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fall of peep

JillPill Jun 15th, 2018 86 Never
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  1. I was an angel, once. A tall, stoic rabbit they called Peter.
  2.  
  3. I was granted the privilege of being an angel because I never really said or did anything wrong, and they didn't really seem to care whether or not I had done anything right. I was told I had the quality of being an "empathetic pragmatist", which I believe just means I have a bog-standard aversion to seeing people's lives play out in a bad way. They word it that way make you feel like it's a special, saintly trait.
  4.  
  5. When it came time to get anything done, I didn't. It's not like I didn't know what to do, either. You have the flow of prayers, you pick one out, you review it, you decide where divine intervention is warranted and how it should be executed, and you write up your intervention and have it approved by your peers. If I wasn't stumbling to come up with suitable interventions, I was afraid to let anyone else see them. It felt like any prayer I wanted to answer wound up being too inconsequential to bother the other angels with, and they'd probably shoot it down. Before long I had decided that I really wasn't cut out for this. I wasn't feeling heaven's clouds beneath its mountains of paperwork. After overhearing a joke about how any prayer that reaches me is doomed to go unanswered, I knew I needed to work up the courage to ask for help.
  6.  
  7. I was directed to a counselor, who turned out to be a phoenix, who turned out to be some kind of divine psychic. I did not have to say much for him to deduce that I was "a fish out of water", but he didn't mean this in the way I had assumed. His explanation was more or less that my mind and body didn't seem to match my soul, and I had somehow taken the path of an angel without truly being one. He said it was a mistake to be proud of, but one that needed to be unraveled and corrected before it caused more problems. He assured me that we could work out a solution, and that it would be difficult, and that I would be stronger for it.
  8.  
  9. The first thing I needed to do was figure out what kind of "soul" I had. He asked me to try and remember any unusual fascinations I've had throughout my life, particularly those where I've imagined being someone else. I started to recall certain things of that nature. Before long I found myself re-indulging in old fantasies and noticing something they all had in common. I began to feel shame at the realization that I was someone else, just some coward wearing the mask of a better person. I didn't know what else to do but cry.
  10.  
  11. "I want you to understand that this isn't what cowardice looks like. This is what a society of cowards looks like. Whether it was a conscious decision or not, you were only wise to protect yourself from it."
  12.  
  13. After my emotions had settled down a bit, I asked him if he would elaborate on what exactly he meant when using the word "soul", which is a term that I always understood to refer to some nebulous spiritual side of our being. He told me that a precise answer was inconclusive, but I should interpret it like this: You have these great spirits who manifest themselves as any number of living beings throughout the universe at any given time. Your soul is more or less a stamp that determines which of these spirits you belong to. When you die, your soul carries your memories back to the spirit that created you, and the spirit consumes those memories to grow and evolve. I would infer that spirits have some form of an identity, and they may end up creating a "black sheep" from time to time that doesn't quite represent them. (Or in my case, a white rabbit.)
  14.  
  15. "And this is where one of us can help you."
  16.  
  17. Apparently, a phoenix has the ability to delay the soul of the deceased from returning to its spirit. If the soul doesn't return to the spirit, it doesn't get to unload the memories it created during the life it just lived. If the soul is assigned a new bearer before its memories have been unloaded, they carry over to the soul's next life. In short, a phoenix can reincarnate you with your memories intact. I guess it was no wonder this guy knew so much.
  18.  
  19. "I don't specialize in this procedure, but I can refer you to someone who does."
  20.  
  21. I'm not even going to pretend this was a difficult decision for me to make, if you can even call it a decision. He forecasted that my new life would be a massive downgrade in the eyes of most. I wouldn't have a conventional family. I wouldn't be reborn among many kind people, and I wouldn't be regarded too highly among said people. I might even forget what it's like to feel safe. Despite all of this, I did not manage to even consider changing my mind. It's not that I was fearless, but for once I actually wanted something far more than I could possibly dread the consequences.
  22.  
