User:Hawl/Predator-Prey Relationships

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Paradise story universe

Paradise Perspectives 4 - Predatory-Prey Relationships

Author: Jessica K. Nichols-Vernon aka HawlSera Tygarus Enroygall

September 2010, Day Illegible. The whole record is hard to read, not due to damage, but sloppy handwriting. One has to wonder if the author knows how to use a pencil.

Iris here, started taking up Gabriel’s idea for a journal. Actually I’m writing in the same book... Though you are holding it, so you already knew that. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah there isn’t a second that I don’t look at myself and the world around me and think. “Wow my life makes no sense whatsoever.” I’m a catperson that people fantasized about on the internet before they knew furries were real. My best friend’s a rat, his girlfriend is a bear, my penpal flip-flops between both, and I’m watching over an 8-year old in a 17-year old Snow Leopard body. We’ve been trying to escape the quarantine, but it’s not easy. I’m awesome, because I’m a tiger and we’re awesome, and can take a few bullets. Gabriel’s prey and I’m not sure he can. Even then, I know I can’t survive automatic military grade weapons. Which the military has. Did I mention the Quarantine was being maintained by the military, that seems like an important detail to mention. Specifically the VSH. It’s kind of messed up... If I wasn’t feline I’d make a lame pun about this being a dog-eat-dog world. So I’ll just settle for the Dogs Of War one. Actually that works on its own so you just think one up...

I often wonder what things would be like if I was a man. I mean I guess all women might occasionally, but I kind of used to be a boy and even though there’s now Over 9000 Changed per city block there’s been no reason given as to why I’ve been playing for the other team since I was 10. I asked Gabe what he thought and he said “To Torment Me in the most unlikely and pathetically ironic way possible.” He’s kind of a downer sometimes. There’s a whole other version of reality in some other universe where I didn’t become the sexy tiger girl that I am today and I wanna know what he’s like. Is he some Super Macho Man? Did he and his Gabriel go on double dates? Does he ever think about being a woman? I bet he laughs the idea off and then runs off to lift weights. Or maybe he just took a bunch of hormone pills and became a woman anyway. Wouldn’t it be funny, in a cosmic black comedy sort of way, if guy-me was this super depressed tranny and Gabe was this chipper easy-to-get along with fella? I’m just bored, actually as amusing as that is I prefer to think he’s like Duke Nukem or something I never really got in touch with my masculine side, the whole bloody affair.. Cause I get periods you see.. lame joke sorry... Happened so young that my male self could have been anyone. I was only a child. Still, being female feels so.. right. So, meant to be. I am woman, hear me ROAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!. Maybe there isn’t a universe out there where I’m not wired to be a mommy one day, I think I’d make a good one. I asked Gabriel about it once he said “Dear God I worry for the future of what I regrettably call our people.”, Bleak outlook on that one. Anyway There are ways out of Silver City. I know because a fellow tiger got out that way and we picked up another rat who busted in.. For the safety of that tiger I won’t reveal their names.. (a short sentence is crossed out).. If I can get me and my friends out of this place they can nuke the whole town like it’s Raccoon City for all I care! Umm... Maybe I didn’t wanna write that... Thana’s cooked the Deer Meat I brought, I did the shopping! I get the largest portion! Feels awkard, killing deer reminds me too much of when Gabe and I went to Tall Tales all the smiling and frowning, some people take the change better than others, faces of the various cervine I met there. One of the bucks had an interesting theory about our situation involving a Giant Quantum Computer. I wish I could recollect what all he said, it had this strange ring of truth to it. Like he knew something I didn’t, but that’s a story for another day..... I think I’d need Christina’s help for that, if I ever see her again... or him...

I hope there’s no food shortage in my lifetime, too many people taste too good. Next time I see a Deer Changed things might be awkward. Let’s focus on something juicier, I’m bored and I can’t quite get to sleep, it’s stuffy inside so I’m outside. The crickets are chirping, the frogs are croaking, I can hear all of Mother Nature’s song all too well. I can hear the trotting of the horse farm next door to the house I’d normally be living in. I can smell the freshness of the air, plenty of it as there’s literally an entire forest in the backyard. My mind is sharp and I’m ready to get focused. Now what to write about? Well there was a time when I almost lost Gabriel forever, let’s start with that.

August 24th 2006

Gabriel The Rat, who now had black headfur, and Dave The Raccoon, both Student Staff of Silver City High’s Student Staff. The two were looking over records and trying to help grade their fellow students. “You know newbie, I still can’t believe you and Iris haven’t shacked up yet. That girl is...” Dave paused, trying to think of something to say. He was smitten by her, she was technically the first of his own species he’d seen. Well technically as they were both Changed, but not really, though they both shared the similarity of being a different species other than the one they were born as, and in a few years down the road this would be a very common tale as all of mankind would have a variation of it unique to themselves.

“Is a god damn man!” Gabriel exclaimed, pounding his fist onto the computer desk he had been sitting. Being careful not to hit the computer, he looked smaller, but he had actually gotten much stronger. “And an insane one at that! Besides, I’m seeing someone else this Saturday.”

“She looks like a babe, she sounds like an angel, I mean ya can’t kiss her in public. Though I suppose you could do whatever you wanted behind closed doors.” Dave said, scratching his chinfur, thinking fondly of Iris. Iris didn’t know anything about being a girl, beauty had just fallen into her lap, Dave figured he could teach her to put it to good use.

“You men will screw anything that moves! You ALL should be getting what Cale got, we shouldn’t have men anymore!” Alyssa cried out. “Can we stop focusing on... Girl Cale... They need to make a cure for her, him!”

“For once I agree with you Alyssa, but I am afraid must be so bold as to point out a fault in your logic.” Gabriel said coldly, not bothering to look in her direction. He did however take a deep breath before talking again. “You move, and neither of us particularly care. Nor does anyone else in this twisted reality. How does it feel to know that you have a better chance of turning into a koala man than you have of ever finding love?”

“You’ve been such an asshole since you changed!” Alyssa pouted, folding her arms and scrunching up her face in a disgusted manner, though it left her lips looking silly and duck-like. “I miss the old you! I miss the old Cale!”

“I’ve always been an asshole, and you never knew male Cale, I NEVER KNEW male Cale!” Gabriel reminded more himself than Alyssa, he was about to open his mouth. Something about what he said didn’t ring right to him..... He stared out a window next to the computer and ceased his work. “....I never knew....”

“Actually Alyssa’s right, you’ve been complaining and insulting both of us far more than usual lately these past few days. That last one about her not finding love was just completely uncalled for. I have to know is this about Ca... Iris?” Dave said seeming legitimately concerned, “Want me to talk to her?”

“Go for it! I don’t give a flying fuck! You just want to boink her anyway.” Gabriel exclaimed. Cale wasn’t actually it. The problem was with himself, not that he wanted Dave to know after that talk he had given him a few days ago. Truthfully Gabriel was an absolute wreck of a man, he was just very good at hiding it. Only in private or at his breaking point did his heart ever reach his sleeve.

“Nearly time for lunch rookie.” Dave said turning to his rodent amigo, then to his human assistant. “Alyssa, don’t join me. I’d like to be alone to talk with Iris.”

“Wonderful, I hope you make each other very happy...” Gabriel said coldly, getting up to stretch. Being a rat he found that was a lot easier than ever before. Alyssa twitched at watching him contort his body around like a snake. Alyssa was human and thus to her Gabriel looked human. Humans were made to twist in all sorts of fashions, what Gabriel was showing her was well, inhuman.

“I’m going to throw up!” Alyssa commented, almost literally gagging.

“And you make me wish I could...” Gabriel said with a fair degree of snide, he wasn’t normally this hateful to Ashley unless she was particularily fussy, but Gabriel hadn’t been in his right mind since the day he first met the Real Dave. After hearing a satisfying crack in various parts of his body he got up and along with Alyssa who, intended to sit at a different table away from anyone with more hair on their body than three of her had on her head, and Dave.

When they got there, Iris smiled, baring her large sharp fangs at her bestest friend in the whole wide world. “Gabriel! Give me a hug you little rascal!” Sadly though, Gabe walked past ignoring her entirely, he might have looked over in her direction though him being without pupils it was hard to tell. Finally reaching a destination and sitting down firmly where Thana was sitting.

Gabriel looked upward at the woman he was trying to woo with a smile. She looked down at him and scratched under his blonde rodent chin, which he seemed to deeply enjoy. “I can’t wait to see you Saturday, my grandparents should be out of town. So you can just come on over anytime.”

“Wonderful, I’m quite looking forward to it myself oh dearest panda.” Gabriel courted, grabbing Thana’s paw and kissing it on the back like a proper gentleman would have in years past.

Iris looked towards Gabe and Thana, then back to Dave. “Mind telling me what just happened? I can’t be the only one who has noticed how odd he’s acting.”

Dave frowned and sat down at a seat, not bothering with food. He looked into the tigress’ eyes “Iris, Cale is gone now, and there is nothing that can bring him back. His ghost is only going to last as long as humanity does which isn’t very long I’m afraid. You understand this right? Unless someone finds a way to cure us, we will be who we are forever.”

Iris scratched her head in sheer confusion, unaware of what he was trying to get this. “I think I’ve had the time to put that together already....”

“Sometimes we need others to help things click.” Dave said, smiling, then frowning again when he noticed that Iris didn’t seem to have any idea what he was talking about as his response just left her staring at him with a gaze of confusion “Iris is there anything you’re problems with? Our new recruit said he was worried about you....”

“Yeah... Men, specifically rat men.” Iris said looking back to Gabriel “ever since I caught him sulking about how much being human was just ‘soooooooo great’... peh.” Iris shook her head at that. Unbelievable, she was an extraordinarily beautiful creature with enhanced attributes and so was every other changed, the idea that being human is preferable was laughable to her. If she wasn’t disgusted by the notion she’d laugh. “He’s been ignoring me... I just want to help before he does something drastic like cut off his tail or something.”

“Funny, he told me you’re the one with the problem.” Dave said, pondering if he should try to get Iris on the rebound. He looked up at her. God she was pretty, no that was an understatement. This girl looked deeply worried, very stressed, and clearly saddened, and yet that didn’t stop her emerald green eyes, striped complexion, a fair face full of charm and whimsy even in her most abysmal moments, her long flowing hair, and this was all before getting around to the endowments. She might have originally been a boy, but this was clearly more woman than most people get in a lifetime. “What’s been up with Gabriel?”

“Well it all started monday, he seemed okay, but then he started freaking out.” Iris said, ears going down in worry. “And I.... well...” she turned around and looked over to Gabriel and Thana laughing and actually having a good time, she turned back over to Dave’s general direction and pounded her fist on the table in a primal rage.

Dave was about to say something when suddenly a goat girl walked up to them, she was freaking out and pulling on her horns in rage. “Can ya’ll like See me? This shit aint real...” the goat proceeded to look herself over as if trying to confirm that everything was still. “I got some junk that I really need back!”

