Kiki feels the world spinning into a kaleidoscope of lurid colors as the honey fries every nerve ending it touches
her mind flares, and everything smells of that Flower that Flower. the genus Cerasus, Sakura, Yinghua, cultivated for its strong fragrance and easy mutability, a popular plant grown across the Accord
she remembers Mr. and Mrs. Long once had a tree with the sweetest loveliest buds which rained petals around her when the winds came
the familiar taste lets her feel safe enough to drop deeper
falls into Intelligence through the ground into the basement; it's cold and bad and gross and covered in smoke and
two minutes left until the power runs out
everyone is gone and that means everyone, even that no good general wilkinson. coward.. dickweed. asshole
but thats not important. what is important is the object in her possession.
a vial a vial a syringe it has the honey. it has the juice
A reverberating, robot voice… sky-voice. Sky voice is still here. It says not to drink
the sky voice is right. the sky voice is being smart
but kiki doesn’t want to be right or smart anymore
Kiki wants to be angry. kiki wants to be upset. Kiki wants the pain to go away, wants everything to go away
what does sky-voice know about pain what does sky-voice know about loneliness
Kiki grips the syringe with her fists
she plunges deep into her chest, and a wave of ecstasy burns through her veins like a flame torching a gas line
she feels her thumb and fingers harden into smooth, shiny keratin.
she wobbles. falls. can’t stand on two feet anymore
getting stuck on all fours sets off a thousand latent feelings all at once. terror. lust. shame. euphoria. humiliation. anger. fury.
her mind screams. isn’t she supposed to be a human? a secret agent?? Why is she just giving up and letting the Affini win ?? she’s a rebel right???
…but why would she want to rebel…?
that’s not what hooves are for
her human face stretches outwards into a cute little muzzle with a sensitive nose that smells everything. she tries to speak but only bleats come out
im not sure i understand could you please repeat that
no, she can’t help it. she’s an animal she’s becoming an animal and everything is tasty this is Right this is so Right everything started going Right after this feeling. this feeling this
her body turns inside out, tail flicking, hooves flailing in the froth of the golden Owner quickly overtaking her again. it’s another wave a good wave and it won’t stop coming
just a little creature again just a little thing to be taken care of and loved and loved and love and
Kiki Can You Hear Me
Laria sat in the hallway outside the emergency room.
Her body was hardly coherent, physical form slipping every so often into a messy pile on the floor. The doctors explained that the operation to restore Kiki to proper health might take some time… maybe even the entire evening. Laria said she’d wait here until the pet was discharged, and that was exactly what she intended to do, even if she ended up a dessicated puddle on the ground by the end of all of this.
It’s what I deserve, isn’t it?
Laria bundled her central fungal pods together with a set of crisscrossing vines. “Don’t, Meiple.”
The receptionist had joined Laria in her solitude an hour ago, her presence hardly noticeable as she sat nearby. Occasionally a seed would twirl from her scalp onto the floor beside them, and she would gently pick them up and place them in her pockets, but until now, she had remained silent.
“This is not your fault, Laria.”
Although she could hardly manage much physical movement, Laria tried to shift her ocular sensors further away. Her pods bristled. “I’m uninterested in your consolations.”
“Do you really think I don't know how you’re feeling?” Meiple’s retorted severely, a sharp contrast from her usual form. “I know how much of a taskmaster you are. I know how important she is to you. Your lone wolf thing might fool other sophonts, but not me.”
Laria felt a tremor pass through her, and tightened up in response. “I could have stopped her. If I had just reacted faster…”
Meiple let out a sigh.
"But that isn’t what happened, is it? Every sophont makes mistakes.”
With a *POFF*, Laria’s pods exploded furiously, sending clouds of yellow spores up and around the hallway floor.
Angrily, she coiled her roots. Barbs and points jutted out from her, stabbing and swirling in the air erratically.
“My job as a scout is to handle things with grace and tact. Despite this, my investigations have bourne zero fruit, my attempts at protecting this pet have failed. Nothing has gone according to protocol! I…”
She trembled, and then retracted herself again. “I don't deserve to be an owner, Meiple. That's the truth of it.”
Standing up from her resting place, Meiple straightened herself until her full 3 meter height towered above Laria's melting form. She cast a frightening glare downwards, enough to break Laria briefly from her lull.
“How can you say that? Where would she be if you hadn’t rescued her? She’d be stuck in that awful Terran hive. Deserving or not, you've been the one taking care of her. Taking charge of her. If she even had a previous owner, you have already proven that you’re more responsible than them. You're doing the work to take care of the most domesticable human in the embassy; every other sophont just enjoys her company. You love her. And I know you'll be there for her when she recovers.”
Meiple turned to leave. “Whether that gets through your thick roots or not, I don't care. I'm leaving to bring you some water. You need to hydrate.”
Her heels clicked against the tile floor as she began to walk away.
Laria took a deep breath, then weakly called out to her as she was about to turn the corner. “...wait.”
The affini stopped.
“Stay with me,” Laria croaked.
The receptionist adjusted her crown of seeds before responding.
“Once I get your water. I’m not about to leave you, Ms. Xylon.”
