"Wings of Change"
By : Socks
© 2008 Socks Furrotica


"Are you sure this is even legal?"  He looked over the printout again, his hands shaking more than a litte.

"Positive."  Jerry went to the fridge and pulled out a can of soda, grinning the whole time.

"Are you sure it's even real?"  Brian couldn't stop reading it, from the top again.  "I mean this isn't even possible!"

"It is." Jerry said, almost matter-of-factly.  "With the stuff going on in DNA research, genetics, nanotechnology..."

"Ok then, is this even affordable?" Brian asked again, shifting in his chair a little.

"Well yes."  Jerry said again, sipping on the soda.  "Well it is for you."

"What?"

"I have an in." Jerry said with a grin. "All we gotta do it tell them you're me, and you're in!"  Brian looked at his friend, very confused.  "I know a guy who knows a guy.  They're looking for volunteers and it's gonna pay well, and I passed clearance.  So we just substitute you for me, and you're in."

"They'll know I'm not you tho!" Brian said.

"Hey, you just let me work on those details, ok?" Jerry smiled.  "You want it to happen or not?"

"Oh hell yes." Brian said.

"I knew it." Jerry said, taking another sip.  "I'll make it happen."

A month later, Brian was being driven to a building out in what felt like the middle of nowhere.  "You nervous Jerry?"

"A little." Brian said.  He didn't know what his friend did, but all this stuff was just handed to him one day and he had the paperwork to say he was "Jerry" now.  But the promise was just too fantastic to not follow up on it.  "I have no idea what to expect."

"We'll get you through it slowly." The man said warmly.  "Don't worry, this should be fairly straight forward.  Think of it as a few months vacation from the nine-to-five world for a few months."  Brian nodded, staring out the window as they drove through the remote countryside.

That night Brian was roomed in an apartment off the main hallway.  "This is bigger then mine at home." He said with some marvel.

"Well we're not gonna have you uncomfortable." The man said.  "Ok, we will start the treatments tomorrow.  If you're having a hard time sleeping, let one of us know and we'll get you something that will help you sleep.  Other than that, get comfortable and relax.  The one thing you really need to be for all this is relaxed."

Thousands of miles away, an older man was looking at a computer monitor.  He saw an image on his screen of a nervous young man looking around his new living space.  The man just smiled.  "Gotcha, 'Falcon'."  He looked over a piece of paper, and looking at the last name on it he felt satisfied.  He ran the paper through the shredder, and planned the next few moves.

The next morning, Brian was walked into a laboratory where he was given a through physical exam.  The doctors were all friendly, helpful, and willing to walk him through the worst of it slowly.  "Okay Jerry!  We're ready for the first treatment."  Doctor Levi looked over the EKG, and saw a spike in heart rate.  "Easy there killer."

"sorry." Brian said, taking deep breaths to calm himself down.  "I still can't believe this is really happening."

"Oh, you will in a month." The doctor said with a slight chuckle.

"You've done this before?" Brian asked nervously.

"You're our final test subject before we go public." The doctor said, cleaning Brian's arm with an alcohol prep pad.  "If this works flawlessly we'll then take our findings and adapt them.  This has huge implications for genome therapy and birth defects."

Brian turned his head away, he hated the sight of needles and didn't want to watch.  "So to test this you're making me a bird?"

"You got it."  Brian felt the puncture, and flinched slightly.  Then something a little cold was pushed into his veins.  "Yours is the most radical change.  Easy up there, we're almost done."  Brian nodded very little, trying nor to bend the chair arm he was grasping.  "If we can change you from mammalian to avian, then back, we can prove the concept is not only sound but reversible.  And we're done!"

"That's it?" Brian asked, looking down at his arm.  The doctor was cleaning the area and bandaging it.

"That's it." The doctor said.  "What did you expect?  Laser beams and aliens?"

"Possibly dancing girls." Brian said.

The doctor chuckled.  "We'll get on that for future patients.  So we'd like you to stay in your quarters for a few hours, to make sure there are no adverse effects.  After that, we'll come get you and you're free to walk the campus."

Later that evening, Brian felt no adverse effects, and he was wondering if the "treatment" really did anything.  For the next few days, Brian became accustomed to the routine.  Weight and height check in the morning, some fairly strange food mid day and evening, weight and height check in the evening with some other body measurements.  Having his waste measured was a bit embarrassing, but at least they wouldn't follow him into the bathroom.  They just wanted the containers and he was done.

It wasn't until later that week that he had felt a little off.  While playing a video game, the controller kept fumbling out of his hands.  The first few times it was annoying, but after the tenth or so, he began to be concerned.  He hit pause, and hit the call button.  A few moments later, one of the nurses came in.  "Is everything alright?"

"Mostly." Brian said with some concern in his voice.  "Something's wrong with my hands.  I can't hold the controller anymore."

"Could you show me?" the nurse asked.  Brian resumed his game, and in a minute the controller slipped from his fingers and onto the ground.  "Are you feeling any pain or discomfort?"  Brian shook his head no.  The nurse nodded.  "I believe you're about to hit phase two.  I'll go get the doctor on duty."

Minutes later Dr. Levi came in.  "Let me take a look here."  The doctor put on rubber gloves and performed touch tests on Brian's hand.  "It appears your fingers are beginning to change." He said.

"That's good, right?" Brian asked, trying not to hyperventilate.

"Oh very good." The doctor said.  "It means the treatment took, and the changes will be coming more rapidly now."

A week later, Brian was getting out of bed gingerly.  The way his wrists bent backwards wasn't painful, unless he moved wrong.  But it was still very tender to push on them, the way his fingers splayed backwards too.  He had gotten a lot shorter now, and his arms were getting shorter still.  He was still trying to put his pants on when the nurse came in.  "Do you need help?"

