astrum – 6.4

Content Warnings

Cannibalism, so much cannibalism
Butchery of humans
Reference to domestic violence
Ableist slurs

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Serin left, a hunchbacked giant melting into the red-tinted gloom.

Elpida turned and hurried back to the refuge — too late; by the time she stepped through the door the argument was raging beyond control.

“—lied to us!” Kagami was spitting at Pira, words clenched between her teeth. “What else have you lied about?! Feel like confessing? Filling us in on all the rest of the sordid details you oh-so-conveniently left out? But you won’t, will you? Because you’ve got other plans for us.”

Vicky moaned softly: “Kaga, stop. Please, just stop.”

Nobody had done as Elpida had ordered. Kagami was still on her feet, sagging against a wall; Atyle had not helped Vicky — she was just sat there watching the show; Vicky was doubled over, stringy bile hanging from her lips, staring at Serin’s gift; Ilyusha had not covered the severed heads with a spare coat, but was clutching Amina, her eyes downcast and defeated.

Pira faced Kagami, arms folded, face shuttered. “I have not lied about anything.”

“By omission!” Kagami snapped. She pointed at Pira, punctuating her words with jabs of her finger. “Look! Look at her! Think about it! Everything we know about our situation comes from her mouth, from what she told us. The rest of us have no idea what’s really going on. She could have spun any tale she likes to keep us from asking too much.”

Elpida stepped forward, commanding the space and raising her voice: “Kagami, stop, right—”

Kagami raged on. “All that shit about graveworms and safe zones, all of it could be so much bullshit. We have no way of knowing — except you.” She sneered — at Ilyusha. “And you’re not telling us anything useful either, you brain-damaged borged-up berserker cripple!”

Ilyusha raised her head and showed her teeth. One red-clawed foot stamped on the floor, puncturing the plastic. “Fucking reptile! Say that again!”

Vicky moaned, “Please, please stop, we can’t—”

Elpida raised both hands and risked a shout: “Ilyusha, down, now. Kagami, stop—”

Kagami pulled a silvery oblong from one coat pocket and brandished it in her left hand; it was one of the inactive drones she’d taken from the armoury.

“I’m not fucking afraid of you!” she shouted, red in the face and spewing spittle. Then to Ilyusha: “You either, you fucking midget!”

Ilyusha let go of Amina and clicked forward on her claws. Her tail arced up, cutting the air with that sharp red tip.

Elpida moved fast: she closed with Kagami in two paces, pinned her left wrist against the wall with a sharp slap of flesh on concrete, and tore the inactive drone from her fingers. Kagami was too shocked to resist, recoiling and gaping. Her knees threatened to give out — but before she could slip to the floor, Elpida caught her under the chin and forced Kagami to look up at her.

“Stop. Or I will discipline you.”

Kagami just panted. She was so tiny compared to Elpida’s height and musculature. “Uh— uhh— uh—”

“Will you stop?”

A jerky nod.

“Kagami, breathe. Breathe in, then out. There you go. Now, sit.”

Elpida let go. Kagami slid to the floor, clutching her bruised wrist and panting for breath, her long black hair all matted to her forehead and face. Elpida resisted the urge to look over her shoulder at Ilyusha; it was always better to give the impression that she did not doubt her comrades for a second. She trusted Ilyusha at her back. She would not suggest otherwise.

“Kagami,” she said. Kagami flinched. “Follow my orders, or I will make you follow my orders. Do you understand?”

The words tasted like ash, spent long ago; Elpida was not Commander to her companions. Commander Elpida would only get everyone killed, just like her cadre. But right now she wielded the authority, however rusted and ruined, to avert worse outcomes.

Kagami nodded.

Elpida held up the drone. It was heavy for its small size. “Have you figured out how to activate these?”

“N-no. No. But I … I might.”

“If you can power it up, will you use it against us? Will you use it against Pira?”

Kagami swallowed. Her eyes darted from Elpida’s face, across the room, searching the others.

Elpida put a whip crack into her voice, “Answer the question.”

Kagami flinched. “Pira is a traitor.”

“Wrong answer.”


Elpida crouched so she was eye level with Kagami. “Promise me you will not point a weapon at any of your si—”

Sisters. The word almost slipped out. But they were not sisters — not like her cadre.

Kagami frowned. Elpida tried again: “Promise me you will not point a weapon at any of us.”

Across the room, Atyle chuckled softly. “Promises, warrior? Words are wind, flowing and gone.”

