Beqanna
The Transformation: Chapter 3 - Printable Version

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The Transformation: Chapter 3 - Neo - 07-01-2018

Casia/Virgo/Sabra/Jesper

Chapter 3

You begin to grow restless in your containment.  Ever wondering what was to come next.  They offer you little clues and all you truly know is something is about to happen.
Something horrible, 
(Or perhaps something wonderful.  It is yours to decide, really.)

They observe you and through whispers they decide you are ready.
You are given a serum.
You feel strange.
Something begins to happen.

Moments pass(or days)
and suddenly you are changed.
Different.
Powerful.

Your prompts
*Start at the end of your Chapter 1(which should also be your end of Chapter 2)
*Your captors give you something that transforms you- What, where, how.
*Your pony is now changed into any form you see fit *Details crucial*
*Your pony is also gifted with one super power(think within your vast variety of superhero powers)
*This super power has one extreme weakness- What is it?(This will be your antidote in last chapter if you should make it that far >:}
*End with your character fully transformed and awaiting their task (Your character can remain mentally intact to their original self, pronounced "wild", or can become a mindless zombie controlled by your captors)
*This should be written in perspective of both your pony(soon-to-be creature) and your They (Since only they will really know what your power and weakness is)

Word Count: 2150 max
Due: July 14th @2359(11:59pm) cst *Extended for holiday

Example:
You are chained in a cell of the anthill they have drug you into.
The Ant-beings implant a crystal into your skull.
Your shrunken pony begins to transform into an insect-like creature much like a wasp but much larger
(Quadwings, stinger, antennas, 6 legs, etc) *Not very creative I know*
Super power is Sonic Mind manipulation-Emitting frequencies that render your/their enemies incoherent
Extreme Weakness: Justin Bieber songs

Rules:
*No editing posts
*No use of existing traits during quest(physical features such as wings or horns will remain intact only until Chapter 3*These are now gone unless your new transformation has them*)
*No extensions- notify me if you must drop out
*Defects can be given but will be temporary
*There will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trait prizes TBD
*Judged on creativity, flow of your story, and following rules ofc

@[Pond]'s story ends at Chapter 2.

Any questions feel free to contact me ~Neo



RE: The Transformation: Chapter 3 - Virgo - 07-08-2018

the first time he calls you holy, you laugh it back so hard your sides hurt.
the second time, you moan gospel around his fingers between your teeth.

Time has no meaning here, anymore. Eyes circle, swirl around her every moment and sometimes she sleeps, exhausted by the constant fear of whatever comes next. Virgo cannot see their faces in the pitch black but she hears them murmur as they plan and plot their test for her. The pin prick of light far above is gone so she thinks it must be night when she feels an icy palm find her side. She awakes abruptly and cries out as she tries to squirm away from that awful touch, but more hands simply rest against her skin from all sides.

This is it. This is the end.

Please, please don’t…

There is a snap like bones cracking and tears flood from her bright eyes. She cannot see them, but the sister who wept earlier has broken her own horn as a sacrifice for the swarm. It aches and throbs but she knows that this is necessary. Whimpering, the child passes off the tar-black horn to another. Someone’s fingers locate Virgo’s heart as it beats wildly against her ribs and presses the point to her skin. They all embrace her and their terrified victim lets out a scream in a final plea for them to stop.

We’re sorry, Virgo,” they murmur against her as they weep together now. The word ‘sorry’ echoes across all their lips and then they drive the horn into her as smoothly as they had flowed through one another before.

Pain becomes her existence, then. Agony erupts through her veins and she can’t even find her voice to cry anymore. Her muscles lock and she’s no longer aware of whether the children are holding her still. (They continue to cling tight to her. Their love is too great to let her bear this pain alone.)