  23. I was, quite literally, sent to Hell to start my new life. I was referred to a small facility that specializes in rebirth there, wherein I met another phoenix. She went over the procedure with me in great detail, including things I would be required to do after the fact. I'll spare you all the horrifying details and just say that this process was fascinating. I had no idea this kind of thing was possible. All I really had to do at this point was lie down on a table and she'd take care of rest.
  24.  
  25. Before long I found myself somewhere else. I was lost in some dense forest. I spotted flames in the distance, and before I knew it I was surrounded by them. The fire closed in on me quickly, and just when I thought I was about to start feeling the intense pain of immolation, my entire body went numb. I collapsed to the ground. My vision soon went blank, but the sensation in my body slowly began to return. It was not the sensation of being burned alive. It felt more like I was sinking in quicksand, unable to see or move under the weight of the earth. The dirt began to feel softer, lighter, and cooler against me. It was almost like I was buried in silk, or perhaps feathers. I still felt kind of weak, but maybe now I could dig myself out.
  26.  
  27. "Oh. Awake already?"
  28.  
  29. I opened my eyes. I found myself cradled in the wings of a much larger phoenix than the one I had met before. I don't remember the exact words she greeted me with because I was fixated on how everything around me was suddenly huge. As she carried me into another room, I recalled that the procedure I had just undergone was in fact not the simple lung surgery I momentarily assumed it was.
  30.  
  31. "Right, that happened years ago. This is the one that completely resets me... Sort of. I think it mostly just makes me feel sore." I thought to myself. I can only guess that my memories from my past life were still returning to me at this point, but not in any discernable order. The phoenix laid me down on a bed.
  32.  
  33. "Do you remember me?"
  34.  
  35. I nodded. There was a lot of fog in my head, but perhaps my memory of this phoenix was recent enough that it never left me.
  36.  
  37. "Good. You're gonna feel kinda loopy for a while. I'll be back in an hour to see how you're doing."
  38.  
  39. I nodded again. My head began to ache as I lie there remembering things. At the same time, I was trying to form a grasp of what my new body was like, because I hadn't been offered a mirror or anything yet. At first I thought my head had been covered with a blanket in some fashion, but when I tried to move it, I discovered that my ears were now hugging the sides of my head. There was also something hard near the base of my ears that I couldn't figure out. My fur had become more of a tan color, and I could no longer feel the wings I had sprouted when I became an angel.
  40.  
  41. As soon as I considered that I might now be female, it was obvious to me. You can't be rid of something so... cumbersome without feeling the difference. I started giggling under my breath, barely able to contain a newfound euphoria. I had never felt this good about anything before. Somehow, this was a much greater privilege to me than being an angel.
  42.  
  43. "How are we doing?" That couldn't have been more than 30 minutes.
  44.  
  45. "Mmm... Small." I joked. Holy heck though, my voice was so cute!
  46.  
  47. "Ha, I get to be the tall one now!"
  48.  
  49. She looked away for just a moment, and then back at me with widened eyes.
  50.  
  51. "And you're smiling for once?!"
  52.  
  53. Her words triggered some shy, stoic impulse within me. It compelled me to raise a paw to cover my mouth. But something else pulled it away just as it got there. This wasn't the kind of smile I wanted to stay hidden. It was too... sincere? Like a smile born of genuine happiness. Not the kind you make when being polite, or when you find something funny.
  54.  
  55. "Sooo, how was death?" The sheer bluntness of her question made us both laugh. "Not much to it, huh?"
  56.  
  57. "Mmm, I think I actually had a dream during the procedure."
  58.  
  59. "Oh yeah? Did it involve fire?"
  60.  
  61. "It did. I take it that's not unusual?"
  62.  
  63. "Well, it's pretty rare for patients to have a dream in the first place. But! Where there's dreams, there's fire I guess." She chuckled.
  64.  
  65. By this point I was already contemplating whether or not I was ready to face myself in a mirror. The thought of it made my heart race. Rabbits generally aren't troubled in the looks department, but I wasn't entirely sure if I still was one. I could only rule out being anything that had hooves or lacked fur. Taking my ears into consideration, it seemed equally likely that I was a puppy of some sort. Before I could think of other possibilities, I was spoken to again.
