when in need of a pet, splurge on the best!
The Queen is in need of a pet. Not a cat, or a dog, or a fish, but something that will provide her with a service she can’t get any other way. She needs a monster under her command, and she knows just who to ask to get one.
“Harken, summon the Witch.”
A timid-looking man stumbles to the side of her throne, “Do you mean the potion maker that lives over—” He stopped, silent, at the piercing gaze of his ruler. There would be no avoiding requesting the presence of a magic user far too powerful for him to be comfortable with, “Yes, my Queen, right away.”
A few minutes passed as the Queen idly sat on her granite throne. She contemplated what kind of creature she would request of the Witch, and what would best serve her malicious interests. She thought about all the horrible things she could do with an obedient and powerful monster by her side, and how much fun she could have while doing them.
Her aide returned, bringing with him not the witch she was hoping for, but a guard carrying a large burlap sack.
“What is this, Harken? I told you to bring me the Witch. Do I need to teach you a lesson?”
“I-I know, my Queen, but the summoning circle only returned this,” He gestured to the sack, “Along with a note…” He skims it, “It says that the item within is all you will need, and she said to set it up at a specific time in a specific place, and it will ‘give you the pet you desire’,”
The Queen grinned.
Janine reluctantly rose out of bed, put on the bare minimum clothing she needed whilst at home, and hopped onto her computer. To her surprise, the moment she sat down she received a message.
“Hi Janine! I need someone to help me with something a friend asked me to do, and I think you’re the perfect candidate for the job!”
“Oh, uh, hi Anna! What kind of job are you talking about?” She rubbed her eyes, still too groggy to really focus.
“Just this and that, helping out a friend with some problems she’s been having. She’s pretty fun to be around, so I’m sure you’d enjoy it! What do you say?”
Janine thought about it for a few moments before replying, “Sure, why not?”
The moment her finger pressed the enter key, her computer, desk, chair, and the room around her, blinked out of existence. She fell back onto her ass as the seat was whisked away beneath her, and was left lying on her back in a completely alien location to her.
She was in a forest. The ground around her was covered in brown leaves, enough so that it softened her fall to the point of comfort. Above her was a canopy of leaves, and above that still was a sky, one that was definitely not hers. Wherever she suddenly found herself, it was currently noon, and a cold sun was high above her.
“What the hell? Oh no, what did I get myself into…”
She got up off the forest floor and shook off the many dead leaves that clung to what little clothing she wore. She was really starting to regret not coming more prepared for this, uh, sudden unexplained teleportation. For now, she had to resort to hugging herself tight and shivering in the coldness of the late autumn woods. After a few minutes of wandering around barefoot, she managed to find a dirt path. It looked much more pleasant to walk on than going barefoot in a forest, so she followed it.
She noticed that there were no birds singing, or any other sounds of nature she might expect, but the eerie silence was broken by the loud sound of a twig snapping nearby. She looked around, and only saw a shadow move for a moment before it disappeared behind a tree-trunk.
This thoroughly encouraged her to keep moving. She followed down the dirt path at a faster pace, not even daring to look behind her in fear of what she might see. Before too long, curiosity got the better of her, and she turned her head as she ran, which was the last thing she did before stumbling straight into a trap.
A large net flew up all around her, lifted by previously-hidden ropes that were being pulled upwards into the tree above. Janine immediately lost her footing, and found herself suspended two metres off the path. She attempted to squirm, but quickly realised there was no chance of escaping the rope netting that had caught her.
Within moments, a platoon of heavily armoured guards surrounded her, all previously hiding behind tree-trunks, possibly with the help of illusory magics. They all looked thoroughly decorated, and a very royal figure stepping forwards before her confirmed her beliefs; This was some kind of royal guard.
With a few dozen pikes and swords all pointed at her, she could only think of one option to go for.
“Uhh, I surrender?”
The Queen looked over at the suspended captive, finding herself pleased with the prey that the Witch had sent her. As per her instructions, she found the device affixed to the netting that the Witch had described, a large square thing with a round dial on it, connected to the netting where two ropes crossed. She reached up to grip it, and began to turn the dial. It clicked many times as she wound it up, the force needed to turn it increasing as it reached 90 degrees. Once it reached its fully wound position, she let go, and the device began to tick.
