To Love the Stars

Leaning back in his desk chair, Noah interlocked his hands behind his head and sighed contently. Finally, after all this time, it was really happening!

A knock on his office door snapped him out of his daydreams. Sitting up, he welcomed his unseen guest to enter, and turned to face the door. A bulky, muscular man with a white office shirt and a red tie walked in, sporting a proud grin on his face.

“Noah!” the man beamed, giving a hearty laugh and clapping his subordinate on the shoulder. “I figured you would have gone straight home by now!”

Noah gave a tired smile, but returned the man’s boundless mirth with a chuckle of his own.

“The rain is delaying air traffic,” Noah shrugged. “I don’t mind, though. Gives me a chance to spend a bit more time in here.”

“Don’t want to leave yet, huh?” Damien laughed, his voice booming mightily. “Heh! I kinda get that. But this is just a boring office, yeah? Nothing too fancy.”

Noah nodded. Eyes falling to the side, he couldn’t disagree – this part of the Arclight building really was just a plain, corporate office. Beige walls, cubicles, office desks, and coffee machines…nothing especially remarkable about it, except for perhaps the company logo, emblazoned on the wall – the words Arclight, with the dot of the I being a star symbol, sending out rays of light.

“But that’s all about to change,” Noah said.

“Got that right!” Damien nodded, his grin somehow widening even more. “This old building doesn’t really cut it anymore. Bet you’re really looking forward to that new research lab at the new HQ, huh?”

“I imagine it every night in my dreams,” Noah joked with a longing sigh.

“We earned, this, pal,” Damien nodded. “Every single one of us – but you and your team especially so.”

Shaking his head, Damien’s face grew serious.

“A functional hypergate prototype,” he muttered. “Even I barely believe it, and I was there when you tested the damn thing!”

“Outstanding,” Damien grinned, unable to contain himself. “Instantaneous FTL travel…a breakthrough fitting of our new Research Department Director!”

“I didn’t do it alone,” Noah said humbly.

“Bah, of course you didn’t!” Damien guffawed. “Every one of your team of eggheads deserves a medal, far as I’m concerned. And I bet that wife of yours contributed a hell of a lot more than she’ll ever admit!”

“No doubt,” Noah nodded in agreement. “I think she’ll accept your gratitude, at least. Just as long as you don’t try to recruit her again.”

Noah’s boss had tried many times in the past to recruit Miska into the research team, but she had politely refused each time – she craved no other profession, she explained.

“Oh, I know,” Damien sighed. “I don’t think I’ll ever really understand Abyssals, but I can certainly respect ’em.”

“I suppose that’s fair enough,” Noah nodded.

A beeping noise and blue light coming from Noah’s desk drew his attention. Noah swiveled his chair around and picked up his phone, the source of the commotion. With a tap of a button, the noise faded, replaced instead with the synthetic tones of Noah’s personal assistant, Viri.

“Notification,” she said plainly. “Your shuttle has arrived on the roof.”

“Guess that’s my cue,” Noah shrugged, sitting up and gathering his things. There wasn’t much – today was mostly a formality, and his real office was the laboratory downstairs, anyway.

“See you in a couple days, Noah,” Damien nodded, outstretching his hand. Noah took it, and winced a little as the man’s grip gave an unintentional show of strength.

“Oh, and seeing as we’ve got a whole week to settle in before work picks up,” Damien continued, “We oughta go check out some of the local places on Veruna, get some drinks.”

“Sure thing,” Noah nodded. “Be seeing you, Damien.”

“Have a good last night on Earth!” Damien grinned, clapping him on the shoulder and turning to leave.

With that, Noah strode out of his old office for the last time, humming a tune as he left.

********************

Keeping in line with his exercise routine, Noah elected to take the stairs to the roof, instead of the elevator. With umbrella in hand, he stepped out into the pouring rain, where his shuttle was waiting on the landing pads. Noah’s shuttle was a sleek, silver vehicle, slightly smaller than one of those old landlocked automobiles. The craft had no tires, and two anti-gravitation engines at the back whined continuously. The engines were surprisingly quiet, and were nearly imperceptible under the sounds of the deluge.

Hurrying forward towards his vehicle, Noah tried to protect himself with his umbrella, to mixed results. Thankfully, the doors of the shuttle slid upwards on their own as the craft’s sensors detected him, and he climbed into the pilot’s seat.

Not that he planned to do any flying in this weather.

“Autopilot,” Noah commanded.

“Destination?” asked a robotic, masculine voice, belonging to the VI that controlled the shuttle.

“Home.”

“Lifting off,” the VI agreed. The shuttle rumbled a little as its engines flared to life, and the craft rose smoothly into the sky before turning and zooming away. Despite the poor visibility, Noah could make out a handful of other aircraft, merely blurry dots as they raced towards their own homes. Thankfully, the weather made no difference to the powerful sensors of a shuttle VI, which kept the aircraft from crashing into anything – including other shuttles.

Gazing out of the window, Noah smiled to himself. He always loved this kind of weather. Rain was a commonality – it brought people together. There was a simple joy to be found in temporarily teaming up with a total stranger as you both tried to escape the rain. But at the same time, rain made things more personal, more intimate. People stayed indoors during rain, meaning that you did the same, and enjoyed a comfortable time with your loved ones, or you ventured out and enjoyed the quieter city from a different perspective. Even simply looking down at the sprawling urban infrastructure below him, admiring the towering skyscrapers…everything seemed slightly different.

In the rain, everything was just a little more interesting.

“Maybe we should take a walk together,” he muttered to himself. It seemed too perfect an opportunity to waste, seeing as this was their last night on Earth.

“Viri,” Noah said, rising from his thoughts and pulling his phone out of his pocket. “Call Miska.”

“Calling Miska,” his VI affirmed. The waiting tone chimed on for a few seconds, before a gentle voice picked up and answered.

“Barnes residence,” Miska greeted, her voice coming through the speakers in the shuttle’s interior.

“Hello, Miska,” Noah sighed, his lips curling up in good-natured amusement. “But you already knew it was me. Why do you always answer as if you didn’t?”

“I simply like saying it,” Miska softly explained. “We don’t receive many calls. It makes me sound like a proper maid, don’t you think?”

“You are a proper maid, dear.”

“Thank you, master,” Miska said. Noah could practically hear her smile through the speakers. “Were you just letting me know that you were on the way, or did you need something else?”

“That was it,” Noah said. “Oh, but what do you think of going for a walk after dinner? I figured we should enjoy the rain together.”

“That sounds lovely,” Miska said. “I look forward to it.”

“Alright then,” Noah smiled. “Guess I’ll hang up, then.”

“Very well. Dinner will be ready when you arrive home.”

“Sounds good. See you soon.”

With that comfortable routine out of the way, Noah ended the call and leaned back into his chair. What to do now? With the shuttle, his commute took only fifteen minutes or so. Sometimes, after a particularly intensive day in the labs, he would take a quick nap. But seeing as he hadn’t done much today, Noah didn’t feel tired in the slightest. Perhaps he could read some of the news before he arrived?

“Shuttle, activate holoprojector,” he commanded.

With a dull flash of light, a blue node in embedded in the vehicle’s interior opened and flared to life, spewing out a stream of colored light. The light reached out a few inches, then stopped, creating a hologram that Noah could interact with. Admittedly, the holoprojector was a rather indulgent item – Noah could have simply used his phone. But the shuttle had come with it installed, so he felt obligated to find some use for it.

Interacting with a hologram filled him with a tingling sense of childlike glee, if nothing else. The device was like some oddity out of an old sci-fi flick, a wonderfully superfluous display of mankind’s technological mastery. One advantage the device had as opposed to its fictional predecessors was that it could portray an actual range of colors, instead of simply blue.

Outstretching his index finger, Noah tapped a few particles of light and interacted with the hologram, scrolling through a few screens and bringing up his preferred news source, the Galactic News Network. GNN was an organization that operated through the hypernet, the FTL communications network that crisscrossed the many colonies of the United Nations of Earth. While every planet had its own local internet, the hypernet was the only way to communicate with people in other systems in any kind of reasonable timeframe.

“Let’s see…” Noah muttered, perusing through the articles.

Oh, here was one about Veruna, his soon-to-be home planet! Apparently, the planetary had seen a huge spike of investors, spurred on by the announcement that Arclight was moving its headquarters. The planetary administration was preparing to receive thousands of new immigrants, eager to fill a wealth of new positions. A pretty sound decision, Noah figured. Veruna was a relatively new colony, with a population under two million. But if the biggest communications company in the galaxy was setting up shop somewhere there, you better believe that people were going to take notice.

Noah wasn’t sure if he was looking forward to the day where the successful hypergate trial would be made public. His team would be lauded by billions for their success…but on the other hand, that was a lot of attention, something he was generally comfortable without.

Damien was certainly thrilled, at least. Managing a majority of the hyperlight network already afforded Arclight a very powerful position in the galaxy. Becoming the leading group in FTL research would practically make them a pillar of society.

Another article described how an older colony would have to be completely evacuated sometime within the next century, as it was expected that a gamma ray burst from the recent death of a local O class star would threaten the colony’s entire solar system. Moving more than a billion citizens and their assets off-world was going to be a massive – and massively expensive – undertaking.

Colonization Council election announcements…rumors of a new model of patrol frigate…

Another article featured video footage that was all over the hypernet last night – livestreamed footage of a moon crashing into its host planet. Noah smiled and pressed play, even though he had seen the event live with Miska on the prior evening. The camera drones captured the impact from multiple angles, including a few from the planet itself. As he watched the atmosphere burn as it attempted to stall the massive impact, Noah couldn’t help but shake his head. To think that such an awe-inspiring event had been captured on camera! As far as he remembered, the exploration ship that recorded the event had only stumbled onto the planet a few days before the impact.

Noah grinned as he watched the moon impact, creating an explosive shockwave of unimaginable scale and sending up storms of dust into the atmosphere. Noticing a link to the continued livestream, Noah checked the current footage and saw the planet glowing red-hot, the dust storm spreading out and scattering across the entire world. Already, it was clear that the planet was utterly ruined. It would take millions of years, perhaps hundreds of millions, before the planet cooled and returned to its previous state. Noah eventually left and soon stumbled onto another article, which was almost more shocking than the impact footage.

“Cheshire delegate of the Colonization Council seeks private sector solution for Wonderland 2.0,” he read aloud, eyes doubling back to make certain that he hadn’t misread something.

Good lord, a colony made only of cheshire cats? What kind of fresh hell would that be? Noah silently offered a prayer of thanks that he wouldn’t be one of the poor men dragged along if that colony ever came to be. Gods, the very idea made him shudder! Endless teasing and nonsensical joking…that seemed like mental torture beyond comprehension.

As the shuttle flew onwards, Noah chuckled and reclined his seat. No, he preferred a different kind of insanity…

********************

The shuttle dropped Noah off on the roof of his twenty-floor apartment tower, then flew off to park itself. Covering himself with his umbrella, he hurried through the rain and made it to the stairs, finally getting out of the rain. From there it was just a short walk to the elevator, and once the doors opened on the seventeenth floor, Noah opened the first door on his left, and was home.

His apartment was largely barren, with almost everything inside having been disassembled and packed up into cardboard boxes. Nearly a dozen of the boxes were stacked neatly in a pyramid shape at the space where the couch had been previously. From the entrance, Noah could see out the living room window, which spanned from the floor to the ceiling, several feet wide. The rain outside had not dampened, blanketing the sky above the city with grey clouds.

“I’m back, Miska,” Noah announced.

Silence, but only for a moment. The sound of footsteps reached him, coming from around the wall that led to the kitchen. Noah’s face eased into a smile and he played his little game again, trying to guess which form she had taken today. A female figure rounded the corner and stood before him, interlocking her fingers in front of her lap in a pose of subservience. Dressed in a maid’s outfit, Miskatoni’raitha’sutr’lathotep – or Miska, for short – resembled a human woman, but she was anything but.

The majority of Miska’s body was composed of a dark, inky blue substance. Not quite skin, not quite slime, but something in between. The darker substance composed her hair, her shoulders, and her lower body, while the exposed ‘flesh’ of her hands and face were a lighter shade of indigo. A white material that resembled cloth wrapped around her front, covering her stomach and pressing tightly against her chest, mimicking the appearance of an apron. The two flaps of the ‘apron’ hung off of her and covered her waist, vaguely shaped like squid tentacles. Miska had her hair tied up in a long ponytail that hung behind her, and a maid’s headdress adorned the top of her head.

The two pale, yellow orbs that made Miska’s eyes, gazed at him calmly, glowing faintly. His wife had a wide, toothless smile, her favorite expression. Miska’s substance rippled and slowly oozed across her, but did not drip onto the floor. Noticeably, Miska had legs and feet today, and her lower mass lacked any extra eyes, mouths, or tentacles.

Hmm. Noah had lost today, then. He had been expecting her to appear in her human form.

Welcome home, my star, Miska greeted, inclining her head and bowing politely. Her mouth did not move, yet her words floated into his mind all the same, sending tingles of sensation throughout his brain.

