Uni the Unicorn aka Two Lesbians in a Fluffy Suit.
Chapter 3: ARE WE THERE YET?
>Be ‘Tasha’ Googaluv, Animatronics Expert and Pilot of the Uni the Unicorn Fluffy Suit.
>You loved Las Vegas and Kansas, but seriously, fuck that heat.
>Your Fluffy Suit damn near sloshed from all the sweat you and your Gal-Pal Sammy produced.
>Today’s advert is … a ‘Chapman’s Heating and Cooling House’. Sells fans, heaters, anything and everything to do with heating or cooling a car, house or workshop.
>With the heat-wave you just went through, you’re eager to sell people cooling fans. Feel a surge of pity for the Fluffy Ponies who follow vainly in your wake.
>Apparently there’s close to a million Fluffy Ponies trailing out of Hollywood and following you along the highways to ‘Sketti Wand’ alone.
>That’s not counting the other eight million coming from the cooler, greener south of the country or the east coast …
>Jesus Eeeeeenfing Christ.
>Saw the news on the ‘Grand Migration’. Some people are just plain annoyed the highways are clogged with Fluffy Ponies, but by now, most Fluffy Ponies in these ‘Mega Herds’ know to not walk on the Roads and Highways.
>Truckers often do not stop and just decimate tens of thousands of Fluffy Ponies at a time under their big rigs.
>Abusers are out in force. Apparently there’s a couple of pirate videos on the internet of a Pack of Abusers who couldn’t control themselves anymore and just picked up the nearest Fluffies and sunk their midget junk into whatever opening was availible.
>The biggest surprise of all, however, is the sheer number of people who seem to think this ‘Grand Migration’ is something sweet.
>‘Grey Nomads’, retirees who drive around the country in their twilight years, are apparently the biggest allies of the Fluffy Ponies, although several special interest groups are actually gathering up Mega Herds as best they can and ‘shipping’ them to safe places.
>Fluffy Ponies bawl and cry in their new homes, fenced in fields of grass and clover, begging their ‘New Fwiends’ to let them keep walking to ‘Cweave-wand’ so they can find ‘Uni’ and the ‘Sketti Wand’.
>Fucking PETA fringe-groupies, being the screaming neo-nazi hippies that they are, break in and release the Fluffy Ponies, shrieking “BE FREE!” and “SAVE THE FLUFFIES!” as the Police turn up to capture the PETA fringe-groupies
>Given the fast life-cycle of the Fluffy Ponies, the Mega-Herds aren’t shrinking all that much. The weakest Fluffies die, while the strongest live on, breed strong Foals and push onwards.
>Current ‘expert’ analysis is that the Fluffy Pony Mega-Herds are suffering a 40% attrition rate every week, with a 30% addition rate of Foals who can graze and walk on their own.
>At this rate, the Mega-Herds should reach Spaghetti Land in Cleveland about 1-2 weeks after the Theme Park opens … Jesus, what’s going to happen when that happens?
>It’s going to be like Moses leading the Slaves out of Eygpt, makes them wander around for 40 years, and then God goes “No, fuck off, I don’t want you.”
>It’s actually kind of frightening for you and Sammy. When you built the original Uni, you never dreamed she would have this effect on Fluffy Ponies.
>Fluffy Ponies marching through the badlands to follow her, slowly dying from starvation and lack of water.
>Fluffy Ponies slogging through swamps, dodging quicksand and aligators to find her.
>Fluffy Ponies scurrying through canyons and valleys to listen to Uni sing once again, tumbling off the ledges and down into the gullies in their hundreds.
>And tens of thousands of pissed off Fluffy Pony owners trying to pin their ‘Babies’ leaving them to follow you.
>Finally, the shot is done, after Uni spent two minutes in front of the biggest fan you’ve ever seen, her fluff wafting softly in the breeze the Giant Fan created.
>Dare not ‘leave’ the Suit as the Store Owner said he had a Feral Herd nearby that he just didn’t have the heart to poison and get rid of. Can’t risk Uni’s secret get out, and Fluffy Ponies have no concept of the term ‘secret’.
