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Apocrita: The Worst Lovebug

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Jul 18th, 2018
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  1. >”Two B. Two B. Two B.”
  2. >Your room was just barely lit, illuminated only by the light coming off of your two monitors and the green glow from all the LED’s in your gear.
  3. >Your Deathadder mouse especially throbbed with that green light, like an alien heart in the palm of your hand.
  4. >The Tiamat headset on your head was a little less glowey, but it sure as hell was a ton more costly.
  5. >And the Black Widow keyboard just completed the set.
  6. >Razer was a meme sponsor, sure, but they paid well.
  7. >You tapped at the mechanical switches on your keyboard, switching to your knife and rotating back to B site.
  8. >The free gear they gave you was good too, looks aside.
  9. >You twirled your Karambit Fade around absentmindedly, navigating Dust II with minimal effort.
  10. >It was only casual after all.
  11. >A quick check on the leaderboard showed it was just you and the ringer you were supposed to be testing left alive on CT side.
  12. >With five up on T side.
  13. >You grinned and gripped your mouse, switching to your deagle as you walked through the doors to B.
  14. >The ringer was in closet with his FAMAS out.
  15. >He was a generic shitty by the name of Mirage who didn’t know how to save cash and didn’t know shit about any of the maps.
  16. >He had good aim though, pretty much the only reason why he was even considered for ringer.
  17. >That and he was your little brother, real name: Tony.
  18. “Let’s go palio, hold that W down bro. Let’s dispense some fucking freedom!”
  19. >You rushed right past him, straight down the upper B tunnels.
  20. >Just like you said, holding W.
  21. >”What?!”
  22. >You whooped and hollered on the mic, moving through as quickly as you could, hardly checking your corners.
  23. >You made it all the way to T spawn without seeing a single flag burning, baby killing terrorist.
  24. >Frowning, you lit your mic up again.
  25. “Two B huh? More like two more strikes and you’re fucking cut from the team Mirage.”
  26.  
  27. >Mirage didn’t even turn his mic on, he just did the “negative” radio command.
  28. >Good, your little bro could still give and take a little at least.
  29. >You didn’t call out what you were doing since all chat was on, you just kept moving through T spawn with Mirage behind you, headed towards cat walk.
  30. >The bomb was dropped at A, last you checked.
  31. >”Bomb planted.”
  32. >Yep.
  33. >You switched to your knife again, rounding the corner into cat walk.
  34. >Oh hey there’s a T.
  35. >Mirage gunned him down for you, thankfully.
  36. “Keep it up.”
  37. >4 T’s left.
  38. >Out with the deagle again.
  39. >You did have a M4, but it wasn’t really fair or fun using primaries against people in casual.
  40. >Up the cat walk stairs, you flicked to a T behind barrels, click and headshot.
  41. >3 T’s left.
  42. “You guys are like the three musketeers, except you’re shit.”
  43. >”Fuck you faggot try hard. In my country we shit on you. We shit on you. You are nothing but bug.”
  44. >You laughed as you picked off the awper peeking from the ramp by A site.
  45. >It was funny, since your name was a buggy one.
  46. >Apocrita, the suborder that wasps, ants and bees fell under.
  47. >That was your genius and the genius of your ex-girlfriend raggety Ann at work there.
  48. >She’d called you a “fucking black hearted wasp made of nothing but hate and vitriol who goes around stinging and biting anyone who happens to be there”, so you figured you’d live up to it.
  49. >Man, it’d all be worth it when you fucking destroyed her new cuddle box faggoty Ann boyfriend and his team at the LAN tourney tomorrow.
  50. >You shook your head, grinning, as you got back in the game.
  51. >Mirage moved in to disarm the bomb while you pressed on towards CT spawn.
  52. >Two shots to properly aerate the stupid fuck trying to kill you with a shotty from Long A.
  53. “One~ is the loneliest number that you’ll ever dooo…”
  54.  
  55. >Mirage chimed in on the mic.
  56. >”Twoooo can be as bad as one, it’s the loneliest number since the number one~”
  57. >Yeah, your bro definitely had an “in” for the LAN tomorrow.
  58. >You smirked as you ran at the last AK wielding T on the CT ramp, knife out, taking fire.
  59. >Jump and right click.
  60. >Dead.
  61. >And Mirage finished disarming right after.
  62. “GG’s. Well played’s. Whatever the fuck. See you faggots around.”
  63. >You caught the start of a few curses directed at you before disconnecting from the server.
  64. >Refreshing.
  65. >Mirage sent you a message over steam.
  66. >”So am I in?”
  67. >You typed back an affirmative, then told him you’d be back in a bit.
  68. >Your stomach hungered and your gorge needed to be sated.
  69. >You stood up out of your desk chair and stretched, arms up high, wrists rolling to keep the kinks out.
  70. >Couldn’t afford an injury, especially not with the season on.
  71. >Yawning, you walked across your room, navigating around the dirty clothes covering nearly every inch of your floor.
  72. >The rest of your house was spick and span though, clean white walls, well maintained kitchen and a spotless living room.
  73. >Mostly because you hardly spent any time in the rest of your house, your room was where you really lived.
  74. >All in all a cushy place, you thought, walking down the hall to your kitchen.
  75. >Mostly paid for on Razer’s dime.
  76. >You chuckled and filled up your water bottle, then you snatched a bag of salt n’ vinegar chips out of your cupboard.
  77. >You stopped to pull up your red plaid pajama pants and pull down your coffee stained white t-shirt, looking around.
  78. >It was midnight, hardly a sound around.
  79. >There were snowflakes falling outside, you could see the snow stretch on and on looking through your patio door, all aglow in the full moon.
  80.  
  81. >You frowned as you took a sip from your water bottle.
  82. >You fucking hated snow.
  83. >Sighing and rubbing the back of your neck, you started to walk back to your room.
  84. >But you didn’t finish.
  85. >A pill bottle caught your eye, there on the grey granite countertop.
  86. >Ah shit.
  87. >Forgot to take your meds.
  88. >You hiccupped, there was already a burning feeling starting up in your stomach.
  89. “Fucking gastritis.”
  90. >You silently cursed your past self for his excessive alcohol consumption and walked back over to the counter.
  91. >It was different medication this time, your old antacid had been recalled and they switched it up for you when you went in earlier today.
  92. >They’d been real fuzzy on the details.
  93. >The pharmacist kept shooting you really weird fucking looks when she handed the stuff over too, hungry sorts of looks, like she wanted something from you.
  94. >You just flipped her off on your way out, which really pissed her off.
  95. >She fuckin’ hissed at you she was so mad.
  96. >Smiling fondly at the memory, you popped open the bottle and shook out a pair of pills.
  97. “Huh.”
  98. >They were those gel caps, in a bright baby blue.
  99. >Shrugging, you popped them in your mouth and downed them with your water.
  100. “Ahh… Alright.”
  101. >You clapped your hands and strode quickly back to your room, chips and water bottle in hand.
  102. >Suddenly, a stinging pain started up in your gut again.
  103. “FUCK.”
  104. >You doubled over, dropping all your things.
  105. >Your water bottle spilled all over the floor, sort of similar to how you sprawled all over it, limbs stuck out haphazardly.
  106. >Jesus Christ that hurt, were you having some sort of attack?
  107.  
  108. >You couldn’t breathe fast enough to satisfy yourself, it felt like your lungs were being pushed out of your fucking oesophagus.
  109. >Desperately, you tore at your t-shirt, ripping it apart.
  110. >Something was wrong with your abdomen.
  111. “What the FUCK?”
  112. >There was some black shit all over your stomach.
  113. >Shiny too, looked solid, hurt like hell every time your chest rose as you breathed.
  114. >You smacked it with your fist and wound up cutting your knuckles open.
  115. >They bled all over, and you stared at them in panicked shock.
  116. >Then dead silence as you watched that black shit spread over them too, practically sucking away all of the blood.
  117. >…
  118. >It was spreading on your stomach too, in all directions.
  119. >Your blood ran cold, shivers went up your spine, you shook your head.
  120. “No. Nope. Crazy fucking dream. Yep, just stayed up too late and feel asleep in my chair or something.”
  121. >You chuckled and closed your eyes, waiting.
  122. >Waiting…
  123. >The sounds of your change started to become apparent.
  124. >Low grinding sounds as your various plates of shiny tough black shit rubbed against each other, a creeping series of cricks and cracks as the stuff spread across your whole body.
  125. >You could feel it too, cold and heavy on you.
  126. >Your eyes shot open.
  127. >Rationalize, you just had to make sense of it and it wouldn’t be so terrifying.
  128. >From what you could tell, the black shit was actually chitin.
  129. >So you had an exoskeleton now, it had covered pretty much your whole body, all the way down your legs ripping your pajama pants and your underwear to pieces.
  130. >Your cock wasn’t there anymore, just flat black chitin.
  131. >You lifted up your hands.
  132. >They were melting, your fingers were merging together into a solid black mass, clicking as the bones changed.
  133.  
  134. “Heh…”
  135. >You shook your head, a stilted smile crossing your face.