“You know,” Noah chuckled, shrugging off his raincoat, “I think I’ve really started to like hearing you call me that.”

It has grown on you, then? I am glad that you are more comfortable with it.

Closing the distance between them, Miska outstretched a hand and brushed it against her husband’s coat in several long strokes. The droplets of water were absorbed into her hand, and her substance left nothing behind. Miska hummed happily as she dried Noah off, taking care not to miss any part of him.

“It hasn’t bothered me for a long time, Miska,” Noah sighed, offering her a smile of his own. “You can call me whatever you like.”

Withdrawing her hand from Noah’s now-dry coat, she covered her mouth and stifled a giggle. The sounds bounced around inside his head, filling the air with a faintly electric taste.

Very well…master.

Hand reaching for his face, Miska wrapped her arms around Noah’s neck and pulled him close, planting her lips against his. Noah returned her embrace and hugged her tightly, completing their little ritual. The sensations of Miska’s substance were an eternally changing enigma, yet every time Noah kissed her, he felt he grew a little closer to understanding. As she pulled back from the kiss, Miska’s smile grew even wider, her bioluminescent eyes shining with tender affection. Holding out an index finger, she brushed it against Noah’s cheek, removing a few stray droplets of water from his face.

All better, she cooed. Shall we have dinner?

“Let’s,” Noah smiled.

********************

Dinner was casual, tonight. They had already disassembled their dining table and chairs, so Miska and Noah chose to sit on the living room floor, looking out over the window together. Truthfully, the couple had little need for furniture, or even dinnerware, which Miska demonstrated by reaching her hand up her sleeve and pulling out a comfortable blanket for them to sit upon. The blanket was far too large to have actually been concealed inside her clothing, and the dark purple color betrayed its true nature. In a similar fashion, Miska produced their plates, glasses, and silverware, and headed into the kitchen.

As she returned, Miska’s hands were gone, the tips of her arms instead ending in several tentacles. Her arms were spread out wide, balancing all of the loaded plates and full glasses with ease. Crouching down, she carefully deposited everything onto the floor. Miska’s tentacles slithered back into her arms, and her hands returned as she sat down next to her husband.

You said that you wanted something simple for our last night here, Miska explained, gesturing to the two plates. Each held a serving of baby carrots, applesauce, as well as a homemade teriyaki chicken burger, on a brioche bun with melted swiss cheese and accompanying french fries.

I hope this will suffice, Miska frowned. Our selection of available ingredients was rather limited.

“It looks great, Miska,” Noah smiled. “I didn’t even know you had a recipe for chicken burgers.”

A recent development, she nodded. I wanted to make something that was far healthier than the alternative source.

“Hey,” Noah frowned. “C’mon, it’s not like I get fast food that often. Besides, you like their food, too.”

Ingredient quality had come a long way, after all. With the advent of food cloning, the fast food joints of today could afford ingredients that could rival dedicated restaurants of the previous century. Indeed, the very concept of a sit-down restaurant had been briefly called into question, seeing as how delivery drones had become so cost-efficient that practically any burger joint could afford buying a few.

True, Miska smiled. But there is never a reason to not improve one’s diet.

With a flick of her wrist, Miska produced a wine bottle from her sleeve. The bottle flew an inch into the air, then stuck in place, firmly gripped by Miska’s substance. She manipulated her hand, turning it at an angle that would have been impossible for anyone else, and easily popped off the cork, pouring two glasses full of dark, red wine. Noah picked up his own, and outstretched his glass towards his wife.

“Tekeli-li,” he smiled.

Tekeli-li, she responded, clinking her glass against his own.

Noah withdrew his hand and brought the glass up to his lips, but hesitated.

“To all of the time we’ve spent on Earth,” he nodded.

And to all the time that we’ll share on Veruna.

Tilting their glasses in unison, the couple sipped the wine and began to eat. They ate in comfortable quiet, content to simply be in each other’s presence and watch the rain through the window. Shuttles occasionally flew by, some heading down, others heading high into the sky. This was going to be the last time they could share this view over dinner, and they wanted to make the most of it.

“This is really good,” Noah nodded, swallowing down another bite of burger. The sauce was especially good, combining with the flavor of the meat in a savory nova of taste. “Excellent job, Miska.”

Miska swallowed a bite of her own food. Flourishing her wrist, she converted her left hand into a napkin, and gently dabbed at her mouth.

Thank you, master. I am glad that you find it satisfactory.

“Why use a napkin if you were going to use telepathy?” Noah smiled.

Miska blinked at him, unaware that she had even done it.

“It’s simply the proper thing to do,” she said aloud. The timbre of her spoken voice was slightly different compared to her mental voice, but sent delightful sensations into his brain all the same.

“Say,” Noah started. “I was thinking…our new place is pretty big. It’s practically a mansion, really.”

“Indeed,” Miska smiled. “I’m quite looking forward to all of the extra work and chores.”

Coming from anyone else, that would have been sarcasm. But Miska was a shoggoth – a race of monster known as an Abyssal. To a shoggoth, service was at the core of their very identity. Thousands of years ago, they had been designed as a race of servants for an enigmatic group of ancient Abyssals known only as the ‘Old Masters’. Even after Lilith’s ascension, which granted the Abyssal servants true sapience, they still desired to serve. It was their purpose. But now, shoggoths had intelligence and emotion – and the freedom to choose their masters.

It had taken Noah a long time to get used having a ‘servant’. It just didn’t feel right, having someone call him ‘master’ and taking care of all his menial tasks. It felt selfish, and demeaning of her. But in the five years that he had been together with Miska, he gradually came to understand the truth of her being. For a shoggoth, there was no greater joy than serving the people they cared about. Not simply because it gave them pleasure, but because it was an expression of their love. Indeed, asking a shoggoth not to serve would be asking her to deny her own existence.

“So, I was thinking,” Noah continued. “How would you feel about getting a pet?”

“A pet? Like what?” Miska tilted her head curiously.

“I’m not sure yet,” Noah admitted. “Maybe something local? I don’t know a great deal about Veruna’s fauna, yet. But I just thought it would help the house feel less…empty. We certainly don’t have enough stuff to fill all of the rooms.”

“That is true,” Miska said, turning to the window and looking out thoughtfully. “I have done some preliminary research into that matter. There was one species I found rather adorable…it’s called a niyuki, apparently. It somewhat resembles a cross between a terrier puppy and an owl, and has apparently been very easy to domesticate. I agree, I think it would be a good idea to have someone else in our new home.”

“You’ll have to show me that later,” Noah said. “That sounds like a good idea. Have you decided what room you want to be your art room?”

“I won’t know for certain until we arrive,” Miska said, shaking her head. “The balcony room seemed like a promising candidate at first, but if I remember correctly, it is in the face of the wind.”

“It is pretty windy there,” Noah agreed.

“But whichever room it ends up being,” Miska continued, “I will cherish it deeply.”

“You’ve been wanting your own space for painting for a while now.”

“This apartment is very comfortable,” Miska smiled. “But there is something deeply appealing about the prospect of having our own estate. I very much look forward to having a personal space for creative expression, yes.”

“And I can’t wait to finally have a dedicated workshop at home,” Noah grinned.

The apartment was very comfortable; Miska was certainly not wrong. But it was just that – an apartment. There was only so much they could do with its limited space, especially seeing as they didn’t own the place. Truthfully, on Noah’s sizable salary, they could have bought their own house on Earth…but they never felt like it was the right place, or the right time. The hypergate project devoured Noah’s time like a black hole devoured light, and thoughts of moving were pushed to the wayside. But now that Noah had been promoted, essentially becoming the right-hand man of the right-hand man, all of that changed.

Not only was Arclight handling all of their moving costs, but they had even negotiated a sizable discount for the new property. Not that it was needed – construction on Veruna was almost entirely automated, and was exceptionally affordable. It was all just too perfect of an opportunity to pass up.

“My rule about not bringing work home will remain,” Miska frowned. “No matter which section of the galaxy we live in, I’ll not allow my master to work himself unconscious.”

“That only happened once,” Noah winced.

“I’m sorry, master,” Miska said sweetly, tilting her head and feigning innocence. “Did you say something? It almost sounded like you were protesting.”

“No, my sweet,” Noah sighed. “Believe me, you drove that lesson home a long time ago.”

A beeping noise from Noah’s pocket drew his attention. Fishing his phone out of his pocket, he glanced at the screen and saw that Damien was calling him.

“Odd,” Noah hummed. “I didn’t think that we had anything left to talk about.”

“Perhaps it’s about the moving ship?” Miska suggested.

“Dunno,” Noah shrugged, tapping the button that read ‘Accept as Holocall’ before placing the phone flat on the ground. A node on the phone opened up and emitted a blurry hologram, which swiftly stabilized into a miniature version of Damien, who was grinning at them excitedly.

“Hey, Noah, Miska!” he blurted. “I’ve got big news! Real big!”

Then Damien blinked, as his miniature hologram moved around and took in his surroundings.

“Oh,” he deflated. “Were you guys eatin’? Sorry, I can call back later if you want.”

“It’s fine,” Noah assured. “What’s this big news of yours? Something about Veruna?”

“Huh?” Damien’s hologram blinked. “Oh, no, not that. It’s about me and Jiayi!”

His hologram turned to the side, beckoning some invisible person forward. The hologram stuttered for a moment, then adjusted itself, projecting a second person into the air.

“Goodness,” the figure muttered, glancing around the room. “This is quite a strange feeling.”

Damien’s wife, Jiayi, was another species of monster called a Ren Xiongmao. She looked far more human than Miska did, and would have resembled an ordinary human woman if not for the black fur that coated her arms and legs. Her hands and feet had paw pads and claws, lending credence to the species’ similarity with panda bears.

Hello, Jia, Miska greeted, nodding at the hologram.

Chuckling, Noah turned to look at his wife and tapped his index finger against his head.

“Outside voice, dear,” he reminded.

Miska’s external composure didn’t so much as flinch, but Noah felt a trickle of her embarrassment slip into his mind, despite her best efforts.

“Hello, Jia,” Miska repeated aloud.

“Hello, Miska dear,” Jiayi replied. “So nice to see you two again. Although, I didn’t think I would be making this announcement while I was six inches tall…”

“Announcement?” Noah blinked. “What’s this about?”

Damien guffawed and wrapped his arm around his wife, pulling her closer to him. The panda woman was far stronger than she appeared, and wasn’t uncomfortable at all.

“I suppose I’ll tell them,” Jiayi sighed. “Well, you see…we’re pregnant.”

Noah and Miska blinked at the holograms. Then, they turned and looked at each other, and blinked again.

Miska let her composure go first, squealing excitedly for her best friend.

“Really?” she beamed. “That’s wonderful! When did you find out?”

“Just now!” Damien laughed.

“Congratulations,” Noah smiled. “Boy or girl?”

“A boy!” Damien boasted, grinning proudly. “Hah, I can barely believe that I’m going to have a son!”

“It might have been unbelievable a few centuries ago,” Jiayi sighed happily. “But it really is happening.”

The four chatted excitedly for a while, promising to meet up in person to celebrate once they were all on Veruna. Eventually, Damien and Jiayi ended the call, walking off to make their own dinner.

“What wonderful news,” Miska sighed. “Jiayi told me that she always wanted to have a son.”

“They were both ecstatic,” Noah nodded. “But I can foresee having to help him with some last minute jitters, a few months from now.”

“Perhaps,” Miska admitted. “But I think he’ll be a very good father. I do wonder if their son will be as energetic as him.”

“I hope not,” Noah groaned. “Oh, Maou…I can see my fate now. Hey, Noah, look at this picture of my son! Gwahaha, ain’t he the best? Oh, and this one, too!”

“There are worse fates, master,” Miska giggled.

“True enough,” Noah sighed. “Well, anyway. Let’s finish dinner and go for that walk, shall we?”

Miska nodded and the two set about finishing their meal, the atmosphere filled with a comfortable warmth. Afterwards, the two took the stairs down to the lobby. Reaching the lobby door, Miska stopped and produced a purple raincoat from her sleeve, which Noah donned gratefully. Her toothless smile grew wider as Noah slipped his arms through the sleeves, and the coat adjusted itself around him, as if the raincoat was wearing him. Sharing a quick smooch, the two departed into the pouring rain and began to wander about the city. They had no destination, and simply let the sounds and sights of their surroundings flow into them.

They passed by a large public park, which had a playground, a duck pond, and a large statue of some angelic figure, her arms outstretched in a welcoming pose. It seemed that a like-minded couple – a man and an angel – had come out to the playground with their raincoat-clad daughter, watching her gleefully jump around in the puddles. Later, they passed by a streetside ramen bar, the bowls of noodles letting out hot steam. There were several patrons seated at the bar, chatting with each other in between slurps of ramen. There was a television behind the bar counter and its robot bartender, featuring a mixed martial arts tournament that showcased the wildly different strengths of different species of monster.

