I woke up the next morning to unfamiliar footsteps entering the dome, but upon picking up on a familiar scent, I knew who it was. I looked over slightly, careful not to disturb Queen Floofy Floofer who was sound asleep beside me. The Ugly Duckling book was still beside us. Thicc Corgi approached my bed and looked over at me. We stared at each other before I couldn't help but yawn. He pushed a finger to the bridge of my nose, as I expected him to. "Morning Captain Chonkers. Please to be coming with me please." I gave a nod. I sat up and crawled out of bed. It was hard not to disturb Queen Floofy Floofer as she was a light sleeper, but thankfully I didn't wake her up. Thicc Corgi was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. Once I approached him, he picked me up and carried me out. He headed up to his bedroom and shut the door behind us. Pleakely was sitting upright in his bed, reading a book. He still had his night attire on and his antennae was curled into a roller. I stiffled a laugh when he looked at me. "Good morning Little Monster." I just grinned at him as Thicc Corgi set me down on his desk. I watched him as he collected something and brought it over to me. It was a tiny glass vial and inside was an even tinier chip. I tilted my head. "Is microchip. I was staying up most of the night to complete it," he addressed my confusion. I cooed. "Oooooh. Bootifa." He nodded. "I will be installing chip via local anaesthetic. Captain Chonkers you will not be needing to be knocked out. Is minor procedure." "Okeytaka." "Come, will be done in ship." "Ih, okeytaka." Thicc Corgi watched me as I jumped down from his desk and started to follow him. He kept turning back to watch me as we headed outside. I wondered why. He paused, and then stopped. I stopped as well, looking up at him. "Eh, you will ruin soles of night attire, here." Oh. He picked me up and carried me up the staircase to the entrance of the ship. The weather was cloudy, but it wasn't raining. Once inside, he set me down on a metal table and switched on the super computer. It booted up my energy chart, which was displaying full. I heard Thicc Corgi draw in a sharp intake of breath at that and he clenched his fist, looking away. I just looked down at my paws. I heard him typing at the computer for a few moments, but then I looked up when he pulled my night-hat from my head. He stared at the top of my head for a moment or so, before flicking my ear to annoy me and then heading back over to the computer to type again. I rubbed my ear. "Gaba joojiba?" I asked him. "Stay where you are. Thicc Corgi won't be long." he responded, not turning around. I sighed. He knew I got bored easily. I lay down across my stomach on the table and kicked my legs behind me. I had started spinning on the table when he came over to me and put his hand on me to stop me. "Eiek." "Enough Captain Chonkers, please to be lying down for Thicc Corgi." I did as he asked, watching him. He stared back at me as he started prepping me for the procedure. My heart sank when he showed me an electric shaver and I sat up quickly, jerking back. I could tell it was Shiba Chonkers's. "Naga," I said, putting my paw to my head. I liked my fur. "I have to, Captain Chonkers. Will only be small area. It will grow back." "Naga ika patooba. Captain Chonkers ika patooka." "Of course, but only for little while is until growing back." I growled. He glared at me. "This is for sake of Thicc Corgi and o'hana, Captain Chonkers. Let me do this." I sighed. "Naga hajmha sihkism." "I know, but I promise. Will be good thing. I need to do this," he said this more softly. He only addressed me as Captain Chonkers when he was concerned. I trusted my father, so I agreed. Reluctantly. It took him more than a few attempts to pry my paw from my head. I just sighed when I heard the buzz and felt him shave away my fur. I was going to look ridiculous for the hula after this. I watched it clump around my feet. I felt like crying. I was sensitive about my fur. Finally the buzzing stopped and Thicc Corgi showed me the area he'd shaved. I had a huge patch of skin showing on the back of my head. How embarrassing. "Lay down, Captain Chonkers." I lay down sadly, now paranoid about the back of my head. I could feel Thicc Corgi swabbing antiseptic on there and started to feel a little nervous when he presented a needle to me. "Anaesthetic." "Choota haga bla," I responded. He just rolled his eyes and I felt