User:Hawl/In Need Of A Mother

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In Need of a Mother by Jessica Kylie Nichols-Vernon

Things had been pretty smooth settling in for the Bertrand Family, thanks to the reluctant cross-rider now known as James telling Simone and Pierre about their father’s presence on the planet Ximenes had gifted them some property in Venars for the Bertrands to live in. Simone and Pierre had agreed not to tell their mother about this incident until they had had time to explore the house to make sure it was on the up and up. Pierre and Nutkin had agreed to wait until Simone had the time instead of rushing in themselves so she could use her Integrate Abilites to give it a good look over digitally. Of course this was a task that Nutkin could do himself if he had a human partner, but neither himself nor Pierre trusted one another.

Pierre had been tending to his damaged ego after failing to help his sister defeat MightyDillon the way he did the first time he had a body, by going to the bar and having sex with anyone he could charm and/or get intoxicated enough to sleep with him. This was mostly women, though Pierre was technically bisexual he merely prefered females to male. Get him drunk enough or find him a guy who is cute enough and he’ll go for it. As is a common weakness of Alpha Males and their wannabes especially ones who act younger than they actually are, challenge his ego directly and you’d get him going on the bottom just to prove he could take it. He’d begun taking a liking to Kane who joined him in this escapade, though while Pierre drowned himself in loose women, loose men, and alcohol in mourning of his pride. Kane did so, albeit without the loose men due to his heterosexuality, mostly in celebration of how good he had it on Zharus. Nutkin most of the time stayed home and only showed up after Simone started insisting that if Pierre was going to waste the money she gives him to go feel sorry for himself he could at least save her a buck by not using the taxi to go back and forth as Pierre hated his RIDE and Kane didn’t have one.

Pierre was in the middle of starring at a pint of ale replaying the scenario in his head. “Maybe if I had thought to have him fettered, but the GoKARTers hate fetters and I wanna be that badass… God damn it, how can I live the dream if I suck at it? I’d try again with a different RIDE but Simone would never let me have enough cash to buy another male…. but… what if I run into a female that is disobedient… then I’ve said goodbye to the fellas for nothing… I mean she enjoys it and mom’s always been happy with being female maybe… naw… it’s.. it’s a stupid idea.” He said to himself, but he did so in half french and half english so that no one would be able to understand his blabbering.

He found himself being interrupted by the jovial laughter of Kane, Kane was very serious and opinionated sober, but enough of the life of the party to give Simone a run for her money when he’s had a few. Draped over him were two hispanic girls on vacation from Nuevo San Antonio though the two looked like teenage twins, they were in actuality non-related best friends who merely chose to look the same by getting the right nanos. Both of them had triceratop tails and lacked ears for their tags as prehistoric RIDEs were very popular in NSA, both of them even had beaks and smallish horns, but that’s what happens when you have non-mammal RIDEs. “Hey Pierre, I’ve got dos senoritas here who tell me they’ve never been with a white guy or a black guy! Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“Is this a trick question?” Pierre raised an eyebrow, putting away his muttering for now. “I’d say the answer is foursome, but I’ve already tried barking up your tree Kane being curious about that old saying about going back after you’ve gone black myself.. You’re as straight as the day is long.”

Kane laughed at this, as did the girls draped over his arms. “Yeah, but there’s time for blurring the lines. Right now if James wasn’t so disapproving of the bar scene I’d invite him to join us as well for a nice little rainbow.” he said, rubbing his nose against one of the vacationing women. Both of whom oooh’d at the idea of taking three men from three different ethnicities, none of them their own, all at once.

“Well damn… tonight’s my night!” Pierre said, clasping his hands.::Nutkin, take us to Simone’s. You won’t believe this, but I’ve managed to bed not only twins, but Kane.::

::Huh, you’re right. I don’t believe you. During my latest tune-up he was still disgusted but the time you grabbed his rump. It may actually be worth giving you a lift this time.:: Nutkin replied, and began walking out of his garage.

“Picking up the jobless ingrate following in his father’s footsteps?” Simone said, it hadn’t even been a fortnight moved back into Venars, but she already remembered why she left her family to begin with. Pierre was still being Pierre, she knew he admired him for something once.

“Yeah… and the three people he’s taking to bed.” Nutkin responded, setting his ZPS for the pub which he still hadn’t bothered memorizing for himself right before doing a pre-eliminary systems check.

“But not Kane?” Simone said raising an eyebrow as to his exclusion.

“I repeat, and the three people he’s taking to bed.” Nutkin said before waddling out of the garage.

“Shyver, he caved.” Simone said looking over to her lover. “You owe me 500 MU!”

“Damn… I hope he doesn’t share your love of fat, hair, and musk.” Shyver joked as he double checked his girlfriend's garages profits and losses from inside his panda RIDE Promethus.

“No, that’s just me…” Simone smiled, sniffing Shyver, gaining a love of odors and scents from the part of her that was designed to be a skunk. “Mmm… damn.. you’ve showered… I thought you knew to only do that in the morning by now.’

“Dear, I felt grimey…” Shyver defended himself “My health and hygiene can’t be completely serving to your libido 24/7”

“Mmm...damn, and you smell so damn sexy after a good long day. Oh mon dieu, I can recall on the ship to and from Earth when you had spent the whole day doing laps and you had left the deodorant back in your room… Well.. maybe I took it out of your bag intentionally… Simone tried to stop me, but, not very hard… heheh..” she said, when she think about musk it tended to become more Lucille minded as it was Lucille who had that fetish. As she spoke she placed her muzzle around Shyver’s underarms hoping to catch a masculine scent.

“...You know I’m still here right?” Paula-Ruby objected, working late on an ocelot with shattered leg in his walker mode. “I don’t wanna hear about what Shyver smells like or how hairy his back is.”

“...Ahem.. desolee…” Simone-Lucille said, scratching behind her head with a blush. “Lucille can get carried away.”

“And the human half of you can’t? I still remember your Cross-Over Party...” Paula-Ruby shook her head as she shuddered. “Hey Shyver, think Aristo can send Lucypop to make me forget that?” normally she wasn’t sassy but every now and then that side of Ruby would surface. Neither Paula nor Ruby were quite used to it yet.

“Okay you’ve made your point.” Simone-Lucille said, a little annoyed. “And don’t bring Aristo into this, Shyver’s not his slave anymore!”

