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Interlaced

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6 months 2 weeks ago #67962 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty

**9th January, 2007, the Lovecraft room, mid-morning**

Sara finishes putting Marala somewhere safe, and logs off, closing the laptop. "There, done. I love that you can see me that way, like, there's a fire in you that says, Sara is good, why can't everyone see it. Trouble is, often enough I can't see it myself." She stands up, pulls me into a hug and rests her head on me.

I stroke her hair softly and say, "You play that character to test yourself, don't you? Let the darkness off the leash a little, feel what it would be like to be bad, so you have a point of comparison. And to play at temptation and resistance. Where the one you're really tempting is yourself."

"Mm, armchair psychologist", she teases. "Maybe."

"Hey, I had a thought about a thing", I say, as I kind of shuffle our ongoing hug towards the bed where we can get some really good snuggling. "I figured a way to protect Jamie."

"Difficult, when we don't know what finally gets him", Sara agrees as we flop onto the bed. "She's not really built robust, unless she's hosting a spirit that is. And that has its own downsides."

I kiss her for being so wonderful and caring. "So I figured, we might take a leaf out of my book, and one out of Petra's, and make him a spare body. I think I could make one of myself into a genetic, cell for cell clone, if I have enough time. Like a month or so. And then when trouble happens, we just yoink her soul across, and I vacate."

"Could work. Except I'm not sure how easy it would be to vacate a body", Sara agrees. "You might end up head-mates."

"That would be a problem we'd have plenty of time to fix, though", I say.

"If being in a head with you won't bend her out of shape. You aren't really human-shaped in there any more, love."

"Fair point", I concede. "Still, it's worth a try. Some lifeboat beats no lifeboat. Although I find myself constantly tempted to pinch the whole thing in the bud. Those two idiots."

"I've been taking a hand in their dreams, trying to nudge them out of their bad ways", Sara agrees, "But sometimes I feel the same way, like a couple of disappearances wouldn't be missed. They would, though. Carson knows. Security has their eye on both of them. Mostly to catch them at it, but it removes the option of dropping them in a hole and filling it back in. Until they do something, they're still just students, and the school protects them."

"Still leaves the problem of how the hell you end up trapped", I say. "I know Nimbus has a hand in it, but... you aren't weak enough you couldn't batter your way out of some mage's spell."

"They've probably got my true name, somehow." Sara says. "Give the patsy a spell with that woven in, and I'd be bound to it. Couldn't even bargain, I'd just be at their command."

"Stupid universe needs a password reset option", I say, which makes her chuckle and kiss me. Mmm, nice kiss. An idea occurs. "You're not gonna like this, but..."

"You have an idea, and it involves me telling you my true name."

I nod. "If I've summoned you first, they get a busy signal."

"Let me think about it, love. You know how terrifying it would be."

"Yeah. I probably have one, too, now. Same thing could happen to me." I snuggle against her. "Phenomenal cosmic powers..."

She finishes the couplet, "Itty bitty living space", and we both laugh.

And then my stomach gurgles, making us giggle again. I say, "So where I can get second-breakfast out of hours in this penny-ante joint?"

Turns out Crystal Hall delivers "energizer packages" for just this situation, Sara knows how because Paige sometimes needs one. It's kinda crude calories, but there's a lot of kids who need that just to refuel when they've been running their motors. Including, evidently, me. One delivery by short range warper later, and I've got a grease-burger and several packets of fries. Yum! Okay, I should sit up and not mar the lovely silk sheets.

Perhaps prompted by the thought of food, Sara says, "You missed this sleeping through breakfast, but I'd thought you'd like to see", and tentacles curl up from her shoulders to form an angel that looks like a mini-her with a halo slightly askew on a stick, and on the other side a swirly-changing protean blob of a devil. "None of them liked it, frustratingly."

The blob peeks at me with several eyes, forms a mouth and somehow manages to say "tekeli-li!" in a way that carries the feeling "buncha no-taste assholes". The angel on the other side says, "Now don't be rude! I'm sure they have very reasonable reasons... somewhere."

I practically fall off the bed from giggling. "Those are so cute. A microshoggoth! I'm in love. And they are entirely silly to not be in love too. So the angels thing is still taking off then?"

She nods. "Even the birth of a new goddess isn't enough to turn that lot away from their love of pranks." (Her shoulder angel comments, "I think it's rather immature", which is met from the other side by a comment of "raargh" and tentacle waving.) And Sara adds, "I can't really complain when I'm having the same kind of fun myself, even if I am going to have to tone down the devil."

I tentatively pet the microshoggoth, which makes a burbling purr and forms mouths to lightly nip at my finger and tentacles to grasp at it. Aww, yes you may play-bite my finger, you little cutie. I know it's just Sara shapeshifting herself but it's so sweet. "Yeah on that note, I already got a few wanting to do the goddess thing, they mailed me. Can I just redirect them to your religion?"

Laughing, she shakes her head. "Well, to start with, I suppose, but they're your followers, not mine. You should take responsibility for them. But I can ask mine to set up side-shrines and stuff."

"Thanks. I don't even have a proper demon name yet, like, you have Kellith, what's mine?" I say. "Do I have to do a quest for it?"

Sara sighs, "Well, I hadn't really got around to explaining this, but I guess now's the time. The humans might call you a demon but it's because they're lazy on terminology. What you are is a great old one. Daddy and I are unusual, we're both at the same time. It was his idea, and it actually limits us, but it's kind of a way to tie us into the universe, help us feel connected here. Demons are a this-universe thing. Emotions, urges, floating around, gaining power and sentience. We, great old ones, are not. You're this-universe because of your humanity. But your spooky side is reaching out into spaces that precede and barely relate to this universe. Means you've got more raw power at your fingertips than me, in theory, you aren't limited. But also means you don't have a demon name. You're Jules, and Parallel. If you want another name, you're gonna have to make it yourself."

I sigh, because honestly that feels bad, I thought we were more alike that way. I did so want to be. "Rats, I perjured myself with the sword."

Sara shakes her head. "I figure, to whatever extent it guards oaths, it knew you were using the word the human way, and being honest." And hugs me, even despite I'm all greasy with burger juice, and sniffly. "Aww, thank you love, seeing you feel that way means a lot, you know?"

I'm not crying, you're crying. Okay, that's a lie, I'm crying. "Stupid people didn't even see you were showing them a bit of your heart with the shoulder angels thing. And now you have to hide it, it's not fair." I don't know why that's hitting me so hard. Except that it feels like, nobody is reaching out to Sara.

Sara rests her head against me. "You saw it. Hippy did, Paige did. Don't need them to."

"Don't need, no. But it would be nice to have them see you and not some damn projection."

She just kisses me as an answer.

**9th January, 2007, Gothmog's realm, almost lunchtime**

While I've been chatting with Sara over there, I've been getting a haircut over here. Turns out, Gothmog can cut hair (and he's mmm nice with finger scritches on my scalp too). I guess, if you're an immortal demon, you pick up skills. I've been tracking the snips with life-sense so I can replicate the finished result over in Whateley when I've got a few minutes spare. I had to explain why I suddenly got all weepy in the middle. But he understands.

I say, "I just remembered what I was planning to do when I got here, feels like ages ago now. Moving the mark. I want to do that more than ever, now. I really want to show off that I love Sara. It's not like I've got any reason to hide any more."

"Mhm, indeed", he says, snip snip go the scissors. "I think at this point, the reverend will have given up his plan to adopt you as a lost cause. He might still harbour intent to break Donna's guardianship, if only out of spite. But one little thing more won't change the calculations there, I would agree."

"I'm such a trouble to everybody", I grumble. Still feeling mopey. "Even Donna, I turn up and bam, she has troubles."

"The one who is being a trouble is reverend Englund, and he's been a trouble for my daughter too", Gothmog points out. "A comeuppance for him is overdue, in my opinion. Alright, how do you like that?" There's no point offering me a mirror, when I can make a second self and look directly. Oho. Before my hair grew out suddenly, it was a sort of random shaggy bob, the result of growing from zero without ever meeting a stylist. Somehow he's taken that as inspiration, but given it shape and grace, a layered short bob, showing off my curls, while still looking like I climb trees and skin my knees falling out of them. Oh I love this. I give him a hug, while other me is still in the chair grinning. "It's perfect", we say together. Which makes him laugh. Okay, vanish the cut bits, saves on itching and sweeping. And over in the other room, I extend it and copy the cuts, vanishing hairs as they fall, so Sara can see it too. She loves it. Yay!

"Alright the both of you, come along with me", Gothmog says. "Petra, if you're curious, you can come along too. You might not be able to move your own mark, but you can learn how it's done."
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6 months 1 week ago #67986 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty one

Happily, we have time to get some serious snuggling done before lunch, and Sara gets to watch me move the mark, and gives me a kiss over where I've moved it to, to seal the deal. That being right over my heart, in the V of my cleavage where even the school uniform will show it off if I wear the collar loose. No hiding who I love any more!

Snuggling with Sara is so delicious, and I really want the opportunity to repay the favour she did me on Sunday morning (yum, such memories). Everything's been frenetic since then, but now I can do tentacles too, and I'm all but itching to try them out on her. Frustratingly though, it's not private enough at this time of day for anything more than heavy petting and mutual teases. (Tentacles under clothes, mmm nice. And mine are as sensitive as fingertips right down their length, so it's a lovely way to caress her.) Not that I'd personally mind an audience in the least, but I don't want to push my luck with Carson right now. And there isn't really much time, as the clock-monitoring part of me warns, we're coming up on end of third period, which means lunch.

Getting to Crystal Hall a little early, hand in hand with Sara, gives me a head start on the food queue as I do my usual split into three trick, one to stay with Sara, one to wait for the Kimbas to get here, one to fill up trays with piles of noms. I figure, I'm going to be eating like a pig for at least the rest of today, perhaps tomorrow too. I burned down a lot of reserves hatching, and even life sorcery doesn't let me just make new body fat appear - well, not without going unsubtle and leaving a huge magical mess I'd have to beg Fey to repair. Simpler to do it the biological way, namely, food.

Here comes the crowd, the Kimbas included. I give them a wave, and soon we're all in place, crystal touched, no need to worry about eavesdroppers. They're happy to see me safe and well, Toni is sweet with encouraging me to eat up, "You're nothing but skin and bones all of a sudden! Although I love the new hair, and those eyes are amazing." But they are really more worked up about their morning training run, where they defeated a bunch of robots, and Billie is morose that her successful efforts have rendered the training range radioactive and she's been told to tone it down. I make another me to give her a hug, and she's grateful. We scary eldritch creatures should stick together, heh.

Oh, and it seems the chefs have put together a snow-flower salad for Ayla. He pronounces my accidental addition to gastronomy "flavourful, with a nice crunch". For some reason, this makes me smile. I'm not really in Ayla's orbit much, but it feels good that I could do something he enjoys.

Over at the other table, the pack assembles piecemeal, Jet getting here first, she's taking some lessons this term rather than constantly guarding Sara, then Paige and Hippolyta and Erin. Gypsy kinda looks sour, but joins us. I wonder what her regular name is, she's only ever given the codename. Hippolyta finds it amusing that with me and Paige bracketing Sara, she's got blue glowing eyes on one side and pink glowing eyes on the other. Together with Sara's spooky red ones that makes a striking composition. Of course I use another me to peek, and agree it's nifty, which cracks the rest of them up. Having multiple bodies is weird even for here.

