Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:00

Sanguine: Into the Darkness

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A Whateley Universe story

Sanguine: Into the darkness

by

Rose Redd

 

People often tell tales of the monsters that live in the sewers and subways of New York. They have been the source of many a legend and many an urban myth. But not all of them are fiction. There have been many tales of the homeless people that dwell in the shadows and darkness. These people have often been compared to the Morlocks from H.G. Wells popular stories. But in that fantasy, if you look close enough truth will be found.

He had once been Vince Calloway, but nobody knew that. To those that whispered rumors of the monster of the subways called him the Hell-bat, and Man-Bat (Which DC Comics tried to quash in courts). Regardless of what he was called, He had been living in squalor, feeding on rats and vermin.

It all started when he was eleven, the fainting spells and the intense pain in his joints and ligaments. The constantly dry mouth, the feeling of never being satisfied, no matter how much he ate. At first his Ma had thought nothing of it. “You are just a growing boy” she would say. When his face started to change in strange ways, he begged her to take him to the doctor. With an “It’ll pass, you are just going through an awkward stage” she waved it off.

It was no awkward stage. He would wake up to the taste of his blood. His canine teeth having become noticeably sharper, they would carve up the insides of his mouth. But oddly, this caused another realization. His blood didn’t taste bad, like it used to. That awful metallic iron taste was becoming… pleasant?

A week passed, with Vince locked in his room, pain coursing through his body as muscles stretched, bones lengthened and reshaped. Ligaments stretched to their limit. His mother left food outside the door, and left him alone, fearing whatever cold or flu he had. If she had known what was going on, she would have been more concerned. Vince sat there, looking at his fingers, each now over a foot long. When he held his hands up in front of the light fixture, the light shone through the membranes that had formed between them.

The thirst was unbearable, and as he shuffled to the computer, he fumbled around trying to turn it on. His huge fingers made it almost impossible to type or even move the mouse. After some trial and error, Vince managed to figure out a method of hunt and peck with his sharp claw-like nails.

Opening his e-mail, he scrolled awkwardly through his address book, selecting his mother.

“MutatMomSorrymonstr.nedde bloOd..mUstgetawAy.loveUdntwanttohUrtU.”

With tears in his eyes, Vince hit send and crawled out the bedroom window. He looked back one last time at his old home. A bed he'd never again sleep in. A home he'd never again live in. A mother who would never again hug him. He looked back at his old life, a life to which he could never return.

It was getting colder, and he was out on his own, the cold had him hunkered down in abandoned buildings. The first time he caught a rat, the revulsion nearly overwhelmed him, but the hunger, the thirst for that iron taste overwhelmed him. He drank it dry and immediately had to have another. With winter approaching, he knew his birthday had passed. 12 years old, and on the streets. He was a monster. Nothing else could describe him. It had taken a while, but the transformation seemed complete. He saw his reflection in the dirty windows and broken mirrors. He was huge, at least six and a half feet tall. His chest had grown broad and muscular, but his limbs were definitely thin. Thin and long, longer than normal, his hands scraping the ground as he walked. Thin brown hairs covered his body, and with the upturned spaded nose and large pointed ears jutting from the sides of his head, he looked frightening. That certainly wasn’t diminished any by the fact his long canine teeth showed whenever he opened his mouth. Loose semi-translucent skin hung from his arms, from wrist to armpit. They matched the membranes that had grown between the grossly elongated fingers.

Looking through the window of the tenement he was hunkering down in, Vince saw the light flurries. With his misshapen form he could no longer wear footwear, nor any shirts or jackets. The New York winters would kill him. He knew that.

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Eve DuMont stood on the corner, looking around. It had been a rough day, no customers meant no money. Her rent was paid, but she would need to tighten her belt. Heh… not that that was a big thing. As a shifter, she could alter her appearance how she saw fit. Her codename registered with the MCO was, afterall, Everywoman. Her power meant that she could shift to appear as any woman she wished to be. Thus it was that when she walked up the stairs and unlocked the door, the tall buxom blonde began to shrink and compress into a much smaller, rather ordinary mousy brunette with rather plain brown eyes and a somewhat under-developed figure.

Slipping out of her now too-big clothing, she sat in the ratty old recliner and looked out at the window. Her ‘boss’ would not be pleased. It had been years, but she remembered it like yesterday.

She had been so young and gullible. Just out of high school and looking forward to her first semester at NYU. She had arrived on campus with big dreams and hopes for the future. All that was gone now. Now she was just a slave, a servant, a whore. Getting up, she walked to the window and looked out. From her rat-hole, she could see the Chrysler Building and parts of the Manhattan skyline. Oh, to have money and power, to have no worries, to have freedom. Everything she wanted, and nothing she could have. Throwing on some pajamas, Eve walked back to the chair and curled up, quickly falling asleep.

Yawning, Eve looked around. It was morning, and the cold sun was shining through her windows, the moth-eaten curtains failing to keep out the light. Walking to the clothing room, it wasn’t a bedroom, that would imply that one actually had a bed, and it was in that room. She dug through the dresser and found some freshly washed panties and a bra that was clean enough. Slipping them on, she let her body adjust to them, deciding her dimensions for her. Tweaking her height up to about five-foot ten, she decided to go with a very sexy African American look for the day.

Slipping into some casual clothes from the rack that held the things in her current size, she walked towards the door. There were a few small bills and her identification cards. Stuffing them into a purse, she grabbed her keys.

There was a knock on the door, which meant one of two things the landlord was coming to collect rent, or her ‘employer’ was there. Since rent had been paid promptly on the first, she knew it had to be Guido, her pimp.

Eve sighed as she looked through the peephole. Sure enough, it was that asshole Guido. Undoing the chain and the lock, she opened the door. “What do you want? It’s butt-fuck early, and I was promised today off.”

The sleezeball that called himself her pimp smiled a nasty smile, that poser gold tooth of his shining in the light. A tooth that she had paid for. She paid for everything. “I’m gonna rain on your parade, Sunshine. I gots a big booking for you tonight. One that’ll make us a lot of money.”

Eve rolled her eyes. Of course when he said “us”, he meant “him”. She would get maybe 30 percent at most. Thirty percent for having to assume the form the client wanted, 30 percent for acting a role, 30 percent for spreading her legs and coping with it.

“So, what’s this job?” she asked.

Guido smiled that ‘I know you want to punch me in the face and knock my teeth out’ smile of his and then responded. “The client has a particular taste, and you are to provide it. I’m thinking “Katie Ann’ should work.

Eve felt sick. “You promised me! No more pedophiles. No more sick bastards. You promised!”

With a scowl, Guido reared his fist back, and swung. She knew the feeling of a broken nose all too well. Concentrating, she popped it back into place and it began to heal immediately.

“Don’t you smart off to me. I own you. That little tracker in your brain means that I know who you are, where you are. I can find you. Don’t even think of running. You’re mine, bitch, to do with as I see fit.”

Laying on the floor, Eve sobbed. “You promised, and I threw out all those clothes.”

Shaking his head, Guido pulled a fat wad of money out of his pocket, peeled off a few fifties, and threw them at her. “This time, don’t throw them away.”

With a look back in disgust, Guido left the apartment, closing the door behind him.

Sitting on the floor, Eve wrapped her arms around her knees. She thought about ending her life, and not for the first time. But every time she had gotten close to trying, something stopped her. An inner voice told her that she had much to do still, and things would eventually work out.

Closing her eyes, Eve remembered when it all went wrong.

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Several years prior…

It was a crisp, clear Autumn day, and Eve was excited. The eighteen year old girl had just arrived on campus at NYU, determined in her desire to study and become a famous actress. She wasn’t much to look at, but that was no problem for her.

Arriving at her dorm, She was met by a tall shapely girl who apparently also resided there.

“Um, hello? I’m looking for room B3.” Eve said timidly, her glasses nearly sliding off her nose as she looked up from her usual downwards cast posture.

The tall girl shook her head and sighed. “Freshmen” She said in an annoyed tone. “Down the hall, up the stairs, and fourth door on the right.”

Reaching the room, she entered, there were two beds. The one on the left had been claimed with a pink comforter and light blue pillows. It was adorned with stuffed animals, and there were posters of rainbows and unicorns on the wall on that side.

Sitting on the other bed, Eve shook her head and wished her belongings would arrive. The moving company had phoned to let her know that they were held up in St. Louis, and there would be a delay.

Until then, the best Eve could do was to buy what she needed.

College would be her chance to remake herself, to shed that shy, unattractive girl that she had been. Nobody here knew her, and she could reshape herself, ever so slightly at first, to become someone more attractive, more vibrant, more fun.

