“This will be dynamically handled, possibly correctly, in 4.1.”— Dan Davison on streams configuration in SunOS 4.0
Ariel was physically about 17, emotionally about 7, and intellectually a cat chasing a laser pointer. Bright and clever, sure, but severely ADHD. She’d bonded with Angel early in both of their lives, but had been separated from the others a long time ago. Since they never changed physically, they didn’t know how long she’d been alone, but I got the feeling it was longer than I’d been alive. Maybe a lot longer.
Her presence disrupted our comfortable routine. No, that’s not accurate. She disrupted me, with her eagerness for physical contact and her sleek, sexy body. She craved affection, rubbing against us every day and sleeping between us every night. And the fur that covered her just enough for modesty (mine; she didn’t have any) was so soft it got me going even when she wasn’t pressing her firm breasts against me. And she purred; oh, god, the purring.
What made it even harder was that she clearly approved of my interest, and openly flirted and teased. Only Angel’s increasingly-silent presence was keeping me from trying for a piece of tail, and something had to break.
Ariel wrapped herself around me so tightly that the air rushed out of my lungs and the blood rushed straight to my… just-bitten shoulder, fortunately. At her size there was no safe place for my hands, and she was definitely all woman, and she was purring. The pain wouldn’t keep me down for long, and I desperately needed a distraction.
Which she provided, suddenly leaping back over to Angel with a question that turned our assumptions sideways. “Do names make you grow up?”
It hit her hard. “It… I don’t… maybe they do, for us. Maybe the reason we don’t grow up is because we don’t have names.”
“Or maybe that’s the reason you weren’t given names.”
As if we needed another reason to despise whatever Powers were in charge of there.
Okay, even though I bought the foam-as-a-service frother, I decided to go under the hood and record the precise behaviors and results of the various settings included with the Nespresso Barista Recipe Maker. In a spreadsheet, because that’s one thing they’re useful for.
Given the caloric potential, I’m only doing one or two recipes a day. The nominal capacity of the device is 100-250 ml of liquid, 30-90 grams of ice, and 15-40 grams of solids (chocolate squares, in the supplied recipes), which will be optionally heated and whipped into some mix of liquid and foam.
On some settings, it will detect a lack of sufficient liquid, and demand more before continuing. For instance, 60ml of milk wasn’t good enough for the Cappuccino setting, but 70ml was. But the Affogato setting calls for only 40ml of coffee and nothing else, and works fine. Clearly my spreadsheet is going to need a few more columns.
Since it uses a magnetic stirrer, I’m guessing the “add more liquid” warning is triggering on excessive vibration, which offers another testing possibility, and another column.
Angel moved toward her slowly, talking in a low, soft voice, like she was trying to rescue a lost kitten. Which she was.
“No, honey, you’re not. Virginia’s the big one who liked to break our toys. Do you remember her? Do you remember me?”
The catgirl moved so fast my heart stopped, but it wasn’t an attack, it was an embrace. They clung together for a long time, and then Angel took her hand and firmly pulled her over to me. I did my best not to look like the kind of guy who’d hit a girl, even one with fangs and claws.
“This is Jack, my very close friend. Like you. He was alone for a long time before I came here, because Virginia left him behind like a broken toy. He named me Angel.”
That wasn’t quite the scenario we’d been discussing recently, but there was certainly some truth to it. Not that it mattered, because her ears and tail had shot up at the word named. She looked up at me with huge, hungry eyes, like I was holding a fish just out of reach. Seriously, it was adorable, but I could feel Angel’s eyes as well, a quiet pressure begging me not to screw this up.
“You’re close like sisters, and you move like the wind. Would you like to be ‘Ariel’?”
Catgirls don’t hug, by the way, they glomp.
True or false: Apple has locked Rachel True out of her iCloud account, for months, because her last name, when written in lower case, is getting parsed as a boolean.
Rachel, if you ever meet Robert Root, do not marry him!
…or Doug Core; I still remember when the OSU-CIS help desk got the
request to fix his email. It said he always had new messages when he
logged in, but it was always garbage:
“I’m pretty sure this one isn’t her. Or you.”
I winced as Angel bandaged the bite on my shoulder. I’d managed to avoid the claws somehow.
“What, you think we don’t bite?”
I was pretty sure she wouldn’t appreciate any details about what she had done with her teeth, or with her…
“Oh, hell, the pronouns are giving me a headache. Does she have a name, or can we give her one just so I can keep it straight in my head?”
She snorted as she finished patching me up, and started listing off possibilities. “Bitch, Slut, Witch, Wackjob, …”
“Cruella, Satana, Sinistra, Sextina, …”
“No, I think she’d like those.”
“Virginia.” Our eyes met, and our grins widened into laughter. She’d hate it.
“am… i… virginia…?” A quiet, halting voice came from behind me, and I turned to find our newest redhead peeking out from behind a tree. She looked frightened, and I remembered lashing out with a fist when she’d jumped us from behind the rock and sunk her teeth into me.
She was tiny, maybe a foot shorter than Angel, who’d recently shot up to about five-foot-six. It wasn’t a child’s body, though; she was a perfect miniature woman, with gentle curves covered by short, rust-colored fur.
Yeah, we’d come home and found a stray catgirl on the porch, complete with ears, tail, and the same face as every other redhead I knew.
It’s too late to create a Cancel Culture Bingo Card; they shut down the Senior Citizens Center a year ago. And Cuomo shut down the senior citizens, permanently.
“They can have my Green Eggs when they pry it from my cold, dead Hams.”
Honestly, I have trouble telling the Marxists and the Toddlers apart these days.
“When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have The Cat In The Hat.”
The only thing Heinlein got wrong in “If this goes on…” was the name of the religion that would destroy freedom in America.
“I kind of liked the hero thing.”
She grinned, then hugged me again to soften the blow to my ego.
“I think she found a hero. Here, on that rock, pulled across by a real Power, but left unwatched and unguarded. She staked her claim, then used the connection to shift back along your lifeline and take the credit. That’s something we can do.”
Remembering precisely how we’d been connected when I arrived, I looked down to find Angel blushing furiously.
“When we’re older. So I’ve heard. Change the subject, please.”
“So you think she was, what, poking around in there’s dusty little corners, and stumbled across something she could use?”
“Exactly. And that rock is the way in. It’s where she found you, it’s where you found me, and it’s where we’ll find her.”
Would you believe we found another redhead waiting to pounce on us?