The moment the device was activated, a large web of translucent green goo shot out at every angle, and wrapped itself around the netting. Immediately, it and its captive were coated in the goop, and the girl trapped within began to squirm far more vigorously than before.
The Queen stepped back behind her line of guards and watched as the device did its job, still ticking down even as its victim squirmed and moaned within. It was clear from the outline alone that the job of the rope net was already taken over by the goo itself, and after a few moments the wriggling ball of sickly green mass dropped to the floor.
Her guards were understandably nervous, as not even the Queen knew what would be the results of the transformation. All pikes were pointed down at the blob as it continued to squirm, but now the nature of the squirming seemed different. No longer did it look like something with four limbs was wiggling inside something tight, it now looked more amorphous as it pulsated and reformed. The Queen hoped for a second that the Witch hadn’t just given her a boring old slime to work with, but her fears were alleviated as once again a different kind of squirming took place, and it was now obvious that something with a very long tail was attempting to wriggle out of its tight confinements. She could catch glimpses of the odd device as the ball of goop squirmed, and saw that the process was very nearly due for completion.
The goop tightened down around on the entrapped figure, pressing down to its outlines inside the mass and almost shrink-wrapping down onto the victim within. The amorphous shape slowly gained clarity, starting at the head of the creature inside. It was no longer human in shape, and had a large thick snout on the front that, as more details formed, looked like a slender cross between a human’s face and something more reptilian in nature. A thick layer of shiny goo on its surface still prevented its features from being seen, however.
The vacuum-bed effect of the goo progressed down to the shoulders of the creature, and suddenly it was obvious that it possessed no arms in the slightest. Only a pair of shoulder stumps on either side of its neck remained.
As the goo continued down the creature’s body, it was clear that all the humanoid features to come were already complete, and the further down the body the goo squeezed down on, the more obvious it was that the rest of the considerable mass inside the goo would be one exceedingly long snake tail. As time went on, all of the remaining goo membrane tightened and shrank down onto the rest of the creature, and it was now as clear as day that the thing in the sack was a Naga.
To the Queen’s surprise, the sack wasn’t about to split open, or slide apart in any way. Instead, it only tightened more, forming a clear scaled pattern all over its body, including the face, that was now forming. The creature opened its mouth wide as it gasped, once again able to breathe in its new form. Sharp fangs lined its mouth, with four prominent ones folding out of its jaw into massive venomous fangs that could trivially pierce a man’s heart. It’s eyes formed in the surface of the goo, opening to reveal shining golden pupils partitioned with menacing slits that barely dilated in the bright sunlight.
The creature was now looking around itself, clearly panicked as it tried its best to hide away in the middle of the circle of guards. It hissed at a guard that got close, and shot out its long forked tongue at them. It seemingly only realised that it had no arms in this moment, and looked down frightened at its two shoulder stumps. It made more hissing sounds as it tried to talk or cry, but quickly found that it was no longer capable of either. It coiled itself defensively on the floor, and away from its attackers.
“Wait, My Queen, I can’t let you go in there!”
She paid no attention to her general as she stepped forwards into the circle, the naga coiling away from her as she did so. Sitting in the dirt was the device from before, now detached from any ropes or goo. She remembered the last piece of advice the Witch had given her, and once again turned the dial. It didn’t offer any resistance of being wound this time, and simply rested on any position she left it on. The Queen experimented a bit, watching the naga as she slowly turned the dial. It’s eyes dilated, and it got visibly more relaxed, and soon the creature wasn’t afraid of her at all. She finished turning the dial, and locked it at its right-most position.
The naga slithered forward to her, holding itself below her height even though it could easily tower over her. Her guards were as alarmed as ever.
“But my Queen!—” Her general protested.
The guards around her lowered their weapons and stood back, the naga before her motionless as they did so.
“Bow before me, pet.”
The naga lowered itself to the floor in front of her, and she pulled out a large collar and leash as it did so.
It raised its head, and saw the collar. It sat still, the only motions it made being the occasional flick of its forked tongue, and small movements of its tail as it balanced itself upright. The Queen clipped the collar around its neck, the enchanted metal welding itself together and leaving no seam. Following that, she attached a leash to the front-most hook of the naga’s permanent collar.
“You belong to me now, and you are going to be ever so helpful…”
The Queen tugged at her naga’s leash, and it obediently slithered behind her as she and her guards returned to their castle. She handed the obedience-controlling device to her general, with a single command: