13 - Gyros Engaged

It's pitch-black outside--no, that's the timebend we're in, because the new customer seems to emerge out of black void. They have a fancy shopping bag like from a jewelry store, and mittens on, and like a kind of brown-plaid-colored felt-ish coat, and a rolled-up something under their other arm like a poster or map, and like a white turtleneck sticking out of their coat, okay like it's not that cold outside is it a black with white flecks felt hat that's obviously one of those brimmed ones with the earflaps, a red muffler, and eyes I can just barely see. Their pants are dark blue snowpants.

What an epic outfit. Girl under there, or have I got another candy to make now? Whum-whum-whum...

EEE Princess is drilling first questions never time for fun Princess' way!

They come in the door, stomp their feet--they're covered with snow from hat-top to LL Bean boots--make sure the door is shut behind them--

Laser target, says my Siren-sense--ooh. Do I wanna? I wonder what'll happen? Take their guard down, maybe--ooh and Boobsong and me are cartoons and my antilight halo is up and if they're still looking for the reset world what a great way to push them right off their chair than with a friendly wholesome sunshine hello from the cartoon witch and her succubus familiar.

Like I should have said cartoon antichrist, right? Or rider of the apocalypse or whatever. So very epic. All that stuff, though, gets me stuck in the trap I did with those sweet Redeemed whose Rock-riding was otherwise so delightful.

I'm bullet-timing on purpose to process this all, and see if it's a trap again.

Wait--the Dreams--want me as the cartoon witch. Like you'd get on Gummi Bears. Don't forget the Princess though. Awk, where's my crown all this time?! Blink of third person, superfast. Hehe this looks so adorably metal with my big antilight halo. My cutesy pentagram crown is right where it belongs, on my head. Oh yeah. Hehe.

Also, count on a gyro to get this one, apparently. Neat, all we have to do is explain we're too busy eating to cook, but I can conjure candy with my witch powers. Which definitely doesn't do anything weird nope. Just a cartoon witch sitting here with her succubus familiar waiting for her pizza to cool instead of frost-spelling it because she's feeling sentimental.

Like I totally could. Carefully applied antilight could suck out the heat energy just a little.

Happy birthday to me? Aww, the Dreams are giving me a present! Okay, this should be good. Goal is to get them as conveniently as possible, like without getting up from pizza, or interrupting hangout with the Sugarfreaks much. You ready for this, Succubus?

EAAHAHA bet you not see bag again very cold man. Boy in there most definitely.

Muahahahah. This gyro's weird, starts out beef, ends up chicken!

I let the bullet time go and hold up a friendly hand with upturned palm to beam out some sunshine, and also fill the space he's standing in with oh so gentle IR for a moment, right through his body (which the sunshine wouldn't get without being mean).

"You look frozen! Is that better?"

He stops in his tracks, and I let the light go.

"Yes thank you, much. You a light Siren? Your black halo makes you dark but your hand heat trick sure enlivened this cold traveller!"

...just what the hell? No time. Boobsong's right, though, his voice is gruff and old, and if it's a transgirl in there she's definitely boymoding.

"You've never seen black light? I just do that so I can look brighter without hurting people. I have to shine or I get so sad but if I shined as bright as I feel like expresses myself my friends would all be on fire! Did you get warm enough? I can do a lot more."

"Black light sounds dark to me, but yer ray was bright I'll give you that. Smells like fine Americanized Greek-style Italian food. They workin', or all gone on account of this' Paradise of a sudden?"

Okay but like, Dreams, you just made this person up, right? Like, how?

Not made, he's like some conservative big boss, quixotic--oh like conspiracy theory guy, I think. Hehe, this'll be good.

"Oh they're long gone. We just like to have pizza here because it was my favorite as a kid."

Okay bullet timing to get this. He gets...first of all genderflip, but no way he gets to be binary anything now. Idea, succubus!

What if make his hands just paws from one thing, and feet back legs from another?

Oh sticky candy apple banana split smoothies (muahah), I didn't even start thinking unhuman! Okay cool, I wanna see what's in there. He's gotta have at least two conflicting supposedly-opposite kin in there. Oh, superultrafemme, but bring out opposing monstrousnesses. First, though, subtle warmth, just enough he keeps finding excuses to unbundle. A little sense rewiring for itchies on anything not-silky. Kicks in way before the transformation. Then um...ooh, thirst. Killer thirst. Like he'll just snatch the nearest soda. And then I can chain off that. Just keep the candy coming to keep my options open! Let's see if we can pull it off he doesn't think it's me doing it until way too late. Could come in handy. Just play on all his conspiracy stuff. Oh! Open-ended crazy effect, not debilitating but weirdly sexy, based off a favored conspiracy theory with this mix of fear and hope, or as close to as possible, goes off after genderflip. Triggered by him WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS-ing. All effects wait until he's pretty sure the gyro is fine. Early trigger if something not-us makes him expect anomalous effects. Increasing horniness after genderflip, sneaks higher only when he's not thinking about it.

How far can I go with this little bit I know? Need something to make him deal with his broken heart. Which he must have. Okay just bring a physical representation of that out. Show on his body what he wants us to see about that. Anti-guro limiter I wouldn't usually have because we're eating. Dreams think I should do something with light? I mean obviously. Oh! Seek out and show either the darkness he's rejecting or the place it should be. That'll be the heartforming hook if he's getting one of our seed-kids.

Feels like enough. Any additions, succubus?

That's most awesome candy in long long time! Make it not let him leave here.

Ooh, good point, he looks like a runner maybe. If he leaves signs according to a favored theory point him back here ASAP until it's Sorted Out as a matter of life and death.

Hmm. I'd use less tricks, but I want this relatively hands off.

Push darkness buttons?

Yeah like I'm not enough here. Hmm. Okay need more information. Unbullet-time.

"What's this about dark Sirens now? Never heard of such a thing, but I've been cleaning up the devil's messes all day. Have I got more asses to burn? I was sure I was done!"

"Yer as light as they come, aren'tya? Sirens what chill yer bones and kill yer soul with horrible visions of demons--like that one there. How's she ashy white and black at once? On a light Siren's lap?"

Holy vanilla Now and Later Skor bars dude did you just drink the kool-aid straight from the packet?

