The police car came to a slow halt in front of the bank. A silent alarm had been tripped ten minutes ago and two officers had been dispatched to investigate. It was early in the morning (7:35 am to be exact) and both officers were working the early shift.
The driver’s side door opened and Kyle Harris, a clean-shaven 28-year-old man with black hair and sunglasses stepped out of the car. His partner, a 22-year-old rookie named Allan Shepard quickly followed him. Allan had a buzzcut was average in height and build. This was his first day on such an early shift and the unknown nature of the situation made him nervous. Harris could sense his apprehension and approached him.
“You okay Allan?” he inquired. Allan nodded his head and took a deep breath.
“I’m ready,” he calmly said. The two officers walked cautiously towards the bank. When they reached the front door it didn’t take them long to realize that there was indeed a break in. Both of the doors were partially ajar and appeared as if they’d been forced open with a crowbar then closed to give a false impression of being undisturbed.
As they reached the doors, the officers donned black leather gloves so they wouldn’t get their fingerprints on anything, lest they disturb any evidence. Kyle gently felt the right door with his left hand and shook his head.
“Very messy, whoever is in there didn’t cover their tracks well. Looks like an amateur job. Inform the station of the situation and tell them that we are going in.” he said. Allan nodded his head and reached for the small radio transmitter on his jacket. He brought it up to his mouth and pressed in the send button.
“Officer Shepard to base, break-in confirmed. We are investigating.” He said. The officer on the other side acknowledged his signal and recommended they use extreme caution as he ended the transmission. Allan nodded his head and placed the transmitter back on its resting-place and informed Kyle that he was ready.
Kyle gently opened the right door to maintain silence and both officers stealthily walked into the bank.
Allan was thankful for one thing, it was pre opening hours and such there were no customers or employees. Had it been later, the situation would have been far worse. Kyle instructed Allan to go right towards the teller stations while he went left. It was dark inside the bank and if the perpetrator was still inside then he or she could be hiding anywhere.
A million thoughts were going though Allan’s mind. For all they knew they could be walking into an ambush and had no way of knowing it. He had two adopted children, seven-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son. The thought of something happening to him sent shivers down his spine. Nevertheless, he understood that he had a duty to do, which drove him to carry on and calmed his nerves. He silently reached the teller booths and checked behind each and every one. Finding nothing, he continued to make his way around the perimeter and toward the vault. As he neared it, a strange smell in the air beckoned him. He looked towards Officer Harris to see that he could smell it too. The smell emanated from the large steel door that guarded the vault. The two officers walked over to and faced each other on opposite sides of the door.
“That smell is from a type of plastic explosive. It’s often used to break open doors just like this one.” Kyle said to Allen as he examined the door. The entire left side of the silver door was scorched black and there were several fragments of it on the floor. Allan wondered if they were too late and whoever had done this had escaped. He had the answer a few seconds later when he heard something inside the vault fall followed by cursing. Kyle looked at him with a ‘get ready to go’ look on his face before he stood up and drew his weapon.
“This is the police! Whoever you are, drop any weapons you are carrying and come out with your hands up!” he yelled in a commanding voice. Although Allan had only been a partner with Kyle for a few months, he knew that when he spoke in that voice he meant business. They waited for nearly two minutes before the person in the vault responded.
“I don’t think so pigs!” a female voice angrily yelled. Whoever this person was, it seemed she was desperate. From the sound of her voice, she wasn’t very old either. Kyle motioned for Allan to take up a position in front and slightly off to the side of the door.
“I won’t warn you again! Come out with your hands up!” Kyle yelled, this time in a deep commanding voice. This was a very serious voice that made Allan wonder what could be going through the suspect’s mind. Again they waited for about 2 minutes before she responded.
“I’m afraid I won’t be able to comply with that order officer.” She arrogantly proclaimed.
“And why not?” Kyle inquired. The large door to the vault slowly began to open and both officers quickly ran for cover behind a large desk. When the door was fully open, they both carefully poked their heads up to see a young woman who couldn’t have been more then 18 years old. She had a head of dark blonde hair tied back into a ponytail. She was tall and very rigid looking; her clothes appeared ragged and dirty. Her jeans were worn and had holes at the knees and she had a stained tee shirt and worn Jean jacket on. At first Allan thought she was a homeless runaway who was desperate for cash, but something about her seemed familiar.
