©2003 Wolfy, Characters © Socks
Silver was on deck doing some practice navigations, and while he was not alone, only one figure drew his attention. Darel was different than anyone else on board. The tale went that Darel was a sculptor before the ship he was traveling on sank in a storm. He was rescued by the crew of the Maria and informed of the fate that awaited those on board. He was told how he, like them, would become an anthromorphic animal and was told the two ways the transformation usually took place. He had opted for the slower method of transformation, which took place over several months. At the end he had become an anthromorphic iguana, sticking out like a sore thumb when compared to the rest of the crew - all of them mammal based.
Still, Darel didn’t seem to mind. He took pride in his reptilian body,
wearing nothing except a lion cloth, which barely hid anything anyway.
He had also found an interesting way of serving the crew: he would massage
their muscles. No one was really certain when or how Darel had started
this practice, but it had become very popular quickly. Silver had even
heard that Darel was offered payment for the service, and he smiled to
himself, knowing full well what the ‘payment’ had to be.
“Ship ahoy!” called out the crow’s nest. Instantly the ship was a flurry of activity. Silver took out his telescope and looked. It was not too far ahead, but something was wrong. For one thing, the ship had no sails. Silver heard footsteps behind him. A glance to either side announced the presence of Captain Yars and his mentor Sharpeye.
“Status?” asked Yars.
“The ship appears to be foundering. It has no sails and it’s moving listlessly in the water. We’re still too far away for me to see if the crew is alive or not, but in any case I doubt they’re going to be in fighting condition.” Silver could hear some disappointed moans from behind him and he knew that it came from the jackrats and Howlers; the two groups were always looking for a good fight.
“We’ll have to investigate. Maria could use the assimilated material, but the crew may prefer death on the sea to the type of help we can offer.” Yars said, almost to himself.
“I think - yes I see something white. At least one person is alive, they’re hailing us.”
Captain Yars had the jackrats and Howlers move back. The Rev was called on deck to help with any of the dead or dying, not to mention help with soothing the crew of both ships.
Sharpeye let out a low whistle when they got close. The ship was holding together - but only barely. The hull was battered and had probably taken on a good deal of water. Signs of storm damage were everywhere. Silver couldn’t repress a shiver: not too long ago the Maria had looked like that.
The flagger was a burly man with golden hair and beard. He was bare-chested, and his body bore some marks, probably from the storm. He was smiling until he saw the crew of the Maria, then he dropped the white flag he’d been holding and rubbed his eyes. He got a hold of himself quickly, however. “Ahoy, my crew needs help, if my eyes be not deceiving me.”
“You see all too truly” replied Yars “may we board?”
The man blinked, then said “Yes, though God forgive me if I’ve invited the devil on board. You and your crew have an uncanny appearance.”
“An unnatural appearance, you mean. I can explain that later. What supplies do you need?”
“Chiefly water, though we won’t say no to even week old tack.”
Yars turned and directed his crew. They put out the boarding plank, and he and Rev lead the boarding party. Except for the bearded man there were only two others on the deck, both stopped what they were doing and looked at Yars curiously.
The bearded man smiled at Yars as his crew brought water and supplies on board “I am Captain Lanaham. This is my ship, the Rena.” He turned and pointed to the two crew members “My first mate Andrew Cunnings and my second mate Eric Boldwyn. To say thanks would hardly be enough.”
Yars shook his hand “I am Captain Yars, that is Maria. This is Sharpeye, my navigator, Silver his apprentice, and the Reverend.”
Lanaham looked grave “I’m afraid we’ll be needing your services.” Rev nodded and headed below deck. Sighing Lanaham turned back to Yars “We set out with a crew of thirty-two. There are now eleven of us left. That damn storm hit us several days ago. We’re lucky we didn’t go under.”
“My ship faced a similar storm not too long ago as well. We too were lucky to escape with our lives.” He eyed Lanaham carefully “You’re taking our appearance in unusual candor.”
“To be truthful, I half-believe I’ve come down with some sort of brain
fever. Still, your grip felt real enough. How came a ship of animals who
walk like men to be?”
Yars sighed. He knew this would come up. “We started as men, like you. The ship I hail from makes us like this.”
