Bog Cautella was out of cash. Moths barely got paid by Nanotrasen, thanks to the lack of a minimum wage for nonhuman employees, and he didn’t get the bare-minimum health insurance and coverage by Terragov for, once again, being nonhuman. This, plus countless other issues with being nonhuman all tended to compound to a very low salary he could take home at the end of each month. Not making money was obviously a problem - he had rent to pay, a monthly tithe to the grand fleet, and even his own personal enjoyment to take into account. So when he realized that taking a week or two off from the demanding shifts Nanotrasen was putting him through would bump him into the red, he knew he had to make money somehow.
What he didn’t know was why he decided to call Ewe Kant for suggestions. God, fuck, why. He knew it was a mistake calling her on his tablet, he knew it was a mistake while she was getting to his apartment, he knew it was a mistake when she showed up at his door with her dumbass smile.
He had gotten over the episode of her brainwashing him after a week of the cold shoulder, since in the end it really wasn’t anything particularly bad that she had done and it was just standard procedure for the occasional clone that nanotrasen supplied their stations to have been intercepted by syndicate agents. Her personality, her body, but just another of the oh-so-many disposable clones while the person he was speaking with right now had been in cryosleep - all part of Nanotrasen’s Employee Protection Plans. No chance at losing a valuable researcher if the people deployed to stations were clones of bodies kept in tubes back at centcom, after all.
But that was all said and done - Ewe was forgiven, even if he still bore the memories of his clone. The memories of him being utterly owned by Ewe Kant… He shuddered a bit when thinking about it. Bad times. But he invited her here today because for all the trouble she brought, she actually had a decently sharp mind. She could probably help him on his money issue.
After semi-reluctantly letting her in, Ewe immediately took her shoes off and made a beeline to his couch, flopping over on it contentedly. It wasn’t large enough for him to sit comfortably while keeping his personal space intact, and he didn’t trust her not to scooch up next to him if he decided to sit on the opposite side anyway, so he pulled up a chair to sit in.
“So Bog, you’re out of cash, and you’re out of luck as a mothperson for snagging up an extra job, huh?”
He nodded, glumly.
“Well, I’d tell you to use Nanotrasen’s on-the-job training to try and get a better-paying job than just ‘Assistant’, but that would take time and you don’t seem interested in that anyway - there’s always the possibility of a few odd gigs here and there but I really don’t think that you’d be able to manage the transport associated with a lot of them and keep your shifts on-station at a reasonable volume.”
“Yeah, I already know all of that. I brought you here to help me, not tell me I’m an idiot for not having useful and marketable skills that a megacorporation would want.”, he snapped back.
She stuck her tongue out at him, and continued: “So right now, your options seem to be either you pick up jobs on the station assisting people, cut back on personal expenditures, or have a great friend”, while pointing to herself and wiggling her eyebrows, “lend you some money in exchange for doing stupid shit I, er, they find funny.”
“Well, I’m not your fucking court jester, so I’ll go and fi-“
Ewe smiled at him, waiting for his realization to fully click.
“Shit, I said I’d be out until the end of the month.”
Ewe nodded, and waved her hand so as to say “so?”.
“I’m NOT your court jester.”, Bog repeated, but this time added “but I need the money.” in a smaller voice.
The corners of her mouth lifted her smile into a smirk.
He knew Ewe had the money to do this - she was, after all, a skilled medical doctor. When not treating patients on-station, she made quite the decent paycheck supplying organs, operating equipment, and other odds and ends for both centcom and other stations through cargo’s bounty and excess supply systems - a good shift for her left her at over 40 times what he made - enough to pay off basically all his bills for a month and more in one fell swoop. It’s just that she found teasing him to be highly enjoyable and somehow a good use of her time.
“So, I’ve got two great ideas for a fun use of our time: one, I can take you out shopping with me for lingerie - you can hold the ba-“
“Ok, definitely not that. Absolutely not. Fuck you. No.”, Bog said, with increasing force behind each statement, and then amended it with “Actually, do you even wear that shit?”
