. Smallish goldfish, platys, danios, tadpoles, shrimps, snails, to name a few. You need to be careful that the fish you feed doesn’t have any sharp spines that can pierce your axolotl. Mealworms need to be decapitated because they have pincers that can grab onto your axolotl, externally or internally.

Some people also feed their axolotls raw red meat, oxheart, liver etc. These foods should be avoided, as they are high in fat, hard to digest, and just aren’t necessary for an axolotl. If used, they should be used very sparingly, like a treat. However, the best treat for your axie is worms!

FEEDING

Feeding axolotls is the funnest part of owning axolotls. The best method is to handfeed them, using tongs or blunt tweezers. The food is held or dropped over the axolotls head, or in front of their face, so they can snap it up.

A tidy method for those not wanting to handfeed is to use a feeding bowl or jar. The feeding bowl teaches them where to go to eat, and to show you they are hungry. It keeps the food slightly contained, and makes less mess. A feeding jar is even better for feeding frozen bloodworms. You place a jar or glass on it’s side, and place the frozen cube in. It will defrost and sit neatly on the bottom. The axolotl will eventually smell it, and it might take some time, but will find it’s way into the jar and eat. It might still make a mess, but it shouldn’t go as far as without a jar.

Most axolotls have a good sense of smell, so neither a feeding bowl or handfeeding are always necessary, it just helps you to keep the aquarium tidy and to monitor your axies eating. Not all axies are experts at sniffing out food themselves, so these options help for that.

TANKMATES

The only tankmates you can have for axolotl are other axolotl of the same size. Everything else will end up as food, or will try to eat your axolotl. Plecos have been known to latch onto your axolotls skin, and some fish might nibble on your axolotls gills. If you have two axolotl of differing sizes, they need to be kept separate, either in separate tanks or with a tank divider. If the smaller axolotl can fit into the bigger axolotls mouth, they cannot be together. In order to avoid cannibalism and accidental nipping, you should feed your axolotls well, and on opposite sides of the tank. Never feed an axolotl right beside another one, or it will result in injury.

LET'S TALK FUSIONS

chokingonfeelings submitted:

Okay so usually gem fusion is made by two gems, no? But in the case of Stevonnie it’s made by one human and a ½ human/gem hybrid. His hybrid status already gives Steven some leeway– he can withstand that defusing weapon (while showing some signs of cracking), needs to eat and sleep, etc. Gems (in their original state) probably aren’t used to being connected to human, living flesh and bone either, which makes me very curious about HOW IN THE FUCK did the insemination even happen bUT ANYWAYS

Rose’s gem is used to dealing with human flesh, to the point that while Steven is able to do stuff like invoking energy shields or healing with his spit it’s very probable that when he dies his human body will stay like that, dead. Because he’s basically a human body whose life essence comes from a sentient rock (this is all wild speculation and might not be true, but work with me). So in a very basic way, Rose’s gem is already working in a way that’s very different from usual gems’ m.o. (which opens a world of possibilities about Rose spending months, maybe even years, experimenting with keeping a human fetus attached to her gem WHILE being in her own physical projection and working on keeping up a fake uterus on the sidelines).

So the thing is that Rose’s gem currently isn’t really working like a normal gem’s would, Steven’s gem is much more synchronized with flesh and bone and all that other stuff living things are made of in Earth than your average gem would be. So fusing with another living creature while keeping the harmony and not, idk, accidentally cannibalizing that being’s life force or fucking the fusion up in some other way, shouldn’t be that hard, right? And in the end atoms are atoms, so if Steven’s gem can adapt to dealing with human flesh instead of a Gem Projection™ then it’s possible it can also vibrate hard enough/do whatever the fuck a gem does to unlock fusion and trigger said phenomena. Conclusion? Two children fuse into a 2 parts human/1 part gem non-binary deity of hotness.

