Kayla: Enemy Tomorrow
In the 28th century, the technology of rejuvenation allows for immortality. This device is also used for sentencing as well. A penitatas; a criminal that is sent back to childhood to live a highly strict and disciplined life to start anew. (Story Thirty-Eight)
Concept by Lurking Dragon
Kayla and story by Professor Bob
More Kayla Stuff!: www.Professor-Bob.net
Rubbing her right paw's thumb into her left palm, Kayla stared down at the defenseless, fleshy tools. Left paw cradled by the right's fingers, she rubbed into it slowly, rolling her thumb around in circles as if to massage out a deep, taunting pain. After her rough ordeal and most horrendous session of penitatas discipline to date, it was hard to ignore the phantom pain in her small, fox-like hands, even after the nano-lotion had long since done it's work. It was going to be something difficult to forget, even if she was thankful she could sit down at her desk that morning without screaming. Her legs were still sore from being in the corner her second day of punishment, though more faded after another night's sleep as they dangled with their toes almost touching the floor. Basking in her newly re-aquainted freedom had been a little less then stellar. Sure Emily had been kind to her the entire day, and even today, as she prepared for the gathering they had been invited to, but that wasn't the point. Face staring down at her desk and orange furred paws, she looked as glum and sullen as ever, faced with the tasks and thoughts laid before herself. There was Ninne, the drakeling penitatas that had been her comrade and 'partner' for almost two years, that had tossed her aside like garbage and trounced what had remained of their relationship. Honestly, Kayla couldn't find it in her to forgive Ninne, based on how many times she had been betrayed by the Drakonian. Once she had been fooled twice, the shame had been on her, as the Aspatrian knew the Earth saying to go. In her current state of wishing the world to go back to the way it was before, letting go of Ninne was still hard. Kayla contined to lose things, and it felt like an inner cry for peace and normality to grab a hold of what she could and not let go. Then of course there were her parents, her friends, the community; all which had their eyes on Kayla at some point recently, if not for her kidnapping, but for her exploits performed upon Deltastar. All she could imagine were sneers, whispers, and silent hatred. Releasing her paws from their act of self-nursing, Kayla reached over and lifted her pink datapad from her desk to look into it's screen. This gift was the only thing she had left of the hobby and abilities she held dear, now that she had been forbidden to use the family computer console. Already, her translucent blue memory chips were shoved into the back of her desk drawer, as her childrens datapad was incapable of running anything she had designed. It's basic structure and operating system made it nearly impossible to perform any piece of her past-time, finding it's power and capabilities to be severely lacking. Didn't even have the tools needed to even compile a program for starters, much less have a place where she could write one. Was still a mission to make the new toy 'her own', sort of speak.
"Kayla, are you ready? It's time to get going", Emily spoke from behind her daughter, standing in only the doorway. She had finished getting ready, and was still speaking in a softer tone then usual. Didn't take much to see the Aspatrian was miserable and troubled, and the hopes that this gathering was going to benefit her daughter were quickly fading. Still, Emily didn't know what else to do besides try. Quietly, Kayla had set her datapad down and turned it off with a keystroke, slipping herself out of her chair with a slide on the seat of her new jeans. She knew the only reason she wasn't wearing a dress for the occasion was due to recent events, but Kayla embraced her casual attire and followed along without complaint. Getting no verbal responce from her girl, Emily decided to throw a question in as the fox approached her to head out of her room.
"Think you'll have an okay day?", was what she was able to think up on such short notice, curious to Kayla's own views. Normally the child-like side of Kayla's mind would be quick to protest and whine about certain things, but being this quiet and un-social was making communication a touch more difficult. Kayla turned her head up, still not looking very happy, even if she seemed to provide a sense that she did have some energy in her somewhere.
"Hope so. Ready when you are mom", came the inevitably plain response, even if a faux smile was upon the young Aspatrian's muzzle. Emily made a soft sigh, knowing even it would be audible to Kayla's superior ears, giving the fox a pat on the shoulder. With that, the two were on their way down the stairs, on time and in no hurry as a result. This was growing to be tougher then the penitatas mother thought it would be, trying to get Kayla back on track and let her old light shine. There was that 'bright' something about Kayla and her life, that even Ki'rene spoke with her about often when they mentioned the fox. That drake had been alive longer then anyone she knew, and seemed infinately wise as a result. Emily had always been proud that Ki'rene had such a loving admiration for Kayla, if not puzzled at times. But now, as she walked out the door, seeing the lack of pep in her daughter's step, and bushy tail swaying with lack of earnest, she could see what the other parent had seen. There was a lot of life that was seemingly gone from Kayla's shell. It was like looking at a depressed adult more then it did a moping child. Rejuve children were confusing in that manner, being both at once, and emotional enigmas in themselves.
By the invitation recieved, the house they were headed to was barely a few blocks away. Being mindful of the other parent's parking capacity, Emily held Kayla's left paw loosely and took her daughter on what she hoped would be a relaxing stroll to clear the two's minds. Kayla eyed across the street as they began their trek, just to ensure Ki'rene's hover car had already departed and she wasn't about to run into Ninne with her mother present. Muzzle curling ever so slightly as she began to face forward again, a degree of nervous resentment bit into her mind. Ninne was her friend, and she didn't want to lose her, but her personal discomfort and anger was creeping up on her due to the circumstances surrounding them. Hurt and vulnerable, the Drakonian's hateful, vengeful nature was digging under her skin. She'd never tell her mother, especially with the language flowing through her thoughts, that the reptile was starting to piss her off. She had been home for three days now! No appology, still no warm greeting. Would have been hard to make the young Aspatrian feel more trampled. Being raped, shot, and abused by strangers had a different feel to it, then simply being backstabbed by her best friend. She didn't know those people, and being a penitatas, could understand to some degree they were evil and making horrible errors in judgement. Ninne however, was one of the people she would turn to for support after such heavy and painful incidents. A person she trusted and expected to be on her side, turned their back, and hurt her instead of pulling her from the torments and duress she was under. Being unfair and cutting their friendship due to things she had been forced to do.. it was too hard to forgive.
Kayla stewed in her mind, head kept low as she thought of those things. How much it bothered her to not have a friend, and to have so many potential enemies. No matter how many times her mother would try and ensure that no one hated her, she couldn't believe it. It felt like all she had were her parents, and she couldn't bring herself to try and use her mom like a shield. To tattle and cower wasn't something she could do. Turning her head up slightly, looking up to Emily's face, she could see her mother had been looking down at her most of the time they had been walking. Averting her eyes, Kayla kept her still lightly sore legs moving, till the pair quietly reached their destination.
Finding the house was not hard in the least. It was the only one that appeared to be having a party, with several hover cars parked along the property. Kayla was quick to notice Ki'rene's, but didn't pay enough attention to other family's hover cars to know whom was here based on them. Didn't comfort her much, not knowing what she was walking into.
"Just relax honey, you're not going to be comfortable out in public again until you give it a shot. Stop worrying about what others think", Kayla heard from above in a somewhat firmer tone. Was enough to make her ears fold back, but she did lift her head and nod as she provided a response. After such a harsh period of discipline, she was mindful to keep her mother feeling sympethetic and not commit offenses.
"I will ma', don't worry", the fox replied, feet working their way towards the front door to the home as her mother released her left paw. Emily didn't mean for her request to sound firm; it was hard to push her other parental instincts out at times and provide that extra bit of leniency. Taking her eyes off Kayla and stopping at the front door of the home, she had to stop and admire it a moment as her right hand went out to touch the ringer. Was made to look like wood, with an intricate, old looking design. In fact, the maroon colored house was fairly large and nice in general compared to the more typical homes found on Emily's street. She couldn't decide if the woman's penitatas she had previously had it good, or just had more corners to stand in. Placing her paws behind her back to be polite, Kayla stilled her tail and looked up as the door opened almost as soon as Emily tapped the button beside the door. The woman her little blue eyes looked upon seemed so gentle, though strong at the same time as she stood in a dark blue dress with her black hair traveling down her back. Warm smile greeting the two before she spoke a word, she stepped to the side and invited them in with a gesture of her right hand.
"Come on in. I'm Lory, Jacob's mother", the human woman greeted, seeming almost formal with her polite etiquette. Kayla's ears filled with sounds of chatter and banter as she stepped through the doorway and saw the livingroom filled with penitatas parents. Some sitting, some standing in small groups. There really was quite a lot, even more then she had expected to see. A couple of the human parents even had paddles strapped to their belts; a cold reminder of the duties these adults performed. It was like being afraid of needles and walking into a doctor's office. Being that she stepped in closest to their greeter, Lory, the human looked down to her as she spoke, providing the fox with some guidance. She knew her home was a bit crowded at the moment, and there were no signs of the other children for her guest to pick up on.
"Head on over to that little hallway, then take the only door on the left. The other penitatas and my Jacob are in the den. We'll all be in here if you need us", Lory spoke to Kayla as she leaned down softly and pointed towards an open doorway, one hand on the front of her dress. The way she spoke did have a penitatas parent air to it, Kayla's ears could analyze. She wasn't trying to be, but providing direction and having that underlying tone must come naturally. Just to make sure she was allowed, Kayla turned her head to her mother on her other side, getting a simple nod that she was permitted. Made Kayla happy; she would rather deal with a room of her peers then be stuck in a room filled with penitatas parents and the tension that would cause her.
"Thank you miss Lory", Kayla was prompt to say, ears erect and her expression pleasant, just to keep her hide safe. You don't poke the bear in a cave filled with a slew of bears. With the neccessary pleasantries out of the way, the fox took her paws out from behind herself and began walking through the crowd, heading for the door. Turning her ears sideways to try and hear behind herself, she could hear Lory and her mother begin to talk. Her mom introducing herself, as well as 'her penitatas'. Didn't get to pay a whole lot of attention, as her ears also picked up on a few adults talking about a new brand of paddle coming out that was made of a durable composite instead of synthetic wood. The subject matter made her footpaws move faster, and her tail to sort of sway behind herself, till she slipped out of the room into the small hallway. It was darker then the room she was in, with red wallpaper and more of the wooden inlays across the lower portions of the walls. Not as much of an old style here, based on the design of the wood. Took only some steps to reach the door she was told about, even if she was surprised to find it had a doorknob and wasn't automatic. Apparently this Jacob's parents did have a slight flair for certain 'less modern' comforts for their home. As if instinctively, her footpaws stepped to the door slowly and quietly, while her ears tried to catch any sounds through the door she could. Placing her right paw on the door's knob, she stared at the door wearily, almost frowning. 'Sorry mom', she was forced to think, as she found herself still apprehensive even after being told to mellow out.
"Hey Kayla!", came a voice from her side, which made the fox squeel from the sudden fright of it. It made her paw fling away from the doorknob, and for her to step back and bring her arms up to her chest defensively from being startled. The sight she saw once she looked upon who spoke, brought about a few studdered sounds till she snapped out her own reply.
"Anthony, don't scare me like that", the fox sighed, placing a paw upon her forhead - making a bit of the fur upon her head curl from the stroke of her fingers. The human boy chuckled sheepishly, messing with his hands and seeming to feel a little guilty he had startled his school friend. Didn't say so in his voice, but the fox could tell from body language.
"I heard all about Deltastar! You rocked so much, you've gotta tell me how you did it!", the boy asked in an excited manner, as if he was speaking to his hero. Wasn't exactly what Kayla needed at the moment, even if she understood where he was coming from. The two always talked about things like this and it was hard to expect her fellow hacker to know what she was going through on the inside.
"Don't really want to talk about that right now. A lot has happened, and.. ", Kayla began to explain after a brief pause to ensure she would reply in a way that wouldn't make her pal feel bad. As her words trailed off, arms crossed lightly and the rest of her body tense, Anthony was quick to raise his hands and wave them for her to stop.
"Sorry sorry, too soon. Was happy to hear about Deltastar, it let me know you were okay. You disappearing was big news, you know? Nobody really knew what happened to you till you got back", he said to explain himself in an attempt to not overstep his boundaries, even if in the back of his mind he was already planning out the next time he might be able to ask. Can't cruise the Galactic Net without his interests getting peaked. Kayla shook her head, but at least tried to smile. At least one person didn't hate her. The fox didn't speak though, as her mind wandered. Was all so awkward still. She wasn't the only one feeling awkward as Anthony scratched his head, whom began to think even more that he had done something wrong. His mind raced to think of anything useful to say, to save himself from potential Kayla wrath.
"Things have been okay here. Some talk about you, but... the medicalos we met was pretty nice. Really stand-off-ish; didn't see him too much. Everyone's been together in there - in the den. Lots of folks from our class, and some I didn't recognize. Likely from grades we're not in, so we never ran across them. Adults are staying mostly clear too, I think they're distracted. Too many paddles in the same room out there, I think everyone is trying to stay under the radar", Anthony said aloud, more calmly as he broke into explaination and getting his ally aquainted with what was going on. Slipped at the start once he realised the fox wouldn't want to hear about others speaking of her. Kayla still noticed that fact, and it placed a knot in her stomach. There was no 'under the radar' for her. She felt fortunate the other penitatas parents didn't pay attention to her, else anyone harmed by the incident on Christmas Eve could have un-holstered their paddles and chased her around miss Lory's property. Sticking her furred thumbs in the pockets of her jeans, she lowered her head to let a bit of her head-fur fall forward, before lifting back up with a smile of sorts. It was a weary expression, Anthony seeing her eyes staring at the door as if to build confidence, till she simply shook her head lightly.
"Guess I do need to get over it. I've shut down Deltastar before, and the whole reason I'm here is because I was arrested in the first place. You all should be used to me hacking things and making an ass of myself", Kayls spoke more softly and quietly, giving her old comrade of the computer arts a toothy, canid smirk. He could tell she meant it, even if she was being hard on herself in depressive in a somewhat different way. The boy just didn't realise the kind of torment her head was going through, despite her reach for courage.
"Cool! It'll be fine. I've got to stay out here a while longer though. I was supposed to head into the den here and give a report on what was going on to my dad. Trying to make it seem like I was actually doing it, so I don't get punished for it", the young human said with a shrug of his nine year old shoulders and an amusing gesture with his hands.
"Go report back then before he gets suspicious. I'm going to see everyone and meet this medicalos", the fox replied with a casual air, and a slight dip of her head as a nod. Once Anthony turned to go back into the livingroom, Kayla placed her paw on the door and turned it without hesitation. She didn't have time or patience for it. If Anthony was right, maybe things would be okay. The knob clicked as it turned and the door opened, making the sound of childish chatter and play that much more apparent to her ears. Slipping herself in without opening the door much, as to not draw attention, she flicked her tail out of the door's way and closed it behind herself while her eyes peered around the room. The den wasn't huge, but it sure was a big room - like another livingroom even. A holo, carpet, couple of assorted toys from a toy chest in the corner of the room. Kayla presumed this was likely a room for Lory's previous penitatas to be disciplined in, which doubled as an entertainment room. Would be a reminder to behave yourself when your place of play was also your place of punishment. The cruel nature of the thought sent a shiver down the fox's spine, to make her tail shake a brief moment. Through the room, like the adults, the other penitatas were scattered about, typically in their own groups and not paying a whole lot of attention. Those whom stood obstructed the views of those sitting, with most talking, and some playing with one another anything they could come up with. Was not often they had this opportunity. For that short time, while Kayla looked around, still trying to hold onto her air of confidence, it seemed as if she was blending into the crowd.
Unfortunately, an Aspatrian with orange fur, black eartips, and that white at the end of her tail, deffinately did not blend into a room of mostly human counterparts.
[How much trouble did you get in?], came a familar Drakonian spit from her left, which made her head turn towards it, and subsequently, downward as well. It was little Paul, sporting a grin across his snout while he looked up. Last time the fox had seen him, he made her wet herself by keeping her from going to the bathroom. Needless to say, her muzzle did curl a bit at his question and the snide look he was giving her. Leaning on the wall beside the door, thumbs still in her pockets, Kayla wasn't about to let the 'tiny terrorist' rattle her cage.
"I'll let that be my own business. I pay for what I do, just as much as you do", Kayla assured, keeping her voice low and serious. Didn't wish to sound angry or offended, just to brush the punk off.
[And to think that was the same abilities that got me arrested. Some hero you turned out to be], Paul went on to tease, snickering cruely from his reptilian throat and showing more teeth. Went as far as needing to stiffle a laugh, bringing his Allosaurian-like claws up to his snout. Okay, now Kayla wanted to sock him in the snout. Patience, Kayla! Just think of something witty, she thought, and perhaps that would save herself from this which she was trying to avoid. Perhaps Anthony wasn't so correct after all. What had folks in here actually been saying about her?
"My mistakes - my problem. I shut down 'Fire' just because it was easy, not because I wanted to be a hero. You just made it too damn easy", she retorted, avoiding slipping her tone and speech into a growl of sorts. Clearly was more hostile, if not arrogant, but Kayla never was very intimidated by the drake. He was more rediculous to her, even if he had a maw of sharp teeth. She could see the look on his muzzle twist slightly once he was hit with his own personal failure. Could have sworn she saw smoking gears in his head as the airheaded reptile thought of his own reply, but with a childish temper, he turned his head and made a high pitched sound of anger, sort of like a hiss a Drakonian sometimes made. Was like their own version of a scoff.
"Don't you think that is a little unfair, miss Ackart?", chimed in a second voice from the room's commotion, also small, but this time feminine, and from the fox's right. Kayla turned her stare from the short reptile, over instead to another someone smaller then she was. Aspatrian, and wearing a green shirt and green checkerboard patterned skirt, Stephanie stood with her arms crossed and with a strange look of her own. Now Kayla was losing her confidence fast, finding herself double teamed. Her eyes narrowed, giving the younger fox a very intentionally cold look, to be a threat of sorts for her fellow to back off.
"I don't see how", was the best she could come up with verbally to defend her position, and avoid appearing weak. Her right paw slipped it's thumb out from her blue jeans' pocket, with the furry appendage curling up into a fist. Cool brown scale or warm orange fur; all Kayla saw from either of them were just another two violent criminals. Criminals with opinions, at that.
"Feisty, girl. Not like you to bite. Feeling a bit inadequate after your recent failure with Starfleet, again? For little miss 'superior', I think you're the only repeat offender in here", Stephanie wasted no time in responding with, digging her proverbial claws into Kayla's comfort zone and ripping it a new one. The older fox's right paw clenched tighter, as it remained up against the wall she was leaning on. Her tail hung; still and motionless while her stare tried to pierce through her fellow Aspatrian. The only other one she knew, and this is how it had to be. Keeping her anger level down was getting harder to control, even with her efforts to try and keep steady and calm.
"You're not a repeat offender because you don't have a penis anymore. I've even been nice to you - what the hell is your problem? If we're back on a last name basis, I'll start calling you mister Galmar, but the last I checked, I was beating you, not the other way around", Kayla shot back with a sour, angry tone with a more obvious curl to her muzzle that showed bits of the pearly whites in the back of her canine muzzle. She knew it wasn't her to say something so mean spirited, and something deep down inside made her regret her words. However, that part of her was not in control, and she wasn't even listening to it. This teasing and taunting about what happened wasn't something she would, or could tolerate. Apparently she really did look this weak and evil, even to a terrorist and rapist. Their crimes were horrific, but her own exploits were galaxy-wide, and she no longer looked like a model penitatas. She looked like.. more of a criminal then before.
"Just because I feel guilty and appreciate some things you have done, doesn't make you perfect when you do dumbass things. Besides, you know as well as I do that what I did to you would have been fair game back on Aspatria. I missed the services I went and got from the young girls in those dark alleyways, with the sky's red glow", Stephanie spoke first as a scold, before changing her tone again and speaking tauntingly as if reminicing about their home planet and the happenings there. The words ripped at Kayla's insides, thinking back to what 'Stephanie' had done to her, and the men back on Aspatria when she was nothing more then a kindern toddler. She herself was one of those girls in the dark alleyways, providing herself for prostitution when she was practically a baby, just so the adults that used her could perhaps drop a coin - two if she was lucky. Beat her and leave nothing, if she was not lucky. All her angry blue eyes could see was that older male Aspatrian inside of that little girl's body, shoving things into her body where they didn't belong. This was going past just taunting her, and way beyond teasing. The memories were painful, and in her current, more deminished state, she wasn't prepared for either penitatas child's nonsense. Bad people made bad kids, despite how kind the fox had been to them in the past. Kayla could only growl low, left paw now balling up to a fist without first removing her thumb from her pocket, making herself grip her own pocket. As Stephanie only got silence, the cruel, black 'P' penitatas delivered the coup de gras of insults; intent of breaking what she thought was Kayla's smug sense of superiority, due to her values and behavior, and the one-eighty degree turn her return to hacking appeared to be. To break a hipocrite was just a child's way of doing things.