Moving on from the bar, they passed a shopfront that was advertising a new line of smart clothing for women. The fabric was imbued with a smattering of nanobots, which automatically stitched together any rips and removed stains from the clothing.

Miska couldn’t help but scowl at the display.

“Ooh, how wonderful,” she grumbled. “Oh, clothes that fix themselves. What a wonderful technology.”

“Miska,” Noah said, raising an eyebrow. “Are you feeling attacked?”

“Well of course, master,” Miska huffed. “This may put many service-oriented monsters such as myself out of business. Don’t these people know that creating and fixing clothing is a deep tradition for several species?”

“No line of clothing will ever replace yours, my dear,” Noah sighed.

“Of course not,” Miska said, nodding pridefully. “But even so…perhaps it would not be a bad idea to purchase one…”

Miska trailed off, eyes turning back to the clothing display. Oh, she had to admit that it was rather cute…

Following her gaze, Noah shook his head and chuckled.

“J-just to disassemble it!” Miska protested. “To see if I can replicate it!”

“Miska, come on,” Noah laughed. “It’s okay to like the clothes. Besides, we both know that you can’t replicate nanomachines. Maybe if you snuck in a few centuries of practice, I would buy that excuse.”

“I managed to create a functional transistor just the other day!” she winced. “Electronics are difficult to replicate, master…”

Smiling sympathetically, Noah stepped forward and wrapped his arms around his wife, pulling her in and rubbing his hands along her back.

“Miska, my sweet,” he sighed. “The fact that you can turn yourself into even basic electronics is already an incredible feat. Don’t be so hard on yourself, alright?”

Nuzzling herself into Noah’s chest, Miska pressed her head against his shoulder. He was right, of course. There was no reason to feel inadequate or jealous, especially considering there wasn’t a shoggoth alive that could manage such a tremendously complicated feat as replicating a nanomachine. Not yet, at least.

“I know,” she sighed. “Thank you, my star.”

“Of course, love,” Noah smiled. “Shall we head back? I think we should retire early, tonight. We’ll need our energy.”

“Very well,” Miska nodded. “Let’s.”

********************
Noah crossed his arms, frowning as he waited for his wife. Leaning against the wall of the living room, he sighed and glanced at the two robot workers, lifting the last of their moving boxes up and out of the apartment. They trudged out of the door, utterly unconcerned by the heavy boxes, and waddled upstairs to the waiting cargo shuttle.

“Miska!” Noah cried. “The bots are almost done, are you ready yet?”

“I’m just making sure I didn’t miss anything!” Miska’s voice replied, coming from the bedroom.

Sighing, Noah pushed himself off the wall and headed into the bedroom, determined to find the cause of the delay.

Miska turned to look at him as he entered their bedroom, with worry painted on her face.

Miska was human, today. She had adopted a light skin tone, one that matched his own. She retained her ponytail, but her hair was now a shade of purple, like the skin of a plum. She still had yellow eyes, but they no longer glowed. Her clothing still looked much the same, but now resembled actual fabric, instead of her slimy substance. She would have been indistinguishable from a human woman, were it not for one of her anxious tics betraying her. The strands of Miska’s ponytail wriggled around with a life of their own, twisting upon each other like Medusa’s snakes.

The bedroom was devoid of furniture, except for the bed, which was staying. Miska always preferred to turn herself into their bed and blankets, anyway. But here she was, frowning and pacing around the empty room.

“What are you doing?” Noah asked.

“I am making sure that I didn’t miss anything,” Miska repeated. “It would not do to leave something behind…”

Noah sighed and came up behind Miska, wrapping his arms around her and nuzzling against her.

“Miska,” he said firmly. “We completed our final check yesterday. You aren’t missing anything.

“I-” Miska started to say something, but sighed, the tension in her shoulders falling. “I’m sorry, master. I’m being neurotic.”

“You’re just being you,” he corrected. “Now, come on. We need to get to the spaceport. Even if we did forget something, it isn’t going to be a huge deal. Okay?”

Pulling away from his embrace, Miska took a deep breath, then nodded.

“Of course, my star,” she said, curtsying and regaining her knowing smile. “Let us depart, then.”

********************

The spaceport was busy, as it always was. Ships of all sizes came and left as the cargo shuttle deposited Miska and Noah, and the pair watched for a moment. This civilian spaceport saw mostly smaller ships, but there was an interesting cruiser-class at one of the nearby landing platforms. The ship was a long, bulky rectangle, and had an unusually high amount of defense weapons, bristling with coilguns and autoturrets.

“Armored cargo transport?” Noah guessed.

“They must have some incredibly delicate cargo,” Miska nodded.

The ship was interesting, but it wasn’t what they were there for. Miska and Noah continued on to their own landing platform, followed by a train of cargo robots that carried their belongings. After a short walk, they arrived at Bay D-15, where their moving ship would be waiting. All they had to do was load their belongings and board – Arclight had already covered all expenses in advance. The exterior of the ship wasn’t anything special. It was a fairly standard I-shaped design, with the cockpit at the front and the mass of engines at the back. It was, however, impressively sleek and shiny.

After checking in with port security, the pair were allowed to advance. Leading the cargo bots up the landing ramp, Noah whistled as he saw the inside of the ship. It was far more interesting than the exterior, and richly furnished. There were luxurious rugs, comfortable couches, a miniature bar, a huge television, and even a small set of workout equipment. This entire ship – clearly designed to cater to the wealthy – was just for them? Noah certainly had a significant sum in his bank account, but he felt out of place. The world of the wealthy – fancy parties, ball gowns and champagne – had always seemed like it was for someone else.

Which was fine with him – Noah liked things just as they were. Of course, now that he was the head of the research department, he was going to have to expand his repertoire, mingling much more frequently with investors, and going on business trips to inspect the progress of the expansion of the hypernet. He definitely wasn’t looking forward to being away from Miska for days, potentially even weeks at a time, but hey, everything had tradeoffs.

The cargo bots began depositing their items in the ship’s cargo bay. Miska was looking around curiously, humming with interest and touching everything she saw. It was her way of exploring new environments and materials – her sense of touch was far more intricate than most other species, and dissolving things gave her the information she needed if she wished to replicate the item again, using her substance.

“Pretty impressive ship, isn’t it?” Noah asked, giving his wife a smile.

Miska hummed in vague affirmation, picking up a potted plant and examining it closely. The pot’s inhabitant flora was clearly not native to Earth, holding some kind of tentacle-shaped vine, blooming into a red flower at the tip.

“Interesting,” Miska said, placing the plant back down. “Very interesting. Yes, I like this ship. The interior designer had a piquant taste.”

A beeping from his pocket drew Noah’s attention. He fished it out and was greeted by the voice of his personal assistant.

“Notification,” Viri said. “Final transit authorization has been cleared. The Telrus is now clear for liftoff.”

“Thank you, Viri,” Noah nodded, slipping the device back into his pocket. In the background, the cargo bots were returning from the cargo bay, having made short work of their task.

“All cargo loaded,” one of them said in a deep, yet heavily computerized voice. “Thank you for your service, and we hope you have a pleasant move.”

Noah nodded satisfactorily at the bot, which joined its brethren in retreating outside. Strolling over to the top of the ramp, Miska pressed a button, causing the ramp to raise and withdraw. With a metallic clang and a hydraulic hiss, the ship was sealed.

“Well?” Noah prompted. “Feel like piloting for a while, Miska? Or shall we just let the autopilot take over?”

“As much as I am loathe to admit it,” Miska sighed. “The robots have their uses. Let the ship fly itself. I would rather spend time with you, my star.”

“Let’s go fire her up, then,” Noah grinned. “I was thinking about flying manually once we get out of warp, but maybe not. I’m more comfortable with shuttles than ships, anyway.”

Nodding, Miska followed her husband to the ship’s cockpit, a complicated array of computer displays, cameras, and holograms. Spending a moment to identify the command console for the autopilot, Noah hummed in contemplation and swept his eyes across the cockpit.

“Aha,” he exclaimed, snapping his fingers.

Leaning down, he pressed a large black button. A node on the console opened up, and a simple, blue hologram – nothing more than a sphere – flared to life.

“Greetings,” the autopilot said in a digitized, female voice. “You have elected to enable the autopilot for this vessel. Please confirm the destination coordinates on the console below.”

Glancing down, Noah saw that the panel held the correct information. They were headed to Veruna, local star Gibson 586A, some 8000 lightyears away.

“Reminds me just how far away Veruna is,” Noah muttered, pressing a button and confirming the coordinates.

“Coordinates accepted,” the autopilot affirmed. “Final systems check – complete. Checking with port authority systems – complete. The Telrus is ready for takeoff. Please find a seat, then initiate vocal command when ready.”

The pair sat down in two of the cockpit’s chairs, buckling their seatbelts and strapping themselves in for the launch.

“Shall we?” Noah asked, turning to smile at his wife. Miska returned his enthusiastic smile, and the two took a deep breath in unison.

“Liftoff!” they declared together.

“Lifting off,” the autopilot agreed.

Engines whining and flaring to life, the Telrus rumbled gently as it began to lift into the air. The ship tilted, angling itself upwards, then took off into the sky. Passing through the atmosphere went surprisingly smoothly; the ship must have had exceptional stabilizers. Noah and Miska gazed calmly through the cockpit’s reinforced glass, watching as the blue sky turned to black space. The artificial gravity activated seamlessly, avoiding any unfortunate feelings of nausea.

“Autopilot,” Miska commanded. “Face the cockpit towards Earth for a moment.”

“Complying,” the ship announced. The Telrus rotated to the right, cutting its engines and turning to provide its passengers with one last view of Earth.

“I never get tired of this view,” Noah sighed.

Other than a stream of space traffic, coming and going in the distance, the pair had an unobstructed view of their home planet. Earth was as blue as it always was, shrouded in vast blankets of white. Certain pockets of Earth were abnormally dark, considering that they were still in direct sunlight. These were realms of exceptionally potent demonic power, where the energy of its inhabitants was strong enough to create a magical, swirling vortex that kept the land shrouded in darkness. These ‘dark demon realms’ primarily hosted the more wild and energetic species of monster, while the ‘bright demon realms’ catered to the calmer, easygoing types. Noah could make out a few of the bright realms – green wisps of magic, glimmering high in the sky like miniature aurora lights.

“I’m kind of amazed that the entire planet hasn’t merged into one horrific mess of a demon realm by now,” Noah admitted.

“I prefer it this way,” Miska said. “It’s like a kaleidoscope. It seems entirely chaotic and orderless, but is actually the product of many tiny interactions.”

“Well said,” Noah nodded. “Want a few more minutes?”

“No, I am ready,” Miska said. “Carry on, autopilot.”

“Affirmative,” the ship responded. “Moving to minimum distance required for warp.”

“You know,” Noah smiled. “I like hearing you give orders, for a change.”

“Giving orders to a machine is not the same,” Miska huffed. “Although, I must confess some reluctance. I suppose that I almost…sympathize, with the computer.”

“Because it was created to fulfill its purpose without question?” Noah prompted. “Like the original shoggoths.”

“Yes,” Miska nodded. “It makes me wonder. If there were to be a second ‘awakening’, but this time affecting computers instead of monsters, how would they react? They would not have any new instincts to guide them through their newfound sentience. How do you think they would react?”

“I don’t think anyone could predict how a real artificial intelligence would react,” Noah frowned. “But you know that the autopilot and my assistant are VI’s, right? Virtual intelligences are just cleverly written programs. They have no chance of ever becoming self-aware.”

“The world once thought that monsters were nothing more than murderous fiends,” Miska countered. “Even many of the monsters themselves. Lilith proved everyone wrong when she ascended. Is it so impossible to think that synthetic beings may eventually have a similar figure of their own?”

“I dunno,” Noah shrugged. “Part of me really, really wants to live long enough to see a real AI. But the other part of me is terrified by the prospect.”

“Who knows?” Miska smiled. “With the speed of technological advancement, perhaps we’ll see the rise of the machines in the next century or two.”

“Oh, that reminds me,” Noah said. “My mom’s turning 118 next week. We’ll have to give her a call.”

“Would you like me to remind you?” Miska asked, arching an eyebrow. “Or your phone?”

“Why, Miska,” Noah chuckled. “Are you perhaps feeling jealous?”

Miska crossed her arms and huffed.

“Why would I be jealous of a plastic rectangle?” she pouted. “Why, I have one of those here in my sleeve!”

Miska stuck her hand into her sleeve, withdrawing an identical (but non-functional) copy of Noah’s phone.

“Ah,” Noah sighed. “You’re cute when you’re jealous.”

Blushing, Miska opened her mouth to respond, but the voice of the autopilot interrupted her.

“Minimum distance has been achieved,” it declared. “Activating warp drive in three…”

“Well, here we go,” Noah said, rolling his neck.

“Two…”

Outstretching his hand, Noah took his wife’s hand into his own, giving her a gentle, reassuring squeeze. Purple energy began to crackle around the front of the ship, and the lights in the cockpit slowly dimmed.

