Hello again dear patrons, and welcome back to the Red Moth Auction Hall! We have an absolutely exquisite piece of weaponry for today’s bid. We’re certain you’ll find it beyond intriguing! But first, we ask that any new bidders read our terms and agreements before proceeding:
The buyer takes all responsibility for any piece obtained through the Red Moth Auction Hall, and is thus responsible for anything happening in connection with it. However, in the event of burglary or otherwise unlawful loss of the item, the Red Moth Auction Hall graciously offers assistance in re-obtaining the piece. The buyer, by agreement through affiliation with the Red Moth Auction Hall, will not disclose any information about the Red Moth Auction Hall to outside sources, or will otherwise be banned from attending future auctions, and swiftly dealt with. Should the buyer have any questions on their new item not answered on site or through the provided information, they are free to call our customer service representative, who will gladly help as much as they are capable.
Item name: Jägerkönig
Today’s item is an impressively sized dagger, originating from Berlin, Germany. The blade is made entirely of silver, and measures at approximately seven inches in length, with an average width of one inch. The hilt is carved from what seems to be a single solid bone, and bears a variety of shapes and patterns along it’s sides. The hilt’s end terminates in a delicately carved head of a wolf, positioned as if howling loudly. Written on either side of the blade is the word “Jägerkönig” (German for “Hunter King”).
This blade is thought to have been used during the first World War, with several reports from 1917 almost undeniably referencing it several times indirectly. That particular year, an unexpected terror rocked the forests-turned-battlefields of Russia: as a particularly fierce battle raged between Russian and German troops, several soldiers suddenly noticed that their injured or deceased comrades were being dragged imto the trees by large, aggressive wolves. Baffled, the men turned their weapons on the wild animals, who in turn ran for cover. The cause of this beastly interruption is speculated to have been the excessive hunting of large game animals, to feed the countless soldiers marching through the woods. Without such animals, the wolves lost their prey, and were thus forced to hunt the only thing left in the forest: soldiers. As more battles broke out, more wolves appeared, growing greatly in ferocity and boldness. Several soldiers suddenly found themselves being mauled and dragged as the hungry wolves attacked. These wolf attacks grew so bad that a temporary cease fire was called between the Russian and German armies. Both sides briefly came together to eradicate the rapidly growing, howling scourge. The soldiers mowed down dozens upon dozens of wolves, but for every one they shot, two more seemed to take it’s place. But eventually, the wolves were defeated, at which point the cease fire was lifted, and the war was resumed.
The Jägerkönig was previously acquired by a rather persistent organization known as T.A.R.R.(short for Temporal Anomaly Research and Repossession
). This organization focuses on the understanding and containing of anything deemed “unordinary”, ranging from haunted battlefields and ships, to giant bells capable of time travel. They most commonly acquire and repossess relics and oddities of war from across the globe. One such relic was this lovely dagger, acquired rather recently from one of their transportation units. The information T.A.R.R. collected on the Jägerkönig implies it was originally part of plans for an experimental German weapon, a secretly conceived project intended to weaponize predatory animals to great effect, through various means not properly explained. Apparently the project managed to get so far along that a single prototype was created, tested, and even eventually deployed. Unfortunately, it was only after the weapon was deployed that several complications arose. What little documentation exists on the incident suggests the soldier initially entrusted with the prototype went rouge, eventually being killed after causing numerous casualties. Taking the rouge soldier down was apparently quite difficult, requiring heavy gunfire coupled with countless explosive charges. The dagger wasn’t actually confirmed to have survived the attacks until T.A.R.R. initially recovered it several days ago. And not long after that, our associates “persuaded” the organization to let the item be taken off their hands.
In truth, this dagger is quite the splendid item, equal parts work of art and weapon of war. The wolf carved onto the handle is beautifully detailed, and the swirling, spiraling patterns running down the rest of the handle, as well as on the blade itself, are exquisitely gorgeous to the point of being difficult to look away from. A piece like this would be an exquisite edition to any weapon room, and absolutely perfect for a collection of war relics. It could even be suitable as an adventurous letter opener!
Before we carry on with the bid, we ask that you read, review, and consider the following information:
- This item should be kept in a durable, damage resistant case when not in use.
- This item should not be held without gloves at any point.
