This is LadyGuns! A deviantART group decided to women of action, strength, power, and beauty.
"They're strong! They're fierce! They're feared! And they look good while doing so!"
Artworks featured above are from roemesquita and TrentHarlow
Kat and Mouse 5: Armor Quest“This is surreal”, Kat whispered as she adjusted a light to optimize the amount of reflectiveness and shadows. “I’m going to be doing an entire photoshoot without needing any touch-ups on the models.” “Isn’t that the goal you’re supposed to have?” Cherry asked as she reclined across the lakeshore ice drift. “Do you need me to move or fix my hair?” “I think it’s impossible for your hair to be messed up,” Kat moved to where the blue surface of the lake could be seen between Cherry’s thighs and the sky without the sun showing behind her head. She focused on the bikini-clad subject and snapped a few pictures. “Are there really many girls who will spend $500 per piece on bikini tops and bottoms?” “I think it’s the boyfriends who are more likely to pay,” Cherry replied. “I'm glad that I get to keep my Eye Kat Candi outfits after the photoshoot.” As Cherry rolled over to allow her to get pictures from behind, Kat whispered, “Does every one of Candi’s friends have impossible to achieve physiques? No one has head-sized tits and chiseled abs like that.” Once Cherry was propped up on her elbow, Kat added, “Each of you is more impressive than the last.” “Kat?” Cherry asked. “Yes?” Kat replied as she adjusted the lights to highlight the fissures of Cherry’s back muscles as well as the expanse of her ass. “Goddess…” “I can hear what you’re whispering,” Cherry said. “Being in awe has become a constant state for me,” Kat replied. “It’s not easy being the token human. I could almost forget that I’m standing in sub-zero temperatures while everyone else is in bikinis, shorts and halter tops.” She snapped a few more pictures as she walked around the reclining superheroine. “Do any of you ever feel any jealousy towards each other? You’ve got perfect hair, a gorgeous face and flawless complexion. Heather’s got a bit larger muscles and I think she might have bigger tits. Candi’s got… she’s hyper-adorable and hyper-buff.” “We leave the rankings up to the fans on the Blazing Trails website. It’s fun seeing how the voting changes each week.” Cherry slid off of the ice block to her feet. She looked down at herself, “I think that each of us has her appearance based on our powers, or something like that. I’m not competing against anyone. I can’t complain if a pair of Goddesses have me beat in different areas.” “You are who you’re compared with, right?” Kat said as she turned off the camera. “Yours were the last pictures for the day.” “I’m going for a swim and then I’ll be ready to fly us all back home,” Cherry said as she walked over the ice-clogged lakeshore. “Just leave a message if you or the Goddess head off towards anywhere.” Kat flipped the camera’s power back on, “We’ve got a reputation for that, don’t we?” Once she got a few shots of Cherry diving into the frozen lake, she walked over to the cabin. After getting inside, Kat found Candi, “Miss ‘name any month’ said that she’ll take us back home after she’s done swimming. For now, I’m staying close to you, Divine furnace.” She looked around, “Where’s Heather?” “She wanted to build a snowman army,” Candi replied. “Why not turn a day’s work into a day’s vacation? Are you sure that you don’t want to try modeling anything? There’s a few extra outfits.” Kat cocked her head, “I can already hear the comments that people will have when they see me in the catalog,” she shook her head. “My body is perfect for radio and I don’t really need to have it rubbed in by being compared to you guys, thanks. Dee has a thicker skin than I do for things like that. Believe me, it is not easy saying no to getting what would be the most expensive clothes I’ve ever owned, but I don’t feel ready to be seen in them.” She thought for a second, then asked, “Will you be making outfits for people who don’t have zero percent body fat?” “It’s a line of clothing with contoured fitting for people who have a good amount of muscle,” Candi answered. “It’s a niche.” Candi’s ears wiggled as she heard someone clearing her throat. She turned to see a taller, green-skinned fae, “Uh, hi Genie. How’d you appear here like that?” “It is always a pleasure to see you, my Goddess.” She leaned slightly to kiss the peak of Candi’s bicep. “I’d been neglecting my innate abilities lately, so I’m trying to use them more often.” She traced a finger along the thick vein that went along Candi’s peak. “I’ve been asked by Queen Gouda to ask our Goddess of Biceps to undertake a quest.” “Didn’t we just finish one a few days ago?” Candi asked, “Does she have a long to-do list of them just waiting to be given out?” “No… Um, yes,” Genie stammered. “Maybe… She doesn’t have a large tome filled with page after page of nearly impossible tasks to send people on.” She sat her free hand’s forefinger on her lips for a second, “At least I haven’t seen anything like that. Of course, I haven’t gone searching for anything like that.” “I find it curious that her majesty keeps asking us to do these impossible tasks and no one else,” Kat drawled. “Is it just because having a goddess at your beck and call is sort of like the ultimate status coup?” “I think it has something to do with who Her Majesty can trust,” the nymph replied. “Adventurers are often violent people, so having them do important things always involves inviting danger into your home. They also expect exorbitant amounts of payments.” “That’s a fancy way of saying that she might be a little cheap,” Kat replied. “Thrifty is a better word,” Genie said. “Reliability actually ranks higher than cost, and Candi has shown herself to be someone we can trust with our lives.” “Excuse me while I latch onto the last part of that: ‘with our lives.’ What, exactly, is this potentially life-threatening task the Queen feels she ought to pawn off on the Goddess and her faithful donkey?” Genie shook her head, “Not every quest is about life and death for the kingdom. I just meant that Candi’s omnipotent bicep could have crushed through Queen Gouda’s mountain fortress if it had wanted to.” Kat raised an eyebrow in a mild, sardonic smirk. “I note that you still haven’t expanded on the nature of this mission,” she remarked. Genie looked down to the floor, “It’s not life or death. It’s just that there’s a semi-cursed item that Her Majesty doesn’t want to keep losing promising adventurers to.” She looked at Kat, “I notice that you didn’t react when I referred to the Goddess’ bicep’s power.” “Why would I have reacted to a verified statement of fact?” Kat asked. “How do adventurers keep getting themselves killed? Powerful wards? Deadly monsters?” “The guardians regenerate themselves over time,” Genie replied. “That’s how hidden treasure troves work. Otherwise, they’d get easier to obtain over time. What kind of sense of accomplishment would anyone have if they could just walk past rusted traps and the skeletal remains of long-dead guardians to get a legendary item? Monsters are naturally attracted to such places. That’s a basic law of existence.” She sniffed, “If you’d rather not undertake the quest, I could always offer it to someone else.” “Do you have other quests lined up?” Kat asked, “Are they first-come first-served? Also, are there actually physical laws of nature that govern treasures?” “I keep forgetting that you’re still a stranger to the Faerie Realm,” Genie replied. “Nothing is plain or mundane unless someone maintains it that way. I do have another task, but I was thinking of asking either Shayna or Ivey and Sadie to do it, since it seems more tailored to them. There’s some trouble with the beast courts that needs to be addressed. I also think that gaining this reward is more suitable to the Goddess’ power level.” “If I may interrupt,” Candi said. “You two don’t have to treat me like I am somehow above engaging in conversation. I really do like interacting with people.” “What is my Goddess’ decision?” Genie asked. Candi tilted her head and pursed her lips, “Not every decision that I make is momentous. I’m not the source of ultimate wisdom. This is just my opinion, but I don’t think that Sadie is a good choice to do anything diplomatic with fae, since she tends to make them nervous.” “Shayna won’t refuse,” Genie said. “She’s incapable of saying no to any task that could help others. She also owes the Queen a favor.” “Do fae ever do anything that doesn’t involve manipulating people?” Kat asked. “Where’s the meaning in one’s actions if they don’t involve someone else?” Genie replied. “If a question falls in a forest and no one answers it, does it make a sound?” Kat snorted. “If you want selfless altruism, then you should be consulting with your sister’s mystical kin,” Genie answered. “You’ll receive a sense of fulfillment, but not one of intellectual accomplishment. Their realm is beautiful, but is not one that appeals to me.” “Your riddles are more fun,” Kat answered. She squeezed her hand onto Candi’s bicep peak where she had been resting it. “I’d already made my decision as to which higher power I am most suited to serving and to whom I had pledged my soul. If I let you, you’d banter and trade verbal jabs for hours. Now, what is this about the magical item being semi-cursed? How is that possible? Aren’t curses an all or nothing proposition?” Candi took in a sharp breath as she looked at Kat. Her biceps swelled, with their peaks standing out further in front of her, in response to Kat’s announcement of devotion. Kat slid her hand from where it was over Candi’s vein to the side of her bicep as she felt it grow. She half-closed her eyes, “Faith and devotion are absolute in my family. I expect that means I get the full protection of this.” She pressed her fingers against it until they blanched. Candi felt light-headed for a split second. “They appreciate your devotion and, of course, they will spare no effort in aiding you.” Her pulse echoed in the cabin, rattling the windows. “They do question the sincerity of your servility, though,” she added. “Too much?” Kat smirked. “Maybe a little,” Candi laughed. “Whatever ulterior motives you might have are fine. You aren’t their, or my, absolute servant. I really wouldn’t want that.” “I’m allergic to bowing and scraping,” Kat said. “I’m respectul, but don’t expect anything overboard and we’ll be just fine.” “The kiss to them as a greeting is more than enough.” Candi looked at Genie, “You were about to let us know a little about this magic item, right?” “There’s a wide variety of curses,” Genie said. “Some cause horrid