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It’s the Little Things in Life

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Passing through the quintessence field outside the ruins of Daibazaal, Lotor and his team have successfully returned to their own reality. The echoes of emptiness reverberated through his being and he found himself longing to return to the bastion of warmth from whence he came. His first task would be to acquire intelligence on the state of the universe since his untimely departure, though he was loath to tackle the gargantuan obstacles ahead of him. He absentmindedly reaches into his pocket to feel the polished gift Nymuë had given him. He had wanted to wait until he returned before he activated it so he could think of her when her absence weighed heavily on him. He hadn’t expected it to be so soon.

He channels his energy into the heart of the stone, set with a single carat of the diamond from the compressed castle, and suddenly, a charming, miniature hologram of its originator appears before him. He laughed at the unexpected surprise to which she responds, “Did you wake me up just to laugh at me, you squirrelly fucknut?”

Lotor couldn’t believe she was just as cheeky and impudent.

“Are you an interactive A.I.?” he asks excitedly.

“No, I’m the one asking the questions damnit. Why are you laughing at me?”

“My apologies, I was simply caught off guard. You are quite fetching, though, I must admit.”

His little companion pauses to admire him from head to toe. “And you... oh my fucking god, how can you be this hot? Makes me want to fuc...”

“Nymuë! Discretion!” he hisses, worried that the generals on loan from the friendly neighbourhood reality would hear. “Never have I heard you speak in such a manner! Are you malfunctioning?”

“Monsieur, you know I don’t have a prefrontal cortex, right?”

“What?”

“I therefore have no inhibitions or filters.”

He ran his hand down his face. As enticing as an oversexed AI might have been at any other time in his adolescent dreams, now was the worst possible time. He needed her help. He couldn’t contact the other reality. And all he had was... this little, impulsive, impetuous, impish version of the real Nymuë. There was no possible way she had meant for this to happen. He reached out to touch her and realized she had assumed physical form. He groans. His life-giving abilities had brought her memories to life. He pokes her again to express his displeasure.

She squeaks and tries to grab his finger. “Hey!”

“Do you have an off switch? I do not have time for this.”

The defeat and rejection on her face makes him regret his terse choice of words. He hadn’t thought he could hurt her feelings. But what was he thinking? Why was he worried about hurting an AI? She sits down in his hand and buries her face into her knees. He sighs with resignation as he discovers how softhearted he really is.

“I will not turn you off. But you must promise me you will behave.”

“If you are in a relationship with someone, whether it is me, or anyone else, you can’t turn your back on them when they become inconvenient to you. There will be times when I disappoint you. But there is always a solution if we work together. You summoned me because you needed help. The first advice I will give you is: you owe your generals an apology. You betrayed their trust when you killed Narti.”

Lotor was surprised by her candor and frankness. Perhaps a lack of inhibitions was not detrimental after all. And then he recalled that Nymuë never does anything haphazardly or half-heartedly. This little version of her was exactly what he needed.