>Shuffle forwards and hit the ‘top speed’ button with Uni’s Horn. Aaaaaaaah. That’s the ticket. Sweet, sweet cold air wafting into the suit…
>Sammy squeaks, and then you feel something bump into your feet…
>Oh shit, it’s a Feral Herd. You were both too busy enjoying the coolness of the suit for a change to watch the monitors that were linked to the rear-facing Cameras.
>The Fluffies must have come out of the undeveloped, tree-covered land, creeping up on you.
>Well, as ‘creeping’ as two-dozen pastel-covered Fluff-balls in inch-high grass can ‘creep’.
>Well, nobody is humping the Suit yet … play it cool.
“Wah! Fwiends! Uni nu heaw yuu come up!” You ‘shout’ in surprise, hoping the rest of the Crew will come and bail you out.
>Nnnnnnnnope, they’re all having a natter with the store-owner about installing new fans in the trucks.
>You’re on your own.
>“Uneeeeeeeeeh…” The Fluffy Ponies sob, hugging your legs, bawling and crying.
>What in the Unholiest of Fucks …
>They’re all bleeding, covered in deep cuts and bruising, with massive, fist-sized chunks of fluff torn off them…
>Several Foals look like they’ve been beaten with a shaving razor …
>“Oh … oh the poor little bastards.” Sammy whispers, clutching your hips tightly. “Can we, you know, give them ‘huggies’? They look like they could use it.”
>“Yeah. Jesus. What the hell did this?” You whisper back, your hand on Uni’s ‘microphone’ so the Fluffies can’t hear you. “Fwuffies, Uni gif Huggies so Fwuffies feww bettah. Evwy Fwuffie come to Uni!”
>Kneel down and let the Fluffies hug Uni’s sides, cuddle the Mares with Foals between your knees and Uni’s ‘head’.
>Stallions, Mares, Foals, Fluffy Mummas all sob in relief as they sink into Uni’s soft, faux-silk Fluff, probably the first time any of the adults have ever been so concealed since they were Foals themselves.
>“Guys, get the Pip suit ready.” You hear Sarah whispering down the short-wave radio. “We’ve got some hitch-hikers who need a new home.”
>“Seriously?” You whisper to her as you feel the Fluffy Ponies press in all around you, their soft whimpering and whispered ‘tank yuu’s’ echoing inside the latex shell of the Fluffy Pony Suit.
>“Tasha, do you think, for one second, I will leave abused Fluffy Ponies out here? Take a look at the Fluffies again …” Sammy hisses at you, using that tone.
>What in the Name of Zeus is she … oh. “Oh.”
>Fluffies with deep cuts, huge chunks of Fluff torn out …
>Like what they would suffer being shoved between fan-blades.
>Owner seems like an honest, nice guy, but the average Fluffy Pony Abusers are often the last people you’d expect to be the sort to abuse a small, helpless animal… ah.
>Can see a skinny, stork-necked store-clerk gazing at you with a mix of frustration and disgust on his face … and a dead Fluffy Pony dangling by the tail in one hand, covered in similar injuries to these ‘Refugees’ that cling so desperately to the Suit.
>Store-Clerk Abuser walks over to you, the dead Fluffy Pony swinging back and forth in his hand, and the Fluffy Ponies shriek, digging into your Fluff, screaming for ‘Uni’ to ‘Wun! WUN! Bad Hoomin comin’! Put Fwuffies in Meanie Woosh-Woosh cage, take fwuff, gif Huwties an’ Owies!"
>So this sadistic wannabe-Jack the Ripper likes to put Fluffy Ponies in his boss’s fans and let them try to hold onto the grills as the blades swoop by just overhead, trying to hold on against the air-pressure until they can’t, and then get battered by the blades and knocked back down again …
>“Uni teach bad Hoomin wesson. Fwuffies gu hide behind Uni.” You say loudly, toggling the short-wave radio to send, standing up with Sammy as the cretin manages to get within range. “UNI KNOW WAT YUU DO, HOOMIN! BAD HOOMIN PUT FWUFFIES IN MEANIE FAN!”
