It All Falls Apart

Rose’s and my idyllic very private sequestered life did not last long.

Tent on the couch working on her boobtop as usual, Rose across from her reclined on another couch, reading and filling her mug from Uddy’s upper right teat at the same tome

What started out as a normal peaceful morning suddenly took a life up-ending turn, as I read the local news.

Hhhhhh!” I gasped loudly, tensing right up.

Rose set down her book and let Uddy go. “What’s going on, Regular?”

“‘Louella Portola of Cinnamon Hills woke up yesterday with a life-altering change in her body for which doctors have no explanation.’” I read from the article. “‘Overnight a fully-formed adult pair of breasts grew on her body, just below her originals. Her original pair swelled to over double the size they’d been when she went to bed the night before, with this new pair matching in hugeness. Frantic for answers, she’s undergone a full medical workup and extended battery of tests, with experts around the world poring over the results.

“‘Over in nearby Chesterton, an individual who is not being identified for privacy reasons has over the past week developed a third leg, angled backwards at a 30 degree angle with its foot pointing 10 degrees forward of full right, both these measures accurate when this new unexpected, unwanted leg is at rest.

“‘Only after news of these baffling mutations came to light, a 911 call came in from a man in Wimoweh Valley who has been struggling with penis growth for several weeks. The call transcript indicates that day after day during the overnight hours it grew from normal to big to huge to enormous to gigantic, and has reached the point where he’s trapped in his living room because he can’t pass it through any doorway in his home.

“‘All possible medical data has been or is in the process of being gathered for these individuals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are coordinating worldwide efforts of leading medical experts in practice and in teaching universities around the globe, seeking not only root causes but especially any transmissibility vectors. As of this most recent update, there remains no information regarding how any of these bizarre mutations can even be possible, much less what may have caused them. Anyone suffering any form of sudden unusual changes to their body or caring for someone who has been so afflicted is urged to contact County Health immediately. Anyone in an urgent situation involving pain, bleeding, being trapped, or any other dire symptoms should instead call 911. This article will be updated as more official information is released and fact-checked’” I finished, looking up at my Love.

It startled me how calmly she looked at me, blinking a couple of times. “So?”

So we’re in big trouble!” I yelled, waving a couple of my tentacles around frantically without thinking about it.

Says who?! You mutated with no known cause! What’s to say that whatever changed you isn’t changing these other people?!”

“Yes, and you mutated after we shared sex and you drank my milk!”

“So how many of these other people have you been banging? And how did they manage to get with you and leave without my knowing?” Her snarly smirky half-smile made it clear that she was being facetious.

It’s the milk! I just know it!

“Settle down, Tent!”

They’re going to come after us! And then it’s all over for us!

“OK, let’s do this: let’s plaaaan as though we’ve got to get out of here fast, starting right now. But let’s not actually act on the plan until we have clearer evidence that we’re in trouble. I sure don’t want to give up our near-perfect life here!”

“Neither do I! But I’d rather do that than lose my freedom and become a glorified lab test animal—or imprisoned monster!

Stressed to the point of nausea, the first thing I did after getting Rose on board to actually do something was set up a series of news alerts that would push to me any breaking news regarding mutations.

Once that was done we prioritized what was most to least important for us to take with us, so depending how much time we had, we could take as much as we could carry, ensuring that whatever remained yet to be packed whenever we were forced to stop was of lesser importance than what by that time we would have already packed. It certainly wasn’t an easy discussion; it brought up all kinds of deep feelings in each of us.

In the middle of this discussion a news alert came in, which we read together:

Last Updated: 10 min. ago
U.S. Gripped in Panic as Sudden Mutations Afflict Chicagoland
Associated NewsyBits

Half a dozen new reports of severe overnight mutations have been reported to authorities by citizens all around the greater Chicagoland area. Formerly thought to be localized to rural parts of Minnesota, these are the first reports outside that region, as well as the first for a major metropolitan area. Sudden Onset Mutation Syndrome, or SOMS as it is being called by the CDC is currently a major health threat, whose unknown nature of origin and possible transmission leads to grave concern of a possible major pandemic outbreak.

Further information should be forthcoming from the CDC within the hour, including from a press conference scheduled for 2 PM Eastern time.

Rose quickly mentally converted to local time, blurting out, “That’s now!

Quick as I could, I found and started a live stream, which had already begun.

Transcript of the press conference portion we heard:

Spokesperson (SP): Intensive research continues regarding the nature of this powerful and bizarre affliction. Progress is being made regarding identifying the factors which trigger these extensive mutations. At this time, U.S. CDC and our peers around the world concur that there is no benefit to widespread social isolation, other than from those already afflicted and those who have been in recent extended contact of more than 2 hours with such individuals. Medical personnel and first responders interacting with the mutated should exercise full precautions and use proper PPE, as should caregivers and family members living with anyone afflicted, to the best of their ability with resources available.

All affected individuals with any form of mutation are urged to contact your local health authority for guidance in terms of testing. As much good data gathered as soon as possible is absolutely critical for any hope of preventing this from becoming another widespread pandemic. Mutated individuals suffering and able to benefit from hospital care will be placed in appropriate isolation facilities for care and observation, and further testing as warranted. Mutated individuals able to function on their own are urged to self-quarantine at home, in total isolation if possible, else with a family member or caregiver remaining with them in isolation.

