Angel's Tale: A MORFS Universe Story

By Joreymay

 

Part 2

 

Angel wondered what he'd have to do to get grounded. He really wished he could get

grounded. A nice, quiet day scrubbing floors, dusting corners, or even hand washing the

laundry and dishes sounded nice, and an afternoon restricted to his room with nothing

but some books for company sounded wonderful.

 

But no... his aunt and uncle were too clever for that. Too diabolical. Not only did they do

what they could to get him out in public as much as possible, but they seemed to make it

as stressful as possible while they were at it. First, they dressed him in his shortest skirt,

then took him back to the mall. As before, Janey walked separately and kept in touch by

cell phone.

 

First stop was a shoe store. Not the family style places he was used to, but one that

catered exclusively to women. Shoes, purses, and the like. The object was to buy some

heels. Not excessive, just two inch heels. But that would mean walking in them while

trying them on. In public. In front of people his age.

 

In case of disaster, they had the tomboy excuse. But is was a matter of pride not to have

to use it.

 

Things were going bad enough, with the tight, unbalanced, unfamiliar shoes. But then, during

one of his endless stumbles down and back, he got the word on the phone: from the time he

was measuring his foot to the time he fitted the most recent pair of shoes, the salesman had

been looking up Angel's skirt every chance he got. And Angel had been giving him plenty of

chances.

 

"What do I do?" he asked her, in a quiet, but near panicked voice.

 

"Let him know you know, but make a joke out of it. He really does give good service and

is a pretty nice guy. Even if he is a perv."

 

"How?"

 

"Tell him where you got the panties, and what they cost."

 

"I don't remember!"

 

"You got them at Linda's Lingerie, and they were three ninety eight."

 

He walked back to the seat, and watched as the man took the shoes off. Sure enough, his

eyes were not on the work.

 

"You know," Angel commented quietly, trying to sound casual, "If you are that interested in

them, Linda's has them on sale for less than four dollars a pair."

 

The man's head jerked up, guilt and the beginnings of panic in his eyes. Angel just met his

gaze with a frank but neutral expression. After a moment, the man broke his gaze and looked

back down at the shoes.

 

"Ho... how did they feel?"

 

"They pinched my toes more than some of the others. The rest was ok though."

 

Aunt Marie had watched the exchange, and had a shrewd idea what was going on. But

she was going to let Angel handle it. She did have a suggestion about the shoes, however.

 

"I think you need something more like those," she prompted, indicating a pair with less of

a pointed toe.

 

The rest of the time, his eyes stayed where they belonged. They also got a 20% discount on

the shoes they chose, which was nice. Thankfully, his aunt did not make him wear those

shoes for the rest of the shopping trip.

 

Worse was yet to come. Swim suits. Janey and his aunt seemed to be working at cross

purposes, there. When he admitted he wouldn't know where to begin, his aunt twisted the

knife. "Think about all your summers at the pool," she began, waiting for his nod. "Now, think

of what looked really good on the girls. Think of the girls you noticed, and what they were

wearing." She waited again, this time seeing his smile. "Now that you remember what those

suits made you think and feel, think of all those boys thinking and feeling those things about

you."

 

Angel's face fell. Then twisted into a grimace. His skin paled a little.

 

Then Janey chimed in, over the phone. "Don't let her psych you out! You're a girl now. You

WANT the boys thinking and feeling most of those things. If you try for something too

conservative or unflattering, you draw negative attention to yourself. Especially among the

other girls. Think about the girls you saw dressed that way. What did you think of them? How

did the other girls and the boys treat them? What did they make you think and feel?"

 

He remembered, and wished he hadn't.

 

Janey went on. "The trick is to find something that works for you. Don't try to be cutting edge,

'cause it won't last the summer. Don't go for last year's top fashions, 'cause the girls will know.

Think of how it will look and feel, both dry and wet. And think of the fact that you will be

interacting with other teens, children, mothers, and dirty old men while you are wearing it."

 

"Gee, thanks. You're making it sooo simple."

 

"Any time, coz. Welcome to the world of Young Womanhood."

 

At first, he was frozen in indecision. He felt almost as much a pervert and impostor looking

through the suits as he had looking through the underwear on the earlier trip.

 

He was startled to "hear" a voice in his head. *Just relax. You're one of us now, no matter what

you were before.* the voice soothed.

 

Angel jerked like he had been hit with an electrical shock, then looked around. The salesgirl

waved.

 

*Don't worry. No one else suspects. Janey is a friend, and I've met her mom a few times.*

 

His aunt looked startled, then turned and smiled at the girl. "Hello, Miranda. I didn't know you

worked here."

 

"This is my second summer. The money is good, the work is mostly fun, and the owner likes the

added security I provide."

 

"I imagine so. How are your folks?"

 

"Fine. Working their butts off, as usual." She paused a moment, and Janey gave a little squeak.

 

"Don't DO that!" she complained.

 

"Nobody was paying attention. I checked." Miranda grinned. "But while I have you here, we

just got in some nice tail suits. A couple of them would look great on you. You go ahead and

take a look, and I'll take care of your cousin."

