Things had been slow at the Bridgestar in Rekani City. A slow enough night that I’d left and went to one of the parks just outside of town. A certain itch was growing from a few days ago, and I wanted to scratch it.
I reached into one of my pockets and pulled out a pair of tiny marble-sized Poké Balls, pressing the buttons to enlarge them.
“Standby okay!” Its digitized voice said. Half of me still wanted to cringe, but hey, I liked authenticity.
With a simple toss into the air, I said those words that triggered the change. “Let’s… Henshin!”
“Ko-ba-ri-o-nn! A sword held to the sky for justice.”
“Ze-ku-ro-mu! A thuderous roar that shakes the skies.”
I soon found myself in the armored form again, mostly identical to my anthro Cobalion self. Black boots and gloves, cyan and white metal plates with a rubber underarmor, a helmet with my horns, and two red opaque lenses that gave me a wider view inside than outside. And of course, thanks to my alterations, my thick equine shaft was out in the air covered in black rubber from tip to base.
Then the additional Zekrom armor appeared, its heavy arm shields and claws wrapping around me, along with the rest of the pieces from before. I’d made sure to give it larger feet to be a tad more accurate, and because I liked that sort of thing, so the heavier paw-like boots really did shake the ground slightly as I walked further into the park. And just as suddenly, the larger hybrid cock with its ridges and knot hung down between my legs, its pointed tip hovering just inches from the grassy ground in its flaccid state.
I stretched a bit, but before I could do anything, my phone began to beep, signaling a call. Sighing, that thing was brought out, and begrudgingly so, only to find myself taking a video call instead of one over voice.
My mother, Lenne, was on the other side, showing hir lovely bone dragoness face… Well, skull mask, but with hir, same difference. I haven’t seen it removed in so long that it might be permanently attached. What wasn’t attached was hir eyes, given how shi immediately went silent and began looking across the screen on hir side.
“That’s what you’ve been working on for the last week?” Shi asked, eyes dropping down and staring in what I could assume was befuddlement.
I chuckled. “Part of it. You caught me just after work, and right before I sat down to let out some steam. What’s up?”
The look on hir face changed, and certainly not for the better. “We kinda need you here at headquarters. I’ll explain when you get here, but long story short, rebellious teens and a closed store.”
“Explain while I’m on my way.” I said, using my suit’s abilities to take off into the sky toward the massive building in the distance. “It’s gonna take me a few to get there.”
Mom sat down in a chair, holding hir phone up in one hand. “…You know that Northern Cross store in Bell Falls Valley here on Shirohoshi?”
“The one that got broken into a few months back?” I thought back to the incident itself, as I’d been looking into it on the side. “Yeah. A minor sawed through the locks on the employee door. Stole a Keldeo TransSuit, some restraints, and some love doll trans-clothes. Same store get hit again?”
“Yeah, except they got in through the loading dock this time. Alarm didn’t get tripped, so they might’ve done some damage to the system. Regardless, security drones managed to catch eight minors after they’d put on some TransSuits of their own, and their Keldeo buddy after he put on one of the love doll suits. Easier to get them by the handles… Still, five got away. Hey…. Wait a second…”
My mother paused, looking off camera at something. “Come in as you are. I might have an idea if it comes down to that.”
That sent a shudder down my spine, but I wasn’t entirely sure what kind it was. Either the kind where I’d enjoy seeing some karma being handed out, or the kind where I’d regret helping.
After finishing my flight, I touched down in front of the massive building. It was the middle of the night, yet the place was packed. Even more than usual. The looks I got as I walked through the front doors were priceless, but the elevator ride was a little bumpier than I’d wanted it to be. Still, I managed to get to the fourteenth floor without too much incident, thanks mostly to the fact that I could turn off the ability to generate fluids down below. Security and holding were just down the hall to the right.
And upon entering through the keycard-locked door, I was met with a hell of a sight. My mom was still sitting in a chair at the security desk, while our thieves were locked away in a few of the forcefield-protected cells, a most of them still cuffed as well. Two humans with taur lower bodies, a couple of wolves, a fox, a shark, the Keldeo love doll, and two plain humans. Great…
“Good, you’re here.” Mom said as I walked inside, getting to hir feet. She didn’t have any of her unuigokununoj with hir. Like, no headhands or headfeet… Just hir base bone dragoness self. Shi never left without any visible partners. That really made me worried.
