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A Too Late Magical Girl

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    Loose papers, file folders, thick books and numerous legal pads were scattered across the boardroom table.
    At the head of the table, an older man leaned on the polished oak, looking down at a small pile of documents in front of him. He reached down and flipped open one of the file folders, pulled a post-it note from where it had been stuck.
    Not looking up he said, “Miss St. James.”
    “Yes, Mr Cotton?”
    He looked up then, grey eyes seeking out the young woman. “Go down to the library, I need you to check all the cases from 1986.”
    Kristine St. James nodded at the tall Oscar Cotton. “Yes sir. What do you want me to find?”
    He looked at the post-it note again and then said, “You’ll know it when you find it.”
    Several of the other people in the room, all young men and women, rolled their eyes, and one dark-haired man gave her a sympathetic look.
    However, Kristine only said, “Yes sir.”
    Oscar nodded and then began to shift through the documents in front of him.
    By the door was a polished aluminium coat rack on which hung some expensive suit jackets, mostly blue and black. Kristine took a jacket of dark red, worsted wool and slipped it over a white blouse, open at the collar.
    Before leaving she grabbed a messenger bag, heavy with the laptop within.
    Beyond the boardroom was a large, open office space, the perimeter made up of other such boardrooms and offices for the lawyers.
    She paused, looked around, promised herself she would have one of those offices in two years.
    As she walked to the elevators the two-inch heels of her pumps clicked on the office's hardwood floor. Hardwood floors were just one of those things that the law firm of Cotton and Black used to set itself apart from the others.
    The elevator took her down to the lobby, and she crossed the tiled floors, towards the stairs. She was a young woman, looked more or less her twenty-five years, average across the board, maybe a little pretty. No one gave her any more attention than anyone else.
    She walked down two flights of stairs, into the sub-basement. Cotton and Black had space down there, for storage and the library.
    Her security key got her into the room. She reached out and flipped on the lights. The fluorescents came on with a quiet but pervasive ‘hum’ and a barely perceptible flicker. “Too bad the clients don’t come down here,” she said, walking over to one of the scarred wooden tables and placing her bag on it.
    The cases for 1986 occupied their own shelf. Books of past cases and the legal precedents set in them. She pulled several down, carried the heavy armful back to the table, placed them down on one end. From her bag, she brought out a beat up, old laptop, and several pads of legal paper.
    “Okay, let’s go fishing,” she said, and then pulled a book towards her, sat down, and flipped it open.
    Time passed. She ran numerous searched on her laptop, filled almost an entire pad with notes and photocopied nearly one hundred pages.
    Feeling she had found everything she (and Oscar) wanted Kristine put the books back in place and then left the library, snapping off the lights behind her.
    She had been there for almost four hours, and it was a little after seven in the evening.
    The offices of Cotton and Black were not empty, but most everyone had gone home.
    Kristine might have gone home herself, but she really wanted to get things finished up.
    She sat at her cubicle, a far cry from the office she wanted, logged into the desktop computer and then began to write up the document. It was almost ten when she finally finished putting everything in order.
    All the precedents neatly organised, from the ones that had the most relevance to the case to the ones that had the least. There were a few good ones there, but nothing that she would have considered a home-run in the case. She could only hope she got what Oscar Cotton had wanted.
    While the computer logged off, she stretched in her chair, arms above her head. Flopping bonelessly she slumped in her chair, eyes closed. So simple to just fall asleep in the chair.
    She would feel like hell tomorrow.
    Standing she took her jacket from the back of the chair, then slipped her arms into it, pulling it straight.
    Grabbing her messenger bag up she walked through the nearly empty room, towards the elevators.
    She almost ran into someone coming out of one of the offices.
    “Oh, sorry,” Kristine said, jumping back.
    The other woman started, took a step back, then shook her head. “No problem. Here late?”
    “Yes Mrs Kirk.”
    Linda Kirk looked at Kristine for a few seconds. “You’re working with Oscar.”
    “Yes Mrs Kirk.”
    “St. Just?”
    “St. James.”
    “Sorry.”
    Kristine smiled. “No problem.”
    Linda nodded and started towards the elevators. She walked slowly, and Kristine took that as an invitation to fall in beside her.
    Linda was a little taller than average, and her three-inch heels made her stand taller than Kristine. She was a beautiful blonde, blue-eyed woman, looking to be in her late thirties, but probably older than that.
    Married, as Kristine understood it. Not happily, according to office gossip.
    Kristine tried not to pay attention to such gossip.
    Linda was the kind of lawyer that Kristine wanted to be, minus the wedding.
    “You’ve been here for about six months,” Linda said.
    “Yes. Came in around April.”
    “Do you like it here?”
    She and Linda had arrived at the elevators and Linda reached out and pressed the call button.
    “I do,” Kristine said.
    “Are you hoping for a job?”
    Kristine knew what Linda meant. “Yes.”
    “Work hours like this and you’ll probably get it.”
    “Thank you.”
    “Don’t let it take over your life though.”
    “Pardon?”
    “You’re a young woman. I suspect some of the other people articling are out having some fun. God knows I did a few times.”
    “I’ll remember that, but,” she paused, “I like the job.”
    Linda looked down at her, not that there was that great of a difference in their heights.
    “I suppose you do, but still…”
    The elevator ‘dinged’ and the doors opened.
    They both stepped in. Kristine reached out and pressed the button for the lobby.
    As the doors closed, Linda said, “Just don’t burn yourself out.”
    “I won’t,” Kristine said.
    They ended up riding down in silence. Kristine looked at the muddy reflection in the dull silver doors. All she could really make out was her dark hair, brown, worn to her shoulders. Different from Linda’s long, blonde hair.
    “It was nice to speak with you,” Linda said as the elevator doors opened on the lobby, then walked out.
    “You too,” Linda said, following.
    Linda’s longer strides made it clear that their conversation was over.
    Still, she followed Linda across the lobby and out of the building. They went different ways a few steps later, with Linda stopping by the side of the road to hail a taxi while Kristine turned and walked down the block towards the subway entrance.
    When she reached the platform, she took a moment to check her phone. There was a message from Daniel, the dark-haired young man from earlier in the day. He and the others had gone out for drinks, wanted to know if she was going to come.
    She considered it for a moment but chose not to, sending him a text message telling him she’d go out drinking tomorrow night. Friday night.
    Tonight she’d get some sleep and be ready for a busy day tomorrow.

    In another place a busty woman with cat ears sat in a booth, several women with rabbit ears tight around her, hugging her, pouring her drinks, laughing with her, sharing kisses. The cat-eared woman laughed loud and drank deep.
    “Another round,” she called out.
    The rabbit-eared women cheered.
    “Tac is so generous,” a bunny girl with ridiculously huge breasts said.
    “Of course I am my sweet little hare, the party never ends,” Tac said.
    She was well dressed, in a tuxedo cut to flatter her feminine curves, her black hair cut in a short bob that called attention to a long, feminine neck.
    The waiter came by with a new bottle. He coughed, as if uncomfortable. “You’ve run out of money ma’am.”
    Tac produced a card from her jacket and handed it to the waiter. “Of course, put another fortune for my tab, and twenty percent for tips across the board!”
    “Of course ma’am.”
    The rabbit girls squealed happily, fighting to throw their arms around Tac as the waiter nearly skipped off.
    “Oh, my life is good!” Tac crowed.
    A new glass of alcohol (a catnip whisky) had been poured, and Tac was slipping her hands under the clothing of her table mate. “I’m a pussy that knows my stuff,” she told one of the rabbit girls as she slipped a hand between her legs.
    Someone coughed loudly.
    Tac looked over her shoulder.
    Behind her was an older woman, dressed in a severe but beautiful dress. Her lower body was that of a snake.
    “What is it mama-san?” Tac asked. “Do you have a new girl you want me to meet.”
    The woman smiled, though it did not touch her eyes. “I am afraid that your card has been denied.” She placed the card on the table.
    Tac straightened. “Impossible.” She reached for the card.
    “I am afraid it is true. Do you have another form of payment?”
    Tac looked at the card, then shook her head. “Only barbarians carry cash.”
    “Enjoy the bottle, it is your last. Girls.”
    “Awww, sorry Tac,” one of the girls said as she and the others slipped from the booth.
    Tac sighed and slipped the card into her jacket. “Share a glass with me Mama-san?” she asked, holding up the still mostly full bottle.
    “For old times sake,” she replied, slipping the upper part of her body into the booth, leaving her tail to the side.
    “To the good old days,” Tac said, lifting her glass after she had poured two full tumblers.
    “You have spent the good old days here,” the snake woman said as she tapped the rim of her glass against Tac’s.
    “You jest,” Tac said and took a drink. “Why I have hardly been here…” she looked at her watch. “Wow! No wonder they cancelled my card.”
    “I wish you well,” the snake woman said, finishing the drink. “When you are rolling in money again, you are of course welcome.”
    “You’ve got a heart of gold Mama-san.”
    “If that were true I would have cut it out long ago.”
    That said she slithered off, leaving Tac alone.
    She poured herself one last drink, then corked the bottle. She had paid for it so she would take it with her.
    After knocking back the generous measure, she got up and walked with the exaggerated and affected grace of one very drunk.
    Outside the bar, it was daylight.
    Bright daylight.
    Tac’s green cat eyes narrowed, and she raised her free hand up to shade her face.
    “This sort of day is obscene,” Tac said.
    “There is only one obscene thing here, and that is you.”
    Tac turned to the speaker.
    “Gorgeous,” she said as if the word tasted like ashes.
    Not entirely living up to her name, the rail-thin Gorgeous with soft brown skin, kohl-lined eyes and perked up Anubis ears seemed a pretty Egyptian princess.
    “You are an embarrassment,” Gorgeous said.
    “A sexy embarrassment, with cat class and cat style,” Tac smiled, taking her hand away from her brow to place it across her chest.
    Gorgeous’ lips twitched into scowl for a moment. “You’ve left your job undone.”
    “What? You told me to take a couple of years break before starting up work again.” Voice expressing insult as eyes widened in surprise.
    “A couple of years! Two! Like a married couple. You’ve been in that bar for twenty-three!”
    “Your definition of marriage seems both heteronormative and supporting only monogamous pairings. In some cultures I am easily married to many of the women in that club,” she took her hand from her chest and made a gesture, pointing behind her with a thumb, “and our ‘couple’ is much larger than two.”
    “Really? That’s your answer. Twenty-three years in a club and all you can do is argue that you have a different definition of a word?  You aren’t even going to act embarrassed that you have been spending a fortune of the organisation’s money on a party?”
    “So it was you that got my card cancelled. That’s low even for you.”
    Tac took a few steps forward and stood nearly nose to nose with Gorgeous. “You owe me an apology.”
    Gorgeous seemed exceptionally off-put by Tac’s attack, and stammered out, “But it was you…” She took a deep breath, threw her shoulders back and puffed out her chest. “If you want your card reactivated you had better do your job. There is a candidate that you have to take care of.”
    Tac shuffled a step back, realising that she had lost the opportunity to claim the moral high ground. “But it has been twenty-three years, surely that is too late. Maybe it is time I got shuffled into an office job?”
    “Oh? Now twenty-three years seems too long?”
    “Well, for the job. The candidate is probably dead right? Humans only live about fifteen years, right?”
    “You know that is not true!” Gorgeous snapped angrily, taking a step forward.
    Tac skipped back several steps. “But you got to admit, it is like too late. I mean, what adult would ever accept the deal?”
    Gorgeous smiled.
    Tac did not like that smile.
    “Well, that is your problem now. You want your account reactivated, you get your candidate to accept the contract. And until you do, you are persona-non-grata at the organisation. And don’t expect to get any sort of reference from us if you just decide to quit and seek a new job.”
    “Well, shit,” Tac said.

    “Kristine, good work on that report,” Oscar Cotton said as he came into the boardroom.
    Kristine and the other people assigned to work with Oscar had come in earlier, had been working for about twenty minutes already.
    “Thank you, Mr Cotton. So I found the precedent you want?”
    “Not at all,” he told her, smiling. “But it was good work, and it reminded me of what I was looking for.” He held up a law journal and then tossed it onto the table. “I want you to all go through the marked pages,” he told them, “give me your impressions. That is what we will be basing our defence on.”
    With a focus for their work, Kristine and the others set down to get all of the details hammered out while Oscar put it all together in a cohesive whole.
    “Miss St. James,” Oscar said near the middle of the day, “would you like to join me in court on Monday?”
    “Me Mr Cotton?” A moment of modesty, just not to seem too opportunistic. “Yes. I would appreciate it.” But it helped to seem a little opportunistic.
    “Very good. Okay, let’s dot our i’s and cross our t’s,” he told the rest of the team, smiling.
    Kristine knew there would be a little bad-blood that she was going to assist Mr Cotton at the trial, but she knew it would not last. She had nursed short-lived grudges about the same thing.
    A little before six in the evening Oscar pronounced them ready. “Get some rest, have a little fun.”
    Dismissed they gathered up their things to head out.
    Daniel fell in beside her as they entered the elevator, Olivia Smoke on her other side.
    “Going to sit in the big seat,” Olivia teased. Dark hair, dark skinned, handsome, Olivia stood out in all the right ways.
    “Will you remember us little people?” Daniel asked her.
    “Just like you remembered us when Mrs Kirk had you help you on the Rafter case?”
    “I did enjoy lording it over all you peons,” he said, striking an arrogant pose.
    Kristine and Olivia laughed.
    “You heard the boss,” Olivia said as she hooked an arm through Kristine’s. “Let’s go and have some fun.”
    Daniel put a hand on Kristine’s shoulder. “You did promise me to go out drinking tonight.”
    Kristine laughed as the three of them strode out of the elevator as it opened on the lobby. “Then let’s enjoy a night of debauchery.”
    Close by were some upper-class bars, very expensive. They stopped in one for a few drinks, letting themselves enjoy the finer things. “For practice when we are all big shot lawyers,” Kristine said.
    However money did not go far there, and they piled into the subway, heading downtown to less genteel but much cheaper options.
    They drank heavily, in celebration, for another week done.
    Daniel handled his booze better than the other two, and watched over them, even when drunk, knocking over glasses that had been left unattended and sending them to get fresh drinks, staying close to them, so they were not bothered too much.
    Kristine liked him.
    She liked Olivia more.
    The two of them, she and Olivia, ended up in a stall in the woman’s bathroom, their hands in each other’s panties.
    Near last call, Daniel saw them both into taxi cabs. Sending them off to their homes.
    Kristine sobered up a little on the ride back to her apartment. She stretched lazily in the back seat, and the taxi driver kept up a stream of what sounded like meaningless conversation.
    One thought dominated her thoughts.
    On Monday she would be in court.
    It was going to be an excellent opportunity to learn.
    The cab dropped her off at a nothing special high-rise, close to the university. Not a bad part of town, but loud students made it less desirable for older people and those with families.
    Kristine could just afford the small bachelors apartment she rented, with a little left over after food to enjoy a few nights out each week.
    She passed through the security door, and into the lobby. Took the elevator up to the fourteenth floor.
    She walked stockinged foot along the faded, slightly ratty carpet with the blue and gold pattern, her heels in her hand.
    When she reached the door to her apartment, a cat waited for her, sitting right in her way.
    “What’s up?” the cat asked.
    Kristine frowned.
    She was nowhere near drunk enough that she should be hallucinating.
    It was unlikely anyone had slipped her anything.
    Which meant she was facing a talking animal.
    “Get the hell out of here,” she told the cat, kicking at it.
    She did not think to connect, but the cat jumped away from the kick and from the door, and Kristine quickly unlocked it and slid inside.
    “Damn magic animals,” she said as she pushed the door closed and locked it.
    “That was hardly nice.”
    Kristine looked over her shoulder.
    That cat sat on the floor behind her.
    “Of course.” She turned and slid down the door, so she was sitting on the floor. “Don’t you have to be invited in?”
    “You are thinking of vampires.”
    She closed her eyes. Took a deep breath. “What do you want?”
    “Become a Magical Girl.”
    “Fuck no!” She said, opening her eyes, straightening to her feet.
    The cat was gone.
    In its place was a beautiful woman in a tuxedo, cat ears upon her head.
    She understood, intellectually, that cat and woman were the same, but it surprised her none the less, and she swayed on her feet.
    “Come on, don’t be like that?” The woman stepped closer. “I’m Tac. You’re Kristine. Introductions over.” She put a hand on Kristine’s bare hand. “Now become a Magical Girl.”
    Kristine shivered at the touch and pulled back. “No.” She pushed past Tac and into the centre of the small apartment, between the couch and the TV.
    “Every girl wants to be a Magical Girl,” Tac told her.
    “Exactly, every girl. No woman. I’m a woman.”
    “Don’t I know it,” Tac said with a smile that made Kristine feel as if she were naked. And realise that she might not mind it if she were naked.
    “Then why ask me? Find some actual girl.”
    “You’re my target. Sorry. Become a Magical Girl. You’ll be a superhero. What’s so bad about that?”
    Kristine shook her head, then reached for the TV remote.
    With a beep, the TV came on.
    She flipped through the channels until she found what she was looking for.
    “There. That’s a Magical Girl.”
    There was some kind of panel show on the TV. One of the guests was a young woman in an extravagant pink mini dress, pink hair done up in an impossible style.
    “Hey, that Magical Parfait, one of the Baker’s Dozen,” Tac said. “Been forever since I saw them. She’s looking well.”
    Kristine nodded. “I know who she is. She or some other pathetic once was are always on late night TV, being an embarrassment. That’s what happens to Magical Girls, now that there is nothing left to fight. Why would I become one of those people? It would be embarrassing, becoming a joke, hell I think my employment contract says I can’t become magical.”
    “You make a few good points, but I don’t really care. Let’s fuck and then you can become a magical girl.”
    Kristine almost said, ‘Yes to the first part, no to the second.’ Instead, she said, “Get out or I am calling the cops.”
    Tac took a step back, holding up her hands. “Okay, okay. I’m going, but think about it.”
    Before Kristine could tell Tac that there was nothing that needed to be thought about, Tac was gone.
    “God damn magic,” Kristine muttered.

    Morning came.
    Kristine woke in her bed (a folding couch), looking up at her room’s ceiling.
    She wondered it a magical animal had actually offered her the opportunity to become a magical girl.
    It seemed like something that should be a dream.
    But it did not feel like a dream.
    Well, she had refused it, and that was what mattered the most.
    She went about her morning routines, then chores. The small apartment made it easy to clean. She held up her suit from the previous night.
    Partying and bathroom sex had done a bit of a number on it.
    The suit and a few other things got folded into a bag, to be dropped off at the dry cleaners, different clothes got stuffed in a mesh laundry bag. She would take them down to the building’s laundry room later.
    Dressing in faded jeans and a smart, cream, peasant blouse, she took up her purse and the bag of clothing and headed out.
    Standing outside of her door, waiting for her, was the cat.
    She looked back and forth, to make sure she was alone, then said to the cat, “Go to hell.”
    “Come on. Become a Magical Girl.”
    “Go to hell,” she said again, enunciating each word. Then she turned and walked towards the elevators.
    “You get magic, you’ll be really strong and fast. You won’t ever get a cold again,” the cat told her, following at her heels. “There is not really a downside.”
    “What part of go to hell don’t you understand,” Kristine asked, looking down at the cat she walked. “Is it the ‘hell’ part? It can’t be the ‘go’ part.”
    “The part where you won’t become a Magical Girl.”
    Kristine stopped at the elevators, she jabbed the down button then turned and grabbed the cat, picking it up by its scruff.
    “Hey, hands off the fur.”
    Ignoring the outburst she lifted it up, so it was hanging in front of her face, and they were eye to eye. “Get this kitty. I will never become a Magical Girl. Never, ever. If you keep bothering me, I’ll find a magical violin maker and tell them there is some magical catgut around here and they can come and get it.”
    “Oh real nice. How’d you like it if people were making things out of human organs?”
    “Don’t bother me again. The answer is and will always be no.”
    There was the sound of the elevator door opening.
    Kristine dropped the cat and stepped back into the, fortunately, empty elevator car.
    The cat did not follow her.

    Watching the doors closed Tac’s feline eyes narrowed.
    “If you want to play rough, I can play rough lady. Oh, I can play very rough.”

    Maybe once the room had been something more. Maybe once it had been clean, and sunlit, where decent people gathered.
    But that did not seem likely.
    A handful of lights made the shadows all that deeper. The walls and the floor were bare cement. It smelt of mould, stale vomit, piss and beer. The clientele often smelled just as bad.
    At the bar, a large figure sat. Swathed in a long overcoat and wide-brimmed hat, seeming to carry a cloud of shadows about itself. Every now and then the bartender would place a glass, filled from an unlabelled bottle, in front of the figure and the figure would throw some tattered bills on the bar.
    When Tac entered the bar almost every pair of eyes (in a few cases a single eye and in some more than two) was turned towards her. She was obviously out of place, with grace and style that was discordant with the general atmosphere of malignant neglect. A few watchers licked lips or gripped groins, but most identified Tac as bad news and looked away.
    Tac, after placing a handkerchief on the stool, took a seat beside the large figure.
    The figure was one of the few who had not looked towards her.
    “General Hemlock, the First Lance of the Rose Empress… how the mighty have fallen.”
    Slowly the figure turned its head towards Tac. The brim of the hat cast most of the face in shadow, buy toxic green eyes shone out. “You were with those bitches.”
    “The Charms, Princess Calliope. She was the one who killed Empress Rose at the end. She was the one that beat you, then left you. She thought she was kind.”
    The glass Hemlock’s hand shattered.
    “Yeah, it’s sad. You didn’t die in battle, and you didn’t protect your Empress. And you can’t go home, and you can’t do anything here, except drink.”
    Hemlock stood, towering over Tac.
    “Oh dear,” Tac said carelessly. “Are you going to kill me?”
    For a moment Hemlock stood there, then his shoulders sagged, and he seemed to shrink in on himself. He dropped back onto his stool, turned away from Tac, back to the bar. A few bills were tossed onto the bar, for another drink.
    “That’s what I thought,” Tac said with a smile. “Still, maybe there is an opportunity. You see, there is a brand new Magical Girl out there. Just maybe you could kill her. Kill a Magical Girl, and you could probably return home, little bit of honour instead of disgrace.”
    Hemlock’s head dipped, perhaps he was nodding.
    “Or she kills you, but you die like the great warrior you are.”
    The bartender placed a new drink in front of Hemlock. Hemlock picked it up and drank most of it in one gulp.
    “Tell me more,” Hemlock said.