>Can hear the rest of the Crew now, shouting in surprise as your voice blares out of their short-wave radioes. Can see them now rounding angrily on the Store-Owner, who is honestly as surprised as they are, can hear it in his voice over the short-wave radio.
>“Oh, for the love of … look, I don’t care what you faggots do on your show, but out here, we handle Vermin like Vermin.” The Abuser sneers, holding the dead, mangled Fluffy out in front of your face before walking around to the back of the Giant Fan. “See, like this?”
>The asshole actually lifts the cage off the back of the fan. What is he … NO! Classical baseball pitcher throw right into the fan!
>The dead Fluffy Pony hits the fan blades at 30 miles per hour and just fucking disintergrates into a disgusting cloud of fluff and chunks of flesh and bones that plaster all over Uni and the Fluffies behind her, who all scream like tiny children and shit themselves in terror.
>“You sick little motherfucker!” Sammy shouts from the back, digging her fingernails into your pants hard enough you’re sure you’ll have bruises.
>Store Owner and the Crew are rushing over, swearing violently. Couple of them are armed with tasers for dealing with unruly Fluffy Ponies. Incredibly low settings, but you’re willing to bet the Abuser doesn’t know that.
>“Jimmy! For the last time, you do what you want off the clock, but while you work for me, none of that shit!” The Store Owner bellows furiously, going beet red in the face. You hope he’s just angry, not embarassed to have his employee showing him up like this.
>“Yeah, yeah.” ‘Jimmy’ sneers, slamming the back of the fan closed. “What’s the problem, it’s not illegal, and the fan’s a display model, not like we’re gonna sell it.”
>“You … you … that’s it! Jimmy, you’re fired, I don’t care what your damn father says, I don’t owe him nearly enough to put up with your sass!” The Store Owner explodes, pointing a finger at his ex-employee and shaking with rage. “I can’t fire you for being an Abuser, but God Dammit, I can fire you for damaging my stock!”
>“Oh, and asshole, you’ll be happy to note that the Uni suit has two cameras trained on you right now, that run continuously for so long as the Suit is powered.” The Director grunts, the other men of the Crew crowding around him, glaring at this ‘Jimmy’ with undisguised malice in their eyes. “So when we upload this to the ‘Bloopers’ segment on Youtube tonight, guess who goes to the top of every Hugboxer’s shit-list in the country?”
>Jimmy’s shaking, angry as all hell that his ‘fun’ has been cockblocked, but he’s out-numbered and just been caught on camera.
>“Fuck this! You’re all a buncha faggots!” He screams, stomping away to his car.
>“And I’ll see you in court for slander, moron!” The Director shouts back, before he turns to look at the gore-splattered Uni and the trembling, mangled Fluffy Ponies behind her. “Aaaaaaaaaaah shit. We can’t possibly take them with us.”
>Fluffy Ponies sob, now covered in filth as well as blood, hugging each other for comfort, bawling that they love the Hoomins for saving Uni and driving off the Meanie Hoomin…
>Director looks at ‘Uni’, dripping with blood, and the Fluffy Ponies, and then the trailers where the Fluffy Suits are stored when the show isn’t being filmed.
>“Alright. We’ll take them to the next Fluffy Pony Shelter. But first, you got a hose we can borrow?” The Director asks the Store Owner, sighing heavily as the Store-Clerk Abuser screams another torrent of profanities at the Crew one last time before driving off in his hatchback car.
>“Fwuffies haf baff wit’ Uni, nu be scawed.” You turn, kneeling down to the Fluffies, who whimper at all the blood covering the suit, but immediately rush over for more hugs. “Uni’s Hoomins make aww Fwuffies pwetty, den we find yuu Safer Pwace to wiv tiww can find yuu Mummies an’ Daddies.”
>Shit and blood smearing on the suit as the Fluffies bury themselves completely in Uni’s fluff for shelter and comfort.
