Byakko: A MORFS Universe Story

By Tagrachan  

 

Chapter 1

 

Three men were conducting a briefing in a secret location somewhere in the USA.
A large man in a business suit asked, “So our man is ready for the mission and everything else is in place?”

Another man in a military uniform with the insignia of a general replied, “We’re almost ready. A few personnel still have to be replaced and positioned.”

The large man grunted before saying, “Ok, how about security? Who knows about the operation or our man? What risks still exist?”

The general looked back at the man, “Only we three and the assigned teams know about it. There might be a slight chance that the extraction team, who got us our operative, knows about him and what he can do.”

“That is unacceptable. Who are they and where are they now?”

The third man, a small man with glasses dressed in an ill-fitting suit, looked at his palmtop. “There were five members in that team. Lieutenant Milton was killed on a black-ops mission last month. Sergeant Johns went missing during a mission in Asia. Corporal Boswell is assigned to us and is already in place for the operation. That leaves Lieutenant Torrence, who is assigned to JAG headquarters in Falls Church, and Sergeant Bartlett.  He got a medical discharge due to sustained injuries.”

The large man barked, “I want that Lieutenant and Sergeant picked up for questioning ASAP.” The general acknowledged and began issuing orders to his teams.
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Paul Bartlett was walking at a leisurely pace along the street, on his way to the VA-hospital for his annual check-up. He had been injured on a mission and now lived on a disability benefit from his discharge. As he walked past some high-school girls with several girls that looked like they had morphed, he decided they must be on a shopping spree. He nodded a greeting to them. He turned and gazed after them a bit before walking on, thinking, ‘I Wish I could be that young again. No more hurt in my body.

As he walked on towards the hospital, a black van suddenly came out of an alley ahead of him and screeched to a stand still. Four armed and masked men jumped out of the van and approached Paul in a hurry.

Paul was stunned for a moment and thought, ‘What the hell is this? Who wants to send a team to kidnap a crippled ex-military?’ He didn’t have more time to think as the first men reached him and his old reflexes took over. With a quick open hand chop to the head he shoved the first man into the wall, disabling him for a moment. Then he dropped down to his good knee and swept the legs of the second man out from under him, causing an obstruction for the other two attackers. Paul got up in a hurry and bolted from the scene, looking for a better fighting point. The man lying on the ground took out his gun and fired at Paul, just as one of the girls, an Asian one that looked like she had morfed, panicked and stepped into the shot. The bullet tore through her shoulder before hitting Paul in the head. The girl fell down screaming, while Paul dropped down unconscious.

The leader of the team yelled angrily, “Idiot, we need him alive for questioning!”
The men ignored the girls who were cowering away from them in fear and quickly hauled the unconscious Paul into the van before people could interfere. They departed with screeching tires and a little while later, arrived at a warehouse, where Paul was offloaded.

They carried him into a cell-like room and dumped him on a cot. A camera was watching him while a medic was called and a report was made for their superiors. The medic examined Paul but can’t do much. The bullet had lodged in his skull and couldn’t be removed without too much risk.

The general received the report of the team and though furious, didn’t show any emotion to his men. He decided to go there and see for himself. Not too long later he showed up at the warehouse with a doctor accompanying him. He had the doctor examine Paul.

“So Dr. Mapleton, how is our subject doing?”

The doctor looked up to the general, “Not too bad. He does have some hemorrhaging in his brain due to the bullet. But he’ll survive. The problem is: there is no way to know what the trauma did to his brain. He could be paralyzed, have amnesia, even be reduced to a vegetable or be totally fine. There is no way of knowing. We have to wait till he wakes up.”

The general looked stoically back at him, “Can you wake him up with something?”

Dr. Mapleton stared at him incredulously, “I might, but I advise against it. It will not do him any good. In fact I’m fairly certain it will deteriorate his condition.”

“Do it anyway. We need some info now. Do what you can to keep him alive and coherent, but wake him up ASAP.”

Dr. Mapleton grumbled a bit, but searched his bag and after a while pulled out a vial and a syringe. He injected Paul, who began to stir.