“I’m sorry miss, but I’m having a personal moment with a friend.” Dave said before snapping out of his appraisal of the highly desirable female. “Wait, what sort of junk?”

“My dick man! My dick!” The she-goat yelled, everyone in the cafeteria being able to hear her.

Gabriel was one of them, he clenched his fist, shaking it all the while. “God, ROB, whatever, if you have any love for your creatures you will get that goat away from Cale! I don’t need two of them!” he muttered under his breath.

“Is everything okay?...” Thana asked, worry upon her spotted panda bear face.

“Just peachy....” Gabriel muttered, the last thing he needed was someone reinforcing Cale’s femininity, he hoped that Dave would just get it out of her system and hopefully not put something in it while he did so. He was sure he hated Iris more than he ever hated anyone, but Cale was his closest and most trusted companion. “Thana......” Gabriel started to say, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to talk to her about the change, they were getting on just fine ignoring and being a normal couple.

“Yes dear?” Thana asked looking down at the rat with a smile.

Gabriel just smiled and hugged her. “I can’t wait for Saturday.....” No, he couldn’t bring it up, all he had to do was to try his best to not think about it and divert all attention to leading a normal human life and doing normal human things. There wasn’t a reason he could think of not too. The thirty minutes they had for lunch melted away as Gabriel and Thana enjoyed each other’s company, neither saying too much as Gabriel was busy sorting out his mind and trying to lose himself in the moment, Thana found herself too nervous to say much of anything and found herself mainly just petting on Gabriel as he leaned into her and tried to null the screaming in his head. The attempt would fail as all Changed Life in Silver City got rougher in just one sentence.

“No no way, this aint happenin’, I can’t be stuck like this, you’re bluffing! You’re bluffing, CHANGE ME BACK NOW!” The goat girl screamed as she decked Dave right in the face. The raccoon was down and bruised in one hoof-strike to the face, he was about to get up when the she-goat grabbed him by the neck and began choking him roughly. “I WANT MY DICK BACK!” the goat screamed without any concern for the students who were crowding around tiger, goat, and raccoon. Gabriel still sat in his seat, having now closed his eyes and began to breathe in and out. Thana had abandoned him to watch the fight, her eyes filled with worry and concern.

“Let him go Lawrence. Whatever he did it’s not worth it....” One of the male students cried out.

“Fuck that shit, kick his ass!” Another one cried out.

A girl cocked her head to side and folded her arms. “Why’s he talking about his privates?”

“Dave cut off someone’s privates?” This was the last thing a student said before their words began running together getting clustered and indistinguishable from one another.

Iris stepped toward the goat. “LAWRENCE!” she said, having deduced this name from the crowd.

“Fuck off, I’m busy.” The goat said, ignoring her, tightening her grip on Dave’s throat and began punching him in the stomach. “How the fuck do I change back, what the fuck did you freaks do to me?”

Iris extended her claws and lashed out at the goat’s back “Drop him!” she cried leaving a gapping would, tearing through the goat’s back, leaving four straight lines, she didn’t cut deeply, just enough to break the skin, and even that was going to warrant an explanation later.

The goat pushed Dave back into the crowd. “Bitch I said I was busy!” Lawerence exclaimed as she started toward Iris, only for Dave to jump back on her, restraining her as she gave out a spew of curses and tried struggling.

Iris held her claws near the goat’s throat. “Do you realize what you’ve done?”

“You are DEAD, both of you are dead!” Lawrence cried out as she wisely decided to hold her neck back and lessen her struggling.

The sheriff came with a young girl who pointed at the crowd and said “The Stripe Haired one has a knife! He cut up the black guy who started it, but the other white boy has him!”

The sheriff was an older African American gentleman with a round shape and a tan uniform, he stepped forward toward the crowd and yelled. “Alright back up, back up.” he said as he got out his handcuffs, grabbed Iris’ upraised arm and began to place her in cuffs.

“Hey! What did I do?!?!” Iris cried, freaking out looking around the room for someone who could help her, she spotted Gabriel in the distance, it would have made more sense to ask Dave for help, but her mind was blurring out.. “Someone help, Gabriel, GABRIEL! Uhh right.... Dave, tell him I’m innocent!”

Gabriel winced at hearing his name, becoming worried and began thumping his tail, breathing in and out, feeling the air brushing against his two incisors, the only things resembling teeth that he had. Seconds became hours as he chattered on his teeth.

The sheriff shook Iris a little. “Enough out of you.” he said before turning to Dave “Have you got a good hold on him?”

“Yes sir, but Iri... Cale really didn’t do anythi...” Dave was saying before the got interupted.

“We’ll get this straightened out at my office. Bring him and follow me” The sheriff said as he lead the way with tigress in tow.

Iris’ eyes drifted downward, then upward with worry, eventually toward Gabriel as she cocked her head. “Gabe! CM can pull some strings, contact CM! Use the forums!”

Gabriel just stared at Cale and said nothing, absolutely nothing, he just turned his head and muttered under his breath. “Damn fool.....” as Thana returned.

“Your friend is....” Thana was about to say.

“In a lot of trouble.” Gabriel responded “What can I do anyway outside of hope he doesn’t get arrested?”

“Umm... okay, I think we should go to class, call me?” Thana said, unsure what to think herself.

“Of course dear.” Gabriel said as Thana leaned close to kiss him, but decided not to at the last second before the two parted ways.

Gabriel started crossing the sidewalk between buildings with a lot on his mind, he wasn’t sure if he should ignore the goat issue or panic as hard as he could about it. He would however have to watch what he said or did very carefully. He bypassed a golden retriever girl, one he had seen everyday this week. It was thursday now and the Japanese Culture Club would be meeting this afternoon, he was much looking forward to it. Rodenthood had not been upon Gabriel long, but he was already quite sick of it, losing his head in some anime would be fun.

“Look, there’s that rat I was telling you about!” The dog girl pointed from one of the outside tables with her two friends. both female, both human. “Hey rat! have you found out anything about... this?” The dog girl asked, both of her friends looking Gabe over curiously, trying to see something other than a boy with black hair.

“No, and I don’t really want to talk about it.... You know I don’t think you’re supposed to be telling humans this kind of thing.... it would make things, difficult.” Gabriel said calmly as he continued towards his next class, thinking it was only a matter of time until something gave way.

“Did you hear that?!” One of the human girls said to the other.

“Yeah..... I think Trixie’s telling the truth...” The other teenage girl said.

“Well yeah, why would I make this up? I just had a really bad cold, and poof, puppy dog.” Trixie stated hysterically, tugging on her ears for emphasis. Though it was rather moot her doing this as only Gabriel could tell she was tugging on anything.

Meanwhile at the Sheriff’s Office, the world came apart even more as Iris fidgeted in her handcuffs. “For the last time I don’t have a knife, I didn’t hide a knife, I didn’t bring a knife, there’s no knife!” She cried out as a taller white sheriff began going through her pockets.

“Look a lot of the kids said you said a knife... So where is it?” The fat sheriff asked behind his desk.

“If you’d stop invading her personal space and listen to her...” Dave said, Lawerence had been quite unruly and had to be escorted out the room, he’d be seeing the nurse for her wounds once he had calmed down.

“Why do you keep calling Mr. Vinole a her?” The tall sheriff asked

“I don’t know.” Dave lied “I guess I’m still disoriented from being strangled. Which Cale here saved me from, a very important detail in this.”

“Look if you don’t have a knife, explain the gashes on Lawrence’s back. A lot of the kids said that you did that.” The fat sheriff said, pointing large accusing eyes that saw everything, but the truth that he was blind too, both metaphorically and literally.

Iris and Dave looked at each other uncomfortably, before the tigress burst out. “Okay fine! I’ll tell you the truth! I...”

Dave seemed concerned, the truth of the matter cannot be uttered without the sheriffs thinking that they were insane. Insane that is, unless Iris asked one of them to bash themselves really hard on the head, but that wasn’t likely to work. The Raccoon-Man wasn’t sure if he should be concerned or confused, normally just stating his rank in AJROTC as Battalion Commander would be enough to dodge out of any and all troubles that came their way. “Yes son?” The fat black sheriff behind the desk said, his gaze upon Iris strengthening beyond was the tigress could measure.

“I have really sharp finger nails.” Iris said, every other person in the room groaned, even Dave who knew this was actually the exact truth. “What? It’s true, I can prove it!” she continued already looking around the room.

“Son, it just isn’t humanly possible to do what you did to that boy’s skin with finger nails.” The thin white sheriff said as he rubbed his face. “If you don’t cooperate. Do you realize we’ll have to put you in juvenile detention for a long time?”

If one were a human they would be able to see that under his fur, Dave was as pale as a ghost. Though Iris wasn’t exactly as cool as a cucumber herself, she was however nowhere near as worried as her bandit masked friend. The striped kitty looked to her hand and then her arm, she was horrified that she was about to do this. This was like something out of a Saw film though the results weren’t as scarring and permanent as one of those films. Closing her eyes and bring her index claw to her arm and speaking. “Watch closely.” Iris said, wincing as she cut into herself, grunting in pain as a few droplets of blood fell down.

“Well I’ll be damned.” The fat black sheriff said. “Kid I have just about done seen everything I thought there was to see at this highschool, but I have never seen anything like that.”

“I swear the things you don’t know, can shock you.” The thin white sheriff said. “Just the other day I heard that another sheriff saw these kids smoking reefer, and he said they turned into a rat and some kind of tiger and started growling at him. Now at first they thought he had toked their weed, but it turns out that they think he might have this rare disease that makes you see people as critters.”

“Sounds quite flakey, I wouldn’t put too much stock into it. Drugs do bad things to you, he was probably smoking the evidence. They lace that stuff a lot nowadays.” Dave said, trying to keep cool. “That’s why we in the AJROTC would never touch the stuff.”

Iris however remained silent, but the fat black sheriff spoke forward with a smile on his face. “Good kid, we need more strong young lads like you two like you setting good examples for these delinquents. Stripes I know you meant well, and there was no weapon afterall so I don’t see why we need to press charges, but you keep your nails to yourself and keep your nose clean. I don’t want to have to see you in here again. I’m gonna write you a pass to the nurse’s office get that arm bandaged, and then march your ass straight class.”

Dave and Iris left the room with both breathing a unanimous sigh of relief. “That could have gone badly, we really got lucky, especially since the masquerade is still safe.” the raccoon said to the tigress. “But really? You growled at the police?

“No I didn’t, Gabriel just tripped him with his tail and he bumped his head on a railroad, I doubt he can even still see furries. The cop did give Gabe his weed back though, he thought we were going to eat him. Silly cop, kitties are for snuggling, not hunting.” Iris looked towards Dave with a seductive smile “So are raccoons I’d imagine...”

