49 - Lead To A New Beginning

I can't be sure from this distance, but...the odds are tiny. Not even tiny. Not even bad-fanfiction-convenient. It'd take the kind of luck you need to pop out of Limbo fuck on a rafter during a stellar event that brings all of Rl'yeh Sade to the surface and out of all those trillions of people hitchhike what just happens to be your prophesied new girlfriend and her seedling who are even bigger nerds than you are and even so happen to also like Bungie and Nintendo and motherfucking fake chocolate creme-filled cupcakes and who knows what else.

In other words, it's definitely going to be monolith 66.

"Alright Klapta that's where we're heading. You guys coming, Lucy and Lyra?"

I burst my wings open proudly, then droop when I consider that they're not even fusion rockets let alone warp drive, and we've got at least a couple of AU to cover.

"You can fly on your wings if you want tastycake but it'll take you a decade to get halfway to the planet. Here, let me give you a ride how we did it in playworld! Klapta, you remember that day we sailed to the starport, yeah?"

"Of course I remember! How could I forget the first day I played Kiteship!"

SWEET! Mommy I read about Kiteships while I was making your game they use sails dipped in paint made from the scales of a fish that exists in all different worlds at the same time to find winds that're moving so fast against each other they can go faster than even warp engines can take you. I guess sis can make that if she can make verterium cortenide and dilithium.

That is so cool I'm glad we're not talking because this way I'm already speechless.

Isht Visht transforms in front of us, sprouting spars and hardening her skin in sea-green planking with iron straps holding it firmly together until she's transformed into a small open boat with spars sticking out of the sides beamwise and a stubby bowsprit. Ropes connect to sails that explain why you call it a kiteship--one floating in space above her, and one hanging down below.

Those wings can maneuver you in zero-g, right snugglebutt?

Nod my head snuggly Mommy breasts hehe nuzzle back of my head on you.

Let's go--I was going to let go of her, but why? I don't need my hands to fly, and I like where they are right now. I give Lyra a little grope instead and flap.

It's as natural as walking to flap over Isht Visht's new shape where Rada is already on board doing something sailorly with ropes.

"Get in, girlfriend!"

"If you call me girlfriend I'm going to try to kiss you."

Proud of myself for this line, I flap us the last little way and realize at the last second that Rada standing in Isht Visht's cockpit means it has gravity, and barely manage to land on my feet and set Lyra in front of me. The boat is small but big enough for decking and a little room to move in the cockpit, maybe 25 feet including the bowsprit, but a lot of the space is taken up by rigging and winches to reel the sails in and out.

"Haaah really!?"

Her blush and bashful face and the naked way she says it after being so invincibly controlled can only have one reason.

"Game took your clothes off?"

Past the framing of Lyra's horns at the bottom of my vision, she nods with her eyes down, then just sort of stands there, rope clutched in her hand. I give Lyra a last groping squeeze and take her hand, move her beside me, cross the step between me and Rada.

Unf squish. Hold Mommy's hand aww!

She looks up at me and drops the rope as I approach, glances at Lyra, and puts her hand on the lever that controls the winch she's nearest.

"I'm never not with her. You're like that with Lyra, yeah?"

To make the point clearer, I let go her hand and wrap my arm around Lyra's waist.

That's right I'm here always Mommy and me are inseparable.

"Let's decide now. You don't get me without Lyra and I don't get you without Isht Visht. Whatever we do together, they'll be part of as much or as little as their owner wants, and we never feel bad for involving them. If you feel like we feel, you guys are part of each other. I may as well ask you not to bring your arm."

Awww I love you too Mommy! I don't want to be inconvenient, I can wait--

You think this rule is other than totally selfish on our parts? You're going to be touchy and snuggly while we kiss.

Rada's face lights up and she bounces, excited.

"Yeah! Exactly! I'm deciding that with you! I want my Klapta here while you kiss me if that's what you're doing. Please would you wait while she changes?"