I woke up in a nice place and position. Some scantily clad Asian girl was all over me, well mostly on one part of my anatomy. She began to blow me, when I felt a pain in my head.’ Paul opened his eyes and winced from the pain in his head. He realized that he had been dreaming. He thought, ‘I woke up from that nice place to God knows where?

Paul groaned and tried to get up, but found he was tied to the bed.  He didn’t like being tied down. In fact, he hated it, because he was a little claustrophobic. “Hey, what is this? Why am I tied down? Who the hell are you, and where am I?” Paul started to fire question in a rapid tempo.

A grim looking man stared down at Paul. “Where you are is not important. Neither is who I am. We need to know something from you, and I advise you to answer fast and correctly.”

Paul wanted to get up to show the man where he could put his questions. But being tied down precluded that, and he still had a severe headache. Paul thought to himself, ‘Why does my head hurt so much?’ He even felt a little nauseous. Paul dismissed the nausea and toughened up with the pain. He had developed a high tolerance for pain after sustaining injuries in battle and he’d had to live with the pain ever since.

“Sergeant Bartlett, what can you tell me about the extraction mission last year in India? You were part of the team that covertly got a man back to the US.”

Paul thought back, but he didn’t remember any mission like that. “Are you sure that I was in that team? I can’t recollect any mission like that.”

“Don’t play that game with us, Sergeant. We know you were there.”

Paul thought hard, but still couldn’t remember. In fact he didn’t remember a lot of things. Not only about the missions, but also the memory of his home just wasn’t there anymore. Where did he live? Paul was getting worried.

“I’m sorry, but I still don’t know. I wish I could help you, but I don’t know.”

The man swore before reaching for a radio. “He isn’t co-operating. Please assist me.”
Another man in a white lab coat stepped into the room. He carried a small briefcase with him. Out of Paul’s vision the man in the lab coat opened his case and moments later approached Paul holding a syringe in his hand. Paul hated needles. Merely the sight of it made his skin crawl.

Paul snarled, “Stay away with that, I already told you what I know. I don’t know anymore.”

The first man menacingly growled, “Tell us what we want to know, so we won’t have to use the CycloIsoSynclonal. It will make you tell the truth, but hurts like hell.”

Paul knew about the drug. ‘How did I know that?’ He wasn’t so much as scared but angry at the treatment he got. “I already told you the truth, and everything I know. I really can’t recall the mission. You don’t need to give me the drug.”

“I wish we could believe you on your word, Sergeant Bartlett. But we can’t, sorry.”

The man with the syringe came closer and put the needle into a vein of Paul’s arm. In a monitoring room the doctor complained to the general. “I really must protest against this action. The man has already suffered trauma, and he obviously has some amnesia. Administering the drug will lower his chances of getting well.”

The general just shrugged and stoically watched as Paul began to tremble and then screamed in pain as the truth drug was spreading through his body. The rest of the interrogation was a blur to Paul, as he told the men everything he still knew. But sometimes Paul was just incoherent or mixing up things. The men tried their best to steer Paul to what they wanted to know, but they got nothing substantial out of Paul. Finally the interrogation was finished.

Paul got a little rest but was on the brink of consciousness. Even worse, he started to feel sick. He was still tied down to the bed and suddenly felt like he had to throw up. He just had enough room to turn his head aside before he puked his guts out.

Dr. Mapleton rushed in and examined Paul. He was really out of it now, and he barely noticed that his restraints were unbuckled. Dr. Mapleton took a blood sample from Paul and sent the medic out to have it checked at the lab. Seeing that Paul wasn’t in immediate danger of dying, the doctor had a man stay with Paul and told him to notify him immediately if Paul’s condition changed. Paul himself didn’t seem to be any threat anymore. He was really sick now.

Dr. Mapleton reappeared in the monitoring room sometime later and reported to the general. “Sergeant Bartlett still suffers from the bullet wound, and it has affected his memory. But he has a more serious condition. Somehow he managed to contract MORFS.”

The general interrupted the doctor, “How is that possible? I thought mature people didn’t contract MORFS anymore.”

