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
It was a cloudy day at Stonehill college; there were rumours of rain and thunderstorms, but at the moment, nothing was happening, for the sky seemed to be waiting for something to happen. Perhaps it was the will of the heavens that the sky would be crying on that day...
It didn't seem to bother a student, which was lying against a wall, pondering the events that happened recently; perhaps his friends could help him understand, but for now, what could he do? Without them, he was powerless, a simple figure in the massive crowds.
His name was Daniel. He was a normal guy; one could assume he was a bit of a geek or a dork, but to tell the truth, he was just a regular student, one that blended in the masses without making any difference at all. It wasn't a trait that he was proud of, but it saved him several times, giving him a better appreciation of it. This could shape his destiny, one day.
Of a pale complexion, he was an average height, standing out of the crowd sometime with his jet black hair. A quiet fellow, he learned to respect the equilibrium of the environment that educated him, a force that surpassed him. There was no point in facing such odds for no purpose, for he wouldn't win anything out of it.
He learned with time that there was no point in disrupting the natural balance in college; if one would try to destroy it, it would be engulfed by the forces supporting it. But this wasn't an element he cared much about; he had friends and this was enough for him to forget about that sort of thing.
There was Gassan, the foreign exchange student from Lebanon; although he wasn't the most pleasant person all the time, he was still a pleasant friend. But sometime he was to follow and understand; Gassan blamed the cultural differences between, but Daniel had the impression that there was something else behind it. Perhaps a trip to Lebanon could help him understand his situation, but it wasn't an element he cared about, for there more important elements to care about.
To his surprise, he was also the friend of David, the popular kid. Him, the one that sought the peace and the tranquility that being unknown could provide, was on friendly terms with one that ran for the lights, that lived for the crowds. Perhaps it was the fact that they were antithesis that attracted each other, or perhaps it was something else, but for the moment, nobody could deny their relation.
With David came Pammy, the cool girl of the school; although they weren't hanging out together usually, popularity and coolness were elements that walked hand in hand, making their fate intertwined. He cared little about her passions, but she was still excellent company; that was all he needed, unless there was a reason for him to change his mind...
And there was Jake, the weirdo. He called himself a furry, but David had the impression that was simply a cover up for something else. But since he kept it to himself and was nice the rest of the time, he couldn't let him down; he was a great confidant, one that he could trust.
As different as they were, they formed a solid team, one that could face any difficulty and overcome it; all he needed to do was to find them and tell about what happened, to see if they would be able to help. That would be a gamble, though; they were friends, but that didn't mean that they wouldn't spread any rumors around or give him terrible advice.
But since nobody would believe him, he placed his trust in those that were close to him; perhaps they had a reasonable explanation concerning the events that took place last night, although there was a chance that they knew nothing about it.
He expected them to be hanging away from the college, near an arcade or a deli; to see them waiting in the back of the buildings, looking at the horizon without saying anything made him wonder if something happened. At least, they were quite easy to find; it was a blessing mixed with a potential curse, for he had the impression that there was an element troubling them, for they never had the tendency to stay in place, doing nothing else than look at nature, letting silence overwhelm them. Perhaps there were indeed something going on and he should retreat before it would be late...
But what kind of friend would he be, leaving them when they could need his help? What sort of despicable behavior could he be able to justify? He could pretend that this never happened, lie to himself and never aboard the subject again, but he had the impression that this would come back to haunt him later.
Written by zanian on 17 June 2014
He decided to approach them, to see what was troubling them; perhaps it wasn't the time to discuss the issue he was facing, for he had the feeling that their problem was bigger than a mere inconvenience. There always were other times to do it, if he would remember about it that is; as time would pass, he would probably forget about it, making him realize that this was just a minor problem...
As he advanced toward them, they stayed silent, a sign that made him nervous; it was the first time that they didn't greet him when he was in sight. Perhaps he could leave them to their plans, so he would be able to avoid a troublesome situation and an engagement that could place his situation into a troublesome situation. He would face guilt, but it was a small price to pay for a tranquility of mind, until it would be back to haunt him later in his life.
He wanted to talk, but revise his tentative when he saw that one of his friend was about to do the same; although he wasn't sure what was going on lately, he was sure that this announcement of sorts would casts some lights on the situation. He kept his hopes up; if he would indulge in gloom, then there would be no point in staying there and waiting for the situation to unfold, for he would be able to predict what would happen next anyway.
``Recently, there was some strange events that happened when I was asleep; I'm not sure how to describe them or why they are happening, but I know that what happened is real and cannot be blamed on a hallucination or a sleep deprivation'' said David, looking around, as if a hidden person was listening to him.
He wondered why his friend acted in such a way; it wasn't like him to be suspicious and nervous like that. But as the subject he mentioned was the same he wanted to discuss; was it a coincidence or fate that played a cruel trick on him, giving him the same destiny as his college?
