Sitting in front of his desk, monitor and, most importantly, his webcam, Vane, his lower face covered by a basic mask, was talking to someone, posing and actively shifting his long hair around. Even behind the mask it was pretty obvious that he had a happy smile, as he enjoyed the attention and conversation.

Vane wasn’t actually all that popular. Not in real life, that’s for sure. Lanky, long haired ‘dude’, without any notable traits: 5’10’’, skinny boy, in baggy clothes. He wasn’t bullied, but he wasn’t exactly noticed either. Neither in school nor later, in college. But through his computer?
It might not be the most advanced piece of tech, definitely not one of those pods or even a helmet, but he bought it himself, with his own, hard earned money. Through it he met his first friends, online, sure, but they were still his friends. They played games, they talked and bantered, they even exchanged gifts. Mainly them, but he tried to do as much as he could himself.
Suddenly, the door to his room burst open, Vane quickly, hurriedly shutting down the connection. “W-What?” he asked, turning to the door, as people in suits and dark sunglasses, the epitome of professional thugs, started to enter. One of them spoke, “Vane Alner? You are coming with us.” Another, at that same moment, seized Vane, grabbing his wrists and taking away his phone and setting it back down on the table. Vane’s arms were then swiftly brought behind his back and he was led outside and into an inconspicuous communications company van.

A few hours later, unable to see where he was taken and violently shut up with a slap across his face each time he tried to speak, the van stopped. Thugs grabbed Vane again, holding him with a strong grip, with zero chance of escape, and led him out. Their van stopped in an underground parking lot, while their destination seemed to be those elevator doors. Vane’s state wasn’t that hard to describe. Shocked, scared, he was confused, while the violent and active ways to dissuade him from speaking up or getting on his captors nerves quickly beat any resistance out of him.
He was led into the elevator that immediately went down, at least a few more floors, before the elevator doors opened again. This time, to a much different sight.

This floor looked… Futuristic, out of science fiction. White walls, almost neon lighting, floor and ceiling that looked to be made of plates of black plastic, but so sturdy there was a metallic echo, without any metallic sheen.

Through a corridor, a few doors and another room, which looked like a defensive module on some space station, turret driven guns of different calibers trained on Vane and his captors, Vane was brought into a hall, filled with people.
“Welcome, welcome, our dear guest. Well, you are as much of a guest as you are now our new attraction. Don’t worry, you will love it.” He was greeted by an older man in a lab coat, around forty or fifty years old, his pale face sporting a wide smile. Not a kind smile, but a pleased one. He turned to an older black-haired woman on his left. "Prepare the pod."

She simply nodded with a short bow and walked away to another group of people who seemed to be assistants and researchers. 

"You probably wonder why you are here. It's simple. We wanted someone who would not be missed. So we bought out your stepfather's debt. In exchange for you. Don't worry, you will like it.” He started pacing a bit, while speaking. “You will be put into a pod and your mind will be transported into a virtual reality, where you and other experimentees will exist for the foreseeable future. That said, take his clothes off, he won’t need them.”
Vane’s heart sank, as he was suddenly assaulted by at least a dozen people, grabbed and disrobed with practiced ease, and then felt a needle pierce his neck. He tried to resist, but-
He opened his eyes again, yet saw only darkness. Sounds were muffled too, his naked body suspended in some kind of gel, straps, wires and sensors strapped all over his body.
Then, a voice resounded in his ears. “Now you are in the pod. Congratulations! You will help us achieve much more than your pathetic previous life would. Rejoice, you will be useful to us. And our sponsors when this project is ready. How exciting! Anyway. Goodbye, welcome to your new life.” And his eyes saw a swirl- and he lost it again.

Forest floor… Sounds of running water? Vane opened his eyes and realized he was lying face down on it. Propping himself up he noticed something strange. 

His hand was red. Crimson red. No, not his hand, his skin was red. Hands were different, too, more delicate, thinner. He stood up and noticed something else.

First of all, he was red. Second of all, it wasn’t his body, obviously. Vane rushed to the running water - a clear creek, big enough for him to see - to see that his face was somewhat different too. Red skin, big eyes with long lashes, a straight nose with slight upturn. Pouty lips.

A bit of a chest… He wasn’t sure of the size. B? Probably. He continued to look himself over, and only now it hit him.

He was naked. And really, this body was a she.

At least his hair was just as long? And of better quality too.


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