fat guy from planet zeta
part one: arrival
in rainslick tendril city, the sex slaves were always restless. that was no reason to visit anymore.
fat guy pulls a credit stick from his security belt. scarfs down a grundlewhump burger while he waits for digit spool.
cursing to himself. these rauthian crabs he got on this last go-round. it wouldn't be so bad, except the little bastards are telepathic. and lately they'd taken to nesting in his anus. hilarious if he'd overheard this snooping someone's feed, fucking awful happening to him in the real.
digit spool was bringing a local plant. highly psychotropic; highly illegal, too. would cure these rauthian crabs. and also maybe induce violent hallucination, psychotic outbursts, and cannibalistic tendencies for a time.
so he'd rented a private top tier anti-psychotic isolation cabin for the weekend. each room outfitted with inertial padding, doping gas vents set to auto fire at high aggression levels, and with butler bots there to wait on him and administer low-grade stun charges if he well and truly lost his shit.
digit spool arrived. on time, as befit his exorbitant fee.
he had that bleary-eyed look of your average urban spore head. the perfect guise for rainslick tendril city. no creepers would give him as much as a second glance. enforcers would think they had bigger fish to fry.
fat guy remained hung in the doorway of the whampum burger hut and injected himself with a low-grade stim. his mouth began a dry clacking. the inside of his head felt v-lofted in a purple party spool. synthetic anti-cavity ketchup dribbled out of the right-side of his mouth, crusting on his jacket collar.
their proximity feeds merged and digit skated over to fat guy on his hydropods.
"grunberry upload in two. creds?"
fat guy waved an untapped credit stick.
forty cycles later, fat guy was back in his skimshooter, doing two-eighty along the outskirts of the city, the torgosian wilderness a scant two minutes away. autopilot set to skim just above the treetops, which soon slid across his hud in a lazy verdant smear.
sequence dialed in and authorizations inputted, fat guy opened the antiquated brown paper bag - a typical digital spool flourish - with the grunberry inside. encased in thick blue skin and flecked with moisture, the fruit was ripe, bulging, and humming along at a low throb.
he'd boil or parve gun the grunberry for at least an hour. make sure it was truly dead before ingestion. they'd been known to hibernate deeply. "profoundly," his friend satch had once said. if it awoke before one’s stomach acids killed it, you were looking at a full-on stomach evacuation sequence.
with nothing to do but sit, fat guy began having doubts. did he even own a parv gun? did the cabin have one, or have a period-era stove and cooking pot? he cursed himself for not remembering. goddamn rauthian crabs could be beaming thought mods straight into his brain.
full molecular agitator. sweet. he remembered now. the cabin had one. part of why he'd chosen it.
as the skimshooter crested the last ridge, its hud projector picked up a campfire over the far ridge from the cabin. not good. he switched audio to manual search. laughter, and the sizzle of torgosian groundhog sausage werfers. the pop and zit of mind erasers. looked like a group of college kids from torgo tech having a mind-tilt gathering off the beaten track. their choice of location could not have sucked harder.
fat guy grew increasingly agitated, and the grunberry in his lap thrummed with excitement.
doing this fully off-grid was now out of the question. he had no choice. he was almost out of his head. it had to happen now. the cabin's security grid was first class. it was going to be fine.
the tube slider greased. he felt pulse then was gently lifted from the cockpit and into the cabin's entry hatch.
butler bots hovered at attention. he handed the closest one, a shiny new servoless a-13 model, the grunberry. a moment later machine arms gently stripped him down to his underarmor and sprayed a thin coating of relaxation gel over his porcine form.
he glanced at the vidmon to watch one butler bot skinning the grunberry, pain causing the plant to release sufficient levels of psychotoxins. robot arms lifted the precisely cubed, still quivering fleshy flora into the molecular agitator.
dicing it had been a good change of plan. it'd draw out the detox by maybe a day, but would eliminate the risk of disemboweling from within.
fat guy tried to ignore the screaming of rauthian crabs in his head. as the a-13 model ushered him towards the steaming sitz bath, he felt them squirming in heightened agitation inside of him. this rauthian genocide couldn't happen soon enough. the bath would at least induce a waist-high torpor in him that ought to quieten them down a good deal while he awaited grunberry prep.