  66.  
  67. "Still waiting on the result of your examination. Are you hungry yet?"
  68.  
  69. I wasn't hungry, really. I considered using this opportunity to ask about my appearance, but was fended off by anxiety. Then I had another idea.
  70.  
  71. "I'm kind of thirsty, actually. Could I get some water?"
  72.  
  73. "Of course. I'll be right back."
  74.  
  75. She left the room briefly and came back with a pitcher full of water and a paper cup. She set them down on a stand next to my bed.
  76.  
  77. "Thank you."
  78.  
  79. "Anything else?"
  80.  
  81. "I'm good for now."
  82.  
  83. After she left to check on other patients, I attempted to take a peek at my reflection within the cup of water. It didn't quite work out how I imagined. The water was much too clear for me to have it reflect much of anything. Thankfully, it turned out that the lid for the pitcher of water she gave me was made of a clear plastic. I held it up to my face and was able to make out one important detail right away. My nose seemed pretty rabbit-like, and the sight of it led me to another trail of thought: If I actually were a different species, my face and mouth would probably feel very different from what I'm used to, but they didn't. I put the lid back on the pitcher and sighed.
  84.  
  85. I rested on my side for a few minutes and waited for my phoenix friend to return.
  86.  
  87. "Hello there. How do you feel?"
  88.  
  89. "Pretty good."
  90.  
  91. "Great. It looks like your examination has been reviewed, and here we have all these juicy details written up about you. Now, I have to remind you how we can't really predict how our patients are going to end up. We can only identify which traits you have after the fact, and make sure they came out normal. That is... in the sense that they don't need to be corrected to avoid future problems."
  92.  
  93. I nodded along with this explanation, which I had more or less already heard before.
  94.  
  95. "That said, you got perfect marks in this regard. You seem as ordinary and healthy as can be, which means we can move on to the list of things you will need to know about your new self. Some of these may already be obvious from having looked in the mirror. First--"
  96.  
  97. "Um, wait. Should I have seen myself in the mirror yet?"
  98.  
  99. She gave me what I could only describe as a confused smirk. "...Have you looked up?"
  100.  
  101. I turned my head to the ceiling to find a phoenix and a tiny little rabbit staring back down at me.
  102.  
  103. "...Really? This whole time?" We shared a pretty hefty laugh.
  104.  
  105. "In my defense, I rarely ever lie on my back."
  106.  
  107. I leaned back and took a moment to get a better look at my reflection. Somehow it didn't feel appropriate to consider myself a rabbit now. I was more of a bunny. While there's no technical difference between the two terms, that one seems to convey more cuteness, which I now had in spades. God damn. I may never understand why this made me feel so good. I looked simply incredible.
  108.  
  109. "You seem pleased." Her reflection spoke at me.
  110.  
  111. I sat back up and looked at her directly. Tears had already welled up in front of my eyes. As I brushed them away, all I could respond with with was a nod and a smile. She gave me a moment to recompose.
  112.  
  113. "Let's continue."
  114.  
  115. "Right. So, it looks like your species hasn't changed, which saves us a bit of trouble. You've only gone from a plain white to a tan lop, which is a pretty minimal difference. Just be mindful of where your ears are now." I nodded.
  116.  
  117. "Next up, you've been reborn with a pre-existing affinity, which is succubus." I wasn't sure I had heard her correctly.
  118.  
  119. "Um, you mean, like... a sex demon?"
  120.  
  121. "Well... as you've just demonstrated, most people will probably think of it like that. What it really means is up to you, though."
  122.  
  123. I wasn't sure what to think.
  124.  
  125. "I'm sure you can already feel that you have some horns growing in above your ears. At some point in your life, your tail will also grow into the shape of a demon tail. Since your species doesn't have a very long tail to begin with, it will probably look less like a hybrid tail and more like you have one tail growing out of the other."
  126.  
  127. "That's... kinda weird." I looked away for a second and tried to picture this phenomenon. A tail that resembled a vine growing out of a bulb. If nothing else, it seemed symbolically appropriate.