  136. “Ha… Haha…”
  137. >And now you burst into laughter, watching your feet go the same way as your hands.
  138. >You could hardly see beyond the tears in your eyes, but your legs collapsed and shrunk back, thighs getting larger.
  139. >Your whole body shrunk down to the sound of loud cracks and snaps as the chitin adjusted around your smaller frame.
  140. >Your hips pushed out wider, and so did your shoulders.
  141. >For a second you couldn’t breathe, your chest was pushing itself out.
  142. >You rolled over onto your side, watching as a different sort of chitin spread down your back.
  143. >It was black too, but shinier, and towards your back end it shifted into green.
  144. >A sort of… Tail, swept out from your hind end.
  145. >It was more like a fin than anything.
  146. >Insectoid wings sprouted from your new dorsal chitin, pale green and fluttering with new life.
  147. >Your neck snapped and you looked down at it, the chitin was spreading up to your face now.
  148. >Your heart raced along with it, watching it creep upwards till finally it covered you completely.
  149. >You got one last glimpse of your hair burning up in a strange, brilliant green flame before the chitin enveloped your eyes.
  150. >Gasping for air and panicking, you stood stock still, frozen with fear.
  151. >Then pain wracked your face, your eyes pulsed with it first, bulging.
  152. >A splitting pain jolted once across your eyes and then you could see again, eyelids lifting.
  153. >Your new vision was strange and surreal, everything was so sharp and clear.
  154. >Outside, looking through your patio door, it may as well have been high noon.
  155. >But now you turned your attention back to your face, watching in abject horror as something pushed painfully into view.
  156. >It was a muzzle, a snout in black chitin and filled with white fangs, all razor sharp.
  157. >Your ears stretched and lengthened, turning to face forward as they migrated to the top of your head.
  158. >You lifted up your flat mass of a fore limb and felt behind your head.
  159.  
  160. >There was a fin there now, extending down your neck.
  161. >Then you felt along your forehead as a stinging pain stirred up there, feeling your new horn as it extended out of your head.
  162. “Hahhh… Hahh…”
  163. >You looked down at your… What the fuck were these things?
  164. “Hooves?”
  165. >They may as well be, your whole body was shaped vaguely like a horse.
  166. >You frowned, or at least you think you frowned, you had no fucking clue with this new face.
  167. “Is it over then? No more bibbity bobbity boo shit?”
  168. >As though in response, an unbelievable pain started up in all four of your limbs.
  169. >There were holes being punched through your fore and hind legs, like someone was going nuts with a giant invisible hole puncher on you.
  170. >Each one came with its own sting, its own ear splitting bang.
  171. >As quick as it started it was over, leaving you there spread eagle on your kitchen floor.
  172.  
  173. >You huffed, you puffed, you cried a little.
  174. >And then you started to get up.
  175. >Fangs gritted together, you tried to stand up on all fours.
  176. >Is that how you had to fucking stand now?
  177. >Like some sort of freakish dog?
  178. >You hissed, rolling over and planting your right fore hoof down.
  179. >Then you got your left rear hoof up and planted.
  180. >Now you pushed, shaking and shivering as you put your new and foreign limbs to use.
  181. >Inch by inch you clamored to stand, and eventually you succeeded.
  182. “What the fuck.”
  183. >Your voice made you pause, it had changed too.
  184. “Ahhhh.”
  185. >There was a buzz to it, at the back of everything you said.
  186. “Fucking fuck. Why.”
  187. >You wiped the sweat off of your brow with a fore hoof, breathing heavy.
  188. >It was…
  189. >Green.
  190. >Your sweat was a bright shade of neon green, almost glowing.
  191. “I’m sweating Mountain Dew.”
  192. >Yeah, fucking deep man, right on.
  193. >You sighed and hung your head low.
  194. “What the fuck is going onnnnn…”
  195. >For a while you just stood there and moped.
  196. >You had to be the unluckiest son of a bitch this side of Frane Selak.
  197. >Problem was, you couldn’t escape being turned into some weird bug, horse thing.
  198. >As far as you could tell, this shit was forever.
  199. >…
  200. >No point in being a little bitch about it then was there, faggot?
  201. >You clicked your fangs against each other and looked back up.
  202.  
  203. “About time I walked.”
  204. >It took some effort turning yourself around to face down the hall towards your room, somehow your hooves kept going in the wrong direction.
  205. >One hoof forward, and then another.
  206. >Bit by bit you trotted down the hallway, dead set on reaching your room, no matter how many times you fell.
  207. >You snatched up your bag of chips on the way, carrying it in your mouth.
  208. >Your rear hoof got caught up in front of your fore and you went tumbling, planting your muzzle into the floor.
  209. >Somehow you managed to keep the chips safe.
  210. >Snorting, you picked them back up and started again.
  211. >Eventually each step got easier and easier, your legs started to move exactly how you wanted them.
  212. >You nearly smiled, crossing over the threshold into your room.
  213. >This new night vision shit was certainly useful, no need to flick the lights on at all in here anymore.
  214. >Setting your chips down on the floor by your desk, you crossed your room, over to your closet beside the bed.
  215. >Just a few steps and you were in front of the mirror, staring back at yourself.
  216. >Your new self.
  217. >You were shaped sort of like a tiny horse, coming in at about three feet tall, but with bug like features.
  218. >You had your shiny black chitin, your membranous buzzing green insect wings, and your glowing green buggy eyes.
  219. >Your pupils were white points in your vast eyes, darting here and there all over your body as they pulsed faintly with light.
  220. “Why.”
  221. >Why yo-
  222. >No more hands.
  223. >You sat back on your rump, staring wide eyed at your fore hooves.
  224. “How in the fuck am I going to play CS?”
  225. >Heart beating faster and faster, you galloped over to your chair, falling over more than just once.
  226. >You hopped up in it and leaned over your keyboard, hesitating for a moment.
  227. “Maybe if I just…”
  228.  
  229. >Being careful to make sure you used just the edge of your hoof, you lowered it down and tried to push your WASD keys.
  230. >All you wound up doing was mashing all four of them and the E key.
  231. “I can still aim though, I can-“
  232. >You gripped your mouse with both hooves, trying to get the cursor over the PLAY button in the CSGO menu.
  233. >With some struggling, you edged it nearer, nearer-
  234. “Who the fuck am I kidding.”
  235. >You slapped the mouse aside and slumped back in your chair, sobbing.
  236. >How the fuck were you going to make a LIVING.
  237. >CS payed most of the god damn bills, you had a LAN tournament TOMMOROW.
  238. >You smashed your hooves against your desk, hissing with your tongue whipping out and around as you hollered.
  239. “FUCKING. TOMMOROW.”
  240. >Not a month from now, not even a week from now.
  241. >Just maybe you could have worked with that, maybe you could have figured something out.
  242. >Your team had already brought in a ringer, there wasn’t even enough time to find a second ringer to replace you for fuck’s sake.
  243. >…
  244. >There was nothing for it.
  245. >You had to call Archer.
  246. >Sighing, you rolled out of your chair and onto the ground, landing on all fours.
  247. >That surprised you a little.
  248. >Just a second ago you’d have face planted there, or muzzle planted or whatever.
  249. >You really were getting used to this awful shit huh?
  250. >Whatever.
  251. >You walked out of your room, back down the hall.
  252. >Skirting around the water on the floor, you headed for the phone on the coffee table in your living room.
  253. >Lucky for you, it was a hand me down from your dead grandma, so it had those giant buttons on it that made it easier for seniors to use.
  254.  
  255. >You punched the speaker button and hit the speed dial you had set to Archer’s cell phone.
  256. >It got about three rings in before he picked up.
  257. “Faggot.”
  258. >”Yeah?”
  259. >Archer’s deep voice always managed to surprise you a little.
  260. >The guy had no off switch.
  261. “Need some help down here.”
  262. >Archer was quiet for a second, you could hear engine sounds coming from his end.
  263. >”Alright. Be there in a bit.”
  264. “Thanks.”
  265. >You went to hang up, but Archer spoke up again.
  266. >”You’re lucky you know, I was already headed out of the city for a drive around.”
  267. >Shaking your head, you knocked the receiver off and then back on again, hanging up.
  268. “Lucky is one way of fucking putting it.”
  269. >You figured you may as well clean up that spill in the hallway before Archer showed, get something done.
  270. >You set your water bottle upright again before trotting into the kitchen, where you snagged a dish drying towel out of the cupboards under your sink.
  271. >Back in the hallway, you plopped your towel down onto the puddle of water and started to mop it up as best as you could, sliding it around with your fore hooves.
  272. >After a while, once the towel was soaked through and you couldn’t get more done with it, you headed back into the kitchen to snatch up another one.
  273. >Rinse and repeat.
  274. >It was boring work, and there was a ton of water to clean.
  275. >You found yourself buzzing occasionally, just buzzing and fluttering your wings for pretty much no reason at all.
  276. >It was like a reflex, you were hardly even conscious of it, and when you did notice it you stopped buzzing immediately.
  277. >Maybe some weirdo would find that cute or something.