It seems they've been hearing rumours about me. The pack is more spread out in affiliations than the Kimbas who stick together and mostly care about each other, so they hear things. Several students have already been talking about me as some sort of life goddess come to Earth. Erin is worried that will invite jealousy from the New Olympians. She's technically one of them, but thinks Imperious and Majestic are selfish stuck-up asses, and Counterpoint is a stab-happy psycho. Duly noted. Paige has picked up a lot of chit-chat between the usual agencies and the more easily bought members of security. I have been noticed, it seems. Not really a surprise. And Gypsy has a verbal prophecy for me and Sara, "the enemy is already within". No further clarification, she tried and got actively blocked. She's worried, I am too, but there's not much I can do to respond yet, so I'll keep it in mind and see if any patterns match. I have an annoying abundance of enemies, which makes narrowing the options hard. Jet, meanwhile, has heard that rumours I'm intersex are spreading, with reactions ranging from disgust to secretly admitted lust. I'm definitely fine with that, maybe Peeper will come back and interview me again? Although I think he's a bit terrified of me. Maybe Jet can refer the lustful ones to me? At least the ones who are girls or non-binary, I don't think I'll ever be into regular boys, but maybe extra feminine ones? It would be enjoyable to have more lovers to share myself with.

I let her know that's okay, and she nods, she'll pass it on. That does get me a funny look from Hippolyta. "Don't you have enough on your plate?"

I shake my head. "I could make a separate body to love every lovable student in the school, if they're willing to share. Maybe when I'm older, I'll have thousands, or millions of lovers at once. I see no reason to hold back. Although certain cuties are definitely first among multitudes", with a grin to Sara, and Paige too. Sara awws, and rests her head on my shoulder, I love her so much.

Erin asks an interesting one, "millions of children too?" Which makes me realize a thing. If I bear, or sire, millions of children, compared to any regular human's one or two, the biggest genetic influence on future generations will be me. If I keep doing it century after century with my indefinite lifetime, I could rewrite the entire genetic basis of humanity, like a one woman gene drive. And given I can change my genetic code at a whim, well... It's a slow power, but it's an enormous, terrifying responsibility of one.

"Maybe", I say. Because I think I probably will, but it'll require a lot of careful, compassionate thought. Sara sends me a secret hug and grin of support and "talk to me about that later" through the mark. And yeah, I can see the rest of them are thinking it through, they aren't idiots. "Best not mention that idea to anyone else", I add. That gets several nods.

I'm going to need my laptop, so I send a body over a teleport to Poe, to fetch it. But there's time to check emails before I go - aha, one from sensei Tolman. She wants me to come in for combat assessment, tomorrow in first period. After the powers re-test, naturally. Other me returns with laptop, me with the pack can keep that and split for the lessons, while me with the Kimbas can walk to the shrink appointment. Sara's decided to take the combat movement class alongside me. She wasn't originally planning to, and I suspect she's mostly there to keep me company. Well, that and outshine everyone else being a scary little speed monster. Yeah, I haven't forgotten reading "the Op". That class is over in Laird, so we head that way together.

Except, unfortunately, looks like it's not going to be plain sailing. Miss butt length brown hair, mister snow white 80s cut and muscles, both look like seniors, and mister black hair red eyes, looks our age and mean, all step out into our way.

Sara says down the mark, "The New Olympians. Erin guessed it."

Yeah, I know them from reading. I mentally show her a scene from a movie I saw as a kid, Johnny five saying "colt 45, semi automatic: play-dough", crushing a handgun with ease. Which makes her snicker. While having a perfect physical poker face on the outside.

The white haired one says, "Carmilla, our quarrel isn't with you, you can go past."

I send Vader saying "leave them to me, I will deal with them myself" down the mark. Followed by reassurance. She replies with love and amusement.

"Go ahead", I say verbally to Sara. She nods, and walks past the The Incredible Smug. To whom I say, "How can I help you?" And meanwhile, send a body over *there*...

"Do you know what hubris is?" He pronounces it strangely, perhaps he's speaking the ancient Greek word, not the modern one.

This is something I can answer. "Outraging dignity, arrogant misbehaviour towards another. The theme of a lot of surviving Greek tragedies."

"And taking the prerogatives of the gods", he says. "Setting yourself up as a goddess, for example, when *you are not!*" that last rising to a yell. And I can feel him battering at me with some psychic domination power. The body's local mind is overwhelmed, true, but it's easy enough to cut that out of the loop and puppeteer the body from outside. He's trying to drive me to my knees but I don't even budge.

"I have a better claim to it than you", I say. "I took action to improve the universe. I exist outside it now and intend to care for it. What have you done? Nothing but set yourselves up a nice nest and feathered it with worship you never earned, then come back now to try again. Your existence is parasitic. The ones who should be calling hubris are the humans." For reasons I probably ought to discuss with the Doc, I rile easily at people who misuse power, and he kinda trod right on that sore spot.

Of course all three are now giving me death-glares. Himself is sparking like a busted high-voltage transformer. "I will not be tricked into murder on school grounds, but there is a lot short of murder. Counterpoint, teach her humility."

I rabbit. Of course I do, the guy is vastly more combat capable than I am at present, but then, there are alternatives to fighting, as Obi-Wan would say. I can go fairly fast, but I think any of the three can out-pace me in a straight sprint. Can they go up walls with tentacles, like I do up Crystal Hall? Well, I guess Counterpoint can fly, that means he's behind me as I leap off and try for a tentacle-assisted soft landing, but instead he grabs me in mid air and puts me in an armlock as we land, pushing me face first into snow, which hurts, and dragging me up by the hair at an angle, ouch. The other two come running around, and mister psycho says, "So what shall I do first? Tear your arm out of joint? Smash your pretty face into the dirt until I can't recognise it?" Of course, security is nowhere to be seen.

At last, the thing I was waiting for, the faint ringing of a bell, which brings a smile to my bruised lips. "I have a better idea. What you can do is be late for class", I say, and vanish the body. And me and Sara share a smirk as the combat movement class starts.

Okay, I've made no friends there. But honestly, they're nuisances and are on my problems list for sorting out. Humanity shouldn't be plagued by creatures whose only purpose is to have a rollicking good time at everyone else's expense. Gods, my ass, they're oversized tapeworms.

Which means, I suppose, I have to take responsibility and pick up the slack.
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6 months 6 days ago - 6 months 4 days ago #68032 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty two

**9th January, 2007, Whateley, Doyle medical center, mental health annex, fourth period**

"Good afternoon, come in please, coffee?" Doc Bellows is his usual cheerfully friendly self.

"Coffee would be lovely", I say. And sigh. "Sorry if I'm a bit discombobulated. I just overreacted badly and made some entirely avoidable enemies. I need to watch my temper around people I consider to be bullies."

He nods, handing me a mug of the good stuff. "Relax, take a sip, take a deep breath. Would you like to talk about that first? Or I could indulge my curiosity and ask about your new eyes?"

"It's kind of the same story", I admit. "I did a thing yesterday night that changed my eyes, made the flowers, left me fully unconscious for a few hours, and seems to be getting me labelled as a new goddess. Which annoyed the kids who think they are old gods, and we had a discussion that went badly."

He nods. "I've seen your medical records from last night. You were, for few hours there, completely unresponsive. But Miss Reilly and Miss Waite assured the doctors you'd be fine, and here you are, not much the worse for wear."

"Yeah, I went through a bit of a level-up", I say. "That, I think, was the boundary between being a human turning into what they call a 'great old one', and a larval 'great old one' who used to be human. Someone, who should know, called it 'hatching'."

"Do you still feel human?"

I ponder that. "I look at myself mentally and I can't tell. There's as many ways the answer's no as there are yes. I was. I am shaped by it. But I am no longer that."

"It bothers you, clearly."

"I know that most of what's fallen away are limitations. I'm not losing my values, I'm being careful about that. But I suppose this comes back to my trouble with the New Olympians just earlier. Can I handle myself? I behaved like a jerk just now. Me as a jerk would be calamitously bad."

"Why don't you tell me what happened?"

And so I do. I finish with, "The point being, doc, I didn't have to say any of that. Whether or not it's technically true. I could have just said "not interested" and vanished the body. And I definitely didn't have to lead them a dance, rub their faces in powerlessness, and make them late for class. That was me getting my own back, less on them specifically, than on bullies in the abstract. By, and I now realise the irony, bullying them."

"Those are three of the more dangerous children in this school, but you clearly regard yourself as more powerful?"

"There's not much they can do to touch me. That's without getting into weapons, of which I have several. You know some, I've gained more."

"Such as?"

I consider. "Are you prepared to be a lab rat, doc? I promise no harm, and I won't do anything at all, not even help, without prior informed consent. If yes, give me your hand." And I hold out a hand for his.

"I must be an idiot, but I'm curious", he says and hesitantly takes my hand.

Since my power-up, I've been able to sense myself at a cellular level in a new way. Not just in an area I focus upon, but all of me at once, and I have extremely fine control, not just cells but individual proteins like my hair, my genes, all of it. It's how I'm certain I could return from no bodies, now. But that awareness has only extended to myself, so far. What I'm speculating is that I can extend it across skin to skin contact into another body, without pushing the sorcery so hard it starts distorting things and making taint.

And it looks like I was right. I see his cells too, and I can feel my control as if his body were an extension of my own. I explore for any medical issues. "You have minor pre-cancerous cells in a few places, shall I snuff those? That means instructing the cells to lyse." He nods, I do so. "Okay done, and you have small amounts of joint wear and inflammation, could become arthritis, shall I fix it? That means rebuilding cartilage, cleaning up the autoimmunity." He nods again. That takes a bit longer, a few seconds because I'm pushing the cells well above their usual work rate, and I don't want to leave magical taint in his joints. "Okay, no further issues unless you want me to fix your ageing damage?"

"Meaning what?"

"Immune cells asleep on the job. Crud inside cells and between them. Mitochondria gone haywire and spitting out oxidative radicals. Stem cells missing or under-active. Stuff like that."

"You can just wish it away?"

"More like detail-instruct the cells how to fix it. The actual fix will take a few weeks. You'll start to see the hairs coming in dark, skin becoming tight and elastic, stuff like that. Give it a month and you'll probably look a lot younger."

He considers. "Alright, do it. I wouldn't mind my youth back. This is a medical miracle, you realise?"

"Pretty much literally", I agree. "Okay, give me a few minutes." This one is much more fiddly, but I manage to teach his cells the tricks they will need to clean up. Presumably, they'll keep them too. A long life for him.

Surfacing, I let go his hand. "Alright. So. That was the benevolent side of that power, and I honestly hope I can keep using it that way. But I'm sure it's obvious how much absolute havoc I could wreak with it, both subtle and very much not."

He winces and nods. "Honestly, I think if you don't hide this in powers testing, they are at minimum going to give you an armband, probably a section 33. You could be instantly fatal in an alarming number of ways. Possibly rescuing you from that fate, is that you don't have to. Fine control means the option to stop short of exploding someone's heart."

I nod. "It's probably the best tool I have for quick safe knock-downs, but I'll need to give the exact attack some thought."

"Please also consult the medical staff, specialists if possible, to ensure you wouldn't cause some sort of rampaging side effect." He looks a bit worried.

I reassure him that I definitely won't just run around experimenting on people I have disagreements with. I will at least talk it through with the docs to ensure that dropping their blood pressure won't give them organ failure or whatever.

Well, that is unless somebody puts me in a serious spot before I've got a safe technique down. In which case more fool them.

**9th January, 2007, Whateley, Laird hall, fourth period**

While I'm talking to the doc, I'm also finding the combat movement class very interesting. The video Mr Anderson shows, I'm sure I've read about. Which means I'd be cheating to give the answer - that was mister Mahren, now Caitlin Bardue, in a sim. And he was a baseline back then. Parkour is beautiful, and I really want to give it a go.

We get into watching Gateway's match. She's Chou's girl, I've seen her around a bit, and of course, read of her. Cute, quiet kid, with a gigantic not-a-panther for a familiar. Unfortunately, it's a short match. Poor her, that looked unpleasant.

Mr Anderson says “Okay, so we have two questions we need to discuss… what did she do wrong and what did she do right. Let’s begin. Who has thoughts? Put your hands up please and wait to be called. Yes, Sharpie.”

