Je t'aime... moi non plus

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Synthetic Seraph, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. A truly uncommon pet shop...

    Even in eras in which genes from luminous marine animals are implanted in cross species until rabbits shine like part of the moon itself, the creatures found here would be considered a treat. In the glass plate window, pens contain a rabbit with the Van Gogh painting Starry Starry within its fur, cats with Salvador Dali artworks, two turtles each bearing a shell dome made of half a perfectly spherical Planet Earth complete with cloud formations.

    Also a bit disorienting, the interior is set up less like a regular store with aisles and rows of small tanks for finding everything by breed and section - such as a row each of the rodent and fuzzy families, fish, insects and reptiles - than displaying particularly adept alterations like a gallery, constantly breaking up the space with a hanging bird cage or cylindrical pedastal. The little bit that can be seen from the outside is a feast for the eyes. Inside, other senses would be amazed as well, with the mingling scents of feathers, fur, cultured tank water, and incense; sounds of mews, shaving rustlings, yelps of scampering young at play, exclamations of the neighborhood poor come in for entertainment like a free zoo.

    And perhaps even more surprising, a poster outside with tasteful artwork and script solicits " ~ Inquire about Matchmaker services ~ " with an image that depicts an angel from one perspective, a neko from another, a mer as one approaches further, and so on from different angles. A cynical person would suspect holograms or LED screens thin as a folder. But should observers feel the need to check for themselves, fingers would touch ordinary paper complete with wrinkles and peeling edges taped to the glass front window one moment, and find the graphic message gone the next.
  2. Vivian stood outside the pet shop her aqua blue hair was pulled back in a high ponytail, amber eyes reading and gazing at the poster with soft amusment. She tapped her heeled foot and then thought, what the hell? Why not. She opened the door, a small bell chimed causing her ears to perk and strain up at the sound. She smiled smelling the must and perfumes of the area, eyes taking in the marvels of the place before going to a curtained room, "MATCHMAKER" was spelled out in curled bold letters. She chuckles and enters. She looks around the room not paying too much attention and just enjoyed the furniture int he area.

    Vivian was a child who started with nothing and ended with riches, she crawled out of poverty through her own inventive mind, somewhat of a mad scientist. She was a whiz with genetics and robotics. This is why the store intriqued her so, she had no clue what this matchmaker was or what he or she did but she was very curious to find out what. She adjusts her steam punk goggles and sticks her fingerless gloved hands in her plush leather jacket with a sigh. She hoped she did not have to wait long.
  3. At the rustling of the curtain drawing back following yet another door chime, a woman turned from behind a row of bookshelves. The shota assistant out front was more than capable of handling routine pet sales and gawking rabble, but when someone entered this section of the domain...

    The combination alchemist and shop owner's plump physique revealed symptoms of endless hours committed to research and design and little other activity. A corset helped and curviness in the bosom redeemed her figure somewhat. Her cranberry velvet dress flared at the hip and ended at the shin, an unfashionable cut but perfect for climbing ladders to the tops of man-high aquariums and other odd pursuits in the store. Her shoulder length hair tapered in sunset hues, and both thin-wire spectacles and an eyepatch drew attention to her face. The manners and the accent mismatched - either inherited upper class who fell down to servant status and gleaned crude habits also, or working class who had come into wealth and was just now learning the ettiquette that usually came with good breeding.

