astrum – 6.6

Content Warnings

Chronic pain
Sexual slurs
Body horror (the whole story is body horror and I know I’m not going to warn for it every time but really, really. Body horror.)

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Kagami’s left hand was on fire.

Fevered flesh burned with trapped flames; searing and scorching and sizzling and shrivelling, unceasing and terrible and merciless. Every time she sneaked a glance at her fingers and palm she expected to find the meat cremated, the fat rendered down, her metacarpals and phalanges charred bones held together by cooked gristle. The pain radiated up her arm in a standing wave, jabbing and stabbing and slicing into her shoulder and chest, sapping her strength and focus, grinding her thoughts to grit and dust and powder, leaving her drained and lethargic and slow. The medical machinery of her sensory suspension tank in Tycho City would have flushed her body with painkillers and antibiotics and steroids, then followed up with a regimen of stem-cells and protein isolates to repair the damage, while she — Princess and Daughter and Logician Supreme, above this undignified grubbing in the flesh — could have floated off into sim-space until the work was done.

Here, down in the dirt with a belly full of brains, she couldn’t even hope for a bucket of ice to ease the agony.

She couldn’t even cry; that would give her away.

The pain had begun in the night, an hour or two after she had gorged herself on the raw blue nanomachines. At first the tingling pins-and-needles had filled Kagami with hope; she had flexed her fingers and massaged her palm; she had envisioned a data uplink port in her wrist, near-field electronic interfaces in her fingertips, and a high-density connection processor inside her palm, wired into her brain-stem via her own nerves.

Perhaps modifying one’s nanomachine biology was as simple as drinking a potion and making a wish. How hard could it be? It wasn’t as if she could die; those pitiful severed heads had proven that.

But then paresthesia had turned to pain.

Her hand had burned all morning, stuck in that tiny concrete room, hiding the evidence inside her coat; it had burned when Elpida had gone exploring, and it had still burned when Elpida had returned. It burned during the move upstairs, burned when Kagami had slumped alone against a wall, burned when the others had spent their time playing juvenile board games, burned when she had gripped the silvery drone, burned and burned and burned and burned and burned and burned and burned—

And then Elpida had taken her out into the corridor, for ‘discipline’. As if a jumped-up gene-jacked roid-bitch had any right to ‘discipline’ one of humankind’s greatest Logicians.

But the pain had ebbed; the more Kagami felt threatened, the more the pain fled. Relief had come from silently daring Elpida to strike her. And when Serin had turned up — a true nightmare of nanomachine potential — the pain had vanished.

Serin — a vision of her own future? — had smelled that feverish flesh and sniffed her out, like a dog on the scent of charred meat.

Relief had struck again when Elpida had pinned her hand to the wall; Kagami’s head had swam, her heart racing, her skin prickling with sweat. But no pain. Humiliation and outrage and shame and a twinge in her guts. And no pain.

But relief was fleeting. Flesh was inescapable.

Pain had returned in inevitable throbbing waves as Kagami and the others had eaten their meal of brains — of ‘high-energy nanomachines’, what a coldly stupid euphemism. Call it what it was! Brains! Kagami had hoped and prayed to distant Luna itself that the brains — brains! like real zombies! — would help. Maybe all she needed was more raw materials. Maybe the process was stuck, incomplete, and the pain was a message.

The coating of fatty flesh in her mouth was filthy and greasy and unclean. Her salivary glands ached for more. Brains, like scrambled eggs, or bad tofu, or protein blocks for toothless babies — it churned in her stomach as she fought down the urge to vomit it all back up.

Pain fled again when Pira decided to mag-dump her gun into a wall downstairs. Elpida and Ilyusha had rushed out of the room, leaving the rest of them to scramble into their armour, ears pricked, fingers on triggers, waiting to die.

But no pain.

That confirmed her hypothesis: her left hand was changing in response to the cognitive plan she had provided; her nanomachine physiology was growing new parts; but it would suppress the process when she was in danger.

It did not suppress the process in response to stress or pain alone — or silent mental begging.

Danger passed; Pira wasn’t fighting zombies, she was going trigger-happy.

So the pain came roaring back.

Kagami did her best to hide her condition from the others; she resisted the urge to press her burning palm to the cool plastic of the floor, or to blow on her own skin like she was a bowl of overcooked porridge. She could not let the others know.

Especially not Pira or Elpida — especially not after they returned bloody and battered and bruised, stinking of each other, wet with each other’s juices.

Kagami was no fool. She’d perused enough low-grade gutter-fiction sim-space romance plots to recognise the spark between the traitor and the so-called ‘Commander’. The pair of dirt-eating animals had beaten each other up, enjoyed every second of flesh-on-flesh, and then probably rutted afterward. Pira was a traitor; Elpida was too stupid to understand that — too much of a rampant bitch to resist having her judgement clouded by a pair of fingers up her cunt. Kagami had hoped to get through to little miss clever Commander — even after Elpida had pinned her against the wall and humiliated her, made her quiver and shake inside. But that was a dead end now.

Elpida had made her choice, and Kagami was not it.

The others swarmed over the disgusting post-coital pair as soon as they tramped back into the room, all shouting questions and recriminations, blaming one or the other for unwarranted violence.

Elpida stood tall and explained what had happened — a carefully edited version of events, no doubt, leaving out the part where she and Pira had sucked at each other’s faces and rubbed their groins together. She mouthed platitudes about choice and respect, while Pira sat in the corner and massaged aching tissues. Questions and complaints and blame flew back and forth: Vicky was oh-so hurt that her precious Elpida had gotten sweaty and intimate with somebody else, while Ilyusha sulked and scowled, probably sour at being left out. They both phrased it as concern, of course, as worries about Elpida and Pira having a punch up, as questions about how Pira would heal if she wasn’t eating, as conditions that Pira had to fulfil if she was to be trusted again.

Elpida shut that all down: “Pira is one of us. This was just something we had to work out, between me and her. Pira had her gun the whole time . If she wanted to really hurt me she could have easily shot me. And look, I’m already healing — Serin told us the truth, the brains are doing us good.”

Vicky huffed like an old matron. “Yeah, sure, but what about her? She’s not healing. Elpi, you’ve beaten the crap out of her.”

Pira croaked: “A draw.”

Elpida said, “Pira has other options. She’s ingested some nanomachines directly from me, from my blood. She’s not going to eat the brains, and I’m asking everyone to respect that.”

Kagami had almost snorted. ‘Blood’ — was that what they were pretending?

Besides, Kagami was barely listening.

If Pira figured out that Kagami had begun the process of self-modification, what would the traitor do? Kagami was not in a hurry to find out. Elpida — the stubborn fool — had actually gripped Kagami’s left hand earlier, burning-hot and aching-hard. Had she figured it out? Serin had made clear that she knew what Kagami was up to, but perhaps Elpida was too stupid to have understood the zombie’s words.

Atyle must have known. That high-spec bionic eye probably showed Kagami’s left hand as a miniature star, burning and melting. But she wasn’t saying anything to anyone. Could the paleo be trusted? Kagami spent much of that conversation watching Atyle out of the corner of her eye. The primitive was playing her own game amid all this, but Kagami could not guess what it was.

No. She couldn’t trust any of them.

Elpida still spoke like she was in charge: “The plan hasn’t changed. We need to rest and recover from our wounds, for at least the remainder of today and tonight.”

Pira said, “One day’s travel.”


“One day’s travel, based on our speed so far. That’ll put us right on top of your orbital mech. Combat frame. Whatever you want to call it.”

Vicky shuddered. “Then we’re close. Almost there.”

Elpida nodded. “Good.”

Pira said, “Likely it’ll be swarming with revenants. Maybe worse.”