"Yes please."  Brian was embarrassed to be naked, more so to be asking for help, but he really had no choice.  "I'm sorry, it's getting harder to do this."

"I understand." The nurse said, helping ease his pants up.  "You're not the first who needed help here.  The last subject had a hard time too."

"What did he become?" Brian asked.

"She became a husky." The nurse said.  "It wasn't until phase four she finally stopped wearing clothing."

"Wow." Brian said, trying to imagine her.  "And you changed her back?"

"The doctors did, yes. At another facility so we could start with you." The nurse said.  "She's back home now, no doubt still excited about the process."

"Yeah, its something else." Brian said in some wonderment.

"Don't be too nervous Jerry.  We'll get you back to normal after it's all done." The nurse said.  Brian nodded, and stood up.  "We'll let you know when lunch begins, and we'll be in to feed you."

Brian nodded again.  "Thank you."  But he began to loathe that part.  He felt so helpless that he had to have someone follow him into the washroom now, to feed him, to even bathe him.  That kind of attention was something that he never liked.  But on the other hand, it was a means to an end.  A little embarrassment now, a great reward at the end.  He just signed, looking out the window.  Soon.  Very soon.

Time began to pass, but Brian really stopped counting the days.  Every day was something new for him, and it was more important to him to focus on the changes, not on the time.  The challenges were piling up, and if he thought about the days he would forget something else.  Doctor Levi was patting his chest, which had begun to puff out more than normal.  "Your new muscles are forming nicely." He said.  "You need to keep with the wing flaps to build them up."

"Gets tiring." Brian said.  It was getting harder to speak now, so he learned how to use the least words he could.  His mouth began to stop doing what he wanted it to all the time, it was a source of frustration and embarrassment not being able to communicate as well as he wanted.

"I know." Doctor Levi patted Brian on the shoulder.  "But it will be your main mode of transportation for a month.  You need to work on the muscles before your feathers take."  Brain made a raspy sound with his voice box, which surprised him a little.  "And while you can still talk."

"Ow... long?" Brian asked.

"Avians are unknown territory." The doctor said, inspecting Brian's eyes and the bony plate around his lips.  "Based on our computer models you're actually behind schedule, but I'm guessing as few more days until your mouth changes enough you can not speak.  And another two weeks before your feathers come in.  Then a month as a full bird, then a month or so to change you back."

"aarrrrrRRR" Brian rasped.  The doctor began the more personal measurements again, a part Brian found uncomfortable but not humiliating anymore.  These people were more familiar with his new parts than he was.

"You're also our first cross gender."  The doctor said.  Brian nodded with some appreciation, and would have smiled if he were physically able.  "So we think that may be slowing it down as well.  If necessary we will adjust your change back time to allow for full recovery of your genitals."

"an my mind?" Brian struggled to make his tongue work.

"Intact." The doctor said.  "You should not lose any of your reasoning or judgment abilities."  The doctor patted Brian on the back as he stood up, taking his gloves off.  "Oh, did you want me to tell the nurse to bring in some clothing?"  Brian shook his head.  "Ok Jerry.  I know that's a big step in the acceptance.  From here it's all going to be a lot easier."  The doctor left, leaving Brian standing on his old bed.  It seemed so huge now, and almost impossible to sleep on.  He had to make a new arrangement.

A few days later, Brian woke up before the sunrise again.  It was easier to sleep standing up, propped on one of the chairs.  He dragged pillows and cushions to make a crude "nest" next to the window using a chair he had put there for this reason.  It was comforting to see the outside world somehow, easier on his eyes.  The confines of the room seemed so small because of his field of vision.

As he watched the sunrise his eyes became acutely aware of the movements out his window.  When the sun began to rise, he let out a happy sigh, but it was a throaty rasp that came out instead.  He tried to form words, but his mouth simply wouldn't curl around them anymore, and his tongue was too fine and thin to comply.  He let out a breath through his nostrils, which felt odd where they were now, and simply looked out the window.  Another human feature, gone.  He tapped his face on the window, hard as the beak he knew it should be.  Soon, very soon, he knew it.

Days and nights passed, Brian truly stopped caring now.  He trusted the doctors and nurses fully and they'd tell him when this fantasy was over.  Each day he would spread his arms and flap, imagining what it would be like once his wings had formed fully.  His legs felt stronger too, even if he was walking funny now.  The nurses joked it was the "waddle of doom", but it worked for short term.  When he felt his tail plumage for the first time he was in absolute bliss.  It was almost painful to his mind waiting for his wings to feather fully too.

The change had been so gradual, Brian was shocked one day when a nurse reached down and picked him up for the first time.  "OH!  I didn't hurt you did I?"  Brian shook his head no, but looking down from this height...  He had seen the world from this high before, but he was much smaller now.  He hadn't noticed, but it was ok.  He was being picked up to go outside.  "You need to work in the outdoors for now Jerry.  We'll try to teach you to fly, but we're not certain we can."

It felt like days before Brian could keep his wings spread in even a gentle breeze.  Each good day out he was getting stronger.  The staff would encourage him, but nobody could teach him how to fly.  Well, her now.  The staff began to refer to Brian as a "her" one day, and never quite stopped.  Brian figured this was his cue that he, well she, was a she now.

One day, Doctor Levi came into Brian's quarters.  It had gotten a lot more bare, Brian normally kept to her perch near the window now looking outside.  The TV was gone, the bed was still there, but mostly it was her domain to stay in between times she could be outside.  

