Chapter 5:

Unleash Your Feelings!


“I know you said not to think about anything, but I’m starting to question the wisdom of this plan.”

Lucky scowls at Viper. “Just keep your water gun ready and wait.”

Viper’s brow furrows in worry, causing the spots on his forehead to smush together. Lucky can’t blame him for being concerned. She’s been trying to melt the bars of the cage for a good while and she’s barely able to keep her eyes open from the strain. It’s super annoying, and she doesn’t understand why she even feels she’s developing a twitch to begin with. Isn’t she a robot?

“I just need a little more time.”

“You probably don’t know this, but Pets are upgradeable. Over time, you can unlock your true potential, but you normally need help from your owner to do it,” Viper explains.

Lucky stores that tidbit of information away for later and activates her laser eyes again. She honestly can’t tell if the bars are turning red from the heat or her vision is getting even redder, but she does her best to press on. “So? All that means is that I have to try harder on my own to pull it off, right?”

Viper sighs. “Lucky, as much as I’d like to tell you that you can have a whole training arc and all to get there, we don’t have that kind of time.”

Unable to bear the discomfort anymore, Lucky falls back on her haunches and gasps for air she doesn’t really need. “There’s got to be a better way.”

Panic Button pretends to sniff at the air. “As much as I love the smell of hard work, I think you might be working too hard.”

“Of course I’m working hard! I’m carrying your flea-ridden hides hard right now.”

Panic Button rolls his eyes, but surprisingly takes the high ground. Lucky resents that he looks so smug while doing it. “You might not realize this, but I’m a living witness to your previous light ups. I know that the reason you lit up before is because you let your feelings loose. It’s totally obvious.”

“So what? Am I not allowed to let myself feel something every once and a while?” Lucky asks defensively. The situation she’s found herself in is tantamount to being reincarnated in a new world she doesn’t know anything about. She reserves the right—though not the exclusive right—to feel however she likes, thanks.

“No. Not every once in a while. You need to let your feelings out all the time. Full throttle.”

“Am I not already doing that?”

They both look at each other. Viper swishes his tail thoughtfully. “I think that you don’t feel safe enough to experience the full extent of your feelings most of the time. It's not surprising. You got muzzled almost right away, and the slaughterhouse is always in the back of our minds, too."

“Are you saying that I’m getting nowhere because I’m not feeling enough?"

It’s a strange thing to say, and it’s a strange thought when she considers that they might be right. She feels…guilty. And afraid. But if she lets those feelings out right now, she’ll be paralyzed by them. If that happens, then they won’t be able to rescue Bliss, much less escape. Everyone is relying on her, and she needs to push all that aside and focus.

Normally, that would be the correct answer in a situation like this, but as much as she loathes to admit it, Panic Button has a point. When she used her lasers before, she unleashed her disgust and disbelief on the mirror and the rag without much thought or effort.

Lucky closes her eyes and shakes her head. She takes a shallow non-breath. She haphazardly rips the box open on all those lidded feelings with all the delicacy and patience of a child opening a present and opens her glittering black eyes.

The room bursts into flames.