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By User: Drak'rrth Chapter 1

The biggest mistake I ever made was stepping into that shop.

I mean, seriously, most sensible people who pass by an old shop simply ignore it.

But then again, I'm not that sensible.

After all, with both parents working, I have a lot of free time on my hands. Thus, I do a lot of crazy stuff that no one else would probably bother doing. I'm also innately curious, which is why when I passed by that old shop, I couldn't resist taking a peek.

"Ring!" The bell rang as I opened the door and stepped in. No one was around, so I spent a few minutes examining the products shown on the shelves.

Strangely enough, after I had finished looking, still no one had come. Thus, I decided to continue to the back of the shop.

It was dark - I bet it was probably still lit by gas lamps. The place looked old enough for that. Not an electrical outlet anywhere.

Either way, it was dark enough that when I stepped through the doorway, I failed to notice anyone creeping behind me.

I only realized he was there when he knocked me out.

I woke up in what I thought was a giant toilet.

Close enough. I was in a bare jail - except with toileting facilities.

On the other side of the bars was a stooped figure over a bench, which had a lot of test-tubes, dishes, funny-looking chemicals and samples, etc. - in short, a full laboratory. On a shelf stood a truckload of files, on the wall were several dissected creatures.

Thankfully, I had not eaten for sometime before, or the stench would have forced out my lunch. A garbage truck would smell like perfume compared to it.

Then, the figure stood up, and I could see he was a balding old man in a lab coat. He had wrinkles everywhere and a half-crazed expression on his face, the kind which would have sent the guy straight to a mental hospital.

He also held a syringe full of a chemical.

"Now, don't you know it's rude to poke your nose about without being invited? Not to mention foolish."

I wholeheartedly agreed with him then.

"Though curiosity killed the cat, I decided that you could be put to much better use - if only because you're not a cat. Shame, I just finished my supply." He pointed at the wall.

"The serum is just about ready anyway. I have full intention of using it on myself - but first, I need a guinea pig. After all, the effects are unknown, and it's best I test it beforehand. And you'll have the honour of being my first test-subject!" He laughed maniacally.

"Right, time for test no. 1! Don't worry, it won't be too bad - I think!" With that, he unlocked the door and approached me.

I waited for him to close in and dived at him. He got knocked over, but too late - we both stared at the needle he had stuck in my arm.

Immediately, I felt a jolt of pain. It was unimaginably painful, such that I doubled over and dropped to my knees.

My skin started prickling - I noticed scales appearing as my skin flaked off into dust. My insides squirmed as they rearrange themselves to fit a new anatomy.

My fingers grew claws and my head underwent extreme pressure - or so it felt. My teeth sharpened and I could feel my tongue fork. My spine extended into a tail and my clothes all ripped. My groin area shifted and I tried not to look.

Finally, I felt something burst out from my back - a pair of wings! I tried to peer but lose consciousness.

When I woke up again, I found myself chained and muzzled in the jail, now without anyone else present. Evidently, the scientist had left already.

I sliced away the muzzle with a sharp claw and tore away the chains with my teeth. Then, I busted through a wall by ramming it a few times. I stumbled outside into what looks like a forest.

I had escaped!

Chapter 2

My first priority was to examine my new body. It felt different all over and I noticed places which I definitely did not have as a human.

For starters, my general shape was that of the classic dragon in morphic form - two legs, two "hands" with opposable thumbs, a pair of bat-like wings, reptilian scales and (probably) anatomy, muzzle, long neck. Sharp claws and teeth and a long, horned tail (and head). Oh, and internal reproductive organs.

My strength seemed to have been enhanced, by way of the fact that I knocked through the wall by ramming it. My scales were extremely hard, and provided adequate protection against sharp knives and such. My sense of smell was enhanced, and I could now smell the different chemicals wafting from the lab - not that they smelled any better.

However, I seemed to lack the more traditional draconic characteristics i.e. breathing fire, casting magic, etc. Overall, my size was slightly larger than human.

I tested my wings by hovering above the forest. I seemed to be near the edge of a big forest, with the house next to the forest and a small road. The whole place seemed like a nature reserve, with a ranger station somewhere in the distance.

However, I first met trouble when I tested my vocal cords.

I could speak English well enough, but I could also roar loud enough to attract attention for a kilometre around.

I discovered the latter fact the hard way, when I tried roaring. It managed to attract the rangers in their station, who subsequently came with their rifles. Luckily, I managed to evade them and went deeper into the forest.

As I traipsed through the forest, I pondered my next course of action.

Naturally, I would have to hunt the scientist down. But he was gone from his lab, and there was no guarantee that he would come back to his lab after my escape.

Alternatively, I could try and alert the police, but it was more likely they would try and shoot me first. The odds were stacked against my returning to normal again.

So it was while I was distracted with thinking that I nearly walked into something else.

It was another dragon.

"Whoa! Excuse me," I automatically muttered as I stepped back from the dragon.

She (I could tell) glared at me. "Watch where you put your feet, you buffoon."

Astonished at her attitude, I guessed, "You got transformed by that madman back there as well."

"Yeah, I was just minding my own business when I got knocked out outside his little back-alley shop. Next thing, he had injected me with his little serum and I transformed. He then stupidly left the door open - extremely careless, so I took advantage and ran. I've stuck here for four days running."