It was that damned party. Being the naive freshman girl, she was invited to a party. Of course she went. The opportunity to network and meet people in the drama department was too good to pass up. Of course it was. But being the country girl in the big city, she didn’t know the dangers. And of course someone was going around spiking drinks and slipping things into the drinks of young, stupid girls. Girls like Eve.

Waking up the next morning, Eve knew something was wrong. Her head was spinning and everything was blurry. As her thoughts slowly coalesced, it came to her. She had been drugged. More than that, it had to have been something powerful. With her mutant regeneration, she could shrug off intoxication easily. Something was going on.

“Glad to see you awake” a voice said. Eve turned unsteadily, and looked. There was a shady man standing in the corner. He sneered and looked at me.“I saw you at that party and knew you were special, and I can see I was right.”

Eve looked down and saw that in her stupor, she had changed. Her skin was a tanned Latina shade and her breasts had increased to a very voluptuous DD cup.

“Once I got you drugged enough, you were very suggestible… VERY suggestible. There is an opportunity for me. Having a shape-shifter in my control, you could make me a lot of money.”

Looking fearfully at the shady individual, Eve hesitantly found her voice. “I...I am not yours. Let me go, and I won’t call the police!”

The man laughed. “I don’t advise that… Eve.” Looking at him, she shuddered as he held up her purse. “I know who you are, and I can find your loved ones… If I have to. And if you think you can shift and escape me, think again. While you were out, I had a… friend… plant a tracking device in you. You can’t run, I can find you.”

Sighing and shaking her head, Eve shed the memories of the past and concentrated on the present. She hated some of the perverts that she had to service, and the pedophiles were the worst of the lot. Shuddering, she pictured the eight year old girl, Katie Ann, a template that she had been forced to use more than once. As her body started to shift and compact in on itself, she thought of escape. Not for the first time.

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Meanwhile…

Vince stumbled through the darkness. His insides were burning, hunger clawed at his brain, need and desire welling up, competing with the cold of the October night. If he didn’t find shelter, he would freeze. Carefully, he crossed the bridge, scrambling up the cabling. Skittering over the wires, suspended over the river, over the traffic, he worked slowly to get to the island. He would be able to find shelter in Manhattan. He had been there on occasion, during the times he had skipped school. He knew there were tunnels and subway platforms and places he could hide. And that’s what he did. Winter came and went, He found an old abandoned rail-line, one that had caved in after some quake or superhero battle or some other accident. With a little digging, he managed to get into the tunnel. Jackpot! There was a partially wrecked pump-house, kept warm by the flow of water through forgotten pipes. He would sleep there during the day, and forage for rats and raccoons and other things to feed on during the night.

Winter passed, and spring came. With the warmer weather, he began to cautiously venture out carefully. He must never be caught, for they would surely kill him. On his forays to the surface, he found abandoned items he could drag down to his lair. An old mattress, plastic buckets with lids he could use as a toilet, to be dumped into the sewer when needed. It wasn’t comfortable by any means. Although the pipes did provide some warmth, it wasn’t quite enough, but he found that the brown fur that covered his back and legs had grown thicker over the winter, giving him the extra protection. Slinking though the tunnels, he came close to a platform. He knew better to venture up onto it, there were cameras and he could be seen. With a hiss, he watched from the shadows as a girl walked around by herself. She was far too young to be there. A man approached her. He was slimy looking, and Vince didn’t like the way he was looking at the little girl. Using his long, splayed fingers and toes, Vince crawled unnoticed up the tunnel wall. He emerged over the platform, carefully clinging to the rough ceiling. As the man was about to put his hand on the girl’s shoulder, Vince let out a cry.

A loud “Scree” sound filled the air, causing Eve to turn. The man that had been approaching turned to run. She had known he had been there. Her hearing was nearly as good as that of an exemplar, and she had known for several minutes.

In the confusion that followed, Eve ran. She didn’t care that she had shifted into an adult form, and that her child’s outfit now rode up and fit her obscenely. She didn’t care if the creature tore the john apart, She just had to get out of there.

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Vince tore at the man, slashing and clawing, Hissing spewing forth from his lips. He was so angry that he couldn’t speak. To think that they called him a monster, yet true monsters like this were allowed to roam free preying on the innocent. Innocents like that little girl. Looking around, he saw no sign of her, save for her backpack. It had been knocked down onto the rails in the confusion. After drinking his fill from the criminal, he left the unconscious man and took the bag, retreating to his den.

Eve sat in her apartment. Guido was going to be pissed. It wasn’t her fault. But that wouldn’t matter to him. She flipped on the television and hoped to relax. But that was not to be.

“Breaking news: New York Transit cameras captured footage of what appears to be a large vampiric monster saving a young girl. As you can see the girl was alone on the subway platform alone, when the suspect approaches her. The creature jumps into frame and attacks the man, allowing the girl to escape. The suspect is then bitten by the creature, before it runs off. Police found the suspect, revealed to be one Tobert Gimlinsen unconscious and suffering from severe blood loss. Gimlinsen, a convicted pedophile, is in secure medical lock-up for violating a ruling that he is not to be within 500 feet of children.

Police continue to search both for the monster, and the unidentified young girl. She appears to be between six and eight years old, standing between four foot five and four foot seven, with brunette hair and brown eyes. If you have any information on the identity of this girl, please contact New York Special Victims at 212-555-0130.”

Eve turned off the television and sighed. She had hated the character of Katie Ann, but she knew she would have to come up with a new little girl persona, if Guido forced her into having another such client. Guido. He had to have seen the news, and she knew he would not be happy. Mentally, she braced for what she knew was coming.

Sure enough, it didn’t take Guido long to arrive. The furious pounding on the door was largely ignored by the neighbors, who had become accustomed to his frequent visits. The breaking down of the door also elicited no response. Standing there, Eve looked at him, wearing her most pathetic appearance possible. Guido didn’t give a damn that she appeared to be a small ordinary looking girl, flat-chested and meek. With mousy hair and no physique. He was used to her sympathy games, and knew better. He had seen her original form. The one she no longer wore. She was not as sad as all this. Her attempt at trickery enraged him even more.

“I… it’s not my fault. He wasn’t supposed to approach me! You know that. I was supposed to get on the train, then he would get on and we would get off together in a few stops, so I could follow him to the apartment. He broke the plan, not me! He did it!” She cried.

But Guido didn’t care. A wealthy client was hurt, not only would there be no repeat business, but Guido hadn’t gotten paid for this transaction. He was enraged, and with the Louisville Slugger he carried, he showed Eve just how mad he was.

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Eve lay there for a while, having feigned unconsciousness. Guido eventually gave up and left. She crawled over to the door. The lock and knob were broken out. After a very painful few minutes securing the door closed, Eve gingerly stripped her bloody clothes off and laid on the floor. She couldn’t shift until her injuries had healed, and with the severity of them it might take an hour or two.

When she finally felt well enough, Eve changed into her “default” form. No, not her original form… it had been several years, and she no longer knew what she would look like now, after all this time. No, she had resolved that she was never going to be that naive girl again. She was hardened and tough. That was no longer her. Sitting on the floor of the shower, she cried as the water washed away the blood. If only it could wash away everything else, she had mused

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Vince sat in his hiding spot. He had messed up. There had to have been cameras, there certainly had been witnesses. Why that little girl had been there alone that late at night, he had no idea. But she was safe now. That was all that mattered. Or so he thought. He knew that there were other inhabitants of the sewers and subway tunnels. He had seen and heard them but never had they seen him, not in the many months he had lived there. They referred to themselves as the “Vermin”- cast-offs and unwanted that society had driven down here for one reason or another, many of them mutants with GSD extreme enough to make them unacceptable even in the crudest of social settings and homes.

Having retreated to his den, Vince resolved to lay low. There were dangers about, now that he was sure his presence had been revealed, he was afraid. Afraid that police and soldiers would be sent to find and kill him. Afraid that the Vermin would try to kill him for exposing the tunnels and sewers to scrutiny. And so he lurked as the seasons passed. His fourteenth birthday crept up without observation, passing unremembered.

It was just as bad for Eve, Guido had not forgotten the loss of the potential client. She was worked seemingly endlessly, having at least one and sometimes two appointments a night. With her high regenerative abilities, she didn’t need to worry about STDs and the clients paid more for the “natural” experience. The pill didn’t work for her, and to guarantee she didn’t get pregnant, Guido would do a little “preventative surgery” on her after each client. An hour or two later, she would be all healed and her uterus would have grown back. Sometimes she wished it hadn’t, if only to spare her the pain.