 

Janey looked at her mother, who gave a small nod, then dashed off to the rack Miranda had

indicated.

 

"Wow. Not many of us can pass that well."

 

"You were a boy, too?"

 

"No, I was always a girl. On the outside, only my hair color and eye color changed. The fun

stuff is on the inside. Luckily, I was almost done with high school by then. They had to give

me my finals and stuff double blind, to be sure I wasn't just reading the answers. I was extra

lucky that nobody there made a big deal of it. A lot of people know, but not the ones who

would be a problem."

 

"Oh." he was disappointed. He thought he had found a kindred spirit.

 

"I'm closer than you think. I was always worried that someone would learn my secret, and

turn everyone against me. It felt like I was an impostor for a long time."

 

Angel got curious. "What goodies did you get?"

 

"Telepathy, and a little TK. Useful, but not exactly goddess class. Still don't know what

you have, Hmm?"

 

Angel shook his head. "Can you tell?" he asked, hopefully.

 

"Sometimes, a little. I think you need training for that or something. I can spot the really

powerful ones, and the ones who know usually tell me one way or another. You..."

 

She paused and looked at him a moment. "You've got something, but it seems kinda

small and weak. You're fighting the change, but more and more of you knows you're a

girl now. The shrinks at the center will probably be able to help you a lot. I just sell swim

suits. Speaking of which..."

 

She pulled him over to one rack, then another, picking out suits and handing them to him.

"Any of these should look good on you. Not too daring, not too modest. Why don't you two

go on in and see how they look?" She indicated the changing room. "Your aunt can explain

the procedures."

 

For health reasons, he had to try on the suits over his panties. He tried them all on, and

some fit better than others. Janey came in with a few suits to try, and joined her mother in

evaluating each one he modeled.

 

They finally settled on two, after explaining to him that he really would need a spare. And

Janey was allowed one of the ones she tried on. For appearances, Janey paid for her own,

while Marie paid for Angel's. Miranda had warned them of potentially awkward eyes in the

vicinity.

 

After all that, the underwear wasn't as bad as he had feared. He was less than thrilled to

have to try on and model some much shorter skirts, midriff baring tops, and the like. And

even less so with what they bought.

 

But the makeup demo was pure torture. It became obvious that they thought they had gone

easy on him in that department, and they intended to make up for it now.

 

His freshman year, he had let some friends talk him into doing a small part in the Fall Play, a

revival of "Boneyard". He had to wear makeup for that, so the experience wasn't as new or

disturbing as it might have been. But the idea of doing it almost every day, and being seen up

close and in regular light, just seemed wrong.

 

And the face in the mirror frightened him. She was beyond pretty, into beautiful with a touch

of glamor. And the little that was left of his old features was gone. He didn't like it, and said so.

All he really said was that it wasn't him, but his aunt could read his expression and didn't push

it in such a public setting. She had the technician tone it down a little and shift the emphasis.

He found that marginally better, and ended up making some purchases.

 

He found himself envying Janey. All she had to - or could, really - use was some lipstick or

lip gloss and sometimes some eyeshadow. Her lashes were thick enough that she would

never need mascara, and there was nowhere to put base, blush or the like, on her furry face.

 

He learned some other important lessons when lunch time came around. At first, they thought

they would have to leave. He was not too disappointed about that, but didn't quite understand

the reasons. But a few of Janey's friends showed up, and were headed for the food court. His

chance at an early escape evaporated. She joined them, and they went to eat together.

 

They asked about Angel and her mother. She identified him as "Ann", an out of town cousin.

That much was true enough. She also mentioned that there was a little tension in the family,

and they also understood her desire to eat with them.

 

While Angel and his aunt ate, at a table well separated from the friends, she explained the

problems and even dangers of a girl eating alone somewhere like that. And how much

worse it was for an obvious MORFS survivor.

 

After more shopping, they went home. But not for long. Now that he had a suit, they took

him to the pool. As they had at the mall, they kept their distance. He really didn't like

walking around dressed like that. He swam some laps, tried some dives (and found that he

would have to learn to adjust for his new shape and center of gravity.), and generally tried to

ignore the looks. Unsuccessfully tried to ignore the looks. Settled for pretending he was

ignoring the looks.

 

It was bad enough seeing the other boys his age undressing him with their eyes. And the

girls measuring him as a potential threat. But it seemed wrong for the younger boys to be

looking at her that way. Unthreatening, but wrong. But the really creepy thing was the way

the adult men, especially some of the old men, looked when they thought no one was

watching. Or worse, the way some girls and women looked at him.

 

It made him want to shower over and over again. At home. His home. In his old body.

 

As before, Janey helped put things in perspective. Although they rinsed off at the pool, they

showered more thoroughly when they got home. When Angel was complaining about all

he had to do with shampooing, conditioning, and especially drying and styling his longer

hair, Janey pointed out that she had the same thing - all over her body.

 

"Just imagine having to brush your boobs while you blow dry them." she harrumphed.