"I'm not about to try to get out of what I just said by rushing you."

"Thanks! Klapta, you heard me, get out here in maiden-form."

"Bwahaha like the bra sis?"

"Be polite, cocksleeve--ooh! Rada let's take it all the way. No please and thank you when it comes to wanting them part of things. We assume."

"Then Klapta get out here and sit by my feet and reach up and pet my--sex--while Lucy decides if she's going to kiss me and keep going until she's done with me."

The lever Rada's holding distorts like the start of Lyra's shapeshifting and become Isht Visht's hand and her body starts to form, separating itself from the winch like she's carefully climbing off a cock that's been inside her.

Cocksleeve, you need a Popsicle snack. You know where to find it. Don't make me cum I think, it's been too many since I stuck it on my mound and pounded you and I want motivation.

Hell yes clitsnacks! Zzzzip purse between us carefully...reach inside...unf there your clit is and bring it out and liiiiiick.

"Oooohooh..."

Isht Visht takes her place at Rada's feet and reaches up to caress her, and Rada's mouth (how did I never notice how cute it was) O's with the pleasure and her eyebrows scrunch and her whole face goes into it like mine does now when Lyra--wait.

"Until she's done with me...is your game making you submit to me!?"

"I have to wait for you to initiate and I can't even ask or seduce yet! It says it's just temporary but oh my god Lucy I feel so frustrated! AAAAH!"

She bounces herself frustratedly, clearly forced by her game to express it like I might, then gasps risingly as Isht Visht gets to woooooork whoah good job cocksleeve.

Bwaha llliiiiiick...

If her game is doing it now I'm meant to have fun with it. I've learned that much about them.

"You can obviously respond though."

I cross my free arm under my breasts to push up my cleavage.

"How's the idea of feeling me up sound?"

"YES it makes me feel tingles to think about!"

Tears stand out in her eyes and her face is a confused mix of lust and joy and terror and suddenly I get what her game is doing to her.

Demand a full refund of her passion fruit taking. She has to be the virgin now, and in this one particular incredible weird singular experience I'm more experienced than her.

"My girlfriend is definitely allowed to grab my breasts."

"I have to respond I can't just reach out and grab you! Lucy this feels like I'm dying all over again! How can you take this!? I want you so bad!"

Hearing that from her feels unexpectedly good. Means something.

I lean down a little to make my cleavage more enticing, then let it go to take her hand from her side and put it straight over my nipple, and palm her fingers to make them start squeezing just in case her game won't let her do that--her hand finds its way deftly all over my nipple, squeezes and explores my softness--

Cleavage so pretty wait for Rada touching and SLURP!

I gasp with a sound like slide-whistle descending as Rada and Lyra both have at me with perfectly synchronized timing.

"Feel me up and enjoy yourself while I kiss you. Anywhere your hands want to go. Do you need to be told to be able to kiss back?"

I sound like I'm already fucking. It's amazing how much it feels good express it to Rada this way.

"If you kiss I can kiss back I just can't ask or seduce you to do anything not even things like having ideas about where we go next!"

Enough. I lean in and kiss her, press her mouth open, meet her tongue aggressive and probing nothing like the submissive hunger--

Hehe hungry yes lliiiiiick...

"MMMmmffff..."

Her kiss is nothing like Lyra's, and the fact that I think that and know she's probably thinking the same about my kiss is why this relationship can work for us. I can feel in her kiss that her heart doesn't and never can belong to me, and I guess that my kiss must say the same thing to her from the way she responds to me. Her mouth still feels smells and tastes awesome, and the way she can use it is wonderful. Her lips are soft lines of pleasure tracing their way across my fuller and larger ones, and knows where to bite lick and nibble to make my mouth tremble to hope she'll keep going and making me feel good. I'm going to sit down and practice makeouts with her for hours. What hard work it will be, especially if Lyra is helping like she now.