“Well it hasn’t happened before, that is true. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. As to how it happened we can only guess. Maybe the place of where the bullet is lodged in his brain has something to do with it. Anyhow, he is well on his way into Stage 1 already.”

“Very well Doctor. Keep monitoring his vitals and progress. I have to make a phone call.” The general waited till Dr. Mapleton left the room before selecting a number on his e-Com. The man he called didn’t pick up immediately and he started to get a bit antsy. Then the large man in the business suit answered.

The general apologized, “Sorry to disturb you, but we have a new and unexpected development. The Sergeant we interrogated suffered memory loss, and somehow contracted MORFS. I propose that we move him into a secure facility and have him go through the changes. If he changes into something useful, like our man for the current operation, we lucked out. If his change turns out to be not useful, we can discard or terminate him.”

The large man agreed with the general and told him to set things up. As he hung up, the large man thought carefully about some devious plans he would like to start. Maybe one or more could be done with this new MORFS victim. Well, if he changed into something useful anyway. Maybe he even wouldn’t have to coax or threaten a super into doing his bidding this time.
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It took awhile to set things up for a place to take the morphing Paul to, but finally they were ready to transport him to the secure facility. Paul, in the meantime, had already slipped into Stage 2 of MORFS and started changing. Dr. Mapleton had given him an IV to supply Paul with extra energy and kept him sedated for the change.

Paul was put on a stretcher into the black van and driven as quickly as possible within the limits, straight through the city towards their new destination. The driver and his colleague riding shotgun kept a sharp lookout for trouble, but couldn’t see a beat up old caddy racing through an alley. The caddy was full of gang-bangers who were being chased by the police, while the occupants were exchanging sporadic gunfire with the police.

Just as the black van just drove in front of the alley, the caddy shot out of it. With a horrifically loud bang followed by the scream of twisting metal, the cars collided. Several of the men inside the van got smashed against the sides, and as the doors spontaneously opened up. Paul, lying unconscious on the stretcher, was lucky enough to be just in front of the side door when it opened up, and flew clear out of the car onto the sidewalk, crashing into a Japanese family that was walking there.

Several police cars arrived on the scene and the officers put the uninjured gang-bangers into cuffs, while checking out the van and surroundings. They found the team of military men inside the car with the doctor. The doctor was in a bad shape, with several lacerations and a concussion. The other men were very fit and had fewer injuries. They refused to answer any questions on how a man on a stretcher without any ID happened to be in their van. So the police took them into custody as well.
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Ichiro Furumori was walking with his family from the restaurant, where they had in enjoyed a lunch with the three of them, to his work. Ichiro was a resident gynecologist in the Bellevue Hospital. They enjoying the afternoon, walking in the nice weather they had this day. Suddenly everything started to happen at once. A black van drove by in the street, as a car was heard screeching from an alley across the street. There was the loud bang of a collision and then a body fell out of the van, landing on Ichiro and his daughter Sachiko. They both went down, and Ichiro swore, “Shimata. Kuso!” {Damn. Shit!}

Amaya, his wife said, “Damare Ichiro. Don’t give a bad example to Sachiko.”{Stop Ichiro} Then she bowed down to her daughter, “Sweetheart, are you okay?”
Sachiko looked up, “Daijobu Okasan. What hit us?” {I’m fine Mom}

Ichiro saw that his daughter wasn’t hurt too badly and was already checking the man that fell on them. He obviously had come from the van. But he was wearing only a pair of too big boxer shorts and T-shirt. There was evidence that an intravenous needle had been inserted into his arm, and he looked sort of effeminate.

The police who had been in pursuit of the car that smashed into the van had already called an ambulance. Ichiro told his wife and daughter to go home. He would be going with the unknown victim to the hospital. Also, an unknown man in a doctor’s coat, who was unconscious and had several severe wounds, would be taken to the hospital.

On route to the hospital Ichiro observed that the unknown victim was getting slightly smaller all the time. Suddenly he understood why the IV that had been attached to the man’s arm. The man was undergoing MORFS, and the IV had to be an energy solution drip.