“Right,” said Elpida. “We should try to consume as much of the brain matter as we can, try to keep eating, get our strength up. Pira’s portion is now to be split six ways, among the rest of us. In the morning we’ll reassess if we’re ready to move.” She took off her coat, put down her firearm, and shook out her long white hair — putting on a big performance for the gaping audience. “We need sleep tonight, real sleep; I suggest everyone do what they can to relax. Illy — that board game you were playing with Amina and Atyle, will you teach me how to play?”

The remains of the day dissolved into a sick domestic pantomime.

Elpida joined in the ad hoc board game, which made the demented little cyborg a touch less grumpy, bumping her head against Elpida like a cat marking her territory; too late, Kagami thought to herself — your ‘Commander’ has already been claimed. Try sniffing her crotch to find out.

Vicky made a few attempts to come talk with Kagami.

“How are you holding up?”

“Kaga, you feeling okay?”

… the pain built.

“Bite wounds are looking much better. You should eat some more, too.”

… burning and churning and flensing and filleting. Eat brains? Eat the flesh off her fingers instead.

“Sure you don’t wanna join us? Just come sit by me. You don’t have to play or anything.”

… pain.

“Don’t just grunt at me, Kaga. Use your words.”

… p a i n.

“Alright, suit yourself. You comfy sitting against the wall like that?”

shut up shut up shut up go away go away

“Look, Kaga, if you change your mind, I’m here. Elpi’s here too.”

Didn’t Vicky have better things to do, like a threesome to insert herself into, perhaps? At least Elpida didn’t try to draw Kagami into another private conversation as well; the Commander would probably try to rut with her, too.

Kagami cradled the burning agony of her left hand — and now arm, and shoulder, and left lung, and the side of her neck. Pira sat in the opposite corner, cleaning weapons, watching the others, watching Kagami. Kagami pretended she wasn’t there.

The others all played together, good little children around the jolly camp-fire.

Except that every now and again somebody would get up and go over to the fat-stained t-shirt where they were keeping their ‘rations.’ Vicky brought Kagami’s share over to her. Everyone ate. Except Pira.

That night, when the dirty red sunlight died away and left behind grey static haze deepening into lightless black, Kagami could not sleep.

The others curled up beneath coats, stretched out on the floor, or slept in their armour and boots, with guns cradled in laps. They organized a watch rotation — Elpida, Pira, Vicky, and Atyle, in that order. Kagami knew she looked too sickly and feverish to be trusted with guarding the collective. She’d fallen so far from Luna’s nuclear sentinel.

Sleep was impossible; the burning pain in her left hand suspended her consciousness on the precipice of dreaming. One moment she thought she was back in her suspension tank on Luna, surfacing from a particularly rough sim-space experience, a story written by a sadistic moron — and then she was shifting her back against the cold ground, a soft moan escaping from her throat as spears of pain ran up the inside of her arm.

One moment, infinity and home — the next, dirt and torture.

She tried curling tight inside her own spare coat, then lying spread-eagle on the floor, then tucking her throbbing arm beneath her own body to cut off the blood supply. No position provided relief.

For the first two hours she felt desperate and afraid. She had never suffered insomnia in life, but she had run the simulations, watched the effects on herself in sim-space, or on her wire-slaved surface agents during assignments gone over-time. What if Elpida insisted on moving the group tomorrow? What if Kagami was exhausted, delirious, weak? She had to sleep, she just had to sleep. Pira might convince Elpida to leave her behind. Barring that, the others were relying on her auspex for intel and early warning; would she be too slow on the uptake, her thoughts fogged and sluggish? She had to sleep! She needed sleep! Maybe sleep would finally make the pain go away. Please, please, sleep!

She bit at her tongue, at the inside of her own mouth, and at pieces of her coat, gnawing and chewing, whining in muffled privacy.

Fear went sour, fermented into rage — at her own body, at this obscene nanomachine physiology, at the inefficiency of this process.