  278. >Personally it was freaking you out.
  279. >But now that the thought of cute came to mind…
  280.  
  281. >You picked up all your used and soaked towels to carry over to the sink.
  282. >With these looks, you could probably be a mascot or something.
  283. >Hell, you fit the fucking bill with Razer’s aesthetics.
  284. “Ghreen, phlack, ptuhh.”
  285. >You hopped up on your hind legs, set your fore hooves on the counter’s edge, then you spat your towels out into the sink.
  286. “Green, black and glowing? Razer’s hiring!”
  287. >Grinning toothily, you thought about it some more.
  288. >Yeah, yeah you could charge a premium from those assholes for you to show up to events.
  289. >Extra dosh for hissing and fang flashing.
  290. “But…”
  291. >You walked over to your living room and lied down on your white leather couch, grin fading.
  292. “I still can’t play CS.”
  293. >As serious as you took CSGO, and as much as it had been your livelihood, it was still a passion for you.
  294. >Something fun, something you enjoyed.
  295. >More importantly though, it had been a golden ticket to the wonderful Willy Wonka’s Factory of making people unbelievably angry.
  296. >No more hate filled comments on your Steam profile about how you were a hacking shit and that you should kill yourself.
  297. >No more hatred spewed at you over the mic, with you spewing it right back.
  298. >No chance to get those hateful stares from your ex girl when you kicked the shit out of her new boyfriend in CS tomorrow.
  299. >No more hate.
  300. >You’d fed off hate for so fucking long now, you weren’t sure what you were going to do now without your main source of it.
  301. >You shifted yourself to get comfortable, lying flat on your side with your legs out.
  302. >Guess there was some hate to be gotten from being a mascot.
  303. >You could brag about your easy salary and shit, maybe shit talk the opposing teams during the tournaments.
  304. >...
  305. >You sighed and rolled over onto your back, the leather on your couch creaked back.
  306. “It’s not the same.”
  307.  
  308. >Buzz buzz buzz.
  309. >You were buzzing again and your wings were trying to flutter, trapped against the couch.
  310. “Bzzzzzz…”
  311. >Your eyes wandered, thoughts sort of melted.
  312. >The light caught your gaze, fluorescent beams criss-crossed on your ceiling, sending off their glow.
  313. >That had been your choice, mostly cause shit looked cool as fuck.
  314. >Now though…
  315. >It got you thinking, no wait.
  316. >No.
  317. >The other way around, it was like instinct, like flinching away from pain or scratching an itch.
  318. >You stared and stared, white glowing pupils in your big green eyes pulsating.
  319. >Every detail was sharp, the lights were there and the ceiling wasn’t.
  320. >Just the lights.
  321. >The pulsations from your eyes became flashes as they tuned themselves to the wavelength of your fluorescent lights, flickering uncountable times per second.
  322. >You could see it all, straight inside those two hundred and fifty three point seven nanometers of ultraviolet light being emitted.
  323. >If you squinted…
  324. >Just maybe, maybe you could even watch an ultraviolet photon dart out.
  325. >The visible light was easy.
  326. >Pssh.
  327. >What?
  328. >Just under four hundred, up to seven hundred nanometers?
  329. >What a fucking j-
  330. >”Kane.”
  331. >You blinked, your eyes went back to their slow heartbeat like pulses.
  332. “Archer.”
  333. >Up you got, you sat on your haunches and stared straight at your door.
  334. >Archer stood there with a big lit cigar in his mouth, the smoke pooling up to your ceiling like an unholy fountain as he hung up his dark green cotton gabardine trench coat in the entryway.
  335.  
  336. >He had his black vest on, patterned with subtle daffodils in golden thread.
  337. >Underneath that he had his clean white dress shirt, pressed, pristine.
  338. >For bottoms, he wore black dress pants, patterned with red leather drops of blood from his knees to his ankles and his black leather shoes.
  339. >You rolled your eyes and shook your head.
  340. “Always the fashionable faggot huh?”
  341. >Archer took a drag off of his cigar, looking you up and down, then walked up and took a seat in your armchair, across from your sofa.
  342. >He ran his hand back through his short cut hazel hair, blue eyes flashing for a second in the ceiling light.
  343. >He was serious, dead serious, as always.
  344. >”Ran into a few bugs?”
  345. >Well, maybe not always.
  346. >You blew a raspberry at him and tried and failed to flip him off with a hoof.
  347. “Fuck you. This is some important shit. How did you even know it was me?”
  348. >Archer took his time answering, just sitting there with his cigar in hand.
  349. >If it was anyone else, you’d probably have given them shit for taking so long, egged them on a bit.
  350. >But Archer didn’t take shit.
  351. >Too big to take shit, right now his arm alone was as big as you were.
  352. >Worst part was you’d seen the fucker fight before too, he boxed.
  353. >Quick as a fucking whip, hard as a fucking rock.
  354. >Scary.
  355. >Made you wonder why he even bothered with shit like CSGO of all things, all he’d said when you’d asked was: “Competition.”
  356. >”Not even Kane would get himself eaten by a pansy little bug like you and if he did, then the bug would be a lot angrier than you are right now.”
  357. >Your eyes were going to roll right out of your head some time tonight, you just knew it.
  358. “Well. You can see my problem, can’t you? Can’t play tomorrow, I need you to sub for me.”
  359. >Archer stared, inscrutable.
  360. >”You’re sure.”
  361. “Yeah. I’m sure.”
  362.  
  363. >Now Archer sighed, snatching the cigar out of his mouth as he rubbed his temples and leaned over your coffee table.
  364. >”Now I’m not sure if you’re actually Kane. See, Kane wouldn’t pass up a chance to piss someone off.”
  365. >You groaned and slammed a fore hoof down on your coffee table with a satisfyingly loud bang.
  366. “I don’t have the BASIC FUCKING ANATOMY FOR IT.”
  367. >Archer just shrugged and went back to smoking, aloof gaze locked with your angry one.
  368. >Suddenly he shook his head, not even breaking eye contact afterward.
  369. >”Well. You called me down here for help right? I’ll help. What do you need?”
  370. >You nodded and pulled your hoof back.
  371. “I’ve heard shit going around, certain drugs getting around. And I know you have more than a few fingers in that pie.”
  372. >Yeah, “more than a few fingers”, Archer was like fucking Durga.
  373. >Ten hands, all of em in as many pies as he could reach.
  374. >Archer nodded.
  375. >”Pon-E.”
  376. >You raised both hooves and held them out wide to your either side like Russel fucking Crowe, your trademark smart aleck grin working its way onto your muzzle.
  377. >Looked a lot more threatening now, with your forked tongue and your gleaming white fangs.
  378. “Well? Fill me in here.”
  379. >Archer took a draw, letting the smoke curl out of his mouth as the embers died on the end of his cigar.
  380. >Not uttering a word, he stood up and walked over into your kitchen, burnt out cigar trailing its final bits of smoke as he went to dispose of it.
  381. >You sighed and lied back down on your side.
  382. >It was going to be a long fucking night.
  383. >Archer called out from the kitchen.
  384. >”Drink?”
  385. “Yeah. Fuck it.”
  386. >Clinking glass, the soft sound of alcohol being poured and then Archer’s footsteps on the tiled flooring in your kitchen.
  387. >”Here.”
  388. >Archer set out a pair of glasses on the table, two from your gifted set of Irish Imperial Pint glasses (from Archer of course), filled to the brim with that Kilkenny you kept at the back of your fridge.
  389. >Then Archer sat back down in your recliner, large, scarred hands clasped as he leaned on his knees, staring straight into your eyes.
  390. >”I’ve heard a few words. Seen a few things.”
  391.  
  392. >Archer took a gulp of his pint and set it down, slow and easy.
  393. >You lapped some beer up out of your glass, it looked a bit less dignified, but fuck if you knew any other way to drink it without hands.
  394. >”There’s a… Large quantity of people dealing in Pon-E, and they’re all dealing different iterations of it.”
  395. >Your brows furrowed as you lapped up more beer, stuff tasted great though.
  396. “So you’re saying I took one of those iterations?”
  397. >Archer nodded.
  398. >”Yeah. Pon-E C4NG3. Fairly new variety being slung around by the ruskies. Just started getting shipped in from Vladivostok two weeks ago. Speaking of which, how many did you take?”
  399. >You tossed your hooves up and fell back against the couch, shrugging.
  400. “Figures. Took two. That’s an overdose right?”
  401. >Another quiet nod from Archer.
  402. >”It is.”
  403. >…Shit.
  404. >So you really were stuck like this forever.
  405. >You sighed and slipped down the couch back, lying on your side.
  406. >”Don’t look so defeated. It doesn’t suit you.”
  407. >Your buggy gaze darted up to Archer.
  408. >His brows were furrowed with concern as he downed some more beer.
  409. >You rolled your eyes and put on a deep dumb retarded impression of Archer.
  410. “Oh I’m Archer. And I’m concerned for mah frieennddsssss!”
  411. >That got you to grin, fangs gleaming.
