Chapter 13:

Convos and Convenience


“Ow,” Lucky groans. It turns out that when you’re teleported, you stay frozen in the exact same position until you reach your new destination. Hence, Lucky’s fluffy but hits the hard ground, with a unceremonious thud.  

“Lucky? Everyone? Are you alright?” Bliss calls. Lucky looks over at her and notices that she hasn’t even managed to right herself yet, and she’s already worried about them. 

“I’m fine, I think?” Viper responds, twisting his joints here and there to make sure he still has feeling in them.

Panic Button is sprawled out on his back, his chest rising and falling as if he’s gone through a great ordeal. “I think my spirit left my body on the way, but at least I’m alive! Nice save, Bliss.”

Bliss looks over at Lucky, her eyes seemingly analyzing her—no, not seemingly. She’s actually analyzing her, going by the way that various shapes and code run across her eyes. “It wasn’t me, exactly. I couldn’t move at all, but I heard Lucky’s voice telling me to teleport, and I did.”

“What? But I don’t remember Lucky saying anything to me,” Panic Button says as he rights himself.

“We were all pretty stressed at the time. It’s possible maybe it was inside your head?”

“It was inside my head, but it was definitely Lucky. I know it!” Bliss looks down at Lucky even more intently, and it’s getting a little uncomfortable, Lucky isn’t going to lie.

Truth be told, Lucky sort of knew? Maybe. “Well, I was trying to use the new skill I got while we were captured. I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work, but I guess it did?”

“That sounds way too convenient.”

Lucky doesn’t know what to say to them, so she just shrugs her ears at them. Their lives have been pretty inconvenient so far. She thinks they deserve a convenience they can weaponize against their enemies.

“Based on what Bliss said, it seems like your skill overrode whatever skill they were using to control us.” By the way Viper’s tail swishes back and forth, Lucky can tell that he’s excited about the possibilities.

“You mean that skill that other stuffed dog was using?” Panic Button asks.


“I didn’t expect to meet other stuffed animal Pets like me.” There was something so familiar about that stuffed dog, and it wasn’t just the design. And yet, because she has no memory of her life before this, she can’t even pinpoint why. 

Just when Lucky feels like she’s beginning to get a sense of understanding for the world around her, a tidbit of knowledge keeps her away from the full truth. It’s discouraging, especially knowing that they’re one Lester away from a total game over.

“Well, that’s because there aren’t any other stuffed Pets besides you two.”

“W-Wha?” Lucky whips her head around discovers that they are not alone. Because of course not. That would truly be too convenient. 

 In hindsight, she hasn’t even bothered to figure out where they landed. Bliss didn’t exactly have a destination in mind when they teleported, so whether they’re in hostile territory, neutral territory, or even ice cream territory, she has no clue. Her friends tense, likely thinking along the same lines as her, and she appreciates at least that if they survived two close calls together, they could squeeze through a third.

“Who are you?” Panic Button asks, ever the bold one in their group.

“Me? I’m Bodyguard 1. You can just call me One.”

Lucky’s ears perk up. “You’re a Pet? But you’re…”

“Very human-looking?” Actually, Lucky doesn’t know if she’d call him human looking per-se. His eyes are a glowing neon blue, and he has black horns twisting from his head down to outline his jaw in neat, tight black swirls. He’s got muscles that even to Lucky don’t look realistic or even humanly possible, all while wearing the most confusing outfit Lucky has ever seen. A skirt with a crop top and flip flops for a bodyguard. Really?

“No offense, but if we’re comparing model accuracy, I think we look more like animals than you look human,” Panic Button says, voicing Lucky’s thoughts with such accuracy that she wonders if she’s sending him some kind of live script of her thoughts.

He laughs. “I’ll take that as a compliment. I’ve ascended humanity, after all. No reason to keep looking the part.”

“That’s one way of looking at it,” Bliss mumbles to herself.

“No, my lovely chimera friend. It’s the only way to think about it. At least if you want to become members of the Pinecrest Gardens Pet Alliance.”

“What is that supposed to be?” Lucky asks.

“Sounds like a tea party,” Viper comments.

“It is,” Bodyguard 1 says, not denying it at all. “But it’s also a resistance movement.”

A resistance movement? Bliss could have transported them anywhere, and they ended up at the doors of a resistance movement? …Lucky is very lucky indeed.

“A resistance movement against who?” Viper asks, outwardly not sharing in the same excitement and relief that Lucky is currently experiencing.

“Lots of people,” One says. “It might be better to hear it from our leader. He’s the one who knows more about all the details.”

Lucky looks back at her friends. “Wait! Give us a sec to talk it over first?”

One bows. “At your leisure.”

For someone with the name Bodyguard One, he sure acts more like a butler than anything. He didn’t even show any signs of thinking about attacking them. It’s strange, but Lucky puts that mystery aside for later.

“Well?” Lucky whispers as they all huddle together in a circle, as they try to figure out their next move.

“I’m against it,” Viper says. “If they’re a resistance group, that means they’re drawing a lot of attention from all the places we want to hide from. We should get out of here while we have the chance.”

“They might be able to protect us, though,” Bliss points out. “We didn’t exactly make it out easy last time.”

“Are we trying to hide from Lester or are we trying to fight him? That’s the real question.” Panic Button says, his furry ear twitching as he anticipates their answer.

“I…” At first, Lucky had only been thinking about escape, and about freedom. In reality though, she knows they need more than fast legs or teleportation skills to rid them of their problems. She doesn’t think she’s ever going to find answers hiding out somewhere, constantly afraid of even showing up at the McDonald’s for fear that they would be tracked.

If running isn’t going to get her what she wants, then there’s no other choice: she has to fight for it.

“We can keep running,” Lucky says, “but we’ll never be able to live a proper life that way, especially in a society like this.”

“That’s true,” Viper says, the words coming slowly, as if he’s thought long and hard about them. “I need an owner to live a normal life. And I don’t have one.”

It seems that while Viper still acknowledges the need for an owner, he’s no longer saying he wants to find one. It’s a huge improvement over before, and Lucky wonders if his mind has managed to become more flexible thanks to the escape. If he’s already managed to run, the system has already failed to keep him in check. No sense wasting space on useless software.

“Then we agree?”

The all nod their heads in approval and break their huddle. Lucky puffs up her chest and looks up at One. “Okay, we’re in.”

One smiles down at her with a knowing grin. “Then follow me.”

Steward McOy