    "Greetings, honored guest," she welcomed smoothly. "It takes a special type of person both to see the mirage announcement out front, and to discover this room. Since you've been drawn here, I think you'll be able to benefit from the services here." The hostess gestured to a cozy coffee nook as silent invitation for Vivian to make herself comfortable. "Matchmakers traditionally found suitable brides and husbands for eligible villagers, negotiating on behalf of both parties to reach compatibility. My process is more tailor made and unique than that..." The stranger smiled. "Tell me, who are you, and have you ever dreamt of the perfect consort?"
  4. She looks the woman over and chuckles at her, a strange female indeed. She sat in a chair inhaling a smell of chemicals sloppily attempted to be masked with incense. "No I have not ever considered a matchmaker. In fact I often believed that I am not ever going to have marriage. I was merely intrigued by the sign. I am curious to see your inventions. I am also an inventor. Robotics you see. I think this could be very interesting. Will you sell me an invention?" She smiles at her softly her eyes sparkling mischievously
  5. Vuzette L'onne lets her mouth settle into a thin line. "I prefer the word creation to invention. Mine are all living things, and though I change the outer shape and maybe tweak the personality elements, their soul is all their own. Birds become winged beings known as angels. Cats and foxes, well, you can imagine. They might be anywhere from slightly human animals-with-awareness to hybrid animals-walking-upright to almost-totally-human with ears and tail. Or there are even some rare races that appear to be part animal based but are quite equal to humankind without my modifications, you see." Her eyes dance. "Robots are interesting but rather confusing to me compared to animalkind.
  6. She nods listening and seeing the logic behind the woman's words " very well then I apologize I meant no disrespect. A creation then. Robotics are amazing! Outstanding things but life is different then machine this is a key point to note" she nods agreeably, " how do i go about achieving one of your creations madam?"
  7. "You're here, therefore the filters that allowed you to see and enter this room indicate you're an eligible candidate, a suitable caretaker. Therefore the first step is... discovering your wishes."

    Vuzette rose, retrieved a gold leaf and leather bound photo album with sleek glossy pages and laid it before the client. "Let's begin with breed. Some clients have always dreamed of a 'perfect' type - vulture-winged angel, dolphin mermaid, serpent naga woman." She settled once more, brought all her fingertips together in a pensive pose. "If you don't already have a favorite type, please observe some of the previous adoptees. Sometimes newcomers such as yourself become even better at expressing themselves with a little inspiration to start with." She read every expression to flit through the eager adoptor's face and posture, liking this spirit and enjoying, as always, the experience of learning someone's favorite desire. "Also, those before the bookmark already exist and are waiting for homes."

    The book of profiles and previous examples features numerous species - wings, fur, scales, and aquatic fins. All show conscious awareness, but the physical forms show a whole spectrum of blends from mostly animal shape to mostly human features. Personalities show in every picture - sporty or intellectual, aggressive or passive, seductive or wholesome, kind or stern, tame or feral.
  8. She arches a brow looking at the pages intrigued " so you have a bunch created without anyone to take them? Were they not wanted?" she looks through the ones in existence, she liked unwanted. Reminded her of herself " I... I want the one that you think would be the least likely to ever find a home. Which one is that?" she looked at the woman eyes warm, this was her desire. To give someone who wouldn't otherwise e given a home. " that's the one I will take"
  9. The woman beamed. "Most generous and thoughtful of you! As sad as it is to have a life with no place in this world and little future, it pains me every time something goes wrong. Sometimes the pet's keeper passes away with no heir trusted to the magical secret. And once a client asked for a loyal and obedient angel but only enjoyed the company of rebels - a bad match, you see, before my screening prodecures. But this one..."

    She leaned over to the book Vivian had obatained and turned to a page with a trio of figures. "That is one entity, a shapeshifter. I'll gladly tell you that story, but what do you think of felines?"
  10. She nods politely and was truly interested to hear anything that the woman may want to say to her. She nods agreeably to the shapeshifter comment and arches a brow at her question. How did she feel about felines? She ponders this a moment truly thinking her answer out( being a careful and meticulous woman) " I suppose I like felines. They do tend to shed though and that can e a hassle but the animal is agreeable" a simple yes would have done but she rarely answered questions with a yes or a no
  11. And the caretaker ate up those sorts of details from a client, making them a three dimensional person whereas single answers rendered someone a paper doll. "This one really is a single being. Summoned from a world not unlike ours, a fluke from a fellow magical practitioner that cannot be recreated to send him back."

    Upon closer inspection, the three forms were close to housecat, jungle cat, and man. The small and large felines had the pattern, fur length and musculature of a clouded leopard, silver and tan with black ringlike markings. As if the tufted ears and graceful tail weren't enough to mark the man form as inhuman, the exotic male had the same pattern upon his skin. A resentful look showed upon the illustration.

    "Unlike the others, his heart does not want to be a pet. He'd rather make his own way in the world. But whereas people react to robotics from excitement to caution... I see him winding up on a dissection table if he didn't have a caring home. Not a citizen, not a human, therefore no human rights or prevention of torture. Humans still see the world as "us versus everything else," would you agree?"
  12. She nods listening intently to her speak and nods " he is very handsome but if he doesn't want to belong to someone then how would I be able to take him? And yes if one such as him was not owned he would merely be a toy to be torn apart and put back together" she nods on agreement and smiles at him
  13. The shopkeeper shrugged. "How someone would be able to act as guardian for a being that would rather strike out into the world - that's the contradiction, isn't it? But I've got charms to guarantee your safety, protect your house, and prevent him from leaving..."

