“In comparing your original DNA sample with both the new sample and with Candy’s,” Brie said as she sat down at the tavern with Hailey and Candy, “I can say with 100% certainty that your body is being rewritten at the genetic level. You’re becoming Furran, who also share that common DNA with the rest of us.”
“Could have told you that, Traxians have been mating with Furrans for awhile now.” The woman from before spoke up. She looked to Hailey to be almost human but for some subtle differences that she didn’t notice before.
Her features, especially her face, seemed slightly sharper, not gaunt or unattractive, but more defined, as if a sculpture from one of the Masters was turned to flesh and given life.
Candy put her tail in Hailey’s lap, “Don’t worry, we gave up the whole open sexual thing a very long time ago.” she winked.
“What she means is they don’t fuck anything that moves anymore.” The woman laughed slightly.
Candy motioned to the empty chair. “Please join us,” she said warmly. “Hailey just learned the planet’s turning her into one of us, and she could use a second opinion.” She giggled.
“Sure.” The woman said and got up and sat down. “I literally have nothing against Furrans. I just wish you guys would be less polite when dealing with other species and just be yourselves. My sister in law is Half Furran, so I know how charming you can be.”
Candy laughed. “We’re taught as children that other races find our ways off-putting and to restrain ourselves. I kid you not,” she said, “I was dropped in the middle of a forest island full of trees shaped like penises. I had to fight tooth and claw not to say something.”
“A pussy in a penis forest.” Hailey giggled slightly as she repeated the joke. What was going to be hard was she was becoming a Furran, but a furran that wasn’t taught to control her furran emotions.
The woman laughed. “Proof that the Overseers, whoever they are, have a sense of humor.” She grinned at the pair. “I’m Doctor Elyria Volsh by the way, since I haven’t properly introduced myself yet.”
“I’ve heard of you. I’m Doctor Candy Sharpclaw,” Candy said as she shook Elyria’s hand.
“Ah, the behavioral scientist!” Elyria said brightly. “Naya, my aforementioned sister-in-law talked about you for three straight cycles after attending your lecture on the use of modulated energy to induce calm in anxiety patients.”
“It works every time, too, so far. I’ve successfully treated several patients with it.” Candy said. She wasn't much older than Hailey at all, and yet she had two doctorate degrees.
“You know you reminded me so much of Brie just now,” Hailey giggled. “Like sisters from another mister.”
Candy giggled, “We’re cosmic cousins.” she nodded, “I’ve tried a few of them for hyper anxiety.”
Brie giggled. “An unfortunately common disease though we rarely discuss it with outsiders. I’m glad to hear that some of my people found their way to you though. As intelligent as we may be, we could never find a treatment that didn’t have um... adverse reactions.”
Candy nodded, “Your hearing receptors are almost on par with ours, so I didn’t have to make too many adjustments to my device for them. In a lot of ways we’re two sides of the same coin - with us being playful most of the time.”
“And us being the dour scientists who have to analyze every joke to determine its humorous worth,” Brie nodded, cracking a small grin. “For what it’s worth when I did get them, I did find them extremely funny.”
“Just so we’re clear, though,” Hailey said, “When you talk about modulated... electro... whatsits. You’re not just talking about sending a jolt of electricity into someone’s brain, right?”
“No no, it makes a sound that when tuned to a species hearing, allows them to calm down.” Candy said.
“The former sounds more like it belongs on the ‘adverse reactions’ list,” Elyria chuckled. Brie nodded.
“Yes. Yes it does. It has the desired effect, but also tends to result in other problems ranging from loss of appetite to, in one instance, full blown psychosis. Using aural stimuli never occurred to anyone that I’m aware of. That is quite literally genius.”
“It occurred to me as I was listening to a Sartorian opera actually,” Candy giggled. “I thought, if music can affect one’s mood, there must be a way to harness that power.”
“Speaking of music, this place is too quiet.” Hailey giggled and pulled out her cell phone setting it on the counter and opened her playlist.
Tricia came in, “Not to sound speciest, but we’ve dedicated the new neighborhood that Hailey moved into, Furran. We tend to all live, unless we marry into another species, together. It avoids problems like cross-species allergies.” Candy looked at Hailey for a moment. They both started giggling, and Tricia grinned. “I knew you two would get that.”