One of the students I don't know, except that he hangs out with the underdog group, says "She used the corner trick you taught last term in survival class, and it worked."

"Good answer, yes, she did. Golden Girl lost track of her at that point, and had to turn around and search. That took several minutes."

I have my hand up, and he picks me, "Yes, girl with the white hair and pink eyes next to Carmilla, what's your code name?"

"I'm Parallel. After she used the corner to evade, she settled down in one place and did a spell. But that area wasn't an effective hiding place, it was too close, it didn't cover well from the possible sight lines of a flying opponent. She ended up seen from behind. I'd call it a great place to pause but a bad place to stay. It would be better to move again until she could find somewhere that hid her from both ends of the street and above, like perhaps under a fire escape."

"Good answer. Why do you think she didn't do that? You aren't in a position to know this, because you weren't in my classes last term, but she has already been taught to analyse hiding places in that sort of way."

"It's hard to want to leave a hidey hole when something terrifying is outside it?" I'm sure I'd find it hard. Sara gives me a grin, clearly she remembers being the something terrifying.

"Yes. Fear in a real combat situation is paralysing. It causes a reaction of denial. It causes you to forget to think intellectually. It throws you back onto your unconsidered reactions. You will tend to continue doing what you are already doing, or what you have rehearsed, rather than stopping and re-ordering your priorities. Here, Gateway should have set aside her intent to summon, and moved out of the temporary hiding place to better cover. The fact she did not, isn't a flaw of thought, because in those circumstances thought would be hard for anyone. It is a flaw of training. Which we will be rectifying in this class. We will be partly covering theory, but partly also studying practical movement, how it relates to terrain features, sight lines, cover, concealment and other similar concepts. We will be using this classroom for theory. Now, everyone please stand up!"

We all do, and he continues, "Follow me please. We will also be using the adjacent classroom to practise indoors, as it has been set up for parkour", while he's saying this he's headed for the door, and we follow him into the hallway and then across into a much larger, gym type room, which is full of wooden walls and ledges, scaffolding, various crash mats. "This area is mainly intended for practise of the forms of movement. We will also be practising outside around the campus. Please bring your costume, or a tracksuit for those who don't have one, to all subsequent classes. If you brought it today, well done, please change now. If you didn't, you'll be taking today's class in your uniform. Changing rooms are over there."

I don't have a tracksuit, but I suppose the store will sell them. For today, uniform will do. If I get unpleasantly sweaty, I have other bodies.

And while I'm joining in with the rest of the class practising movement tricks like crouched walking, elbow crawling, and rolling over an obstacle, I'm thinking at the same time of how much I'm going to let show in the powers test, which I'll be headed to after I'm done with Doc Bellows.
Last Edit: 6 months 4 days ago by JulesMorrison. Reason: Oops! Got a name wrong
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6 months 3 days ago #68049 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty three

**9th January, 2007, Whateley, fifth period**

Talking with the Doc has given me things to think about, even if we never reached the topic that's been bothering me, the "am I a goddess" thing. Sadly, our conversation has to end when the end of fourth period bell goes. We shake hands, and then I have to head to a powers re-test. Which thankfully, at least starts out in the same building.

I've reached a decision about that. They're going to get the whole enchilada, and I just hope it doesn't make anybody choke.

This time, I've been told to skip the physical and head straight for the powers testing area. It's familiar from about a week ago, but busier. There's a receptionist now. "Hi, miss Parallel, am I correct? Take a seat please." Oh hey, magazines from the 1990s.

One short wait later, and Dr Hewley, who I met last time, comes into the room. "Hello again, come on through. I hear you've been gaining new powers since we last met?"

I nod. "Several. Some mutant, some not." As we come through into the testing lab, I see someone I wasn't expecting to meet until later today - Circe.

"Alright, here we go. Miss Parallel, there's been interest in your test from outside the school, and Circe here has been asked to act as a neutral party and observer, to check you aren't gaming the ratings. Are you willing to accept that?"

Last I saw, Circe didn't like me much, but I have no reason to doubt her honesty. As for being snooped on by outsiders, I expected that, I've made myself noticeable. "I have no objections." I give Circe a smile, can't hurt to be nice, although she does the painted-vase stony face back. Either she's still grumpy or she takes her neutrality seriously. Or both, who knows.

The physical part of the test doesn't take long. My exemplar level went up to 4, probably due to hatching, I'm faster, a bit stronger, vastly more dexterous, although a lot of that dexterity is down to the fine muscle control I taught myself. Another cut test guesses my regen at 6, again, although they would have to see me shot up or something to be more precise. They can operate a few more machines this time around, and that lets me show my warping while they monitor it. I can show teleports too, this time. Both the short range direct warping kind, and the long range space bending kind. Do I know my maximum range? Not a clue. We don't have space to test it here, but it doesn't feel very range limited. More like, I'm limited by knowing where to go. Shooting off into outer space would be messily fatal for that body, I'm not Tennyo.

Then we get to synthetic powers. I learned things, and that makes me something of a pseudo-gadgeteer. I've got several from warping. The reflective shields, although they're too much effort to really be practical. The discontinuity knife, which I describe but don't show, for obvious reasons. Flight, which I show, and I think I'm getting a bit more precise at it. And gravity sensing. That sense is just on all the time now, it's become part of how I experience the world around me. It means I have all-around perception, in fine detail up close, of large masses at distance. Yes, I can feel how hollow and cavern-riddled the ground is under Whateley, way deep down. It's a little creepy.

And then we get into great old one stuff. My multiple minds thing is that, although it drew some of its basis from warping, it exists beyond that now. They bring me a new textbook to read. I finish it as fast as I can turn the pages, fingers moving much faster than I could before. And then I can answer detail and evaluative questions about it. I explain that I can do things like turning off pain, or boredom. I can analyse and alter my own mental processes. I can mentally dive down to the soul level a bit, although I haven't tried recently. That does interest Circe, especially when I explain that it's the foundation of my multiple bodies ability.

Demonstrating that takes a while. I can show that I can make bodies near me, or far over a teleport. I can make them inside sealed containers. When I'm asked how, I have to explain the sort of polite understanding I have with physical reality. That causes amusement. Honestly, I'm not sure how true a model that is, but it's how it seems to me. But the result is that inserting a body is not an act bounded by physical law, since it only starts being physical once it's inserted. And likewise contrariwise, removing it. It's not warping, and it's not a mutant power. Yes, the bodies are copies based on physical ones, but I believe I could do one that isn't a copy.

Can I try, as a demonstration?

Okay, here goes. See every cell, shape the body, I'm going to make this one older, let's say young adult, twentyish. Bigger boobs, a bit of rounding to the ass. Skeleton that fits, organs that fit, nerves, circulation, lymph - I compare the mental model to my actual one, have I missed anything important? Nope.

And insert it. Oops, did forget something, I have no mental models of clothes for this size, and I'm naked. Ah well, own it I guess. "Sorry, no clothes that fit this size. Feel free to ogle, unless you have spares?" And find myself giggling at the testers' red faced responses. Well, except Circe, who looks me up and down and evidently approves. Okay, I did not know that about her and yes, she is actually very hot in an adult kind of way and now I wonder what three thousand years of experience means. Oops, boner. Yes, she is amused. Don't ask me how I know, her poker face is epic.

Doc Hewley asks, "Why did you make the body intersex? I presume, when you work from scratch, you aren't constrained by your BIT?"

Less constrained than you know, doc. "It's who I am. This is my right body, it fits my soul. I could probably do regular female. It wouldn't be me, though. I'd miss this", I gesture down, "embarrassing as it can be when it takes a liking to someone. I call myself a girl, but that's a simplification, I'm a bit mixed, and this reflects it."

"And the copy is still genetically identical?", the Doc asks, "Can we take samples?"

I nod, "Go ahead if you want, although I can tell you right now I made this one genetically identical. But I'm not constrained to, I just only have my current genome to work with as a model."

"Your current genome", the doc says with a Spock raised eyebrow.

"Yeah, so, now we get to the fun bit", I put the copy away and continue from my less naked original, "I've been studying great old one type sorcery with Carmilla", I leave off mention of Gothmog, he's not my secret to tell, "and I quickly realised I was a natural at life sorcery. That's basically, manipulation of the foundation principles of the life-creative principle. It's something I can do longhand, by explicitly calling out the rune incantations, but it's also something that's just become part of my nature. It's become a life sense, that lets me feel living things and their natures in the world around me, similar to gravity sensing. And that sense when applied inward now gives me complete sensation of my own biological nature, at the subcellular level. Including genomes. And also, I have control of it. So I could in principle change my genome. Gradually, to avoid accidentally killing the body with side effects."

"And what else can you change?"

"A lot, depending how hard I push it. Our type of sorcery doesn't use essence like wizard magic, but the downside is that it distorts things. Doing a lot of it leaves class-X contamination, dangerous to almost everyone, requiring magical effort to clean up. So my biological work uses as little as possible. If I stick within what leaves no taint, I can only move things along at biological speed. Pushing them a bit beyond that, like say growing my hair out in an instant, leaves tiny amounts of taint that quickly dissipate. Outright shifting my whole body as fast as a mutant shifter can do it, would be a contamination nightmare."

He nods. "And what can you shift into?"

"So far I've only done human materials, but I don't think it's limited. Probably anything alive, or made by anything alive. As I am now, I'd probably only have to touch living material to get enough information to copy."

"Could you copy other humans?" I nod. "And mutant traits?"

I shrug. "Honestly, mutant traits are something I have no idea about. But if I have their genome, perhaps whatever about this universe supplies the powers will supply them to me too? I haven't tried cloning anybody, I'm aware that would be very politically unwise." I don't mention my plans for Jamie. Better to ask forgiveness than permission for that one, I think.

"How about inorganic materials?"

"I could specialise cells to secrete or construct things. I can't just turn into glass, say, but I'm fairly confident I could instruct cells to lay down layers of glass and make something that way."

"Shifter six, perhaps seven, then", the doc says. "With a note that it's a non-mutant power."

"High rating given I'm slow", I say. "But I suppose, fair given the range. Also, I found today, I can extend life sense and control across skin contact, to someone else."

"Control, meaning, you could touch someone and what?"

"I get full insight and full control of their body at the subcellular level. I think, if I pushed the sorcery a bit harder, I could do it from further away too. It'd be easy to block with even a weak ward though, I'm deliberately using low power."

"Control with which you could do harm?"

"Trivially. Or heal. I really don't want to harm someone. I'd have it on my conscience forever and I'd rather not. Also I'm fairly sure that doing worse than a temporary inconvenience would get me expelled on the spot. But I wouldn't mind being on call to help heal people."

Doc Hewley notes that down. "I'll pass that on."

I add, "Couple more things I can do. Combine understanding of bio-materials with body insertion, and I can insert objects." I show them a copy of the flute. "So far, I've done bulk bone as a material. I might be able to get more fancy now. I can use this to make simple weapons, as well." I make a dagger and show it.

"Are they manifested?"

I shake my head. "They're me, in a really fundamental way, they're rather like highly simplified and reshaped bodies. That's my bone. I'm told that's a big risk magically."

Circe nods, "It would be a very effective link. Like taking your hair, only more so."

I say, "Upside is, I can just vanish them as easily as any other body", and both items disappear. "Which slightly mitigates the risk to me."

Circe nods.

"And the last thing I can do, this", and I make some tentacles. "They seem to be hard light or something of that nature, they pass through my clothing without harming it, but I can physically pick things up, pull and push and so on, and I get touch sensation from them. Honestly, I'm not sure how they work, I think it's a manifestation of my desire to have them, through my knack at life sorcery."

"You wanted to have them?" The doc is a bit incredulous.

