Part 1. A New school and a New Life.

 

Towelling down the dark black fur on my arms and chest has been a chore in the mornings, one that sometimes makes me wish that I didn’t need to shower every day. But my sensitive nose means that I notice when I start to smell, often before most people, so the necessary pain comes with desiring not to have to spend a day smelling badly. At just under 5’1, I am well built and defined for a 16 year old, but then with my father, being who he is, that’s not surprising.

 

I’m the first born son of a pair of highly skilled operatives, which as most know, is the polite way of saying the person who takes what the spies have collated and does the dirty work, think James Bond, but without the public image. Their enemies didn’t know their names, they knew nothing, my parents had never failed a mission and no one knew it, which was exactly how they wanted it. With the birth of my sister, four years after my own birth, our parents retired. Well, retired is a strong word, you never really retire from their line of work; they relocated and became the heads of a training academy developing the next generation of operatives. Since I was able to walk, Dad had me training with him. The MORFS virus had given him the appearance of being a Humanoid Black Cat. Well almost, he had cat paws instead of feet and hands, though his fore paws were just as flexible as human hands so it never held him back. He also had the defined form of a man who works out every day but has pushed more for stamina and speed than bulk lifting force. With the exception of his eyes, his head was mostly human, though with a fine soft fur covering it.

 

Mum had taken on a more tigerlike appearance with her change. Her golden hair had become a glorious mane, her body, though appearing lithe and skinny, could probably match my father's for strength, though physically she only took on the colouring of a tigress, and remained fully human in body shape, well, except for the fur in places. Mother has this look about her, as if she wouldn’t hurt a fly, though from personal experience, I can tell you that she is possibly deadlier than most people I know. Both my parents have cat’s-eyes. My sister Katherine took on the appearance of our mother, much as I have inherited an appearance similar to our father, and,as I had found out to the bruising of my arm, the same uncanny strength. As with our parents our eyes were feline.

 

I was staring into my own eyes in the mirror one morning when my sight blurred.

 

Mum found me embracing the toilet in the bathroom half an hour later, my stomach still retching even though there was nothing else to heave.

 

Being born like I was, human mostly, human hands and human feet, but the light black fur all over my body with a tail and the cats eyes like my fathers, I, like so many others, assumed I had gone through the MORFs changes in the womb.

 

You can imagine my shock when the doctor said to my mother, “I have the test results back and confirm both your son and your daughter have the first stage illness responses for the MORFS virus…”

 

“I’m sorry, but I thought they would be immune to MORFs…”

 

“Well … usually children growing up like they have, with the physical appearances like their parents, have gone through an early MORFS metamorphosis, and or their DNA is immune to further editing. However, in these twos cases, the virus is effecting them, in Jace’s case, quite badly. These are prescriptions for their QTPs. (Quick Transition Packs). I’m afraid that beyond this, I can’t be much help. As a military doctor, I usually only have post MORFs patients. If you like, I can refer you to a doctor more familiar with the MORFS virus and its effects.”

 

                                                *******

 

We had been here only 2 weeks, and I had thought I had done well at school, all considering the newness to it. In England I had been at an all boys private school, quite popular, well known, with my own group of friends. Here in the US the nearest equivalent was 100 miles away, a boarding school and one for “pure” humans only, as in no one who looks not human need apply, and that meant me straight out. Oh well, public school for me. Drats, mix school you say? I have to go to school with girls? Oh damn! Stop being sarcastic? Mother would I be …Ow, did you have to hit me, Sis? Suffice to say my initial reaction was that this was an improvement.

 

I guess you could say my first day hadn’t gone too well, I had gone in to do some tests so they could place me in the best classes for my abilities. Walking from the office to my appointment in the gym for a physical analysis, I had seen this cute blonde, short skirt, tight top, smile to die for. As she walked past, I smiled and simply said “Good morning.” She took one look at me, and said “Fuck off, you sub human freak.” Well, that was a downer, I must say, considering the mix of students that were supposed to be here.

 

First up was gym or more precisely, ‘test the new guy to see what he can and can’t do.’ Jump tests, sprint tests, balance tests, stamina tests such as the bleep test, long distance that sorts of things. I did well on the balance test, my tail letting me balance on the thin bar the coach had me walk along. It snaked around the hall with increasing difficulty and reducing thickness. I slipped on the final stretch when the pole rolled. The standing jump test was fun, I shocked the teacher by somersaulting so my feet were my highest point, adding another meter to my max height, I’m not sure what shocked him most though, the fact I somersaulted, or the fact I landed on my hands.

 

The only tests that weren’t done were the martial arts and self defence ones. The note from my parents informing the school they did not wish me to do that section of the curriculum got me out of it. I never understood why martial arts were added to the curriculum in a lot of schools. Oh, sure, it sounds good in theory, teach everyone how to be able to defend themselves, and not only will the kids be less likely to be bullied, but you have done some of the work in training them if you ever need to call them up in war. Strangely enough, the kids who got the most benefit from the training weren’t the kids who needed it the most. Oh, sure, some would be pretty damn good and most would leave them alone. But it was usually the bullies who excelled, and it just made them better bullies.

 

 

 

After the session, on the way back to the school office with a sheet of paper listing my physical abilities for class placement, I saw my little sister, pushed up against a locker. There was a group of normal looking girls standing around her. She had this look in her eyes. I had seen that look before, and it wasn’t a good look. It happens when she is getting angry, and like our mother, that meant dangerous.

 

 

 

“Look, you little bitch, that bathroom is for human girls only. You will not go in there, ever!” It was the blonde from earlier; she had her hand in my sister’s hair and was holding her up against the lockers.

 

“Yeah you must go outside like the animal you are.” I couldn’t see who had said that, but the other girls in the group thought it was pretty funny.

 

“I would let go of her, if I was you….”

 

“Fuck off, Freak! This is between us and the little animal here. None of your business…” yelled a brunette had turned around to scream at me.

 

“Hey, I recognise you; you’re the dirty animal who tried hitting on me earlier. James! This is the freak I was telling you about.” said the blonde to a guy who had been leaning against a locker a few meters further down the corridor. He stood up straight, easily six and a half feet in height and walked towards me.

 

“Huh, well I guess I got to pound you, hitting on my woman isn’t allowed.” He moved towards me and threw a punch. Jumping back, I let my tail unwrap from around my waist.

 

“Huh, the freaks got a tail. That’s another reason to pound you, I hate tails.”

 

“Hey Sis, there’s only 8 of them, try not to hurt them too badly, OK?”

 

Her response was to growl. Oh dear this wasn’t good, I had once heard my mother growl, and the guy who had hit me is now a cripple. I blocked the punch from the big guy, slipped inside his defences and brought my fist up onto his jaw. His eyes crossed briefly, he shook his head, pulled back his fist to hit as if to try again to hit me, then collapsed into an unconscious heap.

 

I turned to see my sister do a similar thing to the blonde, who flew across the corridor. She turned to the next one, who had taken a step in towards her, but the girl began having second thoughts after her friend had gone airborne. Both our tails were flicking back and forth, hers out of anger, and mine out of agitation. She threw a punch at the girl, and I moved to catch it.

 

                                                            ********

 

“I can’t believe you two got pulled into the principal’s office for fighting on your first day. Your father is going to be furious. What were you thinking?”

 

“It’s not even a suspension, Mum, and it was self defence. You know we don’t have any classes till next Monday, and they have processed our old school records and tested us in the areas they are unsure of.”

 

“That is not the point. YOU” she said pointing at me, “are supposed to be looking after your sister.”

 

“Looking after my sister? Mum she hardly needs me looking after….”

 

“Mum, I don’t need….”

 

“Be quiet, both of you. You’re both grounded.”

 

“What?? We have been in the states for 2 days, and you’re grounding us already? Are we supposed to have no friends?”

 

“Ok, you’re not grounded, but you have both lost your TV privileges for a week, and you, young lady, a month for answering me back.” Mum was getting the look in her eyes; I spotted it immediately and signalled Katherine to stop arguing. Mum is pretty easy going as long as you don’t push her too far. Oh, she gets angry, and she shouts and screams a lot, and we get punished. But if we take it maturely, the punishment often got reduced once it was decided we have learnt the lesson. Both our parents believe that we should have a say in how thing go, so if we think a punishment is unfair we can argue about it, to a point. Ague too much and the punishment will get increased.

 

I remember my father’s words, “‘Well son, now you’re 12, you are mature enough to make some decisions for yourself. But with this comes responsibilities. You will have to do chores around the house, help out your mother and me when you can. Oh, and if you think me or your mother has unjustly punished you, you can argue your point, as long as you do it in a mature fashion. Understand? Good. Remember one thing though, we’re still your, parents and there is a point where if you go too fa,r you will be punished. But learning when to argue and when not to is part of life.”

 

 

 

I had learnt, the hard way more often than not, how far I could go with my parents, and when best to argue my case, which was often the following morning at the breakfast table, after they had calmed down from whatever reason they had given us the punishment. I shifted the ice pack on my face and sighed. That blow was going to give me such a nice black eye.

 

Dad’s response was pretty typical for him. While Mum was in the room he was a stickler for how bad we had been. The minute she left, after Katherine had gone to bed, he conspiratorially asked in a whisper, “How did the fight go really?” Then he quietly chuckled as I relayed the fight, and how I’d had to pin Katherine on the ground until she calmed down. He looked at my swollen eye, “Katherine?”

 

“Yep.” He couldn’t help but laugh out loud at that one. Mum’s look was questioning when she came back into the room.

 

“Jace was just saying how he got that great shiner.”

 

“What is so funny about a bully punching your son in the head?”

 

“It wasn’t the Jock, Mum. It was Kat, when I held her on the ground to stop her killing those girls …”

 

“She’s getting more like you every day, dear …” Hmm was it too late to get out the room …

 

                                                            ********

 

Over the next few days I took a stupid number of tests, which coupled with my school report effectively placed me into the best classes for my skills, abilities and previous education, though looking at my timetable for the following week, I didn’t have a clue what I would be doing. It was all stuff like SC502, Rm J201, Dr Hansworth. Now I think that SC was science, as J block, according to my school map is a Science block. So 502 maybe meaning year 5 set 2, without anything to tell me for sure this was all just guess work.

 

I was glad I had gotten the physical tests done already, as my balance was well off with this shiner, though the breakfast from Kat when I got up was nice. Seems I should stop my sister hurting people more often, as she seems to get all nice when I do.