The doctor brushed Brian's feathers, causing her to coo softly to the touch.  "I do have good news for you Jerry.  All the bloodwork, x-rays and MRI data shows the change is complete.  Biologically, you're now a female red tailed hawk."  Brian let out a happy shriek when she heard the news, and the doctor smiled.  "Tomorrow we'd like to run the psychological tests.  We want to make sure you haven't lost any cognitive ability.  But congratulations, you're our first successful avian change."

That night, Doctor Levi and his staff stood stunned as the orders were read aloud.  "The project is terminated immediately.  All staff are to vacate the premises immediately, your belongings will be returned to you in 24 hours.  All expiremen..."

"What about Jerry?" a nurse asked.  "We need to change him back!"

"That is no longer your concern!" the nurse stepped forward and was met with the barrel of a gun pointed at him by one of the men in uniform.  The nurse put his hands up slowly, and backed away.  "All experiments will now go into the hands of the US Government, as will all data, results, and findings. You are not to speak of this experimentation to anyone or you will be imprisoned."  The man lowered the paper and looked at the small crowd with a stern glare.  "If you need something from your quarters such as medications or your car keys, an armed guard will follow you.  Otherwise, you are required to leave the premises immediately."

Brian sat on his perch, looking out the window.  It was a quiet night, and there was a lot of car traffic.  More than usual.  Something didn't feel right, but it could just be his new senses playing with him again.  He heard footsteps, but not the normal ones.  These were heavier.  The door opened up, and a heavyset man walked in.

"Hello Jerry." He said, almost condescendingly.  "Or should I call you Falcon?"  Brian looked over to the man, head to the side.  "Oh, you don't know me?  Well you should.  You only stole my identity several years ago."  Brian blinked a few times, who was this guy?  "Your mistake is you got cocky.  You picked the wrong man to fuck with boy."

Brian was looking around now, trying to see if someone was playing a joke or something.  "I know you can understand me."  Brain couldn't see anyone else.  "Or perhaps they fucked it up and you've totally lost your mind.  Whatever.  You won't be fucking with me again.  I hope you starve here Jerry."

The man turned around, and walked out the door, slamming it behind him.  Brian listened intently, hopping off her perch to get closer to the door.  "...it all down.  Nobody in, nobody out." The man said to someone.  "I'll send a demo team, they'll be here tomorrow.  Get all the papers and computers, and lock them someplace nobody will find them.  And lock this place up tight, nothing gets in or out!  And whatever the hell is in that room?  Leave it there.  Board that door up and let it die when we blow the building."

"Yes Sir."  Brian began to panic.  She tried to reach the door handle, but was too short.  Her wing muscles weren't fully developed, and she couldn't fly up to reach it.  She looked around the room frantically; her haven was suddenly a prison.  The windows were sealed, no way out.  The vents were locked down tight, nothing.  She reached for something only to realize her wings wouldn't be able to grab it.  Brian managed to pull herself into her old bed, and put her head on the rail out of frustration.  She felt like crying, which is when she fell asleep much, much later.

Brian was only dimly aware of something holding her wings down and her beak shut.  "SHH!  Don't struggle Jerry!"  the voice was familiar, one of the nurses!  "We're getting you out of here.  I read this works on real birds, so stay calm ok?"  Brian had no time to react as something crude was put over her head.  A blindfold.  Wonderful.  But it did seem to calm her at a very base level of consciousness.  She did all he could to not flail or panic as he felt a lot of motion.  She heard voices, momentum changes, she was being jostled too much.  At one point she was stuffed into a warm place, probably a jacket or something.  It felt like it was taking forever, sounds of running, breathing hard, crashing of twigs and leaves, Brian had no clue what was going on.  

She heard the sound of a car starting, door open and closing.  Then the sensation of being in an enclosed place.  "You have her?"

"Yeah, thankfully she's ok."

"Go go go go go!"  

Then the sound of an engine roaring to life, and tires spinning on dirt.  Brian could sense how nervous they all were, it made her feel uneasy.  A hand was on her back, stroking between her wings, it helped her feel calm, but she wasn't sure if it was for her or the nurse holding her.  Things didn't calm down until much later, when the blindfold was removed.  Brian looked around, and saw a few of his doctors and nurses huddled around her.  The room was dark, and enclosed.  It made her nervous.  "You ok?" one asked.  Brian nodded, looking around nervously.  "They shut the program down Jerry.  Pulled the plug on us.  Military guys, guns, they talked court marshal!  We can't get our supplies.  IT was a risk to go get you but we weren't going to leave you to die."  Brian looked around, and saw nobody smiling or joking.  "I'm sorry Jerry.  You're stuck as a bird."

Brian felt like all the blood drained from her head.  Yes, she wanted this but she wanted to go home afterwards!  Was that what that guy was talking about?  Who was he?  Brian felt overwhelmed, and her feathers ruffled.

"hey, hey, relax Jerry." One of the nurses ran her hand along her back.  Brian tried to get himself under control, composed.  "We're working on a way to bring you back.  We talked about it, and it's what we owe you for your bravery.  But we can't keep you here."

"Whoever came in will be looking for you if they know you're gone." Doctor Levi said.  "Tomorrow morning a friend of mine will be taking you somewhere you should be safe.  We won't be far away, but we won't be able to help you for a long time.  I'm sorry Jerry, it's what we can do."  Brian sulked.  How long would she be stuck like this?  It was out of her...  wings....  now...  Brian spent the night nervously waiting for morning, hoping the door wouldn't be kicked in and she'd be carted back to her death trap.

The next morning, Brian found himself if a cardboard box, in a vehicle.  "Don't worry girl." The woman said.  "I know this guy, he'll take real good care of ya."  Brian had no way to reply, and just wanted this nightmare to end.  Box, out, now...  For just SO long...  The car eventually stopped, and the box was picked up.