When I open my eyes to peek at her beautiful face, she's doing the same to me. I keep mine open. Hers narrow in pleasure and she exhales--

Synchronize with me sis!

Liiiiiiick!

GREAT IDEA SIS! Are you making Lucy cum or is it just teasing?

Just teasing how about you?

Same.

My kiss half turns into a grin as I hear their exchange, and Rada and I break into giggles, too silly to keep kissing right away.

"Good job Cocksleeve you just made us happy I think."

"You did Klapta that was CUTE!"

Her reaction to Isht Visht is genuine but she looks like she'll die to have given it that way.

"It's like having no skin except it feels sexy like being naked, isn't it."

Cocksleeve, pause a sec. Keep your sister appraised.

Hey sis I'm pausing and I'm supposed to let you know.

"Yes oh my f--aaah! It's like that! Klapta you're stopping put your hand down."

"Is your game not letting you swear!?"

Of course there's no way to keep the amusement out of my voice, which makes me feel like a j--slip.

Huh?

Knowledge: jerk is masculine term in my personal gender vocabulary. Try using bitch to replace it.

Oh my god. I feel like a bitch now.

"Your game just did something to you to distract you! What happened I'm curious!"

"I'm naked like you are now obviously and I felt like a bitch for being so condescendingly cuted that you can't swear except I tried to think I felt like jerk which apparently I'm not allowed because that's too masculine a way to think of myself at least to me."

That's all of the sentence that will come out. The apology I wanted to give slips off my clutch so completely I barely know I've been kept from giving it.

"--and now it won't let me apologize!?"

"No that makes sense Lucy I can't control what I sound like and if you can't either you can't be expected to apologize for having a feeling and then not having the power not to express it! This is so scary what if I hurt you--"

She pauses.

"My game just made my voice stop to show me it can make me shut up before I give you hurt feelings. Yours does the same thing for you, yeah?"

I nod, look at her hand forgotten (by her anyway) on my breast, and lean in to kiss her lightly.

"Do you really want me so much as you sound like?"

"YES LUCY!"

Her face is desperately serious, urgent to be seen.

"I...in all you've experienced I can't possibly be anything special to you."

"I just really like Earthlings especially femme ones and there's just something about you...that prophecy isn't for nothing. You're gorgeously beautiful and your kisses are charming and I can't wait for sex with you but I think you don't mean those things because you believe nectar giving everyone the same beauty make each person's charms not valuable because they don't stand over everyone else but I feel the same desire and pleasure as you when I touch someone my body just tells me this gorgeously pretty human is happy to have my hands in her cleavage not that it's only just average in a world that makes everyone perfect so yes Lucy you are special to me and not just because I like Earthlings or it's easy to get my hands on you because it's really not for me right now I feel like I've died and come back as a child to talk and act like this I'm surprised I'm not just constantly crying! I want to just hide but my game doesn't let me even make plans for that. I know Isht Visht can make privacy and I can tell her to make it but then I won't be able to walk in there! If I'm standing here now and keeping my hand out to feel you it's because I'm that much determined to enjoy my new girlfriend as much as she gives me the opportunity! I know I'll have plenty of chances with plenty of people and I'm taking this one because I've been attracted in some special weird way to you since you stepped into my airlock when my Klapta was a much bigger kiteship. I'm afraid you'll think if I say this that I mean I'm in love with you because it feels not quite like that you understand I can see on your face now. Does that mean you feel that toward me too?"

"I..."

How do I feel? I bite my lip.

Like I'm falling in love, except--

Mommy you know I can take you having love for other people than me right?

Oh sweet Cocksleeve. I'm not sure my heart can do it--can anyone's? How does this even work?

Out of nowhere I'm thinking what the game picks for me. Yes I can feel that there's space in my heart for more than one love at a time--maybe it's as many as hundreds or thousands, I can't know until I try. What I'm feeling toward Rada isn't nearly the same as for Lyra, and it does feel like she says, like I feel some kind of special attraction for her, but not that I'm exactly in love with her.