 

He asked what she thought about the idea of getting his hair cut short, in a low maintenance

style.

 

"Better not try, here. Aunt Maggie wants you to keep a low profile. Most of the MORFS girls I

know who got long hair in the process couldn't get it cut for a couple of months. It would just

grow back, almost immediately. And that really draws attention. Maybe you can try when

you're at Grandma's."

 

After his aunt rejoined them, Janey pointed out that one of the biggest ways former boys gave

themselves away was when faced with frank, informal discussions of body parts, periods,

sanitary products, and sex. More often than not, they either froze (in embarrassment), or went

overboard (trying to show off their recently acquired knowledge).

 

Most girls accepted some terms, hated some others, and limited yet others to situations

where they would only be heard by certain other girls. "Think," Janey explained, "about the

ways you used to treat discussions of sex, your penis, scrotum, testicles, ass, and bodily

fluids and wastes. Think about what you would have said or responded to in the boys'

locker room, but would not have said in front of us."

 

Angel acknowledged the point. They gave him a list of words, had him say each a number of

times, then set him an exercise. His room was designated a locker room. He would put on

and take off his bra, otherwise dressed only in his panties, 25 times while carrying on

locker room conversations using those words. When that was done, they continued the

exercise while having him put on his bra the "real" way another 25 times. After that, the

room was the guest room again, and he was talking with friends (no guys or adults around),

for another 25 of the harder way. Finally, he was talking in moderately mixed company, for

yet another 25.

 

Then it got worse. He would have to be able to remove and insert tampons as though he

had been using them for years. And be able to knowledgeably discuss his preferences for

brands and the benefits and drawbacks of each. Finally, he would have to be so comfortable

with that information that he feels no need to bring it up in any but the most relevant

circumstances. That took a lot of practice - with several brands - as well. After the first few,

he had to use his finger to rub some soothing gel around the inside of his vagina between

rounds, to keep from drying out too much.

 

Once the discussion got beyond brands and varieties, it moved on to childhood toys. It

seemed more than a little bizarre to him, talking about some of the things he played with

and some of those he would have played with, while standing by the toilet, pushing things

into himself and pulling them out again.

 

At least those lessons didn't come with field trips.

 

During that night's calls, his mother seemed amused at his lessons, while his father offered

sympathy and support. They both reminded him that the lessons were important, and that

soon he would be back to just living a life. A new life in a new place.

 

Although he was almost too exhausted, he decided it was time for a more private lesson.

With all the time he had spent handling his new anatomy that day, there seemed to be no

reason to avoid exploring his potential for pleasure. He made sure the door was closed,

pulled his nightgown up to his shoulders, then sprawled on the bed. It became obvious

real quick that the position he used in his old life wouldn't work. Rather than lose the mood,

he started playing with his breasts. While they were a lot more sensitive than his old nipples

and chest, the greater pleasure from playing with them was nowhere near what he expected

from his reading and viewing.

 

Still, it felt good. Very good. And it made him feel more sexy. He began to feel some

reactions between his legs. Not the ones he was used to, but reactions. He started rubbing

his legs together while he kept playing with his breasts. As the feelings increased, he

let his mind wander. As he slid his hands down his belly and toward the seat of all those

new sensations, he had a vague image of someone there. Not an hallucination or the like,

just a daydream.

 

At first, he couldn't even tell whether the vision was female or male. And he didn't care. The

vision was kissing and fingering where he was running his hands. The feelings got better as

he explored. Places that just felt like body parts during the practice became real erogenous

zones. He had stuck his finger in and out of his vagina dozens of times that day, rubbing and

otherwise moving his lips in the process, and it was nothing. Now, the slightest hint of those

motions was wonderful. They felt different to his hand, as well. He knew the theory - engorged

labia, lubricating vagina, erect clitoris. But in practice, it was just "doing this feels good", and

"doing that feels even better". And sometimes "Oops, that wasn't so good" or "Ow!".

 

He experimented with rubbing around his clit in various ways, after trying the more direct

approach and feeling like someone had dragged something rough over his cock head. Slowly,

he found what worked better, less well, and worse than not at all. He never really came, but

satisfied himself with a small peak which allowed him to release the built up tension.

 

He barely got his nightgown pulled down and the covers pulled up before he dropped off to

sleep.

 

The next morning, as he was rushing to the bathroom, Janey stopped him with a smirk and a

greeting. "Have fun, last night?"

 

He froze, torn between shock, denial, embarrassment, and outrage. The moment passed as

Janey ducked into her room. He continued into the bathroom.

 

On the way to breakfast, he cornered his cousin. "Were you spying on me?"

 

"Hardly. I was headed downstairs for my book, and heard sounds from you room. For a

moment, I thought you were having problems. Then I recognized some of the sounds."

She grinned.

 

"Oh." Now he felt foolish.

 

"Hey, don't worry about it. Didn't your folks ever give you the 'perfectly natural, everyone

does it' speech?"

 

"Well, yeah. But it was different then."