“You can come out now pigs.” She arrogantly expounded. Allan looked at Kyle who proceeded to nod his head. They both stood up with a weapon drawn and faced the young woman. It was then that they saw what she was carrying on about. She help two duffel bags and a backpack, both presumably loaded with stolen money. But that wasn’t what concerned them. What concerned them were the eight sticks of dynamite she had strapped to her chest and the detonator she had in her right hand.
“I am a bomb. If you shoot me, I will let go of this trigger and the bomb will go off, killing us all. But by all means if you two want to be blown to bits then that’s fine with me.” she arrogantly boasted as she advanced on the officers. Kyle tried to negotiate with the fanatical woman.
“Miss, assuming you do get away you’ll be a fugitive! If you surrender, we can help you. Don’t throw your life away!” He frantically said. The young woman looked at him and simply laughed as she sauntered in between the two officers.
“You’re right, I will be a fugitive but this job will ensure me a good life. Now, unless you want to waste any more of your time, I have somewhere I need to get to” she said as she turned around to face the officers while walking backwards towards the front doors of the bank.
Allan and Kyle slowly advanced on her, hoping to somehow take her down without killing her or setting off the dynamite she had strapped to herself. Despite her apparent insanity, Allan felt that she could be redeemed. Kyle felt the same way but was more concerned as to what she was going to do with the money she had stolen. Her mentioning of this ‘job’ ensuring her a future made him very nervous. As they advanced on the slowly retreating perpetrator, she heard what sounded like another police car approaching and hastily about faced and ran as fast as she could towards the door, stopping only momentarily to kick it open when she reached it. The two officers pursued her as fast as they could and Kyle reached for his radio to give a status report.
“This is Officer Harris, we are in pursuit of a single suspect. Suspect has strapped explosives to her body and has rigged them to explode if she is taken down, request backup and instructions. Suspect is a causation female, 18-21 years old, and at least 2 meters tall, medium build with dark blond hair in a ponytail. Request identification, the banks surveillance cameras should provide a clear photo for a scan.” He reported. The officer on the other end reported that they were sending backup and to pursue her but with extreme caution.
They ran out of the bank and onto the street to see her slowly walking towards a black SUV parked further down the opposite side of the street of the bank. She opened the back seat doors and threw the 2 duffel bags and backpack onto the backseat before closing the door and opening the drivers seat door to get in. With a look of extreme arrogance, she threw the dynamite and its trigger onto the ground. She waved at them and mocked them.
“Replicas, aren’t they a wonderful thing?” she egotistically ridiculed them with as she closed the door and turned the SUV on. As the two officers ran for their car, Kyle radioed an update of the situation to base. The officer on the other end said that she would send a bomb squad to make sure the dynamite was indeed a facsimile and a squad to guard the bank. She authorized pursuit. The officers climbed into their squad car, Kyle in the driver’s seat and he quickly turned the car on and activated its siren and lights. He quickly pulled the car out of it’s parking spot and brought it about and to full speed in pursuit of the SUV. The display on the dashboard read 7:40 am.
The police cars faster speed allowed it to close to within less then 100 meters of the SUV in a matter of minutes but with each passing second, the risk of a disastrous collision increased exponentially. Allan was thankful for one thing, it being so early meant that there would be little traffic on the road.
The chase lasted another 15 minutes, the last five of which another police car and helicopter joined them. Their pursuit had taken them into a more rundown part of the city, a part of the city known for criminal activity, 95% of all the crimes the city had incurred over the past decade had happened in this area. The SUV slowed and pulled into the parking lot of an old abandoned warehouse and drove into a loading bay. Only seconds later, the police cars pulled into the same lot but stopped short fearing an ambush.
As Kyle brought the car to a halt, the radio informed him that the SUV they were pursing was stolen and that the suspect’s name was Rhonda. She was wanted for questioning in several crimes. She had no known home and appeared to live off the streets and had been doing so the last 2-3 years. She used to live with her family on a military base. Tragically, when she was 13 years old, there had been an accident in which her parents and older brother had been killed. She had never forgiven the military for their deaths. It was feared that her desire for revenge was leading to her conspiring to commit acts of terrorism. The police helicopter reported that there were three other individuals in the warehouse and that Rhonda appeared to be meeting with them.