things, like causing hair loss or sickness. Some kill people or cause destruction. This item’s one is a curse that I think you can handle. Before I tell you the curse, I should let you know what the item is. It’s a nearly indestructible set of armor that adapts itself to... fit the wearer.” “I can see why people would want it, but what do you mean by nearly indestructible?” Kat asked “It’s supposed to be actually indestructible,” Genie replied. “But I suspect that the Goddess could destroy it if she saw fit to do so.” “That would be counter-productive,” Candi said. “It would mean that we’ve done a quest, got the reward, and threw it out.” “I’ve done that in enough video games that I don’t want to do it in real life,” Kat added. “Now, Miss Evasive, what is the curse? Does the armor never come off? Does it only protect itself? Is there some other bizarre ability that renders it unusable?” “The armor is crafted of the purest, toughest and hardest adamantine metal that any alchemist or blacksmith could ever forge. It will change its appearance to match the desires of the wearer.” Genie said. “That sounds good so far,” Candi added. “It starts out oversized and then shrinks to fit the wearer perfectly,” Genie said. “I can see how that might become awkward,” Kat admitted. “What if your desire is a suit that looks like Spandex? No joints would mean you couldn’t take it off or move and you’d starve to death in the armor.” “It’s not just that it fits like a set of tights,” Genie shook her head. “It shrinks onto the wearer and keeps shrinking. People are crushed into paste by it. Since its magic, it self cleans once the wearer dies. There’d be a bunch of bleached skeletons around it if the monsters didn’t eat them.” “Yuck,” Kat opined. “That seems perfectly awful. Who came up with an idea like that?” “No one knows,” Genie said. “It’s rumored that the first victim was its creator, and that it was tossed into the caverns by his family to hide his shame.” “What do you want me to do with it?” Candi asked. Kat tilted her head down and looked up at Candi, “Do you really think this magical item is capable of doing anything to you?” “”Wouldn’t it be unfair if I was wearing an impenetrable set of armor?” Candi asked. “Would it be less unfair if you weren’t?” Kat retorted. “And do you really think that it would be better if someone else were capable of hurting you?” “I didn’t want to feel like I was gaining some kind of an unfair advantage if I got it,” Candi said. “You’d be saving many others from certain death,” Genie replied. Candi looked at Kat, “This would be an adventure where you don’t gain any treasure. There’s no reward for you risking yourself. Are you sure that you’d want to go?” “Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,” Kat smiled. “I’ll think of something you can do to repay me.” Genie grinned at Kat. “Why, you could almost be fae, yourself!” Candi rolled her eyes, “Is there anything that I refuse to do for you now?” “You have yet to impart to me the ability to get the benefits of a workout without having to, you know, for example,” Kat hedged, “work out.” Candi blinked. “I don’t even know if I can do that.” Kat shrugged. “If I were to do it, it might end up being permanent, so you’d be stuck with it.” Candi replied. “It’s okay,” Kat said. “I haven’t actually asked for it, yet.” * * * * * “Magical gate key,” Kat slid the amulet back under her jacket. “Don’t leave home without it.” “You’re our guide, since you’ve got the map,” Candi said. “I’m as new to wherever we are as you are. How about if you write onto it something about how to find our way back?” As Kat wrote on the huge parchment, Candi thought, It might work. I’ve gotta give it a try. Her eyes lost focus as she concentrated. She tried to imagine Kat with a lean, ultra-defined and muscular build. Candi focused on her divine energy source and tried to imagine it projecting outward towards the girl. Kat grunted, staggered, and dropped to her knees as her stomach and legs cramped up simultaneously. She felt her muscles tightening and swelling under her clothes and she rolled onto her back as she struggled to kick off her boots and jeans. Just as her trousers cleared her butt, her glutes flexed and separated, thickening as the sinews stretched her skin. Her t-shirt split down the back as her lats and deltoids expanded to overflow the available space and her biceps bulged hard against her bowling-pin forearms. A thick, ropy vein pulsed from her upper arms as the layers of comfortable fat melted away and transformed into hard, corded muscles. The pupils of her eyes lengthened and her irises flared with bright, amber light. Kat yowled as the pain wracked her again. “Candi, what did you do?!” “You’re… I didn’t expect that,” Candi’s hair stood on end and she shifted into her murine form. “You’re a cat. You never told me that you’re a therianthrope.” The transformation finally completed, Kat rolled back to her knees, head down and panting. “I wasn’t,” she gasped. “At least, I don’t think I was.” Candi’s tail twitched behind her, “You wouldn’t have asked to be visited by the buffness fairy if you didn’t want it. People only joke about it if they want it.” She walked around Kat; Kat turned her head and eyes to follow as she walked, stretching a little further than seemed natural, “It’s going to take me a little bit to get used to being around a predator.” “What about Hung-Dong Nik?” Kat asked. “He’s almost a predator, isn’t he?” “I met him on my terms, knowing that he had no skills, no fighting skills,” Candi replied. “I was mainly focused on his more useful abilities. You caught me by surprise.” “I’m sorry that I’m not a sex toy,” Kat commented drily. “You just purred that,” Candi said. “Be glad I didn’t hiss.” Kat looked down at herself as she struggled back to her feet. “You realize,” she continued, “I can no longer wear those jeans and my shirt is shredded. We can add the fact that I didn’t bring along an oversized set of workout gear with me, today, and I’m wondering how the Goddess is going to get me home with my dignity intact.” “You’ve got barely twice my dignity, which still amounts to very little,” Candi replied. “I’ve got a couple of my Eye Candi outfits packed away if you want one. It’s better than the near nothing that you have right now.” “Microshorts and a halter? You realize we’re in northern Michigan, right?” Kat protested. “I’ll freeze!” Candi waved her forefinger, “We’re in faerie. The weather only corresponds to that region in earth-realm.” “Ice and snow!” Kat interrupted. “Maidenly bits freezing off!” Candi raised an eyebrow; somehow the furriness of her forehead made the gesture even more dramatic. “You realize you’re not even shivering, right?” Kat blinked, then blushed. “Uh… I kind of hadn’t noticed,” she admitted. “It might be adrenaline.” “Squish yourself an iceball out of the slush and tell me if your hands feel cold,” Candi suggested. Kat reached down and scooped up a handful of slush, making a face as she did so. She mashed it into a ball and pressed down into it, her delts and biceps thickening as she exerted them and the ball took form. “It’s wet,” she complained. “It… it’s not bad from the cold, but it’s wet!” She held the ball in front of her and was surprised to see that it had condensed into a nearly completely clear ball of solid ice. She snapped her hand closed around it and the iceball exploded from her grip. Candi flinched as bits of ice sprayed at her, “Hey… You know what you just did, don’t you? It takes an awful lot of pressure to crush ice, and you’ve just burst it.” Kat swallowed. “That’s going to take some getting used to. I’m not used to being strong.” She took a moment to gather herself before returning to her original point. “I’m also not used to being naked in public.” “This is making sense now,” Candi said. “You’re able to see in the dark. You’ve always got snappy comebacks. You’ve never been really intimidated by me, Heather, or any of the other girls, and you’ve got a very... strong opinion of yourself.” She pointed at Kat. “You’re a Siamese cat, aren’t you?” “Not last I checked,” Kat objected. “I mean, all that stuff is true, but I don’t recall ever having a fur coat, whiskers, or a tail. Also, my eyes are the wrong color.” “You haven’t felt yourself as being in enough extreme danger or stress to trigger your transformation yet.” Candi said. “I’m kind of honored that you feel that safe around me no matter what kinds of things have gone on around us. “Of course I do,” Kat snorted. “The Goddess promised to protect me.” “That means you really do believe in me,” Candi said. Kat’s eyes widened and she reached out to poke Candi in the shoulder. “Yup. Still real.” Candi rolled her eyes and smirked before continuing. “It also lets me know how much I have to live up to.” She paused for a second, “I didn’t flinch. It didn’t take all that long to stop being nervous around a cat.” She took a few seconds to shift from her mouse to her human form. “I don’t want to provoke you by remaining in the terrifying shape of a mouse.” Candi took her backpack off and asked, “Which do you want, a halter top and micro shorts like what I have on, or a bikini like what Cherry and Heather were wearing?” “Uh… I don’t think those bikinis would cover as much as the underwear I’m wearing now,” Kat judged. “I think I’ll go with the marginally less embarrassing halter and booty shorts.” “You could be a mini version of me, with a matching outfit, except that you’re taller,” Candi said. “That would make me look like your sidekick, won’t it?” She handed over the tiny articles of clothing. Kat slipped the shorts on and pulled them up over her butt, then slipped the halter down so that it mostly covered her boobs. “I don’t think any rational person would describe you as my sidekick,” she opined. “I mean, that would be a bit like describing Superman as Jimmy Olsen’s sidekick. Not bleeding likely.” “I take it that you’re not angry or disappointed by having your wish granted.” Candi said. “My opinion isn’t as important as yours in this, but I like how you look.” Kat shook her head. “I’m not disappointed,” she said, “and I would have to be pretty selfish and stupid to be angry. I can’t entirely judge how I look, yet, but I like what I can see.” “Don’t you want to, um… try it out and see what you can do?” Candi asked. “You don’t want to put others in danger because you don’t know your abilities.” She stage whispered, “and I’d like to see what you look like when you flex.” Candi got her cellphone out of the backpack and turned it on to record video. “You know I don’t really know how to pose, right? I mean,” Kat hedged, “I know how to direct, but I’ve