Urban Fantasy

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 Pt 3
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 Pt 2
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 pt 1
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 10 Pt 2
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 10 Pt 1
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 9 Pt 3
Honey Bunny: An Easter Tale
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 9 Pt 2
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 9 Pt 1
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 8 Pt 3

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 Pt 3


Official Report
Tondzaosha Police Station
Tondzaosha, Idaho

Magic implements thrummed and throbbed with barely contained energies. Trapped souls, failed experiments, and creatures borne of dark sorcery, each more gruesome than the last populated Daisy’s laboratory. She regarded each in turn and her lips curled into a soft, innocent smile.

When she first came to this world, she’d lost decades of researched and hundreds of carefully cataloged magical artifacts, most of which had, no doubt, been destroyed after her defeat by Kruhl and Reesha. Her heart still seethed from the loss, but there was no hope of recovering what was gone. So she’d started anew. Most of her experiments were failures, but even when she mis-stepped she learned something helpful.

She moved past Amelia van den Broeke’s inert form sprawled across a stretcher wheeled in by one of her cronies and regarded the sweet-looking young girl in the mirror mounted on the opposite wall. So many had under-estimated her, and with all but a few exceptions they were dead or subverted to serve her. 

She moaned, licking her soft feminine mouth, a shiver of excitement working up and down her spine at the thought of bending one more mind to her will. She bit her lip and gazed at the agent. Such an attractive woman, she thought. Perhaps Van den Broeke would make an able lover. She looked forward to finding out.

She moved to stand above the stretcher, planted her staff in the ground and slid her fingers across Amelia’s stomach. The sorceress shuddered in pleasure as her magic pulsated about the room. 

She knew from her mole within AEGIS that agents underwent training to resist mind control techniques, but breaching the agent’s consciousness had been far easier than she’d expected. The sorceress had been looking forward to the challenge of bending and shaping a consciousness, and though she had yet to initiate the magics which would subvert the other, it was only a matter of time before she shattered the rest of her resistance and her mind would be hers to do with as she pleased.  How very disappointing, she’d been expecting more of a challenge.

She stood, staff alight, her magic coursing through Amelia’s mind. Only a little longer and the agent would be ready. Then she would—

An explosion of shattering glass resounded in the distance and Daisy froze, craning her neck back toward the door. 

Her mouth creased into a frown and then a scowl when two more explosions rang out, each louder than the one before. This could only Leoffa’s doing. She clenched her teeth and rushed out of the room, staff aglow. Amelia’s inert form all but forgotten.

Gunfire rang out all around them, and Kruhl grated her teeth, ducking in front of the Diadem’s bumper for cover. Teressa grunted and dove beside her, panting for breath.

A barrage of weapons fire had foiled their attempt to return to the car. Kruhl didn’t know whether it was blind luck or intuition, but the warriors of the police clan had hemmed them in, somehow navigating through the dense haze which Teressa summoned. Now the pair lay about like sitting geese, vulnerable to attack. Neither of the women carried a weapon, and though Kruhl had once been a formidable warrior, she did not like her chances.

Nevertheless, when the first police clan attacker came into sight, she leapt up and rushed him, hoping to catch the man by surprise. Kruhl dealt the first blow, but it barely seem to faze her opponent. The police warrior swung toward her and slammed the butt of his weapon into the side of her face. His attack sent her flailing and she fell, throwing her arms out to catch herself before her face hit the ground, but not soon enough to prevent her breasts from impacting with a sharp burst of pain.

Though her face and chest throbbed in agony, Kruhl rolled onto her side and scrambled back to her feet, bracing herself for another assault, but it never came. Teressa lurched forward, grappling with the man. Kruhl rushed toward her, thinking to help, but her companion kneed the man in the groin and he crumbled to the ground like a sack of turnips.

Teressa bent over, retrieving something dangling from his belt and held it before Kruhl, jangling a small ring with three narrow flat objects, which Kruhl supposed were keys.

Kruhl arched an eyebrow, “The locker?”

“Only one way to find out,” Teressa replied, arching an eyebrow. 

She bent over retrieving the officer’s gun, before slamming the butt against the side of his head, and rushed away, making a beeline for the back of the evidence locker.

Kruhl regarded her with wide eyes, her face stretching into a grin as she followed suit. Magnificent! Teressa was indeed a warrior at heart. 

The once-king found Teressa, knelt down on the floor, already trying the keys in the lock, but when the other woman cursed in frustration and tossed them over her shoulder, Kruhl’s heart sank.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck.” Teressa gritted her jaw, her eyes burning with rage. “We can’t seriously be this close, and not—”

She stopped, staring down at the fire stick, the flames in her gaze burning even brighter. She licked her lips and raised the weapon. “Maybe… there’s still a way.” 

With no prompting, she took aim and opened fire. A loud bang rang through the air and Kruhl brought her hands up to her ears, too late to muffle the sound. She only took her eyes off the locker for a moment, but when her gaze again fell on it, Teressa was swinging the door open.

Teressa reached inside, drawing Waldere free from the metal enclosure and extended it toward the former king, its polished steel surface gleaming. Kruhl regarded the weapon, eyes wide, hand shaking as she clasped it about the grip. Her grip couldn’t even reach all the way around.

All this time she’d been so eager to retrieve the sword, but had put no thought into what she would do once she had it. Defeat Odalrik, sure, but she didn’t consider how she might accomplish such a task. How might she make use of the sword? It was almost as long as she was tall. It possessed magic, but such power was most effective when used with the weapon’s more mundane aspect, the blade itself. 

Kruhl grunted, pulling the weapon up off the ground. Gods, it was heavy! She held it up for several seconds, her muscles burning, before grunting and setting it back down.

So weak… She scowled. Of all the forms she could have worn, why this one? Even if she were to train and strengthen her body, her frail little frame would never be suitable for combat. She was just too small. Even at her physical peak, anyone she was likely to face would be stronger than her. It was the most sobering realization Kruhl had ever made, and it hit as if it were an actual blow to the gut.

She released her hold, took a step back and peered down at her tiny hands. Her new body, with its wide hips and soft curves, was better suited to bearing children than combat. Kruhl met Teressa’s gaze, and swallowed, a pit forming in her stomach as she realized what she must do. The younger Van den Broeke sister was a better fit to defeat Odalrik, she’d survived for a long time against his repeated attempts to enthrall her and, if the way she’d carried herself against the police warrior was any sign, she would do well on the battlefield. She was tall for a human woman and well built. She may very well possess the strength necessary.

The weapon’s magic only permitted those deemed worthy to wield its power, but if Kruhl relinquished it to Teressa, it would recognize her as its rightful wielder.

“What’s the matter?” Teressa asked, her brows furrowed.

“I-I don’t think I am meant to bear Waldere,” Kruhl peered back at her, tears now streaming down her face. She gritted her teeth, rocking her head back and forth. “Not anymore.”

“You must take the blade,” Kruhl continued grabbing the handle and thrusting the pommel at Teressa. “It’s yours.”

Teressa gazed at Kruhl and blinked. Then a slow, malicious smile stretched over her lips and she erupted into a fit of hysterical laughter. She jerked the weapon out of the once-king’s hands. Kruhl realized at once something was amiss, but it was too late.

“That was much easier than I expected,” Teressa said, her voice seething with malicious glee as she thrust the blade out and through Kruhl’s abdomen.

Blood gurgled from Kruhl’s lips and she fixed her gaze on the other woman, her mouth agape. “Why?”

Teressa clenched her jaw and shoved the blade deeper. “You always were a little dense Kruhl, but I wouldn’t expect you to recognize me, not after all these years and certainly not in this body.”

The other leaned in, her lips brushing against Kruhl’s ear. “It doesn’t feel so good does it? Betrayed by someone you care about. All this time I’ve waited, hoping for a chance at revenge, and then out of the blue there you are again. You stabbed me through the gut and left me for dead. It’s only fitting I return the favor.”

Teressa jerked her arm back, sliding the blade free from Kruhl’s stomach and for the briefest of moments she remained standing, recognition marking her face before her eyes grew wide in terror.

Before she could topple over, Teressa grabbed Kruhl by the collar of her shirt, her face contorted in rage. “Say my name Kruhl.”

“Leoffa,” Kruhl repeated the name and a grim, satisfied smile crept across the other woman’s face. She threw Kruhl away from her and the once-king slammed into the ground, blood spewing from her wound. A shock of pain racked her body as she impacted the floor. Her head rebounded twice before it settled in place. A thousand questions were on the tip of her tongue, but Teressa turned away at the sound of footsteps.

“Well, what a nice little reunion this is,” a light, feminine voice called out.

Kruhl tried to prop herself up to get a better view, but fell back over, clutching at her stomach, attempting to keep her entrails from spewing out.

She could already feel the end coming. Soon Dohan would come, mounted upon her terrible black steed, and carry her away into the afterlife…

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 Pt 2


Official Report
321 S Oak St.
Grove City, Idaho

Entry into the home was not much of a problem for Ashley now that she’d adorned herself in the full RPR assembly. She doubted anything she did while wearing the blood-red armor could be considered inconspicuous, but she entered out of sight, just in case.

Until she’d summoned the remainder of the RPR, she’d instructed it to keep a close distance, and most especially to remain outside of town and away from people or roadways. Nabu, the AI that governed the suit was more than happy to comply. The Artificial Intelligence almost seemed sapient, but Malcolm insisted that it was a product of some very sophisticated computer algorithms. Ashley had her doubts, but so long as the suit performed as it should and obeyed her commands, she was willing to look the other way.

She stood just outside the home’s back door, gauntleted hand poised over the knob.

“Miss Harris,” Nabu said, a light, almost undetectable inflection in his voice that hinted at an Iraqi accent. “You may wish to enter through the window.”

“Why is that?” Ashley asked.

“The door’s core is composed of reenforced steel. While the servos in the suit are capable of removing it from its frame, it would be rather loud. It might attract undue attention.”
“What about the energy blades, wouldn’t one of them be able to cut through it?” She asked, hand still inches from the doorknob.
“In theory, yes, but the director never tested them in the field and certainly not on—”

“Yeah, well, now’s as good a time as any.” Ashley rolled her eyes and cut Nabu short. The AI was a bit long-winded, and far too cautious for her tastes.

“Need I remind you, miss, that you could overload the—”

“Better to do it here than in the middle of a fight.” She responded, again stopping the artificial intelligence before he finished. 

“Once again, there is no faulting your reasoning, miss,” Nabu replied. Ashley shook her head and bit back a sharp response. His tone had sounded almost… sarcastic.

Ashley dropped her right arm and pumped her fist three-times. A long, curved section of black metal slid out from the wrist, and burst alight, a thrumming, cackling blade sizzling to life along its length. She wasted no time, raising her arm and slicing down. The blade sheering through it from top to bottom as easily as if it were paper, but burned so bright even the filters on her helmet weren’t enough to keep her eyes from watering.

She pushed the half of the door still affixed to the hinges open and shouldered through, her armor just a little too large to fit through otherwise. She kept the blade extended, fearful that she might come under attack, but as she emerged on the other side, she encountered no obstacles and the only sound was the clank of her own armored feet. Still, she kept her weapon ready.

Her eyes scanned her immediate area. She’d stepped into a quaint little joint kitchen and dining room area. The cupboards were solid flat-white and the countertop was ceramic tile. It looked old, with a few nicks or scratches here or there, but overall appeared well maintained. 

The oven and range looked relatively modern and the microwave most certainly was, but otherwise it seemed consistent with the era in which the home had been built. She stepped through the room, ceramic tiles cracking under the weight of the suit, and moved past the dining table, a simple blocky affair that showed signs of frequent use. Though blocky and not real pretty, to her eye it appeared handcrafted.

She walked into a carpeted hallway, peering left into the front room, eyes studying the loveseat, sofa and television mounted to the wall, and screwed up her nose in frustration. The room was empty. The decor seemed rather spartan, even to Ashley, who’d never really done much decorating beyond throwing up a photo or two. She turned right, stopping about halfway down when she caught her reflection in an old oak-framed mirror. 

She’d seen the RPR armor more than once, but inspecting it from the outside and seeing it looking back at her in the mirror was a very different experience. For a woman, Ashley was about average height, roughly five-foot-five, the armor added a good fourteen or fifteen inches. No one would suspect that the person within was the vivacious young blonde. Most would assume that a man wore the suit.

Malcolm based it on the same technology that powered the Indigo Knight’s suit and shared a few of the same design elements. With the latter’s armor, however, he’d gone with a medieval motif. Hers was more sleek and streamlined and looked like something a villain might wear rather than a hero. While the armor was predominately red, a few bits of black and silver shone between segments.

Four glowing red lights, two about four inches in diameter, and the other pair about two, shone from the chest-piece. Segmented pieces of armor overlapped, to form a bulletproof shell around the wearer.  She flexed her hand in front of the mirror, segmented digits moving with as much ease as if they were her real fingers.

It was the helmet that sold the look. The face was mostly black, blending in with the red tones around the edges. Red light shone out from two dark sockets, and a grill that covered the ‘mouth’ portion of the faceplate pulsated and throbbed with angry scarlet illumination. A second, smaller one that comprised two slits, glowed with the same eerie red color, and took up the center of the face where a nose would be. She shivered and glanced down at the energy blade still pulsating from her arm. The weapon was curved like a scythe.

She peered back at the mirror. The helmet resembled a skull and she held her breath as she repeated the suit’s designation in her mind. Like the Indigo Knight armor there was a clear motif, he’d meant the suit to resemble some robotic red grim reaper, thus the skull-like helmet and scythe-style blade. 

She moved away from the mirror, mind swirling with the revelation. Had Malcolm designed this suit with some evil purpose in mind? She’d had what some would call a checkered past, but a bank-robber who could walk through walls and had a weak spot for damsels in distress was a far cry from the image that sprang to life. No, she shuddered, she would never go down that route. She would only use the suit for good. 

Four doors lined the hallway. The first led to the bathroom, a tiny, little affair, that while clean could do with some repairs, and the second, a home office. She only glanced inside for the barest of seconds before closing the door again. She regarded the final two doors. She thought perhaps, given the size of the home, the one at the end of the hallway was a closet. So she selected the other, cracking it open before swinging it wide.

Putrid green light spilled out into the doorway and as she peered inside, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. An inert form lay sprawled atop a queen bed.  Luminescent green swirls gyrated and pulsated in the air above him.

“What the fuck?” Ashley asked aloud, the voice changer in the helmet producing a deep baritone growl instead of her usual soft soprano.

She stepped forward, and stopped, slamming into the empty air as if she’d smacked into a brick wall. The girl took a step back, heart pounding away inside her chest, and licked her lips. 

“Uh, Nabu. I think we’ve hit a bit of a snag.” She placed her hands on her hips and let out a sigh. Making contact with Brian van den Broeke would be a little more difficult than she’d expected.


The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 pt 1


Official Report
Tondzaosha Police Station
Tondzaosha, Idaho

“Amelia, you need to wake up,” a voice spoke out of the nothingness,  reverberating through her skull with such force she gasped and her eyes snapped open.

A bright light shone in her face and she reached an arm up to shield her eyes. She angled her head, sharp stabs of pain pulsating in her temples.

“Amelia,” the voice repeated her name, and she shifted her head, gritting her teeth against the accompanying agony.

Though her eyes were still adjusting, she could see just well enough to make out a familiar set of features. Amy sucked in her breath and studied the teal-framed face of Ashtar.

Amelia groaned and clenched her eyelids shut. “Ugh, I must have taken a hit to the head.”

Ignoring the strange shade, the agent instead shook her head, and blinked, her vision at last snapping into focus. She drew in another deep breath and cursed. She was in what looked like a garden variety police holding cell, save for one detail that produced a shiver down her spine.

A familiar green paint coated the walls, ceiling, floor and even the bars on the cell. The shade was used exclusively by AEGIS. The substance which produced the color had a long, uninteresting chemical name, which she could neither pronounce nor remember, but most of the agency’s personnel just called it GUNQ.

Though it sounded rather harmless, it would block most any form of psychic powers and a fair number of other exemplar abilities. She was able to use her abilities anywhere within the cell, and the room itself, but anything coated with the GUNQ or beyond its boundaries was out of reach. Under any other circumstance escape would have been a cinch, but now it was not at all likely.

She swallowed, bile rising in her throat as she considered the implications of this fresh development. The only way Odalrik might have gotten hold of the GUNQ, was if he’d managed to compromise AEGIS. Its production was strictly regulated and controlled. The substance was manufactured by two separate companies and then combined by AEGIS employees. No one, save for a representative of the agency, would be able to obtain even a small quantity.

A puzzle piece fit into place. Someone enslaved to Odalrik must have been the one to redact her mother’s name in the case files, but why? If it was his intent to bring her here, he must have some reason for it. Was it to enthrall her to him as he’d done to the Tondzaosha Police? No, it made no sense. Her new powers hadn’t even surfaced yet. What need would he have of her?

Perhaps, she shuddered, he sought to make use of her retrocognizance.

“Amy!” Ashtar snapped.

The agent spun her neck back around to face her. She studied the once-goddess in all her glory. Ashtar was stunningly, jaw-droppingly beautiful, in an out-of-this-world unearthly sort of way. Though her form was human, there was a strange, almost imperceptible quality about her that spoke of her genuine nature. She was an alien entity of a sort, Amelia hadn’t quite been able to classify, but there was no doubt she was powerful and it was she who had granted Sapphira and, indirectly, Amelia, their powers. There was just one problem, she’d died months ago combating Chemosh and Garos.

“I am not a hallucination. I am an imprint, a shadow of the person who once was. When the true Ashtar died, she imprinted a piece of herself upon Sapphira and, in turn, when you joined with her and a new seed of power bloomed within you, a duplicate of that imprint passed into your subconsciousness.”

“Listen very carefully, there isn’t much time,” The strange alien specter said a tension in her words, that spoke of urgency.

Amy complied, and felt a tremor work down her spinal column, as the other issued her warning.

When Ashtar finished, a loud clank and a groan of metal on metal sounded from the doorway. Before Amy could even so much as blink, Chief Avery stepped into the room, raised her dart gun and opened fire.

A sharp jab of pain shot up her neck and Amy clasped a hand over the dart. With her other hand she threw out a wave of telekinetic force at the Chief and sent her hurtling back through the door.

Amelia struggled to her feet, but fell back onto her knees just a second later. She clenched her jaw, attempting to fight the effects of the tranquilizer, but soon she fell face-first onto the cold concrete floor. She looked up just in time to see Avery approach before everything again faded to black.

The person once known as Odalrik regarded Agent Van den Broeke’s inert form, a slow smile creeping over her youthful face. She’d come so far and waited so long, but at last that which she desired would soon be within her grasp.

She glanced down at her slight, feminine body, and let out a low throaty chuckle. This was the third form she’d taken since coming to this world. She’d discarded the first, a frail old wisp of a woman, after again learning to tap into the essence of life. The second, that of an unassuming man, had perished in that incident at the old police station, and this one she now possessed… well in the beginning it was that or death.

The girl was but a child,  a few weeks shy of seven years old, when she’d first come to possess her. At first she had loathed it, and thought to steal a new form, but few had seen anything but a little girl when they looked upon her and the sorceress realized that it was advantageous to remain within. When puberty hit, she again thought to abandon the body, but more than anything her innate stubbornness won out and she adapted.

Now, just a year removed from her teen years, she could scarcely imagine life as anything but a woman. If nothing else, the sex was amazing. She shivered at the thought and put it quickly out of mind. Such things were better reserved for her bedchamber.

All this time operating in the shadows and it would all soon be over. She would at last find the crystal so long concealed and gain utter control of this backwater little town.

She had long disdained using the artifact, fearing the risk of invoking its power, but this was not Erda and she did not possess the resources she once had. With it in hand, a much greater conquest would be but a small step. Even Leoffa with all her illusions would be hard-pressed to stop her.

Kruhl’s appearance, while unexpected, was fortuitous. It forced her to accelerate her plans, yes, but she relished in the opportunity it afforded her. Without it, she might never have lured Amelia back to her hometown and without the exemplar woman’s retrocognizance, the sorceress doubted she’d ever locate where Leoffa hid the crystal. Well, short of imprisoning and torturing her for information, but the woman had been as elusive as she was devious.

Her eyes alight with her magic, the sorceress, now known as Daisy Fischer planted her staff into the carpeted floor, green energies swirling within its jeweled top. She placed a hand upon the agent’s forehead, unleashing her magics upon her subconscious mind.

She had wanted the agent for her retrocognizance, but now she had become so much more valuable. When at last her resistance crumbled, the sorceress would bend Amelia to her will, and she would have a weapon at her command, possessing power perhaps even greater than her own.

Soon, she would have her revenge, and her enemies would tremble before her might.

“You’re mad!” Kruhl yelled, clutching her hands around what Teressa had referred to as the “Oh shit handle” above the doorway.

The younger Van den Broeke grinned and winked at the once-king, a manic grin stretching across her face. “You’re the one that wanted the sword, aren’t you?” When the light turned green, she stomped her foot down on the accelerator without waiting to hear the other woman’s objections.

The vehicle lurched forward, speeding down the roadway. It careened off the side of the road, across the walk and through the parking area, before slamming through the glass facade of the Tondzaosha Police Station. Glass shattered all around them, pelting the car hood and windshield.

Kruhl threw her arms up to protect her face, as a particularly large shard hit the glass, but the windshield held and she lowered her arms only to throw them back up as the car slammed into the reception desk and the wall behind it.

The vehicle screeched to a halt as a cloud of white dust and debris exploded before them. As it settled, a pair of officers made a beeline for the car, but Teressa’s eyes narrowed and settled on a steel door along the east wall.

The Diadem jerked forward, tires screeching, and slammed into the doorway with another eruption of dust and a shriek of metal.

Kruhl felt something wet drip down her brow. When she reached out to touch it, she winced against a sharp stab of pain. A small sharp fragment of glass was wedged above her right eyebrow. She brought her hands away, rubbing the blood between her index finger and thumb. She glanced to her left, the window had shattered. When had that happened?

“Kruhl, come on!” Teressa screamed, snatching at Kruhl’s arms with her right hand and clasping hold of her throat with the left.

The once-king slid over the seat, tailing Teressa out the door as that familiar black mist oozed out between the exemplar’s fingers. Weapons fire rang out, but the illusory fog had already risen between them and the police clan could only fire blindly into the haze.

Kruhl’s heart pounded in her chest as they flew threw the debris ridden room. Towards the back they found the sword within its metal cage scattered amidst a wooden bludgeoning weapon and a slew of fire sticks. When Teressa tried to open the enclosure, it wouldn’t budge.

“Shit,” she cursed, rapping her knuckles on the metal. “It’s locked, what the hell are we supposed to do, now?”

At once, both women glanced back at the car and a twinkle showed in each of their eyes. “I have an idea!” They both said in perfect unison.

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 10 Pt 2


Official Report
1328 Maryzell Ln
Tondzaosha, Idaho

Kruhl took in air, with short jagged breaths, and eyes clenched shut. Her entire body trembled, awash with a flood of emotions, mixed revulsion and frustration most predominant among them.

She’d become weak. She curled her lips in a sneer and opened her eyelids. One hand enveloping a breast and kneading the flesh. She moaned and bit her lower lip, glancing over her shoulder to ensure Teressa did not wake. It had been the better part of a day since they’d fled their enemies and the pair had barely spoken to one another since.

The once-king wanted nothing more than to battle their enemies, but she possessed neither the means nor the strength necessary. This body was soft.

She peered down at her free hand, flexing it before her face. Kruhl had allowed herself to succumb to the desires of her body, to allow a human to dominate her in bed… yet again.

She rose to her feet, turning her back on the other woman, arms folded across her naked chest. Curse Reesha for sending her to this world!

She clenched her teeth and balled her fists at her side. She had been among the greatest of her people’s warriors and she’d been reduced to this simpering doe-eyed slip of a human girl. If she weren’t so useless she would have taken on the police clan and saved Agent Amelia. She would have made those fools rue the day they’d ever crossed Kruhl!

Instead, she’d fled like a coward, and now she was frittering her time away instead of taking action. Her gaze again darted to Teressa, who had spent the time since their escape brooding, a slow simmering anger bubbling just under the surface. She’d spoken little more than two words to the former king, instead she spent her time whittling away at a hunk of wood with a strange folding knife she’d retrieved from one of the unusual pouches built into her trousers.

Kruhl looked about the little rolling home, which Teressa called a camp trailer, and crinkled her nose. It was dirty and smelled of rotted wood. They’d come to this place after their escape and had been there ever since. She tucked her arms over her breasts, peering through the little window beside the door.

Though she was far from an expert on this world, she recognized farm country when she saw it, even if it was a fair bit dustier than Eirdon’s fields. Beyond that, there was little else to see, branches, from the large copse of trees which surrounded the camper, obscured much of her view, but a large aging red building with wide double doors and white trim could just be made out through the tangle of evergreens.

Her mind wandered a million miles away, grasping for some solution to the mess she’d dug for herself. Were it not for her, Reesha would have never stood a chance of banishing Odalrik to this place. True, it had been the Sorceress who’d invoked the spell, but her old master was far too powerful and wily to be taken alone. Without Kruhl’s aid, she never could’ve gained the upper hand.

Teressa emitted a soft moan and Kruhl craned her neck back to gaze on the woman.The younger Van den Broeke sister jerked to a sitting position, small pert breast jiggling a little from the sudden movement. Her eyes were just as intense as the previous night, and, as she watched, the other’s countenance creased into a frown.

She thought back to their previous night of lovemaking, the intensity, the pure wild rage the other exhibited produced a stab of remembered pain in her loins. Kruhl hadn’t experienced the like since before Leoffa’s passing. His betrothed possessed a turbulent personality and sometimes her volatility translated into the bed chamber. It made for some of the most passionate lovemaking of the former Assar’s life. Though the sensations of her tiny new body differed, the intensity had been on the same scale.

Kruhl padded over to the bed, positioned herself beside the other woman, kissing her on the cheek before pulling away. Teressa regarded her, jaw clenched, rage burning with such intensity Kruhl thought perhaps she’d angered her, but then her lover’s features softened and she pulled the once-king close, wrapping both arms about her waist. Lips brushing her neck.

It unnerved Kruhl, that the other could so easily overpower her, but a part of her liked it. She would never have admitted it aloud, but when they were abed, she found that if she allowed the other to take control that the pleasures could be indescribable. She trembled, preparing herself for another round of sex, but when the other’s hands reached between her legs Kruhl, surprised even herself, and fastened her fingers around the other’s wrists.

“We should talk,” Kruhl said. “I realize this thing with your sister has–”

Teressa pushed Kruhl with such force that she lurched across the bed and almost took a nosedive over the edge before grasping ahold of the adjacent counter. She peered at the other, eyes wide, panting for breath.

“I’m sorry.” Teressa said, voice tense, almost confrontational. She shook her head and her features and voice softening. “I didn’t mean to—”

Kruhl righted herself and swallowed, glancing at her companion. She’d known that the strength disparity between them was significant, but hadn’t realized the full extent until that moment. How weak must she be in this form that the other could throw her about with so little effort?

“Forget about it,” Kruhl said, her voice trembling though she fought hard to keep it even. When she again glanced at her lover, tears were sliding down the other’s cheeks.

Kruhl pulled her close, wrapping her arms about Teressa’s larger frame. “I know this is difficult, but I understand how you feel.”

“Do you?” Teressa replied, her body stiffening in Kruhl’s arms. She pushed the other away, this time with only enough force for her to keep the other at bay. “I don’t even know if Amy’s alive. She’s my sister… and I just drove off and let them take her, God, what kind of person does that?” She gawked at Kruhl, eyes wide, voice devoid of any emotion, as if she were still trying to process what happened.

Kruhl peered back, her expression a near match to Teressa’s. When at last she spoke, she did so in a halting quivering tone. “Do not blame yourself. Respect her sacrifice. Agent Amelia knew what she was doing. She would want us to carry on.”

“Easy for you to say, you’re not the one who abandoned her own sister.”

“No,” Kruhl agreed. “But I impaled the love of my life in the abandoned her to die.”

Teressa looked as if Kruhl had slapped her. She stared at the tiny woman, then emitted a lengthy breath of air. She folded her arms across her chest, fire smoldering in her eyes, turning away from Kruhl eyes studying the wall just to her left. “We don’t stand a chance without Amy. My illusions will not get us very far. My sister was the only one of us with any actual power. Without her we might as well crawl into a hole and die.”

Kruhl did not speak, instead she looked out at the aging barn, a thoughtful expression on her face. Several long moments later, she met the other woman’s gaze, golden globes gleaming. “There may be a chance, but we need Waldere.”

“You talk about that sword as if it will solve all our problems. Just what can that thing do?”

Teressa swallowed and met the once-king’s gaze. There was an odd gleam in Kruhl’s eyes as she spoke.

Ashley stopped, staring down at the RPR module, before glancing back up to studying her surroundings. The guidance system had led her to an older area of town, populated by houses identified by the suit’s AI system as Cape Cod style cottages. Basically they were cute, neatly decorated, World War II era homes, all painted in pastel colors and off-whites.

To her though, they were just houses, albeit small old ones, and the only interest she had was in one home in particular or, more specifically, its occupant. She might now identify as the girl whose body she’d come to possess, but her mindset was still of a masculine sort. The minor details only mattered if they contributed to the greater whole. Pretty flowers and pastel colors weren’t relevant information and thus she only regarded them as a row of houses.

She stopped in front of a home, peering down at the module, eying the small red rectangular device to ensure she was in the right place. Satisfied, she nodded and slipped it back into her jeans pocket. The girl took a moment to study the building, frowning as she regarded the mailbox, which was so overstuffed, the front hung ajar. That was not encouraging.

Ashley had traveled all the way to Grove City, hoping to find the owner of this home, and now it seemed like he’d been away for days if not weeks. She cursed between clenched teeth and jerked the RPR module back out of her pocket. She’d wasted valuable time on this lead and it had been for nothing. Maybe it wa—

The young woman stopped. An alert had popped up on the RPR’s display, noting that there was a lot of ambient astral energy. She peered up at the house again, lips pressed together in a thin line, studying the readings. The signature was close enough to the one emanating from staff girl she doubted it was unrelated. Perhaps her trip hadn’t been a dead end after all.

She switched to thermal view and held the unit up. The southwest corner of the home, viewed through the display, was lit up like a Christmas tree.

“Goddammit,” she cursed.

Ashley did not understand what it meant, but she didn’t believe it could mean anything good. She jabbed the screen, toggling the thermal view off and paused only a moment, before activating the ASM Algorithm. She’d had enough with this incognito bullshit. A fresh approach was needed.

As she waited, Ashley frowned and peered out across the horizon. A black speck appeared, growing larger by the moment. A grin spread across her soft features. It was time to bust some heads.

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 10 Pt 1


Official Report
1328 Maryzell Ln
Tondzaosha, Idaho

“Shit, shit, shit,” Teressa cursed her face contorted in a mask of rage. “How could I have been so stupid?”

She growled under her breath, slid the car keys into the ignition and the car’s engine roared to life. Anger flashed in her eyes as they fell on Kruhl. The once-king shrank away, taken aback, but then she gazed forward, clasping one hand around her neck, the second on the steering wheel.

“Hang on,” she said between gritted teeth, inky mist rising out between her fingers. “This will be one bumpy ride.”

She pulled on the lever between the seats and the car careened, a high-pitched screech emanating from the wheels. It slammed through the garage door with a wail of protest and wood and metal exploded, fragments slamming into the windshield with several dull thwacks and Kruhl threw her arms up to shield her face.

The vehicle lurched into daylight, swerved sideways, and just avoided slamming into a vehicle Teressa told her, after their first meeting, was called a police car. She clutched at the handle on the door, gaze fixed on Teressa.

“Oh hell,” Teressa cursed again her eyes staring out the windshield growing wider by the second. She raised both hands, palms out and fingers up, misty ink fading into the daylight. Kruhl followed the other’s gaze. A tall man bearing one of the fire-sticks was standing before the car, weapon trained on the other woman.

Kruhl was not the type to surrender, if she could help it, but even a proud warrior such as her recognized a helpless situation when she saw one. She scowled, then mimed the other woman’s pose. She narrowed her eyes, watching as the man approached picturing herself snapping his neck, but remained motionless. The police clan had won for now.

Putrid emerald energy crackled against the azure dome that Amy had summoned. The agent gritted her teeth, panting against the effort of holding her shield. She’d had no opportunity to practice using her new powers, but they seemed to respond when she needed them, even if she didn’t quite understand how. It was a marked contrast to Sapphira’s struggle to control the same powerset, but one which she could live with… if she stayed conscious.

Amelia’s shield rippled and the sickly green illumination brightened, spreading out and sizzling with such intensity, Amy’s eyes ached. She averted her gaze, tears cascading down her cheek, and held on. Perhaps Sapphira who was more experienced might know how to retaliate with the shield still up, but it was taking all of her concentration just to hold it against the mysterious attacker.

Her strength ebbed and she fell to her knees, her shield wobbling and contorting. She moaned, clenching her eyes shut and focus all her will on holding the barrier. She only needed a little more time…

As if on queue, an explosive crash of shattering wood and shrieking metal sounded from nearby. That would be Teressa and Kruhl, she thought, a smile touching the corner of her lips.

The pressure on her shield vanished and instead of taking the time to gawk like her assailant and most of the police force, the agent straightened. She rounded on her attacker and sent her shield flying out. It burst into the cloaked figure with enough force to send it tumbling to the pavement and rounded on the nearest of their attackers. She threw a hand out a wave of telekinetic force, rippling out, and three officers soared away, landing in a tangled heap.

She took the briefest of seconds, soaking in every detail she could. Kruhl and Teressa had crashed through the house’s garage door in the Yomato Diadem the former had stolen during their escape from the mental hospital, but the vehicle had only just cleared the exit. A ring of police cars blocked their path out.

All eyes turned toward her and she grated her teeth, already erecting a wall of shimmering azure energy as a new barrage of bullets came hurtling across the lawn toward her.

Time was not on her side. Already her body had begun to weaken and her vision began to fade. She fought it, teeth gritted.

Not now.

She redirected her efforts, diving behind a flowerbed with a raised stone wall and dropped the shield. She may not be able to save herself, but she’d be damned if she was going to let them get ahold of Kruhl and Teressa. Instead of attacking, she reached out and pushed the first squad car blocking the Diadem’s path. The vehicle lurched back, bursting through a small white picket fence that separated the driveway from the neighbor’s property.

Her vision dimmed and she clenched her jaw, fighting back the darkness, gunfire spattering into the stones all around her. She hurtled the second squad car away, moving on to the third and final one. It lurched into the street and Amy found herself on her knees.

The agent gasped, willing a shield to form around her, but it quivered and dissolved into the air with a soft sizzle. She felt a sharp prick on her neck, and snapped a hand up, finger clasping a short metallic tube with a fuzzy tip. She pulled it free, holding the tranquilizer dart in front of her face before peering back at her assailant. Chief Avery stood in the distance, tranquilizer gun clasped in her hands, scowling.

The agent fell the rest of the way to the ground, face-planting into the soil, fingers clawing at the ground in a futile escape attempt. She peered up, eyes focused on a cloud of inky haze that had oozed its way over the yard, the last thing she heard as her awareness faded into unconsciousness was the sound of screeching tires.

The girl stood back, pulling several strands of blonde hair away from her soft delicate features, her eyes wide as a pair of officers lifted the inert form of a tall dark-haired woman into the back of a squad car. She turned away, sinking her teeth into her lower lip.

“Amy,” she whispered the name, as a cold quiver shot down her back.

The agent was bound… and odder gagged. How and why had Amelia run afoul of the police? She was working with them. They were the ones who’d requested help from AEGIS. The mission files were very clear on that point. Why then had they detained her? It made no sense.

It all had something to do with the woman in black, the girl glanced at her, another shiver running down her spine. When the girl first laid eyes on her, she’d done a double take. The woman looked like she’d walked out of the set of some sword and sorcery movie. She wore a long cloak and its cowl was pulled back to reveal a youthful face framed by a shock of lengthy black hair. An emerald-topped staff was clenched in her arms, and, if the energy readings from the RPR module were any sign, she was packing a lot of astral energy. The girl didn’t quite understand what that meant, but she knew enough to be wary.

Though the cloaked woman seemed out of place amidst all the officers, she moved through the throng with an air of authority. She stopped a few yards from the car where they’d imprisoned Amelia and planted her staff in the ground. An older middle-aged woman in a police uniform rushed up to her and curtsied, like some peasant maiden supplicating themselves to their liege lord.

The girl frowned. Things were getting stranger by the moment.

She considered making a rescue attempt, but shut down such a fleeting ludicrous notion with a firm set of her jaw and a violent shake of her head. Even with the full RPR, she didn’t like her chances. Whatever power the robed woman had at her command, she was not one with whom the girl wanted to cross on her own. Making her first test run with the new gear, while tempting, would be stupid beyond belief.

Amelia was being help captive, but at least she was still alive. With the agent in police custody, finding her would be an easy enough effort. It would be a better course of action to bide her time, gather information, perhaps find a few allies and form a plan.

She stroked her chin, studying the home around which the police cars were clustered. She regarded the fragments of the garage door and pursed her lips. The hole was more or less car-sized. Given that, and the tire marks on the lawn, she guessed someone had left in quite the hurry. A potential ally, perhaps? If so, why had they left Amelia behind?

Bullet holes peppered portions of a white picket fence dividing the home from the neighboring house and portions of the exterior wall of the first. She didn’t know much about firearms, but the RPR had identified the weapons carried by the police as AR-90 Automatic Rifles. Military hardware of the sort far too sophisticated for any street cop, least of all for a backwater town like Tondzaosha. It was… concerning.

She dropped her hand and considered her options. Whoever had fled the scene probably had the answers she needed, but she didn’t have the foggiest idea how to track them down. She needed help, and with the information Director Malcolm had provided, she thought she might know where to find it.

With slow, careful movements, Ashley Harris turned away from the crime scene, and slipped the RPR module from her pocket, calling up the information she needed. With quick, yet furtive steps she moved away, heart hammering in her chest. God, this would be a pain in the ass, but it was the least she could do for Amy.

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 9 Pt 3


Official Report
1328 Maryzell Ln
Tondzaosha, Idaho

Kruhl lay on her side, bedsheets draped over her bare form, hand clasped over her privates. After they finished their lovemaking, a sense of contentment flooded over her and she lay awash in the sensation.

Back home, she’d taken the virginity of many females, but experiencing it from the other end was something different altogether. Sex as a male was more of a throbbing, pulsating pleasure centered in one place. As a woman those elements were there, but a simple touch in the right place would send ripples of tingling ecstasy rippling through her body. She never imagined it would be so… all encompassing.

