|The Transformation Story Archive||With Fur and Claws...|
"You're coming with us," said the soldiers. "Don't try to escape and you won't get hurt."
"What's going on?" Mike asked. "What are you doing here?"
His question never got answered. A solider sprayed him in the face with pepper spray. As Mike lay there reeling in pain two more soldiers came over and yanked him out of bed. He was dragged across the barrack floor and pushed to his feet. "Move along," someone said. Mike began to move forward still unable to see. By the feel of the ground he knew he was outside. He was poked in the side with a cattle prod that was turned off. "Keep going," a voice said. He and at least five other soldiers were lead to a ramp, which lead to a troop transport. He got on and sat down, still rubbing pepper spray from his eyes.
"What the hell is this?" Luther said. "What's going on?"
"Shut up. No talking." a solider said, and smacked Luther across the face. "You'll know soon enough."
A voice came from a speaker in the roof of the Transport.
"Welcome my friends," it said mechanically. "You have been hand picked to become part of an experiment. An experiment to make you better soldiers, better protectors of the American way of life. You are now part of the US government genetic redesign program. In the course of the next 2 months you will be rebuilt into the perfect genetically created soldier."
"Rebuilt?" Thomas said fearfully. "You mean we're guinea pigs for some mad man who's going to mess with our DNA?!?"
"I never read this in that booklet for the army!" Davis said sarcastically.
"They can't do this to us!" Mike screamed.
"Why didn't I join the air force!" Steven cried.
The transport stopped and the five of them were forced to go into a huge white building. They were all separated, and taken to different areas. Mike was thrown into a small cell and the door was locked.
"Welcome, Mike Valrone, to your new home for the next two months. In a few days you'll start with your first mutagen injection. Enjoy your stay," said the artificially produced voice.
Mike's hopes of ever seeing his wife again sank, and he slumped into the corner and began to sob.
Chapter 1: Blade
Blade woke up to a loud trumpeting. His ears still ringing, he got to his feet. He began to rub his head. He staggered over to his feeding slot and awaited his breakfast. His food slid in and he greatly wolfed it down.
"Awwww.....processed slop again," he grumbled.
He wished he was back home eating his favorite breakfast - pancakes and bacon with maple syrup. He wished that he could remember what that tasted like. He wished he could remember his old life. He wished he knew what he used to look like. His current appearance looked like something out of a horror movie. He was now seven feet tall, and weighed 200 lb., his head looked like a cross between a wolf and a pig, with pointed ears 2 feet long, a pig snout with 2 huge curling tusks, big fangs, and 3 horny spikes sticking out each side of his massive head. His body was no better. He was totally hairless, covered in a tough leathery tan skin. Two huge thick horny spikes stuck out of his shoulders and curved slightly towards his head, with 2 smaller ones on his back below the first two. His hands had 3 clawed fingers and a clawed thumb, his feet 3 clawed toes. On his fore-arms were metal 'gauntlets', with some sort of liquid metal on them which itself could form into any simple mental shape at Blade's command. He had 2 similar structures on his shins, but they had no liquid metal - they just hummed after he ran a long distance. What they were doing he did not know. He also had a long tail - at least 4 feet long and totally prehensile. The people who kept him here made him wear some sort of trunks, like the ones you always see superheros in comic books wear, to cover up his genitals. He just knew that this was not his natural form, it was too strange to be what he was born looking like and his memories of another life made him positive this was wrong. But it was time for exercise today, he'd have to think on it more later.
"Good morning Blade," said Mary, the young woman who was his trainer.
Mary seemed different than all his other keepers, after all she actually talked to him, not just giving him orders all the time. She looked to be about 21, she was about 6'3 136lb, she was a redhead and had rather fair skin. She was the first woman he remembered. He thought back to the day she first got here.
Chapter 2: The Lab
It was a mundane day the day Mary transferred to the lab. She had just been informed she was not going into active duty, they had another job for her. The lab itself was rather plain, just a huge white building, with a running track behind it. You would never have guessed what was in it. She walked over to the door and entered her security passcode. The computer hummed for a second and the door swung open. She hadn't known what to expect, what they wanted her to do, then Dr. Vromic came over to her.
"Good morning Miss Peterson," he said in a pleasant Eastern European accent.
"Good morning Dr. Vromic," she said in her mundane Pittsburgh accent. "But please call me Mary."
"Fine, Mary, call me Richard," he said with a smile. "This facility will be your home for the next 3 months Mary. It's rather unique, so please listen carefully."
