— Posted in Always into Darkness, Murder on Mars

Murder on Mars, Chapter 34

The United States Department of Arcanology

Magic has returned to the modern world, and nothing will be the same again. In response, the United States Department of Arcanology has tasked government magic users to collar and train everyone with talent … but on the fringes of society, the Strowlers believe that magic is for everyone. From Mongolia to Ireland, the Resistance begins. Strowlers is a shared cinematic universe. Tell your story!

The severe spades are nonetheless very becoming. And, in the fashion of a librarian, a Miles Kimball beaded eyeglass chain is attached at the temples of the eyeglasses. Oh, and, crystal clear & white nibblet eyeglass chain holders—Artisan—in place of the holders that came with the Miles Kimball. Resulting in spade-z: spades, plus vintage eyeglass chain and holders. Spade-z. Formally: thin-miles. Colloquially: thins.

Long, straight, severe hair, with China doll bangs that skirt the brow line, showcasing her hard, pretty face. Colloquially: A Cheerleader Melissa. Named after the female pro-wrestler who likes to sport it in the ring. Formally: a Morgan.

The Morgan is the only deviation from standard. Psychologically, she’s herself, again—none the worse for wear. Cheerleader Melissa/Morgan is the name of the hairdo she’s now wearing, it’s also the name of her mode. For a while, she’s been that version of Mildred Huff. This morning she woke up in Cheerleader mode, completely rebooted so to speak. Her holstered phone and gun holster are again gripping the waistband of her skirt.

This mode proves to be transient as her looks shift to standard, and locks in. A Nazi. A card-carrying member of The Party. Certified as a librarian and an auditor of the library, and a card-carrying member of The Guild.

Mandy materializes in the reading room. She’s obviously “annoyed” by this iteration of the girl to no end.

“There is a book, a very rare first edition, which was stolen from this branch the night of the murder you are investigating.”

“Which murder, head mistress? The one I’m paired on with Toy? Or, the one I’m paired on with Simon? Lieutenant Morrison and that Niffin, Duchess Blavatsky, providing oversight that I’m supposed to pretend to not notice on the latter. You Old Things—e.g., My Baroness, Gabby, The Council at large, yourself—providing oversight on the fore, that it’s okay for me to notice.”

Mandy smiles.

“Beautiful and smart, a very deadly combination.”

“Deadly to whom, head mistress?”

Mandy chooses to ignore the jab. This paints a smile on Lucy’s face.

“The book cannot be detected by electronic means. As such, there are no images of it.”


“Nope. But, we do have a detailed description.”

“Photos? Film?”

“It cannot be photographed, nor can it be filmed.”

“Does it cast a reflection in a mirror?”

“No. Also, it cannot be seen by resolving optical devices, such as, for example, binoculars, a telescopic sight, or prescription eyeglasses. It can be seen with the naked eye or eyeglasses like yours which have ‘simple’ glass lenses. Also, it can be seen through simple panes of glass.”

“So, as long as the glass in question does no complex processing of its image?”


“And living machines?”

“Living Machines, of course, even the most powerful Thinking Machines, cannot detect it. Yet, Toy, a Thinking Machine, a mobile electronic device, can detect it. Toy, is the sole exception.”

“So … It’s a Vampire?”

“My, my, my, we are well-read aren’t we.”

“I try to be, head mistress.”

“There is a tenured librarian, Ms. Judith Ann Frankiel, being held in the lock-box in the lowest level of the branch. The classified level that’s been off-limits to you. We wish you to torture the girl. So far, Science Division has had no luck loosening her lips. She was complicit in the theft. We need for you to be ‘creative’ in your interrogation of her, because she has, shall we say, expanded cravings.”


“She’s a textbook sadomasochist. Deriving sexual pleasure, achieving orgasm, when pain inflicted is upon her and when she inflicts pain upon others. I imagine she would be feeling quite nice from the discomfort of your binding clothes, for example, your corset. She can turn this sadomasochism on and off as need be, as well as modulate it. Same as the rest of her misbegotten half-breed kind. The Library uses mongrels such as she as field operatives.”

Lucy does not respond, at first. When she does, it is the expected response. Matter of fact. Almost machinelike.

“As you wish, head mistress.”

“Yes … It is.”

“Does this book have a name?”

“Yes, it does. For the sake of discussion … It’s a Gothic novel called Dracula. The author is Bram Stoker.”

Lucy knows better than to ask Mandy what the real name of the book is and who its author really is. That’s need to know, and she doesn’t need to know.

