|The Transformation Story Archive||Horses and Doggies and Cats, Oh my...|
The glowing, white square opened up in the air just inches above the ground. It was a foot and a half long on each side. Suddenly, a hand appeared and the figure of a man clambered from the square onto the ground.
He stood up and dusted himself down. His eyes searching his surroundings. He appeared to on a grassland plain, there was no sign of any form of human habitation. This far from home that was to be expected.
Police Lieutenant Peter Karlson drew the tracking device from his belt. The signal came in strong and clear, but his quarry was already over several miles away. He sighed and set off at a loping trot after the escaped convict.
It had been a hectic morning for him. When he had arrived for work the whole precinct had been on a full alert for an escaped convict. The panic had got worse when it was determined he had reached the Portal. Lt. Karlson was only to happy to accept the assignment and recover the escaped murderer. A high profile case like this could only help his career.
The Portal was a fairly new invention, something that a whole generation of scientists had struggled to create. Ever since the existence of parallel worlds had been proven, the race had been on to develop a machine that would allow travel to the near infinite number of parallel universes that existed side by side.
As Karlson covered the distance to his prey he went over what the scientists running the Portal had told him. The convict, Harris 76345, had apparently set the settings randomly and jumped through before security could reach him. The scientists had said that the portal was set for a 'distant' universe. The 'nearer' the universe was, the closer it resembled Karlson's. The 'further' away a universe was the more variation there was. This one appeared to be so 'distant' that humans hadn't evolved here, though the scientists couldn't be certain on that fact.
Journeys through the Portal had been of short duration and to worlds similar to their own. Karlson hoped to make it to Harris and get him back to their universe inside a day, assuming a day was the same length here. No one had journeyed to a world this distant, so only one man would be sent after Harris. Karlson was on his own.
Half an hour after he had arrived Karlson slowed to a stop to remove his jacket. It was nearing midday and the sun was hot. Karlson checked the readings on the scanner. Each convicted prisoner had a tracer implanted in their neck just in case they escaped. The scanner said Harris was a little over a mile away, but the signal was weaker. Karlson frowned at the scanner, a tracer's signal should have been able to go through solid rock without any problems.
Karlson studied the terrain ahead, the only feature ahead were some trees in a large clump. Harris was probably making for there.
At only a hundred feet away from Harris the signal disappeared from the scanner. The scanner's diagnostics said everything was working fine, there was just no tracer within range. Karlson drew his gun and advanced on the trees.
"Harris!" He called. "This is your one and only warning. I am an officer from the Central Police. Surrender immediately!" He heard a rustling in the undergrowth followed by what sounded like an animal's cry. Had Karlson inadvertently stumbled on a native of this world? He backed away. Perhaps Harris's tracer had been destroyed after being attacked by some alien creature.
Karlson was just debating whether to advance or not when the creature burst from cover and ran towards Karlson. It was bipedal with a head much more elongated than a human's and was dark brown in color. Karlson reacted by instinct and fired at it. The beam of energy struck the creature in the chest and it staggered. Karlson sent another stun bolt into it and it finally collapsed, unconscious.
Karlson waited for several seconds waiting to see if the creature would get up again. Then, cautiously, he advanced on it. The creature was tall, it would have been seven feet in height if standing. It's feet were hooves and it's skin was covered in tough, brown hair. It was wearing some form of clothing. Karlson decided this must be the dominant form of life on this world. The race must have evolved from horses instead of apes.
The arms were nearly as long as it's legs, they also ended in hooves. Karlson wondered about that, how could they make tools and clothing without hands? The head was clearly equine in nature. The mouth was hanging open displaying normal horse's teeth. Karlson was glad these fearsome creatures were herbivores.
His gaze wondered back to the clothing. Something about it was bothering him. He pushed the creature over onto it's side and saw a number printed on the left breast of the clothing. It was just distinguishable as 76345. Harris's convict number! It was tight against the creatures body and their was no way it could have put the clothes on with only hooves for hands. As he tugged at the clothing part of it came away in his hands, it was disintegrating!
What the hell was going on? As he reached over to feel the creature's clothing again the sleeve of his shirt ripped away from the rest of the shirt. Karlson pulled the sleeve off and looked at it. The fabric was degrading almost in front of his eyes. His gaze ran over his own forearm and he was shocked to see a thin sheen of gray over his skin. He ran his other hand over his arm. It was fur of some kind!
Karlson stared down at the creature in fear. This creature was, or had been, Harris! And what was happening to him had started on Karlson.
He dropped the shirt sleeve and started running from the transforming criminal. He had arrived here about an hour behind Harris. If he could get back to the Portal in time he might be able to avoid the horrific change.
As he ran his mind couldn't help but think about how this could have happened. Perhaps, since humans had never evolved here no human could exist here. The universe was adapting him into something that actually existed in that universe. Many scientists had debated the theory behind such an idea almost since the Portal was built. But since most expeditions to parallel worlds had been to ones 'near' their own, no one had run into this phenomena before.
Karlson felt his shirt start to grow tight and the decayed fabric started to split. His torso was starting to rearrange and grow. Karlson had to slow his pace as the changes started to affect his body. He could feel a tingling all over his body as he grew hair. He could no longer stand completely erect, only hunched over. His arms and legs were lengthening. His fingers were stubby and clumsy now.
