Daniel Eliot Boese
It’s all my ex-girlfriend’s fault.
It’s all my ex-boyfriend’s fault. It’s all my employer’s fault. It’s all Bunny’s fault. It’s all my parents’ fault. It’s all society’s fault.
It’s all my fault.
I think that last one is the closest to the truth.
I don’t know if anyone else is ever going to get a chance to read this – I’m saving it internally, on my implant’s storage space – so I’m writing it to my future self, while I’m still close to the start of everything that just happened, so that, maybe, I’ll be able to better remember how I feel.
I’ve never been good at feelings. Or other people, really. When it comes to analytical thought, I’m a super-bright… but other humans seem almost as alien to me as the Muuh. I’ve never understood all the status-seeking games that seem to take up the time of my fellow hu, so I’ve done my best to avoid them altogether. That’s why I had Bunny made in the first place. She’s generally humanoid, but with an attractive pelt, bunny-face, cottonpuff tail, sweet-smelling and with a pleasant purr in her voice… and her mind was set up to be just on the low side of being a ‘person’. She finds simple maid-work to be challenging, and finds pleasure in doing whatever I ask of her. Yes, what I mainly built her for is as much bestiality as it would be with a non-provolved chimp… but, fortunately for me, my home society doesn’t consider bestiality illegal, just something ‘dirty’ to crack jokes about in impolite society and avoid discussing in polite circles, like masturbation. To the most complete extent possible for her mental architecture, she loves me, and has always loved me, and I don’t have to try to figure out what a potential sex-partner wants from me, or pay for it, or let some transapient slap together some avatar-body out of pity for the lonely ape. By some standards, that makes me a selfish, misogynistic bastard, and I’ve pretty much given up trying to justify my actions to anyone other than myself.
Not long after I had Bunny made, I found out about an upcoming hermeneutic conference in a nearby star system. I don’t have anywhere near the whuffie to convince our local AIs to send me out-system, but after some careful searching, I found another way to attend. A transapient ship would be heading in the right direction, and though e didn’t /need/ baselines, it preferred having some human companionship for the trip. After a good deal of careful back-and-forth to figure out if we met each others’ needs, e agreed to bring me along – Bunny, too. I was under no illusions – I would be little more than an amusing little pet for em, much like Bunny was for me, but it was a role I was willing to accept – and in the end, not all that different from the roles I had to take when interacting with other humans.
So off we all went, on our merry way, along with the other human-pets who’d come along for the ride. I was always polite to them, and as pleasant as I could manage, but after a few weeks, the involuntary signals of my tension when they tried making friends with me reduced such attempted closeness to more tolerable levels. They formed their pairs, and groups, and clusters, and as long as they didn’t /require/ my companionship, I was able to join in at least some of the social activities.
Halfway between my home system, and the one with the conference, was a starless planetoid, a beamrider station. We were decelerating to rendezvous with it, where some of our passengers would jump off, and we’d likely pick up a few more. I went to sleep the night before our expected arrival spooned up with Bunny in our sleep-pouch…
… and when I woke up, alone, my implant helpfully told me four days had passed, and we were under acceleration again. The ship-AI didn’t respond to me anymore.
I haven’t been able to find out what happened during those four days – the ship’s records are blocked to me, the other humans say they were asleep, too, and Bunny’s never really had much of a vocabulary. We all seemed to be prisoners of the now-incommunicative AI, and, somewhat to my consternation and confusion, Bunny – who was as genetically incompatible with me as a real lapine – was massively pregnant.
Three days later, Bunny gave birth to another Bunny.
Once they’d both gotten cleaned up, I wasn’t able to find any differences between them, and neither of them seemed to understand that there /was/ any difference between them.
The next day, both of them had visible baby-bumps growing in their bellies.
Everyone was trying to figure out what had happened during the stopover, why our AI host had stopped talking, whether we’d been drugged or had our memories wiped… and what was going on with Bunny.
A week later, when I was trying to manage four obviously-pregnant Bunnies, each of which loved me and wanted to do everything she could for me, the next real incident happened. I can’t verify any of the details, but what I /think/ happened is that one of the other humans tried to attack me while I was asleep. All I can say for certain, is that when I woke up, one of my fellow passengers was missing his arms. No visible scar, no indication that he’d ever had the limbs in the first place, and a tale to tell about going into my quarters “for a personal conversation”, not that anybody believed that excuse, when one of the Bunnies hugged him, and he fell unconscious, waking up in his own rooms without arms.
Needless to say, everyone did their best to avoid me as much as they could from that point.
A few days later, three of the Bunnies gave birth to other Bunnies just like the original, and one gave birth to a Bunny who was different – her fur a light blue instead of my Bunny’s Martian pink – and who proclaimed her love for the armless man, and started tending to his every need rather than mine.
The blue Bunny didn’t swell up with pregnancies like mine were inexplicably prone to, but two weeks later, every human had gotten their own Bunny, male Bunnies for the women, though I was the only one with multiple Bunnies. At that point, just as mysteriously as they’d started, the Bunnys’ pregnancies stopped. Things settled down for the next few weeks; we had no way of knowing the answers of the mysteries surrounding us, so life went back to keeping on keeping on. And even if their source was a mystery, everyone seemed to get used to having a Bunny.
Or, at least, that was the impression the other humans gave to me… but two days ago, I found out they’d just been excluding me from their plans. I can’t blame them – after all, I brought Bunny aboard.
Once again, whatever it was that happened, I was asleep for it – or had my memory of it erased afterwards. But when I woke up, two women were armless, the armless man had lost his legs… and, most ominously, two Bunnies were massively pregnant, and ‘their’ humans were nowhere to be found. Nowhere else, anyway – in short order, their fur turned to the pink of ‘my’ Bunnies, though their bellies neither grew nor shrank, nor have they given birth.
I’ve stayed in my room since then, hiding from the other humans. If I were them, I’d be scared shitless of me, and the Bunnies, and would probably lash out in any way I could think of, at me or the Bunnies or both… and from what I’ve seen, all that sort of activity would result in is either a case of acute limblessness, or disappearance into a Bunny. Looking at it from a certain viewpoint, I suppose both… responses are more humane than simple execution, but from a rather a-human point of view.
This morning, when I asked one of my Bunnies about what she would do if I died, she used a word I know for a fact her original design was incapable of understanding. Whatever was done to my first Bunny, it seems to be having an effect on her mind, too. I’m guessing that there’s some sort of hivemind effect going on – that the more Bunnies there are, the smarter they get. But they all still seem completely devoted to my personal welfare and happiness… as they interpret that. And I don’t know whether to feel relieved or outright terrified at the implications.
If anyone else ever reads this: I’m sorry. I didn’t /mean/ for Bunny to be anything other than a sex-pet. By the time I figured out that there was anything /to/ stop, that our stopover had been met with some sort of perversity, that, when it encountered Bunny, took her mental programming to its logical conclusion, it was too late to do anything about it. The ship-AI was, or is, S2, and I don’t know if anything short of intervention by an S3 can keep Bunny from spreading… and according to my implant’s databases, there /aren’t/ any S3s anywhere near our current course.
I’ve had an idea for how to deal with this situation. I don’t /think/ the Bunnies, or whatever the ship-AI has become, can read my implant, but just in case either can, I’m not writing it down. Suffice it to say that if it works, my current problems will be solved… and if it doesn’t, they’re likely to be “solved”, though in an entirely different way. Here’s hoping it’s the former.
More about the author, Daniel Eliot Boese, here.