“He-hey! You’re TG, Transgender!” Dave protested, stepping away from Iris. “That’s a no go zone, we already talked about this...”

“Mrrowl.... and yet you’re so, so nervous.” Iris purred and sniffed. “I can tell you want me, I can smell your blood boiling for me.”

Dave swallowed, right now he was putty in this woman’s paws. He couldn’t let anyone see him dating a boy, they’d think he was gay. In the real military that’s a dishonorable discharge, he wasn’t sure he wanted to know what would happen if ROTC thought he liked his bread buttered on the opposite side of most boys’ breakfasts. At the same time though, he couldn’t get over how Iris looked, how she smelled, how she sounded, she was beautiful, a Venus with stripes! If she groomed herself better, and dressed in more girlish clothes that showed off her figure and didn’t tear and strain at her massive breasts she could be one of the most stunning and attractive women who ever lived. Dave wasn’t sure how much of this he believed or how much of it was just being around a female changed, something he wasn’t used too, but either way he wanted nothing more at this moment than for Iris to lay her paws around him in nothing except for a coat of wild cat fur and tell him that she wanted him to be her beacon in the dark. Tell him that she wanted him to be in charge of her well-being, to keep her safe, to be the man who defends her honor, to be her servant at her every beck and call and in return she would take him to the peak of ecstasy and push him off of it in ways that only she could. It would be one hell of a fall, the landing might even hurt, but damn for a fall like that men would do anything. “You don’t smell so bad yourself... Ms. Vinole...”

“Hmhmhmh” Iris laughed to herself, as she placed her paw on Dave’s face, giving the older boy chills. “You do owe me for saving your life.” she said, taking a seductive tone. Iris wasn’t sure what came over her, on the inside she was just as shy as she was, and yet this strange sensation seemed to path it’s way all through her body. A power that she could wield over men, and over herself as she felt herself tensing up and yet being relieved all at once. For the first time Iris became more than just okay with her or at peace with her femininity, she felt straight up empowered by it, she knew that this sensation that came over her that reduced Dave, a powerful battalion commander, to a mere child before her.

“I.. supposed I do..” Dave said, taking longer to form the words. “Somewhere private.. though, where we can be alone... It’s a shame really..”

“A Shame?” Iris said confused, having put her paw down and went back to holding her self-inflicted cut. “What is?”

“No one else can see how pretty you look.” Dave smiled, thanking God that the halls were empty and wanting this moment to last forever, yet, couldn’t wait for it to end.

Iris giggled and then kissed him on the lips, and instinctively Dave slipped her his tongue which surprised Iris. She had heard of french kissing, but she knew little about how to do it the right way or what it felt like. The tigress enjoyed this a lot and kept going with it as much as possible until Dave pulled away. “I think you should hurry to the nurse’s office.” he said.

“What’s the rush?” Iris asked as she began making animalistic noises, going so far as to even roar lightly. Tigresses roar most often when they’re in heat, and Iris was feeling the vapors. “There’s no one else in the halls.”

“Your arm is bleeding.” Dave said suddenly, which snapped Iris out of it and into some embarrassment.

“You know I had completely forgotten about that.” Iris said as she seemed to lose all that almost mystical power she wielded not moments ago. Things were quiet between Dave and Iris for a little while afterward, outside of some cursory glances, a few of these that interested Dave included watching Iris’ mammaries bouncing and jiggling enough to make a Dead Or Alive Girl jealous as they went down the stairs. The one thing that Dave kept on his mind the whole time was that to all of humanity Iris was Cale and as Cale she was born. Had the change not occurred she would still be Cale, she would still be male, there would be no way for her to have this effect on him, he probably would not even care that Cale existed, and yet here by some freak accident of reality she was Iris and if his better judgment did not hold he would do anything for her. Dave began to ponder something else, Cale would likely have a girlfriend of his own, a woman who had power over him that same way that Iris had power over Dave. All that changed was one simple chromosome and Iris went from the intended victim of the Woman’s Spell to being the caster, and she seemed to be taking great pleasure in it. Dave just couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if he was the she-coon to Cale the buff tiger man, would he be this soft powerful feminine creature? Would he revel in attention paid to him by Cale? Would she be lost in whatever insane frenzy overtook Iris when she became that which reduced Dave to a stupor. The more Dave thought about it, the more it began to frighten him, gender and identity where two very powerful forces indeed.

Meanwhile in Room 105 snow leopard Hugh Phileas and homo sapien Gale Mirnole were playing a rousing game of Connect Four. Gale was breathing out obnoxiously and sighing as he watched Hugh thinking way too hard for a simple game like this while fanning himself and panting. Gale kept breathing outward, sounding overly grating and intensely annoying. “Quit stalling and go already.” Gale said. “I’ve beaten you already.” The human was actually quite correct as he had multiple chances to place a black checker down and have four.

“No no, I think there’s something here. huff.. huff.. huff..” Hugh said, sounding out of breath as he often did when the heat got to him. North Carolina was not the best place for a snow leopard. “I just wish it wasn’t so hot.”

“Feels fine to me.” Mirnole whined in a paltry voice that sounded like it had been doing a bucketload of difficult tasks, when in actuality Mirnole had done little besides read 8-Bit Theater during his classes.

“Well you’re a peoples, I’m all fuzzy.” Hugh argued, though his point was moot because Mirnole just dismissed him as crazy. Hugh smiled as he finally noticed one spot that had escaped his and Gale’s eyes for the longest time, one that had actually been doable for the past three rounds. While placing a checker in he stuck his tongue out again, this time in taunt rather than heat complaint. “I win, I win, I win, I win I win I win!” Hugh giggled “That was fun! Good game!”

“Mmmmph... Cheater” Mirnole grunted as the two got up to fill out cards stating they had versed each other in Connect Four.

“I smell blood, and Vinole... Is Cale okay?” Hugh asked, turning to face the front door.

“How the heck should I know?” Mirnole asked, shrugging, his movements being very shaky as he immediately walked to the classroom computers and began reading 8-Bit Theater for the seventh time that day.

“You smell vinyl? What?” Justin Williamson asked from the blue couch where he was reading an “Artemis Fowl” book.

Hugh ignored Justin and ran up the front, dropping on four legs for a second. “T-GIRL!” Hugh exclaimed as Iris walked in with a bandage on her arm, not expecting a sudden hug from a very worried feline. Iris’ ears raised as the snow leopard nearly tackled her, but lowered as she returned the hug and began purring.

“I thought they had sent you home Mr. Vinole.” Miss M said, looking to the side from the front computer right next to her desk. “First you hit a girl and now you’ve brought a knife to school? I think you and me need some time alone. You’re lucky you weren’t expelled, a boy your age ought to know better. You have lunch detention for the next week!”

“It was my fingernails, I thought the sheriffs told you that if they told you about this at all.” Iris complained.

“Are you hurt?” Hugh asked, his eyes growing wide as though he was tearing up.

“Sit down Hugh, me and Mizzo are talking.” Iris said coldly, prompting Hugh to let go.

“And another day on top of that for yelling at Hugh.” Mizzo said in mock surprise.

“Mizzo this is bullshit and you know it.” Iris stated furrowing her brow. “I was protecting a friend, I just have very sharp fingernails. Look I even cut this into my arm just to prove it.” the tigress pointed at her arm bandage.

“Swearing? Really Vinole? I will not have you talk to me like that, cool down area now.” Mizzo said angrily raising her voice and pointing towards the back. Not like it mattered, class was almost over anyway, students rapidly returning from their classes to gather the books they kept her and return home. Iris, Gabriel, and Hugh were the first to bolt out the door and into the freedom of the fresh air outside of the school building.

“Oh hey ratty ratty!” Hugh said, looking over Gabriel’s form. “This is the first time I’ve seen you like this, you’re much cuter this way. Which is odd because you’re a rat and those are normally creepy, but then again CM wasn’t creepy when he was a ratboy. Can I call you creepy crawly?”

Gabriel looked back at Hugh with a glare. “I’d rather you didn’t.”

“So, Gabriel, you wanna talk to me?” Iris asked.

Gabriel looked towards Iris as if he was about to say something, but shut his mouth entirely and just looked at her as though she was responsible for the death of someone very close to him, it wasn’t a very pleasant sensation for Iris at all. The gaze broke when Gabriel took off running to find his van, Iris ran after. “What’s wrong? Talk to me you stubborn little rodent!” she called out.

Gabriel just gave Iris that same look and looked towards a crowd of students leaving the front entrance, as he and Iris usually left from the side entrance. Gabriel saw Thana and came to her side, wrapping a paw around her as he escorted her to his van.

Iris was horrified and was beginning to think she may have lost her closest and most dear friend and not being entirely sure why. She turned around and went to her bus, Hugh already having been picked up by his parents. Iris went lost into her thoughts with worry, just as she had during the last days that Gabriel Locke was a human being. The minutes till her bus got home seemed like hours as she desperately hoped that Gabe would answer an Instant Message, after all, sometimes people have better luck saying things through text that they would never in their lives work up the courage to say in person.

When Iris got home she put her bookbag down and pounced on the living room computer like a wild animal, and what luck. Gabriel was online.

MegaCatCV:Gabriel..... you haven’t spoken to me in days. You just give me this look. I think we need to talk.

Darkdooter92:I thought I made it clear Cale. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.

MegaCatCV:You’re just going to blame me for the world turning into a Furry Paradise?

Darkdooter92:Look, I just want to hang out with people who don’t worship madness.

MegaCatCV:You told me you didn’t care about being a rodent.

Darkdooter92:You told me you were born a girl due to the off chance I’d sleep with you, that makes us even.

MegaCatCV:You’re being a child, I only lied to you because I love you!

Darkdooter92:We’ve been over this... You only want to sleep with me. Go woo Dave, he likes you.

MegaCatCV:Look he’s cute, but I love YOU! Besides he’s not who I’m worried about.

Darkdooter92:Worrying about me isn’t your job anymore, it’s Thana’s.

MegaCatCV:Before you knew I was a girl, you knew I was your friend. Let me help you.

Darkdooter92:By converting me into another Furry Fandom Change Loving Zombie like the rest of you freaks? Good bye Cale!

MegaCatCV:There’s no reason to be mad at me. ROB is based on pure dumb luck. I could have been a rat and you could have been a tiger girl!

Darkdooter92 has signed off.

“Well that’s just fan fucking tastic!” Iris yelled at her computer. She didn’t know why, but ever since the Change Boom happened and Gabriel realized he and his transgendered friend were not the only ones with tails, her best friend had become a trainwreck and her pal CM the Bear didn’t have any ideas. Truly she did care for Gabriel, she had been so excited when she learned that he was going to change, she just didn’t know how to show her love outside of her labido.

“I WANTED YOU TO BE A STALLION DAMN IT!” Iris screamed as she kicked the actual tower part of her computer and then growled as she only accomplished hurting herself. Grabbing her naked foot, as no Changed can wear shoes, and yelling a few profanities she attracted the attention of her mother.