There wa a sensation of being moved, and she could hea the woman yell "TIM!  Where are ya!"  then some more movement, Brian could barely keep her feet.  Then, thankfully, it stopped.

"This the bird you were telling me about?"  It was a male voice, probably "Tim".

"Yep!" the female said.  "Best I can tell she's well fed but never outside a cage."

"Poor girl!" Tim said.  The box opened up, and Brian looked up to see a young man, long blonde hair, and some thick leather gloves reach in to her.  Brian didn't fight as he grabbed her.  "Well she's used to human handling, might be hard to rehab her for the wild."

"At least she's healthy.   But I don't think she can fly."  Brian looked at the woman quizzically.  This woman picked her up at the safe house from Dr. Levi, and may not have had a clue what was going on.  Brian still felt bewildered, was this a test of some kind?  Nothing made sense right now, and it was so hard to keep track.

"I'll see if I can help her out." Tim said.  "She got a name?"

"Not that I know of." The woman said.  "I understand she was rescued a while ago, and she got to me through a concerned friend."

"Allright." Tim said.  "I'll keep an ear open for missing birds."  He helped Brian perch on his hand, and gave a brief inspection.  "I can see some of her flight muscles are very under developed, probably an abuse case.  Her owners might not come for her."

"I'm betting no." the woman said.  Brian wanted to tell them everything, kept wanting to interject, but all she could make were low cracking sounds with her voicebox.  They said their goodbyes, and the man took her into the main building to give her a full physical examination.

Brian felt helpless.  "Easy girl." Tim said.  "I'm not gonna hurt you..."  Brian felt him poke and prod, it was more than a little disturbing and humiliating to be exposed to a total stranger.  The doctors had done this to her many times before but this was different.  This was a stranger touching and HEY!  Brian flapped hard.  "Sorry girl!  Gotta check that!"  Brian tried to attack out of reaction, but she was no match. Tim wrestled her down easily, and continued the exam.  He didn't say much, but made some notes to himself on a clipboard.  Brian was thankful when the man stopped moving her around, and helped her stand up again.

"Ok girl.  Lemme get you into something a little more roomy than your last home."  Brian screeched a protest, his last "home" was pretty nice!  Tim took her to a cage, and placed her on a perch.  "Here ya go.  Good view of the forest for ya."  Forest?  What?  Brian looked around nervously as the man closed the cage behind him, and took a few moments to watch the new bird.

She was nervous, obviously.  Probably traumatized by her last owner based on how she was looking around.  Very under developed musculature, probably kept in a very small cage and never allowed to fly.  At least here she'd be able to spread her wings out and hopefully bulk up.  Well taken care of at least, probably a meat eater which is good.  If she couldn't be rehabbed for the wild he could still use her as a demonstration bird for school appearances.  He'd have to watch her on and off tonight to see how she took being outside.

That night Brian was miserable.  She was so tired from the night before, but couldn't sleep.  The damned crickets kept her awake.  And if it wasn't them it was the wind being too cold.  Or she'd hear something moving in the leaves, and look over in time to see a mouse looking in at her.  She shrieked at it, causing it to scurry away.  That made her feel better.  But she was not in a good mood when the sun rose.  She'd never slept outside before, and this sucked.

Jerry started to get a little concerned.  It was bad when things started to be declined, then his phone was shut off, his bank account closed...  Something was up.  When he went to the bank, he was a little surprised when the bank official told him he was supposed to be dead!  Something was definitely wrong.

After many phone calls, headaches, and repeated conversations, he went to a friends house who he trusted and went to work.  It took a whole day of digging, but he found what he was looking for.  He read several pages of materials that he should not have had access to.  "Oh...  fuck..."  He turned to his friend, who was reading comic books on his bed.  "I'll pay you back for the printer I'm about to destroy and the tree I'm about to use."

"Come on Sunshine."  Brian mentally cringed at that name.  It'd been a dew days, and she'd been renamed "Sunshine" because she was always up at Sunrise.  Or Tim had a sense of humor about how grumpy she'd been.  Whichever, Tim called her "Sunshine" now.  She was reluctant to start in with this again, she was tired and her breastbone hurt again.  He lifted her up and lowered her down, and out of reaction she spread her wings.  "There ya go!"  Brian wasn't happy.  "Come on girl!  It's for your own good."

Brian wanted to turn and tell this guy off.  She wasn't a stupid bird.  She knew what he was up to, she could understand him fine.  She even knew why this was necessary, she DID cardio training and knew it was to build muscle tone and so on.  She just hurt from the constant movement of her wings for the last few days.  She just wanted a massage, or someone who'd give her a hug and say everything would be fine.  Or a promise that this wasn't really forever, just for right now.  She wanted to cry, this was only supposed to be a month as a bird, not the rest of her life!

But she couldn't.  She was frustrated at all this.  So fine, she's stuck as a bird.  Life gives you lemons and all that crap.  So she'd be a bird.  She was physically able to fly, but she couldn't.  She should get it, she had superior intellect!  She just let her head down as Tim kept trying to make her stupid wings work.  "Ok girl, it's ok.  This stuff takes time."  Tim put her down on the middle perch in her enclosure, and reached into a pouch.  He offered her some meat, which smelled pretty good to Brian.  She took it, and the taste was not that bad.  A little cold, but not bad.  "Go ahead and rest, we'll pick this up later."

Later that evening, Brian was staring into the woods.  She could see some of the birds out there twisting and turning, doing effortlessly what she knew she should be able to do.  She clenched her beak, she knew she could do that.  She'd only studied hang gliding as a human and had a working knowledge on how flight should work.  Think, THINK!  She blinked when she realized what she was doing.  She was thinking.  Birds don't think about flight, she realized.  They just fly.  She's a bird.  Don't think like a human on a glider, think like a hawk, dammit.

