For testing out CSS changes to CryptoCurrency.
Im new to the US (DC) and I will be here for a year. I like a studio in Mt. Pleasant and a room in a shared apartment on H Street. I prefer H Street, but I dont know the city well enough because there are factors that I am not considering because of my lack of knowledge.
The Main question I want answered is: How safe is the area, and surrounding areas? Not just Mt. Pleasant or H Street.
I work in a Hotel and would sometimes be finished at 11pm. Im close to Woodley Park Metro.
For Mt. Pleasant, I would walk (or take a bus) from The Metro to Mt. Pleasant.
For H Street, I would take the metro to Union Station and Walk to H Street.
I've been told H street is less safe, but the sample group isn't as big as I want it to be. Please may I ask your help
- (Soon to be Released)
Memory transcription subject: Zoey Amara, Human Psychologist
Date [standardized human time]: September 4, 2136.
My heavy eyelids almost refused to open themselves. Turning over to my side I take a deep breath. The earthy smell of Rivis’ apartment filling my nose. It was a peaceful smell, a calming one. Sitting up, I twisted my back which elicited more than a few cathartic cracks. Well.. Not the worst sleep I’ve ever gotten. At least his couch is nice and soft..
Rubbing my eyelids, attempting to wipe away any feelings of lingering grogginess a black mess of fur moving around in the kitchen caught my focus. A light smile creeping its way on my face.
“Up early?” My eyes glanced towards an open window. The constant light of Venlil Prime pouring in giving the apartment a nice warm atmosphere.
Rivis turned his head slightly, his right eye locking onto me and his ears swiveling to face me while he continued to make.. Something in the Kitchen. “You humans would call this ‘Five in the afternoon’. Which I hardly call early.” His flat, dry tone giving his words a hint of unintended sarcasm.
Rolling my eyes as I stood up only offering a shrug. “Well y’know, jet lag, and the constant light. I think my body isn’t quite used to the whole tidal locked thing.”
“You’ll get used to it.” He stated quite matter-of-factly “I’m making a breakfast salad, would you like one? Or would you prefer to engorge yourself on the remains of one of the nearby birds?” His expression and flat tone lending an eerie level of calm to his words.
Raising my eyebrow I crossed my arms, giving a light huff of frustration. “What kind of question is that? I’m not about to go out into your yard and throw stones at birds. Just make the salad, you do know we eat plants, right?”
His ears twitched for a second as if trying to process something I said. Rivis turned his head once more, focusing on the salad. “I apologize, I was only joking. I’m aware humans are omnivores.” His paws reached up into the cabinets for another bowl. An awkward silence hanging between us.
A small sigh escaped me, my posture relaxing as I stood up finally, walking into the kitchen and standing beside Rivis. While he didn’t look at me, I noticed his ears occasionally twitching in my direction. Damn cute little socially inept fuzzball!
“No no, I’m sorry, Rivis. I know it’s hard for you to know what to say sometimes. I should probably give you a bit more leniency. Though I would probably not say something like that in public. Y’know how the other venlil get.”
His tail swirled in what seemed to be an intentional series of swishes. “Indeed, The last thing I would like happening is giving the ignorant masses more ammunition against humanity, or predators in general.” His nimble claws working as he spoke. Slicing up strange looking fruits to top the bowls of greens he made.
I only gave a nod in response. Preferring instead to watch as Rivis ‘cooked’. He pulled open a draw and grabbed a handful of some kind of tree nut. Sprinkling them over the greens and fruits before finally mixing all of it together with a fork. He took one bowl in his right paw, and left the other on the counter beside me.
“They’re done, I hope it’s satisfactory, Zoey.” He stuck a fork into his own salad and shoved a mouthful of the alien food into his maw.
I reached out, plucking the bowl from the table and inspected it for a second. It didn’t have any noticeable smell so that was a plus, I think.. “Do you guys use dressings at all?”
“I’m not sure I understand what you mean. One of those words translated to the act of clothing oneself? If you’re asking whether or not we use clothing in our food I can safely say the answer is no.”