    She sighed forlornly. "You asked about the one least likely to get a home. I understand that you couldn't have imagined *this* much of a challenge, and can discuss others with you. Sometimes I think it would be better to release him to a wilderness near other large cats, where he could at least live freely as a leopard even if he could never pass as human among us."
  14. She nods listening and sighs weighing her options. " alright I'll take him... How much for the wildcat" she didn't want him to go down any other route she had been told, there was misery there. She would care for him
  15. Vuzette clasped both hands together excitedly. "Marvelous! I feared this day would never come." She listed a figure that would come to a single year's salary for a menial worker, confident that the screening in place for those who seek and find this room had approved Vivian in that category as well. "That covers the enchantments that protect yourself and your household. I'll include the meat that's been purchased for him already. Diet and other tips are laid out in your contract... but I'm telling you out loud to make sure you understand, come back and talk if there are any problems OR if things are going well. It means a lot to me that each of my brood, whether I had a hand in their making or not, get their own 'happily ever after'... and I still hope that Harley might make peace with landing in this world and let himself be happy."

    With that, the shopkeeper puttered about the small sitting room, eventually pulling out a few crucial items and laying them upon the coffee table in front of Vivian. A paper contract wrinkled and yellowing at the corners. A smooth grey stone the size of someone's palm, etched with a three-toed paw print tipped with claws. And after disappearing to the recesses behind other shelving, accompanied by thrashing and grunts of trial, a metallic pet carrier.
  16. She nods not worried about the fee and begins to read the contract modding at the prices and obligations. She looks around for a writing implement and frowns not finding one. Eventually she just shrugs and smiles at her " do you have a pen?" she notices the thrashing case and she wonders if her pet is inside. She is quite excited and she can hear the thumping of her heart inside her chest. She grins and tucks her hair behind her ears. What would he be like?
  17. The shopkeeper grumbled to herself at her absent-mindedness, the perfect example of someone who could fuse species together or design the patterns of famous paintings into fur pelts one strand of hair at a time, yet let other basic considerations slip through her fingers. "Yes, of course," she murmured crossly at her omission. Vuzette produced one and repeated one of the contract terms aloud. "Remember to warm that stone between your own hands every seven days or more often, and definitely before you release Harley." The alchemist had done her best to set the guardian and companion duo off to a good start, and truly hopes for both to thrive, but once Vivian and the feline shifter leave it's out of her hands - including harm. "Everything I did was to make sure you were well," she whispered to the carrier.

    The foreign shapeshifter had seethed at being transferred from holding pen to portable carrier, human to human, without being consulted as if he were a book or leather scrap to trade or discard. Of course, that was par for the course since being summoned into this world. How such beings were advanced enough to own such abilities yet have no control over skills or empathy, was beyond him.
    The housecat-sized leopard soon settled shrewdly with a final twitch of his ears and forced smoothing of his agitated fur. First the dabbling summoner, then this alchemist shopkeep, and now a third human would claim to be his owner - so be it. At least the transfer meant a chance of freedom, however small his odds had improved over this pet store.
  18. She nods signing and holding the stone, get signature flourished and she smiles taking the carrier. " I'll do my best" she thanks her and takes him to her car, " do you want to stay in te carrier or come out of there?" she looks in at him amber eyes looking at him softly, he looked adorable and snuggly but she knew looks could be deceiving. She plays with his hair through the opening, " if you want I'll let you out Harley"
  19. The housecat-sized shifter stays motionless during that caress for one endless moment, like a sheet of snow suspended in balance right before the avalanche... and then butts forward, sending the crown of his feline head and thick, silky pent against Vivian's fingers affectionately from within the carrier.
  20. She smiles and opens the carrier after he is securely in the car and pets behind his ears smiling at him, " are you not the handsomest thing I have ever seen. Come on out of here" she smiles and buckles her seatbelt, " I think you will like the house. You will get your own room and food. I hear you are a shifter.... is this true?" She smiles at him and begins to drive home. Allowing him to stretch out as he pleases