 

"Oh," her tone turned frigid. "And how was it different?"

 

Angel may have been a boy until recently, but even he could recognize the warning signs.

Thinking fast, he replied "Because they were toilet training me at the time?"

 

Janey barked out a laugh, and the chill left the room. She did admit that his reaction was

completely consistent with his being a girl.

 

The next couple of days were filled with more training. They refined his grooming and hygiene,

taught him the beginnings of putting together outfits, and recognizing and reacting to the

social signals that girls share. All with plenty of field trips (even, ugh, the grooming and

hygiene). The outings for outfits and social cues were mostly observational. But some had

more practical exercises.

 

He went to bed each night with his head swimming. He had absorbed so much, so quickly.

But he knew that he didn't get it all, and that he had a lot more to learn.

 

It hadn't been all that long since they were together, but he found himself looking forward to the

phone calls from his parents. He missed them, and the strangeness of his new situation made

him wish they were there. There was a small spark of fear in him - the primal fear of rejection and

abandonment. The calls helped keep that under control.

 

Saturday came, and with it, his mother. She wasn't entirely pleased with the limits on his

progress, but accepted the notion that some skills were covered in depth. She hoped he could

learn the rest as he went along. He could clean, dress, and make up himself to a limited but

functional degree, and he could handle hygienic issues. The rest was practice and refinement.

 

After some phone calls, a family lunch and discussion, it was decided that everyone would go

to his grandparents' house on Sunday. The others would visit for a few hours, then return home.

Angel and his mother would stay there until sometime after his appointment, and then continue

their trip toward Denver.

 

He was looking forward to the visit, with mixed feelings. Even though he had not seen much of

his grandpa, he had learned a lot about pride, honor, and the virtues of hard work from him.

There were reasons the cousins sometimes called the house "Grandma's". For much of their

married life, he had gone great distances to get enough work to support his family. He often

lived at the work site for weeks at a time. But he kept a roof over his family's head, food on

their table, and clothes on their backs. With a few cautious investments, and a lot of self

denial, he was able to buy a small second home in the town where he did most of his work. He

rented rooms to a couple of coworkers, helping defray the costs.

 

A small college in that area had been growing during that time, and expanded to the point

that it was literally across the street from the house. Grandpa had been about ready to retire,

anyway, so he allowed the college to manage the house and rent it for student housing. It was

a good deal for him, since the school paid the taxes and took care of the upkeep, while

providing a monthly income for him. It was a good deal for the school, because the

arrangement cost it much less up front than their alternatives. He moved back home and

retired. By then, his grandchildren had gotten used to thinking of the house as hers. And to

a certain extent, so had she.

 

When the college needed to expand again, it made him a very good offer for the property.

He accepted, and his retirement was complete. It took a while for her to get used to

having him "under foot" all the time, and the cousins were still not used to seeing him there

all the time.

 

He was not the serious, foreboding authority figure that you would expect from

his life story. He had a genuine love of life, and took great joy in his family. He could be

strict with the children when it was called for. But it rarely was. The grandchildren would

do just about anything to keep from disappointing him.

 

And that was what worried Angel now. What would his grandpa think about him becoming

a girl? And an anglo girl, at that? He had heard that neither grandparent had any problems with

the changes in his cousins, or other members of the family. But Angel was the only sex

changer in the family that he knew of.

 

He needn't have worried. When they got there, he was welcomed with open arms. His

Grandpa had heard about how hard he had worked to learn his new life, and was impressed.

The first part of the visit was full of the joyful chaos of any house full of loving relatives. Once

the others had gone back home, it was time for some quiet, Sunday afternoon relaxation.

 

Angel and his Grandpa spent a good deal of the afternoon sitting out on the porch and just

talking. His Grandpa had a way of getting people to open up - to share what they had bottled

up inside. Angel was no exception. He quickly understood that nothing was really out of

bounds, that nothing he said could change what they shared.

 

Then his Grandpa dropped the bombshell. Angel was not the only MORFS sex change in

the family. In fact, there were two others. One was an uncle Angel barely knew. The other

was his Grandma. She had been a friend of his before the change, but after the change the

friendship had turned slowly to love. She had been relieved that she didn't have to hide

anything about her change from him. Not even her powers.

 

They weren't all that spectacular. She could see in several wavelengths from the far infrared

through the ultraviolet. And she could do so in what amounted to telescopic and microscopic

modes, as well as normally. In addition to being able to spot and analyze things most people

couldn't, it gave her a limited form of "X-ray Vision" (even though she didn't actually see in

that band) and an ability to see clearly in absolute darkness (by virtue of the infrared light

from the heat of her body). It was still early in the MORFS era, so her family had kept her

powers as quiet as possible. She never became a superhero, or any kind of operative. She

was just "that nice girl" (later, "lady") "with the really good eyesight."

 

Her grandkids always knew she could "see right through them," but didn't know how true that

really was. Her own children knew the secrets, but hadn't learned them until they were adults.

For some reason, MORFS had skipped a generation (the uncle was family by marriage), and

then came down hard on Angel's lot.

