Too Popular
#Sound[subtype:scream] + #Movement[subtype:thrashing] iuml; #131; Distress? iuml;#131; DANGER?

Within a millisecond, the apartment's expert system responsible for safety activated and assessed that there was no real danger; the occupant was just waking from a particularly engaging virch. The system passed apartment management back to the environmental optimisation protocols and returned to hibernation. Still sensing distress, the EOPs lovingly increased the lighting and adjusted the colouring of the apartment to warm and comforting. The occupant, once fully awake, started to calm down.

That was odd, they thought, before making a mental note to adjust the settings of future virches, its a little disorientating when you fully believe a virch is real (especially when it ends with you falling headfirst down a waterfall!). Another mental note was spawned containing a reminder to look out for a deductive reasoning IA mod next bodyswap. The EOPs watched patiently as the occupant carefully examined the new body they had woken up in. Compared to the one that lay down to sleep over a day ago, it was certainly more festive. Spindly, over two metres long, hermaphroditic (a stark contrast to the neut body of before) and decorated in moodomorphic chromatophores over the skin and long mane of hair; currently rippling with shocked yellow and satisfied pink.

Very refreshing after spending subjective weeks in a world of just two sexes! Se thought. Utilising a subtle blend of deductive and techno-telepathy the EOPs began reconfiguring the apartment in anticipation of the occupant's needs. The large cushions, spongy floor, and fluffy furniture dissolved, replaced by marble tiles and a deep pool of water. The occupant smiled and rose from their futon (which promptly followed the rest of its fellows and dissolved), their wer-weave duvet slithering over to the pool. Tentatively, it examined the water before diving in with a splash. The occupant laughed at its pet as it morphed into a colourful shoal of fish, before stepping into the steaming pool hirself, sighing with anticipation of the day to come.

First things first. Delving into a faculty that had lain unused for over a day, the bathing occupant accessed their social net profile. The net site obliged by shifting it's client's perception of their body. Through no particular sense the occupant perceived their body not just as it appeared, but as a thin barrier to a world of information that could be breached with the lightest of touches. Expending almost no will at all, the occupant penetrated the barrier and perceived the spate of information offered by hir profile.

The occupant's body rippled majestic blue with appreciation. The profile offered superficial information regarding hir identity, but with the instinct granted to every user of the site the occupant sensed the vast ocean of data hidden beneath the profile's surface. Plunging towards the depths of this treasure trove of an archive brought forth biographic memories, commentaries, and statistics that flared briefly into existence. Memories of old bodies, lovers, records and diaries from decades past expertly rendered in third person and subtly airbrushed for aesthetic effect. As the occupant soaked in a nostalgic haze the wer-weave shoal began the task of cleansing and massaging the colourful new body. In hir mind's eye the occupant relived some of the memories of last cycle's Festival of Diversity. Hir body back then was radically different; the memories of existing as a flock of birds brought a smile to hir face and warm red patches to hir body.

Focusing, the occupant remembered the names they used to go by (generated from an obscure dividual naming scheme) and quickly flicked back to the superficial surface of hir profile. Shining like the Luminaire at midspin is the name the occupant currently identifies as. Frowning and adopting a dark fractal pattern, the occupant willed hir name to change. "I am Adler" se said and the name was replaced as such. Glancing at hir reflection in the pool, Adler smiled at the new subconscious act of recognising hirself by hir new name. What would Lestrade make of people routing eir fusiform gyri through a social net? Se wondered. Frowning again se adjusted the urgency on hir earlier mental note, too much of this recent virch had bled through. Though what else should I expect if I suppress my real self so much?se thought.