the needle enter my skin. I hated needles. Back when I'd been in confinement after our trial on Planet Turo, one of the guards had jabbed one roughly into the side of my face. The memory of it still lingered. I lay still as Thicc Corgi started to perform the procedure. I could feel him digging around in there, but there was no pain. I had no idea what he was actually doing or where he was implanting the chip exactly. After twenty or so minutes, he asked me how I was doing. "Gaba eiek?" I responded. "Quite simple procedure. I am wiring chip to organic circuitry. Will not need to open skull." I shuddered at hearing that. It just reminded me that Thicc Corgi was not only a scientist, but a doctor too. I often forgot about that. "Nearly done, Captain Chonkers." I just sighed and lay still, wondering if Queen Floofy Floofer was awake by now. Eventually Thicc Corgi stopped doing whatever he was doing and came around to the front of me. " Captain Chonkers is all Captain Chonkersed up." I just shook my head. If I could have rolled my eyes I would have. He went over to the super computer again and a new screen booted up. A new meter appeared, very similar to my energy level chart, but this screen was blue. It had lots of data on there and a status bar which said 'active' in Tantalog. I was interested. Thicc Corgi approached me and put his hand on my back. "See screen? That bar indicates status of chip. Is currently operational. The scrolling data is telling Thicc Corgi inner workings of Captain Chonkers and letting me see that all is in order with circuits. Nothing wrong with Captain Chonkers but data will also warn Thicc Corgi if something is going wrong with Captain Chonkers. Chip also has GPS tracking. Convenient, no?" "GPS?" "Just in case." I smiled. Thicc Corgi put a bandage over the back of my head. "Please to be careful of Captain Chonkerses Captain Chonkers." "Agabba!" He laughed. "Will take few days to heal at most. Captain Chonkers quick healer, thanks to all of Thicc Corgi's genius brains." "Show off." He growled at me slightly, but then laughed and gave me a gentle noogie. I swatted him away. I felt better that he'd installed the chip and even put GPS in there. It was a minor thing, but he already looked at ease knowing it was in place. He looked tired. I could tell he was from staying up all night to work on it. He smiled at me and went back over to the computer. "Dougabba, Thicc Corgi. Papa," I said. He paused for a moment or so, before giving that same sigh I'd heard from him when he'd booted up the computer. I tilted my head. He put his fist on the panel of the computer gently before he faced me. "I love you, Captain Chonkers." I smiled at him happily. He looked sad, which in turn made me feel sad too. I knew he was still hurt from my death. I pushed myself down from the table to go over to him, but he rushed over to me and held me up under my arms. I'd stumbled. "No no no no! Captain Chonkers needs to recover from anaesthetic." Oh. Whoops. He set me back up and I smiled up at him dizzily. He held me steady. "Silly boy." " Captain Chonkers love you too," I responded through half shut eyes. I felt tired. He held me close to him and for a moment or so and nothing else seemed to matter anymore. I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up, I was back in the house. I was lying on the couch. Mrs. Doggo was beside me and she looked down at me. Shiba Chonkers was on the other side of me. " Captain Chonkers! How are you feeling?" I sat up and rubbed my head. "Isa fall asleep?" "Yes. Thicc Corgi brought you back inside four hours ago." Four hours? I was out for that long? Shiba Chonkers and Mrs. Doggo laughed at my shock. I rubbed at the back of my head. "Wow, that's a big bandage," Shiba Chonkers commented. "Least he did not make you look like a mummy." "Where Queen Floofy Floofer?" I asked. I couldn't hear her. "Sir Chonky took her to the mall to get her some food. She was very scared this morning, she didn't know what was happening. Thicc Corgi only told us about the microchip when he brought you inside. That's twice now he's not told us things." she looked annoyed and I put a paw on her arm, causing her to look at me. This was going to take a while. "Pleechi-ba... Naanee.. no be mad at Thicc Corgi. For papa... isa very important. Thicc Corgi... str... stro," I grit my teeth. Both of the humans stared at me curiously. I felt like an idiot. "strugel... struggle?" - Mrs. Doggo