With everyone doing their part to follow these guidelines, our hope is that SOMS can be contained and hopefully cured before becoming more widespread. I will now accept a few questions from the press. Please identify yourself and your affiliation preceding your question.

Ace Bieber, DeKalb Gazette. What about masks and other PPE for the general public?

SP: Not recommended at this time, apart from vulnerable groups such as those with weakened immune systems and those who may feel ill themselves with any sort of illness. We have no reason to believe at this time that SOMS is readily transmissible amongst the general population.

Sally Forthrite, Indianapolis Independent. Is there nothing at all that the general public can do to prevent catching SOMS?

SP: “Catching” isn’t technically accurate. Apart from the important suggestions I’ve already made moments ago, CDC recommends regular health optimization procedures everyone should be following under normal circumstances, such as proper hand washing for a full 20 seconds, which all of us should have been doing since 2020 if not prior. Assuredly precautions will be required, but having learned our lesson from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, wanton authoritarian overreach fueled by panic and jumping to conclusions based upon incomplete scientific research rather than concluded via reason destroys lives via limiting movement and employment as much as the disease itself. We urge everyone to be highly proactive at any sign of mutation and known contact with those who have mutated, and as I just said at all times with or without a current novel disease breakout ensuring that all possible lifestyle health precautions are integral to daily living.

Libby Ral, Washington Post. What is known so far about this SOMS affliction?

SP: Very little.

LR: You started this press conference indicating that progress is being made, which suggests that something is now known. What can you tell us about the progress so far?

SP: In the interest of science and rumor suppression, I can tell you nothing other than that there is progress. Progress does not equal answers, and it remains far too speculative to discuss findings so far, which theories need to be refined and tested further then replicated independently.

(Looks at handheld device) I have just received notice of a situation needing my urgent attention, requiring that this press conference terminate immediately. Myself or Dr. Prodinside will endeavor to schedule another press conference this evening, time to be determined. Thank you.

We turned and looked at each other as the press conference suddenly ended and the stream dropped.

Finally sensing greater urgency, Rose agreed to immediately jump the discussion over to what sort of vehicle we could rent and have delivered quickly to us. It didn’t take long to conclude that the only vehicle we could possibly drive ourselves that would hold us—much less any of our belongings—was a large motor home.

Within half an hour, a flurry of news alerts came in:

Contaminated Milk Underlies SOMS
SOMS Common Factor: Organic Milk

Most devastating of all:

Mutation Milk Traced Back to Area Co-Op

“Read it, please” requested Rose.

“‘Milk from a popular local microdairy distributing through Lakeland Co-Op has been found to be the sole common factor amongst the 36 SOMS sufferers identified and tested to date.

“‘“No other common factor has been found to exist amongst this wide range of individuals and not exist amongst those not affected” explained Johns Hopkins SOMS research lead Tess Toob. “As awful as this affliction is for those affected by it, as a scientist it’s heartening and rare to have found a cause so clearly definitive.”

“‘Records indicate that the milk being sold never underwent standard safety testing procedures, nor was it pasteurized. Advocates of safe food and those advocating for the sale and consumption of raw milk are already lining up for what each side expects to be a renewed battle. Lakeland Co-Op itself is under investigation related to this matter, as well as newly-released information regarding an ongoing investigation into ties with the notorious Chicago-based TodlinTown Boys Mafia.’”

Rose’s handheld sounded off before I could read aloud any more. She sat rigidly upright, soon as she read what was on her screen.

“What?!” I demanded.

“Text from Urbi. She says the health authorities are already at the co-op, that you and I and them are all done, and that she’s moments away from vanishing off the grid, for her own survival and to protect us. She strongly urges us to disappear, lest we want to have the world’s spotlight shone upon us.”

We don’t even have a vehicle yet!

Rose wasn’t listening: she was too busy thumb typing.

This went on for awhile, and I lost it. “This isn’t a time to be texting, Premium!

I’m arranging delivery of our escape motor home, alright?! Go ahead and get packing, any time.

The rest of this terrible day through the following morning were the most stressful I’ve yet experienced in my life—more so than any of my mutation events, or even when I first urgently had to leave behind the life I’d known and move out here.

The motor home wouldn’t be dropped off until nearly dawn—an agonizingly long time, under the circumstances. The good news was that we had a motor home into which we could fit being delivered to us at all. Better: it was through an agency controlled by the TodlinTown Boys, prepaid—a final favor pushed through by Urbi before she disappeared, in exchange with the Boys for vanishing before having to name names to investigators, so she’d not have to expose the mob members she knew.

Urbi’s disappearance proved critical: she ensured that the few who’d made deliveries and pick-ups here also vanished as she was doing. No one else at the co-op knew the source of the milk, hence they honestly could not direct investigating authorities to the microdairy—us—even when detained and, yes we learned much later, tortured for testimony.

I did not sleep at all that night. It amazed me that Rose managed to catch some Zs here and there as I tossed and turned and fretted. Between packing and struggling mightily to find a sufficiently coy way to tell my online clients that I would suddenly be offline and unable to work their projects in some manner where they’d not tie my urgency to SOMS, I’d gone to bed late to begin with.

