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Rules

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Author: Devin Hallsworth


"I'm sorry but I am not authorized to either confirm nor deny the existence of god." General Dove said to the assembled press.

Before he even finished talking every press member in the room was on their feet, shouting out questions and trying to outdo their competitors for volume. The air force general just sighed and leaned against the press rooms podium, saying nothing.

It took a full three minutes of shouting and hand waving before the members of the press finally started to realize the general wasn't saying anything until they all started listening to the ground rules he had laid out at the beginning of the press conference. Most of them sat down quickly and elbowed the ones that hadn't and were still shouting to do the same, they were willing to cooperate now but every hand in the room was still raised.

General Dove smiled and picked one at random from the front row, whose press passes he could read. "Miss Cabezza?"

"Yes, You say you can neither confirm nor deny the existence of god but then does that mean that the experiment was a success? That you have confirmed that question one way or the other?" The older reporter asked.

The General took a second to collect his thoughts. "Yes and... no." The only sound in the room while he thought to himself was the sound of clicking cameras. "The question we were asking with this experiment wasn't so much, does god exist? As it was, Is this a knowable universe?"

"And how did this experiment seek to test this?" A reporter in the back row asked.

The general tried not to fidget. "To be perfectly honest I have no idea. I've read over all the papers and had a fellow who was working on the project try to bring me up to speed before the test but I am out of my depth. I leave any explanations of the test itself to Doctor Cambell who is sitting up here with me. However I did see the results of the test and although I haven't the faintest idea 'how' it happened I do believe that I along with the staff on hand for the test observed what happened correctly."

"What did you observe General?" Dove winced and again tried not to fidget in this strange body. Apparently the test staff were the only ones with any recollection of what had happened, but despite nearly two days of speculation, pouring over test data and interviews with those who didn't realize anything had changed the General was still no closer to knowing how to explain that three days ago everyone on earth had been hairless apes instead of bipedal foxes.


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Keith set the pencil down and flexed out his wrists. As he stood up to grab a drink from the fridge he considered telling stories in a medium that was less hell on the wrists than drawing a comic. Sure he knew he wouldn't have as many fans as he would if he just wrote stories instead but he'd at least be able to tell the frigging story in less than a year. He shook his head every time he thought about how long certain story lines had been going on in other online comics and given how hard it was to draw out every piece of a story he could understand why.

He grumbled and sat himself down at his drawing desk. He was tempted to just write the idea out instead of putting it in comic form but he was way behind on updates to his online comic anyway and this project was the least he could do considering he owed his fans almost forty updates.

Besides, this way he knew the project would get finished. The idea was interesting enough to him. Basically he was just confronting several characters with the question about how they would act if given direct evidence that the universe wasn't bound by physics but rather by Keith's whims. It was a pretty interesting writing exercise.

Keith grinned guiltily as it also gave him an excuse to draw bipedal foxes. For a moment he sat at his desk and just fantasized about being in Doves position. To just have the mundane word turned on its head and to wind up as something... some...

Keith stared at his writing hand... hoof...

A quick check showed that his body was no longer the human one he had been born with but that of a bipedal mule deer doe. He wasn't sure which felt weirder, fur all over his body or the bizarre change in gender.

He chuckled nervously that he could find a gender change bizarre but no longer being human was something he could wrap his mind around. With a shaking hand... thing, he reached for his coke and as he did his eyes fell on the comic that he had been drawing, his mind taking the idea he had been playing with and applying it to what he was experiencing.


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Devin grumbled and hit ctrl s. He pushed aside some pop cans and took the laptop off his lap and set it on the cluttered coffee table in front of him. He rubbed his eyes and wondered what he could do with the story.

Quite frankly writing about characters seeing a world bound by something besides observable rules who then curled into the fetal position at the thought that they were more or less just characters in a story was boring no matter which way he tried to spin it.

He gave up and gratuitously threw in a scene in which he transformed into an anthro Giraffe and changed genders for the hell of it before shutting the laptop down to go play some video games. Having gotten what little story there was in the idea out of her system which was really all she had wanted to do.