never really done anything like this, personally. What do I do?” “”The key is doing it without looking like you are pushing yourself to do it,” Candi replied. “You’ve got to make it look like it’s effortless. Also, don’t worry about accidentally hyperflexing. If you have enough strength to do it, then Congo Rats.” She described how to do a few of the poses for competition. Kat laughed. “I just got into this outfit; I’m not gonna try and hyperflex right back out of it.” “I’d go without if that’s what it takes for you to do it,” Candi replied. Kat gave her friend a look that was so old-fashioned it had petrified. “I am not going to wander around Faerie in my birthday suit,” she said. “I meant that I could go around just in my fuzzy form so you’d have an extra outfit,” Candi said. “I’d use the bikini otherwise. Anyway, you’d have to have your butt hyperflex to split those bottoms. That would be pretty impressive.” “I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, Candi,” Kat said, “but, despite being shorter, you’re thicker pretty much everywhere. I can’t swear to your waist, but I think your abs overmatch the difference.” “Flattery won’t get you out of this,” Candi replied. “Less gabbing and more flexing. If you can hyperflex, it’s sort of like a mental switch. You go from normal flexing into high-power flexing.” “I’m a newbie at this, so don’t expect art photography levels of performance,” Kat turned to face away from the camera and lifted to her tip-toes. This widened her calves as they took on heart shapes, while her thighs flexed to press against each other. Her glutes dimpled in on the sides and a series of ridges. Her back muscles shifted into furrows as she held her arms to the sides and sat her hands on her hips. She flexed her lats out like wings. “I hope this looks good on the camera.” “I’m sure you’ll get some thumbs up votes on the Blazing Trails site,” Candi replied. “You’ve just earned your own page there.” “I don’t think I’m in that league,” Kat replied. “Maybe I could have a nearly hidden sub-folder.” She turned to face the camera and flexed her abdominals into rows of stacked bricks. Her breasts lifted as her pectorals flexed into grooved definition. “This takes a lot more concentration than I was expecting.” “Less talking and more posing,” Candi said. “Self-doubt loses competitions, or something like that.” Kat lifted one arm to hold it out horizontally and then raised her forearm. The swell of her bicep grew as she flexed, showing grooved definition as it reached partially up her forearm. “How’s this for a show-off?” “You’ll definitely qualify for any competition,” Candi replied. “Now give me your hardest flex.” I’m already doing it, Kat thought. Won’t this leave me sore? Maybe there’s that mental switch thing. She took a couple of breaths and clenched her teeth. Kat heard Candi telling her not to grimace as she shook with effort. She felt her exertion suddenly diminish and nearly collapsed as she suddenly was light-headed. Kat’s eyes opened wide as she saw her bicep’s peak at the level of her wrist. “Oh my… Candi...“ She staggered forward as she relaxed out of her flexed state. “Headrush,” she muttered. “You’re going to have to update your stat sheet for the weekly game,” Candi said. “How’s it feel to have a damage bonus greater than most monsters hit points?” “At first,” Kat said, “it made me a little light-headed. When you put it that way, though, it’s remarkably sobering.” “We should test out a few things, just for safety around you,” Candi picked up a branch and handed it to Kat. “I know you can squeeze through this with your grip. Put one end on top of your resting bicep, and cup your hand over the other end. Let’s see if you can flatten it against your palm by flexing your bicep against it.” “Won’t that get splinters in my arm if it works?” Kat asked nervously. “Toughness increases with superhuman strength, as far as I’ve seen,” Candi replied. “It would be useless to not be able to resist the amount of force you can exert.” “Okay, I’ve got to work on obtaining that zen mindset on command,” Kat was silent for a few seconds, then shuddered as her bicep filled out nearly instantly, sending wood shards out in a spray. “Woah! That felt kinda good.” She slid her other hand over her peak. “It feels a tiny bit sore where the end of the stick was.” “I’d guess you’re in the one to ten ton curls range, then,” Candi replied. “I stopped being able to feel any resistance to that when I got into the tens of tons amounts.” Kat nodded, then shook her head. “You know how ridiculous this is, right? I mean, twenty minutes ago, we’d have been talking about the poundage of my curls, not the tonnage.” “I think the best part of this is that I’ll never hear you complaining about the cold again,” Candi said. “Of course, summer’s going to feel awful hot to you. That’s the downside to having the energy output of a furnace.” “Summer was always uncomfortable.” Kat noted. “Maybe you didn’t notice, but I used to carry a pretty significant layer of insulation.” “Back to earlier, you’re in the strength range where using weapons becomes a hindrance. You’d break most of them within a few hits,” Candi said. “I suggest that you start out a fight by using no effort, and only increase it slowly. You’ll get used to it. For now, we need to find the cavern with the cursed armor.” “Yeah. I think I’ll continue to adopt my usual stance on fighting: I’ll try to not get in your way,” Kat said. * * * * * “We’ve been walking for about three days now, I hope you don’t mind that our meals have been consisting of whatever random animal I’ve been able to throw a pebble through,” Candi said. “I could have gone another three days without you mentioning that, since we also didn’t bring cooking utensils,” Kat answered. Candi stopped next to a clearing and set down the hare she was carrying. “It’s not as bad as it could have been. At least we don’t have to rub sticks together to start a fire for cooking.” She picked up a fist sized stone and squeezed it between her palms so that the pressure would melt it into a brilliant white fluid. It spilled onto the ground, charring it. Candi picked up a second rock to repeat the process. Kat shrugged. “I just don’t like getting my paws…” she caught herself, then corrected, “uh… hands all greasy.” She shuddered a moment before continuing. “You know, I used to be very much a ‘well-done and thoroughly cooked meat’ sort of girl; this amazon transformation is definitely more than skin deep.” “It's probably going to take a few days to get used to things. You didn’t just gain buffness. There’s going to be some feline behaviors you’re going to be having urges for.” She looked at the molten pool that was glowing in front of her. “Do you think this will keep hot long enough to cook what we’ve got?” Kat swiped a hand across her mouth, flicking away the drop of saliva that was forming as she contemplated the still-raw hare. “I think it’ll last long enough for me. We might want to skin the beast first, though.” “Shouldn’t that term be used for something that’s a bit more imposing?” Candi asked. “You’ve never watched Monty Python, have you?” Kat rejoined. “Everyone’s seen that. A twenty pound version of that rabbit would be a bit much to handle,” Candi looked at Kat. “Would you mind skinning and setting the hare up to cook? I caught it and I’ll get the cooking area ready.” Kat took the hare and cocked her head at it. “I’m not sure how to do this, really,” she admitted. “Most of my food comes with convenient instructions.” “Think of it as peeling a banana or shucking an ear of corn,” Candi replied. “The parts we don’t eat can be put into the melted rock to burn away. That way we won’t attract scavengers.” Kat gripped the hare firmly at the neck and pulled back until the spine snapped and the skin broke, releasing a splash of warm blood. She recoiled, dropping the animal. “Oh… oh… gross!” she hissed, wrinkling her nose. “That’s just disgusting.” Candi picked it up and finished the task of pulling its skin off, “The grass will cook off. I want you to get used to what your strength can do to a living creature.” She pushed a thick stick through the carcass and set one end in the ground so that the hare could start to cook over the still bubbling slag. Candi held her hands over it for a few seconds so that the blood would burn off. “I don’t want you to be dealing with normal people until you get used to your strength.” She got up and walked over to a torso wide, scraggly looking tree, “This one looks like it's sick, so hopefully we won’t have any fae getting angry from doing this.” She lightly tapped the tree, denting its bark. “Give it a punch right here.” Kat squared up to the tree. This is the first time she’s actually seen me take a fighting stance, she realized. The martial arts training from her childhood was barely more than a memory, but her new body easily fell into the pose, compensating for her slightly modified center of gravity as naturally as drawing breath. She stepped in and, with a sharp hiss of breath, attempted to drive her fist through the tree. Candi winced as wood shards exploded outward from the tree trunk. She chortled as she walked around the tree. “You’re over-extending when you punch. The idea isn’t to leave your arm buried up to the shoulder.” She pursed her lips and thought for a second. “Let’s see how much you can really do now. Bend your elbow to ninety degrees and flex as hard as you can.” Kat snorted. “I thought the idea was to punch the tree, not to tap it,” she said. She frowned and slightly twisted her arm to get her fist placed upright, then began trying to force her forearm into a vertical position. The wood groaned as it was compressed away from her bunched biceps. “This…” Kat grunted, “is harder than you guys always make it look.” She relaxed her arm then flexed again, trying to force it farther. The tree creaked as her bicep pushed up into it. “I’m used to doing it and you’re new to it,” Candi replied. Kat clenched her teeth and strained, pushing herself to try to hyperflex. She shook with effort, followed by a sudden tearing noise as she fully shifted, for the first time, into her hybrid form. Soft black and tan fur filled in over her skin, black at her feet, hands, and covering her face and ears, white across the rest of her body. Thick black cuffs grew in around her wrists and ankles, and a long, sinuous black tail grew and curled from her back. As her ears extended and grew, white whiskers sprouted from her cheeks and her eyes shifted from their usual hazel to a brilliant blue. There was a brief sound of fabric shredding as Kat’s body filled in with more than a hundred pounds of additional muscle and bone mass and grew another four inches. The outfit she’d been wearing, while designed to handle significant flexing, was simply not designed to handle such an extreme change in height and body mass simultaneously and the seams gave way, allowing it to flutter to the ground. Candi’s eyes opened wide and she staggered backwards. She shifted into her murine form, with her tail twitching nervously behind her. It’s tip made loud ‘Crack!’ sounds as it moved in a blur. She felt her pulse quicken as she tried to keep calm. Kat released a deep, guttural noise from her throat, a cross between a growl and a roar, and her arm, still buried in the trunk of the tree, snap flexed to truly inhuman proportions, blasting the trunk completely in half across its width as she completed her hyperflex. Pops and bangs came from the tree as her bicep split it vertically. The tree’s weight forced it downward onto her bicep, where it was split further. Kat shivered as she felt a wave of pleasure wash over her. Her eyes lost focus as her bicep’s peak rose through the trunk. The tree crashed to the ground in front of her as Kat held the pose, with her bicep’s peak ending nearly twice as high as her clenched fist. Candi remained on tip-toes as she approached. “Kat? Kat slowly turned her unblinking eyes toward her friend. “Yeth?” she purred, the sibilant transformed to a soft ‘th’ by her new fangs. “You’ve… You’ve shifted into your therianthrope form,” Candi gingerly reached upward as she stood on tiptoes to try and reach the top of Kat’s bicep peak. “You’re also hyperflexing. Wow! That really looks… impressive.” Kat released a deep, throaty purr. “I had no idea how good thith felt,” she admitted. After another moment, she relaxed her flex and gently stroked the short fur covering her arm as she continued staring at Candi. “You know you’re in mouthe form, right?” she asked, “and you’re jutht thcreaming prey, right now.” “I can’t help it,” Candi replied. “It’s my instincts. I’m going to need some time to get used to you like this.” She swallowed hard. “I’m trying to remember that eating raw rabbit ith yucky,” Kat admitted, “tho I get the inthinctth… intht... gut feeling thing. Thorry about the thpray.” “It’s probably harder to speak past fangs than it is buck teeth, Sylvester.” Candi took a step back. “I should have warned you that hyperflexing feels really, really good. It’s kind of addictive.” Kat preened for a moment, bringing her paws up and rubbing them against her muzzle before she realized what she was doing and dropped her arms again. “That’th gonna take getting uthed to,” she admitted. “It… I don’t really think about thingth… I jutht do. That’th how I hyperflekthed.” She grimaced. “That’th an awful word for teeth like mine,” she added. After another second, she sprang into the air, clearing a ten-foot standing jump with ease. “I hyperflekthed!” she crowed. “Me!” “Welcome to the club,” Candi replied. “You’re now a front-line fighter.” She paused, then said, “I didn’t catch it on camera-” “We can do it again!” Kat interrupted happily. Candi backed away and shifted back to human form, “As long as you’re not too shy about it.” “Definitely not!” Kat agreed. “It feelth good!” Candi turned the cellphone on and set it to record video, “It’s your turn to show off. We’ve got a little while before dinner finishes cooking.” Kat nodded and jogged over to another tree, “I could do it again, or I could try thomthing different.” She spread her fingers apart and bent them, into an approximation of claws. She then plunged her hand into it. “Ooh, I have clawth. I can feel them thinking through the wood.” She pulled her hand upwards like she was doing a bicep curl. As Kat did so, the base of the tree lifted from the ground, with the roots snapping. “It feels thtuck, Gotta thtep up my thrength!” Her tail twitched behind her as she moved her hips from side to side. There was a ‘Grunk!’ sound as her bicep grew forwards through the tree. Kat stood still and looked around as the tree collapsed. Her ears pivoted around. She then sprinted off. Candi caught up with the girl after half a minute, to find her panting as she looked at the carcass of a deer she had torn apart. Her ears lay flat against her head as Candi approached and her lip curled in an involuntary snarl for just a moment. After a second, the blue in her eyes faded, becoming greenish on the way to her natural amber color. A moment later, and her entire form seemed to collapse in on itself as she returned to her human form. “Oh god,” she said. “Sorry, Candi… I…” she groped for words, but couldn’t seem to complete the thought. “You spent time as a predator in a place where you weren’t able to hurt anyone,” Candi sat a hand on Kat’s shoulder. “It might take you some time to get used to what you can do.” Kat nodded and gripped onto Candi’s bicep, smearing blood onto it. She absently lifted her other hand to her mouth and began licking it clean. “For a second,” she said in between licks, “I just saw you as a… a competitor for my prey. Better,” she admitted, “than actually seeing you as prey, which I had to keep fighting to avoid.” “That’s a big step up for me,” Candi replied. “It lifts me out of danger, doesn’t it?” Kat chuckled. “I’m pretty sure that, even at my buffest, most hyperflexeded, the most I could actually do to you would be to blunt my claws on your skin.” “You’d still be able to scare me,” Candi said. “Perception takes a while to overcome reality. Kat… You do realize that you’re licking yourself clean, right?” Kat blinked, pulled her arm away from her face, and went very still for a moment, then spat on the snow-covered ground. “That… is really gross,” she said, “and, no, I hadn’t even noticed until you pointed it out.” “Maybe I should have kept quiet until you took care of me,” She looked to where Kat’s other hand had made streaks of blood onto her bicep’s peak. “Too late now,” Kat caroled. “Honestly, now I just want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep… and, yes, I’m pretty sure that’s the cat talking through me, too.” “Too bad. My ego would have really liked watching you lick my peak,” Candi said. Kat laughed. “Have you ever seen a cat giving its littermate a tongue-bath? Talk about acrobatic.” “I’ll let you in on a secret if you give it just one lick,” Candi smirked and wiggled her ears. Kat’s eyes narrowed and her grin became a wicked scimitar as she sauntered, exaggerating the sway of her hips, over to Candi and, very slowly and deliberately ran her tongue from the base of Candi’s bicep along the thick vein all the way to the top of the peak. She stepped away and licked her lips. Candi felt uneasy on her feet as her nipples tented her bikini top, “Th… Thanks… Wow… May I have another?” Kat shrugged. “I think you said something about a secret, didn’t you?” she asked. “You shredded your clothes when you shifted forms,” Candi said, then added, more quietly, “... please?” Kat leaned in to give a kiss to Candi’s peak, “I don’t want to spoil it by making it seem like you had commanded me to do it, my Goddess.” She sat her hand beneath the swell of Candi’s protruding bicep. “Speaking to you as divine rather than as friends now, I’m sorry that I startled you and hope that you have no hard feelings. I do remain your bicep’s worshipper, after all.” “I don’t know if you’re doing this as a sincere apology or as a way to manipulate me,” Candi said. “Good,” Kat gave a quick kiss and continued to hold on as she turned to lead them back to their camp. After a few steps, she stopped and groaned, “I shredded a thousand dollar outfit…” “And also, as a side note,” Candi commented. “We don’t have any backups for it.” “You know, there’s a perfectly serviceable deer hide, back there. Only slightly ripped.” She walked a few more paces and added, “it’s too bad I never learned how to tan leather.” “Neither have I, and I don’t want either of us to start smelling awful in a couple of days,” Candi said. “Of course, what I meant was that I had no replacement hot shorts and halter tops. I might be convinced to let you have the string bikini.” “That would still leave one of us wandering around naked,” Kat pointed out. “I meant that there’s one in my pack,” Candi replied. “I can’t refuse to aid my high priestess in her time of need.” Kat was silent for a moment. “Yeah, let’s do that,” she agreed. “Thanks. I’m gonna miss that other outfit, though. That was snazzy.” “No flinch at the title?” Candi asked. “As long as you don’t abuse it or expect me to start wearing robes and saying Gloria Matris, I can deal,” Kat said. “I mean, I figure my choice is high priestess or court fool…” “I’m not demanding that I be the exclusive divine figure,” Candi said. “That would be selfish and a bit too egotistical for me. I recognize that I am an earthly avatar. I also notice that most people are giving their devotions to my biceps and not to me.” Kat laughed. “Your biceps are the symbol of your divine authority,” she said. “I wouldn’t take it personally.” “I also don’t want to cause family friction for you,” Candi said. “I’d, or they’d, even accept your sister’s devotions, knowing that her first and primary duties lie elsewhere.” She paused, “I’d have to keep that a secret, though, unless she said it was okay to share the information.” “Honestly, I don’t know if Angel’s capable of worshipping another god,” Kat admitted. “She’s awfully tolerant of pretty much every religion, though, and she doesn’t subscribe to any of the terrestrial forms of Christianity or Judaism.” “I’m not about to try and force her,” Candi said. “My followers should never have to question if they are giving prayers improperly. Anyway, we should be pretty close to the caverns. They didn’t look too far away on your map.” “It’s a gaming tradition to enter dungeons in the morning instead of at night,” Kat replied. “Or, in the case of Faerie, since it’s never morning or night, after a meal and a long rest.” * * * * * “The caverns are just around this hillside,” Kat said as she went around a snowdrift. She stopped as she saw a trio approaching the same destination from a different direction. “Oh…” Candi stopped next to Kat. “Hail and well met, fellow travelers.” The youthful male in the trio, looking to be in his late teens and dressed in crimson and leather, planted his staff into the snow in front of him, “It is good to see others from Earth realm. What are a pair of high powered superheroines doing here?” “How did you know that we’re from Earth?” Candi asked. “Because,” the graceful elf in the center replied, “only kids coming to Faerie straight from a Renaissance Faire talk like that.” “It’s that obvious?” Candi asked. “‘Hail