Scene 89 – Auxilium

AUXILIUM

LING

“Thanks for coming on such short notice,” Lizzy said gratefully. “Laura ran off the second we grabbed Derek’s present. I don’t know what’s up with her.”

“No problem,” I replied honestly. “It’s the least I can do after all that with Turgay. Besides, I also need to get Derek something.”

“Anything specific in mind?” she asked as she held a yellow t-shirt up to me, checking for size. It was weird hanging out with her, and not just because we hadn’t done it before. She was a lot taller than me, and I still wasn’t quite used to it.

“I dunno…clothes?”

Her golden eyes twinkled. “For you or for him?”

I blinked. “What?”

She grinned mischievously. “Weeell…there are lingerie stores around her, so maybe…”

I was honestly surprised. She hadn’t struck me as someone who would notice that. Maybe there was more to her than met the eye. On the other hand, it would be nearly impossible for there not to be.

“I doubt it would work,” I admitted. “He’s not exactly tuned into that channel.”

She chuckled. “Yeah, something like that.”

“Anyway, I’m not sure I can pay for much. I barely have enough for food.”

She waved her hand. “Don’t worry about that. I’ll pay for everything.”

I frowned up at the bronze Amazon. “You don’t have to do that. I would prefer not getting anything rather than owing you more.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” she insisted with a grin. “I think friends can afford to owe each other a few favors.”

I shrugged uncomfortably. “I…guess, but I mean…after all that with Turgay—”

She gave me a level stare. “Ling,” she proclaimed. “That was not a favor. That was just doing the right thing. You don’t owe me for that.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Becoming complicit in grand theft is doing the right thing?”

“More like spreading the toy box around is the right thing.” She licked her lips in an exaggerated way. “Can you imagine the implications?”

“Not really,” I admitted. “Cheaper healing and more anthros?”

Lizzy smiled. “A little more than that.” She opened her mouth to continue, but then bit her lip, reconsidering. “I don’t really understand it all. My agent is the one who’s really excited. She keeps going on about how it needs to be open sourced and so on, how it will completely reinvent society.”

“The toy maker already did that,” I pointed out. I indicated a nearby fel. “Or did you miss the memo?”

The Amazon just rolled her eyes and held up another shirt to me, green this time. “I mean beyond that. You saw the toy box, right? Didn’t you feel its potential?” She turned to grab another shirt.

I just stared at her. “Uh, no. No, I didn’t. I saw a shiny metal coffin.”

She turned back and blinked. “Really? Interesting. I wonder if it’s just a coincidence…”

I rubbed my forehead. “What?”

“Sorry, sorry,” she apologized. “It’s just that all my people who helped out mentioned a sort of power in the box. A feeling of infinity.” She shrugged. “Probably just all in their heads. They thought it was important, so it was.”

“I suppose,” I mused, as I took the newest shirt from her. It was a floral print, mostly with light colors. It looked nice, but I wasn’t sure how it would work with my skin tone. At least it matched my hair.

“Changing room is right over here,” Lizzy said as she dragged me to the corner of the boutique. “Let’s see how that looks.”

After I finished changing and was looking at myself in the mirror, a thought occurred to me. “Your people…the ones who got Turgay in touch with Soaring Eagle. They’re trustworthy, right?”

She just laughed. “Oh, yes, I can guarantee that. They wouldn’t rat you out if their lives depended on it.”

That made me distinctly uncomfortable, because I was pretty sure she wasn’t exaggerating. “That’s good, I guess. How are you so sure?”

“I select my agents and other support staff by loyalty,” she assured me, as she gently grabbed my shoulders and turned me a little, so I could see a better angle. “There’s so much I can’t do, I need people I can rely on.”

It really was a nice shirt. Tight too, emphasizing my chest (such as it was). “Like what? What can’t you do?”

“Can’t drive,” she admitted. “Never got the hang of it, although in Domina it’s not as big a deal as it would be elsewhere. I’m horrific with computers. They make no sense. And medicine. I need help in that area. A trustworthy doctor and someone to remind me to take the right pills. I always forget otherwise.” She shrugged. “Those are the big three.”

“How’d you even get into voice acting in the first place?” I took off the shirt and pulled on the next one. I was pretty sure I was going to get the floral one, but I wanted to check all my options first.

“Same way anyone gets into anything,” she said. “Did an audition, got chosen. I mean, isn’t that basically how you got your scholarship?”

I winced. “Not…quite. There was a lot more begging involved.” The second shirt wasn’t anywhere near as good. Purple just wasn’t my color. “AU doesn’t really have an big soccer program.”

Lizzy nodded. “I know how that is. You think you’ve found something big, and it turns out that you’re the only one who cares.”

That reminded me. “I asked before, but you never answered: What kind of things have you voiced?”

“Not much you would be interested in. Kids shows, mostly.”

“Laura said something about My Little Pony…”

“Yeah, exactly. Stuff like that.”

“Hm.” I selected another shirt from the pile. “Any anime?”

“A few. I was Amane in the new Gundam. And I played a minor side character in the new Lain movie.”

I blinked. “Huh, I saw Gundam. Didn’t recognize your voice.”

She cocked her head. “Really?”

“Well, now it sounds familiar,” I said, waving my hand. “I just didn’t make the connection until you pointed it out.”

“Well, you know how it is. Everyone sounds a little different in-character.”

“Not really,” I mused. “At least, not for you. I just hadn’t thought about it.”

“It’s not really important,” she declared. “You know what is?” She grinned wickedly. “Getting you some lingerie.”

Behind the Scenes (scene 89)

Short, but relevant.

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