Kyle and Allan slowly stepped out of their vehicle along with two officers from the other car. As the police helicopter hovered near the warehouse, someone on the second floor smashed open a set of windows. Seeing that he was armed with a machine gun, the four officers on the ground ran for cover behind their cars! With a very angry look on his face, the suspect began firing on the helicopter with a machine gun. The helicopter took several hits, including a pair in its fuel tank and began losing altitude.
Alarms were blaring in its cockpit and the pilot fought for control. The other occupant of the helicopter grabbed the weapons control and fired the helicopter’s gattling gun at the man firing the machine gun. Bullets struck him in the chest and head and he dropped his rifle and fell forwards out the window.
The helicopter pilot was unable to regain control as the helicopter began shaking violently and started to careen towards the warehouse.
“Were going down! Get ready to bail!” the pilot yelled.
“Were too high! We’ll never make it!” the other occupant responded.
“It our only chance! Come on!” he yelled. The helicopter careened toward the second floor as its side door opened. Both pilot and passenger jumped out and landed on top of the second police cruiser with a loud thud. The other officers helped them off of the roof and everyone ran away from the warehouse as fast as they could. They didn’t get far before the helicopter suddenly veered to it’s side from a sudden wind gust and smashed into the old building at the second floor and exploded in a massive fireball! The impact of the blast flipped both police cars onto their back and set both on fire as well as threw everyone onto the ground.
Kyle was the first to stand and turn around to survey the scene. The entire front of the warehouse was engulfed in an inferno and both cruisers were upturned and in flames. The two officers from the helicopter were badly bruised. Kyle accessed his radio to inform command of the situation.
“This is Kyle at the old warehouse on 12th and Vine Street. We require immediate assistance. We have shots fired. Our helicopter is down. Its two occupants were able to get out but they require medical assistance. We need backup and fire rescue ASAP!” he yelled.
Allan stood up next and wiped the dirt from his pants.
“What about the other people in the building?” he asked.
“They could still be alive in there!” The third officer yelled he stood up.
“I think there is a side entrance, if they are in the back then they should still be alive! You 2 stay here and wait until help arrives. We’ll see if there’s anyone left alive inside!” Kyle said. The other two officers nodded their heads and Kyle told to Allan to follow him as he ran towards the side entrance to the warehouse. The two men ran back through the lot, and towards the side of the building. They could see the flames spreading and could hear explosions inside. Allan assumed that there was explosive material stored in the warehouse as they ran down the side of the building and towards the side entrance. The warehouse was long and it wasn’t unreasonable that someone could been in the back of it and have surveyed the explosion and fire. Halfway down the side, they reached a pair of double doors with windows. Kyle tried to open them but they were locked. Kyle told Allan to stand back, when he did, Kyle kicked the doors as hard as he could. The doors swung open violently and both officers unholstered their weapon and prepared to enter the building.
With Kyle at point, they cautiously walked into the burning building. They could feel the heat from the flames and could smell the smoke. The air had smoke in it, but it wasn’t too thick. It was dark inside, the power was out and only light from the sun that shone through the windows provided light. The entrance had taken them into a long hallway of offices with stairs at the end. They walked without incident halfway down the hallway until coming to a pair of doors on their left. They went to open the doors only to find out they were hot!
“The fire must be directly behind these doors. Let’s go, we don’t have a lot of time. We think they’re meeting on the second floor.” Kyle said. Allan nodded his head and they resumed walking towards the stairwell. They hadn’t of taken more then a few steps before they both felt a wave of dizziness, which lasted for several seconds. Allan fell to the floor and shook his head.
“Are there any toxic fumes in that smoke?” he inquired. When Kyle didn’t respond, he looked over at his partner to see that he was looking at his hands and something on his arms.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. Kyle looked up at him and gasped.
“My hands and arms!” he exclaimed. Kyle showed Allan his hands and arms. His hands were covered in a thin layer of black fur, his fingernails had become claws and a pelt of gray fur had grown on his lower arms. It seemed that Kyle wasn’t alone, as Allan’s chest felt funny.
“What the heck was that?” Allan asked as he pulled his shirt up. He gasped when he saw a pelt of silky cream colored fur. As he felt it with his left hand, they heard commotion above them.
“For all we know it was a weapon they’re testing!” Kyle said. Allan nodded his head and they got up, retrieved their weapons and proceeded down the hallway. It was getting hotter and they could hear the flames getting closer. They heard another explosion behind them as a large falling beam, which spread the fire to the hallway, penetrated the left wall! Both Allan and Kyle started coughing from the smoke and hastened their pace to a run in order to reach the stairs as fast as possible.