“Cale, what’s wrong?” She had asked, admittedly a little confused as to what horses had to do with computers.

“Gabriel hates me now...” Iris admitted as she banged her head on the keyboard in frustration. “he just went crazy and now he’s convinced the world is out to get him!”

The tiger’s human mother was disappointed “I thought he was your best friend, what happened?”

“It’s a long story mom...” Iris sighed, as she looked at her form which was although alluring, wasn’t visible to humans who merely saw her as a one of them, a MALE, one of them. It was this body that drove her friend nuts, and not in the way she originally intended. She had considered telling mom about this, but every time she chickened out. Worrying that it would scare her mother at best or make her despised by the woman who birthed her at worst. It would probably have been easier to tell her if she hadn’t have become a tiger-ESS, but, she did which only complicated matters. Iris “Cale” Vinole did truly love being a budding woman, believing there was a strange freedom to being of the fairer sex that males could never known, but it’s not the way she thought her family would love her. The tigress touched a paw to her breast in a moment of reflection, and repeated. “A long, long story.”

Her mom seemed to buy that and Iris went back to the computer, this time to access Plan C. The Changed Network forums. They would know what to do. Logging into her account she posted a topic.

Topic: Despite All His Rage..... Poster: CV91 Species: Tiger Gender: Female (MTF TG) Message: Okay this Change Day my best friend turned into a rat and he’s been taking it poorly. He won’t even talk to me anymore. I just get this creepy blood curdling gaze and I don’t know how to get through to him. He seemed fine the first few days, but now he’s just depressing to look at. He keeps hiding from me and spending time with this Panda Girl who also changed recently. I helped him through his other panic attacks, but I just don’t know what to do. Any help you can give me I’m desperate for.

Iris clicked post and waited around, giving attention to the phone, Dave said he would call when he got the chance. Feeling bored and creative Iris began typing, these events inspiring her Metamor Keep story “Tales Of The Transblade.” to some degree, as she began whittling away at the document, reaching a full page before coming back to check on the forum where she saw a number of posts added onward.

Topic: RE: Despite All His Rage... Poster: Aqualad21 Species: Otter Gender: Female (MTF TG) Message: Some girls just have all the luck, haha, weren’t you just posting about a similar problem just before Change Day? I think you should give him some time to cool off. Even with all the help dad was I needed to lose myself in a good long swim before I was ready to accept myself as woman. Now I kind of wish I could go out in one of my dresses without anyone saying anything, I mean, it’s not that I particularly enjoy being a girl. If I could do it all over again I’d rather have kept my manhood, but still being an otter girl isn’t that bad. I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m the captain of a swim team down at the local YMCA, so all things considered this worked out nicely. I mean I have a period, the bras are itchy, and I can’t quite tell the other girls, I get a lot of flirts, why it won’t work between us. You need to keep mind that though it’s normal for us now, it’s still unreal. We’ve become new people different from those we originally were, the core of who we were is present, but, not all of it. I think your friend will come around to being a rat in time. Afterall, it’s him now, for better or worse.

Topic: Re: Despite All His Rage... Poster: CM76 Species:Bear Gender: Female (MTF TG) Oh hey there Iris, had a second so I decided to check the forums. I am very sorry to hear this about your friend. Personally I don’t see any problem someone could have with being a rat. *chuckles* This is quite the problem, but I think it is possibly something more innocent, it sounds like he’s going out with someone. He could just find it odd to be talking to a girl while dating a different one, I’d try to remind him how despite appearances you are still his friend whom I am sure he loves dearly, it’s what I did with a friend of mine and it worked out just fine. The change is new to him, once he gets over the shock things should slow down.

Topic: Re: Despite All His Rage... Poster: Momma’s Little Mongoose Species: Mongoose Gender: Female (Natural) Hmhmhm, we’re just having ourselves a regular ladies night in here. Well, if an all guy’s crowd is a sausage fest, I guess this is a clam bake. Listen CV, and you too Aqualad and CM. I understand that you’re still used to some of your male instincts, but I’m surprised no one has suggested talking to this panda girl and trying to figure out what’s going on from her. Girls love to gossip, especially about their men. If there’s something wrong with him I’m sure she’ll know what it is. I think it might be healthy for you girls to start developing friendships with people of your own sex.

“Hmm.. now there’s an idea.” Iris said to herself, but quickly felt defeated when she realized she had no way to speak to Thana without Gabriel being around, she began typing a reply when the phone rang, Iris leaped to it before the first ring could finish. “Hello?’

“Is Cale home?” Dave asked on the other line, not sure if this was Iris or her mother.

“This is she.” Iris giggled and took the phone to the privacy of her room, this seemed like a good place to take a break.

Elsewhere in Silver City, Gabriel and Thana were sitting on his bed the two of them playing one of the many incarnations of Mario Party on the Gamecube. Gabriel was Wario, Thana was Koopa Kid. The two were actually pretty tied, Gabriel was winning more mini-games, but Thana had more coins and stars. “I don’t understand how you are doing this.” Gabriel stated, scratching his chinfur. “I am Wa-Wa-WARIO! All the coins shall be mine... even yours darling.”

Thana looked nervous. “Oh.. okay..... Should I.. are you mad at me?”

Gabriel smiled, putting the controller down and smiled. “Thana you silly bear, why would you ask me that?”

Thana tapped her muzzled, frowning, red peaking through the white “I just don’t want you to be mad at me, because I have so many coins.”

Gabriel burst out in laughter. “It’s just a game my sweet.” the rat smiled and rubbed the panda’s head. “I would not feel threatened even if these were real coins, why would I be mad at you?”

“Because... I’m winning...” Thana’s eyes became very focused upon Gabriel, the bottom half of them wide open, the top closed slightly, tripping over words in her head unable to rationalize her fear or nervousness. “And.. you aren’t...”

“Darling..” Gabriel gave a smile, a particular one that was a blend of amusement, longing,and belittlement all at once. Feelings that aren’t normally supposed to blend, though confusion is what it most closely resembled to the rat. Amorous confusion! “Only a child would get mad at losing, and I know you aren’t a pedophile.”

“...Umm.. okay” Thana said nervously, her eyes becoming large and focused as her voice became cutesy. “I just, thought you’d think I was like your friend if I was good at video games.”

“Please, you’re nothing like Cale...” Gabriel wasn’t sure where to go from here, but he knew his grandparents would be home any second and he knew that they would be mad at the idea of him having been alone with a girl at his house. “Shall we depart to the mall?”

Thana nodded and the TV and gamecube were both switched off as they drove to the mall. Gabriel found things quiet as Thana looked about nervously. It was just like when Cale was uncomfortable when they were heading for his house. Was it an estrogen thing? This date was going to be real tiring if they didn’t think of something to say to each other. “Are you having a nice time?” Gabriel asked as he opened the van door for Thana. Bowing like a gentleman as he held the door open, like the servant of a princess. Thana giggled at him for this display, not in mockery, but in lifted spirits. It was a simple gesture, but to her it was a very big deal. A sign that she might actually mean something to someone. Perish the thought.

“Yeah...” Thana responded, her form still showing her reclusive to truly accept the wondrous emotions inside her. They were there, but she wasn’t ready to let them all out even with her being close to bursting.

The two walked in through the food court entrance, their stomachs were already rumbling. The food court didn’t smell as foul and toxic as the noxious fumes from the fast food restaurants they passed, it was still junk, but edible junk. Gabriel thought he’d get used to it in time, he was a r... he was a ra... No! Now wasn’t the time for him to be mindful of his condition, he was an individual without a gag reflex and much lower standards for what could be considered edible, the lard and lackluster ingredients would have to grow on him. “Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Indian, American, like luxury international dining with the exclusion of the luxuries, but compared to the emanation that graced our nostrils they are dishes fit for the greatest of monarchs.” Gabriel said to his mate, rubbing his soft blonde furry head against her plush comfy monochrome arm. “Where shall we dine my snuggly panda bear?”

Thana sniffed the air around her, she smelt the melted cheese of Sbarro’s Pizza, the spice of the curry at the Inidian Food vendor Baba Ganoush, the cooking of chicken teriyaki at the Japanese Food place Saban Japan, but what really hit the spot although it sounded cliche, were the bamboo shoots with a side of an eggroll and a small serving of pork mixed with fried rice. “Ooooh I know what I want” Thana pointed towards exactly the meal on the menu, as she took a free sample of sweet and sour chicken from the human asian woman standing around smiling with her little red tray.

“As you wish my dear.” Gabriel said as he got into the short line, anxious to get Thana her food. Gabriel had his heart set on two slices of extra cheese with sausage, with a side of breadsticks. It was going to be a real treat for him because his nose had already told him that the new hire who reeked of too much hair gel atop discount shampoo, some of it still in his hair from improper washing, likely by being in some kind of a hurry. If he was careless enough to stock stale bread sticks it was likely he had problems getting to work on time as ordinarily there is no reason to stock stale bread as it is not very tasty and is often far too hard for human consumption. That is of course, unless your teeth have spontaneously mutated into fierce incisors with the biting power of a god of chomping. Thus stale bread is a treat if you not only have these, but they have the unfortunate side-effect of making your mouth ache when you’re trying to enjoy a pleasant outing with a beautiful woman. Those stale bread sticks were going to be like smearing concentrated heaven-paste on his teeth, however it would have to wait as he was in line to buy Thana’s meal for a true gentleman always tends to the needs of his lady before attending to the needs of his own person. “You know that does smell lovely.”

“What are you getting?” Thana asked out of curiosity, hoping to make conversation.

“Pizza.” Gabriel responded. “Right after I get your food.”

“You can go ahead and get yours, there’s no line at Sbarro’s.” Thana pointed out.

“Nonsense milady, it is truly no trouble to stand in line.” Gabriel assured Thana, whilst simultaneously wishing the obese gluttonous hog (figuratively) of a man in front would stop adding to his order, until he finished by asking for a diet coke as his beveage. “Figures...” Gabriel muttered under his breath.

Ontop of that blob of cellulite there was the anorexic teenager abusing slang to such an extreme extent that neither rodent nor ursine could make heads or tails of what in the name of Elune, Night Elf Goddess Of The Moon she was even talking about. Gabbing on her cellphone and completely ignoring that it was her turn, as Gabriel tapped his hindpaw on the cold mall floor wishing for either the ability to wear shoes or for this self-absorbed prom queen to realize there are bigger things in the world than her phone call, like not holding up a line. Gabriel was trying really hard to keep cool for his date instead of going with his instincts to chew the woman out for her selfish idiocy.