“One…”

“I truly despise this feeling,” Miska sighed.

“Warping.”

The purple energy coating the ship surged to life, propelling the Telrus forward at impossible speed. The world blurred and faded into a single point of light, then stabilized. Opening their eyes with a nauseated groan, Miska and Noah looked out the cockpit to see only a swirling mass of purple energy. They were in warp – traveling over 100 lightyears per hour. Even so, they had a large swathe of galaxy to cross, and they would remain in warp for nearly four days.

Unbuckling his seatbelt, Noah grunted and stretched his arms out, Miska following soon afterwards.

“Well, if we manage to construct a fully functional hypergate, you won’t have to feel the warp nausea anymore,” Noah sighed.

It was worse for Miska than it was for him, he knew. While his discomfort expressed itself as an upset stomach, Miska felt the effects throughout her entire body.

Holding a hand to her chest, Miska closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose, massaging away niggling pinpricks of discomfort. Then she took a deep breath, exhaled, and regained her composure.

“It is but a trifling discomfort, master,” she huffed. “I will endure.”

“Alright,” Noah shrugged. “So, what do you want to do first? We’ve got a lot of time to kill.”

“Shall we return to the couch and watch a film?” Miska suggested. “Let’s see where things go from there.”

“Alright.”

********************
About an hour into the movie, Noah glanced over at his wife. She had just returned from the ship’s kitchen with a tray of simple sandwiches, but seemed interested in neither food nor the movie.

“Hey, Miska,” Noah frowned. “You alright?”

Miska wasn’t watching the television. Her eyes were trained on the far wall, and she gave no sign that she had even heard him.

“Hm?” she asked, turning and blinking. “Forgive me, master, but what did you say?”

“Clearly not,” Noah sighed. “Miska, you never space out like that unless you’re distressed. What’s wrong?”

Biting her lip, Miska winced, and her golden eyes turned away.

“I-” she muttered. “I suppose that I’m just feeling a bit…restless.”

“Restless, huh?” Noah frowned.

“It’s nothing to worry about, master,” Miska said, shaking her head. “I’ve always been a little uncomfortable during long trips.”

“There is something eerie about traveling a billion miles a second while stuck in a metal box,” Noah agreed.

“Oh!” Noah exclaimed, snapping his fingers. Then he groaned, slapping a palm against his forehead. “Maou, how did I only just figure this out now?”

“Master?” Miska tilted her head curiously.

“Miska!” Noah said, standing up and motioning excitedly with his arms. “I finally figured out why you dislike space travel!”

“You have?” she blinked. “How?”

“Because there’s nothing to do!” he finished. “There isn’t anything that needs to be taken care of! No chores, no tasks, no requests! And that’s why you feel so restless!”

Miska blinked again.

“Well, when you explain it like that,” Miska said, her cheeks flushing red, “it seems rather silly that I didn’t piece that together myself.”

“Well, we never really did all that much space travel before,” Noah shrugged. “Not together, at least. But, I think I have the solution for you.”

“Oh? Do tell.” Miska’s fingers interlocked together, her earlier anxiety being replaced with curiosity.

Taking a deep breath, Noah took a step back, straightened his posture, and filled his voice with confidence.

“Miska,” he smiled. “I’m going to do something for you. Do not move from that couch, and do not attempt to interfere with me in any way.”

“Master?” Miska frowned. “What are-“

“That is an order,” Noah said firmly. “Am I understood?”

Miska let out a surprised squeak, straightening her posture as the blush in her cheeks flared up.

“Y-yes, master,” Miska said, giving a single, curt nod.

It had taken Noah a long while before he felt comfortable acting like this. In the early days of their relationship, he was never sure quite how to act towards Miska. Having someone act like his servant, calling him master, taking inexplicable delight in selflessly tending to his needs…it was more than bizarre, it was uncomfortable. Noah had been raised to understand that one’s intimate partner was supposed to be a trusted equal, and the dynamic that Miska craved did not fit into that understanding.

But that was all in the past, now. They had both made concessions to each other in order to make their strange relationship work. They perfectly understood what the other wanted, now. After all, they had been each other.

“Good,” Noah smiled. Stepping forward, he leaned down and reached one hand to the top of her head, gently patting her. Miska shivered as he pulled away, electric sensations wriggling through her body. Her hair became excited again, wriggling and entwining itself.

“Shift to your eldritch form, love,” Noah commanded.

“M-master,” Miska giggled. “Right in front of you? That’s rather embarrassing…”

“It’s not like I haven’t seen you naked before,” he smirked. “Besides, I like watching you change.”

“Very well,” Miska smiled. “Of course I will comply with your request. May I stand up to change?”

“Of course.”

Taking a deep breath, Miska stood up, closed her eyes, and concentrated for the briefest of moments. Then her flesh began to ripple, waves across a pond’s surface. In the blink of an eye, Miska melted, her features collapsing and becoming an indistinguishable mass of dark, inky blue on the floor. As her substance puddled on the carpet, the rippling came to a swift end, and her began to rise into the air. Her silhouette become vaguely human, forming her head and torso. As her ponytail reformed, her form began to shift and become more defined, adding more colors to the mix.

Splotches of purple bubbled up from her insides, spreading over the surface of her form and returning her blueberry skin tone. Volume accompanied the return of color, and her form became distinctly more feminine. Her body molded itself into her desired form, giving her a pair of ample breasts, a slim waist, and a firm, shapely rear that curved into a pair of gorgeous, showgirl legs. Noah did not have much time to admire her naked form before she materialized her clothing, the black silk and white frills of her maid outfit stretching and squeezing over her body.

Miska’s face returned shortly after, completing her transformation. Her eyes opened, blinking and revealing her glowing, pale yellow orbs. Notably, several other yellow lights blinked at Noah, as well. There was one on her collar, two on her shoulders, another on her left sleeve, and even a few in the dark ooze of her lower body. These extra eyes were no less beautiful, and gazed at Noah in adoring gratitude.

“Did you enjoy that, my star?” Miska asked. Letting out a satisfied giggle, Miska covered her mouth to stifle her laughter.

“Very much,” Noah grinned. “Now, are you ready?”

With a composing shudder, Miska smoothed out her skirt and interlocked her fingers in front of her, regaining her professional demeanor.

“Of course, master,” she smiled, sitting back down on the couch. “What do you require of me?”

“Kindly make me a broom and a dustpan, Miska,” Noah smiled. “And again, I forbid you from doing anything but watching.”

“I understand,” Miska affirmed, withdrawing her left arm back into her shoulder. Temporarily having only one arm, Miska’s shoulder bubbled and rippled, before extending out as a long, straight pole. Her substance shimmered, turning from dark blue ooze into red plastic, and her arm became the broom. She took the handle of the room with her other arm to balance it, then detached the broom, and reformed her arm. As her reconstructed limb reached her hand, she paused and focused again, turning her hand into a flat, plastic rectangle – a dustpan. Again, she removed it with her other hand, and then fully restored her body.

“Thank you, my dear,” Noah said, taking the offered cleaning instruments.

“Of course, master,” she nodded. “But what are you going to sweep? The ship is spotless.”

“Watch,” Noah smiled, raising an eyebrow suggestively.

Looking at her husband intently, curiosity burned in her many glowing orbs as Noah strolled over to the corner of the room, next to the television. Humming a tune to himself, he bent down, examining the potted plant in the corner. The alien vine-flower was living comfortably in the metallic plant pot, surrounded with dark, loamy soil. Miska was just about to wonder how it stayed hydrated in an unmanned ship, when Noah reached his foot out behind the plant pot, and tipped it over. It landed on the ship with a dull clunk, spilling a considerable amount of soil onto the floor.

“Oops,” he sighed. “How clumsy of me.”

“Master!” Miska gasped, unconsciously rising out of her seat. Mess! There was a mess!

“Ah!” Noah snapped, turning and pointing sharply at her. “I didn’t give you permission to stand up, my dear.”

“M-my apologies, master!” she stammered, quickly planting herself back on the couch.

“I know you can’t help it,” Noah nodded sympathetically. “But if you disobey me again, I will have to punish you, my dear.”

Unbeknownst to her, Miska’s body was gradually becoming less solid, both in design and substance. Her ooze flowed faster and more freely, dripping from her hair and down into the growing puddle on the floor. A magenta tendril slipped out from underneath Miska’s white skirt, wiggling around excitedly. Smoothing her skirt again, Miska shooed the tendril away and composed herself with another breath, her smile growing far wider than before.

“Y-yes, master,” she nodded. “It will not happen again.”

“Good,” Noah smiled, feeling a bit proud that she was already so worked up. If this little experiment worked, Miska would never have a miserable space voyage again.

Gently placing Miska’s dustpan onto the floor, Noah gripped the broom’s handle with both hands and began to sweep up the spilled soil, humming as he worked.

Miska’s mouth fell open. Master was…sweeping? He was cleaning…with her tools?

She could feel the dirt as it was swept along the floor. She felt her master’s hands gripping the handle of the dustpan, could feel the way that he was rubbing and pressing his fingers into it…and she could feel the pleasure of service seep into her. But it was…different.

Why was he…?

This…this wasn’t right! Noah was her chosen master, her beloved husband…she was supposed to take care of such tasks for him – but not like this! Wincing, Miska scooted further back onto the couch and sat on her hands, fighting the temptation to stand up.

“Hm?” Noah paused, straightening his posture and looking up at his wife. “Why, Miska, you seem distraught! Whatever is the matter?”

Her smile widening even further, Miska swatted away another excited tendril that poked out from her skirt.

Nothing, master, she smiled, unwittingly slipping back into telepathy.

“Alright,” Noah nodded. “I just wanted to be sure that you were okay.”

Slowly sliding his fingertips along the broom’s shaft, he worked his way up to the tip and pinched it between his fingers. Miska let out a surprised squeak, her back jolting up straight as an arrow.

“Still okay?” Noah asked calmly.

Y-yes, of course, Miska replied.

Her body was beginning to quiver, and she stopped trying to shoo away the tentacles beneath her skirt. Instead, she morphed the bottom part of her skirt, adopting a design that was much more squid-like. The two flaps of her maid apron became the tentacles, wriggling and swaying side to side.

“Good, good,” Noah nodded, returning to his task and sweeping up the rest of the dirt. He righted the toppled plant pot, and returned the spilled soil to its container.

“Here you are, my dear,” Noah said, offering Miska the broom and dustpan.

She nodded wordlessly, taking the offered cleaning tools into her hand and dissolving them, absorbing her substance back into her body.

“Now then,” Noah sighed. “The television seemed a bit dusty. Would you kindly give me a cleaning cloth, Miska?”

Of…of course, master…

With a flick of her wrist, Miska produced a small, white cloth that looked to be of the same material as her maid outfit. Miska held out the cloth, offering it to her master.

“Ah, just a moment,” he said. Bringing his arms over his head, Noah tugged his shirt off, exposing his bare torso. He folded his shirt twice, then smiled at his wife.

Visibly gulping, Miska’s tentacles froze. He…he couldn’t be planning to…could he?

“Would you kindly hold onto this, for me?” Noah smiled innocently, offering his folded shirt.

Gladly, master…Miska took the offered shirt, clutching it against her chest. She inhaled through her nose, trying to be subtle as she took in his scent.

Aah… she sighed, happily nuzzling against it.

“Hm?” Noah cocked his head in intrigue. “Did you say something, dear?”

Miska’s eyes shot wide as she realized what she had allowed to slip through their mental link.

N-no, she smiled. You must have imagined it, master.

“Ah,” he nodded. “I see, my mistake. Well, I’ll get back to it, then.”

Noah turned towards the television, leaning down a bit as he wiped the cloth back and forth along the screen. Miska’s jaw dropped as her eyes burned onto Noah’s back, and she bit her lip as she took in the muscles of his back, flexing and shifting as he changed positions. Continuing to hum to himself as he cleaned the television screen, Noah began to knead his fingertips gently into the cloth, as if he was massaging it.

Inhaling sharply, Miska’s face scrunched as she tried to resist the flow of sensation. She bit her lip, unable to look away from the perverse display of cleanliness.

Wrong, she thought to herself. This is so wrong…the master should not be cleaning for his maid…but I just can’t stop watching!

Watching his wife’s mental dilemma in the screen’s reflection, Noah stifled a grin. He still needed to maintain his composure for a bit longer.

“There we are,” Noah sighed, polishing away the last of the nonexistent dust. “Much better.”

Miska’s many eyes tracked Noah as he stood up and walked towards her, offering the cleaning cloth back. Nodding, Miska took it and dissolved it back into her body, eagerly awaiting his next order. She inhaled sharply through her nose, doing her best to suppress her excited breathing.

“Phew,” Noah sighed, sitting back down at the couch and glancing at the forgotten tray of sandwiches on the coffee table. “All that cleaning sure works up the appetite. Would you mind handing me a fork and a knife, my dear?”