``Before you ask questions; yes, I did call the authorities and inspected my house. There was a chance that the incident was nothing more than the wind, or an animal or even a burglar, trying its luck at my place, but it wasn't the case. Nothing was stolen and the report from the police was negative; I want to add that they were unhelpful with the case, as if this was more of a nuisance than anything else. Perhaps there is something there too'' David told them, as he looked around once again, as if unknown forces were spying on them at the moment.
But he agreed that the description of the situation, as vague as it was, was close to what he lived recently; of course, David could have made the story up, to play a joke on them, but the fact that he was acting in such a way was mining the credibility of such a theory. Or perhaps it was an elaborate ploy, one that was beyond his capacities; either way, he would stick around...
``You know David, I didn't want to talk about this, but it seems like I lived the same experience not so long ago. I don't remember much of it, for it was late in the deep of the night, but I remember a presence in my room, one that I couldn't explain. At first, I thought it was one of my parents that went into my room, to check if I was asleep or something like that; not that it was reassuring, but at least, I could have explained the sensation. As creepy as it could have been, it wasn't the case; they are protective, but not to that extreme, for they were sleeping that night. I decided then to look around, determined on finding the tracks of a potential home invader or burglar, but it was pointless; there was nothing to be found, no items were missing and no prints were left. Perhaps it was just the work of my fevered imagination, but I could swear that there was something in the room, looking at me...'' said Gassam, taking a moment of silence as he finished his sentence.
Again, the coincidence where strange, almost planned, as if someone wanted to send a particular message; but that would be indulging in some low level conspiracies and paranoia thought Daniel, as he tried to remember what happened that night. Perhaps if he focused on the events enough, he would be able to remember a crucial element, one that could change the entire scenario.
But would he be capable of such a feat, while the rest of his friends were trying to remember the events that took place during the night, creating an impressive tapestry. If he would have paid attention to it, he would have realized that all the stories were similar, as if an entity was pulling the string behind it, creating the perfect illusion to lure them in; but that wasn't his priority, for the moment.
Written by zanian on 24 June 2014
There was a strange memory that seemed to be floating in his mind; could it be a remain of his night, a dream that never saw an end? Or was it something else, an element that could have an importance in understanding the situation?
It was blurry, imprecise at best; a remnant of a dream or nightmare, it was still vivid, too alive to be a simple creation of his mind. He had the memory of a strange being roaming his bedroom, looking everywhere, as if it was searching for something.
It was a beast, one that defied his imagination; perhaps it was just his subconscious trying to pass him a message, but he wasn't a fan of these interpretations. It would be too easy to deny what happened, or maybe he was just scared to admit that life was just bland, a passage before he would grow up and go search a job, entering the market like the rest of his colleagues. It was a reasonable fear, but it wouldn't make sense that it was the reason to cause such an interpretation. There was another reason, one that made more sense...
One that could explain why his friends were also affected by this situation; perhaps he should stop trying to figure out extreme explanations on a situation that didn't need them in the first place. Life was not always a path of thorns, made to destroy those that crossed it; a black and white vision that wasn't productive in this situation.
He wanted to think beyond this limitation, to see the world for what it was; sometime, there were elements that escaped one's logic, even though there was an urge for it to triumph over such odds. Perhaps he shouldn't indulge in nonsense, but what he saw was real...
He wasn't sure if his friends saw the same thing as he did, but when he heard that they wanted to go to a specific area, to clear the story up, he became suspicious; if this was a simple dream or a hallucination, then why did they have that common goal? Perhaps it was a way to cope, or way to change their mind, but there was something odd with it.
``In the event, I remember hearing about a strange area, in a forest, one that could solve this dilemma; perhaps it is just an illusion, just a figment of my imagination, but there was something troubling about it, as if it was calling me. One could believe that it was a sign of a greater event to happen, but I have the conviction that it is a clue, one that we should follow. But to do so, we will name a volunteer, for we cannot all go there together; perhaps we could vote on that matter, letting the group decide. Or we could let the abilities choose for us, so we would have a best chance of achieving success'' said Gassam, looking around, and then stopping his gaze on him. What could this mean? Was this a ploy to make him think that there would be a chance that he wouldn't be picked? Cursed be his foolhardiness; people always believed that he was prone to foolish acts, uncaring about the possible consequences of his actions. A false perception that would lead him to his demise one day, but for now it was a painful reminder of his past behavior.
Written by zanian on 01 July 2014
``Why do I have the feeling that I would be the one picked for this task? Maybe I would like to do other actions than to risk my life running around, picking up the shattered remains of gambles and dreams that were scattered about, stories that were never meant to be in the first place'' he told the group, wondering if this would be enough to deter them from any intention they had toward him in the first place.
``Oh Daniel, why do you think that I was talking about you? You know, you should stop thinking the world revolves around you; there are other people that have stories and lives going on, you know. It would be a service for us all if you would stop with this paranoia of yours; there is no plot against you'' said David, pausing for a moment, as if he was searching for a particular idea.