"OK, I'm ready for anything," she said confidently.
"Good," he said and suddenly took a serious tone. "This facility is a genetic research lab. We are conducting experiments with genetically engineered cyberneticly enhanced humanoid mutates. These creatures have almost human intelligence, and are the prototypes for a new genetically engineered race of soldiers. You are here because of your background in physical therapy. You're going to be put in charge of one of them, and you have to train it, test its limits, show us what it can do. This is a great responsibility. These are the only ones of their kind, so don't mess up. Any questions?"
"Yes," she said cryptically. "What do you mean mutates? How human are they? What do they look like? What kind of place is this?"
"Please calm down," he said in a soothing tone. "Let me start with the question of humanity. These creatures can speak as well as you or I, but they lack the intelligence of a normal human. They have an IQ closer to a dog or cat than a man. They are programmed to listen to humans and will not hurt you. As to their looks, they each look different. Let's go take a look at yours, shall we."
She quietly followed him to a small dark room, where they sat down and the lights came on. At first the thing standing behind the glass scared her, it was so alien. It seemed not to see her, the glass must be a 1 way mirror, but soon it reacted to the mirror.
"Who's there," it said in a very human voice. "I can smell someone new. Who is it? It's a female isn't it? What kind is she? Is she a mutate or a human? Why is she here?"
Richard walked over to a mike and began to speak.
"Blade, calm down. I know you smell someone. She's going to be your trainer. She'll teach you things. She's a human and you have to listen to her. We'll go now. Try to sleep some more, and you'll see her tomorrow."
The creature walked to a corner of the room and lied down. Mary quickly followed Richard out of the room and stood in the hall.
"That thing, it was so...." she stammered "Human... yet so alien... how?"
"Well, Blade is an example of how far genetic engineering has come in the time it's been around. He was grown from scratch, and programmed with certain mannerisms to be more controllable," Richard quickly stated.
"And I have... to teach it... the rest, huh?" she said still stammering.
"Yes," he said. "But, lets leave the subject of Blade for a moment. You still haven't seen the rest of the complex, or seen your quarters. Lets go on a little tour, shall we?"
The complex was rather plain - a cafeteria for people who worked there, a gym with special equipment to train the mutates, and the track was for tests involving the mutates running abilities. Her room was rather small, but it seemed livable. The only place she couldn't see was the computer room. It was off limits. She thought that this would be a boring assignment. Oh how wrong she was. Later that night in the cafeteria she was joined by 4 other people she never met before.
"Hello," the young black man said.
"Hi," she retorted. "Who are you guys?"
"We're the other trainers," said the blonde woman with the glasses.
"I'm Rich," said the short Mexican.
"I'm Gerry," said the fair skinned white man.
"I'm Herbert," said the black man.
"I'm Amber," said the blonde.
"Well, I'm Mary," Mary said.
"So," Gerry said, "you got Blade huh? I'm training Crusher, Rich got Ripper, Herbert has Ogre, and Amber has Orc. What does Blade look like? I've seen all the others, but not him."
"Well I've only seen Blade," Mary began. "You describe the other mutates and I'll describe him."
Rich went first. "Ripper looks like a dinosaur, you know one of them Raptors. He's about 5'4", he has cyber-gauntlets with laser blasters on 'em, and he can only speak broken English."
Amber went next. "Hmm...how to describe Orc, he's kinda like a bipedal alligator, about 8'9", real heavy. One of his hands is a rocket launcher. He has 2 huge tubes going from his shoulders to his thighs, and he speaks in garbled English."
Next was Gerry. "Crusher is real tall, about 9 foot even. He looks like some kinda horror movie monster. His snout is about 3 feet long, with wicked looking teeth. His eyes are blood red, his skin is orange, his left hand is a flame thrower, and he has 2 anti-tank missiles on his back. He never talks."
Herbert was after Gerry. "Well Ogre looks like a human with the head of a rhino. His skin is gray and thick, he's large but stout, about 5'1", his hands end in big claws, his head is low to the ground, and he has 4 tusks. He also has 4 small laser turrets on his back. He grunts, but doesn't talk."
Now Mary went. "Blade is 7 foot even, he has a pig snout with 2 tusks, pointed ears 2 feet long, he has clawed hands and feet, he has 2, what'd Rich call em, cyber-gantlets with some kind of liquid metal on them, and he has 2 more on his shins, that have vents on them. From what I heard he can smell anything, and speaks perfect English."