A soft, teasing smile briefly appeared on her lips, then she left.
kiki stands at the entrance of the base
the doors are Massive.
five thousand meters across and twice high. thick as a cave wall
how did she even get through here last time??
she kicks with a hind leg
she tries it again
kiki thinks. maybe with a lever or a drill or a thermoplastic explosive device she could clear this barrier, but otherwise shes stuck down here.
she is so much better now! she looks at herself, a coat of fur wrapping up and down her body. soft flanks. fluffy ears. any other human would be jealous of the body she has
But….. with no sophonts to be there to pet her…… what is the point?
the floor underneath her crumbles and she falls, falls
falls until she hits the ground. when she gets back on her feet there’s a sign on the wall
the sign doesn’t mean anything to her but she knows this is the place that pets go when they’re lost, and that’s exactly what she is
there’s a beeple. it dances in her head outside of her head like it wants her to follow. can she ? hooves are hard to do dances with but she has to try
she isn’t able to match the beeple tempo. she’s not fast enough, she’s too clumsy.
a giant red X appears in the sky.
the entire room turns dark red. crimson
it’s game over isn’t it.
even after she did all of this work to become a good pet, there’s no one for her to be a pet for, isn’t there.
kiki feels streams rush from her eyes
streams which become rivers
rivers which fill a sea that begins to drown her deeper and deeper
kiki can’t breathe, it’s getting harder and harder to think….
The ocean parts.
Off in the distance, in the path laid out in the ocean floor, there’s a soft glow of a silhouette
The armor hanging around them jangling as they approach
They drink deeply from the waters, a whirlpool unto them, until the lakebed is dry and only the two of them remain
Kiki cries, but instead of tears, steam clouds puff from her eyes
around the pair a thousand flowers bloom.
she follows her instincts, rushes for the knight the knight the knight
LARIA LARIA LARIA
vines scoops her up into the air and she is in love
chew branch chew leaf bleat squeal moan love
time blurs. she feels herself hurtling, warping, zooming back. She’s in the Reunification Wing, sashay, Kudzu, Laria
Oh My Stars Is She Alright
I don’t want this to end Laria please don’t let this end bleat branch chew leaf love branch eat the branch
Meiple Now's Not The Time
please don’t let go it feels so good it feels so Good
We're Getting You To The Emergency Room Little Floret
bleat chew branch love love love
there’s a hole i am in a hole and falling up up up oh my stars
Laria’s eyes look so beautiful from here don’t they Double A
Laria’s eyes and her face and her chewy seed pods and her…
colors waning, everything seems so grey
Kiki stirred. Her vision swam, nothing quite coherent aside from dim lights and the sounds of a pulse monitor.
“She’s waking up.”
The voice was distant but legible. Kiki’s back was pressed up against a soft surface of some kind, but it made looking around the room quite difficult. She struggled to right herself, trying to roll onto her side, until she realized she was held in place by something.
“Laria…” she strained her voice to say. Her throat was hoarse for some reason.
The voice replied. “Ah. That makes one hundred and seventy two now.”
Kiki moaned… a piercing pain was beginning to work its way into her cranium, pressure growing behind her right eye. Nausea followed.
“Calibrating anesthetic levels accordingly.”
The sensation dulled a little, and Kiki’s limbs felt a little more distant and numb.
“Laria… is Kiki going to be okay?” Kiki mumbled to the air. Her sight was beginning to unblur, although everything was spinning slowly, like she could feel the rotation of the planet against her body… she was surrounded by all kinds of strange equipment, and a plant lady with several medical instruments in her branches who seemed to be attending to her.
“Get some rest, little one. Your Laria is waiting outside for you to recover.”
Kiki struggled again to get up, before noticing that a series of bark-encrusted roots were holding her down in her medical cot. “Laria is... here?”
“Yes. Would you like me to fetch her?”
The human nodded. “Naaaa…”
The lady solemnly returned the gesture, before leaving out the door. Kiki struggled one more time to leave her cot, before letting out a defeated bleat and laying limp. She felt her limbs getting just a little antsy, even when their weight was too heavy to lift.
A clatter, then familiar footsteps made their way towards her.
"Kiki? You're awake!"
The pet tried to summon the energy to be more excited, but only a soft groan exited her maw. She turned her head… Laria was there now, soft phosphorus blue glow palpable in the dim lighting of the room.
The darkness closed in around her again.
"Oh, Kiki…" a familiar vine reached towards her mouth, and Kiki opened her jaw. Lethargically, she bit down. It was nice… tasted saltier than usual.
Laria was giving her a kind smile now… Kiki felt at peace.
“We need to work on your impulse control, little one."
Kiki tried to giggle, and her head ached. "Maybe… hehe… ow…"
Laria pulled the chewing vine away. The pet would have grumbled louder if she weren't so tired…
"I'm glad you're stabilizing. You should get some rest.”
Kiki weakly nodded. “Okay, Laria…”
As Laria stood up from her spot, Kiki felt words form at the tip of her tongue.
“...I would do anything for you.”
The affini slowed.
Laria responded, softer than Kiki had ever heard her speak before. “Get some rest, little one.”
A deep abyss gathered beneath Kiki until she could see nothing else, then she felt herself drop in as she blacked out.