  412. >Sounded just like the fucking faggot, and you’d made sure to add a big hiss on the end of “friends” to emphasize the fact that you fucking HISSED now.
  413. >Archer didn’t really react, he just kept staring at you.
  414. >Fucker had granite, not skin.
  415. >There was a warmth in your stomach watching him though.
  416. >What the fuck?
  417. >Archer was the fag here, not you.
  418. >You pushed the feeling aside, feelings were for fags.
  419.  
  420. >”That’s a bit better.”
  421. >You sat up and hissed under your breath at Archer, frowning, before taking a sullen lap at your beer.
  422. “Whatever. Tell me more about these iterations and dealers.”
  423. >Archer leaned back in your recliner, one brow perked.
  424. >”You sure you don’t want to know about yourself first? How your new body works?”
  425. “It can wait. You got me curious now. You said the-
  426. >You paused and burped.
  427. “Russians are dealing the shit I took?”
  428. >Nodding, Archer dug out his cell phone and checked it before setting it on the coffee table.
  429. >”Yeah. I got an in on that just last week. What I’m trying to do is consolidate all these different varieties. There’s the Canadians, the Americans, the Italians and the Russians. All of them developed and started selling different versions of Pon-E after the first couple samples got “borrowed” from Cold Spring Harbor Lab in New York.”
  430. >You had to stick your snout into your glass to lap up beer now, staring at Archer over the rim of your glass.
  431. >Staring…
  432. >Man, you stared an awful lot now, and always for just a little bit too long.
  433. >Must be a bug thing.
  434. “Alright. Makes sense. What are the differences between the iterations? Who’s dealing what around here?”
  435. >Archer smiled slightly and shook his head.
  436. >That was what passed as a laugh with him, you’d learned that years ago.
  437. >”You know, if it was anyone else asking, and anyone else telling? You’d be getting a nudge and a push to stop asking questions.”
  438. >You grinned and hissed out a laugh.
  439. “Yeah, but that ain’t the case. Keep talking faggot, you know I’m not a narc.”
  440. >Archer nodded back and finished his beer.
  441. >He sighed, satisfied, and got up.
  442. >Walking back into the kitchen, he called out to you.
  443. >”You want another one?”
  444. >You shook your head, snorting derisively.
  445.  
  446. “I’m not even done with my first one you fucking alcoholic fag!”
  447. >”I’ll bring another one anyway.”
  448. >You sighed and lapped up the last dredges of your beer, using the full length of your forked tongue to get it all.
  449. >Hm.
  450. >Already you could feel your hooves and your snout feeling a little funny as the buzz from the alcohol came on.
  451. >Your ears were flicking repeatedly, and that unconscious buzzing and wing fluttering was even harder to stop now.
  452. >You smacked your gums.
  453. >Drunk.
  454. >And it came a hell of a lot faster than you were used to, you hated the idea of being a weak fucking lightweight now.
  455. “Ahh fuck it.”
  456. >It meant less money you needed to spend to get drunk at least.
  457. >Licking your chops, you looked up and behind you as Archer walked back into the living room with a full pint glass and another bottle of Kilkenny in hand.
  458. “I probably wooun’t… Ah. Won’t need that.”
  459. >Archer topped your glass up with the bottle of Kilkenny.
  460. >”I disagree.”
  461. >With the bare human minimum of a smile on his face, Archer sat back down in your recliner, making it creak under his weight.
  462. >Archer unbuttoned his vest and reached inside, pulling out a fresh cigar and his etched black zippo lighter.
  463. >His subtle smile grew a bit as he bit the cap off of his cigar.
  464. >You rolled your eyes and lapped up some beer while Archer did his thing.
  465. “Yeah, yeah. Take uuurrr time or whatever. Keep sucking on that big brown… Ah. Smoky dick, faggot.”
  466. >Archer frowned at you as he flicked his lighter to life and set the flame to his cigar.
  467. >”You’re pushing a limit now.”
  468. >Your tongue darted against your fangs and you grinned.
  469. >But you didn’t push further.
  470.  
  471. >Instead, you stared.
  472. >Archer tucked away his lighter, but you got a “snapshot” of it before it was properly inside his vest.
  473. >Black, metal, etched with a pattern.
  474. >Some sort of flower…
  475. >Ahhhhhh, you didn’t fucking know this sort of boring shit, it probably had some sort of religious symbolism or some shit that someone had written a thesis on.
  476. >Sometimes you wished you had a miniature version of Anonymous’ brain in your head.
  477. >That pretentious arts asshole knew all about these sorts of things.
  478. >But right now all you had was this pretentious, fashionable fag in front of you.
  479. >Archer took a long drag off of his cigar, then exhaled, letting the thick smoke curl out from his mouth and pour from his nostrils.
  480. >You grinned.
  481. >But he did know about business at least.
  482. “Going to explain now?”
  483. >Archer nodded.
  484. >”So here’s how it is.”
  485. >Reaching into his vest again, Archer pulled out a little plastic pill bottle, just big enough to fit a pair of white tablets.
  486. >He tossed it onto the table for you to look at.
  487. >”That’s the Canadian variety. Pon-E H341. Dealt by the sleazy shmucks, like Chad, up at the university. Only reason I have these is because I took them off some dumbass trying to slip them to someone at the bar.”
  488. >You leaned over the coffee table and stared down at the tablets.
  489. >They were bland looking, if you didn’t know what they were, then you might have mistaken them for Tylenol tablets.
  490. >Archer continued.
  491. >”Pretty standard. Only changes are an utter lack of scent and taste. Along with the inclusion of an additional drug that induces heat.”
  492. >Sighing, he gulped down some of his beer.
  493. >”So of course, it’s a favorite for date rapes.”
  494. >You pointed your fore hoof at Archer’s vest.
  495.  
  496. “Alright. American?”
  497. >Archer pulled another little plastic pill bottle out of his vest and tossed it down on the coffee table.
  498. >You pushed it closer with a fore hoof.
  499. >Same size, two little white tablets.
  500. >Side by side with the Canadian tablets, you saw no difference.
  501. >”American iteration. Pon-E 00A1. As close as you can get to the original, no smell, but it has a slightly bitter taste. That’s it, turns the person into a random pony just like the Canadian one, either normal or pegasus, male or female. Dealt by Americans coming into Canada, none of them usually stick around so I’m one of the only people who slings them consistently around here. Along with Chad.”
  502. >You perked a brow as you poked at the bottle of American pills with your hoof.
  503. “Normal or pegasus?”
  504. >”Yeah. There’s three varieties of ponies, normal ones, pegasi with wings and unicorns with horns. Then there’s the changelings.”
  505. >You pushed the American pills away, up alongside the Canadian ones and lapped up some beer, mulling it over.
  506. >So, by process of elimination, you were a… Changeling.
  507. >Huh.
  508. >Shame, being a unicorn sounded way cooler to be honest.
  509. >Magnificent, really.
  510. >You sighed and urged Archer on, waggling a fore hoof.
  511. “Russian.”
  512. >Archer puffed on his cigar and had some more of his beer before pulling another pill bottle out of his vest and tossing it down before you.
  513. >It was a bit bigger than the first two bottles, to fit the slightly larger pills inside.
  514. >They looked exactly like the ones you’d taken, gel caps, baby blue.
  515. >”You know what they do, and you know the name. No scent, apparently if you break them open, the blue liquid inside has a sweet taste. Russians around the harbor sling them, I deal some. Chad, of course, slings them.”
  516. >You nodded as you stared at the pills.
  517. >It was sobering to see them again.
  518. >Something struck you though, it made your brow furrow.
  519. “None of these turn people into unicorns.”
  520.  
  521. >You looked up.
  522. >Archer was nodding matter of factly at you.
  523. >”That’s where the Italians come in. Pon-E UN10, UN11 and UN12. They’re the tip of the top, designer tier. UN12 has no taste, no smell and it turns the person into a unicorn. Guaranteed. But the sex and appearance is random. UN11 is a blanket name for UN11a and UN11b, a swaps the sex and b retains it. Appearance is still random.”
  524. >Jesus fucking Christ.
  525. >How would anyone even begin to engineer that shit?
  526. “And UN10?”
  527. >For the first time all night, Archer grinned.
  528. >He looked like a rich cock sucking CEO with that fat ass cigar in his hand too.
  529. >Archer spread his arms wide and locked eyes with you.
  530. >”Whatever you want. Male, female. Pegasus, Normal, Unicorn. Any appearance you want.”
  531. >You shook your head and sucked down some more beer, frowning.
  532. “No fuhhhhcking way. Show me.”
  533. >Archer shrugged, puffing on his cigar.
  534. >”I don’t have any. Like I said, the Italians. They’re the only ones who have a stock of the stuff and they only deal to the elite, mostly because the elite are the only ones who can actually afford them. Also there’s Chad. He has the only stock of UN10 and UN11 this side of Ontario, plus he sells UN12 to the customers the Italians have down here, for the Italians.”
  535. >Chad, Chad, Chad.
  536. >You weren’t really all that surprised, being honest.
  537. >He’d always been a fucking snake.
