Chapter 2 – A phylogenetic Nightmare
When I came back to my senses I wasn’t really sure if I could trust my own mind. My thoughts felt as if packed in wool every sense was muffled or felt plain wrong. And than there were these flashes of thoughts and incoherent memories. ‘My name, it was Janavar wasn’t it? I was, no am human, right?’ No, that couldn’t be right; I was something else, something more, or was I . . . I could only remember being human so why would my mind tell me I was not? I quickly buried those thoughts; they made no sense and would only confuse me. No, what I had to focus on right now were my most recent memories. My mind was still too foggy to even make out my surroundings, so those memories were all I had to work with right now.
But what did I even know? I remembered waking up at around six, going to work and yelling at my subordinates. In the evening of the same day I had gone on a date with Kassy. Something about pet play, was I her pet? But I was human, so I couldn’t be someone’s pet; humans are not pets. Why than did I remember it so vividly, why was I so fixiated on this? The more I questioned myself the more I felt like the little voice telling me I wasn't human was right.
But if I indeed wasn't human, than what was I instead. There were other memories, more recent ones; memories of power and wrath, of armour like scales and claws rending metal. But if those memories were true than I was . . . what was I . . . A Beast! I was . . . a beast? I chuckled at the thought. Being a beast, that I was familiar with.
My name itself, Janavar could be translated to the word. It was demeaning, other people had names that meant hope, luck or cherry ice cream, but I had been branded a monster from the get go. And even so, it was the only thing my parents had left me or rather my father. From what my caretakers had told me my parents had been illegal immigrants. But my mother had died in child birth. And my father, well the man had gone insane and tried kill me for it. A few years back I had visited him in a mental institution, it wasn't a good idea. He had been raving about monsters and curses; I had made sure he stayed in there a good bit longer. So yes, a terrible person I could be. A beast I was.
Slowly, while I became content with this new acceptance of my being, my faculties returned. The first thing I noticed were the sirens approaching, coming closer and closer. I wasn't sure why but the very fact that there was police approaching agitated me, I guess I should get moving if didn't want to get caught up in it. Standing up was hard; my sense of balance was completely off. I stumbled around on the ground for a bit until my vision partially returned. What I saw at the same terrified and confused me.
The night had fallen and the remnants of the bazaar were in complete disarray. Some of the destroyed stalls that were burning turned out to be the only light sources in the surroundings. Occasionally a search light or the shine of a flashlight would cut through the darkness from somewhere further away but other than that all other lights were dead. Not one of the street lights was on, even the solar back up they normally had in case of a blackout were sucked dry. ‘What could do something like that?’ The windows of the nearby apartments were black and silent, not even the light of candles could be seen. Either the people in them had been evacuated or they were so afraid of what ever had happed that they didn’t want to risk it.
I shook my head, while I wasn’t sure which possibility I found more terrifying thinking about them wouldn’t help me right now. Whatever the reason was, I filed it away for later and crawled closer to a nearby clothing shop, out of the open. With my vision still not able to make out details around me I focused more on my hearing, maybe there was someone around that could help me. After a few seconds I could hear something besides the sirens, there was . . . whimpering? That would mean people nearby, now I only would have to find them. If my hearing was not as badly damaged as I would hope they should be somewhere in front of me; yet the only thing before me was a storefront.
Did that mean I could hear the people from inside? ‘That must be because of the otherwise silent surroundings.’ I stumbled towards the window half walking half crawling, something was seriously wrong with my sense of balance. Apparently the people inside must have noticed me as well, because the whimpering died down, almost as if someone was clutching their hands before their mouth trying reduce the sound they made. ‘Curious, do they still fear whatever had happened? Hmm, those memories of scales and claws, maybe that is what they fear? Even more reason for me to get off the streets!’ I finally had made it towards the glass panel and was now using it as a way to prop up my exhausted self. The people inside didn't seem to react to my presence, so I banged against the glass hoping to get their attention, that seemed to work as one of them began screaming.
“Holy shit! She is back! How the heck is she still alive!” It was a woman's voice but it felt odd somehow, lacking something I could not describe. She simple felt less.
“Will you shut up!? Do you want that thing to find us? Did you not see what those things did to the people?” He felt agitated but also less; he was worthless?
“But you heard it yourself she knocked on the window, maybe she can be reasoned with!” The woman almost sounded hopeful. But why would she indicate that I possibly couldn’t be reasoned with?
“Are you nuts!? I saw what you did to that woman before she changed. I don't think she would have listened to you before, and now she is a fucking monster!”