As her consciousness blossoms open within the hive, the children’s skin illuminates like stars in the twilight of the lake’s depths. They release her once the worst is over and scurry back to observe the change. It begins slowly, at first, with creaks and groans as her bones shift into their new positions. She becomes something vaguely feline in shape but maintains her long neck, though less broad and much more refined. Her stomach slims and she becomes streamlined like a greyhound or a cheetah, built for speed and the hunt. Two rows of curved fangs push her prey animal teeth out from her jaws in a cloud of red water. From the horn in her chest, something like black ink spreads across her skin and hides every inch of gray that she had been before.

Please…” one of the children prays despite their gods failing them before. Maybe this time they’ll take pity on them all.

Her hooves are pushed off like old shoes as talons bud from her front legs, swiping at the air and snatching at nothing. Her rear legs grown three long, clawed toes each with a large dew claw-like ancient raptor feet. The hive children murmur excitedly as a new set of legs cracks out from the center of her spine. Though half as long as the other limbs, they boast two finger-like claws and even opposable thumbs with equally impressive nails.

Eons ago, the children had seen predators latch onto prey with such hands. Each made note of this while the forelegs tore the poor meal asunder. They knew they must test Virgo with power and watch how it changed her, watch how she used strength after being so weak for so long.

Though her vision is blurred and weak even with the starlight of the children, she finds herself able to see in vibrant colors now. Her eyes blink, though they are not her eyes. A new set stares just above the old, winking and watching the world through some serpent’s thermal vision. Virgo feels dizzy and the eyes swirl across her skin as the children’s had in their behemoth shape before. She wants to vomit. She wants to wake up from this fever dream.

She has not noticed that her tail has split into three halfway along its length. The ends curl slightly and the long strands mimic the shape of a peacock’s glorious tail, luxurious like the train of a queen’s wedding gown. Despite all her sharp edges and ragged claws, there is beauty in the danger of what she has become. Even the children are in awe of the elegance such a monster could possess. They stare at her, wide-eyed until one steps closer to the writhing girl.

He reaches out and skims his fingertips across the perfectly smooth skin along her ribs, then along the barbs that have grown more pronounced along her spine. Her body ripples beneath his touch like the lake’s surface and grows white where ever he touches. Before their eyes, she has become piebald and the pink-white skin seems to glow in their light.

Then, the snow-colored patches of her coat grow transparent.

Only her bones show through the crystalline skin, but there is muscle and tissue there despite the illusion. The child steps back and their jaws collectively fall open as they realize what a lovely abomination they have made. Little fish swim closer, unconcerned with the spectacle. They only wish to pick the bones clean as they have for centuries before. Orange, white, and shimmering silver fish, no larger than the children’s palms, swim between her ribs as casually as they might a rotting log. Glass takes the place of her skin in those previously open areas, trapping the fish inside. They will be her bait in the times to come. They will lure prey close enough for her twenty-six claws to sink into them.

She is solid once more. Somewhere, someone whispers her name, but her ears have changed and she finds she does not know how to move them anymore. The little lynx ears twist and turn in confusion but they cannot pinpoint anything just yet. The children gather close to her as their breath shudders in anticipation.

Breathe. Breathe. Walk. Run.

They command her and the words repeat all around her as they wait eagerly. Her size has hardly changed but she finds herself strong enough to step forward with one of her new dragon-clawed forelegs. Virgo’s mind struggles to form coherent thoughts but images come to her as easily as before. She takes another step, then the raptor feet follow suit until she has moved several meters. Her limbs are clumsy with their newfound power and the small fingers at her sides twitch uncomfortably. Her mouth opens to speak but the question withers on her tongue. The fish within her aquarium body continue to idly float between her ribs despite her frustration.

Even now, she thinks of Eerie. She cries as she remembers how she’d laugh at Virgo, twisting and fighting the magic that held her prisoner back then. She is helpless again, a slave to their games.