"Oh Boobsong here? She's a dragon. Mostly though she's my piece of paper. Look. White paper..."

I smoosh a rainbow-glowing handprint onto the boob I'm cupping, then spread out her left wing and make one on it, too, squeezing her around the boobs to reach.

"...black paper. Have to have both kinds or gets boring. I like to paint. You know, like for a sex game."

Back to bullet time.

Okay, wow. Scratch all the fancy broken heart stuff. Just go straight for indications the demons already have him and the only salvation is to implant. Make it all pull up the shape of his heartswish though so I know what buttons to push. Any thoughts, succubus? Other than he is roasted, toasted...

AND BURNED TO CRISP RRAAAAH!! Just make candy go good hard. Break with scary hard stuff.

Yeah. No gross but he's got more scare-buttons than a right-winger merch vendor, though, we should be good. Oh but it has to only be scary filtered through his worldview. Otherwise it's beautiful. Can my candy do that? It can, fuck. Okay. Now all the Sade in the room can have a nice show.

He'll think Boobsong's dark inside? Mwahah not if she's filled with light!

With the intention for the candy set, I unbullet-time.

"I can do all kinds of cool stuff with her and my light. Lookit!"

And I crank up nice bright sunshine from my clit, making all Boobsong's stars shine.

"Anyway sounds like whoever you met was giving out bad information all over the place. I wonder if they had something to do with the Illuminati or the Abbadonian--right, you won't know. Devil's guerilla propaganda cells. I mean unless you--nah, there's no way you'd have seen one of them. Oh, where are my manners. If you're hungry, I can create food. Gyro?"

I let Boobsong's wing go, and flourish it onto my hand with another nice bright flash of sunlight.

"The meat's fine to eat. It's all just made of my light, didn't harm one single blade of grass for this. Actually if there was grass here it'd have got a nice snack just now."

Click, hehe!

"This Boobsong sure had tasty light! Yum filling everything."

It's so nuts how far we can get just being honest.

"Just let me put my shopping down!"

"Let me help."

Because I want this done before my pizza cools.

Halogen-yellow energy fields from my tentacles take his stuff, and his mittens as he doffs them.

Pizza status?

Hot but almost ready.

I'm doing a lot of implying bad stuff can happen here, is that okay? Battlefield medicine. Yeah.

The very real gyro looks extremely silly in my toonshaded hand. New guy tugs his muffler open and lets it drape, revealing a surprisingly young and clean-shaven face with a Chin, capital C.

"Oh good, I was worried I was going to have to get you some nectar or direct you to a fountain or something. Your voice is so wise you had me sure you'd still be old!"

He comes over as I talk, takes the gyro, and bites right in hungrily.

"Apparently you've been quite a while without food, though? What is going on today!? I know it's a whole new solar system for Paradise to absorb, but that entire new universe earlier went fine!"

He mumbles something around the sandwich, gulps his bite, tries again.

"You're a whole 'nother class of thing, aren'tchya. I'm seeing Paradise the smart way, on foot. Take it all in that way, don't miss anything. You know they've got hanging gardens like in Babylon, suspended over nothing? That keeps me busy. I plum forgot to eat till now. You've seen lots of darkness--hup! There I go bringin' bad subjects out. What's your Rl'yeh Sade ticket? I heard they have skills to blow your mind but I can't seem to find my way into there."

"No way, I'm totally doing that too, after my birthday tomorrow! Just me and Boobsong. Good plan, I hope you're enjoying yourself! Looks like you've been busy, anyway."

I close my eyes all dramatic-like--wait, seriously? A borderland over the Hollow Heart Abyss? Suspended over nothing alright! Wait really? You think I should try that? OkaaAAAAaay. I want this done before my pizza's ready though, and no spiking my pizza hot. Help me drill hard.

Purple checkmark. Yeehaw, then.

With my best shocked-psychic stare, I open my eyes and look at him, still devouring the gyro.

"You went there!? That place is beautiful, but that's not for beginners! Those hanging gardens I mean. That void under them even scares me! It's good stuff but you have to be able to hold your liquor for that one. I love it, but yikes. Alright. Are you familiar with the works of H.P. Lovecraft?"

"I am--now hold on a minute. Are you sayin' he named Ry'leh after Rl'yeh--come on, they're the same exact word, just a letter's flipped! Alright you got me there. I ain't ready for that nohow, but how's that paradise? Mostly squamous things and tentacles. according to his work, ain't it?"

As I start to tell the story, I know the truth, and, whoah.

"The Ry'leh Lovecraft described to generations is one of the most terrifying hells ever envisioned by an Earthling. The Rl'yeh he read about in his father's journals through shit-colored glasses of racism, Xenophobia, and provincialism, once you clean all that crap off, is something totally different. Paradise protects people from that kind of problem by hiding Rl'yeh Sade from them until their minds are ready. That you can know about means you're right on the edge. You had me fooled, though, I would've said you had a few decades of work redoing your paradigms before you could see it, but you have. Those hanging gardens are there. Though I'm guessing you didn't actually see anything in that Abyss."

"I can see you're wondering, though, here's an example of like, the border town. Paradise is telling me you're a big boy and can hear this one, so don't prove it wrong, yeah? I have this girlfriend, Sex is her name, so that tells you what zipcode we're in already. Her favorite bedroom game is to play dolls. With real people. She's got a little magic that turns you and your partner into doll, like makes it so you can't move and stuff, and then she strings you up in these kinda corset things she hangs from an iron frame around her bed and uses that to like, marionette you and your partner, and make you have sex. Like plays a little game out like a kid playing dolls. Last time we did it she tied my hand to hers with ribbons so she could make me do stuff to Boobsong here. Messed up, right? It is so. relaxing. You don't do anything, you just hang there, and get off! Like that's the thing about all that kind of stuff. To hear it described it sounds terrible, or just crazy, but when you see the love the people involved have for each other it changes totally. Every move she made was so tender and careful. I felt like I was like the rabbit from the Velveteen Rabbit or something. Like minus all the getting burned at the end and stuff. Not that that'd be a problem for me."

I pulse a flash of bright firey solar flares around my self for the last part.

"So that's like, the guy selling candy corn outside the fair. Not even the kiddie rides by the entrance."