“Why not leave?”
“We cannot after one half hour. The ship keeps us there. We cannot jump ship nor can we kill ourselves. We can leave on occasion, but must always return.”
Lanaham frowned “A frightful proposition. I had thought to ask you to help us to the next shore on board your ship, but now I see that is not an option.” He stroked his beard “Still, to stay on board this vessel would mean certain death.”
The Reverend had returned from below deck, followed by the remaining crewmembers, one of whom seemed to be a doctor. They were apparently still trying to get over the shock of a humanoid, talking rabbit. Lanaham faced his crew, then turned to Yars. “A moment alone, if you would. I’d like to tell my crew our two choices: to stay and die or leave and join you.”
“We could give you more supplies…” started Yars. Lanaham grinned sadly and shook his head.
“No. The Rena is mortally wounded. She will not survive another storm.”
Yars nodded and motioned for his crew to leave. Whatever the outcome he would respect their choices. That also left him with the problem of his own crew. If the crew of the Rena did join them, he was going to make sure they would transform however they wished.
It took a remarkably short time for the crew of the Rena to move their possessions onto Maria. A proper burial was given to the men of the Rena who did not make it, then Maria began to absorb the Rena.
“Remarkable.” Commented Lanaham. “It’ll be comforting to know that the Rena will always be near us.” He looked at Yars “You said the transformations take time?”
“If left alone they can take months. There are, however, faster ways.”
Lanahan raised an eyebrow “Faster?”
“Extreme emotions, prayer, and sex.”
“That last sounds interesting. Where do you keep the females?”
Yars gave him a look. Lanaham’s eyes widened briefly. “Ah, I see…”
“My crew has been ordered not to do anything without consent…”
Lanaham smiled “Don’t worry, my crew can take care of themselves.” As he spoke he watched six of his men leave, three with the Howlers, three with the jackrats. He shook his head and smiled. “Those six have always been something of friendly rivals. I take it your dogs and rats are too.”
Yars nodded “The jackrats and Howlers always try to out do one another. The three going with the jackrats will become rats.”
“And the ones with the dogs, dogs?”
“Maybe. I don’t know why, but for some reason the jackrats only produce other jackrats. It doesn’t always work the same way for everyone else. Many times, but not always.”
Lanaham nodded. There were still four others. He knew what his first and second mates would do, they’d done it before. He smiled as he watched the two quietly leave deck, a raccoon leading the way. That left the doctor and Arron. The doctor seemed to be having a deep discussion with Rev. The two were leaving deck together. He looked to Lars. “Does your Reverend ever…”
“No. At least, not that I’ve heard. He turned that way through prayer.”
“Hmm the doctor may be joining him in that. Richard believes he can only do what God allows.”
Lanaham was surprised to see Arron go off with an iguana. “That iguana fellow, who is he?”
“Darel. He provides an interesting service for us. As you know, work on ship can weary even the strongest muscles. Darel has learned how to relax them with his hands. I’m pretty sure he’s convinced Arron to try it out. He’ll be the first full human he’s had a chance to work on.” Yars sighed and looked at Lanaham “What will you do?”
“I’m not sure yet. I’ll stay out here a while and think.”
Yars nodded and left.
“I feel weird.” Said Arron. He was lying naked on a semi-hard bed. Darel smiled.
“Don’t worry, everyone does at first. Just try and relax, I’ll take good care of you.”
“Okay.” Arron replied, closing his eyes.
Darel started at the toes, rubbing the flesh around and between them. Slowly he noticed that they started thickening and getting hairier. Curious, he kept rubbing. The webbing between them thickened and the toes themselves elongated. ‘Interesting!’ Thought Darel to himself. As he worked his way up the soles of the feet, they grew longer. He took time to tenderly caress, gently rubbing the developing fur on the other side.
“Hey, that feels good!” commented Arron.
“Great.” Darel said, but his concentration was now on Arron’s legs. Like with anyone else he slowly eased out the muscles. But he also seemed to encouraging the hair to thicken and grow into its furry fullness. Though delighted at the slick, silky results Darel secretly wondered what Arron was becoming. ‘No matter’ he thought happily. ‘I’ll simply concentrate on the job and figure out what Arron is later.’