  538.  
  539. >Business though.
  540. >You grinned and licked your fangs, then lapped up the last of your beer.
  541. “So what does… what doeasss all of this Pon-E shit go for anyway? You muhhh-ake good money off of it?”
  542. >Archer shrugged and took a drag off of his cigar.
  543. >”Good enough. To be honest, the money could be better. There’s a bit of an overabundance of the stuff that’s driving prices down. Of course, the Italians don’t have that problem since they have absolute control over the production of their iteration.”
  544. >You nodded and fell back onto your sofa, your grin turned down into a frown.
  545. >You’d been thinking of the bottle of Pon-E C4NG3 you had in your kitchen, would have been a nice little bonus to keep you floating through your upcoming unemployment.
  546. >Guess you’d be taking on a little water.
  547. >”What you’ve got on the counter in there? That’s twenty eight capsules of Pon-E C4NG3. You want to sell them, don’t you?”
  548. >Slowly, you leveled your hateful bug stare at Archer, brows furrowed.
  549. “Stohp reading myyyy… brain, faggot.”
  550. >It was a bit harder to stare straight at the fucking faggot now, your head kept wobbling around and your eyes were twitching about.
  551. >You saw Archer get up out of your recliner though, he set his cigar down on the coffee table and walked over to you.
  552. >Scooting away from Archer, over to the other end of the couch, you hissed.
  553. “FUCK OFF.”
  554. >Archer just shook his head and stepped closer.
  555. >”I should have listened to you when you said you didn’t need another beer. You’re too drunk to talk business Kane.”
  556. >…
  557. >Through the fog of your brain, you picked up on the key words there.
  558. “Too… drunk. To tuuh… talk beesnissuss… Fuck. Help.”
  559. >You watched Archer as close as you could as he moved closer to you, reaching out and grabbing you.
  560. “Halp.”
  561. >Archer wrapped his hands around your barrel, carefully avoiding your wings, and hoisted you up.
  562. >Felt alright, it was kind of surprising that you could feel him at all with your chitin, but you did.
  563.  
  564. >Archer’s hands were a little rough with all the scars on them, especially on the joints of his fingers, but he was steady and gently carrying you.
  565. >”Twenty bucks to get you sober.”
  566. >It took a moment for you to register what Archer had just said, but when you did you laughed your buggy little ass off.
  567. >Sounded surprisingly ominous, with that buzzing tone to your voice.
  568. “Yu hafent even toold me wahat the pillzzz go fer… faggoot.”
  569. >Archer started walking towards the kitchen with you in his grasp, holding you up in front of him and smiling faintly at you.
  570. >”C4NG3 is the cheapest on the market right now. Around fifteen dollars a pill.”
  571. >You slogged through the math as Archer entered your kitchen and strode over to the sink.
  572. >Your buzzing and wing fluttering started up again.
  573. >Made you grin, math did.
  574. >It was the only thing you’d ever really been good at in school.
  575. “Fuhr hunndrad n twanty buckaroos for tha bottal. Fur hunded if you get me sober huhh? W-why shuldd… Shudnt I wait till m nut drunk huh?”
  576. >Archer set you down on the counter by your sink, rump first, then he backed up to lean on the counter opposite you.
  577. >He shrugged, still with that faint smile.
  578. >You weren’t sure what to think of that one.
  579. >You were buzz buzz buzzing on, as your brain tried to work its way through the intricacies of deceit.
  580. >Archer wasn’t the smiley type, was he trying to screw you?
  581. >…
  582. >Over.
  583. >Screw you over.
  584. >”Call it a package deal. Along with sobering you up, I’ll help you learn to play CSGO again in time for LAN tomorrow.”
  585. >CS.
  586. >Hate, yessssss…
  587. >More hate.
  588. “…I’ll paayy soon as I cun shot somun n they get mad. Deal?”
  589.  
  590. >You stuck out your fore hoof lazily, nearly toppling over.
  591. >Archer’s little smile whisked away and he grasped your hoof and shook it.
  592. >All business.
  593. >”Let’s start with the sober part.”
  594. >Archer got a glass out of your cupboard and filled it to brim with water from your sink.
  595. >He helped you get it down, holding your chin.
  596. “Fanks.”
  597. >Now Archer reached into his vest, pulling out a little box.
  598. >Naloxone hydrochloride.
  599. “Jehsuhs Arch. Isn that shiit fer dope fiens?”
  600. >Archer shook his head as he opened up the box and prepped the nasal sprayer.
  601. >”Been some tests recently showing it can stave off the effects of alcohol. Not super effective since alcohol metabolises for much longer than what the half-life of this stuff is. But it’ll make you ‘sober’ for a little while, which is all you need.”
  602. >You didn’t know a whole lot about this medical shit, but you knew Archer did.
  603. >And you trusted Archer.
  604. >Kinda.
  605. >Mostly.
  606. >…
  607. >You might have felt a little nervous as Archer walked up to you with that nasal sprayer in his hand.
  608. >Your wings fluttered harder and your buzzing got louder.
  609. >”Relax.”
  610. >Archer brought the sprayer to your snout and stuck the tip into your right nostril, gently grasping the back of your head with his other hand.
  611. >You wanted to snort pretty hard, but you resisted, still buzzing.
  612. >Without warning, Archer pushed the plunger down on the sprayer.
  613. >God that had always felt super weird to you, the wet and the cold shooting up your nose like that.
  614. “Fuack.”
  615. >You felt it running down your throat now too, tasted fucking terrible.
  616. >Spluttering, you leaned over and spat out as much as you could into the sink, then you ran the water to wash it away.
  617.  
  618. >You wheeled on Archer, hissing with your forked tongue flitting out.
  619. “Give me a heads up next time fuck face!”
  620. >Archer did nothing but nod, satisfied, as he tossed the empty sprayer and the box it came in in the garbage.
  621. >”That worked a lot faster than I expected.”
  622. >Rolling your eyes, you jumped down off of the counter, onto all four hooves.
  623. “Yeah whatever faggot. You still have to fulfill your end of the bargain here. Teach me how to play CS again.”
  624. >Archer was right though, that naloxone worked real fucking quick.
  625. >You blinked a couple times, buzzed and fluttered your wings, stretched your fore and hind legs a little.
  626. >Everything was clear again.
  627. >”Better huh?”
  628. >Archer had that half smile on his big dumb mug again, the fucking faggot.
  629. >…You felt a warmth welling up in your stomach again too, just like before.
  630. “Fuck off.”
  631. >Archer shrugged and strode out of the kitchen, down the hall towards your room.
  632. >You followed in silence, surly.
  633. >That warmth lasted you all the way back to your room, which was weird.
  634. >It had a fullness to it, a hearty feeling.
  635. >But also a bit of a buzz, it was sort of like the rush you’d get when you pissed someone off.
  636. >But it wasn’t hate, hate didn’t fill you up or anything, just got you pumped up and ready to hate some more.
  637. >Maybe… Hate wasn’t the most nourishing of emotions?
  638. >You frowned.
  639. >Feelings, emotions.
  640. >Fuck that faggy garbage.
  641. >You suppressed your feelings as per usual and focused on trotting into your room.
  642. >Archer flicked the light on as he went, dodging around the mess strewn all over your floor as he walked over to your desk.
  643.  
  644. >For a second, everything was too bright and you flinched, but a quick blink later and your eyes seemed to adjust to the light.
  645. >That shit was still weird, the night vision and all.
  646. >Made you wonder if you had infrared though, that would be pretty useful.
  647. >”Coming?”
  648. >Archer was staring at you, waiting beside your desk.
  649. >You nodded and trotted over, then you hopped up in your chair.
  650. “Yeah. Let’s go, how do I play CS like this?”
  651. >”Magic.”
  652. >You rolled your eyes and furrowed your brow at Archer.
  653. “That answer doesn’t sound like twenty dollars, faggot. Hell, it doesn’t even ring true at twenty cents.”
  654. >There was that little fucking smile again.
  655. >It was Archer’s equivalent to a shit eating grin really.
  656. >”Seriously, magic. That horn of yours…”
  657. >Archer flicked your horn with his index finger, sounding out like a tuning fork.
  658. >”Is magical. You can use it to pick things up telekinetically, cast spells, you name it.”
  659. >You snorted and locked eyes with Archer, brow furrowing even more.
  660. “Assuming you’re not just fucking around, how do I use it?”
  661. >Yawning, Archer pulled up your spare rolling office chair and sat down next to you.
  662. >”You need to tap into your emotions and feelings. Hate, love, fear. All that stuff.”
  663. >…
  664. “Pfffffffftt.”
  665. >You laughed cruelly, fangs gleaming as you opened your mouth wide and guffawed right in Archer’s face.
  666. “HAHAHAHA. Fuck off faggot.”
  667. >Archer mulled over what you said, staring up at the ceiling.
  668. >Then he looked at you again.
  669. >That little smile of Archer’s was going to be the death of you, you’d be seeing it before they fucking lowered you into your casket at this point.
  670. >Archer laughed back at you, it was a low rolling thunder of a laugh.