The burning, itching, feverish pain in her hand was so bad that it blotted out the ache in her augmetic legs and bruised hips; she hadn’t thought about that pain for hours and hours, not for most of the day. Was this how every other revenant had obtained bionic parts? Had Ilyusha lay insensate and screaming for days on end while her legs and arms had transmuted into metal and bio-plastic?

Or had Kagami made a mistake?

Had she done this wrong?

Had she fucked up?

She gave up after about three hours of trying to sleep. Elpida was still on watch, a dark silhouette against the open door of the room. The others were breathing softly. The borged up midget and her psycho friend were snuggled down together. Atyle slept on her back, ramrod straight. Vicky was almost snoring. Pira’s eyes were closed, her gun in her lap, her back against the wall.

Kagami stared at her left hand beneath her coat, hidden in the dark.

She tried to take it back: she thought ‘Halt!’, ‘Stop!’, and ‘Reverse!’ But nothing happened, not even after minutes of concentration. The pain did not ebb. She wanted to sob. She shouldn’t have reached so far, she should have tried to fix her stupid, obscene legs first — slough off the machines and grow something better in their place, even just real flesh and bone. At least that wouldn’t hurt.

But then she strangled that thought, terrified; she begged her body, her nanomachines, not to do that. If her legs started to hurt like her left hand, she would go insane.

She buried her face beneath her coat and chewed on the armoured fabric. She longed to cry out, to be heard.

Maybe Elpida was still reachable — maybe she would understand?

But Kagami had spent too long trying to sleep, stewing in her own pain. When she found the courage to push her coat down and stare at Elpida’s back, Pira was already stirring, for the change of the watch.

Kagami burned in private silence as Pira and Elpida sat together for several minutes, a pair of dark shadows outlined by the doorway. She couldn’t tell if they were whispering to each other — vying for sexual dominance again. Or worse: plotting. They wouldn’t keep the watch, Kagami was certain of that. The pair of them would slip off next door to fuck, any moment now, leaving her and the others exposed.

But then Elpida patted Pira on the shoulder, rose from her spot on the floor, and went to bed down, next to Vicky.

Pira sat in the doorway, her back to Kagami, watching the corridor.

The Commander still had a sense of responsibility after all. Not quite a slave to her libido. But Kagami had missed her chance.

She made another attempt to sleep, burrowing back down inside her spare coat, lying on her side so she could stare at Pira’s shoulders, daring her to turn around and see Kagami looking. She tucked her left arm against her chest, cradling it close. But the pain was getting worse — or was that just her imagination? Deep-tissue pulses crawled up her muscles; bone-ache settled into her wrist and elbow, chewing at marrow; the flesh of her fingers felt like it was peeling off. She wanted to scratch and bite and gnaw at her own flesh.

She sobbed; she couldn’t help it; she muffled the sound with her coat, tears soaked up by armoured fabric. The Seventeenth Daughter of the Moon did not weep — at least, not in front of surface dwellers, reanimated cannibals, and degenerate oversexed soldier-drones.

The pain climbed and climbed. Surely her flesh should be blackening and smoking? But when she looked, it was brown and pale and soft, just her own arm.

Her finger joints felt stiff and gritty; when she held them up to her ears she could hear them grinding inside, as if the cartilage was full of iron filings. She pressed her palm with her opposite thumb and had to bite her lips to stop from crying out; the bones felt sharper, harder, larger. An edged lump was growing beneath the heel of her hand, an aching tumour — of metal?

Silent tears running down her cheeks. Hand in her pocket, fumbling for one of her inactive, dead, power-drained drones. Grip it in her left hand. Harder. Squeeze.

Pira’s back, floating in the doorway. If she got in a fight with Pira, would her body suppress the pain?

Three times Kagami began to stir herself, with a half formed plan of thumping Pira on the back of the head, or burying her teeth in Pira’s scalp, or just standing up and screaming until the others bundled her to the floor.

But the pain did not go away. She had to mean it. Had to feel real danger. Real threat. Feel anything but pain.