    Kristine enjoyed a cup of coffee in a small cafe. She had a shopping bag on the seat beside her; her dry cleaning had been dropped off earlier.
    There was a little more shopping she needed to do but was happy to take a small rest.
    On Monday she would be in court.
    That was what mattered.
    Not some stupid cat who wanted her to become a ridiculous Magical Girl.
    She finished her coffee, dropped a handful of change beside the empty cup, then left the cafe at a leisurely walk. She looked around, trying to decide where to go first.
    She saw the people staring before she saw what they were staring at. She followed their gazes and spotted what had attracted so much attention.
    A ridiculously large figure, dressed in a trench coat, wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
    Was it some kind stunt, she wondered?
    Her mind on how unbelievable the figure was it took her a moment to realise it was heading towards her. She turned, looked both ways, then dashed across the street as soon as there was an opening.
    Having a road between her and the strange giant in black made her feel a bit better.
    The sound of tires screeching and horns honking made her turn.
    The large figure had stepped onto the road, and even as she watched, one of the cars slammed into him with a metal crunching sound.
    Knocked forward the figure flew through the air for a few feet and then hit the ground, losing its hat in the process.
    Kristine’s mouth was open in shock.
    Then the figure got to its feet.
    Without the hat an inhuman face was visible, looking more like the rough bark of a tree, with small, glowing green eyes and a simple black slash across the lower part for a mouth.
    It got to its feet and, ignoring the car, continued forward.
    Right at Kristine.
    When she realised it was coming right at her, she turned to run.
    However, with impossibly long arms it reached out and grabbed her.
    “Where is she?” the thing screamed at her, drawing her close.
    Kristine stared at it, fear wide eyes showing white all around.
    “Where is she?” The words were punctuated with a shake that made muscles hurt.
    “I don’t know what you are talking about,” Kristine almost babbled.
    It slammed her against the pole of a street light.
    Kristine was sure bones had broken.
    “Come out and fight me!” it screamed, then hurled Kristine through a shop window.
    She was certain something snapped when she hit the glass, then the glass shattered and cut her as she went crashing into a clothing shop.
    I am going to die.
    The thought was clear.
    “Things don’t look good for you.”
    Kristine shifted her gaze, towards the voice.
    Tac, as a cat, sat nearby.
    “What…”
    “Some monster is going to kill you, sad,” Tac told her.
    “Help…”
    “I’d love to, but I am a lover, not a fighter. But you could be a fighter. Want to become a Magical Girl? Better than dying.”
    There was the sound of glass being crushed, something breaking. That thing was coming after her.
    She knew this was wrong, but there was too much pain, and her head was ringing. She could hardly think.
    But she did not want to die.
    “Okay,” she said, giving up.
    The cat’s eyes glowed. “Say the words,” it said.
    The words?
    What words?
    Then she knew.
    The words that would seal the covenant.
    By the Power of Innocence, I am Nursery Knight Kristine. Those were the words. Those were what she said. She was almost certain what she heard was, ‘By the Powa of Innothenthe, I’m Nurthwy Knight Kwithy’.
    However at the moment what she heard was not as important as what was happening.
    The pain faded, the cuts closed up, and bruises disappeared. Her clothing changed, though she could not see, and it felt weird. Something was happening to her hair like someone was combing it and styling it.
    As she stood, she felt something weigh her hand down and looked to see she was holding some odd looking, giant plastic looking mace.
    It looked like…
    “You!”
    She turned towards the monster.
    “You are the Magical Girl!”
    “I guethh I am,” she said and wondered again at what she heard.
    The monster charged her.
    Without thinking she swung the mace out to crash into the monster. The blow lifted it from its feet and hurled it out the window.
    Wow! She was strong.
    “You better finish it off before anyone gets hurt,” Tac said.
    Kristine did not want to finish anything off, but if she did not then, it might very well hurt others. And it might come after her again.
    So she went out, leaping through the smashed window, onto the street.
    The monster was getting up from where it had landed, in the middle of the street.
    “I am the late Empress Rose’s General Hemlock, and I dedicate your death to her memory and honour!” it screamed.
    Words again flashed through her mind, “Innothent Wattle Thaker!” Leaping forward she swung the mace around, bringing it down on the monster’s head.
    The force of the blow drove General Hemlock to his knees, and the asphalt under it cracked. Its head was twisted over to the side.
    “Ah, still too weak,” it said sadly. “Finish me Mag…”
    Kristine hit it again, hard as she could.
    It did not move.
    Stepping back she thought she should be breathing heavily, thought her heart should be beating like a drum, but neither of those things were true.
    She felt perfectly fine. Perfectly calm.
    “Good job,” Tac said from where she had leapt up onto the broken windowsill.
    Kristine tuned towards the cat. She noticed people around her had lifted their phones, were taking pictures or videos.
    They seemed amused.
    “Don’t worry,” Tac said, “no one can get a good picture of you.”
    A few people started laughing, laughing at her.
    She moved, fast, faster than anyone might expect. She was not even sure how she did it, she just did.
    A man stumbled back from her, but she took his phone from him before he could stop her. He did not seem to think things were so funny. She turned it around and looked at the picture.
    The face was blurry, and there was something indistinct about the picture. Likely what Tac had meant when he said no one could get a good picture of her.
    But she could see enough to know why people were laughing.
    The girl in the picture was dressed in a ridiculous baby blue, child’s party dress, with a puffy skirt and puffed sleeves and a big bow in the back. And the puffy skirt was short enough to make it evident that the girl was wearing a diaper.
    Carrying a comically colossal rattle (her mace) with a pacifier clipped to the dress, hanging off a white ribbon. Oh, and her hair was done up in pigtails.
    “Cat, what the hell ith thith!?”
    “Magical Girl Nursery Knight Kristie,” the cat said. “What do you think a Nursery Knight would wear?”
    Kristine looked around. People were watching her, still taking pictures. She hated it, hated that they were looking at her like some kind of joke.
    Without thinking about it, she snapped up the pacifier and put it in her mouth. I just want this to all go away, she thought.
    It did not, but the people looked surprised. They lowered the phones they had been using to take her picture, looked around in confusion.
    “The pacifier makes you invisible to almost anyone but me, and probably soothes you as well,” Tac said, walking towards her. “No, don’t take it out of your mouth, not if you don’t want everyone staring at you. Why don’t you give the nice man back his phone and then we’ll take a walk.”
    Kristine nodded and slid the phone into the man’s pocket, as quick as she had taken it from him.
    He made a sound of surprise, looking around.
    “Come on,” Tac said.
    Kristine followed, the pacifier in her mouth, waddling slightly because of the bulk between her legs.
    It was humiliating.
    At least no one could see her now.
    And no one would be able to identify her from the pictures.
    The cat led the way down the street and into an alley.
    She jumped up on a dumpster and turned to give Kristine a look over. “Very nice,” Tac said after a few seconds. “Extraordinarily cute. Just what I would expect of a Nursery Knight.”
    Kristine wanted to take the pacifier from her mouth and swear a blue streak at the cat but did not want to risk becoming visible again. She shifted from foot to foot in agitation.
    “Well, let’s start your lessons. So, you have a mace, solid weapon, looks like a Silver 7 special version, so you can teleport.”
    “Tewepot?” she mumbled around the pacifier.
    “Right. Let’s start simple. Turn around, see that big building there? Look up at the edge of the roof, and just kind of will yourself there.”
    She turned, looked as she had been told.
    She felt Tac’s weight land on her shoulder.
    Well, it was magic.
    She focused on the edge and pictured herself appearing there.
    There was a momentary sensation of vertigo, and she felt as if she had just gone over the first drop of a rollercoaster.
    Then she realised she was standing on the edge of the roof, about twenty stories up.
    “Am’zing,” she said, the pacifier coming out of her mouth, dropping down to fall the length of the ribbon.
    She stepped forward, completely onto the roof.
    Tac jumped from her shoulder.
    “Excellent for a first try. With enough practice, you’ll be able to go anywhere.”
    Momentarily stunned by the wonder of it all she nodded, and then shook her head in denial.
    “I am dwethed like a fucking toddwer.”
    “Yes,” Tac said with a nod. “You are. Very cute too, thought the swearing ruins the effect really.”
    “I don’t care that thwearing… No. Not going to be thidetwacked. Magical Girlth are thupposed to look like thripper cheerleaderth, or hooker waitretheth, or bondage nunth, or naughty thchool girlth. They’re not thuppothed to look like toddwerth.”
    “Well one,” Tac said, “not all magical girls are short skirted stripper types, it’s rude to group them all like that.”
    “I don’t care.”
    “And second, you are a Nursery Knight. Nursery Knights were all girls six and under who fought the Nightmare King. What would you expect them to be dressed like?”
    There was a lot in that and Kristine had a great deal of difficulty processing it, but she said, “I am in diapeeth!”
    “Well, who knew if girls that age would be fully potty trained? Better to have them in diapers, just in case I suppose.”
    “Thith ith inthane.”
    The cat nodded. “Yes, somewhat. The entire Nursery Knight thing was ill-conceived if you ask me. A pet project of some middle management type I've heard. But here we are, you dressed as a toddler and wearing a diaper and me having to teach you to be a Magical Girl. Best we get on with this and then put it all behind us, right?”
    Kristine started at the cat for several second, gripping the huge, rattle/mace tight. She wondered if that cat would make a squeaking sound were she to hit it.
    “You thet me up,” she said after a second.
    “That is a serious accusation, and seeing as you killed the only possible witness, not one that you can prove.”
    Kristine found herself making a growling sound.
    “You’d have to prove it, right,” the cat said with a smile (a good trick). “If you could be certain you’d try to pound me into kitty pate paste, but you can’t, so you won’t.”
    She loosened her grip on the mace. “I learn what you teach. You go away, and I never have to twanthform again?”
    “You learn what I have to teach, I go away, and if you chose to never transform again that is your business, but you keep the benefits of longevity, durability and the ridiculous heath of those touched by this magic. A pretty good deal, don’t you think?”
    “Just thtart the lessonth cat. Thooner we finithh the thooner I can get back to my life.”
    “Okay, very well.”
    The cat turned into a woman.
    “Let’s start with banishing and summoning your weapon, Magical Girl 101.”
    Kristine sighed. “All right, what do I do?”
    “Just focus on your weapon and imagine it being somewhere else, a closet or a room, or under a tree you know well.”
    Kristine took a deep breath. She imagined the mace as being in the closet in her old dorm room.
    The weapon was gone.
    “Oh.”
    “Good job.”
    “Did it weally go where I ‘magined it?”
    “No,” Tac said, shaking her head. “It was just important you pictured it being somewhere else. Now for summoning, just imagine yourself reaching out and grabbing it.”
    Kristine could not help but be a little excited by this. While she genuinely had no desire to be a Magical Girl, there had been a time, when she was younger, when she had fantasised about that very thing. And now she was doing magic.
    Reaching out with her hand she closed her fingers around the empty air.
    The mace appeared in her hand as if she had just grabbed it. “I did it.”
    “You are picking this up fast. I’d say you’re a natural.”
    Tac’s voice and tone cut through the euphoria of magic, reminding Kristine that she had not wanted this, had been forced into it.
    Completely soured the experience.
    Tac, seemingly unaware of the change in atmosphere said, “Okay, let’s practice something a little more advanced.”
    “What?”
    Kristine hoped it was some offensive magic that would let her smash the grin off of Tac’s face.
    “Teleportation to a place you cannot see,” Tac announced.
    Kristine nodded. She could see the value in that.
    “Okay, picture your apartment, see it in your mind. Close your eyes if it helps.”
    Kristine closed her eyes, thought about her apartment. She could see it in her mind.
    She felt something land on her shoulder. Assumed that Tac was a cat again.
    Right in her ear, Tac said, “Once you can see it, just imagine yourself there.”
    She felt that sense of vertigo, of the roller coaster drop again, and then, when she opened her eyes, she was in her apartment, standing on her coffee table. The table legs creaked slightly beneath her.
    “Good job,” Tac said, jumping down from her shoulder.
    Kristine stepped down from the table.
    Again, there was that feeling of amazement.
    She had to keep herself from shouting, ‘This is Magic.’
    “What next,” she asked as if teleporting was something that had already become old hat.
    “Well,” Tac the cat said, turning to look at her, “how about you change back?”
    “Finally. What do I have to do? Thout out thomething?”
    “Not for turning back. Just picture yourself untransformed.”
    “There ith a lot of vithualithation to this magic.”
    “It was made so non-magic types could master it easily. Very point and click, if you get my meaning.”
    Kristine thought she should be insulted, but she closed her eyes and pictured herself back to normal. Seeing in her mind the young, twenty-something woman in jeans and a blouse.
    The thickness between her legs disappeared, the sense of bare skin and fluffy petticoats, of hair, pulled back into pigtails, all faded.
    So much better.
    Then her jeans slipped down to her ankles, and her panties to her knees.
    “What the hell?” she said, eyes open, looking down. Her legs were skinnier than she recalled, smoother.
    “Well that was unexpected,” Tac said.
    She almost tripped on her pants as she ran for the washroom. Her panties were kicked off along the way.
    In the mirror she was looking at a familiar stranger.
    In the pictures she had seen the blurred out face and the ridiculous outfit had made it hard to notice.
    In the mirror was the child she had once been.
    She spun to stare at Tac, feeling the far too big bra shifting loosely on her.
    “What the hell?”
    “As I said, unexpected.”
    “What is this?”
    “Well, you were supposed to get this magic when you were three or four. You were about twenty-five when you did get it. I suppose the magic split difference.”
    “Split the difference?”
    “Split the difference,” the cat said with a nod.
    Kristine screamed.
    She reached down and snatched up the cat.
    “My life is ruined,” she yelled into its cat face.
    “Your life is ruined? What about me?”
    “What about you?”
    “I love to have sex with the magical girls I guide, and was looking forward to conquering you, but you’re right out of my strike zone now. It is a real disappointment.”
    Kristine made a few strangled sound of outrage before hurling the cat across the room.
    As soon as she did it, she felt terrible.
    She was not the sort of monster to hurt an animal.
    Tac hit the far wall with a thump, slid down to the floor.
    “Oh my god, oh my god,” she said, stepping hesitantly across the floor, afraid of what she would see.
    The cat bobbed up, leaping on the back of the couch. “I’m fine, take more than that to hurt me.”
    She dropped to her knees. “I’m sorry, that was terrible. I mean, you’re a jerk, but you did not deserve that.” Her earlier anger had all drained away leaving her exhausted.
    “I’m not a jerk. I am quite nice.”
    “Nice?”
    “Don’t shoot the messenger. The Nursery Knights were not my idea, and I certainly did not come up with the uniform.”
    She dropped her head forward. “This is a mess. My life is ruined. I don’t even have an identity anymore.”
    “Sure you do.”
    She shook her head, not looking up. “I don’t. I look like the little sister I never had. Kristine St. James might as well be dead.”
    “Okay, first, the identity stuff can be taken care of.”
    Kristine looked up.
    “And second, you’re pissing yourself.”
    She looked down.
    There was a puddle of urine under her.
    “What the hell?” she looked up helplessly at the cat.
    Tac seemed to shrug her shoulders. “I guess someone thought the Nursery Knights should be using those diapers.”
    “Fuck,” Kristine yelled, jumping to her feet, the socks on her feet absorbing some of the urine. The tails of her blouse were wet. “What the hell am I supposed to do? Am I going to be pissing myself all the time now?” She paused, eyes widening. “Am I going to shit myself?”
    Tac’s cat shoulders gave a shrug again. “Hell if I know. Maybe?”
    “Oh god.” Her knees went weak, and she almost fell onto the floor.
    “Okay, there is something we can do,” Tac said, jumping down from the back of the couch onto couch itself.
    “Really?” she felt her hopes soar.
    “Not that you won’t be wetting yourself, but we can manage it.”
    Her hopes plummeted.
    “Hey, buck up. Now, first thing lets summon your Magic Bag.”
    “Magic Bag?”
    She was still standing in her own pee, the inside of her thighs damp, but if there was something she could do…
    “All Magical Girls can summon their Magic Bag, it holds various things they need. And summoning it is a good lesson.”
    She stepped out of the puddle, shucking off her loose socks. If there were something in this Magic Bag that could help, then she would summon it. “How do I do it?”
    “Just like you called your weapon back to you,” Tac said. Visualize it and then picture yourself having it.
    Kristine nodded.
    She pictured a bag.
    She reached out for it.
    Nothing happened.
    She tried again.
    Still nothing.
    “It’s not working,” she said, blushing when she heard how winey her tone sounded, so close to tears.
    “You’re picturing the bag in your mind?”
    “Yes,” Kristine said with a nod.
    “What does the bag look like?”
    “Pardon?”
    “What kind of bag are you picturing?” Tac asked.
    Kristine looked over towards the apartment’s front door. “Like the messenger bag I use for work.”
    “Do you think a Nursery Knight would have a bag like that?”
    Kristine thought about it. “I don’t know?”
    “Well, they wouldn’t. Think of a colour that matches your uniform. Add some frills to it.”
    Kristine nodded, closed her eyes. She pictured the messenger bag, but in pastel colours, with a little bit of frill. She reached out, closed her hand on it. She felt something heavy settle in her grip.
    She opened her eyes.
    In her hand was the padded strap of a large bag, baby blue, quilted, big pockets on the outside, a kitty face appliqué on it.
    “This,” she paused, “is a diaper bag.”
    “Which is exactly the kind of bag a Nursery Knight would have.”
    Kristine held it at arm's length like it was a dead rat.
    “You have to open it,” Tac said as if Kristine were a little slow.
    Having a cat cast aspersions on her intelligence was a new low in a day of lows.
    Sighing loudly she put the bag on the floor, avoiding the puddle, and bent down to open it.
    It was filled with disposable diapers and training panties, powders and creams. There was a folded, quilted changing pad, plastic and rubber panties, wipes, bottles, a sippy cup, jars of baby food nested in a collection of bibs. And there was a teddy bear with a light blue ribbon around its neck and a few more things she could see but did not bother to try to identify.
    She made a grunt of derision.
    “There is a lot of things in there,” Tac said, jumping close and looking into the bag. “Grab a pair of training panties and put them off to the side.
    Kristine did, pulling a pair of the thick panties from the bag, there was a soft crinkling sound of the plastic under the faux material covering.
    “The bag will always have supplies in it, no matter how much you take from it, so at least you won’t have to buy diapers and stuff. That’s good, right?”
    She stared at the cat. The hand holding the training panty tightening into a first, making the plastic rustle and the padding squeak.
    “Tough crowd.”
    She threw the training panties onto the coffee table. “Okay, so I got a pair of training panties for the next time,” her face grew warm, “I piss myself, is that it?” She could not believe she had just said.
    “Of course not. This is magic. Pick up the teddy bear and say, ‘I need your help Mr Bear.’”
    Kristine looked at the bear, frowned, then reached in and took it from the bag. It had the solid feeling of a well-made thing, with incredibly soft fur. If she were the kind of woman, who liked teddy bears she was pretty certain she would like this one.
    “I need your help Mr Bear.”
    Nothing happened.
    She looked at Tac.
    The cat gave her another of those pitying looks that suggested she was slow. “Is that how a Nursery Knight would talk?”
    It took her a few seconds to get what Tac meant.
    She blushed.
    “I need your help Mithter Bear.”
    The bear twisted out of her hands, landed on the floor close by and then, with a pop of displaced air, became a stuffed bear, probably a little over six feet tall.
    Kristine made an expression of surprise and fell backwards onto her bottom.
    The bear looked around, glittering eyes pausing on the puddle of urine, and then on Kristine.
    “What is this cat?”
    “It is your Mr Bear.”
    “My…” she started, but suddenly Mr Bear had stepped close, grabbed her (somehow with those stuffed bear paws) and lifted her to her feet. With a blur of motion it had her blouse off, leaving her only in her ill-fitting bra.
    “What the…”
    The bear tossed the blouse and bra into her laundry hamper (she swore she saw it look at the laundry label first) then had a t-shirt from her dresser and was back by Kristine’s side before she finished her thought.
    With an upsweep of its fluffy arms its lifted Kristine’s arms above her head, and with a down sweep had the t-shirt on her.
    “…hell….”
    Mr Bear put a giant paw across her mouth.
    Kristine got the idea that it did not approve of such language.
    Then it was blurring off again, to the bathroom, coming back with a towel and some cleaning supplies. In a moment the urine puddle was cleaned up.
    She had to admit that was helpful.
    “So what, it cleans up messes?” she asked Tac.
    “Among other things.”
    “Among what…”
    Again she was kept from finishing her sentence as Mr Bear scooped her up, put her on the couch, and reached into the diaper bag for one of the very thick diapers.
    “How do I stop this?” Kristen asked as the bear secured her ankles and lifted her bottom off the couch.
    “Say ‘Thank you Mr Bear, I love you.’”
    “Tank you Mithter Bear, I wuv you,” she said, not having to be told to lisp.
    With another pop of displaced air the bear returned to its original size and then it, and the diaper fell neatly back into the diaper bag.
    Kristine scrambled off the couch, closed the bag, and without being told how sent the bag away.
    With a sigh she collapsed bonelessly to her knees. “What the hell?”
    “Your Mr Bear is your caretaker,” Tac said as she jumped back onto the couch. “Remember, the Nursery Knights were all to be pre-schoolers. They would need help. Mr Bear would clean up their messes, change them, feed them, comfort them and if they were bad punish them.”
    “Bad? Punish them?”
    “They were little girls given a stupid amount of magical offensive power. It was a pretty certain thing they would abuse that power. So, Mr Bear would deal with that.”
    “Great, I’m a twenty-five-year-old woman who looks like an eleven-year-old girl with a magical teddy bear that will treat me like I am two… that is the shape of things, right?”
    “More or less. Oh, Mr Bear can show up on its own.”
    She stared at the cat. “What?”
    “Well, you couldn’t trust a little girl to know when she needed help.”
    “So you’re saying I could just be walking along and suddenly a six-foot-tall teddy bear will show up and… what, change me?”
    “Or give you a bottle, or put you down for a nap, or spank you if you are naughty.”
    “Fu… Now I’m afraid to swear.”
    “Swearing is a bad habit. Mr Bear will help you deal with other bad habits if you have any.”
    “Just drinking to excess and bathroom sex,” she muttered.
    “Those are great bad habits to have,” Tac told her, “if you did not look like a child. I would suggest you avoid them as I am pretty sure Mr Bear would intervene.”
    “You think?”
    “Your lucky sarcasm is not naughty.”
    Kristine looked over at the training panty on the coffee table.
    She grabbed it, stood up, and pulled it on.
    It slid up her legs and over her bottom, the padding nestling up to her groin, feeling impossible soft, evident in its thickness. She placed her hands on it, noting it fit perfectly.
    Angrily she pulled down on the bottom of her t-shirt to make sure it was hidden. “Okay, now I don’t have to worry about making a mess.” She tried not to sound embarrassed, but the warmth in her cheeks told her that her body had betrayed her. “Now let’s hear about how I get my life back.”
    “Last time I was around here the internet was starting to take off. You still have that?”
    “Yes.” She wondered when the last time Tac had been in the mortal world.
    “Alright. So you can find stuff on that. You’ll want to search for government support of magical issues.”
    Kristine went and got her phone and took a seat on her couch.
    “Where’s your computer? What are you doing with that?”
    “This is my phone, and it can do everything a computer can.”
    “Really,” the cat moved in close to look. “Well I’ll be darned. You manage to do pretty well without magic.”
    “We try,” Kristine said in a snarky tone as she searched for what she had been told. It did not take her long to find a government site and a phone number for magical issues.
    She got a phone robot that asked her to state what she was calling about.
    “I became a Magical Girl, and now I don’t look like myself.”
    There was a pause, and then the system said, “It sounds like you have undergone some kind of transformation. Is this true?”
    “Yes.”
    A few more questions which she answered. Then it asked if she had a liaison.
    “Do I have a liaison?” she asked Tac.
    “That’s me,” the cat told her.
    “Yes,” she told the robot.
    “Please give your liaison’s code,” the robot asked.
    “Code?” she looked at Tac.
    Tac gave her a series of numbers and letters. She spoke them back into her phone.
    “Just a moment,” the robot said, and there was a click. Then a real person said, “Magical Issue Support, you have undergone a transformation?”
    “Yes, I have. I became a Magical Girl, and after I transformed back, I looked totally different.”
    “I understand,” the woman said as if she heard such calls all the time. “Can you tell me where you live?”
    Kristine did.
    The woman gave her an address, asked if she could make it there.
    Kristine checked and then said, “Yes, in about an hour I guess.”
    “Please go to that address, bring all the identification you have. Someone will be there. Ask for Mr Green.”
    “Mr Green, I understand.”
    She was given a case code, told to quote it if she had to call back, then the woman hung up.
    “That was not too bad for a government agency,” she said, hanging up.
    “The magical realm makes sure there is good support available.”
    She put her phone aside and got up, realising she needed something to wear.
    It did not take her long to realise there was nothing that would fit her.
    She found a pair of shorts, used a belt to cinch them up tight around her skinny waist. A pair of sandals, the straps pulled as tight as she could get them, gave her something for her feet. Then she gathered up her various ID cars, credit cards, bank cards, her passport and everything else she had that identified her.
    Tac watched her but said nothing.
    She had everything she needed.
    “Are you coming with me?” she asked the cat. She was a little nervous about some magic related government agency and though she was not going to say that she hoped Tac might take the hint.
    “Sure.”
    She left her apartment, Tac riding on her shoulder.