``But you know, you have the talent to pass through this situation without any harm, one that we don't have. We must think about the greater good, although it could seem a bit cold hearted. You see, we must maximize the potential of success of this operation, for we can't risk failure. You wouldn't want it to fail, now would you?'' David added, smiling had him, destroying any possible arguments he could have come up with in the first place.
Guilt, the ultimate weapon in any debate; he could have tried to counter it, but it could have stained his image, a consequence he wouldn't have desired. Anyway, he knew that it wasn't an adventure he wouldn't be able to face; with a little courage and skills, he would face the adversity and triumph, thus bringing back the answers to his friends... or keeping it to himself.
As he left them alone, he focused on his thoughts, wondering on his next destination; they didn't tell him where to go nor give him any clues at all. Perhaps he could go back and ask a question or two, but he had an impression of where it was located; with the visions came a fuzzy background, one that could be the area he would need to reach.
``Eh Daniel, don't forget; you need to investigate a strange building located in the forest in the north. I know, we didn't talk about it, but we assumed you already knew about it, just like we did. But sometimes, you know, we need to repeat the information, to make sure that you will not get lost in this quest or that you share the same info as we do, for it is possible that we didn't share that same vision'' yelled Pammy, making him wonder if this was voluntary or not.
Either way, since he had a destination now, all he had to do was now to find it, before the sun would set, leaving him vulnerable to anything that would thrive in the darkness. He could always run, but what would be the point of such an action, when he could take the bus to get closer without any problem? But funds were running low and the wind was inviting him; perhaps he could put that idea to rest, for now, and embrace the action until he would reach his destination. He could always use that transport to go back…
Written by zanian on 08 July 2014
Giving in the invitation, he ran until his lungs were on fire, forcing him to stop and rest for a moment, watching the world continue to exist around him. He could see trees not so far away as the forest entrance was getting closer; he could take a break before entering it, so it would be easier for him to find his way into it, but he had the impression that time was against him, so he decided to hurry, forgetting about his aching lungs and muscles.
The faster he would get rid of this, the fastest he could go back to his regular life, pretending that this never happened in the first place; as much he wouldn't enjoy denial, he knew that with time, it would happen, for his mind would place barriers to protect himself from anything that would seem out of the common. It was a practical skill, one that could save his mind from being broken.
But for the moment, he had a riddle to solve and a forest to explore, before the moon would greet him with its pale glow. It would be a beautiful sight, one that could soothe his troubled spirit, but until he would find the cause of this entire situation, nothing could help him find peace of mind, even if it was pure beauty.
As he looked at the entrance of the forest, a question assaulted him; what was the right path, the one that would lead him toward the destination he was seeking? There were so many roads possible in this area, which could lead him toward either fate or despair; the futures that were unfolding in front of him were limitless, but he couldn't be stopped by such a thing, for he would continue advancing, until he would reach his objective, the one that would deliver the key to his puzzle.
He would make a choice, one that would alter his destiny; he could always try to find a way to let a little path, so he could go back on his steps and explore another possibility, until he would reach the object of his desire. If he was unlucky, he would be unable to do such a thing in a day, but that would always leave him with knowledge of the area, something that would be quite practical for future explorations.
Written by zanian on 15 July 2014
Not caring about the consequences, he decided to take a path at random, knowing that the chances to reach what he was seeking were low. But he wanted to believe in fate and luck, to give a small chance to some unknown and obscure force that could have been guiding his steps until this moment.
At least the forest wasn't too dense in the area, giving him an edge, as temporary as it could be; he had no clue where he was, but he knew that somewhere in the middle of that sea of trees, there was his target. If only he had brought a map and a compass with him, this wouldn't have happened...
It was at this moment that he felt something sting him at the base of his neck; perhaps it was just a simple hornet, or a mosquito that wanted to add him to the menu. But as he tried to advance further ahead, he started to feel dizzy, as if his strength was being sapped away; it couldn't be a reaction to a mere insect, for he wasn't allergic to them, as far as his knowledge went.
Perhaps it was something else, an element that was beyond his control, a force that wanted to stop his control; these were the last thoughts that wandered in his mind as darkness clouded his eyes, his body scrambling trying to get him awake so he would be able to escape before it would be too late.
But as his legs flinched under his weight, giving under the influence of the poison running in his veins, he knew that it was too late for him to run away; was this fate punishing him for tempting it, or what it just his destiny? If only he would be able to know...
Written by zanian on 22 July 2014
When he awoke from the toxin induced slumber, he wasn't in the forest anymore; he expected to be in a bathtub, a scar on his side present, indicating that someone harvested organs from him, a potential situation that was always possible, these days, as making money schemes and black market were powerful motivators.
Passing a hand on his sides, he was relieved to feel no such thing; perhaps crime and smuggling wasn't the reason he was waking up in another area, but whatever this reason could be, at least it wouldn't cut him open for profits.
But as he looked around, he realized that his fear of crime and cartels wasn't the only one that should have preoccupied him in the first place. The room was empty, except for a cheaply made bunk bed, stained by water damages and time. It was surprising that his back wasn't killing him, for the mattress seemed to be barely holding itself out, ready to give up on any attempt to be moved away.