Summer came, and Eve lounged on the couch. In the humidity, her tank top clinging to her breasts with sweat. The cheap air conditioner had broken down once again. The vinyl of the couch might have been hot, but at least it didn’t absorb sweat. It was a rare day that Guido hadn’t planned anything for her, and she made the most of it by lounging around in her underwear. Her short pixie-cut hair brushed her cheek annoyingly.    Irritated, she made it grow to shoulder length and then tied it up in a pony tail. The sweat tricking into her cleavage bothered her as well, so she eliminated that by assuming a flat-chested physique.

Half-dozing, she heard the knock on the door, which was really less of a knock than a loud bang. The usual bang that let her know it was Guido. Opening the door, she looked up at the large man. “Yeah, what do you want? It’s too hot to put up with the smell of your bullshit.

He reared back to backhand Eve, but thought better of it. “You look… young today.” He said looking her up and down.

“Damn AC is out, and it’s too fucking hot to put up with sweat running into my cleavage.” she said defensively.

Guido nodded and smiled. “In a way, it’s perfect. A little old looking, but if you go down a few years the new client will love it.”

Eve looked at him apprehensively, realizing what he meant. “Oh no, not again. You said no after the Katie Ann thing went all pear-shaped.”

“I know, but I’ll be shadowing you this time. If they try anything dumb, I’ll be there to deal with them. And what are the odds another sewer creature would show up? Trust me, I got this.” Guido boasted.

Eve sighed. She hated this. She hated Guido, and most of all she hated herself. Her stupid mutant body was extra sensitive, so no matter how sick, depraved, or evil the clients had been, she would end up involuntarily responding physically. Shuddering, she sat and ‘planned’ the new character… As part of her preparation, she detached herself emotionally, just like she always did, treating the various forms as a role she had to play.

She took out a pink tee and pink panties from her wardrobe of random-sized clothing. Putting them on, she allowed her body to flow and adapt to the size and shape of the clothing. When she was done, she looked in the mirror at a girl, perhaps seven or eight. She smiled a hollow smile, the freckles on the little girls cheeks stood out. Brushing the mop of brown hair away from her face, she looked into her now-brown eyes. She tried to imitate the sparkle of wonder that showed in girls that age, but all she could see was her own dead eyes.

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Vince sat in his hideout. It was hot, and the subway tunnels smelled of hot trash and warm urine. His sensitive nose was begging for a respite. His mind drifted back to a simpler time. Mom taking him to the community pool, buying him popsicles, making him lemonade. He shed a tear. He had not thought of his mother in a long time, and the pain he felt was worse than he had thought. He felt empty, with no family, no friends, no human companionship. Nothing that made life worth enduring. Still, Vince had to survive. He wouldn’t quit. He was 14 now, and as cursed as his life was, he couldn’t just quit trying to survive. That’s why the heat and stench caused him a serious problem. It was a sign of just how bad things were when even the rats wouldn’t come out to eat the trash.

Starving, Vince had no alternative. He would have to risk moving into the more active tunnels. There was a great risk to that for him. He knew if the group that called themselves ‘Vermin’ saw him, they wold kill him. If the transit authorities spotted him, they were also likely to fire on him. But his hunger provided no other alternative. That night he would risk it. He had to. He needed to drink blood.

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Eve walked slowly down the stairs, looking left and right. The platform was mostly deserted, as was usual for three in the morning. She could tell Guido was nearby; subtlety was not one of his strong points. Looking around, she spotted only four people on the platform. The ticket booth was closed, and the automated ticket machine looked to have seen better days. She sighed and walked over. Dropping her money in, she took the ticket it reluctantly spat out. New York was a strange place and it was odd that nobody was looking twice at the young girl wandering around alone.    She ignored the men in the corner making out and concentrated on the man with the newspaper, who seemed the most likely to be the customer. He was clearly trying to avoid the cameras and hide behind the paper. The man badly pretending to talk on the pay phone had to be Guido.

A recorded voice broke the uneasy silence. “Train 211 is scheduled to arrive at this station in five minutes. Please make sure to gather your belongings. Stay away from the edge of the platform until the train makes a full stop. Thank you for using the New York City Transit system.”

The subway train pulled in to the stop and Eve headed for the door, passing through the automated turnstile. That was when all hell broke loose. She hadn’t seen the man with the newspaper get up and move closer, but she knew he had. The plan was that she would get on the train, and that he would follow her on discreetly. Guido was supposed to board last. That didn’t happen though, as Newspaper Man turned and pulled out a gun.

Eve glanced over as the first shot rang out. The Men that had been kissing took off like the devil was on their tail. No help there. She bolted behind a trash can, he smaller stature helping her stay concealed.

“What tha fuck, man?” Guido bellowed, as he took shelter behind a bench. He was clearly caught off-guard.

“She is beautiful! Her purity is going to belong to me! I will take her and use her to ascend to glory!” The man screamed in a voice that declared him to be clearly insane “I will lay upon her and ascend to godhood!”

Eve shook her head. If her life weren’t on the line, she would have laughed. Her… a fallen, tainted, tarnished woman was some lunatic’s idea of divinity?

The sounds of gunfire echoed through the tunnels, scaring the Vermin back into hiding. But there was someone that was drawn to it. Someone who was starved, the pain and growling in his gut mirrored by the growling snarls that spewed from his mouth. Half-blinded by his thirst, his claws finding all the small cracks and crevices, Vince silently drew closer. If anyone had thought to look up, they would have seen him as he stalked along the ceiling of the tunnel. Reaching the shadows just beyond the platform, he saw through the haze of hunger that there were two men with guns firing at each other. Nearby, a little girl was hiding, with her hands over her head. She couldn’t have been older than nine, if even that old.

Leaping into the fray, Vince snarled and bared his fangs, landing on one of the men. Shrieking, the man called out about the devil, and taking his soul. There was pain, as Vince heard shots fire, and he felt the agony of the membranes of his webbed hands and the loose flesh under his arms tear apart. Something slammed into his chest, and he looked down. Blood was covering his fur. Impacts threw him back, but in his blood-starved haze, he was desperate. Moving ever closer to the large Italian man with the sawed-off shotgun, he staggered with each impact. A final push of pure adrenaline got him close enough to hit the man, knocking him to the ground. The smell of fresh urine assaulted Vince’s nose, as the man had clearly pissed himself.

Staggering away, Guido backed up. He kept the monster in his sights, wary of an attack. Not daring to give the monster the opportunity to catch him unaware,    his gaze never left it. That was the reason he failed to notice that he was at the edge of the platform. Too late did he realize, for as he backed up, he fell, landing on the tracks. A scream erupted from him as he touched the live rail, electricity surging through him. Just as quickly as the screams began, they stopped as the electricity ended his life. Staggering towards the other gunman, Vince saw the light from the oncoming train. He covered his sensitive ears as the noisy subway train approached.

In the confusion and the ruckus, the unknown man with the newspaper had vanished. Blinded by rage and pain, and hunger, Vince slowly crept towards the only possible relief. The girl he had sought to protect.

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Eve groaned as everything stopped spinning in her head. She was tempted to open her eyes, but everything was coming back to her. She felt weak, the bat had attacked her and drank most of her blood. Eve didn’t blame it; it had tried to save her and had been wounded in the process. She was a regenerator, so she knew that it took a lot of calories to replenish lost energy and heal.

Opening one eye ever so slightly, Eve glanced around. Her savior-turned-assailant still lay a few feet away. There was a camera pointed at them, she could see it clearly. That meant even more trouble. If she left the beast behind, it would certainly be executed by the police or MCO for the attack on her. If she ran, there would be a hunt for the little girl they would assume her to be. She had very little time to act. The train that had made Guido into something resembling pizza sauce was supposed to be the last train for a couple hours, but she knew she had to leave quickly, before someone at Port Authority actually did their job and looked at the camera feeds.

Running through the problems in her head, Eve knew that she had to somehow get rid of the ‘little girl’. If she got up and left as is, the police and media would launch a search. After all, who wouldn’t go searching for a little lost girl in New York? She had an idea, but with the blood loss from the bite... it could be dangerous. Eve started to twitch and convulse, as if she were having the mother of all seizures. As she did, she concentrated on making a new look. While she couldn’t duplicate inhuman abnormalities, there were some baseline tricks she could use. Stretching and willing herself to grow, she imagined her new form. The pale albino features she desired flowed from her mind, as her skin became ashen white. Her hair lightened to pure white. Light blue eyes suddenly opened. She continued to shake as her powers continued to stretch her form. The clothing she had on was rapidly becoming too small, and straining to contain her greater size. Reaching a height of about six foot, she stood up with jerky movements. She swayed unsteadily, partially from her acting and partially from light-

headedness.