Don’t cry. Don’t be afraid, please,” a girl says in a whimpering voice as she reaches up and takes Virgo’s face in her small hands. At last, she can see her face in the dim light of their star-skin. The child is afraid and fighting back her own tears. Somewhere in Virgo’s mind, the word ‘sister’ echoes across her thoughts. The swarm-child presses her lips to Virgo’s reptile nose and another pets the area her mane used to be. Her muscles shake a little less. They are hideous, broken things, but she begins to wonder if they are not as terrible as she thought.

Reality is subjective, Virgo.

The thought drips into the swarm’s consciousness but she does not understand. Her throat forms a weak croon of confusion before the children paint images across her mind – stars shining brightly during midday, snow beneath a scorching sun, and the dead smiling among the living. Somehow, she understands their gift then. As the hive-children bend the rules of this universe, so may she, yet reality is not theirs to create or destroy. The children show her their crimson tears of love, pouring over her and melting the power from her body to ease the magic from her like a delicate robe once they’re done. They huddle nervously around her as they wait for her to flex her strength, wide eyes glowing brightly in a sea of little star-spawn.

The swarm’s memories flood her as their connection stabilizes, and suddenly she understands their desperation. Her heart thunders in her chest as tears stream down her cheeks and across her shoulders where the thermal eyes have settled for now. Their infinite loneliness aches down in her bones as she recalls their time in space, drifting between callous galaxies for so long. They shivered and wept together as their tears turned to ice on their cheeks. Virgo understands everything now.

The ink and glass girl coughs weakly as her new ability warps her vocal chords to return her voice.

I-I’m ready. I am.. worthy..
Virgo
you will ruin him and he will thank you; he will say please.



RE: The Transformation: Chapter 3 - Casia - 07-10-2018

The portal swallows them whole.

To Casia, the Other Side is but a blur - a blur of unfamiliar faces, of ethereal voices, and of scents far beyond the scope of her wildest imaginings. Before long, even the touch of the Faerie's cool, wintery hand to the sweat-damp purple of her neck begins to feel out of focus. As the world swirls and falters as if she views it as the sun from beneath water, the mare feels her consciousness slip away. What alone remains is a feeling of restlessness.

---

I return, trophy in hand, to my home.

She becomes dazed immediately by our surroundings, falling into a stupor not brought on by my magicks but useful nonetheless. I doubt a mortal such as she could handle the reality of this realm. From her, my attention swings eagerly to those around us - familiar faces blinking their surprise at my return, signalling that indeed I must be the first apprentice to return from my Pilgrimage. A hot, viscous pride slides down my throat and into my stomach.

Success.

You are returned, comes the Matriarch's voice, from all around me. Come now child, and rest. Your Pilgrimage is nearly complete.

Puzzled, my mouth flutters wordlessly open as the purple figure of my half-century-long lover fades and disappears beside me. The wet heaviness inside my stomach cools without warning, solidifying into a stone and weighing me down to the spot.

---

Years and decades and almost a century pass - or at least, that's how it feels as I await further action on the part of the Matriarch. The weight of cooled dread sticks to my stomach with each dawn, though the dawns happen differently Here - how I could have forgotten, I'm not sure. But somehow, without Casia by my side, the reality of the Fae seems... Fake. I fight the thought, and yet it comes:

This is not where I belong.

---

Awaken.

The thought stirs me - but I know it is not to me that the Matriarch speaks.

I rush to her, though it's the first time I've truly been able to find her - She allows it, I suppose. But as my hands find their familiar place along the warm muscles of her neck, I know it's too late; a drop of ruby blood stains my porcelain fingertip from the injection sight, but that, that is the least of my concerns.

---

Awaken.

Without hesitation, her eyes open - and for the first time, they See.

The land around is nondescript, a pleasant gray mass that she doesn't understand and yet simultaneously accepts as real. Of course, the Faeries would reside here: where they are the ones who stand out, no need for anything stunning from their surroundings. A smile quirks on her lips; but then, as the sensation of two hands sends shivers down her spine, it falters.

"Is it...?"

"Yes, yes, it's me, I love you, it's me."

That's the last of the niceties they're allowed; in the next moment, it all changes.