  128.  
  129. "What's more, succubus is an affinity which is often accompanied by some capacity for magic. You are advised to seek out a tutor and explore any potential you may have in this field, as it could prove helpful or even essential to your way of life. Understood?"
  130.  
  131. "Um... Yes." I really wasn't used to being told I needed to study magic. Where I was from, it was largely looked down on as a substitute for wisdom; a crutch for those who aren't strong or clever enough to confront their weaknesses fairly. I never had the strongest grasp on this belief, but I also never really stopped to question it.
  132.  
  133. "Is that everything?"
  134.  
  135. "Do I need to explain your new sex?"
  136.  
  137. "Welp, I think that's everything."
  138.  
  139. "Good. At some point you're going to receive a folder with all of this information anyway. We should already have someone finding a good place to foster you until you've grown back up and adjusted."
  140.  
  141. Grown back up. That's not a phrase I had even anticipated hearing before.
  142.  
  143. "Do you need anything before I go?"
  144.  
  145. "I'm fine. Thank you."
  146.  
  147. I laid back in my bed again and stared at the girl on the ceiling. This was a lot to absorb. I had something I'd always wanted, but I really didn't know what I was doing with it. I didn't really know how to be a girl, let alone a succubus. For all I knew, that meant I was destined to be some kind of slut. It was frightening on some level. I had never seen a place or an age where that's considered a normal, desirable, or even acceptable thing to be. To keep myself from overthinking it, I reminded myself of the sentiment that got me this far: "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it." I was contemplating things for a few hours before enlisting some things I had brought along with me to kill time.
  148.  
  149. After God knows how long, I was informed that I had visitors. I sat up along the side of my bed to meet them. At first I only saw a fellow bunny coming in. Black fur, dressed in maid attire, and holding paws with someone much shorter than herself.
  150.  
  151. "Hello..." She greeted me as her companion shyly made himself visible behind her. He was a little golden retriever pup. Couldn't have been much older than I now was.
  152.  
  153. I responded with an awkwardly terse "Hi there."
  154.  
  155. "My name is Cookie and this here is mast-- er, well..."
  156.  
  157. "Yeah..." The dog spoke and they both loosed a nervous laugh. "See, I was just discharged from this place. Haven't really decided a new name yet."
  158.  
  159. "Um, oh. Neither have I." This was about the last kind of visitor I expected.
  160.  
  161. The dog nodded. "I kinda already have a home, though." He sighed. "I took a curious glance at who was still listed here, and by some odd chance there was a bunny... who was also formerly a bunny."
  162.  
  163. "Why is that odd?"
  164.  
  165. "Well, you wanna know what I was before I came here?"
  166.  
  167. "Oh."
  168.  
  169. "Not only that, but I live in a place called Bunderworld."
  170.  
  171. "You're kidding me. That can't be the name of a real place." I glanced over at Cookie to see her smile widen.
  172.  
  173. "Yes." he answered. "Bunderworld is very much a rabbit-driven society... Personally I love it there, and what I figured was, maybe it'd be a good place for you to adjust to your new self."
  174.  
  175. I was already fighting back another wave of tears. I never anticipated that I would have anyone thinking of me before we even met.
  176.  
  177. "So there's a catch here, right?"
  178.  
  179. Cookie and the pup looked at each other for a moment.
  180.  
  181. "I've got nothing." he said.
  182.  
  183. "Just one." Cookie interjected. "Please be reasonable in how much trouble you make for me."
  184.  
  185. The dog scoffed and rolled his eyes. "Yeah, 'cause you know how rabbits are known for being filthy slobs."
  186.  
  187. "I'll be good." I said, meeting his snark halfway. "I'm house trained."
  188.  
  189. Before long I had paged the phoenix and gathered up my things. My shoulder bag was a lot heavier to me on the way out, so I asked if Cookie would get it for me. The phoenix confirmed my new living arrangement for her own records and escorted us to the entrance, where we exchanged our goodybyes.
  190.  
  191. It was time to catch a gateway to Bunderworld.
  192.  