“Whenever you want to make a visit to Doctor Brosch for your monitoring of your changes feel free, she’ll be in the lab in the morning.” Tricia said. “Oh, and on a personal note, thanks for bringing some music in here. It’s just not a tavern without it.”
“Do you think we have enough parts to make something like that for the bar?” The Blue skinned fish man, Chuck, asked Tricia. “I’d hate to ask Hailey for her device since it belongs to her.”
“I have detailed scans of it, and less-than-detailed scans of Candy’s earpiece,” Brie said. “That I’ve handed over to the science department. I believe we have a mineral similar enough to silicon that if we could construct a fabiricator, it could replicate it.”
Tricia laughed, “We may have to make a few by hand first. Ladia said it might be years before we get a fabrication machine. But they’re already adapting the technology from our solar panels.”
“I should be able to rig up a speaker system very easily,” Brie replied with a thoughtful smile.
“Oh,” Hailey said as she opened her bag. She took out her old transistor hand crank weather radio and placed it on the table in front of Brie. “You might find this useful too. It’s a crank powered transistor radio, less delicate than silicon.”
Candy giggled at the mention of Crank powered, “You canked my yank.”
“You mean when I yanked your crank?” Hailey answered without even a second thought, and giggled too.
“Things in the Exploration guild are about to get really good.” Rebecca laughed.
“Actually I was wondering about that.” Candy said, “I’m not 100% sure where my skills would come into use for you?”
“They might come in more handy than you think. Some people are extremely frightened when they wake up.” Rebecca stated.
“I was lucky,” Hailey nodded. “I woke up to a beautiful woman pounding on my chest and yelling at me to live,” she giggled.
“Oh! You're like me then? A Rolly?” Candy grinned.
“A Rolly?” Hailey asked.
“A Furran who likes females.” Elyria said. “Though it used to be a slur. It was adapted as a point of pride a couple of generations ago.”
“And now it’s completely normal,” Candy laughed. “It’s amazing how fast people get over things when they become normalized to it.”
“Oh,” Hailey giggled. “The Rolliest.”
“Same here. I think males are attractive in their own way, but I’m not into sharing a bed with them.” Candy nodded.
“Right,” Vanessa said as she walked past with a tall glass of some kind of alcoholic beverage. “So far on my nightmare scale it’s been waking up on a pink planet with a pink catgirl hovering over me, in a penis forest, and she also likes girls, too. If I ever meet these overseers, I’m going to have some strong words for them.” She grinned as she sat down at a nearby table and took a drink.
“Cosmic sense of humor.” Hailey grinned.
“You know, I don’t even mind really,” Candy said. “It’s warm but not too hot, everyone here is wonderful. But I would genuinely love to know why all the same.”
“60 years and I have yet to get an answer.” Tricia laughed. “40 of which I’ve had scientists here to help figure things out. Brie’s data from when Hailey arrived might give us some insight into how, but even that will leave us grasping at straws for decades to come.”
“Great, isn’t it?” Brie giggled. “The eternal pursuit of answers you may never find. Long is the journey that has no clear destination, but fruitful and rewarding if you’ve a mind for it.”
“If that’s not a song lyric yet, it should be,” Candy said.
“I have a limerick,” Hailey said with a giggle. “This little kitty, running so free, lost in the woods, really has to pee.”
Chuck laughed, “Ladies room is right over there.” he pointed to the door.
“Thanks. I’ve been on the move non-stop since I got here, and haven’t had time to go.”
Candy burst out laughing again as Hailey got up. “Can I watch?” she teased.
“Only if you wash,” Hailey shot back, giggling as she ran for the bathroom. A few seconds later there was a really loud Screech from the bathroom. Ella knocked the door, frame and all, right out of the wall and across the room.
“What? What’s wrong?!”
“I have.. A v... and um.. I have fur?” Hailey giggled. “Ouch.” She winced as she pulled some fur off where it was growing on her belly, and slid the stardust blue colored fur under the door of the stall.
“Uh... Exactly where did you pull that from?” Ella asked cautiously.
“Around my lower belly.” Hailey giggled. “But from my V.. to almost my bellybutton I have fur..”
“Okay, just checking,” Ella laughed as she carefully picked up the tuft of fur. She turned around and gave a small yelp. “Sanus’ socks! Brie, don’t sneak up on me,” she laughed. “Here, more data,” she said as she offered the fur tuft to Brie.
“Didn’t Candy say this color of her species was extinct?” Brie asked.
Hailey started laughing again as she came out of the stall. “Because of course they are.”
“What?” Candy asked as she peeked around the shattered door.
“Extinct,” Hailey said, raising her shirt. Candy immediately started to cackle.
“Yup!” she finally managed to giggle out, holding her sides.
“Ohh I get it,” Brie said, starting to laugh now. “She’s the last of her kind, and she doesn’t breed.”
Ella shook her head, “Non breeders - there's very little of us here.”
“You, Hailey, Candy, um...” Brie said, trying to recall.
“Vanessa, and obviously Tricia is, she hits on women all the time.” Ella commented.
Both Candy and Hailey started to laugh again as they made their way back out. Ella gave the bartender a sheepish smile. “I’ll help fix the door.”
“Thanks.” He laughed. “It’s not the first time that doors been busted in however.”
“Maybe a swinging door,” Hailey said while looking at Candy. Candy giggled.
“I knew I liked you the moment I smelled you.” Candy was fighting to keep a straight face, “We’re so going to have to get you outfitted though. Our species has a built in hate for that much clothing.” She pointed out that Hailey was wearing Jeans and a long sleeve shirt.
“I always knew I was a cat person,” Hailey giggled.
A slightly older human walked over, “Actually I was getting ready to head back to my shop. We’re open 24/7 like most things around here.” he said, “All the shops are here in town center, you can’t miss it, big needle and thread sign.”
“Oh,” Brie said, “You’re going to love the local fashion. They have this material that feels like silk, but looks like metal. It’s incredible.” She was letting out her inner fashionista, which hitherto Hailey hadn’t realized even existed.
“Oh did they design your skirt?” Candy asked Brie. “Because it’s wonderful, if a little long for Furran tastes.”
Brie laughed and struck a pose. “That’s what we were going for. Something late summery that would make a Furran flinch, but still feel good in a cool sea breeze,” she teased.
”I bet that was interesting to explain to a furless, what a Furran was.” Candy giggled.
“Imagine a goren - oh, you’ve never heard of a goren,” Ella giggled. “Well imagine a creature about my height covered in fur and adorable ears peeking up above her hair.”
“Nah, the girl that works there spent time on Furra, studying under the masters,” Brie answered. “Lucky for me.”
Hailey giggled. She had an idea of what a Goren looked like, and opened an image of a lynx she had taken on their last bug out camping trip - from the safety of a ranger’s truck. “They look like that right?”
“Hey, just like that!” Candy nodded. “Some have stripes, but the body shape is identical.”
“We call them Lynx on earth, they’re wild cats, and can be very mean.” Hailey said.
“Just like a Furran.” Candy giggled.
“Only if you rub them the wrong way,” Hailey teased. “So um, anyone up for a shopping spree? I kind of want to show off the new assets.”
Candy nearly doubled over laughing. “New assets... I think I love you,” she giggled out. “You’re lucky you weren't born 600 years ago though. We used to have 6 breasts.” she giggled. “We have a lot to thank the Traxians for, according to my sisters.”
“Well they don’t call them sextuple for nothing,” Hailey said with an impish grin as they started out.
“I’ll catch up,” Ella giggled. I want to get this door situation nailed down before the next rain. Oh hell. Now they’ve got me doing it.”
As the human mentioned, the entire shopping district of the colony was lit like they were open. Some people were nocturnal, there was a race of people here that could only be active at night. So they decided when people started coming in, to keep shops open 24/7. There was even a race of people here that didn’t need but an hour of sleep.
Sitting at the counter in one clothing shop was a young woman who, aside from not having any tattoos, could be Vanessa’s sister - pale, wearing a purple tank top and matching short skirt made from the same metallic material, with her very long black hair in twin braids behind her. She parted her black lips, baring her fangs, just long enough to bite into an apple and suck the juice, before taking a full bite into her mouth.
Brie waved as they entered. “Hey Jenna.” She turned to Candy and Hailey, “Jenna’s people are night people, and need very little if no sleep. She hardly gets out in the day time.”