Thana felt threatened by the teenager, built like a plank of wood with the waistline of a famished mosquito, the bust of a starving bovine that has known both famine and infertility, and blonde hair that is both poorly dyed and in a hairstyle so generic and bland that it made the reverse mohawk look like a good idea. As far as most American girls are concerned in a society that has more meteorites striking the planet on a regular basis than brain cells, a modern day Venus that is the envy of all womankind and the lust of all men, and possibly lesbians. What did she have to compete with this? Body hair, being much larger in both height and weight than most people, fangs for teeth, and oddly shaped feet. What man would find that attractive? Scenarios played through the pessimistic panda’s head, of Gabriel ditching Thana, putting the sweet moves on this human hotty and leaving with her as she got a ride home from her grandfather who didn’t even leave the house for a whole two hours after she called only for him to say something like “It’s no surprised he left an ugly skank like you.”

Thana dwelled on this daydream even as minutes, which to the Changed couple seemed like hours for separate reasons, passed and the two were at a table, a sight to behold if it could be as they were the only two people in the food court that were something other than regular unmodified humans. The bear stared at her food, still thinking of that girl, even with her gone. It happened before, men leaving her in the middle of dates for some preppy bitch just because she was ugly. Not as many times as she said it happened, but it did.

Gabriel frowned a little. “Dearest, is the food not to your liking? Figures that it’s just my luck to stand in front of that grotesque plank of a woman all for the food not to be good. That skeleton needed a chinese buffet, not the single eggroll she ordered!”

Thana cheered up a little and began chomping on her own eggroll, she couldn’t shake the feelings about that thin girl, she may look a little sickly, but at least she wasn’t big. “I don’t think she’s hot....” she forced herself to say.

“Of course you wouldn’t, a girl like that is more suited for re-enacting Paper Mario than anything else. A girl is not attractive unless she has some meat on her bones. I mean, how do you even let yourself get to be such a shining image of malnutrition!” Gabriel said, half-angrily and half-mocking. “If I could break you in half by hugging you, you’re not sexy.”

Thana smiled at Gabriel, this time fully believing him. “Seriously! I bet she’ll run her skinny ass to the bathroom and puke that thing out!” Thana teased, getting into the spirit of schadenfreude.

“Oh joy, how healthy a diet half the caloric intake, but the astringency is multiplied by two with the remainder of vomit in the decimal section.” Gabriel pouted in disgust as he rolled his eyes, the gesture didn’t have meaning now as Thana could not tell that his eyes were even moving however the habit of eye rolling at stupidity does not die down overnight. “Oh Thana, if you ever started looking like her I would force feed you.”

“I’m never going to look like that....” Thana sighed with disappointment as she rubbed her paws on her stomach, watching the fat bounce and ripple a little through her outfit. “Especially not know..”

“That is a good thing! I wouldn’t want you to possess a visage much like the Horseman of Famine’s monochrome colored sister. You’re a panda now, you wouldn’t be as cute if you weren’t on the chubby side.” Gabriel smiled, not a common action for him since the 17th, but he couldn’t help it he meant what he said.

“I’m not chubby, I’m obese and ugly! I’ll never be cute” Thana complained, ignoring the rodent’s comment.

“But you are cute and chubby, look at yourself. How can a panda not be? Especially one as ravishing as you, there is literally only one thing you can do to make yourself more attractive to me.” Gabriel was enthralled gazing into Thana and appreciating all of what she wa, he had quite the soft spot for panda-girls since his change. Truthfully, he liked them before, it was one of the few furry pictures he felt anything for. Now it was different though, he was looking right at a beautiful creature that resembled an animal far more than a woman and yet all he could register her as in his mind was absolutely stunning. He didn’t mind admitting it to himself right now, he knew he couldn’t be attracted to a human girl as much as the panda before him. He would admit it to anyone who knew about the change. He liked what he saw, appreciating her beauty here and now in the food court was the closest thing he come to accepting his morphed self.

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better.” Thana protested, not believing him. How could she be beautiful, she found herself ugly when she was smooth skinned and half her size. “I’m even more hideous than I was before.”

“No I’m not, if your appearance is what is concerned hideous than it is my most solemn wish never to see a pretty girl again.” Gabriel smiled, rubbing his hindpaw against hers under the table, in an attempt to get her to engage in a game of footsie. “Darling please, I meant what I said.” Gabriel put his hand on her arm calmly, beseeching to her in flesh as well as word. “Just let me see you smile and you will melt my beating heart.”

Thana couldn’t argue with sweet talk of this caliber and found herself not just smiling, but laughing as well. It felt good to laugh and smile, even when before the inner turmoil of just being alive made these actions worse than undoable. It left her with the ability to be pained by how forced the smile and laughter were, but not here. Here with Gabriel, Thana could laugh and smile and all it would do is allow her to feel the flavors of her own soul welling up inside of her, strengthening the heat of their spices.

“It’s just as amazing as I thought it would be.” Gabriel responded, his voice in high spirits for the first time since the end of his humanity.

“Mmmmm Eeeeeeee! Gabe, you’re blushing!” Thana exclaimed pointing in the direction of Gabe’s face, though perhaps a little higher up than she should be.

“Inconceivable!” Gabriel objected, he felt like he was blushing, his face tensing up with warmth as though that were happening. “I cannot be, my mutation does not allow for....”

“In your ears!” Thana raised her voice excitedly. “Your blushing in your ears!”

Gabriel opened his mouth and left it hanging for a few moments as he processed what he just heard. The rat put his scaly pink claw to his ear and tugged on it. “In my ear? Surely you jest. I... There’s no way I’m blushing in my ear!” A man like Gabriel would have denied it even if he did believe it.

Elsewhere in the mall two other Changed were hitting the scene, Iris the tigress and Dave the raccoon, just entered the Sears. “Mrrrowl, I’ve always loved the smell of really fruity or candy-like perfume.” Iris said, spinning frantically like a ballerina as she let the scents became one with her nasal cavity.

“It’s a shame you can’t actually wear perfume without it causing issues, I haven’t seen real women get as excited as you are.” Dave noted.

“Technically Davey, I’m a fake man, not a fake woman..” Iris mewed, purring and spinning as if what she had scented was catnip.

“You know what I meant.” Dave replied, having fun just watching the young woman spin around. “So were you always like this or is that a cat thing?”

“Is what a cat thing?” Iris asked, stopping when she got dizzy and upon trying to walk forward in her dizzy state she bumped into another Changed, a squrriel, the same one who worked for the CVS Pharmacy the tigress had visited with her friend the rat not too long ago.

“Huh, fancy running into you mister.... or.. miss...uhh.. which one is it with you?” Cindi the squirrel asked, and the tigress just stared at her as though her face was melting off. “You’re one of those teegees I read about, I mean it’s obvious, you aren’t wearing a bra, perfume, female deodorant, or even girly clothes. Actually you could use a shower.” the squrriel stated, still scared but trying not to show it.

“Impressive!” Iris mrrowled. “You’re already making great use of the whole scent thing!”

“Actually, it’s mostly your nipples. If I had breasts like yours I wouldn’t let my four nipples perk out like that, and if I was the kind of girl who would I wouldn’t be wearing as much clothing as you.” Cindi advised. “If you didn’t have the whole awkward vision thing, I’d uh, uhh, help you pick some new outfits out... Sorry if I’m stepping over any boundaries... uhh”

“I’m Iris, and this is my friend Dave. I prefer miss, but it’s mister in public.” Iris said to Cindi.

“A pleasure to meet you as well.” Dave put his paw forward to shake Cindi’s.

“I’m Cindi....” The squrriel said.

There was a long silence between everyone present until after two minutes, Cindi eventually backed away and began walking in a direction all her own. “Look, I know I’m one too, but.. being around.. you people is a little too weird for me, no offense.”

“None taken, I had to take a while to get used to it too.” Dave said, shaking his head as he relived his first months as a raccoon in his mind. In a word they were, unpleasant. “You’ll start liking it when you come around though.”

“I hope Gabriel comes around...” Iris sighed, thinking back to her AIM conversation with him. “...You don’t think I’ve lost him do you?” she said to Dave with worry in her eyes. “I mean, he’s the first friend I’ve had since...”

Dave wasn’t sure whether or not he should touch the tigress, the store had other people in it and though it was normal for a man to comfort a woman in distress by hugging her and rubbing on her, the same could not be said for a man and another. Silver City existed very much in the Bible Belt making it even less okay for him to do so. All in all, Dave decided a small shoulder part might be acceptable. “There there.. Cale, I’m sure Gabriel’s fine he’s just a little scared.”

“I hope so.” Iris said, looking downward at the ground. Hoping things could be as close as normal as far as her and Gabe were concerned, or, better. “Well, shall we fool around?” Iris purred, leaning close to Dave who seemed uncomfortable.

Dave was recoiling and stepping back from the tigress. “Can you not do that?”

Iris frowned and stepped back. “Oh.. right then.”

Iris and Dave walked around the stores of the mall, they looked at knick knacks and catchy t-shirts. Yet the things Iris were drawn too, the things that sparked her interest were couples activities. Iris wanted to hold Dave’s hand, try on some of the outfits in the aisles with the more frillier items, or just fool around in one of the stores. Like a lively couple who Iris caught out of the corner of her eye laughing and playing on the massage chairs of one story, yet she could not. No one would have want to do anything fun with Iris, not while most people saw her as a boy. However Iris had abandoned that train of thought and immediately paused and looked towards the store with chairs. The couple who was playing on the seats were familiar to her. “Uhh Dave, I think I see Gabriel and Thana in that store over there.” Iris said to the raccoon.

“Are you sure?” Dave asked, looking in Iris’ direction.

“Am I sure?” Iris would have expected such a strange question from Hugh, but not from Dave.

“Kidding.” Dave said, but Iris wasn’t listening anymore.

Gabriel and Thana were chasing each other around the story and laughing like an idiot, Iris hadn’t seen her rat friend so lively, so happy and smiling. Almost as if he had been given his old self back, almost. Iris thought about calling out to Gabriel, really hard. “.....I... uhh.” Iris opened her mouth to say something, but shook her head, grabbing Dave as hard as she could, beginning to drag him a little.

“Damn what’s gotten into you.... I thought you wanted to talk to Gabriel?” Dave asked, perplexed at Iris’ erratic and seemingly childlike behavior. “He doesn’t seem to be in a bad mood anymore so....”

“He’ll just yell at me... besides I.. I’m no good with rodents on an empty stomach.” Iris began growling, it was a flimsy excuse, but one that actually held some merit. Not too much, a miniscule degree in fact. The tigress did have to restrain to prevent Charon from becoming a midnight snack, but she knew it would be outright ridiculous to think that she’d go claws out with her best friend in a public place just because her stomach was growling a little. “Let’s just go eat.”

Dave nodded and threw Iris’ arms from his person. “Alright, but no more pulling on me. If you were still a guy I’d kick your ass for this.”

“Noted.” Iris said, still stamping her hindpaws through the mall. Getting looks from people who were already staring at her unusual hair pattern.