We were up half an hour before dawn, me fervently checking all the latest news updates and Rose prepping our last-ever breakfast in this home—a small, quick one, so we could safely function long enough to get away and not crash and make things worse. To my amazement and great relief, according to the news the authorities—any of them—still had no clue where our microdairy was. Apparently between whatever Urbi did in terms of hiding or destroying records and what I later learned was the existence of 4 other microdairies supplying Lakeland Co-Op, they’d yet to find us.

I remained a hyperactive jittery mess until everything we could take was packed up and ready to be carried out.

Tent and Rose, carrying their belongings away from their home


Leaving this home into which I’d invested so much time and money and loving caring with as many (actually few) of my worldly possessions as would fit with us into the motor home set me off: I exploded into a major sobbing jag, right there outside the house. I was crying so hard, I lost my strength, and had to set down everything I was carrying.

Rose set down her suitcase, coming over and gently tugging my right front tentacle, “Let’s go, Tent Honey! We’ve gotta leave here.”

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! (sniffle) It never ENDS! My life—I put everything into this, to stay here and be safe, and now it all blows up all over again and I’m once again a FUGITIVE on the run! WEEEAAAAAAHHHH!

“Come on, come on: you can do this” she urged me as sweetly as possible, still gently tugging and now kissing that tentacle. “Pick up your stuff and let’s load up and go. Then once we’re away from here, we’ll work things out, together.”

An alert coming through on my handheld with the breaking news that all 4 known microdairies on record had been inspected and found to not be the source of the contaminated milk and having never sold any milk branded as the contaminated milk had been, along with an anonymous tip that there was an undocumented microdairy somewhere in the Cass County or nearby region shot a new burst of panic adrenalin through me. No time for tears: with plenty of strength (from the adrenalin rush) I grabbed all I was carrying and charged towards the motor home, parked on the dirt access road just short of Rose’s house.

Rose struggled to keep up with me, but that was OK: it gave me more time to flail around inside the motorhome stuffing what I was carrying into any possible storage space without inadvertently whacking her with my tentacles in my panicked rush.

I don’t think I can drive this thing!” I cried out, struggling to squeeze in close enough to the driver’s position.

Having just finished setting down her essential belongings, Rose boob hand walked over and gently eased me back, “I don’t think you should be driving with your total lack of sleep no matter how well or poorly you fit. Go get settled or get back out and do a final once-around check of this rig and that we didn’t leave any essential bags outside, and I’ll get myself into position and everything adjusted so we can roll.”

The motorhome rocked like a small boat on choppy water as I rushed towards the side exit door, acting on her final inspection suggestion.

The rig looked perfect: tires inflated, nothing hanging off nor out, nothing missing nor weird. Nor had we left any bags outside. Rose later told me that she thought my burning off more panic energy might settle me down and make for a better trip for us. Good idea, though the sound of the engine starting blasted another adrenalin shot through me: being so sleep-deprived, I irrationally thought that Rose might leave without me!

Quickly I rushed back inside, closing and locking the door.

The motorhome eased away smoothly. Rose’s control of the vehicle impressed me.

Looking out the back window at our lake and our homes gradually disappearing undid me: again I burst into sobbing.

She had a free hand to grab one of my tentacles wandering near her, pulling it to her lips for a quick kiss as she drove, now taking the turn cutting off any view of our properties and getting that much closer to the 2-lane rural highway. Though we needed to move and get away fast, driving our dirt access road was never fast in any vehicle. Beyond that, driving like we were in a rush would be telling, and likely to attract unwanted attention.

Only much later did Rose admit to me that she too was nervous until we reached the highway and turned onto it, and even after that until we were out of the area. At the time she seemed smooth and calm, and assuredly she drove the motorhome like she’d owned and driven it for years, and was starting a relaxing vacation trip in no hurry.

“Where are we going?” I asked, soon as she reached full speed on the highway.

“North Woods approximately, as we discussed yesterday.”

“Oh yes, I remember now. Sorry, but I’m nearly dropping octo-bricks from fear of being caught.” Suddenly enough to surprise even me, I let out a big sigh, “But maybe it doesn’t matter.”

“Of course it matters! Why wouldn’t it?”

“We can’t keep running forever, Rose… at least I can’t. Apart from lacking resources to repeatedly establish new homesteads just to run away from them the next time and time after that and time after that when we’re tracked down, I lack the energy. Life shouldn’t be this hard!”

“Agreed! So now that we know one or both of our milk is or are problematic, we don’t sell it any more.”

“But they’ll still trace us!”

“How?! Nobody knows it’s our milk, and there’s a minimum of 36 other people who’ve mutated. Heck, have you seen or heard even one report where they’ve mentioned that it isn’t even bovine cow milk?”

I had not. This blatantly obvious oversight on the part of the authorities and/or media blew my mind, rendering me speechless in the moment.

She turned on the radio, which she’d set earlier to the area’s news station when I was rushing around outside doing my final check.

Anchor: Following the fatal shooting of a Sudden Onset Mutation Syndrome sufferer by a neighbor who claimed without evidence that the victim gave them the disease and caused their own mutations, the problem is only becoming more widespread, per the latest CDC statistics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 14 new SOMS cases already this morning. KMLL’s Andy Stringer has more.