“Good day - or is it night yet?” Jenna laughed softly as she waved. “Oh, new customers, and a Furran! Welcome!”
“Almost night.” Hailey said.
“Ah yes, they're from my cousin race, their Furran.” Brie said. “Well one is becoming Furran anyway.”
“Oh I know Furrans.” Jenna laughed.
“Wow,” Hailey said. “For a second there I was going to ask you what happened to your tattoos.”
“I have wings tattooed on my back.” Jenna laughed.
“Oh,” Hailey giggled. “No disrespect meant. It’s just from a distance you looked just like another new friend who arrived with Candy.”
“Oh really?” Jenna said, “Another Verian here?”
“Well, human...ish,” Hailey giggled. “We call them goths on Earth. She’s really pretty though.”
“We’re all human..ish, sister.” Jenna teased.
Brie giggled. “I knew you’d like each other.”
“So you guys after the latest Furran styles then?” Jenna asked. She was only a year behind the current styles, but so were some Furran anyway.
“Oh,” Candy said as she spotted a very short, metallic pink belt of a skirt. “Would that not look amazing against stardust blue fur? Once it fully comes in, anyway.”
“Stardust blue?” Jenna looked confused, “According to the history books they were killed during your wars centuries ago?”
Candy grinned and nodded, and Hailey lifted her shirt. “These Overseer people had other ideas,” she giggled.
“They tend to.” Jenna nodded. “And I agree that would look good on her.”
“So like,” Hailey asked as she held the skirt against a fur patch, admiring the contrasting colors, “How does the economy work here anyway?”
“You got a job right?” Jenna asked.
“Explorer’s guild,” Hailey nodded.
“Oh wow.” Jenna said, “So what we do, you bring the items to me, I write down what you take, and that’s it.”
“The guild reimburses her in materials, food, luxuries,” Brie explained.
“It would be the same if Chuck came in here.” Jenna said, “From the bar, he provides a service. There is no money.”
“And now I’m going to be picturing him in metallic pink all night,” Candy started giggling. “Quite a nice mental image though.” she paused and looked at Hailey, “What? I said I think males are attractive - just not in my bed.”
Hailey giggled. “I didn’t say a word.”
“Didn’t have to, I think our chemicals are a match because you had that jealous look on your face.” Candy giggled.
“Oh, but don’t worry,” Hailey giggled. “I believe in taking things slow.”
“Me too,” Candy shot back. “I figure we’ll give it two, three days tops before we’re sharing a room.” She grinned.
“2-3 days?” Hailey asked.
Candy laughed as she leaned over and gave Hailey a kiss on her cheek. It felt strange, but not unpleasant, and thankfully nothing like being kissed by a cat. If it did, it might have been the changes that made it not feel like it “I was teasing you. Furrans pick a mate for life. I like you a lot, but we have to be sure, you know?”
“I specialize if you haven't noticed in what the Islanders here call Beachwear. But I like to think of it as Furran-conservative because that is definitely what this style is.” she pointed to a cute really skimpy bikini on the wall.
“I bet you get all kinds of funny looks too,” Candy laughed. “The Verian who never goes to a beach. But I have to say you do amazing work!”
“Actually you’d be surprised.” Jenna laughed. “Thanks. I lived on Furra Prime for 6 years. I studied Furran Fashion under the master Ris’sha.”
“This is why I love coming here,” Brie giggled. “Fashion and music are the only things ‘artistic’ that I’ve ever had any interest in, and to learn from Jenna is practically learning from Master Ris’sha.”
“You know you can get some good shoes over at Ben’s right?” Jenna added.
Candy looked down at her sandals. They literally looked like she had trudged through a penis forest twice. They looked worn and rough. She giggled. “Good because we’re both going to need them.”
Vanessa walked into the shop, at that. She looked wide-eyed for a moment. “Holy shit did I walk into Victoria’s Secret?”
“Nah,” Jenna shot back, “This is conservative Furran. For the skimpy stuff you’ll have to visit the shops on Furra Prime,” she teased.
“Good lord..” she said after gathering her wits again. “Ok girls, I’ll stay, but you won’t get me to wear any of this, even if you paid me a billion American dollars.”
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