Back at the bar Pierre and Kane began their pillow talk with the twins, Kane even allowing Pierre to snuggle up to him as a bi-curious display for the twins’ enjoyment, Kane didn’t really derive pleasure from this so much as he knew it aroused the two he was really interesting in. Though they did find themselves strangely interrupted by a lone man with wolf tags who wandered to their table right out of the blue with the most serious look in his face and small hints of misery in his eyes.

“I’m sorry to interrupt your merriment, but… Well forgive my assumption, but you have a french accent and I’ve only met one other Zharusian with that feature… Are you by chance related to a Simon Bertrand?”

“..Well he calls herself Simone these days, but yeah that’s ma souer.” Pierre said, licking Kane who tried not to look as annoyed as he was before turning his head to face the man. “Mmm.. Chocolate.. heheh..” he said, finally earning that mild frustration from Kane, and laughter from the unrelated twins. Though Pierre had also earned confusion from the wolf tagged man.

“Ma souer? I’m sorry I don’t speak your tongue.” The Wolf tagged man had said.

Pierre apologized “Oh yes, sorry, Ma souer means My sister in english..”

“..Does a young boy named Paul Reverbek still work for hi… her?” The wolf-tagged man questioned, continuing to misgender people strangely.

“You mean Paula? Yeah, you an old friend of hers?” Pierre asked

“I don’t recognize him and I’m as close as you can get to Paula without being family or a boyfriend.” Kane chipped in.

“Thank you, that’s all I needed to know, enjoy your night gentlemen and ladies.” The man left shortly after.

When Nutkin saw Pierre draped over Kane kissing on him he couldn't believe his eyes. ::Okay.. how?::

Pierre looked at Nutkin with a smirk. ::It was the only way the twins would sleep with him, clever girls tricked him into thinking it was his idea too. I'm mostly in it for Kane, I'm not that into latinas. Not that into guys either, but something about men of color... hehe::

::Figures.. oh and those ladies look more hispanic than latina to me.:: Nutkin responded

:: There's a difference?:: Pierre replied in question.

The night had been a lot of fun for the four of them, the girls left afterward Simone having been nice enough to fix breakfast for them before calling them a cab. The boys had opted to sleep in. Pierre avoiding a conversation with his sister and Kane had been legitimately tired having had to exert himself to please three partners. The women insisted that the guys get a little alone time in the antics with Kane trying his best to picture Pierre as a woman during the duration.

Paula approached the door to get Kane ready for the shift of hers that he had agreed to take to give her time to check out a new spirituality shop that opened two months ago that she just had not found the time to visit. The innocent virgin integrate blushing upon hearing how Pierre was spending his morning. "Oh my Kane, look. A snake has crawled in bed with us, quite quite a big one at that. I'm going to pet him. Le Serpent Noir est grand, but not dangerous.

"The time for blurring the lines ended last night Pierre..." Kane said sounding aggravated. "Hey.. don't stop now. You can't just leave a man like that if you start."

"SIMONE! Can you get Kane up.. I.. I'm not going in there... I mean from the sounds of it your brother already has.. Gaah.. Ruby that's dirty!" Paula-Ruby said to Simone alone and then herself.

"Not used to being one person yet I see." Simone noted. "Go ahead. I need to speak with Pierre anyway... as soon as he's done greasing the pole in there."

"La la la I'm not listening." Paula said muting her audio receptors as she left. "Too kinky for me."

::We need to look into getting Paula laid.:: Lucille told her human half.

"Agreed." Simone said aloud

Paula had spent a lot of her spare time learning her powers, she saw shape-shifting came natural to her though hard light manipulation wasn't easy at all. It seemed Inties just like humans seemed to just be naturally more proficient at certain things. The form she used most often was a young teenage human female with light brownish skin but caucasian facial features with light bat like qualities which occasionally included wings though they always appeared if she flew as she was now. Paula found that she was more close to her RIDE half than most and communicated with Ruby in microseconds in conversations she only subconsciously took part in. As a result she felt more mature and had upgraded her age from looking 14 to looking 20 and her breasts from A to C, she considered a D, but felt it made her look too "loosey goosey" in her own words. Promethus had jokingly suggested an E, fully knowing that even if Paula didn't write it off as too kinky it would have been too big of a giveaway that she was cross. Pun unintended.

Paula landed at "Spectral Sapiens:An Upgrade For Your Soul." They weren't too busy save for a small group of protesters who found the store to be morally corrupt. Paula had forgotten to tell Simone that Venars' rural design and farming community had attracted evangelists AND Dawkinites alike as contradictory as it seemed. Both were very different but seemed to agree that they hated Spectral Sapiens.

Dawkinites were like atheists only with an extremist agenda, not only did they not believe in God but felt it their duty to free all from the chains of oppression known as belief lest it poison the world around them with irrationality. The irony of this was lost on them. Most atheist groups tended to write them off as being bigots looking for religion as an excuse to be an asshole who merely didn't look very hard for said religion.

Paula approached the door only for two fusers to block her path one was a Gorilla fuser the other was a Lamb. The gorilla spoke first. "My name is Darwin." And the lamb spoke after. "And I am Lazarus, though ordinarily the four of us are enemies we are united in ensuring no one enters this specimen of sin, especially not a cross-rider devil dealer like yourself Mr. Reverbek."

"Right.." Paula said, ordinarily intentional misgendering would have sent her into a panic but now that she had part of Ruby's metaphorical skin of bark she found herself to be more laid back. "You two should move, or I'll scream."

"Scream? Lazarus, not even you are as illogical as this one." Darwin mocked, Darwin was likely the name of the RIDE, but it wasn't uncommon for humans to use their RIDE's name when they wished to remain somewhat anonymous or simply because it was cool.

“Screaming in repentance? You can only be forgiven for a sin if you’re actually sorry, you… you.. He-she!” Yelled Lazarus. “You’re an Integrate, shapeshift into a man and prove you’re sorry. I can’t think of any time in the bible where screaming tearing down a wall such as the one we have against this sinfulness”

Paula sighed looking through her files and re-enabling an old weapon of hers that was never removed all the way. The Master Exploder invented by Aristo Enroygall, whenever the human Paula was in emotional distress she would scream letting out vibrations that interfered with most electronics causing her RIDE Ruby to have to fuse with her and show her Oil Age Cartoons until she calmed down. However, now that technically Ruby was a human and Paula was a RIDE there was an element of control behind this power for the Integrate that they were now to make the full effect. “If you think screaming has never torn down any walls you need to read up on your Moses when screaming did tear down a large wall and let the Hebrews enter Israel after their prolonged exodus.” Paula spoke forth. “Today, I think the Lord is with me!”