Stifling a laugh I stabbed at the salad, munching on some of the tasty greens and fruits as I spoke. “Noooo, Not quite that. Humans use stuff like Ranch dressing, or like vinaigrette to top salads with. Give it a bit of extra flavor.” Rivis’ eyes glanced at me as I spoke. I could see a small hint of disapproval in them. “What?”
“You shouldn’t talk when your mouth is full of food, Zoey.” His tail swishing in a manner even I knew could only be smugness.
Rolling my eyes and shaking my head I swallowed my mouthful in a comically exaggerated fashion. “There, happy?” I let my words take on an annoyed tone, but I couldn’t hide the smirk that managed to find its way on my face.
Rivis mimicked my smile, or well tried to. He ended up just looking like he was posing for an awkward photo. “Happy? Let me see, I have to find the right memory to mimic...” He cocked his head slightly, taking my empty bowl from my hands, putting it in the sink along with his own.
“Of cooourse, but quick tip I don’t think our smile suits you venlil.. Kinda looks a bit creepy. But! If you just keep that sparkling sense of humor, you’ll be great. I still have a few more ‘paws’ off. What’s the plan for today?”
Rivis’ ears flicked side to side “Well, you slept through most of this paw. Not many places are open, but I think you might enjoy a couple local hotspots that are open later. I took Kilet here when I signed him up for the program. It’s called Twisted Tails.”
I took a few moments to think about the suggestion. It couldn’t hurt, a little bit of time out on the town. Though, the possibility of frightening the other venlil was certainly a real risk. Well.. We were given those masks to hide our faces. That should be enough, right? We probably wouldn’t be allowed here in the first place if the government thought their citizens couldn’t handle it.
“Alright, That sounds fine to me, but one
condition; don’t try to get me drunk and sign me up for weird programs.” I smiled, giving Rivis a light pat on the back.
Rivis turned around and gave an exaggerated human shrug. “No promises.”
“I swear to god, if you sign me up for anything weird I’m going to shave every piece of fur off your body.” I crossed my arms as a smug smile formed across my lips.
Rivis stared blankly at me for a minute before finally speaking. “The depths of humanities capacity for manipulation and blackmail are astounding, are you sure it’s not you who is the mentally deranged one?”
I gave a light chuckle as I merely winked at the suggestion. “When you study the psyche you get pretty good at using your own y’know?” I clapped my hands together lightly, changing the subject. “So! Let’s get ready, yeah? Lots to do, lots to see! Though I will miss the old adage ‘we’re burning daylight’.”
The dark venlil walked over to a hanger near the door. Grabbing a shoulder bag and placing his pad inside. He turns to face me, letting the light pour in. “Indeed, let's get going.”
I followed Rivis out the door after clipping my mask on. Taking a deep breath of that wonderful, crisp Venlil Prime air. It still felt awkward to walk and move around. The gravity being heavier than Earth’s, but it wasn’t unmanageable. After a few weeks here I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Rivis led me down the stairs and to the wide streets. I glanced up towards the eternal sun in the sky. Shielding my eyes with a hand. It’s still so surreal.. I’m on an alien world, with alien life, with an alien friend. Absolutely mind blowing, Zoey!
I was pulled out of my thoughts from a tug on my shirt. Rivis standing in front of me. “Lets walk, you need to stretch your legs and get accustomed to the gravity. It will also reduce the risk of any panic attacks from other venlil.”
Looking down to meet Rivis’ eyes I gave him a soft nod. “Alright, sounds fine to me, but only cause I want to take in the sights. Hard to do that when I’m worried about creating national headlines from giving a venlil a heart attack.”
Rivis turned and began to walk down a long windy path. As I followed behind him a few venlil scurried away at our approach. Or would speed walk past us if they had to. As much as that hurt I kept reminding myself that all they need is time to integrate. We just need to be on our best behavior..
Occasionally, there would be a venlil that simply passed us. Showing no signs of fear or anxiety. It was those rare chances that gave me some hope for the future between humanity and the venlil. I tried to distract myself with the sights, the sounds, the smells of the Capital. It was all so gorgeous, so beautiful. How many thousands of years of culture was developed here? When did the venlil meet The Federation? What were they like before? They probably have some museums somewhere around here..