Eve figured the cameras might be black and white, but the changes in her skin and hair color would still be obvious. She curled her fingers, the long nails simulating claws. In a rather over the top decision, she grasped the straining top, tearing it open. Her breasts spilled out, revealing their now rather large size. In a few seconds, she was naked and slinking over to the one that bit her. To anyone watching the footage, it would appear a nightmare scene. The innocent little girl that was attacked having ‘died’, and risen as some sort of ghoul. In her head, Eve laughed in her head, imagining the watch officer reviewing the tapes.

Shuffling over to the creature, she struggled to pull it upright. It took all her willpower not to vomit. He, stank of blood and urine and far worse. There was no way in HELL she was going to take him back to her apartment. Fortunately, that wasn’t an issue. Guido, being in a condition rather similar to tomato paste, wouldn’t mind if they made for his brownstone. Conveniently it was closer than her place, anyhow.

Maintaining the undead act, Eve lurched off with her unconscious companion. It wasn’t hard for her to shamble like a ghoul, even at six foot, the monster was about a foot taller than her. Never had she wished that she had exemplar strength more than she wished it right now. Sadly, no matter the form she took, she had at best slightly better strength than a regular person of the same height and physical condition. It seemed like forever to get to the brownstone on foot. In reality, it was about forty minutes.

Eve had been there on one occasion prior, the first time, and she swore the last time. The man was an asshole, and in his eyes, he was king of his castle. On that particular day, Guido had been late with her portion of the money for a job the night before. As soon as she arrived, he made it clear to her that he viewed her coming to his ‘turf’ as a form of presenting herself as tribute. After he assaulted her, she fled and vowed never to go back. Later that day he had nonchalantly dropped the money off in an envelope at her place, as if nothing had happened. Thinking back on it she shuddered inside, then smiled at his ignominious end.

Rolling her eyes after locating the key, Eve thought, "Really?” she thought “Who does the under the mat thing anymore? That’s so obvious.” With her burden, Eve struggled with opening the door.

Leaving the unconscious bat-thing on the foyer floor, she went to locate the kitchen. If she didn’t stuff her face, she could easily pass out and never wake up. After a very thorough scrub-down in the first floor half-bath, she felt confident enough to risk touching the food. A survey of the fridge and pantries revealed a well-stocked larder. Clearly he was either making more off her than she had ever suspected, or he had other sources of income. A sandwich was hastily compiled from Genoa salami, Black Forest ham, and the finest artisan bread she had ever tasted.

Returning back to the foyer, she looked at her problem. The creature hadn’t stirred, and the bullet wounds didn’t seem to be healing correctly. If anything, they looked infected. There were pustules forming around the tears in the wings, and green pus oozed through the matted fur. The thing clearly didn’t have her level of regen, but it had to have some, surely? So why wasn’t it working?

Polishing off a couple more sandwiches, Eve sat and thought. She should clean the creature, to prevent infection. It still lay on the floor, breathing deeply. Looking at it, she noticed something interesting. The sores and blisters would fade, disappear, and then new ones would appear.

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Vince lay there in a fog. He had awoken to the pounding in his head. His body was numb. He could feel himself breathing, but he couldn’t do anything else. He vaguely remembered the little girl that was being hauled off by some pedophile. He couldn’t allow it. Even if the last time had nearly caused him to be exposed, he could never allow a little girl to be subjected to whatever depravities that man had planned. As the hammering in his head subsided briefly, he remembered. The pervert wasn’t alone. Some other thug was there too, and there was gunfire. Pain echoed through his mind as bullets tore through him. He lost himself in the red fog. Oh god. The girl. He drank from her. He may have killed her. Tears streamed from his eyes as he lay there completely immobile.

Coming to his senses Vince realized he had been moved. Had he passed out? He couldn’t remember. The ceiling above him looked like he was in a building, it was white and clean. The sounds of someone nearby caused him to become more attentive. He tried to look around, but he was still immobile.

There was a woman in the room, he could see her out of the corners of his eyes, as she moved around him. She had white hair and was very pale, to the point you could see the faint blue of her veins. Vince could see the pale blue eyes that looked pink when the light hit them just right. Squinting, she walked over to the blinds and closed them before leaving the room. Groggy, Vince felt sleep creep up on him, and it was a fight he would not win.

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Eve sighed and looked at her sleeping ‘guest’. She would be stuck here, as getting this giant bat-creature across town to her flat was clearly out of the question. While the place was far, far more luxurious than her own, there were still problems, not the least of which was that unless Guido had god-like powers of regeneration, he was dead. If any of his business associates came calling, she would certainly be in trouble. Sighing, she walked from the foyer to the living room. Luxurious leather couches faced a large screen television that covered most of the wall. Finding the remote on the coffee table in front of her, she clicked it on and searched for the news. Flipping through the channels, she stumbled across what she was looking for.

“… speculate that the train’s driver was intoxicated, and failed to apply the brakes in a timely manner, causing the train to run off the end of the track and into the tunnel wall. Nobody else was on board at the time, and an autopsy will be conducted. Service has been halted from Woodlawn to the Hundred Sixty-First Street/Yankee Stadium station while the investigation and inspection are underway. Anyone going to today’s Yankees game versus Minnesota is encouraged to make alternate plans.”

Eve sighed, there was nothing about Guido or her “death”; it seemed likely to her that the police wanted to keep quiet about things, and the news about the train made her uneasy. Had it actually crashed after hitting Guido and continuing on, or was there something more sinister going on?

With a frown, Eve turned off the TV and went back out to the foyer. Her sleeping burden was still snoring softly as she walked past. What Eve had seen so far of the brownstone angered her, but looking over the second floor raised her ire even more. Ornate poster beds with silk sheets. A bath with a large marble tub that could easily hold three or four adults. The sheer opulence was just infuriating. More so because she knew that the majority of it came from whoring her out as various models and movie stars, or underage girls. Hell, her Mae West or Betty Page sessions had to have cleared a LOT of money. She didn’t even want to speculate on the Katherine Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe all-night bookings.

Her ‘guest’ reeked and was covered in clothing that was stained from crawling through subway tunnels and sewers. There was caked-in fecal matter in the fur. If she was going to be around him, she had to bathe the creature. She only hoped it wouldn’t turn hostile.

The bathtub presented an opportunity, but also a problem. How would she get the unconscious thing up the stairs? Over the years Eve had experimented with her abilities, becoming all sorts of women of various sizes. The Guinness Book of World Records said that the tallest woman ever to have been accurately measured was about seven feet and seven inches tall. Although she succeeded in reaching that height, she had quickly learned that once she hit about six foot six, her strength stopped increasing relative to her size. If anything it actually started to diminish the taller she got as her body couldn’t handle the increased stress on her joints and connective tissues caused by her increased size.

Sighing, Eve headed back downstairs and assumed a form that maximized her strength. She lifted the beast with some difficulty. It was odd though, it had seemed much larger when she had physically dragged it from the subway. She had estimated it at about seven foot then, but now she swore it was closer to her six and a half foot height. The stairs were difficult, but in the end she managed without too much trouble.

Laying her burden on the tiled floor of the bathroom, she donned rubber gloves and some baggy sweats from Guido’s closet were cinched up with some nylon twine. Carefully, Eve pulled the gross shorts off her unconscious savior. She blinked and did a double-take, shocked at what she saw. She could identify it, but it looked nothing like anything she had ever seen on a male before… and she had seen a lot of naked men. With the tub filling with warm water, she stepped in, lifting the unconscious bat creature in with her. It was disgusting, and took four refills of the tub and the better half of an hour and a half, but she did manage to remove most of the stench and grime. A final rinse-off in the walk-in shower, and the still slumbering creature was totally clean. During the course of the cleansing, Eve had noticed that the lesions and sores were gone. Years ago, not long after manifesting, she had been told all the horrors of regen cancer when she had offered to donate blood. It had worried her that her savior might have become afflicted by something like that from drinking her blood.

With a sigh, Eve looked over at the marble tub. There was black sludge and shed fur in such large amounts that she thought cleaning the tub might be impossible. Well, that wasn’t her concern. When the brownstone eventually went on the market, some Realtor would hire a crew to clean it.

Laying the poor beast down she toweled him vigorously, noting that huge clumps of fur came off as she did. The skin underneath was mottled like he had vitiligo. Funny, she hadn’t noticed that before. Maybe it was because of the sewage and grime. Exhausted, Eve hauled the prone creature over to the bed and laid him down, before collapsing on the floor for the night.