"Krast evan na tanay estu kah gira rast, Hakra!", the smaller of the foxes, spoke in a harsh, vocalized native tongue with her head turned lightly to her right to turn her muzzle away; paws tucked behind herself just above the base of her tail, with the words rolling off her stiff, young tongue. With haste and blind rage from her older counterpart, Stephanie found two strong paws grab her shirt by the chest and yank upwards towards her neck. Before she could complete her squeel, her smaller body was flung off it's feet, and a pain shot into the back of her head and the rest of her body, knocking the breath out of her slightly. Kayla had swung Stephanie, slamming her back up against the wall, and keeping her pinned there. Her paws nearly shook, and all her teeth were bared in anger while her muzzle wrinkled where it met her head, showing strength by keeping the younger Aspatrian's toes nearly off the ground while she pressed her into the wall, knuckles nearly pressing into her neck. Certainly pulled her shirt from it's nice and neat status, showing the room her pelvic and belly fur, not caring if she were to rip the girl's shirt. Her own throat rumbled a deep growl, sounding a bit carnal in her own Aspatrian manner; eyes seething with a rage Stephanie had never seen from the fox. Even after raping Kayla, she had not seen this. It brought silence to her muzzle, and fear to her heart, staring down at those menacing blue eyes, and enraged appearance.
"Don't you ever speak that language in my presence. Never!", Kayla growled out sharply and forcefully, giving the smaller fox another shove upward with her paws to choke her; standing toe to toe, eye to eye, muzzles right against eachother. Stephanie's shirt was now at her neck, and so were Kayla's knuckles, pressing right into it and very intentionally being rough and violent. The word 'ever', had such a strong tone to it when she had said it, and she meant it. Kayla never wanted to hear that language again, much less the subject matter Stephanie rubbed in her face. The language though, was her own. She had not heard it since she escaped Aspatria when she was five; the very last time when she was beaten by the cargo ship captain. He had told her what a worthless 'toy' she was, and that she would return home and die for her crimes. Females had no rights on Aspatria, at any age. Those rough sounds and biting words of the Aspatrian language brought only foul memories.
Without a drop of remorse, Kayla built up her strength in her arms and threw Stephanie towards her left, using the leverage her paws had on the girl's shirt, chest, and neck. The other fox being so young, it was certainly a harsh manuver, with her landing on her paws and knees to give a single, solitary cough. Her tail draped onto the floor, ears folded back and clearly cowering as Stephanie got her wits back about her and attempted to clammer back to her footpaws. Picking her head up, she only turned it once to look back at Kayla as she stood back up with a shift of her tail and her shirt a mess. What she saw was her fellow Aspatrian, and ex-victim, standing straight with her paws fisted at her sides, sending a stabbing stare towards her own. Made Stephanie turn her head, and the girl take off for another portion of the room with a quick bolt on her feet - tail streaming behind her. Kayla knew what she just did was very wrong, and a bad idea based on what she had gone through, but her other fears of rejection and reticule were primary in her mind. She had no interest in being punished for what she had done even after seeing Stephanie's frightened look. Feeling as if Stephanie deserved that, she deemed her measures neccessary, even if she wanted peace with her. Make a dirty Aspatrian rapist into a female child and you get bouts of snotty, poor actions. Hopefully she would get over this.
Wouldn't be that easy, however. You can't blend into the crowd when you're making more commotion then everyone else. Once Kayla turned her head, she could see some of the room had actually noticed her, as well as what occured between herself and Stephanie. Between how angry she looked and what had happened a few days back, they seemed to be whispering to one another. Mostly her classmates, but some of the penitatas she didn't know either. Now, she just felt embarassed, even with that somewhat angry look on her face.
"Look who showed up. Picking on little kids and being the greatest hacker and thief in history; a real testament to the justice system", came the voice Kayla had dreaded the most, which could have made her wince if her body wasn't so stiff from tension and discomfort already. Turning her left footpaw, she turned a little back to her right to meet the eyes of Ninne stepping up to her, as well as a few of her own friends. Now she was up against those older, bigger, and stronger, and her confidence was already taking a nose dive as a result. Kayla could only guess there were those in this room that had been waiting all morning to make fun of her and express their personal distaste. It was almost a child's instinct to rip into another, no matter how cruel, as long as they felt they were better then that child.
Kayla could see that Anne was with Ninne.. upsetting, as she liked Anne and seeing her at Ninne's side likely meant whom the other Drakonian had sided with. Not willingly, the fox could only hope. There was also Markus and Davis, more or less just Ninne and Anne's friends, even if she had no quarrels with them either. Four to one in this atmosphere was unsettling, but it would have been bad news even if it was just her and Ninne alone. Why is she acting this way? She had held their friendship in the highest of regards.. honestly, she didn't know what to say, still standing there, though now seeming more vulnerable. Some of the other penitatas' eyes were on her and what was gearing up to be a spectacle.
"What? Don't have one of your piss-ass comebacks for me? You have no problem comprimising your values when it comes to others - only when you think someone will notice or care do you wise up, fox", Ninne pulled out as her footpaws came to a stop only inches from the shorter, smaller Aspatrian. The look across her face and snout was cold, staring down with a hateful glare. This was all too much for Kayla to handle. All of the play and special times she had with her comrade and friend, only to see her brown scale and eyes in a different light. The malice she felt from the older reptile, and even the looks from those at her side, like schoolyard bullies, was blunt and out in the open. Trying not to clam up and stay silent, Kayla flicked her muzzle upwards, defiantly, with a 'tch!' and curl of her muzzle's skin between her eyes.
"What do you know about 'values' Ninne? We share the same penitatas designation, and half the things you adopted were just emulations of me. I want to know what your problem is; what did I ever do to you? You.. you're my best friend, I shouldn't have to-", Kayla began as an attack to defend herself, but began changing her tune part of the way through. She felt bad, and didn't want to speak that way to her friend even if she was behaving in a scummy manner. There were things she wanted answered, but once her voice leveled out to solumn displeasure, she was cut off abruptly.
"Who the hell would want anything to do with a walking ship-wreck?", the Drakonian shot out with a sharp, accusing voice from above the fox, speaking enough above her voice to cut her down mid-sentence. Kayla flicked her right ear in what would have been a nervous twitch, trying not to go off again like she had on Stephanie. The girl felt trapped, embarassed, shamed, reticuled... knots all through her belly and chest. The two human boys stood like brick walls, uncaring, as if enjoying seeing her this way. Anne didn't look the same way, and the fox could tell by her eyes as they continued to look away that she didn't actually like what she was witnessing. Sadly, the bare scaled drake had no defensive words to say while she saw two of her friends quarrel. Ninne was not about to let Kayla get away with what her aggressions called 'getting away with her usual crap', taking another step forward on her right footclaw, craning her neck down slightly to put further pressure on the fox. She even called her 'fox', not even giving Kayla a drop of respect. Knowing she sounded like her mother, made her feel like she was even more capable of putting Kayla in her place.
"You walk around everywhere, in front of us, in front of the adults, and act so calm and perfect. Sorry and obedient; little miss perfect. You weren't Packet-Storm anymore, everyone could trust you! Right? Isn't that how it was?", the Drakonian drilled down to her victim's ears, while Kayla looked straight up into Ninne's own eyes. Now the Aspatrian's ears were at attention, bits of her teeth bared while her ebony nose pointed right at Ninne's snout. Staring down the other girl, despite her being larger, was becoming easier - Ninne was going too far.
"Sure had everyone fooled, fucking wench. When it came down to it, you were the worst of everyone. You love your crime and hurting people, while pretending to be a good person. Would a good person help two murderers rob the hard earned currency of countless planets? Would she attack the military that protects us? Packet-Storm gone? Load of shit, you fraud!", Ninne growled and spat down at Kayla, claws clenched at her sides as her voice got louder and firmer till she was nearly yelling - thinking of all the times her mother Ki'rene had praised Kayla. Praised her for what, twisting reality and being a good liar? All this time, she felt she was 'under' Kayla, only for these events to happen and change everything. Almost as soon as she snapped her response at the fox, her lithe raptor-like body curled in a smooth yet aggressive flow. In a 'snap' motion, the older Drakonian made a quick motion to release her energy in one swoop using her right claw and arm. The blunt part of her claw struck Kayla's chest in a blow, only for the rest of the reptile's muscles to direct their energy outwards in a thrust. The force was like a shove from that point that sent Kayla back into the wall, giving her a taste of how Stephanie felt it seemed, while the back of her head smacked the wall and her footpaws barely kept balance during her stagger. The blow made her cough and clutch her stomach, looking up through the slits of her pained eyes, stance wide. Now she was pissed.. this wasn't a friend, and there was no speaking or reasoning with her. But, be damned, that hurt. Kayla felt half incapacitated from the single blow, having not fought anyone besides humans before. Humans always made the mistake of comparing her to a female human of the same age and size.. Ninne wasn't human and was way different in physiology from something that simply walked upright. They were slow, but the fox found that motion to be quick while in such close quarters. She needed some distance.
"Big words.. from a backstabber", Kayla retorted as she caught her breath, clutching her chest and breathing with a degree of difficulty. She felt lucky Ki'rene trimmed her claws, else she would have suffered a worse injury. Once she spoke, she caught the drake shift her body again - this time the fox knowing to move. Picking up on her reflexes, Kayla threw her body to her right in a lean, then with a motion in her legs, sprinted sideways with the help of her left leg. With that, her agilty was able to surpass that of her Drakonian counterpart to avoid another heavy-clawed swing. With a stagger from the pain in her chest, Kayla flung her arms from her body out to her sides and tried to make herself more limber, picking right up on her adrenaline to get her species' instincts out. Knowing well by sight and sound she was in the spotlight, as she wished she wasn't, finding herself in a fight with Ninne was just that much harder. She didn't want to fight back, but as the Drakonian turned her neck as a dinosaur would, she growled cruely, obviously filled with some sort of unfair rage. The others in the room made sounds different from before, now fixated on what was going on as a congrigation of rejuve children would.
"Look back at the past two years and tell me you haven't been a bitch. You threw me under the bus more then once, let me take the fall and punishment for things you did, and I stuck my neck out for you all the time. All the dumb crap you've done. Even then, I was there for you after things were bad. Things sour on my end, and you pick a fight with me and ditch me. You don't know how to be anyone's friend!", Kayla fired back, not about to let Ninne win after striking her. The curl of Ninne's scaled eye ridges showed she was in eagar for a fight.. to be herself, in other words, the fox began to figure. A friend would not hurt her, much less hit her like that. That action freed her from her uncertainties and fear from losing a friend. Ninne was lost, and not coming back. And... good riddance, if she wished to cause her harm! Sliding her right, canid footpaw backwards to ready her stance, the fox stood ready to deliver a final verbal blow, and accept the inevitable while her old friend remained in her species' attack posture. Lowering her head and directing her eyes right into Ninne's, she fully bared her teeth and readied her paws, before letting out just what she thought of what Ninne had done.
"Just like Dianne. You really are a fucking snake!", Kayla said with calm, controled anger, as she added a harsh emphisis on 'snake'. There.. she said it - one of the harshest things she hoped her muzzle would produce. The sort of thing she would have earned an entire dispenser of soap for saying. A more racist remark from her maw, and one Ninne hated, was all too fitting for getting in under her scales and giving back a taste of what the girl was dishing. The room's reaction to hearing Ninne be called a snake was drowned out by the Drakonian's own reaction, bolting from her position with a strong press of her leg and lash of her body, while she let out a growling sort of yell. Oh yeah, that did it.
Launching from her stance, Kayla leapt backwards with lacking grace, needing to stumble back on her right foot to avoid Ninne's tail, which she swung promptly at the fox's left side. The size difference presented a clear danger, and Kayla knew this one she couldn't win. Content on remaining on the defense and remaining out of trouble, if even possible at this point, the agile young Aspatrian slid around on her feet, often using small jumps to move around and avoid the slower Drakonian. Ninne would lunge in her own manner, lashing her body to throw her strength into slashing her claws or swinging her tail. The other penitatas were mostly quiet, weary of catching their parent's attention with any commotion that they actually may have been able to hear. Stepping out of Kayla's way, she always seemed to have just enough room to side step despite being in a room full of other people. Full of adrenaline, Kayla was forced to keep her calm to some extent, dodging a couple of Ninne's blows while the angry reptile stayed on the offensive.
[Bitch!], Ninne had snarrled in her rage through her own language, pushing off with her footclaws at the fox once more, lowering her head and trying to land at least one blow - get in close and jab her unfortunately trimmed claws right into Kayla's stomach. That time she was able to get in a close as she wanted, with Kayla's expression curling more as a result as she let out a feminine fox growl and tried not to stumble as she barely avoided Ninne's right claw; nails brushing past her t-shirt. Instinctively, once Ninne halted her legs and made another reptilian lash of her body, swinging her head around back towards Kayla with her strong neck, Kayla swung back. Ninne's head ended up close to her own and as if in slow motion, Kayla was too close to those teeth of the dinosaur's. Kayla's right fist flung out quickly, with the girl leaning her back into the punch; socking Ninne across the snout and digging her knuckles right in. Drakonians being as armored as they were, it only knocked Ninne's head back and ache, not giving at all enough to stop the older girl's attack. Not having cause enough damage to repel Ninne, Kayla's eyes barely had enough time to see the drake lash her tail once more and throw her arms up to parry. The strength and weight difference decided the victor, as the reptile's meaty tail struck Kayla's left arm and side, knocking her backwards and off her feet to land on her hip and back with a yelp. Kicking her legs, her footpaws worked to get traction and get up off the floor - only getting enough to get up and try to run the other direction, tail straight out behind herself, before Ninne's claws found their mark.
The nails upon Ninne's claws pressed and dragged quickly across Kayla's back in a brisk slash downward, between the fox's shoulders and down to mid-back. Being trimmed, they weren't enough to rip her shirt, but it still hurt. Kayla made a muffled cry, staggering forward and spinning around on her footpaws slightly hunched over with her right paw behind her back to grip what felt like a wound. It felt like someone took a sharp rake to her back. Squinting from the sting, Kayla found her footing and glared at Ninne, whom seemed unphased by her one solitary blow. In fact, the drake had a smirk across her snout, and sounded as if she was snickering quietly at the sight she was seeing.
"Makes you more of a snake, not less, fucker", Kayla fired back snidely with a lower, more pained voice; furious at the fact Ninne felt she was victorious and superior for being able to hurt her. The fox eyed the stairs at her left now that she had finally reached them moving around during her fight, just as she caught Ninne shift again out of the corner of her field of sight. Headed directly for her, Kayla simply acted and tried her best, taking in a deep breath in a split second and pulling out the peak of her species' natural ability. With a swing of her tail and hip and a hop of sorts on her left leg, Kayla snapped her right leg up and out with the full force she could provide, getting her foot under Ninne's snout and nailing her in the neck. Thankfully, that was enough to stop the drake's attack that time, with Ninne staggering a few steps past Kayla's side, clasping her neck and coughing. Drakonian parents held their children by the scruffs of their neck for a reason - it was simply fleshy enough. Once she felt the impact in her footpaw, Kayla retracted her kick and took a step back, turning her head to look up the stars before looking over at Ninne. She had enough and this was going nowhere. The fox wasn't one to harbor hatred and aggression like Ninne always did.
"If you're going to be that way, do it by yourself!", she snapped as her right footpaw stepped onto the first step of the stairs, before she took off up them using quick motions from her knees. Her feet thumped their way up the stairs till the rounded the corner into the upstairs hallway, finding the same red color and wood design. Moving forward another few steps, she stopped and leaned against the wall to listen if anyone was coming up the stairs. Stuck in her thoughts and fear of what just occured, she waited a good minute till she was sure no one, not even Ninne, had followed her up the steps. Hopefully kicking Ninne straight in her throat was enough to stop that violent madness. Even then, Kayla had to raise her paws and wipe her eyes with the backs of them, placing a touch of dampness to the orange fur on the backs of her paws. Her lip quivered, just barely, before she sighed while calming down.
She just fought the person whom was her best friend, in a fist fight.. when she wasn't even an aggressive person. Feeling alone and in danger, it seemed like everyone wanted a piece of her for what had gone on. Was this Ninne's fault? Paul, Stephanie - were they.. tricked in any way by her? For all the fox knew, all the resentment in the room may have been engineered by the spiteful drake herself. Her back stung, and as she reached behind herself, she could feel welts through her shirt. Damned Ninne, but.. she felt relieved to have settled that worry in her mind. If someone wasn't your friend, there was not a lot to regret after they left you. Only issue was her worry of being ratted out on, and getting into severe trouble. When she had a fist fight with Ashley, the concequences were harsh. Now, perhaps even more so, being that she was a guest in another's home and already being scrutinized for her behavior. She just wanted away from Ninne, as much as it hurt. The drake's reasoning and rationalle outright failed, and she would have to pay for that.
Ears beginning to twitch, Kayla lifted her head from her resting spot and stood up from her slouch. She heard something not from downstairs, where she could hear the penitatas back to their usual banter, but from somewhere near her on the second floor. Tail motion slow and gentle behind herself, she took a few steps over towards an ajar door that was open only about half way. Placing her orange paws upon the synth-wood doorframe, she craned her head around the doorway and looked inside the room to find out just whom was up here with her. From where she stood, she was looking at the back and left side of a strange looking boy, perhaps around her own age. He sat at his desk, toying with a small object in his green, reptilian looking fingers. Though he was wearing a pair of slacks, Kayla could tell he walked upright normally by the appearance of his legs, and the way his bare green tail hung from the back of the chair. Upon his face was a look of.. well, she wasn't the master of his species' body language, not knowing even what he was, but he looked like he was regretting something. Solumn, heavy air and silence, aside from his breathing and occational shuffle that had tipped the fox off he was here. Kayla hadn't been in the doorway more then several moments before he must have realised he wasn't alone himself, looking up and off to his side, towards the door, with a look of sheepish surprise. Took a moment to get a response, with Kayla taking her paws from the door and giving a small smile to greet him since she had been caught staring, apparently.
"Hey. I didn't know anybody would be coming up here. Don't think I saw you downstairs", the green reptile spoke from his seat, affirming by the tone of his voice that he was indeed a boy. The object in his paws, now still, looked sort of like a battered Starfleet insignia - a badge of some kind. A pair of silver 'M's on the backs of the claws indentified to her whom he was, and why he was here. On the back of his neck it looked like he had a good looking plate, and his feet looked like strong, dragon-like claws. Feeling as if she was sort of invited, even if she felt like an intruder on the inside due to her maimed emotions, she stepped in slowly, paws behind her back. The ankle of her right footpaw bumped the door, making it swing most of the way closed. Kayla did not want to be alone, and certainly not down there in the lion's den, so why not meet the new medicalos?
"I didn't see you either, but I mostly just got here. Ran up here because I got into a.. 'scuffle' down in your den. Not everyone is happy with who I am and what I've done right now. Sorry to barge in, I thought I would be by myself", Kayla admitted, avoiding the word 'fight' in case the boy was to tell his mother Lory, while also appologizing. She could tell he thought he would be up here by himself too, and her intrusion changed those plans. Was hard keeping her ears straight and erect, stopping her walking till she was at the boy's side to speak with him. The green, almost scaled looking boy rolled the Starfleet badge in his paw, which Kayla could now see must have been his com-badge. It looked burnt, and had traces of blood on it. A grotesque thought of what her own back must have looked like after being shot went through her mind, making her uncomfortable. The boy was too shy to pick up on that though, giving a smile of sorts.
"Did you do something? What was it they were so angry about, and are you hurt?", the boy had asked with a note of curiousity and concearn, placing his damaged communications badge onto his desk to turn a bit. Paws in his lap, he leaned forward as Kayla sat down on the floor in front of him, tired after the adrenaline rush her body was forced into under such short notice. She looked up from her cross-legged seat, while he looked down from his chair, comfortable with having just one visitor and not feeling as overwhelmed. An Aspatrian, he had noticed, and a calm, polite person. Much more so then some of the other local rejuvenated penitatas he had met not too long ago. Kayla let out a slight laugh, shaking her head.
"Back just stings. My ex-friend has claws, and... ", Kayla began explaining more comfortably, before she stopped, expression turning more confused and bewildered. So did the green reptilian boy's, so she decided to finally out and say what her mind had noticed. "Did you actually mean what you said, about what they were angry about? You don't recognize me from any pictures, news, anything?", she had to ask, turning her head slightly to cock her muzzle to one side. Everyone knew whom she was, just because of her species. Much to her surprise, and strangely, relief.. the boy seemed to have no idea whom she was. Looking at his puzzed face soon made the fox snicker, then smile much more warmly, not needing to fake it.
