"Mama! Hey! Mama! Looky what Shrowds brought back from Grave Danger for me!" the starry Xweetok shouted, swinging a manacle mace dangerously above her head. "Isn't it great?"
"Samii!" KT shouted. "Stop that! You almost hit me! And that looks spiky and dangerous!"
"Well, yeah," Samii said, using both her arms to steer the mace toward the ground with a loud THUNK. Both of them jumped at the sound. "Eh heh." Samii looked at her owner guiltily. "I. Uh. Isn't that such a nice decorative hole in the floor, Mama?"
KT paused, made a few abortive hand gestures and sounds, then groaned. She held her face in her hand. "I just. I just--Don't play with that in the house, okay?"
Samii nodded. "Okay! I'll go outside then!"
She skipped outside with her mace. When out of her owner's sight, she accidentally scratched the wall with its spikes, shouting, "OH UM THERE'S SOME NICE STRIPES ON THE WALL NOW--"
"OUTSIDE!" KT yelled. Samii retreated to the front yard.
"Shrowds! This thing's amazing! Thank you so so so much for getting it for me!" Samii said to her snow kookith, as she swung the mace over her head with glee. Shrowds purred as he leaned against her, closing his eyes for a nap.
It was a good day today. The sun was shining and there were a few puffy shaped clouds in the sky Samii could look at and find shapes in. Her new manacle mace made swinging noises as it flew through the air above her head. She was just having so much fun swinging the thing! It was great. Definitely the kind of thing she'd been missing in her life up until then. Imagine all the places she could swing it in!
Well. Anywhere not inside, at least. Mama didn't appreciate her attempts to turn the mace's destructive ways into highly sought after decorations but, well, that was her loss. Samii tried to swing the mace as hard as she could, making the sound louder and louder, but then it slipped from her paws.
The manacle mace flew through the air, sailing in a long arch until it KLUNKED into the ground. Samii jumped up, startling Shrowds, who fell over, and ran to where the mace was now half-buried in the grass and dirt. It had upheaved quite a lot.
Samii hissed for a moment before pulling at it. It was pretty embedded in there. She pulled at it with all her might, falling over when it did come up. It recoiled and hit her in the stomach. "Oof!" she heaved, out of breath.
Shrowds looked up at her.
"I'm okay, I'm okay, buddy," she said, trying to catch her breath. She sat up, holding the manacle mace. Her face was excited once more. "This thing's pretty cool! I wonder if it'd be any good in the battledome? If only petpets could use equipment..."
Shrowds gurgled. Samii patted his head with a free hand.
"Haha. Yeah. I'll just play with it for now."
"What happened to the house?!" Rain asked, looking around in shock. There were scratches everywhere. The sketch Uni didn't know what to do. "Did someone forget to cut their nails or something?? Grarrgos?"
"Wasn't me!" a voice rang out. Grarrgos'. The invisible Grarrl continued, "I think Samii got a claw or spiked beach ball or something. Let me tell you, it's no fun at all except for her!"
"Spiked weapon of mass destruction?" Rain asked, brows knitting together in confusion. She huffed. "When'd that happen and why wasn't I alerted to this development?"
"It only happened this morning," Grarrgos said. "At least that's what I heard. Samii came in for lunch and hasn't let go of the thing since. Takes it everywhere. You'd think it was her petpet, Rainy, really."
"It can't be that bad," she said.
Rain didn't even startle as Samii ran through the hall with her mace held above her head, away from a very, very angry Christmas Cybunny.
"Samii, you get back here! YOU SCRATCHED UP MY ROOM WITH THAT THING! AND YOU ALMOST HIT MY FACE!" she screeched.
"I DIDN'T MEAN TO I DIDN'T MEAN TO I DIDN'T MEAN TO!" the Xweetok shrieked, running past Rain by forcing the Uni to move over. Indamira was hot on her tail.
"DIDN'T MEAN TO, MY BUTT," Indamira shouted. "WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON YOU--"
"I SAID I WAS SORRY, INDAMIRA--"
Rain watched as they ran into a different segment of the house, away from her. "I stand corrected," Rain said, looking in the direction she supposed her other sister was in. "It is as bad as it sounds."
"I think my stomach just got bruised," Grarrgos said, voice wincing.
KT got home from running errands with Teckno just in time for dinner with a side of chaos. "HEY!" she shouted, pointing after Samii as she skedaddled away. "I thought I said don't play with that in the house!!"
"Sorry, Mama! I forgot! Please don't be mad!" Samii squealed, exiting the room as fast as her legs could carry her. KT sighed. Teckno felt a bit out of the loop.
"Where'd she get a mace?" the Halloween Techo asked. He looked up to his owner. KT shrugged.
"Grave Danger? Random event? I don't even remember anymore."