The walls were white, devoid of anything that could have informed him of where he was located. It was vaguely similar to an asylum cell, but he knew that this wasn't the case, for the room wasn't padded and there were no visible doors, as if the wall could be opened from the outside to let people out and in.
As he observed the wall, an entrance formed, giving weight to the theory that was rising in his mind; would it mean that he would meet the people that brought him here, or was it something else that motivated the creation of that opening? Either way, he decided to wait a moment, to see what was going to happen; there was no point in rushing forward, when the path was unknown and possibly rife with danger.
But as he waited, nothing seemed to happen; perhaps it was a sign that he was supposed to go forward, to explore the path that was now open to him. But he had to be careful, thought; there could be traps and other dangers waiting for him on the way, making the exploration risky and dangerous.
As he passed the entryway, he expected it to close behind him, to trap him in some alley, but nothing of the sort happened. It was a strange place, filled with blinding lights and white walls; it gave him the impression that he was in a hospital, one that possessed more technology than the local one.
Hospital or not, he needed to find the reason why he was here in the first place; it was surprising that nobody was trying to stop him while he was walking in the corridors, testing the doors. Much to his dismay, the doors were locked, as if someone knew that he would try to open them; but he had to continue trying, for one of them could be unlocked, forgotten in the preparation that took place before he arrived.
But why would these people make such a critical mistake? What would be the point in giving him a chance to escape from this facility, when they captured him in the first place? Was this all a cruel game, that someone was watching from afar, filming him from a distance so they could sell the tapes to some obscure producer?
``Subject is awake; further information needs to be gathered, for it stopped its progression at the moment'' said a metallic voice, that seemed distant but close at the same time. He didn't expect anything else to happen, thought; there was nothing in his path, nothing that could stop him from escaping. Although, the voice said that more information needed to be gathered; perhaps he would be forced to deal with some of them, after all…
Written by zanian on 29 July 2014
"Welcome Subject AED-DES-05600, congratulations on being the 1st one to make it this far. New subject designation SPH-001F" the voice says.
"What are you talking about, what about my friends?" Daniel asks.
"Subjects AED-DES-05601 through AED-DES-05604. Preliminary designations SPH-002F , SPH-003M , KIT-001F , KIT-002F" the voice responds.
"What are you talking about?"
"You will see "the voice responds.
Written by Catprog on 30 July 2014
As he looked around, wondering what would happen next, he felt a prick in his arm, as a needle pierced his skin; he could see a metallic extension slowly retracting in the wall, bearing what was used to assault him a moment ago. Perhaps it was a simple blood draw, to see if he was a potential subject, but he had the feeling that this wasn't the case, for there was probably another purpose to this innocuous usage...
He rubbed his arms for a moment, the area still sensitive; it was a shame that he was unable to stop it, for there could be something running in his veins, tainting his blood and various fluids that composed him. He had to find a way to expulse it, before it would be too late, for he wasn't sure what consequences could this mysterious injection could bring upon him, as if it reminded him that he was nothing more than a mere guinea pig, destined for experiments that escaped his grasp.
Grabbing his arm, he decided to go back on his steps, determined on avoiding another fateful encounter; this wasn't the time to have another substance injected into him, for it could have a disastrous effect on him. If only he could find his way to the surface, so he would be able to find a doctor or someone who had a little knowledge of medicine; that was all he needed, at that moment.
This person would be the only one that could help him understand why his arm was burning, why he had the impression that his skin was melting around the injection point; it was perhaps a reaction to the chemical that his body was forced-fed a moment ago. Maybe his immune system was trying to fight off the possible mutagen or pathogen that this serum contained, thus it could explain why it would burn...
But why was it so quick? Wasn't a disease or a chemical supposed to take some time before it would interact with the internal chemistry of the host? But if they modified the structure of the agent that was deep within him, then it could explain why it was happening so fast; but why would they do such a thing? What was the purpose of injecting him with a substance that made him sick in the first place? Couldn't they have used a lab rat or any sort of animal instead, thus saving him from this ordeal?
Written by zanian on 06 August 2014
His arm burned once more; the flesh that surrounded the injection wound seems to have swollen up, for when he passed a hand on it, the texture was different from what he remembered. It almost gave him the impression that his arm hairs were growing denser; perhaps it was a fever that caused that illusion in his mind, although he was still lucid.
As he was lost in his thought, passing his hand frantically on his forearm, he felt another stinging, in the back of his neck. Like the other one, he barely had time to see what stung him before it retracted into the wall, leaving him perplexed. What was the purpose of the mysterious injections? And why did his arm itch so much, as if something was growing on it?
Curious about his arm, he removed his shirt, only to discover that he shouldn't have done it in the first place, for he wanted his mind to be at peace; now, he had reason to be worried and to give in to panic, as pointless as it could seem to be.