Once more I was forced out of my sight seeing when I bumped into Rivis. He turned to face me, with a yank of his paw he pulled his tail out from under my foot. “We’re here, Zoey.”
“Oh shit, my bad, Rivis, I didn’t mean to step on your tail, you okay?” I took a quick look around, confirming that something that did indeed look like a bar was a few paces away, quickly looking back to Rivis who was already making his way to it.
“I’m fine, Zoey, just try to watch where you’re going. I’d rather not have my tail deformed from your feet.” He mused as he stepped into the door to Twisted Tails.
As I entered the establishment I was overtaken with an immense aroma of alcohol, so much so that it nearly burnt my nostrils. Rivis took a seat at the bar just ahead. Shaking off the intense aroma I made my way over to him. As I walked I kept my head on a swivel every venlil inside were either blatantly staring at me or frozen stiff. With a sigh, I did my best to ignore them. Sitting down next to Rivis as we waited for the bartender to show up.
I leaned over to Rivis, whispering just loud enough to where he can hear “Rivis.. You sure this is okay? Everyone is staring at me, I think I might be freaking them out.”
My friend turned to me and nodded, placing a paw on my leg to comfort me, though he said nothing directly. We didn’t need to wait long for the bartender. As soon as he rounded the corner and his eyes met me he froze. His ears twitching in nervous anticipation. Clearing his throat after a second, he slowly approached Rivis.
“S-so.. What can I get you.. Two?” he asked, his voice shaking and uncertainty plainly written all over him.
Rivis was the first to speak up. “I’d like a Fireberry Stout.” His right eye moved to focus on me directly. “What would you like? Something strong, medium, or light? I believe light is something like..” His ears flicked to and fro as he thought. “Fiftyish percent in your terminology.”
My eyes widened under the mask as I learned forward. “Fifty!? That’s light for you guys? Jesus, that’s strong enough to put a human on their ass for the night after like.. Six shots if you do them fast enough.”
Rivis’ eyes narrowed a bit as he flicked his ears. The usual trait he shows when lost in thought. “Humans cannot handle alcohol? A strong Venlil drink is nearly eighty percent alcohol.”
I shook my head. “Not a chance, Rivis, if a human drank that all night we’d get alcohol poisoning and probably need to go to the hospital.. That’s insane. You guys are smaller than us, but.. Remind me to never get into a drinking contest with you guys…” I turned my head to look at the bartender who visibly flinched at my masked gaze falling on him “Just give me a glass of your weakest drink and water it down by half please..”
He nodded once shakily. Waiting for our drinks was eerily silent. Rivis didn’t say much, just occasionally tapping on the wooden bar with a claw. Meanwhile most other patrons returned to their drinking. However, there were still some that couldn’t take their gaze off me. Their quite literal side-eye digging into my back.
The bartender returned with our drinks, setting them down beside Rivis, who passed me my drink. I wrapped my hand around it, leaning down to sniff it.. Yep.. That’s alcoholic alright, Aight Zoey, you’re babying this one.
Using some weird angles that I wasn’t entirely sure would work I managed to sip the drink by finagling the mask slightly up while still keeping it covering my face. Meanwhile I looked at Rivis, who seemed to take one long pull of his ‘Fireberry Stout’ “Sheesh, Rivis, you’re practically drinking straight jet fuel..”
He set his quarter empty glass down, his ears swiveled to face me. A gesture I learned means their focus is on you. “Not a bad idea. We’ve always had a pretty high tolerance for alcohol, and me doubly so. I would have expected humans to have it as well, but I guess not.” I could see his tail swishing back and forth in that same smug oh so pleased with himself manner.
A few hours passed at the bar, thankfully Rivis kept ordering more stouts. Not a single one affected him in the slightest. At least not that I could notice. It was also probably the reason why the bartender didn’t kick us out. Meanwhile I was barely halfway through my second drink. I never was a decent drinker. My head was already feeling a bit light from the alcohol. Though I have to admit, it did taste great.