 

Monday came around so I found myself outside the school grounds, looking at the swarm of kids heading into the building. Having not really had chance to learn the area, or even having seen another student to get an idea of the limits of the rather vague student uniform of the place, I had opted for a casual form of my old one, my old black trousers, white shirt and black shoes. So as you can expect, I stood out from the other guys, who were wearing jeans, t-shirts, shorts, and hoodies.

 

I started to weigh up looking like a dweeb on my first day of school or getting a bollocking from my mother for being late on my first day of a new school, when a good looking Brunette said, “You new?” I looked at her, meeting her green eyes with a smile. Her dark hair was tied back into a pony tail and she was in a black miniskirt and black tank top with a pair of trainers on.

 

“Yeah, and wondering whether it might be a good idea to go home, get change and turn up late…”

 

“Ohhh, you’re English. I like your accent. Let’s see who you’ve got.” Before I could do anything, she had whipped my timetable from my hand, turned it over and was quickly looking at who and what I had. “Right, well you’ve got Mrs. Jameson first. So if you value your hide, you won’t be late. She never forgives tardy students.”

 

“Damn…well I guess I can always shake the dweeb opinion people will make of me.”

 

“Haha, no one will think you’re a dweeb, that is school uniform. It’s just for the first day of a new year we can wear what we like, which you wouldn’t know if this is your first year, as I doubt the office told you. Right?”

 

“Yeah ...”

 

“Good, I’ve got Jameson first thing as well. This way. I’m Kaitie, Kaitie McSammuel.” She was leading me towards the building I had been staring at just a moment before.

 

“Jace Neumer.”

 

It seems Kaitie and I were in a lot of classes together and she ended up showing me around, not that I’m complaining, she was good looking. Lunch was different. Having been use to a more formal sit down style of school meals, the fast food style with the benches was all new to me.

 

“You ever see the movies where a character gets shown around, and is told their social status is decided by where they sit?”

 

“Err…a couple. Why?” I was looking around the room as we walked towards a table in the centre.

 

“Well, sadly, it’s true, only here you tend to get three distinct groups.”  We sat down at a round table in the middle of the room. I noticed around this table the room definitely felt like it had been split into three sections.

 

“The three groups here can be described simply as the “Pure” humans,” she nodded her heard towards one section, “They think that they are better than anyone who has been effected by the MORFs. Some are pretty vocal about it.” I could see the blonde who had attacked my sister, as I understand it, she had been lightly bruised, a sprained ankle, and a small cut, she was however well bandaged.

 

“The Supers, People who have been effected by the MORFs virus quite strongly and think it makes them better than those who haven’t.” She nodded towards the group as far from the “Pures” as you could be, “Obviously the pures and the supers hate each other, and then there is the third group, which I like to call the sane and normal. The people who don’t care one way or another.”

 

“Normal? Kait, you’re not giving another new person your morality speech are you?” I looked up to see a tall guy in a tight black T shirt. He was wearing black specs, and I could see from his whiskers he was post MORFs.

 

“Ahh Jimmy! Have a good vacation?”

 

“It was alright, got dragged around Canada by my pops in his truck. Who’s the new guy?”

 

“OH, my bad.” She giggled, “This is Jace, Jimmy … Jimmy, Jace.”

 

“Hi.”

 

“Nice to meet ya, man. Where’s the rest of the gang?”

 

“Coming. I saw Penny earlier; she and Jen are having a meeting with the principal before coming to lunch. They probably saw Karen and the twins and dragged them with them.”

 

“Ahhh good.”

 

“How’s Mel?” she asked as she put a chip in her mouth.

 

“MORFS.”

 

“What? Damnit am I going to be the last in the group who goes through it?”

 

“Haha, looks like I might win the pool after all.”

 

“Pool?” I asked.

 

“Oh we have a pool on who will be the last of us to go through the MORFs. Penny, Jen and sweet Kaitie here are the only three of us to have not gone through it yet. I put my money on Kaitie.”

 

“Just me and Jen now…Penny went through it a week ago.”

 

“She did? Did she change?”

 

“Nope, nothing fun anyway. Just cosmetic.”

 

“You don’t have any fun super powers do you?” he asked me.

 

“Huh? Fun?”

 

“You know, being able to fly, pick up cars with one hand, teleport yourself?”

 

“Errr…No, sorry, I’ve got a tail…” I let it unwrap from my waist and wiggled it behind me.

 

“Damn.”

 

“Oooo, that looks nice, can I touch it?” I looked at Kaitie, shrugged and swung my tail to her; she took it in one hand and started to stroke it. “Ooo it’s so soft. How come I didn’t notice this before?”

 

“I keep it wrapped around my waist and out the way…Oooo that does feel relaxing…”

 

“Who’s Mr Purrer?” I was purring, quite content to enjoy the relaxing sensations from my tail.

 

“Haha, this is Jace, new guy, Kait's just demonstrating her magic fingers on his tail.”

 

“Welcome to Derek Samuel’s High.” I managed to open my eyes to look at the 5 people who sat down. Kait let go of my tail and I wrapped it grudgingly back around my waist.

 

“Jace, these are Penny” she indicated a blonde with a pair of Elvin ears, blue eyes and a smile from ear to ear. “Jen.” A grey eyed, raven haired beauty. “Karen” she had dark sunglasses on, and her hair was covered by a bandana and a baseball cap. “And these two miscreants” she said indicating the twins who sat down on opposite sides to Karen and Jen, “are the twins, Mike and Tike.” Both had certain physical similarities to monkeys, neither had opposable thumbs, and both had tails.

 

“Haha, we like to get our tails stroked as well…”

 

“Don’t think I have seen someone who starts purring, though…. “

 

“I thought it was sweet, very catlike.”

 

“Does he?”

 

“Nope, no super powers…”

 

“Damn…”

 

“Damn…”

 

“What’s with the fixation with super powers?”

 

“Well, based upon national statistics, 50% of the population feels no change from MORFS, so statistically, half the group should have no powers. Now if we look at the numbers, there is a lot of kids in this school who have had no change. So we figure, most, if not all of us should be effected by MORFS somehow, especially as we all come from families who have been effected. Now 25% should have some kind of special ability, nothing spectacular, and 1% should be amazing. Now the monkey boys here can swing and move around like real monkeys…” commented Karen.

 

“Hey…”

 

“ ...We’re better than real monkeys.”

 

“That’s arguable. Monkeys often have more sense” Karen kissed Tike on the cheek before carrying on. “Jen can sing in perfect key.”

 

“Not much of a power, she could do that before MORFS hit her.”

 

“Anyway, in a school of 4000 students, you would expect half to show signs of MORFs. Out of that 2000, 1000 should have some sort of ability, so in our grade, 143 students should have some sort of extra ability, and 5 or 6 should have some sort of super power. As far as we can tell, there are only 3.”

 

“4, if you include Kevin Samuels” Commented Jen.

 

“Kevin is a super brain, hardly a super power” Replied Tike.

 

“Plus he is way too fixated with weapons,” added Mike.

 

“So, do you have claws?” Karen asked with a mischievous grin.

 

“Err, kinda.” I held out my hand and let my claws slide out of my finger tops. Slightly curved, they were just a little smaller than the length from my finger tips to the first knuckle.  “Not much use for anything other than climbing and scratching holes in things…”

 

“Could be nasty in a fight…”

 

I retracted them, “I’ve promised to never use them that way in a fight. If I do, then it’s because I have no other choice.”

 

“Well this is morbid, guys. Anyone see 'Love Triangle' last night?” asked Penny.

 

“Groan, not another soap. Do you girls do anything but watch soaps all night?” asked Mike.

 

“Sure we do, there’s also the sports” smiled Jen.

 

“You watched the Football game last night?”

 

“No the soccer match, those hot guys in those tight shorts.”

 

“Sheesh, don’t even know why I bother.”

 

“Cause you like me.” She kissed Mike on the lips.

 

“Well…” she kissed him again. “Ok, yeah I do.”

 

“Jace?” I looked at Kait again. “What are you doing this afternoon?”

 

“Oh ...err.” I pulled out my lesson timetable, “Lets see, SP501, Dr. J.P Pearson.”

 

“You’re in Pearson’s Gym Class?” Mike and Tike were looking at me in shock, the others in disbelief.

 

“According to this, yes…why?”

 

“Were in that class….you must have scored a kick ass score in the test to get into our class…”

 

“How far did you get on the Balance maze?”

 

“The track around the edge of the gym?” I got a nod, “I got to the bar that spun around as I got half way over.”

 

“Damn…”

 

“Impressive! Well, we better be off or we will be late for class. We meeting up at Flappinos after school?” A round of nods and yeps before Kait looked at me and said, “Wanna come? It’s a Smoothey shop on main.”

 

“Sure…will I have chance to get changed? Or is it a go as I am sorta place?”

 

“Changed is good. Not is good as well. If you will be more comfortable changed, go changed. K?” I smiled and nodded. “Mike, show Jace where Flapps is will you? We’ll meet you there.”

 

“Sure thing Kait, Come on Jace, the Doc really isn’t a teacher you want to be late for.”

 

“Two hours of jumping jacks sucks.”

 

My afternoon was taken up by Gym class, 3 hours of things I love, jumping, bouncing and generally throwing myself around.

 

Dr. Pearson is, to be honest, an orang-utan. We started the lesson looking up at him as he hung from the ceiling where he explained what he wanted us to do throughout the session. Circuit training, 5 minutes doing one activity, then you move on to another activity and so on. In groups of three, which found me working with Mike and Tike, as the pair of them used each other as spring boards to throw each other around.

 

“Ok, Gents.” The doc, as he asked us to call him said, fell from the ceiling to land on one of the mats. “To finish the lesson off, I want to offer an open challenge to anyone who can ring that bell…” he pointed to a bell set in the centre of the ceiling.

 

“Ahh, this will be easy.”

 

“…WITHOUT, jumping up and ringing it! That means ‘you’, Mr Piles. We all know you are capable of clearing that height with ease. So the requirement is to ring the bell three times in quick succession, without touching the ground, leaving a second between each ring.”

 

“Drats.”

 

Mike turned to me and said, “He always does this, thinks up a puzzle for us to try and solve.”

 

“As an added incentive, there will be 50 points awarded to the person to ring the bell for the interschool cup.”

 

“Interschool cup?” I asked Mike.

 

“School competition, near the end of the year. Teams compete for prizes throughout the year. You can gain points for your team by doing well in certain classes.” We watched Tike try to swing a rope close enough to ring the bell.

