I know for certain I had a room facing east, that sun had the nerve to shine its light in my eyes, unbearable to wake me up. I couldn’t remember how I got into bed. Wait… oh now I remember. After I took a picture of myself for Ms. Jerkface, I sort of blacked out from mu drunken spurt. Yeah that sounds about right.
I groaned and creaked and yelped as I stretched. I snapped wide-awake when I felt my tail, then everything else. Waking up as a girl, if you never did, is never dull. You freak out. You wonder what happened. You start exploring until you hopefully change back. You do stupid stuff you regret.
I didn’t do any of that. I knew I was a girl, but I had to say, “Crap, it wasn’t a dream,” and shrugged it off.
At least the bed was firm.
I got up to look outside, but realized I had no shirt on. Wonder how that happened?
“Ugh… no more duck farts for me,” I joked seriously. Whoever invented duck farts must’ve been a lunatic genius or a fool.
I peeked through the partially opened drapes wondering if I was facing another room, and I was fortunate I wasn’t. My room overlooked the back end of the hotel, which was the pool, occupied by a few anthros and buildings smudged in the vast forest and rolling hills. I noticed the sun’s position being in mid morning; I was asleep more than ten hours? Boy did I feel hungry all a sudden.
Near the couch and coffee table I heard my phone chirp and vibrate. A text and several email messages. Caller ID said it was from The Genetic Park, three hours ago.
-Mr. Daniels. Please come to the main office at these directions. Dr. Malcolm is inviting you to a personal meeting.-
“Great, forgot about the meeting,” I said. I suspected they will send somebody to get me if ignored the text, stay in my room for the remainder of my stay, and keep my will power at full blast. Hell, I wasn’t in the brightest of moods to meet this Malcolm guy, the man that built my nightmare from the ground up.
Sadly, I’m in witness protection. I must follow the law. Just like prison. Go figure.
So I cleaned up. A hot shower with lots of soap for my fur, trying very hard not to brush against those sensitive points. I’m serious, I did avoid them at all cost. Drying myself was long and it let me look at my body in the mirror more. Yeah I’ll have to admit, I admired it, but I wish it wasn’t some product of Ms. Jerkface. Didn’t dry-blow my long hair, I left it alone until dry and bind it into a ponytail. I found my clothes on the couch in the bags, but I didn’t choose new clothes. I stuck with the ones from last night, rank with alcohol. I know what your thinking and I’m not listening. If I want to tell the mastermind of The Genetic Park my frustration, why not show it. Maybe get a discount on some grub.
But I had to use new underwear anyway.
I grabbed my multi-card, the cell, and left my room. I made a stop at the hotel’s coffee corner for a protein bar to settle my hunger for a while. I didn’t make eye contact with all the other guests, as they wiggled their noses from my smell. Always with first impressions.
He wasn’t in his office, whoop dee doo.
My lack of enthusiasm for the master creator of the Park was expressive, I looked pissed at the secretary. I was left to roam around the office to wait and telling myself to not touch anything. It was kind of weird to be talked to by a woman not in anthro form, I figured that everybody in this whole place was anthro. Must be an employee policy I was unaware of, some anthros working for the Park passed by during their breaks. Wish I had that privilege to stay in their offices in human form and hide.
As I looked over the guy’s office, his was fairly decorated by some modern architect. The desk and two chairs reminded me of my college professor’s home office, except they looked too modern for my taste. Behind the setup was a massive oil painting of the Genetic Park map with well-placed labels of the different resorts. Everything else were real plants in ceramic pots, pictures of people and anthros I didn’t know, two dormant glass computer monitors of a company I never heard of, and an untouched wet bar. Sure wished I asked permission to help myself when I came.
What dominated the office was a large window taking up half the wall. It overlooked the same lush forest of my hotel just five miles from the main offices, then broke off to cliff sides and a river running past a recreation camp. More anthros were out, enjoying the post-rainfall weather, most in winter-themed anthro forms, like me.
“A lot has changed,” I muttered. Yep, none of it looked familiar, or I never knew existed. Some places two years ago were still under construction. Everything was complete. I wished I had the chance to explore the place before…
“You can say that again,” someone said. I turned and a man walked in, closing the door and locking it tight. “You’d be surprised how much we added over the years. I suggest take a full day tour to refresh your memory.” A fit man for his mid-age, he strolled in like he ran the place. Oh wait, he does. He opened his right hand to me for a shake, and I shook it with my cat paw. Mine engulfed his. God I hate woman hands. “Dr. Andrew Malcolm, CEO of the Park. You must be Phil Daniels I heard about.”