Her lady parts were aflame, throbbing with a dull ache, but also an emptiness. She was incomplete after the experience, as if she would never be whole until she again allowed Teressa to penetrate her. She trembled, an icy shiver racking her body.

Her hand slipped free of her privates and she held it in front of her eye, rubbing the blood between the flats of her fingers. Though their lovemaking had painful, it was not at all unpleasant. Teressa had deflowered her, or, as the other girl put it, she’d popped her cherry. It was a euphanism, she’d understood without explanation. 

Kruhl found herself thinking of the other woman’s unique anatomy. She’d long heard tales of individuals who were both male and female, possessing the form of a woman, but the private parts of a man. At the time, such stories seemed far-fetched and the once-king discounted them. Now, it seemed, her thinking might need some revision. She possessed no understanding of hormones and had never heard the term transgender. Other than the whisperings of fellow Assar, Kruhl possessed no frame of reference for such an anomaly.

She rolled over, regarding Teressa between cracked eyelids. The other woman bore a sleepy smile and her eyes had drooped closed. Kruhl leaned forward, pecking her on the lips and a broad smile stretched across her mouth as she studied Teressa.

She was slender and tall and bore small pert breasts and shoulders that seemed just a little too wide for her frame, but that wasn’t so unusual even for human females. Kruhl detected no outward signs that Teressa possessed so unusual of a form. 

“What?” Teressa asked with a loud yawn, a smile of her own cracking her lips.

Kruhl eyed her a moment longer before speaking. “How?”

Though the question was simple, it carried a depth of meaning that the younger Van Den Broeke understood at once. Teressa cupped her face and closed her eyelids. 

“I’m transgender,” she said, hands sliding away. Kruhl blinked, but did not respond and Teressa released a lengthy breath, pressing her lips together.

“I used to be a boy, but I always felt like I should have been a girl. About three years ago, I stopped living in denial and admitted the truth to myself. A while after that, I began my transition. Er…  that is to say, I started living as a girl full time and began taking a medicine of a sort that helped me develop a more feminine figure.” 

Teressa’s explanation was simplistic, and didn’t convey as much meaning as she would have preferred, but it was a subject the former Assar knew nothing about. Terms like ‘assigned male’ were likely a little beyond the other’s grasp. It seemed easier, for the time being, to keep it simple. 

Kruhl nodded, her mind reeling at the implications of what the other said. If such a medicine existed to make men more feminine, might there not be one to produce the opposite effect for women? Before she had a chance to inquire further, the door burst open and the other Van den Broeke hurtled into the room, a wild, wide-eyed expression marking her features.

Amelia’s eyes took in the lovers, and she quickly averted her gaze. 

“We, uh, need to get out of here. I think we may be in danger.” She licked her lips, a slight, almost undetectable tremor in her voice revealing her discomfort.

“What, why?” Teressa asked, sitting bolt upright, careful to keep the blanket pressed over her naked breasts.

“This may sound a bit paranoid, but I haven’t been able to contact AEGIS since we came here. At first I thought there was something wrong with the phone line, but a laptop just burnt up on me. I can’t shake the feeling that someone or something is trying to prevent me from getting help.”

No one spoke for several long minutes, and then almost as if on cue, the sound of car tires screeching and a long succession of car doors slamming shut broke the silence.

Any pretense of modesty flew out the window as Teressa flung the bedding off her unclothed form and collected her stray bits of discarded clothing scattered about. 

Kruhl looked around, eyes gleaming with confusion. She did not understand what the sounds signified, but she was no fool and picked up on the sense of urgency from the other women. She sprang from the bed on all-fours and scurried around in search of her own clothing.

Under ordinary circumstances, Amelia would have retreated from the scene, but when faced with danger, things like modesty were a luxury with which she could not afford to adhere.

Amelia reached for her gun, but remembered that she’d used up all her ammunition and dropped her hand. She moved along the outside of the room, avoiding making eye contact with either woman, and pulled the corner of the drapes open, careful to do so with slow, smooth movements so those without would be less likely to catch sight of her.

Police cars ringed the house, and dozens of officers knelt behind their vehicles, weapons in hand.

She sucked air in through her teeth, cursed under her breath, and slipped the drapes closed before returning her attention to the other two women who were in various states of dress.

As an investigator, she did not believe in coincidence. It seemed unlikely that the police’s arrival was unrelated to her latest attempt at contacting AEGIS. If their enemy disconnected the phones and destroyed the laptop, why wait to attack? They could have struck at any time. 

She was unable to shake the feeling of wrongness encompassing this entire situation and try as she might, there didn’t seem to be a reasonable explanation for any of it. Something more was happening than met the eye and it made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. What was she missing?

She balled both fists. The agent would not stand by and let their enemies control the situation. Something needed to be done. She turned to face her younger sibling, mind already made up. “Once you finished getting dressed, get to the car, I’ll keep them occupied. 

She slipped out through the door before either woman could issue an objection. Teressa and Kruhl met each other’s gazes, then rushed to the doorway at the same moment, but the elder Van den Broeke had already disappeared down the hallway. The creak of the front door sounded in the distance, dispelling whatever thoughts they had of chasing after Amelia. 

Teressa turned her wide-eyes on Kruhl and gulped. They were running out of time.

Amy stood, hands clenched at her side, staring down at the sea of squad cars, police officers, and the automatic weapons which they bore. Though a shiver of fear worked its way down her spine, anger soon supplanted it. She grated her teeth and fought back the fire burning deep inside of her. 

Carter Rathdrum, a father, a husband, and, above all, a good man had died by their hands. Worse, even if Amelia survived this mess, it was unlikely she would be able to tell his family how he’d died. She would not let his selfless act be for nothing.

These were police officers, men and womaen who had taken oaths to uphold the law and defend the innocent. They had already gunned down the mental hospital and the roadside along their escape path. She doubted they’d have any reservations about shooting up the neighborhood.

How many more people had they harmed with their blatant disregard of the laws they’d sworn to uphold? 

The revelation that they may be under the influence of Odalrik, did little to temper her rage. How could they have let it get so bad? None drew Amy’s more ire than their leader. The Avery she had known was a person of integrity with a rigid, unbending sense of duty and responsibility. What had changed? How had Odalrik compromised her? 

Gunfire rang out. Amelia threw her arm up to shield her face, but it was just a reflex. She was ready for what followed. Bullets whizzed through the air, and stopped motionless, suspended as if on wires. Amy gritted her teeth, waving her arm, sending the projectiles slamming into the ground with a series of soft thuds.

“Gwyneth Avery!” She called out the Chief’s name at the top of her lungs, but if the other woman was present, she did not show herself.

Instead, a tall figure in a flowing black robe stepped forward to meet her challenge. Its cowl concealed its face, but Amelia just made out the tip of a thin delicate chin. It walked hunched over in a lurching gait, pulling a long wooden staff, its tip grating across the pavement. Atop it was affixed an emerald gem that pulsated with fetid green light. 

The figure stood upright, planting its staff into the soil and turned its shrouded head upon Amy. She strained her eyes, hoping to glimpse the face that lurked beneath the cloth, but she could see nothing of its features save for a glint of noxious illumination glimmering in its eyes. The stranger tilted the staff forward, and a beam of putrid green light shot out, straight toward the agent. She had only seconds to prepare herself before the attack landing home.

Honey Bunny: An Easter Tale

Author's Note

This tale is set in the same story universe as both of my Santa Babe stories, but can be read as a standalone. Like those stories it is a bit more graphic and fetishy than my usual stuff. This time around, the story features Anthropomorphic rabbits, basically Easter Bunnies who transform (more or less) into humans. It also contains very light female domination.

“Jack.” Peter rolled his eyes, speaking with a forced almost condescending tone, a fat hand motioning with a broad sweeping gesture. “I get where you’re coming from, I really do, but children these days don’t care about this stuff.” The other rabbit lifted the egg from the display stand, fingering it idly, a frown, or a close approximation of one, creasing his short snout and tossed it into the waste bin beside his desk.

I leaned back in my seat and rocked my head back and forth, fighting hard to keep my anger from showing on my face. Egg-painting had become something of a lost art among the bunnies of the Spring Valley Warren. It was a tragedy we’d been so quick to discard our traditions to appease the humans.

My father would be hanging his head in shame if he were alive to see Peter, his chosen successor, disregard our people’s ancient customs with such callous indifference. It was too bad I’d been so uninterested in succeeding my father in my youth. Perhaps things would be different if I had followed in his footsteps like he wanted me to.

“I realize your dad was into this stuff and I understand you want to honor him, but we’re in the business of bringing happiness and joy to all the children of this region. That is particularly important with this pandemic that is spreading all over the world.”

I folded my arms across my chest and sighed.

We were just one conclave of Easter bunnies. Though we possessed a modicum of magic, it wasn’t quite on the scale of our Christmas counterpart, the Santa Claus. We couldn’t freeze time, or travel at rocket speeds. Instead, we traversed The Burrows, a system of magical tunnels capable of transporting us substantial distances in a fraction of time. It was one thing to send a bunny from Germany to Bavaria, it was another matter to send one clear across the Atlantic Ocean.

When the Easter traditions spread to the Americas, our brothers and sisters in Europe became overwhelmed by the demands for their services. So our ancestors founded new warrens, each with their own ‘Easter Bunny’ calling the shots and overseeing the operations of the entire warren. Though humans couldn’t distinguish the difference between a helper bunny and our exalted leader, in our case Peter, no rabbit of the warren would dare refer to themselves as The Easter Bunny, we were mere helpers.

“Look, would you just drop this shit and get back to work? Easter is less than a week away and we have a deadline to meet.” Peter adjusted his reading glasses and returned his attention to the stack of papers on his desk. In his mind, he’d already dismissed me. I supposed I should be thankful. Most times he yelled at me. Compared to our previous encounters, this one was downright friendly.

I rose to my feet, collecting the display stand and my basket of eggs, then retreated from the office, head hanging between my shoulders. This was not my first attempt at trying to revive our people’s egg-painting traditions, and it had been no less successful than the previous ones. This time, I had taken months learning and honing my skills, hoping that a demonstration might sway Peter better than words had, but as usual he’d been more interested in deadlines and paperwork.

I cursed myself and retreated home. My work shift would begin in less than an hour and if I wasn’t on the factory floor, there would be hell to pay. The other rabbit was a stickler for tardiness and I still needed to complete a few tasks at home.

Work was sure to be hell, I doubt I’d heard the last from Peter. Even on the best days, he bullied and demeaned me. I was, after all, his favorite target.

“Hey Jack,” a sweet feminine voice spoke out of the fog of my funk and my head jerked up, eyes focusing to find a familiar face staring back at me.

“Hey Esther,” I glanced up at her, a long plaintive sigh escaping my mouth.

Esther worked for the Inter-warren Postal Service, and my place was the last on her route, so I frequently ran into her on the way home from work.

“Bad day on the production line?” Esther asked, hand grappling inside of her mail bag.

That was an understatement, Peter had been on my ass from the moment I stepped out on the floor. He’d gotten me so self-conscious I’d gotten the mixture wrong on one of the machines and ruined an entire batch of chocolates. Peter had erupted in a fit of rage, humiliating me in front of the entire factory floor. I was lucky he hadn’t fired me on the spot, but then he would have lost his favorite little punching bag. Instead, he docked my pay and put me at the top of the overtime list for the next three weeks.

I peered around, realizing that I was just a few doors down from my place. I’d been pretty much on autopilot since the fiasco at work, and my walk home through the tunnels had been no exception. My eyes settled on each of the brightly decorated holes, festooned with the bright pastel colors of Easter, and sighed when my eyes fell on my home. Caught up with my egg painting I’d neglected decorating my place which, I doubt, would win me friends with any of my neighbors.

“Uh,” I scratched my neck, doing my best to avoid making eye contact with Esther.

“Oh, God,” she groaned. “Don’t tell me you went to Peter about the eggs, again.”

“Guilty,” I grimaced, dropping both my hands and cupping my face.

She sighed and reached out to pull my hands away from my face. “Okay, tell you what. Why don’t I come over tonight? I can cook you a nice homemade meal and we can have a long chat and I’ll help you forget all about it.” A coy smile spread over her muzzle and she raised a single eyebrow as her fingers traced over my chest.

I froze, mouth agape, and stood there like a jack ass. Esther was a friend, a good one, but I’d never considered her to be anything else. I never thought of her that way, even if I had, I doubt I would have worked up the nerve to ask her out.

She raised an open palm, tilted my chin up, forced my mouth closed and smiled. “Well?”

“Uh, yeah sure,” I replied letting loose a nervous little chuckle.

“Great!” She beamed. “I’ll be over say, eight?”

I nodded, still trying to process what had just happened. She turned to leave, then turned back, reaching inside of her bag. “Hey, you don’t mind saving me a few steps and taking your mail now do you?

I nodded, smacking my lips. My mouth seemed just a little dry. She slipped my mail into my hands and leaned in to peck me on the cheeks. She didn’t say another word, but winked at me and started walking away. I watched her depart, her nice hips swaying as she walked. I swallowed, and started back toward my place, numb to everything but the memory of her lips on my cheek.