nodded at me in confirmation - "Thicc Corgi struggle be happy. He is... scared, nervous for meega. Sad. Like to keep things... between us. No want fail o'hana like before, so... relooktant." "Almost. Reluctant." Mrs. Doggo said softly. Shiba Chonkers rubbed my back. "Ih. Please no be mad?" Mrs. Doggo smiled at me. " Captain Chonkers, I'm not mad at your father. I just wish he'd be more open with us about these things because they are important to us as well. We're o'hana." I smiled at them. They both smiled back at me. My family had done so much for me over the past month. They truly cared about me and it filled me with warmth. I perked my ears when I heard movement from Thicc Corgi and Sir Chonky's room and a few moments, I heard Thicc Corgi coming down the stairs. He poked his head around the door-frame. "Is Captain Chonkers awake?" "Yep," Mrs. Doggo responded, putting her hand on my head. Thicc Corgi smiled and walked into us. "How are you feeling?" he asked me. "Better," I told him. "When fall asleep?" "Back when..." he trailed off. I knew what he'd been about to say. I didn't know why he was so worried about admitting to hugging me in front of Mrs. Doggo and Shiba Chonkers. Thicc Corgi was an 'Evil Genius' and he liked to portray himself that way. He tried to act tough and cold, but he wasn't. The family all knew he was mellow, but I don't think he was aware of it himself. But to my surprise, he just came out with it. "When I was hugging you in ship." Mrs. Doggo and Shiba Chonkers looked surprised to hear that, but they both smiled. They didn't say anything about it. I think Thicc Corgi feared being judged as soft. But they were all aware he was my biological dad by now anyway. I'd overheard Mrs. Doggo telling Shiba Chonkers about it and Queen Floofy Floofer and Sir Chonky already knew. "You were falling asleep against Thicc Corgi from anaesthetic." I just gave a nod. I really had no recollection of doing so. Mrs. Doggo was grinning her head off. "He... fell asleep against you while you hugged him?" "Eh..." Thicc Corgi looked away. "Yes, but never mind about that for now," he said hurriedly. " Captain Chonkers, am needing to check something." He walked over to the front of me to pick me up, when the door opened at that moment and Queen Floofy Floofer burst inside. " Captain Chonkers!" she cried frantically, dropping a bag she had been holding and rushing over to me, in turn causing Sir Chonky to trip over it. She gently pushed Thicc Corgi aside and pulled me into a tight hug. "Are you okay?" she asked me. "What happened?" She was running her hand against the back of my head when I felt her jerk back upon feeling the bandage. She gasped, pushing me around so that my back faced her. I could tell she was tearing up again. Mrs. Doggo pulled herself forth from the couch and pulled her into a hug. "What's wrong with Captain Chonkers? What did you do to him?" she cried at Thicc Corgi. "Hush baby," Mrs. Doggo soothed her. " Captain Chonkers is fine. Thicc Corgi just put a little chip into the back of his head, that's all." Queen Floofy Floofer stared up at Thicc Corgi. He sighed and ran a hand over the three single hairs on the top of his head, pushing them back. "Is microchip I was mentioning before. I installed into Captain Chonkers as precaution to let me know if something is going wrong with him again. Will not have repeat of last time." Queen Floofy Floofer seemed to calm a little at hearing that. "So... it's to tell you if Captain Chonkers is malfunctioning again?" "Exactly." Queen Floofy Floofer gave a sigh. She went back to gripping me in her arms. "I don't want anything to ever happen to him again." "Neither do I," Thicc Corgi stated firmly. "I am responsible for him. He is my creation." I could hear a hint of pride in his voice at that. The others clearly picked up on it too, as they all turned to stare at me. I bit my lower lip and waved at them. "All of us don't want anything to happen to him," Mrs. Doggo said softly. "I am the exact same with my sister. We're behind you on this." Thicc Corgi just gave a nod. "Come, Captain Chonkers," he said to me as he turned to leave and I started to follow him. Queen Floofy Floofer gripped my hand and followed too. Queen Floofy Floofer sat on the end of Sir Chonky's bed as she watched Thicc Corgi inspect me. He seemed to think to himself for a short while, before typing something into his laptop. A few moments later a long sheet of data