Note: read “Thanks, Doc!”, “I Can’t Do This All On My Own”, and “The Super Hoskins Brothers Super Show” first. Spoilers for the Primal Earth Saga.
Dr. Erwin Stahlberg enters the Faucheuse Foundation for another day of treating sick and injured fluffies.
Before he enters the front doors, he looks up at the sign above the door.
The Faucheuse Foundation
Because No One Else Will
As Erwin heads to his examination room, he passes Dr. Ginger, talking on his phone.
“…Yes Dad, I know I could be making more money treating humans. Yes, I know you don’t see the point of treating fluffies. We’ll have to agree to disagree. Have fun on the oil rig, Dad. Bye.”
Dr. Ginger hangs up, grumbling to himself.
“Ugh. He thinks it’s not a big deal, just snap the fucker’s neck and get a new one, he says. Ha! There’s plenty of bastards who would do the same to humans, he’s just as bad as his brother…”
“I get it, Alex. You know how bad my uncle was.”
“Oh! Didn’t see you there, Erwin. But do you think there’s any more backups of that asshole?”
“If there are, I don’t know what he’d try next.”
“We’ve both got fucked up families, haven’t we?”
“Hey, at least none of your relatives are Nazis, Alex.”
“Actually, I’ve got a cousin who’s a skinhead. Even my dad can’t tolerate that.”
After sitting down in his examination room, Erwin receives his first patient.
A gold alicorn mare, recently adopted by an attractive, blonde pregnant woman and her husband, a tall man who looks a lot like an older Calvin with short hair and a beard.
“Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Korkea. I presume Glitter here needs a check-up?”
Gilda smiles. Unlike Judy’s smile, which is warm, friendly, and highlights her adorable dimples, Gilda smiles like a cat who just found a small furry toy to play with. Or, when she meets a man who is exceptionally handsome and/or wealthy, like a fisherman who just hooked the biggest fish in the lake.
“Oh yes, we’re about to breed our darling precious baby.”
Scott smiles the stupid smile of someone with more dollars than brain cells.
“We’ve got a good stallion lined up, also gold, I think we’ll make a bundle off that litter.”
No, it’s not Gold, Gilius’ fluffy. The couple met Gilius at the park, and offered to breed their fluffies and split the profit.
“No way! I know who you are! You treated my buddy Cal like shit! Ga strak ja’ada!”
Erwin does not like the couple either, because he also knows both of them have treated Calvin poorly. Nobody affiliated with the ChaotiX likes the couple, or Calvin’s other siblings, including Calvin himself.
But Erwin is a professional, and he knows it’s not the fluffy’s fault that her owners are a vain, clueless, gold-digging bimbo and a shallow, spoiled jerk of an eldest brother who is too stupid to figure out that his wife simply cannot stop cheating on him.
Gilda told Scott that their first baby, born six months after their wedding, was just really premature, and that he came out black because Gilda has a black ancestor.
Scott actually believed it.
And of course, Scotty doesn’t know about Gilda’s career on PornHub either.
How do you think she got pregnant? Both of them are porn babies.
Erwin carefully places Glitter on the Stahlskanner, sitting on her fluffy little bottom.
The light flashes green.
“Hmm, she’s in good health, but… oh. I see she’s been spayed.”
The couple is shocked.
“Spayed? But the breeder said she wasn’t spayed! He charged extra, because he said she’d be an excellent breeding mare! He promised high quality litters!”
“Mrs. Korkea, I’m afraid you may have been scammed.”
“Wut spayed meen?”
The couple looks at Glitter like she’s dog shit on their shoes.
Gilda sneers at the fluffy.
“It means you’re worthless to us, shitrat.”
Glitter is crestfallen.
“Muh… mummah nu wub Gwittew?”
Gilda doesn’t say anything, so Glitter turns to Scott, holding her front hooves out for a hug.
Scott doesn’t move an inch.
