! Sozont #15: Food at Last

15.  Food at Last

There were indeed many rats at the dump, and the overlay showed that they were all NPC's.  Sozont grabbed one and ate it.  This was just too easy.  He caught another one and was eating it when he suddenly felt sick to his stomach.  This was not hunting!  He did not want rats, he wanted rabbit.
     Sozont moved to a nearby meadow.  There was a rabbit eating some ragweed.  It was an NPC.  Sozont approached to its 8-foot defense perimeter and started circling it.  Although he knew it was pointless, he started a conversation because, well, that was what he always did.
     —"Hello, I'm Sozont.  What's your name?"
     —"I'm Flayvao.  I *love* ragweed!"
     —"Oh?  Some animals hate ragweed.  It makes their noses run."
     —"Yeah.  Not me!"
     Sozont had nearly finished his circle.  It was clear what the best spot would be for a pounce: opposite from a rock, which the NPC rabbit would stupidly run towards and then have to veer away from.  Sozont continued circling, to get back to that spot.
     —"I'm a troll.  I eat anthro animals."
     Flayvao gave him a funny look.  "That's not good.  You should eat NPC's like rats and lizards."
     —"Oh, I eat those too."
     —"Recidivist trolls can get banned from Fairytale Land."
     Sozont was in position.  He feinted a direct attack, then pounced toward where he knew the simply-programmed rabbit would end up.  He ripped off its belly fur and ate the viscera.  Rabbit tasted so good!  But seeing the "NPC" overlay disappear as Flayvao's heart stopped just seemed totally unnatural, as if Sozont were looking at the world through a viewscreen.  He ate the entire rabbit and was still hungry.
     Sozont found another rabbit, its "NPC" overlay comforting yet irksome.  He was on an overhang and the rabbit was below.  Sozont turned off the overlay, to see his world as he wanted it to be.  He pounced.  At the last moment the rabbit saw him and bolted.  When his first talon hit the ground Sozont pivoted and pounced again, grabbing the quickly-darting bunny.  He looked into its eyes.  He bit off its head.  Life was good.  He ate the rabbit.
     Although he was not exactly full, Sozont was no longer ravenously hungry.  He decided that the next thing he really wanted to do was to read that email from Marth.  He went home to his lair.

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-- Pyesetz the Dog