---

With a glimmer that echoes the droplet of blood drying on my fingertip, she changes.

Not drastically, nor fantastically. Though I expect her shape to change as the morphing takes place,  it does not: she simply shrinks, the purple draining from her as if a hand is placed around her delicate throat. That weight in my stomach shrivels; but just as I expect it to disappear, it bursts into flames, scalding me from within.

Before me, crystalline and shivering, the being I once was stands. Her eyes - the same, a deep and rich golden-brown - blink up at me; innocent, trusting.

"What's wrong?" A baby's voice, warbling and fresh and terrifying. "Why - why are you looking at me like that?"

---

From behind her veil, the Matriarch smiles.

You did not think it would be so easy, did you?

Her apprentice, fingers trembling and nearly transparent in her faintness, stumbles.

Of course not. Now, listen - you have worked to Ascend for...

Years.

Decades.

Centuries.

You have felt the beginnings of power weight the palm of your hand, warm the linings of your stomach; and you said to yourself:
it feels good.

Sometimes, my child, it does not feel good.


Her child blinks back tears, looking above her into the obscure gray as if, there, she might find that which so tortured her guts.

The foal, the Offering; she mewls, crying out for her lover.

From behind her veil, the Matriarch's fingers curl and clench. This is her favourite part.

Sometimes - the Sacrifice is nearly more than you can bear.

---

And then, although the voice grinds to a halt, I know what I must do:

I must kill my lover.

---

In the depths of frail, shivering filly, something too is directionlessly discovered: a splitting sensation, the seams of her remade being popping apart.

---

You have 164 seconds to complete your tasks, my loves. Kill, or be killed; Ascend, or die.

---

As the final seams burst, so too does Casia: just as the timer begins, the tiny white foal duplicates tenfold, surrounding her opponent in her shivering frailty as a thousand voices warble their plea:

"Please, Faerie, I love you - don't kill me,"

I love you!
Don't kill me! I love you!
I love you! Don't kill me! I love you!
Don't kill me! I love you! Don't kill me! I love you!


---

How sad, the Matriarch mused very happily to herself, that her weakness is Winter.

casia



RE: The Transformation: Chapter 3 - Sabra - 07-12-2018

It hurt. Oh gods, did it hurt. The throbbing in her skull was enough to bring the pale mare up from the chemical fog she had been floating in. There was no way she was dead, it couldn't hurt this much to be dead. For a moment though it seemed possible she'd gone blind. There was nothing but a bright whiteness. Slowly her eyes adjusted to the extreme light, revealing the defined corners and edges of a very square space. How it was so bright she did not know, her beloved sky being hidden from view by more flat white. It was crisp and sterile, and an utter opposite to anything she'd ever experienced before. This was not Beqanna. 

In the minutes that followed she was absorbed by an all encompassing pain as a million pins and needles staggered across her skin. The drugs that had been given to her were wearing off, allowing sensation to return to her nervous system begrudgingly. A persistent noise reached her through the pain, pulsing in sync with her now racing heartbeat. Minutes, hours, days. It seemed an eternity before the stinging ended, and she dared experiment with motion. 

Each joint felt like it was made of sandpaper, gritty and coarse. With am almighty groan she rolled over, until her knees were beneath her once more. The effort of that action set the room spinning sickeningly around. Eyes slammed shut again, the pattern of her breath the only thing she could focus on until things steadied again. It was harsh. The floor, the light, the weirdly flat scent of the air. Just staying conscious was an effort. But she must, she must. 

                                          ◇◇◇

It was amusing, watching the mare struggle in the quarantine cell. Clearly the drugs had been potent, holding her unconscious for the hour it had taken to transport her and then some. The reversal had been administered on intake, along with taking samples of blood and skin and urine. A brief but thorough physical exam had been given, Doctor Mendez going over the equinoid's body herself. Aside from the strange color and the extra limbs, the creature seemed to be a fairly standard horse. A shiny, blue horse. Her mane and tail and primaries were trimmed short. A microchip was implanted in her neck, and a freeze branded serial number applied to the opposite side. Just in case, they said. 