Not until I got back home did I realize I was holding a christmas-red package about eight-inches long, about half as wide and deep and pretty damned hefty. I set the envelopes down on the counter and eyed the package, examining the flowing script on the tag.

Samson, I mused, eying the box. A few years back, the Santa Claus and Samson, one of his helper elves, paid a visit to our little burrow on a diplomatic visit, and the old man had spent most of the trip in an out of the way drinking hole on the other side of the warren, blind stinking drunk. I’d had the unfortunate privilege of spending his entire trip babysitting the miserable old bastard.

The only plus side was I’d gotten to know Samson and he seemed like a pretty stand-up guy. We’d corresponded when possible and gotten to be friends. It had been a while since I’d heard from the wry little elf, but it appeared he’d at last gotten around to answering my last letter.

The return label was written in a flourishing script I recognized as the elf’s, but oddly he’d signed it Sammie Twinklebottom instead of Samson, and it looked a little more bubbly and feminine then I remembered. Still, I didn’t think much of it at the time, my thoughts still on Esther.

I plopped the box atop the counter, pulled the ribbon and tape off and popped it open to reveal two liquid-filled bottles nestled within. The fluid inside the first of the odd rectangular containers was baby blue and the other, a soft powder-pink. Though I didn’t take time to read the letter in the sealed envelope wedged between the pair of bottles, I had a good idea what they contained.

Knowing Samson, I guessed it to be some kind of liqueur, the elves loved their spirits and they liked them sweet. During Santa’s first day at the bar, Samson spent twenty minutes complaining about the old man’s alcoholism while sneaking sips of something sweet smelling from his flask. He was an odd fellow to be sure, but I’d enjoyed his company.

The trouble was his taste in beverages, were just a tad sweet for my tastes and considering I devoted most of my days to filling chocolates into molds that said something. I pulled the bottles from the box, and slipped them inside the cupboard, retrieved the envelope with Samson’s letter and tossed the box into the garbage pail which was heaped so high, the package just tumbled to the ground.

I winced, peering around at my pig sty of a kitchen. A mixed assortment of cooking and egg-painting implements covered most of the counter space and about half of the tabletop and the sink was so full of dirty dishes I’d pretty much given up on using the faucet for the foreseeable future. I couldn’t tell you the last time I’d swept or done the dishes, but it had been at least a month. Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me.

I sighed, shaking my head. Already forming a plan. My mental checklist of chores supplanted thoughts of the package and it slipped from my mind.

I didn’t read the note until much later and by then it was too late. As much as I enjoyed the cranky elf’s letters, Samson tended to be a bit of a windbag. If I knew then what I know now, things would have turned out a fair bit different.

I retreated to my room, dropping the letter on my night stand, and retrieved a spare set of clothes, tossed them into the bathroom and got to work cleaning. I’d need to hurry if I were to get everything cleaned and still have time for a shower.

“Hey.” Esther stood in the doorway, paper sack clutched in both hands. I stared, jaw going slack. She wore a rather simple skirt and blouse combination. The entire time I’d known her, which had been most of my life, I hadn’t once seen her wear anything so feminine. Though it was simple, it looked good on her, and hugged her curves in interesting ways.

“Jack? You gonna ask me in?” She leaned forward, glancing through the doorway.

“Uh, yeah, yeah,” I mumbled stepping back and motioned forward with an exaggerated sweeping gesture. “Come in.”

I forced a smile and she pressed her lips together, slipping past me and dropped the bag onto the counter. She turned back to me, pulling a strand of snowy-white hair from her eyes and collecting it behind her ears. “Listen, Jack, I know I sort of threw you through a loop today. I wanted you to know that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. You’re the only guy who’s ever treated me right, and this whole time you’ve been right there. I-I just thought maybe…”

She trailed off, all wide-eyed uncertainty. I nodded, and moved up beside her, slipping both hands over either of her shoulders. “I-I was a little flustered, I admit, but ever since you invited yourself over, all I’ve been able to think about is you. It’s funny how something can stare you right in the eyes, and it takes a proverbial slap in the face before you finally notice.”

She smiled and nodded, leaning in for a kiss. This time, it was more than a simple peck and lasted seconds, but boy did it leave me wanting more. She cleared her throat and pulled away. “Uh, well, I guess I should get started.”

I nodded, biting my lip so hard I tasted blood and watched her get to work. Esther was pretty, in a girl-next-door kind of way, but a far cry from what most bunnies would consider beautiful. Her figure was too round, her snow-white fur a bit too dull, and her ears always seemed to tilt at an odd angle. That being said, I’d never found a female more attractive in my life. She had such energy, a girlish vitality that had never faded as she aged, though she was now a few months shy of thirty. She was kind, generous and open-minded, and I added, she had great legs and not to mention a nice set of cans. It felt odd thinking about her that way, but once I started looking, I couldn’t unsee it nor did I want to.

“So, um I don’t know what you had planned for drinks, but that package that came today had something I thought maybe you’d enjoy.” I moved to the cupboard where I’d left the bottles sent by Samson and slipped a hand inside blindly grabbing one from within the cupboard. Esther turned away, now rifling through her bag, and I glanced down at the bottle of pink fluid clutched in my hands. I felt a pang of disappointment, but I suppose it was for the best. Despite being a notorious tomboy, she always went for the girliest drinks.

She swung back toward me, a bundle of carrots and greens clenched in either hand, gave me an appraising look, then stuck her chin out toward the bottle.

“All I had time to grab was some Carrot Schnapps. So, yeah, we can try it. Might be interesting, why don’t you pop it open. It might help us loosen up a bit.”

The words seem innocuous enough, but she spoke them with a sensuous, husky quality to her voice that gave the statement a whole different meaning. I swallowed, fixing a hand over the stopper and pulled, almost hitting myself in the face with the back of my hand when it came loose.

She slipped her hand around the bottle, and I released my hold, allowing her to take it. She brought it up to her nose, taking a good long whiff before locking her lips around it, threw her head back and took a good long gulp.

When she at last dropped the bottle from her lips, wiping them clean with the back of her arm, she held it out to me. I swallowed, harder this time, and took it from her hands. I mimed her earlier motions, sniffing the concoction, and stopped pursing my lips.

Aside from the strong scent of alcohol which burned my nostrils, it was if someone had taken everything soft and feminine and bottled it as a liquid, it was flowery and fruity and sugary, but there was something more to it which I couldn’t identify. When I smelled it, I thought of a beautiful sex-goddess of a woman, breasts heaving as she drew in breath and hips swaying with each step. My heart pounded in my rib cage and I hesitated. Something was weird about the whole situation. I don’t think Samson would send me anything poisonous, but it raised the hackles on my neck. I started to set the bottle back down, but then I locked gazes with Esther. She arched an eyebrow and cocked a smile as if to say, ‘Oh, come on, stop being so silly.’

I exhaled, then brought the bottle to my mouth,chugged it until my throat burned and slapped it on the countertop. It was everything I expected, sweet, fruity and every bit as strong as whiskey.

Esther hunched over, and I lurched toward her. A wave of dizziness washed over me and braced I myself against the counter before I could reach her.

She fell forward, hands thrown up at the last moment, fur now falling from her skin in patches.

Oh god. What was going on?

I scrambled forward, still spinning, but leveraged myself and dropped to my knees beside her. She peered up, and my breath caught in my throat. Not a single shred of hair remained on her face. She groaned as the skin around her muzzle rippled and contorted. I reached out, but a loud crack reverberated through my wrist and I cradled it against my chest, raw hot pain pulsating up and down my arm.

I threw my right arm out, tearing the sleeve of my shirt up my arm, in time to see chunks of brown fur fall away in clumps. It was no coincidence that it was happening to me too. That strange concoction must be to blame. I shuddered, a pit forming in my stomach, thinking back to the feminine aromas that had emanated from the drink.

Flesh bubbled and stretched, reshaping wherever the fur fell away. The bones in my hand popped, my palm becoming a little less rounded, my fingers thinned out and lengthened. Claws crunched, spreading out, flattening to become fingernails. My shoulder popped and I dropped my hand. I hunched over, howling in pain, my insides roiling. I wanted to scream, but the best I manage between stabs of pain was a soft miserable moan.

My chest tingled and I brought my hands up, the transformed one looking quite dainty and very human, the other was unchanged, but a quick look at Esther told me all I needed to know. She peered back at me with a human face, panting between a set of pouty lips, breasts heaving with each breath.

A sickening crack sounded inside my ribs and I tore the front of my blouse open. I watched with wide-eyes as two mounds rose from my now hairless flesh. I shuddered, panting and heaving, groaning with each pop that sounded through my insides.

I clenched my eyes shut, too terrified to watch the remaining changes, but while I didn’t see them, I felt the bones snap and reforming inside of me. My other shoulder crunched, and my eyelids flew back open as I gasped for breath. When my hips changed, they each snapped with such force it vibrated through my whole body.

The tissue of my left arm continued to mold and reshape, but I managed to fling my right hand between my legs, feeling for familiar contours through the crotch and legs of my jeans. My manhood remained intact, but I doubted that it would stick around for much longer. I traced my fingers along my hips and waistline. The former seemed so huge! It seemed so out of place. The latter felt so narrow, so dainty, I could have easily wrapped one arm around it before my transformation.

Then it came, a sharp jab of pain and a pulling sensation in my nether region. My hand slipped inside my pants and shot into my crotch like a bullet. My fingers wrapped around my dick in time for it to slither away inside my fingers. My balls contorted and reformed, molding like putty in some invisible hand. I clawed at the flesh, a futile and irrational attempt at preventing the change. Within a few seconds my testicles squeezed into my skin, reshaping into a smooth hairless vagina.

I fell back, panting for air and stared up at the ceiling, tears rolling down my cheeks. It wasn’t only from the pain I wept, but for the loss of my masculinity and my bunnanity. My transformation continued unabated, hair falling away on my legs and feet, flesh twisting, knees popping and inverting and my spine creaking and reshaping.

Then it started, a trickle in my throat, followed by a burning. I took a breath, but could not exhale. The flesh of my neck oozed around, merging and reforming, and I flailed about, my lungs burning from the lack of oxygen intake. Darkness crept into the edges of my vision and a strange calm came over me. Then air flooded back into my lungs and I jerked upright, both hands clasped over my throat.

A high feminine wail escaped my lips, and I sat there panting, sharp pain shooting up and down my face. Esther knelt beside me, her human face peering at me, her quivering bunny ears her only recognizable features save that they were now pink. A shock of short white hair was all that remained of her once luxurious coat.

There was a pressure in my face, as cracks and pops reverberated through my skull, and my muzzle slurped away retracting until it was flat. There was a strange plumping sensation and my lips took on more human proportions. A creak sounded from my face, when a human nose wiggled its way into place. The last few changes settled in, a strange burning in my eyes, followed by tufts of hair cascading from my scalp with an explosion of itches and tingles, and the pain faded into a dull throb, before, at last, disappearing.

I sat there and leaned back against the kitchen island, gasping and panting for breath. Esther studied me, her new countenance an expressionless mask. Her eyes were another story. They were wide with mixed confusion, shock, concern and something I couldn’t quite identify. She pursed her plump lips together, a hand reaching out to cup one of my naked breasts.

“God,” she moaned and leaned in, her lips brushing mine.

Then I understood. Something stirred inside me, a wild unyielding need, a sexual desire so strong and so pervasive all I could do was give in to it. I leaned forward, pressing my lips into hers, locking them into an open-mouthed kiss. When two bunnies kissed, they just pressed the ends of their muzzles together. Their mouths weren’t pliable enough for anything else, but our new human lips were capable of so much more.

Esther moaned, both hands now kneading my breasts, her body throbbing against mine. My lips worked their way down her neck, and my hands unclasped the buttons of her blouse. A flurry of hair, trapped inside during her transformation, fluttered away, and I got my first look at her chest, human or otherwise. God, they looked glorious.

I kissed her nipples, and she moaned in pleasure. Her hands reached for my waistband and the button came away. She peeled the fabric away, which was stretched tight across my widened hips, and after repeating the process with my boxers, my new pussy lay exposed to the air. She grinned from ear to ear and slid her index and middle fingers inside the crevice. I gasped, a low stifled groan emanating from my mouth and I shuddered from pure orgasmic pleasure.

Our love making continued, unabated, for what seemed like hours. I experienced more orgasms in that one night then I’d had at any point prior. I didn’t care that Samson’s drink had transformed me or that I’d, more or less, become a member of a different species. All that mattered was the sex, and it was spectacular.

When at last we separated, I laid on the ground, eyes closed, a smile touching my lips. Not once in my almost thirty years had I experienced pleasure so all-encompassing, so overpowering I couldn’t stop myself.

It didn’t matter, I had become a walking wet dream for the hordes of human males who lived on the surface. I yearned for more, yearned to make love to Esther again, and… to have a big fat cock hammer into my tight pussy. Even so, I was curious about the strange beverage that had prompted our transformation and that is what won out.

I opened my eyes and sat up, a soft moan escaping from my lips. I stretched my arms, my large pert breasts jiggling on my chest. It was an unusual, but not unwelcome sensation. I stood, locking eyes with Esther for the first time since we’d finished fucking each other.