Mary became good friends with each of the other trainers. They shared stories, discussed the best training programs for their mutates. But all things considered this was going to be a strange assignment.
Chapter 3: Reevaluations
"Good morning Mary," Blade said with a toothy grin. "What's up for today's training?"
"Well we're going to test your kinetic energy discharge ability today," she said with a grin. "But first, here, I smuggled you a doughnut."
She handed Blade the doughnut, and he wolfed it down gleefully. She always smuggled him some sort of real food, he really liked the fact she did that - it was so nice to eat real food once in a while. He then went to the subject of the kinetic energy discharge ability, he didn't know he could do that.
"Hmmm...Kinetic energy discharge, I didn't know I had such an ability," Blade said with slight confusion.
"Turns out those things on your shins collect energy when you run." she explained. "Today you're going to learn how to let that energy go in bursts. First I need you to do 30 laps at top speed."
Blade walked over to the track and got ready. Ripper was standing there with Rich, his trainer.
"Morning Ripper, Rich," Blade said. "How you doing?"
"Huh?" Rich said. "Oh Blade, we're fine, but I'm afraid Ripper's last treatment has reduced his mind even further, he can't understand you any more. Going for a run today?"
"Yes I'm going for a run," Blade said. "Why'd they have to make Ripper dumber, I mean I thought they wanted all the mutates to be as smart as me, if not smarter? Do you think I'll be next? I haven't had a treatment for 2 months, and I don't want to become some stupid animal."
"Well they tell me that Ripper was becoming unstable." Rich said with a sad look on his face. "And that it was best if he wasn't as smart, then I could train him better. As for what you said about the intelligence of the mutates, Orc's last treatment made him smarter, and you'll be left alone because of how human you are. You're a marvel, a perfect example how human an artificial creature can be. You don't need to worry. Oh, I also heard a rumor that the lab boys are going to make a female mutate, and you're the first on scheduled to breed with her when she's done."
"Well I guess the lab boys know how to do their jobs," Blade said with a frown, then realizing what else Rich said he perked up. "You said they're going to make a female? I hope she's not ugly and dumb. I would like to have someone like me to talk to."
"I don't know, it's still a rumor," Rich said. "But don't you have something to do, like what Mary told you to do."
Blade gave Rich a smile and started his run. He could run really fast; the damage done to the track by his runs proved it. In 3 minutes Blade was done. He ran back to Mary, and waited for further instructions. His shin guards, as he called them, hummed unusually loud for a normal run.
"You...want.. me.. to...vent now.." he said panting.
"No, that disperses the energy." she said. "See that dummy in the field? Kick it."
Blade got ready to run over and hit it when Mary stopped him.
"Do it from here. Throw a kick in its direction." she ordered.
"OK," Blade said. "You're the boss."
Blade threw a kick in the direction of the dummy and something incredible happen. A distortion suddenly flew out of his shin guards, the air seemed to ripple, the distortion flew to the dummy and the dummy exploded. Blade's jaw dropped, and so did Mary's.
"OH MY GOD!!!" they said in unison.
"I did that?" Blade said puzzled.
"Yeah, you did that," Mary said quavering. "Now, you have to touch your gauntlets to your shin guards and wait for the transfer of energy."
Blade touched his gauntlets to his shin guards and there was a clicking sound. Suddenly his gauntlets began to hum.
"Now," she said, "make a blade on one of your gantlets and slash that brick wall over there from here."
Blade did as he was told, and swung his arm and another distortion flew from the blade. It hit the wall and a huge slash appeared in the wall. Going with the flow, blade made a blunt metal shape on his gauntlet, and threw a punch at the wall. Another distortion flew out and hit the wall, and as if it had been hit with a wrecking ball the wall fell over.
"Wow!!" Blade exclaimed. "That was amazing! I totally destroyed the wall."
"Wow is right," Mary said. "That was the most amazing thing I ever saw."
"I better never throw a baseball, I'd kill the catcher." he said jokingly.
"All that after you collected energy from your run," she said with amazement.
"Yeah, I got a nice set of powers," he said rather smugly. "This energy projection thing, my liquid metal, and super strength and speed. My high school track coach would love to see my physical abilities."
"Huh?" Mary said. "You remember having gone to a high school?"
"Oh, yeah." Blade said. "But only vaguely. I don't remember the name of the place, or the name of the track coach. I remember vague things, like my wife's hair color, my favorite foods, my favorite song, and other scattered things. I can't remember specific events, names or places. I don't even remember my real name."