"I'm Kayla Ackart, once known as Packet-Storm. Been so scared of everyone hating me because of Deltastar and Starfleet the other day", the fox introduced with a nod of her head, while her eyes looked the boy over, still trying to get aquainted with his species. She felt foolish for not being as knowledged in diversity as most and having the worst understanding of the Drakonian language, but living in solitude for over fourty years prevented her from learning many of the things she actually needed to know. Now, the boy could tell there was an air of shame in what the Aspatrian before him was talking about, but it took him some moments to put the picture together and realise whom she was. That notorious hacker, Packet-Storm. She sure didn't look very dangerous, as he could remember the day when that alias was feared, and then even made fun of within Starfleet after her attack on their headquarters computer mainframes that brought her to justice. That was the person sitting in front of him?
"And I'm Doctor Jacob Vasse, once known as Commander", he spoke with his own shameful sigh afterwards, feeling as if he at least had something in common with her. Lives shifted radically and torn apart, and trying to get the heck away from everyone else for a while. It was what was on his mind, sitting there and looking at his old com-badge. "Why would they be angry though? Starfleet reports stated you operated against your will and no charges would be filed. I saw that in a security report mixed in with my daily medical research logs", Jacob spoke casually, while Kayla absorbed his name and demeanor. There was nothing about him that made her feel like she was being judged, so she simply answered.
"That's just people for you I guess, Jacob. I affected so many people, and being so well known, it's too easy to look at me at hate me", she said while looking away, being somber in her voice while letting out what was on her chest. Once she was finished speaking, she heard Jacob shift in his seat, and found him opening his desk drawer once she looked up. Not knowing what he was doing, she waited to see. Out of the back of the drawer he removed a small black box with a Starfleet Medical insignia, clicking it open to remove a small silver cylinder with an emitter on one end. Sliding from his seat, he got down on his knees at Kayla's left, giving a knob at the top of the device a small turn, eyeing it as he again spoke.
"That's stupid, because I can safely say you've been the nicest to me today. I don't know if it's because you're another rare species here on Earth, Aspatrian, and I know you're not going to harass me for being Karrian, or because you're not dumb as a rock", Jacob was at least honest about, settling his small tail upon the floor and leaning forward slightly with his regenerator. Wishing to get in his request before Kayla's reply, he just sort of pointed to her shirt, letting her know what he was doing. "By the way, I'm just taking care of your back", he advised, not wanting to startle, but being a doctor for so long there were some things age didn't alter too much. The patient was to just sit and let him work, and with that, he slipped the back of Kayla's shirt up as high as it could go, keeping it in place with his thumb while using his fingertips to locate the marks left by Ninne's claws. Once his patient winced, Jacob brushed some of her fur out of the way and raised the cylinder, clicking it on with it making a small, high pitched sound and light red beam. It was a doctor's basic tool; a dermal regenerator. Kayla appreciated the help and tried to stay still, even if she wanted to continue talking.
"Not everyone down there is in good spirits, which seems to be my fault. My old friend was a Drakonian, so I didn't stand much of a chance in a fight", Kayla went on to say, while facing forward - eyes locked on the leg of Jacob's desk chair to make sure she didn't move on him. Jacob's own eyes were fixated on his work, moving the regenerator in quick, skilled, and fluidic motions. He was too good at what he did to lose too much of his ability.
"Fight huh, not just a scrap? I doubt you started it, not if you ran up here. Only been in one fight, and that was back during my first cycle of life. I was in the acadamy. You know, Starfleet Medical, being a doctor and all. This is well before I met my best friend, during my second cycle of life, so when I was confronted by one of the human cadets, I fought back. Didn't take much, since when I'm older my tail is longer and heavier. Used it to knock his legs clear out from under him, then just beat him. Claws got him too, when I had kicked him once or twice", the Karrian boy spoke as he worked, shifting his posture to get more behind Kayla's back and moving his tail along the floor from time to time. At the end of stating what had occured, he chuckled in reminicence, shaking his head slightly. "As punishment, I had to be his doctor and perform the healing needed after my pummeling. Broke his right arm, so it took me a while, being so new to the art. My commanding officer was brilliant in doing what he did, since I had to look at the damage I caused in order to fix it myself. Felt very guilty, and never did it again", he went on to finish his story as he provided the finishing touches to fixing the injuries Ninne caused. Didn't break the skin much, but at least now his guest would be comfortable. Figured the story was one she could relate with too, being all too familiar with punishment. Kayla found the boy to be calm and wise, obviously having been around for a while longer then she had. As the sound of the regenerator stopped and Jacob fixed the back of her shirt, she turned her head and her ears, feeling no discomfort in her back.
"Speaking of which, should you be playing doctor at your age?", Kayla was forced to ask, not sure what someone would think of a seven year old boy with a box of medical supplies in his desk. All Jacob did was make a gesture with his paws, keeping the dermal regenerator in his right claw.
"When I swore to the hippocratic oath, I swore to follow it all the time, not just some times. Besides, I've been doing this long enough. Not letting anyone take my profession and hobby away", Jacob admitted, without saying one way or the other whether he was allowed to continue his practice. He wasn't a penitatas, so she figured he didn't leap into any bad habits. What he said though did bite at her heart though, thinking what he was avoiding was essentially what happened to her.
"Lucky, cause someone took mine away. Granted mine wasn't legal, but even it's benign side.. ", she went on to say gloomily, before groaning a bit and just saying it. He wasn't a penitatas, which made it harder to talk of matters of discipline and what she was ordered to endure. That much he would not be able to relate with. "I've been forbidden from using the computer console at work, since returning home from being kidnapped the other day. It's a horrible thing to experience, seeing my datachips stationary, to collect dust. I can't do anything I love", Kayla explained, crossing his arms and thinking into it. Jacob did have a hard time imagining how much that would drive him mad, but did make him feel for her. Didn't seem like at all a bad person, but she had gone through so much when she had been kidnapped, and apparently just as much as when she got back. Days after, she's still getting new injuries.
"Not to mention Doctor Wyatt wrote a symposium on the procedures used on you, and a glimpse into Aspatrian anatomy. That security report I mentioned was coupled with his research - he's a well respected doctor. You were fortunate to have him work inside of you, I could barely notice any cell deviation along your spine, and your nervous system is good enough to outrun a Drakonian. You've been through a lot, Kayla", the boy went into as he stood up from his seat only enough to drop his regenerator back into the black medical box it came out of. The fox could only agree, which she did quietly, feeling understood.
"Perhaps too well. If he did a poor job, I may not have felt the beating I got when I got home", the fox girl sighed, flicking her tail around to her side to place her right arm over it. The remark too was something new to Jacob, not used to hearing such things directly. Everyone knew what penitatas delt with, but not on such a close basis. It actually hurt to think of someone kind being subjected to such pain, intentionally.
"Are you okay? I can take care of anything else that might be bothering you", Jacob was prompt to offer, standing up onto his young footclaws to close up his box and tuck it away, just to ensure it stayed with him. Surprisingly enough to him, he felt a light smack on his tail, turning his head to his right to look over his shoulder with a hum. What he saw was a relaxed smile from Kayla as she stood up and stepped to his side, placing her paws upon his desk and looking out of his window.
"You're so worried about me, but... You're a medicalos; what about what happened to you? Anything that happened to you had to have been worse", Kayla went out and said, finding the Karrian to be selfless, if his story from earlier didn't show right off. He was sworn to be a healer and do no harm, but there hasn't been an utterance of what happened to him, and what others could do for him. Wasn't at all what she expected from a medicalos. Seeing the smiling, feminine fox muzzle at his side made Jacob relent, looking down out of his window as he slid his desk's drawer closed. Speaking of what happened wasn't his thing, but she did make something of a point.
"What you mentioned, is the exact reason why I am a medicalos. I was worried about their well being, and felt I should do my part", Jacob spoke, though vaguely.
"Their?", Kayla chimed in, once she realised the Karrian had already finished his story. She was curious, she couldn't help it. Between them on the desk was that burnt com-badge, clearly worn by him mere days ago. Jacob's right claw even turned a bit, so his fingertips could touch the left tip at the end of the Starfleet insignia.
"My crew. There was an accident involving radiation on the deck of the medcial vessel I served on, and the lab did not shut down as it was intended to. I went to the room and shut down the power relays, so the ship would not be destroyed, or younger doctors die. Didn't want that to happen", he spoke softly, and quietly, without much pride in his voice, nor arrogance. Without interest in being seen as a hero, he didn't mind what he was viewed as. As he expected, he did not get showered with needless sympathy from Kayla, even though a part of her was in pain as she looked down at his com-badge. As damaged as it was, she imagined what he must have looked like. He must have known he was going to die, as smart as he appeared.
"Sometimes that just happens. It's liberating to use your knowledge to do something worthwhile. Afterall, it was me whom got one of your other guests arrested", the fox snickered softly in reference to Paul, enjoying the company. It was harder for her to tell, not having known Jacob or his species, but even he was feeling the same way. There was a trait about Kayla that made her comfortable. People tended to make him feel repressed or pressured, but she treated life differently. Maybe like his, or maybe she seemed like Cameron, to him. They were both alone in their unique struggles, and here they were together. Smiling lightly and idly, Jacob remained quiet as he normally did, seeing Kayla examining his badge down upon the desk.
"I'm attached to silly trinkets as reminders of my memories and life. Sorry for keeping this thing laying around, it looks like hell", the dragon apollogized, tapping on the desk with the claw of his right index finger, beside his com-badge. The fox was quick to shake her head, picking it up into her right paw and keeping her eyes on it as she turned it around and examined it. Confused Jacob a bit, wondering what she was analyzing. Unless you were in the military, you did not have one, but you still knew what it looked like. He didn't speak and allowed her to look it over, and after some time, Kayla carefully used the tip of one of her ebony canind claws to prick a spot on the badge. With a click, the top of the badge opened with difficulty with the gentle, very careful lift from her claw. The bottom part of the badge was opened, with her barely able to look in since it didn't open much.