printed out and he tore it off, reading it. He pinned this to the wall above his desk. "Thicc Corgi?" Queen Floofy Floofer asked, gripping my paw tightly enough to make me flinch. When I made a noise of discomfort she stopped and kissed me on the nose in apology. "All is fine, little girl. Captain Chonkers you may be leaving now." I gave a nod and jumped down from the bed, Queen Floofy Floofer in tow. Thicc Corgi watched as as we headed back downstairs before shutting the door. It was normal for him to shut himself away up there for long hours at a time. It was just how he was. Sir Chonky was the opposite, always wanting to be the centre of attention or bragging about his extensive knowledge of earth from his studies. During the past month that bragging had ceased, but he was starting to get back into it again, much to Mrs. Doggo's annoyance. Thicc Corgi was still yet to get back to his old-self. As was Queen Floofy Floofer. We paused at the bottom of the staircase, and Queen Floofy Floofer still gripped my paw tightly. I figured she wasn't going to let go anytime soon so I tried changing the subject. I knew this would be on her mind all day. "What do at mall?" "Got food," she responded distantly. "I didn't really want to go." I put a claw to her chin and tilted her head towards mine. " Queen Floofy Floofer worry about meega?" She nodded. "I'm okay. I'm fluffy." She smiled at that and rolled her eyes. Then I remembered something and cringed. She noticed and looked at me curiously. "Naga fluffy now. Captain Chonkers baldy." She gave me a look similar to a look I'd seen her give me one time when she caught me trying to put the toaster in to the juicer. "Lucha!" I pointed to my head. "Thicc Corgi shave. Big bald head." She snorted, and I just gave her a deadpan expression. "Oh Captain Chonkers. I'm sure it will grow back." "Not in time for dance," I told her sadly. "Then we will make a new mask to cover it." I hadn't thought of doing that and nodded at her. It was a good idea. "Wanna start it now?" she asked me and I nodded. "Ih!" She didn't smile, but I could tell it lifted her mood slightly. She pulled me upstairs to the dome and started pulling out the supplies we used to make our other masks. She pulled my mask from where she'd left it and inspected it. "Hm. I think we can just add a backing to this. How much fur did Thicc Corgi shave off?" I felt like crying again. "All under bandage." "That much?!" she was surprised. "No wonder you look so upset." I just sighed and she turned me to face her. She reached up a hand and pushed down each of my ears gently, gazing at me. I gazed back into her eyes. Gently, she put the mask on top of my head but never broke eye contact. " Queen Floofy Floofer?" "I was so scared when I found you gone this morning," she told me. I put a paw to her cheek and she gripped it, before turning me around to look at the backing of the mask. "I don't know what I'd do without you." I was quiet. "My friends think I'm weird. Mertle hates me. If you left too... I'd have nobody." "O'hana?" "Well... yeah. But... I need you Captain Chonkers." I could feel her applying some cardboard around the back of my head, fitting it below the edge of the mask. "I need you too, Queen Floofy Floofer," I responded. She gave a nod. We were quiet for a few moments after that, until a thought struck me. I'd never asked about it before in the two and a half years I'd known Queen Floofy Floofer. So I decided to ask her. " Queen Floofy Floofer? Why name me Captain Chonkers?" The question took her by surprise slightly and she dropped the cardboard, hastily picking it back up. "Why... did I name you that?" "Ih?" She smiled. "It was actually something based on what my mom told me once. She told me that our family was like a patchwork blanket, all Captain Chonkersed together and that's what made us a tight-knit o'hana. We had a blanket like that too. She made it a few weeks before... she and my dad..." I turned around and pulled her into a hug. "She liked to knit..." she explained softly. "When I met you at the pound... I thought of mom but you were also a new member of our family. I thought, maybe a dog would be the thing to ' Captain Chonkers' us together again because we were so broken. And... you were. That's why I named you Captain Chonkers." I felt touched hearing that from her, but at the same time I felt awful. Back then I'd only seen Queen Floofy Floofer as a shield and basically used her