Mr. Familiar

by

EO Tenkey

Quest 11: Mr. Familiar Gets Squeezed

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Surprisingly, although RayBanz wasn't around when Lucy next logged in we didn't immediately head off to try and achieve her ambition of acquiring a hammer for whacking stuff in the face with. Instead, she took us back to the teleporter and then to South Yorba, where she spent a good hour or so listlessly shooting lushes and the occasional gribblin with her ice wand.

Something was definitely up. Normally Lucy was either getting steam-rolled into participating in whatever inane idea RayBanz had most recently come up with, or she was off doing her own thing with me in tow. This was almost like she was just grinding experience, and it just wasn't like her. I mean, she'd looked completely overjoyed about the prospect of getting her very own hammer last play session, and now here we were looking for minor experience gains from lushes? What gave?

On the upside, she was so distracted that I was able to peck the few gribblins that she came across, providing me with a minor boost in height. And possibly girth. It was kind of hard to tell, but I was pretty sure I was growing outward as much as upward. Oh, well, it wasn't like I had much of a figure in the first place. I'd also received a behavior point after practicing my new arm curling technique, which was nice.

After a solid hour of her moping, though, I was fed up. The most recent lush she'd defeated poofed into a collection of spores and Lucy stood there for a moment just staring into space. I took the opportunity to waddle up to her and smack her in the leg.

"Hmm? Oh, sorry, Fluff-kins, were you getting bored?"

No scribble, lady. What is up with you today, anyway?

She picked me up and unexpectedly wrapped her arms around me, leaving me facing away from her but with my back pressed up against her chest. Uh, I was hoping to get you out of your funk, but I guess this is okay? It wasn't uncomfortable—actually it felt kind of nice—but I was feeling awkward since I wasn't expecting it and she was holding me a lot closer than was typical.

I squirmed a bit in embarrassment, but she didn't let go.

"You're so much fluffier than you used to be!" She took a few steps to the side and sank down onto a nearby stump, briefly pulling me even more tightly against her while she burrowed her face into the back of my head. Blerch! Give a bird space to breathe, woman!

"I shouldn't have bothered logging on today, I guess," she said glumly to herself. Oh, great. I'd somehow pushed her into monologuing. Ah, well. Not like I was likely to get any more behavior points from repeating the same actions, anyway, based on past experience. I relaxed into her hug a bit, and she gave me a final squeeze and then pulled her face away, settling me down so that I was still getting hugged from behind but my feet were supported by her legs.

"I thought he might log in, but I guess not."

Mr. RayBanz, I presumed. Unless she'd gotten another poor shmuck to join her party when I wasn't looking. Heh, like that blacksmith whose hammer she'd been so enamored of.

Lucy was quiet for a few moments, and I began to wonder if that was it. If so, could we maybe head a little deeper into the woods? The piddling experience she was getting from the lushes and gribblins wasn't worth the time it took to kill them, and the gribblins were too few and far between for me.

"Why would he say that to me?!" she burst out. I might have jumped a little, but she didn't seem to notice or care. "I mean, we both work! It's not like I'm lazing around all day doing nothing, and he could have helped!"

Oh ho? The plot thickens. I tried to squirm around to see her face, but to no avail. I was well and truly stuck in place. It sure sounded like she and the Banz-man were living together in real life. Maybe a spat over housework? Based on my sparse interactions with my sister I had a vague concept that those sort of things were big causes of friction when cohabiting. Not that I'd ever experienced it myself.

"I mean, I know it's my fault. I told him I'd keep the counter clear of dirty dishes, and I do forget about it all the time. But he was the one who insisted we go straight to BAO in the first place, and the one who told me that I should go learn a skill!"

Ha ha, nailed it! I could just picture Ray insisting the woman he was living with clean up all his dirty dishes even though he couldn't be bothered to ever wash them himself, and then getting ploinked when she didn't do it because she was playing a video game with him. I'd lay money on him talking her into trying the video game in the first place, too. If only I could actually advise her on skill and stat builds. I'd love to have her surpass him just to see the ploinked-off look on his face.