As soon as the ambulance arrived at the hospital, Ichiro alerted the ER people to his suspicions and they quickly confirmed it to be true. The still unconscious Paul was put into ICU and had a new IV attached. The unknown doctor got put into an ER room and got treated for his injuries. But a guard was posted near his bed, as the police still wanted an explanation on the victim and the situation.

Paul, who was listed as a John Doe, was under constant observation, though he was sleeping peacefully during the transformation that continued to go on. It was a good thing that he was under such observation too as well into the night suddenly blood spurted out of a wound that appeared in one leg. A large piece of titanium stuck out of the leg. The man had apparently had a Pin inserted in his leg at one time. Now the body was getting much smaller, and the metal pin had been too big for the new leg size. A doctor was called and in an immediate surgical procedure, the pin was extracted. The wound healed up fast, while the body of the now apparently young girl, the previous John Doe, changed and kept getting smaller still.

The surgeon kept the pin separate for identification, knowing there was a serial number imprinted on the pin for that purpose. However before he could check out into what patient that pin had been inserted, he got called away for another emergency.

Dr. Mapleton wasn’t far from the operating room and heard most of what went on. He was still being guarded, but could follow what went on in there. He swiped a syringe with an anesthetic from a nearby cart and injected the guard. Then he looked in on the former sergeant Bartlett and saw that he now looked more like a little girl with long purple hair, and a white fur on her arms and hands, with a tiger striping. She seemed to be sleeping peacefully, but moaned a few times from pain and discomfort as the doctor watched on. Then he saw the pin lying on a table.

His blood went cold. ‘They could identify her as the former sergeant Paul Bartlett with that.’ He quickly hid the pin in a bag and quietly exited the hospital. He had some trouble, as his own wounds were quite severe, and he really shouldn’t be traveling under his own power yet. But he knew that he shouldn’t be caught in the hospital, and definitely didn’t want to be interrogated about the incident. Luck was with him, as he slipped out unnoticed. Once on the street he called the emergency number that he had been given from a public booth. Barely ten minutes later, a black van pulled up to bring him to a safehouse.

The girl that used to be Paul Bartlett, but didn’t have any identification with her anymore, slept peacefully. Now that she had reached Stage 3 of MORFS, she was taken off the critical list, and put into a small single room. She wasn’t watched that intensively anymore, though she was still under the watchful eye of a nurse. When it became obvious that she could wake up any moment, Doctor Ichiro Furumori, looking in on her, decided to stay with her for a while just in case she did wake up. He wanted to know who she had been and why she now looked like an Asian hybrid girl.

The little girl woke up from a nice slumber, and kept her eyes closed a little longer to savior the nice feeling. Then she opened her eyes and saw a stranger sitting at her bed. The stranger noticed her gaze and smiled at her. “Konnichiwa shoujo, genki?” {Hello little girl, how are you feeling}

The girl looked at him with curiosity, “Daijobu, dozo.” {I feel fine, thank you}

Ichiro hadn’t realize that he had spoken in Japanese, and was surprised that she talked Japanese back to him. “Nihongo ga dekimasu ka? Onamae wa nan desu ka?” {You speak Japanese? What is your name?}

The girl abruptly sat up thinking, ‘I speak Japanese? Who am I? What is my name, where am I?’ Then she slid out from under the blanket and tried to slide from the bed to the floor. Unfortunately, her body memory said that the bed wasn’t that high, and she found herself falling flat on her face towards the ground. Only her catlike reflexes prevented from her really falling flat on her face, as she managed to break her fall with her hands and feet.

Ichiro couldn’t help himself he started laughing from the sight. It looked funny the way she had fallen down from the bed. The girl got upset and angrily said, “I don’t think that it is funny at all. Stop laughing.” Then she stopped, as she realized that she was saying it in English. Ichiro had stopped laughing and frowned. So she wasn’t Japanese from origin, but probably American.

He helped her up back up on to the bed and said to her, “I didn’t mean to make fun of you. So what is your name?”

The girl that used to be Paul thought hard, but didn’t remember. “I don’t know. I really want to tell you, but I can’t remember what my name is.” She was getting frantic as she really wanted to remember, but only ran into a blank wall trying to.