Elpida ignored that. She knew Kagami’s type. A real promise would carry weight. “Kagami. Promise me.”

Almond-shaped eyes burned with wounded humiliation. Elpida saw she needed to go deeper. She leaned in close; Kagami flinched, but there was nowhere to retreat except through the wall. Elpida allowed cheek to brush against cheek.

She whispered: “Kagami, I would like to trust you. I know you drank three cannisters of the raw nanomachines, last night—”

Kagami whimpered. “No … ”

“I’m not angry. I’m confused. I gave you permission to do that, to drink what you needed. There was no need to hide it. But I want to trust you. If you have doubts about Pira, we can discuss them. But you cannot do this in front of the group, not when we have to deal with issues of survival. I need to deal with those severed heads — to secure our resources, quickly. Not get bogged down in discipline issues. Do you understand?”

Kagami hiccuped softly. Then she nodded.

Elpida added: “Promise me.”

“F-fine. Fuck you, Elpida. I promise. No pointing guns. Get off me!”

Elpida leaned back. She pressed the silvery drone back into Kagami’s left hand. Kagami tried to flinch away from the contact, but Elpida made a point of holding Kagami’s grip for a second; her hand was hot and sweaty. Then Elpida let go and stood up.

Ilyusha was watching, head tilted to one side, sullen and dull-eyed. Her tail was down, her claws retracted.

Elpida said: “Illy, I need you to do something for me. Are you comfortable handling the severed heads?”

Ilyusha shrugged. “Guess so.”

“I need you to wrap them in a coat or a spare t-shirt, then take them into the next room — the first door on your right when you exit into the corridor. It’s a much smaller room with a couple of desks. I need you to put the heads on one of the desks. Leave them wrapped up. Can you do that for me?”

Ilyusha snorted, but she did as Elpida asked: she crossed to the backpacks, extracted a spare coat, then wrapped up the heads and their string-net bag in a loose bundle. Amina followed at her heels, but avoided looking directly at Serin’s gory gift.

When Ilyusha left the room, Kagami almost laughed, and said: “Don’t sneak a bite.”

Elpida turned back to the others. “Vicky, sit down. Take one of the chairs. That’s an order.”

“O-okay. Sure. Sure thing, Elpi. Sure.” Vicky sat heavily, hunched forward, hanging her head. Then she mumbled: “Oh God, oh God, I’m … I’m hungry. Why am I hungry? Uh … ” She made a soft retching sound. Her dark skin was shiny with sweat.

Elpida filled her lungs to give herself a moment to think. She felt that clenching hunger as well, the tingle of salivary glands and the desire to bite into soft, yielding protein. Necessary cannibalism was not a shock for her — but for the others that hunger and its inevitable solution might undermine their morale to the point of destruction. To leave each of her sisters — her comrades, she corrected herself — to their own decisions or actions would invite a dozen different kinds of potential disaster. She had to shepherd them through this, to one end or another. Together they might endure. Left alone with hunger and choice, they may shatter.

She put the confidence of command into her voice, though she felt little: “I won’t repeat what Serin has already said. I’m going to take personal custody of her gift, and—”

Pira said: “Of severed human heads. Call them what they are.”

Vicky groaned.

Kagami laughed. “Brains.”

Elpida stayed calm. “I am going to take custody of the gift. I have the strongest constitution when it comes to dealing with human remains, so I will take the responsibility of preparing them.”

Vicky moaned: “Why am I hungry? Oh fuck— fuck, I’m—” Her stomach rumbled. She made a slurping sound. “I’m d-drooling … no … ”

Across the room, another stomach rumbled: Atyle. She laughed softly. “It seems the gods have given me hunger, too. Flesh presents, and moves other flesh.”

Pira said, “I refuse to participate. Vicky, you don’t have to do this, you don’t have to be part of this. Atyle, you as well. I’m going for a walk. Come with me.”

Atyle just watched, amused at the corners of her mouth. Vicky looked up, wide-eyed and panting. “What? Sorry?”

“I’m going for a walk,” Pira repeated. “Come with me.”

Elpida said, “Wait, Pira. What do you mean, a walk?”

“A walk.”


“Around. Vicky, come with me.”

Vicky glanced at Elpida, confused and blinking. “I-I don’t—”

But Kagami spoke first: “Don’t listen to her! Pira is either a traitor or an idiot who refuses to survive. Go with her and she’ll probably gut you herself.”