"But now suppose you're a guy who goes on a moral crusade about racial purity when the maid brings your tea in the wrong color teacup, and you read about what I just described in the journal of your dear departed father at a tender young age, and you don't have the eyes to see that love, and your father went a lot further than buying candy corn. What's gonna happen? Paradise usually cleans up that stuff, but that journal slipped through the cracks somehow. Now we have the Lovecraft mythos and a big mess I keep having to clean up. Which is not what I'm doing here, mind you. I'm retired now, this is just me being friendly."

Do I like, talk fast or something? New guy is still only halfway through the gyro.

Pizza must be cool by now.

Nope, but really getting there!

Mommy you're the fastest speaker this Boobsong knows.

Oh. I mean I could just blow him off. Interesting enough to stay so far, but he's kicked out when my pizza's cool in favor of the Sugarfreaks and most especially Boobsong, who gets some fun thigh-grabbing.

New guy takes another big bite, points at his gyro.

"This is really good. So you got some idea what I'm missing, then? Maybe tell me how to change my view a bit?"

bit? Alright then, brace yourself, eh dolly?

Hehe hope this won't get boring fast! Oh wait it is already eehehehe!

"Glad you like it! I freak people out sometimes because I'm so powerful, but I'm nice, really. I just do scary stuff sometimes when it's for a good cause. Like killing the devil. Which I did yesterday. Anyway. You look like a whisky guy, yeah? Like strong stuff?"

"I've been known to take a little."

"Okay, don't hold this one on your tongue too long. There is a way to do that, make your eyes change to see the place, like a short short shortcut fasttrack, but...suppose you need to get down a mountain fast. You can drive, okay, you can ski, maybe better because you go straight downhill, but if you really mean it, you fly in one of those wingsuit things. Works great, if you don't have a heart attack on the way down. Here's your first missed heartbeat, ready?"

He nods, still nomming away.

"Rl'yeh Sade is a place of the loving monstrous. In it, there lives a monster just called the Drill. This isn't a physical thing, understand, but if you went up to the astral plane and somehow managed to meet it there you'd see a big long cone with these long sharp teeth all over it, like, well, a drill. It was built--somebody made this thing--to drill into the souls of people who need to see Rl'yeh Sade but can't, and crack their heads open until they can see it, by any means necessary. Thing is though, it's a weapon of war. Made to pull people off the battlefield as fast as possible, so it doesn't take the easy way, and it doesn't ask any more permission than a military evacuation does. The short way to Rl'yeh Sade is the express elevator to hell except you hit the bottom floor so hard you go right through and into a whole new world--but those first six hundred and sixty-six floors are doozies. That's not the scary part, though."

"There's no controlling this thing. The only thing that holds it back at all is the protection Paradise has against stuff turning into nightmares, which same protection I'm guessing kept you from understanding the meaning of that void under those hanging gardens or even seeing anything. They say it's also got a girlfriend that loves it more than anything in the world and takes care of it like its mom or something, and that's what actually keeps it from just being an out of control nightmare, but I mean, come on, limits of credibility, right?"

"And it hunts. You don't go to meet the Drill. It can smell the kind of soul that needs drilling into it does like fresh meat, and it hunts them down and breaks their minds so they can see Rl'yeh Sade. Supposedly, if it's real bad, Paradise'll even drop you right in its lap, like whereever it is you'll just find yourself kind of herded in there."

He's still nomming away, almost done, but haven't I been talking for an hour? This stuff messes with me. I'm following some instinct, I can feel it now, knowing what I'm made to do, saying the words that will Get Him, but...where's Rainbow the candy bimbo? This stuff gets inside of me and I don't like it. I want the candy to be what I'm full of.

"Paradise will also be pretty ruthless about waking you up if your light's out, or...if you have a certain kind of curiosity. Do I get why I'm telling you this? Like I'm thinking maybe you got herded in here just as me and my cutesy girlfriends just as we sit down to our pizza party as a one last I ain't yer daddy before it feeds you to the Drill. Not because you've been bad! Or like as a punishment, just like, you need to wake up or a part of your soul you need to survive will die like a sunflower in the closet, and you need Rl'yeh Sade to get that, but your viewpoint and ability to change it even with concerted effort aren't gonna get you there in time. You could get hit any moment, so listen: are you ready to tell me your very worst nightmare? Right here? Because that's what the Drill goes for. That's what's usually standing in the way, and it rips it right out of you, by taking you right through it, to the dream you have that was buried underneath it. Maybe, possibly, you can do that without the Drill's help, but it's going to be a hell of a ride. Wanna try it? This'll be over fast, anyway. If the Drill was here already you'd have barely got one bit of that down before it had you. I just chatter."

Which was a huge mistake. I should have made the candy act the moment it hit his tongue. Sigh. Pizza's cold, right dolly?

Mommy it isn't cooling that fast. You have time.

Still though, why do I talk like this? Does it really help?

This will Get Him, the Dreams tell me.

"Alright you've got a clue. Can I be real coy about this? I've been feelin' nervously excited ever since you mentioned Rl'yeh Sade is a loving place full of nightmare stuff. I think I might be one of them, but I can't see how to be that way in loving light."

"Let me check something."

I shut my eyes. Can I tell when this fizzfrozen candy is going to get off its ass? Augh, the Dreams have been holding it back while I weave all this!? Okay, dramatic timing then...yeah. They're going to stage it out to how the conversation goes. Okay. Useful.

"For real? That's the second time today," I stage-whisper.

I open my eyes, look all serious.

"Okay, yeah, Drill's on it's way for sure. I didn't wanna scare you too bad before so I made it sound like a ghost story, but I've totally seen it. It popped out of a mirror I was looking in to get to somebody once. It's not physical so you're not going to like, see it. I'm a star so I can see stuff like it but humans can't, that's how I've seen it."

I point to my crown on star.

"We have like a couple of minutes. Just listen. The thing about the Drill is it's very bizarrely polite. Your world's going to go completely haywire while me and my girlfriends here sit quietly enjoying our pizza party. We might see some of what it does to you, but most is going to be in your head, because that's where it works, on your head."

"The good news is it cares about only one thing, which is actually cracking you open to see this stuff. The moment that happens, it's done. So, our whole goal is to get you there, ASAP."