She couldn't see me, of course, not through the camera currently trained on her stumbling form. The foam of the stall floor had padded her for the time she'd lain there, and now it seemed to be a source of confusion as she shakily explored the 10'x10' extent of quarantine. Trapped little mouse, what a shame. Tomorrow, the real work would begin. Briefly, I examined the clipboard in my hand. Vitals were decent, heart rate a bit elevated if anything. Blood group Q, reactive. That would yield interesting results. 

                                          ◇◇◇

There was nothing, for hours. Just nauseating light, and then darkness. Either way, it made seeing a difficulty. The blue mare pressed her forehead into the corner of the stall, attempting to alleviate the headache that had been present since she awoke. At one point she must have dozed off. When she woke the lights had returned, bringing a new sound with them. A gentle clicking made itself known. She nearly crashed into the wall as a mechanized hiss blew against her, a hole opening smoothly in the wall opposite. With a snort, she danced from side to side, watching the dark abyss fearfully. Where the hell was she? Whoever had dared commit this violence against her had made a huge mistake. There was murder in her eyes as she caught her first glimpse of her captor. 

She had not seen his kind in years. Back when her coat was made of cream and satin, and her youth was before her. Erect on two legs, they had harried her people ruthlessly in the days before she had found sanctuary in Beqanna. Man. This was a breed she knew, and yet this tribe was far different from those she remembered. Clad in loose garments, colored seemingly by rank. And all subject to a queen, the female in blood red and white. Her position in this place was made painfully clear. 

                                         ◇◇◇

There were three injections. The first was a mere sting, and for days afterward eager faces paraded by, watching as the mare demonstrated seemingly endless strength and energy. She was like brand new, invincible. The serum seemingly afforded her the gift of vitality itself. Until one day it didn't. Exhaustion showed itself one morning, when her usual exhibition was due. Instead of strutting forth proudly, her pace fell flat and uneven on the rubbery surface of the arena. Murmuring voices went from inquisitive, to doubtful, to irate. Back to the drawing board. 

The second injection brought no relief. Instead, it seemed to hasten the pathetic ending that suddenly felt so near. A sore, aching stiffness spread from the site, invading muscle and bone with weary degradment. Sleek hair began to fade into a dull pearl, shedding out in ragged clumps. Her hooves chipped with the barest of pressure. The once jubilant faces now barely managed to glance her way. She was a disappointment, and she was dying. Away from home, her children, any chance at life and love. The once glorious mare now stood at the wayside, waiting for the end. One last injection. A Hail Mary shot that no one expected much out of. The injection site was sore for several days afterward, a constant reminder. Each day that passed increased the sensation that she was fading away into nothing.   

It had been several weeks since the injections began. The visitors had stopped almost entirely, all except the man with the dead eyes. He returned daily, pausing before the gate of her stall to stare. Watery brown eyes that she couldn't hide from, couldn't escape. He had lurked on the edges since the day she'd arrived, not speaking, or doing much of anything. Just watching, with a look that made her feel... dirty. She was sedated most of the time. Would not tolerate handling otherwise. Even so, she knew she would avoid his touch of he chose to attempt it, drugs or no. 

                                       ◇◇◇

It had been three months, almost to the day since we had acquired the test subject. At first she was a triumph. The only one of the five collected to survive the initial injections, to thrive even. It was a short-lived victory. Dr. Mendez grew irate as the subject failed to recover. She took to wandering the labs late at night, checking and rechecking files and reports. A month into the new series of experiments, Ankh died. After that, the good doctor's behavior went from irritable to borderline madness. Muttering about how much money had been wasted, how many years of research. How many years we were all going to prison for if this failed completely. 

