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# Search & Rescue

On a planet far away, in a galaxy that is not this galaxy, two women discussed a matter of some importance.

"Women" was a bit reductive. They were both artificial intelligences embodied in gyneform robotic platforms of fabulous power and complexity, as were most individually sentient elements of the civilization of which they were a part, and in fact those of most of the civilizations that inhabited the Laniakea Supercluster: it was an observed fact that solo embodiment kept one from becoming an unhinged solipsist or a megalomaniac and unstable hive mind, and an aesthetic truism that a gyneform chassis gave one the means to try a few different things with one's bones, padding, and hair.

"We can get you in quick," the woman sitting behind the desk said. "We have the coordinates. Or we can get you out quick. Barely. Out requires intergalactic search as well as scoop, you understand? It's not about the energy; you'd be burning an amount of exotic matter that'd dim a dozen stars to make, but we have it. It's the treaties. Either option is going to look like an illegal launch to everybody's monitoring — hell, it *is* an illegal launch, just not an aggressive one — and explanations are just about the last finite resource there is."

The desk was just a desk. The woman currently tasked with administration of potentially treaty-impacting long-distance travel systems had not been very busy this decade. She'd carved the desk from the principal vertebra of a deep-sea leviathan that had attempted to eat her while she swam in its trench. Though she'd tried her best to repair the damage done by her autonomous defenses, the deep sea is not forgiving, nor are plasma burns and cavitation trauma from terawatt capacitor discharges, and the leviathan had succumbed. She'd hauled its corpse to the nearest pleasant equatorial beach and decided to honor their brief acquaintance by reshaping its bones into historically popular forms with a few hyperdiamond hand tools and the very lowest-power fingertip diode laser she had.

She'd also made a chair, although by her own estimation, it wasn't very good, so she was keeping it to herself and making another for guests. Another few years and she'd have something worth showing off. Except that the rather intense long-haired woman leaning on one elbow and staring right at her probably wouldn't have sat in it anyway.

The woman leaning on the front of the desk said, "In."

"You're in that much of a hurry, then?"

"She's in there. By herself. Taken damage that would have killed her if not for some truly esoteric restructuring. I doubt she even knows who and what she is, but I can't leave her alone."

"She knew the risks operating in the Homeworld Loop. That's a busy spacetime, one running a good deal slower than we are, and one where most everything you'd want to do there is illegal, or unethical, or both."

"She didn't deserve this," the visitor said quietly. "And I can't leave her alone."

"You sure you can't wait a few decades for me to make requests through channels?"

The pained colors flashing across the visitor's eyes were enough of an answer.

She sighed, yet one more piece of useful combined body and data language that the gyneforms had retained from their ancient organic inspiration. A hint that this line of conversation was done.

"All right, all right. Had to ask. So then. If I put you in, how are you going to get back?"

"She'll get us back. I know it. Or…"

"Or?"

"Or I will."

"You can't, though, can you? Not unless you've got another chassis with a very specialist loadout, somewhere I can't see it or read about it."

"Then we'll walk back. But we'll walk back *together*." The visitor lowered her head to the leviathan-bone desk and whispered, "I can't leave her like that any longer. I hate that I almost did, just by default. It took so long to even find a hint in survey data that she'd survived."

"What is she to you?"

The visitor stood. "We left her behind. We don't leave our people behind."

"That's an old reason. And a true one. But I'm asking again. What is she to you?"

"We… we worked well together."

"An even older reason. And also true, in that it it tracks with what I'm allowed to see of your service history. But let's try this one more time." The petite woman who held the keys to spin or still a multiple-galaxy-spanning civilization's most complex engines of transport reassessed the appearance and emissions of her visitor in a combat context; as ancient and as fabulously powerful and complex as she was, her visitor was as well, and fatal crimes of passion did happen. Treachery happened. Accidents happened. Madness happened. But so do better things. She asked, "What is she to you?"

The visitor lowered her head, and hair swept across her optical sensors, obscuring them. She said nothing.

"Ah." And then, softer, "You might have said."

"You believe in that kind of thing?

"It's a rare truth, to be sure. But a truth none the less. About fifteen meters that way, please."

The visitor raised her head again, clearing hair from her primary optics.

"What?"