Where is skin used to be, there was now some strange substance covering it, as if some sort of exotic disease told hold of his body. He needed to know what it was, before fear would take over his mind and make him freak out over it; passing his hand over it again, he could feel that it was soft under his fingertips.
He had the impression to touch fur, but that was impossible; humans didn't have fur on their body. All they had were mere body hair, not that soft and dense pelt that was covering a part of his forearm. Maybe he was just hallucinating, but if he was, then his mind had more power than he ever imagined. It seems so real; it was golden brown, the same color he could have expected from a lion or a feline of a certain size.
He tried to pull it away, only to make himself grimace in pain; it was real, a consequence of the injection he received not so long ago. And it was spreading; located on and around the wound a moment ago, it was all over his forearm, itching and burning it way throughout his skin.
It wasn't the only thing he was feeling, thought; he could feel his arm muscle being torn apart, as if the presence of the fur was transforming his inner biology. Perhaps it was, but why was it so painful? He wished he had a way to either dull the pain or knock himself out...
A shock send him on the ground; this time, he could feel his back burning, as the sensation was spreading everywhere in his body. It was accelerating; the eruption of the fur sped up the process and destroyed the resistance that the body could have placed against it in the first place, making the process faster.
He could feel his entire skin burning up, as if he was on fire; he wanted to scream, to howl in pain, but he knew that it would be pointless. He needed to conserve his energy until it would be over, but since he wasn't sure it would ever finish before he would die, he wasn't sure if it was worth it or not. But he needed to hang on the idea, until the pain would go away, so he would see what was reserved for him.
As he was on the ground, trying to cope with the sensation of his skin melting away, being replaced with a dense fur, he could hear his bones cracks, reshaping into a different form than his original form.
He looked at his arm for a moment, trying to focus on it; it wasn't a human arm, for the ratio of muscles and bones weren't the same anymore. But he could see his hand at the end, making him wonder if he was a test, to see if the product had potential in close future.
As he looked, he had the feeling that he spoke too soon, as he could see his nails elongate, turning slowly into claws. As he looked closer, bearing with the burning pain, he could see that his digits were getting the same treatment, but at the same time they were bulking up a bit, as if they were supposed to be used for something else than their normal usage.
When he felt a sharp pain in his back, as if something wanted to escape it, he knew that he wouldn't be able to stand this situation very long, for the pain was getting unbearable. When he heard the skin of his back rip apart, his mind went blank and he fell on the ground, welcoming the hard, stainless ground as his resting place...
``What is happening to me?'' were his last thoughts, as darkness took over, giving him a moment of respite, as the chemicals in this body continued their work, altering him toward an obscure goal.
``The subject is showing a remarkable assimilation of the serum; results are superiors to what was expected. Subject will be monitored closely, before the second part of the experiment will go on'' said the metallic voice, as the lights went off.
Written by zanian on 13 August 2014
Was he alive? It was a miracle that this transformation of sorts didn't destroy his mind, but he wondered if this was a positive thing; he was curious to see what happened to his body. Was it real, or was it just an illusion, pushed by a nefarious hallucinogen?
He decided to look at his arm, determined to challenge the image in his mind; when he gazed upon himself, he realized that it wasn't just a hallucination, for fur was covering his arm. It didn't take long for him to figure out that the rest of his body was also covered with the same substance, making him wonder why someone would do such a thing to him.
What he saw reminded him of a lion; for sure, the people behind this operation didn't turn him into one, for he was still able to think. Was he still able to talk? Taking a chance, he decided to let out of few random words; there was something different about his voice, but at least he could still communicate. Maybe they wanted to mix both species together? If so, what would have been the point of such a thing?
Taking a moment to relax, he decided to bring his shoulders together, only to feel something flap, as if he had something else attached to his back. Moving his shoulder blades again, he realized that he had wings now, an element that surprised him.
He was a lion with wings, some sort of strange hybrid, although he was sure that were was a name for this combination. As he racked his mind on it, a name appeared; it was sphinx, the mythical creature of old, the one from the Egyptian tales. But why would he be turned into that sort of creature in the first place was beyond him though…
``Welcome back, test subject SPH-001F. We are pleased to see that you have finished your transformation without losing your mind. Further information will be given to you, but for now, try to get some rest, as the process drained your body'' said the metallic voice, stopping as soon as it delivered his message, leaving him perplexed and a bit angry.
He was about to get back to the room, to change his mind when he heard the voice again, asking for his attention. ``Subject SPH-001F, it seems like there was a slight mistake in the dosage you were given; a single injection will correct the situation'' added the metallic voice, as another syringe plunge into his arm, making him cringe for a moment.
What would this injection do to him? He waited for a moment, wondering if it would do anything, but as nothing happened, he decided to walk back to his room. But as he took the decision, he felt a strange sensation in his loins and his chest, as if something was growing and shrinking at the same time.
Passing a paw on both regions, he felt small spheres on his chest, spheres that were not present on him a moment ago. As he passed on his loins, he had the impression that he was going smooth, his original gender being erased. Perhaps it was his imagination...