 

  The taxi that Kristine had called dropped her off in front of a nondescript government building in the downtown core. She stood there, looking about, noting that a few people were taking note of her. She told herself that was because she was dressed in a ridiculous manner and not because they knew she was wearing training panties.
    Still, it was hard not to think that they were somehow showing, or they were making her walk a little different, or there was a soft rustle of plastic, or that she had wet them and they were leaking. She could not stop herself from surreptitiously checking her shorts for damp spots.
    Taking a deep breath, she walked into the building.
    It had an old look, with clean but dull black and white tiles on the floor, and high ceiling of much-patched plaster. No one was in the lobby except for a single security guard sitting at a desk near the elevators. He did not look up when she entered, his attention on the book he was reading.
    When she got closer he looked up from the book and asked, “Can I help you?” He did not get up from behind his desk.
    “Uh, yes. I was told to come here, to ask for Mr Green.”
    “Take the elevator up to the ninth floor, third door on your right,” he told her.
    “Thanks.”
    She crossed the floor to the elevators.
    The guard had gone back to reading his book.
    The doors opened a moment after she pressed the button. She took a surprised step back, wondering how someone had known to have it waiting. Then she realised she was stupid. It was a weekend. No one was there, and likely all the elevators were just stopped at the ground floor.
    She stepped in and pressed the button for the ninth floor.
    The interior walls were polished, metal mirrors.
    Tac jumped from her shoulder and was once more a woman.
    “This place has a classic feel,” Tac said, looking at her reflection. She reached into the pocket of her suit jacket and took out a lipstick tube. “As do I.” She touched up her makeup.
    Kristine had already gotten a good look at herself, and the mirrored walls showed her nothing she did not already know (except for maybe making it clear how much a ragamuffin she looked). However, standing beside the sexy Tac, the changes were brought into stark relief.
    She was a child, well, she looked like one.
    When they had first met Kristine figured she was a near equal in the looks department to Tac. Now, of course, it was no contest.
    As she was there was no way she could compete.
    Before she could think on that much more the doors opened.
    She stepped out, leaving the mirrors and their brutal truths behind.
    Third door on her right. A slab of wood, no windows, old, metal doorknob.
    She tried it.
    The door opened.
    There was an empty reception counter behind it, beyond which a waiting room. Six doors, one an obvious bathroom.
    One of the doors opened.
    An older man stepped out. Thinning black hair, tanned skin, gold-rimmed glasses and a blue suit. “I’m Mr Green,” he said, looking her up and down.
    “Kristine St. James.”
    “You have your ID?”
    “Yes.”
    “Please.” He stepped aside and indicated that she should enter the office.
    Kristine walked around the counter and into the room beyond, Tac at her heels.
    It was an office, with a big oak desk and a single visitor chair.
    Kristine took that seat.
    Tac became a cat and jumped onto her knee.
    Mr Green stepped beside her. “Your ID?”
    She reached into her bag and brought it all out.
    Taking it, he went and sat down behind the desk.
    “That is a rather large change,” he told her as he looked through everything she had given him.
    “I know.”
    “Well, this is all simple enough.”
    “What?” She could not believe anything about what had happened was simple.
    “We’ll give you bridging ID, as well as new ID, all of it will allow you to prove to people who you are. Do you want a new identity?”
    Kristine thought about that for a moment, then asked, “What good would a new identity do me?”
    “Depends. If there is anyone after you, creditors, ex-boyfriends, that sort of thing, a new identity can be useful.”
    She frowned. “Do other magical girls get new identities?”
    “Not often at first, after several months it is more common.”
    “I’ll keep it in mind.”
    “Very well.” Mr Green stood. “This way.”
    In one of the other offices, there was a camera and several impressive looking printers.
    Mr Green took her picture and then printed out several pieces of ID.
    The bridging ID, as he had called it, mated her old ID with new, while the new ID just showed her as she now looked.
    It took about thirty minutes, then he handed the bundle of ID to her.
    “I’ve put in a request for a new passport, that should be delivered to you soon. If you need anything else call this number.” He handed her a card.
    “Like a new identity?”
    “Or legal assistance. It sometimes happens.”
    She did not say she was a lawyer (or almost one) but took his card. “Thank you.”
    “Good luck Miss St. James.”
    “Thank you.” She stepped from the room, then looked back at Mr Green. “Can I use the bathroom?”
    “Feel free.”
    She nodded.
    The washroom was small, with a toilet and a urinal as well as a sink. The tiling on the floor was old, faded and cracked in a few places, but the bathroom was clean.
    She reached through the leg of her shorts, felt the training panties. As she suspected they were warm, the padding swelled up with a wetting.
    “Damn,” she said softly as she loosened her belt.
    Summoning the diaper bag was easy. Kristine was a little worried Mr Bear might jump out, but the teddy bear remained a toy, and she took out a new training panty and dismissed the bag.
    Changed into a fresh pair of the absorbent panties she left the bathroom.
    Cat Tac was waiting for her.
    No sign of Mr Green.
    She left the office without looking for him.
    In the lobby, the guard was still reading his book. He did not look up as he wished her a good afternoon.

    Before going home, Kristine went to do some shopping. Tac came with her, in human form, though she was soon off in stores and parts of stores that Kristine knew she would look ridiculous were she to shop in.
    She had to try on a few things to get her new size figured out, and she needed to rethink her old style choices. That was made clear when a pair of tight jeans, which was just the kind of thing she would have bought before, made the padding of her training pants visible.
    She found a pair of denim overalls, lose enough in the seat to hide any puffiness from undergarments that she thought looked okay for her new body type. Paired with a white, long-sleeved shirt and a pair of running shoes she thought she looked good.
    Well, she looked like a girl, but at least a girl who did not dress too childlike.
    She bought a few more things, using cash. In theory with her bridging ID, she could use her credit cards, but she did not want to deal with that.
    Her final stop was to buy some training bras. She did not think she actually needed a bra, but she had been wearing one for long enough she was not willing to give it up. Tac came with her and seemed to make a point of looking at sexy bras in large cup sizes.
    The woman at the shop was kind and helpful, though from her look Kristine was pretty certain that she was of the opinion Kristine did not actually need one.
    Kristine walked out of the store with three training bras that were really just cotton vests with a bra like design. Like a little girl being sent out with some to salve a childish bit of vanity.
    Getting home, she dropped her shopping bags at the door and went to her bathroom to check her training panties.
    They were wet.
    Of course.
    “Fuck,” she said softly, then, with her coveralls and training panties around her ankles, sat on the toilet. Maybe she could re-potty train herself if she just made an attempt.
    “Hey, did you fall in?” she heard Tac call from the other side of the door several minutes later.
    “I didn’t fall in,” she retorted as she got off the toilet. She bent down and pulled up the training pants. The now cool, wet padding pressed uncomfortably against her, but she would put up with it. She was still buttoning the strap of her overalls when she came out to find Tac the cat sitting on the coffee table.
    “Now that you are finished in there we need to talk about work.”
    “Work? What does the law firm have to do with anything?”
    “Not your mundane and boring work that does not matter. Your work as a Magical Girl.”
    “What do you mean it does not matter?”
    “You said it yourself. No magic, and it is not like the little girl you are now can go to work after all.”
    “You’re asking to be picked up and thrown again,” Kristine said snapped as she went over to get her phone.
    “What are you doing?” Tac asked her.
    “Sending Mr Cotton an email. You’re right, damn it, I can’t go to work like this, but I have to let him know what happened.”
    She paused. How was she going to explain what happened? What could she tell him?
    The truth. Well, at least as much as the truth as he needed.
    The email was simple to write. Kristine told him she had encountered magic, had been changed by it, and could not be present at work, but would like to speak with him about it, to explain in detail.
    It was short and left so much unsaid, but it was good enough.
    She sent it and then tossed the phone onto the couch, dropped down beside where it landed. Her training panties ‘squelched’ unpleasantly around her bottom.
    “Finished with your pointless mundane job issues?” Tac asked.
    “Fuck off.”
    “Little girls that talk like that get their mouths washed out… assuming they still do that.”
    “Child abuse,” Kristine said, putting her elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands.
    “Well, your Mr Bear probably does not know that, so watch your tone. And I would love to fuck off, and I can say it because I am a mature adult, but until I finish training you, I can’t leave. So let’s talk about your real job, the one you accepted when you accepted your Magical Girl powers.”
    Kristine said nothing for a few seconds, then in a despondent tone said, “Fine, but what am I supposed to do? Didn’t you say the Nursery Knights,” she hated that name, “defeated their enemy?”
    “The Nightmare King, and yes, he was defeated, so I can’t train you fighting him and his minions, but there are always useful enough targets for you to focus on.”
    “Like what?”
    “Smugglers.”
    “Smugglers?”

    If you could line of sight teleport, you could move across the city quite fast.
    It was exhilarating, the roller coaster stomach drop of each jump, appearing on the top of some building’s roof, looking out over the sea of skyscrapers for the next jump, and then it repeated.
    For moments Kristine could forget she was outfitted as an overgrown toddler, with a thick diaper pushing her thighs apart. A diaper that for all she knew might already be wet.
    In those moments she felt powerful.
    Faster than any car might have covered the distance, perhaps as fast as a helicopter might have, Kristine reached the edge of the city, where the buildings became smaller but sprawled more, warehouses that took up entire city blocks. They were near the docks, though not close to the well lit, busy sections, where huge cranes moved cargo containers.
    They were on the edge, where warehouses gave away to empty factories, a part of the city where things had started to decay, where dreams had faded.
    “Down there,” Tac told her from where the cat rode on her shoulder. Tac held out a paw, pointing towards a warehouse on the water’s edge, where a ruined quay was half sunk into the water. “And put your pacifier in your mouth so you’ll be invisible.”
    She grabbed the pacifier from where it hung on the ribbon, popped it into her mouth and began to suckle on it.
    As before it made her feel better.
    She hoped it was not addictive.
    Focusing on the low roof of a warehouse below she once more crossed the distance in a moment, ended up standing on the edge of a roof, looking down at cracked asphalt apron in front of the shuttered loading dock.
    There were a large number of men down there, carrying travelling trunk sized crates out of the warehouse and loading them into several rental trucks. They worked by the light of red filtered flashlights, kept their voices down.
    “They have gotten armour from the magical realm. It’s old crap where I come from, but here it will stop even heavy armour piercing rounds,” Tac said into her ear.
    “Why do I haf to thtop thmugglerth?” she asked around her pacifier.
    “Well, the magical realm really should have stopped this stuff from being exported, so it falls on agents like you to deal with it. And this is good training. They don’t have any weapons that could stop you.”
    “Weally?” Kristine asked.
    “The armour of your outfit could probably stop a tank round. They are just going to have handguns.”
    Handguns?
    “Wiwl thith outfit weally pwotect me?” It left her arms and face and almost all her legs bare.
    “Trust me,” Tac said.
    She hated the fact she had to trust Tac.
    “Just jump down there and tell them you are here to punish them as Nursery Night Krissy.”
    “I don’t wanna. Can’t I jutht thtay invithible and walk awound hittin’ dem on da head?”
    “No. You are a magical girl, not some nocturnal mammal themed vigilante. You are a symbol of the power of innocence, and you don’t get to be a symbol by hiding. You don’t want to throw your magic off. It might not work.”
    “Tho, it might not pwotect me?”
    “Well, it won’t fail you completely, but it is likely to hurt a lot more.”
    “Fine,” she sighed through the pacifier, then she spat it out and jumped down onto one of the truck’s roof, calling up her mace as she fell. She landed with a creaking of heavy suspension and crunching of metal as the roof cratered and cracked around her.
    That was crazy, she thought, she just jumped down two stories.
    No time to overthink on that. Stepping to the edge of the truck’s roof, looking down at the smugglers, she said, “I am Nurthewy Knight Kwithy! Thwow down your weaponth and thuwender or I will punith you.”
    Punish? Ugh. What a terrible choice of words.
    The men below her swore and expressed shock, fear, confusion. Some looked like they were ready to run. Other pulled out the pistols that Tac had mentioned.
    She jumped down from the truck, landing on one of the crates. It shattered beneath her feet. She pointed the mace at one of the smugglers.
    “Thuwender.”
    The man shot her.
    Guarantee of protection or not, the sight of the gun being fired, the boom of the shot, it made her scream, and she fell backwards, landing on her diapered bottom. She did not have time to think about it, but she was certain that fear had ensured the diaper was well used at that moment.
    Something had touched her head. That was the best way to explain how it felt, a gentle touch.
    Something rolled down the side of her face.
    She looked.
    It seemed to be a flattened bullet.
    “What are you doing?” Tac yelled from the roof. “You can’t be scared of a little pistol.”
    “Fine,” Kristine yelled as she jumped to her feet, swinging the mace out, even as the man was shooting her.
    The heavy mace smacked into his hand, knocking the gun aside with a crunch of breaking bones.
    The man screamed in pain, falling to the ground, clutching his ruined hand.
    “What are you doing?” Tac yelled from the roof. “You can’t hit them that hard. Use a little control. You're an adorable Nursery Knight, not some bone breaking vigilante.”
    “Thith ith tho annoying,” she shouted, as several more men fired at her and several others made to escape.
    She moved fast, even though she was waddling, and struck with as much control as she could manage. She used the handle of her mace to knock weapons from hands, to jab into guts and sweep feet. No more broken bones, just bruises and pokes that took the fight and the flight out of them.
    When it was over about a minute later she stood among the moaning men who lay on the ground about her.
    Tac had jumped down onto the roof of one of the trucks. “Now secure them so the police can come and pick them up.”
    “Thecure them?”
    “Handcuffs or the like, Just envision it and then call out the magic that comes to you.”
    Handcuffs, okay. Just picture them all with their arms cuffed behind their backs, except for the one whose hand and wrist she had broken. She imagined more of a sling type cast on him.
    She held up her mace and called out the words the came to her. “Naughty Boyth thhut up and thtay thtill,” she yelled.
    Those were not the words she had expected to come out of her mouth.
    Around the men sparking light appeared, falling around them, lifting them, and then coalescing into… wheeled chairs with various restraint straps. Oh hell, they were all large strollers, she thought.
    Around their hands formed pink mittens that fastened the men's hands behind their backs with pink ribbons. And pacifier gags.
    Well, she supposed they were going to stay still and shut up, but really.
    “What the hell is wrong with you?” Tac asked.
    “I jutht did what you thaid,” Kristine yelled as she turned on Tac. “I pictured them rethtwained, with handcuffth. It ith the thtupid magic.”
    “What a mess. I mean, it’s like your some kind of bondage pervert.”
    “I’m not a bondage pewvert,” she yelled up at Tac.
    “Well, that’s not… Look out!”
    “What…”
    Pain.
    Like fire painted in a line across her back.
    She fell forward onto her knees.
    Behind her, the sound of metal scraping across the ground.
    No thought.
    She raised the mace above her head.
    Something hit it with a crash.
    The force of it feeling as if it would dislocate her shoulders.
    She rolled forward, her back flaming in fresh pain as it moved across the ground.
    Up on her feet. Facing her attacker.
    A man, in armour, holding a sword.
    “That sword is from the Magical Realm,” Tac called out. “It can hurt you.”
    “No thit,” Kristine said as she parried another sword strike.
    The man was relentless, coming at her fast, forcing her entirely on the defence. Several times the tip of the blade traced out red lines on her arms and legs, even cutting her clothing. The laceration on her back bled freely. She could feel the blood running down her back, likely into her diaper. What a mess that would be.
    Tac shouted out less than useful advice as Kristine tried to find a way to attack.
    What was some crook with a magical sword doing beating her? She was a Magical Girl.
    She was a Magical Girl.
    “Innothent Wattle Thaker!”
    Swinging out her mace she slammed it into the sword.
    The sword shattered under the blow.
    She swung the mace back, driving it into her attacker’s side.
    He was wearing armour, she was certain he would be fine.
    And if he was not, well, the pain in her back made it hard to care.
    The armour all but shattered from his body, and the force of the blow sent him into the air and then down, hard, onto the ground.
    Still, she was pretty confident she had heard no bones break.
    “Naughty Boy cowner time.”
    The magic again came in glittering lights that lifted the man up, and the coalesced out into the mitten restraints and the pacifier gag, but instead of a stroller, he was secured to a stool, pants around his ankles, his nose pressed up against a wall.
    “I mean really,” Tac said as she jumped down onto Kristine’s shoulder. “This is too much.”
    “It’th your thtupid magic.”
    “Just call the police and let’s go.”
    Kirstine scowled, but she looked among the smugglers until she found a cell phone she could use. She called 911, reported that she had heard shots, then dropped the phone without hanging up.
    She picked up one of the fallen pistols and fired several shots into the air.
    “Nice touch,” Tac told her.
    “Thut up.”
    A moment later both cat and magical girl were gone, teleported away.

    Tac told Kristine not to transform back when they arrived at the apartment. “Get your magic bag, have some of the healing food and drink.”
    She did so. She also got Mr Bear, who stripped her dress off her so he could mend it, as well as dressing her wound. He also changed a very soiled diaper, though she fought against him on that. Somehow in all that the fur on his paws remained clean.
    During all that Tac took her leave.
    She glowered at the big stuffed animal as she ate two jars of the baby food while watching as it stitched up the rip in the dress, cleaning the blood from the material at the same time. She had no idea how it did that.
    She was drinking from a sippy cup (she could not remove the top from it) when Mr Bear finished his work and quickly got her back into the dress. Then he pulled her down onto his big, soft lap, took the bottle from the bag, and proceeded to try to feed it to her.
    Keeping her lips closed and turning her head she did her best to avoid the nipple.
    She turned her head and said, “Tank you Mithter Bear, I…”
    And then he got the nipple securely placed in her mouth.
    When it became clear he was not going to give up until she drank she sucked on the nipple until the bottle was empty. It refilled itself, but Mr Bear put the bottle back in the bag.
    “Tank you Mithter Bear, I wuv you,” she got out quickly.
    Mr Bear returned to toy size and dropped into the bag.
    Kristine gabbed a couple of training panties from the bag and then dismissed it.
    “God damn I hate that thing.” She transformed back, thankfully losing the diaper, replaced by the training panties she had been wearing when she had transformed earlier.
    She dropped into the couch and reached for the TV remote, turning it on and flipping through channels until something caught her attention and she left it. Not really paying attention to what she was watching Kristine grabbed her laptop and turned it on.
    After powering up and logging on, she saw she had email.
    Oscar had sent her a message.
    She had almost forgotten the message she had earlier sent him.
    He wanted to see her.
    The next day, at a cafe she knew.
    She replied, said she would be there. Nervous fingers made spelling mistakes, it took twice as long to type it as it should have. She read it over and then sent it.
    That was done.
    Noise from the TV made her look up.
    A cartoon was on.
    She had been watching a cartoon?
    Grabbing the remote, she flipped channels until she found the news. She was presented with a shaky cell phone video of a girl in a short dress and a diaper.
    Her.
    Hell.
    Kristine turned the TV off and went to get ready for bed.

