This work is fiction. The work is presented under fair protection where applicable.

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         You should not read this if you are not of legal age where you reside. This work can contain rape, BDSM, cannibalism, and probably anything else my sick, twisted mind can come up with.








Chapter 39


         Andrew woke when he felt the bed shift. He kept his eyes closed, listening to the soft footsteps across the floor, and rolled over when he heard the sound of the bathroom door opening and closing.


         Albia was still fast asleep and his internal clock said that there was at least a half hour before sunrise. Hearing the water turn on he quietly walked over to the bathroom, waiting a few moments before pushing inside.


         Camiel had her back turned, only just beginning to wet herself when he opened the door. She immediately turned, flashing a quick smile before returning to washing her hair. “I told you.” She called softly. “I don’t sleep.”


         “Some nights, neither do I.” Andrew replied just as quietly. His tone gave Camiel pause and she turned, a silent question in her eyes.


         Andrew just raised an eyebrow and gave her a jaunty grin, pulling open the shower door and stepping in despite her light protests. “I wanted time to get ready...” she complained, edging away from him. “Time to try on my new clothes.”


         “We’ve got time.” Andrew replied, but pulled his hands back. “Is this too much?”


         Camiel blinked but shook her head. “No. Any other day I would enjoy it.” She leaned back and bumped her butt against his erection. “But today I meet my new company. I would like to be focused on that.”


         Andrew obediently backed out. “As you wish. And we’re more of a platoon, not a company.”


         “Oh.” Camiel seemed to relax a bit at that. “With the way this base is constructed, I expected a much larger force.”


         “Well, we used to be.” Andrew trailed off. “You’ll meet them as part of your tour.”


         Camiel nodded gently and turned back to her shower, Andrew stepping out of the bathroom after a moment.


         He blinked and nodded at Albia, the Starmystic sitting on the edge of the bed with her staff between her legs. “Good morning.” He glanced around the room. “Camiel is using the shower, so, I guess we both get to wait.”


         “Buenos dias.” Albia’s eyes flicked down to his erection and back to his face. “Is that for me?”


         Andrew chuckled and walked over to the two piles of clothes. “It won’t say no to you.” He turned back to see Albia absentmindedly moving her staff as she watched him. “But if you’re going to ask, you’ll have to be quick.”


         Albia blinked and the movement stopped, a light blush spreading across her cheeks. “No. Not now.” She sighed in frustration. “I can see you now. But there is still a wall, you are still blocking me.”


         Andrew set the clothes down and sat next to her. “You’re talking about my mind?”


         Albia nodded. “I feel this, this ‘bond’ you spoke of with Cami. But it is just there, it doesn’t provide a way through as you described.”


         Andrew nodded before frowning. “Wait. You understood what was happening while you were feral? While you were unconscious and feral?”


         Albia gave him a mischievous smile. “I learn a lot of things, especially things others believe I have no way of knowing.”


         “So, were you designed to be an intelligence gatherer?” Andrew chuckled. “Camiel painted you as a fighter, but-“


         “I do not punch.” Albia replied. “But I am fast, and I learn quickly. And I am very precise.”


         “Interesting.” Andrew leaned back to stare at the ceiling. “If you truly want to be with me, there is a way that I can give you the path Camiel has. But you will have to be willing.”


         He glanced down as Albia crawled over him, her breasts swinging gently above his chest. “I heard rumors.” She began, slowly lowering herself until she was laying on top of him, and Andrew grunted when he felt her slide onto his shaft. “I do not remember all of what we did as we lost ourselves, but Cami wanted to protect me. To protect us. From our purpose.” She came to rest, her head just under his chin. “I want this. I am willing.”


         “Alright.” Andrew reached up to embrace her, one hand stroking her short black hair. “Then here I come.”



         Albia blinked, the room shifting as she did. Suddenly the bed she lay on was ornate, golden curtains flowing from ceiling to floor. She sat up slowly, aware of her sudden solitude, and jumped when she heard a knocking at the door. There was a pause, and she was beginning to crawl back when it echoed again.


         “Albia.” The voice was muffled. “It’s Andrew.”


         The Starmystic slid to the ground, padding softly to the door and pulling it open to reveal Andrew standing with his hand raised to knock again.


         “Ah, there you are.” He grinned. “You have an exquisite mind.”


         Albia blushed. “What do you mean?”


         “Well, I can see you, a little, over the bond. Everything’s better where you are. Marble tile, golden columns. It’s very beautiful.”


         Albia slowly began to notice the terrain the man stood on. The grass waved gently as if in a breeze, small buildings dotting the landscape. “Yours is... grass?”


         Andrew’s eyes lit up. “You can see it, then? That’s wonderful. It means this is working.” He reached up, his hand laying flat against the threshold as if resting on an invisible wall. “You opened the door. I am ready on my side. Are you ready on yours?”


         Albia glanced at his hand, and down at her own, before resolutely pressing her palm to his.



         Albia’s eyes snapped open and she cried out, the sudden outpouring of emotion overwhelming her. She felt as Andrew tensed beneath her, his penis twitching inside her vagina as he came. Screaming in joy she straightened up, her eyes glowing as she finally dove into the mind of the man she had given herself to.



         Andrew groaned as he felt the release, whirling when he felt the presence behind him. Albia gazed around the field with wonder, finally turning to him and leaping forwards. Andrew caught her, the two completely lost in the feeling of each other.






         Andrew opened his eyes and glanced down, moaning when he felt his penis still trembling. “How long-“


         “About five or six seconds.” Andrew glanced over to see Camiel walking out of the bathroom, a towel wrapped around her chest. “I was starting to dry off when I saw Albia crawl on top of you, and by the time I had grabbed this towel you were done.”


         Andrew blinked slowly, trying to rationalize the hours he had just spent with the Starmystic. “Seconds?”


         “Seconds.” Camiel perched next to him, poking Albia’s leg until she stirred and turned to look at the Archangel. “Now you know. How it felt, our pure joy.”


         Albia grumbled softly and her grip tightened before she sat up, twisting back in surprise when she felt him shift inside her. “Oh. Right.”


         Camiel chuckled to herself and pointed at the bathroom door. “It’s open. You were together for a few moments, that’s all.”


         Albia nodded and slid back, moaning in pleasure when the motion bumped his softening member deeper before she pulled off. “Thank you.” She turned back and patted Andrew’s knee. “Now I see you.”


         “Yea.” Andrew grimaced. “Wow.”


         “She’s good, is she not?” Camiel pulled the towel free and continued drying her hair, absentmindedly pacing about the room. “That was all we had, until she was able to move on her own.”


         “It’s certainly something.” Andrew replied, wincing at the clamor of voices in his head. “Ow.”


         Camiel raised the towel from her face and looked at him in surprise. “Ow?”


         “I took the opportunity to create a few other Delta bonds while I was making Albia’s. In fact, I did them all. And now I’ve got a dozen confused voices in my head.” His eyes widened. “Wait. No, no… SHIT!”


         Camiel jumped at his exclamation and ran to the bed. “What? Are you hurt?”


         “I forgot she would have one.”




         “Drifa.” Andrew growled. “So when I just went in and strengthened all of the bonds, I strengthened hers as well.” He grit his teeth. “So now I have a very confused Snow Queen wondering why she just daydreamed about the male she met for all of an hour. And is broadcasting herself directly to me. If I don’t explain to her what’s going on, it’ll just get worse.”


         Camiel’s mouth slowly grew into a smile and she began to laugh. “You care for her? After that little time?”


         “I care about me!” Andrew cried back. “She was in the middle of taming her Frostdrake! Who is named Qusi, I just found out, but she’s wondering why she’s thinking about the male when she’s halfway to orgasm fucking the dragon and now I’m horny again.” He trailed off with a scowl. “Damn. Qusi’s voice is pretty cute when she’s not completely feral.”


         Camiel had her hand over her mouth and her eyes danced with suppressed laughter. “You are a good male. You say that you care only for yourself but you worry about her. As you said, you would keep her safe - what do you think now?”


         Andrew glared at the Archangel and slowly shook his head. “Nothing has changed. She already slipped into what I define as family, so nothing has changed. Except that she didn’t get to choose. That’s what I’m mad about.”


         Camiel hesitated. “She chose to sleep with you.”


         “She didn’t choose this.” Andrew shot back. “Yes, she had sex with me. But that’s it. This bond that I just forced on her is different. Very, very different. Usually the bearers of this kind of bond are partners for life.”


         “Oh.” Camiel frowned. “I remember you telling me about this, in the north.”


         “Yea.” Andrew shook his head and moved towards the bathroom when he heard the water turn off. “I think Albia is done. Each of your clothes are on the bed. Go ahead and get dressed, but the dress uniform is probably a bad choice. Considering we’ll be running in a minute.”


         Camiel nodded and he opened the door to be greeted by Albia, the Starmystic having wrapped a towel around her ample breasts to not only give herself some impressive cleavage, but also leave it hanging just above her groin. He did a double take before grinning and shaking his head, receiving a proud grin in return. “Nice.” Was all he could come up with as the two passed each other. Camiel gave her partner a kiss before returning to her preparations, the two girls busily getting dressed.






         “Right.” Andrew called as the three walked down the hallway, each dressed in their choice of workout attire.


         Albia had forgone her bra, so her already tight top was displaying her nipples proudly to the world. Camiel, upon seeing this, had immediately stripped and the bras now were hooked over each of Andrew’s shoulders, even though the Pokegirls themselves carried their spare clothes and dress uniforms. He was pretty sure that meant neither had any intention of wearing them again.


         “We’ll be seeing everyone at the morning run.” He continued, muted sounds emanating from most of the bedrooms they passed. “And Aella should be there already. She is the Alpha of this harem, and just in case either of you want to try for that position, I have a three minute long video of her displaying why that would be a bad idea.” He turned and smirked to Camiel. “You might know of her mother. Alia.”


         Camiel’s eyes narrowed. “If this Aella is the future-daughter of the one who has taken the name Alia, I have no intent of challenging her. Fighting with her mother is more than enough.”


         Andrew’s eyebrows rose. “Fought with, or fought against?”


         “...both.” Camiel winced. “We were once assigned the same target. I got to her first, but Alia was not far behind. She was not happy that I had taken her prey.”


         “Interesting.” Andrew smiled and turned back to the hallway. “I think you’ll enjoy meeting Aella, then.”


         “I am. I am also very interested in seeing this video.” Camiel replied. “This, ‘Alpha’ title you speak of. Does this mean she commands me?”


         “Well... maybe.” Andrew frowned. “With what has happened to Drifa, the answer for her would be yes. My initial response if asked about Albia would also be yes. But you were... you are, a very powerful pokegirl.” He turned fully, forcing them to halt. “Camiel. What will you do now?”


         Camiel smiled gently. “Do not worry. I took orders during the war, and I can take orders now. I have already committed to being your servant; if Aella is your right hand, then I am content to bow to her.”


         Andrew nodded and smiled. “I appreciate that.” He turned to continue. “Your... sorry, Cristina, is Aella’s Beta. Aella directly orders our upper command, and Cristina leads the rest of the harem.” He paused. “Ah, I need to warn you about one of the girls here. Her name is Nova, she is a Blazicunt, and seems to know your name well.”


         Camiel blinked. “I do not know a Nova.”


         “She is one of two Pokegirls here who are from this timeline.” Andrew replied. “I don’t expect you to recognize her, but she is the second child of a Blazicunt Lieutenant who...” he trailed off and winced. “...would cook and eat her captives alive.”


         Camiel’s face went completely neutral. “Eos lived to breed?” She hissed.


         “As far as I know, she lived until she went feral, lost her mind, and began to birth children.” Andrew replied. “I assume she was killed soon after, but she had taught her first daughter to do the same. We killed the first, and I awakened the second. She chose to stay with me.” He glanced at the livid Archangel. “As far as we know, Nova is innocent of her mother’s sins.”


         “I will be the Judge of that.” Camiel snapped, her wings suddenly appearing as she overtook him. “She will be at this run?”


         Andrew had to start to jog to keep up with her stride, Albia gliding silently behind them. “She has no reason not to be. When she learned of Cristina’s relation to you, she seemed excited, not afraid. And when Cristina beat Nova in a fair fight, Nova attempted to pledge herself to her. She used titles like ‘War mother’.” He panted as he had to increase his pace yet again. “Do you know why she called you that?”


         “That is a name I have not used in years.” Camiel replied, her feet lifting off the ground every few steps. “But it was a title of respect, among the ones of fear. Perhaps this Nova can still be redeemed.”


         They burst into the dark, only a few rays of light peeking over the horizon. Andrew slid to a halt and nodded to Aella, the Shinryu watching his escorts with thinly veiled interest.


         “Andrew, who are they?” Aella’s eyes flicked between Camiel and Albia. “They’re wearing our uniforms.”


         “Aella, this is Camiel and Albia.” Andrew replied, motioning to each in turn. “Camiel, Albia, this is Aella.”


         Camiel seemed to measure the Shinryu. “The future-daughter of Alia?” She frowned at his nod. “While you spoke truth, I can not see the power in her that you hinted at.”


         “Camiel has fought this world’s Alia.” Andrew explained when Aella looked to him quizzically. “Apparently she made an impression.”


         “Well, I suppose if they are going to act like big girls, then I should as well.” Aella replied, inclining her head to the two. “Camiel, your aura is extraordinarily steady. As for you,” she turned to Albia, “I would not want to fight you.” She smiled slightly. “As for me.”