From the legs he moved to the butt - secretly his favorite area. The twin mounds were always easy to manipulate, and as they grew hairier, a tail made its way slowly outward. Taking the developing tail he rubbed it, seeming to draw forth more of its length every time he did so. It was long and flexible, perfect for massaging. Arron let out a groan of pleasure. Darel smiled. He never knew he could do this - it was fun molding flesh as he had once molded stone. He thought briefly of going under the butt to the hidden penis, but quickly dismissed the idea. He could rub it more directly when Arron turned around.
Finished with the tail he moved upward, slowly kneading the back, gradually encouraging the fur, and paying particular attention to the shoulders, where most tension was. Moving down the arms, he eventually reached the hands. Like the toes he manipulated them into a new state - furry, and somewhat paw-like, but not true paws; they still retained their dexterity.
“Mmm yes. Please don’t stop.”
Darel grinned and moved to the neck. As he rubbed and massaged Arron’s face slowly extended outwards, his ears moving back and up on his head until it achieved animalistic perfection. He was covered in sleek fur, the perfect image of an otter.
Arron rose and tried to smile at Darel, but found his jaws moving oddly. Looking, he gasped and put his paw-like hinds on his new muzzle. Seeing his hand, he leapt up and took stock of his body. Then he looked at Darel, and to his surprise, hugged him tightly.
“That was wonderful! This new body is great! Why didn’t you tell me you had this power?”
Darel didn’t say anything, but just let Arron hold him. Finally Arron broke away, looking a bit embarrassed.
“Oh, it’s just I don’t know how to repay you.”
“I think I could suggest one that would be mutually pleasant for both of us.” Darel hinted. Arron’s eyes grew wide, but then he smiled and assumed a crouching position on the floor. Darel removed his loincloth and inserted his reptilian penis into Arron’s open hole. The two started gyrating immediately, both letting out groans of pleasure. At the very height of passion the two came as one, each ejecting seed - Arron to the floor and Darel into Arron.
Afterward Arron and Darel cleaned themselves up, having nearly as much fun in doing that as they did having sex. Darel and Arron then looked at each other.
“So now what?” asked Arron, gently rubbing Darel’s chest.
“We could go to bed. I have one in the next room.”
“Great idea.” Arron said as they went together.
“By the way, Arron, many crew members change their names after being transformed. Not all, but...” Arron put a finger to Darel’s muzzle.
“You can call me Riverfoot.”
“This ship seems to be larger on the inside than it is on the outside.” Commented Richard to Rev. Rev just smiled at him and continued escorted him around the ship.
“One of Maria’s more interesting qualities.”
“Along with the fact that most of your crew seems to have sex at the drop of a hat.”
"You'd better watch where you drop your hat then!" Rev laughed “Yes. That takes a bit of getting used to. I’ve found, though, that most have developed deep, loving ties with one another.” He sighed “You should know that your profession as doctor won’t come to play often here. Maria protects her crew in an interesting way. We cannot kill one another or jump off ship. We can get hurt by boarding crews - at least for the first half hour. We also found out that Maria herself is not invulnerable. Her protection can fail if she is badly damaged. Our resident herbalist is a cat named Robert. When tomorrow comes I’ll introduce you two.”
“Why not now?”
Rev blushed “Ah - except for the night shift most of the crew are generally busy in their quarters after dark.”
“What would they be…never mind…” said Richard, feeling a little foolish.
Rev smiled comfortingly “Like I said, it takes a bit of getting used to.”
Abacus led Andrew and Eric below deck. He had overheard the two wondering where they were going to stay for the night and was more than happy to oblige. Along the way he told them the rules of the ship. They seemed to take it all in stride.
“How much further?” Asked Andrew.
“Right here.” Replied Abacus, pointing to a door.
“Thanks.” They said, entering. The room was romantically lit, and a large king-sized bed stood in the middle. Andrew and Eric looked at each other.
“From what they said, we’ll transform into animals overnight.” Started Eric “Are you sure you want to…” Andrew stopped him mid sentence by kissing him.
