Newlyweds Tracy and Isaac settled into their seats on the semi-ballistic passenger plane along with the other 500 or so people headed to Europe. Tracy’s excitement for their honeymoon was dimmed a little by the method she was getting there. She looked at Isaac as he settled in and put the four-point harness around his torso. “Are you SURE we couldn’t take a slow skanky DC1500 to Europe?” she wheedled with a grin.
He knew it was far too late, that his wife was performing what she called her “wifely duties” by nagging him about impossible things. “Sure, how about you take the skanky flight, and I’ll stay on this one. Once you arrive, I’ll have already have checked us in to the B&B, and have a six hour nap under my belt.” Even though she was trying to keep it light-hearted, the flutter in her belly kept going.
Once they and the rest of the passengers were buckled in, Tracy’s flutter went into high gear. She reached for his hand and pulled it into her lap and laced both her hands into his one. Isaac looked over to her, squeezed, “Think if this as an expensive roller coaster ride.”
She squeezed back, “That doesn’t help doofus, I don’t like roller coasters either.”
He nodded, “Ok how about this; Semi-ballistic passenger flights have been running for over fifty years now. Not one failed flight in all that time. The only causality was an idiot that thought being on the runway with a camera would be a cool picture.”
Her surprise was mild, “Really?”
“Yeah, and it was a good photo, but it cost the guy his life. Get this, it wasn’t the plane, it was the slip stream behind the plane that picked him up and tossed him around.” Isaac looked at his wife, “So nothing to worry about. The process is pretty simple. Before take-off here in Omaha, the cockpit gets clearance for landing in Spain. Then the flight takes off with an easy 2.7 G push from the rocket, we hit escape velocity, then we go into the ballistic flight arc, practically straight up. As we go up, the world turns beneath us, helping us along our way. Then at the apex of our arc, the main rocket shuts down, and the long glide begins. There are smaller jets on the body of the plane, but they are only used to keep us on track if there is a storm or high winds. But normally it’s just a simple matter of gliding into Spain. From wheels up to wheels down it’s about a fifty minute to one hour flight.” Tracy nodded and held on as the stewards started giving the safety briefing.
It took a few minutes before Tracy could stand without wobbling. The zero gravity mid-flight had hit her hard. She had managed to keep her breakfast down, but a passenger a few rows up hadn’t. The smell was awful. Even after sitting at the arrival gate, motionless for a minute or so, her stomach was still rebelling from its encounter with “Zero-G with a side of gross” as Isaac had quipped.
Isaac watched the passengers file past them to the forward hatch to exit the plane. It was a habit they both cultivated; last ones off. “You don’t look as green anymore. Would you like some water?”
Tracy rolled her eyes at him. “No. Not yet. Let me get my legs under me and walk. Once we get to the bed and breakfast, I should be fine. Then we can take an hour or so to plan our sightseeing.” Isaac nodded, that was the plan after all.
Isaac opened the door to their bedroom for the next week and tried to carefully put down the three suitcases next to the bed. Tracy came in behind and closed the door, fully distracted and tapping her PDA. “YES! My peeda is hooked into the local wireless and I’m getting the feeds from the stores I want to visit!” She looked at him with a feral grin. He just sat on the bed looking at her with a cocked eyebrow. Her grin wilted a bit but she rallied, “Honey, I promise. For every store we go into, we will see three of the sites.” She wrapped her arms around him and slowly they sank into the bed in each other’s arms. “Six.”
She laughed, “You’re crazy, four.” She started to snuggle into his neck and nibble.
“You’re trying to distract me.” Isaac chuckled softly, “and it’s working.” He kissed her deeply and rolled them: him over her, carefully situating them and especially his hands and in a second they were each facing the opposite direction with her laying on the pillows.
She looked at him curiously, “What was that?”
“I figured if you wanted to distract me, I should play the same game.” Tracy realized too late that Isaac had his hand low behind her shoulder, closer to her ribs. She tried to get away but he quickly, yet gently, slapped his other hand on her belly and started tickling her ribs and belly. She bucked and tried to escape, but Isaac kept her corralled between the headboard and himself on the bed. Her giggling and squeals of laughter filled the room. Tickling quickly progressed to touching, then clothes went flying.
It was more than a couple of hours before they left the room.