"I feel the same thing you feel. Do you think it could just be knowing how the other one feels toward her seedling?"

The game lets my head go. My thoughts are a whirl.

"I think that we're like kindred spirits is the Earth phrase. People who share lots of things in their nature and have many things in common. If that prophecy worked so hard to make us companions for sleep sex and cuddles it means it's more than just being into the same cupcakes--is Lyra still going to make them I'm hungry for Earth food!"

I can see the humiliation wash over her even as her game I bet keeps her from cringing away at each of these blurted desires.

"She's going to make us so many cupcakes we'll need ten gallons of nectar to fix the stomach aches we give ourselves."

"THAT WILL BE SO PLEASURE-FUL!"

Her blurting this tips a balance in me. I've been pinned between conflicting desires--fuck Lyra, fuck Rada, make out with her more, play wickedly with the constraints her game's put on her, make some kind of attempt to like, get to know her, further enjoy the awesome feeling of her feeling me up, extract more declarations of affection from her helplessly bare heart, but if there are going to be cupcakes Lyra needs a kitchen, and if I'm right Isht Visht isn't going to be making anything you can live in anytime soon, and so the directest way to cupcakes is probably through the searing-hot curiosity I feel, can see in Lyra, and think I can tell on Rada's helpless-to-suggest-it face, and probably Isht Visht as well though she's sitting submissive and quiet: did we really land right on top of the 66th monolith.

"Alright, then let's check out that monolith. I bet it has answers for what the fuck is up with you and me, and the way this has been going there's a full kitchen waiting down there for Lyra."

Rada grins with overwhelming relief and leaps for the rope she was working with.

She lifts it over her head and throws it with an expert line-toss out into the--I'm calling this aether because there keeps being air in it. It coils out weightlessly and goes taut and she pulls at it and I shift Lyra in front of myself for cuddles and the ropes on the top sail suddenly go taut and Rada leans over the side to look at the one on the bottom and apparently it's good too because she moves to place place where the winches have handles and adjusts them so sails turn us toward monolith--

Whoah. The planet starts moving past us perceptibly, then quickly, and the scene ahead of us blue-shifts (without space dilation, interestingly, but of course the True Sea can't have relativity or it would just be one big black hole already) into the strangeness of infrared and then radio if I guess right becoming visible to our perspective. Something must be protecting the cockpit, because I haven't been blown off by my wings, or vaporized by far infrared that's now ultra-hard gamma to us.

This is insane. We'll be there in no time.

"How fast are we going?"

"Hard to say really! I just look for winds that take us there quickly!"

Isht Visht is snuggling against her while they work the winches together, and they both look exultant when they glance over their shoulders, grinning wildly, eyes glinting with a passion I didn't see the whole time before.

I feel like I'm seeing them alive for the first time.

"I THINK YOU FOUND SOME!"

Rada just laughs, and then they both let out a long yell of freedom as they adjust the winches and we go even faster.

Ahead, the world is dark, empty of radio sources or maybe there's just no way for anything to radiate on a low enough frequency to become visible light. Around us the rainbow of blue-to-red-shift making the world look even more lurid than it already did--

"Look at the end of the peak of that wave there! Somebody's flashing a signal but their lantern would have to be radio for it to be visible! I still have the game's same constraints on me. I can disobey what you tell me if I want to but I just can't do anything until anyone else in the family makes the decision. Unless Lyra's not as enslaved as I think she is that leaves you Lucy! AAAAH THIS IS SO EMBARRASSING!"

"I know how you feel, don't worry. Let's try to at least figure out what they're saying! Can you read the signal, or can Isht Visht? No, wait, Lyra, you too, do your ODN thing to it!"

The sense of raging speed and open cockpit makes me want to yell, though there's no need. I gaze up to where Rada is pointing, above and to port, to see a fuzzy-with-interference-of-long-actual-wavelength dot flashing on and off in an obviously intelligent pattern.

