I recently read one of these “humans are weird” posts that mentioned that humans are not apex predators. We’re a 2.2 on a scale of 5. We’re not even the middle of the food chain. Level 3 is carnivores that eat herbivores. Level 4 is carnivores that eat other carnivores. Level 5 is the “apex predator”, which is any carnivore that has nothing that preys on it. We manage to be space orcs despite our low rank, which is impressive enough.
But given how heavily people modify their bodies with the technology we have now, with piercings and tattoos and even filing their teeth and getting horns grafted on, and given that we already can sometimes use the hearts of other animals when our hearts stop working, and given that science is already working on human/animal hybrids… what if we made ourselves a 5?
It wasn’t common, before we made first contact. There were humans who grafted on animal ears or tails for cosmetic reasons, and animal eyes were a popular ‘upgrade’. It wasn’t until we were exposed to the vastness of space and the staggering variety of deadly predators on other planets that invasive cross-species body-modification became a 'thing’.
The most common recipients of such procedures were explorers funded by a group seeking new planets to colonize; a full overhaul of your body didn’t come cheap, after all. But when you’re trying to prepare for a totally new environment, the best tool you can have is your own body.
At first glance, he didn’t look that different from most humans. His head was hairless, and appeared scaly, but it was assumed that it was one of those “tattoos” humans were fond of. He always wore clothing that covered him from neck to toe, even gloves, but that was also not unheard-of among humans. Germophobes and people who simply find themselves cold often tended to cover up like that.
So it wasn’t until several days into the expedition that the extent of his mods became apparent. He was leading the party through a trail in the strange, red-vine-choked jungle, when, without warning, a scaled, six-legged thing leapt from the underbrush, latching onto his shoulders with its forepaws and raking his torso with the other four paws.
For one horrible moment, the aliens were certain that they were all going to die. Then he balled his hands together and swung them up into the creature’s gut, flinging it off him. Tattered fabric fell from his shoulders, revealing that the scales on his head covered his entire torso, and it was immediately apparent that they were no mere tattoos.
Claws ripped through the fabric of his gloves as he rushed the winded beast, smashing his forehead against its muzzle. The blood that sprayed from the impact was not his.
When the forest was quiet, and the thing lay dead, one of the aliens plucked hesitantly at the sleeve of another of the humans in the expedition. "Human-Tess…" It paused a moment, trying to phrase the question politely despite the alarm ringing in its mind. "We were under the impression that humans were the only sapient species on your planet.“
Tess laughed. "Oh, he’s human. The company just sprung to give him a little extra, y'know?”
A little extra? Human+? Horror beyond description.
I just want to say a million thank yous to all the support this story got. All the notes and kind comments really blew me away. I am so sorry to keep you waiting so long, but life has been tricky. My writing may be a little rusty, forgive me. I really hope you enjoy this last part. It has been so much fun to write. Again, thank you for all your love and support over these last few months. It means the world!
Epilogue // Some infinities are bigger than others //
A ferry ride home and I’m officially on my staycation. One week of no commuting, no work, no classes, and no homework. I’m going to get so much done! And I might just overlook my entire TBR and current reading lists to start this pretty new release, a follow-up to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.
changed a few things, hope you like it anyway! Also this is a bit
longer than the others. I really hope you like this
please note that my mother tongue isn’t English so there might be
some mistakes. Feel free to correct me if I made mistakes!
by Anon: reggie x reader x archie where reader is a jock and plays
basketball and soccer and volleyball and both archie and reggie like
her but she’s friends with betty so she chooses reggie and this makes
archie really upset but he soon realizes you are meant to be with
reggie. sorry, not enough reggie find out there!
Reggie Mantle x Reader x Archie Andrews
was a rivalry between Archie and Reggie but it never bothered me as
much as it does now. A few weeks ago it started to get worse for some
reason. Of course, I did ask Archie why but he never gave a proper
answer to you. I even tried to talk to Reggie about it but he as well
didn’t bother to answer the question.
I’m walking to my locker to get ready to walk home I see the two boys
verbally fight. Annoyed I roll my eyes and walk up to them. “I
don’t know what’s gotten your pants in a twist but it has to end now.
Do you realize how tiring it is when you two are constantly fighting?
So how about both of you just start to learn how to get along
instead?” My voice sounds harsher than it meant to be.
boys drop their heads and mumble ‘sorry’. “What were you fighting
about anyways? And this time it’d be great if I get an actual answer”
I say. This time I sound a lot nicer. Archie and Reggie look at each
other silently asking if they should tell the truth. “C'mon guys.
Spit it out”
um, we, um” Reggie stutters. He blushes while he scratches his neck
in embarrassment. Adorable,
I think as my heart skips a beat. “I have feelings for you”
the dark-haired boy confesses quietly. My mouth opens ready to say
something but nothing comes out. I look at Archie still trying to
process the sudden confession.
childhood friend clenches his jaw. His brown eyes are filled with
anger. “Not so long ago he didn’t even know you exist and
now he is all over you, wanting to be near you and touch you. And as
I know you, you won’t even realize that he’s playing you? Don’t you
see that you’re probably just a little game to him? Don’t you see
that he doesn’t care about you? Don’t you see that he will one day
hurt you? Don’t you see that I am so much better for you than he is?”
admit, his words hurt. He never talked to me like that. For a very
short moment my eyes find Reggie’s. “Don’t you dare talking to
me like that. Like I’m some sort of a stupid girl, like I’m a child.
I am perfectly capable of choosing the people I hang with. I don’t
need you or anybody else to tell me who I can spend my time with. And
for your record, right now the only person who’s hurting me is you,
Andrews” My voice waves and my eyes begin to water.
it’s best if you would choose then. Him or me?” Archie says.