 

“You know, I think I can see away to ring the bell….but it will take teamwork…”

 

“How?”

 

“Call Tike, it will take all three of us.”

 

One of the exercises we had to do, involved climbing up a rope, crawling through a vent and dropping onto a pile of crash mats. The exit hole for the vent happened to line up with a rope on the other side of the room, and the bell in the middle. So I found myself catching the bottom end of the rope that Mike had thrown up to me, which had Tike holding onto the ring which secured the other end to the ceiling. Once I had a good grip on the rope and braced my self in the vent, Tike changed grip onto the rope and moved along it till he was under the bell, where he reached up and rang it.

 

Dr. Pearson was positively beaming when he congratulated us. “Five years! In the five years I’ve been offering this prize, not one student has ever managed it without some kind of power being involved, until now. Well done! You boys well deserve the 50 points between ... Oh what the heck, make that 50 points each. There should be rewards for good teamwork.”

 

“You guys have got 50 points already??? Damn, isn’t that more than the pair of you got together last year?” Karen was smiling at Mike as she kissed him.

 

“Well…yeah it is. Never seen old Doc so happy” Kaitie and I were at the counter buying the drinks, Flapps is a traditional teen hangout. They sell nice tasting drinks at a reasonable price, play good music, and have arcades and consoles dotted about the room. All the staff were young and the whole atmosphere was one of fun. I was pretty relaxed. After gym had got out Tike, Mike and I had taken a quick trip to my house where I got changed into a pair of my black combat trousers and a t shirt, before coming here. We had a half an hour wait before the others got here, due to us finishing earlier, so I got a full demonstration of Mike and Tike's DDR skills. Believe me, when I say, these two were good, they were swapping platforms and still hitting perfects on every touch.

 

“You having fun?” Kait was looking up at me while we waited our turn for the drinks.

 

“Yeah. The music is good, the company is great…” she smiled, wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me into a kiss.

 

“Whoa, Kait just dragged Jace into her world.”

 

Karen looked over and smiled, “Yeah she said she would do that.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Mike, Kait has a list of things that’s she is looking for in a guy.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yeah, can you remember then, Jen?”

 

“Yep, let’s see, nice personality, deep, intelligent eyes and a sexy tail.”

 

“And a fit body, I believe. Basically, Jace.”

 

“I think the accent is a bonus as well.”

 


The kiss was great…no better then great it was… Ok, probably not the best description of the kiss, it felt great, but to this day I can’t describe how I felt or really remember much about it, only that it felt great and I didn’t want it to stop.

 

“What would you two like?”

 

“Huh?” Our lips broke contact and Kait told the bartender our order. She smiled as she walked away to make them up.

 

“Want to go see a movie with me?”

 

“I’d love to, but isn’t it normally the guy who asks the girl?”

 

“It is, but I’m not like most other girls” I grabbed two of the drinks, put a third between them and lifted a forth carefully with my tail. Kait grabbed the last two. As we headed towards our table, 4 faces were looking at us with big grins on their faces.

 

“You think they saw us?”

 

“Probably.” The applause we received as we came over confirmed we had been seen

 

“I can’t believe how useable your tail is. Ours only seem to be any use for changing our centre of balance,” commented Mike as I put down the drink which I had carried with my tail.

 

“I’ve had a lot of practice. It’s like your other limbs, the more you use them to do things, the easier it gets to do them. My sister can write with both hands as neatly as one.”

 

“Can you write with your tail?” Tike asked.

 

“Haha! I wish, no, nothing too small or it’s hard to grip. I could carry the glass as I could use the shape and rim to stop the glass sliding out.”

 

“His tail is silky soft…” purred Kait, I grinned and wrapped it around her.

 

After we had had a couple of drinks, Kait and I went down to the local cinema to watch a movie, Batgirl: The legacy of the Bat, following on from the Batman of the future movies which had been a big hit in the cinemas 15 years ago. It told the tale of the girl who took on the mantle of Batgirl and joined the new Batman and Robin as they fought crime. It felt good to feel Kait’s body against mine, as she hugged me tightly during the bits which made her jump, and the fight scenes, and the romance scenes, and since she was already there, the rest of the movie.

 

 Since we both had school in the morning we finished off our date and walked home, ending up outside her home just after 11.

 

“Tonight was fun.”

 

“It was, I find it hard to believe I only met you this morning…”

 

“Want to do it again tomorrow?”

 

“Yes, but we need to work on this. I’m sure I’m supposed to be the one doing the asking out.” We finished of with another kiss, before I broke it off and started to back away.

 

“See you tomorrow Jace.” She said as she opened the door and step backwards into it.

 

“See you tomorrow, Kait.” I didn’t know it then, this would be the last time I ever saw Kaitie.

 

            *********

 

“Who was that, Dear?”

 

“That was Jace, Mum.”

 

“Jace who, Dear?” her father asked as he came into the hall way.

 

“Jace Neumer.”

 

“English boy?”

 

“Yes, Father, just started at school today.”

 

“He’s a fast mover isn’t he, if you have only known him a day?”

 

“That was me, Mom. I followed Pop’s advice, saw a chance and took it.”

 

“Well, I didn’t mean it when it came to boys. With those you have to be careful. I want to meet him before I will let you go on another date with him.”

 

“Yes, Father. Goodnight.”

 

“Night, Princess.”

 

“Night, Darling.” Kait’s parents walked back into the living room as the girl ran upstairs to get ready for bed.

 

“You know Jace’s parents, Dear?”

 

“Michael Neumer has just assumed command of the Alliance Security Agencies Operative Training Installation. His wife is his second in command, and commandant of the female training program.”

 

“The ASA’s OTI? Damn …” she sat down and looked at her husband, who had been recently elected  State Senator. As his wife and Secretary, she had almost the same security clearance as he did. “Of course this does offer a certain advantage …”

 

“Oh?” He looked up from his glass of wine.

 

“We now have a legitimate reason to meet them. Publicly we aren’t supposed to know about the OTI, but since our daughter is dating their son, I think it’s only fair we meet the parents of the boy. How did an Englishman become the head of an ASA OTI?”

 

Kait’s father chuckled, “You are devious, but don’t start making plans for what we’re having. I’ll need to check. There are no guidelines in place for this sort of situation. He’s English, but she’s American, since neither side wanted to really let the other side have an advantage, the Neumers made an attractive offer. The third in command is an American friend of the couple, so both sides feel they are getting the best that they can for it.”

 

            ********

 

I got home with a big smile on my face, walked into the kitchen and took a seat at the island counter, Mum and Dad were both just finishing their dinners, so they hadn’t been home long, Kat was digging into a bowl of ice cream.

 

“So, good day at school? Make any friends?”

 

“He sure did, Kaitie McSammuel. He’s become very good friends with her.”

 

“Shut it, shrimp,”  I said with a grin, as I ninja’d some ice cream from her bowl with a spoon.

 

“Hey!! Mine! Get your own, you big bully.”

 

“McSammuel? George McSammuel’s Daughter?” I looked at both my parents and shrugged.

 

“Could be, I haven’t met her parents …”

 

“He was too busy letting his tongue meet her tonsils”

 

“Oii”

 

“Kat, its late, put the ice cream back in the freezer and go to bed.”

 

“But….”

 

“No buts! Now! Go.”

 

“Ahhh, it’s so unfair!!”

 

“Jace will be going to bed soon as well, Dear.” Kat grumbled a bit but was soon in bed.

 

“I take it then your first day of classes, wasn’t a replay of your first day at the school?”

 

“No, I met Kaitie and had a pretty fun day. We’re going out again tomorrow.”

 

“That’s nice, Dear.”

 

“Son, I think its time we had ‘the talk’.” I stared at my dad, he stared back.

 

I stared at Dad some more, he still just stared back.

 

“Why are you two just staring at each other?”

 

“I don’t know about Dad, but I’m trying not to laugh.” I said, stifling a laugh. I could tell from the cracking of Dad’s eyes he was equally amused.

 

My mum rolled her eyes. “You two? I really don’t know what to do with the pair of you. I really don’t.”

 

“G’Night.” I said as I made my way to bed.

 

The following morning I got up bright eyed and bushy tailed, well not really bushy tailed, but I was looking forward to my day. I entered the bathroom, I got over to the mirror and looked at my reflection, my sight blurred, I felt woozy, my stomach churned. I dived for the toilet and managed to empty my guts into it.

 

It couldn’t have been more than 30 minutes, but I was still grasping the toilet and emptying my guts into it, or at the very least trying to, every few seconds retching, my body trying to expel anything that might have been in it. I looked up to see my mum walking into the bathroom.

 

“I was coming up to tell you that I’m taking your sister to the doctors for a check up, she has been up half the night in pain, but I think you had better come as well.” She placed her hand on my forehead. 15 minutes later, we were bundled into the back seat of Mum’s new Fiat Samara for the drive to the doctors.

 

“These are the subscriptions for their QTPs. (Quick Transition Packs). I’m afraid that beyond this I can not be much help, as a military doctor, I usually only have post MORFs patients, if you like I can refer you to a doctor more familiar with the MORFS virus and its effects.” The doctor was offering Mum a stack of medical forms. Doctor Sinclaire as I later found out is a master at keeping people alive, his genius had saved more peoples lives than people really gave him credit for, but like most genius, his bed side manner sucked.

 

“Will these cover them during their transitions?”

 

“Certainly.”

 

“Then I doubt there is anything another doctor can do…” My mother smiled at him.

 

“Probably not, no. Have them use them as soon as possible, there is no reason to prolong the suffering. If you like, I can pop round a few occasionally and check on them.”

 

“Thanks Doctor.”

 

“No problem. To tell you the truth I am most interested in their cases. It’s rare I have to treat a MORFs patient at this stage. First though, let’s get the interfaces installed.”

 

“Mum, I got a date tonight, I…”

 

“What will your date going to say if you spend most of the night rushing to the toilet? Call her home and leave a message!”

 

I called Kait and left a message on her parent’s answer phone, then, with a sigh, I made my way up to my room. Sitting on my bed I took a look at the plastic frame on my arm. The tight fitting device had telescopic arms which closed around the arm, holding the intravenous drip’s needle stable in the arm. According to the instruction booklet, the design allowed for rapid changes in size of the arm, while protecting the wearer from ripping out the needle if they moved around while asleep. Opening the pack, I took out one of the high energy bars and took a nibble. It tasted disgusting, but I chomped my way through the bar while I looked through the rest of the kit.