  671.  
  672. >Then he stopped, just as suddenly as he started.
  673. >”I’m serious.”
  674. >Archer locked eyes with you, that little smile had become a big one, from one ear to the other.
  675. >”Changelings feed off of emotions. Hate is their adrenaline, it’s like a quick burning fuel with no sustenance. Fear will power you, but your own fear will take a toll on you over time. Like hate, it’ll get you moving quickly. Happiness is longer lasting, it’ll give you plenty of energy to move around and think and use your magic, but it won’t keep you alive forever.”
  676. >You hissed softly, working through the facts.
  677. “So… What will keep me alive?”
  678. >”Love.”
  679. >That warm feeling…
  680. >You looked away from Archer, back to your computer screen.
  681. >CSGO was open, with your cursor just slightly askew from the play button.
  682. “Fine.”
  683. >…You could love.
  684. “I can love.”
  685. >For hate.
  686. >”Focus on the feeling you get from the emotion, as hard as you can.”
  687. >You obliged, thinking about those looks Archer had tossed you before, thinking about the way the warmth flowed through your barrel when he did.
  688. >It wasn’t romantic, it wasn’t the sort of love you’d get from a partner or even from a family member.
  689. >It was friendship, love through a long standing relationship of mutual respect and aid.
  690. >The love built, bringing out the warmth in your stomach again.
  691. >Hints of it seemed to push and pull, trying to spread.
  692. >You still were pushing your feelings away.
  693. “Ahhhh fuck.”
  694. >Archer shook his head.
  695. >”Just let it be Kane. You can’t survive if you keep pushing that stuff aside.”
  696. >You flicked your gaze over to Archer, angrily.
  697. >…But then you relaxed.
  698.  
  699. “Fine.”
  700. >All of a sudden everything abounded inside you, that warmth in your barrel spread out further and wrapped your whole body up in it.
  701. >Emotions felt…
  702. “Okay. Yeah, that’s not so bad.”
  703. >Tendrils of warmth whipped up your neck, glowing green against your reflective black chitin as they went.
  704. >The warmth coalesced and compacted in your horn, pushing out to the tip before flooding over it’s entire length.
  705. >Your horn glowed.
  706. >Green sparks hovered around it, suspended in a neon green light like dust in a sunbeam.
  707. >”You’ve got it. Focus on what you want to do.”
  708. >Play CSGO.
  709. >The glow on your horn intensified, heating up, but nothing happened.
  710. >”You’re being too vague.”
  711. >Too vague…
  712. >Mouse.
  713. >Your Deathadder glowed greener, surrounded by the same light on your horn.
  714. >You cracked a toothy smile, fangs glittering in the light.
  715. >Archer nodded.
  716. >”Do it.”
  717. >You didn’t focus on moving your mouse, you focused on playing the game.
  718. >The cursor moved just where you wanted it to, right on the play button.
  719. >You clicked and clicked again, find game.
  720. >Select common, casual, active duty.
  721. “Go.”
  722. >The loading screen came up as you searched for a match.
  723. >You never smiled so hard at a loading screen before.
  724. >Archer was smiling too, patting you on the back.
  725. >You could feel the love in each pat, feeding you.
  726. >You hit ok as the MOTD came up and selected CT.
  727. >Already you could hear people talking shit.
  728. >Vitriol was thrown back and forth as the members of the T and CT teams spat their hate at each other like two packs of feral dogs barking on the ends of their chains, waiting to be set loose on each other.
  729. >It only pushed you on, for real this time.
  730. >Not just twisted pleasure, but actual energy flowing through you.
  731. >Dust II, pistol round.
  732. >You bought a deagle, of course.
  733.  
  734. >With a little flip, your beauty of a Hypnotic Desert Eagle came into view.
  735. >Your heart was doing flips too, blasted into a full on adrenaline surge from all the hatred flowing through you.
  736. >Three.
  737. >Keyboard.
  738. >Two.
  739. >That same green glow that was around your mouse appeared around your WASD, X and SHIFT keys, poised to press them.
  740. >One.
  741. >Match start, you switched quickly to your Karambit and started down Long A.
  742. >There wasn’t a single teammate at your back, they all went B and Cat.
  743. >You smirked and held down X to talk, turning your snout towards your mic.
  744. “All T’s please report to Long A to be executed.”
  745. >There was dead silence till you reached the long doors, then a T spoke up.
  746. >”Shut the fuck up faggot and get that wasp out of your mouth while you’re at it.”
  747. >You breathed deep, almost as though you were sucking all that hate straight out of the air.
  748. >It was so thick and perfect it made you feel giddy.
  749. “I’ll get your brain out of your fucking skull, if there’s any brain in there at all, cuntlips.”
  750. >You switched to your deagle and got in position behind the barrel by Long Doors, crosshair trained on the entrance at head height.
  751. >You could hear footsteps and quick little weapon switches just beyond the doors, T’s getting in position.
  752. >Slow and sloppy.
  753. >Not budging and inch, you waited for them, at the ready.
  754. >Suddenly the footsteps came in louder and louder.
  755. >You saw a Tec-9 peek out.
  756. >”COMING TO GET YOU FAGLO-“
  757. >The stupid bastard didn’t even get the chance to finish, you shot him straight in the head before pulling back behind the dumpster.
  758. >Half a second later and the second T came rushing through, Tec-9 waving around.
  759.  
  760. >Just a quick headshot and he was down.
  761. “Hard to talk shit when YOU’RE DEAD ON THE FUCKING FLOOR COCKSUCKER.”
  762. >You grinned, fangs gritting together, and rushed through the doors.
  763. >Happiness and hatred, it didn’t matter which.
  764. >The both of them got your heart beating volcanically, it felt like you could forge a god damned sword in your barrel.
  765. >It’d probably come out looking like something straight from fucking Mordor.
  766. >With a quick flick of your mouse, you popped another headshot on the T trying to hide behind the crates inside Long Doors.
  767. >You paused for a moment, listening behind the second set of doors, right outside Outside Long.
  768. >Nothing.
  769. >Nothing.
  770. >Footstep.
  771. >Someone was waiting.
  772. >Well, they’d have to wait just a little bit longer.
  773. >You checked the scoreboard and reloaded, most of CT was down, with just five down on T side, leaving the T’s with five up.
  774. >Your radar was telling you that your three remaining team mates were all holed up on B with the bomb down.
  775. >Archer leaned forward a little.
  776. >”Should’ve stuck with your team.”
  777. >You hissed and spat back at him.
  778. “Don’t fucking matter. It’s casual, none of these retards can even touch me.”
  779. >On that, you pushed, jumping out with your deagle trained and ready.
  780. >Nothing there, Outside Long was empty.
  781. >…You moved slowly towards T Spawn, holding shift so you wouldn’t make a noise.
  782. >Checked Top Mid, clear.
  783. >Then the hallway by Suicide, clear.
  784. >Up the ramp to T Spawn annndddd-
  785. >Faggot waiting with his Glock.
  786.  
  787. >You fired once into his chest and then got the headshot.
  788. >Your eyes darted over to your health.
  789. >It was at 80%, no big deal really.
  790. >On you pressed, moving deftly through T Spawn and into Outside Tunnels.
  791. >Stopping just outside the entrance to Upper B, you reloaded and checked the leaderboard.
  792. >Both of your teammates were down and there were two players left up on T side.
  793. >The last two T’s were in a clan too, you could see their tag “The_Operators”.
  794. >Woofr and Crane Operator huh?
  795. >You turned your mic on.
  796. “Hey faggots whatcha’ doing on-
  797. >”Bomb planted.”
  798. “Shit.”
  799. >Crane Operator laughed and answered.
  800. >”Nahh don’t worry man, you got like three minutes left.”
  801. >Cursing under your breath, you kept moving, deagle out through the Tunnels.
  802. >”Apocrita huh? More like… Julietta! Get it? Julietta? Juliette? You both die in the end!”
  803. >Woofr spoke up that time, guy sounded like a real fucking asshole too.
  804. >The pair of butt buddies were probably in a skype call, made you snort and seethe with anger.
  805. >You noticed that your rush had dimmed though, you couldn’t feel all that hate exploding inside you anymore.
  806. >It was derision you felt now, the pair of cockgobblers were looking down on you.
  807. >”Here here, wait, I’ll change my name to Romeo and everything.”
  808. >Ignoring the banter, you kept on moving through the tunnels, checking every corner and hidey hole.
  809. >You took a quick peek at B Plat, no one in sight.
  810. >Must be in Closet, maybe Dog.
  811. >Taking a deep breath, ran through Tunnels and into B proper, checking Dog.
  812. >Clear, you turned around and came face to face with a T walking through B Doors.
  813. >You fired immediately, straight to his chest.
  814. >That was Crane Operator down, whatever the fuck sort of shit name that was.
  815.  
  816. “Hey, got your butt buddy, faggot.”
  817. >”He’s pretty fucking shit at this game, almost as bad as me.”
  818. >Jesus, the idiot really did change his name to Romeo.
  819. >You moved carefully, there was still plenty of time on the bomb.