When they reached they reached the stairs they slowly climbed up the first flight with their weapons primed and ready to fire if needed. As they reached the landing at the end of the first flight they again experienced a wave of dizziness and change.
The fur on Kyle’s lower arms spread up his arms and quickly grew into a thick gray pelt. Warmth spread across his chest as the fur spread to it. The fur on Allan’s chest spread across the rest of his torso then to his arms and legs, coming in dark brown. While the changes were not painful they felt very strange.
“I think it’s stopped again.” Kyle guessed as he reached up his shirt and under his bulletproof vest to feel the fur on his chest then and arms. He had worried about losing his hair before, but this wasn’t exactly the solution that he had in mind. Allan petted the growth of fur through his shirt and was amazed by how soft and warm it was. Again, they got up and looked up the flight of stairs before them.
“If this is happening to us then there’s a good chance its happening to them as well, maybe we can take advantage of it!” Allan suggested. Kyle tried to call on his radio to see if it was happening to any of the others but unfortunately, the radio wasn’t working for some reason. When Allan tried the same, he too was unsuccessful.
“Come on, let’s go get em!” Kyle said. Allan acknowledged by nodding his head and they proceeded up the stairs. As they reached the top of the stairs, they walked into the mostly empty top floor of the warehouse. The top floor was mostly open with several groups of stacked boxes. To their right, they could see the massive flames and the smoke was pretty heavy. Much of the front part of the top floor was gone as a result of the helicopter collision. At the other side of the almost completely open room, they could see an office with three figures inside of it. Two of the figures saw them and immediately ran towards the door.
“Take cover!” Kyle yelled. Allan ran left towards a group of crates and knelt down behind them as Kyle ran right behind a stacked group of metal boxes.
“This is the police! You are under arrest! Come out with your hands up!” Kyle yelled. Neither of the two figures that were approaching them responded and Allan looked to his right at Kyle. He could feel his heart rate increasing, for all they knew they had walked into an ambush. He temporally forgot about the changes their bodies had undergone and was prepared to go on the move when the changes hit again!
He heard the two suspects that were approaching both lamenting the resumption of the changes. He acted on an impulse to remove his shoes as the wave of change spread to his feet. With them off, he could only watch as his feet widened and shortened. His big toes were absorbed by his changing feet as his remaining toes shifted position, leaving him with only four toes per foot. Webbing grew between each of his toes as they lengthened and widened slightly. His altered feet itched slightly as a layer of dark brown fur grew on them. The wave of change concluded as fur not unlike the new fur on his feet sprouted on both of his hands and his fingernails grew slightly sharper and longer. He looked at Kyle to see that he too had removed his shoes. His feet looked mostly human with the exception of a thin covering of gray fur and claws. He was shocked to see another result of the latest wave; Kyle had grown a long bushy ringed tail. When Kyle stood up, the tail almost touched the ground. Allan recognized the tail immediately; it was the tail of a raccoon! He looked up at Kyle’s face; his human ears were gone, replaced by raccoon ears at the top of his head. When Kyle looked at him, he saw that he had the beginnings of a raccoon mask on his face!
They heard the two suspects getting up and continuing their approach towards their position. The fire was spreading quickly. The thickness of the smoke made this worse. They could see an emergency exit at the left side of the building. If they could apprehend these criminals soon, they would still have a way out! The smoke was made Allan and Kyle cough and Allan wasn’t sure how much more of this they were going to be able to withstand. Allan didn’t know how far these changes were going to go and could only hope that they could stop before he and Kyle found themselves completely changed into furry little animals.
Kyle looked at Allan and nodded his head. It was getting very hot in the room and the flames were getting closer. They were going to have to move fast before the fire or its smoke claimed them both. As Allan was about to move, a suspect with the fur and tail of a leopard jumped over the crates he had taken cover behind and tackled him. The suspect slammed Allan onto the ground and punched him in the face several times, causing him to drop his weapon. Allan counterattacked, striking her with the back of his right hand as hard as he could. The impact knocked her off of him and onto the ground to his left. He quickly picked himself up as she did and they faced each other ready to strike.
The other suspect circled around the boxes Kyle had sought shelter behind. He raised his weapon but didn’t want to fire it, lest he miss Kyle and strike his comrade. Kyle pointed his pistol at the man, (who had the ears, tail and fur of a donkey) and demanded he drop his weapon. The man laughed at Kyle and slowly backed up, hoping to get a clearer shot at Kyle. Again, Kyle demanded he relinquish his weapon. Unfortunately, the man would not comply.