“No, I just think it’d be funny to watch you deal with holding the bag in a women’s lingerie store while everyone watches.”, Ewe responded.
“You wish, option two: you become a vtuber and have a few streams with this really cute model design a friend drew.”
“What the hell is a ‘vtuber’?”, Bog asked.
“Ok, so you know how streamers play a video game and have their face cam? Imagine that, except instead of a camera it’s a 3d model that’s designed to move where your face moves and express how your face expresses. And I’ve got just the model design for you!” Ewe said, while reaching into her backpack.
Ewe pulled out an image of a tanned, pink-haired catgirl, except she also had the buttery-beige wings and antennae of the standard mothperson. Bog stared on in horror at it as he struggled to comprehend the idea of a moth catgirl.
“Don’t worry, she’s also raised by lizardpeople - it’s really just all three major species bundled into one! I’m sure you’ll be really popular with this model!”, Ewe stated with a smile.
“But there’s more - she’s also a magical girl who streams, uh, whatever your favorite game is again.”
Bog Cautella was in a state of severe distress. He was hearing words he didn’t want to hear, seeing things he didn’t want to see, thinking thoughts he didn’t want to think, such as “maybe the first option was better”. Some part of his subconscious noticed his vision cone shrinking as black began to creep in from the sides of his sight, but what was currently taking up all of his conscious thought was the image before him. He couldn’t hear Ewe calling out his name or notice her hand waving back and forth in front of his face until she finally grabbed ahold of his shoulders and shook him while moving her face in front of the paper.
He lurched back, out of either shock or being too close to Ewe. She was staring at him, looking fairly concerned.
“Hello? Are you alright? It’s hard for me to tell with compound eyes if you’ve got some sort of shock - no pupils to dilate. If you’re not ok please tell me.“, she stated, before continuing with, “If it’s really too much for you I can always think of something else, I didn’t know you’d have this sort of reaction - I didn’t mean to tease you so hard.”, she finished in a softer tone.
He blinked a few times, shook his head a bit, and refocused.
“I’m fine, and I’m not about to accept charity either. I was just a little surprised, that’s all. I’ll stream Earth City 13 or something.”
He was referring to the relatively unknown game about life on a city in old earth - a fairly enjoyable roleplaying game simulating life 500 years ago, before even the first solar colonies came about. Ewe knew about it by nature of being one of Bog’s friends, but didn’t really know enough about it to really state whether it’d be a good game to stream or not.
Then again, that was kind of irrelevant - all she wanted out of it was a bit of fun watching him try to play as a magical girl character, not particularly good viewer counts. Watching the moth squirm a bit might be called “sadistic”, but his reactions were funny, so as long as he wasn’t getting hurt she considered it fine.
“So how do I even do this? This is an image on a piece of holopaper, not a 3d model.”
“Don’t worry about that part, there’s AI tech that turns an image drawn with any amount of shading into a decent 3d model on it’s own - I’ve got a scanned copy and model for it already. I’ve also brought over a decent camera and microphone with me, gimme a second to set em up.”
“Did you literally come here expecting me to say sure to this?”. Bog was a little suspicious of how prepared Ewe was.
“Remember option one? I was pretty certain you’d say no to that, so I came prepared for option two.”
Bog remembered option one. He did not enjoy the permanent mental scars that the proximity of the words “Ewe Kant” and “lingerie” had left on his brain.
“Yeah, ok, that makes sense.”
Ewe Kant flashed a smile at him and got up from the couch and asked him to lead her over to his, as she called it, “gamer lair”.
They wandered over to his bedroom - Bog flipped open his laptop as Ewe looked around the place for a bit.
“Wow, Bog, you’ve got a hot chick in your bedroom and you couldn’t even be bothered to clean it up? Really shows how much you care.”, Ewe said with a fake pout.
“Yep, you’ve got it, I don’t care, stay mad.”
She put a hand on her chest and opened her mouth in an expression of mock offense. Bog rolled his eyes - he’d played the same song and dance with her before so many times that it barely got to him at this point.