 

 There was a foil wrapped pack of 10 capsules, 10 cartridges, and 9 more energy bars. According to the instructions, each cartridge would last around 11 hours, and the sleeping pills 12. I finished the bar, took a quick trip to the toilet, stripped to my underwear and then headed for bed. Lying down I took the first capsule with a glass of water, slipped the first cartridge into the interface, clicked it into place and rested my head against my pillow. Mum came in and sat down on the bed next to me.

 

“Your sister has gone under.” She took my hand and squeezed it. “Think happy thoughts, and I’ll see you when you wake up.” It was the last thing I heard before I couldn’t stay awake any longer.

 

Fortunately for me, I have an en-suite bathroom ... well, I share it with my sister, we both have a door leading from our bedroom to it. But by unspoken agreement between us, she uses the main bathroom and I use the smaller one. Our parents have their own. The room has a shower cubicle, a toilet and a sink. It’s fortunate that I have this, as I don’t think I could have made it to the main bathroom before I emptied what should have been a relatively empty stomach. Mum, hearing me retching, came in and started to rub my back.

 

“I just got your sister back to sleep. Feeling ok?”

 

“A little.” Mum passed me a glass of water to sip, then gave the toilet a quick clean up.

 

“Err, Mum, could you, err give me a minute?”

 

“What? Oh? Sure, Dear.” She smiled at me and moved into my bedroom. As soon as my door was closed I sat on my toilet and started to empty myself out the other way.

 

“Any messages for me?”

 

“One from a girl called Kait, ‘Get Well soon.’” I smiled.

 

Walking back from the bathroom I noticed my mother had just made my bed. “Mum, its only going to get messed up again.”

 

“I know, but I’m your mother.”

 

I grabbed an energy bar from the box and took a mouthful. “Sheesh, this stuff tastes disgusting.”

 

“I think that’s the idea, if they tasted nice, people might eat a lot of them, and unless you need high energy for some reason, that’s a bad idea. Your hair’s grown dear, I had better take you for a hair cut. Once you’re finished …”

 

I finished the bar and grabbed another capsule and cartridge. “You OK, Mum?”

 

“Just a little worried about you two…it’s hard to have one kid going through it…but two…”

 

I gave her a hug before swallowing the capsule and replacing the cartridge.

 

“Don’t worry Mum, we’ll be fine.”

 

I woke up feeling a little groggy, sat up and looked over to the curtains. The sun was shining through and it looked to be a glorious day outside.

 

My boxers felt pretty loose around my waist as I walked over to the bathroom. I took a quick shower and washed off the slimy residue that coated my skin, pat dried my fur and skin and pulled my boxers back up before heading back to bed.

 

I opened my eyes to see a monster crawling up my chest, I knocked it across my room, then waited a few seconds. Nothing happened, so I assumed I must had imagined it. Getting up, I staggered once more to the bathroom. I ended up having to hold my boxers up, as they kept slipping down off my bottom and hips. Walking back across from the bathroom, I noticed the monster. It was a little black cat cuddly toy. It looked like it was ready to pounce on something, and it had a ribbon around its neck. Picking it up, I noticed a white envelope not far from it.

 

I sat on the bed and opened the envelope. Inside was a Get Well soon card, everyone had signed a little message wishing me luck, with a bigger one on the back from Kait, ‘You do of course realise, that cancelling our date at such short notice, now requires you to take me on two dates. Get well soon, XXX’. I smiled, shoved the cat on my pillow watching over me, took my medicine and went on another trip into the world of my unconscious.

 

I felt a pair of hands poking my stomach, carefully, methodically checking. Opening my eyes, I looked up into the face of Dr. Sinclaire. “Ahhh, young man, you’re awake. Jolly good.”

 

I shook my head as I sat up and headed for the toilet. “How do you feel?”

 

“Like I need the toilet” my voice was a little rough. Standing up, as I started to head to the bathroom, my underpants slipped off, so rather than bending over and grabbing them, I kicked them off, and headed into the bathroom.

 

 Mum was standing in the doorway to the corridor smirking. “Doctor Sinclaire has just come to check up on you and your sister.” I nodded. As I came back from the bathroom, I grabbed a clean pair of underwear and sat down on the bed.

 

 The tests didn’t take long, he checked my blood pressure, listened to my heart and did the cough test. While he did this, I chomped my way through an energy bar. I took my pill and replaced the cartridge after the doc had said, “Everything seems fine.”

 

I woke up chilly. I had kicked my covers off my body while I slept, and my body was sore. Sitting up, I blinked a few times and looked down at my body. I could see the marks where I had scratched myself, but I was finding it hard to focus. My skin still felt a little tingly.

 

Carefully, I crossed my room to the bathroom and took another shower. My eyes widened as clumps of the soft fur on my body washed away. I had been warned I might suffer some hair loss, but not fur. Quickly, I felt my head. Other than being a lot longer, the hair up there seemed fine, if anything, thicker than what I was used to. Getting back to bed I noticed the sheet was covered in my hair and the slime that was coming out my body. I took the time to replace the bedding before taking the pill.

 

The sun shone down onto my face and it’s gentle rays gave me a warm awakening. Smiling, I staggered to the bathroom, grabbing a T shirt to wear instead of the boxers which I couldn’t be bothered to hold up anymore. What had been a good fitting T shirt, was now pretty big for me. I got to the bathroom and looked into the small mirror over the sink. I had been resisting looking into any mirror until the change finished ... another advantage of my small bathroom was that it only had a small shaving mirror. The eyes I saw weren’t my eyes, not the eyes I had looked into every day for the last 16 and a bit years. Gone were the cat like slit pupils. It was irrational, it was so unlike me…

 

Dad found me a little while later, curled up in the corner of the bathroom. “I’m….I’m not me anymore …” I sobbed between uncontrollable tears.

 

“Nonsense, what makes you say that?” He had sat down next to me and put his arm around me, cuddling me like he used to when I had a problem before I grew out of it. He stroked my hair and I turned to look into his cat like eyes.

 

“My eyes, they…” He looked into my now blue eyes and smiled.

 

“Son, they are your eyes, oh a different colour maybe, and certainly a different shape, but the rest is you.” He helped me stand up. “One part of your body doesn’t make you who you are, what matters is what is in here.” He tapped my chest where my heart is, “and Here,” he tapped my forehead. “If I have taught you anything, it’s that these things are the only things that are important. Everything else is just dressing.”

 

I nodded. “It’s just …” He stopped me.

 

“Don’t, just take the pill, slap in a cartridge and get the changes done. If at the end you feel the need to cry at what you have lost, feel free, I won’t think any the less of you for it,. Just promise me one thing, while thinking of what you have lost, think about what you have gained, and remember your family will love you, regardless.”

 

I nodded, smiled and headed back to bed.

 

“How is he doing?”

 

“Took the change in his eyes hard.”

 

“I remember seeing my eyes become like this. How do they look now?”

 

“Human, he’s lost a lot of weight and muscle mass…”

 

“The doctor said height, as well, I didn’t notice, but apparently we’re a similar height now, and he used to be a few inches taller…”

 

“You don’t think he’s going through the same changes we did, do you?”

 

“It’s possible, Kat as well you think?”

 

“She’s barely changed much. A bit more muscle mass…”

 

“How did you calm him down?”

 

“Same way my father did me, gave him a hug and told him no matter what we would still love him…”

 

“He should know that…”

 

“He does, it’s just sometime you need reminding…”

 

“Want to remind me how much you love me?”

 

“All night long.”

 

Half asleep, I staggered over to the bathroom and sat down, pulling the T-shirt up and bunching it up around my waist. This thing used to be a good fit on my upper body. Now it was a loose fit and covered my bottom. My stomach itched a little, so I scratched it. As these things always do, the itch moved north, I carried on up and then out…and ... Out? I looked down, blinked, rubbed my eyes, looked down. No, I didn’t, I cupped them, I reached under the T-Shirt and cupped them again. I decided I really didn’t want to know, so I got up and crossed to my bed, grabbed the 8th pill and swallowed it without water. The cartridge clicked in and I closed my eyes, waiting to fall asleep.

 

I laid there looking up at the ceiling in my bedroom. My stomach wasn’t asking for food, I wasn’t light headed like I expected to be, all in all I thought, ‘It’s over.’

 

Slowly, I sat up. There had been a strange weight on my shoulders. A trip to my bathroom relieved my body’s waste disposal needs, and a shower cleaned me up, and also gave me my first chance to rediscover my body. I decided to start at the top and work down. Grabbing my shampoo, I lathered my hair and started to wash the gunk from it.

 

Here I had my first shock. Normally I’ve always had short hair, less through choice, and more through the fact it never got longer than its inch and half length. Now, as I washed out my hair, it cascaded down past my eyes, red, strong vibrant red hair, and judging by its presence on my back, and well, front, it was down past my shoulders.

 

I looked at my hands. The good strong hands I’d had, had been replaced with much daintier digits. I concentrated and my claws slid out, They hadn’t changed much, and looking at the size, my fingers were the same length, just thinner. Pulling my claws back in, I did what had really been on my mind the whole time, I cupped my breasts. It felt kinda nice to touch them, it then occurred to me, if I had … these ...  then did I have…? My hand went down.

 

I had gotten no further than cupping my nether region, and even that had sent signals I wasn’t sure were safe. I hastened my shower, cleaning my body thoroughly, but in certain areas carefully, then climbed out. Using my tail, I closed the shower door. Grabbing my towel, I made my way to my parent’s room and my mum’s big mirror.

 

I should have been surprised to see the yellow post it on the glass, but instead, I was somewhat relived. Ignoring it for the moment, I looked at my reflection. My vibrant red hair was tipped by the black ends from my old hair. Green eyes were on either side of a pert nose, which was over a pair of lips I would have loved to have kissed. My eyes flowed down my body, admiring my breasts, and acknowledging the flat area between my legs. My tail’s colour matched the root colour of my hair, and other than a small bit which went up a little bit from the root of my tail, held the only fur on my entire body. I looked at the reflection again, at a girl I would love to get into my bed with me, I’d just never thought, hoped, not thought that someone with this body would be in the same bed as me for the rest of my life. Only there being another person in that bed was no longer a necessity.

 

I took a look at the note.

 

‘Jace,  if you read this, I’ve taken Kat to buy some new clothes. You should be about my size, so I left out this dress for you to wear. See ya when we get home, Love Mum.’