"How did you know how that opened?", the ex-Starfleet officer had to ask, placing his right paw on Kayla's left arm and using his draconic toes to look inside of his old badge as well. His head turned away from it to get a more serious, different sort of look from Kayla, as if that was not an expected question. She stumbled for a moment, looking back at him instead of the badge, but she responded.
"There are things I know that I likely should not", was her reply, before her eyes returned to the badge and peered inside of the device. Jacob had to accept that as her answer, even if he wasn't sure why she was in there and what she was doing. Didn't take her more then a few more moments, but the fox took a breath now that she did not have to keep the badge steady, closing it with another gentle press till she heard a click. Setting it back down on the desk, she grinned and turned her head slightly, so the two's muzzles would point towards eachother.
"Might actually be able to fix this com-badge. The damage on the outside is bad, and the inside too, but it's mostly relays and smaller, more minor components. Been a while since I've worked on circuitry, but back in my day I used to make my own connection bridges for my hacker console", she added on what sounded like a playful note, and an offer. Jacob wasn't sure about it, but.. his badge could work again? He found the idea to be interesting and impressive both. Kayla deffinately had more intelligence then a rock. More he was around her too, he began to notice she smelled pretty damn nice. Must have been the fur, he figured.
"That would be awesome! You mean, something we could work on?", he asked, voice actually sounding a bit excited. Didn't think he'd actually make a friend. His mother deserved an appology for his stubborn nature. Still wanted to be alone as long as it wasn't one of his friends, but.. looked like he had found that one person. "And, to turn one of your questions back at you, do you think you should be playing military engineer at your age?", he added with a playful smirk of his own, only feeling slightly silly for doing so. Was still a fair question. Two kids messing with a com-badge wasn't massively innocent, but not illegal either. Sort of.
"It's more a matter of getting the tools. I sure don't have access to much of anything, unless you need a paddle", Kayla was forced to respond with a shrug, thinking she didn't have much to offer in honesty. Jacob just shook his head and hummed.
"I can see what I can do about that issue. Do know I won't be needing a paddle though. Somewhere around here miss Rich has plenty of them", he thought, looking down to the first floor from his window at all the hover cars. The pleasant atmosphere and not being alone kept him quiet, but in a less apprehensive manner. There wasn't anything for them to be afraid of up there, now surrounded by those they could relate with - eachother.
"Thanks for not saying anything about my fight with my old friend, Ninne. You're a good guy Jacob, even though I didn't know what a Karrian was till you told me. You feel like playing anything? Let's forget everyone else for a while. There's no spotlight up here", Kayla said after some time, furry thumbs back in the pockets of her jeans. The two had found just what they were looking for, and Jacob didn't need to think twice before he nodded and provided his approval. He had been seven for quite some time now, and there had been an itch to enjoy and entertain himself now that he wasn't in command of anything, and had his young mind to guide his urges. Finding something to do didn't take long, as they picked through his toys and games in his closet, finding small, light things to do while they talked and got to know eachother. From Jacob's medical knowledge, to Kayla's subject of what type of tree made the most painful switch.
For them, it was the furthest they had gotten from their harsh realities since Christmas.
Two other figures stood out in the hallway, whispering near silently with the occational peek into the doorway to see how the two were doing, through the crack in the barely ajar door. The older women stood with light smiles, watching and listening to their distracted charges in secret.
"Do we really need to whisper this low?", Lory had asked, keeping a hold on her dress so it wouldn't be seen in the doorway of Jacob's room.
"Yes. My daughter's hearing is very acute, we need to stay quieter then they are or she might start paying attention", Emily answered at the same, barely audible whisper. Was hard to talk this way, but when you were hiding your words from two sharp young rejuves, it was just neccessary.
"It's great to see Jacob with someone. Hated thinking he was downstairs for only a short while. Looks like his friend found him though.. he's quite the selective boy", Lory added as an opinion, after leaning in and looking through the crack in the door again to see the fox and dragon at play, laughing about things and simply getting to talk. Jacob seemed like he was bottling things up, and Emily could have said the same about Kayla. It was a relieving sight.
"Kayla needed the friend too. I don't like thinking I need to discipline her again. Sorry she seems to have been involved in some trouble", the other mother replied, arms crossed and thinking of what to do with her girl. Didn't want to disrupt the two though with the penitatas matters; not in front of a medicalos.
"From the sound of it, Kayla wasn't trying to do anything. Doesn't look like she'd be a horrible role model for little Jacob. I'm just thankful for her, and look at them.. they seem like good friends, just.. talking away. If they're going to get along so well, I'd love if Kayla came over more often. Give them a chance and all", Lory went on to explain, as if analyzing the situation and it's options out loud. She had a penitatas parenting liscense, it would be no problem taking care of Kayla.
"Yeah, but there's the whole discipline matter. What about Jacob?", Emily was forced to hum, working out the details even if this was exactly what she wanted. They couldn't care if they ditched the other penitatas, if this is what finally made them feel better. Lory shook her head, making a gesture with her left hand.
"No way around it, Emily. Jacob wanted to live in a penitatas neighborhood, and his friend is a hard timer. He's going to have to get used to this", Lory had to admit, speaking more softly. This is something Jacob would need to live with if Kayla was going to be around. Seeing Emily trapped in thought, she figured she might have to settle this herself. "Tell you what. Follow my lead, we'll go from here", she suggested, placing her hand on the door's knob. Once she got a nod to proceed, Lory pushed the door open lightly and stepped into the room, finding Emily and Jacob side by side on his bed, laying on their bellies with a miniature version of chess between them. They were in mid-chatter as she stepped in, and Emily behind her. Jacob appeared oblivious, still all comfortable smiles, though Kayla's stance changed. Her ears folded back, and her head sunk towards toward's the bed's mattress. There was always the chance this was not a friendly visit, and looking towards her side, it seemed Jacob didn't know that.
"Hey you two! Having fun?", the medicalos mother asked first, hiding any alterior motive she may have had. This was indeed the question, no tricks about it, as she knelt down in front of the bed. Right in front of the boy and girl, she got their response - a firm yes from both. Turning to Jacob, this was the primary question. "Sweetie, would you like it if your new friend was around more often? Got to spend the night at times, and come over?", Lory then asked, specifically to her son. The Karrian boy nodded his head several times, while he thought up a verbal reply.
"Sure miss Rich!", was Jacob's basic reply, still imperfect with his words, comfortable or not. But, that answer solidified a fact that he would have to deal with, and as Lory looked over her shoulder at Emily, the two made a silent agreement of understanding when their eyes met. Kayla knew this, and looked away from Jacob, down towards the blanet and floor off to the side of the bed. The young boy shifted his tail in a contented flick, turning his head to his new Aspatrian, ex-hacker friend to see not her face, but the side and back of her head, with her ears folded back. Something seemed wrong.
"Kayla, stand up please", Emily ordered outside of her softer tone, and made it sound more parental as she gestured in front of herself for her daughter to come. Jacob watched his new friend slip from the side of his bed as directed, stepping in front of his bed to stand up straight, paws behind her back. The look on her face could mean only one thing, he knew, as his new mother sat down on the end of his bed and beckoned him to sit in her lap by giving it a few pouts. His claws were held together in front of himself once he got off of his belly, feeling a lump in his gut as his mother helped to settle him into her lap. Eyes looking on wearily to what was going on in front of him, he found Lory's hands tucked into his own lap, as if to keep a hold of him and provide support. Jacob was about to look up and say something to his mother, when Emily began to speak, more harshly then her first order at that. This wasn't something he had witnessed before, looking around nervously at Emily, Kayla, and those silver filled-in 'P' markings he could see through the orange fur on the backs of her paws she kept tucked just above her tail.
"Word does travel, even if there are no adults in the room. It's my understanding a lot of things were likely not your fault, but it does seem likely you were directly involved in most of the violence I heard of. I heard you had a fight with Ninne, and may have been rough with other penitatas. Truth - now", the mother spoke as if one long declaration of guilt, as if reading off charges formally. Jacob tensed up all through hearing those words, and then hearing that Kayla's mother wanted her to admit her own guilt. His maw opened slightly, looking over to his new-found friend, to see how she would reply. She had been so kind, w-why.. did they.. ?
"I did, momma", Kayla was quick to lower her head and admit. Sounded as if her mother didn't have a clear story, but there was enough to punish her for. Now all she could do was submit. Hurt her to think Jacob, not even a penitatas or someone she knew long, was seeing and hearing this. Embarassing, and likely intentionally so. Jacob could see a nervous sway in the fox's tail, and Lory began to hold him in a hug of sorts even tighter. "Ninne attacked me. Stephanie just said things that I.. couldn't take. They were.. ", the young penitatas went into explaining, before being stopped by her mother raising her right hand.
"Enough. Things happened and you did not handle them appropreately. As a penitatas, you cannot behave that way, and get physical. Self defense is one thing, this is another. You already knew this, and the consequences, and you will be punished. Here, and now", finally came the dreaded resolution, the line that would seal a penitatas' fate. Jacob could see Kayla looked upset at the news, only moments from something happening to her.. what though? He watched as the older human knelt down in front of Kayla, pulling her paws out from behind her back and undoing the button above her tail. Instinctively he wished to turn away for the sake of Kayla's modesty, but there was not much else to look at, seeing the girl's jeans and underwear tugged all the way down to her calves. This was.. he didn't even know what it was. Anticipation boiled in his stomach as a penitatas' would before a swatting, as if he himself was in the hot seat.
"Are.. you going to make me watch this?", Jacob had to ask almost shakily, trying not to imagine Kayla's potential pain, and why he was in his mother's lap. They weren't normal rejuves; they were disciplined very badly, and it wasn't something he had seen before with his own eyes. Relieving pain and preventing it had been his duty as a doctor, and seeing a friend in this situation was hard. Lory looked down at her boy, stroking his claws in his lap.
"No Jacob, I wouldn't do such a thing. If you want to leave, I'll let you out of my lap to stay in the hallway. But this is something you should get used to and accept. Your friend is a penitatas, and she will be spanked if you are here, or not. She's used to having an audience by being around other penitatas. However, you're not used to seeing and hearing it. This is something I would have to do if Kayla was your friend honey, and there is no guarantee you'd never see me discipline her", he heard his mother speak softly from above, almost rocking him to make this easier. His breathing was heavy and his body tense, but what miss Rich said was correct. Still.. he didn't want Kayla to get hurt. But there were so many penitatas, and even such displays and nudity even in the local mall and soon to be his school. This is what penitatas had to endure as punishment for their crimes, there was no way around it. It was easy to accept as an adult and never seeing the act for yourself, but in his current age this seemed heavy.