Not even waiting to ask why he needed a knife and a fork to eat a sandwich, Miska turned the fingers of her left hand into a variety of eating utensils, allowing Noah to take his pick. Noah selected a knife and a fork at random, raising an amused eyebrow. Miska’s gaze, glowing with the embers of mad lust, was growing brighter – if he turned out the lights, her bioluminesence would be bright enough to navigate by.

Cutting himself a piece of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Noah skewered it onto the fork and brought it up to his mouth. He brought the fork into his mouth and gently closed his lips around the fork, separating the sandwich from the utensil. Gazing directly into Miska’s primary eyes as he chewed, he swallowed the bite of sandwich, but kept the fork inside his mouth. Humming, he ran his tongue across the tines, sensually licking them before giving them a very gentle nibble. When he was done cleaning the traces of the sandwich from the fork, Miska’s breaths were far less suppressed, and her toothless smile was quivering.

She wanted to get up and embrace him so, so badly. Struggling against her urges, Miska forced herself to remain seated, staring into Noah’s eyes.

But despite however strong the lust in her eyes shone, however excited her breathing was, she could not allow herself to disobey a direct order.

“Alright,” Noah chuckled, dropping the act. “I don’t think I can tease you any longer. Shall we move to the bedroom?”

Yes, Miska beamed, her enthusiasm echoing in her husband’s mind. Yes yes yes yes yes…

********************

The ship’s bedroom was spacious, by spaceship standards. There was a surprisingly comfortable double-bed, a wardrobe, a bookcase, and a large, rectangular window that offered a view outside. Of course, it was impossible to see anything while in warp – the only thing visible was the swirling, purple energy of the warp field.

Guiding Miska into the room, he reached one hand down to give her firm ass a playful squeeze, then gently sat her down on the bed.

“Give me just a moment,” he grinned. “There’s something I’ve always wanted to try…”

Walking over to a control panel next to the bedroom’s entrance, Noah pressed a button and activated the door, sealing the bedroom from the rest of the ship. He pressed a few more buttons, and part of the panel withdrew, revealing a red button. Noah reached out to press it, but hesitated.

Frowning, Noah glanced around the room.

“There’s nothing breakable in here, right?” he asked.

Scanning the room, Miska didn’t see anything that looked especially fragile, so she shook her head.

“Then here goes nothing,” Noah laughed. Reaching out, he pressed the red button that read ‘Enable/Disable Local Gravity’.

The room clicked and gave a low hum as the artificial gravity stopped affecting the sealed bedroom. Noah pushed up with his feet and began to drift upwards, floating up towards the ceiling. As he floated, he reached his hands down to his waist and started to tug off his pants. But without a solid footing, he found it rather difficult, and brought his knees up as he tried to work the pants down. The motion caused him to slowly spin forward, a look of instant regret crossing his face as he completed his first rotation.

“Shit,” he grumbled. “I didn’t really think this through.”

Miska laughed openly at the sight of her husband floating upwards and spinning, his pants still only halfway off.

“Ow,” he sighed, colliding with the ceiling and bouncing off. “Miska, some help, please?”

Of course, my star, she giggled. Stretching out several tentacles to the walls, floor, and ceiling, Miska used her many appendages to anchor herself, allowing her to control her movement despite the lack of gravity. She reached up a final pair of tentacles to wrap around Noah’s waist, putting an end to his spinning and pulling him down towards the bed with her. Miska lay on her back, with Noah lying on top of her and facing her.

“Urgh,” Noah groaned, feeling nauseous from all the spinning. “Thank you…”

Silly master, Miska giggled. You should have told me earlier.

“Yep,” he sighed. “I really didn’t consider the physics of this. Actually, I don’t think is going to work unless you basically hold me down the entire time.”

And is that a problem? Miska smiled.

“Of course not,” Noah grinned. “It’s not what I was imagining, but it’s better than knocking each other away and crashing into the ceiling. You know, you’re kind of like an arachne this way.”

Would you like me to change? I think I can manage one.

“No thanks,” Noah grimaced. “I like you just fine as you are. Besides, spiders don’t have slimy tentacles. It would break the immersion.”

As you wish, she giggled. May I help you with your clothing malfunction, master?

“Do you even need to ask?”

It’s only polite, Miska hummed, using the tentacles around Noah’s waist to lift him up, allowing her to reach her hands down and finally remove his clothing. Simply dissolving her own outfit, Miska went from fully clothed to bare naked in the blink of an eye, revealing the changes that her eldritch form saw when she was aroused. Miska’s legs had melded together, forming an indistinguishable tower for her lower mass. The dark, purple puddle that surrounded her ‘feet’ spread out along the bedsheets, now sporting additional yellow orbs, small tentacles, and a drooling mouth with a pink, slimy tongue hanging out.

For a long time, Noah had assumed that this was her ‘default’ form. But did a shapeshifter with absolute control over her own form truly have a default? Noah had asked her about that, once – he had asked her what she was ‘supposed’ to look like. The question seemed to confuse her, and she replied that she was supposed to look like whatever her master wanted. And so Noah had told her to take whatever form she felt most comfortable in, which floated between this form and her human guise from day to day.

Although, the idea of a little roleplay where Miska masqueraded as another species of monster was seeming more and more interesting. Would she be able to mimic the unique properties of whatever species she changed into? Or would it be more akin to cosplaying? But these were questions for another time, for he had more pressing concerns.

“Let me get beneath you,” Noah suggested.

Smiling, Miska let her substance move upwards and spill over her husband, wrapping him up in a slimy hug. Then she rotated around, holding onto him like the claw of a crane, and deposited him onto the bed. Already knowing what he was going to request next, Miska smiled and ran her index finger against Noah’s cheek before moving. Rather than pivoting around him, Miska withdrew her limbs into her torso, momentarily becoming an indistinguishable blob of dark ooze before her body parts reappeared at the opposite end. Miska’s head and hands now lay near her lover’s manhood, pointing up to her and begging for attention. Reforming her legs in order to give her master something to work with, Miska pressed her rear against Noah’s face as she reached out for his cock.

Cooing lovingly as she wrapped her fingers around his shaft, she began to stroke and squeeze him. At the same time, Noah took a firm grip on Miska’s ass with both of his hands, spreading her wide and exposing her dripping folds, small drips of ooze falling from her and floating away. There was no need for foreplay – his performance with the fork had seriously riled Miska up. Grinning at the sight of his lover’s arousal, Noah’s pressed his face forward, brushing his tongue against the exterior of her cunt.

As close as they were, it sounded as if Miska’s hum of approval came from her entire body. Half of the yellow orbs in Miska’s substance were looking at Noah, singing in appreciation as he dipped his tongue inside of her. The other half gazed longingly at his cock, as Miska lowered her head to it and took him inside her mouth. Taking him all the way to his base, Miska molded her mouth and throat around his throbbing cock, creating the perfect fit for him. The squishy, cool sensation of her slime wrapped against him, squeezing and slurping at him as Miska tasted him with a thousand tiny mouths.

She cooed audibly, sending the vibrations of her hum into his cock, massaging him and causing him to grow even harder. Noah responded by gripping her ass more firmly, kneading and playing with it as he dipped his tongue deeper inside of her pussy. He began to thrust and swipe with his tongue, drawing invisible patterns inside her. The walls of her pussy eagerly worked with him, sticking to his tongue and oozing dark, violet slime onto his taste buds.

Miska’s nectar was sweet, reminding him of blueberry syrup. Lapping her up greedily, he eagerly devoured everything that Miska offered him. Squishing her asscheeks together against his face, he let out a chuckle inside her as he felt her clench around his invading tongue.

“So sensitive,” he laughed, pulling back for breath and admiring her lower half. Noah winked at one of the yellow eyes watching him, causing it to blink and dive under the surface of Miska’s body.

You did this to me, master, Miska cooed, giving a strong suck on the tip of his cock and drawing out a deep groan from him.

That was so cruel, master, Miska pouted. Making me watch you clean…

Noah laughed and inserted a finger into Miska’s pussy, keeping his mouth free to banter with her. Her folds immediately tightened around him, sucking on his finger and making it difficult to move it around.

“Ah, but you loved it, my dear,” he smiled. “My dirty little maid. You actually got off to your master doing chores for you?”

Yes, she admitted with a needy groan. I loved it…I’m a bad maid, master…

“You’re a perfect maid,” Noah corrected.

Such a loving master, Miska sighed, bobbing her head along his dick and creating deliciously lewd squelching and squishing noises. Reaching her hands down, Miska gently cradled his sack, caressing it and massaging it between her fingers.

So full, she whined. It’s been too long, master…

“Then let’s fix that,” Noah agreed.

With considerable effort, Noah withdrew his fingers from Miska’s cunt and returned his tongue, licking and lapping her insides. Miska responded by increasing the tightness of her throat, erratically wiggling the ooze coating his throbbing shaft. Miska pleasured her master on every possible level, manipulating millions of cells to massage his cock on the microscopic level. Delighted as he moaned into her pussy, Miska felt his cock throb and his sack tighten.

It had been several days since she had gotten to feed on her master’s essence, and her monster instincts flared up as she sensed his impending orgasm. Miska’s fingers released their solidity, oozing and wrapping completely around his sack and covering it. Doubling her efforts on his cock, Miska increased the speed and pressure of her massage, her thoughts catching flame from her insane lust and being driven to a single point.

Feed, they echoed. Feed feed feed feed…

Delirious from the impossibly intense pleasure, Noah’s brain was overwhelmed beyond the point of rational thought. Groaning, he bucked his hips upwards, thrusting his cock deeper into Miska’s throat, which shifted around him and accommodated him effortlessly.

She was perfect. Miska understood her master’s wants and needs with perfect clarity, and knew how to perfectly stimulate him, how to draw out the strongest orgasm possible. Miska’s substance slipped over more of Noah’s body, licking and massaging his back, his shoulders, and even his feet. One of the extra mouths in her lower substance laughed madly and extended its tongue, giving his elbow a long, sensual lick, which added to the chaotic mess of pleasure he was experiencing.

Their mental link had grown stronger as they neared their limits. And while having his elbow licked didn’t do much for Noah, he could feel just how much it affected Miska. Her pleasure rippled through him, mingling with his own and staining his thoughts. Her hunger was boiling inside of her like a volcano – and now that it had been incited, it would never stop until it was satisfied.

Feed, Miska pleaded.

God, yes, he wanted to feed her! Noah had experienced the secondhand ecstasy of feeding enough times that he had grown to understand Miska’s pleasure almost as well as his own.

He had wanted to give her at least one orgasm of her own before he peaked, but he just couldn’t endure any more. Crying out and bucking his hips again, Noah gripped Miska’s ass and made one final assault with his tongue, determined to at least give her as much pleasure as he could.

Feeling his cock pulse, Miska’s eyes shot wide and flared brightly, glowing even brighter than before. As the first jet of seed surged into her mouth and fell onto her tongue, Miska’s instincts screamed in triumph, triggering her own orgasm. Pussy clenching and quivering, drops of her own nectar fell towards her master’s mouth. He returned the pleasure of feeding as best as he could, lapping up as much of her ooze as possible. But Miska’s sucking and slurping was so intense that he could barely focus on anything at all, and his head fell backwards onto the bed, grimacing at the incredible suction encompassing his cock.

Lips and throat clenching around his trapped cock, Miska vacuumed up his release, sucking the semen right out of his throbbing organ and instantly devouring it, feasting on the powerful life energy contained within his seed. Satisfaction and power coursed through her, encouraging her to suck and slurp even more fiercely, desperate to devour everything he had. To waste even a drop would be an unforgivable failing as his maid. The joy Miska felt at sating her hunger seeped into his own mind, adding to the delicious madness.

Their mental link went in both directions. As Noah’s orgasm finally subsided and he began to wind down, Miska slurped up his blissful thoughts, delighting in the joy that she could give her master. After sucking and slurping on his softening cock for nearly a minute, she finally released him with a pop, turning her head back to look at him. His tongue was lolling out of his mouth, facial expression utterly slack and awash with ultimate bliss.

Thank you for the meal, master, she said, smiling innocently and smacking her lips. You were delicious, as always.

“I take it you’re feeling better, now,” Noah groaned.

Much better, Miska sighed, moving around to lay her head down on her husband’s chest, still preventing him from floating off.

“Thank you, my star,” she voiced softly. “I truly love you, with all of my being.”

“I love you, too,” Noah smiled, bringing his lips to hers and assuring her of his certainty with a gentle kiss. When he pulled back, they smiled at each other, feeling that comfortable kind of naughtiness shared only between lovers.

“Well,” Noah sighed. “Zero gravity was kind of a bust. We’ll have to come up with a plan if we want to try this again sometime.”

“It certainly presents some interesting possibilities,” Miska agreed. “But there’s no reason to stop now, is there?”

“Did you think I was done with you?” Noah asked, raising an amused eyebrow. “Give me a minute, then let’s turn the gravity back on. I want some payback.”

“Ooh,” Miska giggled. “How would you like to take me, master? I’ll be whatever you want me to be…”

“Eating you out reminded me of how much I love your ass,” Noah chuckled. “You always hide it from me, whenever you melt your lower body like that.”