>Doesn’t matter, it’ll wash out. But at least this will help with the nightmares you’ll have tonight of Fluffy Ponies being turned into living mists of fluff and blood.
>Be Dirt, the Grey Earth Fluffy, plodding along the twisting highway that runs through the mountain-range of Utah.
>Another huge Herd joined yours a few days ago.
>Said they came from ‘Sawt Wake Cee-Tee’.
>Hoo-poopies-ray, more Cee-Tee Fluffies to train.
>At least Brandy the Second can help now. She’s big enough to run on her own, and carry food in her fluff and mouth without stumbling.
>She makes you so proud … it’s a painful feeling, but one that warms you nonetheless.
>There’s more Wrinkle-Faced Hoomins now, lots more, coming from both up and down the Highway, bringing nummies, caring for Fluffies.
>They shout very loudly at the Meanie Hoomins who come roaring past in their Meanie Squish Boxes, drive their Moving Safe Places between the Meanie Hoomins and the Herds so the Meanie Hoomins cannot give Biggest Owies to the Herd.
>Meanie Hoomins know lots of bad words. Say them loudly to the Wrinkle-Faced Hoomins. Say them very loudly when Scary Squish Boxes with Loud Noises and Blue Lights come screaming down the highway to chase the Meanie Hoomins away.
>Wrinkle-Faced Hoomins say something about ‘Wung Pee-poos’ and ‘Hoo-wee-gans’.
>Have no idea what they mean, but they are wonderful Hoomins who share the Nummy Soft White Nummies with you and your Herd.
>You and Brandy the Second are Good Fluffies who take plates of Nummies down to the very, very end of the Herd, then rush back to get more.
>Takes a long, long time, but you’re not alone in your task.
>Lots of Fluffies who were Foals only a few days ago help now. Even if their Mummies were Cee-Tee Fluffies, the Foals, sowwy, Not-Quite-Stallions or -Mares are Good Fluffies who have learned the ways of the Desert Fluffies very well.
>Wrinkle-Faced Hoomins let the Fluffy Mummas sleep in their Moving Safe Places. Makes the whole Herd relax, knowing their most vulnerable are safe, for now at least.
>Put out Moving Picture Boxes so Fluffies can watch Uni, remember why they are on the Journey.
>You remember, but you’re happy to see Uni anyways. She is so beautiful, makes you smile when she and her Brothers play.
>Brandy the Second is entranced, as are all the Foals and Not-Quite-Stallions and -Mares. This is the Goddess their Mothers and Fathers have been trudging across the wasteland since before their childrens’ lives started to be with once again.
>“Hewwo Fwiends! Uni so happy to heaw Fwuffies comin’ to Sketti Wand too, buh Fwuffies wit Mummies an’ Daddies should stay wit’ der Mummies an’ Daddies!” Uni says, smiling sweetly out over the Herd, who have clustered around every Moving Picture Box to see their Goddess. “Dey wuv yuu, an’ miss yuu. If yuu can, find Nice Hoomin to take yuu to Safe Pwace cawwed ‘Fwuffie Shewter’.”
>“Safe Pwace cawwed Fwuffie Shewter take pic-tuwe of Fwuffies, gif to Mummies an’ Daddies, wet dem know where Fwuffies be!” Pip shouts eagerly, bouncing up and down, his wings flapping so fast.
>“Mummies an’ Daddies miss der Fwuffies. Will take Fwuffies to Sketti Wand soon, buh no wan gu if der Fwuffies haf wun away.” Eddy rumbles, looking unhappy.
>Hundreds of Cee-Tee Fluffies bawl, horrified, filling the night air with their dismay. They never considered that their Hoomins were going to take them to Spaghetti Land someday. They only wanted to go now, and are so far from home, with no idea where they are.
>Wrinkle-Faced Hoomins say they will help Fluffies find their Mummies and Daddies.
>Fluffies with Collars, or Fluffies who have Lumpy Things on the back of their Heads might have Mummies or Daddies.