His regretful little eyes watched as Emily pulled his desk's chair out into the middle of the room, positioning Kayla and bending her over the seat of it, as if laying her there. Seeming to know what to do already, Kayla's paws had reached for the legs of the chair with her legs spreading slightly, all before her tail reached for the sky. From Jacob's position, he could see her left side, face, rear.. all positioned so he could see the spanking, as well as Kayla's reactions, to get an understanding for his new friend's life and discipline. Kayla faced forward and downward slightly, though Jacob did notice her look deviate and look towards him for a moment before looking back. How quiet and acceptant the girl was seemed admirable, following each direction of her older human parent. Taking a quiet gulp, the Karrian prepared himself, knowing that this was something he would see a whole lot more then once. In his own way, feeling out the logic of it, he needed to gain a couple penitatas traits in order to be comfortable around them. He had seen his patients bare, and he had seen rejuves spanked before, a couple times. This couldn't be too different, and if it was, it was time he knew and understood what that was.
It was then that this new woman that he understood was Kayla's parent stepped behind the chair, placing her left hand on it's back-rest. Reaching into her pocket, the human slid a slender wooden paddle from her pocket, not knowing if it was part of his mother's stash or Kayla's own. Once the wooden surface of the spanking tool was placed against Kayla's rear, the muscles in her legs quivered as they tensed up and recovered, knowing well this wasn't one she was familiar with. By the feel of it, it felt weighty, perhaps slightly thicker then her own paddle, and not as wide. Instead it was longer, changing the way it worked and how it directed the force of a strike. At that point, Kayla lowered her head defeatedly and waited for the first swing of her paddling. Even if it was her who kicked Ninne in the neck and bullied Stephanie, she wished the others weren't such jerks and aggressive people, because then she'd never have to endure this.
Jacob's personal anxieties for Kayla's well being peaked once he saw her mother retract the long, synth-wood paddle from her rear and swing - light from his windows shining off of Kayla's orange fur and the very lightly colored paddle. His ears heard a deep, though higher pitched sound of something cutting through the air, till the paddle impacted across his friend's bottom and clapped a sound that made him wince. 'That looked hard!', he thought to himself, trying to keep quiet for Kayla's sake, as he saw her expression take a heavy wince and her arms shudder while holding onto the chair's legs. That discomfort filled the Karrian's belly, looking back towards the paddle to catch it spank solidly into another portion of the girl's backside, seeing every muscular reaction from her tail up to her ears. Imagination running, he felt an odd pain go from beneath his tail and down his arms, now beginning to understand the penitatas disciplinary topics the two had discussed.
Sifting her body against the chair and digging her pelvis into the edge of the seat, Kayla whined sharply aloud as the third swat of the paddle arrived and radiated it's burning 'punch'. Her ears had filled with tears, strangely having trouble keeping still already. This paddle seemed more severe then her own, thanks to it's thickness and density adding a deeper ache and likely bruise to accompany her skin's welting sting. Not fast nor slow, the paddle continued at the same rate, taunting her nerves and urges to move away from the pain she had been perscribed by parental order. Swat, swat, swat.. making her tail quiver in the air and her back arch slightly, pain going down her legs being intense. Eyes clenching and jaw trembling, Jacob got to see her sobbing, getting a feel for the ache she must have been in. He didn't like loose objects striking his reptilian skin, or even stubbing his toe, but here was a flat wooden paddle driving force and weight against it's unwilling, yet repentant vicim. Hearing each spank against her flesh and fur and Kayla's subsequent cries made the boy frown while his mind raced about how she was feeling still, unable to get out of that mode where he cared about others physical feelings. Painful to watch, and Lory could feel him squirming lightly in her lap.. she would make sure he felt better soon though, as when a penitatas is disciplined, it is only temporary.
"Kayla is going to be okay honey. This is a normal punishment for her", Lory whispered into Jacob's right ear-slit, leaning in as she continued to watch Kayla's punishment, including a howl from the fox and an outward kick of her left leg. The end of the paddle must have bit into the slightly fattier and more sensitive area where her rear met her thigh, that little crease out near her hip, she figured. Jacob nodded his head against his mother, taking a deep breath and absorbing that thought instead. She had to endure this sort of thing whenever she did anything wrong, didn't she? The Aspatrian wasn't a horrible person by any means, just maybe misguided about her past acts. Wasn't even going to blame her for fighting; he trusted her when she told him about everyone being angry at her over what she had done. The paddle's drilling spanks popped the fox one by one in different places of her rear - from just below the base of her tail, to what looked like even her legs. Seeing her wince and cry out, toes and footpaws squirming, he knew she was hurting badly, as the tool was designed to do. He didn't even count, but it seemed like her mother had been spanking her like that for some time now. Minute or two? As cruel as the act appeared, once his friend made a fox-like howl, crying heavily with the fur of her rear made messy by the swats of the paddle, and it looked like her legs were buckling under the distress, the adult looming over her had stopped. The paddle remained at her side, and taking her left hand from the back of his chair, she had patted Kayla's right hip, above her tail. Seemed to be a sign to stand up, as Kayla pulled her paws from the legs of his chair, where he could see her fingers shake and her sobbing tears, as she had wiped her eyes once permitted to stand up. Posture slouching a bit, and her tail seeming to hug against her rear, Jacob was shocked she wasn't trying to rub her welts and marks left by the paddle.
"Go stand over here in Jacob's corner, you can finish crying it out there. You can keep your tail down, but I want to see your paws on your head, and that tail still so there is no rubbing", Emily spoke with an amount of exhaustion in her voice, showing it took some strength to keep the paddle coming for so long. With a pat on the fox's back, Jacob watched as she shuffled her footpaws against the floor awkwardly thanks to her pants and underwear slipping to her ankles, but without a word she placed herself in his corner, both paws on her head, mostly in front of her ears except for her index fingers. Looking up to his mother, to see her expression, to get a feel for what she felt, he saw her calm smile still. Apparently she was a penitatas parent, and was very comfortable with what she saw. Likely, she had already done worse.
"Why can't Kayla rub what her mom did? Her punishment is over, can't she miss Rich?", the Karrian boy whispered quietly up to his mother, not sure of why she was being made to keep her paws on her head. That looked like a stressful position for her arms, if she was to remain there for a while. During this, Emily was placing his chair back at his desk and keeping an eye on her sniffling, sobbing daughter.
"It's because it's not over, hun. Being a penitatas, it never really is. She's being made to deal with the sting and throb till it goes away on it's own. Technique meant to extend her spanking, in a way, without causing more hurt", she had explained, minding her tone to keep it soft and light, since this was still new to his now adolescent mind. Jacob hummed sadly and looked down, back out towards Kayla. Didn't even move an inch, besides the occational shift from her torso from a sob, crying muffledly into the corner of his bedroom. Couldn't really see through her rear's fur, but the messier portions where the fur had shifted, he could see it was red and slightly swollen. A paddle was a force to be reckoned with, he had to assume, keeping his tail close to him as if to protect it. Lory knew he had a lot going through his mind, since he was a brave and selfless man by default. Was sweet that he seemed worried.
"Soon sweetie, she'll be allowed out of the corner, tug her clothes back up her legs, and go on about her day. That's how things go. If she is good, she even gets nano-lotion to heal the swatting in minutes, or goes and plays to ignore the pain. It's harsh, but Kayla is well taken care of during this time", she went on to explain and assure further, just to put his mind at ease. Jacob still would have rather her not get in trouble at all. She made him feel not so alone, it was hard to see her quietly suffer. While looking over at Kayla, his mother placed a kiss on his green muzzle and lifted him, placing his footclaws upon the floor. Looking up to see what his mother was doing, he saw her stand up as well, joining the other human woman now that she had explained the process of things.
"They had been up here a good portion of the day already. Most of my guests will likely be heading home soon to take care of their penitatas. Should we leave Kayla and Jacob to themselves, till then?", Lory had asked while correcting her dress, since having Jacob squirm in her lap made the garment wrinkled. Placing her hands on her hips, with the paddle's handle sticking from her right pocket, she looked to her girl in the corner, making a decision.
"I think we can leave them to their play, I can have my talk with Kayla later. She knows what she did, and we're going to have this talk over a cold bath to chill her temper", the mother spoke more softly, but still with her parental tone and specifically towards Kayla, to let the fox know this wasn't over just yet. As Kayla has guessed, the type of offense she incurred and expectations broken had disappointed her mother, but it's not like she didn't see it coming. One of those times she knew she deserved it, hoping Stephanie was okay, despite her being bitchy. Her mother's previous scold about using her words and not taking matters into her own paws, back when she fought Ashley, came back into her mind to punish it further. Jacob sulked at hearing her punishment still wasn't over, and the non-spanking punishments seemed as harsh as the spanking ones. But, from the corner of his eye, he saw Kayla nod her head acceptantly into the corner. That was one brave girl.
After some moments with the two parents, discussion turning to things he and Kayla could do together, his new friend was allowed out of the corner once she had stopped crying. Seemed like a while to the Karrian, but it was really only about ten minutes. Kayla's eyes were red and damp once she turned around, but he could see she was still relieved as she tugged her clothes back up her legs, just as his mother had assured. Had to supress a blush across his green, scale-like skin, seeing the fox's bare furred pelvis and more feminine regions while she did so though. Didn't get to see anything with her legs closed, but that was still more then he could do himself, being so modest and shy. She didn't have that option, so.. that must have been why. Still a cute thing to see. Though, as the two parents were leaving the room to leave them be for a bit longer, his own mother was quick to warn him to 'not even think about it'. Sounded like an order, but he wasn't sure what she meant exactly till she pointed at his desk at his desk drawer. Okay, so maybe she did know about his medical supplies. Made him sheepish, but he had to promise not to use it to heal any of Kayla's punishments. Everything else was okay, but he was not to encroach on the adult's discipline of the fox.