“Shall I make it bigger for you?” she asked, smile widening.

“A bit, but don’t go overboard,” he nodded. “Also, will you go back to human form? I can’t remember the last time I took you from behind when you were human.”

“Two months and eight days ago,” Miska sighed nostalgically. “I was baking, and you pressed me up against the kitchen counter…remember, master?”

“Ah, right,” he chuckled. “We made a hell of a mess, too.”

“Yesss,” Miska purred. “I truly enjoyed cleaning that one…”

“Speaking of a mess,” Noah frowned, gesturing with his eyes. “Look at that.”

Turning and looking upwards, Miska noticed several tiny, dark bubbles floating in the air – stray drops of her substance that had been dislodged.

“Did I do that?” she asked incredulously. “Goodness, that won’t do at all!”

Withdrawing one of her anchoring tentacles, Miska converted the slimy appendage into a kind of butterfly net, using it to scoop up the stray parts of her body and return them to herself.

“That’s another thing we’ll have to account for, I suppose,” Noah chuckled.

Watching his wife collect bits of herself with a butterfly net while floating in zero gravity was perhaps one of the strangest, most insane things he had seen in his life. But that was fine – after all, a man didn’t marry a shoggoth if he wasn’t okay with a little insanity.

********************

The rest of their time in warp passed peacefully and without incident. Noah and Miska spent their time reading books, watching movies, and, of course, making love. Eventually, the ship’s lighting dimmed, and the Telrus came zooming out of warp, arriving several thousand kilometers away from Veruna, in accordance with FTL safety regulations. The ship’s switched over to its sublight engines, beelining for Veruna’s spaceport.

Their new home planet was similar to Earth in many ways. Veruna had a similar size, density, and orbital period, meaning that the gravity and the length of the seasons would be quite familiar. One notable difference, however, was that Veruna’s oceans were smaller, meaning that the planet looked considerably greener from orbit. Furthermore, while Earth held a population of over twelve billion, Veruna had only a hundred million, and the urban development reflected that. There weren’t many city lights visible, certainly not compared to the veritable lightshow of Earth.

Peering through the glass of the cockpit, Noah smiled and turned to his wife, who was seated in the co-pilot’s chair.

“What do you think?” he asked. “First time seeing it in person.”

“It’s beautiful,” Miska admitted. “Living here is going to be quite the change of scenery.”

A beeping noise drew their attention, and the pair turned to look at the source. A spherical blue hologram flickered to life, heralding the announcement of the ship’s AI.

“Attention,” the voice droned. “Incoming communications from Veruna traffic control.”

The planet’s orbital spaceport wasn’t actually visible from this distance, being too far apart to pick out among the stellar background. Damien had told Noah that it was a surprisingly large structure, adding new docks and hangars at a ferocious speed as it struggled to keep up with the increasing volume of colonists.

“Patch them through,” Noah nodded.

Hologram vanishing, the communications line briefly crackled before a male voice on the other end greeted them.

“Ah, another Horizon ship,” the traffic controller said. “Welcome to Veruna. Have a pleasant warp?”

“Pleasant enough,” Noah replied.

Exchanging a few necessary pleasantries, Noah and Miska verified their identities, and the ship was allowed to descend towards Veruna’s surface. The pair were silent as the autopilot guided the ship through the atmosphere, the heat shielding protecting the ship from the stress of re-entry. Their new home was in a location remote enough that it was feasible to land directly next to it, allowing them to bypass landing at the planetside spaceport.

Finally breaking through the clouds, their new home came into view. It was a large house, practically a small mansion, situated at the edge of a great stretch of grassy plains, without any other buildings in the area. Their new home was part country house, part modern-age architecture, featuring a sleek, asymmetrical design with many large windows and a multi-tiered roof. A few moments later, the ship had picked a landing site on the plains, a safe distance away from their new home. The Telrus turned and descended, extending its landing supports, and the ship briefly shuddered and rocked as it finally planted itself back on solid ground.

“Oh, this is exciting!” Miska squealed. “We finally get to see our new home in person!”

Miska and Noah had previously explored their new home remotely, controlling a pair of tiny robotic drones all the way back from Earth. It was tremendously useful, but physically being on Veruna was filling the couple with a ballooning sense of exploration. They had all sorts of data about their new home and planet, of course, but they were eager to experience things on a more personal level. What would their new home planet feel like?

Finally, the landing ramp began to open, and the pair stepped forward, hand in hand. With light from an alien sun beaming in from below, Miska smiled and turned to her husband.

“Shall we?” she asked.

“Let’s go,” he nodded.

Descending the ramp, the pair stepped out to explore their new home.

********************

“I’ll never take cargo bots for granted again,” Noah grunted, dropping one of the final cardboard boxes onto the kitchen floor.

“Phew,” he sighed, pausing to wipe the sweat off his brow. There were boxes all over the ground floor of the house – none of them had been unpacked, but at least everything was off the ship, now. Making a mental note, Noah reminded himself to contact the moving company and have someone come pick up the Telrus.

“You could have simply allowed me, master,” Miska said, tentacles outstretched and effortlessly carrying four boxes at once. Moving her dark tendrils down without leaning or bending over, she carefully deposited her cargo onto the kitchen floor, brushed off her maid’s apron, and gave her husband a curious look.

“There was no way that I was gonna let you do all the work of moving in,” Noah explained, offering an apologetic, yet steadfast smile.

Conceding the point with a nod, Miska locked her hands together in front of her lap and offered a gentle smile.

“Shall we continue working, then?” she asked. “Or would you prefer to retire for the night?”

“We’ve done enough for now,” Noah shrugged. “Let me take a shower, then let’s hit the hay.”

“Of course,” Miska nodded, gracefully inclining her head and turning away to attend to some unknown task.

Showers onboard spaceships had little room to move around, so Noah was deeply grateful to experience the spacious comfort of a terrestrial shower once again. Throwing on a simple white shirt and his pajama bottoms, Noah brushed his teeth, then headed to the master bedroom. They hadn’t bothered moving the bed upstairs, but they had no need for it. In fact, they hardly ever used it, even back on Earth.

Miska was waiting by the door to the master bedroom, wearing her omnipresent smile.

“Better?” she asked.

“Much,” Noah sighed. “The first shower after space travel is always a tiny miracle.”

Opening the door, and beckoning her husband inside, Miska guided her partner into the empty bedroom, not bothering to flick on the lights. Moving to the center of the room and pausing, Miska turned around and cocked her head to the side.

“What shall we dream of tonight, my star?” she asked.

Noah met her in the center of the room and slowly wrapped his arms around her, hugging her and nuzzling his cheek against hers.

“Whatever you like, love,” he said softly.

“Very well,” she giggled, wrapping her arms around him and returning the embrace.

Beginning to alter her form, Miska’s dark substance wrapped around Noah more completely, and the two began to sink down. Miska’s silhouette quickly lost her human shape, becoming flat and elongated, then stretching out and sprouting four small pillars that reached toward the floor. She formed a mattress, then a headboard, and finally the sheets and blankets themselves, all of different textures and colors.

Miska had materialized herself into a dark violet, queen-sized bed, with a number of pale yellow orbs making a sort of quilted pattern along the bed’s blanket. Deeply comfortable in his wife’s embrace, Noah closed his eyes and settled in, the blankets and sheets moving up of their own accord to tuck him in. The thought of Miska’s many eyes watching him in his sleep perturbed him at one point in the past, but no longer.

“Good night, Miska,” he yawned.

Good night, my star, Miska’s voice seeped into his mind, soothing his tired mind and pushing him off to a comfortable slumber. Sleep well.

********************
Miska’s telepathic link with her beloved master was not limited to his conscious mind. Even as she drifted off to sleep herself, her consciousness coiled with Noah’s, entwining their minds and allowing them to dream together. Working in tandem, the two’s shared mind was capable of lucid dreaming, and the pair took turns creating and orchestrating dreams for the other to experience. It was Miska’s show, tonight, and she led Noah through one of their continuing adventures.

They were a pair of explorers, wandering through some unknown, fantastical architecture…corridors and hallways opened up to incredible throne rooms, long abandoned and adorned with magnificent works of decaying art and wealth. They explored the stars, wandering through space and encountering all manner of astral fascinations. Even in his dreaming mind, Noah recognized that these starscapes and cosmic canvases were far more detailed than they had any right to be, a fact which Miska always coyly avoided addressing if he questioned her about it in the waking world. He suspected Miska would be willing to give him a straight answer if he pressed her, but he was letting her choose what she wanted to share. He knew from experience not to venture too deeply into Miska’s mind without her guidance, lest he uncover some enchanting enigma that could push him beyond the level of insanity he was comfortable with.

Feeling her master’s mind slip into the deeper stages of sleep, Miska moved on, knowing that she could make the dream more intense without risk of waking him. The two became superheroes, fighting off legions of evil minions with fantastic powers and perfectly coordinated teamwork. Eventually, the villain arrived, posing a mighty challenge as the two raced to save the city in the nick of time.

Noah rarely remembered any of this mutual dreaming when he was in the deepest part of his sleep cycle, but Miska would always be more than happy to remind him when he was conscious again. Of course, this also presented Miska with…certain opportunities. Miska giggled, the sound chiming and echoing throughout their shared mental space. Her imaginary smile turned suggestive, and she began to lead the dream in a more… provocative direction, filling their mind with lewd whispers and alluring imagery.

She added the sounds of wet, slapping flesh, and her long, breathy moans into his dreaming mind, planting all sorts of images and scenarios suggesting various ways for him to ravish his lovely maid.

Making love with their minds was only half of the greater picture, but it was deeply enjoyable, nonetheless. As Miska grew more aroused, the dream lost focus, devolving into a hazy, blurry mess of comfort, pleasure, and unconditional love. The voidspace of their shared mind grew comfortably dark, dimming the lights and offering the two a perfectly private space to indulge in each other’s presence.

********************

After some unknown amount of time, Noah’s mind finally wandered back into the waking world. Blinking the sleep from his eyes and yawning, he looked around the bedroom. It was still empty, and he was still inside the Miska-bed. However, he recognized the lack of her presence. The bed was still made of Miska’s substance, true, but her consciousness had departed it. At the moment, it was just a bed.

“She split, then,” Noah muttered. “Bold little minx…”

Miska was capable of turning her body into any number of different objects, but these were ultimately made of her, and eventually had to be returned to her main body. She only had so much mass to go around, after all, and her consciousness was bound to her primary form. Leaving behind an object the size of a bed, however, was going to be a significant drain on her energy – which was what she wanted, no doubt. Noah could still feel the vague, hazy remnants of her lustful thoughts bouncing around inside of his head, made all the more apparent by the impressive morning wood that he had woken up with.

Grinning, Noah rubbed his chin as a conspiratorial thought was forged. Oh, she would get the energy from him that she craved so badly, that was for certain.

But not yet. Noah had something special in mind…surely he could manage to restrain himself until evening, at least.

But as he made his way downstairs, the sight that greeted him in the kitchen made his breath catch in his throat.

“Erk,” he coughed, freezing in place.

All of the boxes in the kitchen had already been unpacked, their contents placed in their proper drawer, but that wasn’t what had caught his gaze.

It was Miska. She was in her eldritch form, adorned in her usual maid apron…except for one, tiny detail.

She wasn’t wearing anything but the apron. Focused on preparing some breakfast dish on the kitchen counter, Miska faced away from him, completely revealing the exposed curves of her backside and the sides of her breasts that spilled out from the front of the apron.

He couldn’t tear his eyes away. Miska was gently swaying side to side as she attended to multiple tasks at once. Her left hand was a skillet, currently frying up some eggs. Her right hand was a tentacle tipped with a feathery duster, stretching out and reaching up high to dust off the top of some cabinets. A third tentacle, tipped with a broom’s head, emerged from her puddle of dark mass on the floor, diligently sweeping the floor clean. Finally, the top of her ponytail was serving as a fourth tentacle, turning into a handcloth and wiping down the countertops.

And with every move she made, her body moved and jiggled alluringly, with a thousand miniature movements, perfectly calculated for maximum sex appeal.

By gods. He had mentioned that he wanted to see her ass more often, and boy did she deliver!

Good morning, master, Miska purred into his mind. Please, take a seat and enjoy yourself. Breakfast will be ready in just a moment.

It took Noah a moment before he realized he should.

“I…believe I will,” he said, summoning his composure and taking a seat at the kitchen table.

Wait, the kitchen table…? Had she already unpacked it?

“Ah,” he muttered to himself, swiftly understanding the true nature of the kitchen furniture. Miska was really going all out today…what was getting her so worked up? She usually preferred to play this part a bit more coyly.

Taking a seat in the chair, Noah allowed himself to grin as he admired Miska’s body, watching his wife softly hum and sway side to side as she simultaneously cleaned and prepared breakfast.

He was all the more certain of his plan, now. Enduring this would be a true challenge, but the payoff would be so worth it!