- While we do not discriminate against any regions, we would ask that this item not be kept in Australia, Antarctica, or any island commonly inhabited by humans.
- We do not advise handling this item while alone. Accidentally touching the dagger physically can potentially have grave consequences.
- A surveillance system of multiple cameras should be installed around and in the house, preferably with someone monitoring them at all times. If worst comes to worst, you’ll be thankful they’re there.
- This item should not be kept in an area with dense forests, especially if large mammalian predators are commonly sighted nearby.
- The house containing this item should always be stocked with multiple rifles, shotguns, and tranquilizer darts of various potencies.
- Anything not mentioned above that you would consider useful in hunting large predatory animals should be kept available as well. It’s best you be prepared for anything.
- If, in the middle of the night, you find yourself staring blankly towards the item, leave the room immediately. This item has a near-magnetic pull on certain individuals at night, particularly those with hunting experience.
- If your skin physically touches the blade, we unfortunately can provide no advice on further action. You should hopefully be fine in the long term(as long as someone living with you knows the item’s rules), but you’ll be blinded by an insatiably overpowering logic-clouding bloodlust until the dagger is removed from your grasp.
- If an individual’s skin physically contacts the dagger, get it away from them quickly. The dagger’s influence is unrelenting, and certain to cause a minor calamity if not swiftly quelled.
- If the dagger cannot be recovered before the individual gets a firm grip on it, arm yourself with the tranquilizers, and dart the dagger’s wielder. They’re not far from going on an absolute rampage. Don’t worry about giving the target a lethal dosage either: the dagger will render it’s holder extremely resistant to chemical substances, and so durable that anything short of a being hit by an airplane won’t even phase them.
- If the dagger’s host gets a hand on you, we unfortunately can provide no advice on further action. You can’t escape a grip like that, and the host doesn’t hesitate to kill anything it deems hostile.
- If the dagger is held for longer than 10 minutes, be prepared for a serious fight: you won’t have much time before reinforcements for the dagger arrive.
- While we’re sure this is beyond clear by now, it is imperative that you recover the dagger from it’s wielder as soon as possible. If the item is held by an individual for too long, the dagger’s effects will last even after it’s been recovered, continuously summoning backup for up to a week.
- If you hear windows shattering and doors breaking, chances are the dagger’s reinforcements have arrived. Usually, the first animals to appear will be wolves or wild dogs. Bear in mind, however, that the animal species summoned vary greatly with the continent and habitat you’re on/in, along with the length of time the dagger is actively held for. Hopefully, you recover the dagger before it’s influence manifests fully, otherwise the species answering the call will become increasingly more dangerous.
- At first, warning shots will be quite effective in deterring the animals. Use this to push them into more manageable areas before they grow bolder.
- After half an hour of the item being held, be prepared for additional attacks. The dagger will draw additional species to the area, ranging from bears to large cats.
- After approximately 45 minutes of the item being held, animals will start appearing with increased regularity. At this point, they often won’t appear naturally: you may find that a wolf has spontaneously appeared in an empty room, or that a Tiger has suddenly come charging from an uninhabited hallway. This is the entire reason we advised you to install surveillance cameras.
- If the item is held for a full hour, the effects are now at their maximum potency. Expect incursions from species long forgotten by time, as well as species time hasn’t even met. We recommend evacuating the area at this point.
- If, against our recommendations, you’re on Antarctica, Australia, or a human inhabited island, we unfortunately can provide no advice on further action after the initial hour. The summoned species will be far worse than those mentioned above. We doubt you’ll have time to take even a single step forward, let alone escape.
- There’s a chance that, along with the species previously mentioned, a seemingly normal human may appear at any given point. You should be able to identify them almost immediately: they have no hair whatsoever, and the other animals will shy away or even run from them. Act very, very cautiously with them: they are a highly specialized, highly lethal species of predator, adapted entirely to mimicking their primary prey, humans.
- Should a mimic appear, the only reliable attack strategy we can recommend is high grade explosives. Nothing else can pierce a mimic’s skin if they’re still disguised.
- Due to high intelligence, mimics are not influenced by the dagger quite as strongly as the other creatures are. They may have even simply came out of curiosity of the dagger’s call. Should you manage to injure them, that should be enough to chase them away. There’s even a chance they can be negotiated with. Though we do insist you be careful trying that last one: they’re very intelligent, and quite manipulative.