She felt a breeze cross her body, and it gave her an idea.  Don't think, learn and do.  She knew that facing into the wind was the best way to get lift, so she did.  Then she spread her wings gingerly, still sore from the days of movement she never had before, and dug in her feet to the perch.  She had talons, she's using them.  Then she began to experiment.  Twisting her wings one way gave a sensation, moving her head another, she had no hands but could feel where her fingers used to be, and she could cup her wings a little and feel the breeze want to push her body up.  LIFT!  Not a lot, just enough!  Dipping her head and angling the wings made different sensations, and she could feel the gentle breeze whipping around her feathers.  So this is what it's like to fly?  She soared on her perch, feeling how the wind wanted to play on her new form.

Tim was doing his final rounds before calling it a night.  He looked over the various cages, and got to Sunshine's.  He could see her facing away from him, her feet clamped into the bark of the tree perch.  And she was flying.  Not really, but she was teaching herself the moves.  She'd probably never felt a solid, steady breeze before today, so this had to be an experience for her.  Tim smiled.  She was grumpy but she could learn this.  Probably just took a while to get her pissed off enough to learn what she should have years before.  He'd have her flying sooner than later.

Jerry called dead into work.  They laughed and let him have his vacation with no warning so he could sort out his "living impaired" status.  He barricaded himself in his "dungeon" with a fridge full of microwave burritos and enough Jolt cola to keep a nuclear reactor going for weeks, and was going to get answers.

The old skills were coming back to him again, a little rusty but he's still the ghost in the machine.  Using the printouts as his blueprint he went right after the names mentioned over and over.  He gained access into files, read up on what happened, and saw it all laid out for him.  Then he saw the few e-mails from a US Senator that made his blood run cold.  "We need to pluck a Falcon" it said.  "Reward for its carcass."  Falcon.  His old hacker name.  It came from a Senator Riley.  This was worth looking into.

More digging, Senator Riley came to office a few years ago.  Old soldier, lots of military contacts with some of the names on the blueprint list, and somehow he'd gained a few million dollars very quietly in the last few years.  "Oh come on, how could someone not see this?" Jerry asked to nobody in particular, tossing the last empty can into the bin.  He put that window onto the secondary screen and figured it's time to do a credit check to see if anyone noticed.

Senator Riley's credit reports said his identity was stolen once, and cross-referencing that to his g-mail account and the name "falcon" came up.  Someone took credit as him?  That's fucked up.  Especially since "Falcon" had an AOL account.  Totally traceable, what a noob.  Jerry followed that lead to its source, and found the parent account.  It was an old "buddy" of his.  Ok, he'd look into that later and kick someone's ass for that.  Right now, he had to find Brian.

Senator Riley had been busy after that.  Involved in DOD projects, some labeled "top secret".  Yeah, really secret ways to guard e-mail accounts.  With a password like "Scruffy" it's totally secure.  Pets, maiden names, kids names...  didn't this guy know anything about internet security?  One project caught Jerry's eye, simply called "Codename : Dumptruck"  It was a name on his blueprint.  He fired up the printer, it was gonna be a 2 cartridge job.

Brian crashed again into the far wall of the flight pen.  It hurt her pride more than her beak.  "I just wish I could tell her what to do." Tim said to his assistant.

"I know." Sharon said.  Sharon was always nice to Brian, so she liked her.  "But, she's gotta learn the hard way sometimes."

Brian huffed to himself.  She knew full well what she needed to do, but that landing is so complicated.  Wings up, flair, legs forward...  No wait legs forward, wings, flair, back arch, grab ground...  ouch.  Dammit.  At least Sharon would pick her up each time, help her get back to the launch perch, brush her feathers that just so right way.  How many days of crashing would it take?  So frustrating!

"A few more times and we'll take her back to her enclosure." Tim said.  Brian eyed the ground again.  Not today.  This is the day.  Wings out, push, still hurts the breastbone but I'm gonna make this.  Ground coming, flair, wings out, legs swing, head up...  No ow?  Brian looked around almost stunned, she stuck the landing!  "Allright!"  Tim was excited!  Yes!  She'd done it!  "Thatta girl!"  Brian beamed with pleasure as she was helped back up to the launch perch.  She stuck it a few more times before being put back in her enclosure.

After they had left, Brian had time to think about it, and felt stupid.  She felt like a fucking child, being patted on the head for making her first baby steps.  The more she sat and thought about it, the more it almost disgusted her.  She wasn't some fledgling, she was a full grown...  oh right.  She's a bird.  And there's no way to tell these two that she has the mind of a human in this tiny skull of hers.  And even then, would they believe it?  Probably not.

She shook her head.  Ok, so she's a bird still.  How long has she been a bird?  Then she realized she didn't know.  It could have been a month, a week?  She ruffled her feathers feeling a wind blow past her.  It was bothersome, but what can she do now?  Other than hope that Doctor Levi would figure out a way to rescue her.  Best she could do is not lose it, not just be a bird.  They wouldn't forget about her.  They'd come back when they could.  If the military was really involved staying hidden like this was the best option.

Time passed lightly for Brian.  It was just getting easier to not think of herself as a human stuck in a bird body, just being a bird was simpler.  Some days she just figured "Sunshine" was as good a name as any other, so why not?  This day she was outside of all the enclosures, and she was gliding.  It was her first time truly free gliding like this, riding into the wind, not really going forward but not going back either.  Small movements were amplified in how she stayed in the wind, a head flick, a tail flick, so subtle!  So much to take in!