         The morning scene seemed to freeze momentarily, Aella’s eyes shining as she relaxed the veil over her strength. Andrew felt his hair stand on end while Camiel instantly leapt backwards, Aella’s presence fading as quickly as it had come. The Archangel slowly took a breath and began to laugh, glancing to Albia with a smile. “I take it back.” She turned and bowed to Aella. “I see every resemblance, now.”


         “Yea and the reason I hide it is because I hate when people are scared of me.” Aella grumbled. “I even held back with Fu. Although that was fun.”


         “Is this the video you spoke of?” Camiel asked, her eyes lighting up at Andrew’s nod. “Do we have time to watch it now?”


         “We are early.” Andrew replied, checking the time. “I don’t see why not. Cortney, push Aella’s fight with Fu to my Pokédex, please.”


         Camiel and Albia clustered around him as the video began to play. By the time the video had finished most of the harem had arrived, Camiel quickly picking Fu out of the crowd and pointing. “Her?” At Andrew’s nod she began waving, a silly grin on her face. “Fu! You did well!”


         The Warvern was in her regular gear, and the similarities between the two’s dress led to a brief moment of confusion as Fu smiled at Camiel before doing a double take and beginning to frown at the strange pokegirl.


         “I think we should start introductions as soon as possible.” Andrew called to Aella as he watched Fu turn to Lucina and begin whispering. “Who are we missing?”


         “Just Furia.” Aella turned to stare into the slowly lightening forest. “As usual.”


         “Well, she’s not late yet.” Andrew replied, watching the sun as it rose. “She’s got... about ten minutes.”


         Three minutes later there was a crash and Furia burst through the undergrowth, her eyes wild as she scrambled into place.


         Andrew gazed over the milling Pokegirls and cleared his throat. “Ladies.” He waited for the muttering to die down and all eyes to turn to him. “You may have noticed the two Pokegirls beside me. These are new members of our family, and are currently outside of the chain of command.” He gestured. “The Starmystic is Albia, and the Archangel beside me is Camiel.” His eyes flicked as he heard Nova’s muffled scream. “Please, get to know them and make them feel welcome.” He turned to Camiel with a nod. “You have your orders.”


         Camiel started at that and gave him a relaxed smile as she bobbed her head. “I do. Thank you.” She hesitated before turning to the group and taking a half step forwards. “Nova.”


         The assembled Pokegirls melted aside to reveal the Blazicunt. She was shaking, her face devoid of color as she stared at Camiel. “Why.” She whispered. “Why are you here.”


         Camiel’s wings appeared and Nova choked, her entire body shaking as she fought between running and kneeling. “War-mother.” She whispered. “I... you...”


         Camiel slowly stepped towards her, the aura that she emanated swelling as she did. “Blazicunt Nova.” She called, her voice ringing out like a hammer. “Daughter of Eos. Your mother sinned; she avoided judgment. Do you stand for her?”


         Nova’s eyes widened and she stuttered. “I- she-“ Her mouth opened and closed as she fought to find the correct answer. “… … … No.”


         Camiel came to an abrupt halt in surprise, her eyes measuring the suddenly resolute Blazicunt. “No?”


         “No.” Nova repeated, her face twitching as she fought to maintain her composure. “My mother paid for what she did. My sister paid for what she did. I have no debt to pay.”


         Camiel watched her carefully, slowly nodding at what she saw. “Very well.” She stepped forwards, standing directly in front of Nova. “Then be judged.”


         Nova tensed as Camiel raised her hand, resting her thumb on Nova’s forehead before the Archangel suddenly dropped it, reaching out to embrace the trembling girl.


         “You are innocent.” She cried, tears dripping onto Nova’s shoulder. “You will not pay for your mother’s sins.” She leaned back, her tear-streaked but joyous expression beaming at the terrified Blazicunt. “We have a new commander now.” She explained happily. “He has given me but one order. Do not kill those who are innocent. In another time, my orders may have been different, but today they are not.” She let go and stepped back. “It is wonderful to meet you, Nova.”


         Nova stood in stunned silence as Camiel nearly pranced away to Andrew’s side, grabbing his hand with a grin.


         “Come on!” She cried, glancing around and beaming at the gawking harem. “There are shadows across this platoon, but they are no more dark than my own. We are to run, yes?”


         “Uh, yea.” Andrew turned to Aella. “My Alpha?”


         Aella shook her head, an unconscious smile on her lips. “That’s right. Girls! Ready? Begin!”





         Andrew groaned as he staggered into the nearly empty mess, Albia’s arm slung over his shoulder. The Splice had easily outpaced the group for the first half hour before suddenly falling. After reassuring Camiel that she was fine, and accepting Andrew’s offer to help, she had confided in him. As he had been told, in the attempt to create her, she had been weakened nearly to the point of death. It had taken her every year since to even get to the point where she could walk normally; the run, while it had stretched her legs for the first time in a decade, had also aggravated her condition.


         He also could tell that she was lying.


         So now he helped the limping Splice to a seat, returning to her after a minute with two plates of food. Aella had been adamant that each finished the endurance training, even with Albia’s injury, so the rest of the harem had long since finished eating and vanished to their daily pursuits.


         “You had no reason to do all this.” She said quietly as he sat, offering her a fork. “I could have used my staff.”


         “It gave me an excuse.” Andrew replied. “I met you last night, but I have not been able to talk with you without Camiel nearby. It’s amazing how she never leaves your side.”


Albia started and glanced around. “What do you mean? She isn’t here now, she’s taking her… tour.”


         “That’s true. Like I said, a good excuse to get you alone.” He teased a forkful of food into his mouth. “The link that we share is a two way street.” Andrew continued. “When you used it to take a good luck at me, I got the same opportunity to look at you.” He smiled when she visibly deflated. “How do you endure it? The pain from destroying your own legs?”


         Albia glanced back at him and her voice dropped all hint of her accent. “If you know that much, then you know why I was created.”


         “Sure.” Andrew leaned back and popped a bit of bread in his mouth. “I also saw some other things, like what you were truly created from. You’re not a failure, as Camiel claims. You’re her perfect counter.” He swallowed. “So, since I know this, why aren’t you killing me?”


         Albia gazed at him with a calculating look in her eye. “If you could get that much from me, then it stands to reason I could get the same from you.”


         “Obviously.” Andrew leaned back down and grinned. “But rhetorical questions don’t answer mine.”


         Albia slowly smiled. “You will be good for her. Good for us. That is what I saw.” The smile faded. “I don’t know if I can bear to tell her the truth. Will you promise not to?”


         Andrew nodded solemnly. “Will there be any problems with you following Aella?”


         Albia gave a barking laugh and shook her head. “I knew Alia well. I was the one who told her where to find Cami, after all.” She paused, debating how much to say. “We are the same age.”


         Andrew blinked at that. “You weren’t the same production run, I wouldn’t think.” He stopped. “Oh. Your names.”


