Midnight. They always came at midnight. The chimes from the old grandfather clock in the den jolted Daniel out of his restless dreams. It wasn't the chimes that woke him so much as the knowledge that They were coming. It was the same horrifying ritual, every single night.
The room was illuminated by an eerie pale green glow. Three figures in haz-mat suits stood around his bed. One of them held a large briefcase, another held a gun, and the third--the apparent leader, from the way he acted--was making entries into a large handheld computer. Daniel tried to escape, to run, to even move, but some unseen force held him in place, as immobile as the bed itself. The leader looked up from his computer and signaled to the one holding the briefcase, who set the case down and began to open it. Daniel strained to see its contents, but couldn't from his position. If only he could move...
The leader reached forward, grabbed the bedcovers and--
The shrill blast of Daniel's alarm clock filled the room. He'd had that dream again, the same one he'd been having every night for nearly a month. Except that it didn't feel like a normal dream. It felt more like a memory, but one that had been partially forgotten. Anyway, Dan had more important things to worry about, so he pushed whatever it was aside for the moment. Today was the last day of school, finally. All he had to do was survive his last few final exams, and he'd be home free. He wasn't about to let a creepy dream get him down.
Dr. DiCaoz glanced over his biology classroom. "Is anybody still working on the final?" he asked tiredly. He paused for a moment, then said, "If everybody is finished, you may talk quietly amongst yourselves for the remainder of the period." As the class erupted in chatter, he went back to nursing his hangover.
Daniel loved his biology class. It wasn't just that he was good at it, or that it was the last class of the day. By some bit of luck or fate, he happened to be in the same class as his four closest friends, Gassan, David, Pammy, and Jake. Gassan, David, and Pammy had become absurdly popular since coming to high school. Gassan was Lebanese and therefore "exotic," David was a star swimmer, and Pammy was a cheerleader. In retrospect, popularity was an inevitability. To the other popular kids, Jake an avid follower of the Furry subculture (he called it a craze, but nobody else did) and Daniel, the introspective writer, were social liabilities. Still, Gassan, David, and Pam never let their newfound "friends" keep them away from Jake and Dan. Privately, Daniel was grateful that he had managed to befriend the four people who appeared to be immune to high school drama.
"So, what'd you guys think?" Pammy whispered.
"I'm pretty sure Dr. Di is a nutcase," Gassan answered quickly. He was met with a chorus of approval from his companions.
"Anyway," Pam continued, "are we having our annual Thank-God-The-Schoolyear's-Over party tonight?"
"I can't go," Jake said, "I've got a convention."
"I can't go either," said David, "My dad's taking me camping. He's on a back-to-nature kick."
"I'm visiting my grandma," Gassan said. Pammy rolled her eyes.
"Alright," she sighed, "when do you guys get back?"
"Sunday, but it'll be late."
"So," Pammy continued, "is Monday night alright with everyone?"
The days passed quickly. By the time Monday arrived, he had gone an entire weekend without his mysterious dreams. He was mostly relieved, but part of him wished the visitors would come back so he could find out what they were up to.
The streets were charged with an eerie calm. A summer storm was coming. As Daniel reached Pam's door, he couldn't help but feel a strange foreboding. Something was decidedly wrong. He rang the bell.
"Come in," called Pammy. Dan opened the door and found friend sitting on the floor in a tidy circle. They were all staring at him, an unsettling hunger in their eyes. "We are playing Truth or Dare," Pammy intoned mechanically. "Please, join us. Truth or Dare?"
"Please choose Dare," Gassan said, in the same unearthly voice.
"The Truth is never any fun," agreed David, still in the same tone. Throughout the exchange, none of the four took their eyes off of Daniel.
"Is everything alright?" he asked. "You all seem...different."
Pammy answered in the same monotone as before: "We are collectively unnerved at a series of recurring dreams we have been having. Perhaps you too are experiencing these visions?"
"Yeah," Dan said, "but I'm not acting that weird about it."
"Perhaps," Pammy said, "All will be made more clear if you answer this simple question: Truth...or Dare?"
Written by Zodiac on 31 May 2008
"Dare," Dan said shakily.
"Very well," Pammy responded, "your dare is to go to Area 50. You are familiar with Area 50, I trust?"
Jake jumped in: "It is a military complex on the outskirts of our town. It has been abandoned for a long time, though, so it will pose no immediate threat to you."
"It is nothing to be afraid of," said Gassan, "consider it to be something of a rite of passage."
"If you are truly afraid," said Pammy, "then we will accompany you."
Daniel stared at his friends incredulously. They had never acted this strangely before, and they had certainly never gone for childish dares before.
David appeared to sense his hesitation, and added, "perhaps Area 50 is somehow related to...Them."
Dan knew what that was about, and David was right. There seemed to be some connection between his nightly visitors and the military base. He couldn't quite place it, but the link was there. "Actually," added David, "all this talk of Area 50 has sparked my curiosity." He didn't sound the least bit like his curiosity has been even remotely sparked."