"That doesn't look safe at all, Mama," he said. She nodded.
"I know, Teck, but I can't just take it from her, it makes her happy!" KT groaned. "Being an owner-slash-parent is hard."
"Maybe," Teckno said, hands clasped together, "you should take it away for the time being, until she can use it more safely?"
"'More safely'." KT snorted. "You act like that will happen at some point."
"I trust she can change if she really wants to play with it," he said easily.
"And I trust her to be her usual jubilant happy go lucky kind of scatterbrained self. I would know, she gets it from me."
Teckno opened his mouth, then closed it. "You have a point," he conceded after a moment. A rare feat for the one who usually played the role of his owner's "wisdom" and "voice of reason."
KT smiled. "I do have my moments."
"What are you going to do about it, then?"
KT's smile fell flat. "I hadn't thought that far yet. It'll come to me eventually."
Knowing KT, that could mean anywhere from two days to two weeks to two months, depending upon her mood or how it suited her. Teckno decided it would be a bit more rational and forward thinking to take up the decision himself. For the sake of the family.
He looked up when he heard the back door bang open and someone complain loudly about the back of the house getting badly dented.
Also the house. For the house's own sake, too.
He'd gathered a couple siblings with him: Indamira and Taunyia. A meeting of the prime four like this would usually delight Samii, but something just didn't seem right about this. Especially with Taunyia's nervous glances and fidgeting. The jelly Tonu girl was so easy to read.
"Hey Teck, Taunyia," Samii said, then tried not to show any ounce of fear. "I-Indamira." Nailed it.
Indamira gave her a scowl. Hoorah! The yelling anger fits were finally over!
"Samii," Teckno said, holding his hands out cautiously as he slowly stepped closer. "This is an intervention."
"A what?" She laughed. That's all she could really think of doing, anyway, because really? An intervention? What for? "Guys, c'mon, what's really going on?"
"You're going crazy with that mace, Samii!" Taunyia said, pleading with her eyes. "Have you seen all the stuff you wrecked with that?"
"It was only one hole--"
"There are fifteen holes in the front yard, Samii," Indamira said. "You're ruining our yard. And scratching up the treehouse tree. And the house. You nearly destroyed my room!"
"That was an accident!" she said, pointing at her. "I tripped! It couldn't be helped that the mace flew and hit something! It's manacled!"
"Precisely why we are having this intervention," Teckno said calmly. "We don't want anymore 'accidents' to happen--"
"That's not sarcasm is it, Teck--"
"--And we want you, and everyone around you, to feel safe."
"I have never felt more safe with a weapon of mass destruction by my side though!" Samii said. She held the mace up, doing a few battle movements. "I can totally be like Edge now and smack away anyone who tries to mess with me!"
"Bu-but--Samiiiiiii!" Taunyia whined, looking like she was near to tears. "I don't want you to get hurt! We don't want you to get hurt! That mace is-is-is is DANGEROUS!"
"It's not a toy, it's a weapon," Indamira summed up.
"You can't just play unsafely with a weapon," Teckno said. He tried to sooth her with a pat on her shoulder. "We just want you to put it away for a while. A long while. Possibly forever--"
"BUT EDGE DOESN'T HAVE TO PUT AWAY HIS STUFF," Samii shouted, holding the mace close to her chest. It was a bit poky, but she ignored it for the more important matter at hand--protecting her stuff!
"Edge doesn't fling maces around willy nilly. He doesn't exactly have the thumbs to do so since he's a Moehog, so there's also that," Grarrgos' voice rang out. Samii's frown deepened dramatically.
"You too, Grarrgos?" she asked.
"Samii," the invisible Grarrl said. "Do you know how many times you've almost or accidentally hit me with that thing? All in one day? Not to be mean, but, it's a lot. Now I have bruises. Bruises! Being invisible has its risks, I know, but mace wielding sisters shouldn't be one of them."
Samii huffed, crossing her arms. Her mace dangled over the side of her arm. "You guuuuys!"
"Samii, give us the mace," Teckno said, holding his hand out. "We'll put it in the safety deposit box for you, and we can get it out when you're ready to use it responsibly."
"But that could be foreeeeverrrrr!" Samii whined. "The safety deposit box is PIN coded!"
"Precisely," Indamira said. Teckno elbowed her.
"Not helping," he said. The Cybunny huffed.
"I could just eat that thing and be done with it," Grarrgos said. Samii clung to the mace.
"NO!" she shrieked. "You can't do that!! This is special to me!"
"And dangerous to everyone else," Teckno said. "Please, just trust us, Samii."
She stood there, frozen, mace clutched to her chest as she watched them. It seemed for a moment she was going to need more prying before she jumped away unexpectedly and ran out of the room.