I nodded without saying thank you. I noticed the serum altered my height. I was barely an inch away from his head. From the clothes I wore I looked like a schmuck compared to him wearing a dark red dress shirt and tan slacks. Guess I should’ve picked new clothes because he gave me an eye. “Had it rough coming here?” He asked.
“You have no idea,” I said letting go.
“I get I do. I TG’d ten times for science,” he said and paused. “Sorry for what happened to you, it is out of my power for what the government decides. I’m only here to hide them.”
“Oh so… the TG thing is all their idea?” I asked.
“Afraid so. Now it seems they should’ve picked somewhere else for you. Please, please, have a seat.” He gestured me to one of the chairs with a big smile of hospitality. Two chairs of modern taste and designed out of a high-priced CAD program. I sat, trying to slump like my old male self.
“Do you believe in fate, Mr. Daniels?” He asked sitting at his desk chair as it creaked to his weight. “And don’t worry, I’ve done my homework. You coming back is quite a shock”
“I believe this is all a waist of time, and a toll on my sanity,” I answered. “I’m trying really hard not to remember the shit that went down two years ago.”
“Yes, I agree. Tragic,” he nodded. “I won’t remind you of the events but what they did to you… they had to be arrested. Me and the rest of the park staff never thought it would happen, or considered it would happen. We had a good track record and then that… I apologize for not being there to make it up. In fact it was impossible to contact you after court. Then I gave up.”
I bit my lip with my fang and shifted in my seat. Yep, he was there at the courthouse defending himself. I’m not going to explain any details of it, but I will tell you I walked out of there with enough dough to pay off my college loans and then some. We never spoke since, I even burned his letters.
“I had friends to pull me off grid to help me recover…” I brought my head down, taking a few breaths to lock up those painful memories.
“Oh no, I’m sorry, Mr. Daniels I…”
“No please,” I interrupted, “It’s nothing to be worried about.”
A long silence followed. “Well if you are almost through it then I am truly sorry. I still wish I was there to prevent it.”
“Yeah, where were you again?” I asked with a stern look in my eye, and he picked it up.
“Chile. On vacation.”
I nodded. “Exactly.” I reminded him that vacation several times in court. It still affected him. I smirked.
“Yeah,” he said, sounding rather pissed off. “Are those people still in prison?”
I nodded respectfully. “All four for ten years, no parole. I keep tabs every now and then.”
Dr. Malcolm nodded. “Good. Not only that I want to make things up to you, um… can I just call you Phil?” I agreed. “Phil I do want to make things up to you. But I also want to thank you. Not in any wrong way of course.”
“What?” I asked. Thanking me sounded like what you think, profit.
“That incident alone changed our whole policy on how we treat TGs, specifically how we deal with abuse. I know that four months ago it almost happened, and thwarted successfully. For now, if anybody treats a TG in any threading action, they, how should I say it, either be escorted off the park and transformed back or have a taste of their own medicine.”
“Meaning?” I asked being very intrigued by the whole thing.
“The assailants get TG’d for the remainder of their stay and determined by police investigation after the initial stay.”
My eyes widened and said, “AAAHHHH.” I agreed to all of it surprisingly. I can imagine those jerks going through the same thing, which kinda made me want to see them suffer. I know, dark.
“So for your sake, Phil. Nothing will happen to you under my watch. Other than that you are a special guest. I’ll inform that ‘Riley’ has a deal with the doctor. I’ll even invite you to a dinner paid in full.”
“Huh, that’s uh… great. But that still makes me think I was used for a legal action.”
“Yeah, I see. But what can you do. Shit happens I guess.”
I chuckled and looked over the window. “You see. Fate,” he repeated.
“Yeah, good old fate,” I reiterated.
Andrew went for the corner of his desk and picked up a small booklet. “If your interested this will cover what we have here. Sports, events, tours, you name it. Feel free to use any or all coupons, free of charge. Just be sure to use your given name. The others did and were fine.” He held out the book, showing the Genetic Park’s logo with a family of anthros with big smiling faces. Below were the words “Visitor’s Guide” in white letters and the timeframe of events. I took it and was flipping pages with my fat cat fingers. My designer side told me it needed work, I caught a couple of smeared ink.
“Thanks, I guess,” I said.
