Being a crab was nice and all, but I’m just glad to be back in something more normal. And getting away from New Shanghai was an added bonus. Though, I think I was so engrossed in counting my arms, that I didn’t listen to anything our new handler said. Something about spiders or whatever. Though he got my attention when he told me I’d be on a leash for the duration of our stay on Luna. A metaphorical leash I guess, I don’t think they’ve made real leashes in decades. In fact…what’s a leash? All I know is it’s a fun word to say. Leash. Leash. LEASH! leashleashleash.
Anyhoo, they made me get this tattoo so outsiders would think I’m someone’s pet. It is most assuredly less fun being property when I don’t have all the money and fame. All that space cocaine. Mmmmmm, Space cocaine.
Oh my, I think I’ve gotten off track again…We’re told to lay low until firewall calls us, and everyone immediately disperses. I suggested against it, in case someone needed medical treatment. For some reason they seemed to run away faster after that. Probably my imagination. But I was left with the other uplift, the Parrot whose name I haven’t taken the time to learn (slightly less cute than before as well) and that Hermes guy. Somehow he seems like even more of a dick in a casemorph.
Suddenly as I’m walking, my arms stop responding, and they start taking me in the other direction. Kanko tells me Firewall gave me a morph with a puppet sock in it, and someone is using it to control me. I end up at this expensive nightclub, and who should I find there, but my old friend Vlad. And if I wasn’t positive that I was standing on Luna, I’d have assumed he ate it. He fancies himself a Baron now. I don’t know over what Barony he presides, but I’m certain it’s not recognized by the planetary consortium.
Anyway, Vlad’s all “blah blah blah! I’m a big tool! Doctor Tentacles, I’m intimidated by your medical skill and raw sexual prowess, so I’m gonna compensate by making you do stuff for me. First, I want you to perform the same brilliant psychosurgery you did on me, on this beautiful lady.”
And I’m all like “eh, yeah whatevs.” and I do it. So of course she gets hungry and tries to eat everything.
Then Vlad says “Aw man that was so cool! You’re the best Surgeon in the verse! But I still hate you cuz I’m lame like that! I’m gonna make you come back and do more stuff for me!”
So I sign a few autographs for his henchmen on the way out, one of them even asked if he could work for me, but I was all “NO WAY” and shot ink in his face! Another thing Firewall neglected to mention about my new body was the poison gland filled with BTX2. Eh, that guy was annoying anyway.
I suddenly get another call from those militant uplifts I sent the XP of the Cognite facility to. They asked to meet me at the circus, but I suggested meeting on the surface instead.
On the way to the specified airlock, I start to hatch a plan to get back at Vlad. I give my colleague, Dr. Laux, a call. I inquire what it would take to remove the puppet sock. He told me he’d take a look once the Swarm made orbit at Luna (which is conveniently where they’re heading now.)
In addition, I contact Claudia. It’s always wise to be on good terms with Pax Familia when you’re on the run. I figure if anyone can get me the information I need on Vlad, it’ll be her…them…I still haven’t figured out the pronouns for her.
Now the uplifts meet me on the surface and they want me to help them develop a strain of the Ultimate Virus that will exclusively affect humans. I of course turn them down because
if human society is wiped out, and these communist uplifts are in charge, there goes my chances of getting all my money and fame back I took an oath to do no harm!
By the time I return to the earostat, Firewall has called us back to the safehouse. The spider guy comes in and tells us…something. Honestly, I wasn’t really paying attention.