“D-daddeh nu wub Gwittew ee-fuw? Huu… huu huu huu…”
Erwin starts stroking Glitter, while glaring at the couple.
“I think you two should go. And that you should stay away.”
Then Gilda notices the badge Erwin is wearing on his labcoat.
An X in an octagon.
Gilda’s demeanor changes in an instant, and she seems to forget all about the crying gold alicorn.
“Ooh, that badge means you’re a friend of Cal’s, doesn’t it? It’s been so long since I’ve had a nice chat with him.”
“I always thought he was just a deadbeat stoner. But now, I think it might be time to invite him over for dinner. He owes it to his family to share his newfound prosperity with us.”
“Do tell him that we were here! Let me give you my number, so you can pass it on to–”
“Nur über meine leiche.”
“That means no way in Hell, Mrs. Korkea.”
“Don’t you talk to my wife like that! If you’re going to live in our country, you can at least speak our language, you Nazi fuck–”
“You do not call my friend a Nazi, Scotty.”
The couple turns, seeing Calvin standing in the doorway, holding an unconscious, badly battered red and black pegasus stallion who is missing a leg.
“I heard everything. I have excellent hearing now. You two. Out. I don’t have anything to say to either of you anymore.”
Upon seeing the look on Calvin’s face, Gilda and Scott wisely decide to leave.
“You can keep the shitrat, Hitler Youth!”
Calvin steps aside to allow them through, resisting the urge to use one of his many powers on Scott.
Scott used his power to beat the shit out of someone smaller and weaker and take their allowance on Calvin a lot when they were kids.
After Erwin calls in Rosa to move Glitter to a saferoom, he presses a button on his COMP.
Several mechanical arms descend from the ceiling and disinfect everything Glitter touched.
Even if a patient is healthy, Erwin still does that. After every patient.
When the arms return to the ceiling, Calvin walks in and places the stallion on the Stahlskanner.
Erwin looks at the screen.
“Well, the missing leg isn’t a surprise, but… Gott in himmel! Look at those burns in his colon!”
“Yeah, this poor guy’s former owner shoved a red-hot soldering iron up there for shits and giggles. I walked in just before the asshole could rip off Redstar’s wings.”
“We’ll put him in a regen vat, Cal.”
A few minutes later, Erwin and Calvin watch the regen vat containing Redstar fill with regeneration fluid.
“I’m gonna go see how Glitter is feeling, Erwin. She must be heartbroken. Not the first heart that bitch has broken.”
“Call Gilius, too. He actually wanted to breed Gold with Glitter, but he didn’t want to deal with your ex and brother. Plus, he’s been saying he wants a second fluffy anyway.”
“Didn’t you say that Glitter is spayed?”
Erwin just gestures smugly at the door to the regeneration room.
“Oh. Right. You cheeky devil, Erwin.”
“You didn’t really think I’d tell those two about that? Certainly not after they revealed their true feelings about Glitter.”
“Ha! They’d just turn her into a breeding pillow and have her pump out foals until she croaks.”
“We’re putting them on our watchlist, and we’ll be informing Flufftopia too.”
“Good. Every one of my siblings is a dick to fluffies in one way or another, put all of them on there. I’ll be back to check in on Redstar.”
After Calvin leaves, Erwin gets his examination room ready for the next patient.
Five minutes later, Reiner brings in an earthie colt, with orange-red fluff, a darker orange-red mane and tail, and brown eyes. Reiner’s Luggage follows him inside. Reiner’s wearing street clothes today: a battered leather jacket that might have been red once, an equally battered pair of jeans with a hole in one knee, and a pair of sneakers with paper-thin soles.
Reiner can afford new clothes, he’s just attached to these ones, just like he’s attached to his faded robe and wizzard hat.
“Just want to be certain little Horace here is healthy before I take him home, mate.”
“Chirp! Howace wub nyu daddeh an boxie-fwend.”
Reiner strokes the foal he’s holding in his arms with a finger, and Horace coos.