“You’re welcome,” he said. He turned on the monitors, each with an awesome graphic from that Iron Man movie so many years ago. I wondered how kick ass they’d be for graphic design.
Looking from the book I peered again at the pictures on his desk. All were different anthros of various species, although a few had the same one with the same peppered hair as Dr. Malcolm. He stood next to another jaguar, a girl wearing a sports outfit, volleyball I guessed. In the advertising business, I created a trick of noticing facial features, just on how the person will please the viewer. These two jaguars had the same eye color and similar grins. Daughter and father? I squinted to notice a TG pin on the girl’s shirt and didn’t ask why.
I peered into the book Andrew gave me. Nothing really peeked my interest, but for the next six days, I have to find something to keep me sane. The park had all the normal sports like basketball, volleyball, and what not, but it unsettled me that teams were broken into species. Sports had suggestions, like which species fit best. Mine fell into several, none I play. I turned pages to other activities and fell on one. One that I practice regularly.
“You offer yoga?” I asked.
Andrew looked from his monitors and said, “Yes indeed, it’s a year old I think.”
I looked at the location. “Oh. It’s at the spa at my place.”
“Does that concern you?”
“I feel embarrassed in spas. Don’t know why, I just do.”
“Ah,” he said. “Well don’t let that get in the way. If you found a way to relax, fine by me. I’ll let the instructor look out for you. By the way, do you really practice yoga?”
I nodded. “It is recommended by my shrink. Keeps me mobile and calms me down. Don’t know if I can do it, it’s been two weeks since my last session.”
Andrew agreed. “I see. Go ahead and do it, nothing’s stopping you. By the time you are doing something, you’ll forget all the troubles of this stupid case. I’ll throw in a spa special for the heck of it.”
From that I let out a concerned laugh. “Ha ha. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not so ready to have other people feel me up.”
Andrew nodded and apologized. I wondered if his dirty old man side snuck up, of it was something he didn’t think through. We shook hands and I left, figuring out how to go there without embarrassing myself.
But first, I had to clean up. I am entering a workout-dominant area mind you.
I admit it: it’s hard being a girl. I think I said this before.
If you haven’t, pay attention. Once you become a girl, you feel things you never thought to feel. I’m not gonna go into details, but trust me, there will be times when you go “holy crap that is nice,” or, “this will be trouble.” Which is not good for me, the last time I felt that, I locked myself in my room and became a hermit, and the same time “experimenting.”
Take for example clothes. Women have a better sense of fashion so there was no wonder I felt really lost picking out my workout clothes. Other anthros noticed my confusion and saw me rather weird (like I said, TGs are out of place). The owner I recently met offered suggestions. Without any help from the other shoppers, I took it regrettably.
Boy did I feel embarrassed, I blushed so much red stained my white furred cheeks. That bear anthro got me clothes, but they were a tad tight. I wore a red hooded zip top with the arms cut off. It was cut too short it showed off my toned stomach. Then there was the yoga pants, black and red long stretch pants with no pockets. On the way to the spa, I had to toy with my underwear out of my crack. Good thing my father wasn’t there to laugh at me. He never had much consideration for other’s feelings.
“Please God, don’t make it worse as it is,” I muttered. Wouldn’t hurt to try, right?
The spa was adjacent to my hotel, far from the kid-crowded pool with minimal sound. It looked to have similar architecture with New Age and Japanese elements to be balanced. Two fountains with stone globes rolling against the running water at the front door. A single sand garden, impeccably groomed with a couple rocks as islands. I already felt serenity without entering the building. I sucked in air and went in, immediately getting blasted with lavender incense. A receptionist much like my snow leopard body stood there with a smile. She had black hair with a strip died radioactive green hiding her left eye.
“Welcome, miss. How can I help you?” She spoke so calmly I swore she was on something.
“It’s sir under this if you don’t mind,” I clarified, pointing at my pin, and she graciously apologized. “I’m here for the yoga class.”
She reacted as if Andrew beaten me here. “Right, you must be the one Dr. Malcolm said. Payment is on the house, all you need is the mat and a towel on the shelves right there.” She pointed at the shelves along the hallway. “The yoga studio is five doors down that way. Enjoy your session, Mr. Daniels.”
I thanked her, but became uncomfortable when she started staring at me, and checking me out. I asked her what and she said, “You look good in red.”