‘A . . . monster?’ No, I wasn’t a monster! Why would he say something like that? I could feel fury well up inside of me; anger stronger than I had ever known before. How could he dare to call me a monster!? I was a renowned scientist around the world, I had been the lead researcher on projects that eradicated several hereditary-diseases, I was on my way to reconfigure the human-genome and he called me a monster!? I was fucking magnificent! I would show him what real monsters were. He should suffer for insulting me, shouldn’t he? Yes! As if fuelled by the rage a sharp pain in my eyes accompanied my vision fully returning. I looked up to search the shop for the two humans and was suddenly face to face with a monster.
An assortment of sharp dagger like teeth was exposed by a vicious snarl, the cheeks splitting far too wide for a human. Dusk-blue skin with indigo lips and gums, the skin speckled with metallic scales of the same dark colour. Long silver hair was flowing down the back. The ears were long and scaly with fur-like hair at the tips, twitching when I looked at them. And then there were the eyes, they looked like two blue orbs crackling with lightning, yet the gaze was cold and cruel; they were the eyes of a murderer. I staggered back and the creature did the same. Something around the chest area reflected what little moonlight there was. My and the creatures eyes bulged in fear and panic as I saw what it was. On the naked chest the beast sported two grapefruit sized breasts with sizable blue nipples; they were pierced with two beautiful golden rings that were connected through several golden chains. ‘No! This cannot be! This isn’t me! I’m human . . . yet I’m not? No, I will not accept this!’
With a roar fitting for whatever I had become my fist crashed into the window and shattered the monster in to hundred pieces. I hadn’t even felt any resistance from the glass. Confused I held up my hand, it was a terrifying thing. With blue scales completely covering the wiry muscles and each of the fingers ending in four centimetre claws promising a swift and painful death, it looked more akin to the appendage of a lizard or dinosaur than that of a human. What the fuck had I become, and more importantly how? I shook my head; this couldn’t be, people didn’t just change into weird hybrids in the span of a few hours. The viral attack would need time to convert every existing cell, and then you would still need more time for the physiological change. And yet all this felt so real, I even had experienced pain, so it couldn’t be a dream. Just thinking of pain I noticed a dull twinge spreading from my chest.
I looked down and saw the object of annoyance; a palm sized glass fragment had embedded itself in my unprotected chest. Growling in pain I wrapped my hand around the shard and ripped out the offending piece, making my left breast jiggle. For some unknown reason whatever had transformed me into a scaly person had given me a fucking boob-job, they were at least one or two cups bigger than before. If they had been made bigger for a purpose, why were they not scaled like my arms? There was a kind of scaly bra, covering the underside but that was it. I would have at least engineered chest-armour into a creature for the battlefield. I would need to get a better look at myself at some point, instead of smashing the first reflective surface I had seen. Ignoring the thought for now I looked at the glass shard in my hand, it didn’t even cut into the scales covering my hands. But if this was some sort of coating instead of having grown from my body I should be able to cut between the two layers!
“Aaaarrrrgh!” ‘Bad idea!’ Whatever those scales were, they were very tough and the still visible skin in my front was not, also it didn’t seem to be a coating. Despite my painful failure at separating myself from the scaly covering I had learned something of importance, I healed! And I mean at an unprecedented level at that, the stab wound on my chest was already scabbed over and the one near my stomach had stopped bleeding in seconds. Aside from nano-machines I had no clue what could even achieve that, nothing in nature healed so fast. I would have to check my blood for any foreign objects.
I also had discovered another thing thanks to my complete and questionable nakedness. My lower parts no longer resembled those of a human at all. The only thing that had remained more or less normal was my vagina that, for science knows why, sported the same indigo colour as my lips and nipples. It was similar to my blueish skin tone where as these areas had a higher density of pigments. What no longer was normal at all were my legs, they looked like those of a raptor or running bird; those legs were very interesting indeed. Just how did my bone structure change so fast? It was logically impossible and yet it had happened.