 

After that discussion, a lot of things made more sense to Angel. Including his parents' lack of

reaction to his own change. And his inability to get away with anything while visiting that

house.

 

After dinner, he engaged in a time honored tradition by baking cookies with his Grandma while

they talked. She shared the problems and challenges she had "back in the Late Paleolithic"

when she got MORFS. She also talked about the joys of womanhood and motherhood. She

confided that she thought she got the better end of the deal, overall.

 

She also confided that it had taken her a long time to really start thinking of herself as a

female. And that she understood the struggle Angel was going through. It had not been as

simple or easy for her as her husband seemed to think. Some of her own relatives and

friends stopped having anything to do with her. Some parts of her family still kept their

distance.

 

The cookies were soon done, and being enjoyed by all four of them.

 

"So," his mother asked around a small bite of cookie, "what do you think about the family's

deep, dark secrets?"

 

Everyone chuckled. Angel thought for a moment, then replied "At least now I know those eyes

weren't REALLY in the back of her head."

 

That got a laugh from everyone.

 

They spent the next couple of days refining his girl lessons, especially how to walk, talk, and

act in more formal situations. It was one thing for him to commit the kinds of social faux pas

that a girl his age might stumble with in formal situations. It was another, more serious, thing

for him to do so in a way that marked him out as a (former) boy.

 

Even though the clinic would know about the change, they covered how a girl - even a tomboy -

would act in such situations. They also warned him about some aspects of the upcoming exam,

which did nothing to put him at ease.

 

"They're going to put something WHERE? And do WHAT with it? You've GOT to be kidding me!

What is that, some kind of torture for MORFS sex changers?"

 

"No, dear. It's something all women go through, as part of our physical exams. I won't say

that you'll come to enjoy it, but it's important and doesn't last long."

 

"Angel, it's not as bad as it sounds. Like those times you got the prostate and hernia exams,

the best thing to do is just relax and let it happen."

 

"But... but... Eewww!"

 

"Amen to that." the two women chorused.

 

But in some ways, the creepiest part of the process was the simplest. The reading. The idea of

some stranger rummaging around in his mind, finding God knows what personal secrets, made

him almost appreciate the physical exam. But as they talked about it, he started to realize that

it was not significantly different than his encounter with Miranda.

 

He told them about the encounter, and they agreed that it would be somewhat similar. Shorter,

and less personal, but similar. They found the claim about a small, weak power interesting. His

Grandma mentioned that it was similar to the way hers was classified.

 

"It's not what you've got, it's what you do with it."

 

Angel couldn't resist. "Yeah, but I don't have one any more!"

 

For a second, the women looked puzzled. Then the light dawned, and the women tried to look

shocked. It didn't work, and they were soon laughing.

 

"Mind if I tell your Grandpa that one?" his Grandma asked. "He always did like that kind of

joke."

 

He agreed. And he was only a little surprised when his mother used the comment as a

launching point for yet another round of asking how he felt about the change, and assuring

him of their complete support. He was more than a little relieved when it came time to get

ready to go to the clinic.

 

He was already dressed in the recommended loose, comfortable clothes, so getting ready

was little more than touching up his hair and minimal makeup. His mother went with him,

for support as well as to handle all the paperwork.

 

In the waiting room, he almost made an awkward mistake. But when he started to reach

for a sports magazine, his mother stopped him with an abrupt comment about an interesting

looking article in a teen fashion magazine next to it. He took the hint, and picked up the

teen zine. He knew that many girls read the sports magazines (and some half joked that they

did so to see the athletic men in minimal, tight uniforms), and there was no reason for him

not to be one of them. Still, it would make him stand out in a way that might raise suspicions.

 

He glanced around the room, wondering who else switched sexes. There was a girl a little

older than him, obviously uncomfortable in her clothes and about being seen there. Her

peaked ears and slit eyes might have something to do with it, he supposed. There was a

boy whose behavior somehow struck him as wrong. As effeminate. But was it a sex change,

or was he just that kind of boy? None of the kids, and few of the adults, looked entirely

comfortable there.

 

Finally, after an interminable six minutes, his name was called. His mother stayed with him

as he was scanned, poked, prodded, and stretched, but gave him privacy for his samples.

She was not allowed to accompany him into the room with the evaluator. But that part

was quick and relatively painless.

 

After that, they went back to the waiting room for a while. He watched people come and go

until he was called again, and they went to an office to discuss the results with the woman

who was the lead doctor for his tests.

 

Physically, he was an average sixteen year old girl. No special organs, nothing missing or

extra... normal. He could expect to grow a bit taller, and have his breasts grow a bit more,

but he was otherwise pretty much fully developed.

 

Mentally, he was handling the change a little better than average, but was still having trouble

accepting his girlhood. Angel suppressed the urge for a sarcastic response to that

announcement. His mother commented that they were aware of the problem, and asked

whether there were any things she should be doing or looking for. The doctor gave each of

them some materials she said they might find useful, including contact information for

local support groups.