  820. >No one Car, no one Back Plat, no one Back Site far as you could tell.
  821. >The bomb was ticking.
  822. >You took a deep breath, your heart slowed down a couple paces.
  823. >Where would an asshole hide?
  824. >…Behind Double Stack.
  825. >You jumped around the crates and fired.
  826. >Romeo wasn’t there.
  827. >Suddenly you took a hit, your health dove down to 1%.
  828. >The fucker was using a revolver.
  829. >Whirling around to face Window, you fired again.
  830. >Headshot.
  831. “Asshole Romeo down. Guess it really is like the play huh? You die first.”
  832. >Cackling, you went over and defused the bomb.
  833. >”FUCK YOU FAGGOT SUCK MY DICK YOU FUCKING HACKER THERE’S NO WAY YOU COULD HEADSHOT ME WHEN I’M MOVING OUT OF FUCKING LONG DOOR LIKE THAT YOU FUCKING CUNT”
  834. >”YOU GUYYYYSSSSSSSSS-“
  835. >”FUCKING GEEEE GEEEE FAGGOTS”
  836. >”GG I gu-“
  837. >”SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU FUCKING COCK MONGLER YOU LOST THE GAME”
  838. “Ahhhhhh…”
  839. >All that hatred was just icing on the cake.
  840. >You turned and grinned at Archer, buzzing and fluttering your wings contentedly.
  841. “I could get used to this.”
  842.  
  843. >Archer nodded and gave you a pat on the back.
  844. >”Good. It was a bugging me, seeing you without your CS.”
  845. “Best twenty bucks I ever passed up.”
  846. >Standing up, Archer was smiling mildly at you.
  847. >”I still have some more bang for your buck, actually.”
  848. >You stood up too, setting your fore hooves up on the back of your chair so that your head was at the same height as Archer’s.
  849. >You smiled, curious with one brow perked.
  850. “Yeah? What’s that?”
  851. >Still with that half smile, Archer took a step back and urged you to hop out of your seat.
  852. >You obliged, hooves touching down lightly.
  853. >”Disguises. You can use your magic to change your form.”
  854. “Seriously?”
  855. >You blinked, surprised.
  856. >Now that you thought of it though, you were a Changeling.
  857. >If you were remembering one of Anonymous’ drunken rants back in high school correctly, Changelings were fairies that would steal babies in their cribs, then take their place to feed off of the family.
  858. >So…
  859. “Well I guess that makes sense. I feed on love.”
  860. >Smirking, you pointed up at your evil looking mug.
  861. >You might have added in a snaky fucking tongue flick along with some glowey green bug eye pulsing on purpose for emphasis.
  862. “And this is the sort of face not even a mother could love.”
  863. >Archer shrugged.
  864. >”You’d be surprised. I’ve gotten some weird guys down at the bar.”
  865. “Whatever. Teach me.”
  866. >Archer started over to your door, taking easy strides.
  867. >You followed closely behind him.
  868. >”It’s hard to explain. But I’ll do my best. Basically it’s the same sort of thinking as magic, focusing on what you want.”
  869.  
  870. >You frowned as a thought started to be engendered in your mind.
  871. >How did Archer know all this shit anyway?
  872. >Sure, he was a smart faggot, real smart.
  873. >Something about he “used to be a pharmacist” or something.
  874. >Plus he was dealing these drugs after all.
  875. >The two of you walked down the hall and into your kitchen.
  876. >But the sort of stuff Archer had taught you so far wasn’t really something you could learn just by selling the drug alone.
  877. >Archer hopped up on your counter and took a seat.
  878. >You kept your eyes on Archer as you sat back on your haunches in front of him.
  879. >He still had that inscrutable gaze locked on you, blue ices like deep dark pits in the ocean floor.
  880. “So where did you learn this stuff anyway?”
  881. >…
  882. >Quiet, stillness.
  883. >Archer’s chest was especially still, hardly even rising and falling.
  884. >But you could hear his heartbeat with your sensitive ears, and you could smell a little bit of tension on the air, if that made any sense.
  885. >The tension might be imagined though, you weren’t sure.
  886. >”Well.”
  887. >A half smile cracked on Archer’s face, like the sun peeking out over the horizon.
  888. >That was definitely tension.
  889. >”You pick these things up you know.”
  890. >Archer had your pill bottle full of C4NG3 in his hand, the cap was already off.
  891. >You stared, stunned as Archer took a pill out, spared a glance at it, and then popped it into his mouth.
  892. >He swallowed.
  893. >You blinked, not really sure how to react.
  894. “You’ve taken it before.”
  895. >”Every single iteration except for the Italian ones. And all of them at least once.”
  896.  
  897. >Archer took his shoes off before easing off of your counter.
  898. >You could already see the black chitin spreading bit by bit up his fingers.
  899. >”Had to make sure the stuff was safe.”
  900. “I guess.”
  901. >Nonchalant about the fact that he was gradually shifting into a bug horse, Archer walked behind your counter to maintain some modesty as he took his clothes off.
  902. >You caught a glimpse of two identical tattoos on his buttocks as he took his pants off though, of a clear shot glass and a phial crossed together.
  903. >Kind of weird, they were cartoony and not really Archer’s style.
  904. >The chitin had reached all the way up to Archer’s shoulders now, he showed no signs of pain or discomfort though.
  905. >Archer shrugged off his shirt and vest, taking the time to fold them before setting them out on your counter.
  906. >His muscles rippled with each movement, back flexing as he rolled his shoulders.
  907. >An eye stared back at you from there, tattooed in Archer’s flesh.
  908. >It was huge, spread all across his back from deltoid to deltoid, and in the same blue as Archer’s own eyes.
  909. >Down the rest of Archer’s back, bleeding hands held up lotus flowers to the eye.
  910. “I never understood that tattoo. Just looks creepy as fuck to me.”
  911. >Archer turned around to face you, completely nude.
  912. >Luckily the counter was blocking his lower bits.
  913. >”I like it. Went to Anonymous for the suggestion actually.”
  914. “What’s it mean anyway? It’s always codes and symbols with that stuck up prick.”
  915. >Archer actually laughed, hardly sparing a glance down at the shiny black exoskeleton that had already covered his abs and was now spreading across his chest.
  916. >”In his own words: ‘It represents the Archangel Ramiel, who guides the souls of the reborn and the faithful into heaven.’ ”
  917. >You rolled your eyes and stood up, watching Archer’s scarred hands ball up and meld into unmarked hooves.
  918. “Of course it does.”
  919. >A vile symphony of cracks echoed on the air when Archer’s spine snapped and shrunk down into place.
  920.  
  921. >He grunted, falling over as gracefully as he could onto all fours.
  922. >You figured you’d be able to look without getting an eyeful of Archer’s cock now, so you trotted around the counter to face him.
  923. >Archer’s back legs were shrinking, bending up and widening at the thighs now, just as his arms shrunk and filled in to be the girth all over.
  924. >You could tell he was going to be bigger than you.
  925. >Archer’s barrel was much bigger than yours, and his wings spread wider and crimson red on his back.
  926. >The hair on Archer’s head burned up in a bright red flame, making place for the chitin to spread along his scalp, changing the shape of his skull as it went.
  927. >A horn erupted from his forehead, twice as long as yours with an extra jagged curve in it.
  928. >And then Archer’s mouth reformed, stretching into a boxy and rough looking snout.
  929. >His ears stretched too, moving up along the sides of his head to rest right at the top, black and long.
  930. >He opened his new eyes, red and pulsing the same way yours did.
  931. >Archer’s red head fin and red tail came in next, swooshing slightly behind him.
  932. >The transformation was nearly finished.
  933. >Now came the painful part, you knew.
  934. >Archer knew too of course, he snorted and shut his eyes tight in preparation.
  935. >A bang hit the air, loud and clangorous as the sound of it rebounded off of the tiled floor in your kitchen.
  936. >Archer had a hole now, in his right fore leg.
  937. >Despite the pain, Archer just frowned deeper.
  938. >Then came two more bangs in quick succession, along with two more holes in his right leg.
  939. >Archer’s brow furrowed further, his breath came short.
  940. >You watched, mildly impressed, as Archer withstood hole after hole.
  941. >Until finally, it was over.
  942. >Breathing a little heavily, Archer opened his eyes and started trotting to you.
  943. >Then suddenly he screamed and dropped down flat on his stomach.
  944. >You jumped back in surprise, eyes darting all over Archer, looking for a wound.
  945. >You spotted it on his neck.
  946.  
  947. >A scar was being traced all the way down Archer’s neck, from the jawline to the nape, wide and ragged in pale white across his otherwise black chitin.
  948. >Archer kept on bellowing, obviously in extraordinary pain.
  949. >You’d never seen him like that, ever.
  950. >Hell, you’d never even heard him yell before.
  951. >And you’d known Archer for years now, years of boxing, drunken brawling, street brawling, a car crash and more than a few wipeouts on one thing or another.
  952. >Never had you seen him show pain like that.
  953. >It seemed to last for ages, the screaming, and tears started to run down Archer’s cheeks.