The diligent EOPs again sensed the shift in their master's mood long before Adler hirself is aware of it. Under their guidance the polymorphic apartment reconfigured again; the pool began to retract as, sprouting from the floor and walls, came ornate furniture and ornamentation. One wall, previously displaying an underwater mural faded to transparency revealing the view of the city outside. Adler smiled as hir body shone in a variety of fluorescent ripples. As se rose from the vanishing pool the wer-weave shoal delicately climbed aboard before morphing into a fluffy robe. The EOPs instructed the panoramic window to breach and extend out onto a rapidly growing pseudo-marble balcony, complete with reclining chair. Once Adler was seated, the EOPs guided ethereal U-fog bots (resembling Adler's latest preference; pillars of slowly flowing smoke) to carry platters of food out from bioforges hidden in the walls.

Adler breakfasted on a gourmet meal (tailored to nourish hir newly modded body) and looked out onto the city around hir. The apartment was located several hundred metres from the ground in a glistening tower, kilometres tall, affording Adler a phenomenal view. Idrian was a small and quiet city. Nestled in the valleys of the Id mountains, it boasted a population of only three million sophonts (the majority of which were a small clade of flying vecs). Looking off into the distance, Adler tracked the rising landscape until it disappeared behind a cloud. Hir DNI unobtrusively began editing out the skyline as se shifted hir line of sight higher and higher. Born and raised (or should that be copied and pasted?) in a multitude of virches, Adler always found se had a soft spot for Bishop rings. Once hir childhoods had merged and se was an adult, Adler had forged up a body and moved to the Necklace. That had been a long time ago now, but se still felt there was much to enjoy before moving on.

Like the Festival! Se thought with anticipation.

Tracking hir gaze back to the city, se noticed a large toroidal building that wasn't there before se went into hir short hibernation. Waves of curious greens, yellows, and blues flickered across hir body as se realised it was a new Ferris centre. Grown throughout the night, it hosted a variety of recreational facilities that could only be reached when the wheel finished a rotation.

In a manner akin to opening a sleepy eye Adler began to perceive all the sophonts in the city and beyond through the social net. Each individual manifested in hir perception as a distinct point in hir environment, all tinted by the gossamer barrier provided by the social net. Just for fun se pushed through some at random, suddenly gaining instinctive biographic knowledge of those sophonts. Beyond eir names, ages, clades, interests, and summary histories se sensed much deeper depths of information that were denied to strangers. Trying to dive down to those depths se was met with exponential resistance. Tiring of this pastime, Adler widened hir awareness until it encompassed far more people than an unaugmented brain could perceive at once. Amongst those millions of grey spectres, some shone with various levels of incandescence; those were hir friends, family, and acquaintances. To hir eir profiles were far easier to glide through, like a laser through smoke rather than the rock through gecko-gel that strangers present. Se located a group already at the Festival and, skimming through their recent profile memories, se saw the carnivals, parties, and parades that had already taken place. Se left some comments of hir own attached to hir friend's memories before turning hir attention to a rather different character amongst them.

//Adler huh? And what's that meant to mean?\\, Hir scion remarked technotelepathically.

//You'll know soon enough when you merge back\\, se thought privately. //How's the party going?\\ //Pretty good so far! I'm looking forward to getting into that new body. This simulacrum doesn't interest me.\\, Adler thought back a day to the sight of a newly formed u-fog avatar of hir old, neut body.

//We'll I'm heading to you guys now so I'll see you soon.\\

//Be seeing you.\\

Reducing hir awareness of the social net down to almost nothing, Adler rose from the recliner and summoned a mirror. For the next few minutes se bossed hir wer-weave into some appropriate clothing. Eventually se found hirself satisfied; a partially reflective, transparent bubble cowl displaying oily rainbow patterns leading to a short cape of frills and feathers. A translucent tunic set to refract light from hir chromatophores covered hir upper and lower pairs of breasts, beneath these hir waist and feet adopted matching shorts and slippers. To top it off, a variety of bangles, rings, ribbons, and broaches crawled over hir arms and legs. As Adler regarded hir attire hir body displayed swirls of red and blue, beautifully refracted by hir clothes.

Just before she dismissed the mirror, Adler realised hir reflection had a few extra accessories. A golden timekeeping device on a chain hung from hir cape and a recognisable smoking pipe protruded from hir shorts.

