Topic: Menagerie

Hi! I'm a new writer here, so I wanted to give a brief introduction to explain my plans for the story below. It's my first real attempt at this kind of thing, but I was thinking it may be fun to do some collaborative storytelling here and there. This first part is mostly set-up, but once I get Part 2 ready to go I'm going to probably set up polls at the end of every part from then on to help decide some key elements of the story.

If you guys like the story, and are interested in taking part in the poll idea above, please comment and let me know! I welcome any and all feedback and critique. I always want to get better at doing what I love.

Now, with that out of the way, I hope you enjoy the story!

Part 1

Sophie woke up with no clue where she was or how she had gotten there. She sat up and realized that she was in the bunk of a blank cell and dressed in nothing more than a plain white tank top and simple black cotton panties. Her long brown hair was damp and knotted and her slim body was coated in cold sweat. Her full breasts heaved as she tried to slow her breathing and take in her surroundings.

The last thing she could remember was...nothing. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t bring anything to mind other than her own name, which may or may not have really been hers. She had no way of knowing, really.

She knew one thing, though, she was totally disoriented. She had no idea where she was nor even when she was. She thought she remembered working in a place where there were a lot of people in white coats. That seemed like something of note, but she couldn’t remember what it meant. Her head was pounding as if she’d been up all night drinking and now suffered the consequences.

Alcohol, she thought to herself. I remember that, for sure.

That jogged something else loose in her memory and she thought she remembered having quite a bit of trouble with her drinking in the past. She followed that train of thought and remembered that she had been trying to stay sober. She vaguely remembered arguments with people whose faces and names she couldn't quite bring to mind about how her drinking was damaging their relationship.

So I’m a mean drunk, she thought. And I'm single, but there’s something else I know it…

It came to her in a rush, not bits and pieces as the other memories just before this had come. She saw an adorable little girl, no more than a few months old, sleeping peacefully in a crib. A name came back to her, a name that carried with it so much raw emotion and love that she started flailing to get free of the sheets, desperate to get out of this strange place and return to her daughter.

“Evie!” she shouted into the empty cell. “Oh my god! My baby!”

She tried to get out of bed, but her legs felt strangely weak and she only succeeded in rolling off the top bunk, falling several feet to the hard tile floor, and landing flat on her ass. She fell flat on her back, splayed out on the floor for a moment as she tried to stop her head from spinning.

“Ooowwww,” she groaned, trying to work up the will to stand and look for more clues about where she was and why.

“Oh, I didn’t realize you were awake already,” said a soothing feminine voice from somewhere just above her. “Sorry, I should have stayed up to fill you in, but I’ve been...so very tired lately.”

Sophie looked up towards the direction of the voice and saw an attractive, dark-skinned woman peeking over the edge of the lower bunk in her direction. She had a huge coif of extremely curly hair growing in a sort of natural afro style, but Sophie could just make out two strange flaps that appeared to stick straight out from the sides of her head through the many tight coils of silky black hair.

The strange woman let out a yawn and lifted her head up on an oddly long and thick neck. Sophie followed its disturbingly long curve and realized, even with her currently limited view from the floor, that it was several inches too long for a normal woman. The stranger then proceeded to truly terrify Sophie as she shifted her evidently considerable weight around the bed before stretching two long, thin, and furry legs that ended in cloven hooves over the edge of the thin mattress.

She heaved her heavy body up off of the bunk and finally stood before Sophie on four legs, her still-human head raised nearly a foot above her thick, furry body by a long, muscular neck that still looked eerily human, as if it had been forcibly stretched out to more closely resemble the animal trunk it was inexplicably attached to. As Sophie followed her neck down to where it met with her inhuman torso, she saw two very large, very human breasts hanging in front of her forelegs. They were each bigger than their owner's head by a significant margin and their skin tone perfectly matched the dark complexion of her face. Her fur was a deep reddish brown and her flanks were mottled with a sprinkling of white spots. The creature was some strange, unsettling Moreauvian hybrid of woman and deer.

Sophie wanted to scream, but nothing came out of her mouth apart from a strangled croaking sound as she struggled to get away from this bizarre creature, crawling backwards on her hands and feet and moving towards the opposite wall. Upon reaching it, she curled up into a defensive position arms over her head and legs tightly pulled up to her chest as she moaned and hyperventilated in terror.

"Stay away!" She finally managed to grunt before she started chanting over and over to herself under her breath. "This can't be real, this can't be real, this can't be real..."

"Sophie?" The deer-woman said. "I know this is a lot to take in, but we're friends. You don't remember because that's part of what they did to you, but I want to help. We figured this out once before and I know how to help you remember who you really are. You helped me the same way when they did it to me."

Sophie heard it all, but tried to ignore it. She had to believe that she was trapped in some bizarre, lucid nightmare and just needed to wake herself up. She held her head in her hands and lowered it between her knees as she rocked herself back and forth, refusing to look up at the monstrosity before her.


The creature repeated her name, but Sophie kept trying to tell herself it wasn't real. That she just needed to wake up.

"Sophie!" The woman called out loudly. "Listen to me! I only want to help yoooouuu!"

The last word came out as something between human speech and the loud, bellowing cry of a large deer. It was enough to make Sophie look up and stare at the strange creature she apparently shared this prison with once more. The still very much human face showed an expression of mingled regret and sadness, as if unable to believe the inhuman sound had really come from her own lips.

"Sorry," she said. "I didn't mean to...shout like that. That happens sometimes when I get upset. I guess it's a bit of a reflex of sorts..."

Sophie stared at her for a moment before she remembered that it was incredibly rude. She averted her gaze and instead performed a proper scan of their cell, analyzing even the smallest of details as some barely remembered training from her past encouraged her to do. She thought she may have been a cop or something as her brain somehow remembered how to carry out a proper investigation.

On the opposing side of the cell she saw the cheap, barely functional bunk beds they shared along with what appeared to be a chair that was bolted to the ground. To her immediate right, she saw a metal prison toilet, sink, and an exposed shower head hanging out of the wall that pointed directly to a drain in the floor. She noticed with amusement that there was at least a privacy curtain that could be drawn around this sad excuse for a bathroom. Although she took note that the cell was clean, if nothing else.

The seemingly familiar act of clinically inspecting her surroundings helped to calm her down and her logical mind began to take hold of the situation. If she was trapped in here with this creature that seemed to know who she was, she should at least take a moment to hear it—her—out.

"Wh-what was your name?" Sophie asked the deer-woman after the awkward silence stretched on a little too long, unsure of what else to do.

"Allana," said the deer-woman in her gentle voice. "Like I said, believe it or not, we've become pretty good friends over the last week. Are you ready to talk?"

Sophie stood up on shaky legs and nodded.

"I think I'm beginning to see that I need to face facts," she said shakily and without much confidence. "No matter how weird the reality may be."

The doe-woman who called herself Allana nodded, her long, strangely graceful neck bending slightly at the gesture.

"That would really be for the best," she said. "But I don' mind telling you that I don't envy your situation in the least. We both looked as human as you do now when I went through this. I can't imagine how much harder it is when your only source of information looks like, well, like a monster."

Sophie's voice caught in her throat, she was about to instinctively say that Allana wasn't a monster, some old habits of typical human niceties trying to kick, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. Allana was a monster, no matter how sweet she may be, nor what she may have been before. She simply wasn't human anymore.

"You're, um," Sophie began. "You're actually very pr–"

"You don't have to do that," Allana interrupted with a weak smile. "I know what I am. I get a little less human every day. I'm just glad you're back so we can both hold up our end of the deal."

"What deal?" Sophie asked, terror building within her once more. "What are you talking about?"

"I need to start at the beginning," said Allana.

She shifted her four hoofed feet, which produced soft clopping sounds on the tile floor as she turned around and walked over towards the bunk. With a groan of springs, she planted her forelegs onto the mattress and awkwardly pulled it from the frame onto the floor with her hooves. Then she curled her large body into a resting position on top of the mattress, holding her head up high with her thickly muscled neck, her velvety ears flicking at seemingly random intervals, though Sophie assumed she could hear something she couldn't. Sophie could see why she didn't want to stuff herself into the lower bunk again, this seemed far more natural for her cervine body.