 

There was an arrow pointing to the right. I followed it to a dress hanging on a hanger. It was a light shade of pink, cotton and zipped up the front. I sighed and walked towards the door, kicking my towel into my hand as I passed it, thinking, ‘I may be a girl now, but there is no way I’m wearing Pink without a very good reason.’

 

Back in my room I hunted through my drawers till I found an old pair of shorts that had become a little too tight. Pulling them on I found them to be a good fit around my legs, but incredibly loose on my waist. Fortunately there was a draw string. I sniffed the T shirt I had been wearing, and threw it onto my wash basket with the two changes of bedding already in there. I opened a drawer and pulled out a T shirt, the American football top my father had gotten me when he came back from a business trip here a few months back, the trip that had brought us over here in the first place. It had been big on me before, now it was positively massive. I opened a window then stripped my bed, the bedding was filthy again. Grabbing it all, I carried my basket down and shoved it all in the machine.

 

The calendar revealed it was now the Friday, 4 days I had been out, which tallied up with the pills, bars and cartridge. I sat down on the sofa and went to pick up the TV remote, there was another post it.

 

‘The home work you’ve missed is on the table. Do that first.’

 

I ripped the note off and pushed the button to turn on the TV. Nothing happened. I flipped over the remote and opened the battery compartment ... No batteries, but there was another post-it ...

 

‘We will be busy all weekend, Darling, so get your homework done now.’

 

I blinked, sighed and got up; I was beginning to think, ‘That women knows me too well.’ Sitting down at the table I opened the first book and read the note

 

‘That’s my child; there are some BBQ ribs that just need heating in the fridge. For when you get hungry’

 

“Yep, she knows me too well…”

 

My homework was no easier or harder than I expected it to be. First week of a new year there was only really stuff that I had covered in previous years, as a refresher for what was going to be taught. I was just finishing my maths when I heard the car door open and close twice, and realised Mum was home.

 

I walked into the kitchen and put the kettle on, if Kat was on normal form she had probably dragged Mum around every shop in what ever shopping centre they went to.

 

 I heard the Front door open, the dropping of a lot of bags and then the sound of someone running outside. Walking into the hallway I could see it was blocked by about 6 bags full of clothes. Mum was just coming in the door with some groceries. She saw me and smiled.

 

I started to make my way towards her to help. “Its OK, Dear, Kat can get the last of it.”

 

I nodded. “Well let me get a look at you!”

 

I spun on the spot.  “I’ve done my homework; can I get the batteries for the TV?”

 

“Nope, I need to take you out shopping.”

 

“That’s OK, Mum. I’m sure you’re tired after being dragged around every shop in the shopping centre.”

 

“Hahaha, actually I had to drag Kat around.”

 

“Hang on?! What caused this miracle?” I looked up to see my little sister carrying 12 bags. Some were clothes, but most were food. Seeing her carry that much after shopping wasn’t that much of a shock. For my family, that’s the norm. Her appearance was a shock, though.. You’ve got to understand my sister, she’s an avatar for the goddess of skirts. For as far back as I can remember I have never seen her in anything but a skirt. But here she was, in shorts and t shirt, with a pair of trainers, white sports socks, and a baseball cap on.

 

She looked at me, sighed, and pushed past, “It’s so unfair …”

 

“Huh?”

 

I looked at her as she walked away from me and noticed her tail was gone and so was her hair.

 

“Kat’s taken a similar change as you have …”

 

“You mean ... ?”

 

“Yep, you have a little brother now…”

 

 I stifled a laugh.

 

“I heard that!” She, or should I say, he stormed back, “You think its funny I have to be a male? You think its fair? I had plans, you bastard.” She spun round and threw a kick at my stomach, or at least tried to. The minute I realised what she was doing, the whole world dulled and everything slowed down. I saw her foot swing round in slow motion and aim for my waist. Almost painfully slowly, I moved my arm up to intercept it. With a casual slap, I redirected her force away from me and into the door frame. She had a look of surprise on her face, as everything resumed normal speed and the colours brightened.

 

“KAT! Jace wasn’t laughing at you, he … she was laughing at the situation. Now give your big sister an apology.”

 

“Mum?” I turned to look at her. Kat started to cry. I turned to look at Kat. Even as a Girl, Kat wasn’t the crying sort. She was on the floor, her trainer looked swollen. Looking at the door frame she had kicked, it wasn’t surprising why. The thick wood had been cracked, the point of impact indented.

 

“Sob … Sorrry … sob … Jace … Its … Sob … just … so … hard …”

 

I bent down and gave her a hug. “It’s Ok, Sis.”

 

Mum had taken her trainer off and was looking at her foot.  “It’s broken. We will need to take her to the hospital.”

 

I watched as she set the bone and used some pencils and the bandages from the kitchen first aid kit to splint it.

 

“Ok, Mum.” I tried to stand up and pick her up with me, and realised I couldn’t.

 

“I’ll carry her, Dear. You just go up to my room and put on the dress I have …”

 

“No, Mum.”

 

“Dear, it’s only a dress. Girls wear dresses. You will need to get used to …”

 

“Its not cause it’s a dress, Mum. It’s because its pink, and I won’t be seen dead in pink.”

 

She had picked up Kat and was carrying her towards the front door. I opened the house door and then opened the back passenger’s seat so Mum could put Kat in. Kat pulled herself onto the seat and rested her foot across the back seat. “Girls wear pink dear.”

 

“Not this one.”

 

“But …”

 

“No.” I went back in to put on some trainers and realised as soon as I put my foot in mine it was way too big.

 

“I picked you up a pair of trainers, I…err….I don’t think you will like them…”

 

“Huh?”

 

“They sorta match the dress.” I sighed. The minute I saw the box I knew I would regret it. From one of the bags she had pulled a pink shoe box, and out of that box she pulled a pair of pink and white trainers. 

 

“Did you get any socks?”

 

She looked worried, and pulled out a pack of 6 pairs of sports socks in different shades of pink. I rolled my eyes, grabbed the palest of the pairs and slipped them on before slipping into and doing up the trainers.

 

“You’ll wear them?”

 

“I don’t like it, but getting her to Hospital is more important than my pride.”

 

She smiled. It didn’t occur to me then, but Mum had done me a favour getting me the shoes and socks, even if I did hate the colours. Mum grabbed another smaller bag from the pile and passed it to me.

 

“You can put these on in the car. No daughter of mine is going around like a hussy.”

 

“Huh?” I looked in the bag as we headed out to the car, a bra and a pair of panties.

 

“Oh…thanks Mum…”

 

“Trust me, once you start walking around a lot, you will thank me for the bra.”

 

Once in the car, I turned and smiled at my little sibling, and shimmied out of my shorts and pulled out some pastel blue panties. I slipped my feet into them and pulled them up and on, followed by the shorts. We had just made it to the freeway when I started to pull my t shirt over my head.

 

“No, Dear, keep your t-shirt on. You don’t want to flash the other cars.”

 

“Err … ok …” I looked at my mum and smiled, everything suddenly seemed so much brighter, and so much faster, and I could hear a high pitch noise all around me.

 

“..CE!? Answer me!”

 

“What? What just happened?”

 

“Your eyes turned silver and you stopped responding. Are you ok? It’s a good job you came along. I think we need to get you checked out as well.”

 

I sighed and turned to look at my sister, sorry, brother. Got to start thinking of Kat as my little brother.

 

“How you doing, Sprout?”

 

“Hey!” He had stopped crying and his foot looked a lot better. I smiled. “My foot's stopped hurting, unless I poke it.” He did so for emphasis, and winced. “I’m really sorry, I could have really hurt you there …”

 

I smiled back. “You didn’t though, did you? You seemed a lot stronger than last time we sparred, you haven’t been holding back on me have you?”

 

“Well no … when I woke up, I was really strong, I jumped of my bed and instead of landing at the foot where I expected to, I hit the wall …”

 

I giggled. He smiled.

 

“We could hear the thud from downstairs. Your Dad and I were worried one of you might have injured yourselves,” Mum commented as we pulled into the hospital car park. “When he got up there, Kat was doing two finger handstand push ups.”

 

ER was pretty packed, we told the receptionist, then Kat and I found some seats and sat around waiting for Mum to get back from trying to find a friend of hers.

 

“It’s really unfair you know…”

 

“Huh? What is?” I looked over at my now little brother.

 

“I spent 2 years waiting for my breasts to grow. They had just got a little sensitive and started…”

 

“But you had…”

 

“Training Bra…and some padding…”

 

“Oh…”

 

“Some of my friends started growing and I didn’t want to be left behind… and … and you get yours practically over night.”

 

“Oh yeah, that’s fair, I lose everything I know. Probably including my girlfriend, because I doubt she is a lesbian and even if she, is I doubt her father would be too happy …”

 

“Well…”

 

“Not to mention, I happen to have liked my old body.”

 

“Go and put your bra on, Dear,” Mum whispered into my ear as she took a seat next to me. I nodded and headed for the toilets.

 

“I don’t think you want this one, Miss. This is the Gents. The Ladies’ is just behind you.” I gulped as I realised I was about to go into the Gents and turned and walked in through the pink door into the ladies.

 

Standing in a cubicle, I hung my top on a hook and slipped my arms into the straps, took hold of the ends, and pulled them behind my back. It took me 6 attempts to get the first hook to enter one of the loops ... only unluckily for me, it was the wrong hoop for the hook. Next attempt got it, and I had to rearrange myself to be comfy. Grabbing my top, I stepped out and had a look at myself in the mirror. The bra lifted me slightly, not that I had been sagging before, but the extra support made my breast seems a little bigger. ... ‘Not sure if that’s a good thing right now …’

 

With the bra on, my breasts stood out that little bit more in my top, and I could feel the stares of the men on me even more. Getting back to our seats, I realised my Mum and sis … brother ... weren’t there any more.

 

I crossed over to the receptionist, “Have the Neumers been called?”

 

She looked up at me, smiled and looked at a clipboard. “Room 5.C, your mum said you would ask, just down there and to the right.”

 

“Thanks.” I followed her instructions and walked into the room. “I’m sorry Ma’am. But there is nothing wrong with your son’s foot.”

 

“I’m telling you he broke it, not 20 minutes ago.”

 

The man pointed to the X-ray. “Your son is very lucky then, because this shows that the foot is healed. I will admit, this area here implies the foot has been broken recently and healed straight, but not 20 minutes ago. I’ll bandage it up for you, you should be fine.”

 

Mum shook her head and Kat tried to put some weight on the foot and smiled as he felt no pain.

 

“You took your time, Dear …”

 

“It took me a while to get it on…and then…”

 

“You were admiring yourself in the mirror?”