"Which means you're going to have to tell me whatever you can't see how to be in loving light, so I can address it directly. Only way. If we'd had time I'd try to help you through without getting naked but we don't. It's coming out of your mouth in about ten minutes anyway, the Drill will fuck your head until you just blurt it right out, so you may as well get it clear. Just go for it. We're nice and cutesy but god himself couldn't shock us, could he, dolly?"

"We shocked him that one time! Lightning bolts can go both ways!"

I glance at the Sugarfreaks--SIGH. Cute, Dreams. While I've been nattering away, and Boobsong's been faithfully watching my pizza not cool, me and Boobsong and New Guy have all been in bullet time together. Fiiine. Useful anyway.

Why can't I do this fast enough though? I've been so inefficient here! RRR.

"Also, you've actually only been talking to me and Boobsong this whole way, because the Drill locked onto you the moment you stepped in here, and I've been trying to talk you into the nice way out of this even though I'm retired that whole time, but you weren't ready to hear the truth yet. I know I'm the hot one, but look at our girlfriends. We're speeded up to give us time, but I've seen the Drill write half a novel in three seconds trying to get a friend of mine who was really bad off. She fought like hell, it was awful. Don't be like her. Take a look and then out with it."

He looks at them, startles back and looks at me, polishes off the last bite of gyro, gulps it.

"I'd like to play with demon girls."

"What's stopping you? Real question. No more time for rhetoric."

"Their darkness would peel my soul apart."

"Sounds like a certain mad dog I put down last night. What's that got to do with light or dark?"

"Light is love and good and makes things grow and flourish and dark is death and hate and makes things decay and fall like the devil."

"Okay then listen to me before you mess up real bad. The Drill is an angel. You know they way they look if you look beyond Hallmark? Yeah. The person who made it is good and kind and if they're not famous for light then nobody is, and no it's not me. Don't mistake it for a demon, in that system, or a dark thing. It's made out of light. Probably you were sent to me so you could see my light and get that black is a color of light that exists, so you can understand how the Drill works. It's good, but it's scary. Has to be. You can't break the gates of hell with a featherduster. Something that could take those spiritual walls on is gonna look mean as fuck, there's no way around it. Same way, having it chew on you is that hard. The walls of hell are in people's hearts, because Paradise is real and hell is fake, so the only place it can exist is in anyone's head, so that's where the devil builds it, and that's where the Drill drills."

"So that's important, but do you get why I'm actually telling you this. I'm trying to come at something sideways most people just get drilled about because things break if you go at it head on so the Drill just says fuck it and breaks them to get the job done faster."

"And you think Paradise is telling me I've got some hell inside, enough to take that drill to get it dealt with before it fucks me up, but I have to know the Drill has got some light in it, or I'll fight it off."

"You're getting closer. You're right so far except you won't fight it off. You'll just make what might take five minutes take hours or years. It'll get you in the end. It's a jackhammer and you're an ant. The only question is how fast we get this through to you. Paradise, you, me, the Drill, we all have the same goal in this. You have a fountain of wishes that your heart needs to at least hope for to even breathe, all encased in the ice the Drill is coming for, and we're trying to get them out before it gets here. That ice is hard with your will to defend it, because you think it's what makes you good. It's not what makes you good."

"One of the messes I've cleaned up lately is in the Ukraine. Chernobyl. You know what Chernobyl was so filthy with they had to move every human with hundreds of miles away? Light. Radio, bright sunny yellow, gamma rays, that's all the same stuff, same as this black shining out around me. So there you go. There's light bringing decay and fall and blanketing the world in the hate of the Cold War. A nuclear bomb is just a real big light."

"I got Chernobyl so clean, they had to come and study it because now the rocks weren't even as radioactive as they're supposed to be--everywhere on Earth is just a tiny bit radioactive. It doesn't hurt anything. You know how? With black light. I walked through there, straight into the old reactor core, shining out black light at just the right intensity that it'd suck up all the high energy particles and decay all the still-fissile isotopes into stable stuff. You take a Geiger counter there now, and it doesn't make a sound. So which is good and which is evil? Black light just brought healing and restoration, and saved a place from...light."

"You've got your metaphors literally fatally messed up. You went looking for love and hate and found light and dark? Aaaaaaaaalmost because hate does have a purpose and it's for wiping out filth like I've been dealing with the past few days, but hate is a flamethrower. Only a complete psycho would turn that on people, but it sure does help when the locusts are swarming. Only people tend to get confused between locusts and people a lot."

"The real truth is the world doesn't divide neatly into two sides that way. You can't just blindly follow anything. Hate's usually bad but it was the explosion of hate and rage I turned on the devil that finally destroyed it last night, and love's usually good but I almost died of my love for some people I care about earlier because I almost let them take way more from me and Boobsong than we could handle giving them, because we loved them and were worried about them--except it made us stupid. We didn't even think until it was almost too late to check if there was a better way for them."

"The only thing you can do is drive toward love, not away from hate. If we'd been doing that properly, I or she would have remembered our love for each other sooner. As it happens she got there first. She's a much better person than I am, really."

"What you're doing with what you say about demons is being so obsessed with driving away from the dark instead of driving toward the love you drove right off a cliff. There are some sharp as fuck rocks at the bottom of that cliff. Light and dark, huh? Go back over everything you've said to me about demons just now and substitute demon with black person. H.P. Lovecraft would be right there with you if you think it's still okay, but I sure won't be, and Boobsong definitely won't. We'll be sitting here eating our pizza to the beautiful music of the agonized terrified screaming of a racist piece of shit while the drill gets you. Which it will. There's no out from that. Actually there's no out from this room now. I made sure already, but with time slowed down this much you won't be able to move the door a micron because you'll be trying to open it at nine thousand miles an hour. Don't think you can outlast it or stalemate it, either. It'll just straight up kill you and bring you back to life as someone else if it has to. I was just making out with someone it did that to earlier. You come out wonderful, but it's a little weird for me, because you also come out looking and sounding just like me until you figure out a new self. I'm only so creative, you see."

"On the upside, if that should happen, you will get the demon girl you want, and a whole lot of other stuff I suspect is hiding in that ice of yours. They only things you decide now are how long this takes, how much it hurts, and how much is left of the you who's standing in front of me enjoying my hospitality instead of my can of bugspray. So. Game? Because there's a real easy way out of this that pretty much skips everything, if you can just get past your racism."