“Hey, we love you too.”
The Luggage bounces up and down on its many tiny knees, which is the closest it can get to nodding.
“Ah yes, his litter was brought in a while ago, he’s only just gotten off the milk. I’ve been checking up on them frequently, but it never hurts to be sure.”
“Who brought 'em in?”
“Cal. He was just here.”
“Yeah, we saw 'im in the hallway, muttering about Gilda and Scott. Saw them, too. I was practically invisible to those rich gits. Ha! I can’t even cast that spell.”
“Have you ever thought about a remedial course? You should talk to Deston. If he can’t get you casting magic, nobody can.”
“He’s offered, but I don’t think there’s any point.”
“Sei nicht so! You just need to believe in yourself, Reiner. Your friends in the Warriors Four believe in you, the ChaotiX believes in you, Cal believes in you, and I believe in you.”
“Howace bee-weev in daddeh tuu! Peep!”
The Luggage walks over and affectionately rubs against Reiner’s leg.
“Yeah, you’re right. I’ll go talk to Des later.”
“Okay, then let’s just pop Horace on the Stahlskanner.”
Reiner carefully places his new foal on the scanner.
Incidentally, the part of the Stahlskanner the fluffy is placed on is heated, so the fluffies don’t complain about the cold metal.
“Alright, he’s good to go. I prescribe lots of love, und das ist es.”
“Oh, I can provide that!”
With that, Reiner takes Horace out of the room to get him a carrier, and the Luggage follows its master out.
“Luggage, you’ve got my car keys, right?”
Yes, Reiner has a car.
Guess what it looks like.
Just as beat-up as his clothes.
And he loves that car.
Dr. Jackson Clockson brings in Erwin’s next patient, a brown earthie mare who had been pillowed.
He’s wearing Tobey, his waldo harness, and Tobey’s eight spidery mechanical arms are twitching furiously.
Tobey is just as intelligent and friendly as Alfred, Valerie’s tendril harness, and neither harness likes fluffies being harmed.
Neither does Jack. He pats one of Tobey’s waldoes.
“Easy, boy. She’s safe now.”
The waldoes stop twitching.
As the two brothers in science put the mare in an empty regen vat, Jack turns to Erwin.
“Can you keep a secret, Erwin?”
Erwin nods, and mimes locking his mouth shut and throwing away the key.
“When I was recovering Meatloaf here from her owner, I kicked him in the balls, and then I rewound time.”
“I hope you don’t do that all the time.”
“No, and I’m not proud of doing that. But seeing what that prick did to Meatloaf just hit too close to home. I keep having nightmares about Magnum’s old owner coming back and ripping his legs off again.”
“Jesus. Maybe you should talk to Deston too. He’s already been helping Lou with his bad dreams.”
“Dinotites. Lou isn’t exactly scared of that dream, he’s just bored of it.”
“Heh, I can get that. But I kinda wish I had gone on the Primal Earth mission.”
“Hey, our expeditions to Primal Earth have been fun, haven’t they?”
“Hell yeah. There’s so many incredible rock formations there. And those asteroid fragments! They’re beautiful when they start glowing.”
“That, and all the dinosaurs.”
“Ha! Yeah, Cal took me to ride pterodactyls, and now I’m hooked. I’m getting pretty good at it. You know the Iokans race pterodactyls?”
“Really? I’d love to see that.”
“Well hey, the Nerd Squad’s got another expedition next week, I’m sure we can make time for it. I certainly can.”
The two brothers in science laugh at Jack’s joke.
With that, Jack leaves, promising to check in later.
Mayor Jeremy Logan enters the examination room, holding a black luxury carrier containing a black on black unicorn colt.
“Mister Mayor! I see you got a new fluffy!”
“Yes, I was awash with tears when dear old Wuffles finally went to Fluffy Heaven. But I saw Mr. Fusspot here at Flufftopia yesterday, and decided it was time to try again.”