"Carmilla has them, and I find hers really pretty. I've wanted my own since I saw hers. It surprises me how many people can't see the cuteness. And also, well, they're useful." Thoughts of how Sara uses them cause me to blush a bit. Getting definite amusement vibes from Circe again.

She reaches out a hand to hold one, and I lay it in her palm. It's an interesting and intimate sensation to feel the warmth and touch of her hand through it. She asks, "They only come in this form, like a sea anemone, tapering to a point?"

"No, that's the default, but I can change their shape. Flat like a squid, to grip, padded to walk on, those are shapes I've tried." I don't mention that I have plans for lots of other tip shapes for, um, fun. With self and others.

She nods. "This is definitely made of magic, taking the form of living matter. To my senses, they feel alive, although simple in form."

The doc makes notes. Then says, "You say they can grip and support your weight?"

And so it's back to the physical testing area, where I show that I can walk on them, starfish-like, I can climb walls by grabbing handholds in tentacle-tips, and I can lift things with them. They're as strong as my regular muscles, although obviously lever action works against me if I make them reach far out away from my body. As my body weight is like a tenth of my max lift, I can bounce around on them too. Because I can extend them out around me like some fluffy seed, I can break falls with them, and take no harm when I bounce into things. It's quite a fun way to move.

In the end I get my new power rating. Mutant powers: exemplar four, regenerator six, warper four with space, gravity and teleportation. Non mutant powers: shapeshifter six, gadgeteer one (equivalent, due to learning), manifester one (for the tentacles, even though they aren't the usual kind of manifesting), wizard five (equivalent, due to sorcery). That last one causes some ructions, they don't have a rating system for GOO sorcery at all. Sara got hers bundled in with psi, but I don't seem to have any of that, yet. Circe in her role as observer insists it goes on the MID, so they call it wizardry for lack of an alternative. I get a five because I can operate it by instinct.

And then the end of sixth period bell goes, which means I have detention (or at least one of me does - I'm not sure how the rules cover that).

"Alright", says Circe. "Follow me, please, you're with me now. I have a few inquiries of my own to make."
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5 months 4 weeks ago #68088 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty four

**9th January, 2007, Whateley, after sixth period**

Combat movement class was fun. I've been quietly using the mark to keep Sara up to date with what I was up to in powers testing, as we bounded and rolled around the parkour training area. Now that other me is headed off to detention with Circe, we mutually decide to stick together and keep a body outside for simple escape if needed. Also, so Sara can peek over my shoulder and tell me before I step into something dangerous. Worst case, she can link with Fey over the blood bond and ask her advice. We'll head over to Hawthorne and her room for snuggles.

Sara heads towards the tunnels. But I stop her, "hold up, I want to show you the way of moving I just invented. I think you'll like it."

"Oh?" She's curious.

"Follow me outside," I grin.

And so we do, and then when we reach a clear bit of ground beside the crush of exiting students I say, "Alright, copy me." And I extend my tentacles all around me like a fluffy seed, lifting myself up off the ground, so I'm standing in something like a twelve-foot wide tentacle ball (and drawing a lot of curious stares). She has to get hers out from under her uniform, but does the same. "Okay so, we can both lift loads more than our body weight. Which means, now we can push off hard enough to bound, and break our fall gently no matter how we land. Upright, upside down, against a wall, doesn't matter. Catch most of the force in the springiness of our tentacles, and we only need a bit of a push to keep up speed. So... bouncing!" And I push off into a leap towards Schuster on a trajectory that looks like it should splatter me against the wall. I hit high up, slowing myself with tentacle tips into a push-bounce, caroming over towards Doyle like a living pinball, "whee!"

We pinball ourselves off Doyle and Melville, laughing like mad things, bound way over the top of Poe, leaving tentacle-splats in the snow, and finally fetch up in front of Hawthorne, lying in snow, completely incapacitated by giggles.

At the same time, heading out of Doyle with Circe, I watch myself and Sara bounce off towards Hawthorne like giggling oversized fluff-balls. And yeah, it's drawn attention, ranging from open mouth gapes to laughter to energetic discussion on how to copy us.

"Are you trying to overshadow the shoulder angels?" Circe looks openly amused, the poker face is put away now that she's no longer officially neutral. "You may have started a competing trend."

"I think the Headmistress is going to hate me, but it was too fun to pass up, after I'd figured how to do it", I say.

"I think of the two trends, she might prefer yours", Circe says. "Provided the copycats are as gentle with the buildings. As soon as we get some fool in a two ton mecha-tentacle suit digging holes in the brickwork, she'll bring the hammer down. There is always someone who doesn't realise when enough becomes too much." As we talk we're headed across campus towards Kirby.

"Is that how you view Monday night's business?" I ask.

"Were you showing off? Playing to your own ego and ignoring the safety of an entire universe?"

Way I read her, that was a genuine question. And a test of my honesty. So, earnest self examination. Do I like being spooky and positioning myself as a saviour of the whole universe? Obvious answer to that is yes. Of course I have enough ego to enjoy a pedestal, and I'm an outright exhibitionist, standing on stage comes naturally. Did that influence the form of what I did? Yeah kinda, I wasn't firing on all cylinders, but I could definitely have been a lot less operatic. Sara's hatching was pretty low key, but then, that's her downbeat style.

Could I have avoided specifying and fixing my nature? No, I think I couldn't, that was all going to happen one way or another - like a sneeze, once started, it won't take instructions to stop. And I was already channelled into being *something* in the life spectrum, I'd been using it heavily, and it comes naturally. My options were either glom onto Grandma's amoral nature and make the best of that, or rail against it. And I've never been the type to sit down and take an injustice.

I suppose that captures the nub of it. I have enough self-assertion to be willing to throw down against the outer gods and tell the universe to fix itself, and the fact that life was unavoidably fated to diverge away from any value was bothering me. I think, if I was human, it would be overwhelming me. But instead, I was able to treat it as a problem and propose a solution. And my feeling for the universe was worry and compassion and to an extent, love. I am very much wired to protect, and I wanted to gather the whole of life up and protect it.

Did I ignore the risk? I think I considered the status quo ante a disaster with absolute certainty. I would have to watch the Earth and everything good in it diverge into garble, even if it took a million years, simply because the mechanisms of life were uncaring. That was the risk I couldn't ignore. Set against that, I felt I wouldn't mess up, I could feel the opportunity was open, I knew it would close again once I had set my self definition in stone.

"Partially but mostly not", I say. "Mostly, I wanted to break the curse of an uncaring universe. Bake in a bit of care. And by defining my nature around it, I had the chops to. I felt it was necessary."

"Partially?"

"You know I don't hate eyes on me", I say, remembering earlier.

She nods. "Thank you for giving that some proper thought now. It felt to me like, at the time you didn't think? But perhaps, you just thought fast."

"More like slowly, over days", I say. "The conclusion was already almost reached, and when I hit the crisis, I took the remaining step, a short one."

She nods, as we come up to the entrance to Kirby. "That can happen. It brings a quick answer, but requires discipline in your everyday thoughts to be sure it's a good one."

Are my thoughts disciplined? Not really, but what they are is uninterrupted. I can and do spin off threads to follow the thread of a thought right to the end. I don't ever lose concentration, any more. If something else pops up, off goes a thread to follow it. A monkey with infinite minds can chase every thought.

I ask, "I'm going to be helping you 'undo my mess'. What will that entail?" Change the topic because I don't think she needs a rundown on how I think. Also I do rather want to know.

"I'm less annoyed with you than I was in the moment", she says, "but I am still faced with the practical problem that a new fundamental law has been added to the universe, I will need to work with it or around it, and I know almost nothing about it. So your job will be helping me understand, and helping me re-apply it as a principle to spells that no longer work."

I nod. "I bound it into my nature, and I can draw the rune and work with it instinctively, but I should warn you that a human level, I don't have much detail understanding of it either."

"And at a deeper level?"

"I think that level of me understands it. At that level, the problem is more like a lack of understanding of here", I wave my hand around, indicating the physical world. "Knowledge doesn't just filter up easily. We don't exactly have a language in common."

She looks thoughtful. "Perhaps, there, I can help." She pauses. "First though, I need to lead you through a door, and you are not allowed to be just shown this door, you must discover it. So I must do the equivalent of blindfolding you. Except of course, that a blindfold would hardly slow you down." She saw my life and gravity sense in the test.

"I tend to shrug off mental domination effects too", I say. "Probably your best bet is full unconsciousness."

"You will not be able to sense despite that?"

"Only from my other bodies." And the sense feed from that body suddenly cuts off. Oops. Memo to self, learn magical shielding, because I had no warning at all there. I don't doubt she could still poke me through a newbie's shield, but I think I'd have at least had enough notice to brace. Gothmog side me can look into that.

That cut-off lasts two minutes and thirty one seconds, during which time Sara rotates her room out of alignment again so we can have privacy to monitor - and finally get to play. Dirty sweaty school uniform go bye-bye. Wholly naked me is now enjoying being looked at by her beloved.

"You, sweetie, smell of unwashed athlete", Sara says amused. "I don't sweat. You sure do. Time for a bath." Oh no, brer fox, don't throw me into the briar patch.

Over the other side, my senses snap back on. I'm hovering, prone on my back, at about hip level. "Welcome back", Circe says. Her personal lab is... less classical Greek than I'd mentally pictured. I suppose, it was a long time ago for her too. The present room is tastefully modern-minimalist, stone floors, hardwood furniture. Shelves in bamboo. A noticeable absence of steel.

"Uh, yeah, thanks", I say. "That was disconcerting. I should make an effort to find that door." She rotates me upright, and lets me take my own weight again.

"Indeed, and save me the trouble of hauling you around like a sack of potatoes." She goes to draw a circle on the floor, using a chalk on a stick so she doesn't have to crouch. "My intention with this circle, is that I will draw out what you call your deeper level. I have experience dealing with them, and I may be able to gain understanding more quickly than by asking you as a human. This should not harm you, or cause pain. It may be, again, disconcerting."

"I kind of would like to meet that side of me, so, a little being disconcerted is fine." I'm actually eager. But I do show her work to Sara (as she's running the bath), and she confirms it a modified summoning, the source and target both the person inside. Good, no tricks. "What do I do?"

"Step inside the circle please." Alright, I do that. My feel for sorcery is kind of telling me things about the circle I'm in, but I don't understand them.

As other me is enjoying a very nice warm and soapy bath with now-naked (and slippery) Sara, this me watches her walk around the circle speaking words that my sorcery is translating but my human mind doesn't have concepts for, except that it's a call going deep, far, away from the concrete into the abstract, and it's showing a part of me how to bend so it can surface through me. And I can feel that happening. My space of minds is changing, the soul level is rising up through, we all send it/her love and caring, surrounding it/her with nurture and encouragement, it/she is enormous, incomprehensible, but feels young and eager and very curious. Rising to the surface, the body's mind is gently pushed aside. Warping comes active, and the body explodes out into tesseract-spinning angles and fractal whorls. Human level me is watching, Sara is watching, snuggled together in warm bathwater, I see a flash of love and greeting flare down the mark and for a moment Sara is outlined in a black glow as her own deep self responds and snuggles against a caress that could melt mountains.

The me in Circe's room speaks. Not in a voice, but by imposing ideas out onto the world, so each word is like a branching tree. "GREET (Hello!)(Curiosity)(Friendship) LONG (Forward and backward)(We are mostly only forward) HUMAN (Mage) (Interesting!)(Lust for you)(Let's exchange (life)(information)(communication))(Togetherness)".
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5 months 3 weeks ago #68147 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty five

I'm trying to adjust to having my great old one self all twisted up and out to the surface of my minds, and it's difficult. The many human-shaped me are still there, but we aren't the biggest thing in our mutual mind now by some orders of magnitude. We're like snowflakes swirling around a mountain. An intensely aware, friendly, curious, very alien mountain.

