”Quick break before I resume the speedrun. Remember to subscribe to my Onlyfans for bonus content.”
The more Nykannis talked, the less happy Oros looked to be listening to her. The scientist droned on with no end to her barrage of questions in sight. Question after question, flipping from fright, confusion, to rage. All in a very short period of time. Until she finally asked the “discount girl from an underground anime” for her name. Oros sighed. Whatever joy she had upon seeing the girl had turned to ash in her mouth.
”Okay so we gotta get something straight.” She raised her finger, making sure to keep her voice low and quiet. ”I understand, we have one weekly Patron Outpost Surveyor Transcript, better known as a POST, where we get to talk. The temptation to say as much as we can in one of these POSTs is tempting, but I advise against it. We both want to get to the interesting part of this conversation, but it’s a very unnatural way of speaking. ” Oros fret her brow, and her lips curled back to reveal a snarl. ”Moreover, have you given a single thought as to how I’m supposed to respond to any of this shit?” She gestured towards the way she came. ”We’ve got a snowball fight, ice sculpting, snowman making, stage performances, harebringers, and Keijo fights going on! You think anyone can keep track of all that shit and remember some minute details about the balcony space? Did anything even come up in the last POST?” Her brow practically dropped between her eyes. ”I don’t know! The door was open when I came here. Maybe ‘Kayli’ forgot to shut it on her way out. All I know is that if I see a tiny girl, you can bet your ass I’m going to do anything in my power to talk to her. You want to try getting a word in? Fuck you! I’m still responding to your endless wall of banter!” Oros rubbed her nose. ”Maho Hiyajo is best girl! She’s an amazing character and the fact that she’s a loli is just a bonus! You could never compare to her cuteness! Why someone would claim to be smarter than a fictional character is beyond me. And yes, everyone, I see the irony in that statement. Bite me!”
Oros exhaled. ”See? And then we would just take turns throwing increasingly convoluted and difficult to keep up with paragraphs at each other.” She placed a gentle hand on Kate and Nykannis. ”I suggest we start over and make the following conversation a COLLAB to avoid this. You know? ‘Couple Of Lovely Ladies Acting Brashly, COLLAB? Point is, we can progress at our own pace.” She took her hand off of Kate’s shoulder and offered it to Nykannis, and did the reverse with her other arm. Her arms were crossed in front of her with a hand pointed at the only 2 other girls present. ”My name is Oros. If you want to tag a pretentious title on there, you could call me ‘The Manager of the Golden Trove’ or ‘Future Mayor of Penrose,’ but it really isn’t necessary.” She looked into the air. ”Haruko Haruhara was an interesting one. I haven’t seen Fooly Cooly so I can’t say how alike we are. I think I look more like Chii Aruel from Soul Worker. ”
Nykannis was left speechless as their uninvited guest rambled, using obscure terminology even the Monarch of Mad Science was baffled by. POSTS? COLLABS? Details about how protected their balcony was? Wait… Did someone hit this girl with a meta weapon? Or was she some form of reality warper? An edgier, even more in-your-face version of MDP? Nykannis suppressed the urge to shudder. THIS was precisely why she hated mingling with Penrose natives… What was particularly annoying though, was how the girl insulted the way Nykannis talked, and insisted that some half-baked fictional character was better than her, the Monarch of Mad Science! And THEN there was her reason for being here in the first place…
“Hi, Oros,” Kate chuckled as she shook the beast girl’s hand. “It’s nice to meet ya. I gotta say, you’re pretty, uh, unique, but anyone who can rile Nykannis up like that is okay in my book!”
“So, let me get this straight,” Nykannis began, closing her eyes in a (probably futile) attempt to calm herself. “You only came in here because you have some kinda perverse fetish for little girls? Bitch, you are SERIOUSLY FUCKED UP. Oh, and you think I talk weird? That’s rich coming from a rambling nutcase like you,” she added with a sneer as she opened her eyes to glare at Oros. “I mean, your little ‘speech’ lasted 83.478 seconds longer than what I just said. And now you wanna have a pleasant conversation? Well, you’d better have something REALLY interesting to discuss, otherwise you can find out why it’s a REALLY BAD IDEA TO PISS ME OFF!!!”