    The next morning Kristine woke to an orgasm that left her lying in her sweat-soaked sheets, breathing heavily.
    She could not recall the last time an erotic dream had left her so flustered. Probably when she had been a teen.
    For a time she lay there, breathing deeply as the warm glow faded.
    It was perhaps a minute or two after she had woken that she realised she was wearing a diaper.
    She knew she had gone to bed in a training panty.
    “Fuck,” she said softly, wondering if the training panty had magically become a diaper, or if Mr Bear had visited her in the night.
    Neither possibility pleased her.
    The diaper, she discovered, as she got out of bed, was quite wet. The sheets, except for the sweat, were very dry. She had to admit, given the options, she preferred the damp diaper to wet sheets.
    Though of course having neither problem would be most preferable of all.
    She walked to the bathroom, tearing the wet diaper off as she went.
    There where, Kristine noted as the diaper landed in the trash, several training panties already in the trash.
    Was she going to have the throw out garbage bags full of diapers and training panties every week? And shouldn’t the magic deal with them in a more environmentally friendly manner?
    Why was she evening thinking such things?
    Sighing she went into her bathroom to shower.
    Later, in a fresh pair of training panties and an oversized t-shirt, Kristine ate her breakfast at the small kitchen counter, while browsing the web. She was looking for information about herself.
    There were some pictures of her from when she had first transformed, various stories about her, all of them made up of suppositions and outright lies.
    There was a story about the smugglers she had caught the other night, but no mention of the way she had left them. Had the magic faded, or were the police just keeping quiet about how they had found them?
    At least no one was suggesting a connection between her Magical Girl persona and the smugglers.
    Not yet at least.
    For the morning she treated the day like any lazy Sunday. She read a book while drinking a cup of coffee, or she tried.
    The coffee tasted terrible.
    She made two more cups before she decided that it was not the coffee but her.
    Coffee tasted terrible to her now.
    That sucked.
    Instead of reading she went through her kitchen and tried different things.
    Some teas were all right, as was milk, and the almost expired carton of orange juice she could drink. However, she found that alcohol tasted unpleasant and several fancy kinds of cheese that she had liked no longer suited her.
    When she catalogued what she liked she found the menu options to be somewhat, well, juvenile.
    Really, it was bad enough she had to wear training panties and diapers, did she really now need to subsist on a diet of peanut butter sandwiches and milk?
    Getting a handle on her new palate took up much of the morning, and by the time she cleaned up, it was getting close to her meeting time.
    The day before while shopping, she had picked up a few more pieces of clothing than just the denim overalls and blouse.
    A pair of grey slacks and a light blue blouse gave her, well, not a professional look, she thought looking in a mirror, but at least a well turned out appearance.
    She had found a pair of shiny black loafers with tassels over the toe. They were cheap, she doubted that they would last longer than a month of constant wear, but they looked decent enough.
    So dressed she grabbed her work bag, shoved a few more pairs of training panties into it, then headed out.
    Just outside of her apartment building she was met by Tac who sat, lounging on a bench.
    “What are you doing?” Kristine asked her.
    “Enjoying the sun,” the woman said. “It’s a cat thing. You going to that work thing.”
    “I’m going to talk to a man I worked for.”
    “I’ll tag along,” she said, standing, becoming a cat, then leaping onto Kristine’s shoulder.
    “Why are you coming?”
    “Boredom mostly. This might be funny.”
    “I’m going to throw you into traffic,” Kristine muttered, but she let the cat ride on her shoulder.
    As she rode on the subway, she wondered what Oscar would say to her. She wondered if she could keep her job. She did recall the part of the contract that said no magical people could work at the law firm, but she hoped that they would make an exception.
    Being a lawyer was what she had wanted for years.
    Looking down at her small feet she wondered what sort of career she could have. Could she go to court, looking like a girl?
    She shifted on the seat, squirming a little, trying to judge how wet the padding under her bottom might be. It did feel a bit wet, but she thought likely just damp rather than soaked. What a thing to have gotten used to, she thought, and in only less than a day.
    How soon before she was just wearing the diapers that Mr Bear seemed to want her in?
    She shook her head, the action attracting Tac’s attention. “What is it?” the cat asked.
    “Nothing, just a thought I want out of my head.”
    “Weird.”
    “I don’t want to hear that from you.”
    Tac remained silent, and Kristine sat there for the rest of the ride, mind going around in unproductive circles.
    She got off one stop sooner than she usually did when going to work. The coffee shop was about two blocks away from the subway station. The area, mostly business office towers and the like, was quiet on a Sunday afternoon.
    The ‘Smart Bean’ was an upscale little shop, often crowded during the week but very nearly empty now.
    She saw Oscar Cotton sitting at one of the tables near the back of the shop.
    He had looked up from his phone when she had come in, looked at her, then went back to his phone.
    He did not recognise me, she thought.
    She walked across the floor, went to stand up beside the table that he sat at.
    “Mr Cotton,” she said.
    He looked up from the phone. He looked at her. “Can I help you?”
    He looked confused.
    She produced her bridging ID and handed it to him.
    He looked at it, the confusion in his expression growing. Finally, he looked at her. “Miss St. James?”
    “Yes sir.”
    “Magic,” he said, sounding disgusted as he handed her back the ID.
    “May I have a seat?” she asked.
    He nodded at the seat opposite to him.
    She sat, her feet not quite touching the ground. Tac jumped down from her shoulder and into her lap.
    “I got you a coffee,” he told her, indicating the cup in front of her.
    “Thank you,” she said, taking it.
    She loved Smart Bean coffee, the rich dark roast, of course, black. It was bitter and awful to her changed taste buds, but she kept her expression neutral as she took a drink.
    “What happened?” he asked her.
    She told him, most of it, leaving out the part about diapers and baby themed stuff, but covering the basics.
    Kristine finished with, “It was not what I wanted. I never would have made the decision, but I was going to die.”
    “I understand,” he told her.
    “I want to continue working with Cotton and Black. I’m a victim. I know that there is a clause in the contract about magic, but it’s not fair.” She blushed realising how childish she sounded.
    He did not answer her immediately, instead picking up his coffee cup and drinking from it. He put it down when he finished the contents and asked, “Did you study magical law in law school?”
    The question confused her a little, and she thought back to law school, not so much about the classes she took, but the ones she did not. “I don’t remember anything about magical law,” she told him. “Just some details about the nature of the treaties between the worlds.”
    “Do you know how the law works in the Magical Realm?”
    She shook her head.
    “If you are accused of a crime you are brought before one of the most powerful magic users in the area. They cast a truth spell and you are asked if you did what you were accused of. Once you answer you either go free or are punished.”
    Kristine did not say anything for a few seconds, and then, “But that is incriminating yourself.”
    “No such protection in the Magical Realm.”
    “But what if there are witnesses?”
    “No witnesses are ever called.”
    “What if the accused has magic powerful enough to trick the spell?”
    “Might makes right.”
    “But…”
    Oscar held up a hand, stopping Kristine’s words.
    “I am not here to debate the nature of the Magical Realm's law or lack thereof. That is how it works because that is how it has to work. Magic complicates things. Witnesses might have seen an illusion, or be under a spell of compulsion. Evidence may be summoned out of nothing. In a world like that, they use the simplest way to deal with it. That is why you never saw any courses concerning magical law. That is why you can no longer work at Cotton and Black.
    “In fact, I am going to have to call the opposing lawyers and tell them that a person articling with us has become a Magical Girl. Likely they will ask for an extension while they make sure nothing in our case has been magically tampered with, they might even ask that the judge simply rule for them seeing as the case is now tainted.”
    “But I just became Magical Girl yesterday.”
    “And you have a witness to that?”
    “Sure she does,” Tac said, speaking up.
    Oscar looked surprised for a moment at the talking animal, but only a moment. “That will help, I might need to call you to tell your story to the judge.”
    “Anything to help,” Kristine answered without thinking.
    Oscar nodded. “I appreciate it. Did you bring your work ID, keys, laptop?”
    “What? No. Why?”
    “I’ll need the keys and ID, and I’ll need to have one of our IT people take a look at your personal laptop.”
    Well, that was a sign that her time with Cotton and Black were over.
    “I’ll have to go home and get all that. It will take about an hour, maybe a little longer. I guess I can take a taxi.”
    “No need. I will drive you to your home. We can take care of all of that as soon as possible.”
    “As soon as possible,” Kristine echoed back.
    He nodded.
    She stood, dumping Tac from her lap.
    “I got to go to the bathroom,” she said and headed to the back of the coffee shop.
    She did not have to go to the bathroom, or maybe she did, she no longer knew, but she was not about to sit in someone’s car without checking to make sure her training panties were not about to leak.
    In the stall, the somewhat complicated task of getting her pants off made her decide it was possible skirts would be a large part of her future wardrobe. The training panties were wet, though not sodden. She would not to take a chance and changed into a dry pair.
    Fortunately, there was no one else in the bathroom to see her toss the wet training panties into the garbage before she washed her hands.
    On leaving the bathroom, she found Oscar at standing at the front door, talking to a familiar looking blonde woman. She was tall, Kristine thought, probably equal in height to Oscar, and in her heels, she stood taller. Long blonde hair, fair skin, pretty.
    Oscar noticed Kristine as she approached.
    “Kristine, this is Emily Black, of the IT department.”
    That explained why she had looked familiar. “Black?” she asked.
    “My Uncle is Oscar’s partner, but don’t worry, I did not get the job due to nepotism.”
    Oscar laughed at what was probably a private joke, then said, “Emily will have to check your laptop, you understand.”
    Not pleased, Kristine nodded. “Of course.”
    “Let’s go,” he said and led them from the cafe.
    His car was only a few blocks away, a dark blue Lexus, four doors. Emily took the front seat, leaving the back for Kristine. Seeing the leather interior, she was glad she had changed her training panties.
    In the front seat, Oscar and Emily talked business, the IT side of things. Kristine’s computer knowledge was not as in-depth as that of Emily’s, but she thought she might be able to join in. However, she got the feeling that she was not expected to take part in the conversation. Neither made any effort to include her.
    She sat quietly in the back, petting Tac who slept in her lap.
    About twenty minutes later Oscar pulled into her apartment’s visitor parking lot. His car looked a little out of place, and he parked some distance from the other vehicles.
    As Kristine got out, she looked at the building, suddenly feeling that she did not want either of these people to see how she lived. She knew it was ridiculous. She was a recent graduate, no one would expect her to be living in any sort of luxury.
    She squared her shoulders and said, “This way.”
    Kristine led them into the building and up into her apartment.
    Could they smell the used diapers she had been throwing out? Would they see them?
    “Where’s your laptop?” Emily asked, breaking Kristine out of her thoughts.
    “Here,” she walked across the room and got the laptop, bringing it back to Emily.
    As Emily set up Kristine went and got her work ID and various security keys which she presented to Oscar.
    “Can I get you to log in?” Emily asked her. She had the laptop on, and it had booted up.
    Oscar stood near the door, waiting patiently, as Kristine logged into the laptop.
    “This won’t take long,” Emily said as she went to work. “Just going to remove the VPN software and proprietary data, check for any files from the firm.”
    Kristine nodded.
    As promised it did not take long for Emily to finish up with the laptop. She plugged a USB key into the computer, fingers typing rapidly.
    Kristine looked towards Oscar, but he had his smartphone out, looking at that. He was not interested in talking. And what would they say to each other anyway?
    About a minute later Emily pulled the USB key out of the laptop. “It’s clean.”
    Oscar looked away from the phone. “Good. Thank you for working on a Sunday.”
    Emily smiled at Kristine and then looked to Oscar and said, “This was a special case, so no problem.” 
    “Miss St. James, again, I am sorry. You might have become a good lawyer.”
    “Thank you,” Kristine said. It was the only thing she could say.
    They left, talking again about the firm’s IT requirements.
    She was no longer on their minds.
    She closed her apartment door and went back to the couch, flopping down and looking at her laptop. Shifting forward, feeling her training panties squelch under her, she worked on the computer, checking to see what had been removed, making sure that her pictures and a few other things she would not want to lose were still there.
    “Damn,” she said, slumping down.
    “What’s the problem there?” Tac asked, jumping onto the back of the couch.
    Kristine looked up at the cat. “There are so many answers to that.”
    “Got one that I might care about?”
    She mumbled something unflattering under her breath and then said, “I am out of a job.”
    “I am aware. Don’t care.”
    “Well, you should, cause I am going to be out on the street soon.”
    “I don’t see how you being out on the street is a problem for me, but I will point out that you are stupid?”
    “Stupid? That I need money is stupid? That I still got student loans is stupid? That I can’t even afford to buy new clothes is stupid?”
    “Those things seem more on the sad side than stupid,” Tac told her. “What is stupid is that you have forgotten you got a magic bag that has almost everything you need.”
    “What? It has money in it?” She could not believe that.
    “Why not summon it and find out,” Tac paused, “stupid.”
    She sat up straight, making certain to knock Tac off the back of the couch as she did not.
    “Not cool,” Tac said as she fell.
    Holding her hands out in front of her she pictured the bag and it dropped out into her arms. She placed it beside her and opened it up. She found the familiar diapers and training panties, food and drink and baby care products and Mr Bear, but no money. “Well?” she asked Tac, who had jumped up beside her. She grabbed a couple of pair of training panties, knowing she was going to need them.
    “Open up the zippered, front pocket.”
    She did. Inside she found an envelope. Written on it was ‘for clothes’. Opening it, she found a stack of twenty and fifty dollar bills, even some hundreds. Counting it revealed there to be about four thousand dollars.
    “Where did this come from?” she demanded of Tac.
    “Where do you think? Banks.”
    “Is it…”
    “Stolen? Don’t be stupid. There is trade between the Magic and the Mundane Realms. The Magic Realm enjoys a huge trade surplus, but we don’t have use for your money, so we leave it here. When an agent, like you, needs money, you get money.”
    She looked at all the bills.
    “I don’t have to work anymore.”
    “You don’t.”
    “If I want a bigger apartment? A house.”
    “You’d get it.”
    “A sports car?”
    “Can you reach the pedals.”
    “Shut up.”
    “You won’t be getting any mansions unless you need one, and probably not any of those fancy Italian sports cars,” Tac paused, “do they still have them?” After Kristine nodded Tac continued, “or diamond studded golden back scratchers, but you’ll have what you need for a comfortable, easy life. Magic Girls have it good.”
    She did not have to work.
    “I wanted to be a lawyer.”
    “I wanted to be a rich princess who never had to travel to the Mundane Realm. I did not get that,” Tac told her. “Life is unfair. Suck it up. We’re going hunting tonight.”
    “Hunting?”
    “I am going to teach you to track minor magical threats. An important skill for a Magical Girl.”
    “Yay for me,” Kristine said sarcastically.

    Several hours of hunting down, and in some cases killing, small magical beings (goblins and such) left Kristine tired and wet.
    Returning to her apartment, she dismissed her magical outfit and then went to take a shower.
    Clean, in a dry pair of training panties, she took a seat on her couch and turned on her laptop. She just wanted to stream some movies and relax, maybe check out some real estate as well.
    As the laptop booted up, she reached for her phone.
    There was a message. From Oscar.
    She played it.
    His recorded voice came from the phone. ‘Miss St. James, I want you to come to the courthouse tomorrow. Call me.’
    She stared at the phone for a few seconds.
    It did not make any sense to her.
    She had been certain she would never hear from him again.
    After several seconds she hit the icon to call him back.
    After a few rings, it was answered.
    “Miss St. James,” Oscar said.
    “You wanted to speak with me Mr Cotton?”
    He was silent for a few seconds, then said, “I would appreciate it if you showed up at court tomorrow, at 9am. I have a meeting with the judge, and I want you to be there.”
    Her eyes widened as, for a moment, she imagined that he would be making a case for her to remain part of the case, but only for a moment. That was stupid.
    “Why?” she asked, sounding a little more bitter than she wanted.
    “I want to get the judge’s ruling as to whether your recent change compromises the case. The judge will have questions, it would be best if you were there.”
    “I understand. I’ll help.” She paused and then said, “I have nothing to wear for court.”
    Oscar did not tell her not to worry. He would never tell her that. The right clothing was an essential part of one’s presentation in court. After a short silence, he said, “I’ll bring something, Don’t worry.”
    She took a deep breath. “Okay, I will be there.”
    “Thank you Miss St. James, I appreciate it.”
    “I am glad to help,” she answered.
    “I will see you tomorrow.”
    He hung up.
    She looked at her phone for a few seconds and then tapped the hangup icon.
    Gently chewing on her bottom lip, she wondered what tomorrow would be like. Would she be a professional in the room, or would be she like some weird piece of evidence.
    It worried at her all night, and she crawled into bed early, setting her alarm before she pulled the covers over her head.

 

    Kristine woke not to the beeping of her alarm but to another orgasm from another terribly erotic dream. She lay on her bed, breathing deeply, squirming, slim chest rising and falling with each gasping breath.
    She finally got control of herself, wiping at her damp forehead.
    “What the hell,” she said softly.
    Her alarm started beeping.
    As she sat up, she felt something heavy and wet slide about in the back of the diaper that she was wearing.
    Eyes wide she reached behind her and put her hand on the back of the plastic. The mass within the diaper shifted and spread out as she pushed against the padding. “Oh no,” she said.
    She shifted forward, taking the weight off her bottom.
    The mess slithered forward as she got up on her hands and knees.
    How was she going to clean up that mess? She’d have to get into her shower, take the heavily soiled diaper off. And then what? Could she flush it? And she would have to clean herself up, the mess that she felt stuck to her bottom.
    Just the thought of doing so made her feel ill.
    She should just be able to magic this away.
    Then a thought occurred to her.
    “Mr Bear, help.” She blushed even as she said it out loud, not entirely certain about what she was doing.
    A moment later the giant teddy bear was at her side.
    She did not have to give any instructions, the bear grabbed her up from the bed, cleared some space, and put her on the floor.
    She blushed as the bear pulled her legs up and untaped her diaper, then began to clean her up. The bear was fast, efficient, in extremely short order she was clean, the area around her was clean, the dirty diaper and the wipes having disappeared, even Mr Bear was clean.
    Of course, the bear then proceeded to put a new diaper on her, acting so fast she could hardly resist.
    He creamed her bottom, rubbing it across her butt and between her thighs, sending a shock of unexpected pleasure through her that made her gasp. Then he rained sweet smelling powder across her before pulling a thick diaper up between her legs and tapping it snug around her.
    He lifted her up from the floor, grabbing her under her arms, then placed her on her feet and patted her head.
    She blushed at the gentle touch, then lisped out her ‘thank you’ sending him away.
    Standing there, in the middle of her apartment, in just a diaper and her t-shirt, she sighed.
    “What the hell,” she said, then sat down on her couch.
    “Tac?” she called out softly.
    The cat did not appear.
    Well, she supposed that was for the best.
    She was not really sure how to ask the cat why she was having crazy erotic wet dreams, waking up in diapers that were damp for reasons other than piss. Was it part of the magic, or, as she was afraid of, was she just some kind of pervert?
    It was probably the magic.
    She hoped.
    Thinking of magic and the cat she summoned up her magic bag. She opened the small zippered pocket she had found the money in the night before. Within were two envelopes, neither feeling as if it were stuffed with cash.
    In one was a letter, informing her that all her student loans would be paid off by the end of the business day. The other letter showed that all her credit cards, as well as her line of credit, had all been paid off.
    She was completely out of debt.
    “Well, that’s something,” she said, tossing the letters on her coffee table and then dismissing the diaper bag.
    Standing she tore the expertly taped diaper from around her waist and tossed it, heading into her bathroom.

    Tac showed up when she left her apartment. She was dressed in the same outfit she had worn the day before, the slacks and the blouse.
    “Where you going?” the cat asked.
    “To court. Oscar wants my help,” she said, feeling happy for saying that.
    “Your help?” Tac asked incredulously.
    “Yes, my help,” she said, sounding far more defensive than she had intended.
    “Some kind of monster thing?”
    “No, legal matters,” she said, tilting her chin up as she walked towards the elevator.
    “This I got to see.”
    Kristine paused, wondering if she should tell the cat it could not come. Of course, she did not expect that Tac would do something just because she had ordered, and she supposed having an obvious magical animal might help things along in some manner or another.
    “Do as you want,” she said, and resumed her walk.
    Seeing as she was debt free and flush with cash (she had the money for clothing in her messenger bag) she decided to take a taxi.
    “How much more do you need to do to finish with me?” she asked Tac as she did up her seatbelt.
    “A few more nights and you’ll have all the basics down. You’re not as stupid as what I was expecting.”
    “Is that one of those magical animals?” the taxi driver asked, looking back at her in the rearview mirror.
    “Is that a problem?” Kristine asked. “I can toss her out of the cab, no problem if we are moving fast.”
    “Rude,” Tac said.
    “No, no, just never saw one before.”
    He pulled away from the curb and merged into traffic. “So,” the driver asked, “you one of those Magical Girls?”
    “Yeah, I’m one of those Magical Girls.”
    “You look a little young for it.”
    She laughed loudly.
    “I say something funny?”
    “Hilarious, but don’t worry about it.”
    “We’re not going to get attacked by monsters, are we?”
    “I don’t think so.” She looked at Tac.
    “A monster attack against a mundane is a pretty unlikely thing,” the cat sat smugly.
    “Is it now?” Kristine turned her gaze on Tac.
    “I don’t think my statement can in anyway be used to infer any wrongdoing on my part.”
    “And if I got one of those truth spells Oscar mentioned?”
    “Well, you don’t have one.”
    “You don’t seem to be all that friendly,” the driver said.
    “Tell me about it,” Kristine answered.
    “Aren’t you magical girls and your talking pets supposed to be all friendly like?”
    “Pets?” Tac sounded offended.
    “I am beginning to suspect that is just PR.”
    “Pets?”
    “So how did you become a magical girl, if you don’t mind me asking?”
    “Desperate measures,” Kristine said. “Either that or I die.”
    “So you didn’t want to be one.”
    “Of course not. Why would I?”
    “I bet it beats driving a cab.”
    Kristine was about to argue that, seeing as she was pretty sure driving a cab did not require diapers, but she decided not to. And she thought about the letters from the morning, the money in her bag. Probably a lot of people would think the benefits outweighed the costs. “It still was not what I thought I wanted to be doing with my life?”
    “Oh, what did you want to do with your life?”
    “I was going to be a lawyer.”
    The driver was silent for a few seconds. “You ask me the world needs more Magical Girls than lawyers.”
    “Did I ask you?” she snapped at him.
    “Don’t be so catty,” Tac told her.
    “I don’t want to hear that from you,” she told the cat.
    “Listen, I’m just saying that society is too litigious as it stands and fewer lawyers might not be a bad thing. Maybe people would talk things out and not tie up the courts with nuisance lawsuits and real legal change could happen.”
    “What, are you a professor of sociology or something?”
    “Philosophy.”
    “A philosopher cab driver, this is getting good,” Tac said.
    “You’re a professor of philosophy?”
    “Masters degree. Working on my doctorate.”
    Kristine frowned. “Are you driving for money or is this your thesis?”
    “Welcome to my lab, Magical Girl.”
    “Oh, crap.”
    “Do you have a card? Cause I think I want to ride in your cab more often," Tac said.
    “So, do you think you can do more to make the world just if you were a lawyer than you could be being a magical girl.”
    “I did not get into law because of justice,” Kristine said, exasperated, and then, “No, wait, I mean, justice is important, but the law is complex and beautiful.”
    “Really?”
    “Well, it’s complex.”
    “So, if you were interested in justice, would you find it easier to make a difference as a lawyer or a Magical Girl.”
    Kristine squirmed in her seat, thought the padding of her training panties felt both warm and wet but was not sure. And she could not check. “I suppose if I was only interested in justice that a Magical Girl has more options.”
    “But Magical Girls are not agents of justice,” Tac said as she jumped up onto the back of the front, passenger seat. “At least not necessarily.”
    “But do they have the freedom to become so?”
    “Probably,” Tac said.
    “So Magical Girl, do you feel that if you cannot practice law that you are required to uphold justice? Does your power require you to act.”
    “Hell no,” Kristine said. “Power does not equate to responsibility.”
    “Interesting.”
    “Listen, can you just drive.”
    “Sure,” he said, and then asked Tac, “so you offer power to these girls?”
    “That is right.”
    Tac sounded pleased with herself.
    “And you don’t feel that there is a problem with that? It’s like you are creating child soldiers.”
    “No like about it. But young girls have the purity and innocence to wield magic. Their pure hearts and pure dreams protect them from the corrupting taint of magic.”
    “Bullshit!” Kristine said from the back. “I was twenty-five, and you still picked me.”
    “Twenty-five?” the driver asked, looking at her in the mirror again.
    Kristine wished she had kept her mouth shut.
    “You were immature for your age,” Tac said by way of explanation.
    She smacked the cat from the back of the seat hard enough that it hit the interior windshield.
    “Hey, watch it,” the driver said.
    “The cat’s fine.”
    “My feelings can be hurt you know,” Tac said, jumping down from the dashboard.
    “Good to know. I’ll try to be more emotionally cruel.”
    
    The driver looked at her in the mirror, then down at Tac.
    He asked no more questions.
    Kristine felt a little bad about that but did not want to start up the conversation again.