"You're probably going to want to sit down," Allana said. "This may take a while."

Sophie sat down on the floor and listened intently as Allana began her tale.


Re: Menagerie

Interesting. Looking foreward to see where this goes.


Re: Menagerie

Nicely written!
Wonder what direction it's gonna take.

4 (edited by thepfeffernusse 2021-07-26 01:06)

Re: Menagerie

Part 2:

"I don’t know if you remember this or not, but we were both indirectly employed by the US Department of Defense. I was a researcher here in the lab and you worked with the security team. We're currently, let’s just say, involuntary residents of a research facility hidden away in the heart of an Alaskan forest. We studied a few things here, but the biggest project we were working on was something the US military complex was very excited about: gene splicing. More specifically, we were trying to discover methods for working beneficial animal traits into the human genome. I'm sure you get why they would be throwing the million-dollar contracts at a project like that. Just imagine an army of soldiers who could see in the dark like a cat or pound enemy troops into mincemeat like a grizzly. Scary stuff.”

Sophie interrupted her, unable to contain herself any longer.

"Wait, back up, we're in Alaska right now?" She said incredulously. "How the hell did I get here? I'm from Texas!”

She paused, putting a hand to her forehead and looking more confused than ever.

“Or, at least, I think am..."

"I'll get to that in a minute," Allana said, shaking her head and flicking her long ears impatiently. "But you need to know what we were here for before I get into more detail about your own story. It’s relevant to everything going on now."

"Alright," Sophie said, slumping back against the wall. "Continue, sorry."

Allana cleared her throat, which produced a loud, rumbling, bass sound from deep in her extended throat, and continued.

"So, you were a guard here at the facility, like I was saying, and you were assigned to patrol the same floor I worked on. Your supervisors must have considered you to be a pretty great guard, because you were assigned to protect the single most important project in the entire compound; the very project I was assigned to work on, in fact. I’m sorry to say that it’s also what caused the entire nightmare we’re all living through now.

“You see, my team developed a...serum, for lack of a better term, that allowed us to do some interesting things with animal DNA. It essentially gave us the keys to splice genetic material more efficiently as well as more accurately select which traits would be expressed and which would be dormant. It basically meant it was easier than ever before to mix and match animals to create a chimera, or hybrid, if you prefer. We made a monkey that had patagia like a flying squirrel and a lizard’s tail at one point. It was all really groundbreaking stuff. We called it ‘Menagerie.’"

Sophie’s eyes trailed all over Allana's bizarre body at this revelation. She thought she was beginning to understand what had happened to her now and Allana noticed the look of dawning comprehension on her cellmate’s face with a wry smile.

"Don't get ahead of me, now. We still have a lot to get through."

Sophie nodded and rolled her hand on her wrist a few times in the universal "go on" gesture.

"So, Menagerie is where all of the trouble started, as you seem to have guessed. Everything was fine for a while, but we started getting more and more orders from the higher-ups to tighten security, which we did, over and over again. Eventually, rumors started going around that the compound was being targeted by an ecoterrorist group calling themselves ‘the Rangers.' I don’t know if you can remember them, but they’ve shown up on international news a few times over the last several years.

“They used to be a simple activist group, but eventually started carrying out really dangerous acts of legitimate terrorism. People started associating them with groups like the Earth Liberation Front once they started to carry out more extreme protests like bombing pipelines and sabotaging wood mills. The brass tried to tell us that the rumors of their involvement in the threats on our facility were a total fabrication, but, as is so often the case with top-secret information, the rumors turned out to be very true.

"About a month ago, we received a direct threat from them and went into total lock-down. We were all here, working as usual one minute, and then, without warning, the military stationed all around the compound started ordering everyone to get to the emergency bunkers and escorted us down here to the sub-basement.”

Lacking hands, she gestured around the room with her head, rolling her long neck around in a wide circle to indicate the prison-like chamber they currently occupied.

“That’s where we are now, by the way. The bunkers each have seven identical rooms connected by a larger common area that, while not particularly comfortable, are all stocked with enough necessities to help people manage down here in case of extended lockdowns or major disasters. They’ve obviously been modified into impromptu prison cells since then as I’m sure you’ve noticed.
“Anyway, the active troops that had been deployed to stop any terrorists on-site had us huddling down here for over forty-eight hours while they performed a full sweep of the forest. They didn't find anything, but security kept getting tighter and tighter from there. We really should have guessed they were more dangerous than people believed at that point, but we were arrogant. We thought our compound was impenetrable, especially for a bunch of ‘tree-hugging psychos,’ as I believe the head of security put it at the time. We were all sure we’d scared them off and they wouldn’t dare to try again.

“Your company was very nearly phased out by the military towards the end, but they let you keep patrolling the halls. It’s a bit of a shame in hindsight, you may have dodged a bullet in the long run if they’d sent you home. But, as you told me the other day, your company was well-regarded because—”

"We’re all ex-military," Sophie said. "I remember now. Holy shit, I was a soldier."

"It's working," Allana muttered, so quietly that Sophie barely heard it as she closed her dark eyes as if in relief. "This is what we agreed to do for each other. You did the same thing for me when they dropped me off down here. The more you told me about what happened, the more my brain started to fill in the gaps. Let's keep going, I have more to tell you."

Sophie nodded again, starting to feel like she was recovering a small part of her sanity. She was afraid she might eventually start to recover some of the less appealing memories of their situation, but she was still eager to hear more and bring her hazy memories into sharper focus. For good or ill, she needed to get up to speed. Some of her military instincts were telling her she may be able to mount a resistance.

"So you were guarding our lab late one night when a full-on terrorist attack occurred. I was in the lab, working late with a few of my colleagues and you came running in telling us we had to go. I—”

Allana closed her eyes and bit her full lower lip as she tried not to choke up.

“I wasn’t very cooperative. To be completely honest, I was very pompous about the whole thing. I argued that it must have been another false alarm like the last time and told you I was working with delicate genetic samples that couldn’t just be left out. I was irritated and probably sleep-deprived, but that’s no excuse. Not for the damage that I caused.”

She lowered her head and Sophie was shocked to see that tears were dropping onto the tile floor in front of her. She looked as though she was thoroughly ashamed of herself.

“What happened?” Sophie asked.

“I struggled when you grabbed me to try to force me to see sense and get to safety with you. I held up the entire group,” Allana said, looking up once again, tears still streaming down her cheeks. “If I had just listened, we may have had a chance. We may have gotten away like some of the others and I might not have turned into this.”

Emotion got the better of her and Allana let out a soft wail that slowly crescendoed into another deer-like bleat. Her voice caught in her throat halfway through and she began to cough and wheeze. Sophie stood up and approached her gently, holding what she hoped would be received as a comforting hand out to gently stroke her shoulder.

“Listen, I don’t know what’s going on,” she said to the weeping hybrid. “But you said we were friends, right? I’m sure, whatever happened, that we’re past this point by now.”

Allana looked up at her with shining eyes. Extraordinarily doe-like eyes.

“You’re right,” she said, smiling weakly through her tears. “It’s amazing really.”

“What is?”

“Even as a quasi-amnesiac, you’re still able to tap into that same resolve you did when you helped me before. It’s not learned behavior, it’s just you at your core.”
Allana smiled at her genuinely and Sophie felt herself blushing. She wasn’t used to compliments; or she didn’t think she was, anyway.

“Let’s just move on with the story, then,” Sophie said, scooting over to her place in front of Allana once again. “I think I’m starting to remember a few more details about the whole thing.”

Allana sniffed, took a deep breath, cleared her throat with another shockingly deep grunting noise, and launched back into her story.

“About two weeks ago, the Rangers somehow broke into the facility, took down dozens of our highly trained military guards, including yourself, and got their hands on our research. Normally, that may not mean much with a smaller group like this, but they had a truly brilliant geneticist with them. I don't know his name or where he came from, but he combed through about a decade of our latest research in a few hours and seems to have improved upon it already. He spoke with all of the researchers, including myself, shortly after they took over and questioned us about certain parts of our process. It was almost as if he was testing us.