The forming leopard ran at Allan and kicked at him, Allan reacted instinctively and grabbed her leg and with as much effort a he could muster, threw her into the boxes, knocking them all over the place, and temporarily stunning her.
The forming donkey kept backing up and was getting dangerously close to the flames. He started coughing violently but was relentless and refused to drop his gun.
“Dammit, your going to get yourself killed! Drop the damn weapon now!” Kyle yelled. The suspect laughed.
“Your friend knocking down my friend just gave me the perfect opportunity to fire, now I don’t have to worry about missing you and hitting her!” he arrogantly boasted. Kyle was prepared the shoot the man in self-defense. Unknown to the donkey, the roof above him was smoldering and was in imminent danger of collapse. Kyle tried to warn him about the roof, but it was too late. The donkeys new ears picked up the sound of the roof coming down a second too late. He could only look up in horror as the roof above collapsed and a massive shower of wood and concrete fell onto him. Kyle couldn’t tell if the man was dead or alive and as he walked towards the pile of debris to try to save him, the flames spread to the barrels the donkey had been standing beside. The labels on them clearly read ‘explosive’! Kyle immediately turned around started running towards Allan’s position.
“It’s going to explode! Run back down the stairs!” he yelled.
Allan gazed at the stunned leopard, holstered his weapon and then picked her up and swung her over his shoulder and followed Kyle back down the stairs. When they arrived at the landing, the barrels exploded in a large fireball that engulfed most of the upper floor.
As Allan put the leopard on the floor, the changes again resumed. This time Allan’s face felt warm. His ears shrunk down, becoming small round and furry before moving to the topsides of his head. His mouth grew out into short muzzle and his teeth grew sharp and fang like. His nose became small and black with the nostrils just above his muzzle. As the changes completed, all of his hair fell out and was replaced with a coating of fur that covered the skin on his neck and face.
Fur grew over the rest of Kyle’s face as his mask became much more prominent. His mouth grew out into a muzzle and his nose became small round and black and relocated to the end off it. The leopard did not seem to change much, about the only change she had was her eyes changing from a human to feline appearance.
“You alright?” Kyle asked of Allan. Allan gently caressed the fur on his face and felt his muzzle before feeling his new ears and the top of his head.
“All things considered, I think so. This is pretty screwed up though. What the heck could be causing it?” Allan asked. Kyle felt his own head, feeling his muzzle, new ears and the fur. His human hair was still intact.
“I don’t know, but I’d like to find out. One question, what do I look like?” Kyle asked.
“Like a raccoon, well a humanoid one at least. What do I look like?” Allan responded. Kyle looked Allan up and down before responding.
“You look like an otter or something like that, well except for the tail.” He responded. Kyle was feeling more then a bit freaked out, although you would never have known it from his composure. His training had taught him to keep his cool in desperate situations, and this definitely qualified.
“Its so hot in here, I’m not sure how much more of this I can take! How are we going to get out of here? The way back through that hallway is blocked!” Allan asked.
Kyle seemed to listening to something in the distance. He didn’t realize it at first, but his hearing had improved considerably and he could hear the fire trucks in the distance.
“Help is on the way, that emergency exit should still be intact! Come on!” Kyle said.
“But what about her?” Allan inquired, referring to the leopard. Before Kyle could respond, the leopard recovered and struck Kyle in the face with her left hand and Allan in the face with her right. Kyle maneuvered to counterattack but she was prepared and kicked him in the chest, knocking him back into the wall, stunning him. Allan again hit her with the back of his hand but she was ready this time and roundhouse kicked him in the head. He stood there stunned for a couple of seconds before she pushed him onto the ground and grabbed his gun.
With an angry and very arrogant look on her face she pointed the gun at Allan’s head. Just as she reached for the trigger to pull it, Kyle reacted with instinct and pulled his gun out of its holster and fired up into her chest and head, killing her instantly!
As she fell lifeless onto her back, Allan stood up and looked down at her body in shock before walking over to Kyle to help him up. Her gave Kyle a huge hug.
“You saved my life! Thank you!” he joyfully exclaimed as he hugged his partner tight.
“Your welcome. And to think I thought these were loud for human ears!” Kyle responded.