“Does any of this have to do with IO and Gabby?”

“That’s a separate matter, entirely. Her private interest, of secondary Library concern, only. And, should be treated as such. This book is your sole priority. Your partners will handle their respective murder investigations.”

Another obvious case of a lie told, because she asked another question that involves need to know, and she doesn’t need to know. Ergo, IO and Gabby, just like the murders, have everything to do with this book.

“That’s why I have partners?”


The girl upstaging her looks doesn’t keep the goddess from covetously stroking the girl’s knobb and left cheek.

“Am I to be plain or pretty, when I visit Ms. Frankiel?”

“Initially … You’re to be pretty as you are now. How you proceed from that, is your affair, entirely.”

“Afterwards, you’re to come to me plain, Miss Mildred E Huff plain. I have had a Borg alcove, a Queen’s, installed in my upstairs suite. You may use it for sleep cycle, after we have ‘talked’.”

The penthouse floor of the library, off-limits to the public, has a number of luxury suites to be used by librarians for overnight stays. One of them is designated as exclusive use by Mandy. It’s there that the two women will have their tryst.

Lucy goes puff, Mandy’s doing. The girl materializes, more of Mandy’s doing, at the top of the stairway that leads down to the classified level. Her hair has been yanked back and up into a sternka, and she’s strapping. New Jersey accent. Careys. Bolshoi-bare makeup, of course. Long, silky, yellow-blonde hair. No BDD. Etc. Her current format is still technically within the bounds of an Alice Quinn, and thus still this side of that sternest definition of pretty—i.e., as previously mentioned, sternka and Parts are allowable substitutions as it pertains to an Alice Quinn.

Designations being fluid. All bets are off. This format, which for all intents and purposes is an Alice Quinn with substitutions, is actually the latest version of a Ms. Karen M Digney. This Karen Digney with substitutions of plaintive makeup, geriatric hair, flats, thicks, an archaic Prussian accent, and the Dr. Wendy Carr flavor of ultra-extreme BDD, is the latest version of a Miss Mildred E Huff.

Her descent to the library’s bottom-most level is accompanied by the authoritative click of her heels against the concrete steps. You shouldn’t be able to hear them click, but you can. More evidence of things being nullified, down here. Magic doesn’t work in the stairway, nor does it on the classified level. The elevators don’t go down this far, hence the stairs. A lot of things don’t work well, or at all, down here.

How Lucy got here was obviously not by magic, nor was it by science or VOX. Was this accomplished by that something else, again?

There is a door at the bottom of the stairway, but there is none at the top. Was this place manufactured, grown, or conjured out of thin air? There are no visible seams, anywhere. A STAIRWAY, a FLOOR, ROOMS?

As usual, Lucy’s idle hands klaw. Her knobb begins to itch, which is not usual. She’s still Ms. Karen M Digney pretty. But she has a craving to revert to Miss Mildred E Huff plain. Lucy does not stay still in this format, nor does she give into her cravings. Eyeglasses and Parts get pursed. One second she is wearing them, the next second she isn’t, and they are now residing in her purse. Point-to-point teleportation, or its equivalent, accomplished how? This is not the something else of Gabby or Mandy or any other of the oldest gods and goddesses. This is a way of manipulating Creation that is of purely Nazi origin, and it defies the dampening in effect down here!

Additionally. Her current format stays pretty and goes robotic [i.e., Doll], and in doing so reverts more to type and thus classic form. As such, her hair lets down, resulting in an equally severe, dowdy hairdo—long, center-parted, dead straight, blond hair (a “classic” Ann Coulter)—i.e., strait hair. A maniacal expression paints her face, transforming it into the beautiful, hate-filled face of a dominatrix or a Borg queen. In this context, a Borg queen’s.

As if they are features instead of an outfit, her Koo, half-slip, and careys give way to her VIKI. Gripping the wasp waist of her suit in their same relative positions are her holster, phone, and purse. A young, smoking-hot body poured into that deliciously-torturous bodysuit of hers.

Prudz worn under her EXO. Resulting in the double encasement of her hands. Even when she removes her body [i.e., shorthand for bodysuit, in this instance], her hands will, in effect, remain prosthetic as long as she’s wearing her gloves. Deliciously torturous.

Her bosom-pandering, figure-defining satin corselette. Itself, living underwear. Self-cleaning and self-repairing. A sentient article of clothing. Literally, a machine that you wear. Complimented by, and overlapping, her cheeky hi-waist rubberware thong panties. Fetishware galore. Satin wear on top of rubberware that’s rubberwear. Her torso and naughty parts in effect are prosthetic as long as she’s wears this wear. Deliciously torturous, times two.