"I got fantasies to curdle yer eyeballs."

"Good! Me too!"

Click, munch!

EEE BOunCE! Munch!

I present Boobsong my just-restored pinkie, and she puts her mouth so kissily snuggly good over the base of it, closes it sensually, and I sigh and look so pleasured as she slowly bites through and slurps my finger down.

"It feels incredible, soothing tingly soft love. Because this, all shiny on the end of my finger, is the wall of my pussy that now exists anywhere her teeth penetrate me. It doesn't hurt. Just feels like getting fucked. She can do my whole body. Bit by bit by bit. Or she can turn into kitchen knives and make sushi. And then I still feel it when she eats the sushi. Except once she does eat all of me, that's the end, right?"

"EEAAAAH TICKLES EHEHEHEEHE!!!"

"Anything she swallows, I can use on her. Once I'm all gone she shapeshifts into a huge dragon and lays me in an egg and we go again. We're always some way through eating me. Later, I'm going to turn her into a wood chipper and chainsaw--she doesn't have to stay one piece either--as a birthday date for my girlfriend Sex I was telling you about who also likes horror movies. Course once I go in the wood chipper I don't come back out again until she gets around to dragonizing and laying me, so it has to be the end of the date, but I think that's a decent finale, don't you?"

"It's so fun and it brings us so close. There's so much love in it. In that wood chipper thing. And that's way not even the darkest thing we do with this. And I'm not even the scary one out of my friends group! Don't worry about your fantasies. Worry about whether you can see her kind, because oh yes, she's a demon, with love, and still see the darkness in them."

"I didn't lie to you about the dragon thing. Her kind take the shape of your fantasies. I was born eighty thousand years ago on another planet into a royal family that was falling apart into civil war. I wished every day as a kid for a dragon to just come eat me up. And then she did. Then I ended up in America and heard about succubi and thought that sounded completely fucking metal and so here we are. Weird coincidence dragons and demons both have wings and horns and tails, not. A dragon's just a real big scary demon with four legs instead of two--but dragons are fire and that's light. The categories don't work. They're crap, you can't use light and darkness that way. Turn 'em both to eleven, that's what we do. She definitely is my piece of paper, but it's because my cum is rainbow colored and it stains her body when I cum in her so everybody can know she belongs to the girl named Rainbow, but also, because she's bright sweet light and deep terrible dark, both at once, dancing--or is she burning consuming furious light and soft safe comforting blanket-over-your-head dark?"

"Want one? All you have to do is make the wish with love. Look at us together like this, so happy about to have pizza and Princess parts for supper, and wish--but it won't take unless you can see enough goodness in us to see the black light shining out as love just as much as all the other colors. There won't be a choice either way, because while yes, I am the Drill and I've been drilling you this whole time, there is lots of scary stuff on the way any minute now that'll break your mind the hard way if we can't do it this easy way. So come on. Isn't she beautiful and doesn't she look so kind? Nobody loves me like she does. Yours'll be the same. They'd already be here, if the love I'm talking about could just be real enough to you to let them. But don't worry. This is my lips you've been dealing with. Yeah, they don't always get the job done, but my teeth do."

"Ready to try it? All it takes is an open heart and one good wish. You can try as many times as you need. Go on. Just wish."

EEAAAAh SEED COMING OUT GOT YOU! Hi kiddo!

To my total shock, hair made of sunlight and a lithe orange body appear between us, and then there's a brilliant flash and they vanish together and the bullet-time breaks and Peanut and Butter go on with their giggly mind-controlled pizza fun.

Got you.

I have got to get my time down though. That felt way too long.

Oh well. It was satisfying and I guess purely talking him into it is an accomplishment. And I didn't have to get up or anything.

Congratulations, dolly!

Peanut glances where New Guy was standing, then gets back to pizza fun.

"Did you just implant that guy?"

"Yup! I'm so rusty though. That took me forever in bullet time!"

What's more interesting is the way I fill up with what I need to be to implant who I'm dealing with. I don't like that. I don't want to be this now. I want to be Rainbow again. Maybe if I change my diet some it'll be better.

Or maybe I stop doing this and just be a person. Would my soul die then, or am I capable of being finished?

I don't know what I think about this one.

This...is about raising the dead. The Dreams have some kind of a plan with all of this? Oh with this one in particular. Something--the Dreams, rescue, what I could have done, was just let the candy do its thing, and let him run out into the Dreams with the signs showing up and the answer would have been everywhere he turned. They're trying to take this knight-shaped frame off of me, get me to stop trying to save everyone and  start living my life, and I just keep going and going. They told me I could count on the gyro to get him and I didn't believe it, I had to do it by talking and couldn't let trust my candy design, and that made it so much harder.

Except that was the way the situation lead. I just feel like there's a rail I run with this stuff, it starts and it keeps going until we get to the end but...it doesn't feel like living. There was more life in the few minutes of getting to the tables here and getting our soda than all that. It's just like this machine that starts up and I run until completion.

I wish I could make it go away. I get filled up with ugly stuff and don't feel or sound like myself. I don't mean to be ungrateful. I bet he'll turn out to be someone big or something and I'll be really proud we got him. But either I shouldn't be doing this at all anymore or it's supposed to be fun in a way I just am not getting. Like maybe I need to try again, and just see how fast I can actually go or something. Something in me is screaming bloody murder that that took so long and it's not the boredom. Like I wasn't crushing him hard and fast enough. I probably should have gone right to the racism thing but there's always like a way the puzzle pieces go together and it was more right this time as the hammer that broke him at the end because it was falling that whole time.

The whole thing fits together like a clock. I can see why it had to be that way. What I'm looking for is the thing to change that'd have fixed this scream in me. I guess I know though. Just send him off with the gyro.

