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Dahlia is quite a catch by Balina

Dahlia is quite a catch


As much as she'd like to, Balina Mahigan knows full well she can't stay plugged into her network 24/7. No studies exist on the risks of the equipment that's practically custom-built for her, and there's no way a mind was meant to effectively splinter itself into pieces the way she does on the regular.

Be that as it may, a mind used to that kind of activity can find itself struggling for stimuli when it doesn't have at least some kind of job in front of it; actually slowing down to relax frequently just meant "focus on just one thing for a couple of days" rather than try to zone out doing something else. This week, it was forcing herself to walk through one of BTI's storage warehouses, using her own two legs, along with her own two eyes to inspect containers and check the inventory manifests. Heavens knew she spent enough of her work week sitting around as it was, and it was an excuse to take a walk or three despite staying indoors.

She was midway through categorizing and cross-checking the obsoleted media DVDs when she was shaken from her reverie by the sound of the entire warehouse shaking, followed by the gentlest rapping noise against the window of the office. Snapping her head to the side, she was greeted by Dahlia Verrick, the chief (read: only) roboticist on staff at BTI. A whole lot of Dahlia, in fact. Already normally tall enough to tower over Balina, the dhole-springbok hybrid was presently large enough to loom over much of the Placedale skyline, her face almost completely filling the window. How, exactly, she'd managed to crawl inside without causing a ruckus was something Balina would have to ask about later, but right that moment Balina was just grateful that this happened while she was safely up in the office, where they could meet face-to-face, rather than face-to-hoof.

Balina barely managed to holler out, "What are you doing--" before realizing there was absolutely no way that Dahlia could hear her through the office. Dahlia definitely got a kick out of whatever expressions the moof had made, though, as that smile of hers just got wider.

"Hey, Balina~" she lilted, somehow managing to sound casual and light despite having a voicebox the size of a phone booth, "I was trying some reality off of the test roulette, and it looks like something in cocoa does real fun things to visiting bovines there. I need someone with hands small enough to come back with me, get on that reality's internet, and tell me where to find the nearest chocolatier. Wanna come? We can go get stupid big together, it'll be great."

That penultimate part was a lie, and both of them knew it; while she waited for a response, Dahlia was casually manipulating the comparatively-tiny controls to one of the warehouse cranes with two fingers, clamping it around her waist like she was a prize at a ufo catcher. There's no way she couldn't operate a tablet at her scale.

Still, she'd gone to a whole lot of trouble to come back, squeeze into the warehouse, and Balina knew damned well that this was going to be a hell of a lot more fun than playing Warehouse Tetris could ever be. As silly as it sounded, the fact that Dahlia had put that much work into the presentation was endearing. Had she just relayed a call, there's no way it would have had this much impact, and Balina might have sat it out, kicking herself for it come Monday when she reviewed the footage.

Dahlia also probably got a kick out of the was Balina almost visibly deflated in defeat, threw up her hands, and at least mimed a good, "Fine!" before dramatically tossing her helmet across the room and digging around for the keys to start locking up, feigning outrage only enough for the two of them to burst out laughing. Hm. Would it be rude to ask to ride in Dahlia's neck fluff again on the way back to the cross-reality labs?

Art: Commoddity (original)

Submission Information

Visual / Digital