Sharon held something in her gloved hand that got her attention.  She angled herself to intercept, and landed on Sharon's hand.  "There ya go girl." Sharon said.  "Keep this up and we're gonna run out of mice."  Brian's head shot up.  MICE?!?!  I've been eating MICE?!?  She felt her stomach hurk, and she vomited onto the ground.  "Oh...  oh....  Not good." Sharon said.  She brought the bird into the main office to let Tim have a look, birds shouldn't get suddenly sick like that.  Brian groaned on the inside.  Still human, after all, and another exam and probing.

It was getting to re-election time.  John Riley was gearing up for a reelection campaign.  He won the last few, this should be a breeze.  And if not he'd arrange for some quality time with the right people.  Business was lucrative, and good.  He chartered a private jet to fly to his home state.  He got on board, and soon he was en route.

After they were airborne, Jerry came out of the washroom with a stack of printouts.  The flight was empty, just the senator.  Just as it'd been arranged.  He sat down next to the man and slammed the printouts on the next seat.  The senator looked up from his paperwork more than a little surprised.  "Skree, motherfucker."

"Who the hell are you?" John asked in a huff.

"You called me Falcon."  Jerry said sarcastically.

John looked at the man with a skeptical eye, then felt his face turn white.  "You're dead." He said.  "I made sure of that."

"Then call me the Crow." Jerry said.  "You may have killed someone, but it wasn't me."

"I had you turned into a fucking bird!" John said.  "You fucked me over and I fucked you over!  You're not Falcon."

"You fucked someone over, but not me." Jerry said.  "Actually, you fucked a lot of people over.  Susan Amosha?  David Goldsmith?  Adam Huan?  Very slick."

"I don't know what you're talking about.  As soon as we land I'm having you arrested." John said angrily.

"I bet you will."  Jerry ran his thumb down the stack of printouts. "You have no idea how fucked up you really are.  You helped set up a program that nobody could believe is real to dispose of people that you felt screwed you over.  Very slick." Jerry leaned back in the chair.  "The only problem is that you left a paper trail."  Jerry picked up the top sheet and showed it to the Senator.  "Scruffy?  Come on.  How stupid are you really?"

"What do you want from me?" The senator asked.  He'd play this game, and have this jackass killed later.

"Your ass in a sling wide enough to let everyone fuck you." Jerry said.  "And we'll start by letting 'Boner' in first."

John began to get red in the face.  "This ends now."  He stood up, and walked to the front cabin.  "Pilot!  Land this craft now!"

"That's a negative sir." The pilot said.

"WHAT?"  John smashed his fist into the wall.  "I'll have your job!"

"That's a negative too sir." The pilot said.  "Now please be seated, we have a flight plan."

Jerry quietly got up behind John at this point, and put something into the square of his back.  He pulled the trigger, and John felt something prick into him.  His legs got weak, and he slowly collapsed to the floor.  "See, here's the problem when you get other people to do your dirty work." Jerry said.  "Sometimes, they miss."  John felt the cold, numb sensation go over his body, and began to get scared.  "OH don't worry senator, I didn't kill you.  But you'll wish I had."

John blacked out.  Jerry looked up to the pilot, who just nodded, going back to his instrument panel.  Jerry got to work to restrain the senator.

Sunshine was flying around the compound, making arced turns, gracefully banking around the main office and soaring up and over the tree line.  She felt free, more so than ever before.  The scents of the surrounding forest filled her soul, the visions of every leaf distinct, she knew everything around her.  This was what freedom meant.

Tim watched her with a sense of pride.  "Aren't you afraid she'll fly away?" Sarah asked.

"No." Tim said.  "She still doesn't know how to hunt for food.  She's dependant on us."  Tim watched as Sunshine turned sharply and made a dive run at the ground.  He cringed until she pulled out and up, and gracefully landed on the roof of the main building.  She looked right at him, and Tim swore she was chuckling at him.  "But she's still got a streak in her."

"Oh definitely." Susan said.  "It's almost like she enjoys messing with us sometimes."

"Warped sense of humor.  That's my Sunshine." Tim shook his head.  Sunshine wasn't even a part of that reality, she was looking around, enjoying the height.  She wondered how high she could really fly.  She spread her wings, and launched upwards.

"The plane with Senator John Riley has still not been found.  Sources say that it may have crashed in a remote area of the Dakotas, but that could not be confirmed.  The military is searching along the flight path for any sign of debris, or signs of life.  We have a live update from our own..."  The TV turned off.  John fought against the cuffs holding him in place as he heard footsteps behind him.

"They won't find it." The voice said.  "You're dead now."  John felt his arm exposed, and a cold sensation as something was rubbed against it.  "Just for future reference, you should never e-mail your hit list to anyone.  And if you do, you shouldn't save it on an internet server."  John felt a sharp sting, followed by a cold sensation that seemed to flow through his body.  "Doctor?  You're sure this will work?"

"Positive."  John couldn't turn his head to look.  "And this is an accelerated version of the formula.  It should work in a matter of days."

"And it will hurt?"  John couldn't see an answer, but the footsteps came back, and the man knelt down to be face to face with John.  John recognized him, Jim Bonter, everyone called him "boner" back in country.  "Just so you know, I didn't leave you to die.  That wasn't my call.  That was from a higher up, and we were just following orders.  I wanted to go back but they wouldn't let us.  Is that why I was on your list?"  John spit in his old friend's face.  "I'll take that as a yes.  I hope God has mercy on your soul, I sure as hell don't."  He got up and walked around.  "Clear all this shit out of here, knock his ass out before you unlock him, he might try to escape."

Outside of the room, General Bonter met with Doctor Levi and Jerry as various army technitians were cleaning out the room he was just in.  "Any word where my son might be?"

"No Sir." Doctor Levi said.  "He may have been released into Yosemite, but there's no guarantee.  We can give the antidote to all the bears and see what happens.  I'm fairly sure it won't have an effect on normal animals."

