Private Cub, meet tiger

Lotharingia

Promise nothing and deliver less
Sep 16, 2018
1,264
Australia
Stars
☆0
Pronouns
He/Him
Posting Status
Irregularly
Leo anxiously fiddled with the hem of his jacket as he sat at the bench in the park. All this open space was...unusual. After a lifetime confined to closed rooms and cells and labs, being in a wide-open park felt weird. He still hadn't gotten used to the academy campus, so any exploration of the city had to be a gradual process.

This little incursion into the city was a bit more than that, however. Leo wanted to meet more of his kind on the island, see how much his experiences were matching theirs. After a talk with Gany he'd been put in touch with Lợi, another recent arrival, and had arranged to meet him out here. So he waited on the bench, hat covering his ears as usual, glancing around at the occasional passerby.

All that was left was for the other NEK0 to arrive.

@Romi
 

Romi

Secretly a Bird
Administrator
Supporter
Jun 18, 2015
10,955
Stars
☆0
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/Her
Posting Status
Irregularly
LỢI LÊ

Lợi did not have high hopes.

After the unmitigated disaster that was meeting Kon, his expectations for other NEK0 had dropped through the floor. They were, for the most part... subservient. They delighted in doing menial tasks, and the fact that a significant number of them wished to return to slavery was nothing short of disgusting to him.

Lợi would never go back. He would happily die before he went to groveling like the others did... but more realistically, he'd simply tear out the throat of anyone who tried.

But he was still, at the very least, trying. He'd go to the park and meet the other NEK0 Gany had put him in touch with, and maybe, just maybe, they would have an actual spine.

That said, Lợi's first impression wasn't even an impression, because he actually walked right past Leo, only glancing back once he'd passed and making the connection.

He turned, raising an eyebrow at the rather... subtle NEK) before him, and then opted to put it aside.

"You were the one Gany said I should meet?"

 

Lotharingia

Promise nothing and deliver less
Sep 16, 2018
1,264
Australia
Stars
☆0
Pronouns
He/Him
Posting Status
Irregularly
Leo had to do a double-take as he walked by as well. He'd already been told he was different from the others but he wasn't expecting one so, well, adult. The other NEK0 at his trading post all looked younger, and so had the ones he'd met so far on the island. He stood up from the bench, taking off his hat so that his red cat ears were visible.

"Yes, I'm Leo." He said, one visible eye looking up at him from under a mess of hair. "And you're Lợi. Your, um...not what I was expecting."
 

Romi

Secretly a Bird
Administrator
Supporter
Jun 18, 2015
10,955
Stars
☆0
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/Her
Posting Status
Irregularly
LỢI LÊ

Lợi had to admit he could say the same thing. If he hadn't explicitly come out looking for a NEK0, he probably wouldn't have given Leo a second glance. He was easy to miss, and he didn't look like he was taking very good care of himself either.

"I could say the same," Lợi admitted. At the very least Leo was young, which, while not a good thing, was at least expected. "I imagine because I'm a tiger? I was told that big cat NEK0 were quite unusual. One would assume more would want them, over a traditional housecat, but apparently not..."

 

Lotharingia

Promise nothing and deliver less
Sep 16, 2018
1,264
Australia
Stars
☆0
Pronouns
He/Him
Posting Status
Irregularly
"Big cat NEK0's are...I'd never even heard of any before I came here. All the ones at my trading post were made to be younger, like me." He took a short breath. "They...the people renting us out preferred that. They wanted their slaves weak."

There was a barely disguised bitterness as he spoke on this. Any memories of the trading post tended to bring that out, though aside from his obvious feelings towards all of that, it was also hard not to feel a certain level of jealousy when speaking on this particular subject to someone like Lợi.

It was, after all, Leo's decision to name himself after a big cat. He certainly didn't look the part, though, and due to how he was made there was little chance of that changing. He knew basically nothing else of this other NEK0 yet that was enough for him to be envious.