  954. >You were starting to wonder if you should dial nine one one.
  955. >But just as you started to trot away to do it, Archer went silent.
  956. >The finished scar looked like it had been done with goddamn cleaver or an axe.
  957. >Archer stood up, breathing in and out deeply.
  958. >All in all, he looked positively brutal.
  959. >Where your features were slyer and almost snake like in places, Archer looked like he was carved from solid stone.
  960. >Cruelty as opposed to your viciousness.
  961. >He was around five feet tall, built like a tank with thick fore and hind legs.
  962. >The chitin on Archer’s back, his wings, tail, fin and eyes were all in that crimson red like blood.
  963. >And the scar only added to it all.
  964. >Archer looked himself over, then spoke.
  965. >His voice was a deep rumble as always, hardly changed by the background buzz to it.
  966. >Faggot had no off switch.
  967. >”You’ve got yourself some special stuff here Kane.”
  968. >You laughed, hissing and cold.
  969. “No shit. What the fuck was that about?”
  970. >Archer sat back on his haunches, rolling his neck, getting the kinks out.
  971. >”Your C4NG3 gave me the exact same shape and size as the last time I took C4NG3.”
  972. >Wincing a little, Archer passed a fore hoof over his scar.
  973. >”Right down to the things that I got while I was transformed.”
  974.  
  975. >You stared, incredulous.
  976. “What the fuck did you do?”
  977. >Archer shrugged.
  978. >”Got in a fight with some drunk who’d had too much to drink. Told him I wouldn’t serve him anymore and then we started beating on each other.
  979. “Jesus fuck. Did he have a knife or something?”
  980. >Archer shook his head, examining his hooves now.
  981. >“No. All of this happened when I was in disguise by the way. Right after the fight ended I was carrying the drunk to the bus stop and I tripped, fell on that spiked metal fence that’s around the cemetery. My disguise fell off, but he was too drunk to notice and there was no one else around to see.”
  982. >You shook your head too, sighing.
  983. “Shit.”
  984. >”The transformation reverted just ten minutes after that. The ten minutes hurt a bit though.”
  985. >Your muzzle scrunched up.
  986. >”Hurt a bit.” huh?
  987. >…This was the most Archer you’d ever seen Archer be.
  988. >You couldn’t help but laugh at the stubborn fag.
  989. “You’re a fucking idiot.”
  990.  
  991. >Archer simply stood up and used his magic to fill a glass of water for himself.
  992. >He hovered the glass over in his red tinged magic before answering.
  993. >”Yeah.”
  994. >Then Archer downed it all, refilled it, then downed it all again.
  995. >Archer set the glass down on the counter as he stood up on his hind legs.
  996. >”Let’s start.”
  997. >His form elongated and grew dramatically in size, becoming enveloped in a stark red flame.
  998. >Wherever the fire passed, Archer’s changeling features shifted to human ones, hooves became hands and his snout turned into a mouth.
  999. >At the end of it, Archer was standing before you once again, human as usual with the exact same clothes he came in with.
  1000. >You felt the need to look over at the counter to check that Archer’s real clothes were actually there.
  1001. >Yep.
  1002. >A fanged grin worked its way onto your snout.
  1003. “Now that’s useful.”
  1004. >Archer leaned up against your counter, neutral, crimson eyes focused on you.
  1005. >There was the ghost of a smile on his face as he shook his head.
  1006. >”To be honest, I feel like you’re the worst person to teach this to.”
  1007. >You stood up on all four hooves and trotted over to Archer, smirking.
  1008. “Come on, I won’t cause any trouble with it.”
  1009. >Archer stared, then walked over to fill his glass up again.
  1010. >He drank it all before talking.
  1011. >”Yes you will. First things first.”
  1012. >Your gaze was locked on Archer as he pointed up at his eyes.
  1013. >”Notice?”
  1014. “Yeah. They’re red.”
  1015. >Nodding, Archer blinked.
  1016. >And just like that his eyes turned blue.
  1017.  
  1018. >”You have to be careful about things like that. Little details. You’ll often be disguising yourself as a lover, and you’ll be interacting with their partner. Don’t assume they know every little thing about their partner, KNOW that they KNOW every little thing about their partner.”
  1019. >You nodded.
  1020. >Archer gestured half-heartedly at you before leaning back against your counter again.
  1021. >”Alright. Give it a shot.”
  1022. “Just… Give it a shot?”
  1023. >”Yeah. Try it, it’s not that hard really.”
  1024. >You blinked a couple times and backed away from Archer to get some space.
  1025. >Ok…
  1026. >You figured it must be emotion based, like all the other magic.
  1027. >Taking a deep breath, you pooled your emotions, bringing the hatred, the love and the happiness out.
  1028. >Your barrel was heating up progressively as you did it, magic flowed into your horn again.
  1029. >You buzzed and buzzed, thinking hard now on what you wanted to look like.
  1030. >Images of you before the C4NG3 flashed in your mind’s eye, short brown hair, average height with a slightly stocky build.
  1031. >Your thoughts refined themselves into sharper and sharper details, peering as though through a looking glass at the form you were adopting.
  1032. >Finally, once you had the full picture, you tried to apply it.
  1033. >For a second, the magic from your horn didn’t react at all, merely sliding down your chitin.
  1034. >Then suddenly it caught fire.
  1035. >Green flames jetted up from your tail, burning it away.
  1036. >You stood up on your hind legs so that the fire could keep going, feeling the heat of it licking at your hind legs.
  1037. >The fire passed quickly, and just like that you were human again, standing there in your pajamas and your white shirt.
  1038. >You looked yourself over, hands, arms, feet, face.
  1039. >It was all there.
  1040. >Then you turned to grin at Archer.
  1041. “Perfect of course.”
  1042. >Archer shook his head and pointed at your mouth.
  1043. >”Fangs.”
  1044. “Ah.”
  1045. >You closed your mouth and thought back to human teeth, gnashing.
  1046. >And just like that your fangs shifted to better suit your form.
  1047.  
  1048. >Spreading your arms wide for a cocky shrug, you smirked at Archer.
  1049. “Perfect. Of course.”
  1050. >”Eyes.”
  1051. >You sighed and blinked a couple times, shifting the green of your irises to your old hazel.
  1052. >Frowning now, you glared at Archer.
  1053. “Done?”
  1054. >Archer looked you over, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
  1055. >But in the end Archer nodded his approval.
  1056. >”Good enough. Try someone else.”
  1057. “Alright…”
  1058. >People you knew flashed through your mind’s eye as you mapped out features and details.
  1059. >Jesus, you really could do anyone, couldn’t you?
  1060. >Aim high then.
  1061. >You focused your thoughts, locking onto a single individual.
  1062. >Details, deep brown eyes, small but lithe body, packed tight with muscle at five foot seven.
  1063. >Nice fuckin tits with thick child bearing hips.
  1064. >Beautiful girl next door kind of face.
  1065. >You opened your eyes and looked down, taking in your new disguise.
  1066. >You were completely nude now, with your nipples at the end of your shapely breasts out in the open air.
  1067. >Your long brown hair draped across your chest, parting at your curves and curling at the ends.
  1068. >Giggling with that feminine voice you’d adopted, you tossed Archer a somewhat more seductive smirk.
  1069. >The faggot just nodded of course, betraying no sense of surprise at all.
  1070.  
  1071. >”Alex Morgan huh? It’s well done.”
  1072. “Damn right it is. I got it all down pat Archer.”
  1073. >You dismissed your disguise seamlessly as you hopped up on the kitchen counter, so that your changeling rump made contact rather than Alex Morgan’s shapely soccer behind.
  1074. >Archer nodded, half smiling.
  1075. >”You can fly too. But that comes easy.”
  1076. >You got halfway to asking just how fast you could fly when your gut started to upend itself and your brain suddenly seemed to have been dunked in muck.
  1077. “Habbbuh…”
  1078. >You hunched over, drooling all over your floor and trying your best to keep your lunch down.
  1079. >Everything was blurry all of a sudden, from the slobber oozing over your fangs to the tiles below you.
  1080. >Sighing, Archer reached over and picked you up, cradling you in his arms.
  1081. >In a moment of odd clarity, you could feel the scars all along his skin rubbing against your chitin as Archer hefted you up gently.
  1082. >In between slow blinks of your eyes, you could see your bedroom coming closer and closer.
  1083. >”The naloxone hydrochloride has worn off. Don’t worry about the pills. I’ll buy them off of you in the morning.”
  1084. >You could hardly even work out just what Archer was communicating to you, his voice sounded so far away…
  1085. >…But you did feel all warm, right in your belly, full like…
  1086. >After a big meal or whatever.
  1087. “Fuhhk…. Bah… Fuhhkin take me tah bed fag. M slepp.”
  1088. >Buzzing feebly, you rolled over in Archer’s arms and let your eyelids droop shut.
  1089. >The last thing you felt was a comforter being pulled up to the nape of your neck and tucked in under your whole tiny little bug body, sealing in the warmth from all that love you’d soaked up.
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