“Screaming tearing down a wall? Sounds like a big fairy tale.. No wonder Lazarus didn’t seem to know it. Leave or I’ll shoot a flare and summon more of my fellow Dawkenites! I have the right to Religious Assembly even if it blocks a business.” Darwin laughed, pointing his flare gun upwards.

“Actually the Hebrews walked around said wall for many days, it’s believed by scientists that the walking could have sent vibrations through the wall weakening it structurally and the yelling just finished it off. Something they due to the time period could not possibly have known unless instructed by a higher power as they claimed happen in the Old Testament.” Paula said to Darwin before cracking her neck. “Now, given that there’s a device in my body that can amplify sound and vibrations…. well.. Let’s see how much stronger sarium is than ancient Israeli design...”

“...Wait did she say the device was in her body?… So she’s an Integrate… I thought she just didn’t have her RIDE on her…” Lazarus said, sounding worried.

“Hey you’re the one protesting La Wrench De Paris, I figured you’d have known!” Darwin exclaimed.

“We haven’t done that since Simone magically rose from the dead! Do you think I’m dumb enough to go against one of those Integrates? I SAW what she did when LucyPop attacked us. I have faith in the lord, but not that much faith!” Lazarus declared before gesturing to several parts of his body in a cross formation.

Paula-Ruby took one deep breathe before opening her mouth wide and unleashing an internally generated, but very concentrated and contained sonic boom one that she ceased after the RIDEs were forced to de-fuse from their Humans due to life support failure. The Integrate shook her head at the two morons now at the ground. “I’d say get with the times, but Integrates Ascendant isn’t as new of a concept as it sounds.” and with that she walked on into the store.

Once inside she found pretty much what she expected, calm music was playing while an orange tigress smiled behind a counter on which there was a fountain, and an large orgonite pyramid. The tigress had long red hair and seemed to be dawned in a bit of what appeared to be a mage’s robe, but with her cleavage showing, she seemed to be quite busty, not as much as Simone, but big enough to assume that this woman is a crossrider in addition to the Integrate she obviously was. On her forehead there was a Fruit Of Life pattern glowing an impressive spectrum of rainbow and her fur looked a little too good for even the most advanced hardlight generators on the market. The aura in the room was peaceful and there were many posters of various imageries from various religions a few of them even seemed quite contradictory, heck one of them had an Islamic Painting of the prophet Mohammed and right next to it the Goddess Aphrodite, on another wall there was an image of Jesus hanging on the Christ and right next to it Lucifer leading a revolt against Heaven. Paula found this quite strange.

The store had a few knick-knacks, talismans, download vouchers for religious and spiritual ebooks, fabbed versions of religious and spiritual texts emulating what was once known as the dead tree format, crystals, and a small section of organic foods, homemade wines, and homemade snacks. It was rather small though there was a sign up front that said “Thirsty? we serve free tea or coffee, no questions asked.” Overall Paula was getting a good vibe from this place.

“Ah, you broke through the blockade of protesters. I was about to call my nephew if someone wasn’t going to come. Though I had a vision that it wouldn’t have been necessary, though visions have been wrong before. How are you this fine day my child?” Spoke the tigress keeping her voice nice and soft. “Paula Reverbek, and the salvaged Ruby, as a woman you RIDE free no longer chained to the pain of darkness. Lucky girl! And yet.. your heart still has problems..”

“How… how did you know this?” Paula set, shocked that a complete stranger could give this review of her life.

“The spirits tell me this!” The tigress said, putting an amethyst on her forehead and balancing it for a few seconds. “Naw I’m kidding, I just read your blog..” The feline chuckled to herself and walked around Paula. “As far as I know, you’re a protestant, what need do you have of my wares?”

“Well…” Paula began scratching the back of her neck as she began to formulate the words and place them in exactly the right order. “I… Since becoming an Integrate I feel my mind has expanded.”

“Expanded? You’re not just one living being anymore Paula, you’re two. That’s a bit of an understatement.” Jessica laughed to herself.

“Yes well… that’s a given.” Paula said rubbing up and down her arm, there was so much she could see and understand now, but putting it into words was difficult. It was like she was receiving the information in a language only she knew and it just didn’t translate properly into English or any of the French she knew. The integrate felt anything she could say would be like explaining the mechanics of a battleship to an ant. “I guess, I’m starting to realize just how small I am compared to the universe and yet… how big I am at the same time.. it’s… confusing and none of the guides I’ve read make sense. I mean they can explain the technical side of it, but…. there’s some things that just seem beyond scientific explanation..”

Jessica nodded slowly. “Integrates think in a new way that humans can’t even comprehend, only a few revolutionary humans have shown to have a pure glimpse of this understanding from Ancient Greece’s Plato to the Oil Age’s Jordan Pearce and people like them owe it to the world to teach that understanding to others. Especially since even the spiritual things science can explain, even today, many scientists don’t want to approach the subject for fear of being called a quack.”

“Are you talking about some kind of cult?” Paula asked, most uncertain and skeptical of what the tiger appeared to be rambling about.

“Not at all, I don’t offer any dogma other than the idea other than that we need to encourage good people to do good things. I realize I came on a little strong, but hear me out. I think the universe is… well.. alive and… it wants good to be done.” Jessica said breathing in and then out before sending Paula a file transfer request. “I want you to read this, it’s just some basic information on spirituality in general. I’m not going to tell you how to think.. Just read it and form your own opinions, if you think it’s nonsense then I won’t judge you.”

“I… I’m not sure if this is compatible with my religion…” Paula said, feeling a bit weirded out by all of this. “I… mmm… I.. well…” she began to read the ebook that bad been sent to her and her fears began to ease. “Alright well… there’s nothing in here that says I can’t accept Jesus as my savior… I… I’m still a little worried though.. I… wait.. Your last name is Enroygall… that nephew… His name was?”

“Aristo Enroygall… Yes.” Jessica nodded slowly, biting her tongue. “Perhaps I shouldn’t have told you that given what I’m trying to do..”

“Oh my..” Paula swallowed, this could ever well be a lion’s den.

Back at the garage Simone and Pierre sat down to talk, Pierre yawning as he waited for coffee. Kane was at the front helping customers. Simone began to talk as she prepared the coffee Pierre waited for. “You’ve been running off feeling sorry for yourself ever since you and Nutkin… canceled each other out. You haven’t found a job and you keep putting off helping me explore the house Ximenes gave us.”

“I’m sure dad doesn’t mean anything by it… Calm down Simone, that was years ago.” Pierre said sleepily, yawning loudly. “You’re not my mother…”

“No, but Ximenes BETRAYED our mother!” Simone glared.