By the time Pira’s watch ended, Kagami was lying on her side, vision blurred, arm twitching, drooling onto the floor.

Vicky appeared in the shadows of the doorway, to take over from Pira. Pira did not stick around to chat, not like Elpida had. She got up and returned to her spot. Vicky took the doorway. She slumped against the frame. She sighed into the corridor.

Shadows, unmoving, thick. Flesh, throbbing, burning, dying. Darkness, an undifferentiated soup of thought and pain and fragments of self, smeared across the ground like pink-grey fatty brains from a shattered skull. Vicky’s skin: dark and shiny with faint sweat, shaking slightly, in shadows. Vicky stood up and went over to the rations — brains! — wrapped in a stained t-shirt.

Naughty naughty, taking more than her share? Oh, no, actually, Vicky was a good girl, carefully measuring how much was still hers. Knife went — well, knife didn’t make any sound at all, not even a squelch. Brains were like that, Kagami had learned. Soft, pliable, easy to chew. Melt-in-the-mouth.

All zombies now!

Why must zombies feel pain? Why had her nanomachines not unplugged her nerves?

Vicky returned to the doorway and sat back down to resume her watch. Kagami moved only her eyeballs. She watched Vicky watching, and watched Vicky chewing, and swallowing, and smothering a soft retch. A hand shook, raised another piece of brain to a hungry, drooling, panting mouth. Another retch, the sound of a stomach, rejecting. Vicky hunched. Panting.

Kagami stood up. Clumsy and slow. Legs hurt — didn’t matter. Lips slack, drooling. Eyes ached. Left hand — still there? Still there. Felt like wire and ruined and flayed muscle.

Coat on shoulders. Auspex visor hanging loose around neck. Noose, around neck. Ha ha.

She shuffled over to the doorway.

Vicky turned and looked up, a dark face framed by darker shadows. “Kaga?” Her eyes went wide. Hands reached upward to catch. “Kaga, are you okay?”


Kagami slumped to her knees. She groped for Vicky’s shoulder, but couldn’t find it. Vicky steadied her; strong hands, firm hands. Warm and hard.

“Kaga, are you— h-holy shit, Kaga, you’re burning up. What—”

“Don’t,” Kagami hissed. “Don’t vomit.”

Vicky blinked. “What?”

“Vicky. Victoria. Is that— full name? Victoria. Really English. You’re not English though. NorAm, something. Canadian? All went NorAm in the end. You’ve got their spirit, fucking never give up, Leveller cunts. Never stop. You’re them, a hundred years too early.”

Kagami knew she was talking nonsense. Pain made it not matter.

Vicky’s throat bobbed. She glanced back at the others, still asleep. “Kaga, are you ill? What’s happening to—”

“Shhhhh. Shh-shh.” Kagami pressed a finger to Vicky’s lips. Greasy with brains. “No. No, Vicky, you’re the only one I can trust. You’re the only one without a head full of bullshit. Would have defected to your lot myself. Easy. Give me a NorAm sex commune, please. Don’t vomit.”

“I wasn’t—”

“You were!” Kagami hissed between her teeth. Spittle landed on Vicky’s cheeks. “You feel guilty about eating, huh? So do I! But you can’t vomit. Don’t you dare. You waste it, you’ll get weak. Make us easy pickings for Pira. If you vomit it up, that’s wasted nanomachines. Somebody will have to eat the sick, and it won’t be me. I’ll push your face in it and make you eat your own sick, you— you— you … ”

No more energy. Kagami let herself slump into Vicky’s grip. Cheek to cheek. Vicky’s skin was so soft, smooth and warm, like sun-kissed silk.

Kagami had not ever hugged another human being, not outside of sim-space. In simulations, hugs were perfect; bodies fit together like puzzle pieces, with notches for chins and elbows and hips, plush pillowy flesh like upholstery, muscles sculpted for her hands and head and belly to touch. But Vicky was hard-muscled and bony in all sorts of places Kagami did not expect. Her hands were clumsy and awkward. Her head got in the way. She reeked of sour sweat, dried blood, and fatty brain matter.