I crossed my shielded arms, looking at the kids in their cells. “So, what’s the plan?”
“Well, they’re very…unruly is such a light word, but it’ll work.” The exasperated sigh shi gave told me plenty. “Anyway, despite appearances, they’re all human. None triggered the permanency shift, thank the gods. The two out-of-suit have their parents on the way, but the rest—including our love doll friend—aren’t getting any such backup. In fact, horse-boy’s parents pretty much said he’s on his own.”
“Any hint that they might be abusive?” I had to ask such questions any time a line like that came up. “Or any of the others?”
Mom shook her head. “I don’t know yet. Can’t find anything on the wolves or fox, even after pattern matching their DNA. Got their info, but nothing about their family. The two taurs are siblings, and their parents are in prison vases in the Butterfly Kingdom. Jury’s still out on the doll, but I’ve got a couple of officers in Bell Falls Valley looking into—-“
The doors behind me opened as the two of us looked on. Doberman security drones, leading in five new additions to the group, all humans of various ethnicities. One of the drones must have seen my ID tag, because they handed me a stack of paperwork to look through while their partner led the others into the holding cells.
All five humans gazed at me in almost absolute horror, but I wasn’t entirely sure why.
“Found them hiding in the store warehouse.” The female officer said, her voice digitally masked to protect her identity. “Took a bit to calm them down, but we still can’t take any new juveniles right now, so we had to bring them to you.”
While I flipped through the pages on our guests, Mom started asking questions. “Called their parents yet?”
“On their way. We gave them vouchers for transport if they needed it.”
“Says here one of them is a perpetual runaway?” I asked, not liking what I saw in the writing. “Was that ever looked into?”
“Abusive family.” The officer said, sounding rather sad about it. “Mother’s doing time in Echo Glade Prison for armed robbery of a resource shuttle. Father got himself arrested about two years ago for capital assault. Beat the kid’s sister senseless for getting a low math grade. He’s looking at being recycled from what I remember.”
“Guardians?” Mom piped in, looking over the page with me. “Yeah… I know these two. One works at the Bridgestar there in Bell Falls Valley. I trained her in my management class.”
That begged the question… “How’s the sister doing?”
“Scared shitless.” That wasn’t the reply I was hoping for from the canine unit. “Shi can’t sleep in the dark, every little sound will startle hir… Poor kid desperately needs help, but no one’s been able to get through.”
“One thing at—-“
I held up my hand, stopping Mom mid-sentence. Shi knew I wouldn’t do that without reason.
“Put this Gyre kid in room IA-four-two, just down the hall. I want a heart-to-heart with him in a bit.”
In the corner of my vision, I watched as the officer’s partner walked back into the cells and pull a green-haired human out, escorting him back out and into the hallway. The human looked just as frighted as when he was brought in. Perhaps even more so. Maybe there was some hope for him yet.
“And the others?” Mom asked, grabbing the paperwork to look through. “Eh… Most of them don’t have much of a history. Probably worth just a warning, and maybe a bit of community service. Depends on the parents, of course.”
If I could’ve smiled with my mask, I would have. “Take our Keldeo friend to a solo cell on the next floor up. We’ll let him sweat it out for a few hours before we handle that issue.”
Mom did the smiling for me. “Sounds like you’ve got a plan.”
I pointed to the line with the kid’s date of birth.
“Ah! I see. Nice catch!”
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a rowdy human child to look into.”
As I walked out the door, Mom had to get the last word in. “Another project, huh? Good luck. Maybe that ability of yours ‘ll come in handy again.”
Shirohoshi’s security interrogation rooms were no place for a minor. I knew that as much as anyone else. But as I sat on a backwards chair in front of the fair-skinned kid, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of pity for him.
There he was, a seventeen year old, two weeks from adulthood, still wearing the black rubber skirt and shirt he was caught it, scared shitless of what probably looked like an armored monster that had done nothing but stare at him in silence for a few minutes. The only thing between us was the strong metal chair, a table with his information on it, and a forcefield that let us see and talk to each other.