“The things kids do these days.....” said an older woman, shaking her head at Iris. “What does that young man’s mother think of him having such strange hair? I know it can’t be natural, the chemicals in hairdye these days!”

“Medical condition lady!” Screamed the tigress as she rattled her silver bracelet around on her wrist.

“Settle down.... she didn’t do anything to you.” Dave grabbed at his shirt, not sure how to handle the frantic female feline being furiously frustrated. “I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with you, but you’re acting crazy.”

Iris turned around at gazed angrily at Dave. “I’m just fine, you’re the one whose being crazy.”

“I’m the one being crazy, you better cool your jets Stripes or I’m ditching you here.” Dave warned, giving a scowl truly worth of the Locke name. “I didn’t drive you here to babysit you.”

“Pfft, you sound like Gabriel.... fine.... I’ll calm down.” Iris’ growl slowed to a pout as she folded her arms across her bosom and stamped on more time. “I’m just a little.... hungry...”

“I don’t think hunger has anything to do with it....” Dave said to himself, but he couldn’t grasp what. Maybe some food really would help Iris, at the very least come clean with themselves. Like a true leader he paid for both his and Iris' meals from the food court, Dave opting for Chicken Teryaki, Iris for some curry chicken, extra spicy. “Can you? Can you really eat that stuff? It smells way too strong to edible”

“It’s Indian Food, I’m a tiger, if I couldn’t eat it that would be especially disappointing.” Iris took a plastic fork full of rice and nicely stabbed into a piece of chicken, took it up to her and enjoyed every morsel of the bite. Purring and giving Dave a gestured putting her index finger and thumb together with her claws retracted for her own safety. “It’s simply delicious.... You could even say it’s the cat’s meow!”

“Gabe’s right, you do this situation a little too much.” Dave said simply, tapping his claws on the table he decided now might be a good time for him to ask. “What really got you worked up Iris? I know it wasn’t hunger, between my moms and all the women I’ve dated I know when a woman is trying to hide her feelings. I just didn’t expect one who used to be...” Dave paused, and tried to envision how Iris must have looked when she was human. After straining for a bit he gave up and merely nodded. “used to be.... well.. you know... to do that.”

“Maybe that’s what it was... it’s like I said Dave... Being this way actually feels right.. I feel more like me than I did before, which is really all I can remember about what it was like to be either of the things I used to be.....” Iris said in a calm and somewhat somber tone as she leaned back in seat and lowered her ears. “And yet, I’d almost, ALMOST, consider going back... if only because it would mean one thing....”

“And what’s that?” Dave pondered.

Iris’ ears lowered further. “It would mean that I wasn’t stuck between two worlds anymore. I’m awkwardly balanced between male and female, but not in any meaningful way.... In a tortuous one. I’m a beautiful elegant creature. I’m curvaceous, ample busted. I’m so many things that people would want in a woman... but I’m stuck looking like... I don’t even know what other people see, I don’t know how my human look has changed. I can’t exactly ask someone else to describe me and even if I could... all they’d say is ‘Uhh you have weird hair.’ It’s not fair Dave!” Iris banged her first on the table. “What good is being... perfect...” Iris rubbed her paw across her cheek and purred as she said perfect, but quickly went back to seeming upset. “If everyone else sees you as some freak with miscolored hair!?!!?! I want the fullness of my femininity and I can’t wait for everyone else to get down with the sickness for me to have it!”

People were beginning to gawk over at Iris and all the noise she was making, this made Dave very uncomfortable. “Calm down... you’re making a scene.”

“Hmph...” Iris looked down at her food and decided to eat a little more, but it was clearly a much slower pace than before.

“I... look don’t get loud with me, but. I don’t understand what that has to do with Gabriel....” Dave said quietly, hoping he didn’t just place his foot on a landmine.

However, it appears he had. Iris began tearing up. “He has everything to do with it... I’ve loved that man since we started being friends. Oh how I hoped he was gay... I was very dissapointed he didn’t even want to ‘experiment’ with me, so when he changed and saw the real beautiful me I was hoping I had my wish... I had him... and he would love me like I loved him. We would eat together, cuddle up to one another, I could try on outfits for him, and we could have some terrific sex.” Iris murred, raising her tail in delight of the thought, yet it didn’t last. “But he rejected me and even calls me Cale! He calls me CALE! And worse still... I couldn’t do anything to make him happy... BUT THAT FAT WHORE comes in and he’s giggling like he won the lottery!!” Iris began crying, gaining annoyance from the other patrons who began yelling for her to be silenced.

“Man up pussy!” One person cried.

“Ughh, is he.. is that guy crying? What a little faggot!” A very thin girl called out.

“I bet his boyfriend dumped him!” Teased the thin girl’s jock boyfriend.

“.....I just wanted to make him happy and be myself... I can’t do either.” Iris buried her face into her arms and laid her head down. “If they could see the real me... they wouldn’t mind that I was crying... they’d pat me on the back and ask what’s wrong.... But they see me as a man, and men are supposed to be strong and they can’t HAVE feelings....”

Dave wanted to hug the tigress, rub his fingers through her hair, and tell her that they were going where none of those bad people could taunt her. Yet he couldn’t, not in Silver City. The Bible Belt would never allow it, his ROTC Career would be over, his popularity in school would be kaput, and he would be branded a freak and a sinner for showing compassion to a fellow male. “Iris I... I’m sorry.”

“I hoped I could do such things with you asshole....”

“Hey, this town gives my mothers enough problems. Or did you not hear me? I’m ADOPTED, my parents are lesbians! I’m not bringing the grief they go through onto myself. I’m sorry, but not even for you. These people see you as a man, and you’ll have to play along. That’s what the Changed Network needs you to do.” Dave gave Iris this pep-talk, hoping it would cheer her up.

Iris wanted to yell at him, but she ran it through her head a couple of times first. What would Walter Lundh want her to do? What would CM want her to do? Certainly not try to convince a mall full of people that he was actually a she or make a scene with an argument about her secret life. “....Fine... Let’s... let’s just go to Gamestop, I wanna see if they have any copies of Sonic Rush...”

“As you wish milady....’ Dave said extra quietly as he escorted his non-date to the store. “Sorry about my friend everyone, he has a... hormone problem, too much estrogen! Please, be respectful of his condition!” Being AJROTC and Changed, Dave was a master at half-truths.

“Oh... poor guy.. I didn’t even know dudes had estrogen.” The thin chick said. “Umm, like sorry...”

“Bummer...” Said another guy “Hope you get better.”

Dave smiled at the tigress who calmed a bit. “See? Sympathy for males is a thing, you just have to sell it the right way.”

“Well I’ve never really been a good liar...” Iris responded. “Always tend to smile when I lie... even before I could smile.... oh that’s another thing about being Changed I remember, I couldn’t smile until I did.”

“That’s very interesting, I wonder if somehow the change made you and Gabe’s wires crossed. He smiled a lot before he became a rat.” Dave replied, thinking hard about the change again. “I mean, that’s an interesting idea, that maybe somehow the Change is splicing people’s traits around and the most noticeable sign of this, could be the traits we get from animals.... maybe there’s some four legged humans out there who look like we used too.”

“Now you’re just being silly.....” Iris complained as she approached the Gamestop. Seeing Thana and Gabriel near the front of the store playing Super Mario 64 DS on the DS Display Demo, Thana was playing through the ice stage as Luigi looking for the baby penguin.

“Aww baby, the penguin mommy is missing her kiiiiiiid!” Thana said in a voice so cutesy it made Iris sick. Gabriel snuggled up against the massive bear of a woman.

“...Hi... Gabe...” Iris forced out of her lungs, realizing it would be impossible to avoid them this time.

“Cale, Dave, what a surprise it is to run into you gentlemen. Me and Thana have been having the most wonderful time together. Haven’t we darling?” Gabriel said as he smooched the chick of his panda love.

“Uhh....” Thana rubbed her arm, looking very uncomfortable as she looked at Iris. “Wh... what do you want?”

“Just looking for a copy of a game that I want... that’s it...” Iris said with bated breathe, looking over to the wall of games as an excuse to cut eye contact. Iris thought to herself how she couldn’t believe that flabby fatty bamboo muncher stole her man. It wasn’t fair, she couldn’t control how she had been born, what the change did. Iris held contempt for life and contempt for Thana. “It’s good to see you happy Gabriel....”

“Ahh, I just needed some time in pleasant company.” Gabriel said shortly before giving Thana some tongue, which she happily accepted.

“Uhh yes well... uhh... it’s getting late. I should take Iris home.” Dave suggested as he looked over to the growling cat. “Come along... honey....” he said, very nervously.

“Dave. Are you dating Cale?” Gabriel asked confused. “I mean it’s cool if you are, I just find it weird.... I thought you just wanted to one night stand with her.”

“No.. I just... it’s a weird thing.” Dave was tripping over his words and he knew he wasn’t doing Iris’ emotions any favors, but he wasn’t sure what cards he could even play in this situation.

Iris looked over to Gabriel and walked off without saying another word other than. “I think you’re right Dave... it is getting late.”

“Sorry...” Dave called after. “We really oughta go....”

Nothing else exciting for Iris happened the rest of the day, she was very silent in the car ride home. Dave made a few token efforts to start a conversation, but Iris just kept looking out the window until she got home.

It was only 7PM, but Iris threw her irritable bra right in the dirty clothes pile and went straight to bed where she did her thinking. Her head on a pillow as she ignored the discomfort from laying on her back, just watching Charon crawl on her torso and through her cleavage. That felt weird, breasts were a strange beast. The bigger they got the softer they seemed to get, the more they seemed to just simply melt and wobble over to the touch, the whole thing just collapsed under the rat’s weight when he walked over it and then just plumped back up when he got off. “Like two bouncey bags of warm jell-o...” Iris said to herself as she unbuttoned her pants and looked under her boxers. It gave her a lot of thoughts, some a little juvenile like the idea of her trying to sleep with a human and wondering what they’d see if they penetrated her. Would that be literally screwing the veil? More serious it gave her plenty of thoughts on the duality of man and woman, one day she would be in the hospital, pregnant with an offspring. Birthing someone who would be born Changed, and if she never was changed, maybe she would be a father instead? It sometimes weirded her out how much she accepted being a girl. It wasn’t natural, it wasn’t something boys did. Was it because of the change? No, CM didn’t like being a woman, she felt right at home being a man. Yet, that Otter girl on the internet seemed to enjoy womanhood and yet at the same time was troubled by this being the new her. Iris didn’t know who was the one in control? Was there some truly feminine force in her, or was something being forced on her. How much of Iris was Iris and how much of it was her dancing on the strings of the change? Why couldn’t things just be simple? Why couldn’t Iris just be born into a life where this wasn’t a big question. She didn’t think it should have to be, men are men, women are women, that’s the end of the discussion. Yet for her it wasn’t, she was stuck between worlds and wasn’t sure what to do. “Why can’t things just be simple? Why does this have to be so hard?!”