Oros was frozen in place. Her body was pointed in Kate’s direction, but eyes were locked on Nykannis for the entire duration of her rant. ”One moment.” She smiled at Kate before looking back at the mad scientist. ”We’re starting over, Nyan.” Oros made sure to vocalize her nickname for the doctor like an anime cat girl would. ”But just to get this shit outa the way, I’m not an ‘aqualung.’ Well, no more an aqualung than anyone else here. I think visually we’re all somewhere between 7 and 16? Easy to forget with some of our face claims being so mature looking. Anyway, the point is I find your small shape cute! The only thing I have a burning desire to do is place my hand on top of your head. Several times. I’m on a date anyway.” Her hand started to hover over “Nyan’s” head. ”But interesting topics of conversation? I have those in spades. What would you like to talk about? There’s me, the approaching end of the world, my nose, my two co-managers who are also magical scientists, me, my plans for Penrose, we can even talk about you.” She looked back at Kate. ”Or even you! I wouldn’t mind hearing about you. What are you doing with this small sassy scientist?”
“Well, if you’re talking about right now, I was trying to give her a bit of a vacation, although she hasn’t really been enjoying herself all that much,” Kate replied with a chuckle. “Mostly because Dan’s magic is preventing her from running the kinds of tests she likes. But if you mean how I met her, that’s a pretty interesting story! We were both attending a symposium at the Wright Institute on Kalgan, over in universe 11121945IAF. Nykannis was giving a lecture on Clarke’s Third Law, and I was covering the event as a freelance photographer. I remember most of the speakers being kinda boring, but Nykannis’s enthusiasm was really refreshing! She gets so passionate about things that it’s hard not to share her excitement. So, anyways, I decided to chat with her a bit after her lecture, and that’s when…
…and we’ve been friends ever since! In fact, she even made me this camera,” Kate added, holding up the device. “If you couldn’t tell by the name on the strap.”
”You know I normally can’t stand long stories, but that skip made it really amusing.” Oros grinned.
Nykannis, meanwhile, had remained silent during Kate’s retelling of their first meeting, simply glaring daggers at Oros and grinding her teeth together.
“So,” Kate continued with a grin. “What’s all this about you wanting to become mayor of Penrose? I gotta say, that’s a pretty ballsy move, considering that place is a perpetual shit magnet.”
“Screw that,” Nykannis snapped before Oros could respond. “You mentioned the approaching ‘End of the World’,” she added, addressing the pink-haired girl. “Now, assuming that everything that spews out of your mouth isn’t complete fucking bullshit, are you talking just this planet, or do you mean a complete universal collapse?”
The hotel manager pointed between herself and Nykannis. ”Mind if I…?” She looked away from Kate. ”It’s nothing as severe as the collapse of a multiverse. Just a recurring tragedy that seems to engulf worlds where Penrose exists. Nothing a traverser of realities needs to worry about. Though at the same time, I kind of like challenging myself, so why not see if I can stop it this time? Cucking forces on that level is just the right thing to do!” She looked back at Kate. ”Which ties into the whole mayor thing. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m never going to be able to go toe to toe with the big magical organizations in Penrose. Not with their numbers and everything. So I’m going to go for a political victory with the normies. Can’t really say much more than that right now.”
“A multiversal constant, huh?” Nykannis observed with a raised eyebrow. “Well, that’s another item to add to the list of ‘reasons why I hate that place’. Oh, and good luck on changing things,” she added dryly. “If you’re really up against an omni-dimensional force that hates the fact that Penrose exists, you’re gonna need a LOT more power than what being mayor of that dump’ll give ya.”
Oros shrugged. ”Gotta start somewhere, right? Maybe we can get my patron reinstated as a Co-Gm and-”
“A magical girl mayor…” Kate mused. “I’d say that’s gotta be a first, but I’ve seen way stranger stuff than that. Like, did you know that in some universes, magical girls operate openly?”
”Can’t say I’m all that surprised.” Oros grinned. ”Honestly, the worlds without any magical girls probably fascinate me the most. Well, I guess they exist of a fashion. Though people call them ‘superheroes’ or ‘espers’ or something like that. I wouldn’t mind living in a world without all that bullshit going on. At least for a little while.” She tossed her hand into the air. ”But I know I'd have to come back to Penrose. I dunno if it’s because it’s my original home, all the hot ass, or maybe just because it’s a ‘Realm Portion’ that’s been around for a while.” Oros closed her eyes. ”We’re on page 4 of the COLLAB, so I guess we should make something interesting happen.” When her eyes opened, she was looking at the mad scientist. ”It’s clear that you guys aren’t locals. I’m not even sure if you’re from the same world as everyone else.” Oros cracked her knuckles before resting her fist on her hip. ”So what’s it gunna take to get a scientist and a photographer on my payroll?”
Kate Grinned. “I’m a freelancer, so as long as the money’s good, I'll work for just about anyone,” she told Oros. “Even someone from Penrose,” she added with a chuckle. “Although, seeing how much of a disaster area it currently is, my fee’s gonna be a bit higher than usual.”
Oros puffed out her chest. ”Very well, we’ll have to hammer out specifics later.”
For her part, Nykannis gave the beast girl an arrogant sneer. “Sorry, Pinky, but I’ve already got the best setup I could want in a backwater reality plenum like this,” the mad scientist explained, not sounding sorry in the slightest. “Although… You mentioned two employees of yours who fancy themselves scientists. Let me have a little chat with them to see if they’re not complete amateurs, and if they have anything interesting to offer, we can work out a little quid pro quo arrangement. I borrow them to assist me with something I’m working on, and you can borrow my super-scientific genius for ONE project. That sound good?”
”Mmmm, that might be difficult.” Oros rubbed her chin. ”They are my co-managers at the hotel. While they are both accomplished magi researchers, one runs an artificing shop strictly for their own profit while the other does research for a third party. That sort of stuff isn’t part of the contract. So any ‘squid pro quo’ is going to be between you and them. Furthermore, while I can see you’re cute you haven’t given me any reason to believe you have the big galaxy brain you claim to have. I know what those two are capable of, and you think you’re better than both of them without having ever met them?” Oros chuckled. ”Oh I got it now. Yea, you gotta make me something. And then I’ll arrange a meet up for you three. I’ll grease the wheels a bit of course, just to ensure things go smoothly.”
Nykannis ground her teeth as Oros expressed doubt in her abilities. “Okay, Miss Magical Girl Deadpool, you wanna see why I’m the Queen of the Mad Scientists?!! Why I’m the most brilliant mind this reality plenum has ever seen?!! FINE!!! I’ll make whatever crazy reality shattering invention you want! The more challenging the better! Well, within reason, of course,” she added, her voice taking on a regretful tone. “See, the deal I made with the Grand Magistrates stipulates that I can’t make any major changes to the universal status quo, ESPECIALLY where Penrose is concerned, so, yeah…”
”Yea, they can be sort of a bummer to work around. I find it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission with those dudes. But let’s see…” Oros exhaled and thought. This was her one chance to ask for almost anything. ”Alright, this might be a little crazy, but you’re the queen of maid scientists, right Nyan? Should be possible. You ready?” She nodded. ”I want a back scratcher!” After a short pause, she tipped her head. ”Like, a robot maid! Yea! A cute, robot, maid! Maybe a cat maid? A personal assistant, that’s also a back scratcher and shit!”
“A maid?” Nykannis deadpanned. “All my vast, super-scientific knowledge, and you want me to make you a MAID?!!”
”I trust it will be unlike any robot cat maid I have ever seen!”
“ Fine…” she exhaled in weary resignation. “I’ll make you a damn maid. Cat ears, cat tail, cat collar, fetishistic outfit, the works. So, you want this thing to look organic or mechanical?”
The question caused Oros to stop and think, which Nykannis was pretty sure she didn’t do often. ”If it’s indistinguishable from a living person that’s pretty cool. Who doesn’t want a cute maid? Then again, I can just hire a cat maid easily enough. Having clearly metallic features allows me to show off, but it could be a problem if normies come around.” Oros placed her outstretched hand on top of Nykannis head and gently patted it. ”Nyan? Have you ever noticed that when you go to a fancy restaurant the menus are really small, they don’t make special orders, but the food is always really good regardless? You seem like you know what you’re doing. It doesn’t even have to be a cat girl if it’s awesome!” Her smile got wider as she continued to pat the scientist’s head. ”Is that unreasonable? I could go for something easier if you’d prefer.”
“Easier?” Nykannis spat, as if the very concept was deeply repulsive. Or maybe that was just her response to the sensation of Oros’s hand on the top of her head? Probably both. “You’ve already set the bar so low, it’s practically underground! But I get it, you want me to take this mundane, stereotypical concept and do something creative with it. Okay, I think I have an idea on how we might do that,” she added. Activating a small holographic display and producing a circuit-covered stylus, the mad scientist began drawing up plans and scribbling down notes. “Keeping in mind your various fetishes and need for this thing to be able to interact with normies, here’s what I was thinking.” Manipulating the holodisplay, she pulled out a 3D model of her idea for Oros to examine. “First we have the maid portion. Basic moe, cat girl maid. Shy personality, underdeveloped body, and fully organic, although the ears and tail are fully detachable, in case you need to prove she’s ‘really human’ to any over-inquisitive weebs. I will mention that she incorporates some ridiculously advanced nanotech, allowing for a variety of interesting applications. In particular, she has an energy to matter conversion unit, which should allow her to produce whatever food, drink or other mundane item you want, with the item in question materializing in her hands. Naturally it also works in reverse as well. But you wanted something a little more ‘outside the box’ than just that, right?” she added with a smirk. “Well, that’s where the second part comes in!” Snapping her fingers, there was a bright flash, after which, the 3D model’s appearance had changed significantly. “With a simple command phrase of your choosing, your cat girl maid will become a magical girl. She’ll be a disgustingly kawaii genki girl when she’s in this form, with a VERY cheery personality, great for annoying people you don’t like. While I’ve given her a limited amount of Metaphysical Aetheric Numinosphere Accelerator, she’ll still be a joke compared to what a regular magical girl is capable of, so just keep that in mind if you plan to put her in a combat situation. So, whadya think?”