The stupid cow. She stood there, day in day out, managing to look arrogant despite her ever worsening condition. Like a plant deprived of sunlight, she was a pale shadow of the beast they had captured. Where she had once gleamed with life, she now hardly glanced my way when I visited each morning. Today, her head barely lifted from the point at which she was cross tied. The sedative drugs had been weaned off over the last month, when her strength began to wane most noticeably. Now it was assumed that the nylon ropes at either side of her face would hold her sufficiently. 

A weak cough heaved from her chest while I watched, bringing up speckles of gem bright blood on her lips. Horrible, weak thing. She was not worthy of the wonders that had been offered to her. And she was bringing us down with her. A lead rope hung coiled by the latch of her gate, black nylon and steel chain. We should have put her down weeks ago. The latch flipped up, and the lead rope found its way to my hands. I had not been involved since that first day. I was no scientist, only a lackey. My power had been imaginary. Used and thrown to the side. Their mistake. Her mistake. 

My feet brought me before the pitiful creature, until I could look inside the human depths of her blue eyes. They could understand us, we'd been told. They did not speak our tongue, but could understand things given the opportunity. Hard to tell, just by looking at the dull emotions that flickered low in her face. "Unnatural monster. Couldn't do one thing right, could you? Didn't even try. I should have shot you when I had the chance." My voice was as empty as my eyes, no emotion emphasising the otherwise vicious words. His hand reached up to lightly stroke the length of her face. The cross ties held her in place, preventing her from moving away. Smiling tightly, I gave no warning when my opposite arm flashed forward, bringing the chained length of the lead rope down across her face.

                                         ◇◇◇ 

They looked at each other then, one in shock, the other in perverse euphoria. A welt was already raising itself across the bridge of her nose, small crimson droplets standing out against the milky skin. The spell broke, and she jerked back with what was left of her strength. A terrible laugh fell from the man's throat, mocking her fear. That was when he set about his business in earnest, striking over and over with the chain of the lead, bruising and breaking skin across her face and neck, shoulders and chest. Years of frustration poured out into the assault. Her hoarse screams fell on deaf ears, though they agitated the other horses. Her knees gave out at last, dropping her to the rubber floor, head still suspended upright by the ties. The sudden fall woke her attacker from his violent work. 

Stepping back, he looked at the results of his handiwork. Purple bruising was apparent through her thin coat, blood trickling from a dozen lacerations. Her ribs moved in short, heavy gasps, working hard to get oxygen negotiated. One eye was swollen shut, blood leaking over it from the cut in her brow. Blood was also leaking steadily from both nostrils. Pain beyond anything she had ever experienced before radiated against her skull, drowning out all thoughts but one. Let it end. Let this finally end. The only sounds left were both of their labored breaths, and the steady rhythm of the beaten mares blood dripping to the floor. Two things then happened at once. Sabra's breath stopped in her chest, and Doctor Mendez' shrill voice screamed from the offices opposite. 

"What the FUCK have you...done...?" The short latina woman had sprinted across the arena and now stood outside the stall, horror on her face as she absorbed the scene within. Other early morning workers were arriving, and all were drawn to the drama unfolding. The intensifying sunlight suddenly suffocated, leaving the building dark inside. The temperature plummeted, until whorls of horefrost began to etch themselves across the steel desks and the concrete floor. It was like standing at the heart of a hurricane, or watching a new star be born from the cosmic ether. That eerie, sucking quiet that heralds a tidal wave. And then the wind began to howl. 

Pressure built inside the building, until it felt almost unbearable. Capillaries began to leak when with an audible crash, it was released. It was thunder and lightning. It was a hurricane. Inside the building black clouds were forming, mounding, obscuring the vision of all around. That made it very easy to see when the prostate mare began to glow with crackling electricity. She rose from the floor, held up by some unseen force when consciousness found her once more. Eyes snapped open. Their clear depths had been replaced with pits of flaring blue energy, static held the ragged ends of her hair out in a fiery halo. Intensive cold began to radiate from her skin, turning the nylon  halter encasing her face brittle and shattering it into frozen needles. 