After half an hour, his shoes, weakened by decay, started to fall apart and he had to stop to remove them. He sat down with difficulty and pulled them off. His pants couldn't stand the strain of his larger body and they split. In utter frustration he grabbed the tattered remains of his clothes and pulled them off.
His body was completely covered in gray hair and was already losing it's human shape. "Oh, my God." he said in utter fear. Or at least he tried to say. His tongue could no longer form the words and his voice box was changing. The mangled words that emerged were almost animalistic in nature. His very humanity was being lost with every passing second.
His feet were further along in their transformation into hooves. Already, his toes had merged into one mass and the combined toenail was growing into what would soon be the hoof. At least his toughened feet meant he'd be able to keep moving over the terrain. He clambered unsteadily to his feet and started running as fast as possible.
As he stumbled across the plain his back and hips continued changing into a more equine shape. He had to slow his pace even more as he became more and more bent over. His vision was also changing, his eyes were more on the side of his face than on it's front and there was a mass below them. He could feel his face elongating. He tried to say "I am human." As if saying that would reverse what was happening to him, but all that emerged was a neighing sound.
He stopped to catch his breath and he tried to raise his hands to feel how much his head had changed. But they had transformed beyond the point where that was possible. His arms had become legs and his hands had fused into hooves. He looked around and guessed that he had grown in size as well. The pain and discomfort in his back was growing unbearable and Karlson finally accepted the inevitable and dropped to all fours.
He felt something moving at his rear and tried to turn to see what it was. He could just see the side of his flank but couldn't turn his massive head to see any more. He tried tensing the muscles in his rear and he felt movement again. It was his tail.
Karlson was on the edge of despair, but he was still a human on the inside. He could still get back to his own world, once there he hoped the changes on his body would be reversed.
He felt totally comfortable on all fours and he knew there was no point trying to walk as a human, he wasn't capable of that any more.
Hesitantly, he started to move forward. It felt odd, what had been his arms were now as long as his legs and felt the same. He found that as long as he didn't concentrate on how he was moving he could get up to quite a speed.
Perhaps being turned into a horse could actually help him at this point. He started to speed up and went from a brisk walk, to a trot, to a full gallop. Karlson let himself go and he found himself enjoying the speed he was able to reach unaided. The sound of his hooves thudding into the ground. The feel of the wind whistling past his naked body.
He covered the ground to the Portal in an amazingly short time. As the glowing, white square came into view Karlson slowed to a stop. It had been fun to examine this new form, but he'd be glad to get back to his own world and become human again.
He trotted over to the Portal and stopped dead in horror. In his rush to get back to the Portal he had forgotten one basic fact. The energy needed to generate the Portal was colossal. Even so, the largest the Portal could be made was a square only a foot and a half across. Karlson remembered climbing through it on his way to this world. The inside of the portal was a four foot long square box, one ending back in his world and one in this. There was absolutely no way he could get his altered body through that. He was trapped. Since Portal travel was still relatively new, Karlson would get no help. No other officers would be risked on this mission.
Karlson was filled with despair. Only four feet from home! He pushed the end of his snout against the portal and received a mild electric shock. It was designed to stop small animals from climbing through and was switched on when the operator saw an animal nosing around the Portal. Every time a shock was given a small buzzing noise was made in the control room.
That was it! If he could alert the operators to who he was, they might be able to find some way to help him. Every officer learned Morse code, along with other ancient codes, in training. If he pushed his nose against the screen, the officers waiting for him in the control room would recognise the message.
He decided to start with his name. He tried to recall what the Morse was for K and after several minutes failed. He knew Morse code and was fairly proficient at it, so why couldn't he remember? It was there, just beyond his reach. The shock of the change must have made him forget. He decided to try something simpler. He would write his name in the dirt in front of the Portal, the operator would see that.
With his hoof he managed a very ragged K and then an A Then he stopped. He couldn't remember what came next! What was happening to him. His thoughts were slower, like walking through syrup. A chill ran though his body as he realised what was happening. His human mind couldn't fit into a horse's brain and he was losing his mental faculties with every passing second.
Karlson tried to concentrate on who he was, and what he was. But it was all slipping away, what was his girlfriend's name? What was a gun? He noticed that while the mental battle was going on inside him, his head had lowered to the ground and was cropping grass. It tasted surprisingly good. The shock caused him to lose the battle and the human side of him was washed away.
The horse looked up at the Portal and it was obviously nervous at being around something so odd. Slowly it moved away and was gone.
Karlson the human wasn't completely absorbed for several months, and occasionally the policeman would surface for brief seconds of consciousness. One of the last was of being near to another horse, a brown mare. She was in heat and Karlson was getting ready to mount her. He could feel his massive penis ready to penetrate his mate. He got into position and reared up on top of the mare. Pleasure raced through his brain as his penis sank home.
Karlson's last thoughts were that the mare was familiar. It was the horse/human thing he had been following before he had changed into an animal. There was no reason that because you were a male human you'd become a MALE horse. The mare was the convict Harris.
Karlson's last human thought was that he had caught Harris after all.
Runaway copyright 1996 by Stephanie.
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