She did not speak, but watched me, keen interest reflected in her eyes. I padded across the floor, my bare human feet slapping against the hard ceramic tiles. Over the course of our lovemaking, we’d disrobed one another and scattered bits of our clothing about the kitchen.

I sauntered over to the cabinet, a slight shiver working its way down my spine as I let my hips sway. I retrieved the bottle of blue fluid and set it next to the pink one.

“So,” I said, my voice light and airy, and so very feminine. “If the pink one does this,” I motioned down at my wondrous knew hourglass figure. “I betcha the blue one does all sorts of interesting things.”

I shivered at the prospect. Though I had no intention of trying it out myself, there were plenty of other bunnies who might be persuaded to give it a go. I imagined Peter transformed, his big hard cock pulsating inside of me, his muscled frame throbbing against my soft feminine body and I moaned, licking my lips.

That was assuming the blue drink wasn’t intended for something else. I thought back to Samson’s letter, the almost feminine quality of his writing and the fact that he’d scrawled Sammie on the package. What she must look like, so dainty and small.

I stopped long enough to tell Esther I’d be back with something I hoped would explain everything and slipped out of the kitchen. Making my way up the stairway and into my bedroom, I retrieved the letter from my end stand. When I turned to leave, I caught my reflection from the corner of my eye and stopped to study my new features. My new face was oval-shaped and framed by a shock of messy dark, almost black hair, a nice petite little nose and a smile that would have most men and a few women eating out of my hands. Good god, I was gorgeous. As I had only ever seen a handful of humans face to face, I had difficulty pegging my physical age, but the firmness of my breasts and the softness of my skin suggested I was on the younger side, perhaps in my early twenties.

I slid a hand over my locks to straiten them, but gave it up. The mirror was a small decorative piece my mother had hung years before her death. It was now level with my face, meaning I’d lost a good three or four inches in height. I brushed my hands through my hair along the side of my head, where human ears would be, but I found nothing save for soft velvety skin and hair. I tilted my head down trying to get a better look up top and furrowed my eyebrows, my ears were pink like Esther’s.

Absently fingering my ears, I studied my reflection a few moments longer and withdrew from the room. Sliding a hand down my back as I walked, I was oddly comforted to discover I still had my fluffy little bunny tail.

I found Esther waiting in the front room, sprawled naked upon the couch, flipping through an old book as if it were the most normal thing in the world. When she turned to meet my gaze, I stopped, studying her pink ears, a near match to mine, perched atop her snow-white crown.

It was difficult to tell, since she was sitting down, but she looked about the same height as before. Her form however, had changed in almost every way, her breasts were larger even than mine, but not so large they seemed disproportionate, her hips were only a little narrower than my own, and I thought, perhaps, her and I were about the same age.

I smiled, shivering at the memory of fucking her, and took a seat beside her. She leaned in close, her breasts pressed against my side and I released a contented sigh. I experienced none of the nervous anticipation from before. All of that had disappeared the moment I’d changed. I felt a confidence I’d never possessed before.

I caressed my lips with my tongue and clasped the envelope in my lap, tracing the wax seal with my finger-tip. Only an elf would be so old fashioned. So adorable… It was almost a shame to open it, but curiosity won out. I tore it open, slicing through it with the tip of my fingernail.

I removed the papers, back folded them, and flipped through them. There were more than a dozen individual papers, each filled back and front. Like I said, Samson tended to be a motor-mouth. About half way through the stack, a photograph fluttered out, landing on the coffee table. I reached out, flipped it face up and found myself looking at a rather provocative image of two beautiful ladies posing naked. A tall gorgeous brunette with bright blue eyes, hips that made me want to salivate and round large breasts, clutched at the form of a smaller woman with strawberry-blonde locks, elvish ears and a killer figure. I dropped the photo, bit my lips and mustered all my willpower in order to return my attention to Samson’s letter instead of fingering myself.

The first three and a half pages was a letter detailing Saint Nicholas’s accidental ingestion of something called the Aphrodite Potion, Samson’s resulting exposure and their subsequent efforts to spread as much of the strange brew through the North Pole, including an interesting situation with the Elvish Council of Elders. Towards the end of the letter Sammie mentioned the Adonis Formula, the blue beverage in the box, was a prototype potion designed to invoke a more masculine transformation.

She ended the letter, with well wishes and was hopeful that I would find the enclosed photo a titillating example of what the Aphrodite formula was capable of doing. She then remarked that I should give it a try for myself, it had sparked a “renewed passion “for life and that perhaps it could do the same for me.

I shivered again at the prospects now laid out before me, and turned to Esther detailing everything to my lover, grinning from ear to end, imagining Nikki and Sammie fucking my brains out. I might have found Sammie’s letter alarming had I not experienced the transformative effect for myself, but knowing what I did it was all I could do to contain my excitement.

Sammie gave me everything I’d need in the letter, the formula for both potions, tips for brewing, dosages, everything for which a sexy bunny girl could ask. I learned another interesting tidbit that produced a giggle of excitement. When the Adonis formula was combined with its counterpart, it made for some very… interesting results.

I pressed my lips together, a plan beginning to formulate in my mind.

“So, is it permanent?” Esther asked, and I stopped staring back at the other woman, surprised by the question, my mind already a thousand miles away.

“Uh, yeah,” I said offering her a reassuring smile and rifled through the pages until I, again, found the section detailing dosages. “Apparently, the bottle we drank out of contains a concentrated formula. It varies by body weight and metabolism, but if these numbers are correct. I’d say we drank several times over the recommended dose, so I don’t think there’s any chance of reverting.”

She released a long breath of air, and I grinned at her, licked my lips and shared with her my plan. With any luck, I could have my cake and eat it too.

It was late, into the early hours of the morning, most of the populace was asleep or at least making a stab at it. It was dark in the warren, but it was always dark. We lived underground. During daytime hours, smokeless torches, kept alight by magic unfathomable to humans, rimmed the corridors, but they only provided a modicum of illumination. At this late hour, only a handful remained lit.

It was fortunate, then, that Esther and I had retained such excellent night vision. I doubted human eyes would have provided us with clear enough sight to find our way. Our town was small in human terms, spanning just under a square mile, and Peter’s home wasn’t all that far from mine, anyway.

Peter had dedicated himself to his work, spending long hours away from home, and had never gotten married. He lived alone, which suited our purposes just fine.

I paused just out of range of the porch light and again pondered what we were about to do. Esther would never have gone along with my plan before her transformation and I wouldn’t have come up with such a harebrained solution were I not being influenced by my new libido. The disconcerting part was I didn’t find it the least bit disturbing, knowing that I planned to change someone else’s life just for my own gain. I should have, and that scared me, but not enough to keep me from going through with the plan.

I licked my lips, just the thought of what we were about to do producing a shiver of excitement. My lady parts quivered in anticipation.

I glanced back at Esther, who watched me with nervous anticipation. She wore a pair of my sweats and a dark long-sleeve shirt, and a similar ensemble adorned my frame. Neither one of us had clothes that fit us particularly well, and after discussing my plans we’d decided that we needed to act before word of our transformations spread through the warren. We’d grabbed what we could find in my rather sparse wardrobe which would fit over our new frames.

I motioned her forward and crept toward Peter’s home. We weren’t worried about getting in, no door within the warren had locks. Our prime concern was being seen. There weren’t many bunnies up this late, but you could never be too cautious.

We were inside in moments, and without delay made our way through the house, creeping on bare feet. Esther found his room, waving me inside with hurried motions. I stepped inside and barely managed to stifle a giggle. Peter, though fast asleep, had a massive erection.

It must be a sign, I told myself, reaching into my pocket and produced a small tube of violet fluid, a diluted mixture of the two potions. I knelt beside his bed, unstoppered the potion and popped the open end into his mouth. I tilted his head back, forced his mouth closed, and massaged his throat.

Peter came awake with a start, sitting bolt upright, coughing and wheezing, but I’d done my job. Other than a few droplets, none of the potion came back up.

“What the hell? Who are you? What’s going on here?” Peter glanced between the two of us, eyes wide as saucers, speaking between coughs.

“Oh, Peter,” I said a soft gentle tone to my voice, much like a mother soothing a child. “You’ll understand very soon.”

“Look human, I don’t know what you think you’re doing in my ho–” He never finished the sentence. A gurgle sounded from his throat, and he hunched over, clutching at it.

He took a nose dive, and I barely caught him before he face-planted, but I managed. My arms and back burned from the effort. Somehow I pulled him back on to the bed and collapsed atop it beside him, gasping and heaving. I hadn’t realized how much strength I’d lost from my transformation, and I lay there, experiencing the slightest pang of regret.

I shook my head, craning my neck down at my melons and smiled. The odd brief moment of loss evaporated away. My loss of strength was a small price to pay in exchange for the carnal delights my new body offered.

A soft feminine moan sounded from Peter’s lips and I pulled myself back up, determined not to miss any more. A slender and quite lovely furless neck, far too small to support his large head, had taken up residency upon his shoulders.

Fur dropped from his face in swathes, and the skin beneath bubbled and contorted, reshaping and smoothing out. Bones cracked in his face, his snout retracting in on itself. A blood-curdling scream escaped his mouth as his new face snapped into place. Smooth almost milky-white skin now covered a soft delicate almost doll-like face which was framed by silken honey-blonde hair. Instead of turning pink like mine, his ears shifted to a lovely violet shade. Pouty lips and a tiny button nose complemented his wide doe-eyes and generous eyelashes quite well.

I didn’t yet know just how much height Peter would lose, but if the size of his dainty little head were any sign, he would be quite the petite little thing. I shivered in anticipation.

Peter lay there, panting like a dog and I unbuttoned the front of his pajama shirt as his shoulders snapped and cracked, matte grey fur fluttered away as if carried off on a wind, soft milky human skin took its place. His shoulders narrowed, and the transformation trickled down his arms and chest. A loud crack and a crunch sounded from within his limbs and chest, fat collected beneath his nipples and soon a pair of beautiful round breasts swelled out from his flesh.

He cried out, howling in misery, and arched his back, the contours of his spine snapping into a new alignment. Each crack and pop produced a fresh change. His waistline shrank down, and his hips did too. Legs and feet shortened to match, and soon a tiny little slip of a woman sat bolt upright, frantically pulling at her pajama bottoms.

My hands shot out to help, but she swatted them away with a frantic sweep of her arm. When the last of her clothes came free, she gasped and stared down between her legs. Though she had the usual female parts, she still had a cock.

On a male Peter’s former size, it would have been above average. On her new tiny frame, it appeared massive. She grasped hold of it, her second hand slipping up her chest to knead a breast. The fear and panic that had marked her features before, faded away and a slow dreamy smile stretched across her face. She fell onto her back, and I crawled over to her, kissing Peter’s soft feminine lips. Her raging hard-on pressed into my hip, and I pulled away, hands reaching for the waist of my sweats.

Though Peter’s transformation was temporary, I full intended to give her a fully test-drive. Once I’d disrobed, I wasted no time, working my lips up and down her soft, feminine form. Esther joined in, pressing her breasts into my back, hands pushed into my breasts. Though we’d fucked each other silly a few hours before, we were ready for more.

Peter had always been the leader of the pack, always the dominate male, even when we were children. It was my turn to dominate her, and she yielded like wax to the flame. When I permitted her to penetrate my cunt, there was no doubt who was in charge. I rode on top.

Things turned out pretty much how I planned them. After our first night together Peter was like clay, so easy to mold and shape. Though she reverted to her old form a few hours after her transformation, she hadn’t been the same old Peter. When we made love, she’d let me take the reins. There was a clear shift in power and we both knew it.

The first time she reverted, the dear thing begged me on her hands and knees to change her again, and I relented the very next night. I needed her to be Peter during the day, but at night, so long as she behaved, she was my little toy. Though the transformation was agonizing, she seemed more than happy to undergo it if there was even the slightest chance Esther and I would provide her with the sweet pleasures of the flesh. When she asked me for a new name, I knew she was firmly in my web, and so she became my little Honey Bunny, and I her mistress.

Esther, of course, was mainly along for the ride and was happy to do anything I asked her in bed. In her I found the partner I’d so long desired. Honey was just my plaything, but with Esther our connection wasn’t just physical, I cared for her even loved her.

‘Peter’ covered for my disappearance, saying that she’d sent me on a special errand. No one questioned it. She was, after all, the Easter Bunny. Esther was another story, she was not employed in the factory and thus Peter could not speak for her. No one knew of our burgeoning romance, but we’d long been close and all it had taken was a few whispers here or there. According to the stories, Esther left with me, having at last admitted her true feelings. There were other rumors too, ones of a darker nature, but no one stepped forward with concrete proof and they left the matter hanging.

A few days after Easter, the first transformations took place. We’d been pretty random about who we picked and were careful not to drug any children. At first there was panic and finger-pointing, but as the changes continued night after night, and little by little attitudes shifted. Though many tried, none determined a cause. A few fled the warren in fear, but even interference from the other warrens did little to slow the onslaught of transformations. Soon, with the help of a select few unwitting dupes, we disseminated the potions to the other warrens.