“Are you seriously asking me to choose?” I ask in
disbelief. “Do you think the same as him?” My eyes wander
to Reggie, who’s standing uncomfortably next to Archie. “I think
he’s right, Y/N” he admits. “You two are unbelievable”
I point at them and turn around, ready to leave school since I don’t
want to be near them at the moment. Luckily not many people were in
the hallway so barely someone saw the discussion we just had.
I walk into Pop’s since the atmosphere of the diner always calms me
down. My eyes look around, searching for a familiar face. As I find
one I make my way to the booth. “Can I sit?” I ask the
blond girl. “Of course” Betty smiles.
seem upset. What happened?” Her blue eyes staring into mine.
Concern filling them. I sigh and grab her milkshake, taking a sip
from it. “Reggie and Archie. They both somehow like me and now I
have to choose. But how should I do it, Bets? Either way one of them
will get hurt and I lose one of them” I sigh again, not knowing
what I should do.
you have feelings for both?” she asks curiously. “No. Just
for Reggie” I mumble looking at my hands. “But I can’t lose
Archie. I can’t just throw our friendship away” My eyes begin to
burn but I try my hardest not to let tears fill them. Betty takes my
hand and looks me softly in the eyes. “Listen to your heart.
Archie has to understand that you can’t force yourself to have
feelings for him. I know it’s hard to break your best friend’s heart
but you have to think about yourself first this time, okay?” I
nod, whispering a 'thank you’.
talk about anything other than my issue until Kevin and Veronica turn
up. After a while I let my mind wander, not listening to the
think about the stupid situation with Archie and Reggie. Trying to
figure out how I will handle it I think about the first time Reggie
actually talked to me. I remember how surprised I was when he asked
me to hang out with him. I wanted to turn him down since I didn’t
like how he treats Jughead. But when I looked into his eyes I
couldn’t say 'no’. His eyes were full of hope and I decided to give
it a shot. He had the biggest and cutest smile on his face after I
agreed to hang out.
couple of days later we hang out more often. He made me laugh so many
times. We got close and slowly but surely I started to catch feelings
for him. I tried to push them away but Archie noticed that I acted
different. He got so mad when he found out that Reggie and I met up a
couple of times. I thought he has accepted that by now but apparently
tried to make up my mind for three days now and the fact that Archie
didn’t want to leave me alone didn’t help. I still don’t know how I’m
going to break it to Archie that I like Reggie and not him. But one
day I have to do it so I decided to go to his house and just say it.
As I breath nervously in I press the bell. Lucky as I am, Archie
opens the door. “Y/N, hey” he says surprised. “Hey,
um, can I come in?” I ask, playing with my hands. “Yeah, of
course” he lets me in and I follow him up to his room.
I-” I begin but get interrupted by Archie. “Before you tell
me what you want to, let me speak first. I’m sorry for what I said
the other day. I was just so angry and jealous and I didn’t mean
anything I said. I know this is no excuse but I really am sorry”
he says feeling guilty. “I admit your words really hurt me but I
forgive you, Arch” I smiled slightly. A sigh of relief leaves
what I’ll tell you now won’t be easy and I’m sorry if I hurt you. I
really like Reggie and I wish I could have feelings for you so I
don’t have to hurt you by telling this but I
can’t change the way my heart feels, Archie” I say sadly. “I
always knew you like him. I was just so selfish to accept it and
wanted you for my own” he whispers, sounding heartbroken. His
eyes are glued on the floor. “I’m really sorry” Tears start
to form in my eyes. My heart aches seeing my friend like this. It
aches even more knowing that I am the reason for his pain.
he make you happy?” he asks quietly. His brown eyes finally
looking up, right into mine. “The happiest I’ve been in a long
time” I say. A smile that I can’t fight forms in my face as I
think about all the times Reggie made me laugh. Archie swallows, my
answer clearly hurting him. “I’m sorry” I apologize again.
My heart still feeling heavy. “It’s alright” For a few
minutes none of us say a word. The silence is thick and kind of
you think it will ever be the same as it was before?” the
red-headed boy asks, hope filling his voice. “Hopefully. I don’t
want to lose you. You’re my best friend. What would I do without
you?” I say, putting my head on his shoulder. “Your life
would be so boring” he laughs lightly. “You’re probably
right” I giggle. “How did Reggie react?” Archie asks,
looking into my eyes.
I forgot to tell him” My eyes widen in shock. I quickly take my
phone and send him a text to tell him that he should meet me at my
house in 20 minutes. “I gotta go. Hope it’s not too late though”
I laugh nervously. “Bye” I say as I walk out of his room.
“Go get him, girl” he yells.
heart clenches as I realize Reggie wasn’t at my house. Sighing I
look around, searching for the tall boy. A smile forms on my face when
I see him walking up to me. “Hey” I greet him shyly. “Hey”
he says back, a nervous smile on his face. “Want to go inside?”
I ask, already unlocking the door. He nods and follows me inside the
house. We enter the living room and sit down on the couch.
of us say a word, not knowing what to say. “You know, if you want
to reject me just say it” he mumbles. Surprised I look at him. I’ve
never seen him like this.
He is more timid than usual. “Reggie, I don’t know what you’re
talking about. Didn’t you notice that I really like you?” I softly
say and smile at him. “What about Archie?” he asks. “Don’t
worry about him. He will be alright”
have no idea how happy I am right now” A huge smile on his face.
There he is. The confident
I think happily. “Now we can go on a proper date” he grins,
taking my hand in his bigger one. “It better be the best date I
ever had” I joke, winking at him. “It will the best on this
entire planet” he laughs, kissing my temple. My heart flutters at
this cute gesture and if it’s even possible my smile gets even bigger.
I made definitively the right choice to listen to my heart.