AS: Moments ago, CDC spokesperson Flo Shott released the latest SOMS numbers, having this to say:

“All the new cases follow the pattern of the 12 reported last night and the previous 36 known cases: consumption of raw milk sold under the Lakeside Bucolic Farms label. Cases so far remain in the upper midwest, within the distribution area for this product line. We at CDC urge anyone who has any unconsumed Lakeside Bucolic Farms milk of any variety—regular Whole, Low-Fat, Pinnacle Premium Creamy, or any other as-yet-unknown variety sold under this brand—to contact your local health department immediately, to make arrangement for collection for further testing and safe disposal. Anyone who has consumed Lakeside Bucolic Farms products at any time should contact both your local health department and your health care provider to arrange for testing and possible quarantine, whether or not you’ve experienced mutations or any other symptoms. This is of the utmost importance to contain this extremely debilitating condition before it can spread further.”

AS: All evidence to date indicates that SOMS spreads only via consuming this contaminated milk, though ongoing research over time will be needed to ensure there are not other pathways of transmission, hence quarantine requirements being in place for those affected, as a precaution. Andy Stringer, KMLL Lakeland News.

Anchor: In addition to those who’ve died due to SOMS mutations themselves, the disease claimed its first victim via murder today. Ben Dere is on the scene just west of Chicago:

BD: Already suffering the effects of SOMS, Oak Park resident Opal Stone suffered loss of life at the multiple hands—6 at last count—of more recently-mutated fellow SOMS-suffering neighbor Alex Yannopolis.

“It was the most brutal murder scene I’ve seen in over 21 years on the force” Oak Park Police Captain Lloyd Ridgeland told KMLL. “But then, that’s what 6 trigger fingers on 4 revolvers and 2 rifles can do.”

BD: Yannopolis blamed neighbor Stone for giving him the disease, despite his acknowledging no contact between them nor their having spent more than 2 minutes closer than 6 meters to each other in months at least, and despite health authorities so far having found no evidence of inter-person transmission. He is currently being held in the dedicated mutant cell at Oak Park Jail on premeditated murder charges, pending determination whether it is safe for others in a courtroom setting for arraignment to proceed with a SOMS sufferer present. On the scene in Oak Park, Ben Dere, KMLL Lakeland News.

Anchor: Authorities continue to struggle with locating the small dairy from which the SOMS-triggering milk originated. Tella Whowherewhenhow filed this report:

“It’s a Mafia thing.”

TW: So explains FBI lead investigator Snoop Pryor.

“Clear signs of Lakeland Co-Op having been infiltrated by and at least partly under control of the Chicago-based TodlinTown Boys are everywhere. We know there’s at least one additional undocumented microdairy which has been distributing through Lakeland Co-Op, including the one which sold under the Lakeside Bucolic Farms brand. Key co-op employees and Mob figures with the information we need are currently fugitives from the law. Rest assured that we will find you, and that your best option is to turn yourself in as soon as possible and cooperate fully with authorities.”

TW: Asked what resources were being deployed and what plans are in motion to track down and apprehend the fugitives, Mr. Pryor made clear that making public any such information would play into the hands of the Mob, further delaying garnering the needed information and ensuring the shadow dairy is out of business for good. Tella Whowherewhenhow, KMLL Lakeland News.

Anchor: Litigation continues regarding the controversial matter of who legally owns the Minnesoda Cracker trademark–

I stared out the windshield as Rose tapped the radio off and kept driving, grateful to not be seeing any law enforcement vehicles.

Seems Rose was thinking the same thing, else she read my mind. “So remember: if we get stopped, we’re scared sisters who went through our extreme mutations within the last few days, heading directly to our family’s vacation cabin to self-quarantine away from everyone else.”

“And when they ask for our ID and see that our surnames differ?”

“OK, we’re half-sisters. Better?”

“Yes, but then they see at least one of our udders, and we become suspects.”

Apparently I crossed Rose’s threshold of tolerance, “Work with me here, Tent! Nobody knows all the various ways that people can mutate—including us, for real! Given that we both got udders from this thing, udder mutations are totally possible for innocent young women like us.”

“But we’re not innocent!”

She fixed her gaze out the window, huffing and snorting wordlessly. Ticked as she was, she couldn’t deny that we were culpable… at least she wouldn’t deny it directly and out loud.

Motorhome whizzing by on the highway, to the right

Rose continued to drive like a champ, despite being as stressed and frustrated as me, locking it inside better. I was in the back of the motorhome brooding, looking at all the beautiful scenery blowing by—places where, as a normal woman, I would have loved to stop and visit. No stopping for us… not until we found our next safe space.

I also gave silent thanks to Urbi, whom I’d never met, and anyone else involved in supplying us with this motorhome. The large capacity auxiliary fuel tank, all filled up as was the main tank when we received the vehicle, ensured that we could go many hundreds of miles—500 at least—before having to refuel. We’d packed all the food we had between our homes, buying us more time before this other inevitable need would have to be addressed. What little clothing we owned that fit was with us, on us or packed. It hurt Rose like a body blow to leave her wonderful sewing room setup behind, though she had managed to pack some absolute essentials—tools such as needles, scissors, and so on; thread; and spare fabric—for on-the-road mending and minor alterations.