    When she was dropped off at the courthouse, she tipped the driver well, by way of apology, then walked up the steps towards the large entranceway. She was near the doors when she was met by Oscar’s assistant. Yvonne Clark was an older woman, brown hair striped with grey, dressed conservatively. She had some garment bags hung over her shoulder.
    “Kristine?” she asked hesitantly.
    “Yes. Mr Cotton wanted me here.”
    Of course, Yvonne had to know that. What a stupid and obvious thing to say.
    “Yes. Come on. I have some clothing for you.” He held up the garment bags a little higher.
    At least Kristine was not the only one stating the obvious.
    Yvonne led her to a bathroom where she could change. Kristine went in on her own, carrying the three bags. She left them on a small bench inside the room by the door and went right for a stall.
    Her training panty was not too wet, but she cleaned herself up and put on a new one, not wanting to take a chance of staining any of the clothing she was going to borrow.
    There were three dresses within the bags, as well as a few packaged sundries. She wondered if they belonged to Oscar’s daughters or granddaughters. Perhaps young nieces? She did not really know much about his family other than he did have children.
    One of the dresses looked like a little girl’s Sunday dress. A bit too much frou-frou and pink for her tastes.
    Another was a surprisingly mature looking dress in a pale blue, clingy. Kristine was certain the bulk of her training panties would be visible.
    She went with the third, a dark blue dress, with a pleated skirt that dropped below her knees and short, wide sleeves that fell just above her elbows. The skirt was loose enough that there was no chance of her training panties showing through and it looked conservative.
    There was a pair of white tights, still in the package, along with the dress. She tore the bag open and put them on. The cotton tights were a little too small, and the dress a bit tight across her slim chest, but, looking at herself, she saw that none of that showed.
    Good enough.
    She gathered up everything and left the bathroom.
    Yvonne and Tac were waiting nearby. Yvonne looked Kristine up and down and nodded. “Good. Come on.”
    Tac jumped up onto her shoulder.
    Yvonne led Kristine up the main stairs, where the too small tights and slightly too tight dress made themselves a little more obvious. She felt a little corseted as she could not breathe as deeply as she wished, and the tights were sliding down a little, and she had to resist the urge to try to pull them up.
    Down a hall, deeper into the building, to a small waiting room where Oscar, and to her surprise and no small amount of embarrassment, Daniel were waiting. Daniel was staring at her, shock obvious on his face.
    She noted two others, a woman and man, well dressed. The man she recognised as Wendal Pine, the lead lawyer for the other side.
    “Miss St. James, thank you for coming,” Oscar said to her.
    “You’re welcome Mr Black.”
    Daniel schooled his expression to something more professional and nodded a hello to her. “Kristine,” he said.
    She returned the informal greeting with a “Daniel. You’re assisting with the case? Good job.”
    He looked a little uncomfortable, for they both knew that she was supposed to be here. “Thank you,” he said, almost sounding himself.
    Wendal and his companion were openly staring at her. She ignored them, deciding she would let someone else handle introductions if they were required.
    “Is there anything else Mr Cotton?” Yvonne asked.
    “Not at the moment Yvonne, thank you.”
    Yvonne nodded and then left them.
    There were several seconds of an uncomfortable silence in the room before Oscar said, “Let’s go.” He walked to one of the doors, knocked and then pushed it open.
    Kristine started towards the doors, but the others, with their longer strides (not hampered by trying to keep cotton tights from sliding down over a pair of training panties), put everyone else in the room, and she had to wait to enter last.
    There was a small office beyond. The five of them filled it.
    A woman behind a desk was talking to Oscar.
    “Go in,” she said, “Judge Morrison is waiting for you.”
    They all filed through the secretaries office into the much more significant office of the judge.
    Bernard Morrison was a tall man, big, shaved head, wrinkles around his eyes and mouth. He was standing, waiting for them. “Sit,” he ordered, pointing at a table in front of his desk.
    Everyone sat. Kristine found the chair too big for her, wished she could kneel on it, so she was not so low.
    Bernard went and sat at his desk.
    “Let’s make this fast.” He looked at Kristine. “Kristine St. James.”
    “Yes sir,” she said, hating how her voice seemed to squeak.
    “Papers?”
    She reached into her bag, pulled out her ID. She was about to get off the chair when Tac jumped to the floor and became the tuxedo-clad, cat-eared beauty that was her other form.
    There were a few expressions of surprise.
    With a smile Tac took the various documents from Kristine and walked to the judge’s desk, handing them to him.
    He looked through them, turning the bridging ID back and forth, staring at Kristine.
    She felt her cheeks grow warm under his scrutiny.
    He gave the documents back to Tac. “Thank you.”
    “Of course,” Tac said, and walked back, putting the documents on the table, in front of Kristine, just far enough from her that Kristine had to reach to get them. The cat-eared woman took a seat beside Kristine, smiling at the other people.
    “Tell me how you came to this position,” Judge Morrison said to Kristine.
    So Kristine told him of her meeting with Tac Friday evening and of her accepting the contract the next day. She kept it simple, to the point.
    Tac confirmed her story when asked.
    “When was the last time you worked on this case,” he asked her.
    “Friday evening, about 5pm.”
    “Anything since then?”
    “No sir.”
    “Have you had any contact with anyone involved in the case since then?”
    “Just Mr Cotton. I let him know what happened, and met with him yesterday too, well, officially end my employment with the firm.”
    “Did you talk about the case?”
    She shook her head. “No sir.”
    Wendal shifted forward in his chair. “Any witnesses to this?”
    “I was there,” Tac said.
    At the same time, Oscar said, “Emily Black from our IT department was there. She can be a witness as to our conversation. Shall I ask her to come by? I have a signed statement from her.” He brought an envelope from his jacket.
    “Give it here.”
    Oscar did so, and Bernard looked it over. “Good enough,” he finally said.
    “I would like a ruling now as to if Miss St. James unfortunate situation in any way reflects on this case,” Oscar said.
    The judge looked at Wendal and his companion. “Are you requesting a stay in procedures?”
    Wendal did not answer immediately, but finally said, “Not at this time.”
    “Your honour, if not at this time than if I may be permitted to say, than not at all,” Oscar said.
    “More information could come up later in the case,” Wendal replied, a little heated. “We may need to request a stay or delay later.”
    “If things start to go bad for you,” Oscar said.
    Kristine had suspected but now knew why Oscar had requested her presence there.
    “Enough,” Bernard said, loudly.
    No one else said anything.
    “Mr Pine, if you do not see a reason to delay proceedings at this time, based on what we know, I will not allow you to request a later delay. Unless of course, you put further evidence in front of me that puts into question Miss St. James' statement that she has had nothing to do with the case since her unfortunate transformation.”
    “Very well,” Wendal said.
    He did not sound happy about it.
    “All right, then this meeting is done. I will see you in court in,” he looked at his watch, “twenty minutes.”
    It was a dismissal that everyone recognised.
    They left the office.
    Out in the waiting room, everyone started walking away.
    Daniel paused, looked at her, back at the others who were all watching, and then said, “I’m sorry this happened to you.” He walked off.
    Not about to taint the case by being seen associating with her.
    She was alone.
    She found Yvonne, down the hall, waiting for her.
    She returned to the bathroom on the first floor, changing back into her own clothing. She held up the tights, making sure there were no telltale stains on the white cotton, then shoved them into the garment bag with the dress.
    “Thank you,” she said as she handed the bag back to Yvonne outside of the bathroom.
    “You’re welcome,” she said with a smile before turning and walking away.
    “Now what?” Tac asked from where she lazily leaned on a wall.
    “I guess I’ll go shopping.”
    “Good, I like shopping.”

    Kristine supposed some retail therapy was a way to not think of things.
    Or maybe not think that there was nothing left to really think about.
    She was a Magical Girl, and it seemed that was all she would be. All she could be.
    So letting her mind focus on buying a new wardrobe was welcome.
    She looked for quality, triple stitching, good materials, nothing that looked like it had been made in a sweatshop.
    Since training panties and, not that she wanted to admit it, diapers, were going to be a constant she looked for skirts and dresses mostly, to make changing easier. She bought some slacks and loose jeans, but they made up only a small part of her new and growing wardrobe.
    Quality and conservative were her watchwords. She soon had several bags full of clothing. Tac had to help her carry them.
    Some training bras were added to her purchases. As she had the day before Kristine got the idea that most of the salespeople who sold them to her were ultimately humouring her.
    What she did not need (assuming she was not going to chance a mess) were panties, but she bought them anyway. She did not want anyone thinking about why she would not be buying them.
    It was mid-afternoon when she decided to go home.
    She and Tac stuffed a taxi’s trunk full of clothing of all sorts, and the back seat was pretty full too. They did not get a driver who wanted to speak, so Kristine sat in the back seat, feeling tired and wet, hoping her training panties did not leak.
    Fortunately, she made it back to her apartment leaving the seat behind her dry.
    She and Tac hauled everything up to her apartment and Kristine went to change. She had leaked a little on her way up, small damp spots on the seat of her slacks. After changing into a dry pair of training panties, she tossed the pants into the laundry hamper and then, in only her socks, blouse and training panty, began to unpack her purchases.
    She was not sure at first what to do with all her old clothing, but after a few minutes of looking through her wardrobe, she decided it had to go. There was no point in keeping it around, other than to torture herself. She found some boxes and used the bags all her new things had come in and packed away all her old things.
    She would donate them to some charity, or better yet a woman’s shelter.
    Maybe her suits would do someone some good.
    As she finished boxing the last of the old things up, she felt odd, as if something were off. She found herself walking about the apartment, looking onto corners, opening things up. As small as the apartment was her actions did not go unnoticed.
    “What are you doing?” Tac asked her.
    Kristine looked at the cat. “Something feels off, but I don’t know what.”
    “Probably just because you are being watched.”
    “What?”
    Tac, in cat form again, stretched out. “Yeah. Not long after we got back.”
    “Where?” she asked, starting towards the windows.
    “Stop, don’t be stupid,” the cat told her.
    “Pardon?” she looked back at Tac.
    “You don’t want them to know you spotted them. That’s like tradecraft 101.”
    “Tradecraft?” She shook her head. “What should I do?”
    “Stop being stupid?”
    “Aren’t you supposed to help me?”
    “If I can make you stop being stupid that would help a lot.”
    “You make me want to kick you.”
    “Transform. Put your pacifier in your pie hole and teleport down there.”
    Kristine wanted to say something snide, but the cat was right.
    “Thank you,” she said softly.
    “What was that?”
    “I said thank you,” she snapped, and then before Tac might say anything else she transformed.

    Teleporting about, being invisible, it was all pretty amazing.
    It almost made being a Magical Girl worthwhile.
    Though not the diapers.
    She stood beside the car, not seen by the occupants, looking into the windows.
    It did not take her long to figure out who they were.
    There was a file, open in the back seat, with some stationary with the Pine law firm letterhead on it.
    So they were looking for proof that she was still somehow involved in the case.
    Good luck on finding that, she thought as she teleported up onto the roof of a nearby high-rise. She took the pacifier from her mouth.
    “Annoying.”
    “I will teach you a spell to chase them away,” Tac said.
    “Chase them away?”
    “Sure. Magic Girls need to make the mundanes scatter, stay away from dangerous places. Nice simple spell. You envision something unpleasant and focus it… Though with your weird ways of casting spells who know how it will work. Still, it is simple enough.”
    “No.”
    “No what?”
    “I’m not going to cast it. They are just doing their jobs, and it is not like they are going to see anything that will be a problem for Cotton and Black. I’ll just ignore them.”
    “But this is a teachable moment.”
    “I don’t care.”
    She teleported back to her apartment and ended her magical girl transformation.
    Tac had jumped from her shoulder. “Boring.”
    “I can learn that spell later,” she told the cat as she picked up the packed boxes and stacked them next to the door.
    Tac shook her cat head and then went and curled up on the couch.
    Kristine went and cleaned everything up, considering what she might do if she got a house. That all she needed to do was to want one and she would be given one seemed so unlikely. It was like she had won a lottery. And in a way she supposed she had.
    Just not a lottery that she would have bought a ticket for.
    She had everything sorted out and cleaned up when she heard someone knocking on her door.
    Not expecting any visitors she went to the door, stood up on her toes, and looked out the peephole.
    On her doorstep stood the handsome Olivia.
    “What the hell?” she asked aloud even as she unlocked the door.
    “Olivia, you can’t be here, there…”
    That was all she got before Oliva had her wrapped in her arms, her lips pressed against Kristine’s, her tongue slipping into Kristine’s mouth.
    It was like the night they had last seen each other.
    That was one of her thoughts at that moment.
    She also recalled that their hands had been in each other panties, and she worried that Olivia’s hands would slide down from her shoulders and discover what she wore instead of panties.
    That was another of her thoughts.
    She also was a little surprised at the tongue in her mouth. It seemed strange and well, the only word that came to her mind, strangely was, gross. It seemed a little gross.
    Then suddenly before Kristine could think of anything Oliva pushed her away, she herself stumbling a few steps back to fall against the door jamb.
    “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Oliva said, crying.
    Kristine stared at Olivia, her mouth hanging open.
    She closed her mouth, then asked, “Sorry? What? Why?”
    “I heard, I thought, it didn’t matter. I was in love with you. I was sure it didn’t matter what you looked like, but it felt so wrong. I’m sorry.”
    “Olivia?” She took a step forward, then stopped. “You love me?”
    She was surprised. She liked Olivia, a lot, but in love?
    “Oh,” Kristine said. Of course, she loved Olivia as well. Why had she not seen it? “I…”
    “I don’t love you anymore,” Olivia cried and wiped at her eyes, smearing eyeliner.
    “What?”
    “You’re a child, when I look at you, I feel nothing. When I kissed you I just felt like a monster.”
    She straightened. “I never should have come here. I have to leave.”
    “Olivia…” Kristine took a step forward.
    “No, Kristine, I can’t be near you. It’s tearing me up.”
    Kristine stopped.
    “Goodbye.” She turned and fled the apartment.
    “Olivia,” Kristine said softly and took a step forward.
    She would just be torturing Olivia if she followed.
    “Well that was some nice drama,” Tac said as she jumped down from the couch.
    Kristine turned on the cat. “Shut up.”
    “That’s hardly nice. And here I am going to help you out.”
    “Help me out?”
    Tac saying anything like that seemed so foreign. She did not think the cat was capable of helping her.
    “I am going to take care of those guys in the car, so they don’t remember seeing your friend coming in here, cause that is probably important, then I am going to talk to your friend and make sure she doesn’t hurt herself.”
    “Oh,” Kristine said, suddenly feeling bad for her earlier thought.
    “And then I am going to get her on the rebound and fuck her until she can’t even remember your name.”
    “What?”
    The cat looked up at her. “She’s got a nice figure, and I am one horny kitty.”
    “Listen you damn cat I’ll pick you up by the scruff o the neck and shake the sh…”
    Tac was suddenly the buxom, tall woman in a tuxedo.
    She moved fast, grabbing Kristine and yanking the smaller girl across her lap as she dropped onto the couch.
    Skirt flipped up, training panties yanked down, she proceeded to wail on Kristine’s bottom, in the middle of the apartment, with the door to the hallway wide opened.
    It was humiliating.
    And it hurt a lot.
    “You Listen. I put up with a lot of crap from you cause you are cute, but you don’t get to tell me who I fuck.”
    Kristine was squirming, trying to break free, biting down on screams and sobs, worried someone could come and look into her apartment.
    Then suddenly she was on the floor, dumped from Tac’s lap, and Tac was heading out the door.
    “Don’t wait up,” Tac called back with a  cruel smile as she left.
    Kristine watched her go, wiped her eyes, then stumbled to her feet, and with the training panties around her ankles, stumbled to the door and closed it.
    She bent down, pulled the training panties up. As they slid over her well-spanked bottom, she hissed at how much it had hurt.
    Had that bitch Tac used claws when she spanked her?
    Well, she would show Tac, she would…
    What would she do?
    Chase after Tac, tell her to leave Olivia alone? Scream ‘don’t have sex with my ex-girlfriend’?
    It was ridiculous.
    Olivia was not stupid, no easy lay. If Tac could seduce her, it would be because it was what Olivia wanted, at least at that moment.
    She sat down on the couch.
    Jumped up with a cry of pain.
    What sort of crazy magical spanking had Tac given her?
    She stood there, still sniffing, thinking about her friend and her life and her very adulthood which had all been snatched away for some stupid reason.
    She thought about how helpless she felt about it all.
    She thought about how there was nothing she could do about any of it.
    “Mr Bear,” she cried.
    And then the bear was there, and she threw herself into its warm, soft hug. She cried into the fur, and Mr Bear gently patted her bottom, easing the pain there.
    She felt completely pathetic, and at the same time completely safe.

 

And now the new part that has not beeb posted yet

    Later, sprawled on her couch, in a too big t-shirt, the padding of a training panty a subtle but unforgettable presence, stared at the TV. She was not really watching what was on it, it was the background for her thoughts.
    Olivia, and what she represented.
    Things had been happening so quickly that she had not really considered what her life was going to be like.
    Saturday morning she had woken up, and everything was normal.
    It was now Monday evening, and she had lost her job, probably her friends, a girlfriend she had not realised was her girlfriend, her potty skills and her maturity.
    Things had been happening too fast.
    She had not really thought about it.
    Now that she was thinking about it Kristine did not like it.
    She sniffed, suddenly worried she might start crying. She rubbed at her eyes, took a deep breath.
    “I can turn this around,” she said out loud.
    It made her better to hear that, but what followed was the silent question, ‘how?’
    Pulling her knees up to her chest she considered what she would need to do to fix things.
    She did not think she could break the magic that had changed her. She had, under duress as it had been, accepted a contract. There was something sacrosanct to that. Magical rules that had been established that would not be broken.
    The sticking point was that she was a child.
    It did not matter that she had a bridging ID, the fact that anyone who looked at her was going to see a little girl. And if she were not careful they would see a little girl in diapers.
    Jobs, relationships, even leisure activities would all be denied to her.
    Suddenly she was depressed again.
    She recalled, only a few days before, flipping through the channels until she could present to Tac a magical girl: Magical Parfait of the Baker’s Dozen she recalled.
    She could be, she realised, a joke. She could go on TV, or maybe get jobs performing. A cute little girl who was not really a little girl. Her knowledge of entertainment law was sketchy, but she seemed to remember that there was a limit on how much children could work.
    An apparent little girl, who was really an adult, would probably be useful.
    She supposed had she ever wanted to go into entertainment than this might be the best thing that ever happened to her.
    But while she had wanted to stand in front of a court as a lawyer, standing in front of an audience as a performer had never occurred to her.
    A professional joke, just like Magical Parfait, and other magical girls like her.
    No, she realised, she would be even a bigger joke because of the theme of her magic, and the diapers.
    Exhausted by her depressing thoughts, she turned off the TV, unfolded her couch, pulled her blankets over her head.
    She just wanted to sleep.

    Morning came, as it had since her transformation, with a wet dream and a messy diaper.
    She lay there, breathing heavily, waiting for the sensation to pass, and kind of wishing it would not. Then she called for Mr Bear so he could clear her up.
    It was just so much easier.
    After Mr Bear had her in a fresh diaper, she dismissed him.
    Sitting up on her fold out bed she wondered if all the Nursery Knights had to deal with that.
    And then she smacked her hand into her forehead.
    She could find them, talk to them, get them to tell her what the deal was, how they might have dealt with it.
    No dealing with Tac, who she really did not want to speak to, and certainly did not want to confide in.
    Staying in her diaper, she went to her laptop, turned it on, waited for it to boot up. It took so long.
    She summoned her magic bag, wrote a note that she wanted a new computer and a tablet. The message went into the side pocket, the bag dismissed.
    Once her computer was running, she opened a browser window and began to search.
    Terms like ‘Nursery Knights’, ‘magical baby girls’, ‘diaper magical girls’ got her some results, but she only found a handful of useful articles.
    There was a magical sighting page, with an entry on the Nursery Knights. It had not been updated in more than fifteen years.
    They had been active in Sacramento about twenty years prior. Kristine’s family had lived in Sacramento, but they had moved north to Seattle shortly before the Nursery Knights had been active.
    Had Tac shown up when she had been supposed to, would Kristine's family have moved? The Magical Realm certainly had access to money. Her father had taken them to Seattle because he had a new job there. She could envision Tac using the Magic Realm's money to keep her and her family in Sacramento.
    Or perhaps her teleporting power was to allow for the commute.
    Putting such thoughts aside she read what information was available.
    There was mention of a few battles, one in the downtown core. No record of any civilian casualties. Kristine found a few stories of people found asleep, unable to wake for a few months. She supposed that made sense for something that had been called the Nightmare King.
    Then the Nursery Knights all but disappeared.
    She spent about an hour reading through various sites but found nothing online that really helped her.
    Shutting her computer off she leaned back. Her padding felt damp on her bottom, and the diaper crinkled.
    Shaking her head, Kristine got up from her bed and went to the bathroom to clean up.