“You okay?” Allan asked as he released Kyle. Kyle rubbed his ears gently and nodded his head.
“Come on, let’s get out of here!” he exclaimed. Together, they walked back up the stairs and back into the top floor. The entire floor was smoldering. Fires raged throughout the entire floor and the roof was ablaze. They could both tell that it could cave in at any moment. Allan looked toward the office where Rhonda had been hiding and couldn’t see her. The flames in the area made it impossible to get to her.
“What about her?” he yelled. Kyle looked at the area and shook his head.
“She probably dead! If we don’t get out of here soon, were going to be dead!” he yelled. Allan nodded and they both ran towards the emergency exit at their left. As they ran, they both started coughing constantly. The smoke was very thick. Allan noticed one odd thing, something inside of him was telling him to hold his breath and that he could hold it for longer in this form then he could have as a human.
He did so and held his breath. He could hear Kyle slowing down beside him and coughing constantly. He looked at his partner and tried to help him along. Unfortunately, Kyle fell to the ground. Allan knelt down and felt Kyle’s furry neck for a pulse. He could feel a pulse but it was very weak and Kyle was only semi conscious! Allan was not about to leave his partner behind to die and knelt down and picked him up to carry him the rest of the way.
With Kyle in his arms, he resumed walking towards the emergency exit. He could finally hear the fire trucks approaching the warehouse. To his relief, Kyle was still breathing but he knew that he had to get him out of there and soon!
When he reached the emergency exit, he kicked it open and quickly walked down the stairs. He walked down two flights of stairs and approached another door again kicking it open. The door lead outside to a lot behind the warehouse where a fire truck had just pulled in.
Allan was finally able to stop holding his breath and took several deep breaths, coughing violently with each one. As he gently put Kyle on the ground. The changes again resumed! This time he felt a pressure at the base of his spine. He looked at Kyle to see the rest of his human hair falling out as it was replaced by gray fur. The pressure at the base of his spine quickly expanded and he heard his pants loudly rip as a long furry tail grew out from his body. The tail grew until it was nearly as long as his legs. He was more concerned with Kyle though. While he was still breathing, his breaths were weak, as was his pulse.
Fortunately, the firemen saw this and ran over to Kyle’s side and placed an oxygen mask over his muzzle. Allan breathed a sign of relief, but his lungs hurt like hell and he found himself coughing even more. Another fire fighter saw his distress and placed an oxygen mask over his muzzle and instructed him to breathe normally.
As Allan breathed in the oxygen, the pain in his lungs dulled. He was relieved to see that Kyle was starting to breathe more normal and that his pulse was strengthening. A few seconds later, Kyle eyes opened and he looked at Allan and smiled and raised his right hand and gently shook Allan’s right hand.
“Thanks” he happily said.
“Hey, I owed you one” Allan responded.
“Is they’re anyone else in there?” One of the firemen asked. Allan looked up at the man and saw that he too had undergone changes. His seemed less pronounced however, he had a muzzle with red fur and whiskers on it as well as dark eyes and rounded ears at the top of his head but otherwise looked human.
“There were 3 suspects in there. Two are dead, the others status in unknown” he answered.
Hearing something on the roof of the building, the fire fighter pointed to it. Allan and Kyle both looked back at the warehouse and up at it’s roof to see what looked like a huge hawk taking flight with a big bag strapped to her back. Before anyone could react, she was already in fight.
“Is that her?” the fire fighter asked.
“Looks that way” Allan responded but he couldn’t be certain. Another fire fighter walked up over to them, she had a muzzle, ears and fur on her face that looked similar to Allan’s.
“We have teams working now, we should have the fire under control soon but I don’t think there will be much left to salvage of this place.” She said.
“Very well. Lets get these two to the hospital, they’ll both need treatment for smoke inhalation” the man working on Allan said. He turned back to Allan and gently petted him on the shoulder.
“Don’t worry, you two are going to be fine.” He said.
A few minutes later, an ambulance pulled up and Allan and Kyle were loaded onto stretchers. Allan found lying on his back a little difficult with his new tail, but he managed to find a position that was comfortable.
As they were loaded into the ambulance beside each other, Kyle grabbed Allan’s right hand with his left.
“Great work partner. I owe you my life” he beamed.