- If you notice that the mimic appears to be vibrating, followed by lines and creases appearing over their skin, followed in turn by the creature’s pupils bending into a sharp x shape, it’s best you start shooting at it immediately. The mimic is undoubtedly about to kill you: it’s switching to it’s natural shape. While it is notably stronger and impossibly fast in this form, the mimic is also no longer protected by it’s disguise of durable folded scales. A well landed shot will kill it easily.
- If you don’t see the mimic’s corpse after initially firing, we unfortunately can provide no advice on further action. As we said, the mimic is unbelievably fast in it’s true state. In a second or so, you’ll find your head flying through the air. Just your head, that is.
If you acknowledge the following, and respect the previously mentioned rules, we are certain this piece will be in good hands under your ownership. We wish you the best of luck during the bid!*
*The Red Moth Auction Hall may not be held liable for any wild animal attacks, domestic animal attacks, reckless decision making, property destruction, attacks from long-extinct predator species, attacks from scientifically unrecognized species, self-destructive tendencies, fatal or non fatal injuries, or deaths and disappearances resulting from ownership of the piece known as “Jägerkönig”.
You’ve all seen Zombieland;
you probably know about the list of rules Columbus follows religiously to stay alive. I always thought that was a dumb survival tactic made up by the writers to add some humor and structure to the movie, because in what world would rules
be enough to save you if zombies took over? I’m more of a do the stupid thing first, think it through later and realize it was stupid
kind of guy anyway.
Then things went to shit, and I realized that a list of rules
might actually save my life.
No, there hasn’t been a zombie apocalypse that you managed to miss amidst all the other insane headlines of this year (though would it really surprise you if there was?). Here’s the deal: my city has been overrun with – well, I don’t know what they are technically are, but I’ve been calling them Calebs, honestly, after this dude I hated in high school. There’s not really a great way to describe them, but if you start with a human, then peel all the skin off, then let what’s left rot for a while, then lengthen its arms, then rip out its eyes – leaving big-ass dark empty sockets in their wake – you’ll be in the right ball park.
They’re not all, either; they’re only the tip of the iceberg. We also have Sandras, Dylans, and Ashleys, and each are their own breed of terrible. No, I don’t know where any of them came from; no, I won’t tell you what city it is; and yes, I hated a lot of people in high school.
This is what I do know: the city has been cut off from the outside world. The day all the monsters showed up was the same day a giant bubble settled over us. Which is great for the rest of you, since the monsters can’t spread beyond city limits. But let me tell you, it sucks
for those of us unlucky enough to be in the danger zone. The monsters are all trapped here, but so are we.
And that’s probably why you haven’t heard anything about what’s going on. No one can get in or even see
in: the bubble is foggy, like frosted glass. Pounding on it, driving a truck into it, screaming at it, all that does jackshit. Trust me, I tried.
Phones and internet still work, barely. Think one bar of cell service, and internet speed you’d find in a hotel. A really shitty hotel. I’m trying to share this, and I’m hoping it goes through, but I have no idea if it will work.
Why me, you ask? Why haven’t others managed to call or post or email? Well, you’re in luck, because that’s another thing I do know: I’m one of the only people left. Maybe the only one. Everyone else is long dead. Most didn’t survive the initial attacks; I’m pretty sure there were, like, a couple hundred people alive in the city only a few days after this all started. A week later, probably one hundred. And now, months later, I might be the last of all. I haven’t seen another human in twenty-seven days. I’ve been counting.
And man, I didn’t think I’d miss those suckers, because humans are usually awful. I mean, have you met
high schoolers? There’s a reason it’s accurate to name man-eating monsters after them. But I’m starting to really miss them. My friends and family most of all, but even like, my teachers and bus driver. Not Caleb, though. Fuck Caleb.
Anyway, I’m not here to talk about Caleb. I wanted to distract myself from the chaos and misery that is my life, and to share my rules with you. Maybe my rules will become popular, and if I ever get out of here, they’ll make a *Zombieland-*type movie about me. That’s
living the dream. Or maybe something similar is happening somewhere else out there, and my rules might actually help anyone trying to survive in another monster hellscape. That'd be cool too, I guess.