“I won’t lie, his knowledge of genetic engineering and advanced biology would be inspiring if he weren’t so clearly insane. As it is, he’s mostly just intimidating. He seemed almost disappointed by my responses to his questions at times, which is why I'm beginning to think they only needed to take control of the compound for its resources and equipment rather than our research. He seemed to have figured out most of our procedures before he ever questioned any of us.

"And that,” she said, letting out a deep sigh. “Leads me to what happened when the Rangers made their plans clear to the world after negotiations with the government and military began. Despite what they say on TV, our leaders negotiate with terrorists pretty much every few days and this situation was no different. In fact, considering how badly the military wanted our research to pay off for them, and how badly they wanted to keep it away from the rest of the world, they were prepared to give them just about anything they wanted. They were completely terrified by the thought of what might happen if the Rangers were to sell Menagerie to the highest bidder.

"Unfortunately, the Rangers' leader announced that they weren't interested in money. The only thing they wanted, according to him, was to remove humanity's stain from the Earth. He went on a charismatic rant about how they were going to use our research in animal hybridization to take us all 'back to our roots.' Essentially, he meant that he wants to turn all of humanity into animals through gene splicing in a bid to save the planet. According to him, the planet may still have a chance to heal if we’re all out of the picture.

"The negotiators practically laughed in his face so he decided to prove that he was dead serious. Obviously, we were locked in our cell here, so neither of us witnessed whatever happened, but the Rangers showed the rest of the world what they could do in a live feed beamed out to various websites. They took a captive soldier upstairs and turned him.

“That geneticist I told you about before has been hard at work to improve on our research. He’s created a sort of mutagen based on Menagerie that can transform people over the course of a few days. He still hasn't quite gotten it right, as you can tell by looking at me, but I have no doubts he'll manage eventually at the rate he's going. They're using all of us imprisoned here as test subjects in his experiments until he can successfully pull off a complete transformation.”

Allana shifted her body and began to stand up again.

"So, that's why I look like this,” she said, shuddering from head to tail as her fur stood on end for a moment and she shook her head in a distinctly animalistic fashion. “They took me out of our cell one night a little over a week ago and did something to me. But this is the part I'm going to really need you to stay calm for. When I first woke up after they brought me back, I was just like you now. Disoriented and unable to remember anything about myself. I still looked like myself then, but that started to change within the first twenty-four hours or so."

"Wait, you mean I can’t remember what happened to me because it’s part of the process? I’m going to change?" Sophie said, sitting up as her adrenaline started pumping again in apprehension. "I'm going to start turning into a fucking animal?"

"I don't know for sure," Allana said with a grimace. "But I expect so, yeah. I'm so sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you should probably try to prepare yourself for whatever comes next. Maybe spend today really enjoying your body, because if it happens to you like it did to me you—you probably won't have it much longer."

"Well, that's just great to hear!" Sophie shouted angrily. "No big fucking deal, then!"

"Sophie," said Allana as tears welled up once more in her big, dark eyes. "I'm sorry, but I need you to remember. We have to keep our promise."

"You keep bringing that up," Sophie snarled, standing up and walking towards Allana until she was looking her directly in the eyes. "But I have no idea what promise you're going on about."

"When I was taken," Allana said softly, hooves clopping on tile once more as she backed away from Sophie's aggressive advance and her hind legs shifted off of the mattress. "When I started changing, I couldn't really remember who I was, just like you. You helped me by telling me what happened to us and what little you knew about my life. Eventually, I started to remember what was going on and who I really was, so I promised to do the same for you if you got taken away too. You also promised to keep treating me like myself, no matter how much I changed. You promised to help me always remember that I’m really human."

She hung her head, tears falling to the tile below as she wept openly in front of Sophie. It wasn't as if she could wipe her eyes anymore.

"I wish I could help more, but I'm so tired," she eventually managed to sob between shuddering breaths. "Most of my energy goes towards the constant change and they really don’t feed us very well, if at all."

She let out a weak laugh and sniffed.

“I guess deer do require an awful lot of calories, now that I think about it.”

Sophie began to regret her previous outburst as she saw the effect it had on Allana. She put a hand on her furry shoulder and pet her softly, mostly because she didn't know what else to do.

"I'm...sorry, Allana," she said with some difficulty. "I know I shouldn't take this out on you. You've done nothing but try to help me since I woke up and I've been acting like a total asshole."

Allana sniffed again and raised her head up to look at Sophie once more.

"I understand," she said. "Really, I do. When I started changing I wasn't any better. In fact I was probably way worse. I've never been very good with people at the best of times, but you’ve helped me so much despite all that. I just want to return the favor."

"Alright," Sophie said, sinking to the floor.

She could feel all of her rapid mood swings taking their toll on her body now. She felt exhausted.

“Did I give you any details about my life before I came here? That might help jog my memory a little more."

"You did, as a matter of fact," Allana said, beginning to calm down once again.
"You told me about growing up in Longview, back in Texas, a little about your family, and…"

She stopped suddenly, looking as if she didn't want to be the one to tell her whatever it was, but knew that she had to. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes as she went on.

"And about how you separated from your husband and daughter before you came here."

It was like a knife had been plunged into her heart and then twisted for good measure. She had remembered a baby girl, Evie, just before she had fallen off the bed. She hadn’t let go of that single, foggy memory. Even after she had been thoroughly distracted by Allana's shocking appearance, and all throughout the story of how they came to be imprisoned here, it was one of the things she wanted to remember more than anything else.

Now it was all coming back and she knew that she had lost her. She remembered standing next to a man whose face she was unable to remember properly, both looking into a crib and talking to a baby girl who was laughing happily at them.

"I...lost Evie?" She asked, voice breaking as she tried to hold back tears. "How?"

"I don't know everything," Allana said with deep sympathy plain in her voice. "You told me what you could, but you broke down a few times so we decided to move on from there. All I really know is that you developed a drinking problem after you left the military and your husband eventually took your daughter and left. You said you came here to try and stay sober after the divorce was finalized. To get away from everything and heal. It was the closest thing to the military you could find without reenlisting."

"I think I'm starting to remember my husb-" Sophie cut herself off as her voice broke once again. "Ex-husband. His name is Derek, right?"

"Yeah," Allana said, barely suppressing another sob. "You said he was wonderful."

Fuck me, this is too much, Sophie thought as her eyes filled with tears and she collapsed into a heap. Remembering all of this is like losing them all over again.

Sophie let out a sudden wail of anguish as memories of her brief, happy time as a wife and mother flooded her mind. She could see Derek, strong and handsome, his short black beard scratching her face as he held her close to him with calloused hands. Rugged workman's hands. He'd been a carpenter, she remembered suddenly, a great one. And a contractor, as well. He'd built their house after they were married. He'd built Evie's crib when they found out she was pregnant.

"I remember," she said finally. "I was drunk and caused an accident. I wrecked the car and Derek asked what I would have done if Evie had died and I–oh god–I just told him she was fine. He said he'd had enough and took her away with him. We got divorced and he won custody. I was so awful to them, Allana. Not all the time, but I just couldn't stop…"

Sophie broke down again and Allana walked closer to her, nuzzling her with her head for lack of a hand to lay on her shoulder or back.

"I'm so sorry to put you through this," Allana said. "We can take a break. You don't have to keep going right now."

"No, I need to know," Sophie said defiantly, wiping her eyes with her forearm and trying to control her breathing. "If I'm going to lose my body, I need to keep my mind, right?"

"That was the general idea, yes."

"So I need to keep working on this."

"Alright," Allana said. "Let me tell you what you said about your childho–"

She stopped speaking as she noticed something on Sophie's chest, just at the point where the tight shirt pressed her firm breasts together to form a generous line of cleavage.

"Oh, Sophie," Allana said, looking into Sophie's eyes sympathetically. "I think it's starting already."



Hello again! If anyone wants to participate in where the story goes from here, just follow the link below and pick your favorite option from the poll. You'll be voting on a few options to help me decide what sort of hybrid poor Sophie is going to end up as. I have a particular result in mind for each one, but I didn't want to just give them all away. Some are probably more obvious than others, but what are you gonna do?