 

“Yes…how did you ... ?”

 

“I was exactly the same.”

 

“What?”

 

“When I changed at your age, I did exactly the same thing.” I was sitting in the back

 

of the car, holding my little brother in a hug when I felt a pull, heard a twang and then the smack as my bra strap hit my back.

 

“Ouch.” I looked at my little brother.

 

“Revenge,” he said.

 

“NOT in the car. Kat, don’t twang you sisters bra strap or you will get the same punishment as she got when she did it to you.”

 

“Mum, you were saying that you changed as well?”

 

“Yep, when MORFS hit me I was a nerdy little computer geek.”

 

“Wow. So changing sex might be a Genetic response to MORFs?”

 

“Possibly, we don’t know.”

 

“Maybe it was triggered by you finally swapping spit with a girl?”

 

I eyed my little brother and then used my tickle skills to mercilessly attack him.

 

“Mum…this isn’t the way home. Where are we going?”

 

“Dr Sinclaire wants to give you a complete check, now you’re out of your transition, remove that interface from your arm, and then the base gynaecologist will need to give you a full examination.”

 

“Come again?” I said, my eyes widening as my brother laughed.

 

“Dr. Shelly Darkwater would like to give you a checking over. It’s something we girls all need to go through every now and then …”

 

“Actually, that’s two things I don’t think I’m going to miss.”

 

“Kat, stop teasing your sister.”

 

“I’m going to have periods … aren’t I …?” Looking back, I think this was the moment when I first acknowledged what I now was. That was the first point when it truly struck me. I was now a girl.

 

 

 

The OTI looked like an office block. Publicly they were a stock trading company, buying and selling anything that would make them a profit. Underneath that though, were the offices and training facilities which churned out some of the best operatives in the world. At the time, I didn’t really know any of this. That came later.

 

Mum led us through the building from the car park to an elevator, where she swiped her key card through the slot. The elevator option screen changed and an extra button appeared on the digital screen. She pushed that, and we descended. This was the second time we had come here. Both Kat and I had been brought up with this, and knew to keep our mouths shut. While here, or anywhere like it, we didn’t see anything, we didn’t hear anything.

 

When I’d turned 16, both my mum and my dad told me that we had both been hypnotically programmed to not be able to speak of anything to anyone outside the family and people our parents said were safe. As you can imagine, I was pretty upset about this. However once they explained why they did it, I really couldn’t do anything but accept it and forgive them. This of course, meant our parents never had to lie to us or in front of us. We knew the score, we just couldn’t talk about it.

 

 

 

“Hello Karen, This must be your daughter, Sara.” She smiled at me before looking at Mum, who had briefly looked a little sheepish. “I have spoken to Sinclaire, and he’s in agreement with me, rather than pass your daughter around to lots of doctors, I get to be the friendly face that does them all.” She was blonde, taller than me, but I had already realised that my perspective screwed up my ability to judge height, so I was guessing she was just under 5’10/5’11 in her shoes. A white lab coat covered her black trouser suit; she held a clipboard in her left hand, a traditional stethoscope round her neck.

 

“That’s good, Kat was passed around to 6 different doctors this morning. We were just on our way to see Slash. When would be a good time to bring her by?”

 

“Oh, any time. I'm just doing paper work today, so any excuse for a break from it,”

 

 she smiled.

 

Mum nodded and we carried on down the corridor. “Why did she think my name was Sara? And who is Slash?”

 

“Slash is your father. His code name was Black Slash, and so everyone around here just calls him Slash, or the boss.”

 

I noticed she had ignored my earlier question. “And her thinking I’m called Sara?”

 

“Jace! Wow! You look almost like your mom did when she was your age, only she was blonde where your red.” I looked up to see Dad approaching down the corridor, carrying two envelopes.

 

“Thanks … I think.” I replied

 

“It’s good to see you up and about. After seeing you like that though, I think I will have to invest in that shotgun a few years earlier than I expected to need to …”

 

“What?!”

 

“To keep the boys away from the door, Dear. It’s your dad’s attempt at a compliment.”

 

“What?!” They both burst out laughing. “Kat, you go for Mum, I’ll go for Dad.”

 

“Sure! Hey, wait? Why do I get the hard target?” This just made our parents laugh even more.

 

“This way, kids. We need to talk, and we might as do it in private.” He opened a door and we walked into a small conference room. Mum and Dad took two seats next to each other, so Kat and I took the seats opposite them.

 

“When your mother found out she was pregnant with you, Jace, we decided we didn’t want to know what sex you would be, so she and I came up with two names for you. Jace, if you were born a boy and …”

 

“Sara, if I was born a girl?”

 

“Yes,” he smiled, looking at Mum, “You told them?”

 

“No, we ran into Shelly on the way down here.”

 

“Oh.” He looked back at me, “Yes, Sara if you were a girl. And Kat, for you it was Katherine and James.” Dad pushed the two envelopes one was addressed to James Neumer and the other to Sara Neumer. I took the one addressed to Sara and opened it.

 

“When we saw how the changes were taking you, I got the ID department to make these up for you. Technically, they are all legal, and we do have the authority to make them. It’s just it’s supposed to be for other reasons than because of MORFs.”

 

“How are you getting around…?” mum started.

 

“Were claiming it was a test run of the department. It was an easy enough job to do.”

 

Emptying the contents of the envelope revealed a Passport in the name of Sara Neumer, with a picture of me smiling into the camera.

 

“How did they get this image? Oh, never mind” There was a photograph of me entering the hospital, a black square around my face revealing where the passport photo had come from.

 

“Your Biometrics just need programming into the chip. That’ll take about 5 minutes, later.” Dad added.

 

Next up was a driving license; I looked up at Dad and smiled. “Does this mean?” He looked at what was in my hand and reached over and took it.

 

“Yes. But only once you have passed your written test.”

 

Mum looked at the card. “And taken lessons ... why are you two looking sheepish, John? When did you start giving Jace driving lessons?”

 

“It’s Sara now and …”

 

“And?!” she had a raised eye brow.

 

“Remember when the pair of us went fishing for Jace’s 14th…”

 

“Yes…” Mum’s arms were crossed and she was tapping her fingers.

 

“Well…we did go fishing…for about an hour on the last day…”

 

“And ... ?”

 

“We spent the rest of the two weeks doing an Evasive driving course…”

 

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

 

“Because I didn’t think you would like to know your son got a higher score than you did.”

 

She looked at me and shook her head.

 

Looking down I noticed a credit card and it was gold. I picked it up and read it, ‘Miss S. Neumer.’

 

“You got her a credit card as well?”

 

“She needs some way to buy clothes.”

 

“I was going to take her shopping.”

 

“Would you have wanted to go shopping at 16, with your mum?”

 

“Well…”

 

“Dad…can I take the written test for my license?”

 

“What, now?”

 

 I nodded.

 

“I suppose so, we can have them do it downstairs, then change your DVA records.”

 

“Assuming you pass the written test.” Mum took the card from Dad and slipped it into her handbag. “and take a full driving test.”

 

“Don’t we get a choice about our names? I mean,  ... James?” put in my sister before I could argue.

 

“Nope, your Mum and I decided that since you didn’t get a choice at birth, you don’t now. However, if you really hate it, there is always Depol. You get the forms, and the money, we will sign it. But the paper work has already gone through for the both of you.”

 

“Ok, Sara. If you just want to take your clothes off and hop up onto the table we will get started.” I nodded to Shelly as I stripped out of my clothes and climbed onto the table. “We’ll need a urine sample, and a stool sample, if you can do one…but first, let’s just do a few quick tests.” Using a rubber gloves, she carefully started to squeeze and feel my breast. “This seems fine, and the other ...” A few minutes later, “Ok if you could lean back and place your legs in the stirrups. Thank you, this will probably be the most uncomfortable test, I’m afraid.” I felt something, then my eyes went wide!

 

We had done quite a few tests, from checking my visual standards to mental arithmetic and recall, to getting me to inflate a balloon as much as I could with one lung full of air. I hadn’t done these naked. Shelly had let me get dressed after she had poked, and prodded, and sampled various bits of my body.

 

“Sara, if you could just follow the blue line to stores, they should be expecting you ,and will get you an outfit for your physical capabilities test.” I nodded and started down the corridor.

 

As soon as they thought I was out of ear shot, I heard,  “As far as I can tell, we will know more when we get the results from the samples I sent to lab, she is a healthy 16 year old girl. I find it hard to believe she was a boy just a few days ago …”

 

“That’s Jace for you; he always just goes with the flow. If he had someone to blame I think it would be a different matter…but since there isn’t and there isn’t anything she can do, she’s just accepting it. To tell you the truth I thought she would be more resistant to the name change.”

 

“I asked her how she felt about that…”

 

“What did she say?”

 

“ ‘Jace no longer suits me. Sara, strangely, does. When I look in the mirror…I see a Sara…’ ”

 

I turned a corner and realised I couldn’t hear them any more. Shrugging, I came to a pair of doors with the blue line passing underneath. I pushed through and found my self standing before a counter.

 

“You Sara?” a gruff Yorkshire voice screamed from the back.

 

“Errr ...yes, yes I am.”

 

“Good, come in the back here and we’ll get you kitted out.”

 

I looked around for a door, couldn’t see one, but noticed there was a handle over the counter, shrugging I jumped grabbed the handle and swung it into the back room. I landed softly and took a quick look around. I was in a large warehouse with row upon row of storage racks holding crates and boxes. Various smells assaulted my senses.

 

Looking forward, I came face to face with the owner of the voice. About the same height as me, the old man had greying hair and was wearing blue overalls. His eyes were hidden by a pair of shaded glasses. “Good girl. Most people ask where the door is. Let’s get your sizes.” He turned to one of the rows of storage racks and shouted “Gemma! Get out here with a tape measure.”

 

A woman in her 20’s came out and walked towards us. “Hello, I’m Gemma, and I will be measuring you today. The Doc said you didn’t know you measurements. If you will follow me, we’ll go somewhere more private so the dirty old man here doesn’t have a heart attack.”

 

“Hey. Do you want to be counting paper clips for a month? I may be old, and I may be dirty, but I sure as hell ain’t no …err never mind…”

 

Gemma led me down one of the aisles to a porta-shack which had been set up against one of the walls.

 

“Don’t worry about the Sergeant. His bark’s much worse than his bite. Those trainers comfy?”