         Albia chuckled darkly. “We were, as you say, classmates. She was the only one I could not beat. And so she took the name, while I was relegated to be second rate.” She smiled. “Alcia and Aldia are most likely dead by now. I have killed many assassins who believed they could take on the b Hunter.”


         “Interesting.” Andrew rested his chin on his hand for a few moments while he watched her eat. “I want you to tell me why you want to be here. Why you want to be with me. Camiel has given me her answer, and so has every other pokegirl here. What’s yours.”


         Albia stared at her plate for almost a full minute before finally answering. “I’d say I want to be wherever Cami is, but you’d know that’s not the whole truth.” She shook her head slightly. “I’m tired of it all. No, not tired. Disillusioned. War was disgusting, and just because I was good at it didn’t make it any better. It broke her. When I first met Camiel she was a paragon of light, of goodness. She had already been shown what she would be forced to do but she still believed she could change. She could fix it. She could avoid what she would become… But she couldn’t. I… I admit. I went looking, through the minds here, through the mind of Camiel’s daughter. When I saw that Cami had lived, and lived long enough to have a child, I was afraid she would be corrupted in the same way. But she isn’t, she fell to the same temptations as Cami did but her resolve… it’s built on her faith in her mother. The Camiel that survives to have that child was able to heal. The child that you lead holds to that and you encourage it. I want to be here, for my sake, and for hers. Because I believe you will save us.” She took a deep breath and looked up at him. “I want to kill. Still, over, and over, and over. I don’t know how many I killed while I wandered after the war. I don’t think I wish to know. There was no honor in those kills, and most were my old comrades. I need a commander. I need… I need a Master, one who will give me a new purpose. I need you.”


         Andrew gazed back before abruptly standing. “Come with me.”


         Albia watched him walk towards the door before she struggled to her feet. “Where are we going?”


         “To see Gale again.” Andrew replied over his shoulder. “She’s not far – since she’s the medic, her personal room is first off the main hallway.” He waited for her to catch up before continuing. “I am also going to call Rein. You need to talk to her, if only to have another person you can confide in. I’d probably give you a list and tell you to go work it off, instead of giving you advice you deserve.”


         Albia snorted and shook her head with a slight smile. “I trust that they’d be threats.”


         “Not the point.” Andrew shot back and rapped at a door. “GALE! Incoming!”


         He pushed the door open to reveal a small operating room, backed by a folding curtain. “You’re interrupting my NAP!” Gale screamed from behind the curtain, pushing it open a few moments later. “Unless you’re here to join me.”


         “Good, you’re naked. You’ll probably work up a sweat on this one.” Andrew replied, glancing away from Gale’s nudity for a moment to gesture at Albia. “You remember her, right?”


         “This is the chica who you hit over the head, yes?” Gale grumbled. “What happened, hit her again?”


         “Hell no.” Andrew scoffed. “I need you to look at her legs. You’ll probably have to Regen them.”


         “Eh?” Gale stretched before pointing at a chair. “Sit. Let me look.”


         Albia gingerly sat and rested her legs on the provided footstool, watching carefully as Gale walked over and knelt.


         Gale hummed and slowly ran two fingers up Albia’s left leg, pausing and pushing at a spot. “You feel that?”


         Albia blinked. “No. Feel what?”


         Gale shrugged and continued, repeating the motion twice more before switching to Albia’s right leg. “This is some old, old damage.” Her hands stopped and she blinked. “Holy hell, that’s not supposed to be there.”


         “What?” Albia struggled to sit up before Gale firmly pushed her back. “What is it?”


         “It’s as if your ligaments have been cut, over and over, and allowed to heal in the wrong places.” Gale hooked her fingers and shoved, watching as they slid into Albia’s leg all the way past her first knuckle. “And you’ve got voids in here where there should be muscle. No wonder you’ve got leg problems.”


         Albia winced at the probe. “I feel that one. What can you do?”


         “Well, I can fix it. I can fix just about anything short of death. The question is, do you consent to my treatment?” Gale glanced up and gave Albia a winning smile.


         “Umm… Yes?”


         “Very good. Then I will begin in three, two –“ Gale started before slamming her bladed fingers into Albia’s thighs.


         The Splice jerked as she felt the initial stab before whipping her head down in astonishment. “What did you just – I can’t feel my legs!”


         “Of course not. Otherwise you might pass out from the pain.” Gale replied, withdrawing her fingers, her hands already beginning to glow with magic. “It’s gonna hurt like a bitch when I’m done. In fact, Commander? If you would please hold her down.”


         Andrew glanced at Albia and nodded when she blinked at him. “Yes’m.” He looped around and wrapped his arms around the chair, hooking them under Albia’s bust and setting his grip. “Go ahead.”


         “Here we go.” Gale slowly lowered her hands until she was resting them on either leg. “I’m going to first break everything. This is going to look a bit strange…” The two watched as the magic suffused Albia’s legs. Suddenly they spasmed, her feet twisted at unnatural angles. “…And now I can safely heal you. There’s going to be a bit of pain at the end. Hold her tight.”


         Andrew tightened his grip as the magic changed. Slowly Albia’s legs began to straighten, although to Andrew’s surprise they did not return to their original positions. Instead, as the regeneration remade them, he could have sworn they were growing longer.


         “How’s it feel?” Gale asked cheerfully, allowing only the lines of sweat running down her body to show her exertion. “A whole lot of nothing so far, yes?”


         “I have never seen healing techniques on this scale before.” Albia whispered in wonder as she watched her knees shudder and pop into place. “We had our medics, of course, and I know a few techniques, but… With an ability like this, it would have been impossible to lose the war.”


         “You could have never won.” Andrew muttered in her ear. “It was Sukebe’s plan to win a very specific battle, and then lose the war. He wanted to destroy humanity’s hope of survival without his creations. Without you on their side. Cowslip.”


         “I’d heard of that word.” Albia whispered in his mind. “I never wanted to believe it to be true.


         “Like it or not, it is the truth.” Andrew replied. “Camiel knew it. You knew it, and now it has come to pass.” He tightened his grip at Gale’s glance and raised his voice. “So, you’re going to pay Gale with sex after, right?”


         Albia blanched and turned as much as she could to stare at him. “WHAT? I have to… FUCK!”


         Albia screamed, the severed nerves stitching back together and sending a confused mix of signals back to her brain. She strained for a moment in Andrew’s grip before collapsing, her chest heaving.


         Gale sat back and took a deep breath of her own. “You didn’t kick me. I appreciate that.” She shook her head slightly. “He was lying. No sex right now, please. I’m exhausted.”


         Albia firmly pried Andrew’s arms away and brought one leg up, slowly straightening it again as she repeated the motion with the other side. “It doesn’t… hurt.” She carefully turned and, after a moments hesitation, placed both feet flat on the ground and pushed to her feet.


         Andrew immediately grabbed her as she stumbled but let go again when the Splice took a trembling step and crouched. “Albia?”