She rose through the fog, a pale, thin wraith. The edges of her form blurred into mist, blue fingers of lightning glowing and striking intermittently from the heart of her. Water began to accumulate as a torrential downpour whirled around them. Dr. Mendez stood frozen, tears streaming down her face. She was the first to regain herself, backing slowly away. There was an anti-serum, hidden in her office. The trauma... It had to have been the trauma that activated the change within the storm mare. A beautiful disaster that would destroy them all if she wasn't careful. But if she were prudent... this may well be her magnum opus. 

SABRA

I'm Hell on Heels, Say What You Will



Word Count: 2150, on the nose


RE: The Transformation: Chapter 3 - Jesper - 07-14-2018

Of course, Jesper could not tell how many days had passed since he woke up in the stark white, padded box. The ebony equine could, however, distinguish a pattern. The pattern began with the abrupt surge of artificial light from above. There was no gentle transition between absolute darkness to blinding light so, Jesper would instinctively close his eyes to shield them from the harsh brightness. For all intensive purposes, he equated the time between when the lights turned on until they turned off to sunrise until sunset. With the same manner of thinking, he considered the darkness inbetween to be one night. Shortly after his room floods with light, a portal appears in one of the walls. A rubber dish, filled with sweet, starchy pellets, pushes through the hole to join a matching trough containing water. At first, Jesper refused to try the offered meal. Then, something reminded him that he could not just waste away in here. He had to stay strong- both mentally and physically. And so, he extended his tongue to tentatively take an experimental lick of the pellets. He found the pellets as sweet as they smelled and, before he could stop himself, he was grinding mouthful after mouthful into a soft pulp. He swallowed each one and repeated until the pan was empty. He emptied the pan each time it slid into his space - three times while the lights were on.

He would drink the water also. In between meals, he would force himself to move about the room. He would purposefully march about to maintain his muscle tone. After all, he had all of this extra energy from his new diet. Why not put it to good use? The last notable aspect of his "day" involved his box seemingly coming to life. It would change shape and, a barrier would appear that cut the room in half - across the diagonal. He could hear the muted voices of the humans from the other side, the scraping of excrement from the vinyl floor and, the rush of water to rinse away his urine. When the barrier receded, Jesper would be alone again and, his white square returned to its previous size minus his excretions. As suddenly as they lit up the space, the lights would turn off. The darkness brought about a similarly unnatural silence. Despite the lack of distractions during the night, the soldier in him could not shake the feeling that he was in more danger now versus when the lights are on. He allows himself to close his eyes briefly though, he never quite falls asleep.

-----


We kept our perfect specimen under observation for a week. He seemed to be tolerating captivity well enough; adjusting to the routine, the sounds and, the differences without exhibiting signs of stress. Dr. Abernathy interpreted the output of the sensors we put in place on Day One. They reported normal respiration rates, heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and temperature. He literally took everything in stride. Ashley and Stephanie took his care: making sure he had clean water, fresh meals and, a clean stall. They also kept a log of their observations of his behavior. I, myself, am beside myself. I could not believe that everything was going as smoothly as it was. Dr. Gates and I could not wait to move into the next phase. Though, we had to make sure we had reference ranges. We had to study our stallion's normal vitals in order to fully understand the effects our concoction would have on him. With seven days of consistently unremarkable data, we were ready.

Dr. Gates confirmed that the virus was ready to go. This next phase had not gone well for us in the past. We had other specimens - laboratory rodents and feral cats mostly. Once we had injected the virus, each one succumbed to its side effects within hours. Every specimen thus far had keeled over as a result of a boiling fever. We had no time to study the course of the virus before it took full effect. By that time, it was too late to administer the anecdote. Of course, that very well may be how the virus works, no matter the species. But, we had worked so hard to develop the cure! We could not give up. Not yet.