Samii sat in the treehouse, clutching the non-spiky stick part of the mace to her face. "They just don't get it," she huffed. "They're stubborn. I just want to keep this. What's so bad about that?"
She didn't startle when someone pounded on the trapdoor she'd moved three of the boxes over to hold down. "Samii?" It was RL. "Samii, what's going on? I hear you've been locked up in here for an hour and now I can't open the door--"
"Go away, RL!" she shouted. "You just wanna take the mace away too, don't you?"
"The mace? Is that what they--never mind. Samii, are you feeling okay? Is everything alright?"
"Yeah," Samii said. "Actually, no. I just want to play with my new mace but everyone's telling me not to. I don't like it."
RL kept pushing on the door. "Well, Samii, maybe--err--maybe they have their reasons, or--ER--maybe you are right, and they just--ERR--need time--"
CLUNK. The door flopped open, pushing the boxes away. RL struggle inside. The Christmas Lupe smiled.
"There we go," he murmured. "Now, where were we?"
Samii pouted. "You were giving me all the reasons why I could or could not be wrong."
"Comforting! Yes. Samii." He placed a paw on her shoulder. "Each person has their own likes and dislikes. No one is the same. I'm going to go on a wing and say they don't like the mace because it destroys thing, right?"
"The lawn," she said. "The floor. And the walls. A lot of stuff actually."
"Right. Well, have you tried to see it from their point of view?"
"They don't want me to have fun?" Samii tried.
"...They don't have maces so they can't have fun like I am," Samii said, like it was finally dawning on her.
RL frowned. "No, Samii--"
"They just want to have fun too!" she said. "But there's only one mace! So they want to make it fair so NO ONE has a mace because they don't want to share it and have only a little time with it because so many people would play with it!"
"Samii I think you're missing the point--"
"But I love the mace too," she said, frowning. "It's a present from Shrowds. They could send their petpets into Grave Danger to try and get their own..."
"Samii they just want the mace gone--"
"But they don't want to wait so long, I guess, so they just want to make it fair so no one has a mace and no one doesn't!"
"That doesn't make sense," RL said.
"I know what I must do!" Samii stood up, holding the mace with certainty. "I must throw it in the basement where no one will find it!"
But she had already scampered out of the treehouse and down to the ground and back toward the house. RL was left to ponder how Samii's thought process even worked.
("One thing for sure," he told Teckno later. "Samii gets un-stubborn and re-stubborn as quick as lighting.")
When Teckno heard strange sounds, something was usually wrong. Walls creaking? Dev using ghost abilities to take them apart inside out. Rustling of leaves inside the house? Retrik dragging a muddy plushie more muddy than plushie inside the house. Scratching akin to nails on chalkboard (which he now understood the phrasing of because of hearing it so often)? A lot of things actually, like Edge testing out his "singing" or someone crying over spilt milk or someone actually scratching nails against a wall or, more recently, Samii accidentally doing something bad with the mace.
It had been quiet while Samii moped around in the treehouse. He'd figured she'd come around to logic eventually. Boy, was he wrong.
Sheering sounds coming out of the basement really hurt his hearing, Teckno found. He ran to the basement to investigate like any responsibly older sibling would, and found Samii attempting to use the mace to dig a hole in the concrete floor. She had half an inch down and her hat pulled over her ears. Teckno, hands to his head, yelled at her.
"SAMII!" SCREEEEEEE-- "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
Samii stopped, looking up. She suddenly looked happy. "Oh! Hey Teck! I'm being a good person and burying the mace in the basement so no one can have it!"
"What is that terrible noise?" KT shouted as she descended the stairs, hands still experimentally away from her ears.
"The sound of fairness and justitude!" Samii said, delighted.
"Why are you burying the mace in the basement?" Teckno asked. It was a bit confusing, really, honest.
Samii shrugged. "Well, I don't want to mess up the yard anymore, so the basement's the next best thing!"
"What's going on down here?" Indamira asked, grouchy as she came down the stairs with a relieved looking RL behind her. Teckno had long since known that having a big family meant at least five or more people showing up at once when one little thing went wrong to put in their five cents.
"Samii's... burying the mace in the basement?" KT asked. She sounded very confused.
The Cybunny shrugged. "Oh, she's getting rid of it. Good riddance."
"Finally! Someone who agrees with me! Thanks Indamira!" Samii smiled jubilantly at her, then went back to scratching the ground. SHREEEEEEE--
"HOLY KAU NO!" Indamira pulled at her now hurting ears. "OKAY NEVER MIND STOP."
Samii frowned. "But it's only fair!"
"Not to my ears!" Indamira yelled.
"Samii," RL said, coming forward. "Just give us the mace, okay?"
"But I'm trying to do the right thing!" Samii said, clutching the weapon to her chest. "If I bury the mace no one will get it!"