“So…” I said calmly, causing Gyre to practically jump out of his high-heel dominatrix boots. “You kinda fucked up today, kid. Not the end of the world, but you did what you did.”
He didn’t say anything, instead turning and huddling against the wall, bringing his feet up onto the bench. I’d seen that reaction far too many times over the centuries. Scared, but still stubborn.
“You don’t have to say a word to me. Your guardians are down the hall, getting a rundown of what happened from the officers. I don’t know why you chose to follow your friends in there to try and nick what you could, and I’m not even going to pretend to know what your life is like. But I do want to ask you about a few things.”
I stood up as my helmet digitally retracted into the rest of my armor, showing my real face. Upon walking to the energy screen to make sure he could see me, he seemed to relax a bit. Maybe all he needed was to see he wasn’t dealing with that monster…
“First of all, I noticed you grabbed feminine clothing. Are you trans, or gender fluid perhaps? I’d rather not get that wrong if I can avoid it.”
Gyre mumbled something I couldn’t hear at first, but then, that meek squeaky voice managed to say something I could understand. “I just like girly things…”
“Alright.” I leaned back against the table, trying my best not to crush the thing under my weight. “Second question. How’s it feel to be wearing that kind of outfit? To wear skirts and such?”
That seemed to get the kid’s attention. He looked at me like he barely understood a single word. Curveballs tended to get that kind of reaction around me, but in this case, I really needed to know what was going on up in that head of his.
“I…” There was the pause of confusion. “I just really like it. My little sister always let me wear her stuff, since we’re the same size and everything. I even got to hang out with her friends. I wasn’t a girl, but they treated me like one. I… I’ve just always really liked how it feels.”
And there was the sound of my own train of thought derailing and shattering. I wasn’t expecting it to be connected to such a sensitive subject. Just glad my Comfort ability was letting me get through to him.
“Do your guardians know?” I asked, picking my phone up off the table and tapping out a message. “About your clothing preferences and such?”
He shook his head. “No… Mr. Rikan really isn’t home much, and Ms. Rikan works all day. I just…I don’t really know ‘em too well. Sis and I only started living with ‘em around two years ago. She likes ‘em, but won’t talk to anyone.”
The kid was well spoken. Twenty-somethings I knew were more crass than him, yet here it felt like I was back in college talking to one of my classmates. Something just wasn’t adding up about all this. He felt too mature for such a petty crime, and yet, here we were. It just didn’t sit well with me.
My phone buzzed, showing a reply to the query I’d sent. “Well, I’m going to give you a bit of news. Good or bad depends on how you look at it.”
As I got up on my feet again, my armor clattered hard against the ground, startling the poor kid. I’d almost forgot about how big those massive Zekrom pieces were. “You’re not looking at any jail time or anything from the officers, just a warning. However… You’re also not going home today.”
He got to his feet, but I raised my hand to stop him from speaking, which really made him back off for a moment. “You still need to pay for those clothes you stole. You got into the Prime level merchandise, and those aren’t cheap, so you’ll be working it off here for the next two weeks. You’ll stay in a room on the fourth floor, with an ankle bracelet to make sure you don’t run away, but you won’t be treated any differently from an employee here.”
Again, I saw him try to argue, but all that came out of his mouth was a tiny squeak, then silence. I think his brain was finally starting to process what I’d just said.
“We’ll be talking during these two weeks, too.” I continued, pacing slightly as I spoke. Thankfully, the building didn’t quake like the ground back home did. “Not just about you, but seeing about helping you out where we can.”
At that point, Gyre’s jaw dropped. I smiled, reaching up to the door controls to lower the forcefield.
“I don’t like seeing people in bad situations, but I really hate seeing people not get enough help when they need it. Trust me, you’ll learn pretty quick just how spontaneous of a person I can be. Especially when I see someone I feel could use my attention. You’re not the first, and certainly not the last.”
I held out a clawed hand to him. “You’ll find that even monsters like me can be your greatest friends sometimes. Come on. Let’s get you to your room so you can relax for a bit.”
