For the first time in a long time (and, just to clarify, I've decided to stick with your chronilogiminal terminology for as long as I am your narrator, no need to thank me) Nobad felt something other than a perverse hybrid of dog-joy and dog-sadism. The sweet aroma of fear, confusion, horror and impending doom carried by the memories of his fellow canines would have normally had the deranged little beast salivating even more than his usual level of salivating, which was already enough to make people say "oh, god, how can something that small even keep generating that much fluid at once."

  But this...was different. He could never possibly comprehend exactly what it was he had just absorbed, but there was definitely something in him that would not have wanted those things, whatever those things were, to have happened to those other dog creatures. This was perhaps not the sort of notion that his squirming brain cells might have groped in their grubby tendrils for more than a fleeting moment, were it not for the flood of more complex emotions now delivered to his core by the collective frenzy of a buzzer cloud.

It was as if...

Almost as if.........

  ...As if, sometimes, there very well might be other things like himself or his mother, which is to say that some things were good or bad for reasons other than either how delicious they were, how fun they were to rip apart, or how convenient they were to drench with biological waste. Sometimes, perhaps, things could exist without being of any benefit to himself, and perhaps, in a weird and funny sort of way, some of the things that might happen to those other things might be not good even if it never affected him or his mother or the deliciousness of anything at all.

  Do dogthings have concepts of right and wrong in quite the same manner that you do? The simple answer is yes and the complex answer is no. Not even any two of you can be said to perceive things in the same context, and that's just because of your slightly different experiences and perspectives as two creatures with the same set of underlying biological directives and sensory systems. But to twist and mangle the beast's feelings into your closest possible parameters, he was beginning to process that something yes bad had been happening, in other words the very opposite of himself and everything that mattered to him, and what made this thing the opposite of no bad (which was him) is that a lot of things (more than two) were going to also feel yes bad if this mysterious something kept happening.

  This was not to say it was by much, mind you, but Nobad's blackened little doggy heart had just discovered something resembling compassion, and it was entirely due to your influence. As your narration I thought you would like knowing this because I'm beginning to glean these kinds of feelings are important to you, not my jam, but certainly interesting. That, and I believe we may be able to use this to our advantage.

You may also be interested to know that the ongoing commentary and discussion in the "time" between this layer and the last has provided me more than enough stray sustenance that for the next layer or so, I can catch you up with any two characters currently in the library. You won't have any influence on them, but it may be handy intel once we're snapped back to this animal creature.


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