Ewe walked up to the laptop and connected the camera and microphone wirelessly, and transferred an app from her phone to the laptop after a few taps on both.
“Alrighty, I’ll get a few checks done first and then we can begin your fortuitous streaming career! Let me just pull up a chair first so I don’t have to keep standing.”
After finding a suitable place to sit, Ewe opened the application that she transferred. Bog saw two panels open up - one showed the camera’s vision and one was a blank grey background.
After a bit of turning his head and making various expressions as Ewe instructed him, he saw dots begin to align and connect over his face. Ewe explained that it was simply making a map of his face to model - and then she opened up a file through the program, filling the grey panel with that odd felinid/mothwoman.
Bog made the mistake of leaning in for a better look, only to have “her” lean in to stare at him back. He moved away slightly scrunching up his expression with a bit of shock, and saw her make the same action.
It was weird for the first few moments but if he just imagined looking in a mirror it wasn’t that bad. It’s not like it was actually someone else looking back at him, just himself in a… costume. Sure. He’d go with that. A weird catgirl with moth wings and apparently a lizard name and lisp.
Bog felt a pout boring into his back. Well, he mainly saw it on the video panel, but he definitely felt it too. He turned around and looked at Ewe inquisitively.
“Kinda disappointed you got used to it so fast.”
“Yeah, well, I’m used to you, so I think I’m fine with a simulated image of my actions on this… weird creature.”
Ewe grumbled, crossed her arms, and jutted her lip out a bit.
“Oh well, sucks for me I guess. Let’s get your stream set up now, though.”, she said, scooching her chair forward to get at the keyboard.
Bog reflexively pushed her away a bit. Her pout turned into a smirk, but she said nothing as she navigated to a streaming site.
After a couple minutes of setting up some screen capture and configuring a template for his stream to run on, his setup was deemed “ready to go”. Either the process was streamlined or Ewe had practice doing this, because it really didn’t take as long as he expected. But that was a question for another day.
Booting up his favorite server, Cibell, Bog cracked his knuckles and got ready for another good round of doing “terran human” things, like paying taxes and gazing hopefully at the moon. Or at least, that’s what he was told old earth humans did around this time period.
Ewe gave him a shove on the shoulder.
He looked back at her, confused, only for her to gesture towards the camera and say “remember to say hi to all your viewers”, with a wink.
“I don’t have any viewers, what are you talking about?”
“Look, you’ve got three viewers - see that eye icon?”
“Ok, listen, I said I’d do this but I didn’t say I’d do it well. You can’t force me to act like a magical girl too.”
Ewe made an exaggerated sigh.
“Here I thought you said you wouldn’t be accepting charity or making me go easy on you, such a shame.”
Ewe looked at him expectantly.
“Ok, fine, I’ll do it, goddamn.”
Bog looked into the camera, made a little wave, and said “Heya everyone, I’m magical girl yells-at-lampssss.”, with the lisp added as something of an afterthought. He looked back at Ewe to see her beaming, giving him a big thumbs up.
It felt odd, but it was manageable at the least. All he had to do was finish one round. It wasn’t that hard, and Ewe’d probably just make him do the minumum anyway. In terms of things she was known to do, this certainly wasn’t on the worse end.
Unfortunately, he was shaken out of his confidence when a computer-generated voice announced that “kanthelp”, his stream moderator, had donated 50 credits with the message of “Boggers?? Bogchamp??? Bogchamps in the chat hello?? Streamer say my name please????”.
Despair. He looked in the chatbar that was scrolling on the side of his screen and saw kanthelp and doublywubli spamming what looked like a cartoon-like variant of his face, looking towards the side and making an o with its lips.
This would not be a good streaming experience.
“Remember to read out your donations!” Ewe reminded him.
“Thank you kanthel-“, he started, before she pushed his shoulder again.
“C’mon, put more effort into it!”
“Thanks, kanthelp for yo-“
“Put your back into it! Remember to stress your lisp and magical girl attitude!”
“Thankssss, Kanthelp!~ I really appreciate the donation! Boggersss in the chat!!”