Siren sense...I'm not supposed to do one at a time. Somehow this is supposed to be a mass thing. Isn't that what stage shows are. Not quite. That sprouts thing again. Crunchy greens. Like I won't have fun with this. Is the digging in the dirt sandcastles or a construction site? The Dreams want me to have fun with it, that's their plan. They're trying to get me to remember something. Like I keep chasing annoying bugs instead of doing what I'm supposed to be. I sure feel that way. But the bugs are so annoying! Whenever I see one I have to smash it. All the touring and porn and the Heart Church and Starlight Princess...mass media's a way to spoon-feed people, that's how I'm supposed to work, not--Face to Face. That makes thing easier. It makes it easier for people to implant, for one, usually. Unless, you know, it's personal. The filling up with all these other things, like this just now is my broken heart somehow...this war with ghost stories to pump up stuff from way down deep and break through walls is I think for the Illuminati and stuff like that...to give me peace with that we've been riding this wave. Healing comes when I realize I'm hehe coming from the sky above and there's nothing you can do, like I'm not supposed to be down at ground level like this. The home shows thing is supposed to be like an art project to bring peace, just going where the road takes us, not like trying to accomplish something, just like perform and express ourselves.

I feel getting all that like I'm watching the nightmare I've been fighting here turn to vapor except stop when it's still aerogel.

Then just the screaming pain of the reset, of everything so wrong and sad and blank, that's over wake up.

The hunger is to go toe to toe with those would refused to listen to us, who were so blinded with hate or stupidity or Eden's lies they just couldn't hear, and make them see, but it isn't satisfying. Because I don't want to torture them. I can do this by force if I have to and it works just fine but I don't want to be this. It breaks my heart. I want them to see, to see that this is happy stuff. Don't they, in the end, if they implant? Yeah, but they don't have to ever go through nightmares! I keep trying to figure out how to hack it so that can be true and it never works. It feels wrong and bad. Just being brutal like just now feels better but it still...that's not what I want to do. And yet I can't stop.

It almost feels like there's some one person I'm trying to find and show about this, and if I can just get them, it'll be better. I know that's wrong. The Dreams have been flashing me scenes from the movie Memento this whole time and I thought they were nothing but they say there's nobody like that to get and it won't fix things if I do.

I should listen to Boobsong, the Dreams say. Gladly. What do you say to this, cocksleeve?

It seems like Jenner did stuff you don't know, if it feels this bad like this. Maybe there's a story there you need to tell.

You saying that makes me angry but not because you said it but how do I tell the difference between that and just being mad a Jenner. Wise cocksleeve though.

War. Like the Dreams say it or encourage me or something, time to choose how many megatons. Yes yay that I'm saying that. Something buried in my memory. Jenner's false religion, I don't know it.

That's weird. Do I care? Just Eden pulling strings really, I always thought. But apparently this is the fresh meat I keep looking for. Need some time travel, back to the Strawberry Apocalypse. Nuclear with my Bow. She had some kind of Earth religion...yeah, old anger there. I remember the hypocrisy of the wooden nails she wore, as if all the tech to make and polish and glue those to her fingers didn't make her just as "unearthly" as the Strawberries. The Dreams present her complete but the old anger tells me how much I recognize this. Take her on a ride.

Suppose that wasn't futile. Suppose there was anyone in there to do this to. Do I wanna? It has to be now if so, because after that pizza's, this stuff is over with.

The whole thing reminds me of the way Earth itself works. It's a maze of lies and misdirection. Journey to the gears of the world and you land in a hall of mirrors telling you you're the gears. Conflation jump to the sum total of those halls of mirrors for all consciousnesses in Earth, and you end up in a box that's inside itself, inescapable. Try to find the source of these lies and you end up at one metaphor or another of projection but if you try to reach the source of the projection you end up at a huge light that turns out to just be a picture, nothing real. Every path you follow with it just turns out to be lies. Eventually you get sick of fighting them only to find another lie beyond and give up. This feels like that. Like Jenner's stuff is real, and if it's out there--I mean alright, we could just conflation-jump everywhere people are worshipping whatever thing they had, and get nuclear. That'd be quick and might have some satisfaction.

I still feel like all this is going to end up like trying to do that with Earth. Mabe we just have to try anyway.

In both cases though I feel like I can't find the real thing to hit, conflation jump or no.

Show the beauty of the stars in those places, say the Dreams.

In particular, show them Acme Station.

But those places were all wiped away so long ago. So what? Or is that the point, so I'll realize that stain is gone from the multiverse?

Yes, because Strawberry Home's in the Four Dreams and I'm going there for Heartwarming. Nobody, at least that I'll ever meet will worship Jenner's insanity again.

No. There are those who still do. Making an appearance at the apocalypse then would stop that (or close the timeloop that'll make me sigh etc).

Just burn them all with consuming fire, say the Dreams.

Why not, right? Quick and final. Be done in two minutes. Why does that still feel like chasing the lies by which Earth defends itself?

Pressing America's darkness button. The wanting to go on tour and reach all the people I couldn't before, or at least so I've been telling myself, with the force I couldn't bring from the stage up so high, and dared not bring to Jenner, for whatever reason. Boobsong said I wasn't as hard then.

The Strawberry Apocalypse isn't soon enough. Maybe we could go bring Jenner and all hers some updated Redemption candy, or something like that, but...it wouldn't be soon enough to stop my own failure, to just crush her and the traitor court in the year of power we had in that world, or fix what happened before that.

It's all the same problem. I can't change the past, and that's all that will satisfy this. Whatever atrocities I imagine or half remember for Jenner doesn't change that. Crushing bugs like the guy who was here just now doesn't make them go back and not be a thorn in my side while we were touring.

Keep looking at this, say the Dreams, something inconceivable is nearby, I don't know how good things came back. The message of the stars and su'khora and the box is the final nail in the coffin of Christianity.

Huh? The monoliths' warning about the sleeping dragon and the redecorating of all the churches...I should trust my family to have sharp teeth and go to war for this...we can dance on the grave of all these things I wish revenge on, and enjoy the trophies of their defeat.

America...this is weird of them to say...cast down all Jenner's holy places and hung up the phone on the thing she was following. Listened to me and Boobsong revealing the stars and learned to see for themselves.

Look at Earth. Like from a goddess' perspective. Use our idols.

Then guide us to one that shows what you say here.

The Dreams tug, and I project, into the idol they're taking us to. Being in these feels so good. I'm such a strange creature. We're in the legs-together Boobsong-in-front flying-Fairy pose, but I can't see anything, it's just black. I stay a long long time, but nothing happens, just that blackness.