We even began making our own formula from scratch. Roughly half of those we transformed were given the Aphrodite formula, an eighth the Adonis, and the rest what we dubbed the Hermaphroditus formula, the same mix that I’d given Honey.

I enjoyed riding the cock of a big hunk of a man as much as the next girl, but males had a lot of silly ideas. I should know I used to be one. It was best to keep them in the minority so us ladies might have a turn at the wheel. Those transformed by the Hermaphroditus formula weren’t a problem. Something about their transformations made them so pliable, they did pretty much anything we told them.

Before long, those who’d been changed outnumbered those who had not and as I hoped, the females were the ones who filled the power vacuum. By then everyone knew the truth, but those that were transformed didn’t care and the rest had given up hope of things ever returning to normal.

Jack was all but a bad memory, I’d become a vibrant, confident, and sexy woman, I took a name that fit the new me. Briana, it made me feel sexy as hell and I think it fit pretty well. Esther also adopted a new moniker. She confessed to me, she’d never really liked Esther much to begin with and since we’d already changed so much why keep such a ghastly name? Etta seemed to fit her just fine.

That was when I made my return to public life, with Esther in tow, revealing that I had been behind the entire thing. There had been so very many thankful bunnies that there was a campaign to name me the new Easter Bunny. I hadn’t asked for it, but who was I to argue with the will of the people? I at last permitted Peter to become Honey full time and other than the rampant sex, and the tide of transformed bunnies, everything returned to normal, save for one little thing.

My first act as Easter Bunny was to put a new emphasis on hand-painted eggs. There was still a place for the mass-produced candy-filled ones that had supplanted their more traditional counterparts, but by next Easter I intended that every human household receive at least one hand-painted egg, more if we could manage.

I never yelled at my workers, and I gave them encouragement wherever possible. I couldn’t say if that had anything to do with it, or if it was the increased stamina from the potions, but productivity went up more than twenty-five percent.

Etta, Honey, and I moved in together. Instead of working with me Honey pursued a new career as a seamstress, she displayed an aptitude for it that surprised us all. It was just as well. There was a real clothing shortage with the wave of transformations and no one wanted to wear their drab old outfits, anyway.

Etta helped manage the factory, and during lunch breaks we made time for each other, which is to say we fucked like the bunny rabbits we’d once been, and Honey, always eager to join in the fun often showed up to participate in our escapades. At first, she was just our little play thing, but over time she showed a great deal of remorse for the way she’d treated me, and I, in turn, for manipulating her. Without quite knowing how, we found a place for her in our hearts. The three of us married the next spring.

I don’t know if my father would approve, but I tried to honor him in whatever way I could. It was a shame he hadn’t lived to see me at last embrace the responsibility he’d wanted for me all along.

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 9 Pt 2


Official Report
1328 Maryzell Ln
Tondzaosha, Idaho

“All right so I got you—” The voice spoke out of nowhere and Kruhl started, jerking her hand out of her privates, and cheeks burning scarlet, as her eyes turned to meet Teressa’s gaze.

Teressa, a bundle of clothes in hand, mouth slack and eyes wide. “I, uh, I mean I didn’t mean to intrude, I just thought—”

“It’s fine!” Kruhl blurted out, hands snaking up her chest and cupped her breasts in a belayed attempt at modesty. “Just leave it I-I—”

Teressa dropped the clothes on the vanity and bolted out the door, slamming it shut behind her. Kruhl swallowed in a fruitless attempt to rid herself of the lump in her throat and glanced down at her soap covered breasts. She was so engrossed in pleasuring herself, she’d forgotten all about Teressa.

The interruption left her feeling like a pit had formed inside of her and she saw no way to fill it. Before her transformation, such an interruption would have killed the mood. She couldn’t say if it was because she was female or human, but either way it made her squirm.

There was a genuine need for her to continue, but she stopped herself. Instead, she recovered the cloth from between her legs where she dropped it during her explorations and resumed washing herself.

When finished, she hung the cloth along the edge of the tub and cupped both hands together against her lips. She shivered, allowing herself to imagine Teressa kissing her breasts.

She drew in her breath and dipped below the water to wet her hair, gasping for breath as she emerged. She wiped the excess water from her face and gathered all the loose strands of hair dangling in front of her eyes and collected them behind her ears.

With shaking hands, she reached for the bottle of shampoo, Teressa explained the differences between body wash and shampoo, but the once-king considered the distinction strange. Soap was soap.

Still, as she recalled the others instructions, she imagined the other woman’s naked body heaving against her own, her lips moving their way up and down her neck. She swallowed hard, the bulge wedged in her gullet still refusing to go away, and again studied the bottle.

Like the body wash, it was labeled ‘Swan’, and was Lavender scented, but this time it purported to be both a Shampoo and Conditioner, whatever that meant, and claimed to be formulated for normal to dry hair. Kruhl sighed, dumping some into her hand and rubbed it into her scalp.

She worked her way through her tangled locks. A vain attempt at clearing one of the hair mats, only succeeded in producing a sharp jolt of pain and a yelp. Clenching her jaw shut, Kruhl gave up, instead focusing on cleaning. When she finished, she pulled the stopper from the drain and climbed out, retrieving the towel from the counter.

She unfolded the fabric and paused, fingering it, surprised that it would be so soft and light. Teressa led her to believe that these so-called towels were used for drying oneself off, and after at last examining the long piece of fabric she understood why. Back home, she had access to the finest materials and used any number of fabrics to dry herself, but this towel did the job much better. Then again, she now possessed less hair than before.

She tossed the towel aside and reecovered the clothes from atop the vanity.  She retrieved the shirt, a simple pink one-piece garment with an image of a strange character wearing a red dress with white dots and a tied-up bit of material upon its head. It bore rounded ears and had a short muzzle and exaggerated nose. Its features were rodent-like, but beyond that she could not guess what sort of creature it might be.

Even Kruhl, who’d never laid eyes on such attire, understood at once that it was intended for females. She crinkled her nose, before emitting a low growl, and pulled it up over her head and down over her breast. It fit snug in the chest, but not so tight as to constrict her breathing.

Next came the panties. Undergarments were not a new concept to her. Back at home she often wore a loincloth beneath her tunic or skirt, but the pink bit of fabric with heart-shapes on them were more feminine than her usual fair. Even the clothing they provided for her at the mental hospital had been less of an affront to her masculinity.

The skirt was the most tolerable part of the ensemble, at least in Kruhl’s eyes. Trousers were in their infancy among her people and used only by those who rode horseback. Loose-fitting skirts provided a flexibility of movement that slacks would never match, and as a battle-hardened warrior that was the most important factor of all.

Even so, she barely fit the skirt over her hips. It was designed for a child and Kruhl, while small, possessed the figure of a full-grown woman. Once she pulled it past her wide child-bearing hips, the garment fit her well enough, but as she looked upon her reflection, she saw nothing of herself looking back at her. It chilled her to the bone.

The mirror… she mused regarding the massive fixture which took up half of the wall. She’d never seen its like. Her people possessed mirrors, but their artisans crafted them of polished metals, and even the best only provided a muddy clarity.

She clenched her eyes shut and turned away with clenched teeth. Tears burned her eyes and she cursed the mirror’s creators before releasing a lengthy breath of air. She paused long enough to pull her water-logged hair from inside her shirt and slipped out of the bathroom where Teressa waited for her.

“I, uh, sorry, I didn’t think you would be well, you know…” Teressa kneaded one hand into the back of her neck, offering an apologetic smile and peered down at the former king.

“I would just as soon not discuss it.” Kruhl frowned, folding her arms over her chest.

Teressa nodded,  snaked a hand out and clasped her fingers around a lock of the other’s hair. “You want to get started?”

Kruhl grimaced, gaped at the other, and nodded. She doubted she would enjoy what followed, but understood that it was necessary. With a lengthy sigh, she followed the younger Van den Broeke down the corridor and toward what was certain to be a less than pleasant experience.

The razor buzzed along the side of Kruhl’s head and she closed her eyelids as the device ate her hair. It hummed against her scalp, vibrating so strongly it resonated in her eye sockets. She was not fond of the experience, but after seeing what the machine did, she understood its value at once.

Kruhl’s hair was such a mess, Teressa informed her, that she would have a much easier time if she cut it short. She’d given Kruhl the news as if she were a commander informing her she’d just lost an important battle. Kruhl didn’t see it as quite so devastating, but were it her glorious Assar mane being whittled away by the razor, she might have been singing a different tune.

Teressa knew her way around the razor, Kruhl could see that just by observing her, but the other seemed to think it necessary she explain that she once made a living as something called a hair dresser. Kruhl didn’t ask for specifics. She did not wish to get hair in her mouth again, but she pieced together that Teressa must have cut hair for a living. It seemed an odd vocation, but it didn’t surprise Kruhl. Little of this world made much sense.

As the other worked, Kruhl watched, lips pressed shut. She was going stir crazy, not just because she was stuck in place, but for other reasons.

Her nipples were hard and a glance down confirmed what she’d already suspected. They were showing through her shirt. She chomped down on her lower-lip, heart racing in her chest. She wanted, no needed, a release. Sex! The object of her desires was mere inches away, all she need do was lean forward and…

By Thun! Her face burned in shame. The once-mighty Kruhl, reduced to lusting after a human woman. Her father would have wept that she’d sunk so low, and the realization did her no good. She wanted nothing more than to leap from her seat and mount Teressa. Gods! When would it end?

And as if the gods had answered, the razor clicked off. Kruhl jerked her head, glancing over her shoulder. A tuft of hair fell over Kruhl’s left eye as she studied the hair stylist who stood, arms folded across her chest, razor in hand and her lips pressed in a thoughtful expression.

“I think that should do it.” Teressa planted both hands on her hip, then turned her back to Kruhl. The once-king swallowed, reaching a hand up to collect the stray hair and tuck it back into place.

“I thought we agreed you would cut my hair short.” Kruhl glowered, letting out a slight growl.

“I did,” Teressa replied, turning to Kruhl with a square-shaped object, perhaps two dorn long on each side, clutched in her hands. “Have a look.”

She held it out to Kruhl, and she hesitated only a few seconds before snatching it out of her outstretched hand, only realizing it was a hand mirror after she took it from the other woman.

Kruhl placed the mirror in her lap, handle out, and stared down to take a better look. The girl, whose face she despised, peered up at her. Teressa had shaved most of the left side down almost to nubs, and Kruhl traced her hand over it, the wound from her battle with Reesha and her minions was now visible, the black stitching sticking out from it. The cut had scabbed over, but it would be some time before it finished healing. She thought it a tribute to Teressa’s skill that Kruhl experienced almost no pain when the razor passed over it.

The rest of her hair wasn’t so short. Those locks were perhaps a dorn and a half, or about eight inches long. Teressa combed her bangs to the right, and Kruhl frowned, turning her head to get a better view. She expected something closer to the close-shorn cuts sported by the Angols, but this somehow looked more feminine. Still, she didn’t dislike it. Before she looked like a timid creature, the haircut made her countenance seem more… fierce.

“Well?” Teressa asked, leaning forward, her breasts pressing into Kruhl’s back.

This only reignited Kruhl’s arousal, and instead of answering, she at last launched herself toward the other, her lips locking around her mouth.

At first, Teressa resisted and pulled away, but then Kruhl pressed harder and the other woman melted into the former king’s arms, returning the kiss.

The next thing Kruhl knew, she was spread eagle atop the bed, Teressa’s lithe body mounted atop hers. Kruhl didn’t recall whether it had been she who had pulled the other atop her, or if Teressa had pushed her onto the soft fabric bedspread, but she didn’t care.

She closed her eyes, allowing the younger Van den Broeke sister to pull the fabric of the once-king’s shirt up and kiss her nipples. Kruhl shivered, hands reaching up to kneed the other’s breasts. She didn’t remember removing her skirt or panties, but soon a hard throbbing shaft thrust into her cunt. She trembled, knowing it at once for what it was. She didn’t understand why Teressa had one, but the once-king didn’t care. It felt too good. She shrieked in pleasure, not caring who heard. At last, she’d found her release.

The computer flicked and the screen fizzed out, smoke rising out of the base, and Amelia leaned back, running both hands through her hair. She wasn’t the paranoid type, but this was her third attempt at getting in touch with AEGIS since coming to the house, and each time something had gone wrong.

When she tried to make a call using the house’s landline, the phone went dead after the first ring and repeated efforts to make additional calls had turned out the same. The first time she attempted to access the AEGIS secure servers,  the computer had shut down without warning and now this…

Someone was trying very hard to keep her from getting in contact with her superiors. Which could only mean one thing…

She jerked to her feet and took off running for the bedrooms. If she was right, she needed to warn the others before it was too late…

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 9 Pt 1


Official Report
1328 Maryzell Ln
Tondzaosha, Idaho

Kruhl fell face first into the bed, her tears dripping upon the sheets. Another universe… The thought sent an icy chill down her spine. She assumed Reesha had sent her to another realm, a strange one to be sure, but if what the agent said was true, it changed everything. The realms all existed within the same universe, separate but not so separate they existed within different universes. 

