IMPORTANT
A day shy of a week ago Robotech Master was out on his e-bike when an SUV struck him and drove off. According to the most recent news available, he passed away from his injuries at around 2:00 this morning. I have kept some news up on his user page and, at this point, ask that anyone wishing to leave messages or tributes do so on either his talk page or another page that can be used for such things. His account here and all of the stories he has gifted the Shifti community with will be preserved in memoriam, as we also did for Morgan.

User:Michael Bard/Repayment

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Repayment

Author: Michael Bard
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This story is a work in progress.
Author's Notes: New additions will start with a few words of green text. Keep in mind that significant revisions are possible, and sometimes necessary. The entire text is therefore in flux.
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Pig and Whistle story universe

Coati walked her way along the beam. She had good moods, black moods, and black moods. Today was one of the later. Unlike most nights she didn't bother climbing down a post, but just jumped onto the bar from overhead. She heard a bone snap, felt the stab of pain, but didn't worry about it. It would heal on its own. They always did. She always did.

Gordie looked down at the thump, concern in his eyes. She didn't care. "Acid."

Gordie opened his bovine muzzle, shut it, and nodded. He'd known her long enough to know when she was in one of those moods. Instead he pulled out the glistening plastic baby cup, one of the no-spill, self sealing designs, and filled it with a steaming bubbling liquid under the safety hood that kept the fumes safely away. Sealing it, he clicked it onto the bar beside her. He didn't ask for payment, not right now. She kept a deposit down for days like this. Wrapping her paws around the, for her, massive metal glass, she dragged it off to one end of the bar.

"Try not to get any on the floor," Gordie said. She ignored him.

Damn fucking bastards writers. They wanted an emotional story, so they claimed. Something to grip people during this sweeps period. Something with meaning. God damn fuck the lot of them!

She sat on her haunches, ragged tail curled over her head, and squeaked as she lifted the heavy cup up. Putting the nozzle in her muzzle, she sucked out just enough of the diluted hydrochloric acid to get a satisfying itch as cells in her mouth and throat burned die.

A part of her prayed they'd contain those memories, but they never did. No matter how often and how many she destroyed.

Fuck all the shit-faced writers for writing that story! Why did it have to be a girl? Why? If it had been a boy-- But a little girl would give a greater impact, greater meaning, greater truth. She'd had a gentle death, uncaring disease, and little Foxy had held her hand as she'd breathed her last at the end of the episode.

Death wasn't like that. Not even close. There was nothing, absolutely nothing nice or gentle about it.

She took a big gulp now, letting the liquid burn through her tongue, through the bones of her skull, a few drops falling onto the cupboard to smoke. Coati hadn't even heard what Gordie had asked. If she had, right now she wouldn't have cared.

Her eyes teared from the pain as she cried inside her mind. Fucking disease, fucking curse, fucking world.

Tears flowed as she remembered. Like she always did. It had been during the worst of the collapse. A time of lawlessness and hatred and fear and violence. Canada hadn't starting moving yet, and there was no law. She'd been in the form of a coyote somewhere in the north of Texas. It was effectively independent, just hadn't been recognized yet. The border was kinda gray back then. She'd been sniffing around for food, a rat or something, when he'd found her beneath collapse debris. A little girl, white as snow, cold and shivering, maybe four.

She took a big gulp this time, holding her head up, feeling the acid burn through her stomach and into her hips. She wanted so hard to forget!

Somehow she'd managed to force her desperate hunger down, lain beside her, licked her, let her hug her as though she was a dog. Fought to keep her warm as she grew colder and colder. Licked her face as she breathed her last.

And then she'd lost it. Her body's needs shoved her mind aside, and-- and--

She puked, but nothing came up except a thin bile, and a bit of smoke. Fucking memories! Leave me alone!

Even now she could taste the rich cooling meat on her tongue, the warmth of the flesh in her mouth, in her stomach. The wonderful sensation as it had filled her starving body. Only when she was full, when the cells that made her up, that were her were satisfied they could grow and continue, did she get her mind back.

And saw what she'd done.

Tears filling her eyes, she lugged the plastic cup up and poured the rest of the weak acid over herself, feeling it burn away her fur, her eyes, baring ribs on her chest. But she didn’t' care.

She wanted so hard to forget! Others could drink, but alcohol did nothing for her. Just this. Just the feeble hope that she might kill the cells that held that memory. That held her.

Even now she could see what she'd left of her. The untouched head, quiet and peaceful in death. The gaping chest, ribs ripped out of the way, organs gouged. Staring at her. Yelling at her. Screaming at her.

She still didn't know why she did it. Apology?

She'd howled, clawed at her muzzle, her skull, ripped off her skin. But, well fed, it just grew back. It was all a simulation of the reality anyway. A facsimile created by the individual cells that made up the colony organism that was her. She believed she'd done it as a tribute, something to make up for the horror.

It'd taken her hours to claw and bite her way into the child's skull. By the time she was done, the brain was smashed goo, cold and clammy. But, she'd forced it down anyway. She had no idea how much of the child she could save after all this time, but, it was all she could do.

All she could fucking god well damn do!

She sobbed, her eyes regrown enough that tears could pour out.

It's all right.

Even now he could hear her voice inside him. More than an instinct, less than a soul. She used it, used its innocence, its ceaseless love, its wonder. That was how she voiced Foxy so well.

And now they had to dig up the sins better left buried.

If only she could forget! If only!

"More," she croaked out through her 'voder.