I lifted the glass to my lips at that same awkward angle as before, taking another sip. As I set my glass down the sound of wood scraping against wood caught my attention. As if someone threw their chair back. The tapping of hindpaws on wood approaching us. Rivis and myself turning around to see what looks to be an inebriated venlil walking to us. They froze as soon as our gaze fell onto him. Their face flashing with rage as his ears pressed against his head.
“You’ve been here long enough!! Get the SPEH out of here!!” He shouted. His face contorted in anger, yet body shaking as if terrified. I’m sure the alcohol didn’t help him either.
The bartender recoiled back at the loud shouting, moving further back to the shelves of liquor. The entire bar went quiet as for the first time since my arrival the focus was no longer on me, and instead on the loud drunk in the middle of the bar. I glanced over to Rivis who pressed his ears back against his head. A rare, but obvious look of disdain on his face.
“U-um.. I don’t think I’-” I tried to stammer out to the drunk.
“SHUT UP!! Brehking predators.. C-coming to OUR world.. Thi-.. thinking they can just walk all over us! I’m SICK of seeing your kind wherever I go! If..yo-.. You’re gonna enslave us.. J-just get on with it!” The drunk venlil leaned up against a table for support to stand, a dark colored bottle in his right paw.
I was about to defend myself, yet before I could speak Rivis opened his mouth first.
“We have every right to be here. There is no law forbidding authorized humans from enjoying the comforts that Venlil Prime has to offer. Humanity is our ally, not our enemy.”
That only seemed to enrage the drunk venlil further. He stepped closer to Rivis, pointing a claw at him “LOOK AT YOU! F-First of their cattle.. Controlled, e-easily manipulated.. W-WE will NOT all be controlled! R-Right!?” The venlil glanced around to the other patrons. A few hushed murmurs of agreement resonating in the crowd.
I put my head on a swivel, looking out to the crowd of patrons still seated at their tables. I turned to Rivis and sighed “Rivis.. Lets.. Lets just go, he’s clearly drunk, I don’t want to cause a scene. I just got here. I’m sure there is a lot of other places you can show me.”
Rivis’ eye swapped focus from the angry drunk and to me. “No, I know our rights, I won’t be bullied into their moronic demands. We shouldn’t be getting kicked out because of one loud drunk.” A steely expression on his face. Ooh.. Rivis, this is not the hill to die on..
Worry began to creep up all over my body. The situation only growing more and more volatile.
The bartender chimed in behind us. His shaky voice filling the silent bar. “L-listen.. P-please leave, the human is scaring my customers.. J-Just leave. If things get any more out of paw.. I’ll.. I’ll call The Exterminators!”
Another long sigh escaped from me as I grabbed Rivis’ arm. “C’mon, neither of us want the exterminators.. Lets just call it for the night and watch a nice movie?” I pleaded with the stubborn venlil. Even letting a hint of desperation leak into my tone.
Rivis’ expression remained the same for a few seconds before finally relaxing, looking at me straight on like a human would, he offered a silent nod. “Alright.” He stood from his stool and began to walk towards the exit.
I softly held onto Rivis’ arm, leaving my drink at the bar. As we passed that drunk venlil he glowered to the two of us. We silently moved past him without a word. As we got to the exit that same venlil gave some kind of self-assured snort.
“Yeah!.. Stay the BREHK OUT!”
Just as he finished his sentence I found myself showered in glass shards. The sound of the bottle hitting the wall beside me coming just a millisecond later. My body immediately moved away from the thousands of glass shards now falling through the air around me. A surprised scream erupting from me as I began to check myself for cuts or any damage.. “W-What the FUCK!? Fucking short little!-”
I felt Rivis grab onto the back of my shirt and pull me out of the bar as he stormed back in. It wasn’t long before I felt my anger in earnest. Like a cold chill up my spine, settling at the base of my neck. I felt like I wanted to break something, yell at someone.. That piece of shit drunk fuck primarily. For all their peace and loving, they’re quick to throw shit! Fucking asshole. I wonder if it’d surprise them to know what he just did would get a human their fucking ass kicked..