>Fluffies hug each other and shuffle forwards to be inspected.
>Many of them have no collars, but they also hope that if they have a Hoomin ‘Mummy’ or ‘Daddy’ they will be given food regularly and hugs, like the Cee-Tee Fluffies say they had before following after Uni.
>You would love to have that … but more than that, you want Brandy the Second to have that.
>You are already six months old … never had a Special Friend before Brandy the First. Other Fluffies in the Desert Herd didn’t like Dirt the Dirty Fluffy.
>You know you won’t live much longer than a turning of the year. It’s rare for a Fluffy out here to last longer than that.
>Some of the Cee-Tee Fluffies claim that Fluffies live for much longer than that, but you know that’s not true out here.
>Not so much Desert anymore, but still … without the Wrinkle-Faced Hoomins, nobody would have survived.
>Some Fluffies understand that and thank these Wrinkle-Faced Hoomins a lot for saving them.
>Cee-Tee Fluffies don’t seem to get that and ask for more Nummies, even after Wringle-Faces say they have none left.
>Not many Cee-Tee Fluffies left, actually. They were the fattest of all the Fluffy Ponies, but they didn’t know what was good nummies, and what was belly-owies-nummies. Didn’t know some water wasn’t good to drink because it smelled, or that they couldn’t hide from the Mean Hot Light Ball behind their hooves, they had to find shade.
>The next morning, the Herd starts out again when the Mean Hot Light ball is only just making the sky turn pale at the edges of the mountains.
>Wrinkle-Faced Hoomins are up and about too, making nummies.
>Share some with the herd, fill some bowls with water, let the Fluffies have a mouthful of water.
>You and some of the older Fluffies have to smack the Cee-Tee Fluffies from Sawt Wake Cee-Tee so they know to not guzzle the water, leave some for everyone.
>They cry, and the Wrinkle-Face Hoomins make tut noises till Brandy the Second explained.
>“Fwuffies aww need Wa-Wa’s. Meanie Fwuffies dwink tuu much, der be nu Wa-Wa’s for Fwuffies at bawk of Hewd.” She squeaked to the Hoomins, trying to make them understand you weren’t being Bad Fluffies, you were making sure everyone in the Herd had a chance, at least.
>She makes you so proud …
>Fluffies make good progress. The mountains the Highway runs through are relatively free of Munstas, only Flying Munstas now, who swoop down and snatch up Fluffies, or make loud, scary Caaaaaw! noises at the Herds and peck cruely at the Fluffies who fall behind or have Worst Owies.
>Almost to the next Hoomin Warren. Can see Small White Things flying around the Hoomin Warren. Some of the Sawt Wake Cee-Tee Fluffies say those are ‘Pwains’ that Hoomins ride in to go to far off places.
>Maybe, if you asked nicely, you could get the Pwain to take the Herd to ‘Sketti Wand’?
>Can hear Moving Safe Places noise … wait, no.
>Deeper. Scarier. Sounds echo off the mountains, making the Herd whimper and inch away from the road.
>No. Please, no, not now!
>“Bwandy! Muve! Get away from Bwack Woad!” You shout, shoving your only remaining child away to the safety behind a large chunk of stone when you hear the shrieks from the back of the Herd start.
>It’s the Meanie Munstas, being chased by the Wrinkle-Faces! They have Owie-Sticks hanging out the side of their Meanie Squish Boxes. Fluffies get hit and have boo-boo juices, screaming at the pain.
>See a Fluffy Mumma get hooked in the leg, howling in pain and fear!
>“HEEEEEEEGH! HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGH!” she squeals, then has a Scaredy Fit.
>Foals have no chance, they fly through the air and land with sprays of boo-boo juices.
>Brandy the Second and the other Fluffies near you are Smart Fluffies and run so they can hide behind big stones and shrubs, so the Meanie Hoomins won’t be able to see them.
>But so many Fluffies … not everyone can hide.