_ A week later _
ONE LAST STOP
Hand in hand they looked at the storefront then at each other. Isaac squeezed her hand, “You sure about this honey? It’s not like you can take them back a couple weeks later.”
She smiled back at him, “This is a fantasy I wanted since I was little.” Isaac bobbed his head once in agreement, he knew this before marrying her. “Since they took up my marketing idea, It’s not just my fantasy, it’s my job too."
“Yep. Pretty good deal.” He got a pained look on his face for a moment. “It’s a shame though…”
“I’m gonna be known as “The Husband of That Cat Eyed Woman.”
Tracy giggled, “Why not “The Husband of That Hot Cat Eyed Woman?”
He looked at her with a blatantly fake look of calculation, “Well, I don’t want to give anyone else any ideas.” She just giggles and starts pulling him to the door.
“Welcome to The Eye Emporium how can I….Oh, Tracy! Is your appointment today?” Issac’s gaze was drawn to her eyes. They looked like ice chipped from a glacier. Tracy was also drawn to them, “Donna, your eyes look even better in person!” Isaac nodded and barely got “Yeah, amazing.” said before Tracy gave him a light whack on his shoulder with the back of her hand.
“Thanks!” Donna replied, standing from the reception desk and coming around it. “You must be Isaac, the lucky man. Hi, I’m Donna Kelly.” Isaac smiled and returned the handshake. “I have to say, you make a good advertisement right here in the door with those eyes.”
Donna nodded in agreement, “Yes I do. In fact, the whole room, and my wardrobe, is color coordinated to make them pop.” Isaac looked around with an evaluating mind-set and had to agree, the reception area’s colors were muted, including Donna’s suit.
Tracy frowned a little, “Donna, you’re not reception out here are you?”
Donna shook her head, “Oh no, I’m filling in for Anita while she’s at lunch. But just about all of us working here agreed to undergo the treatment and get very bright eye colors. Any one of us will stand-out in a group of people.” Donna waved them to follow her to a waiting room just off the reception desk’s lobby, “Help yourselves to what’s in the chiller. In a few minutes, once Anita is back, I’ll take you to my office and we’ll go over the procedure, and the refinements to your marketing plan, Tracy.”
Tracy shrugged off the offer of drink, hanging back where they had stopped in front of the reception desk, too nervous to even consider raiding the fridge like Isaac had begun doing. “So, as of today, how many Americans have gotten the procedure?”
“Ah, I think one pulled out, so you’ll be the seventh since we opened four days ago.”
“Anyone of them agree to the marketing strategy I proposed?”
Donna stood next to Tracy, both watching Isaac get a bottle of water. “Honestly, after the initial shock of your proposal, the board not only endorsed it, they have an additional offer for you.”
Donna watched Isaac wander back from the cooler with the water, and a cruller in his hand, chewing and listening to the conversation. Tracy smiled a little at Donna’s statement. “Do we have to wait until we are in your office, or can you tell me now?”
“Oh, I can tell you the basics. Your proposal of a video log of your transformation, and then centering an advertising campaign on your change is brilliant. Our ad agency really had no idea how to market this product to the world. Your email came at just the right time.”
Tracy was almost hopping around in glee. “I am SO glad to hear that! I, I mean Isaac and I have so many ideas on how to get the word out on this amazing science.”
Donna turned as the front door opened and another bright eyed woman clad in a gray pinstripe suit entered reception, “Anita, I’d like you to meet Tracy and Isaac.” Anita changed trajectory and held her hand out for them both to shake. Tracy had to say, “Nice color!”
Isaac gulped to clear his mouth, “I’ll say, do they glow in the dark? That bright of an orange-red and they should glow.”
They all laughed and Anita shook her head, “No, they don’t.” Anita raised an eyebrow, “But I’ll ask and see if that is possible, no?” Isaac nodded, “Definitely!”
Donna started to make her way to the opposite side of the reception room, “Come along you two, lets get Tracy some new eyes.”
Isaac could tear himself away. “Um, Anita, what kind of animal do those eyes come from? I don’t recognize the vertical pupil with a red iris.”
“The red-eyed tree frog.” Anita gave him another smile. “Are you interested in getting a set?”
“Um, I’m still mulling it over, actually. But not red.” Tracy waved from the door. “I have to go. Have a nice day!”
Anita smiled back, “You too Isaac, nice to meet you.”