“Sorry.. I’m.. not awake yet.” Pierre said, rubbing his head.

“Don’t even give moi le tired act Pierre, I heard vous with Kane in there, and while I have so many questions I can’t let myself get distracted. Pierre, votre ass is coming with me and you’re getting yourself a job right after we check out the manor given to us!” Simone put her foot down.

“...Maybe you’re right Simone.. Maybe you’re right…” Pierre said, looking over at Nutkin. “As long as he doesn’t come.”

“Not everyone on Zharus is a Rider, plus if you really hate him vous’ll come with me or I’ll forge your digital signature and sign vous two up for le Marshalls! I will do it too, vous know zat.” Simone said.

Pierre groaned, he knew from experience how far Simone would go just to get back at someone. “Alright… Where’s mom anyway?”

“She wanted to keep busy so she’s working the front with Kane.” Simone replied finally pouring the coffee Pierre had requested. “Oh speak of le devil, here she is now.” the skunk said, looking towards her mother coming in, fused to her RIDE miracle.

“There’s a man with wolf tags who says he’d be willing to pay for an escort around the farming district… What should I tell him?” Marvelle asked.

“Well.. Didn’t vous want to have a look at zat? Why don’t you take him?” Simone smiled at her mother.

“Won’t Kane be alone?” Marvelle asked.

“James is meditating in his room, his shift starts in an hour so I think Kane can handle it by himself. Buttercup however just clocked in and will be up there to help Kane with anything he needs to be fused for.” Simone smiled.

“Alright…” Marvelle said, going to the front and explaining the situation to the mystery man.

The two decided to walk towards the part of the farming district the wolf tagged man wanted to go to as it wasn’t that far way. “You know, we actually have a girl who lives in that area who works for us. Her name’s Paula, she’s an integrate cross-rider. Sweet girl really, though she has a tendency to get a little emotional she means well…”

“Yeah… I… she tends to..” The man said, sounding a little distanced. “Tell me.. your name is Marvelle Bertrand right? Are you related to Pierre or Simone at all? I assume you’re their.. Sister?”

“Non, actually I’m their mother.” Marvelle blushed, Miracle walking beside her grinning wide. “But… merci..”

“..I.. I see…” The man said with a sigh. “It… It must be hard on you, having a son who is a crossrider.”

“Well no, Pierre was always a gu…. Oh you mean Simone?” Marvelle stopped to think. “Well.. No not really, to be honest sometimes I forget she was ever Simon and I changed that kid’s diapers.”

“Yeah Simone tends to be the life of the party… I suppose that one could seem natural if you she had three heads..” The man said, sounding and looking very tense and remote.

“You act like you know her…” Marvelle said, raising an eyebrow.

“I used to know someone who… who used to work for her… or I thought I did anyway..” The man said, looking to change the subject. “Have you been to the farming district before?”

“Not really, so it’s my first time as well.” Marvelle said. “But don’t worry, Miracle is keeping me updated on the goings-on and geographical location.”

“What do you think of Venars?” The man said, trying to keep a conversation going, yet seemingly like he didn’t want to talk.

“Nice town, very quiet, very small, yet very alive. Quite the change of pace from Neo-Paris which is very noisey, very populated, but… Paris… La City of Enlightenment… She is nothing but the ghost of a long dead world that was once beautiful.” Marvelle said. “Simone and I both want to check out Ville Lumiere which… tries to be like Paris was back in its hay-day. Before the unification wars. Back when it was a culture of beauty and art.”

“I’m from Earth too, didn’t want to leave.. but my ex-husband insisted.. Zharus has always seemed.. scary to me. It still does to this day, forgive me if I’m.. skittish..” The man said, taking a few deep breathes.

“So… you’re a cross-rider then?” Marvelle asked, getting a cold dead stare from the mystery man. “Oh.. guess not, Sorry I didn’t realize you were cisgender and gay.. I thought.. I just assumed… Say where is your RIDE anyway?” Marvelle said, swishing her tail around nervously worried she offended her client.

“Sigh.. no Marvelle, you’re right. I am a Cross-Rider, but… as for my RIDE.. I’ve never had one… Alpha Wolf did this to me.. in Uplfit… I was genderjacked against my will and I never bothered removing the tags… I… I kind of like them...” The man said, rubbing his tail as he did so. “Right now, I’ve come to Venars to see… well… I… I need to bury someone who has died figuratively speaking.”

“Alpha Who?” Marvelle blinked. “Wait isn’t that the guy who lead that attack on Monsieur Brubeck when he revealed himself to be an Integrate? That must have been horrifying.”

“Given that I’ve always been of the opinion that men are men and women are women… Very… Not only did he throw my world off balance he.. He re-awakened something I thought I put behind me..” The man said. “I used to think transgender people were just perverts and… now.. I… I’m a man.. I… I.. I WAS A MOTHER FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!”

Marvelle hugged the man. “I’m sorry to hear that. Though, you did used to have transphobic tendencies you said. Maybe this is a sign?”

“I’m Christian and God doesn’t make mistakes… I know this is… I worry that it’s been too long to atone.. I… It happened recently so I can’t switch back… I plan too… Being a man is… God even with the edited body mapping I still feel.. Out of place.. But.. while I’m here I need to heal my soul before my body.” The mystery man said, the poor guy sounded like he was on the verge of tears.

Marvelle nodded. “If I may ask, do you know what your sexuality is?”

“Hasn’t been on my mind… What brought that up?” The mystery man asked.

“Because check out that hunk plowing the fields, him over there with the antlers and the deer RIDE watching him.” Marvelle pointed. “Mmm… That farmer boy can harvest my crops any day! Do you mind if we talk to him.”

“Alexander…” The mystery man said gesturing his hand into a cross formation. “Lord wish me strength?”

“Alexander… He’s your ex isn’t he?” Marvelle said, having an eye for these kinds of things being a divorcee herself.

“Yes Mrs. Bertrand… I’ve come so far… please.. Let us talk to him.” The mystery man said, swallowing. “I don’t feel… like it’ll be easy, but we both know it isn’t.”

“Ms. I’m not married anymore either.” Marvelle said, walking up to the farmer named Alexander. “Hello there… Me and my friend here are both new to the area and were wondering if you wanted to talk for a few minutes.”

“Well it does get pretty lonely out here with just me and just Claude my RIDE” Alexander gestured over to his deer, who bowed before the gentleman and lady. “..What with my daughter always working and my wife left me once my son became my daughter…” Alexander said stretching much to the excitement of Marvelle especially since the man hadn’t been wearing a shirt most likely from working up a sweat but still not wanting to fuse for whatever reason.