>No sign of the Smarty Friends …
>“Daddy! Hide! Bwandy hiding tuu!” You hear your daughter shriek as the Meanie Hoomins come on, shouting and laughing as the legs of their Meanie Squish Box churns Fluffy Ponies into Boo-Boo Juice, and their Owie Sticks fly and flail, beating Fluffies or punching into them, lifting Fluffy Ponies up and away from the safety of the Herd.
>No. There’s no hiding from these Meanie Hoomins. Not for everyone. You saw something on the road … maybe it will help you.
>Wrinkle-Faced Hoomins hated it, said it made their Moving Safe Places bumb and bounce all over the place.
>“Bwandy! Daddy wuv yuu! Wemembah!” You shout, then charge across the road, puffing out your cheeks as you turn to face the Meanie Hoomins, standing in front of the ‘thing’.
>They spot you, cheering, and veer away from the Herd.
>“GONNA GET ME A SMARTY FRIEND!” Is the last thing you hear … the front leg of the Meanie Squish Monster misses you … and hits the pot-hole just behind you, dipping down into the deep, jagged hole.
>The whole world slows down as you hear the Hoomin’s loud, cruel cheering turn into screams of dismay, but one of the Owie sticks curves down towards you, and you are so afraid …
>Hits your front leg … so much pain. You are flying …
>And then the whole world goes back to normal. You’re screaming, boo-boo juice in the air before your face before you hit something hard, and everything goes dark.
>Wake up, but your leg hurts.
>Hurts a lot. But the Meanie Hoomins are long gone. Only a bad, black thing burning on the side of the road.
>That’s bad. Fire gives the Worst Hugs. Shuffle across the road towards the side your Herd was hiding, and see that they are hugging each other, crying and cheering.
>“Hoomin Swayer!” They cheer as you stumble towards them.
>What? Who gave Hoomins the Biggest Owies? Where?
>“Daddy! Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddy!” Brandy the Second shouts, tears in her eyes, as she pushes out of the Herd and hugs you.
>You can’t help but shriek as she pushes on your injured leg.
>It’s all wrong, twisted at a bad angle… swollen too. You try to make it go straight, but the pain almost makes you black out.
>But it’s okay. Meanie Hoomins have gone away, driven off by the Wrinkled-Munstas, and your daughter is okay.
>It’s slow going with only three legs, and you hurt so much, but a Hoomin Warren is right there, and there might even be a ‘Pwain’ who can take your Herd to Sketti Land down there.
>And maybe you can get the other Fluffies to stop cheering long enough to explain who is this ‘Hoomin Swayer’ they keep babbling about.
>Ah, finally, Columbia. Be ‘Tasha’ Googaluv, with your Gal-Pal Sammy, and sit in one of the Bus’s seats with Sammy half-asleep and drooling on your shoulder, glad to be free of the Uni Suit and her ever present ‘entourage’ of Hyper-Stimulated Randy Fluffy Pony Stallions for a few precious hours.
>The Fan Herd ended up staying with the Crew for the better part of a week before a suitable shelter was found.
>Well … honestly it was more like every other shelter was full of Fluffies.
>Went in as ‘Tasha’ with Sammy, your Gal-Pal, and tried to not cry as you watched the Fluffy Ponies sob and shake the walls of their cages, howling that this wasn’t right.
>They had finally made it to ‘Oh-Hi-Oh’. ‘Sketti Wand an’ Uni’ cwose, please, Nice Hoomins wet Fwuffies gu?".
>Decided to pay them a visit in the Uni suit, tell them you loved them, and that if they were Lucky Fluffies, Nice Hoomins would adopt them.
>Lucky Fluffies had to be nice, sweet and play well with each other.
>Nice Hoomins didn’t want Fluffies who hurt each other, or yelled, or were stinky.
>You think some of them understood, but the majority just tried to push their hooves through the wires, screaming “UNEEEEEEEEH!” and “Wan haf Speshaw Huggies!” and “Pwease take Fwuffie to Sketti Wand!”
>People were catching Ferals and dropping them off at the Shelters, trying to clean up Columbia’s streets.