I'm beginning to think letting adverts into my environment was a mistake, even with the extra credit it adds to my allowance, se thought wryly.

At first se ignored the extras before impulsively buying the pipe. Whilst hir autofab went to work, se set about reading the scion reports hir DNI had collated. Two were engaged in rather intimate holidays with the scions of on-and-off lovers, one had deactivated and reconfigured for memory merge after a family gathering finished (merge that one later), and two more were lecturing on the benefits of the Second Federation Ontology on breaking gender barriers in conservative mid-tech societies (a pet interest of Adler's) at different universities across the Necklace.

Se grimaced, I should think about becoming a flock of birds again, there's never enough time! Presently the autofab finished its work and a U-fog bot delivered the pipe, a tin of tobacco, and a box of chemical sparking sticks like the kind in the virch (known as "matches"). Stuffing them into hir shorts, Adler summoned a travel pod.

In place of the recliner, a throne formed out of the balcony. As Adler seated hirself, the throne became encapsulated in a protective bubble before separating from the Balcony. Adler set the destination to the location of hir scion at the Festival and the pod quickly decided a route and billed its customer the negligible cost. Adler's body flashed incandescently with delight as the surface underneath the pod became a slidewalk, driving the pod off the edge of the balcony and onto a ramp spiraling around the tower. Only thirty or so metres in front of hir Adler saw the ramp hastily forming from the walls of the tower, craning hir neck around behind hir se giggled with delight at the sight of the ramp disappearing the same way it came.

A few short minutes later the pod crossed a newly formed bridge at the bottom of the ramp to the rooftops of surrounding buildings. Adler gazed through the windows at the other pods traversing the roof-road network, marveling at the speed with which rooftops deflated to become flat and threw up bridges to other roofs. What would ancient city dwellers think of this? Delight or terror?

As se reminisced about animal drawn carriages and dumb matter streets, hir pod arrived at the entrance to the local magway. The Festival was slightly over 2000km to antispinward, the roof-road network was good but it didn't extend across the non-urban terrain and walker or fancloth pods just weren't fast enough (hypersonic or semi-ballistic aircraft were unnecessary expenses compared to the magway in Adler's opinion). As hir pod approached the cavernous opening, Adler's body flecked with dark spots of fear (damn virch bleedover!). Without slowing, the pod met the membrane entrance and was instantly enveloped. Adler watched with unusual fascination as the membrane vesicle encapsulating hir extruded the pod minus the atmosphere surrounding it before rolling back to join the membrane wall.

Now totally within a vacuum, the travel pod was free to morph its underside into maglev strips, separating from the fading slidewalk. Hovering above the reflective rails of the magway, the pod accelerated rapidly to join the herd of pods taking the antispinward route. Adler set the pod to Express:LoG mode causing it to shift lanes often as its constant acceleration boosted it to higher and higher speeds. Connecting to the dim mind of the travel pod, Adler saw se only had to endure the mild acceleration for about 3,000 seconds. Se spent the time gazing out the window walls of the magway. In spite of being buried in the Bishop ring's floor, the walls presented images from the land above. Not long into the journey, the landscape changed from rolling mountains to verdant plains before reaching water.

As the pod appeared to roar over an ocean at over a kilometre per second, Adler's seat rotated 180 degrees. Presently, the pod began to shed its formidable velocity as it met the halfway mark in its journey. Eventually the ocean was crossed, granting a stunning, albeit repetitive, view of the vast desert that was the Seedra continent. Adler noticed with interest the large number of other pods slowing for the same exit as hirs, clearly all travellers for the Festival. Aside from these, most pods continued to speed past; occasionally Adler was rewarded by the subliminal flicker of an Express:hiG freight pod, capable of crossing to the opposite side of the ring in just under a kilosecond.