  193. I was thrilled to see my new home. It was way more humble than I anticipated on account of having a maid. As it turned out, Bunderworld operated on a philosophy that bunnies were more difficult to motivate by personal wealth than by the wealth of their surroundings. In another manner of speaking, bunnies were highly social. They were more inclined to please each other than to please themselves.
  194.  
  195. Cookie wound up being something of a role model to me in this regard. She once told me that she hadn't been a maid for any reason other than to serve those she loved. She did so much for us without considering it to be anything more than her hobby. I respected and admired the hell out of her for it.
  196.  
  197. But then, a lot of people in Bunderworld turned out to be like that. I always considered myself a very privileged person, but this place sort of opened my eyes to just how much deeper the rabbit hole goes. Before, it never felt like I was really allowed to just be a sweetheart without also having to take some personal cost into consideration. On some level, going above and beyond on the "good person" scale was tantamount to inflicting self-harm. After all, it wasn't like anybody would return the favor when I needed it. In Bunderworld, though, it seemed like anything you ever needed was there in advance. No one was keeping score.
  198.  
  199. Ranting aside, my dog friend soon decided to call his new self Gold. Cookie and I couldn't object. We got to prod him sometimes by calling him things like "rare and precious" and "softcore metal".
  200.  
  201. As for me, my new name ended up being Peep. A short and cute name for a short and cute bunny. We'll just say that I received my share of teases over it, especially as I came of age.
  202.  
  203. My new childhood was nothing too remarkable. My horns started to show. My fangs started to show. My tail appeared to sprout another tail, much like I had imagined it. I didn't grow a whole lot taller, though I certainly gained some mass around my chest and hips.
  204.  
  205. Magic seemed daunting at first, but turned out to be very easy to grasp. It was all based on what your intentions were, and occasionally those of your target. For instance, while I understand how to, I am virtually unable to use seduction magic in spite of being a succubus. Seduction involves manipulating someone else, which means to do so magically would be categorized as black magic. Black magic can only be invoked if you have ill intentions toward your target. Selfish intentions are not considered ill intentions for the purpose of magic, but "pure" intentions instead, which are linked to gray magic. In that sense, I couldn't seduce someone magically if I only wanted to bang them or something like that. The purpose behind black magic needed to be actively malicious, like if I despised someone and wanted to break their reputation. At the end of the day, black magic ended up being the form I never actually used, but I still considered it an important tool for pushing back against the wicked. There was no rule to suggest black magic couldn't be invoked for the right reason; it was just rare to have the opportunity, particularly where Bunderworld is concerned.
  206.  
  207. As a bunny, the most significant aspect of magic to me was that it augmented my capacity to explore and to hide myself. In particular, there was a form of gray magic known as a dimensional burrow, and it's possibly the single greatest thing I have ever been taught. It gave me a quiet, personal space that only I could move in and out of. (And there wasn't much of a limitation on where I could travel in or out.) With that in mind, I couldn't keep myself in Bunderworld forever. It was the nicest place I had ever been to, sure, but I could never fully adjust to how populated it was. The sheer amount of day-to-day busyness and noise made it hard to relax. I felt like it was inevitable to have a pair of eyes on me at any given moment. And somehow, none of the good things about Bunderworld made me feel less alone than I was anywhere else.
  208.  
  209. To Gold's dismay, I ended up living in my dimensional burrow. He got a bit dramatic over it. Told me I shouldn't come visit because it would only make him relive our separation. I had to assure him that no such separation was happening, and I would still spend a great deal of my time in Bunderworld. The only real difference was that I now had a place all to myself, where it was far easier to just disengage and perhaps even get some sleep. I think the words that convinced him were: "I mean, think about it. No matter where I am in the universe, it would only take me a few seconds to pass through my burrow and emerge back in this very house."
  210.  
  211. I seem to have gotten caught up on the details a bit, but anyway... That more or less covers how I went from a troubled servant of God to the proud nobody I am today. I still don't have much of a goal in life, but if I did, I'd probably be more capable of reaching for it now.
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