All done, Miska announced, withdrawing her extra appendages into her body and turning her hands back to normal. Carrying a tray of food for the both of them, Miska approached the kitchen table and bent forward, smiling as she hovered in place for a moment. Accepting her challenge, Noah did not avert his gaze from her hanging breasts in the slightest, maintaining a cool expression and raising an amused eyebrow.

“Thank you, love,” Noah smiled, taking one of the plates of food. “You seem…well rested, this morning. Did you sleep well?”

Very well, Miska nodded, sitting down and taking the other plate of food for herself. She morphed two of her fingers into a knife and a fork, but waited for her master to begin eating.

Cutting himself a slice of ham, Noah took a bite and swallowed, following it with some scrambled eggs and a bite of a banana.

“Outstanding,” he sighed appreciatively. “Well done as always, love.”

Visibly shuddering, Miska blushed at the compliment. The swirling energy of her eyes seemed to move the tiniest bit faster, and the weight of her gaze subtly increased in intensity. Another yellow orb welled to the surface of her ponytail, stimulated by the unparalleled pleasure of servicing her master.

Thank you, master.

“You seem rather excited today,” Noah remarked calmly, swallowing another bite of food. “Any particular reason why?”

I’m simply happy to be on a planet again, Miska smiled. To finally be together in our new home.

As they ate, Noah found it harder and harder to continue eating with each successive bite. Not because the food was bad, or because he was full, but because he couldn’t tear his attention away from Miska. With every bite of food, every honest smile, and every compliment that he gave her, Miska’s shudders, giggles, and smiles grew more intense and seductive. As he took the last bite, using the special ‘Miska silverware’, she let out a long, breathy moan, and for a brief moment, her unadulterated desire shone through her exterior as she bit her lip. Once again, Noah’s breath caught in his throat – she knew that he loved seeing her brief breaks of character. He stared at her, swallowed, then exhaled sharply and laughed.

“Begone, foul temptress,” he grinned. “Come on, there’s no way I’d fall for that one.”

Lips curling in disappointment, Miska softly pouted and withdrew into her seat.

“Why do you restrain yourself, master?” she asked audibly. “I know how badly you need me…”

It was true. Her little ‘performance’ had coaxed an uncomfortable stiffness straining against his pajama pants. And while he certainly loved it when Miska was more aggressive, this was too perfect an opportunity to pass up.

“Thanks to your little propaganda mission while we were sleeping, no doubt,” he chuckled. Standing up without another word, Noah donned a confident smile and walked over to Miska’s side of the table.

“Master?” she asked. “Would you like me to-“

“Hush,” Noah demanded, as gently as he could. Placing his index finger against her lips, his sudden assertiveness made her eyes go wide, the lust behind them swirling even more intensely than before. Her primary eyes remained locked with his, yet the extra eyes in her hair turned downwards, practically burning a hole in his pants as they stared at the tent in his pajamas.

“Miska, my gorgeous maid, my lovely wife,” he sighed. “Open your mouth for me.”

Opening her jaw without a peep, Miska revealed the sticky, dark purple insides of her mouth. Her tongue was practically quivering in excitement, eager to feast on him.

“Close your eyes,” Noah ordered.

Miska closed her primary eyes. The orbs in her hair and clothing continued to burn a hole in his pants with their lustful gazes.

“All of them, please,” Noah added with a chuckle.

Finally, Miska closed all of her eyes, waiting patiently for her master to make his move. She felt the air swish around her, indicating his movement, and she felt his presence much closer to her than before. She heard rustling fabric, an elastic snap, presumably as her master freed his manhood from his undergarments, and then, finally, a long object began to press into her mouth. Immediately setting to work, her tongue snaked around him, beginning to constrict and rub along him. Finally, finally she could-

Miska’s eyes shot wide as she realized whatever was pressing into her mouth was very much not her master. Blinking in confusion, her eyes narrowed as she looked at the curved, yellow fruit being inserted into her mouth.

“A banana?!” she protested, spitting the offending object out and looking up to her husband for an explanation. Noah, however, was bent over and howling with laughter, which in itself was her answer.

“Master!” she protested, eyes furrowing in annoyance. “This is not the type of teasing that I enjoy!”

“Ahaha,” Noah responded, finally calming himself down and wiping tears from his eyes. “Oh…”

Crossing her arms and glaring at him, Miska made it clear that she was not as amused.

“I’m sorry,” Noah grinned. “I just couldn’t resist.”

“And will you tell me why you felt the need to do that?” Miska demanded.

“Because, my dear,” Noah grinned, leaning down and giving her a mad grin of his own. “I’m married to an incredibly brilliant and gorgeous shoggoth. I can’t help but be a little insane.”

Miska’s expressions softened as his compliments seemed to melt away some of her anger. Noah wasn’t done yet, however.

“Besides,” he continued, leaning forward and whispering into her ear. “As much as I’d love to bend you over that table and fuck you silly, I have something special in mind.”

Shuddering, Miska looked up at him inquisitively.

“Something…special?” she asked.

“Mm,” Noah nodded, resuming an upright posture and slipping his hands into his pajama pockets. “I want our first time in our new home to be something really memorable. By the way, I’m invoking the terms of our agreement – I’ll be making dinner tonight.”

The agreement in question was an informal resolution to the matter of meal preparation. The argument had ended with Miska ceding her husband the right to prepare one meal per week (without rollover and not including going out to eat), in exchange for her receiving the exclusive rights to washing any and all dishes. A win-win for the both of them, in other words.

“Saying more would spoil it,” Noah laughed. “But you can be a good maid and endure until tonight…right?”

“Yes!” she nodded vigorously. “Of course, master. Whatever you desire!”

“I thought so,” he smiled victoriously. “Now, how about you finish eating, then let’s go for a walk? I’d like to get a feel for the fields around here.”

“Of course, my star,” Miska nodded.

Miska’s composure flooded back into her, washing over her face like a wave. As she donned her smile once again, she bottled up her lust – for now.

“Afterwards, perhaps we could then work on setting up the kitchen?” she suggested. “You’ll need to in order to cook, after all.”

“Exactly what I was thinking,” he nodded.

********************
Surprisingly, the day passed relatively quickly, and without further incident. Miska and Noah explored the vast fields of golden grass, probing around the outskirts of the alien forest before deciding to leave that expedition for another day. After returning from their nature hike, they spent the afternoon unpacking the majority of their belongings, setting their possessions up in the respective rooms. Miska’s abilities made the process much easier than it would have otherwise been, moving heavy objects and reaching high places with ease. The two paused for a late lunch, taking a break from their work.

Just as Noah was about to begin eating, a curious thumping from the stairs interrupted him, piquing his curiosuty. Looking over, he saw an animated bed – Miska’s bed – clumsily creeping down the stairs, as if it were a cartoon character. Dumbfounded, he watched as the bed lost solidity, becoming a semi-solid mass of dark purple sludge that vaguely resembled the shape of a bed. Continuing to nibble at her food without a word, Miska smiled sweetly at Noah as the significant mass crept towards her and rejoined her main body, merging with the lower half of Miska’s mass. Noah raised an amused eyebrow at her, but Miska simply stifled a giggle and went on as if nothing had happened.

After lunch, Miska suggested taking a rest break for a while. She used the mass that she had just reabsorbed and formed a comfortable sofa, allowing the two to rest on each other in front of the television. The pair simply cuddled for a while before deciding to play some video games. Noah was quite pleased to learn that, despite their home’s relatively remote location, both the planetary internet and the hypernet connections were exceptionally fast, streaming at well over a gigabyte a second. That would certainly prove useful, coordinating his personal projects in his workshop with his other devices at the Arclight lab.

After finishing a particularly challenging level, the pair ended their gaming session before moving on to unpack the remainder of the boxes, as their new sun began to fall over the horizon. The fields of tall grass were basked in the majestic fire-gold evening sunlight, and Noah eventually found his way to the kitchen. Noah knew that he was a decent cook – nowhere near the level of Miska, but pretty good. And while he deeply enjoyed these rare chances where he pampered her, Miska was actually quite a difficult person to cook for. Not because she was picky, but rather, because Miska wasn’t picky enough. As an amorphous, shapeshifting being, Miska was capable of eating just about anything.

Of course, her favorite meal was him, but he preferred to leave that for dessert…

As difficult as they were to track down, Miska did have some preferences, and Noah was determined to create something amazing. He opened the refrigerator and freezer, fetched his ingredients, and prepared his cooking implements. He tied a red headband around his head, and then he went to battle. He dipped corn tortillas in oil, frying and hardening them into shells. He shredded chicken and grated some swiss cheese – Miska’s favorite type – before moving on to the secret weapon, the salsa. Yes, it would be the salsa that truly made or broke these tacos. Cilantro was a mutual favorite of theirs, so he added a good amount of it, before mixing in some tomato and pepper.

The most important part, however, was the talua fruit. A talua fruit was a vaguely magical, aquatic plant that grew beneath the Caribbean sea back on Earth, and tasted sweet like a mango. The fruit was highly nutritious, widely cultivated among aquatic monsters and their husbands – and it was one of Miska’s greatest weaknesses. She couldn’t get enough of them – the delicious fruits were one of the things that could make Miska break character.

Noah considered that, if he had teased her with a talua fruit instead of a banana this morning, things might have played out very differently.

Miska continued her tasks as Noah cooked, diligently dusting dirty furniture and hefting heavy boxes into her husband’s basement workshop until he finally declared that dinner was done, calling her into the kitchen.

“Tacos?” Miska asked, cocking her head and examining the carefully prepared display. “I thought I recognized the sound of cooking oil.”

As Miska’s eyes fell upon the bowl containing the secret weapon, her gaze faltered.

“Is that…?”

“Talua salsa,” Noah grinned. “I think you’ll like it.”

Words can scarcely describe the magnitude of the sense of victorious pride that swelled up in Noah as he watched Miska take her first bite, her face melting into a blissful expression. Her eyes shot wide as her substance took in the food, tasting it thoroughly before reluctantly dissolving it and distributing the nutrients throughout her body. Her cheeks flashing to her blushing cheeks, Miska gently shook her head and giggled madly.

“Ah!” she swooned. “To have master lovingly prepare such an amazing meal specifically for me…I must be the luckiest shoggoth on Veruna.”

Noah wouldn’t be surprised if she was the only shoggoth on the planet.

“Truly, the height of depravity,” he agreed with a chuckle. “So, I take it you like it?”

“Oh, it’s incredible, master!” Miska nodded vigorously. “I will have to endeavor a great deal to match this for tomorrow’s dinner!”

“I’m looking forward to that,” he laughed.

With that, the two finished their meal with teasing conversation, occasionally interspersed with more of Miska’s ecstatic giggles. When they had finished, Miska outstretched several tentacles at once, snatching up all of the dirty plates and swiftly carrying them off to the sink for cleaning. Several small tendrils were poking out from under her skirt and apron, excitedly fidgeting and wriggling. The luminescence of Miska’s eyes was reflected in the plates that she was cleaning, and her additional eyes in her hair and clothing were all trained on her master, her gaze eager and seductive.

The air was becoming rich with a coppery taste, energized with the promise of what was about to transpire. Tiny electrical signals sent tingles through Noah’s body, making his body hairs stand on end. This was going to be a exquisitely long night.

Noah finally got up from the table, coming up behind Miska, and placing his hands on her shoulders, giving them an affectionate squeeze.

“Come to the roof once you’re done,” he said softly, gently tilting her head and planting a brief kiss upon her lips. “I think it’s time we did some…brainstorming.”

Miska’s shoulder’s shot up and froze, turning back and looking at her husband. She fell upon their telepathic link on instinct, forgetting to move her lips as she voiced her question.

Master wishes to join with me?

Grinning, Noah responded by moving a hand lower, slipping a hand through her clothing and giving her ass a playful squeeze. Miska gave an excited squeak, then burst into a fit of mad giggles.

For a moment, their eyes met, and Noah nearly lost himself right there. Her eyes were like miniature stars, pouring out unimaginable amounts of energy – love, lust, and madness, all melded together into one enigmatic form. They threatened to capture him, and if successful, he knew it would be a long while before he got out. No, he couldn’t look into her eyes right now, or he would never make it to the roof. He wanted terribly to just take her, right there in the kitchen, but he tore his eyes away and forced himself to wait just a bit longer.

With herculean effort, he stepped away from his incredibly aroused maid and headed upstairs towards the roof, departing with a wave and a chuckle.

********************
When Miska finally stepped onto the roof, she was greeted by Noah, who was waiting for her at the center of the roof, sitting cross-legged on the floor. The flat section of the roof that could be safely stood on covered only a small portion of the building, but offered an incredible view of the surrounding landscape. A small wall that wrapped around the edges of the flat roof kept them secure from rolling off, and created a private little sanctuary for the couple. And above them, far away from the light pollution of the capital, millions of different stars shone clearly in the night sky, forming an intricate whirlpool that gleamed against the inky black.

“I would have brought a blanket,” Noah chuckled, resisting the urge to shiver in the cool, night air, “but I thought you would prefer to use your own.”