Iris picked up her rat and rubbed under his chin very very lightly, making damn sure not to actually bring out her claws. “What do you think? You’re a REAL animal, what does it all mean to you? Gay, Straight, Male, Female, does it have meaning for you?”

Charon just sniffed and looked around without a care in the world.

Iris breathed outward and held Charon to her soft chest. “Of course it doesn’t, all you know is eat, sleep, mate, and explore... but I realize that’s a good thing. We humans keep trying to decipher everything and getting all this he’s a man she’s a woman crap in the way of us trying to do anything. I doubt any human has ever just let themselves live.... Of course they have... the ones who don’t HAVE to think of this crap.” Iris could think about it all evening, but she just reached the same conclusion. “Life would be better, if only I could have my womanhood without any catch to it. No one seeing me as a guy, no male bits, no questioning my gender, just let me be a woman. Things would be so much better if I could have them that way... I’m me, you’re you, let’s all be friends..” Iris’ eyelids grew heavy as she drifted off to sleep. “Maybe I’d be better, not just without my male half, but my human half too.”

Meanwhile, Gabriel and Thana were in the van, parked in a secluded area. Just the two of them as they watched the sunset. “So Thana.... today’s been an incredible day.”

“Yes it has...” Thana said, nervously, part of her wanted to commemorate it and mark this day solidly with something permanent, in Gabriel she had seen something she hadn’t seen before. The ability to love. “I wish we had somewhere private to be.... I... I think I want too...”

“This is private, but...... I get the feeling we should start slow.... not too slow, but I would not be one to decline if you offered me satisfaction in less serious manners.” Gabriel said to Thana, he felt that it was wrong to make love to her on a first date and yet at the same time he was still a man and men have urges to fulfill.

“I’ll.. I’ll try.. but first.. I have to tell you something... and promise you won’t be mad...” Thana said shaking in her skin. “I’m bisexual....” two simple words, but they horrified her to think of Gabriel’s reaction especially with how he disrespected his transgender friend. “That doesn’t make you mad does it?”

“No, of course not... Why would I have a problem with that?” Gabriel asked, not even understanding why Thana brought it up. “I mean, you aren’t trying to communicate that you have affection for Cale now are you?”

“Oh God no!” Thana retorted, nearly disgusted by the implication.

“I try to stay open-minded....” Gabriel said, he began thinking about Cale as he said that. He found himself feeling caught in a moment of hypocrisy. “I try too...”

The evening concluded shortly after Gabriel and Thana had a heavy make out session, Gabriel teased the idea of oral sex, but Thana had not been ready for that. “Eww... no... I.. no...”

Overall though, it wasn’t a bad day.

-August 25th-

Iris’ first class was drama. It turned out the tigress had a passion for acting and writing screenplays, she had first discovered the former In 4th Grade of Elementary School where she did a play called “The King of Rats” which was based on an old Jamican Folktale about why cats and rats dislike one another. It was funny how life worked out sometimes. It was in this play she learned of her love of acting, to seamlessly blend into a role and become someone else.

On her way to it, she stopped by the bathroom, the boy’s room as that was the way everyone saw her. It was a long bus ride and she had to pee. “...uhh..” she sigh upon entry, the last time she had used this specific bathroom she met the Gabriel the Rat for the first time and said her final goodbyes to Gabriel The Man. “....Oh Gabriel.. can we ever be friends again?” she asked as she looked and watched ghosts of the past re-enact the events of August 17th.

“Well I certainly hope so.” Spoke forward a highly refined voice followed with the sound of a flush.

Iris’ ears raised in suspense as she turned from looking at the sink she back Gabriel into on the seventeenth, towards the stalls. Gabriel coming seconds later. “I was a little crazy yesterday..”

“I’ve been a considerable sum of departed sanity myself Cale. I think things just altered much too rapidly for our fragile emotions to take, me being indoctrinated into this cult of yours and you having people to... share yourself with... too much happened at once.” Gabriel admitted, his tail swaying left and right as he looked downward. Embarrassed with himself in this rare moment of weakness.

Iris didn’t know what to say, her friend wasn’t one for wearing his heart on his sleeve in that fashion but she didn’t care as long as he was once again her best friend. In lieu of anything else Iris decided the best thing to do was tackle the rat to the floor! “Oh Gabriel I thought I lost you!”

“Ooof” Gabriel exclaimed as he was knocked to the ground. “Cale you lummox!”

Iris exclaimed, purring as she rubbed her head against in an affectionate manner. “So.. you’re not mad at me anymore?”

“No, but this little number is not currying my favor in the slightest.” Gabriel said annoyed as he pushed the tigress off of him. Well he tried, but found that she was too heavy for him. The rat noted his increase in strength, but it seemed the decrease in size was problematic and negating. The Gabriel from two weeks ago would have been able to get Cale off of him.

“Heh, sorry.” Iris apologized as she pushed herself off of the rodent. “Let’s... try to take it easy from now.”

“Quite, and regardless of our respective species, please refrain from pouncing me in the future.” Gabriel advised, giving the tigress a wicked gaze that piereced into the feline’s soul.

“Okay okay, just no more crazy eyes!” Iris closed her eyes and recoiled, but to her worst fears come true she found that she could feel the pupilless eyes burning into her soul.

The rest of the day was mostly uneventful. But I felt relieved, I had my best friend back and except for the way we looked it seemed like everything was going to go back to normal, that was until lunchtime. I sat down to talk and skimp eating as I usually did. Even a human’s nose should have been enough for one to turn their tastebuds away from that glop. I’d say it’s for rats, but Gabriel didn’t even eat that stuff. At least not after he could smell what almost everyone can smell now. That was when I made one fatal mistake. Right after Dave refused to talk to me, I sat down with my friends... They were going at it like animals. Something snapped in me, I remembered how much I wanted Gabriel.

Iris saw Gabriel and Thana cuddling in the lunchroom and began tapping on the table, looking them over bitterly. The conversation was innocent enough, mainly revolving around Yoshi’s Island “So Gabriel” Iris exclaimed breaking the discussion. “...Why Thana?”

“Because look at her she’s adorable!” Gabriel laughed, snuggling his panda bear.

“No I mean... why does Thana get to have a guy? I’m more a woman than she is and not even Dave wants to touch me.” Iris growled. “I mean, what am I doing wrong?”

“...Because you’re a guy Cale.” Gabriel responded, narrowing his eyes, hoping for the tigress to choose her words more carefully. “A guy who sucks at relationships.”

“Yeah well, it’s not fair I’m hot and yet I have to be a guy? Why not this bitch, with her bad breathe and bulbous gut?” Iris growled, Dave wasn’t even sitting at the same table as her. Hell he told her to go away. “Why couldn’t I have been born a chick.. I bet I’d be snuggling you then!”

“Cale if this is your idea of a prank, you better get to the punchline.” Gabriel slammed his fist on the table.

“Forget it” Iris said, burying his face into her arms.

“You should have forgotten before you insulted my maiden’s breathe Mr. I Don’t Douche Or Brush My Teeth! Because you don’t get lucky with Dave you’re taking your frustrations out on me? You have the gall to tell me that your change is unfair?” Gabriel looked at Iris angrily laying into her like a thing that people lay into. “Oh boo fucking hoo. I’m Cale Vinole the highly attractive tigerius sapiens and I can’t get dicks put in me. Because what’s really important in life!”

“Hey, don’t mock me, you have no idea what it’s like to be something wonderful and have nobody able to recognize you as such. I thought you’d understand when you changed, but you didn’t.” Iris got right up in Gabriel’s face who just stared at first not reacting at all beyond annoyance, annoyance that quickly turned into shock. “Waaah, everybody loves me, even though I’m a rat.”

“I DON’T WANT TO BE A RAT!” Gabriel yelled, not caring that the whole cafeteria heard him. Thana even kept her distance. “Or did you forget that? It doesn’t matter if I’m well liked by others if I hate myself! Maybe you should put that into perspective before you start bitching about how you can’t get a date. Has it ever occured to you that all my accomplishments, all my talents, are moot because I hate everything about myself. You.. You’re perfect. Who cares how people see you, you are in every way everything you want to be and you’re still complaining!?!”

“But I can’t be myself... You can, again no one cares you’re a rat. Because you’re still Gabriel!” Iris began tearing up. “But I’m just Cale and by the time people can see differently I’ll be like thirty.”

“How would you feel if you didn’t have your right-feeling tiger body at all?” Gabriel asked, carefully examining his friend’s body langauge requiring complete honesty for this. “Remember that nonsense about Gender Dysphoria? Wouldn’t you still have it if you never changed?”

“Well probably.. I don’t know...” Iris said, she changed too young to have too much insight on that topic. “Well.. I do like how me I feel being a tigress.”

“In an alternate universe where the change didn’t happen, there might be another Cale sitting right here in this cafeteria crying because he is a guy, he has no fur or tail, and would wage war across the multiverse for the satisfaction of seeing himself the way you see yourself.” Gabriel commented, trying desperately to get Iris out of his idiocy. “How would you cheer him up? How would you tell him that you had everything he ever wanted and he couldn’t have it? That’s how I feel Cale! And you, you would complain to me that people aren’t appreciating the perfect form you have?”

“Who cares about that other Cale he’s just a lousy human jacking off to a furry wetdream, he has no idea what it’s like to be like me!” Iris snarled in bitter taste of this hypothetical human self. “To be brilliant and amazing, but unable to share it with the world. To just have something so precious and beautiful, but no one can comprehend it! Look you’re a rat, I’m sorry, but get over it!”

Gabriel shook his head and got up with Thana preparing to leave. “So you would forsake even yourself? Because he’s not as perfect as you and I’m too get over it? Imagine if you had become a bull or an aardvark instead of a tiger. You’d complain about your ugliness too!”

“I’m sure I’d go without throwing a temper tantrum and hiding in my friend’s bathroom!” Iris roared banging her fist on the table, referring to a couple of days ago when Gabe did exactly that at her house.

Gabriel shook his head no. “Well Cale I had a wonderful friendship before your transformation into a whiny little bitch, but now I’m done. Fuck what I said in the bathroom, go get made into a skinrug. I’m sure your precious beauty will be appreciated then.”

Thana looked down at Gabriel. “When you your accomplishments were meaningless, you didn’t mean me right?”

“Darling, you’re an accomplishment of the Gods themselves.” Gabriel smiled at his beloved, looking into her eyes longingly as the duo left Iris’ presence.

“Hmmph.” Iris grunted, digging her chipped and chewed claws into the table as she growled. “He’ll come around when he sees how selfish he’s being.” She said as she got up, realizing that lunch was soon ending and she had other Changed friends on campus, such as Hugh.