>Fat chance of that. Every time you’ve jumped out in the Uni Suit, you’ve gotten mobbed. Since the adverts went live, Ohio has been swarmed by the little fluffy Critters.
>The state has had to errect quick, cheap barb-wire fences along the highways to keep the Herds off the Highways, after some poor trucker went around a corner and drove over close to a hundred Fluffy Ponies before his brakes kicked in.
>The man was devastated, which you can understand, given how child-like Fluffy Ponies in pain can sound, but the State Authorities were more interested in loss of property than loss of life.
>The High-Pressure Water Hose has gotten the work-out of the century, blasting Fluffy Ponies off Uni before, during and after every show.
>The Ferals are relentless, however. At least you managed to make a ‘plug’ for Uni’s latex Horse Vagoo so poor Sammy doesn’t have to get poked in the ass by three or four Fluffy Stallion every time you take a step out of the trailers. It takes forever to pry the randy, desperate Stallions off the Suits, and you dare not let so much as one Fluffy Pony know that Uni is not a real Fluffy Pony.
>Staring at the window as the Crew finally takes the turn towards Cleveland, you sigh and hope you’ve done the right thing.
>This whole deal has turned into one gigantic shitstorm. Fluffy Ponies in the millions running north to find your character, devouring everything in their path.
>Tens of thousands of loving Owners who are now without their beloved pets.
>Thousands of Abusers causing chaos as they hunt down the hapless, slow-moving Mega-Herds and get themselves into all kinds of accidents.
>Still, if the shit hits the fan, you and Sammy will emigrate north to Canada. All those millions sitting in your shared bank account might be good for something, even if it is just laying low for a decade or two…
>“Holy … guys, left window, quick!” One of the drivers shouts, and you start, lost in your day-dreaming, and look out in surprise.
>Sammy is squealing happily, clutching your arm tightly.
>On the left hand side, between two schools, there’s a field of Fluffy Ponies.
>A litteral Field of them, pressed shoulder to shoulder, an irregular-shaped multi-coloured ground-hugging cloud of fluff. There must be close to ten thousand of them, a multi-coloured mass of Fluff with the occasional Foal perched on a parent’s back, shuffling north-east, towards Cleveland.
>Well, that explains why traffic is so slow. People are slowing down to take pictures.
>Get the window out of the way, and hear the most stunning thing.
>The Fluffy Ponies are singing. Well, singing as well as a Fluffy can sing, so it’s like ten thousands chipmunk voices raised together, but still…
>Oh Good Lord, it’s your Journey song. Some of the words have changed, but the tempo and beat is still there. The Fluffies are using it as a Marching Song.
>Ten thousand voices all lifted in praise to Uni as the Herds shamble across the ovals and grassed areas of the schools, you can see the students pressed against the glass windows, cheering and hammering on the glass.
>Feel Sammy take your hand, and you give her a small squeeze.
>If nothing else, you’ll always have this sight, of how you, Sammy and the Crew brought a little light into the Fluffy Ponies lives.
>You try to not think about the Fluffies who died during the trip, or how the Ferals will react when they find that Spaghetti Land is closed to their kind.
>Try to not think about how heart-broken the millions of Ferals will be to find out that Uni has ‘betrayed’ them.
>You don’t think you could deal with that much sorrow and guilt laid at your feet.
>Much, much later, you’re finally in Cleveland. Man … it’s kinda run-down … then again, when a city has been in an economic slump for the better part of a decade, it’s not surprising.
>The Crew is packing their gear into the new Theme-Park, ready for the opening next week … my god.
>Fiberglass ‘Spaghetti Mountain’ close to what you assume to be eight or nine stories tall. Damn thing is visible from the outskirts of Cleveland, easy. It also looks realistic enough you could swear the damn fiberglass was real spaghetti…
>Jeez, the Ferals will be able to zero in on the Theme Park easily with that thing so visible. You hope the chain-link fences around the park are sunk deep into concrete slabs, or this could get messy real quick.
>And at night, there’s flood-lights designed to switch on and move slowly around the ‘Spaghetti Mountain’ so it’s highly visible at night too.