I'll leave it open for about two weeks or so before I get started on the next part. Thanks for reading!

Poll's closed, thanks for voting!


Re: Menagerie

Alright, the votes are in and I'm going to get started on part 3. Should be a big one!

6 (edited by thepfeffernusse 2021-11-21 15:32)

Re: Menagerie

Hi, everybody,

Sorry this one took a while to get ready. My internet was out for most of the last month and I had to make a pretty big move across the country last month. It took me a while to get settled in, but I'm finally good to work again. Hope you enjoy it!

Part 3


Sophie had intended to ask what Allana was staring at, but her voice fizzled out as she followed the other woman's gaze to her chest and saw a patch of thick white hair sprouting just above her breasts. She tentatively raised one hand and felt the many smooth, soft strands brush against her skin. It was really there. Her already strained mental fortitude was giving way to fear once again. She could even feel the new growth beginning to stand on end as goosebumps formed on her skin.

"Just stay calm," Allana said softly. "I know it's terrifying, but you need to keep your breathing steady."

Sophie heard her, but she couldn't process what she was saying. All she could think about was her impending doom as she stared at Allana in horror. Her breathing was shallow and she couldn't help but wonder what would become of her.

Would she be like Allana? She saw a disturbing and unusually clear mental image of herself, reduced to a quadrupedal prey animal with just enough humanity left over to fully understand just how much of her dignity had been stripped away? Based on the information at hand, everything in her life was going to change in a matter of hours and she couldn't do anything to stop it.

"I thought you said it would take a while for this to start?" Sophie said, unable to keep the accusatory tone out of her trembling voice. "What the hell is this?"

She rubbed at the furry spot as if to wipe it away like a spot of dirt smeared on her skin.

"They've been working non-stop to improve the process," Allana said, lowering her head sadly. "The Rangers are hoping to perfect their weaponized version of Menagerie before the military can put a stop to their operation here. I imagine they've made it far more effective by now. They have to know they're on borrowed time."

"Is there anything else? Help me look." Sophie said gruffly.

She unabashedly began to strip off her shirt and soon stood topless before Allana, who only stared at her. She seemed to realize how harsh and commanding she had sounded despite her mounting panic as she noticed something akin to irritation in Allana’s expression and remembered her manners.

"Please," Sophie added in a more measured and calm tone of voice. "I'm really nervous here and I could use some help."

"If you insist," Allana mumbled. "But it probably won't make you feel much better. If there is anything else..."

"Yeah, yeah," Sophie said. "But I'd rather know."

If Sophie didn't miss her guess, she thought Allana was uncomfortable with her casual nudity as the hybrid awkwardly helped inspect her body for other signs of impending metamorphosis. Sophie lifted her breasts slightly in both hands and spun around to allow Allana to get a good look at every inch of her body. She only seemed to grow increasingly awkward as she half-heartedly inspected even some of the more intimate parts of Sophie's body. They eventually concluded that she showed no other signs of transformation and Allana skulked back to one side of the room, still looking oddly uncomfortable and someone red-faced.

It gave Sophie some small comfort to know she had at least a little longer in her own body. Even if signs pointed to a rather rapid transformation in the near future, she was glad to have one last night of humanity. She even thought she had some ideas about how to spend it. If she wasn't just imagining things, Allana was keeping certain secrets from her. Secrets she could work with, given their mutual incarceration.

"Thanks," said Sophie, still standing topless in the chilly air of their cell. "I was worried I'd look like a yeti by now."

She was cradling her breasts in her arms and took on a somewhat seductive stance. She carefully gauged her cellmate's reactions, looking for any signs of sexual tension or interest. Though she didn't generally think about herself as a particularly attractive woman, Sophie knew she had a great body. Her broad hips and round, shapely ass coupled with her comparatively small waist and larger-than-average bustline gave her a nearly perfect hourglass figure. As she stood in front of Allana with her impressive bust on full display and her tight panties leaving little else to the imagination, Allana seemed unable to focus on anything else.

"Um," Allana said awkwardly, still standing in one corner of the cell. "Do you maybe want to cover up again?"

Sophie looked down at her naked double-Ds and back to Allana. Though most of her cellmate's body was that of a large deer, she still possessed a pair of enormous, heavy breasts that hung pendulously from her chest. Sophie found it almost funny that she would be so uncomfortable with her nudity when her own chest had been exposed the entire time. Then she saw Allana lick her lips nervously and found herself carefully analyzing the deer-hybrid's true emotions before she even knew what she was doing.

Though it was hard to be certain given the limited percentage of Allana's body that was still human, Sophie noted the slight flush in her dark cheeks, noticeably erect nipples, and comparatively rapid, shallow breathing as telltale signs of arousal rather than garden-variety embarrassment. Though all of her fears of imminent transformation were still very much front and center in her mind, Sophie found a sort of resolve that allowed her to push them aside for a moment while she gave in to a morbid curiosity that had taken hold of her thoughts.

"Allana," she said, trying to handle the situation as carefully as possible. "Are you turned on right now?"

Allana's dark skin took on an even deeper tone as she blushed furiously and turned away from Sophie to face the wall.

"I didn't—I mean, I wasn't..." she began stammering and babbling, clearly embarrassed at being caught in the act.

The overwhelming air of shame and sadness that had hung around Allana like a thick fog since Sophie had first returned to consciousness seemed to dissipate then. In their place was a bashful awkwardness and just a hint of the sexual being buried beneath what Sophie took for the carefully cultivated airs of her reserved and professional persona.

"You don't have to be embarrassed," Sophie said, pulling her shirt back on. "I just didn't know you swung that way."

Allana let out a muffled groan as she hung her head slightly and continued to stare at the blank wall. Sophie tried to avoid staring at her very obviously swollen vagina, which was now fully exposed to her by the deer-woman's current position. Sophie had never seen any doe vaginas that she could think of, but she imagined Allana's, much like certain other parts of her, was still somewhere between human and deer.

Her labia were much thicker than an ordinary human's, but still had some very familiar characteristics. Now that she really got a look at her, Sophie noted that what had appeared to be the flanks of a large doe had an unusually full and rounded shape. She thought she could make out the outline of two very large, very human buttocks beneath the thick coat of short, coarse fur and her torso also had a very curious taper in the middle that was not particularly deer-like. It seemed that what had been her upper arms and thighs were still somewhat recognizable before transitioning into the long, thin legs of a deer.

These were clearly other, less noticeable remnants of her humanity that were easily missed if you didn't look closely. It was almost as if the woman had been forced into an all-fours position and her arms and legs had been fused with the animal's. Sophie could only assume that her insides were as mixed up and confused as her outside. Did she have multiple stomachs? Could she survive on foliage and the like? If they were forced to escape, those sorts of things could actually be advantageous in the Alaskan wild. Sophie was trained in wilderness survival and that would save Allana, who almost certainly was not, a lot of trouble until they found help.

If they found help.

After a significant pause, during which Sophie began to worry that she may have truly upset her only companion, Allana finally spoke up again.

"Honestly, I never used to worry about sex all that much," she muttered, still addressing the wall. "I'd slept with a few people here and there in high school and college, but I never considered it all that spectacular. I think–"

Allana finally turned to face Sophie once again, the deep flush still evident around her nose and under her eyes.

"I think the shift in my biology may have awakened something in me. I've been attracted to both men and women in the past, but you're–um–very pretty, Sophie…"

The dark flush in Allana's skin spread to the tips of her ears, just visible beneath her voluminous curly hair, and they turned noticeably red towards the end, where her velvety fur was thinnest.

"I find it difficult to focus with you in that state and...sorry, this is stupid. I'll just—"

"I don't think anyone's said anything so nice to me since high school," Sophie said, genuinely stunned by the rare compliment. "Thank you. Really."

Allana nodded and blushed still deeper, lowering her head a bit as if she wanted to sink though the floor and disappear.

"Anyway," Sophie said casually as she rubbed the back of her neck and tried not to feel awkward herself. "I already told you not to worry about it. In my experience, it's not all that unusual to want sex at a time like this."