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Vince’s body felt heavy, and he struggled to move. Managing only to move his head around slightly, he saw a woman sitting on the floor in her tank top and panties. She was asleep against the wall. A tall brunette, with a slim figure, she was in some way familiar. She stood maybe about five-foot seven, and was somewhat modestly proportioned. Her blue eyes looked at him and met his own.

She softly spoke to him, there was a sense of weariness to it. “You are awake. Can you understand me?”

Vince nodded slowly, with great effort. His body was still numb, and he felt feverish. He could see there was concern on her face. Her mouth curled in a slight frown. The woman looked at him. “Do you need anything? I’m going to run to my apartment and get a few things. Do you want some food before I go?”

Looking at her, Vince feebly shook his head, before biting his lip. He licked it, and stuck out his tongue, the blood covering the tip.

“Right, blood. You are saying that’s all you can have?” The woman asked as she looked over at him. A slight nod was the reply.

Vince fell asleep as the woman left. He was sweating profusely, and dozed off. Dreams of bats and blood crawled around the edges of his brain.

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Eve sighed as she walked around the city, She was exhausted. Having stopped at her apartment, she had picked up a couple bags of clothing, and after dropping them at the brownstone, she was back to her errands. The cooler she was lugging around contained the results of her trip around the city. Eve had been careful not to stock up on too much pig and ox blood at any one place, lest she arouse suspicions.

Weary, she paid the cabby as she stepped out of the taxi, hurrying to the front door. The boy had been feverish when she had stopped back with her clothing, but he seemed well enough for her to leave alone for a short time. Now that she was back, she put the cooler down and rushed up to the bedroom.

Eve stared in shock, he had gotten even smaller in the past few hours, having lost body mass and height. She guessed he was at about six foot even. More alarming was the fact that clumps of fur had shed, and he looked like he had mange. Eve had an eye for detail, as far as the human body was concerned. Being a shifter that had been paid to impersonate famous people, she had learned to notice the smallest details for accuracy. Because of this, she noticed two additional things quite distinctly. Firstly his genitals had begun to shrink, and secondly, his nipples were slightly larger.

After getting a cold compress and applying it to the sleeping boy’s forehead, she rushed to the office. She hadn’t had much time to poke around in there, but She had seen Guido’s computer. Sitting down at the laptop, she turned it on, and waited. It was password locked, but he was easy to figure out. After typing in her own name, the screen changed to his desktop. There were several folders and files that looked interesting, but those could wait for now. Bringing up a web browser, she entered a search under ‘regenerator blood’.

Ignoring some of the more obvious anti-mutant fear-monger pages, she began reading. There was a lot of information on regenerative cancer. Eve knew a little bit about that from when the doctors warned her to never donate blood. Some of the pictures of tumors and lesions looked disturbingly familiar, like the sores that the vampire boy had exhibited shortly after drinking from her. Those had stopped forming, and had disappeared almost completely. She hoped that was a good sign. What caught her eye, and concerned her even more were some of the stories of the regenerative factors in the blood over-writing the person’s DNA. Most of those that had survived the cancer had either come out disfigured, dead, or with physical or mental impairments.

Eve sighed, and a tear rolled down her cheek. This boy hadn’t meant to attack her. He was hurt and confused. And the thing he needed was what was possibly killing him. About to close the browser, she noticed one of the links at the bottom of the browser page was titled ‘Girl transfused with mutant blood tries to cope with her new reality.’

Frantically clicking the link, Eve read the story that popped up. A story from the Chicago Tribune dating from 1989 related the story of a young transplant patient that accidentally was given a transfusion of mutant blood. Reading on, the article how the young girl changed into an almost exact duplicate of the boy that donated it. The patient manifested their own powers not long after, different ones from the original donor.

Eve sighed a sigh of relief. The boy was a mutant, she was a mutant. That meant that there was still a chance that he could pull through. What she had seen and what she had read still worried her. His nipples were enlarged, and his junk was smaller. Resting her face in her hands, she silently muttered “I’m sorry… I’m so sorry”.

Her blood was doing this to him, it was reshaping him, most likely into a girl. Looking through all the information she could find on what was happening, she realized there was still hope. Blood from a high-level regenerator like herself was considered a bio-hazard. For a baseline human or a mutant with a lower rate of regeneration it was almost invariably fatal, however there seemed to be a slight chance that if the person that had received the blood had a strong enough metabolism of their own, they might survive. The boy had drank her blood, not gotten transfused. Hopefully that also was in his favor.

Rubbing her tired eyes, Eve noticed a folder on the desktop with her name on it. It was one of about twenty folders littering the screen. Curious, she clicked on it, and looked inside. There were various files, many with numbers or abbreviated words as their names. One however caught her attention. It was labeled “Eve-read first.” With some trepidation, she clicked on it. Her eyes widened in shock as she skimmed over the document.

“Eve, if you are reading this, I am missing or they think I’m dead. I knew I could trust your slut-ass to break into my place. Congrats, bitch. You know I’m not really dead, right? My will names you as my sole beneficiary. But guess what? If you try to run off with my money or steal anything… your family will suffer. When whatever heat is off me, I’ll be back, and I expect everything to be returned to me. And if by some chance I am actually dead, I’ve told my boys that if you did it, they are to hunt you down and make you pay. If you didn’t do it, it’s your lucky day, bitch.”

Laughing the biggest laugh she had laughed in ages, Eve shut off the computer and went to check in on the boy. His fever was still high, but fighting off the regenerative cancer and any opportunistic infections would certainly have that effect. Filling the tub again, she hauled the semi-conscious teen over and guided him in. the cold water brought him around briefly, and Eve helped him drink some of the blood she had brought him. After toweling him off the best she was able, she laid him back on the bed, and in her exhaustion, fell asleep nearby in a chair.

Waking up to a stiff neck the next morning, Eve looked at the sleeping kid. Overnight more changes had occurred. He was definitely changing into a female, and looking more human. His nose had shrunk, the upturned point, becoming softer and rounder. The muzzle he had was flattening, giving him a more hybridized movie vampire look. The small breasts were bigger, about an A cup now. A narrowing of the waist, the loss of bodily fur, the slight widening of the hips all confirmed what Eve had figured out already. And there was no doubt in her mind, as she observed the most dramatic change. What had once been an outrageously large penis had shrunk down to less than the size of her pinky finger. She had to wonder just how much more was in store for her unlucky attacker.

After she threw on some sweats and an old tee, Eve wandered down to the kitchen. There were still containers of blood in the fridge, and she carefully reached around them to extract a grapefruit and some yogurt. She had bought those herself, largely because the things Guido had around for breakfast were more the pre-made he-man big bacon and egg and potato meals that were way too much for her in the morning.

Whilst contently pealing her grapefruit, Eve was startled by a knock on the door. Dropping the fruit, she snuck towards the front door. A small man in a very cliché fedora and pinstripe suit stood on the step. Summoning her courage and about a half a foot, she responded. “Who is it?” she responded, cautiously opening the door.

“Miss DuMont?” the man asked.

Eve nodded cautiously.

“Ah, good. My client suspected we could find you here, should our services become needed. I represent the firm handling the estate of the late Guido DeRosini, His death having been ruled by the police as an accident and the investigation closed. As his sole beneficiary, you are entitled to all his holdings. This key will allow you access to a safe deposit box at the Goodkind Bank on upper Broadway, where a complete itemized list is stored. Now, if you’ll sign here, I can officially turn this over to you.” The weaselly lawyer stated in a high-pitched nasally voice.

Looking over the document, Eve took a pen from the small table in the entryway, and signed. With a tip of his hat, the lawyer handed over the key, and left.

Eve signed and her legs wobbled and fell out from under her. It was truly over. The nightmare that had haunted her for years, the terrible ordeal that she was forced to live with. That man had used her and abused her like she had been nothing more than some cheap plaything to be used however he had seen fit. When the strength in her legs finally returned, she staggered up the stairs, too upset to fetch the forgotten breakfast.

The girl, because it could no longer be denied that that’s what the person on the bed had almost completely transformed into, breathed softly, her chest slowly rising and falling. Placing her hand on the sleeping teen’s forehead, Eve felt the temperature that the girl was running. It wasn’t as hot as before. Taking that as a good sign, Eve went over to her suitcase and pulled out something more appropriate for what she was going to do next. But first there was something that she had to take care of. Grabbing her handbag, Eve dug out her identification. Guido might have been a degenerate sleaze that deserved to die, but at least he had done one thing right.

