Commission by AnonymousWomen
: Creative Commons: RedjarChange of Life Virus Universe
Elizabeth (Betty to everyone) and Matty (don’t you ever call her by Matilda if you want to see your next birthday) were in the fields surround by the cattle of her uncle’s small dairy herd.
The peace of their surroundings belied the chaos that had struck the planet a little over two years previously. The Mad Bishop and his cult of nuts had developed their transformation nanite-virus and bombed the Middle East with it using drones. Their plan was retribution for past wrongs done over two thousand years and to bring peace to the war torn region. The result, of course, had been spectacular as people changed into dogs, pigs and combinations of those animals with humans. Those that survived, that is. The attack left 60% or more dead outright as their bodies fought the virus and lost or were left in bodies that were no longer viable. The flu season the following winter hit everyone hard but, strangely, had a very low mortality rate. Most of the “flu” victims, it was now known, actually contracted a “bugged” version of the nanite-virus.
The Change of Life virus (as it was now known) struck hard a little over a year ago. The virus, having delivered its genetic payload, was supposed to self-destruct. It didn’t. Instead it cross infected people after picking up new genetic payloads from other creatures. It hit mostly women due to a malfunction. The target DNA sequence for the people in the Middle East was on the X chromosome and the virus simply switched to using the X chromosome itself as the target marker. Women (and a few men as well) were transformed into complex mixtures of animal and human. Centaurs, insecttaurs, dogtaurs, cattaurs, sphinx, mermaids, harpies; you name it and you could probably find it.
When the changes started, Betty and Matty had left the city for the same reason Isaac Newton left the plague-ridden streets of London. Their assumption was that if they avoided people, they would avoid catching the Change of Life virus. A great idea but dead wrong. Both had been harbouring the virus for months, while it waited for the trigger to start their changes. No one could predict the trigger but wave after wave of change crossed the globe leaving few unaffected. By the third “outbreak” males, too, were being affected. Humanity was becoming a collection of hundreds fo separate species.
Betty awoke one morning in the bunkhouse and got dressed. She was combing her hair when she noticed a pair of bumps under the hairline at the top of her head. She rubbed them and called Matty over. Matty used a comb to part the hair and get a look.
“They’re too big to be zits,” she concluded. “And too hard.”
“Then what are they?” Betty asked worried.
“I honestly don’t know. They’re kinda small. Maybe they’ll just go away?”
“Not sure. Wish we could get hold of Doctor Swithers.”
“The phone exchange collapsed over a month ago. Not enough people left to keep it working. Not even sure she’s still in High Creek. Not sure I’d want to risk the virus to go check either.”
“Guess we’ll just watch it then.”
Over the next few days, the bumps became a ridge across her head. Both had seen something similar in calves. It was the ridge that horns grew from. When Matty started her own set of bumps a day later, the girls knew they’d both contracted the same thing. The very thing they’d hidden out on the farm to avoid. There wasn’t any point heading into town now. They’d heard rumours via the internet (while it still existed) that there were huge guarantee camps that they put people in. They discussed it and decided they wanted nothing to do with camps like that.
Over the next few weeks, each sprouted a pair of small horns that soon developed the characteristic curl of Holstein cattle. Expecting massive changes, the pair checked everywhere for more changes but, strangely, could find none. The only change (first noticed by Matty) was that the colours were fading to black-and-white. Sure enough, their eyes were darkening, becoming dark brown like the cows around them. Their ears were soon covered by black fur and grew out into proper cow’s ears. The next change took place on their chests. Neither was very well endowed in past but soon both were sporting huge (at least for them) breasts. The nipple area began to grow but strangely off-centre. Soon three little bumps appeared that, along with their original nipple, developed into teats more at home on the udder of a cow.
Along with these obvious outside changes, the girls found they could no longer tolerate meat of any kind and began to eat the stored grain in the farm’s silos. Oddly, they found it tasted better uncooked.
Both soon sprouted black and white patches of fine fuzz below their breasts. This soon grew into the patched fur familiar to anyone who has seen a Holstein dairy cow. The changes continued to travel down their bodies. Feet elongated as the bones of the foot grew longer. It soon became nearly impossible to get around as each only had two toes and the strange configuration of their legs made walking difficult. They camped out by the silo as it made getting meals easier. After all, they could still crawl a few meters to get food. The hundreds of meters from the bunkhouse would have been prohibitive. This phase passed eventually, leaving them with the hooves of a cow instead of toes. The wider base of the hoof gave them their mobility back. They decided they were now cow-satyrs and hoped the changes were finished
Clopping around the farm, they did the chores and looked after the dairy herd. They power had failed long ago so they were forced to milk by hand but twenty head of cattle didn’t take too long and gave them something to do. None of their clothing fit and, with their fur, wasn’t needed much. Perhaps in the fall and winter, they’d change their minds but neither relished adjusting clothing to their new bodies. In a sense, that procrastination was a good thing …
Betty noticed a bump just above Matty’s rump. She was definitely growing a tail. Betty, too, was developing her own tail. Well, they decided, cow-satyr should probably have tails to keep the flies off.
The next change was surprising and strange. Both developed a pair of small bumps just above their hips. These soon grew out into spindly legs. They looked a lot like calves legs but soon developed in strength and size until they reached the ground and got in the way of walking. They soon learned to move the unwelcome limbs so that they could keep things going.