 

She went on to say that he was a low level bio elemental. She cautioned him not to expect

much. He would probably be completely resistant to infections and the like, and could

control his fertility. She emphasized that it did not constitute a license for promiscuity,

because it would not protect him from social, emotional, and other consequences.

 

With practice and some training, he would probably be able to heal small injuries at the

cellular level and perceive and recognize a variety of microorganisms. That would seem to

be about it. Not exactly super hero class, but mildly useful.

 

She would never know how badly she had underestimated Angel's abilities.

 

His mother collected the proper forms, declaring Angel "safe" for things like school and

sports. His record, with his grandparents' address, would be in the central database, but

he did not fall under any of the categories of "dangerous" that would have required him

to register himself locally in some places.

 

Angel and his mother were both relieved by the results, but Angel was a little disappointed.

He went through all that, and didn't even get any cool powers or abilities out of it. If anything,

he was a little smaller and weaker than he was before.

 

Still, he had resources. Unique resources.

 

"Grandma, you remember that thing about 'what you do with it' before?"

 

She smiled a little as she nodded.

 

"Would you be willing to use your abilities to help me learn to use mine?"

 

"What do you mean?"

 

"Well, you have this built in multispectral microscope, right?"

 

"I wouldn't put it exactly that way," she replied wryly, "but pretty much. So?"

 

"I've been playing around a little bit since we got the results. I'm supposed to be able to

perceive and recognize micro stuff, and I think I might know how it works, kinda." He

shifted around a bit, reaching for the words. "Since the change, I've been noticing that

some things look kinda funny. The books said that you get stuff like that sometimes when

your eyes change, and it's temporary, so I wasn't worried. But on the way home, I noticed

that I could still see the funny stuff when I closed my eyes. Like when you look at the tv

then close your eyes. Except it didn't fade away, and I got some funny feelings about it."

 

"So you think this funniness is your perception of the micro stuff?" she consciously used his

terms, wanting to avoid derailing his train of thought.

 

"Maybe. Yeah."

 

"So how can I help?"

 

"Well, right now I don't have any real idea what I'm looking at. And there's no way the

references match it. So I was hoping that, maybe, you could look at some things and tell

me what they are, and I can match that with what I perceive."

 

"I don't know, honey. I'm not really trained in microbiology. I wouldn't really know what I was

seeing, either."

 

"I thought about that. But what you see would match what they showed in the references, so

you could look them up. At the very least, you could tell a virus from a bacteria, and that would

help. I think."

 

She thought about it. It would be a lot of work, and she really didn't know much about what they

would be looking for. School was a *very* long time ago, and she had paid more attention to

physical things than to living things. On the other hand, this was her grandson... granddaughter,

a loved one who needed her. How could she do anything less than her best to help?

 

"We can try." she allowed. "I don't know how much good I can do, though." Then, one of her

half formed objections came clear. "But how will we know we are talking about the same thing?

Everything is mixed together, with lots of different kinds of things in the air and on any surface

you look at. I could be naming a bacteria, and you could be perceiving the virus next to it."

 

"Yeah, I thought about that, too." he said with an odd mixture of emotions. "But I think maybe

I can do something about it. I can manipulate those things a little, and I think I can make an

area that is clear of all the stuff, then concentrate one kind of thing in that place. Watch."

 

He took one of the thin walled water glasses from the kitchen, then had her look at the surface.

Her pride as a homemaker took a momentary hit when her special vision showed a menagerie

of microscopic life coating the outside. Then she remembered that it was the normal state of

things, and almost impossible to completely eliminate.

 

He put one fingertip against the side, a little way down from the rim, then asked her to look

there. As she watched, all the little bits of life flowed away, leaving a dime sized spot of sterile

glass on the inside and outside, with his fingertip at the center. Then, as she continued to

watch, some moved back in. But those were all the same kind of thing - a sort of ball with

spikes.

 

"How big can you make the clear spot?"

 

"That's about it right now. Well, that much bigger than the contact area. If I use my whole

hand, it's about that much bigger than the hand. If I push hard, I can make the extra just a

little larger."

 

"Do you have to be in contact?"

 

"It has to be within that little bit extra. It's like a field or something."

 

"And it shrinks when you get further away?"

 

"Yes. But it suddenly drops off to nothing beyond that."

 

"Ok. we'll see what we can do."

 

The first thing they did was go out for some supplies. They got an inexpensive student

lab kit, with a pack of microscope slides and slide covers, and a few other useful tools.

They also picked up some software designed to help with the identification.

 

The first part was relatively easy. Each of them could fairly easily differentiate between

virii and bacteria (and the like). The virii were much smaller to her eyes, and shared a theme

to his perceptions. They found some broad categories among the larger organisms which he

could also recognize with a theme.

 

But within those categories, they quickly ran up against a wall. The software and references

needed more than the shape and appearance of individuals. In some cases, it required the

characteristics of cultures or colonies. In others, their preferential environment. Or other

details that their approach wouldn't supply.