Vicky shook her head. “I don’t— Kaga, stop, please.”

Kagami said, “Stay right there!”

Pira was already slinging her submachine gun and walking to the door. She ignored Elpida’s protest and Vicky’s stammered question. As she slipped out into the corridor, Elpida went after her. A flicker of flame-red hair flowed in the gloom.

“Pira! Pira, where are you going?”

Pira paused, very still with her back to Elpida. “For a walk.”

“Are you leaving the group?”

Pira said nothing.

Elpida repeated herself: “Pira, are you leaving the group?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Will you talk to me and argue your position? If there’s something I don’t yet understand, some intel I’m lacking, some reason we shouldn’t eat those brains, I will listen.”

Pira spoke low and soft: “It always starts with carrion. You tell yourself you have no choice. They’re already dead. You need to survive. And you’re right — those heads aren’t really alive. Their occupants have long since fled. The twitching is just electrical ghosts. But then you get the taste. The habit. It becomes easier.”

“Pira. Listen to me. I won’t kill to eat. I won’t be a predator. We need to get everyone through this, we need to stick together. If we can reach the combat frame—”

“The only option is not to participate.”

“I respect that. I won’t force you to do anything. Will you come back?”

“In a bit.”

“Stay away from the windows. Be safe, Pira.”

“I know what I’m doing.”

Pira walked off in near silence. She slipped around the nearest corner and vanished into the depths of the building.

Amina and Ilyusha watched from the next doorway along, a pair of pale little faces. Amina bit her lower lip, clinging to Ilyusha’s side.

Ilyusha snorted. “Just another kind of reptile.”

Elpida took personal custody of the severed heads — alone, separate, in private.

She left the others together in the refuge, now that she was reasonably sure the argument had been defused. She asked them to wait a few minutes while she dealt with the grisly necessities. Her plan was half-formed and poorly communicated, her thoughts blurred by the pain of healing wounds and the pangs of hunger in her belly; but this task could not wait, this question could not be left to fester unexpressed in fearful minds.

This way, the others would not have to see the worst of it, and there would be privacy for those who wished; Elpida would be present for anybody who needed company. It was all she could do.

They needed to eat, and they needed to do it now, more for psychological than physiological reasons.

The room next to the refuge was tiny, with layers of ancient paint on the walls and two desks crammed in back-to-back. One desk held the gutted shell of a personal computer terminal. The other held the coat-wrapped bundle.

No windows; when Elpida closed the door she was plunged into darkness. Her eyes adjusted instantly.

Elpida sat down at the desk. The chair creaked beneath her weight — wood. Another obscenity.

She peeled back the coat and laid out the severed heads.

Eyeless, jawless, their tongues removed. Gaping raw holes stared at nothing. Scraps of hair clung to their scalps. They didn’t bleed from the ragged wounds of their necks; the blood was already dry and sticky. They twitched and flexed what muscles they had left in their faces, but they did not seem to respond to Elpida’s touch. Perhaps Pira had told the truth — the inhabitants of this meat had already left.

Elpida tucked her long white hair down the back of her armoured coat. She selected a head and put the others to one side. She drew her combat knife. She hoped that the blade from the tomb armoury was up to the task — carbon steel, perhaps better. If not, this work would ruin the weapon.

She picked up the head and whispered into its left ear: “I’m sorry this has happened to you. Hurry home to your sisters. Hurry home soon.”

The head — the revenant, what was left of her — did not react.

Elpida got to work.

She used her knife to cut the soft palate and split the hard palate from below, punching through thin bone with all her strength; her fractured wrist made the task more difficult. She used the hilt to crack the cranium, the forehead, and the delicate bones of the face; the popping, crunching sound echoed in the tiny, dark room. The head stopped twitching. The scalp barely bled at all, slow and sticky. She levered the skull apart, first with blade, then with fingers. The bones cracked. She cut the meninges and the cranial nerve attachments. She used her bare hands to extract the prize.

A pinkish grey blob, wrinkly and still warm. She placed it carefully on a spare t-shirt. The air smelled of fat and blood. Elpida’s mouth watered. Her stomach cramped.

Was the brain still alive? How were these heads still twitching with activity, when she had died at the Silico’s hands outside the tomb? Was it density of nanomachines, or something else which kept them going? If she had let go while dead, would her body have writhed like these severed heads?

Elpida repeated the process with the other four skulls. She whispered the same cadre prayer to every one of them. She lined up the bone fragments as she went, keeping them together.