and well met?’” the elf scoffed. “‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ are a lot simpler, don’t you think?” Candi coughed lightly. “Okay… and what makes you think of us as superheroines?” “You’re carrying no supplies and you’re nearly naked in the snow,” the elf answered. “My turn. What, exactly, are you here for?” “We’re looking to retrieve a cursed magical item before it kills again,” Kat replied. “And how do you know about superheroines from Earth?” “That would be down to a few factors,” the elf explained. “The simplest is just to point out that Terrance knows all about your kind, seeing as that’s where he comes from.” Kat touched Candi’s bicep with two fingers and scowled for a moment. “Where do I remember that name from?” she asked. “Terrance?” Candi leaned forward and squinted. “Oh, yeah! You’re one of the students who went to learn with Queen Gouda a couple of years ago, aren’t you?” He took a few seconds to nod and answer, “Yes. How do you know about that? I don’t think any of us who came here are famous.” “I saw it happen... and I think I had math class with you,” Candi said. “I’d remember if there was some kind of muscle-goddess there with me,” He replied. “You’ve got half of that statement correct,” Kat smirked. “She was a lot mousier at the time, though.” “I’ve grown a bit since then,” Candi admitted. “You were gone before I won my first bodybuilding contest, if I remember right.” “Cute.. buff…” He paused, “Her Majesty has had us doing twelve hour studying. Apprenticeships are not easy.” He reached forward to set his gloved hand on Candi’s other bicep, “I kinda remember you, but, wow! You’re unreal now.” The lanky, grizzled old man in the worn leathers spoke up for the first time. “It’s always nice to see you youngsters making new and old acquaintances,” he said, “but we have a job. What’s this about a cursed item?” “Queen Gouda sent us to get it before anyone else does,” Kat said. “It’s inside the caverns we’re standing in front of.” “We’re here to gain possession of an item that grants invulnerability to its wearer,” Terrance said. “It cost me a month’s allowance to purchase a map.” “If something did that, don’t you think someone else would have gone through the trouble of digging it up long ago?” Kat asked. “The armor is invulnerable, but its wearer isn’t. It also shrinks to fit, right?” The thief crossed his arms and answered, “Of course. Any magic armor that’s worth having does that.” “It doesn’t stop shrinking when it’s put on,” Kat continued. “I bet whoever took your money didn’t tell you that part.” “Where’s the proof?” the thief asked. “You can claim anything you want. I could claim to be a king wandering about in secret.” Kat held out her map, “Does this look like yours at all?” “It’s got less smudges and clearer writing,” Terrance answered. “That doesn’t mean that Her Majesty gave it to you.” “I have an idea,” Candi said. “How about if my and my friend go into the caverns first? If the item isn’t cursed, we’ll give it to you.” “And any additional treasure?” The thief asked. “We’re not coming this far to walk away empty-handed.” “I’d offer you a thousand-dollar bikini on the spot,” Kat remarked, “but I’m wearing it, at the moment.” “Um,” the elf said, looking between Kat and Candi, “maybe we could sort this out a little easier if I tagged along with them. You and Terrance,” she said to the thief, “can wait out here and I will bring back shares of treasure for each of you. You don’t know them, but you know me and what my word is worth.” “What’s to stop them from killing you and dumping your body into the first available hole?” the thief asked suspiciously. “They’re superheroines,” Terrance answered. “It’s against their code to be so underhanded. But why should you go instead of, uh, me?” “No reason,” the elf shrugged. “I’m sure you can handle any dire rats, gelatinous corpse walkers, or wulfen that might be inside. I just offered as a way to expedite matters.” She smirked, “I’m also a lot faster and more resilient than either of you, so I’m more likely to survive. I can also see in the dark.” “I’m… willing to let them face any wulfen for us. If they come out without you, we’ll know that they’re up to no good.” “Then it’s decided?” Candi asked. The elf took hold of Candi’s bicep, “It is. You’re not getting rid of me until you can show that the armor is cursed.” “That was a lot easier than I expected,” Kat said. “Letting someone else fight things for you is not something you say no to,” The elf replied. “I’m Rayna, by the way.” Kat led them to the cavern entrance, “I’m Kat and this is Candi.” Once they were inside, the elf conjured up a trio of floating balls of light that floated around them. “I need to finish my introduction. My sister is someone that you know, Goddess.” “Who is she?” Candi asked, “And how do you know that?” “Shayna’s one of your followers, as am I?” Rayna answered. “Wow,” Kat said, “there really isn’t much family resemblance, is there?” Rayna laughed. “I suppose not. At least, not anymore.” She gestured towards herself, displaying her thin, athletic form. She wore a skirt and a halter top that showed her wiry build. “Shayna was once not so different from me… not as skilled a warrior, but she had aspirations to be a bard. We’ve got similar faces, if not similar builds, um, here...” Rayna held out her free hand to pantomime holding up her small breasts. “I learned of you from her, and agreed with her about allowing your power to protect me.” She pulled her armband to the side to reveal a thin tattooed line of flexed arms encircling her arm. The elf flexed, showing the slight bulge of her bicep. “I’m… I didn’t expect that there’d be others in the Fairy Realm who followed me, but thank you,” Candi said. “I’ll do everything I can to help you and to keep you safe.” “I know you will,” Rayna answered. “I’m magically sensitive. I felt your power through my sister’s connection. “I knew who you were the second you arrived. That’s why I sided with you.” She looked at Kat, “You know who and what you are traveling with, don’t you?” “Oh, sure,” Kat said, “This is Mistress Mighty Mega Muscle Mouse and I’m her high priestess, the kitty Kat.” She grinned. Rayna scowled and waved the index finger of the hand that wasn’t grasped onto Candi’s bicep. “You’ll not insult the Goddess in that manner! You should beg her omnipotent biceps for forgiveness.” “Boy, you’re easy,” Kat laughed. “Candi, did I say one word that wasn’t true?” Candi thought for a second, “What you said is technically correct.” “There, you see?” Kat said. “The Goddess prefers that all the swelling is reserved for her muscles and not her head.” Rayna looked back and forth between the two of them, “Oh? I should not have doubted your ability to think like a fey, Goddess. I was wrong to think that you’d only use the mindset of humans. Please see it in your heart to forgive me.” She held onto Candi’s peak with both hands. “Accept my apology, mighty biceps, or use your pulsing power to destroy me!” “I’m not totally clear what you’re apologizing for,” Candi said, “but I think splatting you would be pretty dumb, don’t you?” Rayna rubbed both cheeks onto the veins of Candi’s bicep, drying off her tears. She sniffed, “I doubted your abilities for a second.” She leaned in to give it a kiss. “I won’t ever do that again.” Candi blinked. “Was that all? A second?” Rayna nodded, “It is overwhelming to meet you. It is more than I had ever hoped for. I… I will make it up to you, I promise.” “You… really haven’t dealt with many humans, have you?” Kat asked. “I mean, other than Terrance.” “They tend to avoid the wilderness, so I have seen only a few of them.” Rayna lowered her vocal register when she said, “high priestess.” “Yeah, I thought so,” Kat said. “Okay… a couple things you probably ought to know, then, in order to make your worship a little more informed. First, you know that the Goddess was born into a human society and has lived among us her entire life, right?” Rayna nodded, “Shayna told me about that, and that she gained her position through virtue and her own worthiness.” “That’s a discussion that’ll take too long to dissect, I think,” Kat said, “but we can go with that interpretation. It works well enough. Second thing, who do you think is the oldest person in this room? Don’t answer, it’s you, if you’re Shayna’s big sister… by at least a century. Candi is actually the youngest person in the room, both as a goddess and from birth. One of the reasons we love her is that she still relates to us in all our quirky weirdness… and has a bit of quirky weirdness of her own.” “In other words, it’s cool if you feel the need to bow and scrape, I think- I’d leave that up to Candi, since she’s the one you’re praying to. I’ve known Candi since before she had any divine juice, though, and part of our relationship is based on being friends. I dunno. Candi, would you say that’s important? Am I leaving anything out?” “It’s not in your nature to show that much devotion openly,” Candi said. “It would look a bit forced if you were to do it. I also like that you’re comfortable speaking your mind to me and letting me know if I’m not seeing something straight.” Candi heard Rayna’s thoughts, I am the most devoted of all followers, my Goddess. I will never doubt your decisions. Your word is law. My life and spirit are yours. I exist only to serve your biceps. Candi’s gaze flitted back and forth from Rayna to Kat as her biceps swelled in response to the elf’s overt prayers. “I tell you what, Rayna,” Kat offered, “I’ll try- try- to be a little more decorous when I’m talking with or about Candi in your presence, okay? I don’t really need to go out of my way to make you uncomfortable.” Rayna took a few seconds to respond, as Kat could see that she was trying to choose her words, “I don’t want for you to doubt in the Goddess’ judgement or abilities. I accept your promise to be more respectful of her.” “For the record,” Kat pointed out, “I promised to be more respectful of you; if Candi wants me to stop being the voice on her shoulder, I’m sure she’ll tell me. She’s never been shy.” “Yes, priestess,” Rayna said. “I will follow her instructions,” She looked down into Candi’s eyes. Candi hesitated and then said, “High Priestess, you may continue to suggest alternate solutions to problems. Rayna, I accept that you are the most devoted of all of my biceps’ worshippers. I’ll do anything I can for both of you.” “Thank you for accepting my devotion,” Rayna gave Candi’s peak a kiss. “EIther I or Kat should be in front as we go through the caverns, in case there’s any dangers,” Candi said. “You’ve got invulnerability sewn up,” Kat mused, “but I think my