So that brings me to Rule #2. Yes, I’m starting with #2. Don’t ask. There is a Rule #1, but I’m not ready to talk about that yet. That would mean I’d have to talk about the day this all started, and I’ve been actively fleeing from that
post-traumatic stress for nine months now. I’m not about to risk my fragile mental stability for strangers on the internet.
Rule #2: Always carry a laser pointer. Preferably red, but green will work too.
That probably sounds dumb to you. I don’t give a shit. It’s saved my life more times than any other single thing has, because of the effect it has on Calebs.
I don’t remember if I’ve said this yet or not, so to be safe, let me say it here: fuck Caleb. That kid was the worst. The Calebs running around now are also the worst, but to honest, I think I’d take them over original Caleb.
He’s dead now, if you were wondering. Like everyone else in this hellhole.
Back to the laser pointer. I found about their usefulness the day after this all started, aka the day after I saw my parents torn apart in front of me, aka the day after the blood of my friends painted the walls of the high school, aka the day after I made Rule #1. I digress.
I was in a pet store down the street from my neighborhood. Don’t ask why; I just was. It seemed like a good place to hide for the night after I fled from my house. It was a small local store, just supplies, no animals for sale. But I’d come here a lot as a kid to visit the shop cat, Mr. Bailey. We never had pets, so Mr. Bailey was like my surrogate pet, I guess. He was a brown tabby with a fluffy tail, and we spent many afternoons playing on the floor of the shop.
I didn’t expect him to still be there. The owner was in his car out front, dead, and not in a pretty way either. Head torn off, blood all over the windows and pavement. He’d been trying to flee, probably. But the store was untouched, so I cautiously went in and settled down in the back, using several dog beds to create something of a nest for myself to sleep in.
And as soon as I sat down, Mr. Bailey was there, purring and rubbing on my legs. He was still friendly as ever; I wondered if he remembered me. It’d been a while since I’d stepped foot here, but here he was, greeting me as an old friend. I smiled for the first time since all hell had broken loose and stroked his head.
He slept curled up beside me as I fitfully tried to get some rest. It wasn’t much use. I probably slept two hours, tops. But what could I expect after what I’d seen that day? I couldn’t stop picturing the horrible deaths, and every time I shut my eyes, any noise sounded like one of those ugly motherfuckers I’d decided to call Calebs.
We made it to morning somehow. Mr. Bailey’s company helped. Once it was light enough to see around the store without turning on any lights, I got up and began to move around. I used the little one-person bathroom in the back and ate the owner’s lunch from yesterday, which he’d left in the mini fridge behind the check-out counter. I knew it would be there; he used to eat at the counter while he watched me play with Mr. Bailey. What a fucked-up world it was that I was eating his food now, in full view of his decimated body outside in his car.
Suddenly I heard a horrific half-growl, half-screech. I can’t describe it, but trust me when I say it makes you want to go deaf. Unfortunately, I knew that noise: it was a Caleb.
And it had found me: I saw it sprinting on all fours, those long arms propelling it forward, across the parking lot, right for me. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck,”
I shouted to no one, running towards the back of the store. I was barely in the cat food aisle when the Caleb flung itself through the front window, shattering it and sending shards flying. I ducked, but a piece of glass still managed to nick my cheek, and blood dripped down my face.
The only weapon I had was a kitchen knife, and I didn’t trust my chances in one-on-one combat. I can play basketball, but I’ve never fought someone in my life. And I’m also a raging idiot. Not the kind of person to have good instincts in a combat scenario.
Case in point: even with only this knife, I stood up and said, “Hey, fucker, over here!” As soon as it turned to look at me with those gaping black eyeholes, I gave it the finger. Did it know what that stood for? No idea, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.
It made that awful noise again and came after me. That’s when I realized I had absolutely zero plans besides get its attention like a dumbass. Panicking, I sprinted into the next aisle, which was full of dog food. Not helpful. I started to run into the next aisle but made the mistake of turning to look how close it was, and I went crashing into a display of cat toys. Feathers, catnip, things with little jingly bells all came down with me. And as I struggled to untangle myself from strings and feathers, the Caleb came around the corner, its mouth hanging open to reveal rows and rows of sharp, jagged teeth. It was moving slowly now, standing on its back two legs, taking its time.