Sophie certainly knew she did. She hoped she might entice Allana into at least making out with her for a while. She wasn't sure she'd be able to find a proper way to perform adequately, what with Allana's unusual anatomy.

"I have to admit I didn't think I was capable of feeling so…" Allana paused for a moment, turning to face Sophie again with a strangely serene look on her face. "Aroused, anymore. It almost makes me feel normal."

"The human sex drive is a powerful thing," Sophie shrugged. "It can make you forget about your troubles for a little while."

Allana cleared her throat, producing an uncontrollably loud grunting sound once more.

"I suppose," she said, looking bashful again. "Now, anyway."

"Well, I usually go for men. I don't exactly consider myself bi, buuuut…" Sophie extended the last syllable, pouring as much emphasis into the word as she could. "I've been known to experiment here and there. Who's to say we can't comfort each other a little?"

Allana blushed furiously again, her cheeks and nose deepening into a rich earthy tone that made her skin appear to shine in the dim fluorescent lighting. She finally broke the silence before it could stretch on too long.

"This is a strange time for this, don't you think?"

Allana was looking at her with an odd mixture of apprehension and desire. It was almost as if she weren't sure if herself and wanted Sophie to make the first move. Sophie stared at her for a moment, taking in her smooth, slightly plump features and huge dark eyes. She was certainly pretty once you saw past the more bizarre elements of her appearance. Sophie thought she could almost remember the woman she had been before her change, but it was like trying to grasp a pool of water.

"Odd, maybe, but like I was saying," Sophie said with a hollow grin. "Sometimes in life, sex is the best thing to make you feel better for a while."

She moved in close to Allana and kissed her before she could back away. She didn't really know why she was feeling so determined to get with the very same creature she had been terrified of a few short hours before. She felt such a deep need for some form of connection with another being, yes, but there was something more primal beneath the surface.

Maybe the transformation just has my hormones raging. She thought as she gently bit Allana's full lower lip between kisses. Something like puberty or back when I was pregnant with Evie.

Sophie was far from a scientist, but she had been a good student and understood some basic biology. There was a certain logic to that line of thinking, maybe she would ask Allana once they were finished here.

Allana returned her kiss for a brief moment, her tongue wrapping around Sophie's as the latter put a hand on each side of the former's head and gently held her in place. As Sophie dropped one hand to lightly tease one of Allana's massive tits, however, the hybrid seemed to snap out of it and pulled away. She stepped back with a soft clip-clop of her hooves as her eyes went wide and she started at Sophie with something akin to sympathy.

"Wait, wait," Sophie said desperately, holding one hand out towards Allana as she continued to back away. "What's wrong? I can go slower if you want."

"I just don't think you really want to do this," Allana said. "You've experienced shock after shock this evening and you just want to feel in control of something. I don't blame you, but—"

She wasn't wrong. For all her bravado, Sophie felt completely powerless and knew deep down that she only wanted to dominate Allana. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She needed to be calm and controlled before she said anything else. The old temper couldn't take over.

"I'm sorry, Sophie," Allana almost whispered. "You kept me in check, too, once I started."

"No, you're right. I have a sort of problem with this," Sophie said gently, despite her disappointment. "One time, back in my military days, I actually blew a guy on the battlefield. We'd been pinned down for days in an abandoned village and we both thought it was all over, though we never actually said it to each other. One thing led to another one night and I just went down on him. Obviously, we survived, and that turned into a very weird relationship. Especially considering he was my CO at the time."

Allana stared in disbelief, mouth hanging slightly open as Sophie shrugged and let out a soft, mirthless chuckle. She walked over to the bed and hopped up to sit on the top bunk, trying to ignore the burning tingle between her legs that tenaciously urged her to action.

"My point is," she said, absently scratching at the new puff of fur on her chest. "Sometimes fucking is the only thing people feel like they can do in life-or-death situations. We're biologically driven to pass our genes on even when we know, logically, there isn't enough time, or even when our partner can't conceive. I've experienced it first hand. If we're not going to be able to stay physically human, I think our subconscious minds are grasping for anything we can still control."

Allana smiled at this.

"You said something similar when I was the one jumping you last week."

She stepped closer to Sophie. Her long neck put her head level with Sophie's chest even as she sat up on the upper bunk, so she only had to tilt her head a bit to look her in the eyes. She lifted her head a bit further to point towards her cellmate's breast with her chin. There was a sort of ruff of fur that seemed to be forming there now.

"All that aside," she said. "We should try to monitor your changes. We may get a hint at what he mixed you with, if nothing else."

Sophie grimaced, but nodded.

"You're probably right," she said, absently glancing towards the corner of the room, where the cell door stood firmly blocking their only apparent exit. "Hey, change of subject, I know, but have we ever tried to find a way out of here?"

Allana looked surprised by the sudden question, but shook her head slowly.

"We talked about it early on," she said. "But you looked around for a potential weak spot and said you couldn't find anything. I wasn't much use then. I had just started to...lose my hands..."

Some of the pain seemed to return to Allana's voice then, and Sophie decided to change the subject.

"Alright, so we need to get out some other way. Do they ever let us have some time out of our cells? I assume not."

"No," Allana said, shaking her head again. "We barely ever see anyone at all. We're totally isolated here other than when they give us something to eat, which is usually once a day unless they're punishing us for something."

Sophie grimaced again.

"That explains why I've been feeling so hungry," she said, clutching her flat stomach. "And how I lost those last few extra pounds I'd been carrying around since the divorce."

Sophie stopped cold, cocking her head slightly to one side and looking confused and excited all at once.

"I just remembered something on my own," she said with a half-grin. "I think I may be getting better."

"That's great!" Allana said with a wide smile. "It's probably all going to start coming back in waves now. That's how it was for me."

"While we're on that subject, why is memory loss even a part of it?" Sophie asked, hopping down from the bunk and heading for the cell door to inspect it. "Do you have any idea?"

"I imagine it's related to whatever sedatives they give us when they take us out of our cells," said Allana, taking on a pensive expression. "But it could also be an early attempt at fully transforming us into animals. Maybe they hope to make us forget we were ever human in case they ever manage a full transformation."

"That's a terrifying thought," Sophie said, shuddering.

Her imagination conjured up images of thousands of animals running around the streets of once-great cities with no clue that they were formerly human. With no means of communication or survival instincts, most probably wouldn't last very long. Apart from the buildings and cars, it would be as if humanity had never existed at all. A few centuries later and even most of those artifacts would be gone. Everything would simply go back to the forest and wilderness of the ancient world.

"We have to stop them. Even if it's too late for us to save ourselves."

Sophie put a hand against the door, looking out the small bullet proof window where she could just make out a small section of the common area beyond the short, dimly lit hallway that led to their cell. She could see the corner of what looked like a metal rack loaded with boxes and plastic bins, assumedly full of food and the like.

"Even if I never see her again, I don't want to imagine a world where Evie has to grow up living like an animal. The Rangers' solution is total insanity."

"How could we do anything?" Allana asked, her expression one of absolute defeat. "Even if we managed to release some of the other prisoners, even if any of them could remember who they really are at this point, I imagine most of us don't even have thumbs anymore. How can we fight armed terrorists?"

"You may have a point," Sophie conceded. "But, on the other hand, just imagine what a dozen or so wild animals with human intelligence rampaging through the facility could do. A deer, or wolf, or whatever doesn't know what a gun is or how to react to it. I bet we could do a lot of damage before we were taken out. They may not even want to bring us down at all, given their moral code, or whatever."

"That's just it, Sophie," Allana said, eyes glistening slightly. "Not all of us were soldiers. We're not all as fearless and strong as you."

"I'm nothing special," Sophie said, carefully touching the reinforced glass of the small window set into the cell door as if testing it for weaknesses. "And I'm definitely not fearless. You saw me freaking out earlier for yourself. Anyone can fight if they really want to. You just have to find your reason to do it."

She looked Allana dead in the eye, hands on her hips as she stood like a drill Sergeant surveying her troops.

"Anyone, Allana."

Allana shook her head and turned away.