I think I've disappointed Sara, who was hoping for some proper blow-off-steam fun (I was too), but I'm for the first time in a while, thoroughly distracted. She finishes washing me off in the bath, with me mainly able to help with things at the level of "hold this", "now stand up", gets me into some pyjamas I keep stashed in her place, and opens up the room so she can let some of the other pack in, Jet and Paige and Erin wanted to come in. Me, I'm on the bed, kinda staring at the ceiling. I'm glad she can tap in through the mark and see what's going on, because I couldn't coherently talk right now.

Circe and big me (as I shall call it/her) are happily chatting away about the characteristics of the new fundamental universal principle. Calling it a law would be oversimplifying, it's more like I shifted things so the corollaries of laws work out differently. Big me views the metaverse kind of as mathematics working itself out, and kind of as abstract consciousness looking at itself and playing out possibilities. Life, creation in the broadest sense, is something universes usually converge on by their nature. But as things used to be, life was defined only by the evolutionary imperative, voraciously expanding its little foothold of negentropy. What I did injected a sort of inherent tropism towards positive sum mutualism and the construction of complex value and aesthetic beauty, but fractally distributed over scales. We're not sure how it will work out at the human scale, because big me doesn't really relate well to things at our level. At a guess, societies will start to get nicer? And things in general will get prettier. But if I know humans at all, we'll dig our heels in and fight to keep the bad old days too.

Meanwhile, big me (who has no limitations on attention) is being curious about the little mes, and about our bodies. It/she sees all three extant ones, and the ability to construct more, and our cellular understanding. Sara fascinates big me, as another one similar who also has a body, but a very different kind of one. And the humans around us are fascinating too, being structured differently again. We feel it/her integrating changes into our cellular structures and DNA. I can see the changes but I don't understand them well, except that she's also definitely making us more beautiful, if not exactly in human ways.

Sitting my body up in Sara's room, which makes the others pause from their worried conversation, big me asks TOUCH{map over each of you}(Soul)(Mind (telepathic contact))(Body (direct contact (touch my hand))(cellular analysis))(May I?)(Please?)(Caring (gentleness)(friendship))(Consent (important)(your choice)). Which makes them wince and try and sort out the tangle of semantics, but they do get it and Paige decides to be first and risk it. We love you, Paige.

She touches our hand and the familiar electrical tingle flows through us, as big me curiously touches up against her soul (which has interesting divisions, and is sort of stretched-and-budding across the two bodies). Big me doesn't seem to have any difficulty connecting to her mind either, but as we're aware she doesn't like intrusion, it's a very gentle and permission-seeking contact. Sort of like a connecting door, that she can open and shut, between her mindscape and ours. We feel her two selves looking through it curiously. "Holy shit, there's a lot of you", Merry says mentally, and we giggle. Meanwhile we're sensing her cellular level, and being very curious about her blue glow which is an energiser effect, not biological photophores, in the same way as our eyes. Both of her mentally peek over our shoulder. Mai in particular seems fascinated by the complexity of her own body. Compared to the simple design of an artificial mind, a human body is baroque in the extreme. We're not sure if she approves or thinks it wasteful.

Over in Gothmog's realm, Petra looks torn. She's become a friend, although not a lover, but has had enough class X exposure to last a lifetime. Big me lets little me voice for it/her, and we offer gentle contact and an attempt to repair damage. Petra winces and thinks, and after a bit says "yes, but very very carefully". And so we touch her hand and slowly, slowly connect to her mind. Big me has several minds to compare, now, and is seeing the damage where she was stretched out of shape, and is able to gently nudge it towards healing. Normally, that kind of damage wouldn't really recover, that's why it tends to accumulate. Now, it will. We never connect to her at a conscious level, to avoid any trauma. She asks "that was it?" and we nod. I voice for big me, "when you are healed, we can meet properly", and she smiles.

Erin too, decides to risk a touch. I think, she's feeling competitive. She's intriguing because of being made of two unconnected souls, who have formed a sort of friendly collaboration rather than one overriding the other. We are careful, after contact, to seek permission from the second soul too. After consideration, it's given. We see the control lines leading off that second soul, and are able to show them, and that soul expresses frustration and disgust at who they're hooked to, but despair at being able to get free. Would they like them cut? Pause, then, if it's possible, definite assent! Alright then. Big me surrounds them and makes a separation, disconnected lines snap back, and now Erin's second soul is its own mistress entirely. We monitor to ensure there is no damage, and then disconnect as she wishes to feel out her new nature without oversight.

Oops, out of time! Circe is sending big me back - perhaps we will learn to do this ourselves, but for now it seems prudent to go when dismissed. So we broadcast our love to our friends and my mind folds back into something like the shape it was before.

Whee. That was a ride and a half. It takes me several seconds to get used to being more or less human shaped again, only little me, no big me. To be human feels small - although, I think we got stretched quite a lot. "Um, I'm back." Yay, group hug!

Over with Circe, inside the circle, I sit up gradually as bruises fade from where I dropped to the floor. "Are we done?" She nods looking very tired. I walk to the edge of the circle, will it let me out? It does. Pull up a chair for her and one for me, she looks exhausted and readily sits down. "Are you alright? Shall I make coffee or something?"

She smiles, perhaps not used to being the one who's being cared for. "I will be fine in a minute. Such conversations are a strain."

"A bit of one for me too", I admit.

"You were conscious?" She hadn't expected that.

"Yes, all of me and big me too. I think doing that will bend me out of shape if we do it a lot, though, is this going to happen tomorrow too?"

She shakes her head, chuckling. "You think I might call your hmm, big self, forward every day of detention? No. Definitely not. From now on, I promise you it will be safely dull." Which, honestly, is a relief. Although now she's looking a bit more alert, and looking closely at me, I think she sees big me's edits. I flicker my photophores at her, a trace-work of curving, swirling lines of colour like a vine tattoo suddenly appearing in lights under my skin. "Oh dear", she says.

In Sara's room, they're all hugging me and checking I'm alright like I was unwell or something, but I manage to persuade them I'm okay. Then I have to explain what Circe and I were up to over on the other body. And then I get questions about the fact I look just a little different.

Now that I'm back as just my selves, I have the time and attention to catalogue what big me did. I'm pretty sure I'm seeing more spectrum than I did, and sharper. I have photophores in my skin and hair, now, lots of them, and they're full spectrum, ultraviolet to infrared. My hairs are now sort of semi-alive, still dead keratin but with control and animation sorcery running down them, they can light up and move like little independently controlled tentacles. If they were longer, I could grab things with them; at their present short length, I can style and braid them, or play around pretending to be in a dramatic wind. My teeth got visibly sharper, and became kind of slightly semi-transparent. Milky, rather than opaque. I feel like I could extend their length fairly easily too. Same goes for my fingernails, that have been replaced by short and only slightly pointed transparent claw-tips, that I feel I could extend out to much longer points. I guess big me wants me to have somewhat better natural weapons. Unfortunate to need them, but I can see her point.

My DNA got more complicated. That might make it difficult to do a body-copy for Jamie. But then, maybe I don't need to grow it slowly, now? I'll have to take time and investigate that one. I'll have to talk to Sara about marks, and less permanent kinds of soul linkage too.

And beside that, there's a lot of tiny tweaks you couldn't even name, looking at them, but the total result is I look... different. Like I took a level-up in beauty, but it's mermaid beauty, not human. I'm pretty sure I could look damn scary too, just by leaning into the differences.

Of course I play around showing it off for the others, doing sparkly light shows, and making my hair glow psychedelic colours, and doing the dramatic wind pose, and the extra-wide anglerfish smile. Which honestly I think scares them a bit, although they giggle.

Then Hippolyta comes peeking in, and Jet and Paige get to talking to her about big me, while Sara pulls Erin off for a chat at the far end of the room. And meanwhile I have an idea, and I kind of put it to big me - she's not up front occupying my mind space, but I can pass things to and fro, now. And she likes it, and shows me the changes to make - so now I can do *that* too. Mwahaha.

Rather than go through being knocked out again, the me in Circe's room thanks her and vanishes.

And then it's finally time for dinner. The pack heads over there as a group, even though not all need food, because Hippy and Sara agree the New Olympians might be mad enough to jump me. We get there just in time to hear a girl doing a one-woman-tannoy announcement for the Alphas. The Don and Hekate (who I continue to resent for stealing the name off a perfectly nice goddess) are on the outs. Bye-bye. Not much surprise there. Now the Alphas are nice! Yeah, and if you buy that I have a bridge to sell you... especially as it's a girl who matches my remembered description for Tansy as the new boss. As someone who tried to kidnap and enslave a friend, I don't rate her as nice.

After that it's regular eats for a bit. Except oho, here come two older kids headed for the pack table. Sara pokes me through the mark. "Judicator and Knick-knack", and I poke back, "Athena and Hephaestus", so she knows I know. Surprisingly, they don't approach me. In fact, they actively don't even look at me, instead heading for Sara.

Judicator takes the lead. "A certain somebody felt what happened earlier. I would characterise his mental state as spitting fury, covering fear. He has given us explicit instructions we can't disobey, not to contact someone."

"Yeah, but he forgot to tell us we couldn't talk to her friends", Knick-knack says. "I expect he'll do that too, when he stops biting the furniture. So this may be all we get."

"If what happened to Feral were offered to us, we're under orders to oppose it to our dying breath." Judicator says. "But neither of us would hate it if our opposition were to fail. We two agree on this."

Sara says, "And the others?"

"Prism and Tracer, unknown", Judicator says. "We didn't dare divert to ask them and risk missing the window of opportunity. Counterpoint... would want it, but it would be unwise to give it to him."

"Bastard needs his leash", Knick-knack agrees.

"As for the others, I think, no. They're in his clique, or too unmotivated to have an opinion."

Sara nods. "Alright. Thank you for telling me."

"One more thing", says Knick-knack. "He will eventually quit throwing an arcing tantrum, and start thinking. He's not too smart, but he's cunning and he holds grudges for geological time. This is very far from over yet, and we may be used against you as weapons. You should treat what we say as a trap, from now on."

Judicator adds, "Traps can be sprung and turned around."

And then the two of them just leave.
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5 months 2 weeks ago #68172 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty six

**9th January, 2007, Whateley, evening**

With dinner over, my school day isn't done, unfortunately. I still have to report for my job with the maintenance crew, although I won't be seeing Jade there this time, she did her stint after classes. I don't really want to take a copy of my nice tailored uniform to that, but perhaps I could combine it with going to the store to pick up a gi for tomorrow morning, and a tracksuit for the combat movement class? I can use a copy of the tracksuit as mucky wear.

Do I need guarding on the way there? That's the kind of question I would have asked the Kimbas, but for some reason I forgot to send a body to go sit over there. I blame being flustered, but also, a feeling that with them all training together, I'm a bit of an outsider. I should probably rectify that. But meanwhile I discuss it with the pack, and we decide that as long as I keep a backup body safe, I shouldn't worry too much. The New Olympians aren't strategic idiots. So, one of me will go back to Poe and try and mend the distance I'm feeling from the Kimba group, the other can go shopping. Poe is kinda well guarded, conveniently.

I hug Sara bye-for-a-bit. I've decided against sending a body with her as well, because I need a bit of time to process, and because I don't want to cling. So then I split into two and set off.

One of me heads over towards the Kimbas as they're making ready to head back. "Hi, sorry, I'm not snubbing you, just been hit with another big messy day and it's left me a little dazed. How're you all doing?"

"Hey there Jules, yeah, we're cool. Jade's been whacking herself with nunchucks." Billie grins at the tease.

"I only whacked myself once!" Jade protests.

"Yeah, because you put Jinn in them" Billie agrees. "Now they bop you on the head rather than belt you in the unmentionables."

I snicker. "Definitely a safety improvement. I wouldn't mind learning those, maybe you can show me how, Jade?" Peace offering for snickering at her plight. Besides, it'll be fun.