The human stayed still for a few moments. Comfort must have been wavering. But, in the end, he took it, and I helped him to his feet. I think it must have been the relief that things weren’t as bad as they seemed. I couldn’t tell what was going through his head, but I could only hope it was a bit more positive than when he first got put in that cell.
After getting Gyre set up in his room, and outfitting him with some appropriate attire for his needs, I realized it was after midnight. The day had just shifted, and I had a birthday present to give.
After changing out of that armor and into something a bit more fitting, I went up to the solitary confinement section, hooves squeaking with every step. If I was going to deal with an Omega-tier Keldeo love doll, I might as well match her on that.
Molded static mouth surrounding a red onahole, gemstone eyes cut and set to look natural, cyan and grey latex skin with texturing, golden horns with grip texture, actual hooves instead of the usual boots, actual hands instead of the usual mittens… Of course, my dildo-like cock was standing at attention, just like an actual sex doll’s would. But that wasn’t important. I wouldn’t exactly be using it.
The guards saluted me as I walked past, using their keycards to open the outer visitation section of the cell.
“Jeri Inga?” I called out upon entering, watching as the Keldeo across the room looked up at me.
Much like my current self, she had a molded static mouth, textured skin in all the right colors, grippable horns, hands and hooves instead of the usual lower-tier features, and even the dildo between her legs. The only differences were the inflatable mane and tail that bobbed as she moved, and the pair of breasts adorning her chest.
The fellow Poké Doll got to her feet, speaking in what was clearly a voice-changed feminine tone. One of the defaults, as I recalled. “Yeah? Who’re you? My executioner?”
“Funny.” I replied, crossing my arms as I sat down on the chair in front of the forcefield that kept her inside. My chest pressed against the back of the art deco piece, allowing me to lean on it as I spoke. “I’m TeraDyne Hitokage-Ezeri, co-founder and president of Shirohoshi Enterprises.”
“Well, I came to give you a few bits of news.” Comfort wasn’t going to work with this one. I knew that going in. “First of all, congratulations on having your legal sex officially changed to female. The judge wanted me to deliver that to you personally.”
The Keldeo shook her head, before turning around and walking back toward the foldout bed and sitting down. Seemed Jeri had managed to remove the host zipper of the suit. She very much wasn’t human anymore, and while I had the ability to change her back, I doubted it would’ve done any good. In fact, it probably would’ve caused a lot more problems all around.
“Second, your parents wanted to wish you a happy birthday. In your case, it’d probably be more apt to call it your date of manufacture now.”
“Ha ha. Funny…” She replied leaning back with her arms behind her head. “I’m not even like this for a day, and I’m already getting jokes about it.”
I paused, trying to gauge this person. Something…wasn’t right. The kid was acting more spiteful than anything. I needed more info if I was going to get to the bottom of it.
“So… Why’d you do it?”
“Hmm?” Jeri looked at me, that molded smile seemingly rather fitting with her sarcasm. “Whadya mean?”
“Why’d you break in and steal things?” I asked, leaning forward just a bit. “Why not save up and buy them yourself?”
The snirk that came from the Keldeo was… I couldn’t figure out what it was. “I tried. This suit’s the one I ordered. But just like everyone, they took one look at me and said nope. Never even refunded me.”
That made little sense. Seventeen year-olds could order the doll suits to be delivered within a week of legal adulthood. Unless… I looked back at the information I’d gotten before, and found a picture of Jeri as a human. Young, blond hair, green eyes. She looked mostly normal. Then I saw the height chart…
“You’re only about a hundred and thirty centimeters. Same size as that suit.” I gazed back up to see her lie down. She was fairly short for a human. “Let me guess… They thought you were a child with a stolen ID and card?”
“Yup.” She replied, sounding a bit more angry. “Didn’t matter that the bank card was in my name, or that my ID checked out. Didn’t matter that I’d gone to that same fucking store and signed for the whole thing. Soon as the delivery person looked over everything, they just turned around and left. Felt like the last ten years of therapy just became a massive slap in the face.”
Therapy? Oh dear… I could see where this was going. “Species dysphoria?”