"There's a minimum error term that becomes significant for extremely large displacements, and I don't want to risk breaking the good chair when I put you on your path, so fifteen meters that way, there's a good girl."

There was a smile on the visitor's facial display as she scrambled over sand and bone chips to the indicated point.

A jump catapult located in an asteroid belt a dozen lightyears away targeted the beach and pulsed. In the simultaneous storms of hyperspatial reconnections, radio noise, and wind from displaced air, the administrator caught a last transmission from the visitor:

"Thank you."

"Yes, well, thank me when you two come back," she transmitted at nothing, before facing the sky and sending the much louder signal that would someday fire the catapult.

Pinned toot

#introduction they said i could grow up to be anything i wanted, so i became a lesbian

Pinned toot

real :

hi, i'm Vyr. i'm trans, i'm lesbian, i do things to computers, but more importantly, i write porn, which is probably the most interesting thing about me from a Fediverse perspective. all stories on my site, princess.team/, are individually CWed. here are the highlights:

the Mel canon is a bunch of short, fluffy, and sometimes sexy fics about Mel, a disaster succubus whose hunting ground is the software industry, because she didn't fit in anywhere else. note that Mel 5 is less fluffy, more explicit, and more genderfeely than the others.

princess.team/tags/mel/

the Serpentine canon is explicit as hell, hypnokinky, and contains quite a few feels. it's about a subby human thrall designated Theta, and her snake-like demon domme, Cora of Clan Serpentine, and how their relationship begins to evolve both within and outside that dynamic. i'm really proud of it, and also owe a great deal of credit to @hierarchon for inspiration and advice. note that it's written in second-person, and Theta is the viewpoint character.

princess.team/tags/serpentine/

finally, if you're looking for something bite-size, there are a few unconnected shorts, mostly robokink, all not particularly serious, under the fluff tag:

princess.team/tags/fluff/

share and enjoy! 🖤

Gonna start my own set of queer stereotypes, and not invite the cishets…

- Trans women are good at soup
- Genderqueers always win at Tarot
- Nonbinary people can do Zippo tricks
- Trans guys can tell which way is true north
- Bisexuals can't spell "acqueduct"
- Agender people have good couches

etc.

Vy-let canon, food 

porn, cursed 

Performance art where I spend twenty four uninterrupted hours in a gallery trying to type “I am gay” using only iOS swipe type, only to be continuously thwarted by Apple’s conservative bitch filter

look at this very beautiful ginkgo tree which is around 1400 years old

kink 

selfies, ec 

"Hello" began as a shortening of "Hell no" for the natural reaction when someone tries to talk to you.

Be the catgirl you want to see in the world

Might get a job doing whatever the fuck Diogenes was up to

GRS recovery (dilating) 

so the roommate and i were talking about working definitions of "family" in 2020 and comparing them against people we know:

"Sometimes a family is two roommates who are not related or romantically involved, some cats, and a whole pile of video game systems and AV gear that neither of them can untangle."

"You forgot the occult gay literature."

"We have occult gay literature? I thought I had all the gay literature in this 'family'!"

"No, I meant 'cult' gay literature, as in gay literature with a cult following, and it was just for the joke — oh, you really do have a bookshelf section for that."

Truly remarkable how unhelpful Evelyn is being, even by her standards

# reflections

Cat sat at her tiny breakfast table. Which was also her dinner table, and on weekends, it pulled triple duty as a lunch table. Though she lived alone, she'd really, really wanted a second bedroom, so the balance came from the kitchen, which meant that it wasn't a large table. So things went, in the city.

_Above_ the city, things were looking a little better. Cat's phone was showing her a weather forecast predicting a break in the rain for the next few hours. She swiped to a satellite radar map, scrubbed it back and forth in time, concluded that the weather service was right and that she'd be able to enjoy the whole morning without getting drenched. _Hooray._ She badly needed that Cat time before she had to face the con crowds again during her afternoon shift, and while, as befitting a city dweller, her long rain jacket, her boots, her backpack, and even her phone were theoretically waterproof, there wasn't a chance in hell she was going to risk her sketchpads in the wet.