But Kagami stayed there for several hours.

Or two minutes?

Or ten seconds.

Eventually Vicky eased Kagami back and met her eyes. Vicky looked alarmed. Scaredy-cat. NorAm commune bitch. Or — or, pre-NorAm. Hard living bitch.

Vicky whispered: “Kaga, what the hell is wrong with you?”

Pain. Cell damage. Nerve signals all jammed up and backed up and fucked up. Kagami didn’t bother trying to answer, she just fumbled with her auspex gear — with her right hand, which was still working — and got the visor over her eyes. She fiddled with the controls, blinked a few times, and then looked down at her own left hand.

Glowing. Dark red, bright red, warning red all over. Nanomachine activity beyond maximum readout density; incompatible with biological life; seek shelter and don full-body NNBCIM suit; avoid, avoid, avoid.

Kagami laughed. “Stupid thing doesn’t know I’m a zombie.”

Vicky hissed: “Kaga, for fuck’s sake. Right, that’s it, I’m going to wake Elpi.”

“No,” Kagami grunted. “Wait.”

She refined the auspex settings, forcing the device to ignore raw nanomachine activity. That was difficult, the auspex didn’t want to do that; she had to override safety settings and dump readout information straight into the visor without processing, but—

There. Metal tracery in her fingertips, like blooms of fungal infection. Processor cores in her palm, woven into the tiny muscles, leeching blood and lymph away from tissues. And a nice thick data-cable running down her wrist and into her arm and shoulder — plastic and steel mated with nerve and bone. Her flesh ran wild with circuitry. The systems were embryonic and unfinished, but undeniably present.

Kagami almost vomited; she wanted to dig it all out with her fingernails, rip her flesh open and make it clean again. She pulled the auspex visor off and panted for breath.

“Kaga, what the fuck?”

She staggered to her feet and yanked on Vicky’s hand. “Come with her. With me, I mean. Me. Come on, Vicky.”

Vicky resisted. “What? Where? Kagami, I’m on watch. What—”

“I have to piss.” Lies, easy in pain-haze. “Gotta pee. Come watch me piss, NorAm pervert.”

Kagami dragged Vicky away from her post. She staggered and pulled until they reached the next room along the corridor — a sordid little office. One of the desks was covered in skull fragments and skin, bits of lip and ear and face. Elpida’s butchery.

Kagami let go of Vicky’s hand and faced her in the private darkness.

“I’ll show— show you what I’ve done,” she slurred. “But promise not to tell Elpida.”

Vicky gaped like a moron. But she was better than that, Kagami knew; Vicky was pre-republic, pre-NorAm stock. Her people had gone on to found the one state Kagami could never truly run rings around. She willed Vicky to trust her. Vicky moved as if to look over her shoulder, for help, but then she wet her lips and said: “Why? Kaga, what are you even talking about? What do you want me to keep from Elpi?”

“She’s with Pira. She’s been corrupted. Seduced. Or wanted to be! It’s the only explanation. I tried to warn her!”

“Kaga, slow down.”

“Pira is a traitor. T-r-a-i-t-o-r.” She spelled the word — then explained what she had observed about Pira’s behaviour, back during the ambush. “And Elpida — ‘Commander’ — is too stupid to see it. They fucked, earlier. They had sex. You must have figured that out! When they came back, covered in each other’s blood and—”

Vicky sighed loudly. She rubbed at her eyes. “They fought. They had a fight. It was immature and stupid, and I’m not impressed by it, but they didn’t have sex. Don’t be silly. As if they had time for that.”

“They did! They did! Look at them! And Pira’s a traitor!”

“To what? To a bunch of girls who came back to life together? I don’t think we constitute something coherent enough to betray.”


Vicky sighed again, but Kagami could see the cracks.

Kagami hissed, “She’s a traitor. Aligned with some cannibal ideology, or the skull-people, or fucking monster zombies out there in—”

“Kaga. Please.”