"No, that would be a waste." The general said.  "If he did, my son's probably already dead.  But I'll have my people look over the reports you have, see if he wrote where they dropped him off."  Jerry nodded.

"I'll keep looking Sir." Jerry said.

General Bonter gritted his teeth a little.  "I've got my team on this one.  You worry about your friend.  I'll worry about my boy."  Jerry only nodded.  "That asshole went over my head.  He never learned that the problem with setting shit up over other peoples heads is it always crashes on yours.  I'll be in touch with you both."  And with that, the General left.

After some silence, Jerry looked to the Doctor.  "So there's a cure?"

"In theory, yes." He said.  "I worked on it, but patients were always taken away after the one month to another facility for the cure phase.  At least that's what we were told.  It was to make our jobs more efficient they said."

Jerry nodded sadly.  "What about Brian?"

"I think I know where she is.  She had to be placed somewhere safe, because we were afraid for her life." The doctor said.  "But I think he can be found.  I need to stay here with John, to monitor his progress.  It should only be a few days, the serum we gave him is the undiluted formula."  The doctor looked into the room at the naked senator laying on the ground.  "I can't help but feel like I violated the Hippocratic oath."

John woke up in a white room.  He was naked, and the mirrors on the walls told him he was being watched.  He stood up slowly, and looked around.  "When I get out of here..." he said slowly.  "I swear to GOD I'm gonna..."  He never finished his sentence.   He screamed in agony as his arm cracked, both joints twisting painfully to the side as their new DNA sequence took hold.  And it only got louder when he began to rapidly drop mass.

Sunshine was pulled out of the car, and released from her cage.  Finally!  She spread her wings and flapped them a few times.  "I know, car trips suck." Tim said.  Tim reached into the pouch and offered her some more meat, which she took happily.  It tasted good, the rabbit must be fresh.  "Just gotta take this stuff out of the car..."  Tim was talking to himself again, Sunshine really didn't care.  She flapped and took off, going to the top of the secondary building.

From there she could see another dust trail coming up the road.  Visitors?  So soon after a school trip?  Well why not, another orphan for Tim to dote over.  She took off to the dust cloud, and hovered above it to get a good look.  A mini-van, traveling at a decent speed to the main office.  She was amused, and soared behind it all the way to the rehab center.  She landed on a nearby tree and watched the people get out.

Much to her shock, the first out was Doctor Levi!  She blinked hard a few times, and a lot of her mind reeled to see him again.  Next out was Jerry!  A third man got out as well, She had no idea who he was.  With them, in a cage, was some kind of very angry animal.  "I wasn't expecting you guys so soon!" Tim said.  "This is the skunk?"

"Yeah, we caught him outside of someone's house going through the garbage." Jerry said.  "We hope we can leave him here where he won't be destroyed."

"Well no promises." Tim said.  "We'll keep him in isolation to make sure he doesn't have rabies, and if he's clear we'll see what we can do."

"He may have been a domestic." Doctor Levi said.  "It looks as if he's been neutered."

"Neutering a skunk?" Tim asked with a laugh.  "Now that would be a first.  Has he sprayed?"

"No." Doctor Levi said.  "Not even when we caught him.  He may be deglanded too."

"Well, let's get him into isolation first." Tim said.  "We can work out some details."

Brian took off from his perch, and landed near Doctor Levi.  Tim, the stranger and Jerry were taking care of the skunk.  The doctor saw a hawk land near by, and was taken back.  He looked it over, and smiled.  "Brian?  Is that you?"  The bird nodded, making some hesitant steps towards to doctor.  "The worst is over.  They won't be chasing us down anymore.  We can cure you now.  At least I'm almost sure we can.  We can bring you back to normal."

Brian thought about it, and was excited!  Finally!  This hell could end!  She could get on with life, go back to being human again!  No more mice or rabbit meat, a good juicy steak sounded really good!  No drafty cages or sleeping outside any more.  She could get back out to the city!  Sure she'd miss this outdoor thing but finally, a human again!

"We're arranging for a place to work with you.  When we have it, we'll come back for you and bring you back to humanity."  Brian nodded happily as the Doctor patted her head.  "It shouldn't be more than a few days from now."

The cage door opened up, and John stumbled out of the thing.  It was bad enough that he had been drugged, but to be treated like this...  it was degrading.  Men should not be poking other men in those places!  The door closed behind him, and he looked with hate at the young man staring back at him.  "There ya go lil fella!"  John tired to yell back at the man, he was no little fellow, he was a Senator!  He was a man of power!  This was a pure outrage!

Tim just shook his head.  "You'll calm down soon enough lil guy."  This was one angry skunk, and it had good reason to be.  Declawed, neutered, scent glad removed, overweight...  Someone spoiled this thing and tried to treat it like a pet.  Who knows where they come from, he figured it was his job to care for the orphans of humanity.  "Hopefully you're not rabid.  I hate destroying you guys."  The skunk looked up at him and stopped, and Tim thought for a moment the thing understood.  Nah, it's a skunk.  They don't understand.  Tim made sure the food and water were there, and he went off to check on the other cages.

John sat on his haunches and growled to himself.  Someone would pay for this, as soon as he could figure a way out.  And could figure out how to not be a skunk anymore.  And could convince the world he wasn't dead.  He tested the wire on the cage, no way he could chew through it.  Chew?  What was he thinking?  He pushed on it a few times, and it didn't give way.  He looked at the door, it was padlocked.  Nothing he could pick the lock with, and with these stupid paws he wasn't climbing anything to get up there.  He paced the cage for a while, finally stopping, laying on his back and looking up.  He saw a hawk soaring overhead, playing on the winds, effortlessly gliding thought the air.  John snorted to himself.  Stupid bird, what did it know anyway?