“Excuse me?” I’ve seen that twinkle in her eye before. I’ve heard of guests and staff that see the benefits of TG and take it a little too far. Maybe I met one already. I remembered her name - Melany on her nametag - just in case.
“Oh, I’m sorry if I offended you. It sort of came out.” She laughed a little. “See I’ve just got this job and I’ve been customizing my look to suit my real one. With the punk rocker look and all. I never considered red on a snow leopard before. I’ll keep that in mind on my next break.”
“Are you allowed to do that?” I asked, thinking of a time at my old job one guy got fired for not covering up his indecent tattoos.
“At a degree that’s not too inappropriate. Only a complement. Enjoy your session.”
She still looked at me. As I grabbed my mat and towel, I was still sure she was checking out. Yep, she was.
I found the studio. It was located right next to the sand garden. The floors had those pads most Japanese temples had, and actual Japanese wood and paper doors with windows overlooking the garden. I suddenly spotted a couple of girls sitting on their mats, mediating and soaking in the moment. I kept quite. I stayed quite when I noticed the instructor, and how she meditated.
She was another gecko girl, and a well built one too. Her hands were vertical and touching, positioned over her busting chest contained in a yellow sports bra. The pants looked very tight and expressed her deepest of curves. What made me almost say, “my damn,” was that all her weight was on her tail, a tail so thick I’d cause a black eye if whipped at an unsuspecting person correctly. Legs were folded and floating above the ground, each toe had a black talon of dense skin.
I reminded myself not to run into her bad moods.
The girls on the floor woke me from my trance. The cat anthro and the collie anthro looked at me oddly. “Uh, morning,” I said. They saw my pin and went back to meditation. I was glad they didn’t insult me. The instructor did look up, nodded, and let carried on.
I set myself behind the two girls and remembered my stretching routines. Then I calmed myself and meditated for a few minutes. The instructor, named Ms. Janet with a really good French accent, began the session with intermediate breathing exercises and stretches. Feelings came, familiar ones, of being one with my body. For being an anthro of the opposite gender, it made the experience enjoyable. The soft music in the background elevated the experience even more.
I felt more of my body, how it moves, stretches, constricts, retracts, and relaxes. They say exercise is good for the soul. I believe it helps when you are in an alien body. Man do I sound like a hippie. I’m serious, the yoga helped calm me down, then became lost in my own world, doing everything automatic. First time I did it I cleaned my room without ever stopping.
Being an female anthro snow leopard, for a little while, became second nature. Those two hours were great. I felt calmer than ever. I smiled even.
I left the studio after I finished, looked at the communal hot springs, and figured, “what the hell.” I found the locker rooms and picked up a one-piece black swimsuit. Had trouble shoving my tail through the hole in the back, but it fit well. Then went out to the hot spring, laid my whole body in the hot water, and took a nap right there with a rolled up towel under my head.
Woke up minutes later, feeling incredibly relaxed and invigorated. I stretched and yawned.
“That’s the best one yet,” I said. “Gotta give props to that instructor.”
“She is, huh? Funny that we watched you and you never noticed us,” someone said. The fur on my back perked that I recognized the voice. I saw two girls I wouldn’t expect to see again.
The vixen and the snake girl from the bar last night sat in the steaming water across from me. I remembered the vixen was called Maya and the other was Meg, both lapping in the water wearing different colored one-pieces.
Maya spoke. “So… how’s it goin’?” she asked. “You know with the… you know. The change?”
Mother murder me.
What Do We Know - Titan Spires
Caomhnoir - Chapter One
So now we know what Phil does to calm himself down. That event must've been traumatizing. And the girls know about TGs. This could only get worse.
This is a fanfiction of *MaLAgua's Genetic Park series.
As always, comments are appreciated.
Mana Pool, a novel, is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Lulu.
Breath in... Breath out ...Inhale .. Exhale.. *hears someone rip a loud one* Oh no, don't breath. Don't breath...*sniffs*... Damn it! *falls unconscious from the putrid fumes* Hahahahaha! (Don't ask, just bored! )
Sidenote: I loved Manapool, where do I get a hard copy (I deleted the PDF I downloaded when you took down the PDF yourself.)
HIGP is on hiatus at the moment due to The Job's final part coming Monday morning (2/11/13) but it's on the to-do list to start back up. I love this story too and have been cooking up new plots for the poor guy .
“Great, forgot about the meeting,” I said. I suspected they will send somebody to get me if I ignored the text, stay in my room for the remainder of my stay, and keep my will power at full blast.