"I, too, am interested," agreed Pammy disinterestedly.
"As are we," said Gassan and Jake in eerie unison.
"Perhaps," Pammy went on, "we should go to Area 50 ourselves, whether or not Daniel is interested." The four of them stood to leave. Pam stopped for a moment, and asked, "Are you joining us, Daniel?"
Written by Zodiac on 02 June 2008
Daniel looked at his friends nervously. "Al...alright," Daniel said reluctantly, "I will go..."
"Nice to have you coming David," Pammy exclaimed. All David could do is let out a sheepish smile. "We will meet at Area 50 at 9 P.M. tonight, everyone can run by their houses and grab anything we may need. Flash lights, snacks, etc."
"I am just going to relax at my house until it is time" David said
"We'll I will see everyone then," Gassan said. Everyone soon dispersed and left to their respective houses.
Later at 9 Daniel met his friends at the base.
"Everybody ready to go in?" Pammy inquired.
"Yeah!" Gassan shouted.
"Let's do it!" As did Jake.
"Sure am" David said
"Unfortunately..." Daniel murmured.
David looked around and saw the front entrance directly ahead.
Far down to his left a hole in the fence could be seen.
And to his right a large tunnel could be seen. Though it was pitch black, so somebody better have a flash light.
Written by Shuusuke on 03 June 2008
"Let's go through the tunnel over there," Daniel said and pointed.
"Alright then" Pammy replied the five of them walked over to the tunnel and peered inside, it was pitch black.
"Hellooo!" David yelled inside and only an echo replied; David laughed.
"Anyone bring a flashlight then?" Pammy questioned.
"Here's mine" Gassam pulled out of pulled out of her backpack. "Though it is kind of messed up, you have to hit it a few times to turn it on." She flipped the switched and hit it on her leg until the light shone through the lens. She aimed it into the tunnel and all that could be see was darkness. Jake took the flashlight from Gassam.
"I will be the leader, follow close behind" Jake said started to walk into the tunnel. Everyone followed close behind, Daniel took a deep breath and followed suit.
It was dark in the tunnel, Daniel could barely see his own hand in front of his face. They had been walking for 10 minutes and no way out was to be seen. He could no longer see the entrance long lost behind him. He periodically tripped on the rocks under his feet.
Jake turned out the flashlight and started making ghost sounds.
"Ha ha, fooled ya," Jake laughed.
"Just turn the light back on, Jake," Daniel cried.
"Alright, alright already," Jake replied. He flipped the switch on the light and started thumping it a few times. "Darn it, the light won't work"
"Hit it harder," Gassam said.
"I am," Jake cried, "It isn't working." David could here him labouring over the light and eventually heard it clanging on the walls.
"Don't do that!" Daniel shouted
"Don't get your panties in a bundle, Daniel, it will work," Jake exclaimed. Moments later shattering glass could be heard throughout the tunnel. "Crap!" Jake shouted
"Look what you did, clumsy!" Gassam yelled.
"Sorry," Jake said sheepishly.
"Hang on a second guys," Pammy interupted, "Look, I can see a light" Daniel could see it as well. However he had enough fun for one night and wanted to turn back, he couldn't quite decide.
Turn back or continue on towards the light?
Written by Shuusuke on 03 June 2008
"You no what forget it, I am going back home!" Daniel yelled, as he ran off.
"Don't be such a scaredy cat! Jake replied. Daniel could barely hear him, his mind filled with thoughts and the echoing sounds of his footsteps. Daniel kept running until his breathing became rugged and heavy. He then stopped to catch his breath, he had been running for sometime now. "How long is this god forsaken tunnel" he thought. Soon he started walking, "I can't believe I am in this mess, forgot how much I hate the dark" he thought. He heard a sound some where far off; it was hard to locate with the echoing of the tunnel.
He started whistling a tune as walked, improvising it as he went on. Suddenly he fall and he was sliding down something. So many thoughts passed through his mind then. The one that stood out the most was: OH SHI-!
He finally reached the bottom, and hit his head hard on the ground. He started feeling light headed and his vision blurred, he reached for his forehead and felt blood trickling down his face. As he did so, he fell into the darkness and passed out.
When he finally came to he was looking into a bright light. After blinked a few times, he finally realised he couldn't move at all, even to turn his head. He was strapped down to a table tightly. He also noticed that he was naked, and suddenly felt embarrassed.
He closed his eyes hoping for it to all go away. So tight, tears came to them. When he opened them 3 people were standing over him, wordless.
"Who are you!" he shouted, "Answer me!". He noticed one holding a syringe in the light, it was a clear liquid. "What are you doing, wait stop!" and without much warning they injected the liquid into him. The shock of it caused him to panic, but shortly he passed out.
He later awoke in a dark room.He felt around for something to help him out, they could have at least given his clothes back. Something felt strange, something was sweeping past his legs as he crawled through the room. He felt for it and followed it up to his lower back and felt something tugging at him. He felt around the base and found that it was truly attached.