vision in the dark is better, if we want Rayna to douse her beacons for any wandering monsters.” “It would still leave at least two beacons,” Candi pointed out, “unless you think you can see with your eyes closed.” “What should I do?” Rayna asked. “Can you make them as dim as Kat’s eyes?” Candi asked. “That should pose no problem,” Rayna said, “I see little but dimness from her.” Kat guffawed. “Nice, kiddo! You’ll get the hang of this yet!” I will prove myself worthy of being High Priestess, Rayna’s thoughts showed up in Candi’s mind. Rayna said, “Fae are masters of using language.” “The map only showed where the caverns are located,” Candi said, “I was told the treasure will have guardians, but I suspect it is a random chance that determines what those will be. The realm’s laws dictate that there must be guardians, after all.” “And now I’m balancing the possibility of avoiding traps altogether if I lead versus the likelihood of no one suffering any injuries except to dignity if you lead, Goddess,” Kat said. “The downside of me leading, of course, being that if I do miss a trap, I’m likely to go splat.” “How about if you take the lead just for the beginning of the caverns, to see how they are set up?” Candi asked. “I’ll take your place when we’re further in, because the more dangerous things tend to show up as you get closer to the treasure.” “That closely resembles logic,” Kat judged, “so I’m game. Keep a little space behind me and I’ll let you know if I see anything.” “Just scout ahead for a few minutes and come back,” Candi said. “You don’t need to be an experience hog.” Once Kat had walked ahead, she looked at Rayna, who still had both hands pressed against her bicep hard enough to blanche her fingers. She used a soft voice to say, “I don’t want Kat to hear this, because this should be a secret between just us.” “What secrets do you wish to share with me?” Rayna asked, “I will guard them with my life.” “These aren’t the types of secrets that are so valuable as that,” Candi replied. “I just figure that it will be up to you if you want to share them. I really appreciate your devotion. It means a great deal to me.” “I’m working on living up to your ideals,” Rayna said. “I exercise daily. It’s just that elves don’t usually show much from it.” She looked down to her feet, “I sometimes wish that I had met the genie who granted Shayna her abilities instead of her. It's selfish, I know, but I really do want to show my devotion to you by improving my physical build.” Candi used a finger under the elf’s chin to tilt her head upwards, “I can’t expect everyone to be highly muscular. Some people will never look that way no matter how much work they do.” “Are such people to be rejected by your biceps as unworthy?” Rayna frowned, her eyes watering slightly. “Doing that would be mean,” Candi shook her head. “I’m, um… They are happy with people who try. What I wanted to discuss was why Kat is allowed to advise me and to say pretty much what she wants to.” “Oh?” Rayna perked up, her ears no longer drooping. “Why do you allow her to be so disrespectful? I would never waver in my absolute devotion.” “Neither will Kat, but she shows it differently,” Candi replied. “Her main purpose is to keep me aware of how my actions will affect normal people. Without that, I could slowly become evil, and I cannot allow that to happen.” “Do you want me to make up flaws in your divinely inspired plans so that I may become your high priestess, Goddess?” Rayna asked. “I could state one right now. Venturing into the caverns is putting both Priestess Kat and me in danger. The treasure we are seeking is invulnerable. Why not expand your biceps through the entirety of the cavern system, crushing all of the monsters and traps? You could just retrieve the armor afterwards. It would take you barely a second to do that.” A pair of gleaming hazel eyes appeared and approached. “There’s actually a reason for that,” Kat said as she approached. “Sorry, overheard that bit. It’s a good thought, but it wouldn’t work. There’s an unwritten cosmic law that says hyperflexing almost never works out the way you intend it to.” She looked at Candi. “You ought to tell her the story of capping the volcano…” “I’ll tell her once we get back outside.” Candi looked at Rayna. “What I’ve learned about the faerie realm is that motivations matter at least as much as actions. Hyperflexing and instantly killing the dragon in its lair is a shortcut that will not work. It’s like everything done anywhere in faerie is meant to teach a lesson.” “It’s like how everything in Faerie is a three-day journey,” Kat added. “Want to go to the spooky dungeon? Three days. Travel to another country on the other side of the haunted forest? Three days.” She paused. “A teaspoon of sugar for your tea from your next door neighbor?” Candi and Kat finished together, laughing. “Three days!” Rayna cocked her head, thinking. After a few seconds, she said, “I never noticed the wisdom in that.” She looked at Kat and said, “But I will earn the spot of High Priestess for Faerie.” Kat shrugged. “I’d support you; you’d be my pick over either Gouda or Genie, honestly.” Rayna beamed, “Thank you for ranking me higher than the Queen and her new Lieutenant.” “Um… sure?” Kat looked over at Candi. “There’s a little intersection ahead; one of the paths leads to some sort of underground river; I could hear the water moving, even though I couldn’t really see where it came from or went to. The other direction seems drier and there was a slightly minty smell. I got a little contact high, so…” “So you want to see what is down the dry path, since you’re not too fond of wading through icy water,” Candi replied. “Give my druthers, anyways, yeah,” Kat agreed. “This Kat only likes water when it’s nearly steaming and sprayed at me from a proper shower nozzle.” “That would be kind of a bulky set-up to carry on an adventure,” Candi replied. “I’m not sure what you mean by your reaction, and I don’t want you all loopy, so I’d best go first.” She looked at the elf, “That means you should let go so that I’m in front of you.” Rayna nodded and took a step back, placing herself just ahead of Kat and behind Candi as they forged ahead. As promised, the air became noticeably drier, with an almost static sensation charging the atmosphere and limning the corridor with ghost lights. Candi kept her fingertips on the side of the tunnel, while holding her other hand out in front of her. She caught her breath at the subtle, almost invisible beauty of the outlines dancing around the edges of her vision. “It looks really nice in here. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. I’m also going kind of slowly. If I bounced as much as I usually do while walking, I’d probably be bumping my head on the roof.” Kat nodded, then realized that neither of her companions could see her. “To be honest,” she admitted, “I hadn’t really noticed much of what it looks like. I think the structure is more crystalline through here, though.” After a few seconds, she added, “The first part of your second statement had me thinking that you were bragging about certain parts of your anatomy having outclassed mine.” “I don’t think it would be good for your ego to stoke boob-envy,” Candi replied. “But thanks for noticing. I think the height difference is why I’m not filled out enough to match Cherry or Heather.” “For you to match them, you’d look like nothing but boobs,” Kat said. Rayna blushed, “That’s not something elves excel in.” “With the obvious exception of your sister,” Kat tossed in. She walked a little closer to the elf and laid a hand on her shoulder, keeping pace with her just a step behind. After a few seconds, she withdrew her hand again and a soft purr rumbled in her chest. As they continued, a dull, smoky odor with a sharp afterbite of mint started to permeate the air. Kat stopped frequently, then darted to catch up with her companions. The corridor went past hanging beads and into a chamber. Oil lamps sat on top of stalagmites, while a shag carpet and an avocado colored futon were along the back wall. A tall woman wearing long, dark blonde braids and a cream-colored hooded poncho with a lace fringe and a geometric tribal pattern detached herself from where she was lounging on the wall and strode gracefully, sinuously towards the party. “Hey, how’s it hanging?” she drawled. “Don’t see a lot of visitors out this way. Those are some rad bikinis.... You been in Faerie long, now?” Candi stopped a short distance inside of the sweet-smelling room, “Uh, how’d you know that we’re not all from here, and what is he smoking?” She pointed to a slender man who was lying languidly on the futon. He had on vertically striped pants and was holding a wide glass tube that he was sucking smoke out of. “Is that a… a bong?” The man sat up and shook the golden locks of his hair back over his shoulders, “Dude-ettes. Don’t bring me down with negative vibes. We brought our home here from Woodstock so that we could continue to live in love.” He squinted at them through glazed, slightly bloodshot eyes. “I’m Leon, the chick at the door is Ariel.” He looked around and another woman propped herself up behind him, where her body had been hidden, snuggly tightly against him. “This is Cleo. Hey, baby, say hi.” Cleo waved. “Hi, man.” Kat walked further into the room, brushing against Rayna as she passed. “Catnip!” she said, her eyes bright. “Primo weed, right on,” Leon answered. “You want a hit?” “Uh, no.” Candi held her arm out to the side, blocking Kat. “How do you know that we’re from earth, and why are you smoking that…” She stared at the trio for a second. “You’re not human, are you?” “Correctomundo,” Leon agreed. “We are a dancing troupe of fancy felines. Troubadours and fortune-tellers. “Do you get a lot of business down here?” Rayna asked. He laughed, “This is our lair. We meet our patrons at this or that or whatever faire.” He waved his hand as he talked. “So… you knew where we were from because you’re fortune tellers?” Candi asked, wrinkling her nose. “That and you’re rocking those bikinis on some seriously buff hot bods.” Ariel replied. “No one here wears those. You’ve also got a thick accent.” “I do?” Candi asked. “Compared to here,” Ariel answered. “You’re… were-types, aren’t you?” Candi asked. “Lions,” Cleo waved her hand like she was reaching with a paw. “Rowl.” “Stay mellow; we don’t eat people. Strictly tofu and vegetables for us,” Leon said. “It keeps us in harmony with the cosmos.” “You’re not guarding a treasure, then?” Rayna asked. “Not unless you mean the herb garden,” Leon confirmed, “and we aren’t really guarding that so much as sharing it with anyone who wants