As she worked, Elpida heard a pair of distant gunshots — far away, beyond the walls, beyond other buildings. Serin’s rifle. Was she hunting, too? Elpida hoped she was not shooting at Pira.

When she was done she had five fresh brains, liberated from their former owners.

Her hands were covered in sticky red gore. Her mouth was watering so much she had to keep swallowing to save from drooling; her nanomachine metabolism had woken up, asleep since she had climbed out of that metal coffin in the tomb.

She felt very far from that resurrection chamber now — from the clean metal, her own fresh skin, and the blue glow of nanomachine miracles. Now she was cutting up brains with a combat knife, in a tiny dark room, her hands covered in greasy blood, her ears filled with the cracking of bones, her stomach rumbling for obscene meat.

But it was all part of the same process, the same system, or ecosystem. She saw that now. Tombs and graveworms full of nanomachines, more than any one revenant could ever need. These dead women she had just filleted, they had also been reborn in those machines, against their will. And so many like them were scuttling in the ruins, eating each other for scraps.

Born to live, to eat, to feel this hunger for each other’s flesh, to … want?

To want.

The gravekeeper’s self-designation. Want.

Philosophise as much as she liked, but Elpida could not ignore her hunger.

She licked her fingers clean. She couldn’t taste much except the muted iron tang of dry blood. Her hands were trembling. It was not enough.

Elpida picked up her combat knife again and cut a small chunk of pinkish-grey meat from one of the brains. She raised it toward her mouth on the tip of the blade. Drool ran down her chin. She was panting. The smell was intoxicating — meaty-creamy, rich and dark, blood-red and hot and—

Found your rations at last, wind-up soldier?

Elpida froze. The voice was inside her head, amused and laughing, but devoid of tone and timbre.

“Graveworm? Graveworm?” Elpida’s rasping breath filled the cramped darkness. “Graveworm!”

Trying to get my attention like this. That’s what she would have done. What she always did. Too aggressive for most girls. It’s been so long.

“Graveworm, I can hear you. Are you talking to me?”

Not really. It’s not as if you’ll commit. Promise me flowers but treat me like a mushroom. But you never did that. Wait, no … I …

“Graveworm, what’s your name? Mine is Elpida.”

A long pause. Darkness. Hunger. The smell of brains and blood.

Then: “Elpida? No. You’re not.

“Graveworm? What’s your name? Graveworm? Graveworm?”


Elpida thought she might go mad, but she said it anyway. She whispered it.



She waited for several minutes, but there was no further reply. She lowered the combat knife and the quivering morsel of brain; she exerted her will upon her trembling body.

Eating alone, in the dark, driven by darker desires. Howl would be ashamed of her. Howl would tell her this plan was nonsense. Howl would be correct.

Elpida wrapped the brains in the t-shirt. She picked up the greasy wet bundle in one hand, carried her combat knife in the other, and returned to the refuge.

Everyone looked up when she entered. Kagami was slumped where she had fallen, but Vicky had moved to sit next to her; they had been in the middle of talking in low, private voices. Ilyusha and Amina sat not too far away — Ilyusha was sulky and quiet, Amina nervous and clutching her friend’s clawed bionic hand. Atyle was serene and distant, straight-backed, relaxed.

Vicky said: “Elpi? I thought you said you were gonna call us, thump on the wall, or … oh, oh fuck.”

Kagami hissed: “Look away if you have to, you idiot.”

Elpida sat down and laid the t-shirt on the floor. She peeled it open. Vicky looked away, but Kagami stared, dead-eyed and drawn. Ilyusha snorted without humour. Amina bit her lower lip. Atyle watched, curious and detached

Elpida lifted her combat knife and ate the chunk of brain matter.

It was soft and creamy, more like firm scrambled eggs than meat. The taste was savoury, bloody, and raw. She chewed and swallowed. Her hunger craved more. She put down her knife.

“In my cadre, with my sisters, we ate together. We transgressed together. I had thought that privacy would be easier on all of us — us here, I mean. Now I believe that was a mistake.” She gestured at the brains. “If this is necessary for survival, I will not be ashamed of it.”

Kagami started laughing softly. Vicky made a nauseated sound. Ilyusha groaned something under her breath.