    It was still early when Kristine left her apartment. She had a small bag, loaded with a few extra training pants and an envelope full of computer money. Her outfit was all her new clothing, a black, designer A-line dress, with a skirt that hid her padding. She had paired it with a faded jean jacket.
    Out in front of her building, she decided not to call a cab but went for a walk instead. Kristine used to like going for walks. With school and the working at the law firm, she had had less time for that. Now she had nothing but time.
    She sighed loudly as she stood on a street corner, waiting for a break in the traffic.
    “Something wrong sweetie?”
    The person asking a question was a school crossing guard. An older woman with a kind smile.
    Kristine had not even noticed her, but it had been a long time since she had needed crossing guard’s help.
    “I’m just tried,” Kristine said, not even thinking to explain her problems.
    “You should get lots of sleep sweetie,” she told Kristine, then, a break in the traffic presenting itself, put her whistle to her lips, raised her sign, and stepped out into the crosswalk.
    Kristine mumbled a thank you as she crossed.
    Several other children, who Christine had not really noticed either, were louder in their thanks.
    There sure were a lot of kids around, she thought.
    Of course, because they were going to school.
    Kids were walking, almost always with an adult, though. Walking past a school, she noticed how many were being dropped off by parents. It looked like children had grown a lot less independent than she was a child.
    Kids a few years from being teenagers seemed to be treated more like they were children half their age, or so Kristine thought.
    It made Kristine rethink her earlier concerns about looking like a child. It was worse than she had thought if this was the new normal for children.
    “Goddamn depressing,” she said softly.
    No one tried to stop her, no truant officers or police demanding to know what she was doing, but she saw curious gazes turned her way.
    She really did not want deal with anyone asking her questions.
    The morning grew late, children and commuters disappeared from the streets. She watched the cars going by, supposed that people were out shopping, like her. Kristine had been walking for a while, but she was not tired, no ache in her leg muscles. Recalling what Tac had said she could only assume that she was enjoying another of the benefits of being a magical girl. Even untransformed it appeared she enjoyed a stronger body.
    Almost two hours after she had set off she reached the shopping mall she had wanted to visit.
    It had not been open for long, and it was not too crowded.
    In an electronic store, Kristine went to the computer isle and looked around. She had educated herself about computers, enough to know what she wanted. Before price had always been a concern, but now she had money waiting to be spent.
    It took her about twenty minutes to decide between the three computers she had been considering, and then she stood around for several minutes, waiting for someone to come up and ask to help her. She was a little surprised that the salespeople had left her alone so long.
    Then she remembered.
    She was a kid.
    Of course, they were ignoring her. They probably thought she was screwing around while her parents were shopping somewhere else.
    “Excuse me, I’d like to buy this,” she called to a middle-aged man who passed close by.
    He paused, looked around, and then, Kristine was sure he sighed, he walked over to her. “What is it you want young lady?”
    “This,” she put her hand on the laptop she had chosen.
    He looked at it, then her. “Is your mother around?”
    “I’ll pay for it,” she told him.
    He looked at her for a few seconds, she guessed he was trying to decide if she was serious if he was about to get a commission out of the sale.
    “Okay, we’ll ring it up.” He reached under the shelf, grabbing one of the boxes.
    She paused on their way to the cash registers and pointed at a tablet. “And one of those.”
    Again he looked at her, thoughtfully, perhaps taking in her clothing. Then he grabbed another box.
    When they reached the cash register, he said, “All right, so where is your mother, or father?”
    She reached into her bag and took out the envelope with the cash in it. She had already figured out the cost, so she put the hundred dollar bills and fifty dollar bills in front of him. “I am paying for it myself. I am really spoiled.”
    Kristine was not sure what the salesman had been expecting, but probably not a large wad of cash. She wondered why she had not used her credit card. It probably would have been easier. Had she wanted to flash her money around?
    Seemed more than a little childish to her.
    “I’m joking,” she told him and pulled her bridging ID out. “It’s really okay. I’m older than I look.”
    She smiled as she held out the card.
    He took it from her, looked at it, flipped it over, read what was there.
    “You’re from the Magical Realm?”
    “Well, not really.” She did not want to say she was a Magical Girl. “It’s complicated.”
    The ID fell from his hands to the counter.
    “You’re a Magical Girl,” he said, nervously, looking around.
    “Look, I don’t…”
    “Fuck, is some monster going to show up? You’re going to get us all killed.”
    He was not shouting, but he was loud, and a few people were looking towards him.
    She had heard that some people were afraid of all things magical. She had never seen it before.
    “Listen, just take my money and give me my receipt and my stuff and I will be out of here. I’ll never come back.”
    “Fuck you,” he said quite loudly.
    “Dan, is there a problem?” A middle-aged man in a shirt and tie had approached.
    “She’s a fucking Magical Girl.”
    “Dan, go, take your break.”
    “But…”
    “Go to the break room.”
    Dan stared at the man, shook his head, and then almost ran away.
    The manager, Kristine assumed, quietly rang her up, looked at her ID once, then took her money.
    He did not ask her to come again. No one asked if she had found everything she wanted.
    People were staring at her.
    “Fuck,” Kristine muttered as she left.
    She should have shopped online.
    Who knew she would have to deal with such crap.
    She had planned to shop a little more but had no stomach for it.
    Leaving the mall, she hailed a taxi.
    As she got in with her purchases, she said to the driver, “Take me to the downtown branch of the library.”
    The driver pulled away from the mall.
    He did not want to talk, which was okay with Kristine.

    Kristine had excellent research skills. However, she was in no way a professional. Librarians were professionals, which was why she had come to the library.
    An older woman, probably around fifty, looked down at Kristine.
    “The Nursery Knights?”
    Kristine nodded. “Yes. I want to find out what I can about them.”
    “I see,” she simply said, and then, “come along.”
    She led Kristine to her desk where she sat down and started her search. She did not invite Kristine to take a seat, there was not even a chair there for visitors. However, she was not left standing for long. Perhaps after a minute or two, the librarian scribbled down some notes and then stood up, once more asking Kristine to follow.
    It was a pleasure to watch a professional at work, Kristine often thought.
    They went to an old-fashioned card catalogue, though they only stayed there a few moments. Then there was a short stop at an old microfiche machine. Kristine was not even sure she would know how to use that device.
    That done the woman began to pull books and old periodicals from various shelves.
    In less than an hour, Kristine was looking at a stack of material sitting on a table.
    “Thank you,” she said.
    “You’re welcome. Most of that material cannot be taken from the library. Leave it on the table when you are finished, we’ll get it shelved.”
    She turned and walked away.
    Kristine began to read.
    There was a book on the various teams of Magical Girls who had operated on the West Coast for the past thirty years. There was a full chapter on the Nursery Knights, though much of it was the author’s supposition about why a team of little girls had been chosen, and that magic must be related to innocence.
    It was still interesting.
    She put that aside, picked up a book of photography, found several pictures of the Nursery Knights within. Faces were blurry, but she would make out the little girls wearing the same style of outfits she wore when transformed.
    The diapers were embarrassingly obvious.
    A scholarly book about magical girls in general mentioned the Nursery Knights a few times, and how as a group composed of small children they represented an example of how irresponsible the Magical Realm was.
    “Preaching to the choir sister,” Kristine said softly as she put the book aside.
    She read more books, magazine articles, even an interview done with Nursery Knight Becca. Not that Becca, probably Rebecca, had a lot to say. Kristine guessed that Becca was perhaps about eight at the time, but the person doing to story assumed an age of about half that.
    Christine had been making notes of when the Nursery Knights had first appeared and when they had disappeared. The interview with Becca was one of the last times anyone saw one of the Nursery Knights.
    She had been at her research for a couple of hours.
    Straightening up, amazed at the fact her back did not hurt, she was aware of the wet, squishy feeling around her bottom from a soaked training panty.
    Hoping that she was not leaking she nearly ran to the bathroom.
    The inside of her dress’s skirt was just a little damp, and it did not show, fortunately.
    Her training panty was heavy with her pee, and she tossed it into the garbage once she had changed.
    Back at the table she looked through the few remaining books and magazines but was not able to add to her knowledge of the Nursery Knights. They had been much like most magical girl teams, but for their youth. But unlike those other groups, when they had finished their fight they had disappeared completely.
    Where had they gone?
    She left the books and magazines on the table as she had been told. On the way out she paused near a donation box, a sign over it reading, ‘Help Support Our Library’.
    She had a few hundred dollars left after her purchase of the laptop and tablet. Most of it went into the donation box, but for enough left for her cab ride home.

    Tac came into Kristine's apartment in her cat form.
    It was early evening. Kristine had set up her laptop and told herself she was still doing research, but she was really just playing around with all the new features the better computer and OS had given her.
    The cat jumped up onto the coffee table. “Let’s go, we have some more training to do.”
    Kristine almost told Tac to go to hell, but instead, she stood up and lisped out her transformation chant.
    She stood in her uniform, suddenly feeling more embarrassed by it. Having seen pictures of the Nursery Knights wearing that outfit, the juvenile costume felt even more so. The short skirt, the puffy sleeves, the lace trim, the ribbon on which her pacifier hung, the rattle shaped mace, and of course the thick diaper.
    Tac jumped up onto her shoulder.
    “There’s a big park west of here, do you know it?”
    “Yeth, I know it.”
    “Teleport us there for the next lesson.”
    Kristine did so, appearing on the roof of a medium-sized building that looked down on several acres of green space. People were enjoying the end of the day, a soccer game and a baseball game was going on at either side of the park, and people moving around between.
    “Okay,” Tac said. “When a Magical Girl needs to fight she should do her best to keep people from getting hurt?”
    “What about pwopety?”
    “Property damage is not a problem. We got the money to pay for it.”
    Kristine supposed that made sense based on what she had learned that day.
    Tac continued. “You need to be able to make people leave an area, so they don’t get hurt.”
    “How do I do that?”
    “It was like I was telling you. If you want to chase someone away from a place you envision something unpleasant, though not frightening, and focus on an area, then push that feeling into that area.”
    “Thomething unpleathant?”
    “A feeling of being too cool, or too hot, or an annoying sound.”
    “Okay.”
    “Clear everyone from about a hundred feet in every direction of the fountain.”
    Kristine nodded, stepped to the edge of the building. She looked down at the space Tac had defined, she let the words come to her as they had before. “Dirty Diaper Diaper Pail,” she said, and then, “Fuck cat.”
    “Hey, I don’t make this crap up.”
    She wanted to be angry, but when she saw what was happening below, she could only be amazed.
    People were leaving the area she had envisioned.
    They were not running, they did not even seem to be aware of it, but they evacuated the space in an orderly manner liked it had been well planned and practised.
    It could not have taken more than twenty seconds before the space around the fountain was deserted. People had redistributed themselves around the park, apparently unaware of their actions. What was more was that people were walking the long way around, again seeming not to notice that anything was weird in they did.
    They were, on further observation, actively not looking towards the space around the fountain.
    “Weird.”
    “Jump down there,” Tac told her.
    Kristine judged the distance and then took a few steps back. She then ran up to the edge and leapt.
    She sailed across the distance between, landing close to the fountain, hitting the brickwork, her shoes leaving scratches on the surface.
    “Oopthieth,” she said looking back at the damage.
    Tac made a rude sound. “That’s not an oops level of damage, trust me.” She jumped from Kristine’s shoulder to the fountain side. “No one will care.”
    Kristine looked around and then walked towards the edge of the space she had envisioned. No one was looking at her, no one had seen her land, heard her land.
    She stood, about two feet away from a man who was talking on his cell phone. She could hear what he was saying, but he did not seem to notice her.
    “Weird.”
    She walked back towards the fountain.
    “But what happenth if the monthter weaveth the spathe?”
    “Why do you think Magical Girls are in teams? A few girls working together can contain the monsters.”
    “I thee.”
    “But let’s assume you need to keep a monster contained when it is really trying to get away. Or you want to avoid accidents and not just the type you have in your diapers.”
    “Hey!”
    Ignoring her outburst, Tac continued, “You don’t want someone tripping and falling into the area, or maybe a piece of a destroyed building goes flying out. If that is likely, you need to firm up the barrier, so it does not let anything pass through.”
    Kristine nodded.
    “So, now I want you to envision the barrier becoming something that will keep people out. Visualize it and say the words.”
    “Okay,” Kristine told Tac, then looked around.
    Prison cell. Sheets of thick plastic. Steel walls. Chainlink fences. Wood slats, gaily painted, safely rounded with no sharp edges.
    “Cwib time thafe thpathe,” she said aloud, and all around her appeared crib like bars.
    “Fuck,” she said again.
    “How cute,” Tac said in syrupy tones.
    She kicked the cat into the fountain.
    Splashing and sputtering the cat thrashed about in the water for a few seconds before turning into a woman.
    Tac, the woman, splashed out of the knee-deep water. She was soaked, so her ordinarily tight clothing was obscenely clinging to her. Kristine tried to tell herself she was not all jealous and was careful not to look down at her own lack of curves.
    Stepping out of the fountain Tac stood over her, glaring down at her. “Do you want another spanking already little girl?”
    Recalling the spanking of only the night before Kristine took a step back.
    Her lip trembled as she shook her head.
    “Don’t mix cats with water you overgrown toddler.”
    “I’m not…” she said, but looking up at Tac’s angry face killed the rest of the words in her mouth.
    Tac snapped her fingers.
    Water exploded away from her.
    A mist of it hit Kristine in the face, leaving her lightly drenched.
    Perfectly dry Tac stood there, imperious for a moment, then the woman was gone, and the cat was back. The cat leapt back up onto the fountain edge and stared at Kristine, almost as if she was daring Kristine to try something.
    Kristine did not take up that dare. Some water dripped from her hair.
    With the impossibly smug look that only a cat was capable of Tac said, “Now you have your safe crib space. That will stop most things from getting in and out, but a determined or a powerful monster might break it.”
    Kristine nodded, still feeling scared and not trusting her voice.
    “Or perhaps the monster has minions. Either way, you may need some extra help.”
    “What about the other Magical Girlth?” Kristine asked.
    “You might be fighting on your own, or they might be just as busy. Fortunately, you got Mr Bear to give you a hand.”
    “Mithter Bear?”
    “Consider if you had an army of your Bear? Each one ready to knock a monster away from the barrier, or form a wall of fur to keep the barrier safe.”
    Kristine nodded, seeing the point.
    “So, picture an army of your Mr Bears, and then, call them.”
    Kristine closed her eyes and did just that.
    She imagined an army of giant teddy bears.
    She opened her eyes.
    “Todayth the day the teddy bearth haf their pi’nic,” she called out.
    Well, that was not quite as bad as the other things she had to say.
    Around her formed shadows, and those shadows began to clump together.
    “Looks good so far,” Tac said.
    In seconds there stood about fifty or sixty shadowy forms all around her.
    Then, with a sound like a pop, those forms became giant teddy bears.
    They looked a lot like Mr Bear, though they lacked his more distinct features. They had an unfinished look to them.
    The close to sixty bear heads all turned towards her.
    It was a little creepy.
    “What now?” she asked Tac.
    “Now, think about what you want them to do.”
    Kristine started at them for several seconds.
    Then she giggled as every bear suddenly pushed its hip forward and grabbed its crotch with a big paw.
    “Real mature,” Tac said.
    Kristine ignored the cat as the bears started doing the thriller dance.
    “A magical army and thy best she can think to do with it is play,” Tac said.
    Kristine pretended the cat was not there, just watching her dancing bears. She could see that there was a lot that might be done with the bears. They could handle crowd control, probably lock enemies down she so could hit them, even just stand a perimeter guard as Tac had earlier suggested.
    Or she could make her very own teddy bear flash mob.
    The bears had been dancing for a few minutes (she felt sorry for everyone on the other side of the barrier who could not see the show) when Kristine suddenly felt dizzy. “Oh my,” she said, stumbling back a few steps before sitting slowly on the edge of the fountain.
    The bears all stopped moving.
    As she sat there, taking deep breaths, Kristine felt her diaper grow warm under her as she wet it without control.
    “Wha’ happen?” she asked.
    “It takes a lot of magical energy to summon and maintain your bears,” Tac told her in a tone that suggested she thought that Kristine should have known that.
    “Teddy bearth ta bed,” Kristine said, and the bears disappeared.
    As soon as they were gone, she felt better.
    “You need to work on your magical stamina,” Tac told her.
    “Magical thtamina?”
    “Your ability to channel and hold the magical power. The more magic you use, the better you’ll get. Normally, of course, you are working with a team, and each girl can handle a different thing. Still, a Magical Girl never knows when she’ll have to fight on her own.”
    “I would like to meet the other Magical Girls,” Kristine said, seeing an opportunity.
    “What?”
    “The other Nursery Knights. I would like to talk to them.”
    “I’ll see what I can do,” Tac told her.
    Glad that Tac had not asked why Kristine got unsteadily to her feet.
    Her soaked diaper sagged under the weight of her pee.
    “One more thing and then we’ll call it a night.”
    “One more?” Kristine asked. She wanted to teleport home and get a fresh diaper, or training panty. As long as it was dry.
    “If things are terrible, then you want to take the area you are fighting in out of the world.”
    “Out of the worl’?”
    “Think about it as moving the area to another dimension.”
    “Another dimenthion?”
    “Are you a parrot?”
    Kristine was about to say, ‘Parrot,’ but shut her mouth on the word. “How?”
    “Visualize it. Think about this space sinking away.”
    Kristine looked around, thought about the ground under her becoming water, the entire area sinking away, going somewhere else.
    “Into the dark toy box and clothe the lid,” she said, sweeping her hand out.
    The barrier went black.
    Suddenly all around her was darkness.
    It was as if the temperature suddenly dropped, and she shivered, her diaper growing cold and clammy around her hips.
    There was an indirect light, and there were long shadows all around her. Turning in place, she started open mouth. “I’m really somewhere elthe.”
    “You are,” Tac told her.
    “Did I leave a hole in the worl’?”
    “No. Its as if this space no longer exists, the space it took up no longer there.”
    Kristine thought about that and shivered again.
    “Okay, take us back out.”
    Kristine nodded. Without being told she visualised the area returning to the world and said, “Open the toy box.”
    It became warm and brighter, and around her, the park returned.
    “That’s enough for today,” Tac said as she jumped up onto Kristine’s shoulder. “Back up to the roof.”
    Kristine tried to teleport, but her concentration failed, and she felt as if the world stuttered around her.
    Her hand tightened on the mace, and she almost hurled it at the ground. She felt tears in her eyes. It was all so hard, and she was so tired. She realised her emotions were suddenly out of control with exhaustion and she had been about to throw a tantrum because of it.
    I am not a baby, she told herself and focused. Kristine successfully teleported on her second attempt.
    Standing on the roof she followed Tac’s direction, dropping the barrier and then the exclusion field.
    From above she watched as people began to move back into the space she had earlier driven them from. Again they did not seem to notice that they were returning to the area, just as they had not been aware they had been leaving it.
    Within a few minutes it was as if it had never happened.
    Magic was amazing, Kristine thought.
    She teleported back to her apartment.
    Tac left her for some other business.
    Kristine made sure not to ask if that other business was Olivia.
    She sat down on her couch, her diaper squishing beneath her. She just wanted to rest a moment, then she would change back, but she was asleep in seconds.

    Someone, probably Mr Bear, had unfolded her couch, undressed her, changed her, and put her in the bed, sheets tucked in around her.
    While the magical bear could do all that to her and not wake her up was a little disconcerting, there was something about it that her still sleepy mind found comforting. Knowing that there was always going to be something that would take care of her.
    Closing her eyes she tried to go back to sleep, but after only a few seconds she opened her eyes and turned her head towards the clock in the room. She had been asleep for a few hours, and it was not too late in the evening.
    Kristine did not think she would get back to sleep.
    Sitting up, the sheets slipping off her, she found herself dressed in one of the pyjama tops she had bought.
    Mr Bear had not bother putting the bottoms on her.
    She got up from the bed, felt too lazy to hunt up the pyjama pants or switch from the thick diaper to a pair of training pants.
    She got her new laptop and tablet, setting them up on the coffee table as she sat down on the sofa bed.
    At first, she was not sure what to do, then she decided to search for a house. She suddenly wanted a bedroom, with a real bed.
    That search kept her busy until she felt tired enough to go back to sleep.

    Morning.
    Waking up from an orgasmic wet dream.
    Messy diaper.
    Mr Bear cleaning her up.
    She doubted she would ever get used to it.
    At the very least the sweaty, panting, twitchy, wet and wonderful feeling of the wet dream was something that would never get dull.
    Well, she hoped.
    Tac was not around.
    She sat on her folded up couch, wondering what she was going to do.
    Kristine thought that there was nothing more she could learn in researching the Nursery Knights. She would have to wait until Tac got back to her.
    Shopping was out.
    Leaning back on the couch, diaper crinkling under her, TV tuned to a local news station, what to do with the day occupied her thoughts.
    Sitting around the apartment sounded dull.
    Tac had said she needed to work on her magical stamina.
    That seemed like a good idea.
    Lisping out her transformation phrase left Nursery Knight Krisy standing in the apartment.
    She grabbed her a bag for her tablet, hung it over her shoulder, then tucked her tablet into it. Looking at herself in the mirror she giggled at how incongruous the black bag looked with the baby style dress.
    Then she disappeared, teleporting away.

    Kristine looked at houses.
    She practised putting up exclusion fields, making everyone leave the house. Then she would teleport in and look around.
    After getting a feel for the place, she would teleport out and then drop the field, watching as people went back in.
    It was kind of fun.
    By the end of the day she was feeling tired. She had been using her magic pretty heavily. Still, she felt kind of good about it, as if she was making progress.
    Back in her apartment she transformed back to her regular self, changed out of the wet diaper and into a set of dry training pants.
    She looked over the list of houses, considered what she had seen, then wrote a note explaining that she wanted to know more about one of the houses. She summoned her magic bag, put the letter in it, then dismissed the bag.
    Afterwards, Kristine made her dinner and was about to eat it when Tac came into the room.
    “Eat up, we have more training to do tonight. We’ll be working on scrying and remote viewing.”
    “All right,” Kristine said, then asked, “have you found anything out about the other Nursery Knights?”
    Tac shook her cat head. “Not yet.”
    Kristine nodded, not yet wanting to push, not wanting Tac asking more questions.
    So she ate quickly and then transformed.
    She and Tac headed out into the night for more practice.

    The next day Kristine found a set of papers in her magic bag.
    They were what turned out to be papers from someone who had performed a magical inspection on the house. Without the property owner’s knowledge apparently. As a lawyer, well, as someone who wanted to be one, that seemed a little wrong. As someone who was considering moving into that house she found she did not mind much.
    Along with the inspection results were a list of spells that could be used to repair the problems that the inspector had found.
    There was a report on the neighbourhood and the neighbours.
    Finally, there were the details of the offer that might be made.
    She read it over. She was not going to have to spend the money, but it still seemed like a big deal.
    The house was pleasant, not a big home, but it was on a big lot a lot of privacy. It had three bedrooms, the master unusually large with an east facing window.
    She picked up a pen and scrawled on the bottom of the page that she wanted the house. Then she returned it to her magic bag and dismissed it.
    Now what, she asked herself.
    What was she going to do?
    She wished she could talk to her friends, but all her friends were working for law firms. She could not contact any of them.
    Kristine really wanted to contact Olivia, but she knew she could not. She was also afraid of what she might learn if she did.
    After several minutes of sitting there she knew she had to do something.
    Transforming she teleported from her apartment.

    Standing on a windowsill, pacifier in her mouth, so she was invisible, Kristine looked in at the classroom.
    Perhaps she could go back to school.
    Relive her childhood.
    People always dreamed of that.
    It did not take her long to decide it would be more a nightmare than a dream.
    Classes looked boring.
    Worse for her as she knew everything they were teaching, or at least vaguely recalled it.
    And she was pretty sure that being a student in training pants or diapers would not be in anyway fun.
    After about an hour of watching she teleported away.

    There were rumours that the police had magical girls on the payroll.
    Being a police officer would let her still be part of the legal system.
    She stood in a corner, invisible, investigating the city’s central police station, trying to see what it might be to work there.
    Being invisible offered her a lot of opportunities see how the officers behaved.
    It seemed the female officers were subject to a fair amount of low-level harassment. It was coached as good-natured ribbing, but the female staff took a lot more of it.
    She saw no evidence that there was any magical staff there.
    Kristine suspected if there were any they were made to keep a low key.
    Harassment and being treated like an embarrassment. 
    Kristine teleported away.

    The fire department seemed like a better work environment.
    As long as you did your work it looked like they gave everyone the same amount of respect.
    Hard work, but it looked rewarding.
    And the fire engines looked cool.
    It would be something to look into.
    Later.
    She teleported away.

    There was one more area where Kristine thought that she might get a job,
    The entertainment industry. She had thought about that earlier and been dismissive of it, but there were reasons to consider it.
    Kristine had learned that there was filming going on in the city, she teleported over to watch.
    As she stood invisible among the crew, she considered what it would be like to work in such an environment.
    Magical Girls had a certain cachet, and she was pretty cute.
    If she was not going to grow older, and she hoped it was not the case, but if it was, she was the type of child actress that the industry probably wanted.
    One that would not get older and age out of the part.
    Honestly, after watching for a few hours, she thought it looked a little dull.
    However, she could not deny that everyone seemed to be working hard.
    When Kristine teleported away, she decided she was willing to consider entertainment.