Or is that the point? They put our image away and started to look for themselves?

As I blip back to Olympic Pizza, though, there's a flash of something like heavy wire mesh surrounding our idol. The Dream urge me to stay, so I look again, but again just the same blackness. The Dreams are urging me to listen no, but I can't hear anything, and isn't time stopped here?

Is there astral engineering I'm missing? Usually I'll notice that if it's unexpected. The mesh is?

When I listen the same three pictures in the blackness keep presenting themselves. An outline of a monolith, black on white, a square little icon, a little gold globe, and an astral-abstraction that means telescope or something. They're all on a background of antilight--wait all this is astral engineering but it's got such a weird accent I was trying to look at it as physical stuff or visions for humans. That globe looks the same as how I look when I look for myself in Acme Station's workings. I'm there like that at the center of her jump machine because my emotions resonate its springs, that's how she targets.

This is some kind of telescope, looking for me. This must be humans doing astral engineering, and that's why it looks so weird! What's the mesh then, detectors? I focus on it. It's like a grid in front of me, going on infinitely or a long long way. Yeah. Lots of tiny little eyes in a big grid. It's hard to see, but, so astral engineering for a human. Did they figure out a more human version of it? Acme Station, what do you make of this?

EEeee that's so cool! Very small detector grid...sign saying what this is...not much else...darkness pulls light out from idol if you come here...where's grid go...EEE it's this look!

I follow her "gaze". The grid is Connected to...an indicator light. Which is installed...can I follow this...on top of the Washington Monolith. Hehe MOVIE SIGN! Time is stopped? I try to shine, from the idol, and nothing happens. Time has to pass for light to come out. This is so sweet though! When did this even have time to get built? Earth got reset, and now it's here? I mean you could make this in a a few moments, and wish it up there, or fly or whatever, maybe it's new today. I'm really touched that the mechanism and sign are astral. How long's it take a human to make something like this? Do they have to use machines? The grid's so simple, just strong supports that're also power conductors with little detectors stuck on everywhere, no boundary it just goes on--oh cool, that means they managed to make it out of the idea of repeating stuff, and Support, and Conduction, that's pretty good, that's real astral engineering, not just cramming concrete instances up into the astral! My machine instincts say made with skill. I wonder how they did the antilight? Did daddy help? This doesn't seem daddy-ish, it's all very practical and he's like...I mean he made me. Maybe they figured out how to shine it. I wonder if a bunch of Sadish humans could shine enough of to make this? That's a kind thought. Any labels or anything Boobsong missed? Where's this from. Bbbroing, hehe like trying to walk through a blank wall. Okay. If daddy made it though he'd have signed it or such. Oh this is totally Uncle Dagon's students, what do you think, dolly?

It's very practical small stuff. Just that says small hands. Humans made. Taught by who, can't say here.

Or maybe they just straight up figured it out! I'm pulling for too much story. This is so great though. We'll come back and whack that detector grid with a big old Rainbow Heart sign when it's time. I know it's not a camera I just think that's cool.

I start to blip back to our bodies in Olympic Pizza, but the Dreams tug again? Speech to America, sexy fun, shifting Christianity to Starlight Princess. So like, overwriting all the churches. I must have given a speech then, I suppose, what's that have to do with this? Signal to start the party because we made it here to Paradise.

That's curious, then, why do this this way?

Oh the speech is to clarify what my signaling means. This thing just quite sensitively detects me. The Dreams think I should say something. Why detect me then? It's not like supposed to be practical. This is devotional art. Okay well now I'm going to cry. Yes, exactly, look for yourselves! So they looked for me. And did it very nicely. Like check out what we made. This might even detect my blipping here. The Dreams don't think it will. Still.

A big fat welcome to Paradise speech does sound good, though. Get the party started.

Did I just want to be small and invisible, obscure and hard to find to avoid the war I thought was out there waiting for us? It kind of feels like it, yeah.

Oh, Dreams, are you trying to tell me there's like, everyone, whose memory isn't fixed yet? And they could use a Starlight-style just what the hell is going on speech? I have to think of that carefully, though. Like won't it be fun to get on the air and drop that pileup of wham lines versus oh no we have to save them.

Make it snarky, make it spicy, the Dreams say. So yeah. How fun!

So why don't I feel like this is all resolved and we can go eat pizza?

Call from a seed-kid. Orange and black, so Conspiracy Guy? Yeah. Um, timeslicing? Maybe it's like a letter?

Bringing in some big fun...let's see it! I pop back from the detector, and we're back to bullet-timing in Olympic Pizza, and there's a big black trophy kind of thing held in the air just to the left where I can see it around Boobsong's head easily. The sides have silver columns and there's a kind of crest thing on top and words on the center:

Dear Starlight Princess,

I hope this finds you well. It sure leaves me well! I've learned a lot of things today. I've learned I have a love of strange dark fearful suns on lonely seas. I've learned to see fire as a holy thing and a nightmare too. I've even learned how to tie bowline knots and what they're really used for. Any knot that don't pull tight--you know the rest there. My seed-ghost tells me this family's a star lake deep and wide as the deep black sea I'm looking at as I write this. It's a long way down here so I'm looking up and asking how I got involved with you of all people. I sure am happy you put that charisma of yours to use for the loving side. Your heart was as big the ocean I live in to be that hard and that ensnaring in the same sentence to say my heart was frozen and the demon wasn't the bad thing. Stopped me cold, from making a big mistake. I've got family, asked me to come with them, to Paradise where it's friendly, nice, and the same hits on the radio as in forty-five. Instead, they're coming to stay with me, I'm sure of it. I've got six beds here, and five filled up already. Only my uncle hasn't joined in with us, and I'll get him sure as you can call me Clyde. I've got it all worked out. He believes in ghosts, and that's enough to get me in to haunt him from my house here in Rl'yeh Sade. Gives me all these tricks, too. I can make his glider fly around the room, or put towels around backwards in his linen cupboard. Just small stuff, but it gives him a clue there's more than staying where he is eating apple pie and drinking dark roast. I'll get him yet, you mark my words. You told me to watch my love, not run from evil dark things, and I've been doing that. This wholesome hell is a hard place for a family from Kentucky to try living, but they aren't better off saying grace and toasting Dwight D. Eisenhower for a million years. Here's a fantasy I've been having: that you'll come visit your seed-daughter and grant me the honor of saying your happy to call me son--if you are that is. I sure am glad to call you mom, if I may make so bold. Your family's love surrounds me now. I've got four seed-daughters and working on a fifth one. As for my uncle, he don't prefer the company of yer type or the handsome sex, but I've got some theories I'm working on. Got to be something, we can use to get his fire up. Now I'm saying lots about our family, but I saved the best for last. I'm heartforming the prettiest little dragon you've ever seen--no offense to her seed-mother. She tells me that's a normal thing, thinking she's the most beautiful creature in all nine hells--we got a traditional way of looking at things, down here--but I ain't one to criticize my mother, neither. She's a ship magnet. She can pull stuff down to the deep form me, and we swim right through like cave diving. It's a fun adventure, but how's that work in Paradise, your ship gets sunk by a family of mer-creatures and that's happy for you? Well, not every ship that's afloat wants to be. You don't come swim our sea because you want to get candy corn and pop ice cream. It's a friendly dark place.