I was about to head back inside to see where Rivis was, but he came outside a second later. Dragging the inebriated venlil, one paw wrapped around an ear and the other his chest fluff. From the quick glance I could get of Rivis’ face.. He seemed calm, yet hints of annoyance sprinkled over his otherwise neutral face.
Rivis pressed the drunk venlil against the wall of the bar outside. Taking one paw and removing it from the drunk’s chest fluff and instead wrapped that paw around his throat. The other paw yanked the drunk’s ear up so he could force him to look Rivis in the eye. “Look at me. Tsk tsk, c’mon I need you to look at me. Or else what I'm about to say won’t matter.”
The drunk’s eye darted around for second seconds, but a flex of Rivis’ paw around his throat quickly drew the venlil’s attention “Theeeere we go.” A few gurgling struggles for breath radiated out of the drunk. “No no no, Don’t talk. Listen.” Rivis leaned up putting his maw mere centimeters from the violent drunk’s ear. “If you ever use your bigoted ignorance as an excuse to assault me, or my friend again, I’ll cut your tail off and use it to hang you from a street light. Do you understand?” The drunk venlil only gurgled out a response, their eyes beginning to turn glassy. Rivis nodded once, pulling his maw back from the venlil’s ear. His expression quickly turned to an icy neutral as he stared into that drunk’s eye. He took a moment to think, as if weighing an option in his head. After a second of thought Rivis’ paw began flexing harder against the drunk’s throat. The drunk began to thrash, trying to gasp for air, claw at Rivis’ arm, chest, face anything he could grab on the dark furred venlil. Yet none of it seemed to phase Rivis in the slightest. He simply stood there with an empty expression. Allowing the drunk to thrash around as he continued to snuff the life from him.
I snapped myself out of my shock.. Part of me felt great that Rivis was defending me. However, the other part of me quickly realized he was taking this way too far. Running up to Rivis I grabbed him by the waist, yanking the venlil back. He was surprisingly light, and as soon as I pulled him back he let go of his victim. The drunk falling to the ground in a coughing fit, gasping for air.
“What the hell are you doing, Rivis!?” I tried to watch how loud I spoke, not wanting to make a scene. Even though there was still light. Most venlil were asleep by now, but I didn’t want to risk anything.
Rivis looked up at me, cocking his head slightly. “I don’t know. He threw something at us which could have injured you or me. I was.. Reminding him of his poor decisions.” He took a breath, analyzing his surroundings after a moment.
I bit my tongue for a second, trying to choose my next words carefully. “Rivis, I don’t know how laws work here, but if I hadn't stopped you. You might have killed him! You can’t just sit there and choke someone!”
Rivis’ turned his head. Looking at the drunk who scrambled back into the bar. “I wasn’t going to kill him, Zoey I was ensuring my lesson would make a lasting impression.”
I took a deep breath, concentrating. “You were dangerously close, Rivis, You had ‘that look’. You were curious. Curious what it’d feel like. You felt wronged, if I had to guess more wronged than you ever had by any one person and wanted to know how it’d feel. Don’t lie to me, I saw what I saw.” I let my gaze linger on Rivis trying to impress the importance of what I was trying to tell him.
Rivis said nothing.. His ears twitching and tail gliding against the stone of the street below us. Breaking eye contact with me. This pause only lasted a moment before he looked back up to me. “Why don’t we go home? You said you wanted to watch a movie.”
“Alright.. Only because out here is not the place to discuss.. Let's just go home and.. Talk more there.” A wave of exhaustion came over me as I began to dissect the last few hours of my day. From an awkward bar that hated my guts, to an attempted murder by my friend. I opted to walk home in silence. So he is dangerous.. Only if he’s provoked.. Though, what provoked him this time? Was it me? Did he get offended for me? No that can’t be it. No, Zoey, he hates this predator stigma. That drunk openly hating me for my looks, and then the physical assault.. He felt justified in his actions. Justified he could make that venlil pay. I better talk to him tomorrow about this.. Ugh.. Please don’t wind up in trouble, Rivis.