Boy, though, knowing they were an actual couple in the real world sure explained a lot about the weird dynamic going on between these two. I wondered what Lucy was getting out of the relationship. Not that I'd ever understood why women ended up with snazz-holes like Ray. Maybe he was good-looking or rich or something in the real world. Or maybe she just had scribble taste in men.

"Argh, he makes me so mad sometimes! Sorry, Fluff-kins, I think I need to log out. I'll see you tomorrow, maybe."

What? Flick! No, if you're angry about something then we should just go bash some heads! Hey, what about that hammer that you wanted to…


…aaand I was back, Lucy fading into being beside me. If gave her the hairy eyeball. That was a pretty rude way to log out, you know.

"Okay, let's go get the materials we need for that hammer!" Lucy was evidently back to her normal self, and it seemed Ray-boy wouldn't be joining us this time. Fine by me, not that I had any way to offer feedback. I waddled over and bumped against her leg to get her to pick me up and toss me so I could get some flying practice, though she gave me a squeeze on the way past. Oh well. I guess all those gribblins were making me pretty squeezable.

I happily practiced my flying as Lucy headed back to fountain-town and through the teleporter.


Unfortunately, I'd forgotten that the enemies were going to be wraiths. Lucy was currently high-tailing it away from a pack of five wraiths, taking a moment every now and again to nail one with her ice wand.

"Diddle it, why didn't I remember to buy a proper weapon?"

Gee, I don't know, why did you throw away your sword in the first place?!

Cheep!

One of the wraiths got close enough to perform its pounce attack. Lucy side-stepped, blasted it the face with an icy blast, and ran another few steps further. I think that one probably only needed another shot or two to take out, so of course Lucy fired her next few shots at the wraiths behind it.

If I were able to reach my own face, I'd have face-palmed. Well, and if I had a palm.

After an interminable period of back-tracking, Lucy finally offed the last wraith who disappeared into nothingness with a forlorn wail accompanied by the lovely bloppata-kee! of a level-up. I really hated these incorporeal enemies. I wasn't growing any bigger on my own!

At least Lucy was happy, though. The doldrums she'd been suffering during her previous play session hadn't resurfaced, and when the final wraith dropped an ornate key upon death, she actually tried whistling happily.

She was terrible at it. Seriously, leave the whistling to the bird in your party, lady.

Not that I'd figured out how to make any sounds other than a horrifically high-pitched cheep, of course.

After collecting her key, Lucy took a brief break to allocate her skill points. I hustled over and took a peek to see what we were working with.

Name: LucyLips Race: Sprite-born
Main Class: -- Sub Classes: --, --
Level: 6 Stat points: 0
Strength: 18 Agility (sub): 17
Intellect (main): 21 Endurance: 18

The level bumped her Agility up 4 and brought her spendable stat points up to 8. Then she dumped them all back into Strength, Endurance, and even dropped a couple in Agility.

I don't even—you know what, deep breaths. It's okay. It's not my character.

WHAT ARE YOU FLICKING THINKING?!

Cheep cheep cheep!

"Yeah, I agree! Leveling up is pretty exciting, huh, Fluff-kins!" Lucy snagged me out of the air and gave me a big hug. "Plus I'm almost caught up to Intellect!"

Why is that even—

She tossed me back into the air. "Alright, let's go see what's behind the big, scary-looking door! I'll bet this key is the one we needed!"

Unsurprisingly, what was behind the big, scary-looking door was a huge pack of wraiths.

On the plus side, I was getting lots of good flying exercise today.

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A note from EO Tenkey

Poor Mr. Familiar. He does so love his min-maxing. Maybe he'll finally get some min-maxing when he gets his interface open.

I should probably quit teasing folks about that, of course, but it's actually liable to happen pretty soon. He's only two stat points away at this point!


About the author

EO Tenkey

Bio: Read all the things. Write all the things. Sleep? What's that? Does it taste good with chips?

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