"Mommy I'm watching but I don't have like a packet or frame yet the bit rate is stupidly low this might take a while."

Good cocksleeve, just keep at it.

"I can't decide if I think it's a message or just like a radio tower. What's Lyra's ODN thing?"

"She can feel out data protocols the way Isht Visht can feel out languages. She's amazing, too, she used it to download a whole replicator pattern unconsciously. Aren't those hundreds of gigabytes or something?"

"So she was actually serious? She can see hard enough to know what it's bit-rate might be?"

Answer, cocksleeve, and keep answering.

"Yes Rada it feels different when it just has a simple flash-code to what this is which is packet radio of some kind I can't figure out yet. There's packets in each of the flashes but I can't get complete ones because they keep stopping before it comes to the end of them. It's like talking to someone who can't finish--"

Wait.

"See like that I just stopped in the middle. See how annoying that is?"

"Can you tell what they're saying?"

"It's too many different small pieces. I just know they can't finish a sentence so much I can't get my feelers in."

"Alright how likely is it we landed right on top of what has to be the 66th monolith and there just so happens to be a radio beacon which we'd only notice because getting in a ship like this and going stupid fast and then that radio beacon so happens to be set up precisely right to bug Lyra without her being able to figure it out? Real question maybe I'm missing something."

"Mommy there's no WAY it's coincidence! It has to be something if only because it had to be aimed for us and that wave is ten light-years from here! It would take these all ten years to get here!"

"Could that by why you can't get a sentence?"

"I thought of that but I have all their beginnings it's always the end gone. If it was just interference I'd be able to get what the language is because I'd be able to see all the parts of it."

"I'm with her then. What's the real message? We stopped before we were finished last time? Still missing a family memb--holy fuck Rada what happened to Jackson!?"

"Jackson broke up with me after you fell alseep during Star Trek."

"I'm so sorry! I hope I didn't scare him off or something!"

"You definitely didn't. He was already ready to leave and had been looking for someone to take him before you woke up from Limbo. He thought he would find an army commander like the person who lead him in Avalon, and I just wasn't that kind of a dominant. I think I was just waiting for you to come out of Limbo and he was a toy to distract me, but he didn't mind being toyed with. I guess I'm going to learn how that feels! Hey look the lantern is changing!"

The lantern's light flicks to a steady-on shine and a thin ray stabs out from it perpendicular to our course to mark out a spot on the sea opposite, near the monolith ahead.

"Okay who thinks that says anything else than 'go here to get the end of the sentence'? Rada let's go there!"

With a glance over her shoulder and the weird lopsided grin of her game's mixed joy and abject humiliation, Rada changes our course.

"Can you get anything else from it now, cocksleeve?"

Shake my head no.

"It's still packet radio but now I can't see where the packets start or finish!"

"The wierd line structure in the second part of the game-panel! Remember how the sentences didn't line up with the beginnings and endings of lines?"

"Holy fuck you guys I bet that means the lines at the top of the panel are only part of the complete prophecy! Maybe the rest is down there!"

Is this giving you a headache or anything snuggly? No--

[ Vision: industrial electric motor ]

Buzzing along tirelessly--oh. Weepy turned-on sniffle I love my little symbiote. She'll just keep going forever as long as she's plugged into her power source. But how does she FEEL?

[ Vision: kid-drawn daisy standing tall and healthy in a pretty square frame that's also a house holding it safely ]

You are so cute. Squeeze you.

Aww Mommy squeeze-snuggly!

Wait. Buzzing along tirelessly.

"Rada do you like to answer for Isht Visht with questions about her or should I just ask her?"

"Well I always enjoy making her feel like an object by talking over her head like this but it's okay if you ask her things too. I think you have a sweet friendship."

"Thanks! Is she like--okay I just looked inside Lyra to check on her and I saw an industrial electric motor to tell me she was buzzing along tirelessly, and she has a lot of Data's cool powers like superfast reading and eidetic memory. Is Isht Visht like that in any way?"