She held up her phone and took a picture. Typing in a code, the special app on her phone linked to the custom-made fake MID and driver’s license, and changed the picture and pertinent physical information. Sliding the plastic cards back into her billfold, she carefully placed it back in the handbag. Dressing up in a navy mini-skirt with nylons and the matching blouse and blazer, she drew her red hair back into a pony tail and slipped on some comfortable one-inch heels. “Off to the bank, I guess” she said, with a rare smile.

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Standing in the vault, Eve looked around nervously. She quickly located the lockbox, but her hand trembled as she inserted the key. With a nod, the bank manager inserted a second key that was required to open the box.

Perhaps sensing the woman’s nervousness, the bank manager spoke up. “Usually, I’m not allowed to leave the vault while there is a customer in here, but you seem to need some privacy.” With that, the old man walked out, and stood outside the vault.

Eve’s hands shook as she nervously held the box. Inside the box she found several black books. Opening the first, she looked at it. It was written in a spreadsheet format with names and number and comments. The first line she read clued her in immediately.

Congressman W. Able

Likes under 12 Y/O

$100k per session.

Skimming the first page, it was full of similar entries. Eve felt sick. Putting the journal down, she looked at the box. There was something off about it, Slipping her fingernails into the crevice around the edges. It lifted off, revealing a storage space below. Examining the false bottom, She found another pair of keys taped to it. Ironically, one key was engraved with the number ‘666’. Walking over to another row of boxes, she tested them in the box with that number on it. Both keys fit. Opening this box, she discovered manila folders with her name on them. Taking everything, Eve hurried out of the bank, desperate to get back to the brownstone. HER brownstone.

An agonizingly long cab ride later, Eve sat on her couch. She had checked on the girl, she was still asleep. Eve opened the safe in the library, using the combination she had found in the secret box. Inside was ten thousand dollars cash, and a complete financial breakdown of all the assets she now possessed, which totaled a little over one hundred sixty-seven million dollars.

Crying, she put the papers aside, and curled up in the fetal position on the big leather couch that sat against the wall.

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Vince sat up unsteadily, his sight blurry, and head swimming. He felt nauseous and wobbly, and inherently wrong. He vaguely remembered being shot in the subway, and there might have been a little girl there. Looking about, he could tell he had been moved. A migraine made it hard to think, but through the haze, he recalled several women had tended to him. Stretching a hand out to steady himself as he tried to get up, Vince noticed it was wrong. It wasn’t his hand, nor was it the hand of the monster. It was pale and delicate, with long nails that tapered into sharp points. Definitely female.

Eve awoke with a start as a loud, high-pitched shriek filled the building. Running up the stairs, she flung open the door to the bedroom. The girl stood there naked, her fingers curled like claws. Baring her fangs and hissing, she charged at Eve, knocking her down.

With a primal scream, the girl’s features changed. Rapidly the appearance that she had slowly adopted faded away. Standing before Eve was the creature, It was perhaps a half foot shorter than it had been prior. Eve could tell it was definitely not male this time. Strong pectoral muscles rippled underneath modest breasts. Wide hips were accentuated by a narrower waist. Most telling of all though was the lack of protruding genitals underneath the thick fur covering the pelvic area. Putting her hands up to protect her head, Eve curled into a ball and blocked the best she could to ward off the crazed creature’s strikes. Desperate, only one option came to mind. It was risky, but it was the only thing she could do. Summoning her courage, Eve shifted, shrinking into her small ‘Katie Ann’ persona.

Vince howled in rage and anger and confusion. The tall redhead before him had to be the source of this violation, this perversion. Lunging at the woman, acting on instinct and fury, he slashed at her over and over, clawing huge wounds on her arms and legs. Then it happened. The woman was no longer there, Just a scared little girl bleeding badly. A girl he remembered in the back of his brain somewhere. A girl he had once saved. Without realizing he had done it Vince shifted and the distraught teen girl fell to her knees, sobbing.

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Vince woke up on the bed once again, the girl was sitting in a chair beside it, watching him.

Looking at him, she spoke softly. “Let’s not have a replay of last night, okay? It took me a lot of carb-loading to heal from your panic attack.

Without realizing, Vince opened his mouth, and the first word he had spoken in years came out. “what..?”

Realization came to him, and he put the slender fingers, with their sharp nails, over his lips.

The little girl slowly began to change, She grew to about five and a half feet, and her hair turned dark black. “My name is Eve. I’m a mutant, like you. I can shift my body into different female forms. And, as you found out the hard way, I’m also a high-level regenerator”. Eve sighed and began to tell her story, all the pain and suffering and frustration.

An eternity later, she was done. Vince nervously spoke. “S… so… because I drank your b..blood, your regeneration tried to… to… recreate me into a version of you?”

He barely noticed when she nodded in reply. Vince was still in shock at his own voice. That sultry, deep tone that oozed sex and mystery, making Kathleen Turner sound like Minnie Mouse.

His introspection was interrupted when Eve extended her hand and helped him up. Standing unsteadily, it took a moment to get used to the differences. He was taller, his center of gravity had changed. Wider hips, all of it causing him to stumble around like a new-born deer.

Vince let the woman… Eve… lead him over to the closet, and opened the door. Vince stumbled backwards slightly. There was a full length mirror mounted to the inside of the door. A mirror that laid bare all the sensations and wrongness that he… no, she… felt. Looking back at him was a girl, but not just any girl. She was taller than he had been as a boy by at least a couple inches. She had the sort of body that he would have drooled over and had nightly fantasies about. Slender, with a narrow waist, and long legs, wide hips, and enormous breasts. He took in all that, but what drew his attention most was the face. Her milky white skin, with the subtlest hint of pink, especially in the cheeks. The vibrantly red lips, and those eyes… they were a crimson red, with pupils that were oblong instead of round, vaguely in the shape of footballs. S...he laughed internally at that, and as he… no, she did, her cheeks blushed slightly, the pale pink becoming more noticeable. The oddest feature however were the ears. They were bat-like jutting outward slightly from the sides of her head, then they swept backwards.

The tips were rounded, and there was a deep notch in the lobe about a quarter of the way from the bottom of the ear.

Overwhelmed, Vince fell backwards, landing on… her... butt with a thud. Eve looked at him sympathetically, smiling. She helped the new girl up, guiding her back to the edge of the bed.

“I realize this is a lot to take in, but I’m here. I’ll help you as best I can.” The older woman said softly.

Vince nodded. “I… I think I would just like to be alone for a bit” Vince replied. A gentle nod, and Eve backed out of the room.

Calling through the door, she said simply. “I’ll be downstairs in the office if you need me.”

Eve was sitting at the desk, pouring over a stack of papers several feet tall. She looked up when the girl entered. She had on a large nightshirt that partially draped over her five-foot ten inch frame in places, and clinging to her curves suggestively in others. Her ass-length black and white hair was tied up in a lop-sided poorly tied ponytail. She awkwardly slunk over and sat down in a chair, facing Eve.

“So, what are you doing… um… Eve?” She asked uncertainly.

The petite Chinese woman looked up from the stacks of papers. “Guido, that scumbag, left me all his assets. He thought he could reclaim it from me if he had to go underground. The last laugh is on him, I guess. But… he was a con-man and extortionist, so he had to have connections. I’m hoping one of them was a doctor. We really need to get you checked out. You seem okay, but I would feel better if you got checked out.”

Vince looked at her, he… she was drowning in confusion and panic and barely holding it together. “I… I’m fine.”

Eve shook her head and put down the notebook. “You had tumors and lesions erupting all over your body while you changed, I think it might have been regeneration cancer. You might still have it... or something worse.”

Vince slumped over, putting her face in her hands. She started to cry and shake her head sadly.“No...noo.”

Eve got up and came around to the other side of the desk, kneeling before her, and hugging her. Vince slowly pulled her hands from her face, and wrapped them around Eve. Eventually the hug broke, and Eve stood back up. “I need to run a few errands, will you be okay here on your own for a few hours?” She asked.

Vince looked at her and nodded slowly. Watching Eve leave the room, she sighed and closed her eyes, thoughts swirling in her brain chaotically.

Standing up, and walking… no sashaying to the staircase, Vince sighed. Alone with her thoughts she was more aware of her body. The sexual nature it now carried in the slightest movement, in her walk, in her mannerisms. She wanted to cry, to scream, to smile. It was all so confusing. To be a girl was jarring, but she was no longer trapped as that … thing.

Reaching the master bedroom, she looked in the mirror again as she stripped off the night shirt. The sensation of the fabric being pulled across her nipples, the bounce of her breasts as the tight fabric was peeled off, it was all so intense, and she felt her knees buckle. Unsteadily, she climbed into the stand-alone shower and felt the stream of water on her skin.