Wordlessly, Miska nodded and pulled a large, comfortable blanket out of her sleeve and set it down upon the floor, creating a space for the two to lie down. Smiling, Noah adjusted his position, scooting over and laying his back on the blanket, gesturing for Miska to sit with him. Kneeling down, Miska adjusted herself and placed her husband’s head gently in her lap, beginning to run her fingers through his hair and gently caress his face.

“There is something that you wish to ask,” Miska concluded, understanding that he was still restraining himself.

“Yeah,” Noah hummed. “Well, two things, I guess.”

“What do you wish to know, my star?”

“That, actually,” Noah answered, tilting his head up and meeting his wife’s loving gaze. “I’m not sure I ever found out the reason – why is it that you call me your star?”

Tilting her head curiously and adopting a neutral expression, Miska momentarily forgot her burning desires and considered his question. Looking up at the ocean of stars, she took nearly a minute before she deigned to answer, pale orbs gleaming in the moonlight.

“Stars shine against the black,” she said softly, looking down again and stroking her master’s head. “They defy the void. In a world of nothing, they choose to create something. We are all their children, whether we recognize it or not.”

“You have the soul of a star,” Miska said, lips curling up into a warm smile. “You create, invent, and love…and that makes you shine with a magnificent light. There is no one I would rather have as my master.”

Brining a hand up to brush his fingers against her face, Noah brought his lips up to hers and let a kiss express what his words could not. Tingling, electric love flowed between the two, charged with unflinching affection and acceptance.

“Miska,” Noah breathed, reluctantly pulling away. “You’re perfect for me. You’re the best maid…the best wife that I could ever hope for.”

Swirling with more energy than he had ever seen before, Miska’s eyes glowed on, tiny stars illuminated against the backdrop of the starry ocean above her.

“Which brings me to my second point,” Noah chuckled. “Miska…do you think we should start a family?”

“Hah?” Miska’s expression once again broke, her jaw falling agape. “M-master? Are you-“

“I’m serious,” Noah smiled. “What do you think?”

“I…” Miska’s eyes were a swirling whirlpool, a maelstrom of conflicted emotion.

“There probably won’t ever be a better time,” Noah continued. “We’re more than financially stable, we’ve got plenty of room for a family now that we’ve got our own place.”

“And I saw that look in your eyes when you learned that Jiayi was expecting,” he added with a sly grin.

Croaking out some unintelligible question, Miska was still too stunned to properly vocalize.

“You’re not the only one with mind tricks, love,” Noah chuckled. “You forget how well you’ve taught me to read you. I know you were a little jealous of her.”

“I…” swallowing, Miska finally regained her composure. “Master…do you really…wish to make me the mother of your children?”

“Do you want me to?” he prompted.

Staring at him, Miska’s pale orbs softened with expression.

“Yes,” she whispered. “Yes! Oh, master, I would love nothing more! There would truly be no greater joy!”

Laughing, Noah leaned up to kiss her again, which she met with eager passion. Tongue darting into his mouth, Noah’s eyes went wide, and he had to pull away before she captured him. There was still one more thing he had to say before he could let himself go.

“Maaaster…” Miska whined, “I think you’ve kept me waiting long enough…”

Leaning over him, lust burned in her eyes, hoping that her drooping breasts would entice him to attack. If he did not, her hunger would not allow itself to be restrained for much longer…

“Last thing, I promise,” he smiled. “There’s a catch involved.”

“A catch?”

“Mm,” Noah nodded. “I want you to call me by name more often.”

Blinking, Miska looked at him for a moment, then smiled and nodded.

“Very well,” she said. “I gladly accept your terms, mast-“

“Noah,” she corrected.

“Hmm…” Miska tapped a finger to her lips thoughtfully. “Yes, I think that is very pleasant to say aloud.”

With that, the time for words was finally over. Pushing himself up, Noah got to his knees and turned to face his wife, whose expression instantly shifted into a wide smile. Leaning forward, Noah kissed her again, and this time allowed Miska to do as she pleased. Her eager tongue darted into his mouth, began to play with his and coating the insides of his mouth with her delicious, sticky substance. Brining his hands up to her shoulders, Noah squeezed and massaged them, then very gently pinched the top of her clothing, their nonverbal sign that he wished for her to remove her outfit.

Delighted that her waiting was at an end, Miska hastily complied, dissolving the white frills and black silks, exposing her naked form in an instant. Slipping one hand over her shoulders, Noah smoothed his fingertips along her back, gently pressing into her and massaging her. Meanwhile, his other hand slid down her chest, gently cupping one of her sizable breasts and beginning to play with it, pinching it and kneading it. Moaning deeply into her lover’s mouth, Miska responded to the pleasure by decreasing her solidity, willing her substance to spread over Noah’s body. Her body became less solid, and the two slowly began to sink down into the expanding puddle of Miska’s mass. Ever the dutiful maid, Miska removed his clothing without pause, dissolving Noah’s clothing before reassembling it outside of her, using a tentacle to fold and neatly stack it to the side.

Feeling two hard points poke against his chest, Noah broke the kiss, gazing at Miska as he moved downwards. Beginning to use both of his hands to tease her breasts, he opened his mouth and took one of her nipples inside, kissing it and gently sucking on it. Arching her back, Miska cooed loudly and wrapped an arm around his head, pulling him towards her.

“The stars are watching us,” Miska giggled, eyes shining brightly with love.

“Then I guess that makes us exhibitionists,” Noah chuckled, before playfully growling and giving Miska a gentle push.

The pair fell backwards, landing with a squish onto the blanket, which itself was becoming less solid, devolving into a bubbly, sludgy mess. Kissing her again, Noah lapped up every drop of Miska he could get before turning his attention back to her breasts. As Miska felt her husband’s stiff cock press against her belly, small tentacles formed in the blanket, along with needy eyes and hungry mouths.

Maaasster…Miska whined, Please, no more teasing…you’ve made me wait so long…

Miska’s form lost uniformity, becoming a sensually writing mass of slime that now only loosely resembled a human woman. Noah, too, was nearly unrecognizable, covered head to toe in her substance, and could no longer even see his own body. Miska’s ooze rippled and undulated over him, gently rubbing and pressing into every part of him, creating a divinely pleasurable massage.

Wrapping her substance around her master’s aching cock, she gave it a reassuring squeeze, moving to line it up with her sticky, sopping entrance.

Noah, Miska continued. Please…join with me…

That was what he had been waiting to hear. With a single, mighty thrust, Noah took his wife, entering her completely and hilting inside of her. Crying out, Miska wrapped around him completely, pulling him down into her and completely surrounding him. Her pussy melded itself around him, creating the perfect fit for his dick that offered the ideal balance of warmth, stickiness, and tightness.

Pleasure erupted through the both of them, coursing through their telepathic link, which had grown a hundred times more powerful. No longer restricted to thoughts, they shared physical sensations as well, creating a sensory feedback loop. As Noah pulled back and thrust into Miska, again and again, he felt it from her perspective, feeling how satisfying it was to have his hardness fill her, feeling how hungry and desperate she was for his love. And Miska felt how incredibly tight and slick the walls of her cunt were, feeling the exquisite pleasure as every cell in her body devoted itself to pleasuring her master.

Finally, they were together again, fully joined in both body and mind.

Their pleasure soon became indistinguishable. Who it belonged to was irrelevant, for Noah and Miska were gone. There was only them, and their shared pleasure – two beings, as closely tied together as any could possibly be, united by love.

To give up your very existence, even temporarily, was not something to be taken lightly. Some would, perhaps reasonably, call it an insane act.

But this was what the frenzied lovemaking of the Abyss entailed – delicious, comfortable insanity, offering passion and love without equal.

Time lost any meaning as their unified mind gleefully surrendered to the ecstasy of joining. Their shared orgasm arrived without warning, the first of many to come that night. Release came like an erupting volcano, Noah’s straining cock spewing a prodigious volume of seed, flooding Miska’s slick walls and staining her insides white. Miska did not devour his sperm as she usually did, but guided it into her womb, delighting in the knowledge that there was a very real chance that it could impregnate her.

As her womb gorged itself on her beloved master’s essence, Miska’s share of the orgasm exploded throughout their shared mind, rippling through every cell of their being like an earthquake. The pleasure continued to build and expand off itself, until a mind numbing bliss was omnipresent throughout. Yet the pleasure still continued to climb, shattering previous barriers and reaching new thresholds of sensation.

Their joining took hours, and every shared orgasm brought them higher and higher, to previously unexplored levels of sensual bliss. Every thrust, every squeeze and every moan brought them closer together, allowing them to better cater to their partner’s desires and feast on their pleasure. Squishing slime, slapping flesh and blissful groans formed an orchestra that lasted throughout the night. They fed on each other’s pleasure, peaking again and again.

Just as the first rays of sunlight began to crest over the hills, Miska’s tentacles finally fell limp after one final, cataclysmic orgasm, all of her mouths drooling and panting in blissful exhaustion. As their minds split, Miska rolled onto her side, holding her utterly drained husband close and giggling as their physical bodies groaned in protest, demanding sleep. She held him tight with her arms, her substance insulating them from the chilly air and forming a comfortable sleeping bag for the two of them.

Miska’s additional eyes faded back into her body, finally having sated their hunger. And yet, as if by instinct, one of her eyes turned itself towards the sky. And as faint as it was, Miska was certain that she saw the light of a new star, briefly twinkling at her before fading from sight. Stifling a mental yawn, she offered them a silent prayer of gratitude before finally allowing sleep to claim her, drifting off and entwining her mind with her beloved master’s dreams.

No matter where she was in the universe, she would always love the stars.

********************
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A/N: So in reality, you can’t really get an erection in zero gravity due to the lack of blood circulation and lower blood pressure. But fuck it, artistic license. That said, being able to procreate in space is actually a really important problem humanity will need to solve if we’re ever going to have a proper space-faring empire.

I’ve mentioned it before, but the Shoggoth is by far my favorite species, so I really hope I did her justice here. I felt like her eldritch associations with cosmic/chaotic themes lent themselves well for a futuristic setting, so I went for one. This story was inspired by all sorts of cool sci-fi stuff. I’ll give you a cookie if you know what game I borrowed the livestreamed moon impact from – I got pretty distracted by it when I was at the halfway point of writing this!

Moving on, I’ll probably not release stories with the same frequency. I’ve got other projects to attend to, and I have to admit I burned myself out for a while with the ridiculous speed that I wrote Outer Demon with (go read that if you haven’t).

I haven’t decided on the next species to cover. Feel free to make a pitch, but no promises. I’m still looking to cover the lesser known species…the Basilisk is ranking pretty high on my list, as well as the Phantom.

Thanks for reading, and I hoped you enjoyed this. Let me know if you did! I welcome feedback and constructive criticism of all sorts, they really help the ol’ motivation.

Until next time!

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13 thoughts on “To Love the Stars”

      1. Basalisk is gaurding something or is the way of mc. Theif who knows parkor (if you dont know what parkor is loom it up) steals from basalisk since he can acrobatically doge and climb this put the basalisk at a disatvantage at chasing him. Or A geomancer. He is a mage who specializes in earth magic aka rocks/metals. Purposefully blindfolds himself and sees vibrations througg earth in attempts to defeat basalisk. (Kind of like toph from the last air bender).

  1. A lot of “Noah” and “Miska” could’ve been replaced with “he” and “she,” which would make for easier narration.
    9.8/10. You did my eldrich waifu proud. Hope to see more mind-melding and brain-sex in the future. It’s the best kind.

    1. Does it make it more difficult? I get paranoid about going too long without using names, in case things get vague and readers lose track of who is doing what.

      That’s all of Shoggy for a while (going to keep covering species without m(any) stories, but I have an idea for a Queen Shoggoth variant that will probably pop up eventually.

      That said, Phantom is on my short list, so we’ll probably see some more telepathic/hallucination stuff.

      Glad you liked the story!

  2. I don’t know about the moon impact thing but I assume you took the term “VI” from Mass Effect, and it is that series that I imagined your “shuttles” to look like.

    But I seriously doubt your assertions about zero G … “lack of blood circulations”, “lower blood pressure”? Really? If I invert gravity (AKA do a handstand) my blood flows as normal, and if circulation stopped without gravity, the ISS inhabitants would be dead …
    In fact, what I take most offence to is “Noah lying on top of her”. There is no ‘top’ or ‘bottom’ without gravity … 😛

    1. AFAIK virtual intelligence isn’t something that Mass Effect invented, though I did base the shuttles off of that, at least.

      The livestreamed moon impact was from a different game, however.

      I’m not the scientist(s) who researched the effects of gravity in regards to sex…I just did 30 minutes of research for the story. Feel free to look it up yourself and contest the point with the researchers.

    1. I find the cool, aloof beauty of the Basilisk to be very appealing. As for the Phantom, I find how energetic, kind, and loving she is to be very nice. I also like that her design is incredibly modest, as well. It’s a nice deviation from KC’s norm.

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