some.” “Do you know what else is in these caverns?” Candi asked, “We don’t need the catnip.” Kat shot Candi a hurt look, but Ariel spoke before she could object. “Hey man, your loss. This stuff is Rocketman.” She paused, marshalling her thoughts. “Best catnip in Faerie. Maybe the only catnip in Faerie.” Cleo rolled her head. “There’s another group of folks down the river,” she said. “Which side?” Kat asked. “I didn’t see them when I went looking.” “Not by the river,” Leon explained. “In it.” “Weird dudes and dudettes,” Cleo added. “Niskies, I think.” “Nixies?” Rayna asked. She stood where the swell of Candi’s bicep was between herself and the were-lions. “Yeah, those,” Leon replied. “What are nixies?” Kat stage-whispered to Rayna. “Water sprites,” Rayna answered. “Think of them as water nymphs.” “Yeah, those,” Leon repeated. “Then, um… How about if we leave you to… whatever you were doing?” Candi asked. “Have fun carrying off the treasures,” Leon answered. “The real treasure is friendship, by the way.” “Uh, thanks,” Kat replied. “We’ll keep that in mind.” “Come back and tell us all about it when you’re on your way out,” Cleo said. “We’ll bake some brownies… unless we have a gig to do.” * * * * * As they left the chamber and walked back to the stream, Kat stopped and pulled out the map. “What are you doing?” Rayna asked, looking at her curiously. “I’m just updating the map,” Kat said. She chewed her lip for a moment, then carefully wrote, “Cat’s Lair” in neat, block text. Candi looked at Rayna as they got to the stream, “Are you able to walk through freezing water safely?” “Not if I want to remain healthy and bipedal.” Rayna answered. Kat, who seemed to be sobering as they walked, said, “I notice you didn’t ask if I could withstand freezing water.” “You’ve been wandering in the snow, barefoot, for three days… in a bikini with less material than a dice bag,” Candi retorted. She looked at Rayna, “We’ve got no choice except for me to carry you. You can’t monitor our actions and keep us honest if you don’t come along.” “I think this is just your prejudice against the feline of the species showing,” Kat grumbled. “I don’t think the inverse human pyramid is the ideal way to conduct exploration,” Candi replied. “There’s a problem with your thinking,” Kat said. “First, there need to be humans present for that to be done, second, you shouldn’t play favorites.” “For someone who refuses biceps rides out of principle, you’re being awful needy,” Candi said. “Mew?” Kat intoned. “It’ll build character,” Candi sat her cupped palm between Rayna’s thighs and lifted her, letting the elf slide down her forearm to end up straddling her bicep. “Thank you, Goddess,” Rayna answered. Her cheeks flushed pink as Candi’s pulse vibrated her body. Kat grumbled some incoherent words and hissed as she and Candi stepped into and sloshed against the knee-deep flow of water. After a few minutes, a few glowing eddies surrounded them and coalesced into humanoid torsos rising from the stream. “Hi,” Candi said, “we’re looking for a cursed treasure. Call me Candi…” * * * * * “They weren’t too informative,” Candi said once they were a good distance from the Nixies. “It’s like they don’t care for much other than their own affairs.” “I could have told you that they’re self-absorbed if you wanted,” Rayna said, “Not all types of fae like dealing with anyone but themselves.” “Why didn’t you tell us that before?” Kat asked, cocking her head to the side curiously. “I was kind of… distracted,” Rayna answered. “Oh… You’re not all sweaty just because Candi is like a furnace…” Kat paused. Rayna stroked a finger along the vein that was sitting on, which pulsed every other second. “No, no need to describe your excuse…” Kat looked ahead of them, “The river looks like it's heading to a shore soon.” As they waded to the shore, Kat muttered something under her breath, quietly enough that neither of her companions could quite make it out. “What was that?” Candi asked. Kat cleared her throat. “Sorry,” she said. “I was just offering a prayer to the gods of tabletop gaming, because I think we’ve been really bad PCs and we must be pissing off the dungeon master.” “We’ve been doing pretty much what our characters do in our game,” Candi replied. “What’s wrong with that?” “It’s a wonder that William still has any hair, rather than having pulled it all out,” Kat said. “Or maybe he only has some because he’s a werewolf and it grows back every full moon. What activity are ninety percent of game stats made to figure out?” “What kind of game?” Rayna asked. “It’s a type that I don’t think is popular here, because you live it every day,” Kat said. “It’s impressive that you’re able to form coherent thoughts right now.” “Um, fighting?” Candi replied. “And what activity do we seem to avoid as much as possible, oh unstoppable combat monster?” Kat asked. “Outright stupidity?” Rayna suggested. Kat sputtered with laughter. “I get it,” Candi said, “but Rayna’s right. If we don’t need to fight, there’s no reason to murder everything we run into.” “I’m not complaining about it,” Kat shrugged, “but it does seem kind of odd that a legendary treasure has no guardians that need to be fought.” “It’s like an intelligence test to get the armor,” Candi said. “Though the final test is in knowing not to use it.” The tunnel opened into a voluminous cavern with a set of gleaming high gothic armor on a rough-hewn dias. Luminous lichen covered the walls and ceiling, providing a wavering blue-green glow. She set Rayna down onto wobbly legs, “All that’s missing is a kind of ethereal-sounding choir.” “It’s still been too easy,” Kat said as Candi approached the dias. “Something’s making me feel uneasy.” There was a low rumble and pebbles danced across the floor. Kat looked around, trying to find the source of the tremor, but nothing was immediately apparent. “Okay,” Candi said, “that was-” The ground beneath her geysered up, an enormous stone hand pounding into Candi and smashing her all the way up and into the ceiling of the room. As quickly as it had struck, the enormous figure finished pulling itself out of the ground and dull, crimson eyes scanned the room balefully. If turned and, even before Candi had fallen to the floor, swiped one of its gigantic hands crossways at Rayna. Kat reacted instantly, throwing herself across the room and catching Rayna just ahead of the golem’s swipe, rolling and tumbling barely just beyond where the rocky hand grasped at the previously occupied air. Candi rolled to a crouch from where she had thumped to the ground. She coughed and said, “Does this make you more comfortable, Kat?” Kat eyed the stone figure warily. “Is it too late for you guys to offer prayers to the Tabletop Gods?” she asked. “I think they were angered because I was the only one.” “It’s bad form for me to do that,” Candi replied. “Nothing will supplant the Goddess in my thoughts!” Rayna shouted. Candi looked around the room, “Did either of you see where it went? How could something that huge vanish?” “It did some kind of space-warping melding with the floor,” Kat replied. “It was painful to watch.” “Thanks for your faith, Rayna.” Just as Candi finished saying that, stone corkscrew shapes arched around her to envelop her limbs. “Why’s it going after me?” “Maybe it has a power meter, or maybe it's because you cause mini tremors with each footstep when you stop concentrating?” Kat flinched as Candi’s casual motions swelled her leg and arm muscles enough to shatter her restraints. “Would you prefer it if it went after Rayna or me? Right now, I’m thankful that it’s your biceps and quads that are keeping it busy instead of one of us.” “What is that thing?” Candi asked, “If my snapping it apart doesn’t hurt it, then punching through it won’t do anything.” “I’m a bit behind in ‘monster identification’ class,” Kat replied. “It’s a big rock thing.” Candi paused, setting her hands on her hips, “Very insightful.” “It’s an elemental,” Rayna interrupted. “You need magic to disrupt it.” “Are either of you wizards?” Candi asked. “I haven’t even got my Junior Enchanter’s badge yet,” Kat admitted. “Headmistress says I’m too impulsive.” “I could hyperflex straight down to make a bottomless pit for it to fall into,” Candi said. Kat’s eyes glowed brightly as she considered this. “You remember the volcano?” she asked. “There was a lesson there. I don’t fancy what all that displaced rock would do to the surrounding landscape, do you? Cabbage farmers would be a little put out to suddenly find themselves on the side of a new Everest.” Even Rayna blanched slightly at this verbal image. “I would trust the Goddess; if she believes that making a bottomless hole would be best, then it would be. It would be even better than countering the elemental’s Earth magic with water!” “I save her life,” Kat grumbled, “and I’m the idiot. Figures.” As the golem started to emerge from the ground, Candi grabbed onto it with both hands and heaved, sending it across the room to shatter the dias. The effort slid her across the floor in the opposite direction. “We could grab the armor and run.” “It’ll chase us if it’s geased to protect the armor,” Rayna pointed out. Candi sprinted and leaped into a kick to shatter the elemental as it started to morph, “Bad creature! No shifting forms!” “Bad monster,” Kat mused, “no biscuit?” “Exactly!” Candi growled. “There’s its anchor!” Rayna pointed to the broken dias, “It’s inside of there!” “It’s got a monster generator?” Candi asked. “How else do you bind an elemental to an area?” Rayna asked. “Good point,” Candi admitted. “You’re welcome,” Kat said. “How about tossing the monster generator into the river?” “That’ll leave you two to face the elemental,” Candi replied. “You take the generator!” Kat looked at the generator for a moment and blinked. “I guess… I could carry that, couldn’t I? I’m not used to being this strong.” “Just pull it out and go!” Candi replied, “That’s your Goddess ordering you!” She shifted from foot to foot, looking for where the elemental could appear next. Kat hopped onto the raised platform and reached down… just as the golem started to reform beneath her. She dove back, swearing hotly in frustration as the golem clipped her ankle, sending her sprawling. Pain flared in her leg and, for a moment, she struggled to maintain control. This is not the time to shift to full Lion King, she thought. That would really screw us. “Get its attention,” she shouted to Candi. “I can’t get close when it’s right on top of it!” Candi nodded and thought, How do I do that? After a second, she tensed slightly, focusing on increasing the radiance of her pulse. Each muscle on her swelled, with her veins protruding obviously