With a lurch, the travel pod joined the train of pods on the exit lane and began to climb back to the surface. Adler's body shuddered with repeated explosions of incandescent colour in response to hir excitement, making hir laugh. Definitely a good choice!

The pod stopped decelerating, spinning the seat back to forward facing, just in time to plough through the magway membrane. This time the vesicle didn't detach from the main wall and just stretched around to form a rapid airlock. Looking out of the pod, Adler saw that the magway exit had been grown on top of a cliff-sized outcropping of rock. Spread out across a section of the vast and otherwise sparsely populated desert below were the carnival cities. Grown in just a few days before the start of the Festival, huge districts of brightly coloured buildings, tents, and boulevards sprawled in a delicate spiral pattern. Everywhere Adler could see was covered in neon, and by expanding hir senses (a new trick of this body) se perceived complementing colours throughout the UV and IR spectrum. Magnetic patterns played across the skyline above the carnival cities and a symphony of technotelepathic messages sung of the pleasures to be found.

The newly arrived pods modified their undersides, sprouting legs, wheels, and other methods of locomotion as they began to climb down the steep slope of the outcropping. Adler, brimming with anticipation, ordered hir pod to gallop as fast as it could. As se bounded down the hill towards the tip of the first spiral arm se increased hir social net awareness. Ripples of yellow and green flowed from hir front to back before being replaced by a radiant pink as se perceived hir friends waiting for hir at the entrance. They must have been tracking me through the net, se realised with gratitude.

After only minutes, hir pod traversed the few kilometres to the entrance way, a huge arch proclaiming with thousands of banners in a variety of languages "Welcome to the Festival!" Through the arch, Adler found hir pod slowing in a grand plaza filled with a huge variety of sophonts; se saw aiods, bionoids, vecs, neogens, cyborgs, nearbaseline humans, and even one baseline human (or so his profile advertised). Hir pod slowed by a motley group being entertained by the water juggling of an insectoid vec, and stepping out se was welcomed by a chorus of shouts,


"Adler, good to see you"

"Took your time!"

"Great body, what are those things under your shorts?"

"Come join the party, this juggler is amazing"

"Seriously, under the shorts?"

"Hi everyone!" Adler beamed, hir body flicking through a colourful medley of patterns. Looking around se greeted hir friends before her eyes settled on one individual in particular.

"Glad you could make it" hir scion remarked "now, why don't we get down to it and fuck?"

#movement[subtype:stagger] + social interaction[subtype:concern/subtype:physical support] iuml;#131; Care needed? iuml;#131; MEDICAL EMERGENCY?

The Near Entrance Park expert system responsible for medical triage found itself activated and immediately dismissing the emergency alert going off in the local angelnet netspace. After spending a few tens of milliseconds reviewing recent observational data it concluded that the sophont was in no danger, it merely had merged with another and was experiencing the consequences. Almost wearily it prepared itself for hibernation, attempting to guess how many milliseconds of sleep it would get before the Festival's EOPs woke it again.

"Grraagg, that's a mindfuck" Adler exclaimed as se was gently lowered to the grass by hir friends. Hir recent memories were jumbled, part of hir remembered just arriving at the Festival before accompanying hir friends to a busy nearby park where se could merge with hir scion. Paradoxically another memory jockeying for position remembered waiting for hirself to arrive after being at the Festival for over a day already. Hir skin flickered with chaotic patterns that refused to mix, like oil on water.

"Rest now Adler, in a few minutes the disparity will fade" announced the hyperturing that had provided the memory merge service.

"Thanks again" Adler (briefly conceiving hirself as "Adlers") said to the fading image of a golden ouroboros in hir mind's eye.

"Anytime. Enjoy the Festival." As the image finally faded Adler noted the new small flare in the hyperturing's social capital score, awarded for its service.