I had already forgotten about the humans in the building and focused fully on observing the play of muscles and bones in my new appendages. After a while I found that it would probably easier to study them while sitting. Let’s say that sitting down was a little bit of a struggle, as I was still insecure with the claws and walking on my toes as well, as the dimensions of my legs. But after a while I managed to simply fall on my ass, only to immediately shoot up again because of the pain in my spine. I somehow had missed a one and a half meter long fucking tail! The entire thing was thick and muscular but not very dexterous, I guessed the reason for it to be a kind of counter weight and balance system for running as my centre of mass had shifted. ‘Hmm. While it has scales, the top is also covered in silver proto-feathers similar to those of other raptors and they apparently reach up too where my hair starts. Why do I still have hair anyway?’ This inspired another weird thought; what phylogenetic group would I be put into, mammals or reptiles? Maybe I was a whole new group of amniotes or maybe a monotreme? But I still had a separated urethra, anus and vagina!
Too confused by my possible genetics, I focused on different things and looked over my front again. Interestingly the only areas of skin free of scales where parts of my face and going down the front my collarbones, chest, most of my stomach and my crotch. ‘I wonder why that was?’ By now I had developed a theory for why and how I was blue. With the why I was split: Either it was for camouflage in the night or the intimidation factor, could be both really. The blue colour was rather easy to figure out with my background, thanks to the melanin having changed in structure and absorbing most light frequencies, it simply made me look blue! Another thing, despite being covered in tiny scales the insides of my hands were still surprisingly sensible, that I had found out when I tried to pet my own tail. Well let’s just say proto feathers are surprisingly fluffy and soft. ‘I want a raptor pet . . . wait, I’m more like the pet now!’ Weird thought I had to admit, but for Kassy I would probably do it. My eyes grew to the size of saucers; I had completely forgotten about Kassandra! I had no clue what had happened while I was knocked out, but there were to people right here who could tell me.
I jumped up and almost fell flat on my face; a new body was no new car, it didn’t work the way you would expect. Once again a growl escaped my throat. It seemed that was becoming a thing for me now, growling as if I was a fucking animal. I sighed at what that might implicate; the “transformation” having changed my brain patterns was not something I would enjoy. Not that I was enjoying anything about this body mind you! A blush was spreading on my face as I thought about the possibilities, if I could isolate the carrier for whatever had changed me, I still suspected nano-Machines, and replicate the delivery procedure I would be one step closer to my goal. But what about the people who had developed this . . . stuff, what would they do? Or maybe it had been a gift to me? Normally you wouldn’t let a specimen out in the open without control. ‘Oh, shit I have to check myself for a tracker the first chance I get!’ I added it to my to-do list and carried on, I had humans to find. ‘Wait, wasn’t I a human too? Ah, no, of course I wasn’t. I was a beast! Silly thought.’ I chuckled and listened for my prey. Sadly they had learned from before and didn’t make any noise.
“Wherre arrre you, humansss!?” ‘What the fuck is with my voice! And why the lisp?’
Fearing the worst I stretched out my tongue as far as I could; sure enough I could touch the tip of my nose. Or clean out both of my nose holes simultaneously, the thing was spilt like a snakes. So I was a reptile after all!? ‘If I have the tongue of a snake than could I . . .?’ It let it slither out a few time and retreated it again. I wasn’t disappointed, not at all in fact. It was like smelling in fucking surround! ‘This, this is amazing! With this I’ll have smelled out the little humans in no time! Hmm, it is weird how much I disregard humans, of course they are kind of lacking, but still. I hope Kassy isn’t less that would be rather disappointing.’ For some reason I felt sad at the thought of Kassandra still being human. It wasn’t like I was enjoying this body or anything, but another test subject would be very welcome. And after all Kassy was my . . . hm, what was she to me? She had been something akin to my girlfriend before, but my jumbled mind identified me as having been her pet. Now that I couldn’t accept, I would never submit to a human, from what I had experienced, they were just so . . . lacking. So if she was human I would have to get rid of her, after all like that she couldn’t be my, what? My girlfriend? No that would imply being bound, I felt like being free for now. ‘But if she was like me maybe she could be my . . . . my mate! Yes! That was a good word, I feel like I would want that. Let’s think about that later and get the humans now.’
I slinked out of the pile of cloth I had sat on. It was weird I couldn’t even remember making that. The alarm bells in my mind went off; it was if a haze over my mind was lifted. The change had fucked with my brain! Without me realizing it I had build myself a fucking nest! That “mate” crap too! Ugh, I knew not getting a health monitor AI for my body and a psycho’DOC for my mind had been the wrong choice. They would have helped me tons right now. Maybe I really should have invested the money for them, yet again another thing for my to-do list. For now I had to find the two another people around; and just maybe I would manage that without scaring the shit out of them. I sighed and walked off towards were I had smelled them.
‘Ugh. This is going to be a long fucking night. Prepare for coffee over-dose in the morning.’