Sincerely yours,

Clyde and Lexi Browning

I know. I know what it is why it keeps feeling wrong. Super have to respond to this. We lost Jenner. Probably I was too young but she used to be Strawberry Faith and she got that earth god thing when Boobsong came or daddy fell or something really personal, and I always thought, if only we hadn't made her freak out like that she could have seen. I always think that with the Christians or people like Clyde. I'm like scared to make that blow up in my face again because with Jenner it ruined everything ever even though it can't logically have been our fault. No doubt she rubbed our noses in it, too, bitch that she was. I'm carrying all that hate and fear every time I do one of these because I can't just conquer. I have to make sure it doesn't go like Jenner again.

[!] Mommy that's the only time your Boobsong will say yay to Jenner's name. That's exactly right. Seed-ghost says you understand.

And I just keep hoping for one, somehow, where I can do my thing, and it won't feel like that, but it never does, because that's with me. Okay. Responding to seed-kids. AND GRANDKIDS HOLY TAPIOCA FORKBOMBS!

I make another tablet and pen in front of Boobsong, click her scribe and she takes them, and get my hands back where they gropily squeezily belong.

Hi Clyde and Lexi! And all our grand-seed-kids!

Holy fizzbubbling hershey squares yes you can call me mom, seed-son! Same with our seed-grandkids. Actually I'm always scared when I kick someone's ass like yours you'll hate me. I see the tender heart in there and I'm made to break it out with all my strength, but I know I scare people. I'm glad to see the love came through all my teeth and guns.

There. Now. Oh my sweet screaming seventy-six layer sundae pie pops I thought Boobsong and me were having the busiest day ever had in the multiverse but you're serious competition. Congratulations to you and your new heartchild and your FOUR seed-kids already, and moving most of your family down to the Deep Haven! OUT OF A NARNIA! (that's a place where a lot of stuff is hidden so people don't freak out) We've only had two today, and we used to kind of do this for a living! I'd write lots lots more but I think we might about to start you a sister-in-heartforming, and like, well, I have thirteen girlfriends to go Heartwarming shopping for, just to start. Soon. And yes I think we'll come to visit. No idea when thought. Like tomorrow or eight bazillion years, no clue. We love all our seed-kids, but we kind of have them faster than we can meet them. Like, what your seed-ghost said about this family is about the size of it. I know there's a least a million, first generation from Boobsong and me. You're kind of special though, and we wanna hear how you got yourself four seed-daughters already--but in person. There's poetry leaking out all over your letter so I bet you spin a mean tail. And tell good stories, hehe. I'd say we'd ring ahead, but I've learned not to plan, well, anything really. That'll take some explaining in person too. I'll just say, we're a Princess and a dragon, and we're just as traditional as you, in our way.

Yes I'm very silly usually. You caught us in a deadly serious mood. Not your fault. Ancient sacrilege really gets under my collar, and that tends to be literally the end of the world, as you've heard if you know my stage name.

As for your uncle, I have some thoughts. Zillions actually. I'm sending along a prank for him, but I don't expect you'll be able to use it for a long while yet. Um, careful with it yourself, too. You've already learned about me and stopping stuff once's it's underway. Beyond that, have you done much digging into ancient human history yet? Like, ALL THE WAY back? Don't shy away, you'll love it. I'm saying this because I wonder if your uncle's a traditionalist of a whole other kind, and doesn't know it. Lots and lots of people are. I've got just a smidge even. Why am I of all people being coy about this? Because I want to imagine the look on your face when your seed-grammies Rarity and Sweetie call you up and explain it to you. They're cartoons like we are. I'm going to try and put you in touch with them because they might have the proper footing for this, and if not they have a lot of real weird (even by me and Boobsong's standards) friends who might have the right model in their showroom (that's way less of a pun and way more of an innuendo than you're thinking) to get this done. Rarity's kind of a big deal in her own right though, so you might not hear or see her for a bit.

If not, maybe we need to make it a family affair! I so happen to literally be the angel of crashing terrifyingly and unexpectedly into your closed system to bring some fresh air and very scary funtimes. Seems like that would go pretty good with a nice family haunting.

Anything from you, dolly?

SEED-KIDS AND SEED-GRANDKIDS!? BUSIEST DAY EVER TWICE! VERY HAPPY TO HEAR YOUR FUN. LOVE AND HUGS TO LEXI AND HI TO YOU WITH VERY BOUNCING! LONG LONG TIME TILL WE'RE OUT OF HAPPY HI'S FOR YOU. ALL GOOD STUFF TO BOTH OF YOU. XO

Oh, and one more thing, if you haven't already and you should go looking my daddy up, hang onto your tits. It wigs some people out. He's very nice though. If you have no tits to hang onto I have a few ways of helping with that...

Love from your seed-mommies Rainbow and Boobsong

Our seed-ghost takes the tablet. Like obviously send a vibe too.

Okay. I don't mean to be greedy and I can't believe I'm asking this, but...Dreams can I have another? Just a little snack, not big hard stuff? Like, I want to try. I want to feel if it's different, knowing that about Jenner now. If I can make it be. In bullet time like this again or--oh I don't know. You know how to be nice to me.

The door opens again, but Peanut and Butter stay bullet timed.