Once they were gone, the fox had given him an awkward smile, and she chuckled a little, even if it made her sniffle afterwards. Kayla appologized for what had occured, and that he was there to see it. She had to assure that it was okay, and was her fault anyway. Jacob made the joke that he "liked what he saw", which got a smack to his left arm and a larf from the both of them, as they went back about their business. It really was Kayla's thing to do that, it seemed. He knew likely as well as she did that she would be going home for more soon, but for the time being, she seemed unphased and eagar to complete their game, happy to lay on her belly and let her spanking stings settle. Now that the adults were gone she did rub her rear through her jeans while playing, from time to time, making Jacob wish he could help. The fox didn't even ask for him to break his word, and made a challenge to defeat in the game. Usually he was a solid strategist and would win quickly, but as time passed with their continued talk and play, he had actually lost. Not much of a sore loser, but the draconic Karrian boy did clam up out of surprise. As the light changed in the room, sun moving as more time passed, soon his door opened again with only Emily stepping into the room. This time Jacob looked to Kayla first to see her reaction; this time not getting anything horrible, but she did look disappointed.
"Time to get going. Say goodbye to Jacob, you'll see him again soon", Emily spoke plainly, yet more softly then she did before. No sense in placing the medicalos in the middle of Kayla's discipline. She'd let the two part on their own terms. Kayla turned her head to Jacob with a smile, giving him a nod as she said her goodbye. That smile.. why was she so happy, she knew what was going to happen when she got home, right? Jacob had trouble understanding her acceptance of matters, but gave her the warm goodbye all the same, sitting up on the end of his bed to see the two leave, and Kayla's mother to finally introduce herself once Kayla stepped out ahead of her. Emily, huh? But with a wave of his claw, they were both gone, and things quiet once again. After a busy day, he was tired and could use the quiet, but looking at the miniature chess set at his side, he also felt lonely. He was odd like that - a loner that enjoyed other's company. Couldn't imagine things without Cameron, on board the Apollo. She was always there, and it seemed Kayla would be the same way.
Paying their respects to Lory, once the two were done, they were on their way back home, walking the same path they took. Not having anyone else around but her mother did make Kayla more apprehensive, keeping her head down and expecting a few words from her mother about her behavior or what was to come. But after a block of silence, she raised her head, muzzle almost in a frown from feeling guilty. Was hard to see her mother so silent, as if her actions had hurt her, yet again.
"Mom, w-.. ", the fox began, before being promptly interrupted; her mother looking down with a scolding glance.
"Not until we get home", was all Emily had said as they walked, and she went back to looking forward. Kayla did the same, sighing out of her nostrils. That wasn't good. At least the day had one positive side, she figured, and she had someone new to get to know. She needed at least one friend after all. Once back at their house, Kayla took the lead and stepped in the door first, feeling tense as she could be grabbed and swatted again at any moment. Rear still hurt, so she kept her tail draped down over her rear and pressed in slightly, to defend it from anything that was to come. But alas, nothing did come, and she watched as her mother stepped past her as if she wasn't there, beginning up the stairs. Kayla wrung her paws, but followed, figuring she was being expected to. She followed her mother up, step by step, until she stepped into the bathroom's light to stop and watch. Emily knelt down beside the tub, tapping a few buttons on the console near the wall to disable the heated water. This one was new to the fox, and she wasn't sure if she liked the sound of it - but she didn't have the ability to state her opinion as the tub began flowing and filling with bitter, cold water.
"Strip down honey. It's discussion time", Emily spoke over her shoulder in a half motherly, half penitatas parent voice, as she intended to punish for Kayla's own good. The fox picked up on the tones with her sensitive little ears, lowering them afterwards as her paws went to work undressing. Pulling her shirt off first, she laid it down on the counter to her left, then pulled her jeans and panties down, stepping out of them to place them as well all bunched up on the counter. Standing in only her bare fox fur, Kayla stepped over to the tub and her mother's side, as her mom stood back up, looking down at the water and waiting for it to reach an appropreate height that would cover her daughter up to her lower chest. Once that point was reached, she tapped the console to stop the water, and without a warning, she slipped her hands carefully under Kayla's arms. Getting a decent hold, despite Kayla getting heavier as she grew older, she lifted her girl up and placed her down into the tub. She had lifted her legs before touching the water, but it didn't help the way Emily had lowered her into the water; she still squeeled once she was surrounded by the biting cold. Footpaws and legs first, then her groin, belly, and up to her chest as Emily wished. The bottom of the tub also hurt her well paddled backside, but the cold water also numbed it. Her arms hugged her body for some warmth, as she already began to shiver lightly in a hunched position - cold water harshly chilling most of her body instead of having the usual comfortable bath. Emily gave her girl a few moments to get used to the cold water as she knelt down at the tub's side and picked up her washing sponge as usual and began lathering it up with soap meant for the Aspatrian's fur.
"C-c-cold.. ", Kayla whined, ears folded all the way back. The water absorbed into her fur and bit at her skin, making her shiver a bit. This punishment was a step away from what she was used to. Her tail was small enough to feel like ice, even as she tucked it against her right hip.
"It's supposed to be, Kayla. I'm sorry I've had to punish you so soon after the other day, but you understand the 'why', correct?", her mother said from above, while her gaze remained on the water in her position. Kayla had to whimper as she answered, nodding her head that she did understand. This one made her feel guilty. After appologizing to her mother not long ago for the way she was acting, she went and repeated her actions.. apparently blatantly, if someone had told on her. Emily pressed the soapy sponge to Kayla's upper back and the back of her neck, getting another wince from the fox and seeing her teeth as the cold water ran down the sensitive area from the sponge as she began washing.
"Stephanie is almost a toddler, you could have hurt her. And apparently you nailed Ninne pretty good as well", Emily went on to scold while scrubbing her daughter and trying to keep her from squirming due to the cold water.
"I'm s-sorry.. Didn't mean to mom, and I promise Ninne hit me first. I wanted to get away, she was stronger then me", Kayla went on to respond, dealing with the cold water she was soaking in, while having more of it rubbed around her neck, back, chest, and arms. For her excuses, while entirely valid, earned her a small cup of the chilly bathwater poured down the back of her neck to make her squeel again and shiver harder a few moments.
"I understand, but the point is you engauged in fighting, and I'm sure Stephanie wasn't old enough to even lay a mark on you. Now Ninne, to my understanding, is likely across the street having the same kind of bath. We know what she did, even if another half the room denied her ever even talking to you", she went on to say while continuing the bath, washing her little one's ears and headfur. The cold upon her head felt harsh, and Kayla couldn't help but keep up a quiet whimper. Didn't have a whole lot to say to defend herself, and at least Ninne was also being punished, if not more-so.
"You're just lucky you're not spending the bath with an old bar of soap in your muzzle, for your choice of words with her. When I told you to use your words and not your fists, that's not exactly what I meant, but I blame Ninne more for that particular offense. I'll just give you a few drops of hotsauce, as a reminder that I won't tolerate it a second time", the mother then added on a positive note for the fox, despite finding out she would be opening her muzzle for something unpleasant soon. Hotsauce was faster, despite the intense burn. It was gone only moments after using it, unlike soap, which was a long session of scrubbing, and swallowing; not to mention an upset stomach. The more she sat and shivered, the more she felt she was getting off light for her temper.
"I understand. I'm really sorry, I-Iiiiee... ", Kayla began speaking with an air of appologetic repentance, till cold water splashed over her head to rince her headfur and ears. Took some moments to recover from that degree of chill, continuing her sentence. "Sorry I made such trouble. Didn't intend to break my word about, you know.. fighting", she was able to finish, while Emily made her get up from her slouch so she could wash her more appropreately, doing it under the water so her daughter would not have to stand and make her cold bath punishment less harsh.
"You'll be seeing Jacob more, so I do hope you are. I need you to behave yourself when you're out at miss Rich's home, and keeping up the violence is a quick way to earn another punishment weekend. No idea what I'm going to do about Ninne, I can't believe that drake", Emily replied, trying to be reassuring and get across her expectations at the same time, while the fox's cold bath kept her listening closely with no time to drift off into enjoyable imagination and play. Kayla made a shaky sigh because of the shiver, happy to hear her mother understood her. Must have been why things weren't all too bad.. still sucked, and the water was frigid, but..
"She can't be made to not h-hate me.. ", Kayla spoke plainly, looking down a bit again as some water dripped off of her chest fur, after it had been washed. Emily worked a few more moments washing Kayla, before taking a moment to stop and reply.
"May be the case, but she'll still pay for her behavior. Just like you do", Emily said in an almost warm way, as if it was a consolation. At least made the end of Kayla's muzzle smile, even while she shivered and shook in the cold water. She did have a way to go it seemed, before she could be that model member of society. Sometimes it was so hard to do the right thing, and suppress those urges of her's. That would explain why she was in this tub.
"That's all good and w-well.. but could I get out of here soon?", Kayla had to ask with a sheepish, almost pleading little smile and look from her face, looking up. When she got a more odd look in reply, she made a sad hum and lowered her head to continue her light shiver. Though, she wasn't really in the bath much longer. Once done with her daughter's footpaws, and pressed the button on the tub's side to begin emptying it, knowing well thanks to Ki'rene that Ninne would be soaking in her's for a while. Kayla didn't deserved that, and once she had her daughter back on her feet, she let her step out of what remained of the water onto a bath towel to let her fur's drip be caught by something. Out in the open air, fur filled with cold water, Kayla's teeth even chattered, but Emily was quick to begin briskly rubbing her dry with a towel. That part was enjoyable and appreciated, aside from the fact it hurt her paddled rear. From head to foxy toe, took a minute or two, but Emily had her mostly dry, and somewhat warmer. Placing an arm around her girl's back, the mother took a moment to kiss Kayla's cheek.
"Now let's go get you a blanket and a spoonful of warming medicine", Emily said in a motherly manner, even if the fox's smile was an awkward one. A spoonful of 'warming medicine' could have only been that hotsauce she had been promised. Oh well, she figured. She was geared up for an evening on the sofa with her mother, wrapped in a thick green blanket to warm back up, even if that meant first she had to 'take her medicine', which she did, acceptantly. The watery red sauce was fed to her while wrapped up on the couch in front of the holo, which made her muzzle cringe and her tongue slip it back to her throat to swallow it as soon as she could. After a few feminine coughs and blowing what felt like hot air, while the sauce burnt at her lips, tongue, and throat, she just covered her muzzle with both paws to try and deal with the hot sting. The spice burned intensely, and honestly made her cry at least a few seconds, but she stayed quiet in her blanket's warm wrap. After a few moments it had subsided some, and some minutes later, dicipated most of the way. Even while snuggled next to her mother to watch the holo, permitted to watch the news now that it wasn't likely going to be about her, her maw burned a little. Live and learn? Hopefully while she was comfortable, Ninne was still across the street howling.