With Klára’s help, we managed to clean up the living room and move all of Šárka’s new plushies into her room. Dare had taped a little “Shark Tank” sign over the pile as a joke. We were now sitting on the couch, relaxing, enjoying leftovers from christmas dinner (you gotta consume the potato salad ASAP, like more than three days and it gets dangerous).
“So, lil’ sis.” I put my plate down and turned towards the disaster butch before me. “Graduation year from High School. You planning to go to uni or nah?” She gulped at my question, smiling awkwardly.
“W-well… mom wants me to ‘redeem’ myself by studying to be a doctor, and she’s willing to pay to support me through medical school.” She scratched the back of her head. “But can you imagine ME dealing with patients? Hi yes hello the tattooed lady with the punk haircut will now cut you open to fix your heart, please do not be alarmed. I’d have the same effect with a German accent and a bunch of pigeons.” She stood up and straightened herself out, putting on said accent. “Ya, gutten tag, ve must remove your spine, ya? Iz broken, vil replace it viz steel pipe.” I could only shake my head at her antics.
“Says the mouse girl that made a robot and has a youtube channel about building stuff!”
“Dorkasaurus Rex. Triceradorks. Woman Loving Dork.” I was hit with a pillow in that moment, right in my face. “Also, you don’t have tattoos.” It slid off my face and landed on my lap, just in time for me to witness Klára roll up her sleeves to reveal tattoos. It was like she had taken the backgrounds off of Mucha’s posters and put them on her arms, flowers and leaves and vines and stars and crescent moons and butterflies.
“Surprise. The guy had amazing taste in women, you know, for a guy. And a friend of mine drew up the designs. You can’t even tell I’m their first work of inking folk.” She flexed before sitting back down.
“Well, damn, they look amazing. But, honestly? I think you should go into medicine.” I shifted in my seat. “I mean, consider this: People are already refusing to treat more physically changed emerged individuals. We need docs who won’t refuse a patient because of their extra limbs and differing body parts.” Klára shrugged and nodded in that moment, as a familiar figure leapt on me from the shadowy puddle on the floor.
“I think Klára would be a good doc. She’s nice and respects folk.” Šárka shifted herself to be sitting on my lap with her back turned to me, grabbing my arms to wrap around herself.
“Why you little rascal, forcing a hug out of me like that, you will feel my wrath soon enough!” I turned the hug into a quick tickle as she giggled. I could see Klára getting up again, but walking towards my workshop to check stuff out. “You know the rules Klára, put stuff where you found it and don’t plug anything in!” I shouted towards her, as she waved her hand in confirmation.
“Oh dang pretty choker.” Five minutes later, she walked out wearing one of the more concerning pieces. “What’s it do?”
“That, dear sister, is the Collar of Truth. Generally, it zaps you if you tell a lie. This includes misgendering someone if they’re out to you. Plus I included zapping for saying slurs. I didn’t reveal it in a video, because can you imagine the shit show that would cause?” I rubbed my face in frustration. “I can already read people trying to justify not getting zapped for misgendering a person because they think it works like a polygraph.”
“Oh oof yeah. Alright, I’m going to test it out. Hmm…” Klára rubbed her chin thoughtfuly. “Šárka is a cute girl. Oh hey, confirmed. Bridget is a great sister. Oh wow I was expecting a zap there.” She stuck her tongue out at me and I threw a pillow at her. “I don’t think it works. Okay, a big one. I’m attracted to me-” Her eyes widened and her face scrunched up and went red “-EEEEN FUCK AAAH FUCK DAMMIT BRIDGET TOO MUCH YOU NEED TO TONE IT DOWN!!!” Klára swiftly removed it and threw it on the ground. “Jesus FUCK that went straight to my brain!!! With hot peppers and spicy food it’s just mouth and throat and lips!!!” She went straight for the kitchen and pulled a hidden lever, revealing a wine cabinet.
“Klára, relax, it’s temporary and short, you should be fine by now. But, okay yeah, I probably should, The Last Dab is only like 2 million scolville.” I heard her sighing and pulling the lever again. “Be glad you put it on yourself, only the person who put it on you can remove it, and they have to be alive to do so, you can’t just like chop off their hands and use them.” I rested my head on top of Šárka’s, as she was still sitting in my lap.
“Okay I want to know why you’d make such a thing.” She picked up the collar off the floor and put it on the coffee table.
“To get dirt on Šárka’s dad so he’d sign custody transfer papers so I was officially her adoptive foster mom.” Both me and her smiled a bit.
“And did he sign?” Klára had joined us on the couch by now.