We wended our way northward, at but not above the speed limit, each doing our individual best to send out vibes of innocence and normalcy. There were indeed other vehicles out and about, mostly passing or crossing us at crossroads. A sports car with Massachusetts license plates that didn’t have but might as well have had a bumper sticker that read “Masshole” rode our tail, repeatedly flashed its lights, then eventually zoomed around us. I’m grateful neither Rose nor I are from whatever part of that state generates these people (nor are we from New England at all).

There were a few sheriff’s vehicles from various jurisdictions through which we passed (all too rural for a full local police force). With me in the back and Rose sufficiently covered up top to hide her mutations, all anyone could easily see was an asymmetrically busty young woman carefully minding the rules of the road, focused on where she was going and safe driving. Somehow she’d found the time to adjust her top udderage/boobage such that it didn’t even look all that asymmetrical from the outside, just big. No one had enough viewing time to make out her teats, and how they were profoundly bigger than any nipples on any known regular woman.

Curiosity had me breaking over half an hour of silence, “How will we know when we get where we’re headed if we don’t have a specific destination in mind?”

“We drive until dark. Or until both of us have a strong feeling of safety and belonging. Think you can handle hearing more news?”

“I was about to ask you to please turn it on. No cell reception here, and it occurred to me that either of us using our devices makes us far easier to track, so I turned mine all the way off.”

“Good call.” She pulled out hers and held it up, “Bring a tentacle up here and nab this from me and turn it off for me, please.”

I did as she asked, contemplating that while she certainly had enough free hands to have turned her device off herself, likely she lacked sufficient concentration to keep us safe and moving at the same time.

She tapped the radio back on, as I tried not to think about given how new this motorhome was, it likely had all kinds of trackable signals emanating from it of which we knew nothing, and likely could not even control if we did know.

It cannot be stressed strongly enough that these latest 34 reported mutations are not new.

“Is that the same Flo-whomever CDC person who was speaking earlier?” I asked, still reeling from sleep deprivation and everything else.

“Sounds like her.”

All of these 34 newly-reported cases happened days or more often weeks ago.

John Thomas, Dickerson Gennie-Examiner. How can it be that these cases were unknown until today?

They were not reported for varying reasons specific to each individual. Many feared shaming or even abuse, all the way up to possible violence if exposed. Others feared loss of freedom. Still others had no fear, nor any issues related to their particular mutation, singular or plural. At least one admitted preferring her mutated body, hence having no need to contact anyone about the changes.

Noel Mercy, Criminy CrimeBlotter. What sort of charges are in store for these horrible people that enabled any of this to happen, to ensure that it never happens again?

That you will have to ask representatives of law enforcement, especially the FBI. Those considerations fall outside the purview and mission of the CDC. I ask everyone to please keep questions on medical and health topics related to SOMS during the remainder of this press conference.

What little else there was of this press conference shed no new information. We listened to the follow-up commentary for a few minutes before concluding that the media were filling time going around in repeating circles until actual new news came in, quite like a wait loop in computer programming. With nothing new to hear in terms of news, and radio reception being poor on any of the few music stations we could get, Rose turned the radio back off.

No matter how far we drove and how much further away we were from our home/homes, to me it felt like there was no escape. The other occupant of the motor home did not seem to be sharing my feelings of melancholy.

♫ Hmm hmm hmm hu-hu humm ♫

“Whatcha humming?” I asked our suddenly-musical driver.

“Lenny Kravitz. ♫ I want to get a-way

I want to flyyy awaaayy

Yeaaah, Yeaaah, Yeaaah ♫”

“Isn’t that what we’re doing?”

“We’re rolling, not flying!”

“Yes, thanks to you! Thank you!

“Gladly, Sweets” she very briefly turned and smiled, before returning her eyes to the road.

Something ahead in the distance on the side of the road caught my eye. “Rose: is that a person up ahead, waving at us?”

“At least one. I see 4 legs, so I’d say 2.”

“Yes, I’m seeing that, but only one upper body.”

“They look like they really want something. What should we do?”

“I don’t know. If they find out we’re mutants and turn us in, we’re screwed!”

Person or persons waving by the side of the road

By this point we were much closer, and could readily see that there was indeed one upper body and 4 legs, amongst other things!

What I saw amazed me. “Oh. My. Goddess.”

“I’m pulling over” Rose announced as she was already doing it, having slowed down in preparation when I was busy exclaiming.

She eased the motorhome to a stop well off the road deep onto the wide shoulder.

The unusual person(?) in the road hurried over to the side door just as I opened it and Rose shut off the engine.

“Thank you for stopping I need your help I need to get away I need a ride pretty please” she blurted out in an ongoing run-on sentence.

“Come on inside” I waved, hoping I wasn’t making a decision I’d regret.

Tent and Rose meet the newcomer, inside the motorhome

The young woman’s eyes nearly crashed into her forehead once her mind processed seeing us. “Oh my gosh… you two have mutated too!”

“It’s happening all over the place, from everything we’re hearing and seeing in the news” Rose calmly replied.

She continued staring at each of us in turn and sometimes herself, struggling for words. “This is just–… this is a living nightmare! First I had a penis, which as a cisgender woman with no genetic ambiguity and hormones within normal ranges isn’t supposed to happen. Then it got bigger, and— I want to talk with you two about all this, but they’re chasing after me!

“Who is?!”