He decided to lie in the bed that offered to him, knowing that whatever was going to happen, he wouldn't be able to stop it anyway...
``Subject is receptive to powerful hormonal treatment; when SPH-001F will be in deep slumber, another shot will be administrated, to complete the experiment. From there, she will be able to join the training facility'' noted the metallic voice, as everything went dark, once more...
Written by zanian on 20 August 2014
It has been a few days since Daniel went missing; although he was a quiet character, he was still someone that was pleasant to have around, for he was a good confidant and an attentive listener.
The authorities were still searching for him, questioning everyone that knew him, so they could have some sort of clue about his whereabouts, like they would with any disappearance, hoping that the students and the family would be able to help with the investigation.
However, little success followed their initiative, as no one was able to provide them a decent answer; he was, after all, a background character, one that slinked in the shadows without making much of ruckus around himself. His discretion was his own demise, as no one was able to remember his presence at the mentioned day. After all, who would remember a student that didn't stand out of the crowd, if they didn't know him?
Although, it was surprising that the gang wasn't able to answer; Gassam, David, Pammy and Jake stayed silent on his fate, as if they never knew him in the first place. One could even believe that they didn't care about his possible demise, as if he was just a disposable character, one that filled the background of their journey without marking their days, a simple figure in the grand play of their daily life.
But they weren't as cold and detached; the image they projected was a simple bluff, one that they needed to create, so life could go on without suspicions clinging on to them, for they knew the cause of this event.
As the police roamed the school ground once more, searching for a clue that they could have forgotten, the gang was hanging out behind the gym, wondering what they could do. Although it wasn't the result they expected, they knew it was a consequence that could happen to all of them if they would meddle with elements that surpassed their comprehension.
``As you all know, Daniel has gone missing; we don't know if he ran away, afraid of what he saw or if he was captured. Either way, we can't tell the police what happened, before we find him and figure what happened over there'' said David, as he was playing with the trim of his t-shirt, trying to hide his stress without being able to do so.
They looked at each other for a moment, unsure of what to say or to do; although he was a silent member, one that wasn't the most prominent, he was also a decent person, one that they could always count on. The fact that he volunteered for this dangerous mission, while they stayed behind was enough of a motivation to do something, but what?
Written by zanian on 24 September 2014
``Although it is dangerous, one of us will have to go back there, to find him; as much as I would love to do that, I cannot do it, for I have other obligations and so does Pammy, who is obligated to attend the cheer-leading practice'' added David, as he looked at the others, while Pammy walked to his side, feeling safe for a moment. She wanted to thank him for excluding her from the potential rescue crew, but she knew that it could sound a bit tacky, especially in front of them.
``Oh sure, Pammy is out, like this wasn't expected; even if there was a vote on this matter, I have the impression that the results would have been the same'' said Jake, as he crossed his arms, looking at the ground with disdain.
The group stood silent for a moment, as if Jake said something that touched a nerve; perhaps he was a bit blunt, or a bit too loud for his own good, even though he did have a point. It was all a matter of perspective, after all...
``Oh Jake, it's all in your mind; in life, we all have to fulfill our duties. Pammy is no different; she cannot let the team down, even if you believe that some obscures forces are plotting against you. But don't worry; if there is a need for her help, she will be able to provide in due time. But for now, we will have to decide who will have to go there; the decision will be between Jake and Gassam. Now, let hear if there is a su... I mean, a courageous soul out there'' said David, as he looked at the group for a moment, before focusing on his right hand, as if he needed to polish his nails.
Jake looked at him for a moment, before looking all around him; perhaps if he played his cards well, he would be able to get out of this situation. He would just have to pretend that he had an important meeting or something like that, although he knew it was a lie; he needed to protect himself from what was waiting out there and this was the best way to do it.
``I am sorry to tell you all, but I cannot go on; you see, I have to go to a wedding tomorrow; I cannot permit myself to be tired or wounded for such an important event. I'm sorry Jake, but it seems like you will have to deal with it this time; don't worry, though. I'm sure that nothing wrong will happen to you, but be careful; we don't want to read about your disappearance in the newspaper just like in the case of Daniel. Perhaps he was a fool that meddled a bit too much in elements that surpassed him, but no worry. You will not make the same mistakes he did, I am sure of it. Now go and don't come back before you discover the mystery of the forest'' said Gassam, as he fiddled with his wallet for a moment, before focusing his attention on Jake.
He knew that they weren't telling him the truth, but what could he do? If he would refuse to go on with the mission, then he would look like he is a coward, unable to participate in the collective effort. Although he didn't care much about his reputation, he cared enough about Daniel to pursue this imposed mission until the very end.
As he left the group to their own scheming and plotting, he wondered how he would do it; would he rush into the forest, or would he take the time to take a map, draw himself a road to follow and stick to it? That would make sense, if the object in question wasn't lost and possibly moving; although it was going against his common sense, he knew that all he could do was to head toward the woods and plunge into the darkness, to find Daniel.