The lights had gone out just like every other night since Jesper was brought here. The ebony equine found himself settling into a light slumber. He could not see or hear the approach of the drone. With its night vision, the mechanically winged object approached its target and, fired its sedative-laced dart. The  needle lodged into his neck and released its contents. Within moments, the stallion had fallen into a considerably deeper state of mind and, was now laying on his right side. A hatch door slid back and, a two-legged stepped into the room, a syringe in hand. Fingertips stroke his sleek shoulder before pinching his skin away from the muscles of his forearm. The needle pierces into the subcutaneous layer and, with a single depression of the plunger, the virus is injected into his chassis. The two-legged leaves through the same door she entered and, the hatch closes securely behind her.

The sedative administered must have been a smaller dose or, a different combination this time. Or, perhaps the second injection countered the effects of the first. Either way, Jesper finds himself rolling onto his underside and, blinking away the grogginess in seconds. The black steed found himself far more alert than the first time. His white box is still pitch black; however, he can make out the edges of the space with a greenish white filter. Long-lashed eyelids blink a time or, two to verify this newfound vision is real. His tufted lobes flick as they capture each wave of electrical current running through the walls. Even with the lights off, he could hear the pulses of energy, waiting to be called upon. In addition, Jesper found the odor of the room to be obnoxious now. What seemed odorless before now reeked of chemicals and, artificial materials. It was like each of his senses had been strengthened tenfold. The equine shakes his poll before extending his front limbs and hauling himself to all fours. He adjusts his balance and focus in a second before he feels and hears the increase in his heartbeat. From the flesh just above his left knee, Jesper feels the burning heat. It scalds enough that he lifts his left fore and, attempts to hop away from the sensation. The burning creeps first into his carpus and then, moves towards his shoulder. Gingerly, the steed replaces his weight back onto the limb.

He winces as the temperature seeps into his scapula joint and, an ache begins to settle in. His bronze-tipped lobes pin to his poll as the irritation spreads. He bares his teeth and swings about to nip at the injection site; at his own leg. All of a sudden, a restlessness develops that urges the equine to get moving. Utilizing his new found night vision, Jesper steps forward and begins to move about the room. He had no clue what else these humans had in store for him but, he wants to get out of here - anywhere but here. He takes several steps before the padded floor seems to give way just in front of him. The stallion halts, snorts and then, starts to back up. He continues until his rump presses against the nearest wall. He can hear his heartbeat loud and fast now. He takes several shallower breaths as his reality grows more terrifying. He throws his head up and back in panic as the floor continues to appear to crumble all around him. He watches,  aquamarine eyes wide in horror, as the amount of solid ground diminishes and then, it is gone. He is floating on air and, it is like there is no gravity. The joints of his left forelimb no longer ache and, Jesper finds himself relaxing. Too tired to process anything more, he decides to lay down again, right here and, close his eyes.

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I could not help myself. As i approached our specimen, sedate and unaware, I felt the need to touch him. I myself wanted to give the injection just so I could get close to this magnificent animal. I get in and, get out. When I rejoin my team, I offer a smile tense with anxiety. I could not predict how he would respond. This phase of the experiment was our greatest unknown. We all stand by and watch in heavy anticipation as the Lyssa virus takes effect. The sensors pick up our specimen's increase in heart rate and respiration rate. We all hold our breath, waiting for the worst. Dr. Abernathy is glued to the monitors while Ashley jots the numbers down as fast as she can. His vitals plateau, though remain high, as he scurries backwards. We watch as he acts as though something had materialized out of thin air and, began to chase him. We watch as he retreats as far back as the stall will allow. Stephanie and, several others, are documenting our observations: restless and hallucinating. And then, all of a sudden, his blood pressure lowers and, his respiration rate returns to normal. We collectively exhale a sigh of relief at this dramatic turn of events. Soon, he lowers himself back to the floor and resumes his nap. I begin to think, Maybe, just maybe, our specimen will be able to withstand the dangerous neurologic symptoms and, allow us to prove our anecdote works.
jesper
carnage x bethanie
devin's∇designs