_ _ _
Home Sweet Home
Tracy and Isaac got out of the taxi with their luggage. Tracy kept having to remind herself to not rub or touch her eyes in any way. It’s not that they itched or anything, the doctor at the Emporium said to avoid any chance of contaminating them before the process begins. It might slow the healing process. She SO still wanted to rub them. “Stop thinking about it.” She mumbled to herself as she watched Isaac pay the driver and turn to her. The slight fever she had wasn’t helping her mood either.
He cocked his head with a small sad smile and slowly took two steps up to her. He took her hands and then just looked into her eyes, “Won’t be long until I’ll see you with a different set of windows.”
She blinked in confusion for a second, then it clicked. “Yes, you’ll always see my soul won’t you, no matter the windows I have.” They kissed like two lovers and friends do; comfort, joy and solace in each other’s arms. Tracy had to break the moment, this was too good to pass up. “You just named the video blog, hon.” He pulled back just enough to look at her, “Hm?”
“How is: New windows to my soul: Chronicle of My Transformation?”
Isaac nodded, “That’s good! Oh hey, we need to get inside and get your first entry made.” He checked his watch. “You have about twelve hours before your eyes shut down for the transformation.”
Tracy nodded and made to grab her suitcase, “Right, let’s get to it. I think we’ll have to set a couple alarms. I want to video log the eye closing part. Donna said it was a little weird, and the scariest part of the process.” Isaac unlocked the front door as she held the storm door open. “I figure if we can make that part look innocuous, or even funny, it will go a long way to selling the product.”
They made their way to the bedroom, where Isaac flopped back onto the bed. “Home sweet home.” Tracy didn’t even take her coat off, she just opened her suitcase and started throwing clothes into the hamper.
Isaac watched her for a minute and then had a thought, “Hon, did you know you were going to leverage your marketing degree this way?” Tracy kept unpacking, “Actually, no. I was literally shopping for my eyes online the day the Eye Emporium opened when I realized it was so difficult to get good information on the process. All I got, other than a boiler-plate spiel, was the animal and human trials.” She stood and turned to Isaac, leaned on the door frame. “Donna was right, the marketing group that had the job was only doing a basic marketing package. They had no idea how to market this to people.”
Isaac nodded to his wife, “And you do.” Tracy nodded back, “And I do. I whipped up a precis of my proposal and dropped it to three people and four contact addresses at Gen-Mod that I scraped up off the Internet. Donna got it the next day, where she called me right after and told me I had a job if I wanted it.” Donna smiled at that point, “Then I called you and asked if it was OK since it was two weeks from the wedding.”
Isaac just shook his head. “Ya know, your dad is gonna come down on me again.”
Tracy had bent over to continue unpacking but stopped at the mention of her dad. “What?” Isaac, still on the bed, laid back and put his hands behind his head and spoke to the ceiling. “He said you were brilliant and was marrying beneath yourself.”
“And what did you say?”
“Oh, I agreed with him, and said I had every reason now to stay motivated to keep up with you.”
Tracy crawled on top of Isaac, placed her chin on his sternum. “Isaac, my man, you are getting wiser already.” He propped his head up to look at her when she popped forward and kissed his nose, then grabbed his wrists and pulled him standing. “Come on, I’m going to shower and change clothes for the first blog entry. You need to line up the PC, camera and backdrop.”
“Right.” Isaac left the bedroom as Tracy turned to the bathroom.
Isaac tapped the spacebar on the laptop, then nodded to Tracy.
Tracy nodded back and looked at the camera with a smile. “Hello everyone, my name is Tracy Vega. This is the first in a series of posts to chronicle what my husband Isaac and I are calling; New windows to my soul.” She grinned a bit more. “I know it sounds a bit cheesy, but we took it from the quote, and it seemed appropriate. If you just clicked on the video without reading the intro, I’ll sum up now; The purpose of this series is to show the world that the new process offered by Gene-Mod, namely getting genetically modified to get different eyes, is a painless process.”
Tracy shifted a little and looked at her note cards. “First, the date and time stamp on the video are accurate. As of this morning, when I was dosed with my Gene-Mod, I am the seventh person with a registered address in the United States to get the Gene-Mod treatment. But, I am the first to do so publicly. With the support of Gene-Mod, who graciously accepted my marketing proposal for this chronicle, I hope to show that while there is some inconvenience, there really is no risk, pain or other horror stories that you may have been hearing.”