 

“Pretty much.” She had bent down and was feeling my toes through the front of the shoe, she pulled down the tongue. “Ok you’re a size 8 an a half.” She got up and wrote it on a bit of paper, “Can you slip them off? We’ll get your height, next.” After removing my trainers, she had me stand against a piece of paper attached to the wall, she drew a mark on the paper with a pencil, then used that to measure my height.

 

“You are 5’6, outer leg 3’6, inner leg 2’9, hips 28, waist 20, and bust 30B. Damn, I’m jealous. You’re a size 6. OK, let’s get you some exercise clothes and a sports bra.”

 

Walking down what seemed like any other aisle, she stopped, opened a cardboard box and dug in it for a few minutes, checked the sheet of paper, and pulled out a blue thing wrapped in plastic. We carried on a bit further and she repeated it, she then passed me the two packages to hold. We repeated this till I had several items in my hands and she pulled out a pair of pink trainers. She saw my expression, “Yours are more for walking around in, not for actual running so you need some exercise ones.”

 

“Ok…erm ...do they have to be pink?”

 

“You don’t like pink?”

 

“Mum got them for me…”

 

“Oh ...yes. I know Moms.” She threw them back into a box and pulled out a blue pair from another. “Blue good?”

 

“Brilliant, thanks.”

 

We headed back to the entrance where she relieved me of the packages.

 

“We just need to get these scanned and have you sign a receipt,” the old man said as he came over with a hand scanner, and between them they passed the packages along the counter, scanning each one. Once complete, he passed me a printed copy of all the items and had me sign for them. There was 10 things on the list. After putting the items in to the bag I was offered, I was about to jump back over the counter, when Gemma said “Don’t bother. You need to go down to medical testing, it’s quicker through the back door.”

 

I nodded and picked up my pile. “Thanks.”

 

“Its OK, kid. More fun than counting staples.” I smiled as she led me to the back door. “Just follow the green and white line. I’ll call medical testing and tell them to expect you.” I followed the line down the corridor and came upon a small room marked as medical testing.

 

“Hello, Sara. Want to go behind the curtain and get changed?”

 

“Hello, Dr. Darkwater. Sure, will do.”

 

“Call me Shelly, I look around for my father when someone calls me Dr. Darkwater.”

 

“Will do, Shelly.” I got behind the screen and looked through the plastic bag I had been given. After stripping , I pulled on the sports bra, followed by the matching navy blue panties, a pair of dark blue lycra shorts which stopped just above my knees and had a hole for my tail to pass through, and lastly, a plain white, tight fitting t-shirt. I swapped my pink socks for a pair of white ones and finished off with the blue trainers, then took one of the hair bobbles and used it to tie my hair back.

 

As I stepped out from behind the curtain I pulled on the jacket, but left it unzipped. Mum had come in and was smiling at me from across the room. I smiled back.

 

“Ok let’s start with a blink test.” We walked over to a wall of lights. “When one of these lights up, hit it, ok? You’ve got 30 seconds.”

 

 

 

“Yep.” All the lights flashed, a beep came out of the speakers and the speed of the flashing increased, the beeping ended on a long note, the lights all flashed and then all but one turned off, I hit the first light, and the world dulled.

 

I could feel my heartbeat slow down as the first light turned off, I caught the second light come on and my hand shot out and hit it, as the third light turned on at the opposite end of the board, I jumped, spun my foot around and caught it with the top of my toes, the next light was with my left elbow, then my right knee, my left toe caught one at the top of the board, my left hand one at the bottom, my tail hit the one after that.

 

Shelly’s mouth dropped as she saw my body move in a total circle, the lights flickering on and off almost faster than she could keep up with. The machine beeped flashed all its lights and turned off. I had finished on my hand, my legs, tail, other hand and head all touching one of the buttons. I looked up at Shelly and the world returned to normal.

 

“That was fun. Seemed a bit longer than 30 seconds, though.”

 

Shelly looked over at the readout, 289 hits, average response time 10.289 ms, errors: 0,

 

I flipped back onto my hand, “What’s up? Why are you two quiet?”

 

I was looking between them when everything seemed a little brighter, I moved my head to look at Mum, but she wasn’t there, I turned to look at Shelly and she had disappeared as well. A face appeared in my vision, then pulled away. It was Shelly, but she was moving so quickly, I didn’t understand.

 

Then everything returned to normal. Mum was screaming into a phone, Shelly was talking rapidly into a mobile, “She’s gone Catatonic, no response…”

 

“Err ... what just happened?”

 

“Sara?” the two women said to me at the same time as 4 men ran in with a stretcher.

 

Mum rushed over and put the back of her palm to my forehead, while Doctor Darkwater shooed her away and proceeded to look in my ears and shine a light into my eyes.

 

“That’s the second time that’s happened…the first time was in the car.”

 

“Her eyes going all silver like that?”

 

“Yep.”

 

“Hey, would you two mind telling me what’s going on?”

 

“Her eyes went all black when I went to kick her earlier.” My little brother had followed the 4 men in who were now standing around.

 

“The brief glimpse I got, her eyes were all black when she was doing the wall.” She turned to me, “Sara, can you describe what just happened to you?”

 

“Well, everything brightened up, and for the last 3 seconds, you guys were moving around and being big blurs, then it returned to normal. What happened?”

 

“For the last 5 minutes you’ve just been standing there doing nothing.”

 

I looked between their faces, I was going to argue, but I could tell neither were lying. “OK, boys, you’re not needed, but thanks anyway.” She turned back to me “How long did it seem to take while you were doing the wall?”

 

“About 5 minutes. Everything dimmed down a bit….like it did when Kat…”

 

“James” Mum corrected.

 

“... James, tried to kick me. It all dimmed, and his foot was moving in slow motion, so I just pushed it out the way.”

 

“Shelly? What’s up with my daughter?”

 

Shelly was smiling, “Do you feel OK, Sara?”

 

“A little hungry, but yeah, I feel fine.”

 

“Shelly?”

 

“Its OK, Karen, I think this is just your daughters MORF-gained abilities. There usually seems to be some connection between the amount someone changes and the power they gain. Not always … but usually.”

 

“So what’s her power?” my little brother asked.

 

“I have an idea, but after we have done the other tests. Let’s get her upstairs to the MORF Testing centre. One of my colleagues there will be able to say for sure.

 

“It’s really unfair! Why don’t I get any really cool powers!”

 

“You can bench press half a ton! At 12. Isn’t that a cool enough ability?” mum said as she poked James in the chest.

 

“But?” I was holding the bar at 2/3 extension on a electromagnetic weight bar lifter, the weight had been slowly increasing and I was starting to struggle.

 

“Ok, stop there, 200 lbs, not bad. I don’t see the point in going any further. You haven’t lost any muscle strength, even though you have lost 50lbs in weight.”

 

“So I’ll feel stronger overall?”

 

“Well until your body adapts, you will need to work out quite often if you want to maintain that level…” My father passed me the towel as he had come down to watch for a bit, while Mum did some paper work.

 

“Thanks, Oh. Dad, how come the OTI is running the MORFS Testing centre?” he grinned.

 

“My predecessor’s idea. It allows us to find out the strong and promising new kids, and keep tabs on the potentially dangerous ones. Plus, it has some advantages when your own kids go through the change.”

 

“OK, young lady, could you step on the treadmill and keep speeding up until you reach your maximum sprint speed?”

 

“Sure thing, Shelly.” Thanks to my little show after my impressive go on the blink test, I had several sensors monitoring my life signs.

 

“Just one more test to do, but we’ll need to go up to the MORFs centre to do it. Timmy’s the only telepath we have on duty right now. Quick shower, get changed and we’ll get going.”

 

“’Timmy the kid’. He’s 19 years old, but he can have a look at you and give a full list of your abilities.” We stepped into an elevator and it started to rise. I was back in my big baggy t shirt and old shorts, but had kept the trainers on, only using another pair of white socks.

 

“Really?”

 

“Pretty much, though people sometimes get stronger and gain new ones. No one’s infallible.” The elevators doors opened. “If you want to go take a seat over in the waiting room, I’ll get you into the line to see Timmy.”

 

I crossed the corridor and went into the waiting room. A number of seats were dotted around, with people taking up most of them, some mutants some looking human, there was a guy looking like Chewbacca holding hands with a dog girl. Two monkeys were holding hands with a raven haired girl, and another girl was wearing dark glasses and a bandana. All wore uniforms, the monkeys in black trousers and white shirts, the girls both in pleated skirts and white blouses, all four wore blazers. I started to walk towards them, a smile growing on my face. As I got closer, I saw I was right, it was Jen, Karen, Mike and Tike.

 

“Ahh this brings back memories…”

 

“Fond memories of the tests they run on you?” Karen asked her boyfriend.

 

“Nope, the sitting around and waiting. We were here for hours before they could spare someone to test us. They need to get more staff…”

 

“Kinda hard to, it’s bottlenecked by the fact only 2 people in the whole city can enter your mind and do an instant psyche eval; otherwise you have to take a full psychological test.” Karen looked up at me, “Hello?” she looked over her sunglasses and looked at me with her totally blood red eyes. “There’s something familiar about you…”

 

“Can we help you?” Jen asked, looking me up and down, then putting a possessive arm around Tike. 

 

Mike looked at me and blinked. “There is only one person I know who uses their tail like a belt…”

 

“Jace?” Tike and Mike asked at the same time. I sat down, smiled and nodded.

 

“Damn….” Also at the same time.

 

“When you stopped coming into school we thought something might be up…didn’t think it would be MORFs.”

 

“Me neither, but then here I am.”

 

“Errm. How much?” I looked at Jen?

 

“I’m sorry?”

 

“How much of a girl are you?”

 

“Physically? By appearances, completely.”

 

“Not got your DNA results back then?”

 

“Nope, only finished transitioning at 12.”

 

“Well this screws up Gym. We’re going to have to find someone else to help make us look good.” Mike said to Tike.

 

“Yep” Tike replied.

 

Karen pushed her glasses back on properly and looked at me appraisingly, “12? How did you get an appointment so quickly? There’s at least a 3 days waiting list.”

 

I shrugged. “I think my folks pulled some strings. What are you guys doing here?”

 

“Mel’s getting her evaluation today. She’s just gone in to see the scanner…”

 

“Same. Kait not here?”

 

“Errr…She’s got MORFS, wasn’t feeling well Wednesday, got diagnosed and started that night. Were heading over later to show support when she wakes up.”

 

“Sara Neumer! Sara Neumer!”

 

“Oh. that’s me. Back in a bit.” I got up and headed over to the person who called my name.