“That is okay. What do you remember? We do know that you were a man, probably fully grown, before you contracted MORFS. But you were already changed too much to ascertain who you were.” Ichiro tried to put the girl at ease, and tried to help her remember, but instead, the girl got more upset.

I was a man, and now I’m a girl? I’m a girl?’ Only now did she notice her body and looked stupefied at the lithe body that was covered by a hospital smock. For a few moments she just looked and forgot to breathe. She inhaled noisily and her lips started to tremble. Then at first, a few tears silently trickled down from her eyes. They increased in number till she fully cried out her anguish over everything. Ichiro hugged her but let her cry for now. He understood that the girl needed to let her emotions run rampant.

Several minutes later the girl stopped crying and though she still felt very sad, she didn’t want to cry anymore. She looked at Ichiro, “Who are you, are you my doctor?”

Ichiro shook his head, “No, I’m not. I’m Doctor Ichiro Furumori. I’m a gynecologist here at the hospital. When the car that you were in had an accident, you fell on me and my daughter. So I stayed with you for while to see who you are and how you were doing.”

This brought her mind back to her predicament and she almost started crying again. “I don’t remember anything about an accident, or being a man. I don’t remember anything.” The girl was getting hysterical, trying to remember something, anything, now.

“Don’t worry too much about it now. Most times it takes a while or seeing something specific before the memory returns. Now unless you would like to be called Jane Doe, you need a name that we can call you by. How does Kumiko sound to you?”

She thought about it, and she knew it meant beautiful, long-lived child. ‘How did I know all that?’ “Okay, Dr. Furumori, I like it. So now I’m Kumiko?”

Ichiro rose from his chair, “Hai Kumiko. That will now be your name” {Yes Kumiko}
Then he held out his hand and said, “And it is Ichiro, not Dr. Furumori.”
Kumiko shook his hand. and as he wanted to turn around to leave her room, she held on to it. Ichiro turned back to Kumiko, “I have to go now to my family. You still have to stay here in the hospital.”

Kumiko acted like a little girl, as in fact she was now. She kept holding on to his hand and whined, “I don’t want to be left alone. Please stay with me?”

Ichiro felt sorry for Kumiko. She didn’t know anything about her past, and was all alone with no one to be there for her. But he did need to go home. He sat down with her, “I really have to go to my family, but I promise I will be here again soon. Can you be a good big girl and wait for half a day?”

Kumiko searched her feelings. She really wanted this Doctor to stay with her. He was the only one she knew. But she also understood that she couldn’t lay claim to all his time. Timidly she answered, “Okay Dr. Furumori. I will wait. But please come see me soon?”

Ichiro smiled at her, “Of course I will, and don’t forget, it is only Ichiro.” With that he got up and left Kumiko’s room. Kumiko stared after him for a few minutes and then felt the call of nature beckoning. She slid, more carefully this time, from the bed and made her way to the toilet. There she wasn’t sure what to do, stand or sit down. Then in her mind she smacked herself. ‘You’re a girl now. Sit down, you silly twit!
She sat down quickly and let nature take over. She knew that she should wipe carefully, ‘How did I know that?’ But as she just did it, it felt natural to her.

As she finished her business and washed her hands, she noticed the big mirror on the inside of the door. Astonished, she looked at the little girl in the mirror. For a brief moment she wanted to look behind her to see if that girl was standing there, but she quickly realized that the girl was her. She looked to be about 10 or 11 years of age, had a very white skin, at least where she could see the skin, and pointy ears almost on top of her head. They had white fur on them and swiveled when noticing sounds. She could hear much better, as well. Next, she noticed her eyes. The color was like gold, with a very thin line of black. She could probably see very well in the dark. She also had fangs that protruded a little from her lips.

The next thing she inspected in more detail was the white fur on her forearms and hands. She had noticed it before, but hadn’t inspected it till now, more closely and in detail. They were white too, with some black tiger striping on it. Her fingers looked thin, but the tips looked strange, especially just below her nails. As she looked closer at the tips, suddenly sharp talons shot out of them. With a shriek Kumiko staggered back from the mirror. ‘I have talons in my fingers?’ She looked more closely at the sharp extensions and wished that they would go away. Without warning they just as suddenly slid back into her fingers. ‘Whew, that was weird. I’m like a real cat, or maybe that should be tiger, with those claws and striping on my fur.