He wanted to go back to worrying about rent.
Thankfully, outside of a few particularly painful moments during the stream, the worst being where she made him wink and flash peace signs at the camera, claiming that it was for Jill’s benefit, it had mostly been smooth sailing. There had been a maximum of five people on the stream during the entirety of its course, and for better or for worse it was mainly the people who had already been exposed to Ewe’s particular brand of making a fool out of him. Nobody new to worry about, but it wasn’t like he wasn’t going to be free of any teasing when he returned to the station.
After a solid hour and a half, the day was coming to a close. He packed up from his workplace as accountant (his job of choice) and headed to the bus stop for the day to end and the round to finish.
Ewe was looking at her phone, tapping away at whatever was on there. It meant she wasn’t focusing on making sure he acted like a “Real Magical Girl”, but it also meant that she was probably organizing video clips of him streaming.
She looked up at him, catching him taking a glance back at her. She winked and gave another thumbs up, before stating that he should remember to give the stream a good sendoff. At last, his personal hell (even if it wasn’t actually hell it was pretty bad and he felt justified in calling it that) would be over. He could stop worrying about bills and start worrying about what Ewe would be saying for the next week before she got bored of this particular instance.
“Well, that’sss it for today folksss, sssee you all neksst time!”.
As soon as Ewe stopped the stream Bog sighed.
“Absolutely. How much did you need this month anyway?”
“Around six grand.”
“Apartment’s pretty cheap for what it is, huh?”
“No, I’m just talking about how much I needed extra.”, he said with his voice trailing off as he saw Ewe take out her checkbook.
“Here, because I’m nice to my friends~.”
Ewe had signed him a check for nine thousand, nine hundred, and fifty credits.
Seeing that he was a little confused about the exact amount, she explained that she had already given fifty credits as a donation during the stream. His antennae drooped a bit in disappointment over that early stream donation, but his mood was still very good after getting what would probably be used in helping him pay off next month’s bills, or set aside as some form of rainy-day fund.
As Ewe finished packing up her equipment and went to get her shoes on to leave, she turned around and looked at him again.
“What did you mean by next time?”
She wiggled her eyebrows.
“So when can I expect the next stream?”
“Never, I said it because you wanted me in character. Go.”
He started to try and push her out the doorway of the apartment, while she was doing her best to keep her hands inside the doorframe.
“Cmon Bogchamp, I’m sure the next stream will have even more viewers! Jill and I loved it! It’ll be great!”
Bog finished prying her fingers off the corners of the door and moved on to leaning against the door while trying to tune out her voice coming through it.
“Awww, maybe another time then~” she said, giving up on her last attempt to get a reaction out of him.
Finally, some peace and quiet. Ewe was out of his apartment, and he could focus on relaxing and trying to mentally barricade the memories of streaming away.
He made himself some tea and soaked some cheesecloth in it before going down to sit on his couch with his drink and snack.
Ignoring the fact that his couch now smelled like someone else, he picked up his phone and decided to browse aimlessly.
Noticing that he had gotten a few new messages on NTNet, he opened the app to see that Jill DeSouza had sent him eight new messages. A couple warning signs went off in his head, but he clicked on her icon to see them.
They were all clips of him streaming.
- Poor Bog, bullied to fuck by Ewe Kant once again, it’ll happen again, not a threat but a promise
- Jill DeSouza/Wubli actually drew the model I mention in here, available at https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/390728717682606081/856466701856145408/whatever_the_fuck_ill_dra_now.png, you can probably copy-paste this, Yells-At-Lamps is the top left image.
- Next book will once again feature Bog Cautella and Ewe Kant except there’ll be more people and it won’t be as focused on Ewe making as many jokes as possible at bog’s expense in order to mock him it’s actually very difficult for me to skirt the fine line between “I think this is very funny to get a reaction from people” and “this sounds too similar to fuckin nagatoro idfk” and that’s CRINGE and I’m not cringe
- once again for clarification adult content never despite what certain discord users may request
- Moth catgirl.