A few days later, Sharon came into Tim's office.  "Where's Sunshine?"

Tim looked up from the keyboard.  "Umm, she's not here." He said with some hesitance.  "She's probably not coming back."

"Is she ok?  Oh God is she dead?" Sharon asked.

"Not...  quite..." Tim said.  "Umm...  I need to explain the donation we just received, but you're not going to believe this and I'm still not sure I do."

Brian was perched in his new room.  It felt so cramped, with only a small window that she was already next to.  Dr. Levi pushed layers of feathers away and prepped the spot.  "According to all the data, this should work." He said, injecting the liquid into Brian's wing.  "But we've never had the chance to try it.  If you hurt or anything, you need to tell us."  Brian nodded.

Jerry got up and approached Brian almost hesitantly.  "Dude, I...  I had no idea.  I'm so sorry."  Brian just nodded.  "When you're back to normal, I'll make it up to you somehow bro."  Brian nodded again.  She could get back to normal.

"She should rest a while." Doctor Levi said.  "It's been a hard day for her, we should let her be."

A week later, Dr. Levi was meeting with Tim at the center.  "There should have been some change by now." He said.  "Brian's progress should have at least some mass gain, or feathers beginning to drop.  And so far, I don't see anything.  It's why I brought him back, I don't know anything about veterinary medicine.  I want to make sure Brian's healthy."

Tim nodded, listening.  What he and the army guy showed him was almost too incredible to believe, but just the amount of evidence was enough to take it at face value.  And it would explain a lot of Sunshi...  Brian's behavior if she was truly self aware.  "Ok, let me take a look?"  He gave Brian an exam, trying to be a lot more gentle than before.  He then nodded.  "Umm, well I can tell you that she's healthy.  Is there a way to get some blood for exams that way?"  Dr. Levi helped get some samples, which Brian hated but she didn't have to watch.

Brian was getting frustrated.  The treatments were put on hold pending the blood work, and she was not happy waiting for them in this cramped place.  At least at the shelter she was outside.  This was cramped, and she wasn't pleased.  At least the Doctor and some of the old staff kept her company.  The time just dragged on and on...

Days passed with no word.  Then Dr. Levi came into the room one night, and Brian could tell by his expression that it wasn't good news.  He sat down next to Brian's perch.  "Look, umm...  there's a complication that we hadn't anticipated."  Brian's body language spoke volumes as she sulked a little.  "You've gone through hormonal changes as a part of changing gender.  The treatment we gave you would have worked a month after the change, but some time in the last nine months or so your body had a massive hormonal shift.  For lack of a better term you're fertile.  We can't change you back because of the biological changes."

Brian stood shocked.  Nine months?  She'd been a bird for nine months?  And she...  was a she forever now?  She started to make awkward sounds, trying to digest it all.  "We're not giving up on you yet Brian." Dr. Levi said quickly.  "We're not gonna stop until we have a way to change you back."  Brian tried to nod, but felt like the floor was dropped out from under her.  "We think that the best thing to do for now is take you back to the center.  He knows how to care for you better than we can."  Brian only nodded, she wasn't happy but the logic was sound, but emotionally she was a wreck.  And she really, really wanted a hug and to be told this was all just a bad dream.

A few days later Brian was still sulking at the rehab center.  She was allowed out but it just didn't seem right.  And the skunk kept trying to throw things at her, and that didn't make her very happy.  Tim came out one day with another hawk, a badly injured one, and placed it in another cage near by.  Something in Brian found some comfort in the company of another red-tailed hawk.  She spent a lot of time next to his cage, and he seemed to respond to her.

Tim came out one morning to see Sunshine in her cage.  She had made a very crude nest out of things she obviously found and dragged into the enclosure.  "Hey there girl!"  He approached the cage, and she let out a shrill cry as he got close.  "Ok!  Ok!  Calm down!  It's not like I'm gonna..."  He then had a look under her belly.  "Oh...  oh....  Wow..."

Jerry drove up with Doctor Levi to see Brian's progress.  "How's she doing?" Jerry asked.

"Well she and the little ones are good." Tim said as he led the others to the enclosure.  "They all hatched a few days ago, and it looks like she's got motherly instincts to teach them.  She won't let me get close to them, but she comes to me for food for them.  It's almost cute in a way."

"Almost." Jerry said.  "But Brian's still in there, right?"

"I hope so." Dr. Levi said.  "I'm hoping that mating didn't affect anything."

"She's a good mom." Tim said.  "But eventually the little guys will have to go.  I figure in a few months, after she's taught them to hunt."

"She can hunt?" Jerry asked.

Tim nodded.  "She's not the best, but she could if she needed to."

Sunshine saw the three of them talking over in the distance, and they could stay there.  She was upset when the male she mated with passed on, she really liked him.  Tim explained to her that the injures it had sustained were what did him in, and gave her some time to mourn the loss, but in three little beaks she could see her mate.  She felt a wave of happiness go through her again, seeing her little ones.  Perhaps being a bird wasn't so bad after all?  

But, no time for that now.  There were some hungry mouths to feed.  And she wasn't sure exactly how to raise these, but she could do it.  She only hoped Tim could help her teach them to hunt for themselves.  She spread her wings, and took off for where she knew she could get some food for the little ones.

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DISCLAIMER : All stories included in this archive are Copyright 1994 - 2005 Socks Furrotica Press.  These stories are (unfortunately) all works of fiction. They depict sex. Lots of quite graphic sex between several genders and arguably a few species. Af any of this offends you, or anything vaguely pornographic bothers you, don't read this, and don't send me your nasty e-mail (I may enjoy it, you know...)