Jeri rose to her hooves and began pacing as she spoke. “Species dysphoria, gender dysphoria… Didn’t help my parents kept waving it off. Said I’d end up a big strong soldier like my dad. Didn’t matter that I liked dresses and skirts, they kept putting me in fucking jeans and t-shirts, with combat boots and shit that I hated.”
Oh fuck… Curiosity kills, as they say. And it just killed my entire set of expectations for this lady. It seemed to be killing her too. From the sound of her voice, she would’ve been streaming tears if she were still organic. The pain just kept growing in her words as she melted down in front of me.
“I had dreams! I was a week away from getting out on my own, being what I knew was the real me! Immigration stuff was done so I could move back to the Butterfly Kingdom. Hell, I already had my application filled out for Ralshi’s Diner in Jarosi’s Cove on Aurumera! They told me they’d be happy to have me as a waitress after my transition! And then…? Nope! Just because I’m fucking four-foot-two and human!”
Disaster… That was the only word I had for the situation. However, while I kept listening, I swiftly brought my phone out from its hidden pocket on my waist, and started tapping out some messages. Strongly worded messages, except the one to my mother.
“I spent so damn long trying to do things right, and what did I get out of it? Fucked over! Get good grades in school? Oh! You’ll do better next time. Not to mention the fucking math teacher I got this year, telling me he should’ve failed me for a ninety-five. The phys-ed guy always roasting me for showing up in a skirt because I’m not a little girl. The therapist at least knew how to treat me.”
Then, silence… She wasn’t shedding real tears, but the foal-sized unicorn was crying. Just…crying. Huddled in the corner, sitting on the floor, head against her knees.
“I miss Echo Glade…”
That was it. That was the information I needed.
I looked through her file again. There, at the back, was her early known history. Born at Rolthir Memorial Hospital in Echo Glade. She was born a Glade human, and ended up one of the tall ones, since they rarely grew past four feet. Sunuva—-
“I’m here, Tera.”
Mom came walking through the door. Apparently, shi’d stopped by hir office at some point, as hir twin orcas had taken up the positions for her legs, their heads hidden behind their maskboots. That meant shi might have been relaxing. I really hated to ruin that, but business was business.
“Mom…” I turned to look hir in the eyes, my hand hitting the button for the soundproofing controls. I didn’t want Jeri to hear what I was saying. Not just yet. “Mom, this whole incident might partially be Shirohoshi’s fault. There’s a chance I’m going to need full permissions to…deal with a number of civilians.”
“Sob story?” Shi asked. I shook my head, and handed hir the file, complete with the notes I’d been making on them after I finished my texting spree. It didn’t take long for hir face to fall. “Oh… Oh fuck… Tera, I don’t want you investigating this.”
I stood up, sighing. “Didn’t plan on it. I’ve got about twenty of my own people working that part, but if even some of what she said is true—-“
“…We’re gonna have to pass some stricter laws around here, yeah… As for our friend here…” Shi paused, looking at the still shivering mess of a Keldeo in the back. “Miss squeaky won’t be on the hook for her own suit if it really was paid for. Just the other things that were stolen. For the breaking and entering, though… This is a tough one.”
Looking back down at my notes, Mom got lost in hir own thoughts on the matter. However, I was already working out a few of my own ideas.
“Two years of work at a store on Aurumera for both damages and the stolen goods.” I said, causing Mom to stop and stare at me for a moment. “Mandatory therapy for everything she went through, and training for her new body.”
“That it?” Mom asked. “I mean, I’m fine with that.”
“As far as the company goes? Yeah.” My gaze went toward Jeri, who had stopped crying and just stared at us. “I’ll have Aika do the training. She’s probably the best one to handle this project.”
Mom looked a bit uncomfortable, her glowing red eyes also looking out at the Keldeo. Thankfully, her skull mask covered the front of her snout, so lip reading wouldn’t be easy. “Think our friend over there will agree to it?”
I shrugged. “I dunno. But I’d like to try and convince her.”
“Alright. Have everyone send their findings to me directly. We’ll talk about the investigation when there’s more info. For now…” I hadn’t seen Mom so unnerved in a while. “For now, let me handle Jeri. Make sure Aika’s ready to take another project, and get her a nice room up on the twenties. We’ve…got some work ahead of us.”