Written by zanian on 25 September 2014
But before doing so, he wanted to grab an item that would make the journey easier on his mind; although it wasn't the most useful item out there, the sentimental value he attached to it was enough to justify its presence.
It was a simple fox tail, made out of fake fur; although he knew that it was fake, it gave him the impression the he was a fox, for a short moment. This impression was enough for him to brave any danger, although he wondered why it worked. Perhaps it tapped into a deep fantasy of his, but he didn't want to think about it too much; he had to save his friend before it would too late.
A bit lazy in nature, he decided to take the bus; it's not like the people inside would care about his peculiar garment anyway, not when there were stranger individuals on board. It's not like he would stand out of the crowd too much...
And he was right; the travel, as annoying as it was, was rather short, without anyone caring about the tail hanging on his behind. After all, with the beggar asking for change and the passed out drunk, he was considered a normal person, unworthy of attention.
Even though he wanted to stop right in front of the forest, he had to stop a bit further away, for the bus didn't stop near it. Walking wasn't going to kill him, though, but he wanted to get rid of this fast, so he could go back to whatever could fill his afternoon.
He looked at the forest for a moment; it seems intimidating, but there was nothing to it. If a fox could wander in the woods without any problems, then he could do the same without any sort of worries, even though he wasn't one. He just had to be careful, for it was possible that there was some sort of danger lurking around...
But where should he go? His friend could be anywhere in the area; perhaps by looking for some sort of trail or footprints, he would be able to find a clue about the disappearance. It would be perfect to look at the ground, especially since these past few days the sky had been clear, devoid of any clouds or rain that could have erased the clues in questions.
Written by zanian on 26 September 2014
He was lucky, for he was able to spot the said prints on the ground; all he had to do was to follow them until it would lead them to his destination or at least close enough for him to find what he was seeking in the first place. He couldn't be picky in this situation; everything that could help him was welcomed, even if it was small...
He walked for what seemed to be hours, without getting any results at all; he expected to find something, but nothing came to him. It was strange that this forest was quiet, but perhaps it was due to the fact that he, himself, was a making a lot of noise, yelling the name of his lost friend, trying to attract him toward his location, without any success, as if he wasn't present in this forest anymore.
However, the tracks were leading somewhere and he needed to find out where; perhaps it would lead him to his friend, although there was a chance that it could also lead him to a premature demise. But he couldn't dwell in fear, not when his friend needed him; he had to press forward, until he would unveil the secret that this forest was hiding.
As he looked in front of him, he was able to see what looked like a facility; perhaps this was where his friend was trapped... or hiding, for he wasn't sure if he was truly missing or just trying to avoid some sort of responsibility.
It was strange to see this sort of building in the middle of nowhere, but he saw weirder, due to his life experience. Perhaps it was some sort of survivalist camp, abandoned for now, but that would be used later in the year. Or maybe it was a paranoid bunker, made by someone that was engrossed in conspiracies and delusions.
Either way, it wasn't his task to determine what its true nature was; all he needed to do was to enter it and find him, although he wondered how he would be able to do such a thing. He wasn't able to see neither a door nor any sort of opening; perhaps there was some sort of secret code or underground tunnel that linked this facility to the outside world, although he had his doubts about it.
Why would someone build something that sophisticated in the middle of the woods anyway, if they wanted to avoid contact with civilization, when they could pick an area so far away from the rest of the world that nobody would even think about searching for clues about its existence in the first place. But maybe he placed too much importance on the location; after all, it had to have some sort of importance to be here in the first place, for it couldn't be here without any sort of reasons...
Lost in his thoughts, he wasn't able to hear the ruffling of the leaves around him, as if something, or someone was trying to sneak up upon him. Turning his head around, he saw a few branches moves, wondering if this was the work of the wind or a sentient animal around; there was no purpose in dwelling in fear when there was no danger lurking around.
Or that's what he believed, when a hand grabbed him, placing a cloth over his face. It smelled strong, as if it was doused in chemicals. Although he wasn't sure what doused the material in question, he knew well enough what purpose it had, for he could feel its effect affecting his body.
He could feel his body going limp, the energy fading from his members as the chemicals entered his bloodstream; he felt weak, too weak to stand up. It was the hand that was keeping him up on the ground, although he knew that when the darkness would claim him, it would let him fall on the earth, only to drag him to wherever it wanted him. If only he had been more careful, he could have avoided this dreadful fate...
Written by zanian on 04 October 2014
He was a fox, frolicking in the fields, minding his own business, not caring about anything in the world. There was nothing that could bother him nor stop him from enjoying his journey in the wild, as he was one with the world, finally free from his shackles. But was it real, or was it just a figment of his imagination? He wanted to believe it was real, to believe he could continue frolicking in the fields without any worries...
Hearing a sharp noise, he opened his eyes; it was all a dream, a mere illusion. A pity really, but he had to move on, until he would be able to figure out where he was. The walls were pristine white, as if they were never soiled; perhaps it was an isolated area, or it was regularly cleaned, to prevent the yellowing of the color with the passage of time.
