(track: 'Kodiak', 'playwhenpossible')
(track: 'Kodiak', 'loop', true)Since your mate was killed by a hunter last year, your hatred of humans knows no bounds. You wander these woods because it is deserted, except for the family who visit the log cabin once a year. The woman is the first human you have even smelt since last Summer. You recognise her from the last time she was at the cabin with her cubs. She was smiling then, but not now. Now, she is bleeding and howling. She smells strange, like the stuff in her bottle.
Your hunger is overwhelming. (set: $fishing to false)(set: $hypothermia to false)
(text-colour: red)[#######She's right there in front of you. What are you waiting for?]
[[Go down to the river to catch a salmon]](text-colour: red)[########Aaaaah, good job, Big Bear.]
(text-colour: red)[#######Now, where's the next one?]
In a bloody frenzy, you eat the woman. Sated for a while, you continue your lonely journey, plagued by this neverending hunger. Your conscience defeated by your animal instincts, you descend into a pattern of needing more human blood, knowing it's only a matter of time before a hunter's bullet ends your suffering.
[[Try again|Start Kodiak]](if: $fishing is true)[You drag your once-vast, now-dimishing backside down to the river again for another salmon.
With a half-hearted swipe, you catch another in your claws and break its neck before it can catch your eye.
[[Take salmon with you]]
[[Rub back on tree trunk while you think about it]]]
(if: $fishing is false)[The river is full from the morning’s rain. You can see salmon weaving through at speed and pluck one out first shot. You bite into its neck to kill it quickly and satisfy your hunger without ever looking it in its eye. You remember the smell of the human’s tears and your stomach tries to spit back up the fish, but you swallow it down.
Your instinct still wants blood. Human blood. Just think of how tender that meat will be.
Another salmon watches you from the water. Probably the child of the one you just ate. Guilt takes a bite out of you as you look into its eye. After a few seconds, it continues its journey downriver.
You pluck out another from further upstream to try to satisfy your hunger. (set: $bottle to false) (set: $hunterdream to false) (set: $crashdream to false) (set: $nightmares to false) (set: $Salmon to false) (set: $fuzzy to false)
(text-colour: red)[#######You’re an embarrassment to bears everywhere.]
Shut up. You don’t know anything about me.
(text-colour: red)[#######You idiot. I am you.]
I’d cut you out with these claws if I could.
(text-colour: red)[#######Go ahead. See how well that works out for you, Big Bear.]
[[Claw open your belly]]
[[Take salmon with you]] (set: $fishing to true)
[[Rub back on tree trunk while you think about it]]](text-colour: red)[#######Hahaha. You always were an idiot, Big Bear. We'll chalk this one up to natural selection. This year's Darwinian Award goes to ... YOU.]
As you disembowel yourself in a psychotic rage, you experience instant regret. You fade on the riverbank, attracting salmon with your blood as it runs into the water, and mourn that you never got to avenge your mate's death.
[[Try again|Start Kodiak]][[Return to cabin with salmon]]
[[Return to lair with salmon]] (set: $Salmon to false)Ahh, that's better.
[[Eat Salmon]] (set: $Salmon to false)
[[Take it with you for later]]
[[Drop a few bear bombs in the woods while you have another think about it]](text-colour: red)[#######Disgusting. I want human blood NOW! Are you a bear or a weasel?]
Your hunger pukes it back up in protest, demanding human blood once again. You stare at the fishy bundle of pink bones on the riverbank. (set: $Salmon to false)(set: $fishing to true)
[[Return to cabin]]
[[Return to lair]][[Return to cabin with salmon]]
[[Return to lair with salmon]]Berries and moths make for stinky droppings. Relieved, you return to the river and ponder the salmon. You can't eat anymore or you'll puke.
[[Take salmon with you]]
[[Leave salmon on riverbank for the crows]] (set: $Salmon to false)You turn away from the riverbank, leaving your catch behind. The crows are already cackling in the trees with delight. (set: $Salmon to false)
[[Return to cabin]]
[[Return to lair]]
Through the window of the cabin, you watch the human drink and fall over. She is still crying.
If she doesn't eat, she will die.
[[Go down to the river to catch a salmon]]
[[Return to lair]] In your cave, you are greeted only by the stoney echoes of your own pawsteps off the dripping walls and a musty smell of decay. There is nothing here for you except a place to sleep.
(text-colour: red)[#######Yeah, no blood, no bones. As per usual. Such a wimp, Big Bear.]
(if: $hunterdream is false)[[Sleep]] (if: $hunterdream is true)[[Sleep|Go to second dream]]
(if: $Salmon is false)[[Return to cabin|Go to cabin without salmon in morning]]
(if: $hypothermia is true)[[Return to cabin|Go to cabin without salmon in morning]]
(if: $Salmon is false)[[Go down to the river to catch a salmon]]
(if: $crashdream+$hunterdream is true)[[Find food|Find breakfast]]With the salmon between your teeth, you watch the woman through the window of the cabin. She looks even more delicate now, sitting on the edge of her bed with another bottle in her hand. She stinks of poison, but your bloodlust doesn't care. You growl as a hunger pang hits your gut.
