Explorer Neko and the Shadowcrawler
Dr. Livingstone, I presume, stepping out of the jungle gloom, into the midday sun…
What did you happen to find there? Did you stand a while and stare? Did you meet anyone?*
Sometime after midnight, the moon suffocated in the thick, muggy air. A determined mosquito had managed to penetrate the netting around my cot, and its incessant, bloodthirsty whine was making me toss and turn. I could have sworn I heard something else though… a strange whistling sound… soft footfalls? A quiet chirping? But I was far too preoccupied with my tiny tormenter to give it any more attention.
When I finally emerged from my tent the next morning, hair awry, eyes red and heavy with insomnia, it took me a moment to notice.
There, laying in the moist earth not far from my tent, was a creature like nothing I’d ever seen before.
The mists rising from the river gave the scene a dream-like appearance. I approached with caution (surely curiousity doesn’t always kill cats)… was it sleeping? wounded? worse? As I bent down for a closer look, I saw its sides slowly rising and falling… the strange lizard appeared to be merely asleep.
I reached back for my notepad… dammit… still in the tent. Not wanting to risk making any further noise, I began a thorough visual investigation.
Nearly three meters in length, a long thick tail that narrowed to a point, smooth skin covered with boldly contrasting stripes, strange quill-like projections on top of its head and continuing down its back lifted slightly with every breath…
Whatever it was, it was not lacking in defense: two large horns curved back from its forehead, while its hands and feet were well-armed with thick, razor-sharp claws. This was definitely not a creature to be…..
in the middle of…
my preoccupied inspection….
to stare back at me.
I stood transfixed, watching the quills on its head and back lifting into upright position. Its head tilted, likely assessing how quickly it could catch me and whether or not I’d be tasty prey…
And then it dropped to the ground, scratching and rolling in the dirt at my feet. What the…. ?
And stood back up, bobbing its head, making strange chirruping sounds. I was still too stunned to move.
With a soft whistle, the creature reached out gingerly with one strangely curled hand. Before I knew what I was doing, my own hand lifted in response. Our fingers touched. We both shivered.
Suddenly the creature leapt into the air with a gleeful sound, and came back down on all fours, running in a happy little circle. Play? You want me to play with you? Checking my belt to make sure I was armed (just in case!), I ducked behind the nearest tree root, bent down playfully with my hands on my knees, and whistled back.
Without further ado, a game of tag and a new friendship was immediately underway…
Grendel’s, Avaria, and the Shadowcrawler Avatar
Located in the heart of the Avaria sims, Grendel’s Children sells more diverse avatar shapes, creatures, and beings than any other place in Second Life (at least as far as this Neko knows). It’s also an excellent place to find domesticated Neko skins for those of you wanting to remain feline but change it up a bit.
Second Life resident Flea Bussy is the mastermind behind the Aviaos Shadowcrawler avatar — a creature he describes as “a nimble species, bio-luminescently signaling and chirping to one another in the caves, cliffsides and ravines they call home.”
These delightful avatars come with a hud that gives you endless gestures, actions, sound effects, and body control (including quill raising and lowering). You can even climb the sides of buildings!
What a Neko Exploring Second Life Might Wear
| Tail & Ears | Taylor Made (formerly OvaHauled): Oh Explorer Kitty Set – featuring maps, a pocket watch, telescope and knife (tail attached to my Left Pec to keep my pelvis attachment open for my belt). (Store appears to be offline as of April 2011…)
Kittehs, I can’t say enough about OvaHauled. Every time I visit they’ve released another batch of new ears and tails, each one packed with unique, well-designed accessories. A very warm thanks to Taylor for making this tail and ear set especially for this story (and then having the patience to wait for months and months until this lazy kitteh finally got ’em blogged!)
| Hair | Electro Kitty: Neoki
| Eyes | CF / Cats of a Feather: Precious Cat Eyes in Amethyst (I keep returning to buy more colors of this store’s eyes!)
| Bra | Insolence: Louise in chocolate
| Collar | Kosh: The Moth Cellar Choker
| Shirt | Last Call: Headhunter piped jacket (Last Call is closed, but you can substitute Casa del Shai’s “Birdwatcher Safari” suit instead)
| Arm Bands, upper | Moloko: Naruto armwraps small
| Leather Cuffs | Bukka: Color bracelet brown (these come in two sizes, both for the left forearm; I modified the larger one to make it smaller, and attached it to my right forearm to make a set)
| Shorts | Elephant Outfitters: Jordyn in Twig (the right leg cuff attached fine, but I had to create a duplicate copy of the left leg cuff, hand-attach to my Stomach, and edit-move it into place (since my thigh strap was already using the Left Upper Leg attachment point. Read more about how to do it on this page.)
| Socks | Shiny Things: Stripe knit thigh highs in khaki
| Belt | DoD / Designs of Darkness: Rare Species No. 1 Belt – this belt is SO COOL.
| Boots | Civvies: Bad Boy Scout, girl version
| Thigh Strap | Defiant Designs: Seeker
Click image to enlarge. Top row, left to right: DoD Rare Species belt; OvaHauled’s Explorer Kitty ears; Bukka’s arm cuff. Middle row: Kosh’s Moth Cellar Choker; Moloko’s Naruto Arm strap; Cats of a Feather’s Neko eyes. Bottom row: OvaHauled’s Explorer Kitty tail; Civvies’ Bad Boy Scout Boots; Defiant Designs’ Seeker Thigh Strap.
| Poses | Vain: Crawl; KiiToS: Poseball 03 (kneeling); RYO: Pose 20 (hands on knees); Ayapose: ground sit
Note about Poses: Ever get annoyed when you find the perfect pose, but you’re floating about 6″ above the ground (or the cute car hood, or the bench, or a hill) when you activate it? I can’t speak highly enough about Marcush Nemeth’s amazing PhotoHUD NT. All you have to do is rez his “master” poseball, wear the HUD, activate any pose you have in your inventory, and the HUD will allow you to make infinite fine adjustments, i.e., raising and lowering your avatar, rotating forward to back or side to side, turning you in tiny increments, etc. It’s a must for any fashion blogger or photographer who shoots models. :)
Buy the Shadowcrawler or other avatars at Avaria in Second Life:
Visit the Riverside Jungle of Avaria Sav in Second Life:
*Lyrics from the Moody Blues “Dr. Livingstone”
Photos by my handsome lizard Bobby Yoshikawa <3***
© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2009