“The mob!—lower-case M. Vigilantes! They seem to think I did this to myself on purpose or I’m some kind of sex slut witch whore who’s drawing evil spirits or some such shit to the area. They’re hell-bent on killing me, or if they can’t manage that, turning me in to the authorities!”

“I don’t see anybody.”

There! Right there coming through the trees!” she pointed, jabbing her index finger straight out towards the window, directing our attention to the nearby forest border.

Sure enough: we could see heads and bodies just starting to make their way through, still at least 3 rows of trees back from the clearing heading towards the road shoulder.

Shit Rose!” I yelled, “We gotta jam!

She was already rushing fast as she could back into the driver’s seat, “I’m on it! Lock up and strap in; we’re rollin’!

There was just enough time to start the motorhome back up and ease back out onto the road without peeling rubber, before any of the angry mob got far enough through to get any clear pictures or videos of the motorhome—we hoped!

We were again rolling further north, sometimes tending east or west, depending what the given road was doing at the time.

Our new guest, appearing to be right around the same age as Rose and myself, slowly looked around the motorhome and at each of us, trembling.

I, on the other hand, was studying her exclusively. “Am I making you nervous, friend?”

“N- n- no. It’s just… I don’t know whom to trust! Nor what’s going on.”

“Neither do we. Hi, I’m Tent… or at least that’s what I’m going by since the mutations.”

Tee-hee!—Oh sorry!; didn’t mean to be insensitive! Just thinking it’s clever, and trying not to think how by analogy that would make me Dick, or Dickteats, or Uddercock, or Bagsnballs, or… (sigh)… I don’t even know what I’m saying any more.”

“We’re good… long as you’re not turning us in to anybody who may want to pinch and prod and invasively inspect either me or Rose, or as bad or worse, lock us up for something not our fault.”

I know!” she excitedly responded, “I never asked for any of this!

“When did yours start?”

Nearly all color drained from her face. “Promise me you’re not going to report me nor kick me out if I tell you honestly, please.”

“Seems to me that we three are in this together, my pretty prongy 4-legged friend.”

Our conversation was rudely interrupted by Rose popping the radio back on.

Anchor: Our team coverage of the Sudden Onset Mutation Syndrome outbreak continues, with disturbing new evidence that SOMS is far more widespread than previously understood. Chicago correspondent Johnson Wacker tells us more.

“Cracked it wide open. We said we’d track them down, and we did.”

J.W.: FBI lead investigator Snoop Pryor, speaking minutes ago at a press conference.

“Each TodlinTown Boys member we successfully and legally detained and questioned was one more piece of the puzzle. As has historically been the case with this group, once caught, members are more than willing to turn state’s evidence. The key to the puzzle was landing Dinky Biggs, the assigned mastermind behind food operations.”

Rose bust up laughing so hard, we couldn’t hear the next part of the report.

I had no idea what was up with her. “What are you laughing at?!”

“The way Dinky Biggs got his name” she continued to chuckle.

“Don’t hold back, Premium girl.”

She again took a brief second to flash me a smile before returning her eyes to the road, “He’s a big, strong man with a tiny package. So I’ve been told from those in a position to know.”

I started to wonder whom she knew who would be that close to this apparent division or group leader. Before fully gathering those thoughts, the three of us heard:

Anchor: Authorities are on their way to Bubblensqueak Lake to shut down the unlicensed dairy at the root of this major health crisis, detain those involved, and at a minimum quarantine the cattle for public safety as they undergo careful testing to understand biologically how any of this could have happened. After that?:

Public Health Official: “We’ll likely euthanize them, for everyone’s safety. Depending on the outcome of the testing and research, we may need to cremate them.”

Hhhhgggh! NOOOO!” Rose gasped and exclaimed.

“What?” our puzzled new guest rider inquired, right about the time I was surreptitiously thwocking one of Rose’s conveniently exposed lower boobs with my nearest tentacle end for nearly blowing our cover clean off!

“We hate to think of anything bad happening at that lake” I riffed, my mind racing to assemble a plausible story with minimal untruths as swiftly as possible. “It’s so nice and quiet and peaceful. Rose and I first met there, and shared some good times there.”

“Have you been there recently?”

{Oh shit!} I thought. Not only do I strongly dislike lying, I’m not good at it.

Rose swooped in for the save, with a deflection, “Things have been so busy for us, neither of us have had time to enjoy a nice lake.”

Our guest was full of questions seemingly aimed at bumping up my stress level. “Did you ever visit the dairy there?”

“I don’t remember there ever being a dairy there, when I was there or Tent and I were both there.”

Technically this was correct: we’d never been, nor meant to be, an official dairy. Just a couple of highly productive lactating mutated women whose milk apparently sufficiently lined up with bovine milk under analysis that so far none of the investigators were seeking humans as the source. I thought about my lovely Milk Palace, and the nice sign I’d made displaying that name proudly on it, and how that blurs the line of dairy/not-a-dairy enough that Rose and I—or at least me—may be all too soon be meeting an untimely end.

It wasn’t just me: tensions were rising throughout the motorhome amongst the three of us. At the time I had no idea what was up with Rose, despite having guesses. Same was technically true of our new rider, though familiar shy person tics and behaviors of hers which I’ve been told I do myself (and sometimes I even notice myself doing them) suggested that keeping things low-key and safe and building up trust ought to hopefully at least keep things from escalating.