Which causes the chaos monster to grin. "Sure, love to. You have some?"

"Can make some" I say, producing a pair of nice hexagonal bone nunchucks linked by fused sinew. These get various ew looks from the Kimbas. "What?" I say. "It's just stuff. One of my bodies, in effect."

"Still freaky", Toni says. "You are a freakazoid, although you're our freakazoid. But still, if you try to hand me those I'm gonna drop them. And wash my hands. And possibly vomit."

"It's weird, but it'll do", Jade pronounces. "Weird's useful, same as Shroud, it's psychological warfare."

"You're gonna love a few modifications I got today", I tell Jade. Which gets me looked at closer by the others.

"Damn, Circe, that cow, what did she do? I should have noticed, your aura's completely different." Nikki jumping to my defence is nice, but I feel I should defend Circe's honour.

"She called my um, demon side forward, that's all." I'm still using the D-word in public. "Big me got to be front for a bit, and she made a few mods. And then I kinda worked with her after the fact to make a few more. I'll show you all back in Poe. Don't want to leak too much in public when it could be a tactical advantage. But none of it's bad stuff. I don't think Circe expected it either."

"Not just physical modifications. Your aura's stretched, much less human. Gah, if she didn't know, she shouldn't be just experimenting." Nikki's still annoyed.

"Magic changed", I remind her. "Gonna be a bit of experimenting, unavoidably. I think Circe and big me's chat cut a lot of time off that."

"Still unethical", Nikki insists. "She and I are gonna have a conversation. But I can see you don't feel harmed, and that's good at least."

"I feel pretty stretched, to be honest with you, and like I said a bit dazed. But I kind of signed up for a bare knuckle ride when I okayed the change to begin with. Anyhow, that's far from being all my news, either."

"So spill", Billie says, looking curious.

I tell them about the confrontation right after lunch. That gets worried looks and whistles.

"You are not gonna be any of their favourite people", Toni says. "Those three are mean and teasing them like that, whee-oo."

"Ain't the half of it", I say. "You know Erin, Feral, hangs with Sara?"

"Damn, I knew it, she's one of them", Ayla says. "I think I can guess which, too."

"Not out loud, not here", I say. " But yeah. So, while big me was talking to Circe, she also came front on the other body to meet the pack..." And I explain what went down there, including what big me did for Erin.

"You cut her loose, so she's what? No longer one of them?" Ayla asks.

"Independent. If she sees herself as one of them still, it's an affiliation, not a leash", I say. "I suspect she'll wash her hands of most of them. She wasn't exactly friendly with them even beforehand."

"Except the two who came over to talk to Sara", Ayla's no dunce. "So it's mutiny then?"

"They can't, exactly. Not while they're leashed", I say. "But they can make it clear where their consent lies. So that's a project for later."

"Well damn, you realise Imperious is going to literally kill you, right?" Toni's worried. "Like, oops lightning bolt, you know? He's bright enough to do it in a storm, and what could Carson do? He can just shrug and point at the sky."

"I could probably tank a lightning bolt", I admit. "Me and Paige, and this led to that, and I kinda learned how to insulate my nerves."

"You and Paige... well damn." Toni laughs. "You do fit in over there, I guess! Sara and the twenty four seven lesbian orgy."

"Ha, not even once yet today", I say, teasing back. "Not for lack of trying though. Big me kinda got in the way."

"I don't even wanna know. But what if he hits you with more voltage than you can insulate?"

"Then he's got a job of explaining to do when the deceased can be a witness", I say.

Toni concedes that's a fair point.

While we're speaking, other me is headed to the store. Initially, I have hopes I won't be stopped, it's not a long distance, just around the building. But alas, no. My life sense picks up a large predatory form slinking behind me, so I stop and turn. Oh hey, it's Counterpoint, appearing from invisible, one of his copied powers. Not entirely a surprise.

"He hasn't told me not to talk to you, because he thinks I'll threaten you", he says. Getting right down to business. "He's not wrong. I want free. I want it bad. You don't want to be what stands in my way."

"I figure, he also knows I'm going to tell you no", I say. "Or more precisely, not until I'm reasonably convinced you can handle freedom without going on a spree killing rampage. Convince me - and my demon self, who isn't easily fooled - that you've changed, and I'll cut you loose. That's a genuine offer. As things stand, no way in hell."

"Yeah, well maybe I don't want to get out as some sort of pissant nice boy, maybe I want out as *me*."

"I'm sure you do, but I won't be the one to do it."

He tips his head to one side. "Well, so be it, you've made yourself an enemy. I'm not gonna just kill you. I'm gonna find leverage on you and *make* you do it. And then I'll kill you. Very. Slowly." And he takes off flying, straight upwards. Thankfully, doesn't press the attack now, I'm sure he knows I could just vanish the body. Gah, what a mess.

Little does he know that there's no way to get his leash severed without in effect putting his head in the lion's mouth. I'm not sure I should tell him. If he does force me, that might be a way to end the problem.

And on that cheerful note, the store. Which thankfully stays open late. Pick out a track suit first, then I can jump a copy of that over to the job and take my time browsing. There's really quite a lot of stuff and I'm curious. Did I really see a weapons section?

Over with the Kimbas, as we wander back towards Poe, I let them know about Counterpoint's antics, but they all agree that it would be extremely unwise to cut his leash as he is now.

When we get to Poe, Ayla heads off to hang with Vox. But I want to show the others my modifications. So we kind of pile into Nikki and Toni's room. "Okay, so spill", says Toni.

"So, photophores", pretty sparkly lights on my skin. "Chromatophores", ultra-black tattoo traces appear and disappear. "New claws", I extend my fingernail-looking stub claws into scary inch-long transparent talons. "Oo eef" I haven't quite got the hang of talking around a mouth full of inch long fangs, so I have to put them away before I can say, "and when we put them together", and close my eyes and mouth and activate the mode big me helped me build... and fade from sight like Major Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell. Of course, my clothes don't fade. But then I teleport a couple feet to the side and leave them behind to collapse in a heap.

"Uh, where did she go", Jade says. The other three are looking my way, and I figure, at my aura. Jade looks my way too, I guess she used Jann sensei.

And then I flash my photophores and open my mouth with fangs out, and open my eyes with their pink glow. And they all wince and recoil. Putting the teeth back to normal, I say "Therm-optic camouflage. Plus teeth."

"Even with 'em short, you've got the Cheshire cat thing down", Toni says. "But hell, you look like some deep sea nightmare with them long. Damn near scared me white, and I could see your ki. Someone who couldn't, they'd need a change of pants."

"Downside is the lack of pants on my part. I need some clothes that can follow my lead", I say, picking up my duds while invisible and re-dressing. And then fading back into visibility when I wouldn't be offending anyone.

"Cecilia", says Nikki. Everyone nods.

"If anyone can, she can", Jade agrees. "Wow, though, that's some awesome psychological warfare."

"I bet it works twice as well in the dark", I grin. "If I put a brief flash of glow on my lips, I can light up just the teeth." Which makes Jade snicker evilly imagining it, and everyone else wince.

"We have to get you trained up", Billie says. "We could use you in the Kimbas. Give the other side the screaming meemies."

"Well, good news is, I start remedial classes with Tolman sensei tomorrow."

Everyone agrees this is a good thing.
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5 months 1 week ago #68262 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty seven

**9th January, 2007, Whateley, night**

Maintenance this time was surprisingly non-mucky, we were just fitting pipe, which is easy to be helpful with when you have extra bodies and tentacles too. And the store was a satisfying grotto of wonders, I got several ideas for weapons to make from the rack there. I also picked up a basic gi, white, noobs for the use of. And a few other odds and ends.

Back in my room in Poe now, purchases stowed, work all done, I allow myself to drift to sleep. It will be my first non-comatose rest since Sunday night, and I feel like time has been crawling. Or too much has been crammed into it, either way, sleep and a chance to focus inward is sorely needed.

As I fall asleep, again I'm in control. I spin off threads to process it all, starting with rewinding back and replaying it. I started lessons (for the first time in this life and this universe), grew tentacles, swore an oath on a burning sword, lost most of my remaining humanity, rewrote the laws of metaphysics, made some nasty enemies, met a great old one - myself, kinda - cut an old world goddess loose from her controlling pantheon, and got remade into something much toothier. I may or may not be a goddess. People out there sure think I am.

It takes a while to chew over. I kind of feel that most of it is going to just keep coming back, as I gain new perspectives on it. Like for example, I can see my smugness and my self-anger after lunch alongside each other, now, and feel compassion for both. I was shocky and off balance. I was reacting, and then I was overcompensating.

Bouncing, yeah, that was pretty cool. I'm going to keep doing that if it doesn't get banned. And it's a thing that brings me and Sara together. Although I love that she changed her plans and signed up for a few of my classes, too.

I need to somehow open a more two-way conversation with big me. I don't normally need her up front bending me out of shape, but I need to figure out how to make it happen at need, if I'm going to help Judicator and Knick-knack, because as myself I can't do what she did, I wouldn't have a clue where to start. And I'd like to understand her perspective. She's so alien, but I can't help feeling love for her too.

And speaking of beloved aliens: Sara. I feel like we've been pushed apart by the waves of circumstance, every time I try to reconnect with her, something happens. I just need some alone time with...

Oops! "Um hi, Sara." I've just popped up in her room, lounging on the bed beside her. That was *not* intentional.

"Hi sweetie! Oho, interesting, you dream walked to me this time, I didn't come to you. Nice work! And lovely to see you."

"Um, sorry, I didn't mean to just barge in. I hope you aren't busy and I'm distracting you?"

She shakes her head. "First, you're always welcome. Second, late night like this is a quiet time for me. Paige is staying over, but she's asleep, and purring cutely. Jet's resting. Erin went out to hunt and try her new freedom. Hippy's back in Poe. So it's a good time to come dream-walking."

I smile, and sigh at my own silliness. "I've been stewing a bit. Big me is lovely but she got right in the way of our together time. And then she changed my shape again, well, I did a bit too. So I have more changes to get used to. And we keep being busy around each other and no time to play."

"Aww, c'mere." Sara pulls me into a hug. "Now's a good time to play, and talk, and whatever you'd like."

I wrap my arms - and tentacles - around her and snuggle up. "Did I overdo it? Too much scary?" I do the teeth thing, they elongate and get pointier, and more transparent, it's not shifting like a shapeshifter, at the cell level I can see muscles pulling. Sara plays a tentacle tip over them, then fuzzes up the end into a bristle of branching smaller tentacles, the tiniest just sparkles in the light, and strokes over one. "Oho, this is neat. Here, can you branch your tentacle tip out like me?" So I sort of put mine against hers and branch it and branch it... it's surprisingly hard sensory work, I end up with enormous numbers of tips. And as she guides them up against the tooth I feel... mechanism. Gigantic and baroque. Parts sliding over parts. And it's surprisingly lumpy-bumpy, made of little round buzzing things that blur into each other.

"What are those?" I ask, guiding one of her tentacle tips.

She grins big. "Can you keep a secret?"

"Sure can." She knows, she's playing.

"Atoms."

"Wait, the heck, what?" If we're touching atoms, then... we're smaller than them, and I can feel I could grab and shuffle them around as easy as you please. The implications are harsh. I've heard of bush robots. If our tentacles can do that... "We're unregistered nano-assemblers."

"Bright kid. Don't tell the squares, they'd throw several different colours of fit. Also having an ace in the hole is nice. Nobody knows I can go smaller than cells. Nobody needs to find out, yet, either."

Withdrawing my attention, and my tentacle, back up to the human level, I nod. "Won't find it out from me."

She grins, with her own pointy teeth. "And the answer is no, you're not too scary. You went from human-hot to something a little more exotic, but you're lovely."

I snuggle up against her thankfully. "Hey, some time you should show me your no-filters shape. Although I dearly love this shape too, I feel you're still worried I'll go, ew, too scary, and reject you. I won't, you know."