“Nyu daddeh am bit scawy, but Mistah Fusspawt stiww wub nyu daddeh. Peep.”
“Likewise, Mr. Fusspot.”
“Well, let’s just put Mr. Fusspot on the scanner. Most Flufftopia fluffies are examined before being sold, but like I told Reiner, it never hurts to be sure.”
“Ah, yes. They use your Stahlskanners at their breeding facilities, don’t they?”
“Indeed. Pierre rewarded me generously for that.”
Jeremy opens the carrier, and Erwin carefully places Mr. Fusspot on the scanner.
“He’s fit as a fiddle, Mister Mayor.”
“Ah, excellent. Then we won’t hesitate to leave.”
“Where are you going, Sir?”
“Home. I’m going to go visit Wuffles’ grave. I do that every week, and I place a skettie treat on it. But not the yellow ones, he never liked the yellow ones. They’re always gone later, I think the ferals get to them.”
The two chuckle.
“I need to be going, Dr. Stahlberg. We must survive.”
“We must survive, Mister Mayor.”
Yes, that means exactly what you think it does. Both the Mayor and Commissioner Jackson are Fluffy Cabal members too, as is Erwin.
If the Cabal was not so benevolent, it would be something to be very afraid about.
And then Jeremy leaves, carefully holding Mr. Fusspot’s carrier, the foal curled up on a black cushion inside.
Jeremy shares Calvin’s opinion that everything looks good in black.
So do the Deaths.
As Erwin heads out of the Foundation to go to Starbucks, he hears a commotion in the lobby.
Gilda and Scott are still here, and both of them are yelling at Drew, who was unfortunate enough to be manning the counter.
“YOUR NAZI DOCTOR TOLD US OUR SHITRAT WAS WORTHLESS, SO YOU OWE US A REPLACEMENT!!!”
“AND WE’RE NOT PAYING A DIME!!!”
Calvin stomps into the lobby, his eyes glowing red, wreathing himself in white flames.
The couple shuts up immediately.
But nothing burns.
He points a flaming finger at Gilda.
“YOU!!! STOP BEING A KAREN!!! SHIT LIKE THIS IS WHY I DUMPED YOU!!! BECAUSE YOU ONLY THINK ABOUT YOURSELF!!! YOU HAVEN’T CHANGED ONE BIT, GILDA!!!”
Then he points at Scott.
Calvin smirks audaciously, as only he can.
“Go to PornHub and enter Glittering Gilda.”
Gilda’s eyes widen in shock, as Scott does what Calvin suggested on his phone.
Then Scott’s eyes widen too.
Calvin laughs at his brother and sister-in-law.
“Yeah, she’s been cheating on you, just like she cheated on me. That baby ain’t yours, Scotty. Neither of 'em are. Did the first one being black not tip you off? Go get a paternity test if you don’t believe me. Hell, I’ll ask Val to do it for you.”
Scott storms out of the Foundation, calling his attorney to talk about arranging a divorce.
The one smart move Scott ever made in his life was insisting on a prenup.
Gilda, seeing her gravy train pulling out of the station, runs after her soon-to-be-ex-husband.
“Scotty, wait! He’s lying! My grandmother was black, I told you!”
Calvin laughs again, as he extinguishes his flames, and his eyes fade back to blue.
“I’ve met both of her grandmothers, so I know she’s fulla shit. Just like when she said Dave was just helping her find her contact lens in my bed. She doesn’t even wear contacts!”
Erwin and Drew both laugh.
Erwin walks over, patting Calvin on the shoulder.
“You’ve got a fucked up family too, haven’t you Cal?”
Calvin shakes his head.
“Not anymore, Erwin. Because we’re family now. All of us. The ChaotiX, the Cabal, Fluffywood, the Foundation, the Barons, the Iokans, all of the wonderful people who are part of our world… they’re all my family.”
Calvin smiles warmly.
“And I’ll fight to the last for my true family.”