"How can you?" Mary said frightened. "You were grown from scratch, weren't you?"
"Well," he began, "I don't think so, I remember having an old life. I can't have had an old life if I was just grown in a lab. Also, wouldn't it take a long time to grow a full size organism in a lab? It'd be faster just to mutate a human. Gosh I hope I was a criminal and deserved this, I hope my wife is dead too. Oh jeez, I hope I don't have kids!" Blade began to shake.
"Blade calm down!" Mary almost screamed. "You can't have been a human. You can't!"
Blade began to speak incoherently, and scared. He sank to his feet and began to shake and sob.
"Why? Why me?" he sobbed. "I was a good citizen, I paid my taxes, I joined the army to defend my country. The others, they were good men too. Why'd they do this? I'll never see my wife again, we'll never have kids. I'm a monster now, why? What did I do? That stuff? That green stuff, it did it, made me a monster! I should kill them, all of 'em! That nice lady, Mary, is she in on it?" Blade was talking to himself. "No, she thinks I'm just a lab grown specimen, but if she knew would it matter? I miss my life, I want it back!"
Blade continued to talk, oblivious to his soundings. Mary sat down in the grass beside him holding his clawed hand. Then 4 soldiers walked over. 3 grabbed Blade and dragged him off. The forth pointed a gun at Mary. Rich ran over and Ripper followed.
"What is this?" Rich demanded.
"Shut up," the solider yelled. "Get back to work."
"What are you doing?" Rich demanded. "What's going on?"
5 more soldiers walk up. They began to speak to each other.
"What's the problem?" asked the first new solider.
"Doctor told us to restrain this mutate and his trainer," replied the gun carrying solider. "Then this guy showed up."
"Well restrain him too," said the new solider. "We can't let him tell the other trainers."
3 Soldiers restrained Ripper while another kept Rich at gun point. Ripper and Blade were carted off to their cells and Rich and Mary were taken to Dr. Vromic's office. Both were sat down in chairs and Dr. Vromic and a cloaked figure entered the room.
"Well, well," Vromic started. "Blade finally snapped, huh Mary? Let out that he was a human, didn't he?"
"Richard!" Mary screamed. "You scum, how could you do this? He was a family man! The other mutates here are human too, aren't they? You disgust me! You're a monster!"
"Blade, or Mike Valrone as he used to be," Richard started coldly, "was picked for his mental stability, he was needed for this program. We took what we needed, it's that simple."
"Doctor," the cloaked figure started in a female voice, "my father told you no more humans, you were to use animals! You messed up, you fool!"
"Quiet, Miss Harmer," Richard said forcefully. "You father is not in charge, as he often forgets, we are! He has no say in the matter of test subjects, he just creates the machines. He's lucky we let him live!"
"You can't do this! They're people! You can't step on people!" the cloaked figure screamed.
"Shut up!" Richard shouted, and then he smacked the cloaked figure, knocking her out.
Chapter 4: The Escape
June Harmer woke up in the lab below the complex. Disoriented, she looked around. The lab was huge. There were huge computers, generators, and 2 huge vats containing a green liquid. June sat up and rubbed her neck. Dr. Vromic had hit her very hard. She did a body check. Head fine, legs yes, arms OK, tail fine. The young mutate looked over her altered body. She looked like a cross between a rat and a lizard. She was 5'1", had brown hair, and weighed only 100lb. She had a reptilian snout and small pointed human ears on her head. Her body was covered in green scales with small fine hairs between them, her hands had 3 clawed fingers and a thumb, and she had 2 clawed toes on each of her feet. Her tail was a long rat's tail, but the correct size for such a big creature. She was very certainly female; despite her reptilian appearance, she still had breasts that even had nipples. Her hair was long and went down to her shoulders. As for clothes, she wore very little, only a gray cotton top that ended at her mid-drift and a pair of black jean shorts, with a tail hole of course.
She'd been this way for 5 years. Although she had gotten older, she looked the same as the first night. That fateful night, when her father got forced to begin work for the government. He was a great scientist. He had studied genetics, hoping to improve on nature's design of the human species. He said he'd wanted to give man the things animals had that we lacked. Fur to keep warm in cold weather, and built in defenses like claws and fangs. Then the world would be a better place.