“Just returning the favor, you did save my life too” Allan answered as he looked up at the EMT that was attending to them. The shape of her body was mostly human. She had a covering of beautiful white feathers and a pair of white feather covered wings on her back. With a smile on her face, she measured Allan’s pulse while examining Kyle’s lungs. Kyle smiled up at her.
“Are you an angel?” he innocently asked. She smiled; she could understand why he might think that, given her wings and the white feathers.
“No, I’m a EMT. You’re both still alive and I intend to make sure you stay that way.” She responded.
“So whatever it was that caused this, it didn’t just happen around here?” Allan curiously asked.
“No, from what we can tell, the effect is global.” She answered.
“I hope Annika and the kids are alright.” Allan said.
“Don’t worry Mr. Shepard, we’ll be contacting both of your families. You’ll see them soon. For now, you should both rest, you bodies both took quite a beating in there and you’ll need your strength” the EMT advised.
Allan and Kyle nodded their heads and laid back and closed their eyes, both drifting off to sleep.
Allan later awoke in a hospital bed. He had an IV in his arm and he still had an oxygen mask on. He turned to his right to see Kyle lying in another bed, also with an IV and oxygen mask. He was still sleeping soundly. He slowly turned to his left to see a nurse looking at him approvingly. When he got a closer look at the nurse, he saw that her skin had a bluish green color and that she appeared to have a dorsal fin. He slowly started to sit up and look down at his body, when he saw the fur on his chest, he knew that what had happened had not been a dream.
“So it wasn’t a dream,” he softly said. The nurse walked over and helped him up and removed the Oxygen mask for him.
“Your lungs appear to be very efficient and are healing well. While the damage to your friend’s lungs was worse, his lungs also appear to healing at a fantastic rate. You should both be able to go home tonight.” The nurse said as she held a stethoscope to Allan’s back.
“This change, was they’re anyone not affected?” Allan asked. His lungs were a bit sore but he seemed to be able to breathe normally.
“The affect appears to have been global. Most of humanity was affected, although children appear not to have been for the most part. Your family is here; they want to see you. Shall I send them in?” She asked.
“Yes, thank you” Allan answered. The nurse nodded her head, put the stethoscope into he coat pocket and walked out of the room. A few seconds later, his daughter Samantha and son Terry ran into the room followed by his wife. She had become a gorgeous humanoid chinchilla with a pelt of luxurious gray fur everywhere but her chest, where it was white. The degree of her change seemed to be as high as Allan’s.
“Annika?” Allan asked, making sure that it was really was her. She grinned wildly, immediately recognizing his voice. The doctors had told her what he had become, so there wasn’t as much of a surprise for her.
“Yes!” she very happily responded as she ran up to him and hugged him, he returned the favor and hugged her back. The feeling of fur to fur was something very new to both of them and felt very nice.
As they released each other, his son Terry gently ticked his whiskers while Samantha climbed on top of him and tickled the fur on his chest.
“It’s so cool! I wonder what were gonna become if we ever change?” Terry said.
“Maybe we’ll be like you guys. The doctors think that were going to change when were older.” Samantha said. Allan hugged Samantha and petted Terry on the head.
“Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Were you guys able to find outs what your uncles Steve and Jeremy and Aunt Sally became?” he asked.
“Steve became a degu, he apparently looks a lot like me except brown and male. Jeremy became what looks like a huge sparrow with arms and a slightly more human shaped head. And Sally became a gray squirrel. She’s not quite as high level, she got the fur, tail, ears and claws but her facial shape seems mostly human otherwise” Annika responded. As she did so, Kyle slowly woke up and looked over at the group.
“So it was real.” He softly said. The nurse walked back into the room and tended to him, taking his pulse and monitoring his breathing with the stethoscope.
“Yes Mr. Harris, it was definitely real. The effect appears to have been global, with the exception of children; the entire human race seems to have been affected. Tell me something, how are you feeling?” she asked.
“I feel good, my lungs hurt a bit but otherwise I feel fine.” He responded.
“Your lungs appear to be healing themselves at a remarkable rate. We are seeing similar unexplained events in other patients and doctors. It is as if some people have acquired powers as a result of this change.” She responded.
“Cool!” Terry enthusiastically said.
The nurse concluded that Kyle no longer needed the oxygen mask and helped him to remove it. He slowly sat up and reached over to shake Allan’s right hand.
“Well partner, it seems as if we have a whole New World on our hands. Should make our jobs very interesting” he said.
“Very interesting indeed” Allan responded as he surveyed the group and grinned.