Slowing her breathing, Vince let the water just run down her body. She closed her eyes and let the thoughts come.

Can I really live as a girl? What will I do now? How do I know I can trust Eve? She seems nice, but I don’t know.

After several minutes sitting on the floor of the shower, She got up and awkwardly wrapped a towel around herself, trying to ignore the way her cleavage jutted out. With a sigh, she laid back on the bed, another towel sloppily wrapped around her long monochromatic hair. Laying still with her eyes closed, Vince, listened to his breathing, and feeling the softness of the terrycloth towel and satin sheets. After the torment that being that thing had been, if he had to be a girl to live a better life, surely that was a small price to pay.

Surrounded in quiet and comfort, Vince dozed off. It wasn’t until she heard Eve call out “Hey kid, I’m coming in” that she awoke. “Nnnn… sorry, I was so comfortable. I didn’t mean to fall asleep.” she apologized.

Eve waved it off, “It’s fine. While I was out, I picked up a few things for you to wear. I guessed on your sizes, but I’ve had enough experience with assuming different body types based on real people that I can pretty much eyeball them pretty accurately. Still, I brought along a tape measure just to be sure.”

Vince uneasily sat up, feeling the weight on his chest shift. As he held the towel closed.

Looking over, Eve smiled softly. “Okay, gonna need you to drop the towels for this." She could sense Vince’s apprehension, and tried to reassure the girl. “Don’t worry. I saw you nude plenty while taking care of you… and during your um… little freak-out.”

Vince nodded and slowly did as asked. Gently and sensitive to the teen’s feelings, Eve completed taking the measurements as quickly as she could. “You can cover up, if you want.”

Taking out a notepad, the woman wrote down the measurements, reciting them as she did. “Okay, so fife foot ten, your hips are thirty-eight inches... waist is twenty four… bust is thirty-six. I wasn’t exactly sure on that one, so there is a D-cup and a double D in the bag. Try them both on, and I’ll help you adjust them to be sure.”

In the end, to Vince’s extreme dismay, the double D-cup fit better. Wearing the bra was uncomfortable and embarrassing, and given how big they were… something he knew he would have to get used to. The panties were less embarrassing, because they were underpants, but at least Eve hadn’t gone super girly and lacy in her choices. Slipping on a light blue tee and some matching shorts, she sighed and looked in the mirror. As a boy, she would have been tripping over his words trying to talk to a girl with this figure.

Turning to Eve, Vince smiled feebly with her lips closed. Flashing her inch-and-a-half canines and bicuspids would probably remind Eve of the attack, and make herself feel guilty. “I’m going to go out back and get some sun. It’s been so long since I could be out in the sunlight. The fence around the back is plenty tall, and I don’t think anyone would be able to see in.”

“Okay. I picked up some lamb’s blood at the butcher shop, it’s in the fridge if you get thirsty. I’ll be in the study.”

Five minutes passed, and Eve had barely gotten to work on looking through the mountains of papers from both the bank and here in the brownstone. She was startled when she heard the back door slam and a loud cry of “GOD FUCKING DAMN IT!” from the kitchen. Jumping up from her seat, Eve dashed to see what was wrong. Vince was sitting there, trying to hold back tears as she carefully picked off the dead and blistered sun-burned skin that covered her face, arms, and legs. Dropping to her knees, Vince started to cry. Eve hugged the crying teen very gently.

“I’m so sorry kiddo, it seems to be one thing after another for you. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to scream and yell and break something” Eve gently said.

Wiping away her tears, Vince sighed. “It’s okay, I guess. I just have so much to get used to. I am grateful not to be stuck as that… monster, I am. But… being a girl, finding out I sunburn so easily, all the little stuff… it’s hard.”

Eve helped the shaking teen to her feet. “I had a hard time adjusting to my powers too. I woke up one day, and stumbled down to breakfast, and had my mother scream and threaten to call the police. I didn’t realize it on my own, but I had shifted into a Korean girl overnight. I managed to convince my parents who I was, but I didn’t know how to change back. It took me many tries over the next few days. Just like how I eventually adjusted, so will you. You are stronger than you realize, having lived through what you have been through to this point.”

Looking at Eve, Vince shrugged her shoulders and asked Eve the question that had been in the back of her mind since she had realized the different women she had seen had all been Eve. “If what you say is true, why do you use different forms? Why not just be yourself in everyday life?”

Slouching noticeably, Eve sighed before responding. “I can’t. I don’t know what I look like”. Seeing the confusion on the girl’s face, she continued. “When Guido blackmailed me into being his high-priced whore, I was nineteen years old. How old would you guess I am now?”

Vince looked at her and shrugged. “I really don’t know. I’ve seen you at all sorts of ages. If I had to guess, I’d say twenty-five?”

Eve laughed. “I’ve been his pawn for Twenty-five years. I’m forty-four. And back then, I vowed to myself that I would never be ‘me’ while under his thumb. I have no idea what I’d look like at this age. Any attempt I’d make to assume my ‘true’ form would just be a guess, at best.”

Vince hugged Eve even tighter.

Eve tussled the girl’s hair and broke the embrace. “Get some rest kiddo. We have a busy day before us tomorrow.” she said in a gentle, caring manner.

linebreak shadow

Vince woke up and stretched while yawning. The shifting of her boobs felt strange as she arched and cracked her joints. Fumbling with the bra, she held back the urge to cry. After all, she was mostly human again. She had the strange ears, the black and white hair, those menacing eyes, and the deathly pale pallor. But she could speak, she could laugh, she could do all the things she had never thought she would do again.

Looking over the clothing available, she grabbed a black ankle-length dress, a black tee, and a black hoodie. Putting them on Vince went downstairs to the kitchen. Grabbing the plastic container of lamb’s blood from the fridge, she slowly poured it into a large glass. Vince watched as Eve walked in, looking like a slightly older version of Vince, minus the unusual features.

“What’s with the appearance, Maxi-Me?” Vince inquired.

With a laugh, Eve glanced over. “You have the appointment with the doctor today. I found her info in Guido’s records. She’s supposed to be very good. She is discreet too. For the right price we can get you examined and know exactly what’s going on with you.”

Digging in her handbag, Eve handed Vince a pair of dark sunglasses. Putting them on, she enviously watched as her caretaker toasted an English muffin and spread cream cheese on it. Vince had long ago resigned herself to the fact that the only things she could now keep down were blood and water.

Stopping to look over at Vince, Eve put down her breakfast and spoke. “I was wondering if you had decided on a name yet? I know it’s tough, because you are letting go of who you were… but if you keep calling yourself ‘Vince’, someone will put two and two together and realize you used to be male.”

Vince let out the longest sigh she had probably ever sighed. “I know. I just… I suppose I’ve been procrastinating. It’s like… once I pick a name, it becomes more real, ya know?" Looking over, Vince saw Eve was clearly nodding. “I want to pick something that starts with ‘V’, but I’m undecided.” Vince cupped her hands in front of her chest and continued speaking. “I mean, with these things, I feel like Victoria is out. Too many lingerie jokes. Plus, I don’t feel like a ‘Vikki’. I’m not a Veronica, that makes me think of the girl from Archie. I just don’t know.”

Eve tapped her chin with her finger as she thought. “What about Valentina? Or Val, for short.”

Vince tilted her head and thought. “I don’t hate it. Hmm. Yeah, it’s kind of growing on me. Yes, I think I’ll take it.”

Eve smiled. “Okay Val, we need to get going, your appointment is in an hour.”

Pulling the hood up and tightening the drawstring, Val ducked into the back seat of the uber, alongside Eve. Looking at the floor, she avoided the driver’s repeated glances back in the rear view mirror.

Stepping out of the car at the destination, Valentina looked at it questioningly. “I thought I was getting an examination. Why are we at a nursing home?” she queried to the woman beside her.

“I found this person through Guido’s old contacts book. The nursing home is a cover for a rather discreet off the books clinic” Eve replied.

The pair entered, stepping up to the reception desk. I woman in her early twenties was buffing her nails and looking generally disinterested in working.

“I’m here to see the manager about getting my special needs girl in to see the doctor for a possible intake” Eve said nonchalantly. Guido’s book had mentioned that the physician here dealt with a lot of mutant issues, and several buzzwords to drop if needed. Ironically, Eve figured that Guido probably figured the doctor would be handy to know if something happened to Eve that was beyond the abilities of her regen to fix.. After all, she was his “cash cow.” Suppressing a chuckle, she thought about how she had the best revenge, the last laugh.