"If I had claws or horns or something, maybe," she said, looking into the small metal mirror above the sink. "But I'm just a hind now."

"A what?" Sophie asked.

"A hind," Allana said. "A female red deer is called a hind, not a doe. That's what I was mixed with. We had one named Ruby in the test lab, so I'm fairly certain they used her DNA on me. The coloring is right, and I'm too big to be a white-tail."

"Oh," Sophie said, vaguely looking towards Allana again.

She watched Allana shuffle nervously at the thought of fighting and something occurred to her.

"Hey," she said, tapping Allana on the shoulder. "What else did you have on hand? Anything dangerous?"

"Um," Allana closed her eyes and began listing off everything she could remember. "We had a few snowshoe hares, an arctic fox, a pair of red deer, a golden eagle, a snowy owl, and a lynx. There were some other, smaller things, but I can't quite recall what they were. The monkeys were shipped off a month ago for studies elsewhere."

"Lynx?" Sophie looked excited. "Like the bobcat sort of thing?"

"Yeah, he was a pretty big one, too."

"Maybe that's what I got," Sophie considered, touching the patch of fur, which seemed to have spread outward a bit at the edges. "What do you think?"

"It's possible," Allana said slowly, squinting her eyes a bit as she looked closely at Sophie's fur. "But I wouldn't rule out the hares or the fox, either."

"Hmm, well it's something to hope for, I guess," Sophie said with a shrug. "Maybe I'll get lucky and end up ripping a few throats out in the end."

She let out a hollow, joyless laugh that made Allana's blood run cold. She thought Sophie might actually be crazy enough to try to do it.

"Do you really think we have a chance of fighting back?" Allana asked a few minutes later.

"It depends," Sophie answered, methodically stretching her legs and arms. "Do you remember any other animals you had?"

"I think the Rangers set them all free when they took over. They've just been using the tissue and blood samples we had on hand for their experiments….oh…"

"Oh, what?"

"I remembered a few other samples we used to experiment with. We had a few samples from a male grizzly and a bit of polar bear tissue."

Sophie's eyes lit up.

"You don't think—?"

"I won't rule it out at this stage. But it's really hard to say."

Sophie had started moving through a routine of jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, and sit-ups as if to prepare herself for a fight. Images of herself as a huge, vicious polar bear swatting down her assailants filled her imagination.

"Do you really think we have any chance?" Allana asked meekly.

Sophie looked up at Allana, frozen in place mid-sit-up.

"If we can stay tough," she said. "You can't give up in situations like this and expect to come out on top."

"So what? Do you think we should just sit back and wait for an opportunity?"

"I think we should definitely be on the lookout for one, yeah," she said, getting back to her exercise and speaking a few words each time she lifted herself up to the highest point of a sit-up. "And if nothing comes up—we try to make one—for ourselves. The problem we still—have to solve is—getting into contact—with the others."

Allana watched Sophie go through her workout with interest. Though she claimed to be somewhat out of shape now, even Allana, who wasn't particularly fond of exercise and had always been a little on the plump side, could tell that she was no stranger to physical conditioning. Sophie jumped back to her feet with a slight hop and walked to the sink, breathing hard and coated with a light sheen of sweat.

"Maybe," she said at last while Sophie splashed cold water on her face. "We can appeal to the Rangers' moral judgment. Animals need space to move around. They claim to hate zoos and anyone who keeps animals cooped up for human entertainment and they absolutely despise people who keep them in labs. Maybe I can use that logic against them next time they bring us something to eat?"

Sophie lifted her head from the sink and smiled at Allana's reflection in the metal plate that served as a mirror, noticing a missing bolt in the lower left corner. Some half-forgotten and highly cunning part of her thought that could be useful somehow, but she turned her full attention back to Allana once more.

"That's the spirit," she said. "We'll make a soldier out of you yet."

                                                                                                        *        *        *

That night, while Allana slept soundly, Sophie awoke to an intense and unbearable itching sensation spreading over her entire body. Though she tried to fight the urge, she soon began rubbing and scratching at her skin, though it brought little relief. It felt like an entire army of fire ants were crawling all over her, biting and stinging as they went along.

As she inspected herself, desperate to find some clue to relieving the intense, burning itch, she noticed that the small patch of fur had spread and grown thicker. It now formed a sort of ruff just above her breasts, but the fur seemed to have wrapped around her neck as well in almost mane-like fashion as she soon found when she tried to itch a point on the side of her neck and felt thick, soft fur rather than bare skin. As she scratched her stomach, feeling a particularly irritating pinch at several points across the skin there, her fingers scraped against a strange, fleshy, nub-like protrusion. She immediately stopped scratching and looked down, trying to make out anything she could in the almost total darkness of their underground cell. There was no natural light in the underground room and the overhead fluorescents were on a timer, automatically switching off around 11 p.m. and then back on at 6 in the morning.

To her surprise, her eyes seemed to rapidly adjust to the dark and she clearly saw a small, raised spot on her skin, just where her uppermost abs met her ribcage. She took it for some kind of welt at first, but the tender flesh only seemed to throb slightly when she touched it. There was no itching or burning sensation originating from it as she had expected. Further inspection of her body soon revealed that she had five more arranged evenly down her stomach, forming six pairs in total. With a start, she realized the shocking truth of the situation.

They were nipples.

Six of them, arranged symmetrically down her stomach. Whatever animal she had been spliced with, it was clearly having an effect on her secondary sex characteristics. She could already feel a dull ache in her uppermost pair of newly formed teats and she thought she knew what that would mean. She hoped it wouldn’t happen too quickly, but if her already rapid changes were anything to go by...

The tenuous peace she had made with her circumstances began to crumble. She hadn't quite come to grips with the fact that she would soon change into a strange hybrid creature like Allana, but she had thought she had prepared herself for it somewhat. Even so, she had never imagined anything so strange could be her fate.

An unbidden mental image of herself with an elongated snout-like face, fangs, claws, and a hunched body covered in white fur with eight breasts running down her front filled her mind and she almost laughed out loud just to keep from crying. It was all so ridiculous and unbelievable. The stuff of nightmarish science fiction and cheesy comic books.

As she sat up in bed, gasping for air and trying not to wake Allana, her dark hair fell about her face and she noticed for the first time that it had gone snow-white in several places, forming multiple thin streaks that perfectly matched the color of the fur spreading over her body.

Sophie, now filled with a powerful and morbid curiosity, reached down to her panties and lifted the waistband enough to peer inside. Sure enough, the formerly dark hair that covered her pubic mound had largely fallen out and been replaced with soft white fur. It was almost as if she had shed a summer coat and grown a new one for winter. The timing certainly fit as they were now entering November by her estimations.

Finally, she discovered the source of her general discomfort as she examined the rest of her body more closely. The fine hair all over her body was growing thicker and turning bright white and Sophie estimated that she would be almost entirely covered in thick fur by the morning if it kept up the current rate.

She desperately passed a very uncomfortable hour, scratching at the irritating fur and moaning softly into her mattress. She stripped off what little clothing she had in a last-ditch effort to find relief before she lost all willpower and rolled out of bed to wake Allana and ask for help.

"Allana!" She growled as she shook her sleeping friend by the shoulder. "I could use some help here!"

The dark-skinned deer-woman raised her head and squinted through the dark at Sophie's face for a moment.

"Sophie?" She said groggily. "What's wrong?"

"I'm losing my mind!" Sophie hissed. "Fur growing in everywhere and I'm itching like crazy! I need you to see if you can tell what’s happening to me.”

She could see her clearly distressed cellmate scratching wildly at her skin and hear her muttered cursing as she slowly pulled herself fully into consciousness. As her eyes adjusted to the dark room and she saw Sophie's new look for the first time she gasped in shock.

"Oh, wow," she said breathlessly. "You may not believe me, but it's honestly kind of pretty."

She moved her head around, looking at Sophie's snowy fur from a few different angles. Eventually, she stood up and clopped around to look at her back as well, letting out yet another gasp of surprise.

"Well," she said. "I'd say you're well on your way at this point. Your tail is even starting to grow in."