Their bodies between the new legs and their old legs started blooming, getting larger and longer. It took nearly month before this stage was complete. It left both women centaurs of sorts except their lower bodies were Holstein cattle instead of horses. Both dreaded what ever further changes the virus had in store for them.
Summer turned to fall with no new changes. They’d had to adapt the birthing stalls in the barn into a semblance of a home. They began to follow the other cattle out into the fields to graze on the lush green grass that covered the pastures. Like the other cattle, they chewed their cud (“It tasted much better the second time,” commented Matty). Unlike the other dairy cattle, though, they produced no milk. In fact most of the cows were drying up. At first they were puzzled but soon figured it out. Her uncle had used Artificial Insemination every year to get his herd pregnant. The herd hadn’t been inseminated (artificial or otherwise) in 18 months.
Late fall turned to winter and they had to adapt their old clothing to cover the tender portions of their upper body. The snow fell and they were kept busy hauling the grain in buckets and the bales of hay to keep the herd and themselves fed.
Spring came around finally and both women felt strangely ill at ease. They took their temperatures and noticed that it was elevated. Checking their Uncle’s reference books (yes he still had paper books in the era of the Internet), they decided they and probably all the other cattle were in heat. Over the next few months, every three weeks or so, they’d come into heat and then it would pass. It would have been left at that had an unexpected arrival not occurred. The neighbouring dairy farm was 2 kilometres down the road. Unlike her uncle, the farmer there had believed in natural methods and kept a bull. Having done his duty on that farm, he caught wind of new conquests and followed his nose.
The two found the new arrival the next day, doing his best to satisfy all the cows of the herd in the lower pasture. Matty and Betty watched as he mounted each in turn. She remembered old TV programs about a vet checking pregnancy by sticking his arm up the cow’s butt. They decided that they would definitely not be doing that operation especially since they had no nice plastic gloves to cover their arms.
After finishing with the herd the bull, in proper bovine style, looked about for more conquests. The fence between him and the two women collapsed in minutes. They realized he was after them next. Their first impulse was to run but they found themselves strangely lethargic. Something in them wanted to be mounted, wanted the pregnancy, wanted a calf, wanted to nurse the calf. Betty was first simply because she was closest. It was fast and relatively painless (the bull’s front hooves were hard when they connected with her soft flanks). Matty’s turn came and went as quickly and the bull returned to the pasture and the other cattle.
“You think we should fix the fence?” asked Matty still somewhat stunned by the turn of affairs.
“Makes no difference now. Besides, next time we’re in heat, he’ll bash it down again anyway.”
“You don’t suppose …”
“I don’t know what to suppose,” came the quiet reply.
Expecting to have to submit to the bull every three weeks (cattle come into heat every three weeks or so), both women were surprised when months went by without the strange feelings that coming into heat had engendered in both of them. It didn’t take long to figure out why.
“We’re both pregnant!” was Matty’s shocked conclusion.
“But that’s impossible,” was betty’s equally quick response. “We’re only partly cattle and he’s all bull. We can’t be …”
“We are,” insisted Matty.
Both were silent for a few moments, pondering the import of the discovery.
“Human, half-cow or all cow,” mused Betty darkly.
“Doesn’t matter,” was Matty’s conclusion. “We’re stuck for the term. Sometime next spring, we’ll find out.” Then remembering some of the problems they’d encountered while their uncle had still been around. “Sure hope our pregnancies go well. Seeing Uncle use the cow jack is a whole lot different than using it ourselves.”
“Most pregnancies go easily. A couple of hours and out comes the calf.”
“I know. It’s the few that cause me concern.”
Over the winter, both women and most of the cattle in the herd began to develop the girth’s associated with pregnancy. Each grew larger as spring approached, both were feel immense and “full”. They dearly wanted the pregnancy finished even if it meant the annoyance of coming into heat again. It was Betty that found out they’d not come back into heat as long as they kept nursing. She remembered that her Uncle had weaned the calves as soon as possible because he wanted the milk for sale. Naturally, though, cattle kept the calves 7 or 8 months. Sometimes longer. They’d be spared “heat” at least this summer as long as they nursed.
February passed and the snow began to melt. Betty began to feel a need to push something out. She was giving birth. Her new instincts said to hightail it to some secluded space and give birth away from prying eyes and predators. She overrode that and decided to clean out a stall for the event. Matty helped get things ready and, by evening, she was well and truly along. The birth seemed somewhat strange though. She’d seen enough calves born to remember that they came out with their heads lying on their front feet: the so-called diving position. This calf had a rounded head and no evidence of front legs. Matty got the book and doing her best to learn how to position things from the diagrams and expecting a breach birth or some other horrible occurrence, was surprised to find a human head and chest instead of the calf. The birth was quick and, within hours, Betty had a fine girl … cow centaur … but a girl.
The child was far more developed than a baby though. Had she to put an age to the human portion, she’d have guessed perhaps 3 years. They named her Maria and, after cleaning her up (giving birth is a messy process), were surprised when she struggled up on all fours within an hour or so. She quickly found Betty’s udder and Betty was relieved when her milk came in with a rush. Both were surprised at the amount of milk Maria drank and even more so when she came around to Betty’s front and demanded more.
Five days later, it was Matty’s turn. Her birthing went as easily as had Betty’s. Her son (they called him Robin) was larger than Maria and the birth took a little longer. He too stood quickly and found her udder and then her breasts.
Later that day, with their children following behind and with a dozen new calves gambolling about the pasture, it was Betty who summed it all up.
“Looks like we’ve the beginning of our own herd now.”