“I’d rather be an animal with you than a human alone. Besides, it sounds like a fun way to go.”
Eric smiled and started removing his clothes, as did Andrew. Soon the two men lay naked in bed together. They started off with some mild folding and holding, but soon gave into more lusty passions. Andrew, being the senior officer, started on top first. As he penetrated his partner, the hair on his body began growing thicker and more fur-like. His hair changed slowly from brown to white, as a white beard started covering his face. The hair on his body became redder in tint, though his chest hair became lighter. Below him he could just see Eric’s body transforming beneath him. Dark hair was covering his back. He could see and feel his own mouth and nose extending. Coming at last, he and Eric were both left half transformed. Lying together, the two examined their partly transformed bodies. Their penises had somehow enlarged and were now in animalistic sheaths. They rubbed each other’s half furry body and marveled at the half grown tails. The miniature horns they had grown gave away what they were turning into.
“I started us,” said Andrew, cuddling Eric tightly “now you get to finish us.”
“I’d never disobey my superior officer.” Eric replied, grinning.
Mounting, Eric found Andrew’s tail rubbing his belly to be an exhilarating experience. Inserting himself into the awaiting hole, Eric felt a surge of power unlike anything he’d felt before. Moaning, Andrew could feel it too, their bodies growing stronger, harder, hairier, their muzzles finishing their outward growth, and, at last, an overwhelming orgasm, unknown to normal humans.
Richard stopped as a feral bellow, like that of two bulls, came from a room he and Rev were passing.
“Do I even want to know what’s going on in there?”
“If you can’t guess, I’m not going to tell you.”
Robert shook his head “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this.”
Rev smiled. “It takes time but, like your shipmates, you’ll get used to it.”
“My shipmates? You mean…”
“Last I checked there were no bulls on Maria.”
Richard eyed the door warily, wondering what he’d gotten himself into.
Lanaham stared out at the darkened sea. A half moon illuminated its waters. ‘The sea is a fickle mistress.’ He thought, considering the fate that had fallen on him and his crew. From somewhere on deck he heard a small sigh. In the moonlight he could make out the form of a member of Maria’s crew - a squirrel. This member was also looking out to the sea.
“Would you mind some company?” Lanaham asked, stepping up behind him.
“No, not at all Mr. Lanaham.” He replied, not turning.
Lanaham stared at him “How’d you know it was me?”
“Your scent. These animal noses of ours can pick up things the human eye misses.” He turned to face him “My name is Kyle. I’m the first mate.” He extended a paw, which Lanaham took.
“Larry Lanaham.” He joined Kyle at the side of Maria. “Ya have the night watch?”
“No. Belfry and a few of the others do. Belfry’s a bat.” He answered before Lanaham could ask.
“That is an awful pun.”
“A lot of folks on board take new names after they transform.”
“But you haven’t?”
“Not yet. Maybe someday.”
“If yer not on duty, why aren’t you below - um-“
Kyle smiled at him “Oh I could, I guess, but I always feel weird doing it. At least with most folks.”
“What does it feel like - turning into an animal?”
“It doesn’t hurt - except maybe with Vermin, but he’s big into pain and dominance. It is weird feeling your tail for the first time, though.” He looked at Lanaham “Any reason you ask? I mean a side from the obvious. ”
“Oh, I don’t know. Being captain, I’m supposed to lead my men by example. The way things look, I’ll be the only human on board by tomorrow - except maybe Arron and the doctor.”
“I see. I could, um, lead you through it if you’d like. Not that I mean to press or anything.”
Lanaham smiled and ruffled the hair on Kyle’s head “I think I may take you up on that, laddie. Yes, a better alternative than letting the men think I’m not with them.”
He followed the squirrel to his quarters and noticed that they were very well appointed. “For a crew of animals you do very well with your furnishings.”
“Oh all this? It’s Maria’s doing. She can reshape herself to meet our need or desires watch. Maria, I could use a king-sized bed.” Kyle said, seemingly to space. To Lanaham’s amazement the single bed expanded where it stood, though oddly it didn’t seem to take up more room than before. Lanaham shook his head and removed his clothes. Kyle looked a bit shocked.