In the days to come Iris however quickly found her argument had been a little on the silly side. August 31st had came and went. It was the first day of the ninth month and Iris had felt things had become dull and grey without her friend Gabriel. She was a tigress, woo, why had that been so important to her again? It wasn’t so much that she had been wrong so much as her conversations with Hugh were barely fulfilling with his childishly shallow interests and with the way Dave would look at her yet with eyes so hungry and yet words that appeared sated did nothing but tease the poor girl’s hungry heart. Being shoved into the overall silence was enough to make her regret anything that may have caused her to come to this boring place. As she walked away from her drama class, she felt her head and heart heavy with the loss of a vital piece of her soul. It weighed on her throughout the day as she doodled stick drawings on the corners of her school work of herself and Gabriel. It had been something she was doing ever since she lost Gabe. Before though it had been pictures of Gabriel offering her flowers with hearts drawn around them. As time passed it became much different. The drawings featured a male Iris, no skirt, no flowers. Just the two playing video games

As usual she had lunch in the cafeteria that day, though Gabriel wasn’t here this time. Of course he hadn’t been giving Iris so much as the time of day anymore. Just looking away from her if she gave even the slightest glance to his person. Iris hummed looking around for Dave, but she didn’t see him either. The only person that remained was Thana. “That bitch, oh how I’d love to wear her skin. You may be fat, but you’re a woman and you have Gabriel. Oh the things I’d do to be in your fur…” Iris said to herself, mostly speaking out of hurt. “You deserve the worst!”

Well as chance would have it someone was listening to the tigress, and it happened to be a small imp who loved granting wishes that one doesn’t exactly mean. It was her, Krissy, Iris had heard tales of her. She was the center of attention amongst the preppy white kids, you’d think this meant that she was beautiful, had an ample double d bosom, long flowing blonde hair, blue eyes, and lived a life of privilege with a predisposition to bully the less fortunate. Actually she was hideous, morbidly obese, broke, and consistently talked about her homestate and how people did things there. What homestate you ask? Well aint that the cherry on top, The Newest of all possibly Jerseys. Now was she an innocent victim of circumstance, teased by the hot rich kids into bullying the other ugly poor kids? Good question the answer is no, her friends were just as ugly, poor, and obnoxious. So why were they the popular clique? What gave them the power to rule the school? Simple, they did have one talent that no other group of people in the school had. The power to more loud, obnoxious, and hateful than any other in the school. To those who were simple minded this seemed like a strength not a weakness, sadly they were surrounded by teenagers the most simple minded of all folk.

“Hey fatso. Notice anything new about me?” Krissy asked in her most taunting voice to the lone Thana.

“Not.. not really.” Thana said in confusion, trying to notice a new detail on the frame of Krissy’s form. Was it new hair, clothing, perfume? No she smelled quite the same. “Uhh lose weight? I’m not seeing anything new.”

“Ha! Oh Thana, simple simple Thana. Well why should I expect you to notice anything? You’re only human!” Krissy laughed triumphantly and began talking with her eyes closed as pseudo-intellectuals often do. “Where as I have grown past such feeble things. I’m Changed now!”

Iris’ attention was peeked upon hearing the c-word and so she walked up to Krissy to find that she was just as human as Iris was a long time ago. So the tigress ran up to Krissy to get to the bottom of this, though she saw a potential reason for it. One of Krissy’s friends was a weasel.

“Changed into what?” Thana asked timidly and confused. The panda was thinking the same thing as the tigress, was the human implying that she was like them?

“Why I’m a vixen now, a beautiful long haired femme fatale with the most adorable little ears and big bushy tail. ROB has smiled upon me the blessing, beauty, and power of a fox!” Krissy decreed, dancing all about, shaking her rump in Iris and Thana’s faces. “You can’t see it but look, I’m shaking my wonderful tail.”

“I have a fat fetish and I think even I’m gonna barf.” Iris said to Thana who laughed at the joke.

“Oh shut up Cale” Krissy said, Iris immediately thought of Gabriel who said those three words in combination with each other quite often. “I’m cooler than you’ll ever be with your freaky striped hair, do you even know how much the school laughs at you over it?”

“If they only knew...” Iris muttered under her breath. “Yeah, you’re cool…”

“Yeah, Krissy, you’re uh, you sure are pretty.” The weasel said, scratching behind his head nervously. It was clear he had no idea what to say, he had no game, and judging from his figure, no ability to say no to sweets.

“I know Joshua, and yes, I know I’m cool Cale, because fox fur is in, and stripey hair is lame.” Krissy bragged, posing and showing off her obvious humanity. “But you are still higher up on my list than this fat pig here!”

Thana looked down in shame, she just didn’t have the courage to stand up to her, the girl didn’t have any friends aside from her beloved Gabriel so Krissy had to make do. It was day in, day out with this for her. Once again though, she’d simply have to put up with it if she wanted friends and the comfort and delights they brought.

Iris looked at the downtrodden panda and then to Krissy. The tigress knew what she had to do. “Why are you making fun of her? Honestly we should start making fun you. Bragging about how you’re some foxgirl but no one can see. That’s like what a little kid comes up with.”

Thana laughed at her bully, her situation, and how it all sounded. It was like something a kid would come up with for a game or something. Well it was a fun game with prizes and Krissy could only pretend to play. That made her worse than a child playing pretend, she was a child pretending to pretend. “Oh my god, yes it is, and your dumbass thinks it’s cool. You are fifteen years old, so yeah, shut up Krissy.”

Krissy stamped her foot, turning bright red with embarrassment. “Shut up ugly, you laugh but you know nothing about being Changed. I get to be this way because I’m special and you’re just a loser! ROB just agrees with me! He’s like the God of Changed or whatever, and I, I am his chosen daughter!”

Joshua the weasel looked at Iris and Thana confused and started to say something. “But you two are…”

Irs raised her hand looking at the weasel, it looked like a weird gesture to the humans, but in actuality her claws were raised threateningly. “Are right, she’s being ridiculous. Go leave us be you crazy people.”

The other friends of Krissy who had previously been swooning over her, looking at her in awe over her vulpine splendor began to see her in a new light with Iris and Thana’s words. Quickly they dispersed and left her alone. “What a weirdo.” One of them said as they all walked away.

“But… but.. I AM A VIXEN!” Krissy screeched running after her ex-admirers. “Come back here! Don’t listen to fatso and stripey hair!”

Thana laughed harder still, at this wonderful spectacle that Iris had created of Krissy’s foolish stunt. It was good to be changed after all it seemed. “Cale… I mean… Iris… That was great! You made her look like an idiot. Did you see her friends ditch her like that?”

“Yeah, I just can’t stand a fake person, especially when they start attacking the real people!” Iris roared figuratively, well literally slightly. “I mean, I know you’re pissed off. I said some strong things the other day but…. I’ve been thinking about them and…”

“Oh don’t worry about it. Stupid shit happens.” Thana shrugged, she was truthfully still a little mad about the tigress’ running her mouth, but this action had shown that Iris had brighter colors that she believed. Pondering this for a second, she had the feeling Iris’ true nature needed to be explored further. Gabriel would definitely appreciate it if Thana could find something good in his friend and Thana would do anything for Gabriel. It had been so few dates gone by, but already she felt a bond to him unlike anything she had felt with another person and Iris was now showing signs of her good nature and potential as a friend. The panda made up her mind, she lost her humanity, but she now had an opportunity to have a circle of people who cared about one another. “Say uhh Iris, wanna chill sometime? I mean I don’t want my grandparents’ to think I’m cheating on Gabe, but we can derp around downtime sometime.”

Iris smiled, purring at Thana with glee. “Sure. I mean, hey I wouldn’t mind having a galpal. I always got along with girls better than guys anyway.”

Things got weird with people mistaking me and Thana for lovers. Krissy tried striking back at us by trying to claim that Thana was cheating on Gabe with me. But it isn’t like that, I’m bisexual and Thana does look nice. Mrrowl! Very nice. But, she’s Gabe’s mate and I respect that. Gabriel laughed at Krissy and so did I when she pulled that one. “Cale isn’t even as manly as you Kristina! Of course he’s not doing anything with my girl. Thana’s a person she’s allowed to have friends of her own, do you think I’m so insecure that I’d forbid her from having friends?” He said, or something like that. That defused Krissy right away. Girl still claimed she was a fox up until she actually did Change. That was a great day. I can’t say too much happened up until Tall Tales, so my next entry will be about that. Things have only recently truly gotten even stevens between me and Gabe, I’m not sure if that was just all the time we’ve spent together or if the quarantine is getting to him harder than he lets on. If it’s the latter, well, silver lining. No matter how dark the cloud is there will always be a silver lining. Though, the cloud has gotten dark enough already. I’ve said it before earlier in this journal but… Rest In Peace -Illegible- we’ll keep you forever in our thoughts.

April 13th 2007

Darkdooter92:You want me to drive you WHERE?

Megacat CV:Just to the airport, I’ve bought our tickets already. I mean it took A LOT to get my Grandparents to agree to this...... I am so not getting birthday presents this year.

Darkdooter92:Our tickets?

Megacat CV:Well... I thought it’d be good if you went with me... and I knew you wouldn’t say no if I already spent money on you to go..

Darkdooter92:I am not going to a FURRY CONVENTION IN GOD DAMN SAN FRANSICO!

Megacat CV:No it’s actually a really large Changed Gathering, the largest ever! It’s just labeled as a furry convention so that no one gets suspicious and if the veil were to somehow fail for a second then they’d just say we’re wearing costumes!

Darkdooter92:I’ll admit that is very clever, but I am not going! I don’t LIKE other Changed, or did you forget? Bring Dave or Hugh with you instead.

Megacat CV:They’re already going, they helped pay for the tickets. We even got Thana one!

Darkdooter92:These tickets aren’t refundable then, Dave’s too clever for that. Alright, I guess it would be good to see California. But I’m not going to the convention proper except to escort Thana if she wishes to go. I know how those furry types are and I don’t want them to lay a hand or paw on her.

Megacat CV:I’m sure it’ll be fine, I mean, I’m a furry.

Darkdooter92:Precisely my point Cale..... Wait... Isn’t that incredibly redundant, since you’re a tiger in real life. I mean, doesn’t that sort of take the wind out of your sails?

Megacat CV:No that only makes it cooler!

Darkdooter92:Whatever.... what’s the name of this convention anyway, and when is it?

Megacat CV:Tall Tales, September 2007. A month after Change Day, probably to REALLY rank in the numbers.

Darkdooter92:Interesting name, it doesn’t sound furry related at all. I was expecting something stupid like “Rain Furrest”

Megacat CV:That’s actually a completely different convention.

Darkdooter92:Of course it is! Why wouldn’t it be? Well... can’t wait....

Megacat CV:It’ll be grand, what could possibly go wrong?

Darkdooter92: You mean apart from Reality being torn asunder even worse than it already has

Megacat CV:Exactly! Ya know, fun stuff!

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