Elpida went on. “No, I’m serious. These people were already dead — or at least as good as dead. I will not kill to eat, but I will eat to live. If this is what we have to do to survive, then that is a choice each of us will have to make. You don’t have to eat here. You don’t have to eat at all. If you want to go next door and eat in private, you can. Nobody is going to stop you. If you wish to take Pira’s route, you can do that as well.” Elpida took the gamble: “But I would prefer that you all eat here, together, in front of each other. There will be no judgement. No snide remarks. No insults.”

Ilyusha made a soft ‘pffft’ sound with her lips.

Vicky said, voice shaking: “Fucking hell, Elpi. It’s human meat. How can we do that and keep being ourselves afterwards?”

Elpida put real confidence into her voice. It was her only handhold.

“I intend to reach the fallen combat frame. I intend to pursue Pira’s quest of accessing the inside of the graveworm. Whatever is really happening here, whatever this system of nanomachines is set up to achieve, it is making us eat each other. Breaking into a graveworm, finding the Necromancers in the towers — maybe that’s a way to end it, or to change it somehow. I don’t know. Vicky, I won’t pretend to know for sure. But I think that is a good reason to eat, to stay alive, and to keep going. If this necessary cannibalism disgusts you, then I promise: one of my goals will be to end it.”

Elpida felt relief as she saw the stiffening effect her words had on the others. Ilyusha looked a little less ashamed. Kagami sighed, resigned. Vicky nodded, even if slowly.

Fine words for a fine intent. But for now they were just seven — no, six girls, sitting on the floor in a dim room in a ruined city full of walking corpses, eating brains.

Ilyusha and Amina ate first, with little trepidation. Ilyusha guided Amina to the t-shirt on the floor, then ate with one hand, gouging chunks of pink-grey meat from the brains with her red claws. She didn’t look up as she chewed.

“Illy,” Elpida said. “There’s no shame in survival.”


Amina used two fingers, pinching carefully as if the meat was dirty, eating only what Ilyusha passed to her. She ate little — but she did eat, without disgust. Whenever she paused Ilyusha nudged her to keep chewing.

“There’s five brains and seven of us,” Elpida explained. She took her own share slowly, with the point of her knife, taking care to pay attention to her hunger and how fast it was sated. “That’s approximately a seventh of a brain each.”

Kagami snorted. “What about Pira? She’s ‘one of us’, yes? She doesn’t want her share. Made that clear enough.”

“A seventh of a brain each. For now.”

Atyle ate with amused dignity, showing no hesitation at consuming human flesh. She pared pieces of brain off with a spare knife, eating it like fruit, licking the juices from her fingers with little pops and slurps. She sat across from Elpida and watched her in return.

Kagami cut tiny pieces at arm’s length, placing them in her mouth with shaking hands and swallowing without chewing. She kept sneaking little glances at Elpida.

But Vicky had a problem. She just stared.

Elpida did not let her suffer alone. “Vicky? You don’t have to eat if you don’t want to. You don’t even have to watch.”

Vicky slurped down a mouthful of her own saliva, then wiped her chin. “It’s not that. This … this isn’t my first rodeo.”

Kagami snorted with laughter. “Really? You really are pre-republic, aren’t you?”

Elpida asked: “Your first what?”

Vicky swallowed more saliva. Her stomach rumbled. She answered in a halting voice, staring at the grisly meal: “This isn’t the first time I’ve eaten human being.”

Elpida glanced at the others. Atyle was listening in alert curiosity. Ilyusha had tilted her head too. Kagami was no longer laughing.

“Vicky?” Elpida said. “Do you want to share?”

“When I was little. Nine, maybe ten, I don’t remember.” Vicky’s voice was very far away. “When we were in the first camp, south of Chicago. There was a famine, I guess — well, they called it a famine, but there was plenty of grain coming up the Mississippi, up the canals. Everybody knew it. The arcology, they had their ‘humanitarian nutrient blocks’, but oh no, no no, that was only for citizens.” She shook her head. “And you weren’t no citizen if you didn’t have your papers. Nobody in the camps had papers. My family had been there since before the old empire, as far we knew. But no papers.” She swallowed hard. “I got sick that winter. Flu, or something. Parents didn’t have much food, just thin gruel, shitty oats. People died in the camp all the time, got forgotten in their tents. Or got murdered. Plenty of meat there. I remember them arguing — my parents, I mean. Badly. Dad won the argument. Mum had a black eye.” Vicky took a deep breath, let it out slowly. “But then the next day there was meat in the gruel. Not much. They didn’t eat it. Saved it all for me.”

Elpida reached over and squeezed Vicky’s shoulder. Vicky looked down at her lap.