"Do you mean does she have the strengths of an object and the heart of a person? Not like Lyra but absolutely yes! Why are you asking?"

The naked pride in her voice makes me happy, and...okay body but why?

"It makes me hot that you're so proud of her. I don't know why but I like it."

"Wait Mommy are you asking to see if I'm your robot friend!? HAH NOW KEEP IN MIND JOEL CAN'T CONTROL, WHERE THE MOVIES BEGIN OR END!"

"BECAUSE HE USED THOSE SPECIAL PARTS TO BUILD HIS ROBOT FRIENDS!"

"BECAUSE HE USED THOSE SPECIAL PARTS TO BUILD HIS ROBOT FRIENDS!"

"Badada."

Isht Visht and Lyra duet the second line, and then Rada's voice is an utter, emotionless deadpan, setting all of us giggling.

"Okay cool but what the fuck would that mean? Oh! Special parts!"

"Mommy wait why would it say the same thing two ways like that? Is there more than one kind of special parts there? That's what the special parts might be right, the parts of the prophecy we just figured must be waiting? If it's saying it twice there must be something else there!"

"Oh! Why tell us now? Won't we find out when we get there?"

"Good question, Klapta. You haven't gone through the prophecy with me yet. Maybe this is just waking us up to--"

When she stops, I nudge Lyra beside me again and get close behind her and lay my hand on her shoulder--as soon as I touch it, her hand's clasp it, holds my knuckles to her cheek then turns and face me and places my hand so I'm cupping her cheek instead.

"Lucy I can't understand how you take this! It won't barely let me move! It just keeps taking control away and I'm starting to feel like a statue!"

"Do you need to be piloting Isht Visht right now?"

She shakes her head, soft and warm in my palm.

"She can handle it."

There are low benches aft of the controls along the side. I take her hand and pull her to them and sit down. At my feet, cocksleeve, but keep watching the beam.

Poing to your feet and down watching the radio beam carefully.

Rada sits blankly beside me.

"You need a hug, yeah?"

"I can't even say yes or no to that."

Her voice is a whisper. I pull her into a hug, surprised in it to see how much smaller than me she is. Even on the bridge in the tentacles, her manner made her seem taller than I was, but her game has stripped that off her. She burrows, arms up, just trying to hide in me.

Poor Rada I know how you feel right now! Mommy my game should be kind if it's feeling this bad something's happening.

She reminds me of me in my tantrums. I think she's harder to break that way than me--fuck, is she even part Fairy? Your game can modify itself for normal humans, right?

Yes Mommy it can change itself to be right for anybody I just made the first one for you specifically.

"Is it not doing things for you? You haven't seemed puppeted at all yet."

"No, I guess I thought mine wouldn't be like yours that way."

"Maybe. You're not a Fairy, right?"

"One of my grandparents is anciently related to a full-blood Fairy but I don't have the genes that I know of."

"Well, that's why it's easier for me. I didn't realize it but I felt like I didn't have a skeleton until I got this thing. Have you not been able to even get it to do stuff for you by asking?"

"Oh my sex it's responsibility. It wants me to take responsibility for needing this. I had to ask for it--"

"Okay, even my ditzy Fairy ass knows that asking for this game to play you when you're depressed from a breakup and in the process of quitting all your activities and edged to desperation so much you'll take mind control to stop thinking of getting to cum and helpless in tentacles is the precise opposite of a responsible decision. Do you really believe you chose this? Because I sure didn't choose mine. Ask your game how long it was playing you before you begged for it--"

"Since you stepped through my airlock. I really did want to keep you and everything! What was it even controlling?"

"Wait now it's telling me. It let me just live through my life while it kept waiting for the moment I would be able to take knowing what I was in for. I was already inevitably trapped I just wasn't ready to hear that until Jackson had left and Klapta and me had talked about Galaxy-class feeling empty and lonely and not having the heart to fill it like we thought we would. That was right after you were with Beverly. I had a fun time watching her rape you! Did you know she had sex you with a strap-on and your game made you fuck back like your life depended on it?"