Lying on the grass, se attempted to work through hir memories. The memory merge worked a lot like an omninupload, one moment you were normal and the next moment there was suddenly a whole new set of memories open to you, as though someone had just opened a mental eyelid; bizarrely the feeling was felt for all the old memories as well (making the idea of "old" and "new" moot for all other purposes besides analogy). Unfortunately the process was quite disorientating to sophonts whose brains and minds were not augmented for just this purpose, though there were many hyperturings in the MPA who would gladly offer their services at expertly weaving the memories together. Under their guidance, a process would be initiated that would stabilise the mind in just a few minutes.

As time passed, Adler felt hir confusion fading. Clear as crystal se remembered subjective weeks spent in a virch of some ancient city before waking up in hir new body, breakfasting, and traveling to the Festival. Just as clear se remembered watching hirself lay down on the futon to enter a bodymod induced coma before heading to the Festival. This second set of memories revealed the magnificence of the opening ceremony, the aurora display, the partying, the dancing and feasts! Sitting up on the grass Adler smiled at hir friends, a sunny flower pattern blossoming across hir skin.

"So, shall we get a smoker going then?" Adler asked. As far as hir new memories showed, this was the plan they had before picking up hir new bodied self.

"Already ordered dear fellow!" boomed a clanking vec, "How's the head?"

"Fucked as always! Thanks for asking Hofli" Adler laughed, skin flicking through warm colours and radiant stripes. Everyone in hir little group showed amusement in their own way at the crudity of the answer.

"Excellent! I myself recently installed a mindfuck routine into my merges just to see what all the fuss was about. Can't say it's that unpleasant really" remarked Hofli.

A vec through and through, Hofli was never found outside of a technological body, even at the Festival. Although, breaking with tradition, ve had come in a wheeled steam-mecha body rather than veir usual state-of-the-art fare. "Ah, the smoker is here" Hofli exclaimed as a Festival u-fog bot delivered the ensemble of pipes, vaporisers, flamers, and chemicals. With clockwork appendages and billowing steam vents, Hofli went about setting up the smoker.

Whilst se waited, Adler admired (for the second time for one stream of memories) the bodies hir friends were sporting. To hir left sat Stena, an Angel from a low G hab elsewhere in the MPA. The size of a thin child, Stena sported beautiful white wings from her back (which had been discreetly embedded with fancloth feathers for flight in the 1 G environment of the ring) and smaller wings from the calves of her backwards bending legs. Her bronze skin was shrouded in a golden aura projected by some clever tricks of augmented reality. In fact, the aura was all that covered her skin for she sat on the grass completely naked. Adler felt a stirring in hir triple genitals at the sight of Stena. They had been lovers before and it was intense.

Gazing down at Stena's small but firm breasts, flat muscular stomach, and artistically groomed mons Adler enjoyed the novel feeling of arousal in an unfamiliar body. Alarmed, se realised hir moodomorphic skin was begin to show a series of vague erotic patterns. Not now! Too early for that! Adler hastily turned hir attention to the friends Stena was talking to.

Seep was also an Angel but one who had adopted a different body for the Festival. From a distance, one might mistake it for an amber statue of a cloaked human, but upon closer inspection this would be revealed as woefully wrong. A featureless head rested on similarly bland shoulders, both made from some glass-like amber material. The only feature on this otherwise blank body was the presence of thousands of multi-coloured specks of light that seemingly swam just under the amber's surface. Large shoals of them gathered at the front of the head perhaps indicating, thought Adler, that they were sensory organs of some kind. Beneath the shoulders lay the body that could be mistaken for a cloak from afar. On the posterior and anterior sides thick tentacles extended well over a metre and a half, finishing in stout digits that Adler had seen Seep use for both walking and lifting of heavy objects (like that whale e was dancing with yesterday!). Nestling just inside these were incremental rings of tentacles of decreasing thicknesses and lengths. The most immediate set were just a few centimetres across with spindly digits, the innermost set (rarely seen through the layers) were as fine as hair and ended in fractal bushes. Seep hadn't yet mentioned their capability but eating for em had so far consisted of dipping these bushes into food and quickly digesting it. Recognising Adler's attention, Seep comically flared eir tentacles in mockery of Hofli's clanking attempts to set up the smoker (Hofli responded in kind by blowing steam at Seep from the oddly placed face on the front of veir carriage shaped body).