"I guess you were made for a purpose that was a lot different from mine and the others." He muttered, sticking the hat back on his head, his ears back out of sight.
 
Last edited:

Romi

Secretly a Bird
Administrator
Supporter
Jun 18, 2015
10,955
Stars
☆0
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/Her
Posting Status
Irregularly
LỢI LÊ

Weak. Lợi was physically weak, but emotionally anything but.

"Physically, I am," he confirmed. "I hadn't given much thought as to why, but I suppose it makes sense. Easier to keep people contained if they're weak. Harder for them to escape. Less worry about them fighting back." It all made sense once Leo had put it in those terms.

As for Leo's question...

"Doubtful," he said with a shake of his head. "My purchaser simply had an attraction to tigers due to his heritage, and preferred the aesthetics of one over a house cat."

 

Lotharingia

Promise nothing and deliver less
Sep 16, 2018
1,264
Australia
Stars
☆0
Pronouns
He/Him
Posting Status
Irregularly
Leo simply nodded while Loi worked through his thought process. "Slaves that can resist their masters wouldn't be that useful, especially given our more...common function."

He pointedly decided not to linger on that point, dwelling on his services was bad enough and he had no desire to vocalise them.

"Not that it'd really matter if we could, I suppose. So many of us wouldn't even resist if we had the power."

Again it wasn't hard to pick up on his bitter tone. His meeting with Michi was still fresh in his mind, the KEM0 had seemed so lost without a master, it frustrated him just as much as it saddened him.

"I guess it's a good thing the scouts are looking for us specifically..."
 

Romi

Secretly a Bird
Administrator
Supporter
Jun 18, 2015
10,955
Stars
☆0
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/Her
Posting Status
Irregularly
LỢI LÊ

Lợi's mouth quriked into a little smile. Oh, his meeting with Leo was already going better than the ones he'd had before. Gany was nice enough, but they were also a bit... compliant for Lợi's tastes. Leo, though? Leo had energy. Spite.

Spite was the fuel that ran the empire, as they said.

"I know just what you mean," he agreed. "Some of the NEK0 here feel that we were robbed by being removed from the natural order, and I can't express enough how much it sickens me. The idea that we should be happy as slaves just because we were created for it... it's an unhealthy idea, at the best. I'm thankful for the scouts getting involved."

 

Lotharingia

Promise nothing and deliver less
Sep 16, 2018
1,264
Australia
Stars
☆0
Pronouns
He/Him
Posting Status
Irregularly
"Unhealthy is putting it nicely." He muttered under his breath. "I think...most of the ones I've met had a single owner who they lived with. I'm different, I was a rental."

He scowled.

"I think that's the reason they're like that. I wasn't...conditioned the same way they were. I spent enough time with enough groups of people to know I was treated...different, wrong."

He looked back up at Lợi, stifling his disgruntled expression, raising an eyebrow.

"I...would have thought you'd think differently, with that in mind, since it sounds like you were a custom job for one person."
 

Romi

Secretly a Bird
Administrator
Supporter
Jun 18, 2015
10,955
Stars
☆0
Gender
Female
Pronouns
She/Her
Posting Status
Irregularly
LỢI LÊ

A rental? That was interesting. It stood to reason that something like that would exist, but it was just another aspect of the Nek0 experience that Lợi had paid no attention to.

"It does seem that rentals would be fairly rare," Lợi agreed. "And yes, you're correct--I was a custom job, designed to suit the needs of my owner."

Lợi's disdain was palpable and downright impossible to miss. He hated the man who'd purchased him. The only reason he wasn't dead was because death was too easy.

"Most of the nek0 with those sorts of thoughts lived their life in a bubble. It was all they knew, so they accepted their position out of ignorance. If you hit someone as a child, they become convinced you're supposed to hit children, and the same holds true for nek0. It takes... willpower, I would say, to push through that. To recognize the situation is wrong even if you lack the capability to change it right then."

 

Announcements

Latest Watched Posts

Forgot your password?