“Oh yeah he was plastered out of his mind, signed them very quickly after he confessed he goes to the same clubs as Yoshi.” I could see the smoke coming from Klára’s head as the gears in her mind turned trying to figure that one out.
“OH! Oh god. Wow. Drunk and a criminal? I mean, the first part of Be Gay Do Crimes is Be Gay.”
“Tax Fraud is a rich person thing.” Šárka mumbled out before giggling. There was a sudden breeze that went through the room, before I heard the window close. Soon enough, a familiar figure stood before us.
“More Than Computer Mouse! I have come to take my revenge! For denying me your intellect and creative skills, you shall pay!” Grasp lunged towards me but had no chance of reaching me, as Klára’s fist connected with their face.
“WE WERE HAVING A FAMILY BONDING MOMENT YOU COSTUMED WEIRDO.” She was standing above the gecko person sprawled on the floor, holding a hand to their masked face. “DO NOT FUCK WITH ME TODAY.” Klára reached for the chain that went to her back pocket, pulling out and unclipping a pair of brass knuckles with little cat ears like spikes on them. Getting the message, Grasp quickly crawled out the same way they had entered through.
“And they wanted thieving tools and claimed they were ready to kill anyone to steal from them.” I shook my head and patted Šárka’s shoulder to let her know I wanted to get up. As she moved from my lap I stretched. “Alright, gonna make a stun grid to put on my windows, in case Knock-Off Parker decides to wall crawl in through them again. Come on pumpkin, I need my workshop assistant.” Šárka followed me to the workshop, where I swiftly began designing, with Klára observing. Her gaze fell to something I had completely forgotten about.
“Oh hey you got some of those weirdo cube things that popped up with the ruins?” She picked one up and looked it over. “What’s it do?”
“Blow up voltmeters due to the amount of power it holds. But somehow works safely enough that Dare can hold one as a wireless charger.” I finished sketching out the design and handed Šárka a piece of paper with the materials, as she puddled down to the basement to grab them.
“Huh. Sweet. And what about this Wakandan looking thing? Black sand floating in mid air?” Klára picked it up and ran her hand over it, tilting it over and looking at it.
“To be completely honest, I have no clue. Šárka just kind of picked it up while we were at the ruin.” Klára shot a glare towards me in surprise swiftly.
“You went to the ruin?!?! Are you nuts?!?!” Her arms went in the air in exasperation.
“I’m a Mouse, nut a squirrel, sis.” I giggled at the groan that followed. Šárka came back in that moment.
“We got the wires and the stuff for the shocking part, but we’re out of lenses to build the laser tripwire grid out of.” She put what she carried on the workbench and I gave her a quick headpat. If you are wondering where Dare has been all this time? I wish I was joking when I say she made a spin off twitch channel to livestream herself gaming on. It was amazing to see her try and be good at games with those short small limbs. I mean, she can’t reach a mouse and a keyboard at the same time comfortably! And controllers are too big for her! But to be fair she had only done it for a week now and seemed to have gotten bored, as she was now instead building stuff out of legos again.
“Thanks hun, I’ll put in the order for them.” Klára had put down the tablet by this time. The notification on my phone rang. Looking it over, I had a very simple request. Not a jetpack, thank fuck for that, no. The person wanted a grapple and glide exoskeleton for traversal. “Grapple gun in each hand connected on an armature linked to a backpack so as to distribute weight as the body is pulled forward better, with retractable wings to glide on while landing. Somebody call ol’ Brucey-boy, this person wants to steal his bat schtick.”
I put away my phone and got to designing. “At least they heard my only heroes and villains going after true evil or keeping the peace without murdering anyone rule. Non-lethal patroling and vigilantism.” The sketch was done quickly and I sent them the file and the price. They asked how much it would cost to ship it to Canada. I let them know I couldn’t ship stuff over to Canada because customs. It’s why I sent the base sketch of the device without the plans and materials and tools needed to make it written out.
Half an hour later, after receiving the payment through paypal, I heard a knock on the door. An exhausted looking guy with ram’s horns was panting heavily. “Hey, so, hi, I’m Clark. I’m an acquaintance of Gargoyle, the guy who asked for that order, and uhm, I can make portals to places by headbutting the air hard enough. So. Yeah.” He took a couple deep breaths and straightened himself out. “Just, letting you know, here’s my number and email and contact info, call me when it’s done, I can get it to him.” He stumbled away from the door, headbutting the air, as it cracked from the sheer impact, breaking like glass to reveal an apartment I had never seen before. Clark walked through it and passed out on the other side, the crack reversing and sealing itself shut, as if time rewound.
I could only stare in confusion and look at the card. “Girls, More Than Computer Mouse Gadgetry is going International!!!”