>Automated Spaghetti Dispensers, a state-of-the-art waste management facility, Fluffy-proofed rides, an astro-turf field big enough for Fluffies to run and play.
>Games designed for Fluffy Ponies like Skee-Ball, Ring-The-Bell, a ferris wheel, a roller coaster, a ‘Diving’ game in which Fluffy Ponies are sealed into an air-tight pod and taken through an aquarium-like room full of bright, colourful fishes, the works.
>There’s a Fluffy ‘Pool’, just an inch deep, with sprinklers above to spray a cool, fine mist over Fluffy Ponies to keep them cool right behind a professional-looking Grooming Parlour for Fluffy Ponies to go to be made ‘Pwetty’.
>There’s also a couple of big buildings with rails going into and out of them. Some guy called Miguel said that both were rides. There’s a lot of guys like him, running all over the place with paint and tools and scafolding, getting the Theme Park ready.
>One was a ride designed to show Humans and Fluffy Ponies the Past, Present and Future of Fluffy Ponies, based on that ‘It’s a Small World’ ride at every. fucking. disneyland. ever. Yeah, guess what you’ll never want to do.
>The other was a ride designed to instill gob-smacking amounts of discipline in Fluffy Ponies. Apparently there’s the ‘normal’ setting which is enough make most Fluffy Ponies do what they’re told, and there’s a ‘Nightmare’ setting for the malcontents, both Human and Fluffy alike.
>Owners who use the Nightmare setting … you watched a snippet of it. Mother of God, it gave you goose-bumps. Odds are it’ll give whatever Fluffy Pony gets to experience that heart-failure!
>There’s a stage being built where Uni, Eddy and Pip will have thrice-daily shows, in between running around the Theme Park ‘playing’ with Fluffy Ponies.
>Jesus … You’ve gone from doing a quick three hour work day to working 8-8 every day of the week. Still, the pay is good, so that’s something, right?
>How many millions did this Theme Park cost, to build, let alone taxes and zoning laws? And where is your ‘Boss’, this mysterious R. Moloch, for fuck’s sake? Are you always going to be handled through middle-men?
>The Mayor of Cleveland, a fat, florrid-faced man who looks like he could give Jabba the Hutt a run for his money at the buffet, is stomping around, shouting orders that are promptly ignored by the work-crews putting the finishing touches on the rides and stalls, his face a perpetual shade of brilliant crimson, either from the exertion of moving his fat ass around personally, or his visibly volatile temper.
>“Right! You two are the Furries in the suit, yes?” He bellows at you, pointing a fat, sausage-like finger at Sammy, chewing on a lit cigar in such an exagerated fashion it makes the heavy, drape-like jowls on his face wobble about.
>“Eerrrrr, we’re the pilots, yes, but we’re not Furr…” Sammy begins, startled at the abrupt ‘greeting’.
>“Good. Now you two deviants listen to me! This Theme Park is the biggest thing Cleveland has had since that Derp Cally show, and we need it to rake in big bucks to pull this city out of the red!” The Mayor grunts, taking out his cigar and tapping the ash onto the sidewalk.
>“I believe it was the Drew Car-” You start to say, loudly, eager to derail this beligerent little twit, but he just shouts even louder over the top of you.
>“This is going to be the biggest money-maker in the country, and it is going to be Hammon McPhisten who delivers it to his constituents, you hear me! You screw this up for me, and I swear, I’ll have you two latex-fetishists thrown into the deepest, darkest hole I can find!” He turns and points that sausage-like finger at you, shaking it furiously as if his finger were some kind of lethal weapon, then stomps away, shouting more furious orders at anybody within range.
>Share a look with Sammy and resist the urge to giggle.
>“Hammon McPhisten?” Sammy finally gives in, snorting with laughter.
>“Well, shit. We’ve got a week before the Theme Park opens … let’s take another look around.” You snicker, taking Sammy’s hand and walking over to a ride that’s in the process of being built …
>Wait … Fluffy Bumper Cars?