         “It doesn’t hurt.” She muttered again before whirling to Gale and diving on the tired Night Nurse. “Thank you!”


         “Just doing my job.” Gale grumbled, pushing Albia away. “Take it slow for a few days. Get used to your new legs. You’ve already taken my time twice, don’t go falling over and make me clean up a cracked skull or some shit.”


         “No, of… of course.” Albia stepped away and hugged her body tightly. “Thank you.”


         “Albia said there weren’t techniques like yours during the war.” Andrew cut in to change the subject. “I know the Nurse line was created by humans after the war, but I’m surprised the techniques are new. Something you made yourself?”


         “Mmhm.” Gale reached behind her curtain and grabbed a towel to wipe herself down with. “I used to work for a mercenary Tradesman as part of his QRF teams. When you’re forced to adapt to frontline battles, you don’t have time to do it slow.” She flicked her hair back and stretched to loosen her shoulders. “Been a while since I’ve used that break technique. Used to use it to make prisoners easier to handle.”


         “And the heal?” Albia asked curiously.


         “Oh, that’s just a variation of Regen.” Gale yawned. “Takes a lot more out of me, but works faster and cleaner.” She rolled her eyes at Albia’s questioning look. “Regen? Regeneration? High level healing technique?”


         “The only war breed that knew the technique was an Elf variant.” Andrew supplied. “Albia probably never saw it in action.”


         “An Elf? Makes sense. I always heard they could survive encounters normal units couldn’t.” Albia shrugged. “The rarity of the technique just shows how experienced you would need to be in order to use it.” She bowed slightly. “Gale, I am in your debt.”


         “You’ll be racking that up pretty quick.” Gale snorted. “I’ve probably saved everyone’s life one time or another. Forget it. I just did my job.” She yawned again and held a hand against her eyes. “And now I really need that nap. Good night.”


         Andrew and Albia watched her stagger behind the curtain, a soft thud following a few moments later as she collapsed. “I haven’t been able to stand in my human form for years.” Albia said softly. “When I needed to move at any speed, I’d have to shift.” She slowly walked over and draped her arms around Andrew’s neck. “You’ve saved me.”


         “And you’ve grown a few inches.” Andrew replied, feeling where Albia’s head now poked above his own. “There was that much damage.”


         Albia momentarily tightened her grip before stepping back. “We should… we should leave her to her rest.”


         “Agreed.” Andrew opened the door and motioned. “I’m going to introduce you to Rein. And then leave the two of you to have a nice long talk.”


         “Why do you believe I need to speak with her?” Albia asked curiously. “I know what therapy is, but I don’t feel like I need any.”


         “You do.” Andrew replied. “I do, Camiel does, Aella does… We all need someone to talk to. Rein won’t fight anymore, so she helps the ones who do. I think you’ll like meeting her.” He paused in front of an ornate door and knocked. “Rein? You home?”


         “Come in.” Andrew pushed open the door and motioned Albia inside. Rein sat on a long couch, a pokedex in her hand. She looked up as they entered and smiled. “Ah, one of the new arrivals. Albia, was it?”


         “That’s right.” Andrew nodded. “Rein, Albia; Albia, Rein. Rein, I am invoking privacy.”


         Rein blinked and set the pokedex aside. “If you are, then close the door.”


         Andrew did so and pointed Albia to a seat. “Albia needs a voice of reason, and I can’t be that voice. It’s her choice as to whether she wants to tell all of why, but the important part is that she is not just another pokegirl. She’s a Hunter, like Aella. She has urges, and I’d just encourage them.”


         Rein nodded slowly. “I can understand why leaving the two of you alone would be a problem. Albia, are you willing to talk to me for a bit?”


         Albia sighed and shrugged. “I don’t see why this is necessary, but I get it. I’m not without self-control. I’m not just going to go start murdering my family on a whim.”


         “But you might murder strangers.” Rein cut in, forestalling Andrew’s response. “And without the proper restraint, a stranger might turn out to have been a friend.” She glanced over and made a dismissive motion at him. “You should leave her with me for a while.”


         Andrew bobbed his head and opened the door. “I will. I’ve got some things I need to discuss with Lyn, so I’ll leave you to it.” He looked over and gave Albia a reassuring smile. “You’ll be fine.”


         He quietly closed the door as Albia started arguing and sighed. Why couldn’t things ever be easy?






         “Did you hear about the rewards?”


         Lucina twisted around and blinked. “Rewards? Melody, what’s she talking about?”


         Ann rolled her eyes. “If I’m talking to you, you can just ask me, cat.”


         Lucina smirked and continued staring at the bored Wet Queen. “Eh? Melody? What’s she on about?”


         Ann snorted and leaned back, allowing Melody to enter the conversation. “The rewards for the combat tournament.” Her soft voice drifted through the empty stands. “The reward is free time.”


         Lucina grimaced. “Free time? Really? We don’t get enough of that shit already?”


         “Not Aella free time.” Ann called as she stared at the ceiling. “Free time with him.”


         Lucina’s eyes widened. “Really Ann? How much? When? Who gets it?”


         “That got your attention, didn’t it, you git.” Ann glanced down at the excited Shadowcat. “In case you’d forgotten, you placed last. If you get any, it won’t be much.”


         “Neither of you won a round either.” Lucina growled back. “So why don’t you come off your high horse and realize we’re all in the same damn boat.”


         Ann watched her for a moment before returning to staring at the ceiling. “There are five of us in the lowest reward bracket.”


         “How much?”


         “Two hours, spent however we’d like. The other four that at least had a win get four hours, and from there it just gets stupid. Our beloved Alpha gets three whole days to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants. As if she doesn’t pull that shit already.”


         “At least it won’t feel different than usual.” Lucina grumbled.


         “Aella won. She deserves it.” The two turned to Melody. “It only proves that we all need to be stronger if we want the same privilege.”


         “He doesn’t play favorites.” Lucina snapped.


         “He tries not to, but he does.” Melody smiled softly to take the sting from her words. “Lucina, your battle performance was abysmal. It really showed me how weak you are. You lean on your special power, but it doesn’t help you when it matters. All you are is a parlor trick. Until you change that, there won’t be as much time for you.” She sighed when she saw Lucina’s face growing red. “I’m little better. I’m weak. But I want to be strong.” She clenched her fists tightly. “I will become strong.”


         “Like them.”


         All three turned to see Cristina walking towards them, the Ophanim clad in casual clothing. “Like those two in the ring, yes?”


         The pokegirls shifted to let Cristina sit down, Lucina hesitating before bobbing her head slightly. “Beta. Weren’t you spending the day with your mother?”


         “She’s resting after our tour.” Cristina shrugged and nodded at the ring. “What are they up to?”


         Ann turned and watched Fu parry another attack from Constance. “Fu is angry that she was unable to hold out against Aella. Constance is angry at how weak she was shown to be. They’re both working to be stronger.”