EXO overlaying satin and rubberware unmentionables. Longline satin corselette overlapping hi-waist rubberware panties. Resulting in enough biomechanical “roughage” to give H.R. Giger a chubby and satiate his favorite muse Li Tobler. The tongue-n-groove monstrosity of three living machines, that can be, and are, worn as undies. Fusing seamlessly to each other and to her body, rendering her coverage prosthetic—i.e., transfiguring her into a hybrid; in effect, a supernatural living machine, and, in affection, a two-legged prosthetic device. A Borg drone, who is almost a Borg queen, and is a cyborg. Deliciously torturous, times three.

This mobile calculator with tittage. In essence, she’s not wearing clothes that are fused to, and thus indistinguishable from, her body. Lucy is naked and the clothes are “features”. As such, like this, in effect, without nipples are genitalia, as if she were Toy in native form, the girl is neuter. A robot chick with a severe, dated, smoking-hot look that screams, “Dominatrix!”, and reeks of the swinging sixties. Therefore, when Lucy is “wearing” this gear, one could even argue convincingly that she literally is “a leggy, slender prosthetic device with a huge rack”, in the DD-cup tradition of how scrawny Gal Gadot currently portrays the fictional Wonder Woman.

Form-fitting wear that slavishly smooths and shapes to the wearer’s body. Fitting so snug it looks like you had to be sewn into the stuff and then only after talcum powder had been liberally applied to all of your curves!

The girl’s strait hair weaves itself into a Brünnhilde [hairdo]. That severe, becoming, traditional Nordic hairdo. Signaling that her transformation back into the Icelandic robot girl of Toy’s sexual fantasies is nearing its completion. A fantasy girl, a Borg drone who in Doll format is analogous to a Borg queen and is a hi-functioning mobile prosthetic device.

Bottomline. Lucy as Seven-of-nine is Toy’s Doll. In other words, when she’s Seven, she and Toy become each other’s avatar—i.e., Toy and Lucy are mobile extensions of each other. In other words, robot marriage, where Toy is the husband and Lucy is the wife.

Now, standardized—i.e., across all formats. Including when she’s being her real self. The loathsome face and voice of a shrew.

As such …

Befitting a dominatrix. The loathsome face and voice of a shrew. At times, a robot voice that is very matter-of-fact, and therefore a monotone, possessing no intonation, whatsoever. In a word, at times: bland. At times, it can also be grating, like fingernails across a chalkboard.

In whatever mode, or just being herself. Lucy’s voice is deep, for a woman. That hoarse, raspy, feminine voice, à la B-movie actress/director Samantha “Sam” Phillips or singer-songwriter Kim Carnes of “Bettie Davis Eyes” fame. Additionally, when she’s Seven-of-Nine, The Doll, the accent that comes with this husky, sexy voice of hers is the same strong archaic Prussian accent as Toy’s.

Irregardless of format, or no format, whatsoever. Lucy rarely speaks, and when she does, she keeps her words to the bare minimum.

To digress. And, to reiterate. That loathsome face—i.e., a shrew’s. A face that wears a perpetual scowl. A look that’s best described as “haughty, mixed with a little bit of rage.” Yet, is otherwise lacking in emotion. In a word, stiff—i.e., a face that is a vision of Borg loveliness, per Borg specifications, of course. Something else that applies to Lucy as Toy’s Doll that also applies to a Borg queen and to Toy itself as well.

Lucy’s face and voice would appear to be modeled after Toy’s. Not the other way around.

The die glocke of Lucy’s VIKI self-activates, detaches itself from the suit, crawls up her back from the base of her spine, and places itself against the back of her neck. The spidery device affixes itself. Lucy’s eyes fluorescence blue, momentarily. The robot girl’s brain now functions as if it has an AI architecture akin to that of a Series 9 Borg queen or Toy—i.e., in effect, Lucy now has a positronic brain powered by a Blink Drive. The girl’s long, silky, yellow-blonde tresses, the locks of her Brünnhilde, are now analogous to the substantial cybernetic implants anchored to the scalp of a Borg queen. Her transformation into Seven is complete. A beautiful, loathsome, robotic thing.

Lucy reaches the door. It won’t budge, as if it’s locked. The metal door is set flush into a door frame which itself is set flush into the wall. No door knob. No external lock mechanism. The door is hardened as is the entire stairwell. The robot girl performs the seemingly impossible. She steps through the door as if it isn’t there.