over them. The thumping of her heart became nearly deafening. Kat stood, frozen in place as Candi seemed to magnify herself in front of her. The golem rose from the floor and smashed an enormous boulder of a fist down at her, only to have that appendage smashed to rubble on Candi’s upraised forearm. Wow… Kat thought. “Priestess…” a voice said at the edges of Kat’s awareness. “Priestess!” It was Rayna. What does she want, Kat wondered. Kat looked over at the elf. “Good,” Rayna huffed. “The Goddess assigned you a glorious task! How can you defy her?” Kat blinked. “Uh… sorry. My brain got stuck for a second.” Monster fighting Candi… “What was I doing? Oh.” She reached down and gripped the smooth rock, her fingers chipping flakes of stone away as she got a secure grip. She grimaced as she tore the power center from its base. The entire structure was large enough that she could barely see around it. “Rayna,” she yelled, “I’m gonna need your help. I can’t exactly navigate with this thing…” “Follow me!” The elf’s floating motes of light flared up like blazing torches as she jogged in front of Kat and led her away towards the river. Candi was left fighting the elemental solo and, she had to admit, the experience was one she wouldn’t have minded passing on. Blinded, the rocky form repeatedly pummeled her from angles she failed to guard against, batting her around the room for what felt like hours before it finally, for no discernable reason, stopped. As Kat and Rayna returned to the cavern, Candi said, “The plan worked. Either that, or the elemental got tired of fighting and left. In either case, it’s nice to be able to see again. It gets really dark underground.” “You don’t see in the dark?” Rayna asked. “I also can’t fly or make it rain,” Candi replied. “My aspects are kind of specific.” “I don’t feel a twang of sorrow for your limited scope of abilities,” Kat said. “I’m just glad it stuck with you and didn’t come chasing after us.” “I conducted an unwilling exploration of the whole cavern by feel while you were out,” Candi said. “In other words, I got tossed around like I was a ping pong ball.” “That explains the unkempt appearance of your raiments,” Kat replied. “I don’t think you’ve just been hit by inspiration for distressed bikinis.” “I’m not sure what we should do right now,” Candi walked to the shattered dias and picked up the suit of armor. “Do we bring this back? People are going to be attracted to it and sneak into Queen Gouda’s fortress to steal it if we give it to her. It’ll be taken out of a museum if we bring it to earth. I bet it would be dug up if we buried it.” “I thought you were supposed to go all ‘Fires of Mordor’ on it,” Kat said. “Wasn’t that the reason they tapped a goddess to play Stepin Fetchit? “You can use your limitless strength to destroy it so that no one will be hurt by it ever again,” Rayna suggested. “It’s cursed, so any magical backlash to its creator from me doing that would be deserved…” Candi sat her hands on either side of the helmet. After a few seconds, her pectoral muscles swelled with effort. “It’s not budging.” “On the plus side,” Kat noted, “it’s doing some pretty spectacular things to your muscle tone.” “You’ve got a few free show-off coupons left, don’t you?” Candi asked. “They are redeemable at any time.” Her eyes widened and her pupils dilated for a second. “Oh… That is something I’d best not try to alter.” “Candi,” Kat said, “do you realize your sequitors are non? That last statement completely failed to sequit.” “The armor’s protected by some kind of divine power,” Candi set the helmet back onto the suit. “That makes it an artifact. Breaking it might get me into a fight with whoever or whatever is responsible for it.” “So… you can’t, or at least, had better not, destroy it,” Kat mused. “Doesn’t that mean essentially putting yourself a rung below whoever is responsible for creating this thing?” “Shame on you for even thinking that!” Rayna exclaimed. Kat grimaced. “Rayna, I’m trying to think of a way around it. You could help, you know.” “Entertaining thoughts of doubt towards the Goddess’ abilities are not conducive towards solving any problems, High Priestess,” Rayna said. “There must be a reason that Candi hasn’t subjected the artifact to her strength.” “You’re kind of talking like I’m not here, again,” Candi interrupted. “It’s not a question of ability on my part, or a contest of faith on yours. I just don’t like the possibility of starting a feud with another power for no reason.” Kat gave a slightly sardonic tilt to her smile. “That was the reason I was trying to think of a workaround, yes. I’m just not really coming up with anything that won’t, eventually, backfire.” “Goddess, why don’t you keep it for yourself?” Rayna suggested. “It wouldn’t be able to crush you if you had it on.” “That would be denying it to anyone who could find a way to subvert its lethal purpose,” Candi thought for a second. “Of course, I’d be doing exactly that. I like the idea of ruining the fun of whatever sadistic entity created it.” “I look forward to hearing about how much fun it is wearing that full time in the shower,” Kat noted, “or... during other activities. I’m sure Nikita won’t mind sharing all the gossip with me.” “That’s assuming I couldn’t take it off or shift it to a non-inconvenient form,” Candi replied. “I could arrange for you to watch so you won’t have to hear about our playtimes second-hand.” “Never assault the modesty of an exhibitionist,” Kat grinned, then blinked. “What do you mean? It changes shape?” “Did I forget to mention that?” Candi asked, “That’s a rhetorical question. That was the rest of the bait that’s tied to it. Anyway, it looks like it’s time to change. No one’s going to miss an abraded and torn bikini.” She slipped off the remains of her outfit, then put on the helmet. “The armor would be useless if it stayed oversized like this.” Candi’s echoed. She pulled on each piece of the suit. “I guess we wait for it to activate?” Kat nodded. “Hey, Rayna?” Rayna looked at her. “Can I borrow a blade?” Kat asked. “A knife would do.” The elf took out a small, thin belt-knife with an ornate handle. “What are you planning on doing?” “Testing a theory,” Kat said, taking the knife. She spun and stabbed, hard and fast at Candi’s belly. Rayna flinched as the knife skittered across the armor. Kat handed the blunted weapon back to Rayna. “Thanks. Sorry about the condition of the blade, but… really, you had to be expecting that, didn’t you?” “Hey!” The armor had already started pulling inwards onto Candi. “You scared me.” “Worth it,” Kat laughed. “You know you’re invulnerable, right?” “But how invulnerable is the question.” The metal made creaking and popping sounds as it pressed against her, forming into a silvery, reflective second skin. Every striation and vein showed. “I’m still alive, so that’s good news for me.” “I was never in doubt,” Kat said. “Were you in doubt, Rayna?” “Uh, no.” The elf shook her head. “She’d not be worthy of her title otherwise.” Rayna sat her fingertips onto one of the veins that pulsed along Candi’s bicep. “She wouldn’t be a Goddess if a magical item could hurt her.” The metal made crinkling sounds as she breathed, as it remained ‘painted on’ over her flexing abdominals. Candi slid her other hand over her head and frowned, followed by the reflective cap vanishing. “How’s it look?” “It looks,” Kat said, “like you’re wearing silver body paint. Can you do anything about the color?” “I’d be blinding drivers if I wore it like this from its reflections, wouldn’t I?” Candi asked. “As opposed to merely causing heart attacks due to terminal awe?” Kat asked. “Yeah, that’s much worse.” “I didn’t do that before?” Candi tilted her head. “I haven’t been trying hard enough.” “Usually your clothes obscured your nips and… other attributes,” Kat remarked. “Then the armor is an improvement,” Candi replied. After a few seconds, the metal shifted to yellow, with a red flaming comet design that wrapped from her sternum to halfway up over her breasts. A yellow outline of a mask flowed into place. “How’s this for coloration? Is it working? I’m trying to imagine myself wearing a costume.” The material flowed across her skin, leaving her wearing boots that came up over her thighs, bikini bottoms, a sleeveless halter top and gloves that went halfway over her biceps. “I confess,” Kat mused, “I’m impressed. I didn’t realize it was possible to be simultaneously more covered up and more indecent.” “Then, other than the hair color, could I pass as the original?” Candi asked. “I’m pretty sure that anyone who’s completely devoid of all of their senses would never be able to tell the difference,” Kat agreed. “I really can’t wait to actually do superhering stuff when we get back,” Candi said. “My guess is that wearing a costume is what attracts villains.” Candi flexed some, expanding as many of her muscles as she could. “It’s kind of useful having a costume that won’t get shredded. Cherry’s costume is made for tiny calves and biceps.” “Uh, did you just refer to Cherry as having tiny…” Kat asked. “That was my mouth getting ahead of my brain. Sometimes my inner voice filter turns off,” Candi replied. “I’m awful at lying and would be a terrible poker player. Yes, I really do look up to how she has unshakable conviction and to how her life seems to only take place to do good for others. I was just being honest in comparing our builds. There is one way that I’m not able to ‘fill her costume’, and that amount of size wouldn’t look right on me.” “I know that you’re fishing for me to confirm the obvious about how you and she look, but you already know the answer,” Kat said. “I’m sure you’ll be able to find cats stuck in trees or burning buildings to rescue people from. Right now, I think we should get out of the caverns so that we can complete the quest.” Once they made their way out into sunlight, Candi looked at Rayna, “I’m glad that I had the chance to meet you. It’s like I was fated to meet the most devoted elf in the faery realm.” “Maybe my belief was strong enough to bring us together?” Rayna asked. “I wouldn’t doubt it,” Candi replied. “I have a favour to ask you.” “I couldn’t say no to any request you have, Goddess,” the elf nodded. “What is it that I may do for you?” “Could you represent me here, in this region?” Candi asked “Be a High Priestess?” Rayna asked. Candi paused. “Yes,” she said. “Can you be my high priestess in Faerie?” “I… I…” Rayna blinked. “I think I need to sit down, for a moment.” “Nice going, Goddess,” Kat said. “You broke her.” “I, uh… didn’t expect her to faint,” Candi replied. “I’ll take that as a ‘yes.’”...
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