Given all the stress, my near-total lack of sleep, our fate hanging at least in part on the outcome of the ongoing investigations, and our guest rider’s curious nature, I chose to refrain from asking her more questions about her situation… not even her name. Best I could do was to keep her and me comfortable, and, with Rose, all believing that what we were doing remained a good idea.

Small talk seemed safer. Even during a major public health crisis, surviving U.S. commercial broadcasters still need to run commercials during lull moments when no news is actually in-the-moment breaking. The news station we were listening to did that, at which point Rose turned down the radio volume, making it easier for live in-person conversation, opening an opportunity for me to redirect conversational flow.

“Nice usage of a sweater” I commented with a smile, having admired her ad-hoc cock cover since first figuring out what it was after seeing it awhile before she joined us in the motorhome.

“It’s the only thing that fits this… thinnnng, growing out of me. This part of me. This… uuulllggh!

It was obvious to me that our rider was uncomfortable with her profoundly potently huge pecker, suggesting that this may have been a sudden and likely recent change.

I was ready to let the topic go, but she apparently wasn’t. “I mean… it’s so, big that… that the tip is twice as big around as my neck! Hell, the head of this thing’s bigger than my head! My head head, I mean. The one up—… you know what I mean.”

“I do. This may not help at all, but I think what you’ve got is very nice, and special.”

What that I’ve got?”

“Everything I can see. As well as the small sliver of your mind and the rest of your non-corporeal body I’ve so far met.”

Our new guest hadn’t been looking good for awhile. Here, she started wavering, as though she might soon fall.

“Are you OK?!” I strove to tone down the urgency of my question with friendly sweetness.

“I haven’t slept for a day or so, and I’m so tired!

“That’s something else you have in common with Tent” Rose called out from up front.

“I know this is going to be weird, and likely uncomfortable on several levels, but would you like to lie down on me? I’m more than taking up all the seating space back here, unfortunately.”

“Yeah, and I don’t fit in normal seats” our sleep-deprived guest whined.

“Go for it, friend! Tent’s awfully pillowy when she wants to be.”

It seemed obvious to me that our rider very much didn’t want to get near me, and at the same time very much needed a friend who was living through her nightmare too, and we both desperately needed sleep! I spread my front tentacles to the sides and opened my arms widely welcomingly.

With a deep breath, she shuffled over. Tentative at first when making contact, my warmth (and I like to think my welcoming nature and friendliness) and safe stillness encouraged her to ease in deeper. The deeper she went, the deeper she wanted to go, until she was cuddled fully into me—atop my udder, resting her weary head on my soft, bodacious boobs.

It was at least as good for me as I sensed it was for her, and I wanted to make it better. “May I please gently wrap my front tentacles around you to hold you, so you don’t have to work so hard to keep from sliding off?”

“How can you even be so at peace talking about your tentacles, like they’re normal?!—Not that there’s anything at all wrong with them!” she quickly backpedaled or corrected. “It’s just that, I can’t believe how calmly accepting you are that you suddenly have big, thick, long tentacles! Sorry, I’m just projecting. I… can’t get used to saying aloud the names of the body parts I… have now.”

I decided to use my more-familiar human hands to gently caress her head and shoulders, and try to relax her. “I just want us both to be safe and as comfortable as we can be, while Rose keeps doing such a great job of driving us to our next safe space.”

“OK. Hold me and my udderly mutated cow-horse-girl body however you’re best equipped for that, please.”

Very gently, I wrapped several of my front tentacles around her, using the tip of one to gently caress her side opposite my body core.

That’s cool” she shared in a near-whisper.

“Mutations aren’t all bad” I replied softly, though not as softly as she’d spoken.

Now no longer needing to use so much ongoing muscle strength to keep from sliding off me, our guest relaxed deeper, shifting her surprising softness more comfortably into my own.

“Where are we going?” she softly murmured, drifting off towards sleep.

I couldn’t totally suppress my sigh, gazing blankly out the window as I continued caressing her silky straight hair. “Far enough away from the epicenter of all these mutations that we don’t have to worry about being attacked by vigilantes, whether in uniforms and with badges or not.”

The smooth ride of the motorhome and equally smooth rumble of the road eased both myself and our guest rider into a deeper sleep than I would have expected.

I hadn’t even realized that I’d fallen asleep until the sudden jarring noises of a stupid radio commercial gave me my umpteenth adrenalin shot of the last 40-something hours, ensuring I woke up fully, and quickly.

Unfortunately the jolt through my body gave our guest her own adrenalin rush, so she too was again awake.

“How long were we out?” I asked Rose.

“Half an hour at best. OK, maybe closer to 2/3rds. of an hour.” She turned up the radio volume as she finished speaking.

Anchor: Our top story this hour:

“There is no dairy operation, nor farm, at Bubblensqueak Lake.”

Anchor: County Health Officer Sana Tarry explained further:

“At least not any of any conventional nature. We scoured the area and, with difficulty, interviewed the one local resident living near the lake full time.”

Rose and I were already giggling before the report could continue.