In between Seep and Hofli were the last and best dressed friends of the group. Taking up even more space than their steam-mecha companion Chi, Me, and Ra sported a large quadrupedal body. All three of them had decided to share the same body for the Festival and the effect was fantastic. Protruding from the fury mass of the torso was a scaled and horned reptile head. Adler recognised it as Chi's usual head but blown way out of proportion to fit the body. The mouth hung agape showing off rows of razor sharp teeth surrounding a long forked tongue. Hovering just to the side (and staring intently at Hofli's work) Me's face surrounded by a mane of tiny tentacles capped the end of a long tail, now arcing forward. Most of the time Me hung out in the oceans with the rest of the aquatic clades. Now though, Me had forsaken a standard amphibian body or land suit and had fused jer long eel-like body to the base of the torso's spine. Worryingly, Me seemed to constantly gasp for air which caused Adler's gaze to shift to the large, insectoid bio-autodoc grafted to the torso's back. Fused on top of this necessary cyborg component was a constantly shifting 3D Mandelbrot set. Residing within this was one of Adler's oldest friends, Ra. When they first met Ra described verself as an "inforganism".

An experiment from a bygone age, Ra arose to sophonce as an emergent product of a hive mind of non-sophont chat, catalogue, and planning software programs all put through a complex genetic algorithm process. This bizarre upbringing made Adler feel a little like a kindred spirit considering hir own unusual childhood.

"Ra you're not doing that good a job of managing the oxygen in that body" Adler pointed out

//Do you know how complicated it is to run a cyborg body that has to support a cold water aquatic and a desert reptile?\\, Ra replied technotelepathically owing to veir lack of speech organs.

"Yes I do" piped Chi around jers forked tongue, "and it's pretty easy considering the engenerator compiler designed the autodoc to do the job adequately! We're only gasping because you're tinkering again, aren't you?"

Adler's profile mentally added the neut sex to hir observation of Chi, and for the second time se contemplated disappointment that hir friend's amazing joint body neglected to feature any sex organs.

//Not to worry Chi!\\, Ra announced. //We're merely reorganising the dynamic hierarchy of the molecular hypoxia pathway management. Really if you had let us sort out the design rather than a second rate superturing compiler we wouldn't even need the autodoc.\\

Adler smiled at that, it was Ra's thing to pretend to be hyperturing. Once or twice in their friendship se had nearly given into believing that claim if not for the frequent accidents Ra's "tinkering" produced. Whilst the odd group bickered, Hofli completed veir task and started drawing deep breaths from one of the pipes (causing an amusing inflation of bellows along his flanks), "OK everyone, choose your poison".

Adler leaned forward and browsed the rack at the top of the elaborate smoker. Taking out the tin of tobacco hir autofab had provided for hir, se chose a small quantity of a mild Gnostic drug to mix in hir new pipe and uploaded a subtle serenity vdrug program from the smoker's library. Filling hir pipe felt a little too familiar considering se had never done it in the physical world. Se should have asked that hyperturing to sort out the virch bleedover whilst E was in hir head, but before long se was enjoying the deep smoky taste.

Whilst everyone was picking out all manner of pipes, steam bowls, and programs Adler began to regard the multitude of groups in the park. Se was interrupted from staring at a large group of octopus provolves when se felt a tap at hir shoulder.

"Huh? Oh, yes Seep?" Se said realising the tap was caused by one of Seep's tentacles. Seep paused before tapping hir again, this time on the head. "What is it?" se asked confused.