"Wait," you exclaim. "He said I was the first subject!"

"He lied then," she replies.

She (her name was Sue) offered to bring me back to her "home", of sorts, which she shared with other victims of the madman in the lab. Apparently, the guy had been researching genetic manipulation in humans in a commercial lab when he was kicked out for his unethical methods. However, he had continued with his experiments in his makeshift lab, on unwilling human subjects moreover, and I was simply his latest victim.

Later, they had managed to breakout from his lab - before me - and the escapees were all hiding somewhere in the forest.

Of course, I accepted her offer. If we wanted to take him out, we needed more manpower. I figured that allies were always a good thing to have.

It was evening when we finally reached the place so it was lucky that dragons had apparently good night-vision. It kept me from stumbling over a few tree roots.

What it didn't prevent me from stumbling over was the campsite of the escapees.

As I entered the campsite, the animals - I presumed that they were the escapees - all started, but relaxed when they realized it was Sue. She introduced me as "yet another transformee" and I was accepted rather quickly.

I joined them all and managed to earn their trust gradually over the next few days by helping them with tasks (moving camp, guard/patrol duty, etc.) and talking to them. In the process, I managed to gather the basic facts about them.

It turned out that they had all been captured in various places - back alleys, deserted streets, anywhere which facilitated a kidnapping of the person in question. Oh, and they all used to be human.

What they became was something else entirely. There were about 20 or so of them, all captured within the last 2 months and first transformed into a human-sized animal, then kept and experimented on. There were mammals, reptiles, avians - practically a miniature zoo. Nothing aquatic - lack of facilities - and no insects. I and the dragoness I stumbled over were the only 2 mythicals (probably made from splicing lizard, bat and avian DNA - probably the wings), although that could change, if we didn't act.

I realized that we could actually storm the lab with all the strength available, but they didn't seem to want to, for some reason. Apparently, they had tried before, but got warded off with automatic defences - the scientist somehow raided a gun store and robot development lab, and pieced them into guards. However, I just thought they needed a proper leader.

Chapter 3

And so it was late one night when I gathered everyone the campfire for a meeting.

I started off by shocking them all with the words, "Let's plan an attack!" At that, they all started muttering. They still remembered the last attack - some of them still bore scars from it.

I had to give their last leader credit - though he apparently had lacked any strategic skill, he certainly had the ability to rile a crowd into action, especially working with this crowd.

It probably looked good on his gravestone.

Most unfortunately, I lacked any sort of similar ability to rouse a crowd, so I would have to convince them through logic.

In the end, though, I gained the reluctant and wary agreement from the group to launch another, last attack on the lab in the morning.

I simply hoped I was right.

The next morning, Sue and I crept around to the back of the lab while the others gathered round the front. We were going to enter from the back and open the doors in order to admit the mob outside. Then together, we would hunt the scientist down in his lab. We had a plan.

Unfortunately, plans change. The moment we entered the compound, alarms started blaring. Within a minute, droids started rolling towards us, armed with various pieces of weaponry, including a full RPG launcher. We abandoned all concept of stealth and rushed through the house for a safe haven.

Somehow, we managed to end up in the power generator room, and ended up ducking behind it for cover while the bullets flew.

"Might want to destroy this, but we don't have any heavy weaponry," I commented, but just then, an RPG hit the generator. Everything went black...

...that is, from the power outage. In an instant, all the lights went down - both from the ceiling lights and from the robots' diodes.

Oh well.

Using our enhanced night-vision (something I never realized before), we made our way towards the front door and simply knocked it down - literally. Then, the heavy mob split up to search for the maniac, whatsisname.

We barged into his lab but found out that he had just recently escaped - some of his chemicals were still boiling away.

While Sue examined the chemicals in the lab (she studied genetics), I went through a door leading outside the lab. Outside, I noted a set of footprints leading into the forest - ironic, considering that it was the same path I took that first day. I tracked the prints through the forest.

Deep in the forest, the prints made a turn into a bush. I sniffed the air for his scent, and found no recognizable trace of him except in the bush. I was about to cut aside the bush when I heard a gun being loaded behind me.

"Don't move or we'll see how tough scales are to bullets."

It was HIM.

Chapter 4

"Not bad, eh? The forest is so full of scents that one human would be quite indistinguishable. Of course, you did well enough, but the experiment ends here - agh!" he said as I quickly knocked him over with my tail.

I rapidly disarmed him and soon had the cowering old man flat on the ground.

He shivered as I hoisted him up by his collar. To his credit though, he did not start grovelling for his life.

Instead, he actually spat on me.

Now, I didn't like being spat on, so I rammed his body into a tree - hard. Several leaves came floating down as he winced.

I repeated the process until he eventually was knocked out. Then, I flew back to the lab with him in tow.

Once under severe interrogation, he eventually revealed his serum. Sue created a counter-serum, and everyone returned back to normal.

After the usual ecstatic cheering, everyone left for home with a promise not to tell about what really happened. We figured that one mad scientist was far more than enough - and we still hadn't figured out what to do with the guy.

In the end, we simply dragged him to the nearest mental hospital "for delusional hallucinations". They accepted him immediately, and I had no doubt no one would believe him.

Finally, Sue and I exchanged phone numbers, and we went our separate ways. I went back with an adequate cover-up story, a host of new memories - and a test-tube full of serum...