         “Oh? And how are they doing that?”


         “Fu is training her Ki.” Ann replied, watching the Warvern’s aura as it flowed around her body. “And Constance is trying to create something new. Something she said would help her win at close range.”


         “Hmm.” Cristina nodded. “Those are good things for each of them to be working on. What about you? What do you think you need to change?”


         Ann started before grimacing and turning away. “I lost control of my ice.” She muttered. “I will make it so no fire type can melt me again.”


         “I need more stamina.” Melody continued before Cristina could ask. “As soon as I fought hard I burnt out.”


         “I agree.” Cristina glanced at Lucina. “And you?”


         “Tsk.” Lucina sneered. “I was unlucky. I fight from the shadows and both of my opponents were strong against that strategy.”


         “We were more than strong against ambush.” Cristina replied seriously. “We were stronger. You need to train your strength, so even in a situation where you cannot hide, you can still fight.”


         Lucina glared off into the distance as she fought the effects of Cristina’s aura and failed. “Just-“ She sighed and turned back to her Beta with a defeated look. “Thank you, for the advice. How should I start?”


         “You will never be as strong as me, or Fu, or Shamira.” Cristina replied. “So while I think you need to train physically, the place you are most lacking is your psychic ability. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you use a technique.”


         Lucina opened her mouth to argue before snapping it shut. “You’re right.” She growled, this time angry at herself instead of the Ophanim. “I haven’t had to ever since I was blessed. But what good would that have done? You’re a dark type. I wouldn’t have been able to touch you no matter what I did.”


         “Maybe.” Cristina replied. “But if that’s your weakest matchup, then you need to find a way around it. No member of this harem should ever feel like she can’t stand up to another. The tournament showed Aella and I that there are quite a few who are either behind in their training or do not have that mindset. It will change.” She looked over to the two slugging it out in the ring. “I suggest all three of you follow their example. Otherwise, we will be ‘guiding’ you where you need to go.”


         She let the words hang in the air for a few moments before standing. “Well, I need to find Nami. You girls have fun.”


         There was utter silence as she walked out, Lucina only daring to speak when the Ophanim was long gone. “Do you two…”


         “I… I think we should do what she said.” Ann whispered fearfully. “Gods, she scares me.”


         “Our Alpha can beat us to the ground if she wished.” Melody murmured. “Mistress Cristina is the one she trusts to keep from needing to.”


         The three looked at each other before abruptly scattering to their pursuits.





         As he passed Aella’s bedroom Andrew paused but kept walking. She was probably still out showing Camiel around, and if she wasn’t, he could catch up with her later.


         His walk took him down deeper into the cave system, past the finished area and into the current construction. Lyn had claimed one of the deep caves for her research, and after a few minutes of moderate rock climbing he stood in front of the heavy wooden doors that marked her laboratory.


         Almost everyone would have to knock and pray that Lyn felt like opening the door. A few held the key to the seal, and only two had the knowledge to break it and enter on their own. Lyn was one of them.


         Andrew had never been given the key, nor allowed to knock. He had to find his own way in when it was closed.


         He sighed and stared at the magic circle that covered the large double doors. “I’m really not in the mood today.”


         The magic didn’t budge.


         Andrew sighed again, more annoyed this time, but carefully lay his golden hand against the circle. A minute passed as he felt the flow of the spell, finally finding what he was looking for.


         With a defeated growl he removed his hand and gently tapped his foot against the bottom of the door. Instantly the circle vanished, allowing him to push inside.


         Lyn was facing away from him as he entered, the Archmage hunched over a length of metal. “Well done.”


         Andrew pushed the door closed behind him. “Really? If I had clumsily run into the thing I would have gotten the same result.”


         Lyn giggled and finally turned to look at him. “You stopped tripping the day I added a defense spell to the seal. If you didn’t read my language and realize I had reversed the defensive clause, you’d have never gotten in.”


         Andrew grunted and collapsed on the bed Lyn had set up. “I came down here to ask about the enchantments we talked about.”


         Lyn shrugged and turned back to her workbench. “Moving through them at a decent pace. I’ve finished the important ones, the headgear. It’ll be a while before I have the utility items made.”


         “And the research on merging magic and technology?”


         Lyn glanced back at him. “I’ve taken my prototype and made a rudimentary magic battery. I’ll be working with Ishara to fit it to the helicopter sometime next week.”


         “Good. I want your redundancy to be absolute before we fly another sortie.” He closed his eyes. “We were forced to take you and over filled the roster on our incursion to India. The situation Cortney intercepted was over by the time we got there, we weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunity, and while we were gone everything went to hell. I’m not making that mistake again.”


         Lyn nodded slightly. “I don’t like letting you go somewhere without me.”


         “And I don’t like letting any of you go somewhere without me either. But I do, because I know there are times and places where I’m not going to be a help.” He opened his eyes and rolled over to look at the Archmage. “Pretty soon I’m going to be indisposed nearly every day. So when a strike team needs to take the helicopter, and you’re stuck taking care of me, they need to be able to operate on their own.”


         Lyn frowned. “Why would I be taking care of you? Has something happened?”


         Andrew rolled to his feet. “Something’s been happening. Ever since we laid our dead to rest something has been happening. Voices, compulsions, visions. For a while I’d find myself somewhere in the forest or on the plains with no memory of how I’d gotten there. Thankfully the court has been making sure I don’t get in trouble.”


         “Like you had no control over your body.”


         Andrew flinched. “It’s not like that again. I’d know if someone was still leeching on me. But something within me is changing, and I’m afraid it’s going to go out of control somehow. I have all of you to worry about, and now I even have this thing on my hand. A piece of magic that was created from both of us and which I swear is sapient.”


         “As far as Daria and I know, your innate magic shouldn’t be destructive.” Lyn murmured. “There is an extremely slim chance that you’ll be able to do anything to hurt us, or... whatever it is.” She glanced at the gauntlet. “I remember it talked to us, didn’t it? Or was that just you?”


         Andrew shook his head. “That was me, I think, or whatever part of me was still stuck in the ring. But after that happened I started taking a better look at myself to try and control the damage. The bitch killed off a lot of the unhealthy parts of my psyche, but even after I put myself back together there were voices. I’ve isolated most of them, but one I couldn’t...” he gazed down at his hand. “The one I couldn’t didn’t sound like me. It didn’t sound like you. It was something else, something new, and it was scared. It sounded like a child, Lyn.” He looked up at her. “I’ve got ideas about what it might be, but they make no sense. Everything I think of says it’s alive, and we made it.”


         Lyn winced. “On the helicopter, you said...”


         “Yea.” Andrew stood. “Because the scared, alone voice only lasted for a week. These days it doesn’t bother me as much, but when it does say hello, it sounds like it’s older. It’s still scared sometimes, but it knows I’m not trying to remove it like I did at first. This morning... this morning I had an exhausting psychic session with Albia. I think somewhere in the chaos I met it. It’s alive. This wasn’t like a premonition, or a warning. This is happening now, and I need to understand it.”