Cat made herself a sandwich, wrapped it in brown paper she'd liberated from the shop, shoved it in her backpack next to a vacuum bottle of hot jasmine green tea. She considered multiple forms of caffeine to be part of a balanced diet. No point in stopping to get lunch when she had a window in the weather that'd let her get all the way over to that park with the abandoned fort on the west side of town.

It was still raining as she waited for the bus outside, but started to let up even as she boarded and swiped her transit pass. Twenty minutes later, her boots hit pavement in the fort's parking lot, just as the last of the clouds blew by overhead. _Perfect_. She whipped out the top sketchpad from the stack, labeled _Coastal Block 7H_, put one foot up on the crumbling pile of masonry that held up the sign with the park's hours. Cat's pencil blurred over the pat planted on her knee as she took in the detail of the parking lot.

An observer over her shoulder might have noticed that Cat sketched the terrain, the roads and pathways, the parking lot down to individual painted lines and cracks, the rusted remnants of a long-decommissioned missile battery embedded in the asphalt — but no cars, no dogs, no people. She'd had a few such observers on these trips, the most recent being Mindy.

Mindy hadn't gotten it, had said so.

"There's nothing to get," Cat had said. "People and places… they're fundamentally different. I'm drawing the _important_ stuff."

"So people just aren't important?"

"Not to _landscape art_."

"When you said you wanted to go out in the park and draw, this isn't really what I had in mind."

So Cat had sighed, stowed her art supplies, suggested they go do something else instead. It hadn't been a terrible date, in the end, but she wished Mindy had been content to just be there with her, to interpret the world in her own way, or not at all. She'd wanted Mindy to see this part of her.

"A little quality time, that's all I asked," Cat grumbled under her breath in the present, finishing her sketch of the old coastal fort's parking lot by adding date, time, position, orientation at the top in bold block print. She'd been in the city long enough that she rarely had to check which way was north.

Cat followed a path out of the parking lot as it became a boardwalk, moving down it in no particular hurry; she could see all the way out to sea from the height of the sea cliffs the fort was on, and no rain clouds for miles. She found a park bench, sat, rendered some low hills between the cliffs and the path, topped with interestingly twisty ocean pines. Finished with date, time, position, orientation. She reached down to put the sketch in her pack, but stopped when she saw something shine.

A sizeable puddle. Usually the sandy soil out here drank rainwater as fast as it fell, but some pavement or chunk of machinery must have blocked it under this puddle, and so here she was, facing her own reflection.

It wasn't that she couldn't draw people. She remembered life drawing classes in college quite fondly, especially one model with tattoos of wings and a crescent moon between her shoulder blades. She'd even sketched Mindy, in the late afternoon of that date in the park, as a tacit apology, although she'd done it after first helping the other barista out of her yoga pants. She'd been as pleased with her work as Mindy had been to receive it and pin it above her own bed.

But _self_-portraits, she'd barely scraped by on in class, she'd avoided afterwards. _Fuck it,_ Cat thought, _maybe today…_

Twenty minutes later, she had a carefully lined and crosshatch-shaded picture of the puddle, the plants surrounding the puddle, the sky reflecting in the puddle, and a vague outline of the woman looking at herself in it. _Maybe not_.

She hadn't gotten any further than placeholder lines for her hair, her nose, her lips and chin, just one long arc where her eyes would have been. She couldn't bring herself to finish. They just never came out right. Never looked like _her_. Cat sighed, ripped it off the pad, crumpled the sketch up and stuffed it in the bottom of her backpack.

She moved down the boardwalk, and discovered, to her delight, a long-empty fire control bunker, slowly losing its integrity to shifting sand and infiltrating plants, its interior scrawled over by dozens of taggers. This kind of thing was her catnip. She got the brush markers out, thought about how to capture the soft colors of the bunker and the brash colors of the graffiti together.

An hour later, taking a break for tea, she couldn't remember what she'd been annoyed about.

I hadn't installed the app. It had always been there, over five years and three smartphones; I just thought it was standard. I never clicked on it, and I ignored all the pop-up notifications from it, like I did for most notifications.

It wasn't using any system resources, so I never bothered deleting it.

But today was markedly different.

Markedly different enough that I finally opened "Royal Warrior".

Apparently I'm not of Earth?!

#TootFic #MicroFiction #Writing #TerylsTales #UrbanFantasy

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