deep inside of him, the rauthian crabs spat a yellow chorus of obscenities, each more vitriolic and offensive than the last. insults and manipulations rode the express elevator from his asshole to his brain.
long, deep breaths.
he pictured himself an hour from now, siting in the supposedly perfect faux-20th century middle-america dining room, actually sitting at a table and using a knife and fork, eating the cooked grunberry. slowly and deliberately. maybe not even dialing in a flavor template, but instead reveling in the bitterness, the better to underscore the howl of rage and powerlessness those rauthian fuckers would be keening once the toxins began to flow.
part two: detox
outside, fabo botulist iii had a mind eraser in one hand, with his arm around lim fluchek, his favorite mating partner.
"hey, looks like someone's in there" said lim, motioning to the cabin, stim dust still heavy on her breath.
fabo cast a glance toward the cabin.
"nice. after this dose let's check it."
"guy inside might be a suit. we could have some fun with him" she whispered.
laughing, their foreheads pressed together, inhaling deeply from the eraser fabo proffered between them. stillness, then they sighed and lay back on the grass, fingers intertwined. the stars and satellites above them disappeared behind a sheet of azure blue as the effects of the drug kicked in. time fucked off and they slid lazily away.
fat guy lay in the sitz bath, in earnest debate with the rauthian crabs over the legality of off-world data farming.
"sir, your grunberry is ready," the a-13 unit informed him.
"bring it into the bathroom. i'll eat it here." no need for tables, utensils, or flavor templates. he's just swallow it, bitter cube by cube. and then maybe he'd ride out the hallucinations here, cocooned and embryonic.
swallowing the last cube, he wondered what it'd feel like when the grunberry began soaring through his system. he pictured octupine arms extending up through his stomach and into his cortex, having their wicked way with his brain. alone, in this cabin, with the butler bots on standby, was the place to be.
fabo sat up slowly. "sleepyhead, let's eat and check that cabin." lim stirred, giggled softly to herself. a thousand summers could have passed, or a single minute. she wasn't sure. it only mattered that she felt this good, her limbs like silk bending softly in the wind.
twenty yards from the cabin, fabo held up his hand. "gonna runna quick scan for security fields." a steady beep confirmed what he already knew. pocketing the small device, fabo pulled a larger one from a jacket pocket. his new grok box. specifically, a black market grokian a-3a infiltration device ("for all your second-story infiltration needs" chirped the asian girl with the ocean-blue hair fabo had seen in the feed ad.). illegal in all established zones and cities. illegal anywhere anyone rich enough had anything worth taking not already in their pocket or guarded by sentry bots.
aiming the grok box at the cabin, fabo felt the device thrum for a moment. button held down, the grok box warming in his hand...10...20...30. a quiet beep, then powering down. "intrusion successful" the screen blinked, noncommittally.
in the cabin, sudden blackness, then a pop as dull red background lights kicked in. fat guy bolted upright in the sitz bath. he held still for a moment. what. the. fuck. the grid was shitsville. no low consistent hum of movement from the butler bots. with them went the system. with the system went them. shit. breathe. take a moment. ignore the spiteful chorus of rauthian fuckers, gleefully chortling away. had they planted ghosts in this machine, as well?
clasping his hands on either side of the tub, he slowly rose out of the water. he'd have to dry himself by hand. towels. there had to be towels. in case of emergency.
"now what?" asked lim.
"let's give it another couple minutes. he'll prolly call it in. i'll intercept the call, then we’ll be the support crew."
at that, they laughed in unison.
finally dressed, fat guy dialed in the call. "we have a crew inbound to you, sir. eta 4 minutes."
he sat, legs still dull and heavy from the sitz bath. maybe this was just a temporary hiccup in the detox plan. the tech team would likely be in and out in a few minutes, before the grunberry kicked. before he began behaving in unimaginable ways.
lim and fabo walked toward the front door. lim give fabo a quick kiss and winked playfully at him. this would be fun.