I turned to walk out, picking my phone up from the table and tucking it away again. “Yeah… So does Jeri.”
The trip up to floor twenty wasn’t exactly a comfortable one, but when the elevator opened and I walked out into the lobby area, things felt a little brighter. My phone buzzed, and I quickly looked it over, seeing a report that Gyre had finally went to bed. That was one issue down.
But when I looked up, my next potential hurdle was standing in front of me, talking to one of her department heads.
The Twenties… Ten floors, housing synthetics of all walks, and overlooked by one Aika. She was a Premier-tier living love doll, and had been since the headquarters was rebuilt almost a millennium ago. A snow leopard taur, white from top to bottom with black circular spots, with an expertly detailed and textured body, and the same type of molded static smiling mouth that many of the other toys of our type had. Fair-sized breasts on her chest stuck out from within her black custom top, while her feet and legs were wrapped in rubber hoof boots, buckles running from ankles to hips.
“Hello Tera. Hope you’re doing well.” Aika said, looking me over before starting to walk off. While we’d had a running rivalry for centuries, I did finally try to make amends with her when I realized she was just being competitive. Hearing her say that sincerely felt…really good.
“Aika…” The fact that I didn’t call her Mistress made her stop. “I’ve got a young lady down stairs. Just turned 18 a few hours ago. Permanently changed into an Omega-tier intersex Keldeo love doll. She’s looking at two years with the company for breaking into a store and stealing things, but… Let’s just say she’s not in a good place mentally because of bullshit in one of our outer cities.”
Sighing, I paused long enough to watch Aika fully turn around and look me in the eyes. “She needs someone to help her out. Think you might be able to mentor her?”
“Depends on what I’m working with.” She said, more with interest than worry.
The nutshell story would suffice. “Former Glade human. Transfemale. Parents dismissed her gender and species dysphoria. Saved up for her suit, but delivery agent apparently denied her because of how she looks. Broke into a Northern Cross store twice, finally getting her suit, but also getting caught with a number of other minors. She had a full meltdown in her cell a bit ago, but Mom’s talking with her now.”
“I hope you’ve got an investigation going into that delivery agent.” Aika began clopping around on the floor, as if trying to think. “I can’t take anyone else right now, but Faral’s free. If I can transfer some of my new trainees over to hir, then sure, I could take the kid in.”
I nodded and hugged Aika. “Thanks. I’ll let you handle who goes to Faral.”
She returned the embrace, our bodies squeaking against each other. But when we let go, she put a mitten hand on my shoulder. “One more condition.” Her other hand poked me in the chest. “Six months. You have to stay in some sort of toy form for the next six months. Represent us for a while. It’ll be a nice screw you toward the kid’s parents, too.”
“That I can do.” I said, stretching out a bit. “Been needing a change of pace, and I’m pretty sure a few of my cluster partners would love being in the same boat.”
“And now you’re starting to sound like you’re really needing something to relax.” I cocked my head to the side, which resulted in her chuckling. “Your voice waivers a bit when you get stressed. I’ve heard it too much over the years to not recognize it. So, how about spending some time up here with me and my crew? Schedule says you’re pretty much off tomorrow, so you could rest with my pets in the toybox room, check in on the new kid, and join us for a bad movie tomorrow night. We’re gonna watch Strange Terrors from the Nebula.”
As much as I wanted to groan from yet another person telling me I needed to relax, she wasn’t wrong. Seeing Jeri torn apart so easily really hit me hard. Harder than I wanted to admit.
“Sounds like fun. Plus, I really don’t feel like heading back to Saiden right now.”
“Good.” Aika gave me another hug. “Head to my quarters for now. I’m gonna get someone to make a room ready for the new kid, then make sure they’re comfy when they get brought up.”
I nodded, and the kitty made her way toward the other end of the hallway, hips swaying a bit from side to side. She seemed…excited. Hadn’t seen Aika so happy since…well, since I hired Mistress Faral to mentor under her.
Maybe things would start looking up for the night. I could only hope so.