“...Alex.. I’m right here…..” Spoke the wolf-tagged man.

“That’s not a funny joke…” Alex said, before noticing the man looked rather depressed. “Holy shit, Josephine… You’re… You’re a… And you wanted me to kick Paula out of the house for becoming our daughter.. I… You know even if we were still married I’m not gay…”

“I didn’t do it intentionally… The Alpha Wolf attack when Zane Brubeck revealed himself…. Well.. Paula has two daddies now…” Spoke the man named Josephine.

“Let me guess, you berate our child for making her own decisions in life, decisions based on a medical condition she hid from us since childhood because she thought CORRECTLY by the way, that you would react the way you did.” Alexander looked quite pissed and was pratically screaming at Josephine, something he admittedly wouldn’t have been able to do so direct and adamantly if he were still a she. You can take the man out of Earth but not the Earth out of the man. “So much so that you told me that we either kick her out once she came back from Aristo, hell I honestly think you were more upset about whether our ONLY OFFSPRING gets hard or wet when she’s turned on rather than the fact that the guy who attacked Venars and KILLED a bunch of people had sent his right hand man to shove gatling guns IN MY FUCKING FACE! Specifically to exploit a legal loophole to kidnap our daughter for an undisclosed period of time!”

“Alexander please let me speak.” Josephine said raising his hand slowly.

“I AM NOT FINISHED!” Alexander yelled. “You think that because you trip over some insane terrorist robot dog that you can come down here and give me a song and dance about how you’ve seen the light and we can be one happy family again? Did you honestly think I’d accept this? Did you imagine me going ‘Oh honey, I’m so glad you’ve come back, here you have Claude, I’m going to go jump into a female RIDE so we can all be one cozy gender flipped family!’ or ‘Well, I have been a bit bi-curious, I suppose I can overlook the fact that you used divorce to try and blackmail into abusing my daughter so we can have a spot of manfun!’ Because if so you’ve been reading way too many cross-fics.”

“I’m only here to seek your forgiveness Alex, yours and Paula’s…” Josephine said meekly.

“Josephine, we’re both Methodist, of course the Lord would want that I forgive you.” Alexander sighed, giving his ex-wife a small hug. “That doesn’t mean I have to bend over backwards for you… Okay given that you’re a guy now that’s a bad metaphor. I… I still haven’t told Paula half the things you said about her because she misses you and still tries googling your name to talk to you and I don’t want to taint her image of you nor do I want to become that guy who rails on his ex. Yes, I forgive you as much as I can, but that means moving on with my life. Not rolling out the red carpet for my trespassers.”

“No… I came all this way to set things right and you just slap my hand away?… this.. I… I’m truly alone then..” Josephine said, running away. “I… I’ll find Paula and talk some sense into you!”

“I’ve talked nothing but sense, if you still don’t get it then all I can do is pray for you.” Alexander said standing his ground.

Marvelle stayed put. “Well, good thing he paid in advance.” he said, scoffing at Josephine. “What a coward.”

“But Marvelle, shouldn’t we see this through to the end? Wouldn’t that be the right thing to do?” Miracle asked, very concerned.

“We just saw the end of it. If the bitch didn’t get the memo reality will have to beat it into her, and no we don’t even have to tell Paula, Paula is an adult and she can handle herself.” Marvelle responded.

“...Grr.. You.. You don’t know what Josephine’s going through.” Miracle pleaded

“Yes I do, that’s why I’m staying put.” Marvelle responded

“..I’ll be back later.” Miracle yipped up, running after Josephine.

“Fine with me, just call if you get into trouble and I’ll show up with the kids, well, maybe just my daughter, she’s far more competent than Pierre.” Marvelle said, focusing her attention towards Alexander. “Look, I’m sorry about that. I did come here to help him, but I think you resolved the situation just fine. I used to be married myself until my husband abandoned me and my family to die on Earth. It wasn’t until my daughter came that I could get my body back and have a semblance of a normal life. If my husband showed up telling me everything was all fine and dandy I’d beat him off with these very hands! And not in the pleasant way! Hell you showed more restraint with Josephine than I did.”

“It’s alright, I’m glad you brought him. It felt good to tell him off like that, I don’t think I ever could have been that stern with him if he were still.. you know a woman. The whole chivalry thing isn’t as much of a mandate here as it was back on Earth, but… still..” Alexander said getting back to working on his field while Marvelle watched cooing. “So you’re new in town?”

“Only been on Zharus for a few months, in Venars for a few days.” Marvelle replied. “My name is Marvelle, Marvelle Bertrand.”

“...That sounds vaguely familiar.” Alexander said scratching under his chin

“I think I can explain it, you mentioned Aristo, Shyver, and that Paula was a cross-rider… Paula doesn’t happen to work for La Wrench De Paris does she? If so, she’s one of my co-workers and is the co-owner of it along with my daughter.” Marvelle said putting the pieces together.

“You’re Simone’s mom?!?!” Alexander said dropped the hoe he was working with. “But that must mean you’re over one hund..”

“Watch how you end that sentence.” Marvelle glared with an evil stare.

“Hundred percent.. uhh… French.. I mean Simone has to get it from somewhere.” Alexander

“I’m busting your chops, I’m 96 years old, but I don’t feel a day over 50.” Marvelle grinned. “The technology on this planet is amazing.”

“Or look a day over 20… You look a lot like Simone did when she was human actually. Only more attractive, you come off as more natural, your hair and… uhh.. let’s say anatomy are more realistically proportioned I feel it works better. Also the blonde hair instead of white hair is nice.”

“My children get their white hair from their father, he was into genetic modding, of course given Earth’s stance on such things most of it was under the table.. but it left him with white hair and it proved the dominant gene. That’s actually not a side effect of the fuse…” Marvelle spoke up.

“Well Simon had white hair, so I didn’t think it was.” Alexander said, cracking his back as his shoulders were quite sore. “I just prefer blondes to white-hair. Never could convince Josephine to change her hair color from black to blonde. That girl was so anti-body mod that even on Earth she wouldn’t get the implants in her head.”

“...Perhaps you’d like to see where else I have blonde hair.” Marvelle cooed, blushing a little bit. The fox-tagged woman wasn’t actually embarrassed, but Miracle had given her the ability to both blush and cry on command, there was also sneezing and vomiting, but Marvelle had really only gotten those made doable simply because she could and didn’t see a reason why not, she had no plans to use those.