Kumiko went back to the mirror and slipped her hospital smock up and open. She examined her body further. Apart from the same black striping all over her skin, she had long purple hair and a long patch of white with black striped fur that ran from her neck to her swishing tail. ‘Wait, a tail? Why didn’t I notice that before? I should have noticed that.’ The tail was covered with short white fur and black stripes. Only now did she fully understand the things she had been feeling since she woke up.

Lost in thought, Kumiko shuffled back to her bed and got a fright as she noticed a cleaning woman coming into the room. It was a dark Asian looking woman, who said, “Selamat sore. Siapa nama anda?” {Good evening, what is your name?}

Kumiko was surprised that she understood the woman, and surprised herself and the woman by answering, “Nama saya Kumiko.” She thought to herself, ‘How many languages do I speak?’ She understood that this was the Indonesian language. But she didn’t know how she knew it, or what other languages she spoke. She spoke them involuntary and automatically when she was spoken to in a language that she knew. The woman started cleaning the room, while she kept on talking to Kumiko about the weather and other mundane things. Although the conversation wasn’t unpleasant, Kumiko was relieved when the woman, who had said that her name was Mudah, had finished cleaning the room and left.
                                                                                                                   
At first she couldn’t fall asleep and lay in her hospital bed, tossing and turning, thinking and wondering about whom she had been and what she should do now. She didn’t know anyone in the world anymore, expect that nice doctor. And she didn’t even know much about him. Hours later she finally fell asleep in a restless slumber and woke up early, from the noise in the hospital.
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Dr. Mapleton arrived at the safe house and after a short debriefing, drew up his report for the general. He gave a complete, as far as he knew, description of how the former sergeant Bartlett now looked. He gave a word of caution on how to approach her as she would be under scrutiny of the authorities for the nearby future.
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{All conversation here translated from Japanese in English}

Ichiro came home to his wife Amaya and daughter Sachiko. Amaya was curious as to his late arrival, and he told her all about the adult male MORFS victim that  was now a little hybrid girl. Amaya felt sorry for Kumiko when she heard that she didn’t have any memory of her past.

Sachiko had another question for her father. “What will happen to Kumiko? She doesn’t have any family, money, or a place to stay, right?”

Ichiro confirmed that with a nod of his head as he was eating.

“So how about letting her stay here for a while? Just till other arrangements can be made.”

“Sachiko!” her mother scolded. “You can not just invite someone here?”

“Why not? We do have the room, and it wouldn’t hurt for her to have someone to talk to.”

Ichiro smiled lightly, “Aren’t you just saying that to have someone to talk to yourself? I know that you still haven’t made many friends here.”

Sachiko blushed. Her father was so perceptive, he always saw right through her.

Amaya now said, “Actually, I do think that it might not be such a bad idea. Kumiko can not stay long in the hospital, and child services is always overworked.”

“I can’t believe you said that, Amaya. You just said that we can’t just invite someone here.”

“I know, but I changed my mind. I won’t mind having another child around for a while.”

Ichiro sighed, “You should know that Kumiko doesn’t have anything. You would need to go shopping with her for clothes, sanitary stuff, and whatever more.”

Amaya smiled, “You always say that I look for any excuse to go shopping.”

Ichiro gave in, “Okay then. I guess it would be good. I am the first and maybe only one she knows right now. I’ll try to get her discharged into our care.”

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The general read the reports from both Dr. Mapleton and the team leader. The team members had been imprisoned for a little while, but a few MP’s that he sent over had the team quickly released. This case of interrogating a former military operative had gone south so quickly and disastrous. Now he had to change the case into a longtime surveillance project. But he needed other operatives for that kind of operation. He needed to confer with the man in the suit for additional funding, as well. He started up a new project and looking at the data from Dr. Mapleton, codenamed it ‘Felicia’.

 

 

 

 

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

 


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