         Lyn sighed and stood with him. “What do you want to do?”


         “If you have no idea what we’ve done, I need to ask Daria.” Andrew shrugged. “I know she’s had more experience with magic than any of us combined.”


         Lyn blinked and a small smile tugged at her lips. “‘She’?”


         Andrew grimaced. “Shit.”


         “She’s been asking.” Lyn started.


         “Lyn, this is not your fight. Drop it.” Andrew rubbed his eyes. “Yes. The Vampire that lives with us and who cooperates with Kuu to keep us safe is a pokegirl. But he didn’t always have that body. I can’t do it.”


         Lyn gave an unconscious shrug as she pushed past him to open the door. “I’m sure you felt the same way with Adria and Aella.” She shoved, sending the heavy wood slamming against the cave wall. “Which means all that you did was fake, right?”


         Andrew was left standing alone when Lyn teleported away. He stared angrily at the spot she had vacated for a few moments before exiting himself, allowing the door to swing shut again.


         Adria was... had been special. She had no other option but possess him. It was just an experiment, creating the item that changed his gender. Just an experiment. Using it for Aella was just a coincidence. An accident.


         Andrew slowed, staring at the half finished walls without actually seeing anything. Had it been? He had changed Adria’s name so that he was more comfortable with her living in his body. He’d never had a plan to force her out.


         He winced. It might have started as an accident, but if that had been all it was he’d have stopped after the first night. He probably wouldn’t have ever cooperated with Adria to make her item. He’d have never repeated the experience with Aella. If it had all been an accident, he wouldn’t still have the skin stored in his room. It wasn’t an accident. It was an excuse. He’d… cared about her, and had pushed past his inhibitions to make her happy.


         Did he care about Daria too?


         He was startled out of his reverie at the sound of rock falling. He glanced up to see a small rockslide cascading down the floor, closely followed by two figures.


         “Afternoon Sir!” Constance called, her feet scrabbling for purchase as she slid. “Gah!”


         Andrew lunged forwards as the Tank Vixxen tripped, barely managing to keep his own footing in the loose rock as she impacted. “You alright?”


         “I’m fine!” Constance quickly climbed out of his arms. “Lyn said you’d been down here a while, so we figured we’d come make sure you were alright.”


         Andrew blinked and glanced between Constance and Daria. “A while? It’s been a few minutes.”


         Daria glanced at Constance before turning to him. “Lyn came and found me over half an hour ago. I went and waited by the storerooms for you to arrive, but figured I had missed you until Constance showed up as well. Is everything alright?”


         Andrew was forming a response when he realized he was staring at her bust and quickly pulled his attention to Constance. “I was daydreaming a bit, sorry. Everything’s fine.”


         “Well, I’d like to get back up to the main area.” Constance scrubbed her hands against her arms. “The caves are too damp for my fur.”


         “Good idea.” Andrew started to step forward but had to stop when Daria slid in between him and Constance.


         “Go ahead.” She addressed the Tank Vixxen. “Lyn said it was important he talked to me quickly.” She grinned over her shoulder. “Besides, I like the dark. I’ll make sure he gets back to you safely.”


         Andrew started protesting as Daria turned back and was unable to see the look she gave Constance. The Tank Vixxen shrugged and started picking her way back up the hall. “Don’t take too long. I’ve got something exciting I want to show you, Sir.”


         “Damnit, Constance, no!” Andrew shouted, scrabbling to catch up to the fleet footed fox before falling face first into the floor.


         Daria waited for him to recover before reaching over to brush the gravel from his clothes. “So what’s going on? Lyn was very vague.”


         “Before I say a word, you need to back up.” Andrew replied, staring away from her. “Act coy, lie, do whatever you think you need to do to keep me distracted but please, back up.” He waited. “I know what else Lyn talked to you about.”


         Daria slowly lowered her arm and took a step back. “Alright.”


         Andrew glanced back and finally turned to look at her. “I think we need to have a conversation about all that. But first I need your advice.”


         The Vampire nodded and folded her legs underneath her so she was sitting in midair. “I agree. So, what is this thing Lyn claimed you had? Something to do with your gauntlet?”


         “What are the types of sentient magic items?”


         Daria blinked. “Well, there are a few categories I use. Rampant items, which are items that have been corrupted in some way so their magic acts on its own. Usually they act based on very basic rules or goals, so I don’t really classify them as sentient. Then there are prison items, which have a spirit or some sort of consciousness contained within them, usually by force. And rarely I encounter conduits, items that hold an actual piece of a mage’s magic power. These can be as simple as a door knocker that speaks with its master’s voice, or as complicated as a lich’s phylactery.”


         “I see.” Andrew raised his hand. “When Lyn evolved she poured everything she had into my armor ring. At the time, a large portion of my consciousness had been more or less trapped inside the same item. For an instant, our full magic power was existing within the same housing before I managed to fight my way free. Do you think that would create a conduit?”


         Daria looked at the golden gauntlet with an expression of undisguised curiosity. “I’ve never encountered something like that before. It likely would leave a piece of each of your powers inside the item, but the amount of energy that would have been released... it’s no wonder the little ring couldn’t handle it.” She floated forwards. “You wouldn’t be asking about these things without cause. What is it saying, what can it do?”


         “I was asking because I didn’t think I had an enchanted magic item.” Andrew replied. “Do you remember what you said back in India?”


         Daria frowned as she thought. “About... oh, how powerful mages can easily create something by accident?”


         Andrew nodded. “When Lyn pulled back, and I escaped, I think we each left a piece of ourselves in the gauntlet. But not pieces we needed, or even could take back. I think we created something new.”


         “There... is precedent.” Daria muttered. “Homunculi, artificial beings of magic infused by a mage into a body. Usually alchemists need a living thing in the first place though, for it to think for itself. Unless... maybe you’ve created a djinn?”


         Andrew frowned. “A what?”


         “Djinn, jinni, genie. A powerful magic spirit. You’ve never heard of them?”


         “I’ve heard of genies, but that was from cartoons.” Andrew chuckled. “The genies in the lamp. ‘You may have three wishes’ kind of thing.”


         Daria laughed. “I’ve heard of those stories too. No, djinn aren’t really like that. I’m sure a few are powerful enough to grant wishes, but really they’re beings made of magic that usually don’t interact with us. They have to be summoned, often to be used as a power source for a ritual, or a slave.” Her smile faded. “They’re living beings, same as you or me, and yet my colleagues would siphon them until they were gone, just to affix a certain rune or catalyze some reaction. It’s no wonder they’re hostile.”


         Andrew nodded slightly. “I would be, if I thought I was about to die.” He hesitated and looked at his hand. “The thing in my gauntlet was scared I would kill it, too.”