“Excuse me!?!” Alexander was very much taken off guard.

“Look, Alex.. at my age, especially with life on Earth you begin to realize you aren’t going to live forever so you learn to be direct. Sure my lifespan’s jumped an extra century, but.. that doesn't change the fact that since Simone was a teenager picking picking a college.. I haven't had a body made of flesh or with... womanly features. It has been longer still since I've had a man to... know me. That changed when a vicious cycle was broken. Do you understand?" Marvelle asked.

Alexander puts his farming tools away and gestured towards his house. “Mrs…. I mean Ms. Bertrand would you like to come inside for a glass of homemade lemonade.. and maybe.. to…. talk?”

“Yes, I think I’d like that very much Mr. Reverbek.” Marvelle smiled. “I think we have… quite a lot to say to one another.” It had been way too long since she knew the company of another human being, or had the body parts required, as such every molecule in her body was filled with anxiousness.

On the edge of the farming district, just a stone’s throw away from where Marvelle and Alexander were was an enormous mansion that appeared to be made entirely out of marble and had a light-blueish color. “Pretentious as hell, that’s dad alright.” Pierre said.. “Glad I didn’t get all that froo-frooey stuff, screw the Long Island Ice Tea, fuck vin rouge! Vodka, strong enough for a Girltopia Lady, strong enough for me.”

“Ugh… Sturmhaven really isn’t as cool as the comic makes it look, it’s a cesspool for malice and misandry.” Simone gagged as she pretended to vomit.

“And hot dominatrix wolf chicks who will keep a man like me… humble and on his knees.” Pierre smiled, lost in his femdom fantasy.

“They still have gendered restrooms…. also in the men’s room there was moss growing out of the floor tiles, cockroaches everywhere, they were out of toilet paper, the mirror was cracked, there was no water purifier for the sink… It was a mess.” Simone shuddered, remembering the brief time she spent as a version of Simon that suffered from gender dysphoria.

“So did Earth on all accounts.” Pierre said questioningly. “What’s your point?”

“You’ll come to understand Zharus in time. There are STANDARDS here!” Simone sighed. “You’d see that if vous got a damn job and moved out of my fucking garage!”

“Mom lives in your garage.” Pierre pouted.

“Mere also WORKS in moi garage! Anyone who works in my garage is entitled to a paycheck and a free to stay in its living quarters for as needed, that’s how I run it. Vous haven’t lifted a single fucking omni-wrench” Simone breathed before looking down at her older brother. “It just bugs me, all that talk about what you’d do if somehow you could get your body back, and… and then… well surprise I take you to a planet that the comic book you’re a rabid fanboy of is based on, you get a body back, your own RIDE.. and all you do is yell at Nutkin and have him drive you to and from bootycalls. It’s not healthy and it’s a waste of your life.”

“Cool story former bro.” Pierre stretched, looking over to Nutkin. “Alright… Let’s merge…”

“Hey don’t act like you’re the only one miffed about this, if our species’ social rules were reversed I’d sell you and buy me a new human.” Nutkin said grumpily. “Preferably one in black, like Kane, Kane’s pretty awesome. Unlike you he knows when to showboat and when to take things seriously…. plus black is a pretty cool color. Can I make you black? I’ve got the nanites to do that.”

“Abso-fucking-lutely not!” Pierre responded.

“Racist!” Nutkin piped up. “Are you saying black people are somehow inferior?”

“...You want to change the color of my skin to suit your preferences. I think you’re the racist here.” Pierre responded, folding his arms.

Nutkin snickered, having only said these things to piss Pierre off and it worked.

“Sounds like both of vous need to install ‘No Periods Period’, and then perhaps take some marriage counseling.” Simone laughed to herself. as Nutkin initiated fuser sequence.

Pierre and Nutkin once fused both got the idea to ask Simone one thing. “So just out of curiosity, why can’t you just sell me and get Pierre a RIDE that’ll put up with this bullshit, I mean we do hate each other.” Nutkin was the one to say it.

“No you’re both having a hissy fit and amongst humans you can’t just sell someone you don’t like and buy someone you do. You try to make it work, and if you can’t, THEN you part. If I sell you Nutkin and get him someone else, how do I know I won’t be selling THAT RIDE minutes later?” Simone responded, Nutkin and Pierre both agreed that this sounded reasonable but it didn’t make them feel any more comfortable about being apart of one another, even if on a more temporary basis than Pierre’s integrated sister is with her RIDE Lucille. “If you two really can’t bury the hatchet, I’ll sell Nutkin and run an extensive personality assessment on any females I can find willing to put up with Pierrette”

“Females?” Pierre winced, instinctively grabbing for his crotch as if meant to protect his penis from being lost to nanites. “Si… Simone, brosis, you can’t be serious… I’m a man damn it, you know that!”

“Well, someone drank away the budget that could have been used for a male.” Simone snickered. “Vous take the gauche half of la chateau, I’ll take le droight. Then we’ll both check behind each other to make sure the neither missed anything.”

Simone got straight to work, while Pierre and Nutkin dwaddled but at least tried to focus on the task, both of them still having the day they fought MightyDillon fresh in their heads. ::You know, I could have made that shot. Even if the math didn’t add up, numbers mean nothing when it comes to an older brother showing his younger sibling up.::

::I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but, your sister is out of your league.: Remarked Nutkin

::Simone will never be better than me, even if she is a God Robot now.:: Pierre thought clenching his fist.

::I meant romantically and sexually.:: Nutkin replied.

::What?!?!?!:: Pierre blushed deeply. “Nutkin, are you short circuiting!?!?!” he said aloud.

::I’ve seen the way you look at her, I can read your thoughts while we’re fused, I regularly test your hormone levels subconsciously, and I’ve done personality assessments on you. You want to have sex with Simone.:: Nutkin said bluntly.

::You always like to show Simon up in order to make your status known thyat you are the older brother, and thus by extension the alpha male. Now Simon is the incredibly sexy Simone and you are working extra hard to claim her as your own while still showing up the part of him that is your brother. We can also discuss how Simone’s personality due to being raised by you and Marvelle combined with her own gender fluidity is respectively an amalgam of you two resulting in this incestous attraction to Simone’s shiny new integrate body having hints of Oedipal and Narcissistic elements to it.:: Nutkin finished given a complete deadpan and straightforward delivery, but both of them knew the squirrel was laughing about this.

“I hope you die in a fire!” Pierre shouted to the robot suit that he was firing as he fired at a nearby wall.