"What's happening to me!" he screamed, as he did what looked like a hatch opened behind him. It was a small crawlspace but light shone through. A door also opened to his left, but the light was dim, He was surprised Daniel he even saw it.
So follow the light or
head deeper into the jungle...
Written by Shuusuke on 15 June 2008
Daniel sighed softly as he looked over at the light shining through that crawl space. It seemed like the most safe bet for escape, being in the light sure felt more reassuring than staying in the dark. He took deep breaths to muster as much courage as he could as he shakily walked towards the hatch. His new, slender tail swished behind him as he walked, a sensation that still felt rather foreign to him.
The sudden presence of the bright artificial light momentarily blinded Daniel as he hunched over and waddled into the passage. In his moment of disorientation the small entryway closed behind him, sealing him inside of the room. Slowly his vision returned to him, revealing a group of individuals clad in pristine lab coats looking over at him expectantly.
He yelped in surprise upon seeing the people, quickly trying to leave back from where he came. However, no matter how much he struggled, there seemed to be no way to open it back up. Defeated, Daniel turned to the others in the room, one hand modestly covering his privates as the other was raised in the air defensively.
“L-look,” Daniel stammered out, “I’m sorry for trespassing, I just want to go home…”
The figure in the middle cleared his throat, stepping forward slightly. “But you’re here now,” he said flatly, not a hint of any emotion in the statement, “we might as well make the most of it. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Written by Kolaghan on 06 March 2018
A sense of dread overtook Daniel as he slowly looked around the room. It was a bright white, the scent of disinfectant tinged the air. There seemed to be no conventional doors in the room. Based on what Daniel knew about that crawl space he went through, it was safe to assume that there was no getting out unless they wanted him to. And he was fairly certain they didn’t want to.
It didn’t take long for him to notice the operating table close to center of the room. He’d have noticed it right away if not for focusing on the people in the room. At first glance it seemed like an average operating table. However Daniel was fairly certain that most operating tables don’t have leather straps to hold down the patient. Sure there would be one soft strap that helps hold a patient in place, but this thing had several, and none of them looked that comfortable.
“Please, lie down on the table,” the same man from before spoke. He stepped closer yet again, moving closer towards Daniel.
Before Daniel could even shake his head no the man was fishing for something in his coat pocket. Daniel’s eyes widened with shock as a small gun was aimed at him. It didn’t look like a normal pistol by any means, the barrel was large and the gun was more yellow than the standard matte black color.
Pain shot through his arm as the man fired right at Daniel. At first he assumed the worst, that there was a bullet lodged inside of him. Instead however there was a small dart poking into his skin. Not even a few moments later Daniel started to feel weak and woozy. The room started to spin all around him as he struggled to keep his balance. Everything suddenly just felt so heavy.
He could barely put up a fight as he was lead over to the operating table. It took almost all the energy he could to stay awake as the three scientists restrained him to the table. His heart was slowing and his breaths became more deep and labored. The exhaustion had come on so quickly, but it was entirely consuming, there was nothing Daniel could do but hold to consciousness.
The woman of group walked away for a moment, returning with two amorphous blobs in her hands. Daniel was too out of it to really think about ponder what they were, but an answer was swiftly delivered.
“Don’t worry,” the main scientist spoke as Daniel’s eyelids lowered more and more, “these aren’t normal implants.”
“Implaaa…-?” Daniel slurred out the beginning of his question yet was unable to finish the thought before passing out into the inky void of sleep.
Written by Kolaghan on 10 March 2018
When Daniel finally woke back up everything was foggy and cloudy. There was this overwhelming numbness to everything as he sat up on the dingy cot in the poorly lit room somebody had dumped him in. Even that tail he could hardly control seemed to be tired and limp, no longer flicking about without his consent.
As everything slowly bled back into focus, Daniel realized very quickly what had occurred. His chest, once smooth and flat, now was now anything but. He curiously poked his chest, shuddering at the all too real sensitivity of it all. “Th-they said they were implants,” Daniel murmured, his voice all rough and scratchy. “Wh-what the hell…?”
In fact, the more Daniel looked himself over, the less he felt like himself. His body felt larger in a way, his hips were wider and his waist more thin. And, most startling, his, or rather, her plumbing was anything but what he had grown up with. It seemed that Daniel had become a woman. The hair on his chest had vanished into his smooth skin, yet surprisingly his arms and legs seemed just as hairy as before, if not a little harrier than when he had fallen asleep. It was, however, impossible for him to be sure given how woozy he still felt.
She stood up slowly, her taller body and all the additions that came with it feeling almost as disorienting as the drugs she had pumped full of earlier. Hopes that this was all some insane dream felt too distant to even cling to as she observed her small cell. It wasn’t much, a cot, a toilet, and a sink were the only things in the square room besides herself. The concrete walls and steel door sure didn’t help make the atmosphere any more inviting either.
Written by Kolaghan on 11 March 2018
Getting used to it