He observed a door in front of him, one that seemed made out of metal, different in color from the rest of the room. He also observed that the bed he laid on top of was made of the same metal that composed the door; it was surprising he was able to sleep on it at all, but since he was drugged, he was unable to feel anything...
For now, he had to get out, for this area didn't inspire him any trust at all; what sort of demented individuals could have come up with this design, after all? Rising up, still stumbling a bit, he walked toward the door and started banging against it, wondering if it was serving any purpose.
Banging on the door, he noticed that they took his fox tail; he didn't understand why they would do such a thing, but since it was now done, it gave him a new element to motivate to get out of here. After all, he couldn't let them away with theft and a possible kidnapping, although he wasn't sure his friend was trapped here. This was an element that needed to be investigated before he could make such a claim.
It was at this moment that he saw a trap open in the door; he thought that it was someone coming to explain what was the situation, but all he received was a mouthful of gas, forcing to back off from the door.
He felt weak again, but not as much as when the rag was placed on his face; perhaps this was made to make sure he would stop assaulting the door, while the people that kidnapped him were plotting? He wasn't sure of it, but it seemed that it was the most likely option...
Or was it really? Unable to defend himself, his reflexes lowered, he was unable to dodge the syringe that came out of the wall. He could even observe the wall open up, tip of the instrument point out before it plunged into the flesh of his arm.
Although he expected it to hurt, he was surprised that it did not, for the gas he inhaled a moment ago seemed to have reduced his ability to feel pain as well as his reflexes. It was a clever plan, one that escaped his grasp; he didn't know what the purpose of the injection was, but he had the impression that he was going to know it very soon, although it could also be a false alarm, a trick used to destroy his mind before the real events would take place.
Looking around, he tapped the floor for a moment, wondering if something was going to happen; this would have been the perfect time to look at a watch if he had one, but since he didn't possess one, he wasn't able to send a strong message.
Written by zanian on 05 October 2014
``System error; subject seem to be immune to the solution. Data must be analyzed, before testing resumes'' said a disembodied voice coming from the ceiling; he expected to see a screen or visible ventilation shaft, but nothing of the sort was visible, as if he was trapped in a perfect cube, making him wonder how he was able to survive in such an environment.
Looking around, he wondered if there was something he would be able to use for a potential escape; perhaps if he would dismantle the bed, he would then possess a decent tool, one that would be potent enough to take down the door. All he had to do was to examine the frame of the bed, to make sure that this harebrained scheme of his wasn't going to fail...
Bending down, he saw that the structure was fused to the ground, making any attempt to take them apart futile; however, if he would have a blowtorch in his possession, then it would be a trouble of the past, for everything would be solved...
Perhaps it was the fear, the lack of real sleep or the chemicals that were getting to him, for he started to laugh, unable to understand why he was indulging himself in such a thing in the first place. This entire situation seemed so absurd to him, as if the danger was no more a concern; the fact that he was trapped here, in a facility with people that were trying defective serums on him was just too much for him to handle.
While he was laughing, he felt another sting, for whoever kidnapped him seemed to have taken advantage of his temporary laughing disorder to inject him with another solution. Turning his head around, he could observe the syringe retreat once more into the wall; would it fail like the first one, or would it actually do something to him?
Waiting for a moment, he expected the reagent to works its magic on him, but like the other one, it seemed to be a fluke, some sort of failure, once more. Perhaps this was a sign that although it was a futuristic facility, it didn't mean that they were able to produce efficient products.
He wanted to brag and laugh at them, for he was sure that nothing was going to happen to him; his immune system seemed too strong for whatever they wanted to inject him. Or was it really the case? He was feeling dizzy, as if something was wrong; perhaps he was bit too cocky for his own good, although it could be due to gas he inhaled a moment ago.
The injection wound was starting to be itchy, making him wonder what sort of substance that was travelling in his veins, fearing that an allergy reaction could be triggered if an element too foreign would attack his immune system.
Scratching it, he decided to look at the wound, to make sure that it wasn't infected; it would be quite terrible that he catch a disease in such a place, without being able to have access to anything to cure himself.
At the first glance, he knew that something was wrong, for the injection site didn't look healthy at all; it was red and swollen, as if his body was reacting to an aggression. He could feel the flesh in the area pulsating and throbbing, the blood carrying the pathogens in his veins.
Pressing the wound between his fingers, he could feel that the flesh was sensitive, making him wince as he tried to expulse the substance out, without any success. Cringing, he tried once more, only to stop when the pain overwhelmed him, forcing him to sit on the bed, massaging the area so it would stop hurting.
He could feel the area stinging and burning, as if he was having a fever; perhaps it was reaction to the chemical that was causing this, but for the moment, he cared about it. His head was spinning and his arm was now burning, as the sensation seemed to be spreading; pressing the flesh, he wondered if there was something he could do to stop it before it would be too late.
Written by zanian on 06 October 2014
The change begins