“We need to be ready for whatever happens when we reach that mech! If she doesn’t betray us — fine! But if she does, I want you with me. Vicky, please! I’ll show you what I’ve done. But promise — don’t tell. I won’t turn on Elpida, fine, yes. But I want you with me. If we need to. Promise me you won’t tell.”

Vicky nodded, slowly. “Okay. Show me.”

Kagami extracted one of the silvery drones from her coat pocket. She held it in her left hand — the pain was incredible, making her sweat and shake and shiver. But she held the drone up, flat and level.

She hadn’t thought this far ahead. Should she have specified that she needed a visual HUD for activation? Or would this all be instinctive, like flesh and enzymes?

Near field electrical charging and activation-imprinting was enough. She didn’t need the drone on permanent station, not yet. She just needed to prove that she could wake it.

She concentrated on that thought.

A hot pulse passed through her arm, into her hand, tingling on her fingertips. She suddenly felt light-headed. Her vision filled with star-burst brightness.

The silvery cigar-shape in her hand twitched — then lifted six inches off her palm. Silent. Steady. Still.

“Yes—” she panted. “There it— goes— mine!”

“Oh damn,” said Vicky. “It worked. You powered it up?”

“Ha— ah— y-yes, I—”

Kagami’s vision exploded with red.

A burst of boot-up code scrolling down the inside of her left eye: user registration and uplink protocol specification, energy-transfer normalisation and weapons-recognition IFF requests, spatial scanning feedback loops and pings for pairing with local swarm and satellite uplink and nano-fuel processing subroutines and standard guard operation timings and station-keeping orders and—

Kagami’s eyes and brain were not set up for this.

She crumpled, limbs going slack, eyes rolling back. The drone clattered to the floor as the pain blossomed like a supernova inside her head.

Izumi Kagami felt one final thing before the seizure took hold — Vicky’s arms, catching her, cradling her, stopping her from biting through her own tongue.

Defector at last. In the arms of the enemy.

If only they had been on Luna.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Oh Kagami. She’s such a mess. Such a glorious mess, a pampered princess missing her moon. At least we (kinda???) know how nanomachines can be used to change revenant biology now. Kind of. Unless she really did get it wrong? In other news, Kagami is incredibly fun to write, I cannot get enough of this twisted up sourpuss.

In other other news, a reader elsewhere has provoked yet another new tagline for Necroepilogos: CGDSUTT, or “Cute Girls Doing Small Unit Tactics Things”. I think I need to catalogue all of these and put them in the blurb somehow, along with “Infinite Fortnite with undead lesbians”, and a couple of others.

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

Patreon! Link! Woo!

Right now this only offers a single chapter ahead, about 5k 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 more importantly than any of that: thank you! Thank you for reading my little story. I’m delighted at all the readers who’ve been enjoying it so far. Until next week! More on the way soon!

6 thoughts on “astrum – 6.6

  1. Kagami is an interesting character and she would be my favorite if I didn’t think she might either be a problem or betray the group in some way.
    I hope she actually comes to trust the group or at the least Elpida.
    Thank you for the chapter.


    • You’re very welcome for the chapter, I’m delighted you enjoyed it!
      Kagami is so fun to write, so different than anybody else I’ve had as a POV before. Her bitterness and anger and paranoia is surprisingly compelling behind the scenes. I hope she trusts Elpida, too! I don’t yet know if she’ll get there.


  2. Well if that process is the normal way to self modify no wonder so many of the revenants are so batshit insane. You know for reasons other than the isolation, sense of displacement, constant danger… Alright on second thought maybe it’s more than just that. Regardless, thanks for the chapter!


    • You’re very welcome, glad you enjoyed the chapter!

      And yeah, no kidding. If this is how it happens, imagine how difficult it must be to grow entire limbs or change one’s body plan, or something like that. Unless, of course, Kagami is doing it wrong somehow.


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