 

They had a little more luck with some forms of virus. The home testing kit let them

differentiate a number of the more common varieties, and would have let them recognize

a few dozen more if they had samples.

 

It wasn't as much as they hoped, but it was a beginning.

 

And the best part was an accident. His mind started wandering a little while she was

looking at one of his samples. She remarked that they looked like fresh water pearls, and

he thought about how much more valuable sea pearls were. His Grandma gasped, while

she watched each virus reshape itself into a sphere.

 

A few more experiments showed that his subconscious mind could control the process,

taking the general pattern from his conscious thoughts. They also showed that some part

of him had taken in the details of the original subjects, and could cause them to revert. They

decided to halt the experiments, since they didn't know what effects their modified pathogens

could have on people or other living things if they got away before he reverted them.

 

Neither of them understood the extent of his subconscious abilities. Yet.

 

They moved on to something else that had been mentioned. She got some small plants,

then took a knife and made a cut in one of the leaves. He was able to push the cells into

rejoining, healing the cut, but he had to touch it at the site of the cut. From two inches

away, there was no effect. When the cut was healed, he noticed something that seemed

wrong about small parts of it. His Grandma looked with high magnification, then had him

do what seemed right. He just thought "make it right," while he put his fingertip over it.

 

The wrongness went away. When she looked again, she could see what happened. The

wrong parts had been where the knife had significantly damaged or destroyed individual cells,

rather than disconnecting them from adjacent cells. In some cases, he healed the damage.

Where that wouldn't work, an adjacent cell had divided and the new cell filled in for the

dead one.

 

She was impressed.

 

Animal testing had to wait for a mishap. His mother was in the kitchen, working on dinner,

when she cut herself. It was superficial, but painful, and a drop of blood welled up from it. He

took a two step approach. First, he drove out all "micro stuff" that wasn't her from the area

of the cut. Then he did what he had done with the leaf.

 

There was no sign that there had ever been a cut, other than a small bead of blood on her

finger.

 

When it came time for them to leave, he promised to work on expanding his "field", and

on learning to recognize more things.

 

In between his power training, he still had to deal with his girl lessons. It helped to have

someone who had gone through it before, but it was still a pain in his too cute little butt.

The materials they got from the clinic also helped. One particularly helpful video had

some transformees giving a sort of boy to girl (and girl to boy) translating dictionary.

 

His mother announced that it was past time for them to be on the road. "You've already

cost us two weeks of prime visiting time, and we have to move into our new place soon."

she announced, with mock seriousness.

 

In truth, they were both ready to get back on the road. He loved visiting his grandparents,

but wanted to get on with the summer.

 

While riding in the car, he amused himself by trying to expand his "field". When he pushed

it out too far for too long, he got tired and hungry. After the first couple of times, he made it

a point to keep a variety of snacks with him. His mother worried that he would get fat, but

he reminded her that he was a growing girl, and was using lots of energy.

 

He learned to listen to his appetite. Something inside told him what kind of something he

needed, and how much. When he seemed to sense that he would gain some body fat, he

was able to choose whether to disable the process or direct where the fat would go. His

slowly growing breasts were his favorite target.

 

One time, while he was using a slide to see the extent of his field, the car hit a pothole.

The slide snapped, cutting his finger and palm deeply. Through the pain, he concentrated

on the process like before. He could feel it work. Starting from the inside, the cuts closed

up and the cells were healed or replaced. There weren't even any scars.

 

"Cool!"

 

They continued their visits, finally going a hundred miles out of their way to visit some

of the O'Connor cousins.

 

That visit was also educational. First, there was a message asking him to call his cousin

Janey.

 

"Somebody up there likes us, oh cousin mine. You remember our little conversation about

cosmic justice?"

 

"About the time of the rally? I guess so. Why?"

 

"It's happened."

 

"What do you mean?"

 

"About half of the kids at the rally have turned up with MORFS. According to the locals, it is

mostly hitting the ones with family histories of high resistance. They're trying to keep it quiet,

but some of the invited speakers have the same problem in their congregations. And it gets

better."

 

"O... k. How?"

 

"Apparently a new mutation of the second virus went around there. It affects adults, but not

as seriously as the kids. And it's affecting adults in the Humans First groups all over the

country. They're looking at the other places, where the first cases showed up, on the theory

that one or more of those people brought it to the rally and infected everyone there."

 

"Oh, shit!"

 

"Language, young lady!" his mother admonished, coming around the corner with his aunt.

"What's this all about?"

 

"I'll tell you later. I want to finish this call."

 

As the two women moved on, he continued. "Where are they looking?"

 

"California, Florida, and Utah, from what I've heard."

 

"Couldn't have been our conversation then," he couldn't make it sound like he believed it. "You

and I haven't been anywhere near those places. Certainly not before the rally." he put all the

exaggeratedinnocence he could into the pronouncements.

 

"Yeah, right. Like we could have that kind of power. Interesting coincidence, though."

 

They talked for a few more minutes, then hung up. He had a lot to think about.