"Let me work up to that", she says. "You're right, I still worry. Although you liked my shoggoth."

"So cute", I agree grinning at the memory. "I know it was you doing a sort of tentacle finger-puppet, but I kind of wish it was real because I'd love it for a pet."

She laughs. "You're a sweetie."

I kiss her on the forehead. "My favourite ball o' tentacles"

"Silly" She kisses me on the neck. "These pyjamas are lovely, Cecilia does wonderful work, but you are wearing too much of them, like any at all." Tentacle tips unbuttoning. I move my arms overhead and she slides them up, taking advantage of my tangled-in-pyjamas state to kiss and nip my neck. Meanwhile the pants are sliding down. Temporarily tangled at both ends, I can't prevent lovely Sara moving her kisses lower down, playing tease with my nipples - yeah I know I totally could, I'm playing along, obviously.

"Oh dear, whatever shall I do? A lovely Sara has me trapped and is teasing me!" I giggle at the silliness. "My poor chastity is quite in danger, for I don't feel I can resist much longer."

"Rowr, I shall take it entirely away." Sara grins playing the game. "You know, I'm imagining these pretty perky innocent boobs filling out with milk for my baby growing inside you."

"God yes", I say. "I can just imagine myself getting rounder and rounder, with Sara junior inside. I know we can't yet, but I want it bad. I could set aside a me just to have your babies, as many as you want."

She kisses my belly. "Right under here, filling you up. Hey, I bet you remember reading the silly game I ran for the grunts, with my incubators so big around they were stretched like beach balls. Would you like to be like that? Can't move, can't do anything yourself, gummed into the wall, tubes feeding you food and air and taking your wastes away, stretched and distorted, just a tank for my baby?"

"Mmm, I think... yes" I smirk. "I'd be feeling just so full, every minute of every day, drifting between awake and asleep, loving you and loving our baby. No need to do anything at all, just be, and love." I giggle. "Being who l am it wouldn't even cramp my school life. But I'd be doing that all the time in the background and it would make every moment special."

"You, miss Parallel, are ridiculously tempting." Sara laughs. "Ironic to tempt a demon. I want you like that too. I'm imagining coming to visit and sit by you leaning my head against you and feeling junior swim and kick inside. Maybe even lots of you. I'd put you all along one wall, and a mirror on the other so you could watch yourselves."

"And non pregnant me could come visit and run a hand over our full bellies and feel a little jealous even though it's me on both sides." An idea pops into my head. "Hey, what do you think would happen if you got me pregnant in a dream? Like this one."

"No idea, love. But this place is real enough I think something would. Perhaps you'd be properly pregnant but in dreams? Perhaps it would cross across and impregnate physical you? I can't risk it, more's the pity. Because I want you bad."

Keeping me pinned with tentacles she moves her head lower down. "For now I'm going to content myself with making you completely lose control and beg." Nuzzling against the last leftover bit of my boy anatomy. "Mmm, we haven't played with this one much. How do you feel about it?"

"Little conflicted", I admit. "I want to claim it as part of girl me. But I don't want it to be what it was, I want to explore it like a new thing. If that makes any sense at all?"

"Makes plenty of sense", she agrees. "Ooh look, you've got a clit too, right at the bottom. That suggests possibilities." Spreading me open with fingertips, she tries a long lick, up over my clit and then carrying on right up the length of of my cock, making me gasp and twitch. "Oh, liked that? Let's do it again."

To distract myself a little and make the play last longer I gasp out, "so, ah, this secret plan you, mmm, nudged me about at lunch, what, ah! is it?"

"Breeding the humans, sweetie", hot breath on my clit as it's practically reaching out begging for more. "Lots and lots of babies. We both had the same idea. Bring our two kinds together. Make them safe. Make us nicer. Have fun getting people pregnant. Get pregnant ourselves."

And that thought is as much as I can take, "Oh fuck, Sara, I can't..." and I'm shooting out a mess that flies far higher and harder than I had expected, ending up splatted on the ceiling.

"Mmm, exemplar strength", Sara says admiringly. "I'm writing a book about that, you know? How to fuck safely when your lover can bench press a bus."

I can't do anything but lie back and laugh. Of course she's writing a book.
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5 months 1 week ago #68282 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty eight

> This one does get its own content note. Includes forceful sex (with consent) and selfcest. Smut level: intense.

**10th January, 2007, Poe, morning**

Eyes open.

Sara and I played around all night, and talked about our plans and dreams. We talked about religions too, and she's going to be giving me help and tips on this goddessing lark. She demonstrated too, what happens when she blesses someone. That was fun, if messy. Honestly, I'm surprised I'm not waking in very sticky pyjamas, but it seems what happens in dreams stays in dreams, at least for now. As for what happens when I bless someone, I haven't dared to try yet.

Sara wants me to go over to ARC as soon as possible and show them my new powers and fill them in on big me. I think that's a good idea, and it gets me out with Donna too, which is both nice in itself, and an excuse to hit Dunwich, erase a few bad memories, and get some more clothes. Seeing as I won't be interrupting lesson time, I should be able to arrange it, if nobody in admin decides to be an ass.

Sensei Tolman first period, I'm looking forward to that. I'm up early, so I have about an hour before I need to hit the showers before Tai Chi. And right now I'm still buzzing with sex. Sara isn't here, but I am. An hour is plenty of time to play.

A teleport takes me out of bed - leaving the pyjamas behind. Copy my naked self, and look myself over. I need to prettify this room, because it's a poor backdrop. Lovely curves, perky tits, I want myself so bad. "I've been wanting to do this for days." I say to myself.

"I know", I reply. Lips mash together, tongues tease over sharp tipped teeth, bodies press, boobs against boobs, squirm to make nipples rub, boy parts pressing together, caressing. A thought, "Shall we get ourselves pregnant?"

"Only for a moment. Later when we're sure of it, maybe we can walk around for a day or two carrying our own embryo. Although someone might see."

"And if we can find a safe place to stay off campus..." I grin.

"We can have our own baby. But not yet."

"Sadly", I agree, dropping down my other body to a kneel, my lips happily engulfing our cock, tongue teasing our foreskin, sliding it back. Other me grabs my hair and forces herself deep down my throat. I time my gasps for air around her thrusts as she uses me, keeping eye contact, no gag reflex at all, I'm her fuck-hole. My fingers stray towards my sex, but other me says "nuh uh", and copies herself behind me. Third me pulls me up out of the kneel by the hips, so I'm on my tip toes and bent forward, being fucked in the face, and she unceremoniously thrusts inside me, binding my arms up behind my back with tentacles. "Not yours to do, only to be done to, slut me." I can't even stabilise myself as she slams into me, matching first me's timing. I'm so full.

I try and gulp and swallow at the cock in my mouth, making my throat ripple, and it's too much for first me, she reaches her limit and shoots a stinging powerful spray of cum that hits the back of my throat, as third me cums in sympathy and fills me from the other end and I'm caught between them, sympathy cumming without a single touch to my sex. First time with a penis, first sperm, I think to myself, Sara's done me as hard but she used tentacles.

First me forces my head down towards the floor, making the taste of her sperm run back into my mouth, "Head down ass up, slut me, I want that juice to run inside your womb and do its job."

I wiggle my ass, wanting it too, breath rasping. We stay like that for a few moments, until my body sense feels my own sperms swimming up inside my womb. It'll be a few minutes until they meet the egg I've released, even exemplar sperms are very small.

Then, "Alright, down on the floor on your back, slut me, legs open and turn your cock fertility off." Third me lets my arms go and I can scramble down onto the boring institutional carpet. Millions of sperms lyse at my command, and production stops, but I ramp up semen tenfold, until the glands feel strained and tight. I'm the only one who's going to be pregnant, even if it's only for a few minutes. I feel pride. Grow inside me for just a little while, little embryo. And stay with me when we have to vanish, so you can some day be born properly.

The two mes lower themselves down onto me. I feel one me slip over my cock, but I can't see her from my own eyes, as other me presses her sex over my mouth and nose. I'm dirty, I'm sweaty. I've been asleep for hours and haven't showered yet. My pubes grew out like my hair, and I decided to leave them in place, so my tongue finds hairy, pungent wetness, and I steer by first me's pleasure as I caress and delve, it's disgusting and wonderful. I'm the world's biggest slut, I think, fucking myself like this.

Third me agrees as she fucks herself on my defenseless cock, thrusting down and pulling up, engulfing and squeezing, spent cum dribbling out of her cock as it slaps against my belly. "Gimme my cream filling, slut me, whore, fuck-meat, your cum is mine, fucking cum for me", and that's my limit, we all three cum at once, and I'm spurting and spurting as first me grinds herself against my face and I can't breathe at all and my tongue is cramping from licking so hard.

A pause for breath. First and third me kiss, then first me vanishes, third me slides off me with a pop and kneels over my head to let fresh made warm semen dribble out into my mouth and onto my face. I think it tastes lovely, and my tongue cleans me up. We're going to be walking around all day like that. Well stuffed, and lightly cream filled.

I laze around on that crappy carpet enjoying being achy and short of breath and pregnant, I just felt the embryo catch. Third me pulls her pyjamas on. "Shower time for me, you can stay there feeling it for a bit. Camo if someone barges in. Although they'll probably smell you first, cum covered me. Dirty pregnant slut me." We exchange satisfied grins.

The air's a little chilly, I squeeze my tits and finally have a chance to touch myself in this body, rolling my hips and feeling the live sperms swish around inside like little points of light on my life sense.

Other me is making her way to the shower, and other-other me is giving Gothmog a blow-by-blow description, which he's liking very much. I really wish I could stay pregnant. He agrees it would be lovely. Petra thinks I'm crazy but amusing.

Uh wait, could we, perhaps?

As other me is listening to a room of happy girls compliment Ayla's new waterproof shower room heaters, this me nudges Sara over her mark. Filling her in on what we just did makes her grin, and then when I suggest my idea, she says, "Go ahead and ask him! So the first of us will be you, hmm? He'd be honoured. Lovely work, sweetie. Congratulations!"

So I do ask, and Gothmog considers and then grins and agrees, and a portal opens, and sticky, dripping, well-used, pregnant me steps through into the luxury of his lounge, and a warm soft dressing gown wrapped around me, and three voices saying "congratulations". I must be glowing. I'm going to have the baby. I'm going to stay over there, and slowly over months fill out and get big, and have a child. And love her and raise her. I wonder what she'll look like? Her genome, still forming, feels similar to mine, but different too. No glitches to worry about. We don't have any harmful recessives to reinforce. Just a buzzing busy cell right now, I wonder when she will start to feel like a person?

So worth it.

And in the showers, I sigh wistfully. This me gets to stay here in Whateley, even tingling from sex as I am, I'd rather be full of baby. But the new shower room is nice. I join in thanking Ayla for it, and feeling amused as he soaks up the attention with a grin. And then it's my turn under the water and I get myself clean, telltale evidence of debauchery washing down the drain. Although the buzz is still there. Damn, that was some dirty sex. And all of me loved it. I should let Sara do me like that. I should do Jet. And Paige. I think I'm getting "WTF is up with her" looks from Nikki and Toni - who knows if it's the aura, or the well-satisfied smirk? Oh well, best dry off and go dress, Tai Chi waits for no girl.

In Gothmog's realm, we've retired to his Japanese-style bath, me over there soaping me down as we clean off to get in, and giving me deep kisses. I love myself. I lust after myself. This is normal, right? Sara peeking over the mark assures me it is. Oh goodness, I'm pregnant. This is going to be so fun.

Me and me shower the suds off, and then go lower ourselves into the steaming hot bath for a good soak. I've got enough regen that the aches have already left, but I can savour the memories of them as water lifts away all tensions. "I'm going to pamper you, pregnant me", I say to myself. "And I'm going to fuck you so hard. This place ironically lacks playmates. Not any more."