Anchor: We reached out to this resident, self-professed recluse Mr. Dag Nabbit, to hear his views directly:

“There’s never been a damn dairy here on Bubblensqueak Lake, and I sure as hell wouldn’t drink any milk from it if there was! And don’t even get me started on yogurt, young lady! Bah! Runny over-sweet cheese is all it is! We don’t need no stinkin’ dairy in these parts! Now a distillery here on the lake, that’s another matter.”

“Is he as curmudgeonly as he sounds?” our still-sleepy guest rider asked.

“More” Rose assured her from up front, keeping us moving ever-onward to the next stop on our fateful journey through this bizarre life.

The roads were in good enough shape and the like-new motorhome driving well. Nevertheless, both due to the nature of our destination and our overarching desire to remain anonymous, these were not fast roads. While technically they were highways and assuredly they were all paved, in no way were they Interstates. I remained thankful that Rose was working so hard keeping us safely moving away. Away… ever away. Ever more away from any life I’d known, including the one I’d spent the last seemingly half year (but it wasn’t that long) building!

I had to hold it together: this wasn’t the time nor place to burst into tears… again.

Our traveling companion’s expression of discomfort going up several notches concerned me.

“How’re things, Friend?”

“I hate to be a bother, but… Is there a bathroom in this ride? Or at least a toilet? Or something?”

“What do you need to put out?”

“I need to wee, wickedly.”

Yes there was a bathroom, and it even had a shower when the rig was parked and certain movable panels were adjusted. Thing was, it was designed for normal human bodies, tending svelte. Even if Rose and I had had all the time in the world to pick out the perfect motorhome to rent, odds would have been outstanding that none of them could have accommodated our profoundly altered physiques.

Our guest was in this situation as well, and in her case, I didn’t have a clue how her mutated body worked. “Indelicate question, my friend: how does it work–”

“–I need to take the sweater off to do this” she interrupted me, blushing brightly. “I’m having gender identity issues that you would not believe, related to all this.”

“I believe, and I understand. Hopefully we’ll get to share our situations at some point. For now, we need to get you going. Thankfully even though none of us can fit into this teeny bathroom, your urinating business end can. Do you have enough of a reach to hold it so that–”

“–Yes. And I apologize for interrupting, but I really need to go!”

Perving on this poor stranger was without question a bad idea, but I couldn’t help myself: it’s a thang of beauty, my friends. My own tentacle ends and my huge nips all swelled somewhat as I visually took it in, more so imagining taking it into my bounteous cleavage (where her head had recently almost been in) and letting mutated nature take its course.

Our guest was mostly all set up in short order, nearly ready to “go”. There was, however, a problem: the bathroom door was spring-loaded to auto-close, and she needed both hands to hold her humongous hose. It wasn’t a to-the-floor full door, making a foot block impossible. A knee would have worked, but, to coin a pun, that appeared to be udderly out of the question for her—to which I most certainly can relate!

“I can hold it open with a tentacle, if you’re alright with that.”

“Please. I really do have to let loose.”

It seemed to startle her that I didn’t even move from my passably comfortable seat, merely sliding my nearest tentacle over and holding the door open with ease.

I badly wanted to watch, but she was nervous, and apparently had enough biological human male mutated anatomy to make urinating not possible when nervous. Tired as I truly was, it was easy for me to feign falling back asleep, ensuring that my head was turned away so that she wouldn’t feel exposed if she concluded I was not actually sleeping.

Once she got going, it sounded like many liters came out. Impressive, her holding ability!

Impressive enough that I felt the need to go once she was done. The best I could do was plunge my middle bottom area in as far as I could through the far-too-small doorway and hope for the best. Fortune was with me: nearly all of my liquid waste made it into the bowl!

“It’s getting dark outside, Rose.”

“No, that’s the tree canopy overhead. But yes, it’s been a long day and we’re going to need to stop soon.”

She turned the radio back on for the first time in over an hour, with fortuitous timing:

Anchor: Another turnaround in the search for the source of the contaminated milk behind SOMS: evidence of dairy activity has been found at Bubblensqueak Lake. Health Officer Sana Tarry had this to say, moments ago:

“Just as we were preparing to leave the lake site, Inspector Washwell noticed a rustic wood log building appearing to be of recent construction, with the sign Milk Palace on it.”

My heart sank like a stone. {Why did I have to make that stupid sign and hang it up there?!} I silently cursed myself in the confines of my mind.

Sana Tarry: “While the interior had none of the usual equipment we expect to find at a working dairy, even a microdairy, the doors were certainly large enough to allow cows in and out. Closer examination revealed milk residue on the floor. Soon we found traces on other surfaces. The more we looked, the more we found.”

Anchor: When asked whether this conclusively proves that this was the dairy producing the tainted milk, Officer Tarry explained:

“There’s no proof without testing, and careful comparison with known-contaminated samples of the final product as distributed. In this case it’s to our advantage that this is raw milk, as it makes matching far easier.”

Anchor: As to what happened to the cows and those handling them?:

“The whereabouts of the cows and/or anyone involved with this operation remain a mystery. We find no traces of milk leading anywhere out of the Milk Palace building, and absolutely no hoof marks.”

Both Rose and I had to suppress our respective sighs of relief. I hoped that my expression wasn’t giving too much away to our guest rider. Rose was of less concern, given that her face remained aimed at the windshield, thus far less visible to our guest.