 

“Damn, I wish my parents had pulled strings.”

 

“I just wish my parents had strings to pull…”

 

“Sara, this is Timmy the Kid. Just relax, this won’t take long.” I nodded to Shelly as she led me into the small room. A table sat between two chairs; a young man in a business suit was sitting in the far end.

 

“Come in, Sara, take a seat.” I sat down and felt a pressure on my head. He nodded and ticked a couple of the boxes. “Interesting.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yes, there is some resistance.”

 

“Oh.” He ticked some more boxes.

 

“Ok, think about this image” he lifted an ink blot; I saw the wings of a bird flapping in it.

 

“Huh?” He turned the card and looked at it. “Whoops, wrong card” he grinned and held another up. This time I saw cat swiping at its prey. “Good, just like I thought. You’re very much like your father.”

 

“Is that a good thing?”

 

“That’s up to you, I wouldn’t take it as a insult, though. Ok, we’re done.”

 

“That’s it?”

 

“That’s it. If you want to go back to the waiting room, someone will come out with your results shortly.” I got up and left and he was adding details to the sheet he was writing on.

 

“That was quick. Thought you would be gone a lot longer.” I had sat down opposite the other 4.

 

“That Timmy guy just stared at me, then started making notes on a sheet of paper.”

 

Kait’s friend Jimmy came across. He had his arm around a small dark haired girl.

 

Out of the group, she and I were the only ones not in school uniform.

 

“Jimmy, you remember Jace, from lunch last Monday?” She nodded at me.

 

“Yeah ...”

 

 “Is that the guy Kait likes?” the girl asked then, looked at me. “Are you his sister?”

 

“Mel, let me introduce you to Jace. Jace this is Jimmy’s girlfriend, Mel. Mel, this is Jace, the guy we were telling you about earlier.”

 

“I didn’t think Kait’s was a Lesbian?”

 

“No, Jace just went through MORFs.”

 

“Ohh.” She had sat down next to me, with Jimmy on the other side of her.

 

“Not in school uniform?” I asked her.

 

“Nope, school policy, no student can return to class until they’ve been passed as safe.

 

 And since I didn’t go to school today I get to be comfortable.”

 

“They’re worried some kid who got bullied is going to come back to school and beat up the people who bullied them.” said Karen.

 

“It happened a couple of years back at a different school. There was this kid who wasn’t very athletic, total geek, everyday someone would beat him up and take his lunch money. Then MORFs hit, and he turned into this walking muscle beast. First day back in school he ripped the arm off one of the bullies who used to pick on him and beat the guy around the head with it.” Mike said.

 

“That was just a rumour.”

 

“Well, if it is, it’s enough of a possibility that the school board insists that no student not cleared can come back.”

 

“Of course, it never occurred to them to try and stop people getting bullied?”

 

“What did you find, Timmy?” Shelly was looking at the telepath as he came out the room carrying Sara’s folder.

 

“Like father, like son.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“She hasn’t really accepted that she’s a girl. She will, she’s too pragmatic to not do so. She’s borderline, killing someone won’t bring out any real emotional responses. Like her father, though, she is bound by her ideal of honour and will only kill when necessary.”

 

“Dangerous?”

 

“Right now? Only to anyone who attacks her friends or her family. You were almost right, by the way. She does manipulate her perception of time, and to a small degree, the time around her.”

 

“What?”

 

“Oh don’t worry. She seems to have a neutraliser, like a elastic band ,she can stretch it a bit, but it jumps back once she lets go. So I’ve marked her as medium risk, monitor.”

 

“Anything else?”

 

“Some resistance to telepathic probing.”

 

“Which means?”

 

He shrugged, ““Everything, nothing. I showed some resistance, and I came out like this. My brother showed some and he became a vegetable. In truth, I’m more concerned with the brother…”

 

“He’s being kitted with a muscle relaxant and some mental programming…”

 

“Lets hope he finds something to focus him. Girls often find it harder to loose their range emotional expression.”

 

“Melanie Franks, Sara Neumer, Your results are available.”

 

“Good luck” I said.

 

“You, too,” she replied as we got up and walked across to the reception desk to get the A4 brown envelopes.

 

“Sara?” I looked at the women.

 

“Yes?”

 

“Your mum said to tell you that something has come up and you are to make your own way home.” She passed me a smaller envelope. I nodded and walked back to my friends.

 

“Ok. What is with all this Sara, business? I thought your name was Jace.” Jimmy was looking at me confused.

 

“It is ... was …” I sighed, “Sara is the name my parents were going to call me if I was born a girl. So a couple of days ago when my parents realised what was happening, they started the ball rolling to have my name changed. Just to sort of minimise the amount of time I would need to adjust … Hell, I’m sorta just going with the flow, I’m kinda stuck like this, so …”

 

“So you’re making the most of the situation.”

 

“And Jace doesn’t really suit this face, and it’s best I get used to responding to my new name.”

 

“So enough with that already!! What did you get?” Mike was on the edge of his seat. I smiled at him, looked at Mel and we opened our envelopes together.

 

“I’m safe to return to school.” Mel looked at me, I was still reading through mine.

 

“Sara?”

 

“Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m clear to go back to school as well, just have a warning to be careful, as I have a denser muscle structure.” I opened the other to find a house key, my credit card, a note from my mother to go buy some more clothes and not worry about what I was wearing as it was from spares. And another with my sizes on it.

 

“Where’s a good place to buy some clothes at this time?” I looked up at the girls, saw all three boys slap their foreheads in the corner of my eyes, and saw all three girls grow big smiles.

 

 “Mall trip?” the three girls said simultaneously.

 

I looked at Mike. “Did I just make a mistake?”

 

“And how,” he replied.

 

“You two want a lift home?” Jimmy asked Mike and Tike.

 

“What sort of clothes do you need?” Jen asked me from the front seat of Mel’s car. Karen was in the back with me, she had convinced me to let her redo my hair, and was brushing it out.

 

“Urm … everything…” the three grinned.

 

“Do you know your sizes?” Karen asked, so I passed her the note with them.

 

She read it, looked at me, and passed it forwards. “Size 6? Damn it, I won’t be able to borrow any of your clothes.”

 

“You’re a size 6? If you become a cheerleader, I will never speak to you again,” added Mel.

 

“Huh?”

 

“Ignore her, she’s joking. Kait’s going to kill us, though.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yep! Shopping trip without her. But don’t worry, its an emergency, you have no wardrobe.”

 

“I hate to say this, but let’s start with the school uniform, then underwear, then shoes, then something more casual.”

 

“Budget?”

 

“I’m not to go crazy.” I shrugged.

 

“Makeup?”

 

“Err ...”

 

“Lets consider that a yes. Do we have time for hair?”

 

“Need an appointment, we can make one though, we need to be quick, we have two hours before we need to get to Kait’s.”

 

“Will we have time to do any worthwhile shopping in two hours?”

 

“We can get the necessities.”

 

“Underwear first then?”

 

“Yep.”

 

Shopping is hell. I have always had a preference to online shopping over going aimlessly from shop to shop … but…Ok I’ll admit it ... I had fun. Starting in the lingerie shop, the girls convinced me to buy several packets of simple white cotton panties, a few simple bras, a couple of padded ones, and a black bra and g string set, the latter of which they insisted I wear for the rest of the shopping trip, as it was bound to make me feel more girly. I should have trigged then they were up to something

 

Next I was dragged into a department store with a big make up selection.  “We need to know your colours before we can get your other clothes,” was the response to my protests as the women sat me down and told me to close my eyes.

 

Opening my eyes to look in the mirror, I found myself looking at a totally different person. Emphasis had been put onto my eyes and lips, apparently my best facial features. From the smiling faces of my new friends and the dirty glares of other people, it was an improvement. I ended up with a bag of makeup.

 

An hour later we were making our way back to Mel’s car, each of us carrying a few bags of clothes, and me in a black silk miniskirt, and baby blue t shirt and a pair of apparently low heels which were threatening to break my ankle every few steps. I think the only thing that stopped them was the fact they were knee high boots. The skirt zipped up the back and had a built in hole for my tail. To my new friends misery, we had been forced to buy all my skirts, trousers, shorts and dresses from the same 2 shops. They kept saying, “Damn your tail,” but I wouldn’t lose it for anything, and the wonderful appendage saved my feet.

 

Jen and Karen had taken up the back seat on the way to Kait’s and were getting out of their uniforms and into some new clothes they had picked up.

 

“Kait promised to wait on taking her next cartridge on us getting there.”

 

“When did you speak to her?” I asked

 

“This morning, before she took the day one, about 7ish.”

 

“Did she sound well?” my questions had apparently been asked by the others and Karen just shrugged , “Ask her yourself when we get there. It’s probably the same as for everyone, you feel like crap until it’s over, then you feel great.”

 

The four of us bundled out of the car and headed up to the front door of the McSammuel’s place. At the shopping centre I had picked up a small stuffed teddy to give to her.

 

 

 

“Oh girls, I’m glad you could make it. Kait’s watching TV in the front room. Go on through,” Mrs. McSammuel said after she opened the door.

 

I was the last in and followed the others through into the front room. Sitting on the couch watching the TV was a half naked boy. He looked like he had just came out of the shower and was dressed in a pair of men’s pyjama bottoms. My eyes started at just below the waistline of those and rose up over the sculptured 6 packs, rested on his tight pectorials, broad shoulders, strong neck, handsome jaw. His long hair had been tied back into a loose pony tail. He hadn’t noticed us come in, as his eyes were on the telly. My breathing had increased a little, and I was feeling a little hot.

 

“Just wake up Kait?” Karen asked.

 

“Yep,” he said smiling as he turned to look at us. “Woke up feeling great, had a shower and sat down to watch some TV.” He switched off the TV and turned around to look at us completely. “Hey Mel, how was your change?”

 

“Not bad, I’ve gained second sight.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yep I can see from a point up to about 3 meters from where my eyes actually are. What about you? That’s a pretty big change…if Karen hadn’t warned me I wouldn’t have known it was you.”

 

“Nothing.” he said and then looked crestfallen. “I finally find a guy I like, and this goes and happens…”

 

“Oh, I don’t think Jace is taking your changes all that hard, Kait.” I was practically drooling.

 

“What?” She looked over at me “…Jace?”

 

I nodded, not trusting myself to speak.

 

“Right, I think we should leave these two alone for a while.” The three girls headed out to the kitchen, while Kait and I just stared at each other.

 

To Be Continued...


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