“Ahhh! Pierre be more careful!” Spoke the alluring voice of his mother’s RIDE, Miracle coming from a nearby hole that Pierre had used Nutkin’s weapons system to blast into a wall. “....Though.. What are you doing here?”

“Oh God! I’m sorry, I didn’t hit mom did I?” Pierre was freaking out, immediately the image of his mother’s bloodied corpse looking up at her son asking him why, with him responding that it was an accident went into his mind. His eyes however didn’t find any such thing much to his relief. “Wait… where’s mom and whose that guy with you? YOU DIDN’T LET MOM GET GENDER JACKED DID YOU!?!?!” Pierre screamed, pointing a gun at Miracle.

“Uhh… No… this is Paula’s mom.. Josephine..” Miracle yipped afraid. “You aren’t actually going to shoot me are you?”

“Nope… and I’d ask you not to tell mom.. but she’s just gonna see your memories… fuck…” The man pointed his gun away from the fox. “Anyway.. Her mom huh? Well that just raises further questions… Let me.. actually get into that room and maybe plaster this hole if I can find a fabber.” Spoke Pierre rubbing the back of his and Nutkin’s fused neck.

Josephine looked at Pierre. “Brother of Simone… I would say that she broke my family apart.. but I broke my family apart. I’m sorry, it didn’t look like anyone had lived here in years… I’m only here to grieve.”

“...Wouldn’t a church be a better place for that? Cause my dad owns this place..” Pierre said looking around the room. “And he’s not a nice guy.”

“The only church in town I know of is full of extremists…” Josephine admitted.

Pierre de-fused with Nutkin. “Well..uhh.. I don’t normally do this, but, my mom would probably want me to make up for threatening Miracle so… I’ll be the Priest, and you can confess your sins.”

Back at the shop Paula had been visiting the evil aunt of Aristo Enroygall and of course the dastardly plan was to be civil and eat organic pot brownies while having a civil conversation. “Sorry for the scare, I’ve been trying to distance myself from my nephew as much as I can, but it keeps coming up. Especially since he’s been doing a lot favors for me. He just offered to right out of the blue.”

“Perhaps he’s changing his ways?” Paula asked, helping herself to a brownie and some warm herbal tea.

“Maybe, but he did KILL people. So he’ll have to do more than helping his own family members set up a profitable business.” Jessica Enroygall said in response. “Anyway, I sense that your chakras weren’t mis-aligned by my relationship to your kidnapper, but rather something… else.”

“.....Well. I’m financially successful as co-owner of a hip garage, my body is now perfect, I’m… as far as I know basically immortal… but… one ghost from the past still… bugs me.” Paula sighed chomping into a brownie. “And.. well.. when I was on Earth what I wanted more than anything was to be on Zharus, when I was on Zharus what I wanted more than anything was to be a woman, and when I became a woman I just wanted to be with my family… and then… I wanted to be an Integrate… My whole life has been nothing but wanting things. Even then, I find myself wanting to make peace with my mother but I wouldn’t begin to know where to look for her… I just… I want to be fufilled.. but once I have what I think completes me… I look to something else.”

“That is a problem Paula. I’m not saying your transition wasn’t unnecessary nor was your integration. Above all, please don’t think I’m saying that.” Jessica stressed pausing and noting a look on Paula’s face of uncertainty. “But… have you ever thought about having a goal that’s beyond you?”

“..Hmmm.” Paula thought about this question hard, ordinarily she’d have freaked out and flipped on Jessica for being so insulting of her. Now however she wasn’t just Paula, she was Ruby as well. A more rational being than the human she came to this planet as. As a result she just thought back on her life as Paula and her life as Ruby and found that yes, both were incredibly selfless people. “Well there was the time I helped Simone organize a resistance against Aristo when he starting up the place and killing people.” The Ruby part of her pondered why exactly Paula was much cooler with watching people die than she was with her life on Earth even now bonded to her she didn’t know if it was a sign that Earth was truly a horrible place or that there was a dark side to the seemingly innocent Paula, perhaps it was a sign of a little of both? The answer her human half gave for this would surely reveal more on this subject. “I… Well.. I’m a RIDE mechanic… and.. I….”

“I take it that’s a no then?” Jessica asked closing her eyes and giving a sigh of annoyance. “Look… You don’t have to decide today… But, you need to find something bigger than you and fight for it. I mean you’re an Integrate afterall, there’s only two kinds of people with that power. Men of honor who live for the sake of others like Zane Brubeck or cowards who get off to their own power like Bosscat Fritz. You don’t know what you’re capable of yet, but once you find out you’re going to become one of those two. Maybe not in rank, but in character.”

“...I ponder if Simone knows this… and that’s why she’s so nice…” Paula said, contemplating this deeply and listening intently to the words of this tiger woman. “Because… she’s afraid of ending up like Aristo.” Paula-Ruby thought back to the days before Aristo had taken them captive to work in his factory. Back when Simon Bertrand the non-RIDE user who still had RIDE tags and a RIDE garage in a town that didn’t really care for RIDEs one with a high turnover at that. In those days Paula or rather Paul as she was called back then, knew only two faces of Simon one buried in his work and full of resentment for the family that he had escaped and left behind in work and the other one being someone who was not only incredibly friendly but always wasting money while having sex with pretty much everyone who said yes. Shyver and Simon had been just friends in those days, Paul knew Simon rather liked it when Shyver visited but their romance could not flourish as long as Shyver’s heterosexuality was in the way. Eventually Simone Integrated and with all the power in her hands she took the first chance she got to fight for Venars and years later bring her family to Zharus. Were there other possibilities for Simone? She didn’t have to fight for Venars, she could have just looted and evacuated yet for some reason, without knowing she had Integrated she just got up and fought. Was this thinking beyond herself? She could have merely just not wanted to see another home fall, but then again she did risk her life

“Umm you okay? You look like you’re very deep in contemplation.” Jessica smiled at Paula and handed her a flash drive which she devoured in order to assimilate the technology and with it the data contained within inside of her techno-organic body. “This has a few books and meditation programs that I hope will help you, you don’t have to decide the kind of person you’re going to be tonight, but now that you have the power you will soon know what to do with it.”

“I should probably get home..” Paula-Rby stretched, noting the time she kept on her HUD. The HUD was something Paula had been both getting used to and yet one Ruby had on at all times for safety purposes as part of her initial design as a RIDE meant to look after small children. Resulting in one Integrate who was both used to how she saw the world and yet not at all.

“Well it is getting dark out.” Jessica said looking outside of her door, the protesters had long since left and the integrates had actually spent all night talking about spirituality and the like. “I’m sure you’ll have more questions when you’re fully digested. Come back, and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.”