    “Have you found out about the other Nursery Knights?” Kristine asked Tac.
    “I am working on it,” Tac said. She sounded cross, and her hair stood up along her spine.
    “Well, work harder.”
    “Why is it so important to you?”
    The day had given Kristine an answer other than, ‘I want to know if they wake up with orgasms and wet diapers’. What she said was, “I want to know what to do with my life. They might have some ideas.”
    “Fine,” Tac said. “I’ll look deeper, but tonight we have to practice.”
    “I want to work on repair spells,” Kristine said, and then named some of the spells she had learned of that morning.
    “Repairs?”
    “I can? Can’t I?”
    “Well, you can, but why?”
    “I want to, and how to shield people and place from heat and fire.”
    “The fire shields are useful.”
    “And the repairs.”
    “Fine,” Tac told her. “Let’s go.”

    Kristine had fun that night.
    She and Tac teleported around the city, fixing things.
    A street covered in potholes and cracks left like new.
    A large number of street lights shining brightly again.
    Graffiti wiped away.
    She especially liked cleaning the graffiti, a wave of her hand, a lisping command, and walls were left unmarked.
    She also practised fire shields, though that was a little harder because there were no significant fires to work with.
    When Kristine returned home, she felt tired but pleased.
    “Okay, tomorrow night you can practice on your own. Fill in some more potholes.”
    “What are you going to do?”
    “I am going to find out about the other Nursery Knights before you throw a tantrum.”
    “I’m not going to throw a tantrum.”
    “Which is exactly what I would expect a toddler about to have a meltdown to say.”
    “Just shut up.”
    “Make sure you practice,” Tac said, and then was gone.
    “Stupid cat,” Kristine said.

    A large number of countries and cities had asked that the Magical Realm set up its central embassy in their territory.
    The diplomatic branch of the Magical Realm had decided to ignore all those requests and dump their embassy in the middle of the Antarctic.
    Tac usually thought that was pretty funny, but when she had to make her way to the embassy, she had to admit it was a little inconvenient.
    Even for a cat who walked through walls and played the Schrodinger game to be where she should not, it still took some time to get there.
    Which was why she had told Kristine to practice on her own. Tac figured she’s be gone at least a full twenty-four hours.
    The Antarctic was cold, even for a cat with as fabulous fur as she had.
    One of the first things the Magic Realm had done on setting up was to chill the continent back down to its proper temperature.
    No global warming allowed there anymore.
    It was showing off to the mundanes in part, but the staff were the type to like the cold.
    As Tac glided into the embassy on two legs, wrapped in a thick fur coat, she was greeted by a pair of ice warriors who looked her up and down and then stood aside so she could pass.
    “Thanks, boys,” she said, walking further into the ice palace.
    She passed through public areas and moved into the offices where the real work happened.
    Down, several levels below the ice was a room that looked like a mission control sort of place. Staff watched floating crystal balls, staring at the events taking place.
    Scrying in a world where almost no one knew how to put up a ward was one of the easiest ways to gather intelligence.
    Tac looked about and then walked up to a woman with white skin and blue hair, wearing a black suit that did all the right things for her.
    “Hey sweet stuff, looking for details on the Nursery Knights, Magical Girl team. Got a location?”
    The woman smiled. “Nursery Knights huh?” She spun the globe in front of her.
    Tac could have sworn she saw snowflakes in it.
    “Hmmm, I think you need to talk to Controller White Out.” She looked up towards one of the highest levels of the control centre.
    Tac followed her gaze, saw that the woman was looking at another white skinned, blue-haired beauty.
    “Well, happy to talk to the Controller. Thanks, sweetheart.”
    She left the first woman behind and climbed the stairs to where Controller White Out worked.
    “Hey Controller, I need some help finding some Magical Girls. Got time for a fellow working girl.”
    The woman called White Out looked at Tac for several seconds. “You don’t look the type who actually works that much.”
    “Guilty as charged, it’s the cat in me.”
    White Out smiled. “Well, one can’t be blamed for their nature I always say. Magical Girls?”
    “A team called the Nursery Knights.”
    White Out pursed her lips. “That sounds familiar.” She turned to her globe, spinning it about.
    “Hmm, I actually have a recent spike.”
    “That would probably be Kristine. I recently activated her.”
    White Out looked away from the globe towards Tac. “The Nursery Knights were active about twenty years ago.”
    “Yeah, I was a little late.”
    “A little?”
    “The cat in me.”
    White Out actually smiled. “All right, let’s ignore the recent activity.” She went back to the globe, turning it, running her hands over it. “Okay, now I remember. We started getting activity on them about twenty years ago, pretty consistent for about two years.”
    “Sounds right. It took the Nursery Knights about two years to take down the Nightmare King as I understand it.”
    “After that, there was consistent, low-level activity, about what you would expect from Magical Girls who are no longer active.”
    “Okay. So do you have any recent activity from them?”
    “No,” White Out said.
    “No?”
    “They went dark almost sixteen years ago.”
    “Went dark? Like they never transformed again?”
    “No. Even an untransformed Magical Girl occasionally gives off energy.”
    “So they’re dead?”
    White Out shook her head. “No, we would have picked up their deaths.”
    “How does a Magical Girl go dark then?”
    “It’s difficult. The girls have to actively mask themselves in the world. It takes a lot of work.”
    “Does it happen often?”
    “No.”
    “Has an entire team ever gone dark?”
    “No.”
    Tac said nothing for several seconds. “Well, that is weird.”
    “Yes. It is why I remembered them.”
    “Well, I am going to have to speak to those in the know.”
    “Who is that?”
    “That,” Tac said and smiled, “is first the coordinator of that team, and then their liaisons.”
    “Ah.” White Out nodded.
    “But, that being said, are you like all cold, or do you think I can warm you up. I got a talented cat’s tongue, but I don’t want it freezing to anything.”

    After her usual morning wake-up pleasure and mess Kristine had planned on spending the day fixing stuff to practice her magic, and then she had planned on talking to someone in the fire department. There was a note from Tac in the front pocket of her magic bag, telling her to keep practising. That made the idea of popping around and repairing things seem even better.
    However, she ended up on the roof of a building across from the courthouse, pacifier in her mouth, using the scrying spells that she had learned to watch the court proceedings. Oscar was a pleasure to watch, and she could see that Daniel was working hard to keep up. He seemed to be enjoying himself.
    She could not help but feel a stab of envy.
    Sitting on the edge of the roof, sucking on her pacifier, watching the trial, hours passed before a recess was called. During that time her diaper had grown wet. Something she only noticed when she stood and felt it sag.
    “Thith ith getting ridiculouth,” she mumbled aloud.
    She reached under her skirt, checking the diaper. It did not seem too wet yet.
    How had the actual Nursery Knights dealt with their wet diapers? Had their Mr Bears been continually changing them?
    After another check of her diaper, she decided she did not need to change it yet. She teleported away from the court, to the roof of the building in which Cotton and Black had their offices.
    On the roof, she called up her scrying spell and scanned the office for Olivia. It felt a little creepy, spying on her ex, but she wanted to know how Olivia was doing.
    Kristine found Olivia at her desk, working. Through the scrying spell she watched Olivia as she worked, trying to discern how she was doing. The face that had grown so familiar looked much like it had in the time Kristine had known her.
    Was she looking sad, or happy? Were their dark circles under her eyes, as if she had not been sleeping? And if she had not been sleeping was that because she was spending her nights crying over love lost, or because Tac was keeping her awake.
    Was that far off look because she was thinking of Kristine, or Tac, or was she just wondering what she was going to have for dinner?
    Two other women came up to Olivia. Kristine recognised them both, though she only knew one of them, Wendy Davis, another articling student. The other woman was a secretary, but Kristine had never known her name.
    They asked Olivia for some help with research in the library.
    Olivia agreed and went with them.
    The same smiles, the same tone of voice, Kirstine would be hard pressed to find anything that suggested that Olivia was in any way distressed. What did it mean?
    Olivia seemed pretty friendly with the secretary, who name Kristine learned was ‘Bethany’. Was Bethany Kristine’s replacement?
    No, she told herself, Olivia would not just jump into a new relationship. Kristine was sure of that.
    However, after that every smile had Kristine wondering.
    Maybe Tac had done something?
    Maybe Tac had made Olivia forget about her.
    Though Tac had said she wanted to catch Olivia on the rebound, so she could not have made Olivia forget.
    Kristine ran her hands through her hair and let a small cry of exasperation around her pacifier.
    It was so hard.
    She just wanted to know what Olivia was thinking.
    Was there a spell for that?
    She would have to ask Tac.
    “No,” she growled. Bad enough she was watching Olivia, but to try to read her mind? That would push her well into the creepy territory.
    Kristine was somewhat aware that she needed to poop, but she ignored it. She could hold it, and she was still trying to understand what Olivia was feeling.
    Someone mentioned Kristine, wondering if it was true what they had heard.
    Kristine focused on Oliva’s face, trying to figure out what her expression meant.
    Was it a sad smile? A frown? Was she about to say something, tell them it was true?
    Then Kristine was distracted by the feeling in her diaper. The warm, bulky mess that was filling the seat.
    The scrying spell collapsed, and Kristine opened her mouth in an ‘O’ of surprise. Her pacifier fell from her mouth, jerked to a stop by the ribbon.
    She reached behind herself, put her hands on the seat of her diaper.
    There was a weight in the back, and she pushed at it, feeling the warm, almost hot, poop squish again her. She gasped at the strange feeling, kept pressing it against her, even as the continued to fill her diaper.
    She was squatting down, pushing more of the poop into her diaper.
    She could not stop herself as she continued to rub the mess against her bottom.
    What was she doing? What was she feeling?
    It occurred to her she was visible, for the pacifier was not in her mouth, rubbing the back of her messy diaper.
    “No,” she grunted, and snatched up the pacifier, putting it back in her mouth.
    She stood, the mess shifting.
    Envisioning her apartment, she teleported home.
    “Mithter Bear,” she cried out.
    Mr Bear showed up, with her magic bag over his shoulder.
    Within in moments, the bear had a changing pad on the floor and Kristine on her back.
    He had her messy diaper off in about twenty seconds and began to clean her up. Soon her bottom was clean, oiled up and powdered. Mister Bear had slid a new diaper under her bottom, lowered her onto it and taped it up around her.
    Kristine was so glad to be clean, happy that she was no longer tempted by a messy diaper.
    She thanked Mr Bear and sent him away.
    Lying on the changing bad, legs spread, the magic bag full of diapers and training pants beside her, Kristine wondered what she was going to do. Would she end up rubbing a messy diaper all over her bottom every time she messed herself?
    Was she going to mess herself more often?
    Kristine sat up and grabbed up the changing pad, folding it up and stuffing it into her magic bag. She checked the zippered pocket, seeing if there were any new messages. Dismissing the bag, she reversed her transformation. Back in her clothing from the morning, she realised she was still in a diaper.
    She had not taken it off from when Mr Bear had changed her that morning.
    “I should have put on the training pants,” she told herself.
    However, she did not change out of the diaper. She unfolded her couch, sat down on the thin mattress, and pulled the blankets over her head.

    Tac was glad to be back in the Magic Realm.
    She breathed in deeply of the air rich in magical energy.
    “Good to be home,” she said to herself. “Be better if my expense account was reactivated.”
    Around her was the Great City, built around the gate that led to the mundane world.
    Ever since she had started dealing with the Magical Girl program, the city had been Tac’s home. While she would have preferred to make her way straight to the entertainment district, the lack of an expense account would make such a trip nothing but depressing.
    Instead, she made her way across the city, forced to rely on public transport. Not that she paid for it of course. A cat can sit on top of a tram car, and no one ever notices.
    If you circled the city, always counter widdershins, after always twenty minutes, one would find themselves looking out at a lake that was an impossible blue. Above the lake was a vast globe of polished silver, the impossible colour of the water reflected in it.
    The globe was the Office of Magic in the Mundane and handled, among many other things, the deployment of Magical Girls.
    Switching back to her human form after jumping down from the tram, ignoring an angry call from the tram driver, she stepped up on one of the entry portals. There was a sense of movement for a moment, then she was standing in the central foyer of the Office of Magic in the Mundane.
    Tac did not bother talking to the receptionist golems (cute as they were made, they gave her a significant ‘Uncanny Valley’ vibe). Her job had brought her to the office many times in the past, and she knew where she wanted to go.
    In the admin section of Magical Girl processing Tac chatted up a pretty little filing clerk and got her to pull the information on who had been in charge of the Nursery Knight’s project. After a bit of bite (the clerk had some mouse in her, and as a cat, Tac had to nip) and tickle Tac was on her way to the office of one Umon Derrypiz.
    Umon was, unfortunately, as far as Tac was concerned, male. Tac was pretty good with getting on the right side of women. She had a knack for it.
    With Umon she was just going to have to be professional.
    That was annoying.
    She entered his office, decent size, midlevel paper-pusher type of place.
    There was a man behind a desk. She assumed Umon. He looked up from whatever he had been working on. “Yes?”
    “Umon Derrypiz?”
    “Yes. Who are you?”
    “Tac, Magical Girl liaison, second class.”
    “I see. How can I help you?”
    It seemed to be going well. With a smile, Tac crossed the room. “I’m looking for information on the Magical Girl team the Nursery Knights. I understand you are the coordinator of that team.”
    “I am the coordinator of a lot of teams. I don’t know why you would expect me to be able to help.”
    Tac was taken aback. She wondered what had happened that made him get all prickly. Maybe he did not like cats.
    “I suppose,” she said, “but this team was all little girls, around four or five, kind of unique.”
    “All Magical Girl teams are unique. That is the point.”
    Again Tac felt as if she had missed something.
    “Well, the Nursery Knights as a whole went dark about fifteen years ago, which is weird, so I was hoping to get some details about them. Maybe something about their mission required them to disappear?”
    “Why are you wasting my time with this?” he demanded, pounding a closed fist on his desk.
    Were they speaking two different languages that only sounded the same? Tac wondered if she was insulting him.
    She would have to explain things.
    “I recently activated the last of the Nursery Knights you see. And she wants to meet the other Knights, to get an idea of what is going on. Poor girl, all lost and alone.” Tac decided to play the sympathy card.
    “You activated the sixth Nursery Knight?” he asked her.
    He seemed surprised, maybe.
    “I’ll admit that I was little late,” Tac said, assuming that was the cause of his surprise.
    “The sixth Nursery Knight is active, has become a Magical Girl?” Same shocked expression.
    Tac could not figure it. “Yes. Nice girl. Named Kristine.”
    “I have to go,” Umon said as he stood up.
    “What? But what about the Nursery Knights?”
    “Look them up in the records,” he told her as he started towards the door, almost knocking Tac over.
    “When are you going to be back? I really wanted to talk to you about this?”
    “I don’t know, urgent business,” he called back to her as he left the room.
    “Well, that is just great,” Tac said as she left the office as well. “Now I got to look up records. Maybe mousey will help me.”
    With his quick pace, almost a run really, Umon left her behind.
    Tac ambled, as was her way, back towards the admin section.
    She was about halfway there when someone suddenly grabbed her by the shoulder and spun her around.
    Tac found herself facing an angry looking Gorgeous.
    Though as far as Tac was concerned Gorgeous could only look angry, so it really meant nothing to her.
    “What are you doing back here?” Gorgeous demanded.
    “Hi Gorgeous, good to see you. Did not miss me?”
    Gorgeous actually growled, showing teeth.
    Tac raised her hands. “Now Gorgeous, calm down. I’m here working, for my Magical Girl.”
    That gave Gorgeous pause, and she stopped showing teeth.
    “What do you mean?”
    “She wants to meet the other Nursery Knights, perfectly sensible right.”
    Gorgeous narrowed her eyes. “Why are you here then?”
    “Cause I can’t find them for her, and she's really a bitch about constantly asking.”
    Gorgeous frowned. “What do you mean you can’t find them?”
    “Just that I can’t. I talked to the monitoring station people at the embassy. I met a really nice lady who while looking like an ice queen melted rather nicely when I…”
    “Tac!”
    “Right, sorry. Anyway White Out told me that the Nursery Knights had all gone dark about fifteen years ago.”
    “What?” Gorgeous’ eyes widened.
    “Yeah, it is odd, right? I came here to speak to the team’s coordinator to see if I could find out anything, for all the good that did me. Acted like he had never heard of the Nursery Knights and then when I told him I was trying to find them for Kristine he was all surprised and then ran off. I mean, I admit I was a little late but…”
    “Shut up Tac.”
    Tac took a step back. “Well excuse me.”
    Gorgeous was frowning, there was a line between her eyes from concentration. “The team went dark, all at the same time?”
    “Yes. That is what I said.” Tac sighed.
    “And you came here, and the coordinator got defensive when you mentioned the Nursery Knights?”
    “I suppose that might be one way of looking at it.”
    “And as soon as you mentioned the sixth Nursery Knight was active he suddenly had to leave?”
    Tac nodded. “Yes. Do you want to state the obvious some more Gorgeous?”
    “Are you that self-absorbed or are you just stupid?”
    “I think we both know that I'm just that self-absorbed. It's kind of my thing.”
    Gorgeous shook her head. “Cats,” she muttered softly, and then said, “This coordinator was responsible for the disappearance of the Nursery Knights, or if not responsible played a part in it. And now that he has learned the sixth Knight is active he has run off to arrange her disappearance.”
    Tac’s eyes widened. “Hey, that makes sense. That bastard.”
    “Go, go back to the Mundane Realm. You have my permission to use one of the speed passes.”
    “But what about Umon, and the other Liaisons?”
    “I’ll look into that. You get back and see to the protection of your Magical Girl.”
    “Fine,” Tac said, “I’m going.” She paused. “Don’t suppose you might activate my expense account again? Just so I can get a little pick me up before I go?”
    “Get out of here,” Gorgeous almost screamed.
    “Man, calm down,” Tac said as she turned and walked off in the direction of the exit. “Don’t see why you are worried. Kristine is probably just fine.”

    Kristine was not fine.
    She was sitting on her bed, blankets pulled over her head, wishing she had never become a magical girl.
    The money and all the other things seemed little compensation for the fact she had been squatting on a roof, rubbing her messy diaper against her bottom. And just maybe she had enjoyed it.
    She shook her head angrily in denial.
    Hours had passed, and the room had grown dark around her.
    She might have sat under her blankets all night if there had not been a knock on her door.
    At first, she ignored it, but when the knocking turned to a louder pounding, she tossed off the blanket and stood. “What do you want?” she demanded loudly, walking towards the door, slapping the light on.
    She looked out the peephole.
    Two men stood at the threshold of the apartment.
    Both wore suits, the smaller one in dark grey, the taller, heavier one in dark red.
    “Hello Miss,” the smaller one said, appearing as if he was trying to look back through the peephole. “We’d like to speak to you about your little friend Tac.”
    Kristine frowned. Had Tac found out something and sent these two as messengers? She made sure the chain was in place and then opened the door, peeking out. “What about Tac?” she asked.
    She had a better look at the two men than through the peephole.  Their suits looked cheap, smelled of mothballs.
    The smaller one smiled, showing a mouthful of pointy, yellow teeth. “Ah, your little friend is in trouble. Needs you to help her she does. Isn’t that right Mr Badger?” he looked towards the large man.
    “Most true Mr Rat. Mewling sadly she was, desperate need of saving. Said she loves you she did.”
    “You’ve never met Tac,” Kristine said, slamming the door closed, bolting it and jumping back.
    She had no idea who those men were, but if Tac wanted her help, she was pretty sure she would demand it, and there would be no statements of love.
    “Now Miss, don’t be like that,” Mr Rat said from the other side of the door.
    The doorknob rattled, and there was a thump as something heavy hit it.
    Kristine transformed into a Nursery Knight and jammed her pacifier into her mouth, becoming invisible.
    A moment later the door came free of its hinges and fell in.
    Mr Badger entered, followed by Mr Rat.
    Kristine stepped back towards the wall, ready to teleport away.
    Mr Badger looked around the main room from his place near the door. Mr Rat looked into her kitchen and then the bathroom.
    “It looks like she's done a runner Mr Badger,” Mr rat said.
    “Her profile pegged her a teleporter. She could be anywhere now Mr Rat.”
    “That is rather unfortunate I'm thinking.”
    “That is so Mr Rat, but were she a time jumper she could be anywhen. You got to look on the positive side.”
    “You are correct about that Mr Badger. Should we wait here, in case she comes back?”
    “I think Mr Rat we had best tell his Loftiness about this.”
    “He won’t be pleased about it Mr Badger.”
    “That is most certain Mr Rat, but we do ourselves no favours by putting it off.”
    “Then let us go Mr Badger.”
    The two left together. Kristine, still invisible, watched them walk down the hall, towards the elevator. She waited until she heard the elevator arrive, listened to the sound of the door closing.
    She then stepped into the centre of the room, waved her mace at the broken door.
    It swung up into place, the twisted hinges mostly righting themselves.
    Good enough for now, she thought and teleported to the front of the building.
    About thirty seconds later she saw Mr Rat and Mr Badger exit her building and walk to the parking lot.
    There they got into a beat up old muscle car and then drove away.
    Kristine followed them, teleporting from rooftop to rooftop.
    They drove towards the old manufacturing district. While much of the area had been gentrified, old manufacturing buildings turned to condos, the car stopped in one of the regions that had so far avoided renewal.
    Parking in the lot of an old foundry the two men left their car and entered the building. Kristine followed them.
    On the first floor was a room that had probably once served as offices.
    Now it was empty, but for a throne-like chair on which a man with blue skin, dressed in luxe clothing, grey and red and silver. There were several women there, fawning over the man. Kristine noted that all the woman had blank expressions and glassy eyes.
    “Where is the girl?” he demanded as Mr Rat and Mr Badger entered.
    He pushed the woman sitting on his lap to the floor as he stood.
    “Spooked, she teleported away,” Mr Rat said.
    “Hardly cared about her little cat friend it seems,” Mr Badger said.
    “What?” the blue man asked.
    “She looked older than the other Nursery Knights, didn’t she Mr Badger.”
    “As you say Mr Rat. Less trusting I would say.”
    “More mature.”
    “Damn,” the blue man said. “The Duke will not be pleased.”
    “One would expect,” Mr Rat said.
    “We’re returning to the Magical Realm. We’ll get a tracker. Best not to let the Duke know of this.”
    “Most wise, that is,” Mr Badger said.
    The blue man reached into his jacket, brought out a gem the size of a chicken egg. It glittered and shone with its own inner light. The light grew, Kristine had to look away. When the glow faded, the three men were done.
    The women all seemed to come to their senses, looked around, confused, scared.
    Kristine stayed close to them, waited for them to sort themselves out, followed them from the building and watched over them, still invisible, until they had got to the well lit and safer gentrified area.
    Satisfied that they would be okay, she teleported back to her apartment.
    There she found Tac, who looked a little relieved when Kristine showed up.
    “I saw the damaged door and was worried.”
    Kristine was a little surprised that Tac could be worried. She waved her mace at the door, completing the repairs to it.
    Then she told Tac what had happened.
    Tac told her what she had learned.
    “Thomeone kidnapped the Nurthery Knightth?”
    “It does look that way,” Tac said.
    “And now they want me?”
    “Complete set I would say. Collectors are like that.”
    “What the hell? What am I thuppothed to do?”
    “Ah, good question.”
    “That’th why I athked it.”
    Tac nodded. “Well, you could try hiding, but you did say they were going to get a tracker.”
    “That’th what they thaid.”
    “Right. Well, if they get a true tracker there is no hiding it. It will find you, but they probably won’t get a true tracker.”
    “Why?”
    “Cause they are expensive and most end up killing what they are tracking.”
    “What?” Kristine’s eyes widened.
    “Well, why else track something?”
    Kristine had no answer.
    “So they are probably going to get a lesser tracker. You might be able to hide from that, but you will constantly be on the move.”
    “I can’t keep running.” Though she thought about it and realised there was nothing in her life that really required her to stay in one place. That might have depressed her were she not worried about the things hunting her.
    “Well, there is a place you can go where they won’t be able to track you.”
    “Where?”
    “The Magical Realm. Whoever is after you might waste weeks hunting the Mundane Realm before they figure you ran to the Magical Realm. And you’ll be a lot harder to track in the Magical Realm. Plus, that’s where we can find out who is behind all this, maybe even stop it.”
    “Maybe even stop it? Maybe?”
    “You said they mentioned a Duke. Duke’s can be powerful. I’m not about to stick my tail into a mess like that.”
    “Thankth a lot,” Kristine said, the lisp taking the edge off the sarcasm.
    “Listen, Gorgeous seems to care about this, and while she is a pain in my most amazing ass, she does know her stuff. So just trust me. Come to the Magical Realm and maybe we get this sorted out to your benefit. And, most importantly, as I will be doing official work there, they will probably reactivate my expense account.”
    “Why thould I care about your expenthe account?”
    “I don’t understand the question,” Tac said after a few seconds.
    Kristine sighed. “Fine, let’th go to the Magical Realm.”

