• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 05

Murderous Intent

The new addition drives MonKey crazy. Up until now he's been the reigning king in the Cubehold, showered with love and cuddles and peanuts and bananas. Now there's CoTTon, Coton de Tulear, Royal Dog of Madagascar proclaimed Madame M. as she waltzed in the Cube after returning from her last intergalactic voyage, cradling the white bundle of fur. MonKey is kicked out from the hierarchy, he feels the switch in the air. Barely a greeting from Madame M. who parades CoTTon in front of her ChatScreen, chattering away with her parents and relatives from Earth. The praise heaped on CoTTon makes MonKey cringe with envy, omg look at that silky fur, how precious, how cute, how adorable, how did you manage to find this treasure, is he for real? Trending photos flood the Net, a glowing review by ChatGPT, Breaking News! Real, non-genetically modified or cloned Coton de Tulear! scrawls across InterLunar Networks. There is even a feast in CoTTon's honor. MonKey can't remember the last time Madame M. had ordered her kitchen staff around so harshly. Head chef, sous chef and kitchen maids slide and bump against each other like chipless robots gone fever rogue, metal banging and grating. Plumpy walnuts, velvety peaches, sweet grapes, crisp apples, organic Pinot Noir synthesized and displayed with bundles of scarlet winter berries as decadent as a Roman feast Madame M. likes to replicate on the Moon. MonKey taunts the newcomer with holly berries, see these, aren't they pretty, pretty little beads, oh how delicious they are, oh ah, so good, so pretty—would you like to taste some? CoTTon stares at MonKey, barks, sniffs the air and whimpers to Madame M. who shouts, MonKey! OFF now! MonKey shuts down with a woomp. Madame M. shelves him in her cabinet of curiosities. Need to reprogram it, she thinks, decrease settings of Jealousy, Envy and Malice.