The woman will die if she doesn't eat.
(set: $Salmon to true)[[Leave the salmon on cabin doorstep]] You slump in your lair and stare at the accusing eyes of the dead fish. Unable to eat it through the nausea, you leave it lying in a cool corner of the cave.
(if: $Salmon is false)[[Return to cabin]] (if: $salmon is true)[[Return to cabin with salmon]]
[[Sleep]] (if: $hunterdream is true)[[Sleep|Go to second dream]]In your dream, you wander the woods with Ursula, your mate. She purrs at you one minute and growls the next, but you know she loves you. It's just the pregnancy. You dream within your dream about the cub and hope that they get their mother's looks.
You nuzzle up to her, but she pushes you away. She's gentle, at first, but after a few attempts, she claws at you, drawing blood. You express your dismay at her aggression and leave her alone for five minutes to go and find some food. That usually cheers her up. A nice salmon from the river should do it.
[[Go fishing]]You arrive at the river bank and watch the water intently while your breath steams in the air. It's getting colder. Always getting colder, no matter what the season.
You flinch as a rifle shot rings out through the woods. It came from Ursula's direction.
[[Run back to check on Ursula]]You scrape at the door and retreat to a safe distance where your bloodlust won't smell her soft flesh or the cut on her leg. You watch the woman cautiously pick up the salmon, look around the cabin and take it back inside.
Through the window, you see her put down the bottle and prepare the salmon in a special way before eating it. The smell of hot fish fills the air and you smile to yourself as the woman, her hunger satisfied, falls asleep on her bed.
Watching her makes you sleepy. You find a nearby cave and curl up against the cold winter air.
[[Sleep]]When you reach the lair, there is no sign of her, but there are tracks from the hunter's wheels.
And a trail of blood. Ursula's blood. It disappears where the wheel tracks start.
[[Follow the tracks]]You run at full speed down to the human's grey path with white lines down the middle. You don't care if one of their fast metal boxes hits you.
Up ahead, you see Ursula's body being carried away at speed down the grey path on one of the boxes.
You give chase, but soon, they disappear round the distant corner, out of sight. Forever.
[[Wake up]] (set: $hunterdream to true)You wake after a full night's sleep and stretch with a grunt.
(if: $Salmon is true)[[Go to cabin]] (if: $Salmon is false)[[Go to cabin|Go to cabin without salmon in morning]]
(if: $crashdream is true)[[Find breakfast]](if: $Salmon is true)[You approach carefully, but see no sign of the human. The cabin appears tidier and you can smell the salmon bones from within. Your big heart feels a little fuzzier for having helped her.] (set: $fuzzy to true)
(if: $Salmon is false)[You see no sign of the human.]
[[Find breakfast]]You gather berries from a patch of trees near the river and stuff them into your mouth. Up ahead, you hear a rustling in the undergrowth.
(if: $bottle is false)[[Stay still|Growl]] (if: $bottle is true)[[Stay still|Find lunch]]
(if: $bottle is false)[[Growl]] (if: $bottle is true)[[Growl|Find lunch]]
(if: $bottle is false)[[Run away|Growl]] (if: $bottle is true)[[Run away|Find lunch]]You arrive at the cabin and peer inside cautiously. The woman's body lies motionless on the bed. Little white stones are scattered all over the floor from a brown bottle. You can't smell her breathing. There is no hot blood left in her body.
She is dead.
[[Eat her]]You hear the clink of a bottle hitting the ground and frantic feet running away. The smell of fear and poison lingers in the air. The bottle rolls towards you and lands at your gigantic, clawed paws. It is almost full.
[[Bury it]](set: $bottle to true)You charge into the undergrowth, flailing your razor sharp claws blindly into the bushes. You hit something soft and it falls to the ground with a thud. Blood pools at your feet, driving your hunger wild.
You part the branches and leaves and see that you have killed the woman.
[[Eat her]]You use your claws to scoop out the soil and bury the bottle deep enough so that human won't find it again. For some reason, you want her to stop hurting herself. Your bloodlust says it will make the meat taste sweeter, but you know that's not why you did it. (set: $bottle to true)
You want her to be safe and you're puzzled as to why.
Your stomach rumbles. Berries aren't gonna cut it.
(if: $crashdream is true)[[Find lunch]]
[[Return to lair]](if: $crashdream is true)[[Enough sleep]]
(if: $crashdream is false)[In your dream, smoke rises above the forest in the distance. It's coming from the whitelined grey path for the humans and their fast boxes.
[[Go to path]]]You watch from the edge of the path, still hidden by the forest, as a human and her two cubs struggle to get out of a burning, overturned box. They're crying and screaming and smashing their paws on the windows, but they can't get out.
[[Smash the windows for them]]The humans scream even louder as you approach and give the windows a gentle tap and free them from their painful fate. The cubs are both coughing from the smoke, but both are trapped by something around their bodies. You flick one of your claws through their bonds and free them instantly.
You run back into the forest and watch the humans crawl and run together from the fire. As the box explodes, you watch the mother cover the cubs with her paws and it makes you sad for your own unborn cub you could never save.