The US government had different plans. When she was 16 it happened. Soldiers came to her father's lab, and said he was going with them. Her father refused and they took her hostage. She struggled, and knocked over a vile of mutagen her father had created, and it spilled on her. The change was quick and not painful, but she screamed anyway. The change was fast and very thorough. The soldiers took her and her father. Dr. Vromic had told him that if he did not work for the US lab, that they would kill him and figure out his research by experimenting on her. That did it; her father could not let that happen, so he agreed. She had become her father's extra eyes and ears, checking on the other labs to make sure Vromic wasn't up to no good, as if he ever did anything that was good.
This little thing with the mutates was a fine example. Her father refused to mutate normal humans, but Vromic did it anyway. She decided to look for the 2 humans Vromic had in his office. What she found horrified her. They were strapped into the mutation machine her father had invented. Vromic was going to use it on them.
"What are you doing!?" June screamed. "What is this?!!"
"How nice of you to join us, Miss Harmer. Your species is about to get slightly bigger," Vromic said with an evil grin.
"Get them out of there!" she demanded. "You can't do this. It's wrong!"
"Oh but I can!" he laughed. "I'm killing 2 birds with one stone. I'll make sure these 2 don't expose our cover and I get 2 more mutates! I was ordered to have 6 viable forms for our soldiers to be, and I need a female."
Before June could stop him, Vromic pushed the switch that turned on the machine. The tubes going into Mary and Rich were filled with a green liquid, and the two of them started to change. Mary's ears got long and pointed and moved closer to the top of her head, she started to grow a tail. In a short time Mary's tail grew long and thickened, it looked like a large lizard's tail. Her body started to sprout a fine gray fur, a snout not unlike June's grew on her face erasing her human nose. Mary's hands now had only 3 clawed fingers and a thumb - her feet, 3 clawed toes.
Rich grew larger. His height went from 5'4" to 6'7", his ears became pointed and he grew a large reptilian muzzle. He looked like an alligator, and his hair all fell out.
With their bodies changed the cybernetic parts were next. Both were given gauntlets and shin guards. Mary had tubes installed going from her back to a small socket below her throat, it looked as though she had some sort of collar on. Rich had laser blasters on his gauntlets. Mary had one gauntlet with a blaster and another with a pair of retractable blades on it. June knew what was next: the mind wipe. She ran over to the machine and smashed the controls, the machine crackled and sputtered, and then it stopped dead.
"Why you little!!" Vromic screamed. "Soldiers seize her!!"
2 soldiers ran over and grabbed June, and she was carted off to the cell block. Her keen sense of smell detected another mutate. It had to be Blade! She used her unnatural strength to overpower the soldiers, and ran to the cell door.
"Blade?!?" she shouted.
"Huh?" said a weak voice, "Who's there?"
"Never mind," June shouted, "your friend needs your help! Vromic has mutated her, and you need to help her escape."
"He did what!!!" Blade shouted. "I'll kill him!!"
The door was suddenly ripped off its hinges, Blade stood in the hall snarling. June motion him to follow her, and they ran back to the lab. Blade had an ax head on his gauntlet, and he smashed down the door. Vromic turned in shock as Mary and Rich began to wake up. Blade threw Vromic out of the way and Vromic landed in the mutagen vat. Blade then ran over and cut the straps which kept Mary and Rich strapped to the tables on the machine.
"What's going on?" Mary asked.
"We're mutates!" Rich said in shock.
"Never mind that now, we have to escape," June ordered.
"How?" Blade asked
"I know," Mary shouted. "Blade collect kinetic energy, and break down that wall!"
Before Blade was able to do so Rich blasted the wall knocking it down.
"No need. Look, instant door!" he proclaimed excitedly.
The 4 of them ran trough the hole in the wall, they ran to the fence around the complex as dozens of soldiers began to pour into the compound.
"My turn!" Mary said as she formed her blades.
Mary cut a large hole in the fence, and the mutates ran out through it. Rich fired a few shots at following troops, and the 4 of them ran off into the woods.
Blade stood in front of the tree and in one swing chopped it in half with his left-arm blade. Then he began to slice off the branches, and cut the trunk into sections. After finishing, he gathered up several logs in each arm an walked back to the cabin. Mary sat on the porch waiting to greet him.
"Hey Blade!" she called. "I see you got the firewood. Bring it out back and put it with the rest."
"Sure," he said to her.
The last 5 weeks were great, living in this cabin in the woods, communing with nature, but it was still just a respite for the 4 of them. Dr. Vromic would want to get them back and they had to free the other unfortunate people who were made into mutates. But that was for later. For now Blade decided he would enjoy this little vacation. The real world was too strange.
The Mutates copyright 1997 by James S Cole.
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