Val and Eve were shown to an exam room off the main reception area, and after a few minutes the doctor entered. The first impression Valentina had of the doctor was how small she was, and how much she reminded her of a gnome. She had gray hair mixed in among the brown. Her back was hunched. And her features pinched tight, with a large hawkish nose. With eyes that were heavy-lidded, she had a beady, narrow look. Her weak chin adding to the effect, making her look predatory, like a weasel stalking a mouse.

“If you don’t mind, I’d like to speak to the girl alone. You may have a seat in the waiting room, if you like” the doctor directed to Eve.

Eve nodded and stepped outside.

Once Eve left the room, Val was instructed to strip down and she was given a physical examination. Blood was drawn, and she sat in the cold examination room for several minutes. Sitting there, Valentina shook as much from the cold as from her nerves. Sitting on the exam table, she was hyper-aware of her body. Her mind ticked over the alien sensations one by one, the feeling of her breasts and the cold metal against her new female genitals. Val fought back tears and wiped a solitary one from her cheek when the doctor returned.

“Would you like me to have your guardian brought back in?” the doctor asked, seeing that Valentina was upset.

Hanging her head, Val mumbled “P...please.”

“Okay then” the doctor said as she opened the exam room door and waved in Eve.

“I’ll need to draw blood from both of you for examination.”

Eve and Val nodded. After drawing the blood from Eve, the doctor pulled her aside. Thinking that Val was out of earshot, she softly spoke. “She’s not handling the changes well. Normally I’d do the gynecological exam alone, or with just a nurse, but she might be more comfortable with you there.”

From across the room Valentina softly said “please...stay.”

Eve held the scared girl’s hand and looked away as the pelvic exam was administered. She winced a couple times when Valentina’s grip was strong enough to very nearly break bones. After about twenty minutes the doctor left the room, and Eve hugged the distraught girl. The respite was brief, however when the older woman returned and asked Val to shift forms.

Valentina was nervous. When she had shifted to the monster form, she had done it without thinking, a reaction to perceived danger. This time she consciously thought about it, about changing. About possibly being stuck. Stuck not just as a monster, but being stuck female and inhuman. Swallowing those fears, she did it. More X-rays, cat scans, ultrasounds were performed. A half hour later, the doctor informed her that she could shift back. With relief, the teen succeeded, allaying her fears.

“I sent the samples to my nep- my niece for evaluation via a teleporter. You paid to dollar for fast results, and I’m pleased to say h...she was able to deliver. If you would both like to sit, we can discuss the results.” the doctor said calmly.

Eve sat down to the left of Val and put her arm around the girl. In the few days that they had been together, she had come to care for the girl. She was strong, but so vulnerable. Being able to speak and interact was good for the girl, but being human had come at the loss of her gender, the identity she had had for all her life.

“I’ve reviewed the test results, and the x-rays and scans, and I can say that your new form is stabilized. Your blood showed signs of cells that had been cancerous, but were dead. Your own healing factor undoubtedly was able to take care of the cancer. You need not worry about a relapse, I can safely say you are cancer-free. My tests indicate that your reproductive system is fully functional. You are fully capable of becoming pregnant, so remember to exercise caution, should you ever decide to be sexually active.”

Val tasted a little vomit at that thought, but she managed to swallow it back down.

The doctor continued. “The only physical issue I see is the increased sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. If you use sunblock and keep covered up, you should be able to go out in the day, but you are susceptible to possible rapid sun damage.”

Val nodded and replied. “I found that out the hard way.”

“Okay, so long as you are aware and make sure to protect yourself, you should be fine. From my analysis, you needn’t worry about your shifted form. Your bone structure and musculature seem quite durable, and your organs appear to be functioning as normal. That brings me to the final thing, the thing that I’m sure you both have been wondering. The genetic testing shows no defects or abnormalities, save for the fact that you now share a ninety-eight point four percent match genetically to Ms. DuMont. Effectively, that means you are her sister, according to your DNA... save for the one point six percent that was retained from your original genetic template. My niece was quite interested in that, as it is almost unheard of in cases of regenerator cloning. If you wish, you can schedule an appointment for a follow-up visit in six months with my receptionist… Although I think that given the results of the tests, there should be no red flags if you wish to seek a general physician with knowledge in mutant health care.”

The doctor looked to Eve with that weaselly expression of hers. “The receptionist will write you out a receipt for payment, and in a few days you should receive a full ‘history’ of your ‘little sister’ here, via special courier. Now if that’s all, I have other patients I need to see.”

Eve looked at the older woman, as she shuffled back towards a door marked ‘no admittance’. There was a buzzing sound, and the exam room door swung open.

“If you ladies are finished, I have your paperwork ready.” the receptionist called in from outside.

A short car ride later, and the women were back at the brownstone. Exhausted, Val staggered into the kitchen in a semi-daze. Too much information was running through her head.

She was fertile, she could be raped and become pregnant. She wasn’t her mother’s child anymore. She suddenly had a new biological family.

Eve saw that Valentina’s hands were trembling, and that the girl was moments from an anxiety attack. Doing the first thing that came to mind, she rushed over and hugged her new little sister from behind.

She is my sister. I will love her and take care of her. She freed me from that asshole. The least I can do for her is make sure she has a happy family, and as normal of a life as possible.

linebreak shadow

The next couple days passed uneventfully, Valentina slowly getting accustomed to having a doting big sister. Sitting down at the kitchen table for breakfast, Eve smiled and looked over to her new family member. Val was wearing a tank top that was doing its best to contain the teen’s considerable assets, and a pair of jogging shorts.

“Hey kiddo,” she said “I’m gonna need you to go upstairs and get changed. Something for going out. It’s cloudy, but you remember what the doctor said.”

Val tilted her head, perplexed. “Are we going somewhere?”

“I rented a car. We are going to be heading up to Albany today, there is something we have to do up in the capital.”

Val looked puzzled. “The capital? What is it?”

Returning her look, Eve calmly responded. “It’s the city where the governor works, but that’s not important right now.”

Val rolled her eyes. “I mean what’s so important that we have to drive all the way to Albany?”

“We need to get you your MID card, make everything legal and as above board as I can. I don’t trust the MCO in New York. They are well-known for disappearing mutants that are thought to be potential threats. I suspect they will make any mutant go missing, regardless of powers. Additionally, I’d like to put some distance between you and the MCO’s memories of the ‘subway vampire’ story. I’m sure you get it.”

After nodding her understanding, Val sipped some pig’s blood from the plastic container.

Seeing Eve visibly wince, she explained “I understand, the first few times I tasted blood after my manifestation began I was repulsed too. But I think my taste-buds have changed. I don’t mind it anymore. Obviously rat and raccoon were disgusting, but pig’s blood isn’t that bad to me. Ox blood is better still.”

Shifting uncomfortably in her chair, Eve looked over to her ‘little sister’. Gathering her courage, she asked the question. “Um, what about… you know?”

“Hm? Oh… you mean human. Well, truthfully the only human blood I’ve tasted were yours and my own. Mine is… I guess… kind of ‘meh’. You on the other hand, are delicious.”

Seeing Eve lean away slightly, Val smiled and stuck out her tongue “I’m kidding. Given the… results, even if it is, I’m not going to go through all of this again.” Gesturing at her body, Valentina slouched a little.

Eve stood up and walked over, tussling the teen’s long hair playfully. “Go get ready, we’ll be leaving as soon as the car is dropped off.”

Standing up and dashing out of the room, Val couldn’t help but be nervous, but also excited. She might have problems still, but now at least she had fewer of them, and the new ones she did have… She decided that as difficult as it may be, she would just have to suck it up and deal with them. That thought made her laugh. Of course it wouldn’t be that simple, but if she didn’t try to convince herself, she would surely break into a million pieces.

It seemed like forever, but it was actually about thirty minutes. Sitting on the staircase in a nondescript gray hoodie and sweatpants, Val sighed and pulled the hood up over her ears. Two and a half hours in a car, out on the highway, no cover, no hiding. Breathing hard, he poor girl fought off the sensation of fear and trepidation. Something was going to go horribly wrong, she just knew it. When the doorbell rang, She hid around the corner. She was on the edge of hyperventilating, and needed to calm down.

Eve came into the room, holding a set of car keys and hugged her. “It’ll be okay. I swear to you. It’ll be okay.”

Still, Valentina could not shake the sense of foreboding and dread.

 

Sanguine will return
Read 840 times Last modified on Monday, 09 May 2022 22:13
Rosalie Redd

The Murder Bunny

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