It's strange to have a semi-permanent body identity like this. Only one of me is pregnant. That me is going to be my own wanton toy, too. And, well, either of the others here, if they want. It's not like either of them could get me pregnant twice over. (Ahem, well, grandpa perhaps in theory, but he's already had his only child.) Speaking of whom, I should invite Sara over to make use of slut me. I can already feel her eagerness over the mark. As soon as she has a break, she'll pop over. Might even bring a doggy collar from the store. Seems like a plan. Maybe later we can tell one or two of the others? I'm not sure if that would be going too far. But I do wonder what Paige would order me to do. I should be careful to insulate around the baby until junior tells me she's okay to take current.

We need to talk to Petra about her limits. This place is hers first, really, I'm sure the reason it has such a pseudo-real unchanging feel is for her benefit and her convalescence. So her feelings are more important than my games here. That's the reason, getting out of the bath and dried off, I dress pregnant me in a dressing gown, although do I tie it for her. And we pad back into the living room together.

Petra was reading, and she looks up. "You two, I can tell which is which just by looking. One of you looks so satisfied and submissive. The other looks like the cat who got a new toy."

"Yeah", I agree, grabbing a seat and pushing pregnant me down into a kneel beside it. "We were wondering if our play bothers you. If it does, we'll keep it behind closed doors."

"Nah, seriously, you're an incomprehensible bundle of chaos, but I trust you, and you should know that's rare. You wanna fuck like bunnies, don't let me stop you. You wanna keep yourself on a leash, I'll be over here giggling."

"Okay, fair enough, I need to get a bit specific then. Can I keep other me mostly naked?"

"Be my guest."

"Can we play short of sex, where you see us, without feeling like we broke your consent? That includes leashes, kneeling, hair grabs, stuff like that."

"Likewise, honestly, I don't mind if you outright screw her in front of me. Not my problem."

"I was thinking of saying, this pregnant me is open access, anyone Gothmog trusts to be here, she doesn't have limits short of what would harm the pregnancy. That includes you. But if you aren't interested we won't press."

She sits and thinks a moment. "Seriously, I've been feeling like a cripple and haven't been focusing that way. But I'm a bit tempted. Open access means what?"

"Means give an instruction and she'll do it. Go slow, go fast, go right up her poop chute, that's your decision to make. As fast or as slow as you want to take it. We're regen six with full biological control, you can't harm us."

"I'll give it some thought."

I nod. "Absolutely no rush at all."

And meantime, I should get pregnant me out of that gown. No more clothes for *her*.
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5 months 5 days ago #68292 by JulesMorrison
JulesMorrison replied the topic: Interlaced
# Part twenty nine

**10th January, 2007, Poe, morning**

You know that "OMG I was doing what" feeling after freaky sex? Yeah, I'm feeling that. Doubly so because over in another world, I'm still doing it. Passively at the moment, just being bare ass naked in front of trusted friends. But still.

OMG twice, I'm pregnant. I'm so excited! And afraid! And all the feelings! I haven't got a bump yet, but I want Sara to pet it. My baby is a few cells big and hasn't implanted yet. Watching with life sense is fascinating. I wonder if we can establish a telepathic connection so I can ask junior what her name should be? Problems for later.

It probably isn't my best tai chi morning. I'm not exactly distracted, but a big part of me is... preoccupied. I'm getting weird looks from Chou and Toni and Nikki. I really hope my chi isn't giving the game away to all and sundry, or I'll have to learn how to cloak that in a hurry. I match the others, flowing through the form, paying attention to my balance and moving from the centre. I find I do move differently when I see every action as expanding and contracting from the dantian point. It's strange to realise how much the shape of my thought changes my movement.

I wonder if there's any way I can learn to sense chi? I'm starting to feel it's a serious gap in my armour.

Afterward, I'm thinking about that problem as I get changed into my uniform in my room. Unexpectedly, there's a knock on the door. It's Nikki and Toni. "Sure, come in, what is it?" Ack, I've forgotten to air the place. I may be being paranoid. Although from the glance they give each other, I think maybe not.

Nikki pushes the door shut and I can feel a flare of magic. Something-something-quiet? I'm guessing a snoop-block and a door lock.

Toni starts it. "Jules. Ain't no polite way to say this. You know how sometimes even the norms can see a girl and say she's 'glowing'?" She makes finger air-quotes.

"Uh huh", I say, not wanting to lead this anyplace it wasn't already going.

"Well if it's obvious to norms, it's freaking obvious to us. You've got that grin that keeps coming back, your chi's doing weird things and I'm told", nod to Nikki, "that your aura's gone all pink. Girl, what the hell have you done? Spit it out to aunty Toni and aunty Nikki before I have to tickle it out of you. Because I absolutely will."

Oh flip.

"Um, before I do, I really think first I need some help to cloak my aura."

"Nice distraction, but yes we will get back around to that", says Toni, looking like she won't be put off.

Nikki, looking at me, says, "I'd swear you were pregnant except you're clearly not. Either way, I agree it needs a bit of magical discretion so the rumour doesn't get you dragged in front of the head."

"Oh shit, for real, you didn't?" Toni, putting two and two together, and looking at me hard. A pause. "You did, but the body isn't here."

I sigh. Waste of time hiding it. "Nowhere near here." Not even in the same universe, in fact.

"Damn! You really did? With who? Because the only one I smell here is... okay I know you're technically capable but... oh seriously you did not. No. That's unhygienic, it's how you get kids with six fingers."

"If you haven't had your recessives already combed through by an alien superintelligence", I point out. "I can feel genomes. I wouldn't do that."

"Well shit." Toni squints trying to wrap her head around the situation. "Okay so, no single mama stuck out of education, because you ain't a single anything. No six fingers unless the kid wants 'em. No starving on the streets, because you wouldn't do it if you didn't have some place to stash yourself. Nowhere near, I bet that's not even on the same planet, is it?"

I nod.

"So, all hunkydory except for one thing you've forgotten. You. Are. Fifteen! You are not old enough to be a mother!"

I can't help but wince at Toni's anger.

"She isn't, though - are you?" Nikki says, thoughtfully. "You didn't say how old your previous self got to."

I sigh, "And I'm not going to, because that was her life and this is mine. She literally died. For all intents and purposes, this me is fifteen."

Nikki says, "You're used to thinking like an adult, though. Making your own decisions. You've forgotten about being too young for things."

I nod, that's a fair criticism. "Yeah. Honestly, in this case, it's going to be fine. I've got everything I need over there, and my kid will have family and friends even if I can't bring her over here yet. It's going to be fine." I know I'm repeating myself.

"Adult this, adult that, I bet it wasn't any kind of adult decision at all. You got broody and kept doubling down and now it's done." Toni, cutting a little closer to the bone than I like. "Unless you plan to abort?" She pulls a face like that idea smells bad.

"I could abort in a split instant by vanishing the body", I point out. "I was going to... I just couldn't. Can't. I want it so bad. And I'm already attached. I'm gonna be a mama, Toni. I'm going to be a good mother to my kid, I promise." I park myself on the lower bunk. I don't think I did a wrong thing.

"Well, shit, pardon my French." Toni sighs deeply and sits beside me. "You are an idiot, but it sounds like your damn-foolery won't bite you in the ass too bad. Please try to think harder next time!" And she raps me on the head.

Nikki grabs a seat on the bed on the other side. "This secret must be kept from the school. I'm going to cover it in your aura, but you should work on controlling that for yourself. Try and get good by dinner, Circe will sense any crude patch." She makes a pass over me with her hand, and I can feel the magic making adjustments.

Circe, wonderful. Talk about a harsh test. "That and chi, I really need to learn to control it", I say.

Toni shakes her head vigorously. "Nuh uh. Mistake. If you don't have the born knack, like I do, then controlling it is completely the wrong way to go about it. Don't think I didn't see how you learned the form. Move your muscles like us, means you're doing it right, right? Copy it down to the smallest twitch, muscles, tendons and bones, and then you've got the form down. Nope. That means you're micromanaging every damn thing and your chi's all choked up, being pushed around pillar to post when it should be the one leading. No damn wonder you can't sense it. It's kind of the same problem as a normal beginner, 'cept they don't know shit about the form so they look as clumsy as their chi. You look smooth, but it's the smoothness of a robot. Next time you practise, let yourself get it wrong. Lead from the feeling, not the precise movement. That's all I can teach you right now. When you can do that, I'll have something to work with."

I nod and consider that. "I'll do that. Actually, I'll get to practising that right now, over in the other place I'm at."

Toni nods, "Good. Don't be too hard on yourself, you're a beginner. Your way took maybe a month's worth of shortcut, for a mid exemplar. A couple years worth, for a baseline. It's just that you jumped yourself right up to a point where your abilities don't help worth a damn. Everyone reaches some point like that sooner or later." She considers. "For today, since you aren't gonna be pulling any chi cloaking tricks in the next half hour, I'll help. Lessee..." and she pokes me a few times, varying strengths, precise fast movements. "There, it's covered. It'll come back though, you'll need a refresh tomorrow, perhaps earlier. I'll keep an eye."

"And it won't hurt the baby, to hide it?"

"Do I look like I took a course in medical chi for babies? I'm guessing it won't, because I just hushed things down, I didn't reverse any flows. But a guess is as good as you'll get from me."

I sigh. "A guess from you is worth a lot. Thank you, both of you. And thank you for being worried for me."

"You sure do keep us on our toes." Toni says, and ruffles my hair.

Nikki grins. "And since we haven't had a chance to say it, congratulations. I'll leave it up to you if you want to tell the others. Chou's guessed of course, but decided it's not her business one way or the other. Jade would be over the moon. Billie and Hank would call you an idiot, I think."

"Eh, they'd come around", Toni says. "Yeah, congratulations. Damned if you ain't the strangest one but I think maybe you of all people can make it work."

"A blessing on you at the kindling of new life", Aunghadhail weighing in.

"Thank you, all of you", I say.

Breakfast brings me my first chance to catch up with Sara physically, and in fact get a huge hug from her and an enormous rush of love down the mark. I'm fairly sure one or two of the others are wondering what's up. Erin isn't with us this time, but Paige and Hippy are. The chatter and happy companionship let me drift a bit - both mes over on the other side are practising their don't-micromanage tai chi together and being giggled at by Petra because one of me is doing it naked. It's nice.

Except oh hey, isn't that the New Olympians? Which snaps my focus back over here, they're dangerous. They're all trooping over to a table close to the fountain, making a thing of being on the other side from the Alphas and their schmancy table, but equal. Or something similarly pompous. And all giving me death glares. Judicator and Knick-knack either playing along or brainwashed. Ugh, that idiot tinpot tyrant of a Zeus annoys me so much. Ignoring them seems the sensible thing for now, so instead I turn away and focus on mark-chatting with Sara.

"Toni and Nikki found out", I tell her. "Chou too, but she didn't want to interfere."

"Not unexpected", she says and looks me over. "They've covered up the signs well enough for now, love, but I'd like to go over with you how to cloak your aura."

"Not first period, I've got sensei Tolman, I don't dare poke the patch." I say.

Sara winces and nods. "After that, then. Besides, we've got necromancy."

I nod. "Missed that yesterday being out cold, I should bug you for what we covered."

Paige peers at the two of us, interrupting my attempt to catch up. "You two are chatting, don't think it isn't obvious. What's up?"

I look at Sara, reach a decision. "Tell you, or rather show you, later. When are you free?"

"Hmm? Third period, before lunch, does that work?" Paige is a curious kitty.

Sara nods. I do too. I say, "Works for me too, obviously, okay, be in Sara's room, third period. We'll meet there."

I grin. We haven't had a chance to take Paige over to visit, this will be fun.

Possibly also a bit embarrassing, but I'm sorta looking forward to that.
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