I giggle.

"That's it? I would have thought she'd get half of Starfleet to do me while I was out."

"That's not everything--"

There'd better be more. Nothing more disappointing than finding you missed a chance to get taken advantage of so effortlessly!

Her voice cuts off, silenced.

"Okay, I guess we have to get back on task. Do you get it? You didn't choose this? It just happened to you?"

"Yeah."

It feels like there's a space where she wants to make sound and can't say anything.

"Cocksleeve, my game is relentless about letting you be my only responsibility. Could Rada's be different because she likes responsibility better than me or something?"

Look at the beam not you Mommy I have to keep eyes on it to be vigilant like you told me.

"I think if she liked responsibility either my game would decide she wasn't right to be played as intensely as it seems like she is right now or the Dreams wouldn't let it play her. Rada may I ask a question?"

Rada lifts her head up to look at Lyra, parts her lips, then lowers it, looking scared.

"Just ask, cocksleeve."

"Is your game taking control of things it's hard for you to not have and also not giving you them? Has there been anything other than Lucy I guess that's been bad because you can't even ask for it?"

"No, mainly Lucy, but what if I need to ask for help with a winch or...something I don't know I can't think like this!"

"Does it feel like can't think is mind control or are just like really scared and upset? Can you tell?"

Mommy I think I know what it's doing but I don't understand why it isn't telling you.

What do you think it's doing--unless you think it's not showing me because I need to not know somehow.

OOOOhhh yes Mommy you need to be surprised by what's happening and it can't be me who tells you.

"Um...my soul just can't stop screaming for Lucy I don't know why! The more I can't touch her the louder it gets its like having her right here and knowing we're girlfriends is so much I can't take it if I don't get to grab her and have a kiss when I feel like it! That sounds crazy I realize but I don't necessarily there's any deep dark unseen forces at play here I think I've just fallen a little bit silly in whatever this love is we have here and it's tearing my heart AAAAH GAME HELP ME I NEED LUCY!!!"

She stops, mid scream, and looks up at me with her eyes defiant and hungry. She really does want me, but it's nothing like Lyra's worshipful need.

My heart pounds, I feel cold, I reel. It's not that I'm upset that she likes me or afraid of her--anymore--but...Lyra's love is an unstoppable superfluid like cryogenic helium that can soak through the densest barrier like it's not even there. I felt like I'd been in love with her for years the instant I saw her because I had been, but I would have felt the same way the moment she implanted and been right. I can feel like worst, most horrible unlovable person in the universe and her kind worship will still get through to me.

Rada rightly or wrongly wants in, but she's human, and can't soak through the not even cracks like a creature that literally lives in the womb of my heart. If I can't open, which I don't think I can do through no fault of the speed this is happening or anything Rada did, she has to come crashing in the front gate.

Which she is now doing, and I have no idea how to process it. It's not that I even disbelieve her, just--

"It says it will help me but that's not why it was witholding. It says it was making me please you because your game negotiated a price to pay to put me through that. I'm not going to be able to do it myself yet but my game will take care of me Lucy it says your game is telling you something?"

Knowledge: Her price for my knowing just how bad she wants me is for me to be fair game for groping and petting for the rest of the trip to the monolith and six hours after we get there, and to have sex that includes an orgasm for Rada at least once in that time period. Her game and my game know I would give her that happily without being paid and it's part of the benefit to me of this to see that she'll happily pay what she went through to be able to have me for seemingly-tiny reward of the absolute knowledge I'll be there to touch when she wants me.

I nod, and sit up straighter, make myself accessible in case--

I WAS RIGHT HELL YES I THOUGHT SO!

"I--I'm not this--yes take me and I'll like it but--I'm just not this special I know you love me Cocksleeve that's not what I mean--"

Instantly, Rada is straddling me.