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I really like the story, well done! :D  I like how she is slowly being converted to diaperhood.

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Another awesome story!

I love seeing the Board rally like this!

Thanks!

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Loved both the fact that the story is back in one piece, but also that there was so much new and exciting content to the story. Definitely worth a like. Some times I get the feeling that Tac is only interested in that expense account. She doesn’t care at all what happens to Kristine. Kristine needs to learn all she can as fast as she can to help herself. I am looking forward to reading more. 

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16 hours ago, CDfm said:

Loved both the fact that the story is back in one piece, but also that there was so much new and exciting content to the story. Definitely worth a like. Some times I get the feeling that Tac is only interested in that expense account. She doesn’t care at all what happens to Kristine. Kristine needs to learn all she can as fast as she can to help herself. I am looking forward to reading more. 

Yeah Tac is kind of terrible.  I'm so glad I don't have to work with her.

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Tac is great.

Sure, I'd not want to have her as a friend, and if I was a magical girl she would be the worse companion, but it's fun to write someone selfish who is too lazy to be evil :D

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7 hours ago, InkuHime said:

Tac is great.

Sure, I'd not want to have her as a friend, and if I was a magical girl she would be the worse companion, but it's fun to write someone selfish who is too lazy to be evil :D

I can see that I suppose :)

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    A Too Late Magical Girl - In the Magical Realm

 

    All around her were impossibilities.
    An inverted pyramid, many times grander than anything in Egypt, balanced on its point, spinning slowly.
    Buildings (what else could they be?) floated overhead, like clouds.
    A lake with water so clear that Kristine could see the buildings far below the surface, as well as the people passing between.
    Tac had muttered, ‘Damed kelpies.’
    There was too much to see in this impossible city. Kristine could not help herself as she stared up at it, and down at it, and all around at it. She was not really watching where she was going and should have been a hazard to all the other foot traffic, but people avoided her.
    Kristine was not offended by that, because the people, the denizens of the Magical Realm, were not aware that they were avoiding her. She was invisible, for her pacifier was in her mouth, but she was also wearing a magical cloak.
    Tac had shown her how to make the cloak, to tie the magic of the exclusion field into the object. She was not actually sure if Tac should have taught her how to make magical items. She got the feeling that Tac was just too lazy to do it herself.
    However, with the cloak people just avoided her, and with the pacifier, no one saw her.
    When not staring at the buildings she was instead looking at the people.
    Some of them looked human, for the most part, though many, like Tac, had ears or tails or some other feature that marked them out as not really being human. Many of them did not look human at all, much taller or much smaller, animal-headed, or quadruped, hexapod or more legs than she could count quickly.
    Some were beyond anything she understood. There were slimes, and balls of gas, and glittering lights that bobbed along at head level and people talked to.
    “I think my mind thould be bweaking,” she muttered around her pacifier when she and Tac walked up a set of narrow stairs, and no one was around to hear them. Her thick diaper made walking up the stairs a little more difficult, and she knew she was climbing with a pronounced waddle. She had a desire, not too strong, but there, to drop down to all fours and crawl up them.
    “Magical Girls have their minds toughened up with their bodies. They often see terrible things.” Tac’s tone was light.
    “Thouldn’t thome people be able to thee me? Morw powaful magic people?” She recalled what Oscar had told her of truth spells and powers.
    Tac stopped at a landing, looked out over the city. The stairs had taken them higher than the number of steps they had climbed. “Everyone in your world can run, right?”
    Kristine nodded, but did not know if Tac could see it, so she voiced a lisping, ‘Yeth.”
    “But not everyone can run really, really fast. You’re running really, really fast so not many people can catch up to you.”
    “Wait, you mean Magical Girlth are weally powaful?”
    Tac nodded and started walking up the stairs.
    “But why?” Kristine followed with her wide, waddling steps.
    “I don’t really know,” Tac told her, “but if it were me, then I would have done it because it is pretty funny.”
    “Funny?”
    “Well, each Magical Girl is kind of like a magical weapon of mass destruction. That’s funny right?”
    Kristine stopped her waddling climb, watched Tac continue climbing, with a smooth step and the almost hypnotic sway of her hips. “You're a weal bitch,” she said.
    Not looking back Tac said, “Watch your mouth little girl, or you might get a bar of soap shoved up your ass.” Tac stopped and looked back, smiling.
    Her teeth were cat teeth, and they looked somewhat dangerous.
    “Mouth.” Kristine shuffled nervously. “Thoap goeth in the mouth.”
    Tac was still smiling. “Oh, silly little girl. It would end up in your mouth, eventually.”
    Turning way Tac continued walking up the stairs.
    Kristine followed, wondering if all magical liaisons were as bad as Tac. She had to doubt it. Madness lay in assuming they were all like Tac.

    At the top of the stairs, Tac turned and looked out at her favourite view in all the Great City. It was her favourite view because it was the view from the area in the city with the greatest concentration of hostess bars.
    Though there was only one hostess bar that Tac wanted to visit.
    The Naga’s Nest.
    Knowing Kristine was following her, Tac pushed through the doors.
    “Mama-san, I’m back,” Tac said.
    “It’s Tac, it’s Tac,” several bunny eared girls squealed happily. Some of them were sitting with customers who looked confused or even displeased by the fact their table mates were paying attention to someone else.
    However, their excitement was dampened as Mama said one word. “Girls.”
    They all calmed down.
    Mama entered the room from behind the bar, her lower snake body slithering in a manner Tac often thought was seductive. She moved up to Tac. “If you have a method of payment, welcome. If not, there is no charity here.”
    “Oh Mama-san, you know I would never expect charity.” though Tac would certainly welcome it considering how much money she had spent there. She reached into her jacket and removed her card.
    The naga took the card, looked at it. “This is limited, and only for official business.”
    “I am here on official business.” Tac smiled. She was not at all surprised that Mama-san knew the status of the card just by looking at it.
    Mama-san nodded after a moment. “One bottle and one girl.”
    Tac could not hide her disappointment. “Just one?” she asked, pouting ever so slightly.
    Mama-san’s look was severe as she nodded.
    “Oh well, as long as the girl is pretty.”
    “All my girls are pretty. Clover.”
    A girl who was indeed pretty and who Tac had never seen before appeared as if by magic (quite probably magic). “Mama-san?” she asked.
    “Please escort Tac to a table and show her a good time.”
    “Yes, Mama-san.” Clover took Tac’s arm, pulled it into her ample breasts as she pressed herself against Tac. “This way please.”
    “It is good to be home.”
    Clover led her to one of the smaller booths. Not a booth where Tac might sit among six or more of the pretty bunny girls. Three would be the best that might squeeze in.
    Clover slipped up tight against her, all smiles and pretty words. Tac knew that Kristine had seated herself opposite. She could not see Kristine, but as a liaison, she always had a sense of where her girl was.
    A bottle of catnip whisky was placed on the table with two glasses.
    “Would you like a drink Clover my dear?”
    “Yes please.”
    Mama-san’s girls could handle their liquor. They drank a lot of it to make sure customers ordered a lot.
    Tac pulled the cork free of the bottle and then lifted it up, putting it in her mouth. With a mouthful of whisky, she turned her head towards Clover. The bunny girl parted her lips and Tac moved in for the kiss.
    As they shared a whisky flavoured kiss Tac’s hand slipped between the Clover’s legs, and soon skilled fingers elicited a moan from Clover as a trickle of whisky ran down the bunny girl's chin.
    It was at that moment Tac decided to put a little show on for Kristine.
    Let the Nursery Knight know precisely what she was missing.
    Leaving her one hand between Clover’s legs Tac grabbed the bottle with her other and took another drink. Bottle back on the table, she pulled the bunny girl’s top down, began placing whisky wet kisses across the top of her breasts and on her nipples.
    Mama-san’s girls did not have to put up with the sort of thing that Tac was doing, but they could if they wanted to.
    And for all of Tac’s many failings (and she had so very many), she knew how to give pleasure.
    As she drew more moans from Clover, she hoped that Kristine was soaking her diapers with something other than piss. The girl had been a whiny little bitch from the start, as far as Tac was concerned. Learning what she was missing would be a good lesson for her.
    “Oh, Tac, please,” Clover said.
    “Does my little bunny want to cum?” Tac whispered into her ear, gently nibbling on it, resisting the urge to draw a little blood (it was the cat in her). Mama-san did not stand for her girls bleeding.
    “Yes, yes,” Clover begged.
    “Well then, let me see what I can do.”
    She started pulling the short little skirt up when someone hit her on the head. Hard.
    “What the fuck?” she wondered if Kristine had finally gotten too hot and bothered, or maybe Mama-san was putting a stop to it.
    However, it turned out to be Gorgeous standing there, looking pissed off.
    Clover, seeming unaware, begged, “Please Tac, please.”
    It would just be cruel to leave the poor girl like that so Tac, ignoring Gorgeous, finished Clover. Then, because Mama-san did not like things to get too loud, kissed her, stifling the bunny girl’s cries. And when Clover finally slumped bonelessly on the booth’s bench Tac stood up. “What the hell Gorgeous?”
    “What are you doing here?” Gorgeous hissed.
    Tac noticed Mama-san was hovering close, so she waved her off and then grabbed Gorgeous by the arm. “Mama-san, put that whisky away for me, and thank you very much.”
    The Naga nodded as Tac led Gorgeous from the bar.
    Outside Gorgeous again demanded, “What the hell were you doing in there?”
    “I think what I was doing in there was obvious. I was keeping the package hidden in a place no one would ever look.”
    Gorgeous looked surprised, then suspicious. “Is sh.. the package here?”
    “Yep. Now, let’s go back into the bar and continue to keep the package out of sight.” She started directing Gorgeous back.
    Gorgeous dug in her heels, as it were, and pulled Tac to a stop. “No, you’re coming with me. We have things to discuss. I already have a safe house set up.”
    And reversing the hold Tac had on her Gorgeous started dragging Tac away.
    “You’re such a cock blocker Gorgeous.”
    “You don’t have a cock.” That was said between clenched teeth.
    “You don’t know what I might have in jars at home,” Tac replied.

    Watching Tac bring the bunny girl to a climax reminded Kristine of Olive. Of their last night together, or Tac saying she was going to seduce Olive, or Tac telling her that she had sex with the magical girls under her care.
    She was squirming in her diaper, fighting the urge to spread her legs and start rubbing the padding against herself.
    And then the woman appeared who hit Tac, which surprised Kristine enough that she forgot how horny she felt for a few seconds, long enough to get some control of herself.
    The woman looked about, and Kristine thought the woman might be able to see her but then her gaze passed over Kristine without acknowledgement.
    The muffled cries of the bunny girl brought her attention back to Tac and her conquest. As Tac stood, the bunny girl slid down on the bench, legs spread, skirt up around her waist, top down around her waist, lying there with a dreamy look on her face.
    Kristine pictured herself there, dressed in a more mature magical girl outfit.
    She almost moaned.
    But Tac had already told her that Kristine’s youthful form was of no interest.
    Maybe if she begged and promised to be good? 
    God damn, she hated Tac at that moment, really hated her.
    How dare such a selfish, incompetent idiot be some sort of master of pleasure.
    She got up and waddled after Tac and the other woman, hating and loving the way the padding of her diaper rubbed against her.
    Outside, as Tac and the woman talked Kristine managed to get her feelings in order. She still wished she had some privacy, but she no longer felt like begging Tac for a similar attention that she gave Clover, or not as much so.
    Then Tac and the other woman, who was named Gorgeous, were walking off and Kristine waddled after them.
    She wished she knew where they were going so she could just teleport there.
    She listened to Tac and Gorgeous argue in low tones, mostly about the fact that Tac was pretty terrible at her job.
    This was not a surprise to Kristine.
    They did not talk about anything significant, or any mention of the package, which Kristine was sure meant her.
    Gorgeous led Tac, and Kristine who was following close, onto a train, and Kristine took a seat. The padding of her diaper felt squishier and thicker than it had at the hostess bar, but at least it did not feel messy.
    The car was not very crowded, but she kept an eye out in case anyone tried to sit on her. She thought that no one would, because of the cloak, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
    After about twenty minutes on the train, Gorgeous led them off, into a part of the city less built up, and lower than the area they had been in.
    “We’re in here,” Gorgeous said to Tac as she stopped in front of a building that looked something like a small warehouse. When she opened the door, holding it open for several seconds so that Kristine could enter.
    The empty space within reinforced Kristine’s idea that it was a warehouse.
    “She is here, this isn’t some half-ass job of yours again, is it?” Gorgeous asked Tac.
    “Of course she is here. Kristine, you can show yourself.”
    Kristine removed the cloak first and then spat out the pacifier.
    Gorgeous was looking away from where Kristine was but must have caught Kristine appearing out of the corner of her eye. She turned, eyes widening.
    “That is the most ridiculous magical girl outfit I have ever seen.” Gorgeous suddenly shook her head. “Sorry, I should not have said that. I was just surprised. I did not think the Nursery Knights would be so literal.”
    “You’re not forgiven.” Kristine was more than a little pissed off.
    “Yes, I understand. My name is Gorgeous, I am the supervisor of all magical liaisons. I apologise for my behaviour. I do not have any say in the themes of the Magical Girl teams but should have taken the time to look into it. My statement was unprofessional.”
    “You don’t need to waste an apology on Kristine,” Tac said.
    Kristine noted that she was not the only one looking at Tac with a scowl.
    “Tac ith terrible,” Kristine told Gorgeous.
    “I know.”
    “Hey! That kind of hurts.”
    “But Tac’s many shortcomings are secondary to this,” Gorgeous continued. “We need to understand what is happening here. I have called for someone else who should be able to help us. She should be here soon.”
    Kristine nodded, then, cheeks warming up just a little, she asked, “Ith there a bathwoom awound here I can uthe?”
    “You mean a changing table,” Tac muttered, Kristine almost missing it.
    “Back there.” Gorgeous pointed.
    “Thank you,” Kristine said, trying to walk as fast as she could without a diaper waddle.
    For a moment she was worried that a bathroom in the magical realm would be some crazy thing, but opening the door she was presented with something that looked normal enough.
    Her diaper came off, and she sat down on the toilet.
    As always she did not really know well if she needed it, but she figured she would take advantage of it.
    After almost two minutes with nothing happening, she got up from the toilet, summoned her diaper bag, and pulled out a new diaper. She put it on, taping it up awkwardly but it was good enough. Dismissing the bag she left the washroom.
    Tac and Gorgeous were arguing, but it had the sound of an old argument, probably about the fact that Tac sucked at her job.
    Gorgeous turned to Kristine as she approached. “I have not had an opportunity to say it yet, but thank you for coming to help with our inquiries.”
    “I did not think I weally had a choithe, theeing ath there were people coming to the mundane wealm to kidnap me.”
    “Yes, I suppose so.”
    “Can you do thomething about it?”
    “I am, what I can. We need information now.”
    There was a scratching sound at the door.
    “That would be Gwens.” Gorgeous walked to the door. She unlocked it and then pushed it open.
    A large, black raven hopped in.
    Gorgeous closed the door, and the Raven became a young woman with hair as black as the Raven’s feathers.
    “Gorgeous. I am here.”
    “Gwens, you, of course, know Tac.”
    Gwens nodded.
    “And this is the Nursery Knight Kristine.”
    Gwens shifted her attention to Christine. She stared and blinked several times. “You made an adult person a Nursery Knight?” She asked the question of Tac.
    “I think it is pretty clear I did.”
    “How could you?”
    “Hey, it was Gorgeous that told me to.”
    Kristine looked towards Gorgeous.
    Gorgeous raised her hands. “I needed Tac to learn a lesson.”
    “You sentenced an adult to that," Gwens looked at Kristine, "so Tac could learn to be more responsible?”
    “Wait, wath there an option?” Kristine demanded.
    “See, don’t shoot the messenger. Shoot Gorgeous.”
    “Not helping Tac,” Gorgeous said. “And I did not realise the Nursery Knight was,” she looked at Kristine, “well, so extreme.”
    “Thon of a bitch.”
    “Listen, we can place blame later. Right now we need to understand what happened here.”
    Kristine and Gwens mumbled an agreement after a few seconds. Tac complained there was nothing to drink.
    “There’s a conference table we can all sit at in the back.” Gorgeous led the way deeper into the empty warehouse.
    Once they were all seated and, full introductions had been made Gorgeous asked Gwens to tell them more about the Nursery Knights.
    “I was sent to be the Liaison of girl named Betty. Four years old and the most helpless thing you could never have envisioned. I mean, if it was not for Mr Bunny…”
    “Mr Bunny?” Kristine asked with her lisp.
    “Her stuffed animal helper.”
    “Oh.”
    “If it was not for Mr Bunny I think she would not have been able to accomplish anything. All the Nursery Knights were like that. Immature and childish for their age, and seeing they were four, five or six that is saying a lot.” She looked at Kristine. “Sorry.”
    “I thuppothe I wath like that when I wath a little girl. I grew up and got mature.”
    “Well, as far as I know, Betty never grew up or became mature. None of the Nursery Knights did, at least when I was with them.”
    “How long was that?” Gorgeous asked.
    “A little more than a year to defeat the Nightmare King. And I looked in on her a few times after that, until my next job.”
    “Did the Nursery Knight program require the Knights to go dark?”
    “What?” Gwens looked at Gorgeous, obviously surprised. “No. I mean, to what point?”
    “All of them went Dark, sixteen years ago.”
    “What?”
    “It’s true,” Tac told her, “talked to the embassy. All of them just disappeared.”
    Gwens looked at them all. “What the hell?”
    “And thome men came and tried to kidnap me.”
    “I believe that someone wanted the complete set,” Gorgeous said. “I have been asking around. Looking into it. Umon Derrypiz…”
    “Bastard,” Tac said.
    “…looks like he was given some large bribes,” Gorgeous continued as if Tac had not spoken. “I suspect he created the Nursery Knights for someone.”
    “Where is he?” Tac asked.
    Kristine wondered about that. What sort of person would want the Nursery Knight concept?
    “He went to ground after you met with him. I suspect he contacted whoever bribed him, to let that person know of Kristine’s existence.”
    “And then that perthon thent the kidnapperth to get me,” Kristine said. She then told them of Mr Rat and Mr Badger and the blue man.
    Gorgeous, Gwens and Tac (though Tac looked bored) listened.
    When she finished, Gorgeous asked, “This blue huntsman? Does he sound familiar to anyone?”
    “Blue sounds trollish.” Tac sounded bored.
    “Not helpful.”
    “The colours, grey and red and silver, do they mean anything?” Gwens asked.
    “Hunting colours, House Balor uses them, and before you ask,” Gorgeous said, “there are over three hundred sub houses in House Balor, more than half of them ruled by a noble claiming the title of Duke.”
    “Why do you even know something that useless?” Tac put her chin on the table, staring across the surface at Gorgeous.
    “It’s not useless, and I don’t want to that from you.”
    “Useless,” Tac said softly.
    Kristine looked between the three women.
    “No way you are going to be able to look into all of those houses,” Gwens said.
    “Perhaps we start with Mr Rat and Mr Badger.”
    “Seems pretty nothing to me, bottom of the barrel kind of things.” Tac closed her eyes.
    Gorgeous looked cross. “Do you have better ideas?”
    Tac was quiet for a moment. “You know, maybe we look into Mr Rat and Mr Badger.”
    Gorgeous opened her mouth, Kristine could only assume she was going to yell at Tac. Kristine knew that she herself wanted to. Then she got a far off look. “My wards have been breached. Someone is coming.”
    Tac was suddenly a cat. She jumped onto Kristine’s shoulder. “Teleport us back to the Naga’s Nest. See you later Gorgeous.”
    “Wait.” Gorgeous stood.
    “Fine. Kristine, we’ll take Gorgeous too.”
    “No.”
    “Okay, we’ll leave Gorgeous.”
    Kristine looked between the two.
    “Tac, shut up. We need to turn this around. Capture whoever is coming after us, get them to talk.”
    “Great idea. Kristine, take me to the Naga’s Nest and then come back here to get killed.”
    Kristine grabbed Tac and dropped her to the table. “Why me? You’re stronger than me.”
    “What. No. You are much more powerful.”
    “But Tac…” Kristine blushed, not about to say how Tac spanked her. “Tac showed herself stronger than I.”
    “That’s because Magical Girls are always vulnerable to their Liaisons.” Gwens had turned back to a Raven at some point.
    “In case we need to kill them.” Tac jumped down from the table.
    “What?”
    “Tac, shut up. And yes, in case we need to deal with a rogue Magical Girl, but that's not important.” Gorgeous had stepped close. “We need to know if these are mercs sent after me because of the questions I have been asking or hunters after you. We need to know where they came from and if they know it who hired them. This could be an opportunity, and we can’t afford to pass it up.”
    Kristine looked up at Gorgeous, then she nodded. “Okay, I’ll do it.”

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So glad to see another episode of this really original story. Amazed to be the first to say so!

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I second the comments, it is just lovely!

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No it can’t stop there. I am sitting on the edge of my seat and now must wait to find out what happens. I definitely enjoyed the latest chapter and please don’t keep us waiting to long to find out what happens next. 

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