"Tail?" Sophie practically shouted. "I have a fucking tail already?"

Her hands snapped to her ass with a loud slap as she tried to feel around for the newly grown nub at the base of her spine. Her fingers fumbled around the point just above the cleft of her buttocks and she felt the small protrusion forming there, as well as the smooth, silky fur that was quickly covering the majority of her body.

"That explains why my ass feels sore," she said. "This is so fucked up."

"You don't have to tell me," Allana said, sounding amused for the first time Sophie could remember. "I just hope for your sake you don't go quadrupedal. It hurt."

"Oh, thanks so much for that," Sophie said through gritted teeth. "Anyway, got ideas on what we can do about this itching?"

Allana stepped around Sophie, looking thoughtful.

"I don't really know," she said at last. "I remember something like an itch when my fur started to grow in, but I was a bit preoccupied with the way my hands were stiffening up and how much my legs hurt all the time. A lot of bones and ligaments had to stretch out an awful lot to—"

She seemed to notice the new developments on Sophie's stomach for the first time and stopped cold.

"You have–you're–" Allana sputtered, utterly failing to form a cohesive sentence.

"Growing more tits?" Sophie offered helpfully. "Yeah, I know."

Allana blushed as Sophie baldly stated the facts, but finally seemed to find her voice again.

"Sorry," she said. "But I wasn't really expecting that."

"That makes two of us," Sophie replied flatly, cupping her boobs in her hands. "I just hope they don't all get as big as these—"

She lifted them, almost experimentally, and casually let them drop. They firmly returned to their unusually high and shapely natural position with a bounce, jiggling in place for a moment. Despite the situation, she had to fight an urge to smirk at Allana as she flagrantly ogled them.

"Or I'll barely be able to move."

"Uh, yeah," Allana said, turning away awkwardly as she realized she was staring. "Hopefully they won't."

"Do you mind if I ask you something personal? No pressure if you’d rather not talk about it."

"Um, I guess not," Allana replied as she walked back to her mattress. "What is it?"
"Your boobs," Sophie said, indicating Allana's enormous breasts. "Are they naturally that big? I can't quite remember."

Allana's ears turned red again, though Sophie could barely see them beneath her thick hair.

"No," she said at last, biting her full lower lip and firmly fixing her gaze on the empty space to Sophie's left. "They got a lot bigger as I changed for some reason. I can only guess why, but I think it had something to do with increased hormonal activity during the process."

"Fuuuuck me," Sophie said, covering her eyes with one hand and placing the other on her hip as she threw her head back in exasperation. "You mean I may be packing four times what you are at the end of this?"

"I don't really know, but it's possible. Deer have udders rather than breasts, so I think things may have gotten a bit muddled in my case. Whatever they're using to change us isn't quite finished. That's why we're still just turning into hybrids rather than fully transforming into animals. I think my body tried to reform my breasts into an udder, but the process failed somewhere along the line so I just ended up with these. You're probably going to have a different experience...I think…"

A long silence passed between them as Sophie thought about Allana's theory and slipped her shirt back on. Allana looked down at her own naked breasts and sighed deeply. She was clearly self-conscious about them now, but also powerless to cover up without clothing or hands to do so. Suddenly, the lights flickered on, illuminating the cell in flickering fluorescent lighting.

"Okay," Sophie finally said, breaking the silence that was stretching on far too long for her liking. "I have an idea, but I would need your help. You must have had a shirt when you first got here, right?"

"Yeah, you put it somewhere when I grew out of it," Allana said as she raised one eyebrow curiously. "You asked the guard if you could have it as a spare and he didn't really seem to care. I think you hid it so no one would take it away from us, but I don't know what you’d planned to use it for."

"Not sure, but I guess now I just need to remember where I put it. Hold on a second."

Sophie concentrated hard for a long time and slowly sifted through her foggy memories until she managed to recall the location of the shirt. She walked to their beds, stood on the lower bunk, and lifted the far end of her thin mattress to reveal a small hole that showed the cheap foam rubber stuffing where she had shoved Allana's shirt. She pulled it out of its hiding place and held up a gray t-shirt that looked large enough to provide the materials she would need.

"Yeah, this should work," she said, walking to Allana and holding it up against her chest. "Should only take a couple of modifications. Tearing it isn't really our best option, so I just need some way to cut it..."

Sophie started pacing around the cell, searching for anything that looked as if it might be useful in her new project. If she could just find something, anything, that had even a dull edge to it in here she could make do.

"What are you up to?" Allana asked. "There's nothing sharp enough around here."

She remembered that the metal plate that served as a subpar mirror above the sink was loose at one corner where a bolt was missing. She thought she could use the sharp corner of the plate to cut the shirt's seams enough to then tear it into something useful.

Sophie walked over to the sink and inspected the plate more intently. If she could just pull that corner up a bit and bend it, she may be able to use it almost like a blade by dragging the shirt across it. It would be dull, but it might work.

"You're doing that thing where you stop moving and just stare at things again," Allana said. "What are you thinking?"

"Sorry," Sophie replied, looking at Allana over her shoulder. "I just got an idea. If I can just–pull–this up!"

She worked her fingers under the plate, feeling a slight pinch on her fingertips as it stubbornly tried to resist her. Sophie wasn't particularly strong for a woman her size, but she had trained extensively as a soldier and her affair with alcohol hadn't quite robbed her of all her strength before she got sober and started working again. Now that she thought about it, she could remember that she had begun working out semi-regularly again since coming to Alaska.

As she kept up the pressure, the metal slowly began to bend out of shape at the corner. She continued to work at it for a minute, never stopping to take a breather, and eventually managed to form a crease in the material as she kept up the steady, even pressure. A moment later, she had managed to force the thin alloy to bend up and away from the wall. As she inspected her work, she noticed that there was a small, circular opening behind the mirror.

"Wow," Allana said from somewhere behind her. "You actually got it."

"Uh, yeah," Sophie replied simply.

She was staring at the small space where it looked as if a bolt hole had been slowly bored out into a slightly larger opening by someone over what must have been a long time. Someone apparently tenacious and desperate enough to create a hiding place for a slip of paper and the broken end of a pencil.

As she looked closer, she saw that there were a few words written in capital block letters scraped into the metal wall just above the hole. She had no memory of it now, but knew she must have been the one to do it.


Trying to keep her movements subtle, Sophie pretended to test the edge on the plate with one hand and slipped the fingers of her other hand into the hole, carefully sliding the paper out before subtly slipping it into her cleavage. Though it had always been the subject of many of her male coworkers' jokes and a bit of a pain during the long marches of her youth, in this moment Sophie found herself thankful for the convenient hiding places her large bust granted her.

Glancing to the other side of the cell, Sophie saw that Allana was still on the other side of the room, absently watching her go about her business. Sophie wasn't sure what was really going on, but she was now questioning everything.
Was she really friends with this woman? Was she a spy, or just a snitch? Maybe she had been ordered to keep Sophie out of trouble and placate her with lies in exchange for some kind of special treatment?

Now that Sophie really thought about it, Allana's belly was quite plump and her coat was awfully shiny for someone who claimed to have been starving for the last week. Then again, if she was faking everything up to this point, she was a very good actress. She also had to consider what kind of spy would willingly let themselves be turned into a half-deer monstrosity as Allana had. Who had that kind of devotion to their cause?

The Rangers, probably, said a very dry and cynical voice in her head. They more than likely want to be animals.

"Um, I need to pee," Sophie said, quickly walking towards the curtain and grabbing one end to pull it closed. "Hold on a second."

"O–kaaay," Allana said slowly, drawing out the word in a less-than-subtle show of mild suspicion.

Sophie recognized the suspicion in her voice and began to feel anxious as Allana clopped closer to the curtain as if she was going to push it aside and step through, but she stopped just outside of it.

"You didn't cut yourself or something did you?" She asked, sounding concerned.

"No,"  Sophie said just before she was struck by sudden inspiration. "But I'm feeling a little bloated. Could be, you know, just that time of the month."

Sophie heard Allana snort softly at this, but the clopping of her cloven hooves on the tile floor and a soft flumping sound seemed to indicate that she had settled back down her mattress.