I did not
want to die in a bed of catnip-filled mice. I maneuvered to get my arm beneath me, trying to get to the knife hanging from my belt, but I couldn’t reach it. I struggled more as the Caleb stepped closer, and finally my hand closed around something. Not the knife, but something small and slender, some kind of tube.
I pulled it out. A laser pointer. “Well, shit,” I said out loud. But hey, it was worth a shot. Maybe I could shine it enough to attract Mr. Bailey’s attention and get him over here, at least. He might attack an unfamiliar, weird-smelling monster.
My goal was to shine it on the wall, make it visible to the cat, assuming he was still in here somewhere. But my arm was still partially caught up in string, and as I couldn’t maneuver my hand or the laser exactly as I wanted. When I pressed the button, the glaring red beam didn’t go past the Caleb to the wall, but instead aimed directly at that dark hole where an eye should be.
And damn, am I lucky it did. Because the Caleb screamed, a real inhuman kind of scream, the kind that makes your blood run cold. It clawed at its own face and stumbled backward. I did my best to keep the laser trained on its eyes as it moved; I wasn’t sure what was happening here, but by God, it was working,
so I wasn’t about to stop.
The Caleb was still moving backwards, now into the aisle housing cat litter. I shoved myself up with my non-laser hand, still entangled in cat toys, and lurched forward, trying my best not to trip over feathers while keeping my gaze on the Caleb, so that I could keep the laser aimed at an eyehole.
Smoke was coming out of the dark socket now. The laser was burning
it. And still it stumbled backwards, screaming, until it finally fell to its knees. Standing now next to rows of cat litter, I finally shut the laser off, and before it could recover, I said, “Hey, ugly, catch,” and picked up a 28-pound box of litter, heaving it towards the monster with all the upper body strength I could muster.
It hit the Caleb square in the chest, and it collapsed backward, the litter pinning it to the ground as it still screamed and scratched at its burning eye socket. I started to walk forward, breathing heavily from the toss, when Mr. Bailey came out of nowhere. Screeching a battle cry, he flung himself on the monster and began clawing its other
eye socket. The Caleb tried to throw him off, but between the smoking eye and the heavy weight on its chest, its struggles were getting weaker. Mr. Bailey, bless his heart, hissed up a storm and scratched the living hell out of the other eye before neatly jumping off and trotting over to me, rubbing on my leg happily.
“Good boy,” I said, scratching his back. And then I stepped over to the Caleb, which had smoke billowing from one eye socket and some kind of deep purple liquid – its blood? – oozing out the other, the one Mr. Bailey had gone to town on. That cat was my hero.
I got down on my knees besides its head, bells jingling as the toys hanging from me followed. I held up the laser pointer. “Thanks for the tip, buddy. Good to know.” And now, finally able to reach my belt, I grabbed the kitchen knife and stabbed it. First in its damaged eyes, leading to a resurgence of screams, and then straight into its neck. I didn’t know if it had a heart, but the neck seemed a pretty good bet. And it was: I sliced through the neck, purple liquid sprayed out, and that was that. A bit of twitching later, and it was dead.
I breathed a sigh of relief and went back over to pet Mr. Bailey, finally untangling myself from the cat toys as I did so. He jumped up and hooked a feather with his claws happily as it fell towards the floor.
“Great work, Mr. B,” I said. “It’s only 9 AM, but what a day we’ve had, huh?” He looked at me with the feather in his mouth and purred.
I took all the laser pointers in that store when I left. There were eight in stock. I’m down to four. And let me tell you, they are, quite literally, a lifesaver. Not a lot of things weaken Calebs enough that you can get close and hurt them, but laser pointers do. I’ve found that red works best; green is slightly less effective, but still gets the job done if you’re in a pinch.
Which is why Rule #2 exists, and why it’s so important. Always carry a laser pointer.
Ah, but I’m forgetting the addendum to the rule. Rule #2, part b: Maximum damage occurs when combined with a cat.
After all, I may be the last human, but I didn’t say anything about cats. Mr. Bailey is sitting on my lap purring as I type this. Mr. B, or the Caleb-Killer as he is affectionately known to his fans (me), is a force to be reckoned with. Also, he’s the cutest damn thing in the whole world.
Which is why Rule #2, especially part b, is one of my favorites.