Paula-Ruby stepped outside into the night light of Venars and looked up, somehow the sky seemed bigger and she herself felt much smaller. A common feeling that people have when they look up at the sky. The only start to head to at this point was to talk to the one person who needed her more than anyone else, her father. Extending her wings and activating her lifters she flew up in the domed sky of Venars collecting her thoughts for the better part of an hour before realizing she muse all day and write the perfect script for what she wanted to get across all without knowing what she wanted to say, that would have to come from the heart when she saw her family again. Was there anything to say really? Landing outside of her home she opened the door to find Marvelle Bertrand snuggling up to her father as the two sat on the couch and watched Prom Night 2:Hello Mary Lou on the vid screen. As confused as Paula was at this sight she decided to just go straight to her home.

“Killer Ghost movies are so stupid. I mean I’m agnostic, I can’t say anything for sure as to what’s out there, but I’d like to think there’s something after we die… but if proof of it wanted to kill me. I mean… Doesn’t that take a degree of the fear out of it?” Marvelle asked looking at the man with the arm draped around her.

“I… Don’t… I never actually thought of it like that, but, I guess think of it this way. Things are pretty great in Venars here. Your family’s here, you’re with a hot guy with deer ears, your son has a body again and your daughter’s a hot shot mechanic with super powers.” Alexander smiled and looked deep into Marvelle’s eyes. “Now say Nikola Tesla walks through the front door, like literally phases through it because he’s a ghost, and tells you he wants to send you straight to some other place in the galaxy, no one knows where it is or if they’ll ever see you again. You don’t even know where it is, it could be an improvement over Zharus or it could be terrible as Earth. You don’t know. Now what do you say to the spectral serbian?”

“Basier ma cul! Followed by… VOUS VAIS MORT!!” Marvelle’s white vixen ears perked up as she got fired up by her own words.

“Exactly! Fuck my ass or you will die! So of course they’re screaming for their lives when the killer ghost shows up!” Alexander said, raising his hands in the air.

“This is still a shit movie, some of the effects are cool considering they didn’t have Holograms or even CGi when this was made… but overall it’s goofy. They try too hard to be funny yet still think they can pull off being scary, it’s pure mood whiplash.” Marvelle yawned placing her hand upon Alexander’s crotch. “I’m in the mood for a REAL thriller if you know what I’m saying.”

“...I take you’re not in the mood for a refill on popcorn…” Alexander said, pitching a tent in his jeans as Marvelle undid the button and zipper.

“Oh I’m hungry for something else Monsieur Reverbek.” Marvelle said, moving her mouth towards Alexander’s manhood as the boxer shorts were pulled off. “My my… I didn’t think deer fuser nanites had such similarities to the stallion ones… Mmm and your scent I’m glad I told to hold off on the shower!”

Paula had stopped watching this once Marvelle had answered her father’s hypothetical question, though as she ascended upstairs to her room she cringed hearing the sounds of Marvelle Bertrand at work. If Paula and Ruby were still two people instead of one Integrate she would have a furless human face that would have made her look perfect for acting as one of the monsters in a remake of Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes as blushed to Oblivion and then to Skyrim and then back to Zharus at the sounds of her father and Simone’s other making sweet oral orgasmic enjoyments to one another.

Oh my! Mrs. Reverbek and Dad certainly are friendly with one another aren’t they?:: Ruby sent as she processed the audio waves the two were hearing. She had grown accustomed to referring to Paula’s father as dad herself. ::She sounds like a hoover among dirt devils in there…. Sorry I’m trying not to picture it I know one of them is your biological father...::
Well Dad has needed someone ever since Mom left… Even a prude like me knows such things are good for you.. but… I… I’d like to play video games. Perhaps something clean, very very clean. Ruby, let’s load up Super Mario 4D World. To give them some space.:: Paula suggested, Super Mario 4D World was the biggest Virtual Reality Mario based project there was with regular updates and best of all it was co-op. Paula would choose to play as Birdo and Ruby would pick Luigi and this would be the whole night. In the morning they’d get an email from none other than Paula’s birth mother. Right now, she didn’t want to look at that email instead she was more interested in the french toast Marvelle was making downstairs. If Paula was lucky they discovered she was in the house and made her some too. Simone had always been a good cook and according to her she learned her mastery of french cuisine from her mother.

Heading downstairs she found that a plate had actually been set for her, Marvelle smiling at her from inside Miracle’s fuser. “Bonjour Paula. Miracle told me you were here… Apparently your RIDE half told her… Your… Mother sent you an email. Did you receive it?”

“Yeah… I haven’t read it yet…. It’s just, been awhile and to be honest if I saw her again I don’t know if I’d give her a hug or leave her 50 feet from Cape Nord. And I mean 50 feet away from the Y Axis!” Paula spoke up!

“...I see..” Marvelle could have pointed out that Paula’s mother was a man now but she didn’t feel like getting into that conversation with someone who clearly didn’t want to have it early in the morning. “Well. I hope you enjoy breakfast.”

Paula smiled as Marvelle inside Miracle took a seat and began eating alongside Alexander inside of Claude, wearing their RIDEs so they could taste the food as well. The smile however gave way to a sigh as began playing with her food and not eating it. Marvelle though lost in Claude’s eyes did notice this. “Uhh Paula dear, do you not like French Toast? I’m not insulted if you don’t. You can go get some cereal or I could make you an omelette. You need to eat, even an Integrate has to keep up their strength if what Simone told me is accurate.”

“...Are you and dad… Dating.. Mrs. Bertrand?” Paula raised an eyebrow confused. “Or… was last night just… fun?”

Marvelle looked towards Paula and then Alexander unsure of what to say, but she answered anyway. “Paula… if things couldn’t change you’d be a boy and I’d continue being a brain inside of walking box… Now they are changing again. I know this is hard for you… You’re a grown woman and I’m not going to pretend I’m your mother… but yes. Things have been moving fast with me and your father, but at my age you move fast.” indeed it was as Marvelle had said hard for Paula. Paula had always been sheltered by her mother and as a result acted far younger than she was, it wasn’t a mental disability Paula’s cognitive function was just fine, her maturity however was not.

Paula smiled, it was forced and Marvelle could tell, but she was still cheered up enough to start eating again. “No I know change can be good. I just… wasn’t sure.” Paula wondered if Simone and Pierre knew about this, what would she say? Were Paula and Simone destined to become sisters? Right now she needed to eat breakfast, telling Simone and reading the email could wait until after meditation.