"E's trying to speak to you Adler, but you seem to have switched your babel program back to limited" Stena interjected, looking up from her growing cocktail of stimulants. Remembering back to the Festival's opening ceremony brought a sense of acute deja vu as Adler recalled not being able to talk to Seep then. The problem being that Seep's body could only communicate in modulated magnetic fields (specifically the Tau-981:a dialect) that Adler's DNI translation software was not set to interpret. "Oops, I forgot to ask the hyperturing to merge my DNI preferences with my scion." A small part of hir mind perceived a tiny spark in the hyperturing's capital image extinguish as Adler regarded the lack of a reminder in the service.

"Set now, sorry Seep what was that?"

"That's better! This body isn't really rigged for anything else" pulsed Seep.

"Anyway, as I was saying. What's with the pipe?"

"Ah, well in my biomod coma I decided to drop into a virch set on Ancient Earth. A pipe featured heavily with my character and so I thought I'd bring one"

"What virch?" asked Stena around a mouthful of some chewing root.

"Just some detective one but it was a really good! Over fifty different episodes. Although, now that I'm out I do kind of miss it, apart from a bit of memetic bleedover the character was exceptionally intelligent, I figure I may go for some intelligence amplification at some point soon."

//Hang on a second\\, Ra interrupted. //We're pretty intelligent ourselves and we had noticed a bit of odd behaviour in you compared to your scion. Are you sure you haven't been adbombed?\\

"Adbombs are illegal Ra!" Stena exclaimed. "Adler's hardly going to pick one up in some standard virch."

//We're just saying se may have picked up some sort of memetic advertising virus, not necessarily an adbomb per se.\\

"Don't worry guys! My DNI does a perfectly good job of filtering out things like that" Adler said to forestall argument.

Although se did quickly set up a mental note to update hir in situ suite of medical implants, anti-meme software, and psychiatric expert system."Anyway, like I was saying, I would like to be more intelligent sometime soon. Wouldn't that be wonderful?"

Hir skin began to adopt golden cloudlike patterns. Dimly se was aware that the Gnostic drug was kicking in, sucking hard on hir pipe se began to feel everything taking on a more dramatic and noble hue. Joining the conversation, Me removed jer lips from around the smokers offered pipe, "If you ask me (everybody giggled at the pun), intelligence is overrated in us modos. You could be the best superintelligence in the galaxy, but it won't make a spit of difference compared to the lowliest hyperturing. Think about it, unless you are really willing to ascend and keep on ascending you're never going to be anything more than the lowliest pond life. Might as well stay as you are, get some enjoyment amplification, and get used to not knowing anything!"

//Too true! You single minded simpletons can never match up to us betters so don't even bother\\, Ra exclaimed.

"Not this again!" Declared Seep. "Ra the last time I saw you, you'd tinkered with your own source code so much that you'd party divided yourself into two hives. And both of them had actualysed and had to be rebooted by a medical expert system. Hardly godlike was it?" As the group laughed Ra continued to protest.

//Nonsense! You modos just don't understand transap metaphysical exploration, and that ridiculous expert system! Who did it think it was?\\

"Enough" Roared Chi "I grow anxious (as one would through consuming a large quantity of leaves known as ichy-feeters). Let's go do something."

"Good idea dear fellow!" said Hofli. "There seems to some sort of competition going on over the other side of the park, why don't we check that out?" Adler had to cover hir face as Hofli spoke from all the steam bellowing out of veir mouth (though se did see it as a rather majestic expression of life).

"Yes let's!" Cried Adler. "In fact, why don't we make it a race?" And with that se jumped up and ran as fast as hir new legs could carry hir, skin flashing wild stripes of flame. The others all clambered and charged except Ra, Chi, and Me.

"Ra!!! What the hell have you done to our legs?" shouted Me as jer, Chi and Ra's body refused to move.

//Just temporary dear friends. We are quickly optimising the actin filament structure, don't worry though! It will be done shortly and then we will beat those rascals (who were quickly becoming distant figures). Trust me, I'm a hyperturing!\\

Chi and Me groaned and went back to smoking their pipes, not for the first time regretting their decision to share a body with a mad vec.

By Rynn B (2014)
Voices Future Tense Table of Contents

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