”Yea, that sounds good! The nanomachines should prevent her from getting hacked or frying due to simple static electricity.” After nodding a few times, Oros looked away from the hologram and at the scientist. ”And this will 100% be able to scratch my back, right?”
“You saw the claws, didn’t you?” Nykannis replied with a wry grin. “Well, if everything meets with your approval, there’s just one last thing to take care of.” Spreading her thumb and forefinger, the mad scientist created a rectangular holographic window in front of Oros. “Sign here,” she instructed, handing the beast girl her stylus.
Oros twirled the stylus in her hand before holding it over the pad. After staring at it for a moment, her expression soured. ”Ehh, I dunno.” She pulled her hand away. ”I mean, we have plenty of Non-Patron Champions, or NPC’s if you’d prefer, back in Penrose. I doubt my patron could handle another one.” With a sigh, she handed the stylus back to the doctor. ”Perhaps another time.” She extended her other hand towards Kate, which had a business card in it. ”If you find yourself in the area, I could definitely put you to use. Though it might be a bit before I have anything worthwhile for you to do. While Penrose might be dangerous, I do have a safe place for you to sleep at least. Our breakfasts are nothing to shit on either.”
“What the hell?!” Nykannis snapped. “Ya make me do all that work, and now you don’t want it?! Well guess what?! I went through the trouble of designing it, so you can bet your ass I’m making it and bringing it with me to my chat with your two ‘scientist’ pals!”
”So my patron won’t have to control it?” Oros reached for the stylus.
Meanwhile, Kate was far more receptive of Oros’s offer. “Thanks,” she told the pink-haired girl with a smile as she took the offered business card. “And here’s my contact info,” she added, handing over her own card. “I gotta say, I’ve been kinda curious about the Golden Trove ever since that one girl on Glimmer gave it such a glowing review.”
”You won’t be disappointed!” Oros said with a wink before sucking the card into her hammer space and looking back at the scientist. ”Gib pen!”
“Your patron?” Nykannis asked with a raised eyebrow. “What the hell do they have to do with anything? You’re the one who’s gonna ‘control it’,” she added, returning the stylus to the now quite insistent Oros. “If it helps, think of it as more of a familiar than a full-fledged magical girl.”
”Oh, that does make sense now.” Oros held the pen. She still didn’t look like she was ready to sign. But her expression softened until she looked sullen. ”Nyan, I do have to admit that you are a genius. You really pumped this concept to 250%. I can also see that while this is far below your abilities and probably a simple thing to do, you’ve become attached enough to it that you can’t allow yourself to not complete it. I know why that is, but that’s not really important.” She handed the stylus back to Nykannis a second time. ”You’re tailoring this creation to me like a fine suit, but you don’t have all the measurements. As an example, I have a hammerspace that lets me carry around all the mundane shit I need. A familiar doesn’t have to do that for me. You probably couldn’t tell by our conversation, but I’m also really good at being annoying. I probably don’t need a familiar that can do that. We just need to spend more time together.” She presented Nykannis with a business card. ”I agree with what you said earlier. You can meet the three of us at the Golden Trove with your maido prototype, or however that works. Binky Is the creator of the red coins you see around Penrose and also co-created the white coins with Beacon. Aria is a member of the Gourd. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.”
Nykannis’s eye began to twitch when Oros still refused to sign, but the mad scientist’s expression brightened considerably when the beast girl revealed some VERY interesting information about her two friends. Meeting the source of the new COINS was enticing enough, but add to that a member of the Gourd? This was quite the jackpot…
“Those are some impressive resumes,” Nykannis replied with an approving nod as she took Oros’s card. “I’m looking forward to meeting them.”
”Just call ahead, and I’ll set up a nice meeting room for us.” Oros looked off the edge of the balcony. ”Oh, seems I’ve found my mark.” She bowed. ”Maybe we’ll do something fun later, whenever we end up meeting up” After bidding the two farewell, Oros stumbled over the edge of the balcony. had Mia or Connie been there to witness it, they might have realized Oros was just really bad at climbing down from places safely.