The walk to Rivis’ home felt faster than the walk to the bar earlier today. We made our way in and I immediately sat down on the couch and began to surf through the channels while Rivis sat beside me.
After a few minutes of channel surfing I noticed Rivis’ left eye staring at me. “Can I help you Mr. Fluffbottom?”
He turned his head slightly to face me before he spoke “Zoey.. I apologize, I did not intend for your first outting on Venlil Prime to be such a bad experience.”
I offered a slight shrug “I mean I expected some pushback, but the real problem is you have to control yourself more. We can’t have something like that ever happening again, Rivis. You know what the exterminators would do to you if they saw that?”
Rivis nodded once. “Yes, I think I felt angry. As if that venlil was the embodiment of everything wrong with this society. I.. Will do better in the future. I’ll remember not to risk my freedom over such wastes of space..”
I gave a light giggle to the venlil beside me “Well, don’t blame them too much, culture can’t change unless it wants to. We just got here, I’m sure at some point your entire culture will come to accept you and me.”
Rivis was quiet for a time. His ears flicking to and fro once again as he thought. “I would like that. How do you feel, Zoey?”
His question caught me off guard. I hadn’t expected someone with his.. Condition to ask how another person felt. The only logical solution I could think of was he was trying to understand emotions more. “Well, I’m a little sad, I don’t like being hated, y’know? I don’t think it’s fair. I’m tired, today took a lot of energy.” I finished my little explanation while flashing a smile to Rivis.
“Would you like to pet me?” He blurted out almost immediately after I finished speaking. What?
“I have heard that humans regularly enjoy petting things. It seems to be a cathartic experience for your kind. I feel as if I added unneeded stressors to you, and would like to offer you a pleasant experience in return.” This is a dream come true! Alright Zoey, Play it cool. Don’t be weird!
“U-uh, yeah we take comfort in petting soft, cute, things. Even if they are able to rough up drunks I.. Have to admit the thought has crossed my mind more than once… I won’t say no.”
That’s all it took, Rivis moved closer to me, lying down on the couch and resting his head on my thighs. I sucked in a breath and reached my hand down slowly. My fingers pressing against his black wool atop his head, it was as if my hand was being caressed by a thousand gloves made of the finest Persian silks. Since I wasn’t met with open repulsion from Rivis I began to pet his head. The heat from his body radiating a comfortable, pleasant warmth through my midsection and legs. I used my other hand to reach around and scratch behind his long, adorable ears. This prompted an involuntary nuzzle from the adorable black venlil. Holy shit, fuck, I love him, this is everything I could have ever hoped! GAH!
“This is.. Pleasant for us both, it seems.” Rivis cooed. His eyes closing from the pleasant ear scritches.
The two of us watched TV in silence, enjoying the cuddles and the company of one another for the next few hours. Or well at least I enjoyed it, but I think Rivis is genuinely making an attempt at understanding more about himself. In any regard, that was healthy for him. It wasn’t long before exhaustion began to take the both of us. Likely in part due to the alcohol we did manage to drink before our night was so rudely interrupted. I let out another deep sigh. My fingers kneading through Rivis’ wool absentmindedly. I glanced down and noticed he had already long fallen asleep in my lap.
A soft smile adorned my lips, for as flawed as he was. I’m happy to give him the help he so desperately craves… I hope one day, Rivis, you and I can visit every homeworld in the federation, wouldn’t that be fun? All we need is a little time, a little hope, and a lot of love.
- (Soon to be Released)
Chapter 9 is a wrap! Thanks again to everyone who's following along! You guys mean the world to me. We have Rivis getting a bit violent, but will that be the first and last time? Or is this merely the beginning for him? We'll see! A massive thanks to SpacePaladin for Nature of Predators! This universe is quite something to write in. Another round of thanks goes out to the fanfics that inspired me to start in the first place! As always they are linked below this, and the final thanks is reserved to my Proofreader(s)! They push this story to a level of quality I could never achieve purely on my own! End of the Line Foundations of Humanity Nature of a Giant Lost and Found
"A silly little man"