Deciding she should probably go all-in on her performance, Sophie waited for a moment and then retrieved the note buried in her cleavage. She saw more of her own slanted and unusually jagged handwriting as she unrolled it and read the message scrawled over both the front and back of the page as quickly as she could.

If you found this note, you either remembered enough to go looking for it or we got lucky. Either way, you’ve probably already been forced to partake in the Ranger’s “experiments.”

You have to find a way out of the cell, and you have to make sure that you bring Allana around to the escape plan. Her transformation did a real number on her and the near-starvation is going to send her straight over the edge if you can’t get her out soon.

She just isn’t getting enough food, that’s why you’ve been giving her most of yours as well. You were still chubby enough to make it for a while and more prepared to deal with hunger. Maybe not so much by now, though.
If she gets desperate enough she may start talking, so you have to keep quiet until you find a way out. Don't tell her anymore than you have to. I know you can do it. You always do. The pencil isn’t much, but you can probably take a guard out with it when they bring the food in if you’re clever. I don't know.

If they have changed you, I hope you’ve got claws or something by now. You'll probably need them.

Good luck.

Sophie finished reading and stuffed the note back into its hiding place between her breasts. Her resolve had been steeled by the message from her past self. She had known that Allana wasn't doing well, but she hadn't known just how beaten down she truly was. While Sophie had been trained to withstand this kind of treatment, at least for a while, Allana had no such experience. Sophie was now sure that the Rangers weren't simply trying to be cruel by withholding sufficient meals from their captives. They wanted to convert them all.

Starvation tactics were used by cults and dictatorships the world over to bring people under their control. If your targets were hungry, truly hungry, they would be both desperate and stressed enough to give into even the most ridiculous demands. Hungry people couldn't think straight, all they wanted was their next meal. If they had to submit to the whims of the insane leader of a bunch of terrorists that wanted to turn everyone into animals, they would probably do it; and all for nothing more than a piece of fruit or a loaf of bread.

Sophie stood up and turned on the sink to buy some extra time while she slipped the broken pencil back into the hole. She pressed the bent mirror back down to conceal the hole a bit more and then opened the curtain to retrieve Allana’s gray t-shirt from the floor just beyond it. She wanted to do something nice for Allana, something to make her feel more like herself again. Something to remind her that she had a friend beside her.

I'm gonna make goddamn sure that they don't get you, she thought as she looked towards the corner of the cell where her friend was slumped over on the bare mattress and looking completely exhausted. But we need to get everyone out of here.

"Allana," Sophie called out, rousing her cellmate from her semi-consciousness. “I’m gonna try to do some alterations on this shirt for you. I think I can make it into a sort of halter top with a few modifications. It’ll cover you up at worst, and at best it might even give you some support.”

She vaguely indicated Allana’s overdeveloped chest from across the room.

"I appreciate the thought,"said Allana, letting out a yawn and raising her head a bit as she continued to recline. "But why help me? Considering all you're going through, I figured you'd rather focus on yourself right now."

"Doing something with my hands will help me take my mind off of everything for a while," Sophie said dismissively. "Just relax and I'll get you fixed up."

Allana watched from her spot on the mattress as Sophie used the sharp corner of the mirror to rip up the shirt. She left the fabric around the chest mostly intact, but shredded the back and sides into multiple strips, cutting a few away entirely and knotting them together with other pieces that were still attached to make longer straps. She ripped the sleeves in half so they wouldn't create pinch points for Allana's truly massive breasts, but left them attached as extra cover for her shoulders. After a few minutes of work she figured she had it worked out well enough to give it a try.

“I think I have something worth trying,” she told Allana. “Stand up real quick and I’ll tie it on.”

Allana stood up obediently to allow Sophie to wrap the makeshift garment around her breasts. She fit them snugly into the fabric before pulling the two lowest and longest strips up between her forelegs and tying it behind her shoulders. She tied the rest together behind the point that her extended, hairless neck met her furry shoulders and surveyed the end result. It didn’t look half bad, by her estimation.

"Oh," Allana said, visibly relieved now that the full weight of her breast wasn’t hanging freely beneath her. "Thank you so much. It was so awkward going around topless all the time."

Allana blushed as she looked down at herself and saw the enormous swell of her bust supported and shaped by the simple, makeshift garment. Sophie had to admit she had done a much better job than she expected she would. The thin, mutilated cotton wasn't much to look at, but it neatly cradled Allana's formerly sagging breasts and gave them shape. The long curve of her neck sloping down to the thick line of cleavage formed by her huge tits was unnatural, but undeniably sexy. The way they bulged up and revealed the upper third of their mountainous swell made them seem even larger

As if they needed the help, Sophie thought.

"It's no big deal," she said aloud, trying to seem nonchalant. "Happy to help."

Allana walked around the cell experimentally. Her breasts bounced slightly with each hoof-fall, but remained firmly contained by Sophie’s contraption. She smiled broadly at Sophie again and dipped her head slightly in deference to her cell mate.

“Honestly, Sophie,” she said earnestly. “Thank you for going to all that trouble, but you should probably rest. Transformation takes a lot out of a person. Trust me on that, I should know.”

Sophie rubbed the back of her neck and grunted softly in agreement.

“You’re probably right,” she said. “I just hate waiting around for whatever is going to happen. I’ve always been really action-oriented.”

She hopped up to the top bunk to sit down but let out a squeak of surprise as she felt herself sit on something. She rolled to one side and looked down where she had sat but couldn’t see anything on the bed. As she searched around, she soon found the culprit attached to her own rear end.

“Oh,” she muttered to herself. “My tail grew a little.”

In truth, that was a bit of an understatement. Her tail was now nearly a foot long and covered in fluffy white fur that seemed to grow slightly more full and bushy towards the tip. She looked over herself, trying to find any other developments in her transformation that had gone unnoticed following the welcome distractions provided by Allana’s plight and her discovery of the note behind the mirror.

“Do I look...fluffier to you?” She asked Allana, her brow furrowed with worry.

Allana nodded calmly and looked over what she could see of Sophie’s body again. Her eyes narrowed slightly as she did so from several feet away this time, which jogged something in Sophie’s memory.

“Aren’t you a little near-sighted?” Sophie asked. “What happened to your glasses?”

Allana shook her head and sighed, flapping her lips and rolling her eyes comically as if she were at her wit’s end.

“I can’t really wear them now that my ears are like this can I?” Allana said. “Anyway, they were broken when they dragged me out of here and took me to the lab. I was flailing around and trying to fight before they drugged me. Now stop trying to solve the world’s problems and focus on yourself for a minute while
I ask you some questions.”

Sophie tightly closed her lips and rolled her hand in midair in a “go on” sort of gesture.

“Is that itching you mentioned earlier still present?” Allana asked.

“No, not really,” Sophie said, shaking her head. “I guess that’s a good thing.”

“I hope so, what about your arms and legs? Are they sore or anything? Any pins and needles or other pains?”

Sophie shook her head again.

“What about your, um…”

“My tits?”


“They feel normal, I guess.”

Sophie lifted her hands to her breasts and rubbed them gently. She was trying to see if there was any kind of abnormal sensitivity, but it all felt about the same as usual to her.

“What about where the new ones are coming in?” Allana asked with a slightly awkward nod towards Sophie’s stomach. “Anything strange there?”

Sophie lowered her hands to the nipples just below the lower curve of her breasts and realized she was slightly sore there. She also thought she felt a slight swelling around the newly formed areolae.

“Do they look bigger?” She asked Allana.

Allana gave Sophie an odd look, but bashfully moved closer to carefully inspect her. She gulped nervously as she raised her head and looked Sophie in the eye with apparent difficulty.

“Well,” Sophie said. “Don’t leave me in suspense. What’s up?”

“Yeah,” said Allana. “They’re definitely a bit bigger. The ones under them are looking a little swollen as well. The bottom ones still seem to be about the same, though.”

“Oh man,” Sophie said, falling backward onto the mattress and covering her face with one hand and grasping one full breast in the other. “Six more…”


Re: Menagerie

I like it!