 

He did have that kind of power. If he was right, his power had modified the still-active

MORF virus in his body to have the effects they discussed - and a couple that must have

come from his subconscious - and then somehow delivered it to the people at the rally.

He remembered the odd feeling when he touched any of the speakers or others there. He

figured that was the infection being delivered.

 

And here he had been disappointed that he didn't have any cool powers or abilities.

 

One of the coolest aspects of the whole thing was the potential for stealth. He was on record

as all but powerless, and there was no flashy effect when he used his ability. And if he

maintained his looks, he would remain under the radar of many people - just another girl.

 

He needed a test. He got his cousins to take him to the mall, ostensibly to pick up a fer things.

Once they were out of the house, he asked them to point out any of the more obnoxious

"Humans First" types they saw. They agreed, without knowing anything about his powers.

 

They pointed out a small group, almost as soon as they got there. They were accosting a

girl with feline features. Angel let himself remember the virus from the rally. He walked

toward the group, planning to make contact while asking where a particular store was.

 

As he got closer to the group, he was startled to realize that he was perceiving something

familiar. Three of the five were already infected with his custom MORF virus, waiting to

become active.

 

He turned away, as though he had always planned to go that way, and approached a book

store. After a quick glance at the magazine rack, he rejoined them.

 

"That was quick. Just what did you accomplish?" the older girl asked.

 

"You know that new version of MORFS that's spreading among their kind?"

 

"Yeah, I've heard about that."

 

"They've got it. I can tell these things now."

 

"Like a super power?" his younger cousin piped up.

 

"Not much of a power. I can sort of see things like that." He wasn't sure why he was keeping

the rest from them. They were family, and probably as reliable as his other cousins. But his

mother's attitude had gotten to him. The fewer who knew the extent of his abilities, the less

chance of it coming to the wrong people's attention. Besides, if things went wrong, they could

honestly say - even think - that they had no idea.

 

He wandered parts of the mall with them, looking at people and accessories. He was looking

at the people to see what he could tell. He was looking at the rest to keep his "cover" for the

trip.

 

He made it a point to ask about a variety of teens. The MORFS survivors were easy to spot,

for the most part. He saw a few who seemed to his special senses to be like the more

obvious transformees. He verified that a couple of them had changed in ways that were not

readily visible.

 

There were some others who he suspected of being on the verge of MORFS. They had the

bio signature, but it did not act the same as the others. There was a sense of building up to

something, similar to that he had observed in the teens with his custom cocktail. That seemed

like useful information.

 

He made it a point to ask about some with no indications, some with the impending MORF

appearance, some with his creation, and some others. Most of them were people his

cousins didn't know or didn't know well. But some, including a couple of the impending

MORFs, were friends.

 

He was pretty sure he could recognize the MORF variants, but he saw other things. Virus

infections, bacterial concentrations, etc. Not just in people, but in foods, on counters and

tools, doors, etc. Ironically, the foods gave him a start on another category.

 

He stopped by a cheese shop, and was intrigued by what he saw in some blue cheese.

It was something micro, but not what he was used to. He asked the salesperson about the

cheese. When she described the special characteristics of a blue cheese, he figured it out.

He was perceiving a mold. But one sample wasn't enough to learn the signature of molds.

 

Much to his cousins' distress, he ducked out to the area behind the food court. In the

dumpsters there, he found what he was looking for - a wide variety of moldy foods. His

cousins stood way back, and after a few moments he realized why. He had been so

wrapped up in the thrill of discovery that he failed to notice the smell. Luckily, he had

managed to avoid getting anything on himself, but he decided a hasty retreat was in order.

 

After that, he kept to the more normal parts of the mall. This part of the expedition he

could be honest about. He told them about the fact that he was still learning to understand

what he was perceiving with his new ability, and suddenly had a lead on recognizing mold.

 

"Big deal. Even I can do that. It's all green and fuzzy. Or sometimes another color." His

younger cousin wasn't impressed. Good.

 

He reminded her that he had told her it wasn't much of a power. But he did want to learn

how to use what little there was. She kinda understood that. But she still thought his side

trip was yucky.

 

He had to agree.

 

With all that had happened, he was curious about something he had barely noticed. As

he was perceiving the MORF variants, he would get a brief hint of an image. He had

recognized those associated with his custom plague, but wrote them off as being based

on his prior knowledge. Now he wasn't so sure.

 

He got an intro to the impendings they knew. He asked a couple of questions, like what

did they think about getting it, and what the would like as the outcome. With each one, he

briefly turned the conversation to one of the cousins present. He let his mind release his

conscious thoughts for a moment, then opened himself up to the impressions. And he got

them. He saw the boy as large, strong, and superficially similar to a large breed of dog or

wolf. Not a werewolf, like his cousin. A wolf.

 

For the girl, he saw a birdlike young woman, complete with feathered wings.

 

After their goodbyes, he made a note to himself and then asked his cousins to keep an

eye on the two of them. They were puzzled, but agreed to let him know.

 

End Part 2

 

 

 

The entire MORFS  Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/Encyclopedia.html

 


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