         Daria sighed. “It’s always been a question in the creature circles how djinn are born, or if they’re sapient as we know it. As far as I know they never found the answer to the first question, but they are sapient, without a doubt. I’ve held conversations with some lesser djinn, even though neither of us spoke a word. If you’ve created one, it would make sense. Two magical energies clashing and combining to make a new one.”


         “For simplicity’s sake, let’s call it a djinn and assume it’s sapient.” Andrew continued. “What should I do?”


         “If it’s a separate entity, a djinn, your gauntlet would be a prison type item.” Daria replied. “Since it’s holding the being within itself. At that point... it’s attached to you, isn’t it? The gauntlet.”


         Andrew nodded.


         “Then I’d say you had better make friends with whatever it is, because it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.”


         Andrew grimaced. “Thanks. At least I have an idea of what it might be.”


         Daria nodded slightly. “If it was really born from you and Lyn, there is a very good chance that it will be friendly towards you. I’d introduce yourself as soon as you can.”


         “I already have. It’s still young, acting like a small child. Quiet, not yet able to really hold a conversation. But it’s growing very quickly.”


         Daria smirked. “Sounds like you and Lyn had a baby.”


         Andrew groaned and closed his eyes. “Don’t say that. I’m not ready for kids, and if the others hear that term they’ll all want some of their own. It won’t matter that the ‘baby’ is a magical being that lives in my hand.”


         When Daria didn’t respond he opened his eyes, taking a half step back when he saw how close she had hovered.


         “I think now is a good time for that conversation.” She muttered. “I was told the risks beforehand.” Andrew shivered at the look in Daria’s bright red eyes. “I convinced myself I would be happy no matter what the outcome.”


         “Please don’t.” Andrew whispered. “I can’t do this.”


         “You can.” She snapped. “We’ve joked for months, but we both always knew that if I meant it, you’d accept.” She floated closer, her face almost touching his. “Vladimir Roth is dead. I share the memories of that person but this body has changed me. Have you ever wanted something, wanted it so badly that you feel like you would rather die than be without it?” Daria blinked at his discomfort and floated back slightly. “A normal pokegirl wouldn’t be able to resist as long as I have. This compulsion, this... sickness. It disgusted me.” She coughed and Andrew was shocked to see tears in her eyes. “When I still held onto my humanity the urges disgusted me. With Kuu, with Aella, I could pretend. But it wasn’t enough, because these bodies weren’t designed for it to be enough. I’ve felt myself slipping into the feral state, and that feeling terrifies me more than anything else. More than my anger and disgust at what I feel, every day. More than my despair when I think of what I have lost. More than any of that, I… I’m afraid of really losing who I am.”


         Andrew shook his head. “I can’t do it.”


         “You certainly can. But you won’t. Why? I know it’s not the way I look, since I’ve caught you staring enough times. I know it’s not fear, since you freely lay with the Sharptits when she’s more likely to rip your head off than I’d ever be. So what is it? Why am I not acceptable for you?”


         “I set a condition before you came with us, that I would not tame you. You would have to find your own way to not go feral. You readily agreed then, so why has that changed?” Andrew frowned. “I’m not perfect, but I hold myself and others to their promises-“


         “Promises don’t have to last forever.” Daria interrupted. “They only have to last until neither person wants to keep them. And I had no idea, no way to know how this fucking disease would warp my mind. You have no clue the amount of self control it is taking for me to hold this conversation with you.” She winced, the tears dripping to the floor as she clenched her fists. “It’s nearly unbearable, how everything I think of is overshadowed by this... this ache. Having sex with the others eases it, for a day or two, and in those hours I feel like myself again. But it comes right back, pounding, begging, until I feel like I’m going to go insane from the pressure. None of the others have to feel this way. They all love you, and you love them. It keeps them sane. I’m dangerous, not just a weapon but an infectious one. And I’m. Not. Sane.” Andrew flinched when she turned her gaze back to him, a fraction of the emotions she was holding back bleeding through her resolute eyes. “I will not lose myself. I, I refuse to lose myself. I’m dangerous enough when I’m in control, so I’m not going to unleash a monster on this world.” Her face set. “I am asking you for help. Save me, or I’m going to eventually break or find a way to stop myself.”


         Andrew took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. His inhibitions, his experiences, everything he knew at war. But it didn’t change what was right. Uncomfortable or not, he knew what he had to say.


         “Alright.” He gestured at Daria’s eyes. “You’re looking kind of out of it, how long has it been since you last tamed?”


         Daria took a shuddering breath. “Long enough that you saying ‘alright’ nearly was too much for me to resist.”


         “Go take the edge off.” Andrew turned and began picking his way back up the passage. “Like you said, you’re dangerous. I trust you to control yourself, but I’d rather you didn’t accidentally infect me.”


         “Thank you” he heard, turning around in time to see Daria slip through the ceiling. Pausing, he returned to his thoughts. What Daria had described matched his first experiences perfectly. Unease, disgust, and a resigned acceptance. But he’d had the option to go back. Daria didn’t.


         Sighing, he closed his eyes and relaxed, forcing the old memories to fade and the recent image to take over. After a few minutes he opened his eyes again with a morose smile. He’d never forget about who Daria had been, and eventually he hoped he could reverse what had happened. But for now, what Daria... what she had said was true. Right now, she was a pokegirl, and she needed a Tamer just like any other.


         He grimaced and shook his head. “Just when you think life can’t get any weirder.”







Smoke Devils Chain of Command

Col. Andrew Ranger

(Tech Ops) Maj. Cortney

(Strike) Maj. Aella

(Logistics) Maj. Lyn

(Advisor) Cpt. Nevaeh

(Defense) Cpt. Kuu

(Beta) Cpt. Cristina

(Medic) Cpt. Gale

(Council) Cpt. Rein (Ret.)

GySgt. Constance

1stSgt. Fu

GySgt. Ishara

SSgt. Nami

SSgt. Shamira

Sgt. Lucina

Sgt. Ann

Sgt. Melody

Sgt. Yang (Ret.)


Cpl. Furia

Cpl. Nova





Daria – Vampire




Aella – (Hunter) Shinryu – Alpha

Cristina – (Blessed, Fiendish) Ophanim – Beta


Cortney – (Upgraded) Videogirl

Fu – Warvern

Lucina – Shadowcat

Nami – Sharptits

Constance – Tank Vixxen

Gale – Night Nurse

Shamira – Goldina

Nevaeh – (Blessed, Fiendish) G-Splice

Melody – Wet Queen

Ann – Ice Empress

Nova – Blazicunt

Furia – (Fiendish) Wolf Queen

Rein – Myobu

Ishara – Romanticide

Kuu – Elfqueen

Lyn – Archmage

Yang – Nereidame

Camiel – (Paragon) Archangel

Albia – (Hunter) G-Splice












Matías Miller – Human

Clara – Tengal

Jessie – Sword Dancer