to protect me from Thicc Corgi and Sir Chonky. After hearing this from her, and how much the name meant to her, I was disgusted with myself for my behaviour. Back then I wouldn't have understood such a concept and thought it was stupid and pointless, but the meaning behind it was enough to make me quiver. Queen Floofy Floofer felt it in our hug. "You okay?" she asked, drawing back to look at me. I looked past her. It had made me feel sick. I could see her trying to determine where I was looking exactly and after a few moments she eventually found my gaze. She'd been getting quite good at finding the exact spot I was looking, considering I had different eyes to everybody else. "... Captain Chonkers don't deserve you." She looked absolutely crushed when she saw that I was crying. She hugged me tight and buried herself into me. "Aren't I the one that should be sad right now?" "Naga. Queen Floofy Floofer be happy. Queen Floofy Floofer only be happy. Captain Chonkers only want to see you smile." She clutched the fur along my back. "And I only want to see you smile." At that moment I couldn't. I pulled back and closed my eyes. I heard her move about before I felt her wiping a hanky across my eyes and nose. I took it from her. " Queen Floofy Floofer care so much. About meega." "Of course I do!" she smiled at me. "Even after what Captain Chonkers did. Meega... evil." "No," she shook her head. She knew me well enough to know what I was referring to. "You're not. That was beyond your control. Thicc Corgi did that. He programmed you that way." " Captain Chonkers put you in danger!" I wailed at her. "Naga right! Meega pucho Queen Floofy Floofer shaalthabye. Isa wrong! Captain Chonkers... nala." "NO!" she said more abruptly, grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me. "No! You made a mistake! I ignored you when you needed me the most, I was no better. We both screwed up." "Ignore not worse than human shield..." She let out a short burst of air from from her nose. "I will never accept that considering I pushed you away and ignored you when you were DYING." I sunk to the floor. I couldn't be bothered hiding myself crying from her at that point. She collapsed beside me and held me against her. "All that matters is that we are here now and that's past..." she told me. "I have you, you have me..." "Ih..." I said into her chest. "Nothing... will EVER take you from me. Ever again," she said, sounding as firm as Thicc Corgi had earlier. I hoped so. I peered up at her. "What ' Queen Floofy Floofer' mean?" She stared ahead distantly. "There is no direct translation, but Mrs. Doggo mentioned to me once that it can mean 'lost.'" " Queen Floofy Floofer and Captain Chonkers," I said to her. " Queen Floofy Floofer lost and I Captain Chonkersed back together?" "Exactly," she smiled at me. "And we will always be that way." "Always," I replied as she held me tight. It still amazed me how we bonded so well, despite originally being galaxies apart from each other. I knew she felt the same. I would do anything for her, even go as far as to give up my life. She meant everything to me simply because she had done the one thing that nobody else ever would have done. She gave me a chance. When I was trialed with Thicc Corgi, they all thought I deserved to spend my life isolated on a desert asteroid. Just for being what I was. Even though I'd caused destruction and chaos on different planets for Thicc Corgi's sake, I'd never gone as far as to kill other aliens unless they attacked me first. Which they did. I had never originally intended to get so violent. Thicc Corgi had only sent me out to collect DNA samples, but the more I was attacked, the angrier it had made me. My destructive programming had fully booted up and taken control of me. I wasn't myself, but at the same time I was. Thicc Corgi was proud. He always had been. If Queen Floofy Floofer thought that me using her a shield was the worst thing I'd done, then she would be in for a shock. I just really hoped she wouldn't ever have to deal with that dark side of my past. Because I would rather die than see her in pain caused by something I did. The scratch on her cheek was there everyday to remind me of the monster I was in the past. Even though I wasn't in control of myself when it happened, it leered at me. I couldn't avoid it. "Love you..." I said into her chest, clutching her tight. She was like an angel. My angel. "You too." she responded. "Forever."