Vicky said, “They never told me, later. Figured maybe they thought I’d not remember. Happier not remembering.”

Kagami hissed: “You fucking moron.”

Vicky looked up, blinking. “W-what? I—”

Elpida jumped in. “Kagami, no—”

Kagami snapped, ignoring Elpida. “Never be ashamed of survival. You pre-republic animals did what you could. Like being ashamed of living in the dark ages, huh!” She jabbed a finger at the brains. “Now, you going to eat or starve? Come on. Make a choice.”

Vicky ate. Slowly, at Kagami’s urging, she ate. She wretched once, but kept it down.

As Vicky chewed and swallowed, Atyle spoke up. “The reluctant one here is not the only habitual cannibal among us. I too have tasted the flesh. Twice ever.”

Elpida frowned. “As have I. That makes three of us, out of seven. Is that a coincidence?” She looked around at the others and caught the haunted spark in Ilyusha’s flat grey eyes. “Illy?”

Ilyusha’s lips curled in disgust. “Gotta eat to live.”

“But, before this? Before being resurrected for the first time?”

Ilyusha looked at the floor. She didn’t want to talk about it.

Atyle purred: “Aha. That makes four. And the little rabbit?” She gestured toward Amina. “I would wager a fifth. What of you, moon spirit?”

Kagami scowled back. “I was raised on solid food, grown in real soil. I was not pipe-fed on recyc tank slurry. No, you dirt-mated womb-born, I’ve never eaten human flesh before.”

Atyle smiled. “Can you be certain?”

“Yes. I—”

“Did your guardians and attendants never lie to you, not once? Your mother? Your father?”

Kagami paused. Her eyes wandered down to the brains. “No. No, he would never. I was never fed recyc. Never, never … ”

Atyle looked at Elpida. “Coincidence, warrior?”

Elpida shook her head. “That seems unlikely. What about Pira? If she’s the odd one out … ”

All cannibals in life, at least briefly. Elpida could not imagine what that meant. Selected for likelihood they would survive by preying on others? Or was this just a quirk of this single group, some criteria that had no greater meaning?

Kagami snorted. “We’re all zombies now. That’s all it means. If Pira wants to fu—”


From deep in the belly of the structure: the sound of a submachine gun discharge, full-auto, trigger down.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Munch munch munch chomp chomp chomp yum yum yum. The research I had to look up for this chapter has almost certainly put me on some kind of ‘potential cannibal’ government watchlist. GCHQ, I swear, all these guides about cracking skulls with minimal tools, they are for a story! Look, here it is! Anyway, Elpida and the others are finally fed, except for Pira, who is fed up. And apparently shooting at something.

Meanwhile, if you want more Necroepilogos right away, there is a tier for it on my patreon:

Patreon! Lookie, it’s a link.

Right now this only offers a single chapter ahead, about 4k words.  Feel free to wait until there’s more story! I’m currently trying to make time to write a few more chapters ahead, but I can’t promise anything on a specific schedule yet, as you can probably tell from my repeated efforts. I’ll get there eventually though!

There’s also a TopWebFiction entry, for voting on. Voting makes the story go up the rankings, which helps more people see it! It really helps spread the story.

And! Thank you! Thank you for reading my story! I’m so happy with how Necroepilogos has been going so far, having a lot of fun with where this is headed, and excited for the next few arcs (and beyond!) I hope you are too. Until next chapter!

7 thoughts on “astrum – 6.4

  1. I was giggling through the whole chapter.
    Yay, for Alpha Elpida, even if she doesn’t feel like it on the inside. Actually I can’t wait to see what she is like when she regains her confidence.
    Thank you for the chapter.


    • Giggles are also a valid reaction!

      Elpida is absurdly alpha, yes. Just In Charge, elementally, even if she doesn’t really feel that way anymore. With confidence again she might be … scary.

      And you are very welcome! Glad you enjoyed the chapter!


  2. Fostering camaraderie with dark deeds in the light. Kinship in the perpetual twilight. The spark of inspiration from the cruelty of reality. Go forth. For you are in this together. …. HAH. I fucking love this story. Anyway, thanks for the chapter!


    • “Fostering camaraderie with dark deeds in the light.”

      Exactly! Wow. Well done. You’ve managed to sum up most of the theme of this chapter in one line. Amazing. They are indeed in this together, for real!

      And thank you so much for reading it, really glad you’re enjoying this story so much! Yay!


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