What hope had she of returning to Erda, her home world, if Van den Broeke was right? The prospect of spending a lifetime trapped in her tiny new body was almost more than she could bear. She was Kruhl son of Wurdan, King of the Eridon, and the bearer of Waldere, she knew it with every fiber of her being, but it amounted to nothing. She had no kingdom to rule over, and no strength with which to fight her enemies. By the Nether Realm! Would she even be able to lift Waldere?

She squinted at the window and considered leaving. Perhaps, if she found Waldere, she would be able to make use of its magic. She knew nothing of this world, or how to transverse its many roads. Another, bigger problem was finding and retrieving the sword. If these police were indeed seeking her out, it would be an act of sheer insanity to walk into their base of operations to take it back.

A knock sounded from the door. Kruhl pushed herself up and turned to peer at it. She did not speak up, or move to answer, but remained frozen in place. Doors were commonplace on her own world, and a knock, unsurprising, carried the same meaning. Still, she didn’t feel much like company. She turned away, but caught movement out of the corner of her eyes.

Teressa stood in the now open doorway holding a long black object with a rope dangling from its end.

“Oh, I’m—” she stopped taking in Kruhl and frowned. “Were you crying?”

“Leave me be.” Kruhl growled under her breath, turning away from the intruder.

“Look I understand that things are looking rough, but—” She started toward Kruhl again, but stopped when the once-king turned his luminescent orbs on her.

“You know nothing about me.” She said between gritted teeth. “Don’t think your empty platitudes will offer me any solace.”

“Fair enough,” Teressa released a sigh and turned away, stopping inside the doorway and again held up the strange contraption. “I just thought you’d like a haircut.”

“Haircut?” Kruhl cocked her head, peering at Teressa with a frown.

“Maybe you haven’t noticed, but that mop of yours is a matted mess.” Teressa but a hand on her hip and stared across the room at the other.

“My mop?” Kruhl reached up to run a hand through her locks and yelped when one of her fingers caught. “You mean my hair?”

Teressa nodded, folding her arms across her chest. “I mean, unless you like it that way?”

Kruhl pressed her teeth into her lower lip and shook her head. “I’ve been pre-occupied.”

Kruhl had been so caught up in events she had taken little time to make note of her locks or worry about hygiene. Not that she’d had a lot of choice, she’d been tied down and locked in a room for most of her visit to this world and her captors hadn’t exactly taken the time to provide grooming implements.

She had been quite fastidious about grooming herself back on Erda and brushing her magnificent mane had been part of her daily routine. While hair atop her head was not foreign to her, the way her human locks dropped behind her shoulders and hung limp across her back was distracting. 

Teressa sauntered toward her and reached out, twisting one of Kruhl’s stray locks between two fingers. She crinkled her nose and pulled away. “First though, you’ll need of a shower. You’re smelling pretty ripe.”

“Shower?” Kruhl sneered. “Do I look like Rema swine to you?”

“Uh, oookay, what about a bath?” She frowned, eyes wide.

“That… would be acceptable,” Kruhl replied with a grimace and shake of her head. 

“Come on,” Teressa motioned at the other and Kruhl followed, heart thumping in her chest. As the other woman led her out of the room, all Kruhl could think about was the interesting way in which her hips swayed as she walked.

“Let me know if it’s too hot.” Teressa craned her neck around and peered up at the once-king. 

Kruhl kneeled down at the edge of the tub and peered inside, watching tendrils of steam snake up into the air and disappear. “It’s hot, how is this possible?”

“There’s a thing called a water heater that collects water and keeps it warm for later use,” Teressa replied.

The once-kings mind whirled, trying to imagine the mechanics that would make such a thing possible, but was unable to fathom it. On Erda, the only way to get a hot bath was to heat the water in a kettle or travel to a hot spring. Such a method was beyond anything she would have ever imagined.

Kruhl had seldom bothered with such a luxury, but Gylda, her betrothed, had insisted she take one every day. Kruhl scowled, remembering the long line of servants bringing pot after pot through Wurdanhom just to satiate the mercurial princess. Had he known she would betray him, he would have never indulged her, but it was less agonizing than contending with another of her tantrums.

“So, uh, you’re pretty petite, but the people who own this place have a daughter, I’ll see of I can find something for you to wear in her things. Why don’t you get started while I’m gone?” Teressa stopped jerking her head toward the tub, eyes seeming to linger on Kruhl’s chest. She coughed, licked her lips and turned her back to her companion. “I’ll check back in on you in a few minutes.”

Kruhl watched her depart, then peered down at the pair of lumps on her chest and swallowed. She glanced up at the window on the other end of the room. Though the opening was small, she thought she could squeeze through it and be gone before she got back. Again, reason won out and she put such thoughts ouf of her mind.

She  pulled her blouse over her head, grimacing when it caught on her breasts causing them to wobble as the fabric came away. She threw the shirt over her shoulder, not even watching it land before loosening the trousers about her waist and pulled them down to her feet.

Kruhl stopped standing over the bathtub and tested the water with a toe before at last easing herself into the hot water. She planted her posterior against the rear of the tub and leaned back, just letting the heat soak into her. Her breasts floated on the water and she averted her gaze, doing her best to ignore the strange sensation.

She could count on one paw the number of times she remembered taking a warm bath, all but one had been when she was still a cub. The once-king had forgotten just how relaxing it was.  She closed her eyes, just letting her thoughts drift away.

Several long moments passed and Kruhl’s eyes snapped open, reaching out to retrieve the strange bottle of soap Teressa had called body wash. The container was smooth to the touch and she clutched it in her hands, brows furrowed. She pressed into it, discovering that it was pliable, and turned it over. What sort of material was this?

The front identified the contents of the bottle as Swan Calming Lavender Field Scented Nourishing Body Wash. Kruhl tilted her head, biting her lips. Did that mean the body wash was made from Swans and Lavender? Why would anyone make soap from a swan?

She locked her fingers around the lid and attempted to yank it open, but it would not come loose. What a strange container, she thought, again turning the bottle over in her hand, this time from top to bottom. The top of the lid was a darker shade of violet from the rest of the container. Kruhl frowned and pressed her finger into it, gratified to discover that the top flipped open. 

“How strange,” Kruhl muttered, squeezing the bottle’s middle, watching thick light-purple fluid ooze out of the new opening. 

When she brought the bottle up to her nose, taking a big whiff. If it contained swan meat, she didn’t smell it. No, the only scent that she made out was lavender. 

Why then did the bottle say swan? Perhaps the artisan who made it was named Swan. 

She regarded the bottle for a little longer, then retrieved the wash towel left for her by Teressa, dunked it in the water and then wiped the soap off the side with the cloth.

Kruhl did not possess the same social biases as a person of this world. She did not regard flowery soaps and perfumes as girly, but she found them wasteful. The Angols, who considered themselves more civilized, were inclined to dabble in such frivolities, but her people made do with simpler soaps composed of animal fats and ashes.

With a long drawn-out sigh, she raised the cloth to her breasts and scrubbed the dirt away. She was not prepared for the sensations that arose from such a simple act and bit her bottom lip, barely stifling a moan and thoughts of Teressa doing interesting things sprang to mind. When the next wail escaped her lips, she did not muffle it.

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 8 Pt 3

Official Report
1328 Maryzell Ln
Tondzaosha, Idaho

Agent Van den Broeke frowned, eying the laptop screen, thrumming her hand against the tabletop. She’d searched the web far and wide, and there nothing about what happened at the mental hospital. Odd, damned odd. There was no mention of Kruhl, herself or Teressa anywhere on the web or the local newscasts.

She didn’t know what to make of it, she’d assumed their enemies would plaster their images all over the news. Why then hadn’t they? If this Odalrik was so powerful, why wasn’t he making use of that power and throwing everything he could at them? He must have some reason to keep the incident quiet.

She’d long since discarded her smartphone, knowing how easy they were to track. What if this alleged sorcerer had another means of finding them? She shivered at the thought and bit her lip. The agent reflected on Kruhl’s description of her encounters with the strange hooded figure. Like the once-king she considered it odd the specter of Odalrik, if it was indeed him, would demand Kruhl tell him where the sword was, if it was already seized by those in his thrall.

Either he had some motivation to deceive Kruhl, or there was another party involved. She gritted her teeth. If there was someone else mucking about in this mess, it would only spell trouble for the rest of them.

There was another oddity. She’d made two unsuccessful attempts at contacting AEGIS, in hopes of bringing in reinforcements, and both times had been unsuccessful. She didn’t know if she was being paranoid or not, but it was definitely cause for concern.

“What is AEGIS, Ameliavandenbroeke?” Kruhl’s voice spoke out of the darkness and Amelia turned to regard her tiny frame.

“Amelia van den Broeke,” Amy said, pausing between each part of her name.

Kruhl blinked, and a feral smile crept across her delicate face. “Very well, Amelia van den Broeke, what is AEGIS?”

“The Agency for Exemplar Governance, Investigation, and Security,” she replied. “It’s an arm of the government that assists individuals with special abilities to learn their powers and protect ordinary people from those who misuse them.”

“So then, you are a teacher and a soldier?” Kruhl asked, cocking her head, golden eyes widening.

“Not exactly,” Amy shook her head. “I’m no teacher. You might say those who help others to use their powers are, but I’m closer to a soldier. I protect others and seek those who would do them harm and bring them to justice.”

Kruhl bit her lip, seeming to contemplate what the agent said, then nodded and pulled up a seat beside her. “This device,” she nodded toward the laptop and leaned in peering at the keys and then up at the screen. “How does it work? Why does that rectangle glow like that?”

“That’s not a question I’m qualified to—”

“These characters!” Kruhl exclaimed, sweeping her hands across the keyboard, fingers jabbing at Amy until she slipped hers away. “The order is wrong, but it’s the Angol alphabet.”

“The English alphabet,” Amy corrected, sliding the computer out of the others reach. “And they’re out of order by design.”

“English.” Kruhl tested the word on her lips. She remained quiet, eyes fixed on the keys before shaking her head and glanced up at the agent. “Does it not seem strange to you we speak the same language?”

Amy pressed her lips together and nodded. “The thought had crossed my mind, but I’ve been a little more concerned about staying alive. There was an ancient group of peoples, in our own history, who called themselves the Angles. They occupied what is now modern England. I wonder… do your people have maps?”

Kruhl’s eyes peered up at her, and she nodded. “My father had one commissioned of Eirdon, Angol and much of the lands across the ocean to the South and East. It is one of the most extensive in all the lands. It hangs on the wall of my bedchamber.”

“How well do you know it?” Amy asked.

“I burned it into my mind. I need only close my eyes and I can see it as clearly as if I were looking upon that glowing rectangle.” Kruhl gestured at the laptop.

Amy nodded, keyboard clacking, as her fingers zoomed across its surface. When she finished, she turned the screen toward Kruhl. “Look familiar?”

Kruhl leaned close, studying the features of the map laid out before her, taking it all in. “It is,” she said, lips parted in a scowl. “But the names and borders are all wrong. This island here is Eirdon.” She paused, pressing her finger against the screen at Ireland.”

Her finger slid down the map, stopping over an area that read ‘France’. “The upper part of this kingdom should be Nustra and down here we would have Quitar, Gascol and Septa. Over here, her finger strayed to the east and then north. “There is Burgne, and Austere, Sveba, Sa—”

She stopped peering up at the agent blinking as realization dawned on her. “This map is not of my world, is it? It’s of yours.”

Amy met her gaze and dipped her chin up and down. “A region we call Europe.”

Kruhl did not answer, but instead studied the map, frowning. A few seconds passed before she turned back to the agent and sank her teeth into her lower lip. “How could our realms be so similar?”

“Well, I’m no expert on the matter, but our scientists have theories concerning alternate or parallel universes. It’s possible you are from a reality very like our own.”

Kruhl regarded her, a long sigh escaping her lips. “Your words are strange. Are you suggesting I come from a different version of this universe?”

Amelia nodded. “More or less.”

“If that is true, I do not like the odds of ever returning home.” Kruhl hunched over, looking into her open palms. “Which means I may very well spend the remainder of my life in this body.”

Tears splattered her cheeks and her hands shook. “There are no Assar on this world. Did Reesha know this when she sent me here?”

Her lips trembling, she spoke, each word interjected by a sob. “Would you help me with something?”

Amelia regarded her out of the corner of her eyes before nodding.

“Will you come up with a name for me?” Kruhl asked turning her golden eyes upon the other woman. “If I am to live amongst you, it would seem appropriate that I have one of your names.”

“I’ll give it some consideration.”

Kruhl rose to her feet, leaned in and kissed the agent on the cheek before disappearing down the hallway.

Amelia watched her go, folding her arms across her chest and let loose a breath. Even knowing what she did of Kruhl and how she had treated her former subjects, she couldn’t help but feel sorry for the once-king, but try as she might she couldn’t think of a single way she might help her.

With a shake of her head, she closed the laptop down, returning it to the shelf where she’d found it and trailed Kruhl down the hall thinking to console her. When she got to her door and raised her fist, she froze.

She lowered her hand and stared at the door, lips pressed together. Maybe something different was necessary. She turned away and moved down the corridor. Teressa was better at this sort of thing.

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