“As you can see, I don’t have any makeup on at the moment. As I said, I was dosed this morning, and in about four to six hours my eyes, these eyes that I was born with, will close for the last time."
"I talked with one of the lead scientists and the simple explanation of the treatment is easily broken down into several parts. First, the treatment causes a revision in the person’s whole genome, so that all changes are, in effect, natural to the body. This eliminates any possibility of rejection to the modification. Second, the treatment causes the area of the change to go through a process that mimics birth. In most cases of radical eye change, the lids close and seal for a few days. The example I was told is that it’s not unlike a newborn cat. Their eyes are still developing even after birth, eventually they open when they are ready.”
“This process was engineered to simulate something similar. There is the immobilization of the optic nerve, and surrounding muscle. The eyelids shut and I’ll be blind as the eyes regenerate into their new configuration. With a few other key, and patented, enzymes, retro viruses and such, the treatment is all geared to make a person modify their new, genetically coded, eyes from their original set.”
“Oh, a side benefit is that a person with scars anywhere on their body may notice that they get smaller, or disappear entirely. That is because the transformative treatment is an outgrowth of the standard regenerative science that has been around for about a hundred years. With the complete mapping of genetics of all the animals, and a few really good super computers with a few decades of time, the puzzle of how a gene makes an animal, person, or plant, was solved. It’s taken Gene-Mod this long to be able to do something, commercial, safe, and fun, with this science.”
Tracy looked at her husband, fully expecting him to shut off the camera. But he smiled back and asked, “So Tracy, what kind of Gene-Mod did you get?” Tracy manages to not look too surprised, but her blush, while charming, still shows she wants to bury her head under the couch. “Oh! Sorry.” She clears her throat, “Since I heard about Gene-Mod’s research when I was little, I have always wanted to have eyes like a cat.” She ducks her head a little in embarrassment. “I know it’s a kids dream, but how many kids get to have it?” She grins again, “In about five or six days, when my eyes open they will have slit-pupils and a have a bright green and gold iris. I’ll have the dark sight of a cat, but not a cat’s near-sightedness.”
“Can you explain that?”
“Well, to keep it simple and not dig into the rods and cones explanation – Gene-Mod is adding the dark sensitivity, but keeping the human normal sight. Cats have a terrible time seeing at a distance.”
“Will you be O.K in sunlight?” Tracy nods, “The results of the human trials shows that there is no problem with direct sunlight. Like a cat, the pupil of a modified person just adjusts to accommodate the change of light intensity.”
“Tracy, you have anything else before our next post, which will be when you close your eyes?”
She smiled at Isaac, “Actually, I figure a few of you have questions for me. So, what Isaac and I will be doing during my “blackout time” is to answer your questions. So, post them in the comment section of our website and we’ll try and keep up.” Tracy looks into the lens and leans forward a little. “See ya next time!”
Six Months Later: Taking a break from Marketing.
Isaac called back to Tracy in their bedroom, “You do realize that leopards don’t have slit-pupils? You could have saved your money and still gone with your costume idea.”
“That’s not the point!”
“So, when are you coming out here?”
Tracy strutted from the bedroom, cocked her hips and asked, “So what do you think?”
Isaac couldn’t speak for a moment. Thought and breath were hard to come by as he looked at his wife in her Halloween costume. She looked like a cat with leopard spots, a really sexy cat. She had modified the skinsuit she had him buy for her birthday a few months ago from it’s “I need it exactly this type of orange” base orange. It now had the tell-tale spot pattern for the great cat of the savanna. His eyes roamed over her lithe frame standing in the two inch silver heels. Even though she was fully clothed with barely any cleavage, skinsuits left little to the imagination.
She just stood there and preened. Lapping up the attention, not unlike her costume’s namesake.
It was a good ten seconds before his brain reset and he saw the other costume additions; stiletto shaped silvery nails, currently resting on her hips as she watched him look at her with a smirk and cocked eyebrow. Her fuzzy cat ears poking out from the top of her head. Even a set of slightly pointed incisors were visible through her smile. He noticed she hadn’t done much to her face makeup-wise, she didn’t need to with her eyes now the tell-tale green-and-gold color and slit-pupil like a house cats.
He nodded, “You’ll do.”