The Transformation Story Archive Strange Things and other Changes

No Template Chosen!

You Are What...

by Paul Exton

The young woman shivered, crouching in the corner of the stark, white room. She turned her tear-streamed face upward, her eyes wide as the stainless steel door slid open. "Who are you?" she rasped.

"Please, do not panic. I assure you, everything that we are doing here is for your own good and for the good of all humanity. Something has happened, something very bad. We had reason to believe that you were infected, but you have been tested and the results are negative. You are fine and nothing will happen to you. Still, we have to ask you some questions. Will you come with me?" The man reached out his hand. He smiled woodenly, almost as an afterthought. "Come with me." His smile was frozen. His eyes narrowed, then his face actually seemed to brighten momentarily. "Please".

The woman shrunk backward and peered over her arm. She hesitantly raised it and the man grasped it and pulled her to her feet. She wiped her nose with her other arm. She stumbled as the man, still grasping her forearm, tugged her as he left the room.

"Where are you taking me? What is going on here?" she stammered as she tripped down the long corridor.

"Ma'am. I cannot give you any more information, but I promise you that your questions will be answered where we are going. It is not far now."

The seemingly identical doors sped by and all seemed to blur into a haze.

The woman vaguely perceived a set of huge doors that swung open as they approached. Many people, most in uniform, turned as they entered. One split from the crowd bunched before the huge glass panels before them. He strode purposefully toward the new arrivals.

"Hello! I am General Hacker! I apologize for any inconvenience, Miss,... um, Brent, but this is a national emergency."

The woman looked around, mystified. "What is going on here? I was at work, then some soldiers came in and asked for me, and we went outside and they shoved me into a car, then,..." She began to sob.

"Miss Brent!" The woman continued to cry. The general shuffled through a sheaf of papers, "Ah! Amy!" he smiled. "Amy!" he shouted. The woman paused and jerked her head upward.

"Good, good. I know that this is difficult for you, but there has been a major biohazardous incident. Do not panic. You have been tested and you are not infected. In fact, you are in one of the safest places in the world right now."

"This is a government laboratory. We were established to determine and contain severe biological hazards. One has occurred."

"What does this have to do with me?" the woman stammered.

The general looked down. "Well, you know the affected party". He cleared his throat. "I believe that you are acquainted with Jerome Parris?".

"Jerome? Oh, my God! What's happened?"

"Please, ah, Amy. We all know that this is extremely hard on you, but Jerome has been infected with a virulent biological agent." He gestured toward the broad expanse of glass.

The woman shambled forward. As she neared the thick, transparent wall she discerned a large, hulking figure within. She ran forward and pressed her palms against the glass. "Oh, God! What is that thing?"

"That is,... Jerome."

The woman froze. "That can't be Jerome!"

The huge monster turned toward them, then hurriedly spun away, as if ashamed. Its huge, broad tail lashed wildly behind as it hunched over and tried to curl into a ball. Large, round ears still protruded outward, and its sides heaved in and out, shining, glossy brown fur glistening in the the cold, florescent lighting.

"Amy, I'm afraid that really is Jerome. And we know what happened here. Actually, this is not the first time. That is why we were established, although to tell you the truth, we have never seen quite this variation before. We have gotten cows, chickens, pigs, but never anything like this. We were kind of hoping that you could help us figure this out."

The woman stared, unbelievingly.

"There is a strange phenomenon that has been occurring with increasingly frequency. It mostly seems to happen with unmarried men who never clean out their refrigerators. You see, the mold and bacteria, or something like that--I don't know, I'm not a scientist--well, anyway, they mutate. It doesn't happen very often. It takes a really long time, and it still is pretty unusual. Anyway, these,... things,... react with whatever animal genetic material is in the refrigerator, and they become some sort of gene-splicer, and you can see the result."

The woman shuddered.

"What we can't understand is this, we have done testing, and your boyfriend seems to be some combination of rat and kangaroo, with a bit of horse, and a slight trace of pig and cow. Can you help to explain this?"

The woman collapsed to the floor and sobbed. "I told him! I told him a hundred times to clean out his damned fridge! He wouldn't let me do it!" She shook violently as the general awkwardly patted her on her back.

She lifted her head. "And I told him not to keep buying those damned generic hotdogs!"