A giant yellow bird with strange wings comes whup-whupping down on to the path and you watch in amazement as it takes the humans into its belly and flies away with them.
[[Wake up]] (set: $crashdream to true) (set: $nightmares to true)No more sleep for now. Any more nightmares might drive you crazy.
(if: $hypothermia is true)[Your conscience won't let you rest anyway. You can't stop worrying about the human.]
(if: $hypothermia is true)[[Check on her|Go to cabin without salmon in morning]](else:)[[Find breakfast]]You ignore the disturbance and continue foraging all day, trying to find stuff you don't have to kill. You pass up on the carcass of a deer that's green and covered in maggots. Maybe you could find some roots?
As you resign yourself to another tough, dry, bland dinner, you smell something lying on the forest floor: something fishy and sweet. You follow your nose and, after fifty steps, find a piece of salmon, pink rather than red, stuffed with your favourite berries, just lying there. You look around suspiciously, but there are no traps. You can only smell the woman back in her cabin another hundred steps away from the river.
[[Pass]]You continue through the forest and after another fifty steps or so, find another salmon parcel.
They are leading the way back to the cabin.
They don't smell like poison and there's still no hunter sweat or gunpowder on the breeze.
[[Follow trail back to cabin]]You snaffle up the salmon parcel and the explosion of berries and soft, tender flesh nourishes you like salmon has never before. You lick your black lips and on the breeze, you detect another parcel nearer the cabin.
[[Follow trail back to cabin]]You creep up to the cabin and see that the door is wide open and another parcel sits in the doorway, inviting you inside.
This must be the trap. Does she have a gun?
(set: $magictrail to true)[[Return to your lair]]
[[Sniff the air for gunpowder and oil]]You inhale past the sweet scent of the salmon parcel and pick up no powder or oil on the breeze, but you know she's in there. You can hear her faintly sobbing. She smells terrified. You take a minute to shake off the creeping bloodlust.
(set: $magictrail to true)[[Return to your lair]]You pad inside the cabin, your immense bulk creaking the floorboards. The woman is sat upright and naked on the bed. She clamps her hand over her mouth to stifle her scream as you look directly at her body. Three empty poison bottles roll around on the floor amongst a scattering of white stones from a smaller brown bottle.
She carries on screaming behind her hand until you look her directly in the eye.
She removes her hand to speak. Her eyes are red and rolling in their sockets.
'Please ... I can't do it. You have to do it for me.'
(text-colour: red)[#######You heard her, Big Bear. Get it over and done with.]
[[Don't move]]As you retreat into the forest, you hear the human scream in anguish. She cries long and hard, a cry you recognise: that of abject despair. You've roared the same cry into the wilderness before.
You know how it feels.
[[Return to lair]](set: $hypothermia to true)'After the crash, he said I'd never see my kids again. Told me I'd die alone a deaf alcoholic.'
She reaches for the bottle.
(text-colour: red)[#######Do her a favour, Big Bear. Go for the jugular.]
[[Swipe it on to the floor]]
[[Eat her]]The bottle smashes and the poison spills out. The woman retreats to a corner and hides there. You push each white stone of dry poison through the gaps in the wooden floorboards.
'It was you. You took my bottle.'
She reaches out her hand to touch your pelt.
(text-colour: red)[#######I can't believe this. Are you kidding me? Look at those tasty pink fingers.]
[[Eat her]]Her shaking hands touch your fur gently and push deeper inside your pelt to touch your skin. Her fingers are cool and her voice soft when she speaks as if to her cubs.
'Please just do it.'
(text-colour: red)[#######Goodbye, food chain. Goodbye, natural order. Big Bear's lost his mind.]
[[Bear hug]]You nuzzle her with your huge snout and pull her gently into your fur. She clings on to you like the cub you never had and cries gently over your thudding heart. Somehow, it sounds like a cry of relief. Eventually, her body goes limp and she passes out.
Naked and without a fire burning, she'll die of hypothermia.
(text-colour: red)[#######Big Bear, please. There won't be another until winter's over.]
[[Stay with her until morning]]
[[Return to lair]](set: $hypothermia to true)You keep her warm and safe until dawn, when you release her on to the bed and exit the cabin as quietly as you can.
It's a beautiful morning out here and though the winter air is freezing, it somehow tastes sweeter today. You watch from a distance as the human wakes up, gets dressed and looks around the cabin. She holds her head and vomits in a bush before returning inside to gather her belongings.
When she comes back out, she looks different. She is walking upright, not staggering and lurching, and her hair is tidy. Somehow, she reminds you of Ursula, even though her rear end was a lot bigger.
She's no longer crying, nor shaking. She looks like she did when she came with the cubs in the summer. Standing in the clearing in front of the cabin, she scans the woods and blows a kiss.
You think it's for you.
At least, you hope it is.
(text-colour: red)[#######Big Bear's in love! Big Bear's in love!]
Shut up or I'll only eat roots all Spring. No blood for you. Not even salmon.
(text-colour: red)[###Please, no. Ok, I'll shut up.]
(text-colour: green)[#######Did someone say Spring?]
Oh, no. Not YOU.Kodiak: http://www.ajreid.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Kodiak-3.mp3