Liyoht walked the deck of the ship cautiously. It wasn't the Maria, but it was still familiar. Something he'd seen before in black and white movies in high school. But this wasn't a pleasure cruise. He was scared for his life.
"Haltenze!" Liyoht made a run for it. He cursed for the moment that he was so light in pelt color, but saw a better place to hide. He dove into the lifeboat and pulled the covering over it. He heard the boots of soldiers run past his hiding place. He held his breath, hoping they hadn't seen or heard him.
He slowly raised the cover to dare a peek outside. He could see outlines, possibly others like himself. Anthros. They were being held at gunpoint, at the edge of the railing of the ship. He couldn't hear then specifically, but a lot of crying, a lot of holding and sadness. One looked to him. Liyoht could see his rounded ears. A Jackrat? No, mouse. Definitely a mouse. The mouse made eye contact with Liyoht , and only nodded.
Someone yelled out an order in a German tongue, and the guns began to blaze. Liyoht watched helplessly as the anthros were cut down. He then saw one of the gunners turn around. His uniform was all too familiar as well, the letters "SS" on the lapel. His muzzle in an upturned snarl, eyes smoldering red. He looked around the ship, and spit onto the ground. The lupine features very obvious in the ship's running lights. as he looked back at what the mouse was staring at.
"NOOOOOO!" Liyoht shot out of bed with a scream, scaring Wolfy and Canem half to death. Liyoht launched from the bed, landing on his feet, shaking violently. His eyes wide open, he licked his muzzle as he looked around the room desperately.
"Liyoht ?" Liyoht looked back into the bed to see Wolfy looking at him with genuine concern. "You ok bro?" Liyoht shook his head.
"Bad dream?" Canem asked, shifting his weight so he could sit up.
With all his concentration, Liyoht sat down on his haunches, panting hard. "I think I caught what Robert's got."
"What?" Canem asked. Liyoht just shook his head, trying not to break down. "What?"
Wolfy put his paw on Canem's shoulder. "It it go for a few, ok?" Canem nodded.
The next morning Captain Yars was walking down the hall to his command cabin. He rounded the last corner to see a man pacing back and forth in front of the door to it. It was Wallworth. He saw Captain Yars, and walked towards him in an aggravated manner. "You have to make it stop."
"I'm sorry?" Yars asked.
"The change." Wallworth said. "Make it stop."
"And how do you propose I do that?" Yars asked, somewhat amused at the idea.
"You're the captain. Make this Maria thing stop whatever it's doing to me!" Wallworth said, some panic growing in his voice.
Yars looked at Wallworth, and saw his eyes had changed to an almost totally black color. He could also see the beginnings of changes in his build, as well as his face elongating into a muzzle. "You were warned several times by Scott about the risks. You chose to come on board, and now you're stuck here like the rest of us."
"I've seen you leave!" Wallworth said in anger. He pointed his finger at Yars. "I know you can change the rules! I've seen you do it! Now make Maria stop!" As he ranted Yars watched as his facial hair grew thicker, and framed a back nose in snow white fur, then black fur up to his eyes.
Yars shook his head. "You've made your bed, now lay in it." Yars tried to walk into the command cabin, but Wallworth blocked him. "Do you really think you can stop me when the best you could hire could not?"
"I'm a reasonable man." Wallworth said. "I can make it worth your while to help me here. Just change the rules, slightly." Yars watched Wallworth change further, his fur growing more luxurious as he spoke.
Finally, Yars stepped in close to Wallworth. "You may with to go back to your quarters before you get any more angry. Your tail will hurt a lot more if it's constrained in your pants when it forms." Wallworth looked down at his body in horror, the shock or realization causing his tail to press against his pants and painfully cause then to split under his beltline. Wallworth collapsed to the ground, feeling the final part of his humanity broken. Wallworth's body wracked in pain as the changes accelerated. His paw pads swelled under his hands and feet. As suddenly as it began, his changes slowed down to it's final completion.
Yars knelt down next to Wallworth as his ears reformed, and his whiskers sprouted from the sides of his muzzle. "You have no idea how much it pleases me that you've become a mink." he said sternly. "It's even better than what I cursed you with. Now you don't need a mirror to be reminded of what trapped you here."
Yars coldly stood up, and walked into the command cabin, leaving Wallworth to complete his change alone.
Liyoht shook a little as he tried to enjoy breakfast. Canem and Wolfy looked on helplessly to their brother as they tried to both figure out what to do. "Liyoht ?" He turned around to see Robert there. "Are you all right?" Liyoht looked at the cat with wide eyes, shaking slightly. Robert at down next to him. "You saw."
Liyoht nodded. "I saw."
"What was that?" Robert asked. "It looked like a boat, but I have never seen one like it before. And there's a few howlers and jackrats who saw it too. I wasn't sure if you were the one in the lifeboat or not."
Liyoht's scent changed radically, and he sunk his muzzle into his paws. "It's the future." he said. "I hope you never need to see it again. I don't want to see it again."
Canem and Wolfy looked at each other in shock.
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