(But then again, this is all wild theorizing my brain slapped me with after reading your tags and seeing you wonder how in the shit Steven and Connie fused when Connie is (supposedly) 100% human born and raised)

TL;DR: Steve/Rose’s gem is doing weird shit just for Steve to exist, said weird shit might enable a higher compatibility with humans and that makes human/gem-hybrid fusion possible (which gives us in a non-binary deity as a result).

((……and now that I think about it, I’m really curious to know what Steve’s and Stevonnie’s DNA tests would look like. After all, Steve technically doesn’t have his mom’s DNA since she, ya know, doesn’t fucking have DNA…))

Oh my GOD you’re right, I was thinking about it entirely wrong. When I was calling Stevonnie into question I was thinking about when Garnet was telling Greg he needed a body that could turn to light in order to fuse, which Connie really shouldn’t have either. I was trying to figure out if something weird was happening with her. [Insert Yellow Diamond theory joke here.]

But you’re absolutely correct, Steven’s gem is used to dealing with biological (as opposed to geological) life all the time. And so it CAN do gem stuff, but it struggles a little since it has his body to deal with too.

I’m specifically thinking of shape-shifting. The other gems flash and turn white and you can see their bodies reform into something that’s still entirely them, that’s definitely their light-bodies in action. But as we saw in Cat Fingers, Steven just gets the fingers. His cells shifted and reformed into that new form, but the new form was formed with a more biological method and thusly became a new life

And in the OTHER totally horrifying gem shape-shifting mishap episode, So Many Birthdays, we see more of his gem trying to cope with actual cells. When someone poofs back into their gem, they usually have a chance to stop and consider what they want their next body to look like, as a better reflection of themselves. Steven’s gem can’t ever do that though, it already has a body with cells and it’s going to LIKE IT

But it’s still a gem so it still tries. And so when when you have a kid suddenly realizing the gravity of what aging is, that they’re getting older and have to start leaving the things that they love behind, the gem is going to try to reflect that change of identity for him in the only way it can: making his body and cells biologically older. He doesn’t turn white (to light) when doing so, he just glows a bit on the edges and his cells visibly change.

And he’s still a kid during that! Suddenly he’s a kid actually in an adult’s body and he feels EXPONENTIALLY older and his gem keeps trying to reflect that and he almost dies from it. (That episode makes it REALLY obvious that gems aren’t exactly made for the whole “mortal cells” thing.) 

That’s why he probably doesn’t look exactly like Greg, though, since you’re also right in that Greg is the only parent who gave Steven any DNA. He’s genetically a clone of Greg, but he’s still his own person, and so his gem makes his appearance reflect that.

Bringing it back to Stevonnie, Connie doesn’t have a gem, so all the work of fusion would need to be done by Steven’s gem alone. A la the conservation of matter, what his gem probably does is grab Connie’s cells and throw them into the mess of Steven’s cells that it already knows how to deal with. Stevonnie is just a REALLY BIG half-gem half-human with 2 minds tucked inside. The wikia page for Stevonnie points out that Stevonnie is mostly Connie’s mind, and that’s probably because Steven IS half-gem. His gem(/mind) is trying to blend their consciousnesses together, but her human mind isn’t capable of that sort of thing, and so she bleeds through significantly stronger than Steven does.

Normal gemstones wouldn’t have the slightest clue what to do with real flesh. It’s outside of their ability, which is why they CAN’T fuse with humans. Rose Quartz as an individual had to DIE in order for her gem to change drastically enough to do that, for her gem to make a meaningful bond with a collection of living cells. 

tl;dr: Steven’s biology as a gem is really hardcore.

fablepaint replied to your post:If you describe a character experiencing something…

that’d be all the more terrifying. The other characters reacting normally to what they think is the smell of cooking lamb/pork or snapped wood, but ONE of them is losing their shit.

In Platinum Black, Blue doesn’t eat red meat he didn’t catch or raise himself because too many people play it fast and loose with their meat and with so many species wandering around who don’t care about eating humans it’s probably a little too easy to be an accidental cannibal if you aren’t paying attention. He probably had a few too many experiences with Daggett being like “wait, don’t eat this” in seedy taverns to trust anything but fish and poultry handed to him by a stranger.