by Oren the Otter
Story ©1999 Eric "Otter" Vary -- all rights reserved
Art ©1999 Eric "Otter" Vary and Susan Felice Folmer - all rights reserved
Mom thinks we're wasting our summer but we're actually spending it battling the dreaded Mangon.
"This is way too freaky," said Susan as she inspected her body.
"I thought you wanted to be a cat?" asked the circuitry interlaced with her body in the voice of her brother, Eric.
"This is not a cat, Eric. This is a freaky alien thing that's half robot."
"You're a cyber-feline, Susan."
"Correction. WE are a cyber-feline. That's the freaky part."
"You can't control the whole body by yourself. You need me to be your on-board computer."
"Whatever. Just get us through this alive."
Using the star-shaped third eye mounted on their mutual head, Eric directed his vision skyward. "All right, Sis, look alive. The Mangons are coming."
Eric brought their hand up, shooting an approaching spacecraft out of the sky with a laser from his palms. "Mangons. Vicious space kangaroos. Now I suggest you move if you don't want to get killed in the first five minutes."
Susan followed the suggestion and ran. She was amazed at how fast, not to mention agile their body was. She had no real problem dodging lasers, which she knew should have been impossible. "How the heck do we lose these guys?" she demanded.
"Head for the hills."
"No, I mean literally. There's a valley there that's too narrow for them to follow. In the meantime, I'll see what I can do to deter them a bit."
Susan felt her tail stick straight out. It was strange to feel a tail at all, but the next thing she knew, the tip was opening and a missile was launching out. "My tail is a missile launcher? That is SO lame."
"Hey, whatever works. Later on, there's a spring in it."
"That comes after we beat Snorg. Now come on, put on some speed!"
"I can't go any faster!"
Eric launched another missile, managing to hit two Mangon ships with a ricochet shot, then hesitantly gave his sister a turbo boost. She immediately found herself on all fours rocketing toward the hills.
"Sis, how's your driving?"
"Pretty good, why?"
"If you don't head straight into the canyon that's coming up, we're going to smash ourselves to bits."
She could see the canyon coming up. It looked barely big enough to admit her and her brother's shared body. She almost covered her eyes, but dared not take her front feet away from running. In she went, inwardly screaming as the rock walls careened past only inches from their shoulders.
Behind them, there were explosions. "Ha ha! We got 'em!" laughed Eric. "Those suckers slammed right into the hill!"
Eric whipped his gaze around and in panic cut the power to the legs, bringing their body to a screeching halt just short of the box canyon wall.
"Sorry about that," said Eric as he helped Susan to stand.
"It's okay. No damage. What do we do now?"
"Now? Now comes Squelch."
"What's a Squelch?"
Susan attempted to walk back out of the canyon, but found that there was an invisible wall blocking her. What's more, an eerie flapping sound was filling her ears from behind. She turned around to discover a horrible creature, a gigantic mouth with bat wings, looming over her.
"That is a Squelch."
The monster roared. It sent the siblings slamming into the invisible wall. "What do we do?"
"We have to defeat him and snag his force projector."
"No duh! How?"
"Cock your fist back."
"Cock your fist back! When I tell you, you make like you're punching him in the mouth. Got it?"
"I got it."
Huge bat wings swiped at their mutual form. Susan did what she could to avoid them, but was quickly getting severely battered.
The monster now began to open it's mouth. Susan knew that another blast was coming, and if it fired, She and Eric would not survive.
"Wait for it..." said Eric.
"We're gonna die."
"Wait for it..."
Susan punched the air. To her surprise, her hand disconnected at the wrist, leaving two dangling cables. It flew toward the monster's mouth, where it impacted and released a terrific energy surge. The monster, Squelch, let out a thundrous bellow of agony as he changed colors and slowly disintegrated into nothing.
"You can open your eyes, now."
Susan hadn't realized she'd closed them. When she looked, she could see her hand lying on the ground next to a pulsating blue globe. Walking carefully forward, she retrieved her hand and reconnected it. Eric checked all the connections and pronounced it good.
"What do I do with that?" asked his sister, pointing to the sphere.
"That's our force field. Just touch it."
She complied, and the sphere spread over their arm, enveloping their body with a shimmering blue field.
"Great! We got the force field! Now let's get out of this canyon."
Susan chuckled and began to climb.
As she ascended the rock, she took her first opportunity to look around and see how beautiful the scenery was. There were a few stars in the sky already, and a gas giant was rising over the mountains. Probably Jupiter, she thought.
Out of the sky came a polite voice. "Two minutes remaining."
"Aw, shoot!" said Eric. "You have any more money?"
"Nope. I spent it on lunch, remember? Besides, mom will be here, soon."
"All right. I'm saving the game."
Susan looked out over the landscape and smiled as the rock beneath her slowly began to fade away into yellow grid lines, and then into nothing.
Susan pulled off her virtual reality helmet and looked over to her brother at his control panel. "That was so wild!" she exclaimed, unbuttoning the cyber-harness which had held her in place during the game. "We have got to come back here and play this again!"
"We will, don't worry. You want a soda? I think I have just enough."
Susan and Eric sat on the bench in front of the mall sipping sodas and watching cars hover by until at last mom's car came and settled by the curb.
"Did you kids have a fun time?" she asked as they climbed in.
Mom sighed. "It's such a beautiful day today. You kids could be out enjoying the fresh air and sunshine and maybe even playing soccer with those Martian kids across the street, and yet you spend your whole day cooped up in that V.R. arcade. What is it you're always doing in there, anyway?"
The kids shrugged and answered together. "Vegging."
"After all," said Eric. "That's what summer is for."
About the Author
Oren the Otter... the real Oren the Otter, is actually a human named Eric Vary who just looooves otters! A mild mannered department store clerk by day, at night, he transforms into OTTERMAN, author of transformation stories for the ever popular Transformation Story Archive.
Oren's hobbies include swimming, fishing (without a pole), reading good science fiction stories, collecting Warner Brothers cartoons, Hasbro Transformers, Schwarzenegger movies and comic books, Raising raffins (rats) sewing plushies, and of course, hacking at his computer keyboard until unhealthy hours of the night!
Oren is a friendly sort, and just loves to get E-mail from friendly people.