“Too fast?” asked Lanaham.
“No, just unexpected.” Kyle quickly removed his own clothes and lay himself flat on the bed. As Lanaham drew near, he raised his tail, the invitation obvious. “I’d have though you’d want to be on top of me.” Commented Lanaham.
“Next round” said Kyle with a grin “I’m only a first mate, you were a captain.”
Lanaham nodded, and took a breath before closing in. The squirrel’s tail was soft and silky beneath his chest. He’d thought it’d be rougher. Feeling the sides of it, he found himself getting hard. It was weirdly intoxicating. Finally he pushed himself in. Kyle went willingly with the thrusts, helping Lanaham along. As he went, Lanaham grew hairier and hairier. He could feel his feet elongating, his mouth and nose pushing outward, a tail beginning to protrude, and a raw surge of power unlike anything he felt before. The changes happened faster the closer he was to coming. Finally, he felt it, power and fulfillment and…
Richard jumped back against the wall as a deafening lion’s roar came out of a near-by room. Even Rev looked a little unnerved.
“One of yours?” Richard sighed as Rev shook his head, “At this rate I’ll be the only human on board by morning.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that. You must change on your own terms, not someone else’s.”
“I know, but… do you have anywhere we could talk privately?”
“I have my room and a chapel. We also have a confessional.”
“It’s not a confession exactly. More something I have to get off my chest.”
Rev smiled, “Of course, this way.”
Richard took a seat across from Rev. The room he was in was well lit and furnished modestly. He paused a moment, then started. “It started when I reached puberty. Instead of finding women attractive I found myself drawn towards men. I could never feel anything towards women but deep friendship. Certainly never love. I tried to devote my doctoring towards women, always feeling guilty and ashamed over what I felt towards men. I was traveling on the Rena to go to Europe for study on new medicine practices. Then the storm hit, and now…” Richard shook his head “I confessed to a priest once, my feelings. He told me it was evil and sinful.”
“Some of my Brothers would say that, but I do not believe it myself. From what I have seen on board this very vessel I can tell you it is not true. There is nothing wrong with loving another of your gender.” He shook his head “How ironic it is that so many tales speak of men who hold love for one another, and yet in the real world it is shunned.” Looking to Richard he said “Do not be ashamed of your feelings towards other men, be happy, for here you have found a place where you need not be ashamed.”
“I will try to Rev.” said Richard, musing “Is it true what you said earlier, that loving relationships occur?”
Richard felt a sudden euphoria, and with that euphoria a change as well. Fur rushed over his body, his nose and mouth extended into a muzzle and he felt a strange growth on his head. “What the...” he started, staring at his fur-covered hands.
Rev smiled “Not everyone gets transformed through sex, you know.”
Richard headed to the mirror on Rev’s dresser. A handsome buck stared back at him. He was oddly pleased to see his new form. It seemed right somehow. He turned and smiled at Rev, “Is there a room for me? I’d like to spend the night alone - at least tonight anyway.”
Rev’s eyes went out of focus temporarily, then he smiled “Yes, Maria has made one for you. Follow me.”
The next morning the crew of the Rena was called to meet on deck. Lanaham looked over his former crew. He smiled to see not a human among them “Men, you knew me before as your captain. You have a new captain now - Captain Yars. I will be known from now on as Leoghann. So we can recognize each other, let’s start with names, beginning with our resident Minotaurs.”
Andrew and Eric stepped forward “Andrew.” said the Hereford.
“Eric.” Announced the Aberdeen-Angus.
“Arron.” The otter next to them went forward “But I chose a new name - Riverfoot.”
“Richard.” A handsome buck stepped forward “Just call me ‘Doc’ for now.”
“Chris.” Said a collie “Pack name, Cuff."
“Wendle.” Said a Brittany spaniel “Pack name, Redpaw.”
“Ian.” Announced a St. Bernard “Pack name, Bernie.”
The rats introduced themselves as Randy, Sam, and Greg, though they didn’t have any new names.
“Very well, men. We are all on board the Maria now, for better or worse. We will obey it’s rules as best we can. you have all served me faithfully and well in the past, and I expect you to serve Captain Yars the same way. Dismissed.”