"Only if you pour cement over it," Grarrgos' voice rang out. She was here too, then. "If you just bury it even a petpet could dig it up."
Samii pouted. "Nu-uh."
"Samii," Teckno said. "Burying the mace in the basement is more trouble than it's worth. Let us put it in the safety deposit box? Please?"
"It would be so much easier," RL agreed.
"What is even going on?" KT asked. "I'm confused."
"Intervention," Indamira said. "We've been trying to take the mace for like, a few hours. Put it in the safety deposit box."
"That seems reasonable?" KT said. She sounded like she didn't understand the conflict.
"No it's not!" Samii said. "What if someone who knows the PIN takes it out? That wouldn't be fair at all to anyone! So I have to bury it, it's only fair, since if it's buried where no one will find it no one will be able to play with it!"
"But we all know where you're burying it now," RL said. He blinked a few times. "Doesn't that defeat the purpose?"
Samii paused. For a while. A long while.
"AWWW MANNNN!" She whined. The mace slammed on the ground, startling everyone but her. Her inner upset was blocking everything outside out.
"S-Samii," KT said. "There's no need to be upset. Careful where you throw that thing, o-okay?"
"I just wanted it to be fair for everyone!" Samii bawled.
"So give us the mace, okay?" Teckno reached for the manacle mace. Samii yanked it away from him.
"No!" she said. "Not the safety deposit box!"
Indamira had somehow maneuvered down next to Samii without her notice and yanked the mace out of her grasp. "Actually, maybe we can throw it in the rubbish dump, where it belongs."
"Indamiraaaa!" Samii tried to get it from her, but Indamira kept it from her easily. "Come oooooon! Don't be mean!"
"Catch." Indamira tossed it in Teckno's direction. Teckno had a mini-panic attack, stumbling over the mace in his arms.
"Indamira!" he scolded. "That was very dangero--Hey no Samii, no!"
Teckno held it up above his head, Samii leaning against him as she tried to get it. Her arms flailed around in misery. "No fair, Teck! You're taller than meeeee!"
"RL, here!" Teckno handed it to the Lupe. RL stood momentarily stunned before Samii tried to take it from him.
RL swung it away from her. "Samii! Please, is it too hard to cooperate--?"
"Why don't you cooperate with me then, huh?" She got a hold of the mace, pulling on it like tug o' war. "C'mon c'mon c'mon c'mooooon!"
Their tugging was interrupted by an invisible tug upward, startling them both. Grarrgos!
"Just let me get a hold--"
RL took it back. "Samii, will you just calm down for a moment and lis--"
Samii grabbed for it. "Oof! Come! On!"
RL kept it above his head, his grip loosening.
"Over here, RL!" Teckno said, holding his hands up. RL tried to toss it to him but horribly missed. It sailed above the Techo's head, above KT's head as she tried to catch it too, and cracked some magic-looking spell bottle on a shelf before rebounding back to Teckno.
Somehow the mace had caught fire.
Teckno screamed. "That wasn't what I was aiming for!" he screeched. "Hot hot hot!"
Juggling the mace, he tossed it up in the air to RL. RL hissed, tossed it in his hands a few times, then threw it to Indamira. She touched it once and threw it as far away from her as she could.
Grarrgos caught it. There was a loud crunch, a few chewing noises, and a loud swallow that followed. "Mm, spicy," she said.
Samii looked at Grarrgos' spot like she was devastated. "Th-the, the mace..."
"Hey. It's okay, Samii..." Teckno tried, offering a hand of support on her shoulder. Samii shrugged it off.
"I just... I just need a moment, okay? Maybe a few moments." She walked upstairs, out of the basement. Teckno looked back at KT, unsure what to do.
"I'll handle this," the human girl said.
KT found Samii easily on the porch. The Xweetok was sitting on the steps, face in her paws, watching the low sun like it would tell her the answers to life, the universe, and everything. It would have been better if the sun was setting, she supposed, but the sun only worked so fast.
"Hey," KT said, sitting down next to her. Samii said nothing.
They sat in silence for a while.
"You okay?" KT finally asked.
Samii frowned. "Not really, no. I'm still kinda upset."
"It's fine, though, to be upset. I know you liked that mace a lot, even after just one day." KT paused for a moment, looking at the sun. The sun wasn't that good at helpful advice, really. "Is staring out at the sun helping any?"
Samii snorted. "No. I don't know what those stories are talking about! I just feel silly now."
"Well, that's a step in the right direction, right?"
"I guess, yeah!" She paused. "I made the right choice, right?" Samii asked. "Now no one will have the mace. We all won't have fun together."
KT lifted her hand, as if to say she wasn't getting it, before putting it down. "N--Yeah," she said, lightly patting Samii's head. "Perfect. Good. Good job, Samii. Good."
Samii smiled. In her mind, at least, she had done right.